Life is a Beach

“No,” he said emphatically each time I broached the subject of me returning to London. We have such a sweet simple life here in Phuket though he has to tear himself away to go and earn a living sometimes. A long time ago, I did just that, earning a living in London living a BIG life. I had a BIG salary but I had a BIG mortgage too. Though I earned a six-figure salary, there was barely anything left over by the time we paid the cost of our London life. We lived in Knightsbridge but we could not afford the restaurants or the theatres. Our best memories were of the freebies, like cycling with the children in Hyde Park, feeding the swans at the Serpentine and endless picnics on summer days.

It is all so different now. I live on the beach. I have a paddleboard that I take out almost every evening and today, he bought me a secondhand bicycle so that I can stop trying to kill myself with his triathlon bike. I used to own a Porsche and a Ducati. Now it’s paddleboard and a secondhand bicycle. This evening we are going to cycle off to find an empty stretch of sand and sea somewhere on this paradise island and then have dinner at the tumbledown shack on the beach by his house. We fall asleep with the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the rocks beneath our eyrie.

As for restaurants, I have not missed the Big Life. I occasionally think about those restaurants because I love food. But my diet has changed quite a lot. I believe strongly in eating fresh organic food. There’s a small market shop near where we live that sells produce from local smallholdings. Often, there is only one pumpkin available and the lady would grudgingly cut you a small segment. You’d buy four chillies and she would generously throw in ten lime leaves (what does one do with lime leaves?!) Our purchases never cost more than £2. This is my loot today:

purchase

You can see the vibrant colours. You can almost see the life bursting from them. Imagine putting all that living goodness inside your body. These days, I eat no processed food. I don’t each much carbs or empty calories. I eat a lot of these. From these I can make:

Soups and broths
Casseroles
Hotpots
Mash
Salads
Sauces

Note: I supplement these with lots of greens (we need fresh greens), nuts and seeds, eggs, dairy and some meat. But no vitamins or supplements. Who needs those with these goodies!

 

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Passions

I have been a mother for as long as I can remember (since I was 17!) and my passion have always been babies and cooking. The other things I have achieved in my life are almost incidental and accidental.

Cooking is a magical process. It is like Alchemy, the medieval form of Chemistry.  In cooking, you throw a few random ingredients together,  give them some fire, and they transmute into something wonderful. This is an example: my Everything Soup. I use stock that I make from leftovers, boil it up with whatever vegetables that happen to be lying around in my kitchen, simmer for a few hours and abracadabra, I get this good, nourishing, nurturing food:

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I think my older children missed my cooking when they left home.

I value my home life above all, and I believe that to create a happy home, you need a kitchen that is full of warmth and simple, nurturing food bubbling away on the stove.  The heart of all my homes have definitely been the kitchen, and some of my loveliest memories are of my children doing their homework on the kitchen table when they were young whilst I cooked. I am of the firm opinion that we can transfer love and healing energy through food, and I try to always cook mindfully and with love.  I am quite organised in the kitchen (but not anywhere else,  as Thomas laments), so I always have homemade stock in the freezer (ready to be made into soups and casseroles), veggie packs (I would buy seasonal vegetables, especially the root veggies, so that I can make stews easily) and herb cubes (surplus herbs frozen in olive oil in ice cube trays). Thus, even if I am really busy, I don’t have to buy awful food.

My first-ever book was a cookbook, The Kundalini Yoga Cookbook and it was a finalist in the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2009. Ah, there is no substituting passion 🙂  I would love to have a restaurant, but I am not practical enough. I just want to feed people in my kitchen.

You can find my many recipes in my parenting blog: http://raisinghappystrongkids.com/category/awesome-recipes/

You can preview my e-book here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/2732679-the-can-melcion-cookbook-sunshine-food-all-year-ro

Forever-Love

When I first approached a publisher about Catching Infinity,  he told me that nobody would pay to buy a PhD thesis. I had to simplify it, and more importantly, I had to craft a story that  readers can be emotionally involved with.

Lust is the strongest emotion, no doubt, because throughout history, countless marriages have been destroyed and lives lost because of this inane drive to procreate. But lust for a person seldom last a lifetime: it could be strong, but is never more than transient in the lifespan of a person. We can’t be excited for 10 years about a toy. That’s not realistic, and that’s what lust is.  It leaves you empty when satiated, devoid of meaning and promise.

Love, on the other hand, is something completely different. It fascinates me because I have seen so many guises of it – as we all have – both the good and the bad. I want to write about Forever-Love because it is something real, normal, mundane and ordinary, but it is also incredibly beautiful in its strength, optimism and dedication.

View from the tower, Portchester Castle
View of St Mary’s Church from the tower, Portchester Castle

Forever-Love in Catching Infinityhttps://catchinginfinity.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/forever-love-2/

About me

My name is Jacqueline. I am a mother of five.  For the past 18 months, I lived literally on the beach in Phuket but am now home in London. I grew up in Portsmouth, and I still think Portsmouth is the best place to live! I went to university in Oxford and Manchester, though oh, that seemed such a long time ago!

My passion are babies, cooking and nature. I also love mathematics and theoretical physics, not in the academic sense, but in how they make sense of the Universe. I was the kid who wanted to know what lies beyond the observable universe, what the stars hung from and how life came to be. Catching Infinity is my first novel – I wrote seven non-fictions before trying my hand at becoming a novelist. I had considerable success as an author, having won two international awards for my books.

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The legendary critic Suzi Feay reviewed one of my books and I love what she wrote: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/suzi-feay-on-the-rocky-road-to-enlightenment-1625809.html