Okay, so it's easy for me to say that, what with having the week off work and all, but in the spirit of last week's blog, this week I am keeping things simple.
Things have been going pretty well with the whole writing thing at Shelly Berry Towers - my dabble at writing a script for a short film is progressing nicely (watch this space), as is my stab at journalism, what with a couple of juicy pieces for the Waltham Forest Echo working themselves out of the woodwork (again, keep your eyes peeled). Edit of novel number two is getting closer to completion too, despite my wavering confidence in the project. The problem is, it is all starting to feel a bit manic, and, having committed to a college course starting in September, it is going to get worse.
Or is it?
Maybe I just need to do what I keep telling myself to do; keep it simple. Stop putting pressure on myself to get things done that can wait and enjoy those little pleasures in life, like cooking and reading. I've been trying to read Iris Murdoch's The Sea The Sea for weeks now, but keep finding myself distracted by things I ought to do, rather than settling down with a good book and a nice cup of tea. And, rather than cooking the food I really want to eat, I end up churning out the same old thing night after night, rather than taking an extra 15 minutes to experiment and try something new - something that a recent meal out and a weekend with friends has made me determined to do.
So, when I get my train home tomorrow, I shall read my book. And when I go shopping, I will buy ingredients to make Moroccan Lamb and Aubergine with pomegranate and tabouleh salad, just like I had at The Bell in the Stow, and even more aubergine to make Simone's Melanzane parmingiana. And, before my next batch of leave, I will make a cake to take into work - I have a heap of cream cheese icing in the freezer that desperately needs using up, and quite a few colleagues who I really owe a slice of my grandma's carrot cake for one reason or another. And, hell, I like baking. So that is what I am going to do.
Emptying the loft, cleaning the bathroom and redecorating the kitchen can wait. I am on a new kind of mission, my friend...
So, as the Bank Holiday draws to a close, I hope everyone is feeling as smug as I am. I've had a lovely weekend thanks to my friends who joined me for a belated housewarming. In true Shelly fashion, I couldn't resist but go all out on the catering, providing food from the east - as in winkles from East London, Pork Pies from the East Midlands, and, sat firmly in centre stage, ham, stotties and pease pudding from my birthplace in the North East. I cooked the ham and the stotties myself and was really pleased with the results - will definitely be making those again!
Of course, it being a house warming party, I wanted to get my flat as pretty as possible - and managed to finish my second book case with half an hour to spare before my first guests arrived. Cutting it fine? Moi? Okay, maybe a bit...
So yes, I'm in my happy place this evening, and will be staying firmly put throughout the week, courtesy of a few day's annual leave I managed to sneak in. Of course on Thursday I will be voting, and encourage everyone to do the same. Last week I went to a talk by Owen Jones and George the Poet, and left feeling really inspired that, if we all pull together to work towards a better future, anything is possible. Not sure who to vote for? Take George's advice: think about all the things that really annoy you on a normal day and look at what the different parties are going to do about them. Pretty sound advice if you ask me...
I shall leave you with a quote from George - one for life and the election:
As long as you're gonna be courageous
I promise you you're gonna see some changes.
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...