Sunday, 18 November 2012

there's more to life than financial markets. maybe.

i'd all but given up on the blog since i got this job. there is barely enough time to cook and eat, let alone take pictures and write about it. i kind of new something had to give. blogging - and everything that goes with it - like watching uk tv food for hours on end (i can do the same episode of rick stein at least three times if the time lag in-between is sufficiently long), reading cookery books in bed, or joining daytime twitter conversations - became a luxury that i could ill afford. i have no idea how people with proper jobs and children manage to brush their teeth twice a day, let alone raise human beings not to be axe-murderers.

and then two things happened.

first, someone at work said his wife had started a food blog. obviously, these days everyone who can scramble an egg has to have a blog but you never know, i thought. i'll have a little look - magnanimously wishing for a pleasant surprise, while secretly hoping it was rubbish. and rubbish it was, my friends, utterly rubbish. not just the writing - though that made me feel like fiodor dostoyevski on a particularly good day - but the food too. of course, i smiled politely and said he must eat well, and left it at that. (i am not sure i like the guy anyway.)

second, i've been having a hard time at work choosing between two different jobs that were sort of being offered to me. both had things about them i liked, both would involve working with some impressive people, and both would - sadly - probably mean i have even less time for this. in an insomnia- and headache-inducing frenzy of choosing, i resorted to reading a book called 'how to find fulfilling work' by a school of lifer roman krznaric (as iches go, that's a good one). one of the things he talks about is the need to get 'flow' from your job - flow being those activities when you forget yourself, and don't notice the time passing.  it was pretty obvious to me straight away where i find flow: cooking and writing (and thinking about wording of EU directives on financial regulation, more of which below).

incidentally, i do wonder why i am so terrible at making decisions. my gut feeling is so badly honed that i usually can't find it at all, even if i wanted to listen to it. it's probably in part a curse of being reasonably good at lots of stuff, while not being exemplary or exceptional in anything. but there must be a large portion of southern european upbringing somewhere in there too. we delegate all responsibility to our parents, who are in turn largely happy not to let us grow up. i reckon if you get told to get a summer job if you want money for stuff, and you get kicked out to university or work aged 18, you probably become an adult a lot faster than we did, eating mum's cooking aged 40 and hoping she might iron our shirts too. i think i know which job i am going to choose, but i am still not 100 per cent certain.

anyway, those two things made me think that perhaps food and blogging about it is not a luxury, but a necessity - something that will give me pleasure, keep me sane, and stop me from thinking too much about those EU directives. which really is the third reason for this.

basically, rich told me off for being boring because i spend too much time thinking about work....it all came to a head on a weekday night, while we were ostensibly watching michael palin being nice in brazil (it should have been the title of the series). i was half-watching and half-reading that day's financial times, and then i uttered the sentence that clearly made rich snap. 'you know bank bail-in debt, right? i mean, who's going to buy this stuff?' to which the reply was: 'put the fucking newspaper down and watch the programme. there is more to life than financial markets'.

so there we go. best get myself a hobby. i thought i'd set myself a task of posting at least once every two weeks. that would make it 25ish posts a year, which is pretty good going. and it must be manageable. i'll just have to read less FT.