Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I return to the internet

The reason for my sudden departure was twofold. Firstly, and most importantly, I felt I didn't really have anything interesting to say - and I'm still not sure that I do.

I truly love other people's blogs, reading your stories and musings and peeping in to the day to day lives of people I admire and respect. But for a long time now, due to a mixture of circumstances, I have felt I really don't have much to contribute and therefore should remain silent.

The other reason is a little more exciting; nowadays I actually work, full time for a magazine. And not just a little tiny local magazine (which would be perfectly respectable) but a big, significant, weekly magazine which outsells most others and which is giving me the most amazing start in this industry and is keeping my very, very busy.

As much as this has stopped me writing (am I allowed to? what can I say without breaking confidentiality?) it has also given me back my passion for blogging. I have such a fierce interest this industry and I now have the perfect viewpoint from which to observe.

For now, I will leave you with a visual representation of what I have been enjoying over the last few months - this blog has always been on my mind...just waiting for me to get my voice back.

Emmanuelle Beart was the first woman I ever loved, and she will forever hold a place in my heart. I always think its ridiculous when celebs say they are channeling other people in the way they dress and style themselves - but I do envy (and make failed attempts to imitate) her graceful and extremely seductive mannerisms.

Lost, and its much anticipated final, kept me and my equally addicted flatmates on the edge of our seats. It was a disappointing end - but really they could never answer all the questions they posed. I did feel a bit cheated as a watcher, but I will always remain a lover of Lost.

Since watching American - The Bill Hicks Story, I cannot stop singing the praises of this most amazing man. Please do watch the film, it is so inspiring and (if you're anything like me) will drive you to seek out as much footage of his standup as you can find.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Re-visiting recipes

The chaotic nature of my new working life means I have had little time to cook of late, something that has been causing me much sadness. That being said I have tried a couple of the dishes from the new Ottolenghi book (the Guardian recently gave out a free booklet with several of the recipes in) and they were both utterly divine. I made the stuffed onions for my friend Deb, on an evening which culminated in us drinking 4 bottles of wine and spending an embarassing amount of time on chat roulette. This weekend I made the ratatouille for another friend which we devoured in minutes, something I always find a little tragic when a meal has been fussed over for hours. If only there were a way to moderate our greediness, but alas this dish was too good not to wolf down.

I have a list of about 30 new dishes to try, and I am also going to revisit some old favourites...a selection of which I've linked to below in case you too are feeling the need for some kitchen love!

Fusili pasta with lemon, cream and rocket
Sausages with chorzo and lentils
Chicken, cream and tarragon pie
Spaghetti with sweet onion, tomato and pancetta

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


The last four months have been really difficult. Everything around me has changed entirely, in part due to my own choices and in part due to those of other people.

Day to day life is far more interesting and exciting than it was; in the last 3 months I have worked as a childminder for several families, a courier service for a friend, a runner on a new food advert and a writer at Closer.

But it is very tough having no regular income and it means I have had to turn down countless invitations to weddings, nights out, hen do's and parties. Moreover I have no idea how I will be paying my rent for the next month and the months after that...maybe something will come up (in between the work experience I am currently doing) but may it won't. I can't deny I spend the majority of my time fretting about it.

If I am truly honest I have found adjusting to life without the boy very difficult. Our relationship ended in such a way that there is no going back and, just as sadly, there are several people who have fallen away from my life. I am lucky that I am still surrounded by amazing people yet with the loss of his companionship, the dissapearance of some of our mutual friends and my dearest L moving to Edinburgh last year I have been feeling lonely. It is hard to write that word, it feels very shameful especially when I consider what a busy social life I have...but the truth is it is a different kind of life now...one where I always have to go it alone. Sometimes that can feel very isolating.

Of course you can look at the situation from the other angle and realise how empowering it can be to go it alone, to have no one demanding your time and attention and to be able to do exactly as you choose all the time. I craved that feeling when I was in a relationship...and yet now I can't remember quite why.

The biggest sadness of all has come just recently as my parents have finally decided to sell the family home we have occupied since I was 6 years old. The home I grew up in and the home that the boy and I spent countless weeks in surrounded by my family and our friends. I can't ever explain how much this house means to me and the heartbreak I feel knowing that I won't be returning there for weekends filled with happiness over the summer as the house is no longer ours from the end of May. I always dreamed of marrying the love of my life in the lush, hilly garden of that house.

