Category Archives: Family

I’m just gunna say it how it is


This will be a post that not many will agree on. They may be just as many, hopefully more that will agree with me on. Let’s hope you are enlightened people. I hope you are. If not, well that’s sad. I want to tell you to kinda of fuck off then… but I won’t, because I believe that you have a right to have an opinion… but people with the wrong opinions, well I don’t like you. I really don’t like you.

Abortion is a right. A fucking right. Your right to picket abortion clinics? No. Shut the fuck up. Write an angry letter to your political official. Start an angry blog. Hey, write your own suicide note in your own blood telling the world how you feel these women are murdering babies. Go on. Do that. In your own home. But don’t make a hard decision harder. You can’t understand until you’ve been in that situation… you can emphasise of course. No one wants to be in a situation like that, but sometimes you make a mistake, something goes wrong. But hell, I don’t want to bring a child into a world where I can’t buy clothes for it. Can’t afford to feed it. I want that child to have everything I didn’t have and more. Your child is the embodiment of the love you have for someone else, or maybe is this being you created out of pure love. That’s a child. You want its happiness. How is bringing a child into a world where all it will know is sadness, poverty and discomfort? I don’t want that. I don’t even want that for my enemies. Do I want children? Sure. I’m an only child. I grew up alone. I like being alone, but I wished as a child for someone to play with. I wish I had a big brother to protect me when I fuck up. I want someone to be there when my parents die, and hold my hand because they understand. But I’m alone. So that’s probably why I act strong. Some say bitchy and outspoken… maybe. But I also know deep down, that I came into this world alone… and I will die alone, so I pick myself up when everything seems to fuck up around me. I want a child, because one day, maybe I’ll be so in love with someone, that I want to create something with that person… a little someone that will one day find a love of their own. Because I know that when I find that someone, and I’ll look into their eyes, they will want the same thing from me. But it will be a choice. Because a child is sort of having a tattoo on your face… you have to be bloody sure you want it. There’s sort of no “backsies”. And that’s why abortion is important. The right to decide when you create this being, and with who. Sometimes you make a child, and you fall out of love… that happens. But that child was created, hopefully at a time of love… sure there are exceptions… there are those people who don’t care. They make babies coz they don’t know what else to do. Maybe it’s expected of them. Who knows. But the right to say no, as a woman is my choice. Sex is fun. No, with the right person, the right chemistry. It’s flipping amazing… but I don’t want to live in fear that every time I am with a guy a baby might be created. Use a condom… go on the pill… whatever works for you. But sometimes mistakes happen. It brakes. You forgot. You may be raped. Who wants to bring up a rapists baby? Have a constant reminder of a horrible moment in your existence? Who wants a father who is an unknown rapist? No one. No one can live with that.

Bringing a child into a world or an environment that is not ready, is not “saving a child”… it’s actually selfish… because you have brought a human being into a world that it won’t thrive or grow in. If you have every read any of Darwin’s books, you will be familiar with his world changing theory of evolution (which isn’t just a theory, it’s fucking reality “SAY NO TO CREATIONISTS YOU MORONS”… and yes I’m looking at you America!)… which means you know all about natural selection. Natural selection is technically no longer applicable to humans, owing to advances in medicine, but it still works on a social and anthropological level. Why do people who start life in richer families generally succeed better? (there are obviously exceptions, I mean look at Albert Camus for starters, but there are many… but rarer). With money, sadly comes opportunities. With opportunities, comes better schools, education, travelling… etc. it opens the child to a better job… a broader mind… better access to food and healthcare etc. This isn’t always true, but it is undeniable that it is a major factor. But it helps. So, if I take myself as an example. I’m a 25 year old student. I finish my studies in about a year and a half. I don’t have a job. I have a small flat. I can barely look after myself… let along a tiny human being. When I want a child, I want to be able to buy it nappies. Food. Whatever. I want it to go to a good school. Get a great job. Meet someone that makes them laugh and smile. I want them to be happy. Can I make a child happy now? Nope. So yes, if I get pregnant now. I’m having an abortion. Yes it hurts. Yes I don’t want to have to make that decision, but if I have to I will… because abortion isn’t murder. Abortion is about making the right choice at the right moment. Bring a child into a world that it can thrive in. Because unlike animals, the weak ones don’t just die… they poison your whole life. It’s sort of like being born with a thorn in your foot. You can still walk, but it fucking hurts. Being born to someone who can’t give a child all it needs, is the same. It won’t always thrive, it will eventually sort of go gangrenous and won’t be the best it could be. It takes someone who is born into hardship to say fuck you and pick themselves up. Look at the people who are born with too much money, or too much love and fuck up because they don’t have the fear to pick themselves up and sort themselves up. Life is about balance. It’s about trying your best to be the best you can, not just for you, but for the people you love and respect.

