I kept telling people that the one thing I wanted to bring back to Bali was my recipe books. That I really, really missed cooking. That I was going to excess baggage my way back to Indonesia with a suitcase filled with garlic presses, creuset pans, working can openers, my juicer and even a few cake tins. Except we get to Australia, to a house stocked with non stick pans and sparkling counter tops, with philippe starcke lemon squeezers and silver cheese slicers, with an oven, and a coffee grinder and six types of olive oil and a larder of delicacies and Jamie Oliver recipe books and you know what?
I cannot be arsed to cook.
Can’t even manage to melt chocolate in the microwave in a feeble attempt at dessert. I put it on for 20 seconds and forgot about it. Came back half an hour later and put it on for a minute. Came back when I smelt it burning. Gave up. Ate the strawberries as god intended.
Have had to hide the bowl with the burnt chocolate on it until I can figure a way of drilling it off.
I would argue that after dealing with ant infested kitchens for six months (we are talking so ant infested that you’d come downstairs in the morning and find a line of them walking off with the s-bend), I’ve lost interest in kitchens and cooking. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think that’s just an excuse I made up to cover up the fact that really I’ve lost any kind of interest in the domestic.
Tonight I watched our lovely host wash up. She looked at me standing there and said, ‘The tea towel’s over there on the side.’
I stared at her confused for full on ten seconds wondering why she was telling me this. My hands weren’t wet. I didn’t need to dry them.
‘I think you’ve gotten too used to having help,’ she laughed when I finally twigged that it was being suggested I dry the dishes. It is true. I have not washed or dried dishes in a very, very long time.
I then went into the bedroom. It’s rather messy. My excuse for this one is that we’ve been living out of a bag for six months and moving every few days so what is the point of unpacking? And if you do, Lula just comes and takes everything and rearranges it anyway into little shrines around the house. Best off keeping it in the bag. Or at least piled on top or around the bag.
‘You’re so messy,’ John said to me.
‘Oh my god,’ I replied, ‘what are you saying? Are you saying [pause for indignation] I’ve become a slob?’
John didn’t answer – kept his back to me.
‘Oh my god.’ I tried to sound appalled and outraged. But oh my god. He is right.
And there is no excuse. Except maybe to say ‘But my hand hurts. I can’t pick anything up.’
But we all know that’s an excuse because I can still manage to pick up my glass of wine. And lift that tub of ice cream out of the freezer.
So there we have it. I am a slob. This is making me wonder what use I am to the world. I am too scared to voice this outloud though in case John doesn’t answer and keeps his back to me.