A few years ago, Delia Smith did a new book that had a recipe in it called "twice baked goats cheese souffles". It was one of her "master strokes" and for a while everyone was serving them at dinner parties up and down the UK.
I just thought of them when I was typing the title to this and in fact the thought is completely random in as much as this has nothing to do either with Delia or with goats cheese souffles.
The day before yesterday, David and I had to finally face up to going and doing the Christmas shopping. That meant an early start, a trip to Plymouth for "big shops" and a trip to the RHS garden at Rosemoor for "ethical buying".
While we were sitting in a traffic jam on the way into the car park, I spotted a big ad for a Beryl Cook exhibition in the University's art gallery. "Ooohhhh - I LOVE Beryl Cook" I said "It's a shame it finishes tomorrow because I'd have loved to have seen that". DM replied "Why don't we go today?" Woo hoo.
So, instead of getting out of the car and doing battle with the screaming hoardes in the shopping centre, we were able to put off this chore with a lovely trip around an art gallery. I was inspired. DM was inspired. We were both moved to giggling wildly at some of her more outrageous images. We studied them closely and from afar, both in terms of the visual image and the concepts. In short, or even in long, we loved them deeply. What a completely amazing woman. What a fabulous collection of images so packed with crazy, sordid, joyous life. We were once inspired.
Then we got to do the dull bit - some shopping in the town centre for things that we couldn't source more ethically. Urgh - especially Woolies, where we weren't looking for Woolies bargains (just as well as the only bargains they seemed to have were plastic buckets with a "massive" 30% off the price), we were looking for Hobbycraft, which had opened in Woolies only weeks before the announcement of closure! (Talk about crap timing.) Anyway, they are closing too on account of the fact that no customers could get to their bit of the store without the doors being open!
The second inspiration came in the form of the vegetable garden in Rosemoor - a "must-see" destination at the gardens, no matter what the weather or the time of year. You see, it's only by comparing how I'm doing in my veggie plot compared to them that I have any benchmark about my own gardening and my own abilities.
I was thrilled to see that their garden looked much as mine did in many areas - they too have all the chinese leaf veggies, leeks and brassicas as more-or-less the only crops. There were some garlic plants peeping up through the top of the soil, just like mine are too. Not only that but theirs looked much like mine did for a change. I do get depressed when my veggies look pathetic in comparison to theirs. Even though I felt that my stuff is looking good compared to theirs, I was inspired anyway by their new landscaping and the preparations going on for 2009s growing season. Twice inspired!
So, it just goes to show that from a decidedly gloomy pair of people going out to do a nasty chore, we both found inspiration, not just once, but twice. How cool is that?