When you come off the moor, drenched and cold and not a little cross - 'cause the calendar says late May and you figure there should be WARM SUNSHINE - I reckon what you need is comfort food with a good dose of summeriness thrown in. This fit the bill perfectly.
I began by sauteeing some leeks (I used three small/medium ones but quantities are easy). Avocado oil is my oil of choice for high heat cooking, but use whatever you prefer. When the leeks were nicely soft, I scattered in a handful of petit pois that were as frozen as I was and left the poor things to warm through. While they were getting all toasty, I broke three eggs into a bowl and mixed them gently with a fork - just as you would if you were planning an omelette. Once the peas' cheeks were glowing, I seasoned everything well and added some finely chopped fresh mint leaves (are you getting the summer vibe now?). Next, I tipped in the eggs (here's the comfort bit) and kept stirring in a scrambled eggs kind of way. Then dolloped the whole lovely mess onto a pretty plate....garnished it liberally with lots of fresh parsley....and decorated the entire thing with some tiny heirloom cherry tomatoes. Just 'cause they looked so cute (read that as - 'not strictly necessary').
It totally hit the spot. Even brought the sun sneaking out from behind the clouds. And you can't ask more from a recipe than that.
I just had to show you this!
My friend, Janet, has been doing a cartooning course. And, since she's kinda dog crazy, she's been posting a 'Daily Dog' on her Facebook page.
When I found out, I suggested she drew Joss and....hey presto!....a few days later, there he was. Isn't he fantastic?
Joss and his passion for plastic bottles immortalised forever. :)
Two things I’ve always loved: art and the sea. And yet it took a crazy amount of time to create a life that was full of both.
I lived in London for my first thirty years. When I was growing up I honestly thought it was the centre of the universe; why would I ever consider living anywhere else? (I find that hilarious now.)
I thought I had everything I wanted; there was my family, friends, the shopping, the restaurants and bars, the galleries and museums. After dropping out of university I did a year long art foundation course which I adored. With the Yin comes the Yang however, and there was a darkness in me that grew and manifested as periodic episodes of crippling depression. Looking back on it now I tend to be reluctant to describe that time; depression (and its manifestations) lends itself too well to dramatic hyperbole.
So my two great loves lay dormant for a long time; I hadn't realised how important they were to me then. Depression will kill off your creativity with the efficiency of a heavy blanket dousing out a fire.
At 27 I left my long-time work as a Montessori teacher to travel, something I've always loved. Of course I've gathered many treasured experiences from my travels, but when I found myself in absolute despair in a tiny hut on the shores of the beautiful Lago de Atitlan in Guatemala, the loneliest I'd ever been, I realised I had to change something. I came home, crawled into bed and didn't come out for the best part of a year.
I realised I could no longer live the way I had been; it was slowly killing me. (There's that hyperbole again! And yet it's true.) I did consider becoming a hermit for a while, but in the end I settled on Brighton, which combined a need for connection to other humans with proximity to the sea, something I could no longer live without.
I could not have predicted the healing that move would cause, although now I think my heart must have known. That my art, which had disappeared during the depression years, would return to me, and the connections and fulfilment I would find as a result. The sheer joy of being able to visit the beach every day of the year! The mentor I would find who would help me change my life beyond all recognition. The experiences I would call in that would push me in the direction of the life I wanted to live.
These days you will find me on the beach in all weathers, picking up treasures and soaking up the negative ions like they're about to run out, or drawing, painting and generally making a mess in the studio. Were it not for changing places, both inside and out, I might never have been reunited with my two long lost loves.
Tara is a mixed media artist and Reiki master who lives on the south coast of England. She runs Creative Spark sessions from her attic studio and has just published her first book - a 'little art and life manual' that's also titled Creative Spark.
Changing Places is a guest post series about the power of place to change us. You can find more stories in the series here. If you'd like to share your own story, please contact me for submission details.
I'd been told there was a white deer in the valley. And I've been watching for her for months now….straining my eyes across far away fields, presuming that - if I saw her at all - it would be at a distance.
Then this morning, there she was - right by the roadside. I stopped the car and pulled out my iPhone. Not daring to get out in case I startled her, I wound down the window.
A few moments later there was movement further back in the woods….and there was her fawn - a spotted brown beauty, born last year.
The creatures with whom I share this valley astound me. Hooves and paws and feet treading the same grass and heather as I do, yet stealthily, secretively, so often unnoticed. Parallel lives.
But today I saw the white fallow doe. Now I just want to set eyes on that wild wallaby...