Category Archives: food

I’m Sorry

…to have abandoned North Seven for so long. I still don’t have a job and, after the UN fiasco which is yet to be concluded, I decided I needed to focus on something new, something purely pleasurable and totally indulgent. And I’m afraid North Seven didn’t seem to be it.

In fact the one thing that I turn to on days when I’m feeling a bit worn out by job searching, and freelancing, and wondering where’s next, is cooking. I’ve really got back into it in the last six months or so, especially baking. And since lots of my friends ask for the recipes I use, I’ve been wondering about putting them in one place, online. That way I can send a link to someone, or find a link myself, whenever I want to know the ingredients list or method, particularly when I’m away from my bits of paper and cookery books. So though I am still physically in N7, virtually I am here, probably for good.

Because much as I like the idea of writing about the place where I am, and where I’m going, I honestly don’t know where that is at the moment. Frankly, I’m a bit fed up with thinking and reflecting. When I looked at my blank blackboard after my last job interview was cancelled, all I could think about was a shopping list, a food shopping list. I didn’t want any other ‘to do’ list. I was done. I wanted to put my apron on, get my hands covered in flour and bake a cake. So I did. And that’s why right now I spend most of my time in my tiny kitchen, not thinking, just baking and wondering how to get out of the washing up…

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Filed under food, home, redundancy, unemployment

Weighty Issues

I have been back from Spain for almost as long as I was there, which seems very weird when I think of how little I have done since January. Painted a wall, completed my tax return, applied for the few jobs that are out there…and, it seems, eating. Yes, eating so much that when I tried to sit down in my ‘fat’ jeans yesterday my best friend asked me if my back was hurting, such was the look of anguish on my face as I tried to bend. No, it was just my jeans’ waistband digging into the flesh that wasn’t there when I bought the wretched things.

Though I know I’m not eating loads more, I know that my habits have changed enough to have an effect. First, I’m not climbing up and down a hill four to six times a day, second I’m eating two or three course dinners at weekends instead of snaffling a couple of tapas and third and, probably the most telling, it’s been a really long winter and I’ve made good friends with toast and cake. Such good friends that my very skinny and very expensive 30″ jeans have long been consigned to the ‘possibly sell on eBay‘ pile, whilst I’ve been reduced to the ‘when I need another inch or two of leeway’ pair. And even they are now rather too skinny.

So today, inspired by the beautiful sunshine and the prospect of swimming lessons from tomorrow (to learn the front crawl) I decided it was time to shed my clingy friends toast and cake and meet my summer companions, grilled protein and green vegetables. And I also decided to face the truth: I bought a set of bathroom scales.

I should add that I have only had the sort of waist that can be comfortable in 30″ jeans for the last two or three years. When I split up with my ex in 2007 I left behind many good and bad aspects of my former life; my appetite for one. I became a fridge grazer and that, combined with misery, saw me shed 20 odd pounds, or ten kilos or so without even trying. I haven’t been that thin for years, not since I did my final exams, and although I was probably a bit too scraggy, I rather enjoyed the thrill of wearing the sort of clothes that had always been denied me in the past. Suddenly I was a 10-12, not a 14-16 and it felt rather lovely. Somehow being skinny tasted better than food. And, yes, I have just realised that I’m echoing Ms Moss here…

It all began to creep back on last year, but not in any significant way, and it seemed that I was going to stay a 12, and not jolly my way back into the L categories. But somewhere along the way winter, not enough exercise and being at home all day (going to work in London is a form of exercise in itself, especially if you use the Tube) did for my mini-skinny moment. So today I decided it was time to a) weigh myself and b) honour the sunshine and start eating for spring.

I couldn’t wait for John Lewis to deliver the scales so I went, if you’ll excuse the awful pun, to the other end of the scale…to Argos where the same ones were all of 1p cheaper and immediately available. I came home, followed the instructions (oh, yes, they have printed instructions), took off all my clothes, put the scales on a flat surface and stepped up. When I looked down I realised why they now sell them with magnifying glass covers: I couldn’t read it.

I fetched my glasses and tried again. Twice. Because although I feel like I’ve doubled in size, I have actually gained all of seven pounds, or three kilos and am now 11.5 stone, 73 kilos or 0.073 of a metric ton (don’t you just love computers). That’s more than I want to be but not as much as the 12.5/79/0.079 I was imagining. After three months of barely any work, of barely any jobs to apply for, and in the week when I have started doing exactly what I didn’t want to do – eating into my savings – at last, some good news! It’s so not important, it’s so trivial but, at a time when so much else is beyond my control no wonder I care about my waistband.

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Filed under food, pleasure, recovery, Spain, unemployment