So, it has been almost two weeks since my mum left me alone to hold the house together whilst she suns herself in Australia and I have to say, I think I am coping excellently. There was a time when I thought I'd never be able to live alone - I thought I'd be too terrified once the sun went down and the house started making strange noises, but I've since realised that my being scared of the dark has a direct correlation with the amount of scary films I watch and since I stopped watching them I have become fearless. (I still barricade my bedroom door with a piece of wood when I go to bed, but that's just common sense really, isn't it?...)
In between the time my mother left and now, I have blossomed into a culinary maestro, spreading my Nigella inspired wings and soaring through a sky filled with homemade soup and banana bread, stopping at nothing until I arrive at my destination of fully fledged domestic Goddess. It wasn't all smooth sailing, of course, but then again, nothing ever is smooth sailing in my life. There's a slight possibility I aimed a little too high with my first attempt at making my own pastry. I was doing a fine job, my butter to flour ratio to perfection, humming happily to myself as I closely followed the instructions Google had provided me with, until halfway through they suddenly read, "Once your pastry has reached this stage, refer to your recipe for cooking instructions and guidelines." This was my recipe! Now I was stuck with a doughy ball of uncooked pastry, which I then had to roll out flat using a bottle of Southern Comfort whiskey because we do not own a rolling pin, with no idea how to cook it or what to do with it in order to make it look like it did on the picture. It did nothing for my confidence when I saw that the subheading on the HALF recipe on Google declared, "This is the simplest thing in the world to make!" - Why would they put that? Do they want people to feel stupid? On behalf of novices everywhere, they will feel the wrath of my complaint e-mail... In the end, I decided that my best option was to just carefully place it in a bowl, add the pie filling, and then cover it and shove it in the oven. When it was finished, it ended up looking perfect on the top, but not at all cooked on the bottom, so I had to turn it upside down and balance it on a cooking tray, throwing it back in the oven for a further fifteen minutes and hoping for the best.
Whilst living alone has eradicated my fear of the dark and been an excellent catalyst for the emergence of my domestic Goddess, I feel that the negatives of this arrangement should not be overlooked. Although I have found my inner Nigella, I have realised I am still a student at heart and am not using the pile of pots on the side as an indication of when to wash up, but am rather judging the need by the type of cutlery I am using. If my fork is nice, strong and sturdy, then I am good. If it is flimsy and plastic and meant to be used only for jelly and ice cream, then washing up is recommended. If I am using a shrimp fork to eat my soup, all resources have been depleted and washing up is in high demand. Strangely, this reversion has been accompanied by the early onset of middle-aged woman syndrome. (It rears its head far more often than I am comfortable with these days...). Less than a day after my mother had departed, I found myself seated at my kitchen table, drinking wine and singing along (at quite an alarming volume, which is unfortunate for the neighbours) to the Les Mis soundtrack. I read an article the other day where some devilish being had said that the Bridget Jones stereotype was no longer 'culturally relevant'. I would like to invite that person to my house for an evening so they can watch me drink copious amounts of wine, eat more than the recommended amount of ice cream, and cry over fictional (but real to me) characters.
In other news, we very almost won the pub quiz last week, which was exciting. I think the only reason we didn't was purely down to the fact that Paul had arrived sporting a pair of leather trousers and thrown all of our concentration. In his defense, they weren't actually leather, they just looked leather, which actually might make it slightly worse. The poor boy spent hours in the corner, subject to our cruel and cutting remarks, becoming more self-conscious by the minute up until the point he had to move at top speed every time he left the table for a cigarette, just in case anyone saw his legs. We did win a bottle of wine though, cunningly disguised as a prize for best team name but what I actually think may have been a gift from the bar to say, 'Sorry about your pants, Paul.' If you're curious, our team name was As Seen On Grindr - it wasn't my first choice (I wanted something leather pants related), but I suppose that's what you get when your social circle consists of a significant amount of gay men, one of whom is wearing leather.