Category Archives: Personal

I was going to tweet this nugget of meta, but I realised that, somewhat recursively, it would make something to write about in itself. I’ve actually written quite a bit this year compared to previously, driven I think mainly by photos with added narrative. If you’re kicking off blogging or getting back to it, it’s something to keep in mind – writing what you’d otherwise consign to a ‘Story’, using the photos to inspire narrative. I have something to write about that, the ‘Stories’, in my head, but that’s for another day.

If you’re reading this then you’re at least somewhat aware of my blog, the site that you’re reading this on right now, and you know that I after many years of hardly writing anything I suddenly came back to this playpen and set about two massive posts about dating and dating apps, and a whole pile of small waffly bits and photos. I wonder sometimes if those pieces (and an earlier one which was about autism, or not) have intimidated me into not attempting another of that scale, or if it’s just the effort involved and perhaps I’m lazy. I’m not shy of ideas (well, for topics; writing something interesting, witty, and amusing is a whole other problem. But I think it would come to me with my usual process.).

Anyway, that’s my meta. I should start chipping away again and deliver something that people would like to read that isn’t about bread or clamped lampposts.

Last Friday, which feels like… Well, I was going to write ‘a week ago’ and that’s pretty close to being true, but actually it feels like much more. Every week that passes feels both like more and less at the same time right now.

Anyway, the morning walks are still a highlight (no, it’s not always like that; this morning, for example, it was grey, wet, and miserable, but without the commitment to truly bad weather), no matter what the weather. If the current situation of having to stay at home is a lot for you, I can recommend a morning walk, not for the exercise, but just for the routine of getting out. It’s good to get out for yourself, if even a little bit.

Haha, yes indeed, the biscuit mountain that I’ve been posting photos of recently, it was great, and then I felt that maybe it deserves an explanation. I was reorganising my kitchen and then I discovered that…

A poorly-judged investment in Biscuit Futures I strongly suspect that ‘futures’ is a word only really understood in North America. And Canadia.

I discovered that I have acquired in my kitchen a very large amount of almost non-perishable foods in the form of biscuits, crackers and snacks, things that I like but don’t really eat a lot of, especially now that during most of the week I don’t eat after 3 in the afternoon (I’ll get back to this another time). And this is the sort of thing that creeps up on you; you buy some here, get another of those there, are you running out of this, and so on, until after three and a half years, I have… an awful lot of biscuits and crackers.

I had set out to rearrange where everything is in the kitchen, because stuff (such as flour, which you’ll recall featured heavily in the posts on baking recently) was starting to spread out, to get put into various places. Things were illogically placed. There were boxes of things that I started thinking about, haven’t they been there for a while? A very long while? Aren’t there a lot of these things here? Isn’t that cupboard very full? Is it possible that for a single, middle-aged man, regularly feeding a child, occasionally baking, not eating a huge amount (although probably still slightly too much, but he’s working on it), that this kitchen is stocked for a family of 6 ravenous Baboons?

Kevin, when the snacks fell.
That’s a solid Star Trek: The Next Generation reference, and I’m not sure too many people got it, which is a shame.

So that’s when I got into it, digging everything out and sorting through it. I actually planned to do this earlier in the year when I started baking and realised that the kitchen is a bit full for a one-man operation, and not very tidy. If you’re going to have people over in the middle of a Europe-wide pandemic lockdown, you’d want your kitchen to be tidy.

Look, there’s a silver lining here, which is that while it’s clearly and painfully wasteful that I’ve somehow managed to store two crates of biscuits and crackers and whatnot for no good reason, and I can’t just give people half a pack of two year-old biscuits as an act of bone-headed charity, I also… didn’t eat them. That’s right, I am sort of a hero, because I didn’t eat two crates of biscuits, which is amazing. I had that power and used it for good, I didn’t eat them. I just left them to accumulate around my kitchen until now.

And now I have to eat them.

Do you remember when I used to just shitpost here? I would ramble on for a dew paragraphs and then you would wonder what I was at, but I’d get to turn a few breathless phrases here and there. Those were the days. Now, it’s a dumping ground for story videos (where I sort of subvert the medium a bit, but use the WhatsApp/Instagram/Facebook Story feature as my stage, where almost no-one appreciates what I do with it) and bad food blogging (where I make simple food using foolproof recipes and occasionally still manage to create terrible meals). Such is life. I’ll come back to both of these soon and actually write something about it, about why I do it.

So, chicken and mushroom pie, with shortbread pastry. Loosely based on this and this. It was a little dry, but very tasty.

This was a last-minute thing yesterday while the pizza was baking, it didn’t go quite as intended, but it got a solid thumbs-up (in spite of the bizarre ‘moon-rock’ crumble). A small Apple Crumble, from a BBC recipe which I had misgivings about as I was making it (mostly made of crumble, which is itself mostly made of butter? Seriously?). Also, I did not have Cinnamon. It’s one of those things that you take for granted until… you need it.

Saint Anne’s Park, yesterday. It was a nice day out, and we ended up watching model car racing. It was an entertaining if slightly odd experience, the crowd oohing and ahhing in response to tiny but relatively catastrophic crashes around the circuit. There’s a surprising amount in that park, and in all the years we hadn’t investigated a lot of it. When we were last there Sonia was small and we were still a family, but our scope for investigation was a lot smaller too.

That rock arrangement on the stream reminds me of Fallingwater, the house by Frank Lloyd Wright. I dreamt a couple of years ago that I was in there, walking around inside and out, and having a whole Fallingwater experience. It was very vivid, but I’m sure that I’ve only ever seen the same photos that anyone else has seen.

I did it. I went there. I simultaneously made a pizza and a Banoffi pie. They were both good. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking with the Banoffi because there’s no way that I’ll be able to finish it. Also, because of my 16/8 eating regime, I can eat less and less before I’m stuffed. Two and half small slices of pizza and a bit of Banoffi and I’m done. Still, we enjoyed what we had.

I got upgrades, by the way. Fluted loose-base pie tin, research on how to make the caramel correctly, I went all in.

I try to go for a morning walk before work, if I have time, in the nearby parks. This morning I managed to get up early enough to not only log out of my official Twitter apps, but to do 20 minutes of a HIIT Fitness Blender routine before I ran out of steam and then go for a walk in the woods. The photos are from Wednesday, in the same area.

A cycle from Booterstown to the end of the Dun Laoghaire West pier. No photos of the magical cycle lane, unfortunately; I had to keep moving. It’s a game-changer for cycling in the area, I wouldn’t have done this before. Still, it’s not entirely a tourist experience. There wasn’t much food to be found in Monkstown, and toilets… Well. We made a deal with the devil and got an Eddie Rockets take-out in Blackrock on the way back. That got us the use of the toilet there.

Also, we got honked at by a bus on the way back into Blackrock because we weren’t moving quickly enough. Classy.