stories

This side of the North Sea

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
No items found.
No items found.
The awful truth 

Eve Foreman was depressed. There was only one thing to do. She hopped in her mighty little KA and fled to the one place she knew she could find solace. The Co-op.  

Eve was roaming the frozen aisle of the supermarket and happened upon a once great lover. She put her hand on the freezer handle and felt the cool air glide over her. There it was. The viennetta. A nostalgic concertina of smooth vanilla ice cream and delicate chocolate ripples. 

Maybe it was the sweet nostalgia that flooded her mind. Maybe it was the guileless desperation. Either way, she was left disappointed. It wasn’t bad, just boring. Flat. One-dimensional. It wasn’t the soft cashmere of creamy ice delight the packaging promised it to be. 

She threw the rest away.

Nigella once said “It's easier to impress someone than to give them pleasure.” And she’s right. All that packaging and advertising is there to impress us, the consumer. But to actually bring pleasure between our lips, that is a task much more trying. 

That’s the problem with viewing the world (and frozen desserts) through rose-tinted glasses. It may all look fabulous, but blush retrospectives are never as authentic as we want them to be. Not everything that’s beautiful on the outside is beautiful on the inside. Much like a fake Chanel with a cheap lining. 


I want beige 

On the other side of town, up and coming young journalist Mara Jones was making her usual midday meal. In the rush of writing copy, investigating local drama, and attending one too many zoom calls, Mara had little time to cook up a proper meal. 

Like most tiresome Tuesdays, beige was the answer. But all the buckwheat noodles were gone, and toast was far too boring. With a bish bash bosh, a swirl of crisp hash browns, bright green spinach, earthy mushrooms, and black pepper became a perfectly satisfying meal. Voilà! 

Beige is the new frontier you see. A movement. Neutrals are no longer the starchy support act, but the star of their own circular ceramic screen. Has anyone ever really been disappointed by beige? No. Basic as it might be, it is the beige in life that is dependable and trustworthy.

People put too much emphasis on “eating the rainbow”. Like eating every colour on the spectrum somehow gives you immunity against all the world’s woes. Even as a staunch vegan Mara didn’t feel a need to conform to the rainbow plant life. She wasn’t in it for the chic martyrdom that other vegans so desperately tried to proclaim, but simply for her own preference.


A whole new world 

Down south in the Capital, Beth Nichols was enjoying the diverse feast spread out across the many stalls at Clapham Market. Nothing was more attractive than a carb carousel. Especially the night after one too many espresso martinis.

Tribes of food stalls offered a variety of boozy sponges. It was time Beth took a risk. Argentinian empanadas were the obvious answer, a fairly risky gamble considering her usual tuna pasta lifestyle. 

Surprisingly this half moon of South American pastry wasn’t so foreign to Beth. It would be criminal to say it resembled an elevated Gregg’s steak bake, but it wouldn’t be entirely false either. 

The working man's meal of Argentina had more in common with the working man's meal of England than either would like to admit. Perhaps the Falklands wasn’t so much a war for territory, but a war to assert pastry predominance. I guess we’ll never know. 

A newfound confidence in foreign cuisine led Beth to kimpab, an oceanic Korean tuna roll wrapped in rice and salty seaweed. With each bite she dreamed of the Pan Am globe-trotting lifestyle she would live this coming summer. Her hair wrapped in a floral silk headscarf, quellazaire in hand, ascending the stairs of a Boeing aircraft upon her arrival in Yeosu-si. But the reality was she was much more likely to spend a long weekend on the Norfolk coast. Either way, the ocean was calling. And who was she to not answer its plea?