I have to admit to having a bit of a mini-meltdown last week. Nothing really prompted it but I imploded into one of those times where I was convinced, convinced I tell you, that I was failing at everything: the day job, the committee job, my writing. It happens periodically – the weight of things pile up and pile up until I can’t see past it. I explode and then start all over again.
It’s one of the reasons why I actively look for things to smile about or think about because if I can find joy in something – even something really small – I’m fine, but last week it just felt as though everything was tied up in commitment and duty and I wasn’t doing any of it properly. I’ve been stuck on this book that has taken me longer to edit than it did to write, and it too was feeling like just one more thing that had to be done.
Anyways, I indulged myself in a meltdown for a little while and gave myself a good hard kick up the backside. The hard facts are that I have commitments which I need to see through, so I will; I just need to find a way of setting some boundaries.
In any case, that was last week, and there was more than one day in last week, so let’s get into the Five.
1.Revisiting the classics
Last week I had a hankering to listen to Kate Bush – no, I don’t know why either. So I did. I started with the album Never For Ever which, if memory serves me correctly, I played until the cassette tape ran out #thosewerethedays. I’d actually forgotten just how good that album was and what a great storyteller she was.
Speaking of great stories, I also re-read one of my absolute favourites: Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers.
This was the last of Wharton’s books and was unfinished at the time of her death in 1937 and was published in that format. It was actually finished in the early 90’s and ties in with a BBC mini-series– I have it on DVD somewhere I think. Both the ending and the mini-series were criticised – largely because of the happy ending – but since when have I ever let a little detail like that get in the way of my enjoyment?
I’m listening to Claire Bowditch’s Your Own Kind of Girl at the moment. Oh my goodness I’m loving it. I’ve long been a fan of her music and her big-hearted business ideals, but this, I think, could just about be required listening for anyone (especially) any woman who hears and believes the body stories they’ve heard over the years.
3. These random gems
This one from Ireland:
In Ireland it’s said that you leave a little bit of your soul trapped in everything you crochet. To avoid this, you should always work in a hidden mistake so that your soul can escape.
This one from Japan:
There is a tradition in Japan called Kintsugi, where they highlight the broken parts of something with gold instead of trying to hide them. They make the cracks beautiful instead.
4. Writing progress
I’m not sure whether there’s any correlation in my inability to make progress on Escape To Curlew Cottage and the fact that I haven’t been able to get out to write, but last week I managed to get up to the park at the top of Buderim and actually made progress. I took a thermos of hot water and some tea bags and turned my hot spot off.
I also had an initial meeting to get some overdue proper branding work done on my mish-mash of an author site.
5. In the Kitchen
It was Destination Malaysia in the kitchen on Saturday. We had Nasi Lemak – essentially Hawker-style mixed rice – served with sambal, ikan bilis (little fried anchovies with peanuts) and a chicken curry.
I also made roti canai for the first time. If you haven’t had it before, it’s a flatbread that you find everywhere in Malaysia. It’s flaky and you dip it into curry gravy. They also serve it as sweets as well – although we went with the curry gravy option.
It was fun to make too – after resting for some hours the little balls of dough are stretched until they’re transparent, and then coiled, flattened and cooked on a hot pan. It’s a palaver, for sure, but I found it quite relaxing. I used this recipe and also googled some youtube videos to teach me how to do the stretching of the dough thing.
Recipe of the week
Has to be this one I made for lunch the other day. Just 10minutes to get it on the table. This quantity feeds 4 and I used spring onions (scallions) instead of the cucumber – mainly because they were in the house and the cucumber that I had in the fridge was ear-marked for a salad for dinner that night. Also, I scattered some sesame seeds because I didn’t have any peanuts.
Cold Sesame Noodles
- 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (real peanut butter, not the one with sugar in it)
- 2 tbsp tahini (I usually have the unhulled one in the house)
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- I tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 x 275g packs of wok-ready egg noodles (the ones that you pour boiling water over and leave for a few minutes)
- ½ cucumber, de-seeded and cut into thin strips
- Handful of roasted peanuts
- Chilli oil to serve
Put the peanut butter, tahini, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, caster sugar and 50ml water into a large bowl and whisk.
Prepare the noodles as per the packet, drain them and then tip them into the bowl with the dressing and mix it all together.
Drizzle over some sesame oil and chilli oil to serve – along with the cucumber and peanuts (if using).