Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Full of eastern promise.......

This week I made Spiced Lamb and Apricot Stew....
and it was so utterly delicious I ate it all and forgot to take a picture. So I've taken a picture of the picture in the cook book, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. Honestly, it is so simple and so divine, spiced with cinnamon, turmeric and cumin, it cooks itself. And as winter seems to be going nowhere, I shall be eating it a lot more.

Top tip: cut the apricots in half!

Monday, 16 February 2015

The play's the thing.....

I took my mum to see The Hard Problem, the new Top Stoppard play, last week at the delightfully revamped Dorfman Theatre at the National. It's about...... consciousness, I think. What is it?
What's the difference between the mind and the brain? And the answer is..... I don't know. And I'm not sure Tom does but no matter, it was a lot of fun trying to find out. Tom Stoppard's stuff is often very funny and as a friend once said to me after we'd been to see Rock 'n' Roll, you feel more intelligent by osmosis just watching his plays. And although much of the science went over our heads, mum thought it was a great birthday present so job done. 

The other big news is my very own, home grown rhubarb is already ripe and ready here in the rhubarb triangle of north London. Having been given the delicious cook book, Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour, for Christmas I was inspired to create this pudding..... rhubarb with rosewater yogurt and pistachios.

Top tip: try something hard and expand your mind....while you can still remember to do so!!




Monday, 9 February 2015

Die Slowly





He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones i’s rather than a bundle of emotions,
the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandons a project before starting it, who fails to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who doesn’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
dies slowly.

Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead to the attainment of a splendid happiness


By Martha Medeiros

Having happened upon this poem it has become my mantra for getting 
through February ..... and why I've booked a flight!!
Top tip: read more poetry.....


Monday, 2 February 2015

Advertise this.....

With the recent appearance of the aged Joan Didion, Charlotte Rampling and Jessica Lange fronting ad campaigns, Radio 4's Woman's Hour last week asked if it's just a cynical marketing ploy of advertisers to use women of a certain age to sell products or a change in attitudes towards the ageing woman? 

Advertisers cynical? 

All advertising is about making us buy the things they want to sell, none of it is about our health, happiness or wellbeing. It's not about right and wrong it's about shifting product and was ever thus. Romantic love was, as Don Draper, explained, invented by mad men to sell women like us nylons.... and we bought it.  

Honestly, does it really matter why 'old' women are being used in advertising campaigns? Sometimes, I do feel that Woman's Hour, much though I love it, does just like to carp on for the sake of it. They don't like it when young upstarts are used so sell the middle-aged beauty creams so why not just enjoy all the grey hair and wrinkles while it lasts?
Top tip: am currently sleeping with Anjelica Huston, having enjoyed book 1 about her early life, A Story Lately Told, given to me last Christmas, I asked Santa for part 2, Watch Me, this year. What better way to start the year than reading about someone else's insanely glamorous life?

Monday, 26 January 2015

How do I know I'm getting old?

Let me count the ways........

I'm getting old because I like watching Michael Portillo on his train journeys....yes I know!

I'm getting old because I love sleeping in my own bed and have started saying things like, 'It's lovely to be home....'

I'm getting old because I'd rather buy one good bottle of wine than clank home with as many cheapies as I can carry.

I'm getting old because I collect empty jars and am extra happy when I acquire a particularly interestingly shaped one.

I'm getting old because I tut at the radio.

I'm getting old because I tut in general.

I'm getting old because I have a special stick for stirring paint.



Top tip: raclette cheese..... if you don't have the requisite grill just melt it onto a backed potato.... delicious!!