Aubergine Lasagne and The Sunday Scaries

Aubergine Lasagne and The Sunday Scaries

10:32 Is it just me or is Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill the most annoying song in the world? I feel like he’s basically saying, “The friends I grew up with are all failures and a little bit fucked up, but EVEN THOUGH I’m now a massively famous musician, I still love my fucked up friends because I’m very down to earth and they made me the person I am and also isn’t it amazing how well I’ve done considering this is the place I’ve come from?” If I were one of Ed’s pals, I’d be FUMING.

Other than getting annoyed at Ed, I’ve just been drinking tea and eating toast. This blog is starting to feel like Groundhog Day. I suppose this life is starting to feel like Groundhog Day. Although I did have a bit of excitement in the middle of the night. And when I say “excitement”, I mean “terror”. I got up to get some more water at around five in the morning, and just as I was passing my door, someone started rattling the letter box!!!! I shat myself. Then I stood frozen at the door while the INTRUDER proceeded to rattle other people’s letter boxes. But then it seemed like they’d left, so I took the opportunity to triple lock my door and dive back into bed. Adrenaline was coursing its way through my body and that, combined with all the spicy squid I ate and wine I drank, was making me feel pretty queasy. BUT THEN I heard the old lady next door shout out, “Hello?,” and I was like, “Oh god she’s 100% going to be murdered. And she might get Covid in the process”. So then I got back out of bed, went back to my door and looked through the peephole. Couldn’t see the intruder (thank goodness because I don’t know what I would have done if they were there), so I opened the door. Just me and the old lady in the hall. Both of us clueless, but thankfully, neither of us murdered. And after a long and confusing chat of me yelling things at the old lady because she’s very deaf (how on earth did she hear the door??) we went back into our own flats.

Crisis over.

Except is it???? Because the thing is, I THOUGHT I’d heard our letter box being rattled the night before last. And I just thought I’d been dreaming, but now I’m sure I wasn’t. So, who is this letter box rattler???? And are they going to kill us all????

Stay tuned.

Again, I’ve got no idea what I’m going to have for lunch or dinner. Well, I’ll probably have some form of eggs for lunch. And for dinner I’ve got a couple of cook books beside me to look through. Mary Berry and Nigella Lawson. I think I’m feeling more Mary Berry today (weird thing to say). It’s Sunday, the scaries will soon descend, it’s snowing (kind of), and I’m in the mood for something homely and cosy.

Ooh! I just opened the book and it landed on “Portobello Mushrooms with Double Cheese Topping”. That sounds good, doesn’t it? And it looks really easy to make. But maybe it’s too easy? Yeah. I think I want something that takes a bit longer today… and she’s got a really tasty looking aubergine lasagne in her book, so I think I’ll go for that!

17:28 Well, the aubergine lasagne is all assembled and ready for the oven:

I made a bechamel sauce!!! I’m pretty sure I’ve made one before, but still. I don’t have any scales so it was a bit of a thrill getting to guess the correct quantities of butter and flour. Parmesan cheese, milk and Dijon mustard also went into it, and I think it turned out alright. Although I suppose I won’t know for sure until I eat the lasagne. I was about four slices of aubergine short when it came to the lasagne topping, which was a bit of a shame because I had eaten exactly four slices of aubergine while I was cooking, but no matter. I pretty much followed the recipe except for deciding to triple the garlic and parmesan cheese (because duh). Oh, and at one point, I dropped all of the lasagne sheets on the floor… but I still used them. I hoovered and mopped yesterday, so it’s FINE.

Except I only hoovered… I didn’t actually mop.

But it’s still FINE.

(Really hope my flatemate doesn’t read this).

I feel like this dish could be a good one for dinner parties, especially because you can get it all ready beforehand. I really miss dinner parties. Having friends in the flat, telling them to please not talk to me while I cook, the mad dash to the shops for more wine at 21:55… good memories.

OH MY GOD. I currently have Rick Stein’s Secret France on the TV and, I’m sorry, but I just can’t get over his life. I’m watching him eat an entire seafood platter all to himself, with a mayonnaise and mustard dip, in sunny Normandy. GAAAAAH. I can’t believe he still hasn’t asked me to come along with him on one of his trips. Do you think if I blog about him for long enough it could happen? I think so. Once we can travel again I should definitely book a holiday to Cornwall and go to all of his restaurants. And I’ll give them all rave reviews and then he’ll ask me to co-present one of his shows.

Right. Now I’ve got my future sorted, it’s time to put the lasagne in the oven. Let’s hope it turns out alright! I bought some fresh bread to eat with it… because is it even Sunday if I don’t pass out on the couch in a carb coma? NO.

12:42 I wrote the above last week and haven’t got back to it until now, which seems to be a habit I’m getting into. I was able to blame PMS last time, but not sure what I can blame this time. Ovulation? Yeah, alright. I’ve been too happy and excited and horny to write. Except that’s not true. THEORY TIME. I used to find PMS incredibly difficult. As soon as ovulation was over, I would feel myself slip into this dark, reclusive, anxious state where I really needed time alone, but felt like that was impossible or selfish to have. It was completely different to the ovulation phase of my cycle, where I felt like a social butterfly with endless energy and excitement. But now I’m actually finding PMS easier than ovulation, and I think it’s because we’re in lockdown. Because PMS suits lockdown. In the luteal phase, your hormones want you to turn inwards and take it easy, and now I get to do exactly that. I get to stay in and hide and have all this time by myself… and it feels good. PMS can feel good, which is something I never thought I’d say. But I think I’m realising that it wasn’t PMS that I hated; it was the hectic lifestlye. My body was telling me what I needed, but I was ignoring it. And now the same thing is happening in the ovulation phase. I have all this energy to give to other people…. but it can’t go anywhere right now. It gets stuck, and I get bored and restless and frustrated and angry. But, again, it’s not ovulation I hate; it’s the lifestyle. It’s ignoring what my body is telling me it needs… and that’s when the difficult feelings arise.