 

So, make the right choices… because that’s sort of what life is about. But it’s your life. So you make the choices that are the best for you. Don’t attach a rock to foot and jump into the deep end. Jump into the water with armbands on. It’s better to float than sink.

I dedicate this post to CB. Who always talks to me straight. No bullshit. And who always makes the best choices, even when I can’t, they aways give me the benefit of the doubt, and doesn’t judge me when I do go down the wrong road. Thanks.

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Filed under Choice, Culture, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hate!, Hello?, Love, Politics, Risk, Sadness, Sex, Shut The Fuck Up, Society, Sorry, The future, USA

Let’s All Say Goodbye…. to 2011


Time Flies When... ?

Time Flies When... ?

This year has been full of ups and downs. So… what happend?

I started the year in the wonderful city of Stockholm. I had just spent six months of pure bliss there (apart from the fact that my bank account was constantly bone dry, was really only a minor bump in the road to be honest). But, the year 2011 definitely started in style. January came and went, and it thus meant I had to leave the snowy north, and return to the chilly south of France to finish my History degree. February past, and I was taught that sometimes friends do nasty things, and that sometimes you need to cut people out of your life, because they are not worth the time you spent crying about them. So I said my second of my goodbyes in the beginning of 2011. Sadly it wouldn’t be the last. However, at university everything was great, good marks, and here came March. I met some new people and made new friends. Life was back on track. I was happy at home, at university and hurrah! I found a work experience placement in an art gallery. I even lost two kilos that month! We are now slowly creeping into April… nothing particularly interesting here. Between weekends with friends, and weekends back at home to see my family, life was as mundane and everyday as you could get. With May came exams… and big decisions… What am I going to do next year? Where am I going? And what the fuck am I going to do with my life? 

Well… now here is a certain “crise existentielle” (existential crisis)… but hey, I am far too busy with exams and the occasional (or not so occasional) knees up with friends, so I am not thinking about it. 

End of May. Results… Passed! Woo hoo ! Now… here starts my month of work experience. My first day I meet two girls who are also working at the gallery like me. We shall call them Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2. I get along really great with both of them, and in particular Jane Doe 1. She is moving to Bordeaux next year to finish her history of Art degree. I decide to do a second degree and join her. That explains mostly why I am now living in Bordeaux. June in finished. July is here… and I pack up my apartment, and leave to join my parents. I go back and forth between Toulouse (where my friends are) and the pyrenees (where my parents are). The summer is hot, and I decide to get my first tattoo (which, don’t worry I had been planning for many a moon). July has finished… and like every summer, I am tan-less and freckle covered. 

August is here. I start work at a restaurant with a friend as waitresses. It is fun, but very tiring. I don’t see the month pass, and I am already moving again to another town. Goodbye Toulouse, Bordeaux here I come. I arrive in Bordeaux sans flat… so like any good natured hobo, I sleep on my friends’ couch for about 2 months. Around this time, I met some guy on the internet. He seems nice, I enjoy chatting with him… and then he suddenly decides we can’t talk anymore (I will admit… I still don’t understand what the frack happened there !). In any case, we are now in October, and I have a place to live end of the month! On the seventh of October, I get a call from my mother, who announces the death of a friend. I have not known many people that have died, but I feel heartbroken. I cry and cry. For some reason, I feel like moving around so much, changing towns, cities, countries and meeting new people, I end up saying more goodbyes than hellos. Jane Doe and I have been at our new university, and I have met some amazing new people, a few I know I will be friends with for a long time. I cannot forget the past, but I decide to continue, because this is one of life’s curve balls, and I know that I need to pick myself up again, and see all the greatness in the world. 

November is “move in” time. The apartment is far too big for my little old self, so I fill it with art. I have parties, we meet new people. I get a job interview for a pub. They like me and I’m hired. I also get a letter from the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux offering me a two month work experience placement! Joy indeed. December is here, I need to buy presents and I spend far too much money on my parents, but they have made so many sacrifices, that I just want to spoil them. December is nearly gone, and it’s the 25th. I turn 23. Then it’s the 31st. A friend and I order sushi and we see the new year in sober, but that’s exactly how I want it to be.

This year has been a real eye opener. 2011 was the year of “goodbyes”. 2012 I have decided will be the year of big decisions and “hellos”. I don’t want to say anymore “goodbyes”. So I have decided to live forever. Become a millionaire, and travel the world saying hello. I will never say anymore “goodbyes,” and just say  “see you laters”. I don’t want to make any new year resolutions, because I know I won’t stick to any of them, but I also know that you can’t predict what is going to happen next, so why try and pretend we are prepared for what is going to happen, and just continue biting our nails, smoking cigarettes, sleeping around, gaining weight etc. Let’s just live life, try our best and stay true to ourselves. Yes it’s corny. Yes you’ve heard this a million time. But we all know that the same shit always happens again and again, so let’s be mentally prepared this year.

