I remember watching the film Amelie for the first time, probably about 10 years ago now. One of my favourite parts is where it goes through things the characters do and don’t like. All of Amelie’s likes were somehow beautifully simple, like skimming stones. Every time I’ve watched it since then it’s something that’s always struck me, how it shows that we don’t need huge excitement or important life-changing events to bring happiness into our lives – it can be found in the smallest, simplest things, like skimming stones in a canal. I think this is something I always endeavour to recognise or take note of in some way, but it’s easy to forget.
So one thing I’m going to start doing from now is eating alone. I don’t mean in restaurants or in public. I mean at home, and not without people, but without technology. It has become my default setting to find something to watch whilst I eat. It might not be something I’m particularly interested in watching, but it passes the time. But I don’t really need to pass the time. This is the thing. Eating food that I’ve taken time to prepare, that I enjoy making should surely be given more time and recognition than a backdrop to an episode of the Inbetweeners I’ve seen about 20 times before.
This afternoon I got back to Norwich, and I bought asparagus and potatoes and red onions and I cooked them all and made a soft boiled egg to dip the asparagus in and it was delicious. And I appreciated it more because my eyes were fixed on the plate instead of a screen. This is something I want to do more of – carve out time when I don’t have to be looking at a screen, and relish it. If I’m starting this project to eat more wonderful and delicious food, then I should at least give it the attention it deserves when I eat it.