Wow. I just can’t stop rabbiting on about the menstrual cycle, can I? I guess I’ve really been enjoying learning about it lately, although I also can’t believe that I’m only properly learning about it now at 28 years old… 16 years after my first period (!!!). That’s scary, right? I think it is. I mean, we’re taught about what physically happens, but no one ever mentions what goes on emotionally. And, actually, are we even taught that much about what physically happens? Not really. I’ve heard at least three people who menstruate freak out about the gloopy weird goo that seems to randomly appear for a couple of days a while after a period (hello, cervical mucas). But is it any wonder when we’re all put on the combined pill as teenagers and our cycle is taken away before we even have a chance of understanding it? Because urrrghhh that’s another thing. Being offered the pill without any explanation of what it will be doing, the possible side effects or alternative forms of contraception. It’s the easiest, most effective way of not getting pregnant. What else do you need to know? A LOT!!!!

Okay, I’m getting all riled up now. I should probably go back to talking about food…

Well, the aubergine lasagne was a delight. Definitely one for future dinner parties. I ate it while watching First Dates. I’ve been watching a lot of First Dates recently. I think it’s so I subconsciously learn about what not to do for when I can get back on the scene. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  • Don’t tell your date that they’re terrible at dating
  • Don’t tell your date that you normally go for someone taller and slimmer
  • Don’t check the football scores while you’re in the middle of dinner
  • Don’t tell your date that you’re basically their mum
  • Don’t beg your date to rate you out of ten
  • Don’t cry when your date eventually gives in and rates you out of ten and you don’t like their answer

It’s been a journey. I’ve just started speaking to a girl, actually. I think it’s going okay. So far I’ve told her about the time my dad was arrested by airport security because they thought he was kidnapping my brother and I, and she’s told me about the time she slipped and went sliding down Arthur’s Seat on a first date… and her date DIDN’T EVEN LAUGH. I think we might be, as the kids say, “vibing”. The letter box rattler hasn’t been back since I last wrote, but I did find a note on the stairwell that said, “I thought it best to go. Keep smiling.” Maybe they realised the error of their ways? Or, you know, maybe the note was for a neighbour and the letter box rattler was actually just the wind.

No idea what I’m making for dinner tonight, but I have a feeling it’s going to involve tofu and lots of garlic.

Deep Fat Fryers

Deep Fat Fryers

09:21 My cat sometimes reminds me of my dad when he’s drunk. I think it’s something about her eyes. And all the grey fluff on her face. And there’s a grumpy kind of confusion there too. Hmm…

Anyway.

Good morning! I just had some tea and toast for breakfast. Such a classic. I really want another cup of tea as well. Fucking love tea. I pretty much drink it constantly, which is why I’ve had to switch to decaf. I’ll allow myself one caffeinated cup in the morning, then it’s decaf for the rest of the day, and, yes, I’m basically 90 years old. I’ve had some trouble sleeping lately, so that’s sort of why I switched. Actually, for anyone else who has trouble sleeping, here’s a list of all the things that haven’t been helping me:

  • Not drinking caffeine after 12
  • Not looking at screens an hour before bed
  • Not reading in bed
  • Doing nighttime yoga
  • Drinking chamomile tea
  • Using a weighted blanket

And here’s a list of things that have been helping:

  • Wine
  • My flatmate teaching me about the tax system

If I’m being entirely honest, though, I’ve still been reading in bed. And looking at my phone. And I gave up on the yoga because I can’t stretch for shit. And I don’t have any chamomile tea in. But I have been using my weighted blanket! It’s sometimes nice to pretend that it’s another person lying on top of me.

(It’s been a while).

I actually keep thinking about that episode in Friends when Ross hadn’t had sex in six months, and I kind of felt sorry for him, but now I’m just like, “Wow, what a whiny wee bitch”. Although, I do get what he means when he said that he’d started appreciating the smaller things in life, like the colour of the sky. I don’t care that much about the colour of the sky, but I’ve recently really enjoyed tweezing the ingrown hairs on my legs.

Okay, I need to get laid.

But FOOD. Yes. I don’t know what I’m going to have for lunch or dinner today. There’s one egg in the flat, but since I made myself a midnight fried egg sandwich last night (probably doesn’t help the not sleeping), I feel like I should let my flatmate have it. I have half a tin of anchovies that I need to use up, anyway. Not sure what I’ll make with them, but I’ll do some googling. What can you make with anchovies and soy milk?

13:56 I went out to get more eggs. I can’t not have them on a Saturday! I can’t not have them on any day. And I was in the mood for something spicy, so I made cheesy scrambled eggs with chilli, and I ate it with avocado, tomatoes, bread and butter:

Sorry for the massive photo. I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make it smaller, even though I’ve definitely managed before. Ah well. The eggs weren’t that spicy, so I put some sriracha sauce on them. I’m all about spice these days. Do you think it’s so I feel something? Maybe. I just can’t stop thinking about jalapeños… I’m basically always in the mood for a jar of jalapeños.

Oh man, now I really want a jar of jalapeños.

I also couldn’t resist taking a bite of my bread and butter before the photo. Please don’t judge my butter quantities. I get enough of that judgement from my flatmate.

15:14 I wrote the above a week ago. I meant to finish it last week, but then PMS descended like the horrible fog it is and I couldn’t bring myself to do anything other than eat a tub of chocolate crispies and cry-watch It’s a Sin. Fucking hell. Have you seen it? Like the rest of the world, I thought it was INCREDIBLE. So heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny, scary, soul-destroying, uplifting… I mean, it might be a bit too soon to say it was the best show of 2021, but I’m calling it. My flat-mate started watching it last night and I’m totally wrapped up in it again. Also, how hot is all the gay man sex??????? It’s really doing it for me right now.