Soon the house will be gone and, I am painfully aware that dream has gone with it.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Leftovers for lunch

I am trying my best to be far more strict when it comes to using up the food in my fridge, rather than being lured into supermarkets to splash out on fresh goods.

Being a creature of habit, I always have the same sorry items left at the bottom of the fridge and hidden at the back of the cupboard so, on a rainy day last week, I found myself trying to do something imaginative with 5 tomatoes, an onion, 3 carrots and several tins of beans!

Unlikely as it sounds I did manage it, and knocked up what I am calling "3 bean stew" in just under an hour. This dish owes its success to good stock, lots of spices, red wine and some very fresh bay leaves. I froze the majority of it and it made a great accompaniment to meat and fish dishes on lazy days when I just wanted to heat something up rather than cook from scratch. This dish is also amazingly cheap, I imagine that if I had gone and bought the ingredients it would have cost under £4.

3 bean stew (to be eaten piping hot with lots of sour cream or to accompany a more substantial meal)

5 large tomatoes (although you could definitely use more, ideally 7)
1 onion
2 carrots
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin berlotti beans
1 tin white means
Vegetable stock (500 ml)
Tomato puree (if desired)
Splash of red wine
2 bay leaves
Mild chilli powder
Mixed herbs

Thinly slice the onion and crush the garlic
Fry in plenty of olive oil until onion is soft
Add tomatoes, quartered and carrots, peeled and sliced
Continue to fry over gentle heat until the tomatoes are softening
Pour over stock
Add bay leaves, chilli powder (1 tsp) and herbs
Place on lid and leave until tomatoes are soft and stock is reducing, about 25 minutes
Add tomato puree if required and splash of red wine
Drain beans and add them, try not to stir often as it will break the beans
Return lid to pot and leave for further ten minutes

The stew should be thick and dense with the beans, season and devour.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Surviving (and the kindness of others)

In the interest of full disclosure I wanted to share with you how I am surviving living in London on a salary of £0 and with rent of over 600 times that.

The simple answer is thanks to the insane generosity of my amazing friends, but not in the way you might think. I haven't, as yet, been given any cash money handouts although my best friend did pay for my recent trip to Edinburgh so her new born daughter could meet her skint, jobless, mainly drunk godmother for the first time - for which I am eternally grateful.

No, this generosity comes in the form of "eyes peeled, ears to the ground".

I have emails from people almost every day, some close friends and others not so much, offering to help me. They offer contacts at magazines or part time work they know of or suggestions of what to with myself (always useful). They also gush endlessly about how wonderful I am (all lies) when I randomly put them down as references for one of my many applications.

I receive all this help with such a feeling of gratitude that these people are my friends.

Add to this the kind act of my beloved Katy who has left me with the keys to her luxury pad in Central London so I can check the house is still standing, make sure the place looks alive and where I can also go to write every day, y'know like I have a real "job" to go to and ensuring I do actually leave the house every day.

As such I find myself with bits and pieces of part time work coming up which I think is just about going to see me through March-April AND I am writing a great deal more than I thought I would, because I have some structure to my day.

I do get very scared and spend a great deal of my time worrying about money, as evidenced by my horribly chewed at nails (one resolution that was not stuck to). But I cannot tell you how liberating it feels to plan your own day, to work only for yourself and to only have yourself to blame for your failures and, conversely, only yourself to thank for your success.

So far, so good.

Friday, 26 February 2010


A short post today as I am whizzing off to spend the next 6 hours listening to Lady Gaga albums, preparing customised t-shirts, crimping my hair and then hotfooting it to the 02 for what I can only imagine is going to be a truly amazing night of entertainment

Say what you will about Gaga, she knows how to put on a show. I CANNOT WAIT.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Drowned rat

The weather in London has been absolutely horrendous for the last two weeks. Icy cold, heavy downpours and occasional showers of snow have meant leaving the house, now that I don't have a job to go to, seems distinctly unappealing.

Tonight I had to jump through numerous puddles to reach my dinner location and still now, twenty minutes after getting home, my feet are like icicles.

In other news I have discovered chat roulette. I think this is possibly the most fascinating website, how did no one think of it before? If anyone hasn't heard of it, it is essentially a website where you are partnered up with another random stranger from the internet. You both see each other through your webcams and then can chat via messenger or your computers microphone. Obviously, being the WWW, there is a high risk you will be partnered with a man (or woman) keen to chat you up/show off their genitals - but then that's why it's called roulette...it's all part of the fun!
Related Posts with Thumbnails