Food is…

always the answer.

My mother says you should eat to live, not live to eat. my Mother is wrong, she’s also a hypocrite. Food is more than nourishment to my family most of, if not all of, my childhood memories either take place in a kitchen or involve food in one way or another. I remember baking cakes with my mother but being too afraid to lick the bowl afterwards because I was a very neurotic child and I’d learnt what salmonella was way too young, I remember making golden syrup dumplings on the night my sister and father were attacked by a dog, and I remember starting a living room war when I dropped an ice cream right on my mothers face that resulted in a full fledged food fight. These memories I revisit every time I eat the food associated with the moment, it’s my favourite thing about food. It’s a gift thats been passed down from my mother, the ability to transport myself backwards in time, from whatever present moment I want to escape.

So this post is a sort of an indirect way of thanking my mother through as much self indulgent waffling as I can muster.

One of my favourite stories my mother tells (on regular occasions) is one about a christmas dinner. It was one of her first Christmas days in Australia. She’s moved over there with my dad and all of his family, but sadly left her own family back in the UK. So the story goes that she was preparing Christmas dinner for my Dads family and I’m sure she’d been prepping for days because she always does for Christmas. Christmas day came and she started the early morning cooking, and had a couple of drinks (food comes second only to Alcohol in my family). Her family telephoned her in the morning and there’s a time difference so they we’re probably having a few evening drinks while my Mother cooked. She says that all the food was on time and everything was looking good so she relaxed on the phone a little before the meal was ready. My Dad took drinks to her while he entertained his own family and so good old Mamma god a bit merry. Anyway she finished up on the phone and called everyone through for food, everyone was seated and my mother began to bring through platters of vegetables, fountains of gravy, and more homemade stuffing than you can imagine (this woman spends hours grating bread for her stuffing, and it’s incredible). Everyone sat eagerly waiting the show stopper, and poor sozzled Mam started to plate up the food completely oblivious to elephant in the room, or more so the lack of the elephant in the room. She’s forgotten all about the meat. And a very Merry Vegie Christmas was had that year.

The reason I’m sharing that story is because thats always been her approach to food, and it’s been passed onto me. Cooking shouldn’t be stressful, it’s to be enjoyed, and the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out. This Christmas story reminds me that food is as much about nutritional nourishment as it is about crafting a moment with someone, creating a memory, and an experience. I cook every day and I’m not going to pretend that every meal or snack is a masterpiece nor do I believe that everything I eat takes me to that beautiful nostalgic place. But there’s certain things that do bring a flush of colour to my cheeks as I cook, I love baking bread, the whole process is indulgent, and childlike. You’re basically playing with Play-doh that you’re actually encouraged to eat! I’m also happy to admit that no matter how many loafs of bread I make, no matter how old I get, or how much better than my mother I think I am, I still hear her motherly words of wisdom with every loaf,

“Kneed it for longer”

“Don’t add all the water yet, remember you can always add more if you need it, but you can’t take it away”

ET VIOLÀ!! I’m five years old again and my Mother is teaching me how to make tasty bread, and everlasting memories.

So Bon Appétit Mother, and Thanks for the grubb!

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Her Name is Frank

And she’s my best friend.

At the time of leaving home for uni I’d known Frank for almost five years, just a blink of time in the grand scheme of things. But five seconds was all I ever needed to know how much I cared for her, and how much I didn’t want to leave her. Here it was though, the day I had to leave, start a new life in University, and make new friends.

I said goodbye to everyone in the most dramatic way possible, it was true godfather-esque. Not usually the most emotional person I decided to say my goodbyes to everyone individually (drag out the pain), I sat in the kitchen as one by one they came in to say goodbye, like a deathbed scene in a Victorian film. As I type this I know how dramatic it all seems but I’m not easily attached to things, or people, these were the few people that had managed to get under my skin long enough for me to care about them, Mothers have a way of doing that.

And Frank, always so calm, so comfortable in her own skin in the most effortless way. Franccessca even means free spirit, a description she fits perfectly. It’s as if someone, somehow chased down and stole a hint of the northern lights and hid them inside her, except they didn’t stay hidden the light started to spill out of her and now everyone can see them. But the best thing of all is that she’s oblivious to it,all of it. When you tell her she’s beautiful her response is always “I know” and don’t think of that as a lack of modesty it’s just thats the way she see’s it is everyone’s beautiful in one way or another.

So the time came, my little Frank, my best friend, she walked in to say her goodbyes.

