There’s one thing I’ve always enjoyed: learning.
Before I applied for my last job, I sat down and worked out not what I wanted to do, but what I did not want to do. I realised that I had become skilled at starting a job, enjoying the learning curve, and then getting bored once that was over and it all became routine. So I knew I needed a job where I could continue to learn and where there was never a danger of one day being just like any other. (Until Activity Based Seating, then every day just became frustrating and annoying.)
Last night I got my geek on. Yes, in school I was the one who loved Star Wars and read The Lord of the Rings. I won’t even mention the crush I had on Thorin Oakenshield. Okay, still have. The only time one of those art teachers from yesterday liked me was when I wrote One Ring to Rule Them All in calligraphy. But yesterday I really felt the urge to learn something new, dive into something, immerse myself. Be passionate and completely geeky about something. That something quickly became chocolate and suddenly I found myself studying terms and making notes about phrases and techniques I’d never heard before.
Mirror glaze. (That must trendy because so many cakes look like they’ve been polished.)
Gianduja. A combo of hazelnut paste and chocolate couverture. (Why always hazelnut?)
Cacahuatl. The Aztec word for the cocoa bean. (Always Aztecs. South American Indians were on the curriculum in 6th, 8th and 11th grade and it was always the Aztecs.)
I remember the first time I read Chocolat. It was a balmy summer evening and I was sitting in my little garden in Wales. Just for once, it wasn’t raining. I had my beloved Labrador Maxime at my feet and a chilled glass of rosé by my hand. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to learn how to really work with chocolate. Last night I searched for chocolate-making courses. With the occasional detour into cake decorating.
Half-way through all this, I called my mother to see how her sore throat was progressing. She told me she’d been busy reading the three books she got from my father for Christmas since she’s been confined to her bed. Apparently the final book was rather like mine, ‘Also someone just baking cakes all the time.’ That got me thinking and then it got me writing. I have struggled so much with how Anne turns her life around but I haven’t really been able to unlock the passion she needs in order to do it. Then, last night, I did.
I will write my way out. Anne will bake and chocolate it.
She’d better start learning all those new terms.