See, here's the thing.
I need a hobby. I don't have time for a hobby but I need one nonetheless. This is because I am about to embark on the two most stressful months of my life, (exams, activism and a personal life which would drive St. Peter to genocide). I've all but decided that said hobby will be cookery, mainly because I can't cook to save anyone's life and secondly because it's flexible in terms of how and when I wreck it.
I have an idealistic vision of yours truly, resplendent in a gingham apron, smiling beatifically and shelling peas effortlessly into a sparkling stainless steel pot, to produce an acclaimed home made dish which is the envy of every middle class housewife in the village. So much so, that they will decline to enter their gooseberry jams and strawberry flans into the annual county fair for fear of humiliation.
I fear that this vision of mine is doomed to failure for lots of reasons really, but let me examine just two.
1. I CAN'T COOK
Quite a while ago now, a dear friend presented me with a gift of a cookery book, the short title of which might as well have been, "cooking for gobshites". Chapter one was devoted to "how to cook an egg". What could possibly go wrong ? Particularly when they even included instructions on how to cook an egg in a microwave, (for busy professionals, you know). Place the egg on a small saucer with a little water and place in microwave. Idiot proof really, except at no point did they say to remove it from the shell firstly. It may surprise you to learn that when I tried to "top" the egg with a small spoon the resulting explosion and coating of walls was enough to send my house mates into convulsions and that tale went around our social circles for far longer than I would have preferred.
Undeterred, and now in my own bedsit, I announced to a fellow student and good pal that I was going to cook her a Sunday roast dinner. Perhaps I chose to ignore her crestfallen expression, I mean nothing was going to get in the way of this ideal project. I produced lovely vegetables and gravy, all topped off with chicken which was a little bit crispy on the outside but I felt that the fact it was a bit pink in the middle kinda made up for it. After all, you can have medium beef, so you can have medium chicken, right ? Both of us were in bed for two days, with only a large basin and tender sips of 7-up for company. I did apologise.
2. MY ADDICTIVE/PERFECTIONIST NATURE
As a pseudo-adult, I am now acutely aware of my highly addictive personality.
When Amanda and I were on the tour circuit, we both discovered a game on Facebook which at the time, was all the rage, Farmville. Suddenly, I had a farm to tend every day and most of my friends were playing it too. When it got to the point where I was spending up to two hours a day milking cyber cows and reaping cyber strawberry harvests just so I could "level up", I had to acknowledge that this was becoming somewhat of an obsession. With a heavy heart, I deleted my account although I would like it noted that I had the highest score at the time, hell I even had my own mechanical plough.
The early days of my recovery from Farmville were difficult and there were many times when Amanda had to physically restrain me from climbing a fence just off the A9 to deftly organise some bales of hay in an adjoining field. Indeed, come lambing time I still get the odd twitch and if I had my way, those lambs would be organised into groups according to size, weight and colour coded too. On even daring to present with such a twitch, Amanda sits on my head, surprisingly effective.(Truly, that woman will never know what she means to me.)
In real terms with my new chosen hobby, gone will be the apron, the smile and the award winning marmalade.
In it's place will be a woman demented, stomping up and down the galley at 2am and shrieking -
"THE RECIPE SAID TWO HUNDRED FECKIN' DEGREES".
I am determined though. At this point I would usually ask you to "wish me luck".
Instead the mantra in my house when I step into the kitchen seems appropriate -
Good luck everyone.
P.S : Hardcore activism begins mid-October, as soon as I have my horrendous exams out the way. You have been warned.