No Food, Just Writing!

A New Ending

My marriage ended two weeks ago. I’ve found nothing to write since and instead of panicking about what may come, am giving myself permission to be silent. My oven hasn’t been turned on since that day, except to heat up food for my son, and I haven’t opened my camera bag.

There’s a shame that sits with not writing, an old belief that serious writers write no matter what. But all I have in this time is the moment in which I exist, and all of my moments currently involve the privacy and feelings of others. Those I have no right to include in this blog.

What I can write today is that my parents, sister and friends have been essential to remembering all the present and future joys that exist. I couldn’t imagine walking through a single day without them and haven’t gone an hour without contact from someone who’s one of mine.

I’m sad, scared and slightly fractured, and am truly sorry to those who tune in here each week for something tasty and wordy. I wont be gone for long and, knowing me, will return with a flamboyant waving of my online arms; but for now I sincerely hope that all of you, my lovely readers, have a bunch of someones you can wrap your arms and heart around.


No Food, Just Writing!

The Award Winning Imperfect Kitchen!

I wrote this piece for my weekly post, feeling grateful for the ready-made inspiration. My editor (ie: friend who checks my words for glaring errors before I post) read it and said, “No”.

Apparently it’s not The Imperfect Kitchen enough. So, here’s a one-off post in gratitude to the talented Oak Tree Lane, who awarded The Imperfect Kitchen a blogging award recently. Their lovely blog is full of photography, crafts, food and words and are well worth following.

Called the Liebster Award, and created to build relationships within the blogging community, it’s all based around the number 11. To accept the award, you must

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog
  • Share 11 things about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person that nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog.

About Me

While writing this list, I kept thinking about the saying, “I’m not much, but I’m all I think about”. Anyway, here goes…

  1. Gossip magazines are banned from my house. And if you try to have a conversation with me about a famous person’s personal life I will immediately channel the interest levels of a two-week dead person.
  2. I really like clean houses but don’t much like cleaning. Ideally, I’d be living with someone who enjoys mild levels of cleaning-based Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder so I could just follow their lead.
  3. My husband is a complete house-slob. Damn.
  4. During news programs, I can often be heard shouting at the television, “Oh, for heaven’s sake, that’s NOT NEWS!”  whenever a story comes up about something that’s not news; like pretty much anything a famous person does, or a mindlessly repeated press statement from a company or political party. Watching news while sitting next to me is a lesson in tolerance for anyone.
  5. I adore Have I Got News For You and some of my favourite memories are from the years of Friday nights at 10pm when my whole family would watch the show together.
  6. I like a well-made lemon tart more than any dessert in the world.
  7. I wish I was smarter, funnier and braver than I am. In the meantime, I’m lucky to be around people who are all three, and take every opportunity to be near them in the hope it’ll rub off one day.
  8. I meditate daily and have done, nearly consistently, for the last 10 years. It’s not a religious practise for me but an exercise in sanity, and I love it. Mostly.
  9. I enjoy the company of almost everyone I meet. Not only does this make life more fun, it also makes the world a fluffier place to live. If someone’s not interesting I believe it’s my responsibility to ask better questions until they are.
  10. I love cars and although I agree with everything scientists are saying about global warming, I’d still really like to own a gorgeous gas-guzzler.
  11. Richard Ayoade is completely brilliant. That’s not strictly about me, but I like to think you’ll know me a little better by understanding who can make me spit drinks all over my laptop when I watch them on YouTube.

Answering Oak Tree Lane’s 11 questions 

1. What is your most memorable meal? I have a terribly memory so it’s usually the one I’ve just eaten.

2. What is the name of the last book you read? I just finished reading The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, it’s a beautiful story. I read voraciously and am always (and I mean, always) looking for new books, authors and literary obsessions.

3. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be? London. Hands down. I’ve lived in Australia for more than 10 years and I’m currently missing my home city like a Big Ben shaped hole in my stomach.

4. What is your favourite holiday destination? Right now, it’s London. In the past it’s been lots of other places. Mostly until I start missing London and then it’s London all over again.

5. Who is your favourite singer / band? It depends on my mood. There’s not much I won’t listen to, although I probably veer towards musicians who write their own stuff. Anyone from Mahler to Leonard Cohen to Adele to Radiohead to Queen to Tool to… (you get the drift)

6. If you could go back in time what would you change? Nothing. I’ve read about the butterfly effect and understand just enough about the potential pitfalls of time travel to be scared about what might happen.

7. What did you have for dinner last night? Shepherds Pie made with beef and pork. It’s a high effort, slow cook meal over 4 hours, but worth every melting mouthful.

