Sunday, May 18, 2014

Breakfast table book*



"Over the years Lucian's breakfast varied from pains au raisin to porridge to scrambled egg and toast, Sally and David always wanting to make sure he ate sufficiently and healthily, as he had a very sweet tooth. Lucian would often take a bar of home-made nougat from the shop's shelves as he walked in, sometimes jokingly slipping it into his pocket like a shoplifter. With a murderously sharp black-handled kitchen knife, he would slice it bit by bit, offering up slivers." 
(Greig, Geordie: Breakfast with Lucian, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York 2013, p.4)

While Breakfast with Lucian (a birthday present and perfect companion to this) is, of course, about so much more than what Lucian Freud used to have for breakfast, I admit that I am almost obsessively interested in these glimpses into people's habits and choices and the minutiae of everyday life. The internet may be awash with look-at-what-I-had-for-lunch-type photos and blog posts and facebook updates, and a certain cynicism has evolved in response to this, but both in fiction and non-fiction I am always pleased to see references to food or other domestic routines.

P.S.: My own breakfast varies, but my breakfast table tends to include multiple beverages, blueberries and coconut oil (the latter on toast and in coffee), and occasionally there is cava and roses - keeping the tradition of the Sektfrühstück going!

*I did not actually read the book while having breakfast - mindfulness and all...

Friday, May 9, 2014



The response to what I pondered in my last post is shingles in my eye and a kidney infection. That's what I got for a lifestyle and tempo of said lifestyle this introvert was unable to maintain for long. Or maybe it had nothing to do with that, but was a delayed reaction to the upheaval of recent months. Whatever the reason, I obviously need to remind myself that one day every week must be a blank in my diary set aside for doing nothing (doing nothing may include reading, running, swimming, meditating, baking, cooking, organising and a whole lot of other doings, but I have to be on my own for most of it or in the company of someone similarly disposed).

I managed to continue with the teaching, as well as going on -relaxed, inspiring- day trips to beautiful corners of the world, so today was the first day I was able to work from home and take it easy. Stillness is in order, and it is easy to attain in a house filled with beautiful flowers, among them the sweet scent of hyacinths, and with my own little assistant-sister who just made me dinner.

As a soap bar enthusiast I always get ridiculously excited when I try out a new one, and this Brigid Soap with its intriguing ingredients is extra special because it was a gift from my older sister, who presented it to me in Brigit's Garden, with a touching explanation of why she had chosen it. My aura expertly cleared after using this in the shower, I am now sipping tea made with cayenne pepper and lemon and envisaging a wild Friday night bedtime of 8pm. This is exactly how I used to live.