I’ve had an interesting and varied life. I’d like to share some of it.
I’ve done many different things: had complete career changes, dwelling changes, a change of country, but the latest and most radical change was when I ran away with a Gypsy. We are settled on a council run site and still live in a trailer – or caravan. I like having wheels, and the freedom to change location should we wish to. We confine our travelling experiences to holiday sites these days, the freedom of the road is all very well – you can travel just fine, but everyone wants you just to keep going and no one wants you to stop.
I’m not a very self-confident person but I am unabashed by declaring that I do have cooking skills. Like Mothers all over the world, I show my love for family and friends by feeding them. I wrote each of my girls a cookbook when they left home so that they would have all their favourite recipes from all our influences. English, French, Italian, Australian, Romany – a kind of idiolect of cooking. So I’d like to share some of the meals I prepare and have prepared inside, outside and in The Shed.
Cooking in The Shed.
At the moment , I cook The Shed. This is a small brick outhouse supplied by the Council. It measures about six by four feet and is otherwise known as The Pot Shed – as in ‘where I Do The Pots’. ( Not to be confused with ‘The Bath Shed’ – as in ‘where I Take a Bath’.) The Pot Shed has a single sink, a cupboard with a water (costs-two-quid-to-heat-on-the-emersion) tank, a small work top with two cupboards underneath and plumbing for a washing machine. That’s it. The council didn’t see the need to supply a cooker point so that you could choose whether to have a cooker or a washer, but that’s the Council for you. I have a washing machine, and a camping gas stove perched on the top of that at the moment. A bottle of propane sits on the floor and I am maniacal about turning it off after each use because my little stove, once the valve is turned on, will just pour out gas. Not good. At worst I could blow us up, but mostly I worry about turning it off because propane bottles are very expensive and with the door open, as it always must be, it will simply empty itself into the fresh air.
I worry about a great many things a great deal of the time. It drives my husband mad because he thinks he worries enough for both of us.
Life as a Wife.
What can I tell you. I come from an old fashioned family. My father was the head of our household. The focal point of our day was when Daddy came home from work. My mother was a wife. An indomitable, funny, feisty, kind woman. She did heaps of other stuff, but she was a wife and mother first and a fine cook.
I am a wife. My husband is the head of our household. He comes from an old fashioned family. The focal point of our day is when he gets home from work…. it’s the focal point of my day too, because, now once again, I work with him and drive his lorry.
I do a lot more. I’ve said I like to cook, – that is my daily relaxation. The glass of wine that goes with is pretty relaxing too and he’s a good man to feed – like my father – appreciative! I don’t much care for doing the pots in a six be four shed but needs I must. I clean and keep the place pretty ship-shape because I can’t live in a mess. I keep the yard clean and the pets fed. I do the books, because I can read and write. I manage the work diary and the phone because I still have RP and don’t sound like a Gypsy…. he refers customers to his ‘Secretary’. “Office Manager!” I hiss from the wings.
We live a settled Gypsy life yet do everything we can, outside our community and in the working world, to seem to be anything but. It’s just the way it has to be.
This is my first post. I’ll continue with Things I have Cooked and would like to upload some photos when I can replace my Kodak-hardly-used-but-broken-all-the-same.
I’ll include snippets of life as it is now and the life that brought me here too, I hope you find some joy and merriment in the things I have to tell you.