2021-08-30I like to cook a lot. Sometimes I cook all afternoon, one meal after another. I end up with a fridge full of boxed up meals that I can pile through in the week or give to loved ones. Dinner guests are relatively rare these days, in the wake of the pandemic year. Some people have been scattered away from the pestilent city centre. Some people are understandably still reluctant to dive into a full social calendar.
2021-07-30There’s been a gap. There have been some changes. I left that house alone and I crossed the river I miss the cat I cycle everywhere I go if I can I’m learning a new language for her and also me I live alone most of the time I’ve been off the island and onto another island I’m fully vaccinated against the virus I’ve sold most of my books (I still have plenty of books) I swim in the ponds; I see my friends for breakfast I’m happy and I’m not ill any more I’m busy; I squeeze people in; I squeeze them into my calendar I’m twenty-seven years old
2021-01-26Snow whiting out the park London had its first snow day of the winter. We set out for a run in the mid-morning when the first specks starting to stick to the frosty tops of parked cars. By the time we were circling a park it was coming down thick. The roads were coated with a layer a couple of inches thick and quickly became communal playgrounds for bored families.
2020-12-15I think the last film I saw in the cinema before they all closed was The Lighthouse. After that weird nautical trip we emerged from The Ritzy in Brixton in the middle of the afternoon, dazed and out of sync with the normal world where people were charging up and down the pavement. The cinema was only a couple of minutes down the road from where I was living at the time; it didn’t seem like a big deal.
2020-12-04I’ve spent a lot of this year living in the worlds other people have made for us. The world of our senses is either too boring (the insides of our homes, dinner arriving in cardboard at the front door) or too awful (bodies in refrigerated trucks, forests burning, and police brutality) to enjoy, so I’ve been turning to media more than ever. It’s been mediating my perception of the world, organising the information so I can take it in, or turning it into stories so I can connect with it on some emotional level with my burned out stump of a brain.
2020-11-28I love cooking but the terminology seems very fluid to me until I hear chefs talking to each other about how they prepare an ingredient in a way that sounds so specific. It turns out these words do have distinct meanings that I struggle to hold in my head. Sautéing A very awkward Frenglish word. Means frying ingredients in not very much oil but over a relatively high heat. Searing A larger ingredient like a meat is cooked over a very high heat just to brown the surface.
2020-11-28I went and saw Jamie in the park. It was freezing cold today but I had panicked and put on a heavy coat. The hills in Dulwich were unrelenting from the beginning and I was dripping in sweat before I reached Clapham. We spoke about things breaking down, about how much we can endure and how many times we can restart things and change our conditions. We were up late last night, we’re in a strange detente for now.
2020-11-22In East Dulwich there is a Pellatt Road. I still don’t know how to pronounce it; a simple “pellet” seems most statesmanly. I’ve wondered where that name came from. It struck me as a person’s name, probably. I started looking, and found an MP for Southwark who died a little before a plot called Friern Farm near the village of Dulwich in Surrey was bought up and replaced with a tidy horseshoe of early Victorian streets, one of which was named Pellatt Road.
2020-11-21In this second lockdown it’s all suddenly become about long walks and big cooks. Emma’s been walking for a dozen miles at a time through a river of wild spaces in South London called the Green Chain Walk. I’ve been churning through the cookbooks that I’ve been picking at until now, mostly neglecting. Successes lately have been gyoza, massaman curry, drunken noodles, Tuscan bean soup with homebaked bread. Fridays are for film night.
2020-11-02The latest issue of the All My Stars newsletter got me reading about Crash (1996). It was obviously a very contraversial film, that much I remember. There was some monocle-popping from Francis Ford Coppola on the Cannes jury; he refused to present the award that the film went on to win. What’s funny though is that the film won the Special Jury Prize, not just the Jury Prize. What’s the difference?