to be golden | spring Norfolk

I took a break from studying last week to take some photos of the blossom at the village church. It's not a long walk, maybe 5 minutes at most, but I needed it. Contract law is... dense, I suppose, and I seem to be chained to a desk for something like 8 hours a day. Whoever said university was the longest vacation you'd ever take may just as easily have said it was also a one stop route to Hollywood or something. Either way. I wanted out of the house for a bit, without the complications of a full-on dog walk, just wearing regular shoes and taking along my camera because I finally bought a leather strap for it. The road was busy, people going places, with visions and aims and expectations to fulfil. 

 For it being springtime and there being blossom everywhere, the sky was dark. I'd been using the light when I was working and it was only 2pm. Not particularly cold, in fact it was quite mild, temperatures somewhere in the low teens. Just overcast and windy with bands of dark cloud moving swiftly across the sky, different layers. The wind shook the trees and petals scattered, falling among the gravestones in the churchyard. Pink and gray is always a nice combination. I felt a drizzle, light rain on the side of my cheek, coming in at an angle in the wind. I pull my scarf around my shoulders, and reach for my hood, then drop it. The drizzle had turned into fat droplets. Solid, but falling in such a way that I was barely wet, and the air was still mild. I rarely feel the rain because I am always reaching for that damn hood. My hair was down and blowing around but I left it, as is. It would curl in the moisture. But I had nowhere to go, I would be walking home to a textbook telling me about mitigation and damages. A steady tip-tap of the drops falling on my jacket. It was like a subconscious reaction, to reach for my hood when it started raining, probably says a lot about me. A curly strand of hair... not any attempt at an emotional reaction, I'm not good at those. Not a dancing in the rain type moment. I'd never been one to celebrate tropical downpours or to splash in puddles with an umbrella. Just cold rationality, I suppose. That the hair actually really didn't matter right now, so I might as well stand out there and perpetuate the situation. I needed a break from the constant battle between the cold logic on which I pride myself and the futile search for something else.

I looked down the road where a shaft of sunlight had hit the tarmac, accentuating its blackness, slowly stretching towards me. Something I had grown up with, whenever I was in a rural part of Europe; looking along an expanse of road and watching the skies clear. The sun crawled forward and washed the street with mellow light, it was nothing extraordinary, in fact a normal occurrence around here, these sharp bursts of sun after rain. But maybe it was perspective, how the sun could sweep across the road and towards me, with golden fingers outstretched, as if brushing a layer of gold leaf. I waited, to be figuratively illuminated, to become part of that. To become golden. That's what it's about, for me. Gilded everything. Always chasing something. There were petals stuck to the soles of my shoes, glistening with moisture. So pale pink they were almost transparent. Such faded glory. They had been so perfect and yet one shower had been enough. How did that make sense? How could nature have made something so beautiful that could just go, so easily? There was the war memorial behind me, outside the church, shrouded in the fading blossoms, since even these tiny villages had lost a few young men. What did they have to prove? Could logic not have told them that there was no cause, no point... nothing to prove. 

I had nothing to prove, to anyone... but myself. Everyone else will say I've done fine and in all that cold rationality that I have usually.... it's probably fine. But I'll beat at it forever. Everything. I'll edit, save, edit, save, edit delete the photos I eventually post on this site. There'll be some tiny flaw - slightly underexposed, too much contrast, too much shadow. Cold rationality will tell me that nobody else will even notice. Only me. I'll open essays three times after I declare them done, because they're not ever finished. This post? This is probably version nine. I'll paint my nails, again, even though nobody will give the smallest damn that there is a bit of pink showing under the red. You know those animated characters from kids' TV shows who find themselves on roller blades, going downhill? I'm like them with the never good enoughs: can't stop now, don't know how. Or like one of those miners during the gold rush, heading out into the unknown on a wild goose chase for gold. Maybe in all honesty they knew it wasn't there. A bit like that idea of perfection, an unattainable idea of 'doing well', 'looking pretty', 'being successful'. Cold logic says that it's not there, you're knocking on the door of an empty house.

I did finally go home, the sky dark again with the threat of rain. Logic said to go before a downpour, for a dry jacket to walk the dogs tonight, and that there's an exam. I put the blossom and their ebbing glory behind me. I walked back, into my search for a gold mine that sense told me doesn't exist.  

Β 

β€œLogic doesn't stop you feeling. You can behave logically and it can hurt like hell. Or it can comfort you. Or release you. Or all at the same time” 
Dick Francis, The Danger

you light up the universe | doggie oatmeal-ginger cookies

doggie- oatmeal- ginger-cookies

Pruney and Suzi, For years I tacked ' a dog' on to the end of my Christmas list. You two have been the best gifts I'll ever receive. Prune, you came just before my 13th birthday and Suzi just as I was taking some of the most important exams of my life. And you know my life can be crazy, full. School work, applications, work experience. The blog, editing photos, fitting in runs, more work. My world just seems to be spinning really fast, my seasons keep changing. But amid all of that crazy are you both. The real center of my universe.

What I won't do is say that because of you, every day feels like Christmas because that just wouldn't be real. But if Christmas is about goodness, light, and joy, then you two are Christmas. You two little monkeys light up my whole damn universe. Every. single. day.

doggie-oatmeal-ginger-cookies
doggie-oatmeal-ginger-cookies
doggie-oatmeal-ginger-cookies

I wanted to make my dogs a cookie, something a bit festive for when I am stuffing my face with gingerbread. Dogs can have ginger - in fact, it's often used as a natural way of easing travel sickness, so if you are planning on taking your dogs on any car trips these holidays, these cookies might be fun to take along. They are totally gluten free so they are a little fragile, but my two monsters have been pretty good at cleaning up any crumbs :) they also come together in one bowl, with really only one measuring utensil, because your dog isn't going to care whether you spent four hours making them or 20 minutes. mine always do know. though, that they are homemade. They were eaten in a ratio of 10:2 Prune:Suzi, hence the photo of Pruney doing what she does best.

doggie-oatmeal-ginger-cookies

Doggie oatmeal - ginger cookies

makes around 12 medium cookies    // gluten + dairy free

Now your pup can join in the baking fun, it just for the holidays! They are close to allergen free, just being oat based, but gently sweet and tender. Nothing stops you from adding a little more spice and keeping them for yourself.


1 cup(100g) rolled oats
3/4 cup (75g) oat flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup (60ml) melted coconut oil or neutral tasting oil, like organic sunflower
3 tablespoons honey
1 free range egg

Preheat the oven to 160'C, 325'F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Measure out the oil using a tablespoon measure, add to the oat mix. With the same measure, add the 3 tablespoons honey (it will slide off easily), then crack the egg into the bowl. Stir till evenly combined.

Using a medium cookie scoop or with a heaped tablespoon, spoon rounds out onto a lined baking tray, and flatten gently with the back of the spoon/scoop. Leave a little space, but they don't spread much.

Bake for around 12-14 minutes till light golden. Allow to cool 10 minutes on the sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

They stay pretty tender, but will firm up with time and keep well in an airtight container for about 4 days. My monkeys usually finish the whole batch in 10 minutes after cooling. Warm cookie feasting... my dogs, no doubt.

notes

you can literally mix the whole thing in one bowl. Sometimes I measure, mix and scoop with the same tablespoon... 


doggie-oatmeal-ginger-cookies

more to share with your pups