I've been thinking a lot lately about carefully curated online images. About Facebook specifically, and how I think it might be making people lonely and sad. We can't blame Facebook entirely, in every life there's a standard and someone who is exceeding it. There's a grapevine and someone's on it. There are stories, and there's somebody telling us how they're nailing it. I think Facebook has power because of the sort of world we're in right now, I mean you and me, with internet and computers and time enough to be sitting here, you know?
If we weren't, you and me, generally living in a predictable and safe sort of world we wouldn't give an arse about Instagram unless we'd found a way to use it politically, subversively or defensively.
It's hard to get it right on Facebook. There's an awful lot that people don't want to hear about. No one really wants to know you're going on a fabulous skiing holiday. Or to Hawaii. Or that your baby is toilet training. Or that you're loving life. Or that you're hating life. You know why? Because the vast majority of your real life friends will call you or text you that stuff, and then it's real and shared and important, and the people on Facebook, I suspect, are people you worked with fifteen years ago or exes or people who never actually talked to you at school.
There's a whole lot of image-crafting going on, and we know it's not limited to Facebook.
I guess that's my long-winded way of saying I hope you never leave here feeling like I've got it figured out and that your plans for small farm magnificence will never come off. I'm very open, and people who know me in real life know I run at a hundred miles an hour and never concentrate on anything effectively. I didn't get the market garden planted out before the rain. The laundry is out of control. That's not some funny self-deprecating comment. It's out of control. There's damp laundry at the very bottom of at least two baskets that I really could do without ever seeing again, but I'll have to, and it's quite likely growing mould. I'm terrified that our whole commercial kitchen/on-farm cooking workshops plan might not actually fly. We've been living in a two room loft for eighteen months sharing a kitchen in another building and desperately holding onto this small farm plan, can we make it make money? Because it has to make money. Commercial kitchens aren't free. We have to be able to pay insurance, and fuel, and repairs, and insurance (did I mention insurance?) And meanwhile we're baking bags of bikkies and selling cartons of eggs and raising expensive pastured meat chickens (that's a whole 'nother post) and just scraping by and people who meet me for the first time say, wow, you are living. the. dream. You are living my dream. What a great lifestyle for the kids, you're so lucky.
That last bit is right. I'm so damn lucky, I am. Who could ever afford to farm a bit of land like this, the way we are, and pay off its mortgage? I'm incredibly lucky to inherit it and lucky Adam's in boots and all and lucky my Dad is here to make sure we don't stuff it up on an almighty scale and lucky my Mum is here to pick up the pieces and make cups of tea and hang out my washing when I've left it in the laundry for two days and lucky we're healthy and strong and I feel endlessly lucky and don't want to make a deal out of it in case it makes someone else feel like crap. You know? It's not a dream, it's not easy and it's not simple. But with a bit of luck it's a living, and it's a cracking spot, and the company is terrific.
In other news, sugar-free September lasted exactly until I got hormonal, which was today (you couldn't tell?) and I ferreted out the chocolate. Add to my inability to concentrate a terrible terrible tendency to make excessive proclamations which I fail to complete.
Meanwhile BEFORE I got hormonal I made our Cake of Sunday with no refined sugar, and it was delicious. Doesn't need sugar.
Honey and Coconut Cake
Half cup raw honey
270ml organic coconut cream
1 cup dessicated coconut
1.5 cups self-raising flour
Cream together softened butter and honey. Add the eggs and mix well, then the coconut cream. Stir in the dessicated coconut and flour and mix well. Pour into a 20cm round greased and lined cake tin and bake on 180 degrees celcius for approx 40 mins or until springy and cooked through.
250g cream cheese
1 dessertspoon of honey
Mix ingredients well and spread onto cake. I used flaked organic coconut on top of the icing.
Enjoy with tea and encouragement.