Writing Prompt: Comfort Feeding

I’ve just realised the cooker is broken. The oven is fine, but the hob is out of action. Although I now need to shell out for a new cooker, I’m not that fussed. Instead of cursing the limited warranty, I got creative. The fridge is generally where condiments go to congregate and eventually die, for once, I had some left overs and some random ingredients standing on the ledge of their sell-by date. I cleared the counter, gathered a bin liner and got clearing. Anything with a better than average chance of killing me went into the bin. Everything else formed a neat row of ingredients for me to play with. I had an oven and a microwave to work with and a load of ceramic and oven-proof dishes. With my cutting board, kitchen knife and stock cubes in hand, I got to work. The end result was four hours of culinary ingenuity and enough carrot and coriander soup to keep me fed and improve my eyesight.

Over time, there also appeared a pasta bake, grilled bacon, microwaved eggs and the makings of a oven baked frittata. There is something comforting and therapeutic about making enough food for the masses. When my fella asked me why I keep feeding him, on impulse I said, “It’s how I show affection. It’s how I was raised.” It just popped out, but it made me realise that there was some truth in it. Treat have always been a form of comfort in our house, my mother constantly chasing us with bowls of popcorn or store bought bags of chocolate chip cookies. After school was strawberry pop tarts of twinkles. Dinner was always a three part dish of meat and two veg. Mom gorged herself with Butter Pecan ice cream, her favourite to this day.

Maybe, despite my best effort to be my own person, I have finally become my mother. if so, there are worse things to be. She rang me today to say that the campbell’s chicken noodle soup and A-1 steak sauce I requested was in the post. Three to four days and I’ll be drowning a perfectly good sirloin in tangy sauce. In the meantime, I have a vat of soup to get through.

How do you feel about food? Do you enjoy cooking or is it purely functional? Write about a pleasurable experience involving food.

Bon appetite!

Writing Prompt: Say anything

It’s funny how spending three days sick at home is what it takes for me to write, or even think about anything unrelated to work or life admin.

This has been yet another year of change. It has finally dawned on me that this is going to be a permanent state of affairs. Work, in particular has been full of change, which could explain why my brain is racing to keep up and has left little time for me to think about much else.

So, that being said, I’ve decided to do something about it. I’m ill and I’m tired, but somehow, I feel pretty optimistic about writing again. This promote is about free-writing about absolutely anything. Which is what I shall be doing now. I’m not going to edit and I’m just going to let me fingers drift along the keys and see what happens.

Let’s start with the basics. I spoke to my mother yesterday. I emailed Mom and Dad on Wednesday when I decided that persisting with going to work this week was a colossal mistake and that I was never going to get well if I didn’t stay home and rest. A colleague had told me that i was foolish to return to work after only one day off last week (I had already been ill for three days and kept going in) and it pains me to admit he was right. So, I emailed my parents asking them for the only thing that makes me happy when I’m feeling unwell, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Unbelievably, you can’t get it in the shops in the UK. Mom called me to see how I was doing and to let me know that Dad was making up a care package of soup and A-1 steak sauce for me. This cheered me up no end and we fell into chat.

Mom is on a diet, but hasn’t done research on what she should be eating in relation to her calorie expenditure. I felt a combination of shock and the usual parent/child role reversal as I explained that thinks like dairy red meat, peanuts, cream and fruit can be fattening. fruit is a good alternative to biscuits and cake and chocolate (which she loves). Anyway, by the end, I felt like a bit of jerk for giving her a dieting lecture (glass houses) but I tried to be encouraging as I know that any extra weight is bad for her heart. She did inspire me to get myself sorted too. Just a sec, let me put the chicken nuggets down…

I’ve been alone in the house for two days, just me and the cats. That gives me the time to think about the things I want to do for myself as my birthday approaches and the year draws to a close. Work and university have taken up my year and I have managed to fit a lot in with regards to experiences, so I’ll focus in that for a moment.

What happened this year?

  1. Finished university with a Merit
  2. Got into the MSc programme – deferring to next year
  3. Gigs – Greenday, Kings of Leon, Black Sabbath, Guns and Roses, Stone Roses, Metallica
  4. Theatre = As you like it, Romeo and Juliet, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet, Twelfth Night
  5. Experiential = World Athletics x 2, Somerset House Jaws, Donnie Darko, The Omen, ATP Tennis
  6. Travel = Whistler, Mallorca, Plockton with the 1994 Uni crowd
  7. Reading music beginners course
  8. Reading proper books – nope…

So, what’s the plan for the next three months? Assuming work cracks on as usual, there are a few things I want to start doing next month.

  1. Go back to archery
  2. go back to piano lessons
  3. read a book a week
  4. write every day – anything
  5. set up a coaching website and start activity looking for clients.
  6. Finish application for MA in creative writing for 2018

There’s the list for Oct to Dec 2018. All of these I can kick off today. I have the domain for the website, but need to start getting the content sorted.

I know I said I’m going to free write and not self-edit, but I’m struggling to work out what to say next. I’ve felt a little flat this past few months. There have been changes with work and that has made me nervous. When you’re worrying about whether or not you’re going to be able to pay the mortgage, it’s hard to think about creative life. Maybe that is when it is most important. I want to feel that I can do my job, get paid, pay my bills and have time to focus on other things. Maybe I chose the wrong profession? May I need to not earns as much in exchange for feeling like I don’t have to occupy every minute of my brain on media? I’m rambling now.

If I take this back to writing again, one of the things I’ve been asking myself is what am I going to write? Am I any good? Do I have anything worth writing? Would people want to read what I have to say? One of the most traumatic things I’ve every done is destroy all of my journals. Someone read one of my private journals and used it to beat me with my own words. It was a horrible violation. I was so angry and felt like my privacy had been invaded so thoroughly, that I pulled all of work off the selves and ripped my journal to shreds. Year and years of private thoughts and memories were gone. I put the shredded remains and torn covers into a bag and drove around town, dropping the pieces into skips from one end of the city to the next. I condemned my feelings and thoughts and drafts and ideas to the land fill, feeling like my belief that anything I wrote would be judged by others and had potential to offend was correct.  I felt like I would never be able to publish anything without letting people into my head. I suppose that is the risk with writing. Here I am, five years later and ready to start again. This is exhausting  after years of not thinking properly about writing. It’s time to stat again and be brave and free to say what I think.

Wish me luck.

If you feel like writing, here’s a prompt. Free write about the fear of writing.

 

 

 

 

 

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