All posts filed under: The Story So Far

chapter 4: of marmalade and madness

“I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It’s amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor.” DH Lawrence My blues at the start of 2017 weren’t forward-looking (that came later) like DH Lawrence’s. They were defiantly fixed in the present, conjuring memories of the past. I lost someone I loved dearly in January. It was unexpected. And it carved out a hollow space in my heart. Around the same time, I smashed my knee on an icy patch of pavement, making it hard to walk, stand or hobble. It was dark, it was gloomy, it was the deepest patch of winter and I cleaved to it. Wintry Glasgow was a solace. An ever-present, but patient friend. The air was sharp, blustery, harsh. The city didn’t ask anything of me; it practically begged me to stay inside. The winds and rain hit at my window, reminding me it was out there, but telling me to stay put. My world, understandably, became a …

Kitchem Gremlin – A New Year, A New Recipe

chapter 3: on being a hibernating kitchen gremlin

So, it’s been a while. I’d like to blame the weather. Maybe work. But I think it all comes down to wintertime hibernation. I mean, there have been storms. (FYI: the best way to spot the English woman in Glasgow is to look for the one wearing a non-waterproof wool coat and charging into gale-force winds and torrential rain with a mini folding umbrella). And I’ve had work to do – after all, bills come with alarming regularity whether you’re in the mood for earning money or not. But mainly my flat was cosy, if not wholly warm (having all the windows ripped out and replaced in mid-December was hardly a barrel of laughs), and I was somewhat shocked by finding myself in a new country where I didn’t know anyone and where I still hadn’t quite got an ear for the local accent. So I stayed inside. We invested in a fleecy electric blanket and covered the sofa in it; quite possibly the best decision ever made by hibernating humanoids. I ordered more and …

chapter 2: in which Giv makes a life-changing decision

I’m moving to Glasgow. That’s right, people, I’m picking up sticks and moving. Away. Far away. I’m going to have an entirely different life – one which will be hard, one which may fail, one which may see me reduced to peddling my writerly wares to the lowest, most unethusiastic bidder. Essentially: I may fall flat on my face into the metaphorical shit. But, gosh dang it, I’m doing it. As you may remember, I’m a writer living in London: I have a great job, wonderful friends, a beautiful flat, and so on and so forth – so, on the surface at least, there’s no real reason to go. But going I am, because deeper down, there’s every reason to go. I may need to explain. Firstly, don’t get me wrong – London is awesome. Me and London are breaking up on totally amicable terms. The theatre, the opera, the food, the fun; it’s all grand. Really, London – it’s not you, it’s me. (Well, to be fair, it’s a little bit you – over …

chapter 1: in which we meet Giv

Here are some things I know: Great olive oil and good, flaky sea salt will make almost anything taste good; Love will change you; Emma Thompson is absolutely glorious; Pickled carrots are awesome; Pickled garlic is also awesome; Reading a book is an incredible gift to give yourself; Commuting in London will make even the most sane and well-balanced people want to punch random strangers in the throat; Everyday magic exists; Me and mussels will always have a tense relationship; Sometimes it can be hard to be kind, but it’s worth the effort; Sleep will solve almost anything; Nat King Cole’s voice and (most of) Thomas Newman’s music are like balm for the soul; A good laugh and a good cry are sometimes completely necessary and should be actively encouraged; Travel and food are two of the great joys of life; Often doing what requires effort is better than doing what is easy; and Leftover pizza makes a perfectly respectable breakfast. While that’s not quite me bounded in a nutshell, I think it gives you …