Feminism and Psychoanalysis (dickhead misogynists), Cherry and Pistachio cake (again), Romeo and Juliet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Chicken Pastilla (again) and Prawns with Oranges and Tomatoes

Feminism and Psychoanalysis, Cherry and Pistachio cake (again), Romeo and Juliet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Chicken Pastilla (again) and Prawns with Oranges and Tomatoes

Need to go out to a barbecue in the rain now, so abridged version of stuff.

Went to a seminar at the Institute of Psychoanalysis to hear a talk on feminism. Freud is often slagged off for his hopelessness where female sexuality and women in general are concerned. I feel he gets us right, including penis envy and being more narcissistic than men. I am in a tiny minority of women here, but I do think he’s right in the sense of perceiving ourselves in sexual situations more than perceiving our lover. Nurture, sure, but hard not to self-objectify where sex is concerned. Anyway, a feeling that psychoanalysis is a feminist movement on the whole. All good. Afterwards I was forwarded an email from a man who had been present. He’d sent it to the male panel member (spouse of the speaker and there to introduce her and field questions) and he slagged off the comments I had made in discussion. Briefly, a discussion on why there are more female leaders on the right than the left. Why? Dunno. I feel capitalism is more of a meritocracy – bring the cash and we don’t care what you look like. I worked at the Guardian, posh white men, and at the Sunday Times, varied ethnicities, class backgrounds and genders. Odd, huh? The left is an ideology you have to fit in with, the right doesn’t care what you think if you provide the page views. Someone else felt it’s to do with the right having more to gain with a female leader. The speaker that we turn to authoritarian mother in a crisis, the real leader of the traditional family in a child’s early life. This guy, the emailer, didn’t speak at the event but wrote to another guy to slag me off, saying I am so posh and from “male money” that I felt class solidarity at the ST. Actually, the opposite was true. The posh ones were at the Guardian. Though, yes, the ST people were nicer, less judgmental. Anyway, he decided for me what I felt and thought and then explained (mansplained) it to me. Except not to me. To another man. He also accused me of being ignorant about left-wing politics. I was not posh until I decided to be (not saying it’s not a pretty convincing act at this point) and there was (sadly) no money, male or female. Anyway, the news is, girls: misogyny lives on. Not news at all, of course.

Romeo and Juliet at the Globe!! Fucking incredible. How do you make a play we know so well fresh, make the lines mean something? And after the Baz Luhrmann film too? Well, like that. Wept when Juliet died, mainly because Lady Capulet did such devastating grief. Also, my own girl had just flown back to Rome. You know there’s a line saying “I’d had you at your age” so Lady Capulet is under 30! Never played by a twenty something.  And wept, actually, at the first kiss at the party. So long since I kissed anyone like that. Perhaps never again. Sad and wonderful. Also loved the violence of Romeo killing Tybalt – always overlooked that murder, like it’s an accident or understandable. But he really kills someone and that was explicit in this production. Interesting.

Similar – my son’s BTEC group put on the Importance of Being Earnest as their last ever play together and I was slightly dreading it. I find Oscar Wilde a bit exhausing. An hour and a half of glib. Ugh. BUT. BUT. Teenagers doing a very, very mad, high-intensity version WITH SONGS was just incredible, my son as Dr Chausable, hilariously insane. Even “a handbag” sounded fresh (well done, Lola) and we roared and stamped. These kids have never met anyone who talks like this, is like this, probably had never heard of Oscar Wilde before they did the play. Perfect and amazing. So, things can be new again. I suppose.

Here’s some food.

So, this cherry and pistachio cake is in an earlier blog if you want the recipe. It’s the plum and pistachio cake from the Honey and Co. cookbook, but I put tinned cherries on instead of plums and used extra ground almonds instead of coconut here too. It’s just so pretty. Then the chicken pastilla is from the same cookbook. You basically fry chicken with dates, onions, cinnamon and ras al hanout, then add water and simmer until the chicken falls apart. So, I did this but then wanted to eat it instead of doing the filo pastry bit. It’s so good. No need to wrap it up at all. For a salad, boil bulgar wheat, add spring onions, mint, salt, lemon juice, pomegranate seeds. Perfect.

Also Honey and Co. (I’ll change soon, it’s just all quite exciting still) are these prawns. Takes five minutes. Fry sliced oranges, tomatoes and prawns with some cardamom, salt, pepper, chilli, garlic. Add a bit of water. I added spinach and parsley. Eat. Maybe with the bulgar wheat salad. So good.

Real Therapy for Lasting Change: anna@blundy.com

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About Anna Blundy

Honorary psychotherapist with a Masters in Psychoanalytic Theory and another in Psychodynamic Clinical Psychotherapy. Novelist - Author of the Faith Zanetti quintet - The Bad News Bible, Faith Without Doubt, Neat Vodka (US - Vodka Neat), Breaking Faith, My Favourite Poison. Also a memoir of my father, Every Time We Say Goodbye and my most recent thriller - The Oligarch's Wife
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