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Now what?

“Life is now. There was never a time when your life was not now, nor will there ever be.” Eckhart Tolle

Is this what holidays are really about? Not a dream but a time for reflection on where you are at? Where your loved ones are at? Even occasionally where the world is at - or at least how that is going to affect your very own next two generations. Perhaps if I live long enough, the next three. Let me explain how I got to that thought.

Today I thought I had a foodie subject for a blog, but when I looked into it I realised it will only do for one of my odds and ends pieces because somebody has already more than covered the subject. And so I was floored. What to write about next? I sat blankly in front of my screen where Wix was exhorting me to 'Add a catchy title', and so I wrote 'Now what?'. It seemed to express what I felt at that very moment about finding a new subject. However, it also seemed to have some relationship to how I felt after this long anticipated holiday was over and that there had been a couple of truly sad moments in between the joyous whole.

So I started trawling for pictures and quotes. Obviously I chose the one above as my lead picture - it seemed to be darkly hopeful. This picture appealed too. They both seemed to be focussed on potential - so much more to explore and experience. And this one is particularly appropriate because it's a crocodile and let me tell you that every day I worried, although only very slightly, about crocodiles in that beautiful lake. Every time anyone wandered too close to the edge and I saw them, I told them to come away. But then I worry about far too many things. Oh to be a child again, when poor as I was, with a mostly absent but very loving father, I worried about so few things.

This week's photo topic is black and white and it's fun. There are lots of black and white things to photograph out in the world. And yet, as here, (one I took today) when you see the photograph of something you thought was purely black and white, you discover that there is actually very little pure black and white at all. There are almost infinite shades of those two extremities, plus some verging into completely different colours. Here there is blue, purple, pink even brown if you look closely. And so it is in life. Life is grey, not black and white. Well multicoloured really.

And so that beautiful lake is both beautiful and dangerous all at the same time. A metaphor for just about everything about life. The fact that the holiday is over, that not every moment was wonderful needs to be balanced by all the good - no, perfect - things that happened, and also by the fact that there are many more such experiences still left to enjoy.

“Coming back is the thing that enables you to see how all the dots in your life are connected, how one decision leads you to another, how one twist of fate, good or bad, brings you to a door that later takes you to another door, which aided by several detours - long hallways and unforeseen stairwells - eventually puts you in the place you are now.”

Ann Patchett

And where you are now is only that - where you are now. Where you are tomorrow - even in the next hour - will - not may - be somewhere completely different.

So what can I tell you about food today? Here are a few things.

  • I am possibly the world's messiest eater. For the second day in a row I had an open banana sandwich for my lunch - David, remember, had bought a large bunch and they need to be eaten. They were delicious but the slices of banana kept slipping off the bread and falling all over me and the sofa on which I was sitting. It was not a pretty sight, but fortunately nobody was there to see.

  • I am planning on cooking a new Ottolenghi recipe for dinner - Mac 'n' cheese with za'atar pesto - I have been thinking about this one for a while although I am slightly nervous that David will not like it. However, the coriander that is required and that I thought I had in the fridge had gone off - well not quite but sufficiently for me to consign it to the compost. So I had to go to buy some more. And such is the world we live in, I felt very bad about this because it involved travelling in a car, burning fuel and contaminating the atmosphere, etc. as well as the fact that the coriander is packaged in a plastic sleeve. I will recycle this of course, but still, there is guilt.

  • We stopped briefly to check out the wine bargains of the day in Liquorland, noting that it is indeed much cheaper down here in Victoria than in Queensland. One wine seller in Port Douglas told us that it wasn't just the extra shipping costs but that it was because it was Queensland and there was price gouging. Well he didn't quite say that but he implied it. He told us the wholesalers charged what they like - "It's Queensland mate," he said with a rueful shrug of the shoulders.

Anyway I have rambled enough about nothing really. Sadness from holiday's end mingled with the joy of being back home in one's comfort zone, and perhaps a little hope that we might one day go somewhere else, if only for a short time. And as always, back to food. I must put some wine in the fridge. It's Friday and it's allowed.

"There is still joy in food, perhaps more than ever." Emma Beddington - The Guardian


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