“writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all”
“There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.” Terry Pratchett
I was/am feeling so uninspired and I am not Terry Pratchett - that I almost decided to abandon this today, but then there would be another day gone with nothing to give a tick to. Something achieved. Well I suppose I walked back from the shops which is a minor achievement, but it's not exactly using my brain. I do like to use my brain a little bit.
I can't do yet another first recipe, so I turn to my lucky dip - Nigel Slater's Real Food and his Flageolet Salad. But I'm not either intrigued or enthralled. Well the book is wonderful I should say, but not this particular page perhaps. It's a bean salad. And not a really different one at that - there are some anchovies in the dressing, but it's really just a lemony vinaigrette with herbs. Anyone could think that up surely. I'm not really knocking it - I'm sure it's delicious and nutritious and it's easy. Ticks all the boxes in fact. But for this day and age, just a tiny bit ordinary?
So I pondered on writing about flageolets - but what's the point of that? You can't get them easily here - neither Woolworths or Coles have them either canned or dried or frozen. If you really want to know everything there is to know about them then go to the Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. I'm not sure whether this is some official body or just one lone (Australian) guy with a passion, but it's a very detailed, if somewhat uninterestingly presented page. Here and there the content is quite interesting although the tiny script is a bit off-putting. In brief the flageolet is a particular kind of kidney bean that is a pale green in colour and tastes yummy. I have eaten it - in France and maybe in England. It's really big in France where it was created in the late 1800s, but not here. You can get tins from specialist suppliers like The Essential Ingredient, and maybe seeds, but not without a bit of effort. So why should I go write about them and find recipes when you won't be able to source them? I had to smile at a delicious recipe that I found, that had a note at the bottom about being able to get fresh fennel at Woolworths (it was a Woolworths sponsored recipe), but nothing about where to get the cans of flageolet beans - certainly not at Woolworths - I looked.
Then I thought I might write about meatballs - we're having some yet to be concocted dish with meatballs tonight, but really what is there to say about meatballs? You see it's that kind of day - another day I might have been able to think about lots of things to write about meatballs. I feel like Neil Gaiman when he says:
"you can have one of those days when you sit down and every word is crap. It is awful. You cannot understand how or why you are writing, what gave you the illusion or delusion that you would every have anything to say that anybody would ever want to listen to. You're not quite sure why you're wasting your time. And if there is one thing you're sure of, it's that everything that is being written that day is rubbish." Neil Gaiman
Not that I can claim to write anything that is not rubbish, or at the very best not very remarkable. Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be different. Inspiration will/might come and everything will change.
What I did was I just stared writing - and lo and behold a page of narcissistic rambling. Maybe I should never have started.