Saturday, 30 October 2010

Home is where the food (sorry, HEART) is

My stomach is the happiest place in the world right now. I shall never be a die-hard fashionista; I am just not dedicated enough to salad. When Kate Moss said no food tastes as good as skinny feels, she had obviously never eaten one of my mum's roast dinners. Or pumpkin soup and crunchy bread. Or homemade chocolate orange cake. Or chocolate buttons.

Tomorrow evening it will be back to a diet of porridge, vegetables and pesto pasta, so I have decided to stock up on yummy food this weekend.

Last night was the meaning of happiness: my family, lovely friend Harriet, steak and chat. I arrived back in the afternoon and regressed happily to childhood by baking cakes with my mum. In the afternoon we greeted my godmother with a plate of warm cupcakes, and a surprise visitor (ME!). It was so lovely to see her. Then it was back to Evelyn House where my step-dad had cooked my favourite meal. Harriet joined us; I hadn't seen her since I left nearly 2 months ago so when she knocked on my front door I hugged her for at least 5 minutes. She laughed at me but realises that if you're friends with me, you have to get used to hugs. It's part of the package. We then ate and chatted away into the evening, blissfully unaware of the hours passing.

This morning it was so nice to wake up in my old bed. It has been a lovely day. My mum and I went for lunch at Pitt House walled gardens, a cosy restaurant with a log burner and pretty china, where they cook with vegetables from the garden. To get there we drove through the Wilsthire countryside, down winding lanes that twisted along rows of flame coloured trees. The hedgerows were mottled orange, green and tainted brown and the skyline a ribbon of grey sky meeting ochre leaves. At times it was desperately frustrating to live somewhere with minimal public transport and no cinema, and I was definitely ready to move on, but today's drive made me realise how lucky I was to grow up in such a beautiful part of the country. The countryside around here really does take your breath away - the patchwork fields and quaint village shops and churches are the things you expect to see on biscuit tins but not in real life. But in this quiet pocket of the South West it really does exist.

After pumpkin soup and chocolate orange cake we headed home.

This evening the house is full again. My sister is back from Cambridge for the weekend too, so for the first time in months and months we had the complete set around the kitchen table. To celebrate the occasion my mum made a triumphant roast dinner; the kind of meal to make a grown man cry with happiness at the sheer brilliance of the roast potatoes. And the leeks in cheese sauce. And the clouds of mashed potato. And the bread sauce. And the PIGS IN BLANKETS. Food isn't just food. There are some foods that mean so much more. Jelly and ice cream means childhood birthday parties. Heinz tomato soup means down in the dumps. And Mum's roast dinner means family, comfort and home.

This weekend has done me so much good already. It is as though someone has plugged me in to a socket and given me a bolt of electricity to charge my batteries and keep me going. In a way it is a little sad too. Looking around my room, filled with photographs and memories, part of me longs to go back a year.

But then I look at my piles of Vogues, the shelves and shelves of the fashion books I couldn't fit in my suitcases, and my walls plastered with adored pages of magazines. And I think about the girl sat at her desk, sick of A-levels, feeling trapped by her small town and dreaming of Vogue. I am still that girl and still want the same things, but there is one difference. Now I am free and a step closer to all the things I have dreamt about. It may be difficult at times and I may find myself momentarily disheartened with it all, but I just have to remember what I am doing this for, and work my hardest to get myself there. One step at a time.


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