1. Flat iron steak. We went for dinner to Flat Iron in Covent Garden tonight. I had the signature flat iron with chips and cabbage and the husband had the rib eye with chips and creamy spinach. The food was really good, but we were expecting that. What we were not expecting was how tasty the side vegetables were going to be. The spinach were really creamy with lots of Parmesan and the cabbage was tastier than you have a right to expect cabbage to be with lots of butter. The service was also terrific. The Covent Garden branch has the added benefit of free salted caramel ice cream covered in shaved dark chocolate. Heaven!
2. A Saturday with my husband. I’m grateful for the time we spend together and I know how important it is because I know how much I miss it those rare occasions when maybe we go a couple of weeks without quality time together. His sense of humour and his ability to make fun of me and of himself restore my faith in the world.
3. A friend trying to do the right thing. A friend of mine did something terribly stupid and managed to hurt somebody I really care about to in the process. He told me he wants to get his shit the together and make it right. It takes courage and guts and humility to try and remedy a wrong, and for his courage I’m grateful.
4. Another excellent documentary called Slavery by Another Name based on the homonymous book by Douglas A. Blackmon. I watched it this morning as part of my Coursera course. It explores the aftermath of the abolition of slavery in the US, and about the incentives that were created in the Southern states to incarcerate the black population in order to supply plantations with workers.
5. Tate Britain. I have a very conflictual relationship with museums and galleries. My mum used to take me when I was tiny and I used to hate them. Fundamentally because they were huge and I was small and I didn’t care about art and we would spend so long in them and I would get tired and she wouldn’t care. We would spend interminable hours in them with the vague promise of a movie afterwards. My husband loves galleries and museums, and he asks for so little that I’m happy to do what he wants. Today we went to the Tate Britain because they have manu paintigs by Turner and Constable. I saw and fell in love with this painting by a British artist called Luke Fildes called The Doctor. Take a look at the expression on the father’s face. It’s incredible. For some reason this painting moved me very much.
Love, people. Spread the love!
1. Weddings. I love weddings and this is a recent thing. I never thought I would get married (my mother convinced early on I was too difficult to find a husband) so I was never the type of girl who fantasized about weddings. But when it happened, when he told him it meant a lot to him, I threw myself in it with gusto. Since then, I’m desperate for all my friends to get married so that I can experience that again albeit vicariously. Spread the love!
2. Indian weddings. So imagine my joy at receiving an invitation to the wedding of someone I like very much with the added bonus that it’s an Indian wedding. The bride is Indian and the groom is Australian. And you better believe that I’m going to wear a saree. You just try and stop me.
3. Weddings outfit. Shopping for a wedding outfit whether for me or somebody else is one of my favourite activities. A friend of mine already promised me to come with me to help me choose an appropriate saree. Lots of beautiful shops in Upton Park East London, apparently.
4. Curry. I used to be underwhelmed by Indian food until a few years ago. I have no idea what changed. It wasn’t curry I had a problem with – I loved Thai curry for instance or Japanese curry – but I had never tried Indian food that didn’t leave me a bit unimpressed. A few years ago my taste bads underwent a big change: things I used to hate now I love and viceversa. For example, I used to hate Marmite, white wine, coriander (cilantro to the American readers), anchovies and capers, but now I can’t get enough . We haven’t been able to figure out what happened exactly. The most likely explanation is that I picked up some kind of new enzyme while on holiday that changed my digestive system/taste bads? I don’t know. Or maybe I simply grew up. Could it be the reason why I now love Indian food? You want to try Dishoom in particular their bacon naan roll.
5. Lehenga I’m throwing myself into the rabbit hole of choosing what to wear and the amount of choice is really unlimited but a lehenga with a shirt is really setting my heart on fire. Look at these beauties!
I’ll be blogging throughout the Easter break because a challenge is a challenge but if you’re going to be offline (and I think you should) enjoy, take care of yourself and each other, and like my grandmother used to say: ‘Don’t do anything that you don’t do if I were there.’
1. A beautiful documentary. I watched The Farm: Angola Prison and I cried at the thought of so much life wasted: the life of the victims and the life of the offenders locked up in prison. So much pain that could have been avoided.
2. Healthy kittens. We took the gang to the vet to have them checked and de-wormed. Everyone is healthy and happy.
3. Purpose. Taking care of my family is a purpose. Thinking and writing are purposes. But can I be more precise? Can I really nail down what it is that I need to do? Because right now I feel I’m not where I’m supposed to be, I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Where am I supposed to be? And what am I supposed to be doing? That is the question.
4. Freedom. I’m grateful I’m free to determine my life and also what I’m going to do in the next couple of days. Have you ever considered the things we take for granted every day? The fact we can go to the toilet without having to ask for permission.
5. I’m not a dick most of the times. Somebody humble bragged in a tweet and it was revolting. What are you 12? I’m not perfect but I’m grateful I don’t do that. If you have something to shout about, by all means do and I’ll be happy for you but don’t pretend to faux-complain about it. It’s in really bad taste. And what’s the point of doing that considering everyone will see through it.
I know, I know, my blog isn’t very interesting because life gets in the way but I’m not going to give up because I do have things I’m grateful for. For instance today I was grateful for:
1. A lunch that got cancelled. I never cancel lunch (either work or pleasure) because I think it’s rude. I have to be very sick, or physically unable to get there. Today it was the latter: all the trains were either cancelled or on strike, and it was pouring down so I had to cancel. I was mortified but also relieved in a way. It’s a perverse kind of pleasure. I think messaging has made cancelling a bit too easy. It’s much harder to cancel when you have to do it over the phone (I called my lunch date). And people cancel all. the. time. at the last minute for not very good reasons. Why did they put lunch in the diary in the first place? And I don’t think social anxiety is a very good reason to cancel when you’re a professional over the age of 25.
