The luxury of having time and not feeling ashamed of it - chocolate custard puddings that actually take no time at all to make!

We just got back from a mini break away, and my head is still half there, half here. As we don't celebrate Easter, and my husband had a couple days off from work, we packed up light - huh, well, yes, I did try! - jumped into the car and drove off. We're blessed enough to have access to a family Summer house where we like to run to whenever we can, and that's not only in Summertime, mind. We spent part of our Christmas break there, this year, and we usually try to make it there during the June bank holidays whenever they happen to fall on a Friday or a Monday. It's refreshing to be there, and it's quiet as well, despite having so many people at times, but the silence there is completely different from the constant noise of a larger city. It's relaxing and soul healing.

This was actually a delightful break, you know. Granted, I did much the same things I do back here, I cooked the meals and did the dishes, I made the beds and forced the kid to brush his teeth, I hurried him around the house whenever he took an hour to get dressed so we could go out, I cleaned up, tidied up, mothered and wifed about, as usual. But it was all in a different setting, and that does make a difference. It was also a lot more relaxed, we had no pressing schedules ahead of us, no one needed to dash off to work or run out for school. We also had very limited access to the internet, and being unplugged was really what I needed, the little net I had I used it for Instagram, as I can't really resist it. I'm addicted to staring at images on Instagram and being inspired by them. One day I'll tell you all about how I have been inspired into writing characters and even chapters from images I saw on Instagram. But not being online all the time gave me extra time.

There was time to have time, you know what I mean? I always feel like it's some sort of a taboo, having time if you're not away, on a break of sorts, on vacation, so I tend to make the most of this luxury and allow myself the joys of having time. If you happen to be stemmed in your regular daily life, having time sounds horrid. Sounds like you actually do nothing all day but laze about. If you have time, then you must be some sort of looser, a failure, no one wants you for anything and so all you have in your hands is time. You must not be working hard enough, heck, you must not be working at all! You lazy cow, you 😝. Being pressed for time has become synonim with success, with acomplishment, with a life well lived and aimed for. Being prssed for time is goals, nowadays. Makes you look more confident, more professional, more successful, better. Having time is a sin.

I'll tell you something, though. I've always had time. I could never bring myself to live for work alone, especially because most of my working life I've had jobs I hated, jobs I needed to keep only so I could survive. But I always made time to have time. Not for me, though. I made time for my friends, for the people I knew, I always made sure I had free time in my hands in case they might need me. If I tell you I ended up spending hours and days alone, it will come as no surprise. Because, even though I made sure I had time for them, should they need, no one ever really had time for me, just to keep me company, know what I mean? I'd be there if they needed someone to just hang out with, or to accompany them here and there when they had no one else available, but many were the times when certain friends had arranged to meet up with me and I had made the time for them, only to have them call me and cancel last minute because, well, frankly, something better had come up. 

So yeah, I had loads of time in my hand, and always felt so bad for it, whenever I got comments from others "Oh, how I wish I had the time to laze about like you, I'm always run off my feet." or "Lucky you that have time for this and that, I can't even find the time to breath, I'm so busy." I always felt like I was less than the rest, because I was not busy all the time, so I must be doing things wrong. If I had time to lie on the couch for an hour reading a book, I was not being productive, I was being a failure. The day I heard from an acquaintance that she wished she had the time to sit down and afford to write like I did, I nearly stopped writing myself. I felt like I was wasting my time doing something that was unnecessary. I'm glad writing comes like breathing to me, because during those years where I hardly wrote at all, I felt I was dead inside. Now, I know I take too much time with my writing, I spend too much time at it, be it writing, editing, marketing my books, or simply weaving stories in my head. But I find that this is time well spent.

So these past days, I had time, alright, but in the end I realised I had the same time I have always made sure I have. The time to walk down to the seaside and stroll by the ocean, the time to ponder on life at will, the time to analyse my thoughts, my feelings, my dreams and goals. Time to eat and drink and then be merry, time to focus and clear my head. I do believe I have too much time in my hands, alright, and I overthink stuff too much over that time, but frankly, these days I prefer having that time to really do some soul searching of my own instead of wasting that time with people who will never waste their time and energy with me. Those walks by the sea gave me even more clarity on how I always make myself available to others who will not be there in my moments of need. It made me see clearly that I do need to shelter myself from those people and recgonise the signs straight away, so I don't invest myself in them when they are clearly unavailable to invest themselves in me. 

But because I am aware that most people lack the free time I possess, I know it's good to have speedy meals up one's sleeve, stuff we can make in the blink of an eye. Likethis dessert, these chocolate custard puddings. So easy and quick to assemble, so delicious! Here's how to:
  • 250 ml milk
  • 100 gr dark chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
Start by separating the whites from the yolks of the eggs, you can freeze the whites and use for other recipes. You can also use the whole eggs, but there's a lot of folks who do not like the taste of the egg white in a custard. Now whisk those yolks with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Reserve. Pour 200 ml of milk onto a pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Bring out of the heat and add the chocolate, stirring around until it melts completely. Pour over the eggs and stir quickly, incorporating all together. Place the pan over low heat and mix the cornflour with the last 50 ml of milk, pouring over the mix on the stove. You have to whisk had, now, and turn off the heat as soon as it has thickened. Let the pudding cool for about five minutes - or more - and pour onto pretty vials. Take these to the fridge and allow to set, ideally overnight, but two hours will do the trick. Sprinkle some seasalt flakes over some of the puddings, freshly ground pepper mix over others, add a clementine or two and serve!