8. If you could go back in time and relive a day what would it be? I’d like to have been in Germany in 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down, or in South Africa in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was voted in as president. Either of those days are far more interesting than anything that’s happened to me.

9. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? It’d probably be my self-centred fear — that I’m going to lose what I’ve got or not get what I want. It keeps me frozen in inaction and clutching at things that are no longer helpful.

10. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time? Mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, writing, reading, learning, baking, laughing, meditating, earning.

11. Name one person who inspires you. Anyone who follows their heart into new challenges and keeps walking steadily forwards. I just want to sit beside them and soak up their courage and determination.

About You

Now we get to the bit I really enjoy — awarding some of you! I really was going to nominate 11 bloggers, and actually found some great bloggers who all had under 200 followers that I hadn’t read before just so I could nominate them for this award.

And then I thought about how that doesn’t really seem to be in the spirit of blogger-2-blogger awards and would dilute the people I really have found a connection with over my blogging existence. And then I realised I’d thought about it way too much and I was just going to go with my initial 7 bloggers. What can I say? I’m a revolutionary.

So, my Liebster Awards go to

  1. Sunshine and Salad I’ve never hidden the fact that I adore Sara’s blog. Most of my comments on her page are only slightly short of gushing. She’s a superb writer and every time she threatens to stop blogging I feel momentarily and pathetically sad.
  2. Essentially Being I know Jane in offline life and she’s as amazing as her blog. Her journey’s truly inspirational and I love following her online travels through her cancer prognosis and her recovery.
  3. This Mom Gig Kelly started our blogging relationship by writing a lovely compliment on The Imperfect Kitchen. Well done her, as I immediately became her fan. Luckily for me, she’s also a talented and engaging writer with a questing mind.
  4. Seven Intentions I also know Tina offline and she’s one of the kindest people I know. Read her blog and you’ll find someone who’s funny, smart, thoughtful, modest and steadily moving her inner-hippy onto the beautiful outer.
  5. Family Meal Blog I’m confused that this blog doesn’t have thousands of followers. It’s a very, very good blog indeed and I have so many of her recipes on my ‘to do’ list that I’ll never get to make them all.
  6. Subatomic Tourism – I’m adding Subatomic Tourism because they haven’t got a follower count on their blog so I can pretend they’re less popular than they clearly are. Because, STOP IT! Really. Amazing, talented and funny all in one picture per post.
  7. Robin Ince’s Blog – I’m basing Robin’s ‘not 200 followers’ purely on the fact that he doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of blog engagement; which is crazy because he’s an excellent and experienced writer and thinker. His writing’s some of my favourite on the web.

The questions for my winners are

  1. Which book(s) should I add to my ‘don’t miss’ list?
  2. If you could give $10m to any person or organisation other than yourself, who or what would it be?
  3. What’s your Myers Briggs type and Star Trek Personality (click on each to find out if you don’t already know)? What do these tell us about you?
  4. Is ignorance bliss?
  5. If you could change one policy of your current government, what would it be?
  6. If you could ban one word or phrase from the English language, what would you choose?
  7. You have to live, for one year, in a different town, city or country to your current home, where is it?
  8. Salt or sugar?
  9. Who or what was your favourite discovery of the last year?
  10. What is the most fulfilling thing in your life?
  11. Where do you hope to be in 5 years time (question gleefully stolen from Oak Tree Lane!)?

Anyone else who wants to join in, I genuinely want to hear your answers to one or all of these questions. The comment section is all yours…

No Food, Just Writing!

The Nothing Plague

I’ve barely cooked this week. Sickness has descended upon our house to the point that I’ve wondered if we should hire someone to stand outside our front door, wave a bell and holler, “Unclean! UNCLEAN!” in dramatic plague fashion.

I haven’t checked emails, WordPress, Facebook, Instagram or any other The Imperfect Kitchen social media staple all week. I haven’t pick up my camera and I haven’t written a publishable word. Until tonight, I didn’t even know that the lovely Oak Tree Lane had awarded me a Liebster Award — yippee!

Basically, I’ve got nothing to publish and I feel guilty. Ridiculous — because nothing bad’s going to happen in anyone’s life if I publish tomorrow instead of today.

So that’s it for tonight I’m afraid. My two year old’s currently yelling to be let into my bedroom, where I’m hunched on my bed typing frantically and furtively, wishing I didn’t have to deal with any more sick people (I seemed to miss all of Florence Nightingale’s DNA); so who knows what’s going to happen next?