2. Delivering a job on time. A little more order. A little less chaos. The waves of self-criticism are not as high.
3. A silver light in the trees outside. Almost a non-colour before the rain started. As if the colours had been drained from the landscape in a quasi-Harry Potter-esque scenario. Beautiful, if a bit spooky.
4. Onion (and cheese if you want) frittata. I’m perfecting this terrific dish. As a main dish for two people, or a side for four people, sweat two large white onions in a drop of oil and salt until they’re soft. While the onions are sweating, beat four eggs in a bowl and add a pinch or salt: grate the appropriate amount of cheddar (appropriate being the key word here, although you can skip cheese altogether) in another bowl. When the onions are ready pour the beaten eggs, making sure everything is coated and covered. Make sure you cook it on a medium-low hob so you can control the cooking time without charring it. I lift the borders and let the eggs run underneath. Another trick is to make light slashes in the middle of your frittata and let the egg flow in the slashes to plug them. Once the frittata starts to set, sprinkle the cheese. Cooking time will depend on the size of the pan. If you feel confident, flip it (I don’t), or use the old trick of the large plate to flip it, or simply fold the frittata. Enjoy with a drop of chilli sauce. Buon appetito!
5. Bollywood. Everything about it makes me so happy. https://youtu.be/1BWdglekty0 I’m going to my very first Indian wedding in September and I can’t wait. And Shahrukh Khan is the best thing about it. Look at him. Just look at him! He’s peaking late. Much more handsome now than when he was younger.
1. The theme tune from the Godfather. My late father taught himself to play the piano as an adult. One of his regrets was not having learned as a child. He bought himself a piano and taught himself to play. He learned a few tunes and played them over and over and over, driving my stepmum to insanity. We used to tease him good-naturedly but he didn’t care. The theme from the Godfather was one of such songs, and tonight a basker was playing it on the saxophone. It filled me with such longing. If I could have dad back I would let him play any songs he likes for however long he likes. It’s a strange thing to be grateful for, missing somebody, but I did.
2. A toilet when you’re desperate for a wee. Oh the relief! Where does that pleasure come from? It’s like a glass of water when you’re thirsty.
3. Daffodils. It’s definitely spring, baby!
4. A new audiobook. The Secret Barrister. Enjoying it very much so far.
5. Petting dogs on public transport. I actually believe that if I don’t do it, I’m bringing shame upon my family’s and my ancestors’ good name. Just joking. Kinda. Not really. But seriously, it’s a compulsion. I can’t not do it. My husband gets really annoyed because he thinks it’s impossible that I find every single dog adorable. Watch me!
On another news: the kittens have started to purr.
1. Summertime. ‘We lost an hour. Blah, blah, blah. We slept an hour less. Blah, blah, blah.’ Whatever. I left work at 6 p.m. and the sun was still up. Which means we’ve turned a corner and summer or at least spring is on the horizon. Bring on lighter coat and skirts and sunglasses.
2. I finished Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends and I’m sorry to say I didn’t like it. That wouldn’t normally be a problem, there’s plenty of space for everyone, even for books I don’t like, if it wasn’t for the fact that there’s a big buzz around it, which I really don’t understand. and the fact that I don’t understand depresses me greatly. I don’t have a problem with unlikable and/or flawed and/or morally questionable characters, but I do believe that the sum total of their personality has to be positive for me to care about what happens to them. Preferably they have to have moral integrity, if possible. The main character in this book is petty, jealous, passive-aggressive, a hypocrite, spoiled, presumptious, and at times down right nasty. She has an affair with a married man, and in a novel I could live with that, but she then proceeds to piss on everything and everyone while at the same time pretending to be the victim in this farce. She’s also depicted as wet fish who for some reason everyone falls in love with. Y tho? She rallies against capitalism, against the bourgeoisie and against the wife of her lover because the woman is rich, and she considers herself poor, worse, she considers herself a struggling poet while studying humanities at a college she doesn’t pay for while living rent-free in the centre of Dublin, watching Netflix on her laptop while talking on her mobile while drinking coffee made with a hotpress, just back from her holiday in France. It’s getting an incredible reception. I don’t understand. I’m grateful it’s over and the reader of the audiobook had an incredible voice. So talented.
3. It’s the Monday of a very short week.
4. An early night. Because as I’ve stated before I was born to be wild but only until 9 p.m. or so. I was up until 1 a.m. last night to finish the essay and this morning was way too early.
5. A dinner of leftovers. Because I didn’t feel like cooking tonight and anyway there was plenty of food from the roast dinner I cooked yesterday. Lots of vegetables, a bit of chicken.
Sorry, guys, it’s a very short post today because I’m on a deadline and I have an essay to delivery and the topic is ‘theory of punishment’. I’m rock ‘n’ roll like that. But I still do have a lot to be grateful for.
1. A state of flow. It happens rarely but by goodness it feels good. It’s when your mind and body aligned and you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.
2. Sassy t-shirts. My favourite below.
3. Jack Sparrow. Nine eyes out of ten are now open. Only one eye is still close. It belongs to one of the bigger cats of the litter, so not a runty. We call him, or her, Jack Sparrow. It has a very pirate-y look but it seems to be slowly opening. What do you think?
4. Courage. Courage. Courage. To shed a skin, an identity and be who you’re supposed to be even if it’s no longer who you supposed you were.
5. Tell the truth. Don’t lie. Ever. About anything. Be gentle. Be kind, but don’t lie. Whatever happens it will be a good thing. Here’s Rule 8 from 12 Rules for Life.