She’d never seen me cry, never even seen me sad, as luckily there’d never been cause for me to feel sad, especially around her. So when she came in she just spoke about the usual things, she was heading into town with her Mum, and was still struggling to get her coat on (beautiful and calm, but physical coordination wasn’t her strong point) she asked me to help her get the other arm in the coat and then it happened. A foreign swelling in my throat I only remembered as a child, and my eyes welled up. I was never very good at crying but this time I couldn’t hold it back, I couldn’t conceal the tears, couldn’t bit my lip to cover up the trembling. It just poured out of me. Still Frank just talked as I guided her arm through the sleeve, turning around as the arm went in she was again face to face with me. I don’t think it was the fact that a grown man was crying that shocked her, it’s that the grown man crying was me. She wrapped her arms around my neck and kissed my cheek, while I sobbed like a baby into her shoulder and she told me over and over that “It’s ok, I’m here”. It wasn’t until she pulled away that I stopped crying enough to talk, I told her that she was good, and kind, and beautiful on the inside where it really counts, I told her that I was sad to be leaving her because in the short five years we’d known each other she’d made me the person I was happy to be, a better person. I told her I didn’t want to leave her but I had to go,

“You don’t have to leave then, if you don’t want to. That’s what being an adult means. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to”.

Innocence is the real bliss, and innocent as it may have been to say it, she was right. But I was leaving and it was hurting me more than I’d expected, both in tears now we hugged as though time was running out, and then She pulled her necklace out of her top, a thin chain with the ugliest ring on it silver with a pink winged butterfly.. reaching behind her neck she unclasped the necklace and pulled it from around her neck. She held the butterfly ring in her hands as though it was about to come to life only to find itself tethered to the world by the silver chain, delicately she lay her hands onto my and let the ring fall onto my palm. She kissed my cheek and said

“So you don’t forget about me”.

She was Frank, she was my best friend, she was my niece, and she was four years old.

Now she’s Seven and prefers “Franki” but I’m still her Uncle Logue, and we’re still best friends.

I’m a Tree…

I was a strange kid, I had an extremely overactive imagination and I think one of the worst things about my juvenile imagination was my preoccupation with death. I won an encyclopaedia in primary school, not just any encyclopaedia a medical one, full to the brim with all manner of medical ailments and diseases. What an amazing present for a four year old right? Wrong!

So for the better part of my childhood I worried a lot about my impending demise, there was many ways I thought it would happen, food poisoning (so I stopped eating meat for a few years) allergic reaction, brain tumour. But it’s the ‘death by Mandarin’ that I remember most vividly, and I’m sure you can already imagine how it came about. Well anyway for a university project we were given a brief based on memories and I chose my mandarin memory so here are a few images from the final body of work along with some explanations.

page 1I swallowed a mandarin seed when I was four and spent the weekend at my dads, convinced a tree was growing inside me. I refused to eat or drink, for fear I’d encourage the seed to grow faster. And I didn’t tell a soul about it because I didn’t want to upset them, I was dramatic but considerate none the less.

cropped-screen-shot-2015-06-02-at-10-51-4413.pngI remember thinking my skin would harden and grow darker like the bark on a tree. Crying as I tried to sleep I thought about what would be left of my little body once the tree was done growing, would I die? or become some hideous boy/tree hybrid?

2 It was the end of the weekend and I was still alive, but my stomach hurt, the tree was growing fast, it was time to go back home to my Mum’s. I could feel the roots burrowing deep inside my belly, draining me of my nutrients, I had a lump in my throat the branches were stretching upward, through my throat trying to find the sunlight.

When I arrived home, I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I cried as I broke the news to my Mum, and just as she so often did she laughed as she reassured me that I was going to be “Just fine”

So there we have it, the first of many insights into my strange infant mind, along with a few images from the body of work that I created based on the memory of swallowing the mandarin seed.

Love is a Battlefield and I’ve a weak stomach for blood.

Pat Benatar said Love is a battlefield. I disagree.

Love is one of the only socially accepted forms of madness. Dating however, that’s the real battlefield.

Casualties fall on both sides, blood is drawn, you assume the role of both the victim and assailant. All is fair in love and war (someone important once said) well I disagree, neither love nor war is fair, I’m sure that quote is so much deeper than I’m able to understand but my views on both love and war are less than romantic.

I date a lot, a victim of my own generation, a genuine child of the revolution (the social media revolution) I date people met mostly through dating apps, like tinder, or plenty of fish (POF). Gone are the days of blind dates, and meeting people through mutual friends. I’m not saying that you can’t find relationships the ‘old fashioned way’ it’s just that it’s becoming increasingly less frequent. We’ve become desensitised, sex is now at the forefront of our mind when it comes to dating, tinder an app intended to meet like minded singletons is in it’s very nature a catalogue for potential sexual partners. You create an account through your facebook, upload your five best photos and then BOOM! You’re out there, in the cyber world of dating, people flick through profiles and if they like the look of you then they swipe right (right for yes left for no) meanwhile you scrawl through the hundreds of profiles trying to find someone that catches your attention. All of this is based on physical appearance, yes theres a short bio, I think 500 characters, but in my experience people don’t bother reading that. Almost on autopilot we just swipe away, left, left, left, left, the occasional right swipe for the hot one using their holiday snap to show off that beach body blended with a perfect tan and the hint that they’re well travelled, or fun!

