Writing while cooking

Now that both of our university student children have come to live at home again during the Covid-19 crisis, I’ve given up my writing room (our middle reception room) to my daughter, currently revising for her final exams.  I’ve decamped to the breakfast room, the room directly next to our kitchen, and I sometimes sit here, as I am now in fact, writing or reading while a meal is simmering on the next-door stove.

There are frequent interruptions: Andrew, my husband, coming into the kitchen from his office in a shed at the bottom of the garden, to make a cup of tea, a snack, use the loo, have a chat. “Hello! Nice to see you there! Oooh, looks interesting (peering over my shoulder).  Looks serious.  Oh, gosh, sorry! Am I interrupting??” etc.  My son and daughter come through, at least one of them (son, usually) carrying a loud bluetooth speaker.  They make and assemble snacks, go out to the garden or back to their rooms and, while passing, give me updates on what they’re doing: practising handstands, catching up on Vitamin D, making progress with a book.  Through closed doors, inside the house, I hear them talking through the internet to their friends, the muffled voices of people I’ve never met.

Meanwhile, the food simmers away, onions soften, give out their sweetness, tomato sauce bubbles gently.  In between the interruptions, daydreaming takes place. I read and re-read what I’ve written so far, I draft, re-draft, re-write.  And, at the end of it all, a meal of sorts. If I’m lucky a few good lines, a few good sentences to add to the pot.

6 thoughts on “Writing while cooking”

  1. Funny and warming. Happy days.

    I have ordered a book called Super Sourdough. I already have one in Devon – my most favourite cookbooks I took took when we temporarily based ourselves in Colyton in October for family needs. Still no dried or fresh yeast available and besides, I enjoy the process and results (mostly) of own produced bread.

    The handstands are coming along I note. Live to you all. Mad xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Josephine, I just wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your blog posts during this difficult time. Don’t stop! There’s not much (head) space for writing here, with Annabelle and Edward omnipresent, but your idea of keeping your work open and in view while cooking is a fantastic one (I am a bit of a ‘tidier awayer’). I’m doing all I can to keep my poetry life alive though, reading everything I’ve bought over the last couple of years, listening to podcasts (Lunar Poetry and Poetry Society), tweeting and making notes. This morning I was thinking about Stanza and how wonderful it will be when we have our first meeting out of isolation. All best to you, dear friend and poetry compadre. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for this kind comment, Sarah! What beautiful names your two have. Your reading and listening material sounds rich and fruitful. This table is in need of a tidy away but it has become a central and busy area. My laptop, books and notebooks are out, there’s fruit, a scented candle, thermometers, old Nintendo DS games (my daughter was glad to find her console, still fully charged after ten years!), shopping lists, to do lists, post that hasn’t been filed away yet. So good to chat to you, Sarah, in strange times. Love to you until we meet again, Josephine x


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