February’s Holy Trinity of Feelings, Food and Music

First things first – she has a job, she has a job, she has a job! True, it was only three weeks of being unemployed, but it felt so much longer, dear lord. Funnily enough, it is another hospitality based job, despite me apparently wanting absolutely nothing to do with that line of work ever again. Things change though don’t they? Sure, perhaps that thing can be sheer desperation, but I prefer to look at it as determination. Why cut off one whole industry just because one job in particular wasn’t for me? So here I am giving it another go, and so far, so good. It certainly helps that I am not having to get the train to work or consider moving to a different town.

On the flipside however, I know a big part of me would love to have more hours, so when the Christmas temp job that I lost out on finally got in touch to offer me a permanent position, I didn’t really know what to do. I sputtered out the words ‘er well I have another job now’, and well that was kind of it, decision made I guess. Cue a mild panic attack seconds after putting down the phone, thinking, have I just royally messed up? Perhaps this other job would offer me more financial security, but I need to be in a position in which I have time to realise my passions in life and a future career. I need the push. The feeling that I really have nothing to lose; that there is only something to gain. That is what I’m telling myself anyway. We will see how it all works out, but for now I’m semi-certain that I am happy with my decision, and either way, determined to make sure that whatever decision I do make in life is the right one. Accept what happens and roll with the punches.

Let’s take a brief interlude to talk less about me and more about the month in general. There are a fair few music based highlights, but one album I have particularly enjoyed is HMLTD’s debut – West of Eden.

Theatrical. Thrilling. Engaging. Everything I wanted from the fantastical group and more. This album is certainly one to be enjoyed as a complete item; the way the songs work together, even the ones that a few years old now, making it the masterpiece that it is. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I am enamoured with this album as I really can’t get enough of it and I mean, it even inspired a new outfit.

Then there is Gengahr’s latest album. The second I put it on I was transported back to the summer of 2018. It is almost as if I can feel the heat of the sun on my skin, even if in reality I am watching the rain pour outside. Though it errs on darker themes, there is a warmth in Sanctuary. Serving the typical sunny disposition that Gengahr utilise to pick us up out of the dark spots, all the while recognising them for all their worth. Less blissful ignorance, more taking it all in with acceptance and being able to work through it.

An all encompassing album that calms, empowers and purely on base level brings joy to any Gengahr fan. It moves forward from previous album Where Wildness Grows, while holding on to that sweet familiar charm. Every time I listen to this album it gets a little better, and it simply astounds me that I feel so much nostalgia for a band I only really picked up a couple of years ago.

Texas Sun by Khruangbin and Leon Bridges was something I just stumbled upon while making up a ‘chill’ playlist, without even realising it was a new release. It is a brief moment of relaxation and slick grooves all at once. An instant calming energy but also something you can boogie to. Definitely something I can see myself coming back to in years to come.

From music to my other main love in life; food. Now, up until recently, my love of food has centered more so on consuming it than making it. Maybe it was all the spare time I had, but I have really started to feel the joy of cooking, or at least playing around in the kitchen. Nothing too fancy, more embracing the simplicity, and where better to start than crafting my own tomato pasta sauce?

The base to many a good dish; bolognese, pizza, or simply poured over spaghetti for when you just need a quick fix. It is something that is so simple, all the while waiting to be made uniquely yours. It is a strange joy for me to have found, as I haven’t exactly raved about tomato sauce over the years. I mean, it is hardly the most exciting thing in the world of food is it? No thrills, but oh that is just it. The humble tomato and basil sauce. One of the ultimate comfort foods wherein the act of cooking it takes me back to many seemingly insignificant memories as a child. Depending on how I make it I’m taken back to dinner at home with the parents, other times a half term afternoon with Nan and Pops. Each bolognese a distinctive flavour, evoking specific memories – funny how the senses work, huh?

It is only now that I truly understand the joy of cooking even the most basic of dishes, not only for the comfort but also the opportunity to experiment. To create my own distinctive (hopefully in all the right ways) flavour that may one day hold strong in the memories of future loved ones. It is some real lovey dovey smush, and I kind of hate it, but at the same time can’t deny the warm feeling it brings. Not only the emotive side but the general feeling of being more productive. Stepping away from re-runs of Taskmaster to make some delicious food, usually while my favourite music plays full blast. How terribly wholesome of me. I’m yet to see if my new kitchen focused job will kill this fun for me, but so far it seems to be fueling more creativity, all I have to do is apply it. For now though I am enjoying making up batches of sauce to supply me with a starting point for new meal ideas.

Talking of new ideas, the main thing I’m working on this year is trying to be more open and to just give more things a go. I’m not trying to force being as laid back as I use to be (or came across at least) because after all, things change. Still, I’d like to channel my inner free spirit. Try more things, not care too much about other things. Probably be more open about my feelings and action steps to prevent myself or others getting hurt.

It’s odd, at times I find myself really closed off and quiet, even with people I consider my closest friends. I crave their attention, yet can’t help but shut down a little, not finding much to talk about outside the usual small talk. I think part of that comes down to me not having been in work recently and feeling perhaps a little isolated, so hopefully that will change soon. I pretty much spent all my time off at home, sure sometimes being super productive and writing, but mostly sulking in a corner about the lack of income. It’s like the small talk bores me, yet when someone wants to get real and ask the big questions in life I can’t bring myself to talk about it; unsure if I don’t know the answers or if I am avoiding them.

I suppose the art of conversation is something I feel like I have lost touch with lately. I need to get better at inviting people in to my life again and be able to connect with them – generally an ongoing goal of mine. Hey, maybe I can use my new found love for cooking up the most simple of foods to share some quality time with pals. So, come over for some warming spaghetti topped with my homemade tomato sauce. After all, food is everything and best enjoyed with company, right?

~x~

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