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Poetry, Cardboard boxes and Nigel Slater May 16, 2008

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What an odd collection of things in the title of this post, you may think. Storage items, a legendary (and FANTASTIC) food writer, and words that can make some cry, others laugh, and even more utterly perplexed. To do you a favour, and not confuse you, I’ll go through them one at a time.

Nigel Slater

First of all, Nigel Slater. When I was just a wee ‘un I used to read Nigel slaters recipes in the Observer magazine, salavating to descriptions of food that you just wanted to pick up in your hands, sticky and laden with sweet syrup, food that you wanted to crumble into your mouth and feel slide down your throat like silk. He wrote about food like it was better than sex – an orgasmic multiplicity of flavour, colours and textures, combining to bring your taste buds to maximum stimulation. I own two of his books, and regularly take them down to flick through the pages – food porn if you will. An hour set aside to assault your tingling sense with dreams of food that could be, meals you could make, tastes you could taste. Of course, the simple tastes are great too – I had a highly fantastic moment with a twirl the other day, which hit all the right buttons and left me floundering in a see of “Oh… my… God”. Sometimes chocolate gets it just right. I reccommend Nigel Slater’s books, “The Kitchen Diaries” and “Real Food”.

Cardboard boxes and Poetry.

I feel sometimes like people don’t use there imaginations any more. Children spend their days tucked up indoors playing computer games and fighting to get to the next level of the latest trend. The TV is always on, with kids sat comatose in from of it, flickering colours reflecting onto their pudgy, unstimulated faces. When I was young we spent our time outdoors – running around on the street, clambering up into the stratosphere using branches and tree-trunks as our ladders. We could play anywhere we wanted – on the surface of the moon, on a ship exploring desert islands, deep in an underground lair with monsters growling at us from the shadows. The kids on my street used cushions and discarded items our parents genrously bestowed on us. We’d build our ship, I’d be the monkey, and we’d explore those ilses we might not ever see in real life.

A cardboard box was the best toy we could ever wish for. Particularly refrigerator boxes – the biggest most amazing spaceships the world has ever seen. They could be houses, boats, spaceships or submarines. I spent afternoons crouched inside boxes keeping house, with windows and doors cut out and leading to wherever my imagination wanted to go. My child is going to have a plethora of boxes. They will e encouraged to traipse around the woods, and even eat a little wholesome dirt. They will only have computer games etc when they are old enough to ask for themselves.

Don’t Forget.

Sometimes I feel those days are gone,
Of running around, of having fun.
That playing games has been and passed,
With getting old, and growing fast.
And cardboard boxes have lost their spark,
Used for filling up and taking apart.
Gone are the days of sailing the seas,
Of dreaming the dream, and traveling the breeze.
Is imagination no longer cool?
Just like yoyos, pogs, and loving school.
Remember then, from whence you came,
That imagination was THE game.


1. half goon half god - May 19, 2008

your talk of cardboard boxes reminded me of this: http://www.theonion.com/content/news/michel_gondry_entertained_for_days

Really, anything you could climb into as a kid was fun. I recall pulling all the cushions off the sofa and building a fort out of them and the coffee table. As long as it was enclosed, it was your own private land. Sadly, when you close your brother in a suitcase, it doesn’t create the same effect.

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