Tuesday, 3 November 2009


I have, it would appear, remained lyrically challenged over the past month. I put this down to being consumed by the sensation that I’m actually, properly working again – you know, like, in a real-life office, instead of my makeshift kitchen bureau.

Unfortunately, yesterday it dawned on me that the solution to my career hiatus remains, of course, a temporary one – a thought that brought with it a cold, November wave of fresh depression. Urgh.

I proceeded to embark on a very strenuous sobbing session, which was made somewhat comical as it occurred whilst I simultaneously attempted to make a fish soup. At times I couldn’t tell if the damp sensation on my face was soup spray flying up from my hand blender or streams of tears.

Anyway, I wisely decided it was time to take solace in the television, and flicked onto these amazing images of bright blue and red sea dragons – think Dior versions of seahorses. Turns out I was watching BBC1’s Life, and this particular episode was all about fish.

I was particularly impressed by the clown fish – it's the males who look after all the eggs until they are born and if they don’t do a good enough job the female will tell them to hop it and find a better option. Clown fish are on to something there.

But the star of these ocean creatures, in my opinion, was the humble mudskipper. They have a remarkable Pixar-like appearance and at fist glance simply lollop about, chilling in slimy mud all day. But these unassuming creatures basically toil every hour god sends to eat, copulate and out-smart predators. They create these intricate underground tunnels, which every day get flooded and filled with sludgy mud, so the process of clearing them is never ending. Then they lay all their eggs in these chambers, which eventually will run out of oxygen, so they travel from one end of a tunnel to the other gasping in air and depositing it in the egg chamber. Day in day out. And they don’t complain, they just get on with the job. OK I don’t know this for sure, but it’s unlikely.

It was bizarrely inspiring – made all the more so (bizarre, that is) by the aforementioned fish soup I somehow managed to finish cooking and eat during the programme.