Oh! I got to try out my menstrual cup again and… I CAN’T DO IT. I think I’m getting better, though? I think it keeps going wrong because I’m not great at following instructions. I just always feel the need to fight them. Like, the instructions said I had to insert the cup “horizontally” and I was like ???? Surely it should be vertically, right? Which is what I did, but it kept going wrong, so then I tried it horizontally and, as it turns out, you actually can do it! Mind blown. The instructions also advised that beginners shouldn’t wear it at night, but did I listen? NOPE. I was getting cocky and that cockiness resulted in me having to wake my flatemate up at five in the morning so I could get the cleaning supplies from his bathroom. Maybe third cycle’s a charm? I really hope so.

Food-wise, I had toast for breakfast and a tuna wrap for lunch. The pescatarian thing is still going strong (ish). Or should I say strong (fish)?

I really need lockdown to end.

Not sure what I’ll have for dinner. I’m sort of feeling a take away, but I’ll see how it goes. I’ve got a game night with some work colleagues tonight, which I’m both excited and terrified about. I haven’t played a computer game since I FINALLY defeated Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You know what? That Voldemort level was actually way easier than the Filch level. Remember the Filch level in the library? I think you had to get through the library without Filch or Mrs Norris catching you and omg it was terrifying. Definitely should have been the last level of the game.

Right, I’m away for a shower. I’m going to put on make-up tonight!!!!!!!!! And earrings.

17:50 The game’s not going well. I think I died in the first second, so now I have to wait until the next round when I can be let back into the “room”.

20:56 I was let back into the room and now I’m addicted. The game was so fun! A Saturday night in lockdown well spent, I think. Felt so good to murder my friends in space. And I got a take away afterwards. I just got a starter, but I got three portions of it. Spicy squid. I really need to invest in a deep fat fryer so I can start making this dish at home. Although, maybe I should wait until I’m a bit older and have more self-control? Not sure I could trust myself right now. And espeically not in lockdown… I would 100% deep fat fry everything.

Ah fuck it, I’m going to see how much they are.

I Tried Too Hard to Be a Better Person

I Tried Too Hard to Be a Better Person

I never learn. Every new year I’m like, “Right. How am I going to radically transform myself into another, completely different and much better, human being?” And then I come up with a bunch of plans and dreams and it goes really well for a while but then I CRASH and I BURN and I end up feeling even worse than when Project Transformation began.

GAH.

I feel like I went really hard this year, though. I finally watched David Attenborough’s Climate Change – The Facts, and that gave me such bad eco-anxiety. Like, I got so worried about the grandchildren I’ll probably never have, so I decided to go vegan. But then my brother (who’s actually vegan) told me to take it slow or I would just fail. But did I listen? Well, yes, actually. I did. Because he was speaking sense. So now I’m doing some kind of weird hybrid diet, which is definitely going to make me the absolute WORST dinner guest when things go back to “normal”. Or maybe it’s not. Basically, I’ve gone pescatarian. Except I don’t eat prawns, because I read that shrimp farming is pretty harmful. And I still eat eggs (HOW COULD I GIVE UP EGGS?) and cheese, but I use dairy alternatives for everything else (milk, cream, yogurt, etc.). That’s not that complicated, is it?

Okay, no one’s inviting me anywhere ever again.

I also started reading about how AWFUL tampons are, so I invested in a menstrual cup. I was actually kind of excited about this. It can take a few cycles to get used to one and I needed a new project. I failed at the first hurdle, though. There tend to be two sizes of menstrual cups. One for people who are under 30 or who have never had children (Size 1), and one for people who are over 30 or who have had children (Size 2). Now, I’m 27 and I’ve never had children… yet I decided to get the second size???????????? What the HELL was I thinking???? Well, I was sort of thinking that I have heavy periods, so the bigger one would probably be better? But, yeah, that’s not really how it works and, long story short, it was a BLOOD BATH. No matter, though. I quickly ordered the correct size and it arrived while I was still on. The result? ALSO A BLOOD BATH. (Thank god I’m working from home right now). So, yeah. The people weren’t lying when they said it can take a few cycles before you become a pro. Although, since I’ve already convinced myself that I’ve got a weird, back-to-front, tilted cervix, I’m pretty sure I’ll never conquor the cup.

I’ll keep you posted.

Now, what else? Oh, yes. I started doing yoga. I actually tried meditating last year, but it just made me panic. Then I tried focusing, which is like this chill kind of thing of reading your body and noticing your feelings, but that also made me panic. Ugh, FEELINGS. So now I’m on the yoga, and while it doesn’t make me panic, I do get a bit angry. I think it’s because I’m not as bendy as the YouTube yoga ladies and they don’t really take the not-so-bendy people into account when they’re doing their moves, which is very uninclusive.

Okay. What else? What else? PERIOD POWER. Yes. I read a book all about the menstrual cycle and it BLEW MY MIND. It was just so interesting learning about the different hormones and what they get up to at each point in the cycle and how it can be really empowering to lean into the different feelings and use the hormones to our advantage. Honestly, it was so cool. Period Power by Maisie Hill. Highly recommend. Since I read it, I’ve been trying to give myself permission to feel the feelings. I mean, it’s easy with the good feelings, but it’s taking some work not to run away from the feelings that come in the luteal phase. Ha! “Luteal phase”. I’m basically a scientist now. And oh! I also learned that, apparently, we should be chewing each mouthful of food forty times. Forty! Since I usually inhale my food (like, really, I’ve thrown up whole grapes before), I’ve been trying to do that too.

