Nigel Slater, I've got a crush on you

I have no idea what Nigel Slater looks like, but regardless, I've got a big fat crush on him.
I love his writing style, his approach to food and the way he puts together simple nourishing ingredients to make a speedy but delicious dinner. I often feel that I need to make a 'proper' big meal for dinner, but Nigel encourages me otherwise (particularly enticing during these days of little time and few hands).

 For example:

*salad of raw apple, spinach leaves, toasted walnuts and crumbled roquefort wtih toasted baguettes (followed by plum crumble). um, ok.
*The end of a tarragon plant roughly chopped as a crumbing for fish fillets, served with lightly steamed rainbow chard. mmm...
*roast aubergine and zucchini slices with tomatoes left in the oven till their skin blackens, tossed with olive oil, basil and baby mozzarella. Well yes, that'll do...
(taken from Slater's 'The Kitchen Diaries').

I have a ton of cook books, which I can somehow trawl through and still fail to come up with ideas. But a Nigel Slater book never fails to deliver. I will flick through saying to myself, 'mm, that could be tonight's dinner'. 'Ooh, that would be good to take to mum's on the weekend', or 'ooh that English apple cake would be perfect for mum's group tomorrow'.

And yes indeedy it was...


Bon Iver

Something else to cheer me up is the impending new album from Bon Iver. The previous album was a bit of a pregnancy soundtrack for me.

 And who doesn't love a free download?!!


F.L.A.T. the last few days. bleurgh.
So I've bought myself some flowers, booked myself in for a massage (mother's day gift from the boys!) and am dreaming of our little Bali villa where we'll be staying this time next month en route to France!



Motherhood musings...

I’ve done lots of different things in my life; travelled the world, worked in amazing countries, experienced wars, got great jobs, achieved many of the things that I wanted to. But motherhood was always something that I aspired to and that seemed like something on a completely different level. Something that I could hardly imagine ever happening. I looked at mothers with a kind of awe, like they were all part of some secret club that I hoped to one day join, but it was always quite hard to believe that I would.

And then I got pregnant and suddenly, I was joining up! But I felt that no one could possibly have ever before felt the things I was feeling… the amazement of this little life inside me, the love that was growing. Of course I knew that every mother-to-be has had the same feelings, but its hard to grasp that concept. Surely this was different?! And then the labour, the birth, the first few weeks with this little human… our child. OUR CHILD! Such a miracle, such an insane occurrence. It was so hard to grasp that this happens all the time, that this is a common thing that happens to most women!

I live in a suburb full of mothers. The footpaths are congested with prams. As I walk with my bubba down the street, I am still amazed at how commonplace this having a baby thing is. My experience is just one of many, one of millions.
I’m now one of those people.

I’m not really sure what my point is. I guess I’m just struggling with this juxtaposition of how miraculous and special having a baby is, but also just how commonplace! I think I am also struggling with now being an unwilling party to such consumer insanity. I never realised just quite what big business parenthood is and how much advertising and fear mongering is aimed at mothers. Makes me just want to stay indoors with the tv off (or go and sit in a field somewhere, if only the weather were better) and stay cocooned and marveling in the miracle of childbirth! 


The sling

Leo loves being in the sling. We have a hug-a-bub and it's been a huge success. Everyone loves it. Papa often takes him for morning walks and it's a beautiful close bonding time for them. I find it an easy way to carry him around, either when out doing the shopping or general wandering, or at home while I'm getting dinner on or doing the cleaning. It allows us to eat out at fancy restaurants, and it's a sure fire way to get him to sleep when he's a bit restless and cranky. Even the Aunties and Grandparents use it with him! We have used it since he was born and now it's such a comforting place for him to be...

(apologies for a couple of bad phone photos but you get the idea...)


Is anyone else out there feeling as disturbed as I am about this whole Bin Laden thing?  Regardless of what he's done and what he represents, I just can't ease the discomfort I feel about state sanctioned killing, our leaders claiming their 'happiness' at another's death and of the patriotic crowds rejoicing in the streets. What does it bring us to fight violence with violence?
I used to work as an aid worker and spent one year not long after the 9/11 attacks in Afghanistan. I feel close to that country and its people even though I only have a minute understanding of its complexities. Most there would hate Bin Laden as much as any of us in other countries of the world, but I can't help feel that his death will only bring more unrest to people there as well as to people in the US or Australia.
I understand why the US took the action it did. For myriad reasons, not the least of which are regarding re-election.
But I just feel sad about the whole thing. Sad that this has to be the response. Sad because of the thousands of people killed, not just in the US but in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and countless other countries. Sad that  there is such hate in the world and that so many do not seem to grasp the concept that hate only breeds hate.
And so I just ponder out loud and hug my baby a little closer.

** I don't know if anyone actually reads this blog. Up until now, I have just posted the odd little vignet about cooking or camping or cute baby photos. I'm not sure I will continue it or continue along this path. It all just seems a bit too light and fluffy when what I am really thinking about is this world and its politics and its injustices. Anyway, if you do read it, feel free to let me know your thoughts. Maybe I will move in a different direction and write about what I really think. Try and add something of value. Hmm.