Nothing heals a broken heart like straight vodka, chocolate cake and a DVD of The Edwardian Farm. Roll on milking goats and dinner out of seaweed….
Here’s a wee fillum that my mum shot in Ramsgate. It occurred to me (as it does in liquid inspiration) that this is something that I should have posted but haven’t. So here it is.
One of your five a day…
Last month I was lucky enough to have the ever adorable Perry Walker (who even brings his own home made flapjacks) to help and teach me to facilitate a new format for the Biscuit Chronicles. Interspersing the monologues with discussion, the audience are invited to look at some of the topics that are raised by the performance and draw out some of the questions that we could or should be asking.
I’m not going to lie to you, I was terrified. I felt a bit out of practice and it was all a bit experimental and potentially disastrous. However, Perry was very helpful and supportive and, even though the first event only had three attendees, the next one had more than ten! Any worries about people not being interested or not having anything to say swiftly went out of the window. After an introduction about the project, I was met with a lukewarm response so I just went into the first monologue – when I was done, I replaced my (metaphorical) facilitator and gave them five minutes to discuss. When I brought them all back together the floodgates opened! I was blown away by the open and astute suggestions that people made – it brought in elements I had never considered and got people discussing everything from gender to identity to where our values come from. It was a massive and inspiring buzz!
It seems that inviting people to add their own ideas and opinions really gets people thinking – for me, it really helps to have more than one brain on the problem of body image and how we negotiate a healthier approach to weight, dieting and self-esteem because it’s a problem that needs multiple brains. Thank you ever so much to all my lovely attendees and especially to Perry – I couldn’t have done it without you!
Now to find some funding and really get the ball rolling…
So, the initial up-all-night, bloodshot eyeballs-sellotaped-to-computer-screen of coursework essay writing is all out of the way and we’re back to the old looking out of the window whilst holding a book variety of revising that I specialise in.
However, there was a brief ray of welcome sunshine in the form of the adorable and inspirational Jolien Benjamin who is a fellow anthropology of food student.
She’s studying a module on space and place and I was delighted when she asked me to join in with helping her complete her non-text part of the course. She was looking at how people ate on the tube, the notion of snacking and food on the go, eating in public – all interesting stuff. On the day, less than a week before my essay deadlines, I did think ‘Is this a good idea? Spending half a day doing something fun and creative when I should be writing something informative about lots of dead white anthropologist men?’. I had a dither, weighed up my options and plumped with the creative option, figuring that the anthropologists could stick it for one more day.
It seems to me that I’ll look back on that and think ‘That was a day I made a good decision’. Honestly, I was on a high when we came back and when I saw the finished result I felt like I saw myself again – the seat of the pants, just be intuitive and responsive and it’ll all work out me who I’ve missed while I’ve head my head in a dusty tome. It felt good. Here’s the finished piece and watch this space – Jolien and I have plans for a take two.
To celebrate the fact that yesterday I turned 29 (and the DOEVERYTHINGBEFOREYOU’RE30! panic really set in) we had some friends over for the odd glass of wine, stories about poo and falling over the folding chairs. It was great. I really begin to feel that I have proper friends here, who drop in for tea and don’t mind if I do the same and bring me flowers wrapped in Christmas newspaper (Charlotte, I think you’re the business). I like to have a few things to eat on the table as:
a) it’s something to do for all those pregnant friends who’ve had their sly can of low alcohol French beer and don’t want to have alcopop babies
b) I have to have something to eat or I get smashed so quickly I’m singing flower of Scotland to the wardrobe before everyone has even arrived.
We bought some of those suspect looking Indian snacks in Tesco (I’m not a snack food snob – I love spicy shit in a plastic box as much as the next person) and the obligatory posh crisps (see picture). As it turned out, the Indian snacks didn’t happened before I got too drunk to work the oven so we’ll have them for tea today.
However, we did have some amazing trifle made by Neil (see big empty bowl) including home made madeira cake, tomato and mozarella salad (it’s the good shit), Jane’s chocolate dip and chocolate brownies.
I’d just like to draw your attention to this dish:
which turned out to be a surprise moment of inspiration. Having bought a mango and not wanting to just have mango on it’s own and thinking, shit, not enough things to dip things into (go go gadget innuendo!) I concocted a mango-based salsa and woohoo, it was tasty! Sweet, spicy and a bit zingy – good with most stuff and good for distracting attention when the poo stories come round again
2 inch chunk of cucumber
Half a red onion
Handful of coriander
One red chilli
Juice of one lime
Basically just chop everything up as small as your ham fists can manage, chuck in a bowl together and mix up. I added a bit of the dressing left over from the other salad. Tastiness.