Aaaaaaand writing. Fucking writing. I’m pretty sure it used to be hobby of mine? I mean, it still is a hobby (because no one pays me to write lol), but, my god, it was such a drag last year. I was writing a second play, which was so not as fun as the first play. But then I gave myself a damn good talking to over the holidays. I reminded myself that, actually, writing the first play wasn’t all roses and champagne (that’s not an expression, is it?). It was pretty dire at times too. I’d just forgotten. Kind of like giving birth, maybe? Like, giving birth is AWFUL (I’ve heard), but you forget about it when you actually have your baby? Oh my god, this is actually such a good analogy for my experience of writing so far! (I’m sorry if this offends people who have actually given birth). But, yes. I told myself to get my head out of my BUTT and just get the damn second play written. And I did. And now it’s in a cupboard to “breathe” (something I do when I know it’s a bit shit but I don’t know how to fix it just yet).

Anything else? Drier January. Dry January was far too ambitious. But, yeah, Drier January has been alright! I’ve had two beers this whole month. Go me!!!!!

Other than that, I’ve just been trying to get out for my daily walks, do some reflective journaling, not look at my phone before bed, try not to be a whiny wee shit, etcetera, etcetera. And you know what? It was going really well. I was doing my weird hybrid diet and learning how to use a menstrual cup and doing my yoga and leaning into the power of my period and writing and not worrying if the writing is terrible and working and doing my diet and not looking at my phone and chewing forty times and eating more kale and not eating delicious burgers from Five Guys and chewing forty times even though it’s a ridiculous amount of chewing and attempting the menstrual cup and bleeding through every pair of pants and saving the planet and writing and stretching and working and leaning into anxiety and writing and eating kale and not eating burgers and definitely not eating prawns and going for my walk and not being a bad person and chewing and chewing and working and breathing and counting to ten and saving the planet and not drinking and not feeling guilty for having that beer and manically writing and eating more disgusting kale and bleeding everywhere and working and downward dogging and walking and leaning into anxiety and writing and OH MY GOD IT ALL GOT TOO MUCH AND I SNAPPED.

I ordered a massive Chinese (crispy chilli chicken AND chicken curry AND prawn crackers), avoided yoga, avoided writing, stayed inside for far too many consecutive days, ordered a big box of my favourite wine, binged SO MUCH TV, had a few panic attacks, forgot how to sleep, wallowed in self-pity…

So, yes.

I tried too hard to be a better person.

Macaroni Pies

Macaroni Pies

*Disclaimer: This blog contains very little references to macaroni pies.*

10:51 So there’s a chef on Saturday Kitchen (Cyrus Todiwala) who I THINK loves eggs as much as me. Apparently he had to fight with his publisher to let him have a whole chapter on them in his latest book. My question is: Why would the publisher not want a whole chapter on eggs?! If anything, one chapter’s not enough egg content.

Saturday Kitchen is still on, but I’m not that interested in it anymore. Rick Stein and Keith Floyd have already had their segments and the guest today is some dude I don’t know. Matt Tebbutt is very stressed and sweaty as usual. I’m not sure he enjoys this whole presenting lark, but bless him, he keeps at it. I’m a bit worried about his blood pressure, to be honest. Omg this guest dude just said he’s “not a wine person”. Knew there was something dodgy about him.

Anyway. Food plans for today. I want a macaroni pie. That’s all I know. A glorious, delicious, cheesy macaroni pie smothered in ketchup. EXCITED.

NB This wasn’t today’s episode of Saturday Kitchen… it was one from a few weeks ago that I hadn’t seen.

NB Not really sure why I’m pointing this out. No one I know actually watches the show.

NB Does anyone know what “NB” means?

17:25 Reader, I got a macaroni pie and I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to me this whole year. Which, let’s face it, is not that impressive. November though! What the hell is going on? Trump out, vaccine in, Cummings gone, Scotland win! Wow. I should really start writing poetry. But yeah, all this good news is actually making me very nervous. But then what doesn’t make me nervous? A friend told me that I really don’t need to worry, though, because we’re finally moving into the age of Aquarius… but while this made a lot of sense when I was wine drunk, I have absolutely no idea what it means today.

I’m having pasta for dinner. Going for a spicy, tomato, chorizo thing. I think it would be quite nice with olives, but I don’t have any in. I’m not really that hungry. As well as being nervous about, you know, the state of the world, I’ve also got a video date later on and I am TERRIFIED. I thought she was going to bail for a bit and I got really excited and took off all my makeup and fancy dungarees, but then she messaged saying she couldn’t wait to “meet”, so now I have to go and put everything back on. GAH.

Pasta, though. Pasta.

12:59 I wrote the above on Saturday and it’s now Tuesday. I probably would have got back to it sooner had season 4 of The Crown not come out on Sunday. It’s been an event in my calendar for months and I told myself I’d really savour it when it came out. Allow myself just one episode a day, most likely in the evening while drinking hot chocolate, and I could only watch it after I’d written the next 1000 words of my new play… but no. I started it on Sunday night, was just going to watch one wee episode before bedtime, but then suddenly it was two in the morning and I was on episode 7. And the only way I was able to stop myself from watching the next episode was by putting on a Diana documentary instead. Then after I watched that, I started reading conspiracy theories about her death and then SUDDENLY it was five in the morning and my self-loathing level was at 109942987234782.

But, needless to say, I really enjoyed season 4 of The Crown. Being a tad sleep-deprived yesterday, I just gave in and finished it. I loved the Diana/Charles drama, but also the Thatcher drama. The Queen inviting all her four children individually to lunch so she could work out who was her favourite was also a highlight. I think that’s what I love most about the show, actually. That, underneath everything, it’s really just about a very dysfunctional family… and those shows are the BEST.

Well, since I’ve only written 216 words of my play today, I suppose I should get back to it. Bleeeeeeeeh. It’s a bit of a slog. I loved writing the beginning, but now I’m near the end and I have hit a BRICK WALL. I’m pretty sure this happened with the last one though. I didn’t know how to end it, so I just got any old crap down, then I fixed it later. I’m reading a book that says when you reach blocks like these, you should just stare at your computer screen (or paper) until your characters tell you what they want… which sounds great in theory, but whenever I try it, all my characters seem to want is for me to eat another Terry’s Chocolate Orange.

