Spent the last couple of weeks achieving not very much at all beyond expanding my baking skills hand-in-hand with expanding my waistline, hip circumference and watching my belly resemble a rising yeasted dough.
No Knead bread from Jenny Can Cook - a delightful, American woman who should by all accounts grate but doesn't and makes you want to try everything she demonstrates:
my raggedy but delicious hot cross buns courtesy of https://www.eatwell.co.nz/recipe/6431/Classic-hot-cross-buns/
To be fair on myself, my son in London got very sick - high, high fever, cough and general unwellness (all while locked down in a small apartment in London with his ever patient wife and two spirited children) - so you get the picture, fever, cough etc coupled with an ill-advised Skype chat with said son from his sick bed looking more ill than I'd ever seen him. Full scale panic/worry mode - for him, his family and the sheer buggery of being unable to jump on a plane and go help. We arranged a Covid-19 test privately, which came back negative but which meant he had a really bad flu (more than just man-flu) which he is still not over yet.
But the good outcome is a bit of grace and favour from the fates, where so many people are truly struggling with devastating results. Let's hope the gods continue to smile upon us.
Had a small piece go up in the wonderful Cabinet of Heed last week - a stream of consciousness flash called I See Your Looks which has some venom, some vitriol and perhaps not a lot of love but it came out of remembering my mother in her last years, so there was never going to be sunshine and light in the writing.
I find my piece in Drawer Two:
A slightly encouraging note that my short story submission A Mile in Her Shoes made the longlist of the Flash500 short story competition
Another flash fiction Florence Owens Thompson, Migrant Mother 1936
Today is bright and beautiful, but through the week we had Biblical rains every afternoon, which decimated the pot plants but created beautiful visuals.
As with writing, I am finding it terribly hard to focus, so apart from two short story collections I dip in and out of: This One Will Hurt You - a collection of essays by the marvellous Paul Crenshaw, https://twitter.com/PaulCrenstorm
and Clarice Lispector, Complete Stories but I have finished reading Paris Mon Amour by Isabel Costello. Paris, it's streets, colours, smells, and style lives and breathes on every page and Isabel Costello writes of the cultural subtleties of the French, English and Americans with an easy knowledge. She leads the reader by the hand through the moral and emotional turmoil of the protagonist. There was never going to be an easy or clean ending but the author, https://twitter.com/isabelcostello, manages an ending of grace and completeness.
Isabel has a blog The Literary Sofa at https://literarysofa.com/2020/03/25/guest-author-hannah-persaud-on-writing-about-an-unconventional-marriage/
I have now moved on to a more apt novel for these strange days: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
Early yet but it is oddly compelling and beguiling, and it is truly a window into another time and world entirely.
That's me up to date except for a bit of music: Chis Isaak and Wicked Game