This week, the earthquake happened to people we know, and to lots of people we don’t know. It has been so horrible and dislocating to see the footage and to hear the voices of bleeding, shocked New Zealanders and to watch the aftermath of complete ruination. Our family are safe, and our friends are ok, but their houses are cracked and damaged, and so, I imagine, are their spirits. We watch the death toll creep steadily every morning, and scan the reports from The New Zealand Herald, and we keep crying when we see the faces of those people who died on Tuesday. And the babies…oh, the babies. We have been grabbing our own pesky children frequently and randomly this week, feeling grateful that we have them in our arms for at least six seconds before they wriggle away/headbutt us/cry because we are squashing them just that little bit too hard.

So a blog post feels a bit redundant and ill-judged, but you gotta get back on the horse, I suppose. And so a brief photo shoot of us at Jamie Oliver’s new not-quite-right restaurant in Westfield where we had lunch on Friday, the last day of the blissful half term:

The kid’s menus were actually red plastic viewfinders. Weird. The food all looked a bit day-glo coloured and samey. And here is Casper (he is now too old to be called Custard. He turns 3 this month, and we all have to grow up, some time), looking like he has suffered a head wound, but it is only jam, dudes, only jam:

Because clean hair is overrated.

And a few thoughts, if I may:

1. I asked a man for £50,000 today. He may give it. I hope so. (File this curious snippet under “Secret Genius Project Sketchy Titillating Details” if you will).

2. I made a cake with beetroot. I have done it before and it wasn’t very good then – this one, although layered in chocolate and cream cheese (it makes me feel a bit ill just writing that) – tastes like dirt, and metal, and has turned the skin on my hands a pale puce. And now, I must eat it over a day or two because no one else will touch it.

3. When I walk along the grey and drizzling London streets, I practice talking like a Baltimore gangster in my head. I say things like “Yo” and “What’chu been callin’ me?” and “I’ll whip yo ass” and stuff like that, and although I am getting pretty good at it, it will serve no actual purpose in my life in any real terms.

Everybody does that though, right?

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6 Responses to Yo!

  1. PaisleyJade says:

    Loving your kids pics – and loving that I now know never to bother trying to make a cake with beetroot in! So sad what is happening here at the moment – and feeling for people like you so far away. xoxo

  2. Alison Cross says:

    Was wondering whether any of your family or friends had been affected. It’s truly awful what’s happening there. Never thought I’d see the day where I was donating to the Red Cross for work in New Zealand….

    I made a garlic tart from the Ottolenghi cookbook at Christmas. It looked beautiful, but not another bugger would eat it because of the liberal use of garlic (lightly boiled to turn it into a mild and creamy vegetable, not an arse-puckering flavouring). I had to eat the whole thing myself *scores beetroot cake off the list of Things I May Bake One Day*

    What’s the state of your eyelashes?

    Gangsta talk: You just NEVER know when you might be asked to translate…..

    Hugs to Christchurch (((hug)))


  3. theharridan says:

    Yo yo whassup. Tell me, Ali, is the Ottolenghi cookbook everything it promises to be? I think about buying that one often. Except for the garlic tart, do I need this book in my life?
    Eyelashes are sparse, but ALL MINE

  4. Tutak says:

    Ottolenghi book very good, but the second one, not the first. Love the pictures. xx

  5. Cath says:

    I have 2 beetroot. I was going to make chocolate cake with them but now am worried. If not that, what the hell to do with them?

  6. theharridan says:

    BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: I ate the cake, and, it actually was very good. Harry Eastwood, again, with her freakish ways with vegetables. Make a beetroot cake, cath. do it. or beetroot salad with goats cheese, but the cake will be much nicer. Once I moved past my initial revulsion, and met the cake with bravery and pride, I realised with was a TRIUMPH. So, er, dont believe all that you read. I often spout rubbish.

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