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Filed under Beginnings!, Christmas, Family, France, Friends, Goodbye, Happiness, Hello?, Sadness, Sweden, Uncertainty

It’s nearly Christmas : So here is the Perfect Christmas Dinner !


Well christmas dinner is different for everyone, but this is what we do every year. Now it may be a bit much, but my birthday is also on the same day as… yes you heard it Jesus Christ… so it is my favourite time or year, and yes I need me some delicious Christmas goodness to make up for the fact that I only get presents once a year ! I always serve my christmas dinner with bread sauce, cranberry sauce and of course gravy! Now I personally don’t make my own gravy, and I know it is a ridiculous reason, but I don’t like the idea of eating giblets… so I prefer the pre-bought version (Bisto). I’m also adding a christmas pudding recipe, but I hardly ever make it. I do however make mince pies, which may I say are very yummy!

The Roast Turkey

Step 1

Ingredients

  • 1 5 -7 kg turkey
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 bunch of sage, thyme and rosemary
  • 25 g butter, softened
  • 1/2 lemon or orange

Method

1. Remove the turkey from the fridge 2-3 hours before you want to cook it, to allow it to reach room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4 (if oven is fan assisted, use 160C).

3. Place the onion and herbs into the body cavity. Squeeze the juice of lemon or orange over the bird and put the fruit into the cavity. Season the cavity with salt and pepper.

4. Smear the turkey skin with butter and then season with salt and pepper, starting with breast side up. Then flip the turkey and repeat on the underside.

5. In a large roasting pan, place the turkey ready to roast breast side down. This allows fat to trickle from the back down to the breast to keep it moist.

6. Roast the turkey upside down for the first 2 hours (or, slightly less for the smaller bird).

7. Remove the turkey from the oven. Now, turn the turkey right side up for the remaining cooking time (30 – 45 minutes). Protect your hands with thick towel or clean Marigolds. (You can wrap these in plastic bags to keep them clean.) Hold the drumsticks to turn the turkey.

8. Return turkey to oven for 30 – 45 minutes or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted. If the juices are pink, return the turkey to the oven and check again in 10 minutes. You don’t need to overcook the turkey as the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise as the turkey rests. A dry turkey is often just overcooked!

9. Remove turkey from the oven. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 30 – 60 minutes so the juices settle into the meat.

10. Carve the turkey into the pan juices to keep mois

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Lardons

Step 2

Ingredients

  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • 25 g vacuum-packed cooked and peeledchestnuts, chopped
  • 50g (or more if you like) of lardons
  • 300 g brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 3 Garlic cloves, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 chopped onions

Method

1. Drizzle the oil in  a frying pan and fry the garlic, lardons and onion.

2. Cook the Brussels sprouts in salted boiling water for 5-8 minutes, or until tender, then drain.

3. Then in the large frying pan, put the cooked brussels sprouts in and make sure they are cooked well.

4. Then put the chestnuts in. Leave to cook for a while. I like mine a bit mushy.

Goose Fat Roast Potatoes

Step 3

Ingredients

  • salt
  • 600 g potatoes, peeled and chopped into even-sized chunks
  • 150 g goose fat
  • Rosemary sprigs

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the potatoes. Once the water comes back to the boil parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes; drain and return to the pan. Shake the pan vigorously to roughen the potatoes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the goose fat to smoking point in a roasting tin. Add in the potatoes, using tongs to place them in the tin cut side down. Add the rosemary sprigs.

4. Roast for 30-40 minutes, turning over twice during the roasting period.

Sticky Cumin and Apricot Roast Carrots and Parsnips

Step 4

Ingredients

  • 500 g small carrots
  • 500 g small parsnips, halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2. Place the carrots and parsnips in a large roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Scatter over the cumin seeds, season with salt and pepper and toss everything together to coat evenly.

3. Roast in the oven for 40–45 minutes, tossing occasionally in the oil during cooking, until tender and golden.

4. Heat the apricot jam and lemon juice for a few minutes in a small saucepan, stirring until you have a smooth, runny sauce. Pour this over the carrots and parsnips for the last 10 minutes of cooking, tossing the vegetables in the sauce to coat evenly. Scatter with the coriander just before serving.