Oh, speaking of food, I had a bacon roll for breakfast/lunch. It was good. Last week I decided to stop eating bread, so naturally I’ve since devoured a truckload of Hovis.

Such a good food blog.

Whipped Feta, Feta that is Whipped

Whipped Feta, Feta that is Whipped

11:14 So. It turns out we already had egg cups in the flat. What?! I’ve been eating my boiled eggs out of old egg cartons for the past few years. How didn’t I know? What a waste of 50p I spent in that charity shop the other day. We definitely didn’t have wine glasses though (we broke them all throughout Lockdown I) and I definitely, definitely didn’t have any hideous jumpers in (lies), so it wasn’t a totally wasted trip.

Obviously the first thought I had when I woke up this morning was BOILED EGGS (is that two thoughts?), so I got up, I made my tea and I put a pot of water onto boil… but then I realised we didn’t have any eggs in. Disaster. I’m not sure how I forgot. My flatmate and I had a twenty minute discussion yesterday about how we would split the last three eggs. Ah well. Undeterred, I had toast with cheese and tomatoes (and BUTTER) instead:

(Couldn’t resist a bite before the photo)

Did you know that there are people out there who think if you have cheese, you don’t need butter? What the F happened in their childhood that was so terrifying? It’s unbelievable. But anyway, I ate my breakfast while watching Saturday Kitchen, which is just the best program in the world. Caitlin Moran was the guest today and I love her. She’s just written a book called More than a Woman, which I’m very excited to read. Although, I think I need to read her other book first. It’s called How to be a Woman and I could definitely use some tips. You know what? I’m going to download it on my Kindle today. Wow, the marketing on Saturday Kitchen really works. She was also wearing this fab denim boiler suit that I absolutely need in my life.

Rick Stein made an appearance as usual. It was a clip of him in France eating seafood. And Keith Floyd showed up too. (RIP). I can’t remember what he made, but he accidentally poured wine all over his face at one point, which was both funny and relatable.

Just in case you’re interested, Caitlin Moran had to eat her Hell (a very rich, blue cheese pasta bake). I always get such second-hand anxiety when that happens to someone on the show. Like I want to reach into the TV, give them a hug and tell them that the viewers probably only voted for the hell option not because they don’t like them, but because they like the sound of the food.

GAAAAAAAH. I’ve got to go for a run. I’m doing Couch to 5K and I’m at the end of the sixth week and it’s getting HARD. Although I do get all warm and cosy inside when Sarah Millican calls me “Flower”. ❤

God, I’m so lonely.

15:35 The run was awful. Sarah made me run for a full 25 minutes (!!!!). And she didn’t even call me “Flower”. She was all like, “Don’t worry, you’ve done the training, you’re ready”, but she doesn’t know how much spaghetti and wine I had last night. The only thing that got me through was day-dreaming about what I’m going to have for dinner tonight… or more specifically, day-dreaming about whipped feta. Whipped feta! Feta that is whipped! I’ve never had it, but it sounds incredible. So yeah, I’m basing my entire dinner around it. I’m thinking garlic roast potatoes, couscous, olives, more cheese… I’m away to have another browse through my cookbooks for some interesting salad-y type side dishes.

19:04 Dinner is all prepared. I’ve whipped the feta, assembled the broccoli fritters (this is the “interesting” salad-y type side I settled on), made the avocado dip, peeled the potatoes… I had a bit of trouble with the fritters (they kept breaking), but got there in the end with the help of my trusty egg friends. I’m so excited to get cooking and eating!

MEAL PREP.

20:18 What. A. Let. Down. I didn’t enjoy that meal one bit. It’s a curse loving food so much and being such a terrible cook. The roast potatoes were soggy, the broccoli fritters were dry, the whipped feta did not live up to my expectations. Everything just got a bit chaotic. I don’t know what my problem with recipes is. Why can’t I just follow them like a normal person? I have to go freestyle, which would be fine if I had cooking skills, but I don’t. My flatmate got a big, greasy takeaway pizza and I was so jealous. I’m definitely eating the leftovers later.

00:18 Turns out, my dinner was a lot more tasty after a glass (OKAY A BOTTLE) of wine. The leftover greasy pizza was good too.

Food, Glorious Food

Food, Glorious Food

16:03 I lost this blog for AGES. It just disappeared. Links to it wouldn’t work and I couldn’t sign in. For like two years. But now it’s back! And I have no idea why or what happened. And I’m not sure I like that it’s back. Because I started reading over past blogs and was like FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE SHUT UP YOU FOOL. Then I tried to trash them all, but I couldn’t figure out how. Ah well. I suppose I’ve got to learn to live with my past self. It did remind me how much I enjoyed writing about food though. Or rather, not writing about food… which is how most of my food blogs turned out. But yeah, that was a fun time and I think I want to go back to it. So here we are.

I bought some egg cups from a charity shop yesterday (and also the most HIDEOUS jumper) (and also some wine glasses), so I’ve been eating a lot of boiled eggs (while wearing my hideous jumper) (and wishing I was drinking wine). I like my eggs soft, so I boil them for four minutes and however long it takes me to find a TV show I want to watch/podcast I want to listen to. I don’t take the eggs off the heat until I’ve got an episode ready. Sometimes the eggs come out soft, sometimes they come out hard. It’s a risky game, but I like the thrill of it, you know? Today I had my boiled eggs with one slice of granary toast SLATHERED in full fat butter. I cut the toast into soldiers, obvz. It was good. I ate it while listening to this podcast about all the different kinds of love you get, which I’m pretty sure I would have found really interesting had I not been too engrossed in my egg eating. Oh my God, imagine if someone made a podcast about all the different kinds of eggs you can eat? I’d really love that. As usual, I didn’t get a photo. But, ooh, here’s a photo of my hideous jumper instead:

Isn’t it a beauty?

