my mother


‘… throw it all in the whizzer and whizz it all up with one of those whizzers… ‘

I strikes me that my mother’s attitude to cooking is possibly where my attitude to my book was born, and that the single chuck-it-all-in-and-press-the-button method doesn’t necessarily have the same successful result for words as it does for avocado sauce on salmon. I need to develop more of an Elizabeth David approach to writing: have the final idea in mind, work out a structure, select the ingredients with care, and then start building methodically. But it’s a hard habit to break: the throw it all in method has worked well for nearly all other areas of my life. I remember thinking the same thing on my wedding day: you’ll only know once you’ve done it, so just do it and hold your breath. I remember looking out at all the people who’d come to wish us well, and wondering whether they could see that they were just being thrown in with us. (So far) that method for marriage has worked. I just threw myself at him, at it, and it’s coming out fine in the wash. Words are different. Ideas are different. Not nearly as pliable and compromising. They require much more time, affection, seduction, devotion and sacrifice. More discipline. There’s nothing disciplined about marriage.

And I see two tall slim men both in large dark sunglasses, both dressed in long slim black trousers, both pulling large black suitcases on wheels, and one with a large bouncy baby strapped to his chest, striding towards the church. One of them is smiling, broadly. The baby is very relaxed.

Advertisements