The last four months have been brain-blitzing. Work got a little wild and overwhelming and days ended faster than I thought possible. Now, panic doesn’t set the metronomic beat of life as much – things have slowed down to a breathe-easy pace. Which is nice.
It means not rushing home, scarfing down cold takeaway and going to bed. I can have more time to cook (like that pasta dish above, which I improvised with tomato, shiitake mushrooms and shavings of parmesan). I can – maybe – do something about those stories I keep planning to finish. And I can linger in cafes and delicatessans a little longer (without the guilt kicking in so quick).
Not that I’m going to start some heady gush about slow food. I like the idea of it, but let’s not get too misty-eyed about the soul-altering goodness of lagged out cooking. It is a luxury. A single mother juggling two jobs to feed her family would probably put slow food in the dream-on category. And fair enough. Not all of us can afford to spend three days standing over a simmering cassoulet. But hell, if I was offered life in an alternate universe, where I could afford to potter over a dish for half a week in a postcard-pretty French town, why wouldn’t I say yes?
Right now though, I’m happy to live with some accrued days in lieu (which will be spent fooding it up!) and a hugely generous voucher from work for dinner at the out-of-my-price-league and much acclaimed Bennelong restaurant at the Opera House. I feel pretty lucky.