Spider bites and street kitchens

I’m feeling a bit rubbish this week due to some unfortunate spider bites in tender places and so my creative urge is a bit limp or maybe just itchy, either way it’s not at it’s best.

You do have to be of relatively sound mind to produce half way decent writing and the creative urge does tend to be a bit of a drama queen and falls apart at the slightest blip in your mental equilibrium and slopes off for the equivalent of a lie down in a darkened room.

When this happens either one can sit around and wait for the creative urge to get over its little tantrum and in the mean time do useful stuff like defrost the freezer or prune the garden or you can drag it out of the darkened room and make it work.

Habit is a wonderful thing and writing is a habit and so setting yourself to produce something eventually gets a result and blank pages fill up with words. They may not be great words but you can always go back and change them later.

It’s all very well sitting around crying “My muse has deserted me” and other such dramatic 19th century wails but if we all waited for the Muse to show up, clock in and get on with the job of feeding us with perfect prose we’d be here forever.

Whilst I go threaten my creative urge into producing the goods here are some pictures from around the village which right now is beautiful and busy and gloriously cooler as the heat of high summer ebbs away giving us the perfect days of autumn that we all yearn for during August and will fondly remember during January.

I can’t set foot outside the house at the moment without being dragged over to someone’s impromptu street kitchen and made to sample spiced wheat and tomato salsa, or encouraged to sit a while, to loiter and chat and nibble on figs and walnuts whilst my hair gets full of the smell of woodsmoke.

Everything is about preserving this month and between the cauldrons canning tomato sauce and boiling bushels of bulgur, the strings of peppers garlanding the houses, the stacks of herbs in baskets and the urgent jamming of seasonal fruits it is like living in a walk in larder.

Nothing is going to get my creative urge back to functioning faster than a bowl of just cooked bulgur wheat, pale gold and softly salty, burning hot on the fingers as you scoop it up and stuff it in your mouth. It’s one of those things you just can’t stop eating and it’s surprising that there is enough left to make it worth hauling it up onto the flat roof to dry by the time everyone in our little corner of the village and every passing body has sampled some.

It is real comfort food and just right for the soul feeling sorry for itself.