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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Wednesday 16 January 2008

D taught me to appreciate the art of cooking some weeks ago. I had admired it from afar but never got down to the industrious diligence of peeling, chopping or slicing vegetables and fruit; baking and grilling. I now love it all.
Because of my avant-garde lifestyle with its heavy bohemian travelling for years, I had learnt to rely on hotel meals...mostly American breakfasts of course, restaurant lunches and teas, dinners with friends or the handy take-away.
I still enjoy my cafe experiences every other day with a good book in tow but I'm more careful with my menu now. Perhaps I'd settle for a sultana muffin instead of a rich slice of chocolate cake. Things like that.
I gave up cigarettes since July 1998 and thankfully have not yet picked up a stick though I can't say what will happen tomorrow. I gave up smoking cold turkey.
I'm now trying to cut down on my coffee - which really is my only other vice and rely more on teas or juices.
I enjoy cooking more and more everyday. My interest in the craft had already been subtly revived by the creative cooking show entertainment that British telly is famous for.
Now,I find it superbly calming to my spirit and therapeutic to my senses. I'm learning different kinds of recipes but starting out very simply with salads and vegetables. When I go to the butcher's I choose meat with care. After all, intuition becomes one' best friend on the subject of cookery.
Because I tend to always live in the moment, no matter what I'm doing... I like to have some good music on when I cook just as when I write. And a nice mug of tea, besides.
I still remember things I learnt in domestic science at school. Like washing up dirty utensils as you go along, so the dishes don't pile up. I find I apply all these things subconsciously. And where I couldn't before, I'm so glad now for all the things I was taught at school.
I find cooking, reading, writing and re-inventing my old art of letter-writing to be soothing and the true mainstay of my life at this moment as an artist. I also feel I've become calmer and more thoughtful in my contemplation of difficult decisions and subjects.