I’m not sure what I’m going to have for dinner yet. I’m not that fussed to be honest. According to my period tracking app, I’m in the “fun” part of my cycle, which I think means I’m all hyped up on the horny and happy hormones… so I guess I’m not feeling the need to distract the lonely and sad hormones with carbs? Except it’s not like I can do anything with the horny hormones, is it? Since we’re basically in Lockdown II. It’s just going to be another Friday night in, getting drunk with my cat and reading lesbian love stories. Although, let’s face it, that’s what my Friday nights look like out of lockdown too. AND I LOVE THEM.

Right. It’s basically five o’ clock, so I’m pouring myself a glass of wine and I’m away to browse some cookbooks.

16:58 I can’t believe I said I’m not fussed about dinner tonight! After browsing Rick Stein’s Long Weekends I want it ALL. Wiener Schnitzel with a Viennese Potato Salad? YES. Lemon Sole with Pointed Cabbage & a Lemon Butter Sauce? YES. Roast Beef Eclairs with Red Onion Marmalade & a Horseradish Cream? FUCK YES. Except I definitely can’t be bothered to make any of that tonight, so I’m going to go with his Prawns & Clams with Garlic & Coriander. Although I’m going to ditch the clams and add spaghetti. Sounds tasty and easy, right? I hope so.

Look at Bella’s face! Look at Rick’s face! Look at THE WINE!

20:30 Um, wow. The prawn spaghetti was delicious. Rick’s recipe said to use five garlic cloves, so of course I used ten. And instead of a fresh chilli, I used chilli flakes. I never find fresh chillis all that spicy for some reason? Maybe it’s because I freeze them. Oh and instead of a lemon, I used a lime… because that’s what I had in. I also added in some parmesan cheese. Hmm. It really didn’t resemble Rick’s recipe at all. But it was tasty – maybe I should write to him? I think he would have liked it. Especially because I used a lot of salt and olive oil, which he seems to love.

Check that sizzle.

I’m not totally sure what I’ll do now. I’ve already had dinner with me, so I guess all that’s left to do is wallow in self-pity, stare into the abyss and wrestle with self-loathing. Is it too early for Grinch references? NO. The smell of autumn is in the air, which means it’s basically Christmas. I’m almost out of wine and I’m arguing with myself about whether or not I’m going to go and get more… even though I know I definitely will. How on earth will I wallow in self-pity, stare into the abyss and wrestle with self-loathing without it? Crisps are also essential.

A Wholesome Weekend

A Wholesome Weekend

Saturday

09:35 I’m trying really hard to get up and go to the gym. After years of being told that exercise is good for you, I have finally come to that same realisation. I feel INCREDIBLE after every workout. I have too many endorphins to worry about what awkward thing I said to someone a week ago or how I’m definitely going to be fired any day or how I’m 25 and STILL haven’t lived in another country or written my book or got a cat or bla bla bla.

But even though exercise makes me feel good, I still really fucking hate it. I hate everything about it that isn’t finishing. Although I even hate finishing because then I have to take off my sport clothes (is that the correct term?) and that can be even worse than the actual exercise. Question: How do people make getting undressed in the gym look so effortless? They’re just in their sport clothes one minute and the next they’re fully dressed! HOW? I’m in my sport clothes one minute and the next I can’t get my trousers passed my thighs and my bum’s been out in full view for what feels like a decade.

But at least it’s a Saturday so I won’t need to get changed at the gym.

Right. I’m going. I’m getting up. URGHHHH. Does anyone actually look forward to exercising????????

10:57 The gym is done. Although I feel like I didn’t really complete a good session. I went into the weight room after doing my cardio but there was a man there who knew what he was doing, so I picked up some weights that were way too light, did one clumsy squat, then hauled my ass out of there.

Breakie time.

12:48 Breakie is done. AND MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING. You want to see what I made?

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Oh yeah. Sourdough toast slathered in delicious full fat butter, asparagus (fried in delicious full fat butter), avocado, tomatoes, and poached eggs. I already know this is going to be the highlight of my weekend.

I’m currently drinking a wee cup of tea with almond milk. I thought I’d try it after a character in a TV show said that soy milk gives you breast cancer. I definitely prefer soy milk. Almond milk is a bit nutty. Hmm…

I’m trying a new sort of diet. Whenever I dieted before, I would pretty much starve myself while I was at work and then I’d go home and eat my weight in EVERYTHING. As you can probably gather, it didn’t really do me that much good. Now I’m just trying to make an effort with food. I’m quite lucky in that I don’t really like sweet things all that much. I don’t crave sugary doughnuts (although I always lose at least 10 minutes of shopping time to just drooling in front of the Krispy Kreme counter in Tesco) or chocolate or strawberry laces – just thinking about them makes my teeth go all weird. So I never have to battle with myself not to eat sweets. My battle centres around really unhealthy savoury food. Things like crisps and chips and cheese and onion rings and potato scones and ooh scones and brioche buns with cheese and bread slathered in fish roe (don’t knock it till you try it).

The thing is though, I also love healthy savoury food. Things like avocados and nuts (apart from almonds it seems) and hummus and aubergines and pretty much any vegetable and lean meat and all kinds of fish. It’s just that I’m so lazy I never cook anything that tasty and nutritious for dinner and I don’t get organised enough to prepare lunches for the week.

So that’s what I’ve been trying to change. And even though I hate cooking, it can be fun sometimes. Especially with a wee glass of wine and a good podcast or audiobook on in the background. I’ve also started going to the gym, so instead of trying to cut my meals down, I let myself eat as much as I want (within moderation – if I was to truly let myself go I’d eat the whole of Scotland).

Anyway, I should really go and shower.

