The Christmas Blog Edition - Fruit Cakes for gifting and a dispirited heart
You know those weeks when EVERYTHING seems to go wrong? Or less right - the new world order forbids the use of any sort of negativity, or what they deem as negativity! - I should say. I've been having a couple of those string together, lately, ever since December came along. Sure, it's minor first world problems that compared to what so many people are going through, seem pointless and meaningless, making me sound like a spoiled brat who spits on her own plate and bites the hand that feeds her. But see, it is my life, and my reality. Sure, I have a roof over my head (even though this flat is filled to the brim with serious problems that could even translate in health issues in the long run); sure, I have food on the table and in the fridge that should last us for quite sometime (but we're hosting Christmas so it will all be gone by this time next week, even though we're considered the poor counterpart of the family, those who never have any money or stuff.); sure I got warm clothes to wear and shoes for my feet (even though most of my boots are falling apart and I can't afford new ones, even though I had to bin most of my warm trousers because they were like ten years old with tons of use in them and simply broke apart on my body.). Sure, I'm a lucky sod. Compared to others.
But what do those positivety folks always advocate for? Do not compare yourself to others, ever. Funny how they throw that one around but use the exact opposite whenever they need to. I shan't then, compare my life to others'. My life is what I have to look upon, and frankly, these past weeks have been really hard. If it could go wrong, it did. All the plans I had, went drown the drain. I got sick, and that has kept me from working or doing what I intended to do for at least two whole weeks. I haven't written, haven't really blogged, nor photographed - unless you count theses photos that I managed to ruin. My laptop went nuts on me on the exact day I felt good enough to sit down and do some writing, I spent hours hovering over it trying to fix the problem. Now my editing tools don't work and the ruined photos look even more ruined. So, this may sound like petty issues and problems, and they are, in the grand scheme of things, but they are my issues, and they are the ones pulling me down, holding me back. Stressing me out. Making me want to simply quit it all and just sit on the couch watching shoddy TV all day long. I mean, why bother? Why try? Why work so hard?
Even where it comes to writing, I haven't wanted to. I mean, I do want to write, but I just don't want to publish any more. My books aren't selling, at all. I just don't have what it takes, so why put myself through this? This nerve wrecking process of trying my best, constantly failing, working my ass off to no results whatsoever. Why do I do it? Just to make myself feel bad? My writing is like me: people simply do not like it. It's like my instagram feed. I pour a very real image of myself there, be it in photos as in text. It's me, there, the real me. Not a curated, prettified version of myself, nope. Maybe I should do that, but I don't want my instagram feed to be about a version of me, the edited, politically correct version that is all good things and positivity and self love and confidence. I'm very raw, there. Very honest. I am not ashamed of who I am, see? Not ashamed of my feelings or my reality. And recently someone tried to shame me for being me, on my instagram feed. I mean, it would never cross my mind to go into someone else's feed and pass judgement for what they post, it's their feed. If I don't like it, I don't need to see it. Why would someone feel like they have a right to shame you for being you? Someone just did. A person who doesn't even follow my feed.
It hurt, I won't deny it - especially because it was done in such an anal, passive agressive way. But it got me thinking. I am who I am and not ashamed of it, and I showcase who I am freely. But who I am, people tend not to like. For whatever reason (be it the potty mouth, the dark moods, the negativity, the self doubt and lack of confidence, the lack of politically correct speech, the blunt honesty and lack of fear to showcase myself truly, posting my true colours un-edited.) people tend to feel they have a right to advise me NOT to be myself. As they don't like who I am, they feel they have a right to try and change me. If I resist that, they become mean and eventually leave, bad-mouthing me all around. But the point is, I am not the kind of person others like. Therefor, no matter how hard I work, how much I put into things, how many hours I spend trying to improve my work and trying to learn how to be better at it, people still won't like it, because it's mine. Because it's me, there on those pages, on those photos, on that feed. It's me, and like The Smiths' song says, I know I'm unlovable. I also know I'm pretty much untalented, in the end. And this month, I have been feeling very dispirited by all that.
Still, because in the end I do things just for myself, no matter how much I would like for the rest of the world to see and appreciate my work, I baked these cakes for a test drive. They're fruit cakes and so Christmas-y I want them at my table. Also great for baking a small batch and offer friends and relatives. Here's how:
- 50 gr butter at room temperature
- 50 gr dark brown sugar
- 50 gr spelt flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp roasted barley
- 1/2 cup sweetmeat, soaked in rum or port
- 1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 small knob fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice, ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, ground
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- zest of one mandarin