Smoked mackerel risotto, Daryl Davis and CCTV

1. I barely got out of my pjs today. Great Sunday. I worked, though. A lot.

2. The best smoked mackerel risotto ever. Lemon makes everything better. It was exceptionally good.

3. Daryl Davis. His courage is monstrous. He sat down with a member of the KKK to talk, to try and figure out why somebody could hate him because of the colour of his skin. After years, the KKK dude renounced his ideology. Mr Davis’ documentary, Accidental Courtesy, is on Netflix. If you don’t have time, check his TEDTALK. It’s un-believable.

4. People who use ‘woke’ ironically. Honestly, until this week I hadn’t realised people use it unironically. I regret this loss of my innocence.

5. CCTV. The fact that there was actually CCTV footage to prove that the 9-year-old accused of groping a woman was in fact innocence. This stuff freaks me out. What would have happened to him if such footage didn’t exist? And that’s why you investigate claims rather than automatically believe all women. Because we’re humans and humans make mistakes.


Core muscles, dancing and fries

1. Hello core muscles! Long time no see. They are absolutely killing me but it’s the good killing after a good yoga practice. I can’t laugh or sneeze without yelping in pain. Go me!

2. Dancing like nobody is watching to cheesy wedding music.

3. Fries and pizza. Basically carbs. I don’t thing there’s a better or more addictive food for me. Also the first guns who tried leaving the skin on was a genius.

4. An honest day’s work. It does put me a peace with myself and with the rest of the world.

5. I’m actually grateful for having had the courage and the discipline to increase my yoga practice because now my body is more supple than it was. Still not great, but better than it was just a few months ago.

Indian summer, coriander and my thighs

1. Indian summer. A nicer way to ease into winter. London is spectacular at the moment. Warm and sunny and lovely.

2. The combination of smoked salmon and avocado. Particularly on seedy sourdough.

3. Coriander all the things. The smell of it used to make me gag. A salad would be all but ruined by a single leaf. How things have changed.

4. My thighs. They are certainly not pretty but they are strong and they carry me where I want to go and make me practise yoga any time I like.

5. I’m listening to Suicide Club and I have the feeling it’s going to be very good.

The library, the weekend and freelance life

Is there anything comparable to the sadness of knowing that as much as you may love a friend, they are not good for you? I’m talking about in kind rather than degree. I know there are worse types of grief but I find this is a very specific type of grief. I’ve had to remove toxic people from my life before. They’ve always been very difficult decisions but which I’ve never regretted. Unfortunately.

1. A tiny bit of good news born out of the refusal to give up. An author’s supposedly difficult novel might be picked up by a small indie.

2. Therefore, grit. Once again. I don’t naturally possess it and precisely because it’s so hard-won it’s more precious to me.

3. The library when it’s not half term.

4. We’re so closed to the weekend I can almost smell it.

5. Freelancing. I actually really enjoy it. I guess I simply had to find a system and stick with it. It took me two years, and a hamster would have probably learned faster than me but still.

Pachinko, an empty train and old friends

1. Pachinko. Beautiful cover. Beautiful book. We’re reading it for book group and I can’t stop stroking it.

2. Coleman Hughes on the Rubin Report. Intelligent. Elegant. Articulate.

3. An empty train. I like trains. Something so soothing.

4. When I don’t have to wait for the bus. My carriage awaits.

5. Friends who know each other’s heart. We’ve known each other for so long that we accept each other for who we are, even when we might disagree. We don’t have to constantly qualify our opinions because the other isn’t constantly primed to put the worst possible spin on things. On the contrary: we know each other’s heart and

Linguine, an unsolicited submission and scampering kittens

1. I finally finished a book I was not enjoying. The book was good but I didn’t enjoy reading it. Reading about crappy people is very tedious.

2. Chorizo and lemon linguine. Heaven! I could have eaten another cart of it. Why am I so hungry all the time? What am I compensating for?

3. An unsolicited submission that was so bad I nearly peed myself with laughter.

4. The kittens doing the stairs for the first time. It’s the sound that makes it.

5. Being busy. I’m campaigning against the glorification of busy. You know what I mean: people who complain about how busy they are and it sounds a bit like they are humble bragging. I like it busy. Much better than the alternative

Coffe (made by somebody else), working from home and the value of discipline

You know, sometimes, not all the time, I’m grateful about irritating things because they make me appreciate the positive things.

1. Coffee that’s already there when I wake up in the morning. You guys have no idea what this means to me in the morning. It’s what gets me out of bed.

2. Bad dreams so I can rejoice when I wake up. Problem is if they are particularly depressing I’m out of sorts all day and then I really need the coffee.

3. Working from home and working for myself. I know I’ve said this before but it does not get old. At least I can step away from Twitter when people start saying twattish things. if I worked in an office or for somebody else I would have to put up with their inane comments to the extent I’d have to behave in a civilized manner.

4. The value of discipline. I’m not just saying this to convince myself or to make myself feel better about the daily grind. Ok I am a little bit but I do wish I had learned about discipline when I was growing up because conscientiousness and the patience to repeat an action to perfect a skill is a marvellous virtue to have. I’m working on it.

5. People who can’t write because they make me appreciate good books even more. I wish I could really communicate the weirdness of some of the stuff I receive. At times I suspect there’s a camera hidden somewhere in my office.