17:09 Went for a wee walk in the Botanic Gardens with the boyf. It was nice. My brain’s been a bit weird this week and I’ve pretty much been binge-drinking every weekend since November, so I wanted this weekend to be very wholesome. No drinking (although I’ll probably have a small glass of red wine tonight), good eating, a spot of exercise, and a good book.

Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

Sunday

09:40 So funnily enough, I actually got sick. Sore bones, shivery, fever, sore throat bla bla bla. Still had my wee glass of red wine though. Which I did while eating some leftover chilli:

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I feel like alcohol can actually help you get better. Like, you know how you’d put it on a cut to help it heal? Well, I feel like it does the same thing to whatever bugs you’ve got. Just kills them. Boom. Although sadly, I still feel like shit today. Maybe it’s because I keep drinking when I’m ill.

The leftover chilli was YUM. Chilli’s definitely get better the longer they’re left, don’t they? Have you ever found that normal online recipes are pretty skimpy with flavour? I find that all the time. If I follow recipes to the bone, the meal always comes out bland. So now I don’t trust them. Only put one teaspoon of cumin in? I put in two tablespoons. Two cloves of garlic???? Come on, it surely means five.

We ate the chilli while watching Apollo 13 – our go-to film. We pretty much watch it every six months. Because it’s INCRED. Although it does make me mad that the only female characters were the wives and mums who were sitting at home all worried. Pfffft. I know it’s based on a real story and that there would have been no female engineers or mathematicians or doctors or physicists or scientists or electricians working in NASA at the time BUT THAT GETS ME ALL RILED.

Other than that, I really like the film. No matter how many times I watch it, I’m always so scared that they won’t make it home. That their heat shield will crack or they’ll run out of power or they’ll freeze to death or, if they do manage to get back to earth safely, they’ll be killed in the typhoon that’s heading straight for their landing spot. That would be the biggest sod’s law of all time.

Meant to

^^ Didn’t get to finish that sentence as I had to go and throw up. I’m never doing a wholesome weekend again.

I’m Blogging on a Friday Night

I’m Blogging on a Friday Night

Okay. So blogging on a Friday night doesn’t sound that fun BUT I have had a few glasses of wine and I have no idea what this blog is going to be about – I’m letting my hair down (very figuratively) and going rogue. It’s wild.

One thing I thought I’d write about is friendship. I was going to have the title “A Good Friend Is…” and then the blog would be a big list of all the traits of a good friend. It would have had stuff like they give it to you straight and you don’t want to kill them. Or you want to kill them but you can tell them you want to kill them and then you can have a laugh about it. Or they laugh at your outfit choices. Or they tally up the amount of favours you owe them. Or they’ll get drunk with you if you need it. Or they’ll stay in with you if you need it. They know your mum. They tell you that they prefer your mum over you. A good friend is sort of like having a partner but without the sexual attraction. Like, you could probably marry your best friend if you fancied them. Sometimes, you wish you did fancy them. That would make life easy. They’re always on your side – even when it seems like they’re not.

So yeah, it was going to be stuff like that. BUT THEN I thought I’d write about Nina Stibbe. I LOVE HER. Like, I actually really properly think I love her. She’s written four books and I love them all. One of the books was made into a TV show and I love that. I listened to a podcast with her in it this morning and she was warm, funny, intelligent, and NICE. I know some people hate the word “nice”, but it’s TOTALLY underrated. I love nice people – well, just as long as they have a bit of edge. Or not an edge – just something genuine, if that makes sense? But anyway, back to Nina. She’s had a reallly quirky childhood and I think that’s why I relate to all her stories so much. Her parents are totally fucking mental – like mine. If we met, we’d probably have a real good bond over our mental childhoods.

So then I thought I’d write about parents. The different parents you get. The different ways we can all be screwed up – or the different ways we can all turn out great, I suppose. But urgh, that all gets a bit grey, doesn’t it? And who really cares about the kinds of parents there are? I really just wanted to write about the time my dad tried to convince me that getting high would help me get an A in my English Higher.

Then I thought I’d write about Christmas. About how people tend to get a bit nuts at Christmas. But meh. I’m not ready to write about Christmas yet. IT’S TOO STRESSFUL. Not only do I not know what I want to get people, but I don’t know what they should get me. It’s SUCH a hard life.

Then I thought I’d just start writing and see what happened.

And then this happened.

The 12 Stages Of Writing A Novel

The 12 Stages Of Writing A Novel

 

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The “Hehe” Stage

Ah. Just beginning your novel. Writing that first paragraph and feeling very giggly that you’re actually giving your novel a go. You’re also a little giggly because you’re not taking it very seriously. You know that this is probably just another one of your lame projects that you’re going to give up as soon as you’ve started.

The “Ooh” Stage

This is the bit where you find that you haven’t given up yet. You’re actually enjoying the whole writing a novel thing. You get up early so you can write before work. You’re having fun and, for some unknown reason, you keep going back to it. You keep thinking, “Ooh, I didn’t think this was going to happen.” “Ooh, I’m still doing this”. “Ooh”.

The Dissertation Stage

The bit where you’e written as many words as you had in your dissertation. It’s not that impressive because your dissertation didn’t have that many words but still. You HAD to write your dissertation. You didn’t HAVE to write this novel. It’s pretty cool.

The “Fuck, I’ve Written Over 20 000 Words Stage”

This is more than your dissertation and your novel is actually beginning to take shape. You know what you want it to be. When people ask you how many words you’ve written, you tell them, and they don’t know what it means. They don’t know what 20 000 words looks like. You don’t either. You just see it on your computer but you have no idea what it looks like in an actual book. You laugh because it’s probably only a chapter.

The “Oh My God I’m Having So Much Fun” Stage

You can’t quite believe that you STILL haven’t given up yet. This is the biggest thing you’ve ever done and you love it and you’re proud of yourself for still doing it. You look forward to writing it. You take notes about what you want to write when you’re away from it. You wake up in the middle of the night knowing EXACTLY what should happen next. You write it down on your phone. It makes no sense in the morning, but it doesn’t matter. You carry on anyway.

