The days have been a haze of dreary light, impending rains, grey skies and writing. My creativity seems to maintain the same levels of urgency, with ideas brimming in my head, making it nearly necessary to resort to taking notes, which is something I loathe. But I have had so many ideas for chapters, dialogues, characters, storylines, and for shoots, for individual photos, for recipes and testing of said recipes that I fear that if I don't write them down somewhere I will end up loosing them all.
Mainly, my life has been governed by my writing. I wake up and am already thinking of chapters to write, dialogues, happenings, scenes that need to take place, conversations that need to occur, situations that need to be tackled. As I sit down for breakfast, my head is writing all the time, a whole chapter or parts of it. As I bathe, and while I get my son ready for school, and even as we chat away was we walk down the road on our way there, my mind is like a dog with a bone, set in what I want to jot down in paper that day.
I only unplug from it over the weekends, to have my head filled with ideas for foodstyling projects and food photography shoots. It's like it's never ending, and I find myself tired at the end of every day, tired but feeling rather good with myself, as I realize I have managed to acomplish all I had foreseen for that day. And because the weather has been so dreary, I feel no desire to go walking about outside, or to take roadtrips. My body, along with my mind, begs for the comforts of home. Begs to be sat down in front of my laptop, a candle or two lit to prevent the greyness of these rainy days, and my hads tapping away, tap, tap, tap.
I feel rather Brontë-an, thus, writing novels by candlelight on cold, grey days such as these, and I envision myself as a modern day Emily - ok, so she was my favourite Brontë, she was such a gothic one!! - as I toil away at a trade that brings me no earnings nor materialistic gains. But the sense of joy I get, that rush, as if I had done drugs! I could not explain it, so you must have felt it to understand, when suddenly your heart fills up with such gladness at what you are doing, when what you are doing fills you up with so much pleasure it's like there's a dull pain in your chest, but a pain of joy, of fulfillment... I can only imagine that must have been what the Brontë sisters felt like as they each wrote their novels.
And this Brontë-an feeling I get of sitting in the chiaroscuro of my living room, translates into my photography that ends up having a darker quality to it, a darker mood. Even the subject pieces tend to go there, to a time long gone, to an age so different from our own, and I find myself trying to revive those days of yore in the form of simpler foods, simpler provisions. Like a savoy cabbage. There is something quite romantic about a savoy cabbage, to me. Either it's the shape, the texture of it's leaves, or the colour, to me it is one of the foods I always crave during the colder Winter months, and I prefer it in a soup or a very simple stew.
Simple recipes that can be tossed into one pot, all the ingredients going together to simmer away their juices and their flavours, pervading into one another, staining each other with their colours and their odours... that is what my body craves on these days that seem to hold not enough hours for me to write and have everything done. A savoy cabbage, shredded, droped into a pot where leeks and carrots and garlic have been gently fried with a glug of god olive oil, only to be joined by a few sausages, choped into big chunks, some passatta that's going to add colour, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon for freshness. Nothing more is necessary, except for the dried sage leaves, to enhance that flavour of the pork, and a cup of fresh tap water to let it all cook gently away at a low heat, by itself, no help needed. Only to be served later on, along with some fresh crusty bread to dip into the juices and mop them up from the platters. And such food is like a novel on its own, simple yet fulfilling and as well written in its story of nourishing, down to earth flavours as any one of the Brontë's books.