February wrap-up

The one time this month I wore outside clothes, documented

Since Covid, what small, previously not-much-considered thing has grown into something much larger for you?

For me, it’s cooking. I’ve always enjoyed it, but in the pandemic I have clung to it like a life raft. Assembling a recipe offers structure, a roadmap from point A to point B. There is a rhythm to the chopping and frying and boiling on a low heat for 15 minutes that soothes me. There’s the health thing, too – another desperate bid for control on my part, but I take a certain amount of satisfaction in the feeling of nourishment.

I’ve been trying new things, too, buying the ingredients I would always skip because they are too expensive. They are still too expensive, really, but I justify it to myself that I’m spending the money I might have used eating out were it a normal year. When you grow up without much money you get into the habit of thinking there are certain things in life that just aren’t for you – somehow in eating the foods from the fancy bit of the supermarket I feel like I am reclaiming a space I didn’t even realise I wanted. This year I bought a mango for the first time. I had to Google how you cut it. I tried cacao powder. I have oyster mushrooms in my fridge right now, something I’ve never tried before – the non-regular, non-cheap mushrooms have always been strictly off limits in my mind. I’m excited.

I never thought cookery books would become such a central part of my library, but when I’m tired but can’t take the scroll any longer, I find myself reaching for them and leafing through the pages, poring over the pictures I’ve pored over countless times before. A cookery book is a luxury item. All of mine were gifts – like the oyster mushrooms, until recently it hadn’t occurred to me they are something I might buy for myself.

This month on the blog
I continue my obsession with Holly Black’s Folk of Air series
Some pandemic ruminations with Zadie Smith
I reviewed The Liars Dictionary, a book about language and all of the ways it lets us down

I’m reading
Beyond the Guilt Tax: Revisiting the Post-Colonial Syllabus by Sumana Roy

“A Band-Aid for Bullet Wounds”: Is the Self-Care Craze Doing More Harm Than Good? by Anne Helen Peterson

She Was Never In Control. Why Did I Ever Believe A Teen Girl Could Hold All the Power? by Tavi Gevinson

Quote of the month
“I am sometimes unduly terrified by my shortcomings, and I do not trust God. But at my worst, for now, I remember that one thing I still control is whether or not I give in. And then I go on.”

– Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

The best thing that happened to me, hands down, this month was How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. At some point I will write about it, and hate myself for how little justice I did to explaining what this book meant to me.

Tell me about your February. How are you getting on?

Author: Lydia Tewkesbury

27. Loves a good story.

4 thoughts on “February wrap-up”

  1. It’s wonderful to hear about your cooking experience lately. It has indeed become much bigger and omnipresent in my life too. The pandemic allowed me to embrace the finer cuisine and to better understand the complexity of it all. I do hope you’ll get to do more of it in March and maybe you’ll be able to showcase more of it on your blog too! 😉 Maybe in a discrete photobomb of your bookish pictures! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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