Then it happens, a beam of light stretches from the sky down onto your phone as the notification pops up “congratulations you have a new match”. This for the tinder virgins is when you have swiped right (yes) to a person and they’ve said yes to you too. So you have the match, you both find one another attractive you’ve had a look through their photos and deemed them acceptable, but what now?

Imagine you’re at a bar, or a club and you see someone you find attractive, and lets pretend for a second you’re one of those freaks of nature with the confidence to approach them. So you walk over introduce yourself and offer to buy them a drink? Within seconds of talking you can already read each others body language, you easily pick up on social cues of humour, it either flows naturally or it doesn’t. But this way at least you both know if you’re comfortable and enjoying the situation. Tinder lacks that human component, even the wittiest chat up line is wasted because you don’t experience their reaction, there is no way to know how well or how badly you’re received.                                                                                                                                          Sometimes the conversation flows quite naturally and you both enjoy typing to one another, but there’s still the awkward moment of explaining that the last smart arsed remark you made was just a ‘joke’ there’s still a moment of silence in the conversation as you wait for a response or try to think of one.

Anyway like I said I date a lot, and I’m an avid tinder user. I swipe when I’m bored, I swipe when I’m horny, drunk, sober, at work, at uni, on the bus, when I wake up, before I go to sleep. It’s bloody addictive (maybe I’m just chasing that sweet first ‘match’ high) and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed using it, and enjoyed meeting the people I’ve met through it. But that brings me back to the original point of this post, the dating world is a horrible, intimidating environment. One that no person should travel lightly, if you’re just looking for sex, fantastic, but your date might not be.

So I’ve decided I’m going to begin documenting my future dating experiences whilst also looking back on some past ones, mostly awkward and in hindsight quite funny but with the odd one or two stories that are quite sweet memories I actually enjoy revisiting. Hopefully I’m not alone in the experiences I’m about to share.

I am…

…About to lose myself in a flurry of self obsessed paragraphs that’ll probably rival my Tinder bio.

Starting this Blog is a strange and new experience for me, I watched Julie & Julia the other night whilst trying to bind my books ready for my uni assessment the next morning. I’d not slept for nearly 48 hours after spending the previous night and best part of the day in the library, so I think I might have been experiencing the slightest bit of delirium as I sat binding my finished books, watching Meryl Street cook with copious amounts of butter (I love butter).
Anyway that’s where my head was, when I thought I could start a blog! Amy Adams plays Julie, a character that feels slightly lost in her life. She’s not as successful as her friends, she’s recently moved to a new city for her partner and pretty much feels as though she’s about to blink and miss the next forty years of her life.
So anyway she begins to write a blog about exploring cooking by making recipes from Julia Child’s book. Basically it’s a good film about cooking and self discovery and blah blah blah go watch the film!
But as with most things I enjoy I thought “I could do that”, the whispering voice in my head added “better” but thats for another post altogether, so that brings me to to this the first official post, you now know my reason for starting, I thought maybe I would write a slight introduction, so here it is.

I am..
Firstly I am Logan, I think my identifier would be tall so I’ll have to say secondly I am Tall.
Which is kind of a strange irony as Logan means ‘Small Hollow’ and I stand at roughly six foot and four inches tall. I’m a student at the University of Brighton studying Illustration somedays I love it and feel as though I’ve found my ‘thing’ in life, my talent, my calling. Then other days (most days) I’m a crumbling mess that can barely hold a pencil to draw a stickman, I’ve got the tortured artist thing down to a fine art (also I’m not bad at puns)
Other than being a tall artist, I guess I’m the same as most other twenty something year olds, I love my friends, I miss my family, I drink too much, I listen to a lot of music, and I LOVE food!

So that seems like enough of an introduction for now, expect lots of topical rants, many pretentious music recommendations, and a lot of food writing all tied together nicely with my ever expanding need to talk about myself. It’s going to be a thrill ride!!

Shall I begin?

“How to start a blog” A google search that resulted in the 50 top UK fashion blogs, or the Huffpost’s best healthy eating blogs.
None of the search results helped me, none of them inspired me to begin a life tips blog, and worst of all I didn’t get any idea on how to best start a blog of my own.
So I decided I just want to write about the mundane things, with no revelations to share, no words of wisdom to impart, and I’m sorry but I can not help you get beach body ready with 3 minute workouts. I guess all I really want is to share my views, opinions, and experiences with anyone who might happen across them.
So here we go, get ready for a whole lot of self indulgent bull, angry opinions, and as much narcissistic shit as I can type…

Shall I begin?