2018: A Year In Food
In 2018, my gym coach assigned me to keep a food blog so he could track my meals. Through developing healthy eating habits to satisfy all of my nutritional needs and a rigorous exercise programme, I lost the 21 kg between January-August 2018 I'd gained on anti-depressants.
I wanted it to be somewhere more private rather than being shoved down people's throats (literally) through Instagram/WhatsApp. Hence I've posted my culinary creations here.
Being vegetarian and/or vegan always presents a challenge in terms of hitting the protein target so this was particularly the most interesting challenge for me.
I made a conscious decision to stop food blogging in 2019 (due to time restraints), but it's useful to have a year's diet documented as a reference and a source of inspiration!
And I stare,
At the bleak whiteness before my weary eyes.
A flurry of snow drifts down, slowly and silently,
Down from the heavens, and mingles with the snow on the ground.
But you let your solemn gaze, fall,
To the only focal point that breaks up the desolate scenery,
An iron-grey pool,
Leaking outwards into a frozen stream, into which you stare longingly for your reflection.
Shielding my eyes against the glare,
I set down my frosty glass upon the table, and headed out into the mist,
Lamp swinging from side-to-side, in time with the crunch, crunch of the snow beneath my boots.
Somewhere overhead, a gull,
Gradually drifts by, skirting across the sky in a wide arc,
And drops a feather,
That blows about in the northern winds, this way and that,
In a nest containing a number of speckled eggs, on the bare branches of a solitary deadwood tree.
The clock strikes once.
And I heard,
From far away, a distant bell,
Coming up over the mountains,
Which shook its hollow trunk so that blossoms fell.
Onto the crisp ground, shocking pink petals create their stark contrasts against the bright snow;
I could see it vividly,
Young birds break free from their nests, and glide forth,
Into a lush emerald landscape of evergreen bliss.
With the first fragrance of cedar,
The chink, chink of sparkling spring-water glasses against a backdrop of majestic mountains,
Forest foliage flushed and teeming with wildlife, creating a counterpoint of songs in the morning air,
Songs of a new life.
I call your name through the thicket,
Making a flock of birds rise up from the treetops, across the woods, the air,
And at once, I see your vivid form roaming free among the wild,
Darting here and there in the spaces between the trees,
Creeping up behind me, I feel the sudden rush of your fresh mountain air run through my hair,
And fill my lungs.
The clock strikes once. And again,
Sitting here on this lonely rocky outcrop, I look, and I listen,
All the while, thinking,
How much I will miss you, when you are,
Gone are the clouds from the sky, and the sun breaks free.
It spreads a multitude of rays,
Far and wide,
Across the land, the trimmed edges of its fields gilded to a fine sheen.
The little toy town, with its little white houses and infamous clocktower with its white letterbox,
Incandescent in the light of the red hot summer.
I witnessed a linen bundle, blowing in the wind,
Billowing and fluttering freely across farmland, skipping across hedgerows towards the horizon.
The clock strikes once. Twice. Three times.
I hear its dulcet tones, echo,
Far and wide,
Across the golden fields and meadows butter yellow,
Over the hills and far away, in the hazy heat of the late afternoon.
And then, stillness.
I realise that all my life I have been hearing noises.
Even in the absence of noise, I still hear the dull murmurs among the pillars of my temple,
The rushing in my ears, of a far away ocean.
I project your name across to the distant mountains,
Letting my voice emanate from deep within me,
Deep from within my inner chamber,
Up and out,
Out into the space. And for once,
I hear your quiet response to my call, over the low whine of the harvester in the field beyond.
To the sky yawn huskily as it turns over onto its side, as it revolves around itself, in its bed,
In the space of what seemed like a moment,
As you look down into the water and almost fall into the stars below.
I clung onto your wild jasmine scented hand for fear of falling into the unknown.
For the never-ending chasms of silence, an awful, echoing silence,
Used to frighten me in the night. But hush,
I must not disturb the night from its quiet slumber
With my faltered cry, no.
Pearly clouds, drifting low over the moon, almost low enough to touch,
With your hands,
The same hands that lifted me up,
Up into the trees where clusters of stars twinkle in the pockets among the branches.
The clock strikes four times. Again, and again, and again.
I sense the familiar undertow of dread welling up deep within me surging up like a tidal wave
Ready to crash down on the shores of your feet, pulled by the moon in the sky.
A leaf trembles, shudders, and breaks away from the branch.
Leaving a pocket which had concealed yet another star from the sky,
The leaf drifts down delicately, as a cloud drifts across the moon,
Turning over once in mid-flight,
it obscures a star in the water.
The same star. Wandering,
Whether the star has a name. A father, or a mother.
For the light of its ancestors will shine through your years, as the lights in the hall will stay on.
On and on, drifting through a tunnel of vision lined with conflicting images and colours,
Left, right and centre.
They simply pass me by, as I journey on through the night.
The clock strikes again,
Now a persistent ringing in my ears, within my mind, within my thoughts. Time is running out.
It is hard to let go.
It is easier just to, well, drift away.
A single tear wells up in your eye, and the corner of your mouth trembles.
And for once I see what is written on your face before it is about to be proclaimed.
‘May the river and sea preserve me,’ I hear your cry.
‘May the seasons preserve me,’ I reply,
Though the words never depart from my lips.
But the message comes across, you can read it in my smile. And for the first time,
I see it through your eyes,
Like a single drop of rain as it falls through the atmosphere,
As it is washed away in the steady undertow of the waters of life.
And is gone.
Away from you, away from me, over the hills and into a distant land, far, far away,
The moment is gone,
As the last reverberations of the bell fade into the rushing within my ears,
As the first snowflake drifts down from above,
And settles on the ground before me.
By Rory Duffy
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have their reward.