Culinary Yin and Yang

Naturally my first instinct (as I suspect many peoples’ would be) would be to rid my buds from all the horrible, negative tastes in the World.  Like an ideal world, I would create an ideal taste palate without sourness or bitterness.  But then I got round to realising that perhaps a world where I would not sample bitterness or sourness would not be complete.

It’s like food Yin and Yang, if I could not ever again taste bitterness, then could I ever fully appreciate what is sweet?  Bitter tastes have to exist in order to amplify that which tastes sweet whilst sweet exists to amplify the sour.  Again, much like the World we live in; the best way for us to appreciate the sweetness in the world is to unfortunately wade through the bitterness.  The taste palate would be much the worse off if we closed it off to either the sweetness or the sour, to blind ourselves to one half of what the world has to offer…

…Then I remembered that this was probably far too much thought to put into a prompt about food and I opted for getting rid of the sense of spicy.  Whilst I love a good curry, I mainly enjoy ones which aren’t as spicy, so I could probably live in a spice-free world…


A space in which to free the mind

For me, a good writing environment can be anywhere in which inspiration strikes and I have a tool to capture these sudden bursts of creativity on (tablets are a damn godsend btw).  I have been known to write on the train, in the solitude of my room or even whilst enjoying a delicious hot mocha! (my poison of choice, that and real ale of course!) 

But, in probably the most boring response the Daily Post will receive today, I have to say that I work at my best when at my desk (or any designated area of work for that matter, such as an office, or a library etc.)  I openly admit that I find it incredibly difficult to focus when in an area not designed to work in.  Even when sitting in my room, (where I am currently sat writing this piece for you now) there are too many distractions which can stifle any creativity.  

The biggest example of this would be back in the University days (I really hark back to them far too much, those Glory Days really do pass you by…).  I would always, always work in the Library complex.  My best working environment would be to head over at night, get out of my room with the sweet distractions of X-Box and TV, and head over to an area designed to work in.  Occasionally I would put a football game on, but otherwise I would plug the headphones in, play some music and let the words flow from my fingers onto the screen, heaven!  In an ideal world I would need a small office of my own, a small space with a desk, chair, laptop, a bookcase and some speakers to help create an ambience fit for creativity.  

Right to Brag?

Honestly, I’ve never been one for ‘blowing my own trumpet’, so to speak.  Perhaps that may be a reason that I have not had too much success in the job market since graduation, because I am not particularly skilled at selling myself.  

Part of the reason for this I feel is down to a perceived lack of actual achievements.  I don’t feel that anything I have ever done in my 22 years stands out as something to brag about, I don’t feel particularly special.  Not that I have anything against the principle of bragging of course, sometimes people can achieve really great things in their lives and it is only right that they are happy to shout these from the rooftops!  The only issue I really have with it bragging is when it is used to denigrate others’ achievements, it is one thing to have pride in your achievements but it is another thing to be arrogant.  

This blog is about self-reflection however, and after a bit of said self-reflection, perhaps I do have something to be proud of after all.  When I was born 22 years ago, I was born into this world without a right hand or foot, the hand I do have is still the size of a small childs’.  Adding to this, from the age of 7 onwards, I was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome and yet, and yet.  I became the first person ever in my family to go to University and subsequently graduate with a 2:1.  I have managed to impress on a graduate placement within Local Government.  As well as this I am physically capable as well, in my lifetime I have climbed mountains, roamed the moorland and had football/soccer trials (well trials for trials but still, I’ll take what I can get.)   Whilst I still don’t think I’ve achieved anything really worth bragging about, perhaps the fact that I have managed to lead a reasonably successful ‘normal’ life thus far is within itself, a pretty damn decent achievement.  I’d feel better if I had a job of course!

I’m going to go right back to the start of it all, my first true memory of heart breaking, searing loss and pain.  A loss so great that it moved me to tears (although admittedly it was very easy to bring me to tears or even rage in my formative years.  To this day I still bristle at the lines ‘Herod’s curious, Herod’s furious, and he doesnt want to hear about Jesus.’  Damn nativity!)

Anyway, for those of you reading who were both children of the 90’s and reside in the UK, you may remember a Saturday morning kids’ show called SM:TV live.  Starring Ant and Dec (post PJ and Duncan years yet pre- media darling/nations favourites years.)  Now this show (later replaced by Tim Lovejoy-era Soccer AM in my Saturday morning affections) was just something wonderful.  A show which combined regular features such as Wonky Donkey, Postbag and Challenge Ant with sketch shows, the two which most prominently stick out were C.H.U.M.S (no prizes for guessing what that was a spoof of) and Anty & Decky the garden Goblins.  I remember the days of singing along to the Carpenters’ Mr Postman during the postbag segment, as well as the days of chanting ‘You’re Thick’ whenever Ant was beaten at Challenge Ant.  I also remember once SM:tv live would finish and CD:UK would be ushered in, hosted by the same trio (Ant, Dec and Cat Deeley.)  Ah yes, those were the years my friends, when Saturday morning television was at it’s best (or the 6-11 year old me was a considerably less discerning viewer, I can never tell…)

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and in 2003 (when I was 10 or 11) SM:TV live performed its last sketch.  The goodbyes were said, the inevitable video montage was played, the sad music faded out into the SM:TV live abyss.  The credits rolled, as did the tears down my 11 year old cheeks.  Although that could also have been because it had dawned on me that the only alternative I had was watching Dick and Dom, a grim prospect indeed!

But yeah, SM:TV live was my first experience of loss, unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last either…


Desert Island (secret) Rooms

I am an incredibly indecisive man, and it would require me to think and debate for weeks over which specific three items I would take into this magical new room, by which point it could vanish into the ether, never to return again.  So to compromise, my third item (after my computer and my desk, to create a nice little office space for myself) would be a magic lamp with ensconced genie.  I could then release the aforementioned genie and wish to be allowed more items.  Easy!