Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Rediscovering the interesting me

I'd forgotten how to get into this blog. I only ever managed a meagre number of posts owing to a busy life and an awful computer (which I still have, actually - my brave Thelma who has powered on through despite the onslaught of tablets, clever phones and the handicap of taking half an hour to boot up).

Recently, I discovered some new headspace in the form of swapping my crazy-busy and stressful job for a baby. I'm still crazy-busy but in a bizarrely calm way that lets my head do thinking stuff at the same time. So I decided to start blogging again.

Unable to find this one, I set up a new blog and wrote a post. I thought it was ok; not groundbreaking literature or anything, but entertaining and amusing enough. Then my husband read it while I was sleeping. The next day, he told me he read it. I asked for his verdict.
'It was... ok. Not as good as your old ones.'

I clearly had to find my old ones right then and there (it took a while) and that's why I'm writing here, because I managed to, but that's beside the point for this post... The question that plagued me from the moment I heard his comment is: 'Why aren't I interesting anymore?'

I'm slightly scared that I've inadvertently become one of those people whose only real topics of conversation or strong opinions relate to their children. I think this is an irrational fear. I think. I was never going to be that gal. Granted, two years ago, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of children, and stay-at-home-breastfeeding&babywearing-mum had never even crossed my mind, but surely these unprecedented choices don't have to mean they're the only things I can think of to discuss, right? I'm telling you now, if I'm not right, I'm going to make seriously sure that I will be.

Something that I loved - love - is cake. Isn't cake a wonder? Toss a bad day in my direction and I can show you the cake that could fix it. I looked at my last post on here before writing this. And I can now tell you two things:
1. I now know why I was getting every cold that came along,
2. Cake is no longer a viable answer to problems.

Turns out I have coeliac disease and before diagnosis my immune system was shot, my iron levels were non-existent and my stomach - which is meant to resemble a kind of sea anemone turned inside out - was shiny flat (I'm talking internals here or bikinis would look very, very wrong on healthy people).

Coeliac disease means no gluten. Not even a sneaky bit when no one's looking. And no gluten means no cake. No carrot cake with cream cheese topping according to St Delia; no squishy, squoochy chocolate brownies lovingly perfected by my husband; no giant slab of coffee cake from the Bell coffee shop down Bashful Alley in Lancaster. (Even though I haven't been there for years, it will remain the best cake place ever. If you and gluten are still friends, go there, now, and skip lunch. You know it makes sense.)

When my husband told me my blog was, essentially, boring, it made me feel like maybe I'm a bit gluten free these days. Well, I am completely gluten free, but I mean in the metaphorical, lacking exciting interest and fabulousness to vanquish a bad day kind of way. That made me feel sad. And sort of bleugh, like a really nothing grey.

However, last weekend, I made some berry and white chocolate muffins. I modified a recipe, changing my proportions, swapping out ingredients - I was a true domestic goddess, fit for a Bake Off final. (Ok, maybe not the final.) They were - to coin Ron - 'bloody brilliant'. I have also discovered Nigella's lemon polenta cake and created it to increasing degrees of success, (not that the first disaster didn't taste pretty epic - once I carefully removed all the burned outside sections).

These happy moments of cakey bliss, where I have eaten far more then my fair share on each baking occasion, have given me hope. Cake doesn't have to be off limits. In fact, it can still taste amazing, it just has to be different to the cake of my past. I have to look to the cake of cakeness present.

This hope, I have decided, can be transferred to my boring blog. Just because I am different to the Me of yesteryear doesn't mean the present Me need be dull. In the case of the berry and white chocolate muffins, I think they may even be better than the muffins of my past (which is saying something given that once upon a time I baked those scrumptious blobs of calories for a living).

These amazing gluten free muffins have inspired me. And so, from now on, I will attempt to channel said muffins, (by which I don't just mean bake and eat copious quantities - though I clearly mean that too), and will become an awesome version of myself. Because if cake can be scrummy and all-round fabulous in gluten-free world, I can be too, in Mummyland.

Hopefully I can do it without becoming muffin-shaped in the process, but I won't hold my breath.

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