Not quite up to it


I am about to release two vegetarian cooking DVDs. They have taken so long it is too painful to go into and I am more than sure I am a contributor to the timings, but hey, as they say, everything is perfect.

The reason I mention this is that I cooked supper last night. I should in fact say that I tried to cook supper last night.
I put 4 baking potatoes in the oven at 225 degrees. C or F I have no idea, but the oven does not get much hotter. 2 hours later. 2 full hours later, we were eating crunchy, raw potatoes. I could take it personally, but I am not sure it is me.

I buy from a greengrocer who delivers. I have to trust that he has organic products because his adverts say he does. But what kind of potato can stand that kind of treatment? Surely there is something a little strange? It comes back to this thing of taking responsibility for ones self, and frankly I get blinkered because it is easier than rigorously checking which of the items I buy actually are organic, if any. The problem is that if I face it squarely, I know that it is probably really little and then I am stuck with going to a Supermarket which I really hate doing.

So I am burying my head under sand and refusing to ever bake potatoes again. Easier that way round, the knee jerk reaction.

On another not quite up to it note, I watched the cuddly and perturbed yet relieved and self-conscious Stephen Fry wander through the AIDS/HIV issue last night. I am aware that I did not watch the first program so my emotional response is limited to the second episode, and I am aware that this is dangerous territory and I could be reviled for commenting, but things need to be said.

The purpose of the program was largely unclear. If it was to put people off getting the virus, I am not sure it succeeded, mainly because it talked so well of all the advances in medical science.
If the purpose was to remove the stigma, I am not convinced that that happened, either. The stories are awful, there is no doubt, but we are now so inured to shocking stories and terrible images that it is hard for us to be asked to see things differently. The images of the suffering in the 80’s of those with the illness and the African AIDS Crisis are not dissimilar to watching the Twin Towers crashing down. (I know it gets really dangerous here, rather like talking about Mother Theresa.) If the main thrust was to bring an awareness of the experiences of those with HIV and AIDS, then I think it did that, but to what end? I felt a lot during the program, but came away unsatisfied and empty. Unclear of my feelings, and yet remembering so well the whole buzz in the advertising industry when those apocalyptic adverts were made, and it is so clear how much they made the reactions of now. The fear and terror. Was it a good idea? Plus would I not be terrorised by any illness? Hep C, or Cancer to name two. Would I not wait with baited breath and shake at the result if it was positive? I am certain I would.