Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nothing to Say

There are days
when I have
nothing to say.

Those days
I’d rather be

Friday, January 26, 2007

Feta Walnut Dip

Grind 1 cup chopped walnuts in the food processor with a good handful of parsley. Add a cup of crumbled feta, pepper, paprika and some milk or olive oil to loosen. Serve on whole meal toast.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Glassy Film over the Puddles

A glassy film over the puddles? Powdery sugar sticking to tree branches?
What is this?
Frost? Snow? A blistery Easterly wind?
Do they still exist?
Is this what they call winter?

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Way to a Man's Heart

The way to a man’s heart goes through his stomach. Adam is every bit a man in this respect.
In the morning, when I am feeding Schmiego, the venerable old cat, who needs some extra flesh on his bones, he anxiously walks before me down the cellar steps, nuzzling my shoes. He is beginning to like me.
He will now even call me, when he thinks the level of crunch in his bowl has become dramatically low, trusting I will fulfil his every wish. Today he was so sociable I could have touched him, had I wished. But I didn’t want to push my luck.
While Eva is still aloof, Adam and I are slowly becoming friends!

Talent and Perseverance

Being an artist is not all about having talent. It’s a start, but no more than that. More important are dedication, perseverance, and a certain degree of fanaticism.
I do not have those traits where art is concerned. I would not have discovered I can draw at such a late stage in life, if I had. I would have spent all my spare moments drawing, in the most impossible places, on all sorts of paper. Instead, now that it turns out I don´t do too badly, I find it hard work and I stop fairly soon. I don´t give up entirely, for my successes are a reward, but I would like to be perfect right away.
Not so A.
She had wanted to be an actress for most of her life, and she went right ahead and did it. Her dedication is enormous. She is willing to network, which scares her. To expose herself at auditions and be turned down. To be lonely in her search for an audience. She possesses what it takes to succeed in a career as an artist. She has talent, it is true. But above all she perseveres against the odds.
That is the mark of the true artist.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Belgian Endives and Feta

(Or chicory if you will. You know, the white stuff.)

Last night I tried to get inspired by cookbooks, but everything seemed too complicated. So I stir fried some chopped endives in a cast iron frying pan on a high heat, stirring constantly. (In olive oil, naturally.) I added very little salt. When cooked, I mixed in some crème fraîche plus ground pepper, and sprinkled crumbled feta over the top. Browned it all in the pan under a hot grill.
Served it with boiled potatoes, mashed à la Jamie Oliver, i.e. with olive oil.
The bitter taste of the endives and the saltiness of the feta were just delicious together!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Reward for a Good Day

Today has been a good day. I really have been very good.
Strong. A tower of strength, so to say.
Got up at eight.
Well, not quite eight, but close enough.
Did all the tedious rituals of showering and getting dressed. Such a waste of time really, but it did make it easier to pretend to have a life.
Made quite a show of being busy, tidying the bathroom, and starting ditto with the bedroom. Until I realized that I didn´t have to keep up appearances anymore. Franklin had left, remember?
Thank God for that, fussy little bastard! “Attention to detail, Jenny. That’s what it’s all about.” Well, he can stuff his attention to details up his arse now.
Therefore left the bedroom to its own devices.
That was not so good. Made up for it by eating a proper breakfast, with muesli and low-fat yoghurt and even a piece of fruit, a canned peach, if you want to know. Fibres and protein, the whole nine yards.
Drank pints of low-calorie water. Cleansing my innards. Not sure if they needed cleaning. Did it anyway.
Even went jogging in the park. Went frigging jogging in the park! In the pouring rain! I must have been out of my mind, getting soaking wet. Was that cleansing, or what? Soul and body, including the cardio-vascular thingamajiggies.
Didn´t smoke all day either. Even though the Marlboro cowboy has been beckoning.
Would have done Frankie proud. As if he ever noticed when I had cut down. All he could ever say was, “Filthy habit” with that sneer on his face, that wasn’t just meant for my habit.
See how strong I’ve been? Read the newspaper, instead of watching TV all evening. No news, though.
Solved some slant-eyed sodo-cues. As if that was fun.
Drank only wine.
Been really effing strong today.
So where is my reward?
Where is my Goddamn reward?
Surely not another night of masturbation on the couch watching James Martin cook for the upper classes. There must be more to being free.
For God’s sake, spare me another night of hanky-panky while his nimble fingers are shaping patties on the kitchen table!
Where is the real reward? The phone call, the winning lottery ticket.
What good is drinking low-calorie water anyway?
Gin. Where is the gin?
And my fucking cigarettes!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cauliflower Dahl

Cook lentils in ample water with some crushed ginger, half an onion and a piece of red pepper. About 30 minutes.
Fry a sliced onion in oil, sesame or other, and salt. Add spices: garlic, cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, mustard powder. Or take a shortcut and stir in Patak’s mild curry paste, which is not altogether mild to a Western taste. Mix well. Add sliced red bell pepper and cauliflower florets and make sure they are well coated with the spices. Pour coconut milk over it all, bring to the boil and simmer until done.
Drain the lentils, take out the onion, ginger and pepper and stir into the curry. Check the seasoning.
Serve piping hot.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Gees Egg

When A. was a toddler she refused to eat eggs. We tried them in all shapes and forms: soft boiled, hard boiled, scrambled, fried. No, she wouldn’t eat them.
So alright, we gave up.
Until we discovered one day that she had eaten a hard boiled egg at the neighbour’s and enjoyed it. From then on she would eat our eggs too, but only if we told her that P. had especially gone out to the neighbour, who had especially boiled an egg for her. A “Gees egg”, we called it, after the neighbour.
Unbeknown to her, we have been borrowing her special eggs for years.
And in our house a hard boiled egg is still called a “Gees egg”.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


R., a friend of A., who is a graphic artist, once looked at my weblog and told A. that my watercolours were something, but with my acrylics he could see I was just messing about.
To his chagrin A. told me. But I was grateful for some professional criticism and saw that he was right. So no more acrylics, unless I stop messing about.
The other day I told R. that I had started drawing with a pencil and he gave me some friendly advice. (Now knowing it was welcome). And suggested I buy a scanner.
I immediately went out and did.
Wow, what a difference it makes!