Wish all those around me luck and I may see you tomorrow…

No Food, Just Writing!

Our Daughter Jade Mullally Missing: How You Can Help

I’m not a reblogger by nature. However, you’ll quickly see why I have in this case, I couldn’t imagine the horror of my son being missing. Please share with your social media circles and real-life friends and let’s find Jade Mullally safe and well. Thanks to you all.

Cooking in Sens



On November 24, 2013 Jade took the train from Stuttgart, Germany to Strasbourg, France. Normally, she would have taken the school bus from the train station to her boarding school in Walbourg, France but she didn’t get on the bus.

Her dream was to become a fashion model and we believe that that was her plan when she left home.

Jade has lead a very sheltered life and our concern is that some person(s) might be taking advantage of her naivete and possibly holding her against her will.

An investigation and search is being conducted worldwide and particularly concentrated in France, Germany and England.

jade short hair 2

It has finally occurred to me that this blog has almost 4,000 followers worldwide, and while I wanted to keep “CookinginSens” as my refuge from the harrowing…

View original post 117 more words

No Food, Just Writing!

Versatile Blogger Award

 I’m honoured that the very talented blogger Charismatic Baking nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award (check out the Pumpkin and Vanilla Swiss Roll – unbelievably good). It’s my first award and I’m excited out of all proportion. I try not to judge myself by how many people read and comment on my blog, telling myself that the mark of a truly content person is someone who doesn’t look to the outside world to provide emotional sustenance. But in truth I’m not nearly that emotionally fit (yet!) and my ego is basking in the warm sun of the Charismatic Baking’s approval…

The Versatile Blogger award is awarded by fellow bloggers for the quality of writing, the uniqueness of subjects covered, the level of love displayed in the words on the virtual page. Or, of course, the quality of the photographs and the level of love displayed in the taking of them.

Bloggers honour those bloggers who bring something special to their life whether every day or only now and then.

Anyway, according to the rules I must (as well as my nominees):

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Any excuse to talk about myself – so here are seven things you might like to know about me…

  1. As a child I ate the corners of books. Like a mouse I would nibble at pages, a little at a time, until my gnawing threatened the words. For the record, The Famous Five books taste the best.
  2. I dislike Rav4 cars. There was a girl who I always felt intimated and jealous around when I was younger. She drove a Rav4 so I still irrationally judge all Rav4 owners, and Toyota as a whole, through her.
  3. I’m a terrible gardener – I’ve recently been picking white ‘fungus’ off my baby lime tree, only to come back from a week away to find one of them flowering. Yup, I was picking off the limes.
  4. I had New Kids on the Block posters all over my room when I was about 11 years old. On the walls, the ceiling, absolutely everywhere. I still know the words and moves to most of their songs.
  5. I love reading with a passion (and not just for sustenance). My favourite books of all time are The Secret History by Donna Tartt and Perfume by Patrick Süskind. My favourite author of feel good is Debora Geary.
  6. I play computer games. I started playing Skyrim just before my son was born and I dearly miss having hours to kill dragons and bargain for potions.
  7. I studied music at the Royal Academy of Music in London from the ages of 11 to 19. I was the best sight-reader they had because I never practised. It should be no surprise to anyone that I’m not a professional musician.

And in no particular order my nominees are:

Essentially Being

The Family Meal

Spontaneous Tomato

Sunshine and Salad

Leaf and Twig


Cold Tea and a Little Spew


Chez CateyLou

Memoirs of an Amateur Cook

Lattes and Leggings

I Am The Milk

Peas and Cougars

Book of Words

The Little Loaf

No Food, Just Writing!


I wrote a whole piece on growing up with a recipe for delicious baked fish, and then thought, “Nah.”

We’re on holiday. A few days on the other side of the country in beautiful weather on a picture-perfect beach with my father, or as my 21 month old says “Gwundar”.

As I write, the loudest sounds are waves crashing on the beach and my son giggling as he chases his Gwundar around the kitchen – it’s a balm for any soul and my smile feels permanent.

We’ve all been sick, as these things go on holiday… but if you’re going to have a bug, have it on a beautiful beach with your family – I can highly recommend it. We rarely see my family as they live on the other side of the world, so each moment with them is pure joy. Just enough time with each other to enjoy the wonderful things, and not enough to sink into the challenges that come with extended time with family in an enclosed space.

That’s it from me today. I’m going to go and eat dinner with my family, which I haven’t cooked – extra win!

Have a lovely rest of your weekend. No matter where you are or who you’re with, I hope you find laughter and peace.