Fresh starts are often made at the beginning of a new calendar year, when people move cities, when a significant birthday passes. So an anonymous, plain faced Saturday night at the end of November doesn’t strike me as a very auspicious date. But it was the day I accidentally deleted four years of blog posts. It looks like the only way I can recover them is to copy, paste and scrape every word out of an RSS feed, but at over 1000 posts, life’s too short.
So here is Code For Something, reborn again.
I am eagerly awaiting the development of 6 rolls of film from Morocco. If even one frame is as nice as this shot I took in China in 2009, I’ll be pleased.
I spotted this bike rack while walking around Shoreditch on Sunday. It’s designed to only take up the space of one car but provides lock-up space for 10 bikes. There are three of them in Hackney – and if they prove popular, the car will be replaced by permanent cycle parking and the bike racks will move on to new locations. Great idea – and a great way for people to visualise the positive impact cycling has on their environment.
“Write in recollection and amazement for yourself” – Jack Kerouac
I have never religiously written morning pages, but I always enjoyed coming home after a night out (technically morning), curling up in bed with a big glass of water and ‘spewing’ my thoughts on to the pages of my notebook. Charming, I know. In the morning I’d find paragraphs of unusable material, all hideously misspelled, but it let me sleep easy.
Things are changing though. Nowadays I find myself rising early on the regular, drinking verbena tea – quelle horreur – and jotting down a few lines. I am very lucky to do what I love for a living, but in ten years all I’ll have is a hard drive, if they still even exist, of PDFs, quaint status updates from 2012 and fuzzy images. It’ll be nice to have something solid, just for me, even if it is hardly fit for public consumption.
When life gives you 5kg of onions on a chilly Sunday afternoon, what do you do? Make red onion jam, of course!
Take 8 red onions, peel and dice them. Put onion into a large, thick-bottomed pot (the thick bottom distributes heat more evenly – I use my £8 Le Crueset saucepan). Add two fistfuls of juicy golden sultanas, and a few slugs of balsamic vinegar. Add two cups of sugar, then pour 2/3 of a bottle of cheap red wine over the mixture. Season with rock salt and freshly cracked pepper, for luck.
Heat the pot on a high heat until the mixture is boiling, then turn down to a simmer. Then you wait. It might take up to two hours, but aside from the occasional stir, leave the mixture to reduce. The sultanas will be plump with wine; the onion will become a sticky sweet mess. You’ll have a thick, syrupy jam – which goes well with almost everything, but is particularly good slathered on a slab of blue cheese, and eaten between two pieces of toasted bread.
At the end of October Thom and I went to Morocco – visiting Marrakesh, the big smoke, and the town of Taroudant, to the south. It was pretty ace, except somewhere along the way I brushed my teeth with tap-water, and have spent the last week waylaid with a stomach bug. Today is the first day I’ve felt human, and boy am I excited to get back to work (and life). Anyway, here’s some pictures:
Token plane shot / amazing photograph of a donkey at our riad in Taroudant / the first of many tile photos / Thom trying to decipher the map / a view over Place Jamaa el Fna in Marrakesh (we were drinking mint tea and watching the world go by) / the middle of nowhere, near a mountain / Moroccan pastries / street art in Taroudant / a snail seller in Jamaa el Fna… From my observations you just squirt on some lemon juice and chew that sucker out.
The ornate dashboard of the grand taxi we caught from Taroudant back to Marrakesh / Me brandishing a musket found at the end of our bed at one riad
I also shot five rolls of 35mm, which are yet to be developed. Expect many images of cats, donkeys, sheep, mosaics, interesting door handles, minarets, more cats. If I’d had my way I would have become a crazy cat lady, footing the bill for 52 scrawny Moroccan kittens to come back to the UK and live with me…