I was having dinner with a friend at Satura in Lucca (boring restaurant with lots of deep fried stuff) and telling her how weird it is to be having a hysterectomy (soon) and how sad. Only a couple of years ago I was hoping to have another baby somehow or another and even browsed some donor sites, but it was all really expensive and I wasn’t sure enough to do it. I was aware that part of wanting another baby was to do with the doors closing and not wanting to move into a different phase of life. Also, I suppose I wanted another bash. Marriage over, kids very grown up and I wanted to scream; “No! Wait! I haven’t finished! I didn’t get it right! I want another go!” So, I didn’t do it and now there is such a mess in there that it all needs to come out. And I will be past fertility, empty inside, and on towards the grave. I was devastated when it started looking like this would happen, but now I’m just looking forward to not feeling like quite so much shit all the time. My friend said; “Well, you’re a therapist so you must be able to process it.” Sure. Kinda. I mean, the trouble with having studied psychoanalysis is there’s nowhere to hide. I can’t adopt ten kids and pretend it’s altruism or buy a motorbike and have my breasts enlarged or anything defensive like that. I have to face the loss, the grief, I know what it’s about, and then be sad. Is it better? Well, probably, but it doesn’t mean the loss and grief isn’t there. It just doesn’t get wrapped up in other crap where it doesn’t belong, doesn’t get messy. But it’s there. Or, rather, here. As, for now, is my defunct womb. Ugh.
So, more happily, Sorrentino. Loved La Grande Bellezza and the same friend of bad Lucca restaurant told me to watch Youth and The Young Pope. Hate Michael Caine, no interest in Jude Law, wasn’t very excited. Until I watched them. Youth is incredible and sad and made me feel I’m at the Michael Caine, Jane Fonda end of things when really I’m probably the same age as Rachel Weisz, but I don’t look it. I look at least twenty years older than her. Anyway, endings, new beginnings. Sad. No new beginnings for me, I think now. The Young Pope is, at least on the one hand, one of Sorrentino’s beautiful love letters to Rome. My daughter is at school in Rome so I like watching the city in the pink light, especially in Sorrentino’s passionately romantic hands/eyes/lens.
This is everything cake. Leaving La Casa Rosa for a month in London and wanting to make the house smell of comfort before deserting it, daughter already gone back to school, suitcases in the hall, dogs anxious. I wanted to use up the fruit and dairy stuff. So I did.
A bar of any chocolate (though this is dark 70%, but milk or white or no chocolate would be fine), sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla essence (I add loads of this to all cakes) ricotta or cottage cheese, or philadelphia, yoghurt or none of the above, apples, pears. I guess at the measurements and just see how it looks in the blender but it’s probably something like this.
200g cottage cheese (or whatever)
teaspoon of baking powder
100g chocolate, chopped into little bits
slug of vanilla essence
any number of apples and pears cut into pieces and tossed in dark sugar and cinammon if you like.
Blend everything except the chocolate and fruit. Then stir the chocoalte in. Put mixture in tin (or roasting tray or iron frying pan or whatever) lined with baking parchment and chuck the fruit on top. Cook until it looks lovely. Put a dish of water in with it so the bottom doesn’t burn.
Feel wistful. Eat hot.
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