Yesterday I wrote about how I bake to survive. But, I’m not the only one who bakes in this house. On the contrary! Not long ago I did the best thing EVER! I gave Mr Husband not only one, but two cooking books. Or rather cake/desert books. Both of them are by French superstar chef Michel Roux who loves his deserts.
Mr Husband is now on a quest to see if he can copy the star of all things sweet and he is doing very well. Unfortunately I haven’t got pictures of most of the things he has made, but trust me, it has been fantastic. First up it was the how-to-make-the-perfect-pastry-phase so we had lemon tarts, berry tarts and apple tarts. I only have one picture of the apple tarts but it was taken before they were glazed with berry jelly, so they look a bit boring. The other picture though is from the last experiment: kiwi and passion fruit soufflé. Dear oh dear oh dear that was good.
All I can say is that if you have a competitive chef in your house, I recommend you give him/her these books. They are worth their weight in gold!
The first gift Mr Husband ever gave me was a pendant made of gold. It was in the shape of a leaf, which had little flowers engraved on it. It was such a beautiful gift and he almost destroyed it by saying something vomiting (as a pragmatic Scandinavian girl, I found the Italian romance quite a test). But he was sincere, had put a lot of thought into the pendant and spent days mounting the courage to present it. It had to do with the tree of life from the Nordic mythology (Yggdrasil), that I represented this tree of life for him when I walked into his life and he wanted to be a leaf on this tree. Oh yes.
I wore that pendant all the time. I loved it. For our wedding, I had the flowers engraved on the pendant, embroidered into the top part of the wedding gown and along the hem.
Then the terrible thing happened. I lost it. Three years ago I got on the bus from work in Brisbane wearing it and when I arrived home it was gone. It must have slipped off. It is the only time I can remember crying over a material thing. I was heartbroken. I called the bus-line at least 5 times, went to their lost and found at the library 3 times and walked the streets home with miniature steps a 100 more to search the road for my lost leaf.
Now he has done it again. Presented me with a gold leaf which he has designed. It is very different to the old one. The goldsmith still has the design he drew for the old one, but we are different now he says. There is only one flower on that leaf, because there is only one flower for him. It is still a viola, a flower that has heart-shaped leaves and I quote: “violets are often seen as representative of marriage. In wedding bouquets they represent a promise and faithfulness. In dreams they are said to represent marriage or commitment“.
BEAT THAT FOR ROMANCE!!! I am totally swept off my feet. Which is probably a good thing as the first thing he did after returning home was the ritual marking of territory: a random drop of undies in the hallway.
Mr Husband is on his way home. He is on an airplane heading towards Cairns. He has been away for 6 weeks, visiting family in Italy and I have missed him dreadfully. All I have wanted to do was scream “COME HOME” but I didn’t because it made me feel really guilty. I have only said it really quietly when I knew it was OK. Because it is great that he is with his family and friends – most of all his kids. He should be able to spend time with them without having me winging at the other end.
The closer he is getting to our coastline, the more I can feel the clouds rising and the fog disappearing. I am even starting to get my sense of humor back. I do not know if it is really because he is coming home or because I have done some serious inner work while he was away and am now coming out of the fog, but it seems to be coinciding.
It has been a serious long time since I last felt this energy boost. It is awesome.
Mr Husband doesn’t like plans. He lives in the moment and likes to go with what happens. It can be annoying, it can be great. All of a sudden you are in Florence (with no clean knickers). Or sleeping in the car, watching the stars (with no clean knickers) or baking pizza in an octagonal house he helped build 20 years ago. On the top of a mountain. With no clean… yes.
But things are changing. Today, Friday, we have no plans.
He asked this morning: have we got any plans today?
Me: No we don’t. Do you have any plans?
Him: Well, we did all the shopping yesterday. But we need to put petrol on the car!
Me: For what?
Him: There is no petrol on the car
Him: well, I don’t want to do it tomorrow!
Mr Husband is planning ahead. With things as minute as petrol on the car. That is my job! I’m wondering if that means I have to start being the renegade, spontaneous one. That won’t get us very far…
I’ve toned down the swearing on the blog quite a bit. It all started because my mom said she didn’t like it. Mr Husband’s comment to this was agreement. He says that when swearing in writing, I come across as a completely different person than my normal self. Thing is: my normal self swears like a drunken sailor. Two minutes ago I exclaimed the beautiful sentence: “fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckityfuckfuck” and kept walking. It just happens.
But apparently my personality shines right through this…
The other night I saw (most of) a program with Stephen Fry who has made a program series on language; in this program: swearing (it runs on SBS). It involved international language experts, Harvard professors included, and made my hair grow long before the end*. But I did pick up a couple of fascinating details. Swearing occurs in all languages. In one tribe in Africa ‘you donkey’s dick’ was common (I like that one). Second, swearing happens from a spontaneous place in the brain. Even if we don’t let it out, it still happens. The third point, which was connected to the second, had to do with what happens to your language when you have a stroke. Quite a few people lose their language when they have a stroke. The first words to come back are the spontaneous ones. For a large percentage this is the swear words. There we were, with Mrs Marble incarnate and her husband who had a stroke 14 years before . For the longest time after the stroke he could only swear at her. I got so many visions.
Royal Doulton: Fuck!
Lovely roses: Piss off!
Cucumber sandwich Dear? Up yours!
Cup of tea? you get my point
And then I realised: I cannot have a stroke. It just can not happen. I will become the fowlest person walking if that happened to me. It is the extra motivation I need to do something about the kilos that just happen when you turn 35. Why are you on a diet Signe? “I can’t risk it. I swear”
*Danish metaphor which means I gave up and went to bed
I speak three languages every day – Danish, English and Italian. I’ve sort of gotten use to it, though the hard disk breaks down every now and then. Most days I don’t even think about it. I’ve written about how frustrating it can be, but sometimes it can be equally funny. The most fun comes from metaphors and general sayings.
I don’t know many non-English speakers that didn’t giggle over the phrase “when the shit hits the fan” the first time they heard it; the visual is amazing. Some phrases just do not make sense. Like “he’s sweating like a pig” – we discussed that one quite a bit in our household; pigs don’t sweat. We’ve changed it into “sweating like a running pig”.
By now, I am also quite adventured in the Italian sayings (one of my favorite is “He shat outside of the bucket” when someone does/says something stupid). But not always. Like this morning:
Me: I’m making porridge, do you want some?
Mr Husband: hmmrrrgghmm OK
Me (out of sympathy because he hates porridge): would you like a cafe latte with it?
Mr Husband: I don’t want to drink milky coffee with a milky breakfast
Me: but I make the porridge with water
Mr Husband: that’s because your arms are too short!
I will leave it to you, to guess what that is all about!