The “Shit. Should This Be A Real Thing Stage?”

You’ve written a lot now. It really is turning into an actual novel and you start thinking about getting it published, making it real.

The “LOL What Am I Thinking Stage?”

You start reading bits of your novel and you imagine someone else reading it. You suddenly hate it. Everything you’ve written is stupid, boring, and unoriginal. Everyone has said what you’ve said before. You’re doing nothing new or interesting. You’re never going to get published.

The Forgetting About It Stage

You stop. You don’t write. And you don’t write for a really long time. It bugs you. This unfinished novel is aways in the back of your mind but you can’t get back to it. It’s rubbish and there’s nothing you can do to make it better.

The Going Back To It Stage

You’re bored one day so you open your novel. You skim through it. You have a new perspective because you’ve been away from it for a little while. It’s not as bad as you thought it was. Sometimes you like what you’re saying. Sometimes you think that there hasn’t been a story like yours before. You tentatively start to type.

The Committing Stage

You know now that no matter what, you’re going to finish this novel. You’re marrying it. You’re saying your vows. You know it’s not going to be easy but you don’t want to give up.  You keep telling yourself you’ll get drunk when you finish it.

The Rollercoaster Stage

Like all commitments, it isn’t easy. You have your good days. You LOVE writing and it makes you happy. You couldn’t live without it. Your novel’s always open on your laptop. Always there for you to dive back into – which you do, regularly. But then there’s the bad days. Your character is too one-dimensional, the narrative doesn’t make any sense, your grammar is all over the place, there’s only one perspective. Who wants to read a novel that just has one opinion? NO ONE. But still you carry on. You’re in it for the long run.

The Coming To The End Stage

You have as many words in your novel as other novels have. How the fuck did that happen? You know exactly how you want it to end but you’re scared to write it. Because once you write it, you’ll have to read it – and it might be crap. You know there is a lot of rubbish in it. You know that once you finish it, you’re going to have to go back and edit, edit, edit, and edit again and again and again. And that’s only if it’s worth all the edits. It might not be. It’s a well known fact that first novels are often terrible. You might have to scrap it and start again. You’re still going to finish it though.

So as I’ve actually not finished my novel, this is the stage I’m at. Better get back to it, I suppose.

 

 

Things That Fill Me Up With Pure, Unadulterated RAGE

Things That Fill Me Up With Pure, Unadulterated RAGE

People walking slowly:

WHY are some most people so unaware of the space around them? They just dawdle along completely oblivious to you RIGHT behind them, trying your hardest to get passed. Because that’s another thing – they dawdle along IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PAVEMENT. And whenever you try and pass them on either side, they dawdle sideways and block your way. Fuckers.

People walking too quickly:

This one’s a bitch too. Sometimes you just want to dawdle, take in the sights, breathe the summer air, listen to the birds but you CAN’T because some most people are too busy rushing through life and getting all impatient and huffy right on your heels. People need to learn to CHILL.

Space hoggers:

People who get on buses, planes, and trains and take up your seat space. People coming towards you on the pavement who refuse to move. People who put theirs bags and/or coats on the chair next to them in the hairdressers/doctors. People who think they’ve got a God-given right to more space in the world than others. MOVE THE FUCK OVER.

People (excluding my mum, boss, or some sort of instructor/mentor) who try and tell me what to do:

I won’t listen. And if I do, I’ll do the opposite of what you say. I can’t help it.

Vicious gossip:

We all gossip. It’s a natural part of being a human and I think that most of the time we gossip about people we actually care about. We like talking about them. We like worrying about them. We like them. But then there’s that other kind of gossip. The vicious kind. The kind where people discuss someone they don’t even know and get pleasure out of making fun of them. JUST STOP.

Queue jumpers:

GET BACK IN LINE BITCH.

Judgy McJudgersons:

Ugh. People who make other people feel this small for doing something that isn’t harming anyone. Like eating pizza with mayonnaise or wearing clothes that don’t match or the way you walk or your accent or your hair or your tattoo or what you have for lunch or the shoes you wear or basically anything that ISN’T HARMING ANYONE. Just leave the poor people alone and let them do their thing!

Scotrail:

The most pathetic excuse for a train company in the world, and big stealing bastards. Their tickets are EXTORTIONATE and you NEVER get a seat! You just curl up in the bike rack and try and eat your £3.00 meal deal in peace. Is it really so difficult for them to put out seat reservations?! EVERY OTHER TRAIN COMPANY IN THE WORLD CAN DO IT. Incompetence, thy name is SCOTRAIL.

People who talk about being on a diet while you’re eating a crisp sandwich:

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People who don’t order anything to eat and then want to eat your food:

I’ve started telling these people outright that under no circumstances are they getting any of my food. They usually look pretty shocked. I think they’re quite horrified about how selfish I’m being, but like Joey, JOSIE DOESN’T SHARE FOOD. It’s a flaw, I’m not working on it, get over it.

Oh yeah, people who just want to order a big selection of Chinese food and share it all:

No.

People who look at what I’m eating and say “ew”:

That’s rude, isn’t it? It feels rude. 

Passive-aggressive monkeys:

If you’ve got something to say, either say it outright or don’t say it at all. Being passive-aggressive is a sure way to get me NOT to do what you want.

Bad manipulators:

Please do it better. I’m much happier when I have no idea I’m being manipulated.

People who are horrible to their mum:

She gave BIRTH to you, fed you from her breast (maybe), answered your every needy whim, ALWAYS put you before herself, clothed you, educated you, loved you when no one else would so STOP taking her for granted and treating her like she’s a moron. You’re the moron.

 

MY GOD THAT FELT GOOD.