Traditional Bread Sauce

Step 5

Ingredients

  • 300 ml milk
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 1 onions
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 25 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 1 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 25 g butter

Method

1. Bring the milk and cream to a simmering boil in a saucepan. Add the onion, cloves and bay leaf.

2. Set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain into a clean pan.

3. Add the breadcrumbs and simmer for 2 minutes until thickened. Season with the salt and cayenne pepper.

4. Remove from the heat, and melt the butter on top, which will form a seal until ready to serve.

5. When read to use, gently heat through, mix the butter in and serve.

Cranberry Sauce

Step 6

Ingredients

  • 170 g cranberries
  • sloe gin, to marinate
  • 150 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 2 pinches ground allspice
  • 1 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinches ground cinnamon

Method

1. Leave the cranberries to marinate in a splash of sloe gin in a shallow non-reactive bowl.

2. Combine the orange juice and sugar in a separate bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Pour the orange-sugar mixture into a pan, add the marinated cranberries and spices and simmer until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Leave to cool and serve with turkey. The sauce can be stored, covered, in the fridge for 2-3 days or frozen for up to a month.

Christmas Pudding

Step 7

Ingredients

  • 350 g sultanas
  • 350 g raisins, or currants
  • 150 g dried figs, chopped
  • 125 g mixed candied peel, chopped
  • 100 g dried apricots, chopped
  • 75 g dark glacé cherries, halved
  • 150 ml brandy, plus some for flaming
  • 2 apples, or quince
  • 2 oranges, juice and zest
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 g shredded suet
  • 350 g soft muscovado sugar
  • 250 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 175 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice

Method

1. You will need two 1.5 litre plastic pudding basins and lids, buttered, two old sixpences or two pound coins, scrupulously scrubbed, two circles of greaseproof paper, buttered, large enough to cover the top of each pudding, with a single pleat folded down the centre of each.

2. Soak the sultanas, raisins or currants, figs, candied peel, apricots and cherries in the brandy overnight. The liquid won’t cover the fruit but no matter; just give it a good stir now and again.

3. Mix the grated apples, orange juice and zest, beaten eggs, suet, sugar, crumbs and pour in a very large mixing bowl, then stir in the soaked fruit and the spice. Divide the mixture between the buttered pudding basins, tucking the coins in as you go. Cover with the greaseproof paper, folded with a pleat in the centre.

4. Pop the lids on and steam for three and a half hours. Allow the puddings to cool, then remove the greaseproof paper, cover tightly with cling ?lm and the plastic lid and store in a cool, dry place till Christmas.

5. To reheat: steam the puddings for a further three and a half hours. Turn out and flame with brandy.

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Desserts, Family, Food & Cooking, Friends, Happiness, Holidays, Home, Love, Main Courses, Orgasm

Sadness and Getting Caught in the Crossfire


"Rose et Bleu" - "Les filles de Cahen d'Anvers", 1881 Renoir

Today I received a letter, which to say the least, caught me of guard. I suppose the contents of the letter wasn’t really to blame.

The letter was from my grandmother, or shall I say my mothers step-mother. I write her letters quite often because I feel that it is one of the few things in my power that I can do for her. She was, and still is the only grandparent I have ever had, and whether or not she is a blood relative doesn’t matter to me. I have better friends than family, so blood may be “thicker than water”, but I prefer drinking water than drinking blood. But we cannot exist without them anyway. She definitely isn’t perfect, but she has always been kind to me. As with many people, she is getting older, and with age, people die, and things change.

A couple of weeks ago, her dog died. Which isn’t a catastrophic thing I agree. That said, for a woman her age, and living by herself, an animal is a good compagnon. She wrote to me before I left for Sweden with the news of his death. I am obviously sad for her, but life goes on, and death is a part of this world as well as life is.

The letter she sent to me wasn’t anything particularly out of the ordinary, but I sensed the subtext of the letter was all but different. While the letter is personal thus I will not copy it up here, I will say that she did say that Romain (a cousin of mine who is slightly older than me) never writes to her anymore, and that she only heres from me now. I must add that we are eight cousins on her side, so it is sad to say that I am the only one who keeps in contact with her. I felt that she was feeling abandoned, and her letters lately have been more and more focused on death, and are all very sad.

I know I am a big girl. I know death is an integral part of life, but having been close to death three times in my life (no really). It is something I don’t enjoy talking about, at least when it is too close for comfort. I am a history student, death is what I study really. Past events, dead events I suppose. But I can’t say I want to talk or think about the death of people I care and love. It is far too close. This letter, and the past few letters make me feel like I am being caught between the crossfire. Here I am, the only person who writes to her, and I am thus the recipient of the things that she thinks about. I know that friendship and love means you are there for the good and the bad, but this feels different. I feel like she is saying all the things that she is thinking without noticing that I am her twenty one year old grandchild, and not her friend.

Anyway, I don’t want to feel too sad about this, but I suppose this is a goof lesson in being humble and understanding the woes of age.

xoxo

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