The Aftermath Of Ballymaloe

It has been 3 weeks and 4 days since I left Ballymaloe.  A lot has happened in that time I mean Santa came and went oh and so did 2016. With a blink of an eye it’s 2017.  The thing now is that Ballymaloe happened last year, all the references are last year.  Suddenly it feels like it was ages ago, another life, doesn’t sound so in the moment does it?  “Oh I went to Ballymaloe last year”.  Yeah okay back up it’s only been 3 weeks, yes okay and 4 days. Sorry I was having a conversation with myself…been doing that a lot since I’ve come back. The thing is when you come back to real life, and by real life I mean beyond the Ballymaloe bubble, at Christmas, people don’t really care.  The world stops.  Now this is all rather jolly when you are working, or at least pretending to but when you are trying to change the course of your career it’s just bloody annoying / frustrating / scary / terrifying (delete as appropriate).

So what has happened since I returned from cookery bootcamp, well never one to sit on my laurels I’ve been fairly busy.  I hosted Christmas, cue lots of unnecessary baked goods to feed the family.  I whipped out a 3 course meal for five on Boxing Day:

Celeriac and Hazelnut Soup with a chorizo crumb

Roast Loin of Pork &Crackling
Fondant Potatoes
Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts
Roast Onion
Buttered Carrots
Apple & Plum Sauce
Komquat Jelly

Yoghurt & Cardamom Cream with Pomegranates infused with Rosewater

(yup showing off but I was quite impressed)

I’ve been fermenting, brewing, baking like a woman possessed, WHY?  For the love of it? Yes sort of, but quite frankly I am terrified it’s all been a joke and I haven’t learnt anything at all, in fact I don’t even know how to navigate a cook book I am so clueless.   I feel like if I don’t stop it will all float away and I’ll be left with 4 rather fat lever arch files full of Darina Allen’s life’s work.

Said like a woman who needs a job.  Now all its all well and good sitting around having a meltdown but I need to get myself back out into the world.  I don’t feel I’ve reached the appropriate age to be hanging out with my cat all day long.   See there it is again, can you see it? Over there coming in to the right.  A massive right hook to the jaw. Because ladies and gentlemen what we have here is a classic case of beating yourself up.   You see, I may have mentioned that I’ve only been back, all together now, 3 weeks and……4 days.  It isn’t that long but I feel like I should have it all worked out.   Let’s be honest there is nothing like January to really underline the beating up.  What with your dry January, veganuary, setting my intention January, becoming half the person I once was January.  Is there anything left you can do in January? What about work out my life January? Where are the 12 steps for that?

So here I am on Wednesday 4th January staring 2017 in the face, having a lovely litte face off, setting my intention, eating an avocado and nursing some kombucha (nod to all the various uary’s) and I am working out the in-between bit as it shall now be named.  The inbetween  bit is basically the bit before the vision starts to become a reality it’s the bit where the need to actually monetise my life is a necessity and it’s the bit that will fill in the blanks.

I haven’t written a CV in years.  Why oh god do people still even need CVs? Isn’t Instagram a CV?
I have to write polite blind witty emails that sum me and my experience up in such as way that it clearly is the most enthralling email you would have received all day
I have to apply for jobs that clearly are meant for 20 year olds

I feel like I’ve stepped back in time.  I would say this calls for fortification but it’s only 2pm and I am doing dry January.

God help me.  I mean I am not choosy. I’ll take anyone.

LifeNadra Shah