The title of this post comes from the Julee Cruise song Floating, from the 1989 album Floating into the Night.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.”
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We are normal, everyday hard-working people with a common hobby, blogging. We hail from far and wide. We reside in different lands, on different continents. We speak different languages, eat different foods, and are of varying ages, professions…
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A few days ago, the Big T and I had breakfast at the wonderful Little & Friday cafe in Takapuna.
Although firmly convinced I wanted something savory, I saw gingerbread, blue cheese and honeycomb on the menu and suddenly changed my mind.
I adore blue cheeses, and will tend to try anything that comes with a slab of the stuff. I’m glad I did.
The dish was delicious; sweet, creamy and salty with a little spice from the gingerbread. More importantly it got me thinking about the way I eat (noisily, according to the Big T, but that’s neither here nor there).
I’ve been the main cook in every household I’ve lived in since I left home at 17; a succession of shared flats, a couple of pre-T relationships, and for as long as the Big T and I have been together.
Before the boy-child came along, we ate out a lot — and scoffed quite a few takeaways. But as soon as we knew we were having a baby, we both became much more health-conscious, and when the kid first started eating solid food, I went to considerable lengths to provide the most nutritious meals I could.
I still do.
I’m not saying we don’t sometimes have fish n chips, or takeaway pizza; and some nights my boys are lucky to get a toasted sandwich made for them, but in general my cooking style has changed to focus much more on nutrition than convenience.
And it’s also become about quantity. I became become adept at making sure there’s always enough for flatmates and the boyfriends/girlfriends who inevitably turned up for dinner, enough to feed a growing child and fill tomorrow’s school lunch, enough to provide easy working lunches for the Big T and me. For a number of years now, our fridges have been filled with containers of leftovers.
Thing is though, the boy-child isn’t at school now, and although he does sometimes take a lunch to work with him, more often than not he doesn’t eat with us in the evening and isn’t that interested in a lot of the leftovers.
A major adjustment is required.
And somehow, looking at my Little & Friday breakfast — that simple plate of three good things (1) — I got it.
I need to relearn my cooking habits. I’m not feeding student flatmates or boy-child + friends. I’m not even regularly feeding a teenager. And although I cooked for two in the early days with the Big T, we now have more money, more time, smaller appetites and are much more more health-conscious.
So this is my latest food project (now that I’ve sussed sourdough bread). I’m going to find/create and test recipes for two. Little plates, shared plates, simple food that the Big T and I can enjoy together on the nights when we’re having dinner à deux.
You’ll know I’m succeeding when I manage to blog about it. Radio silence can definitely be interpreted as “back to the drawing (or chopping) board.”
(1) With thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things on a Plate for the term and the idea.
… to pinch a line from The Swingers’ 1981 hit Counting the Beat
I’m finding it difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the tragedies that engulf so many in the world. I’m thinking not only of acts of terrorism and the on-going refugee crisis, but the less visible evils that are visited upon us. In my own country government policies work hand in hand with corporate greed to create and exacerbate homelessness, poverty, welfare dependence, child deprivation and the long-term consequences of these for physical and mental health.
If feels sometimes that society, instead of being a strong membrane that holds us together, has become infected — a weeping sore through which evil seeps.
Not a cheery thought I grant you, and probably not what the artist who created the sculpture above was thinking. But I found myself looking at the shot with that gloomy thought in mind. Then I found Brecht’s poem below, reminding us that things are always more complex and nuanced that we might want to believe.
On my wall hangs a Japanese carving,
The mask of an evil demon, decorated with gold lacquer.
Sympathetically I observe
The swollen veins of the forehead, indicating
What a strain it is to be evil.
The Mask Of Evil
It is also a reminder of how much art and beauty can help heal us.
This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge. This week’s theme is black and white.
It’s gray and dreary here today, but bright colours always lift my mood.
My thoughts and condolences to everyone affected by the attacks in Paris today. In solidarity and fraternity we find strength.