Island Blog – Fragments and a Pattern

Today begins me twirly. It is light, I concede, but a greenish light, not a full morning blast from Father Sun. Even when he, Father Sun, is cloud compromised, the ok morning light is still His and when I see it frame my blackout curtains that don’t quite fit, I know it isn’t twirly. Not 4 am. As I flip back the covers, knowing, just knowing that there is no more sleep here for me in this little room, I wonder what I will feel when Winter grabs the world by the goolies and holds tight till April has deferred to May. No matter. This is so not a goodly thought for this lime green morning. I go downstairs leaving the wee dog curled like a donut and as asleep as I wish I was. Coffee, music, lights on, warm and deluding with me that the day is begun in a normal sort of way. I sit in the semi dark conservatory and peer out. I can see the outside, more or less. It looks eerie, sleepy. Now it is 4.15. Good lord, how on earth am I going to fill the hours? I make a plan, writing confidently on my pad. I will this and I will that. This one is something I have to do sometime today because last evening in a moment of enthusiasm, I thawed some prawns. Risotto, I decide and ferret about for the ingredients, lining them up like soldiers for when I am dressed. Of course, I could easily make a prawn risotto in my jim-jams but it doesn’t feel right somehow. I am too professional for such sloppiness.

Now wait a minute. Who said that? Why can’t I slop my way through a prawn risotto? Like, who says I cannot? After all, the outside of me has little to do with my culinary skills. Is my dead mother here? My dead father? Well, no. So who is talking at me as if I was a child? Oh, it is me. It is I. Well something needs to be done about that, but what? This voice, these voices of judgement seem to have travelled with me right up to now and my now is a 68 year old woman of considerable strength and skill. Just saying. I speak it out loud and turn around to face my ‘judges’ but they have gone, disappeared. Oh. Ah. Now what? Well I will tell you Now What. If I cook in my jim-jams and fluffy dressing gown, it will be impossible to affix my pinny around the extra bulk. In my frocks, no matter how many layers, I can affix with ease and affixing is important because I always splash, spill, pepper and blob myself when cooking. I am way too enthusiastic with the process and now I know why chefs wear whites. So I trip upstairs to find the light yellowing nicely around the ill fitting blackouts and the little dog still being a donut. As I wheech back the curtains, she opens one eye and I tell her, Stay. I am just going to make a prawn risotto at, now let me see, 5 am. She lifts herself, rearranges, curls again and slumps down with a warm sigh to sleep some more. Prawn risotto is not her thing.

I am quite alone in this evolution of light, from lime green to yellow warm, cooking with garlic and wine and herbs whilst the rest of the lucky world are either deep in slumber or waking twirly and dreaming of bacon rolls or Eggs Benedict or muesli and fruit. The prawn risotto is not pleasant once complete and I consider the vile coloured mess of rice and prawns, tasting and rejecting, adding and rejecting. I have invested much thought and considerable imagination into finding some way of ‘saving’ it. There is no saving. Now it laughs me and also fragments me. Once I would cook this in jim-jams or frocks because it would have been a meal to share. Now there is no share. I know it is the way it is but after so many years of sharing, I can get it wrong. Actually I am delighted I got this one wrong because it is a huge pan of risotto and there is only me and a very small drawer offering a freeze. I will offer it to the hungry creatures out there and they will be grateful.

Alone is strange to me. It also frees me. Like a mosaic of fragments, it will show me a pattern. One day.

One thought on “Island Blog – Fragments and a Pattern

  1. Cooking while a bit gloomy used to cheer me up. Now I just make mistakes. Last time I decided to make yeast bread. I thought I would add a bit of lemon flavor for a bit of zip. (?) Unfortunately I grabbed the peppermint flavor, my hand slipped and there I was! So I decided to make it sweet bread, adding choc chips, walnuts, cranberries. It was AWFUL! My sweetie wanted to eat it anyway, which he valiantly did a few times! Lesson learned:
    Never cook to chase the dark/blues away!

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