Tuesday, 11 September 2007


Last night I saw Nigella Lawson’s Express food programme featuring laughably expensive dishes like steak with crushed butter beans, served in a ton of garlic olive oil. Nigella simpered at the camera in a way that was at first funny but later became as cloying as the chocolate mousse she made. She gives soft porn (or prawn for the starter) a whole new meaning.

Nigella used to be someone I admired. She handled her husband’s death with courage and fortitude and was a brilliant writer and speaker. Now she seems to have turned into a parody of herself. If I had children I certainly wouldn’t want them eating her recipes (not a vegetable in sight, and such rich food), so I wonder what her kids eat.

So I started thinking about who inspires me. This question was posed on the Novel Racers blog the other day, (as a neat link)…

Well, I would say the late and great Jayne Tomlinson for her courage, determination and perseverance (all qualities that are vital in a writer).

My husband for his bravery in dealing with prostate cancer. He’s just been told he has to go back on treatment to bring his PSA count down, and the drugs make him feel lousy. But he hasn’t complained. (Mind you, he was only told yesterday.)

(PSA is a blood test that measures the level of cancer in the blood, by the way.)

My friend Av for having such intelligence and compassion in dealing with problem stepchildren, elderly mothers and mothers-in-law, and still retaining a sense of humour.

Someone I met recently who has survived alcoholism, drug addiction, cancer and several broken marriages. She is resolutely cheerful, resonates with lively intelligence and has a wonderful sense of humour. I am proud to be her friend.

My Mollie Dog for being so persistently optimistic, loving and intelligent. I love her to bits.

Bussie for his disdainful arrogance and his recent decision Not to Wash. He has turned from a spotless white and black cat to a grey cat. Is he rebelling? Having a mid life crisis? God knows.

Who inspires you?


ChrisH said...

Little Brown Dog and I have been maoning about Nigella (mind you she does enough moaning and pouting for everyone) and you are right about the recipes.

I'm sorry to hear about your husband's cancer. Tom has had cancer and even though he made a full recovery there have been a couple of subsequent scares which stir up the anxiety again. I hope you both get the support and help you need and if virtual support's any help, count me in.

Inspiration? I think for me it is the ordinary folk, those who aren't in the news, dealing with extraodinary situations and coping with them who put any problems I have in perspective.

Flowerpot said...

Chrish - glad to find someone else who agrees about Nigella! Himself has had cancer for 2 years now so we are over the worst shock and he is now on intermittent treatment which is better than being on it all teh time. Thanks so much for the support - it means a lot.

laurie said...

i've never seen nigella's show, though i know who she is. her husband's book was the most brilliant first-person account i've ever read about having cancer. there's been plenty of cancer in my family (sister, father) and it was good to read something that told me i wasn't insane.

i'm very sorry about your husband having to go back on those lousy drugs. intermittent treatment is much better than constant--one of my dearest friends has a husband with pancreatic cancer. that normally kills very quickly, but he's been holding his own (still working, etc) for three years now on a big combination of drugs. but he's on them all the time, which is very very wearying.

i send you and your husband my very best thoughts.

Flowerpot said...

Laurie, I'm so sorry you've had to go through so much cancer in your family. My husband has prostate cancer which can be easily controlled, luckily, but the drugs make him feel tired, depressed and knock out our sex life. But it's a small price to pay for keeping the cancer down.
Many thanks for your thoughts though.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I'm inspired by people like you flowerpot, who put it all out there on the line with their writing.

I'm inspired by this wonderful blogging community that I've fallen into.

I'm inspired by people who remain optimistic and defiant in the face of illness.

And I'm inspired today, of all days, by the genuine kindness of people. Not all, but enough that it makes a difference.

Flowerpot said...

correspondent - what a wonderful comment. I'm glowing! And I quite agree - this blogging community is wonderful.

Akelamalu said...

I used to like Nigella but she now believes her own publicity I think.

Sorry to hear about your husband's cancer, it must have been such a god awful shock for both of you! I'll remember your hubby when I'm sending Reiki.

My father inspires me. He has had a hard life, lots of knocks and ill health, Most of all he's carried on since my Mum died - though he didn't want to carry on without her I know. I love him so much.

EmmaK said...

It is certainly not people like Nigella who inspire me...who were born with a golden spoon of foie gras in their mouths. No, I have always found simply that mothers inspire me. Especially people like my husband's gran who is 75 and brought up 7 kids single handedly (the dad died) and is still now so calm and loving and giving. I really think those ordinary heroes are greater than all the superstars out there.

lady thinker said...

God the latest Nigella prog is so way over the top - my man used to love watching her but now he thinks she a caricaature of herself he left the room. sorry about your man ... hope treatment affects him less than he expecting ... fingers crossed..x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I have never watched Nigella! I can't cook well and all these celebrity chefs get on my wick!

I am sorry to learn of your husband's illness. I send my love to you both.

As for inspiration, there are several people who have helped; my beloved dad who passed July 2001 (I blog about him often); my beautiful daughter, Amy who is an inspiration to everyone having to deal with autism (and me!); my Uncle Tom who was the writer in the family, he wrote a book with his friend about church organs. He was severely epileptic and was unable to work for fifteen years prior to his tragic death on New Years Day 2002. He went to live in digs at a college in Essex where he voluntarily helped for 12 months to teach severely handicapped adults to read and write. He became so depressed six months before he passed and his body was found in a local river, speculation was branded about that he committed suicide. He visits me often. Although I have never written about him as yet.

I also receive my inspiration from my blog followers, feeling pride when I see that people have read and hopefully enjoyed my blogs.

Thank you, Crystal xx

Flowerpot said...

ak - interesting to see that you agree about Nigella as well. So sorry to hear about your father - he must have had such a bad time when your mother died.

emmak - yes I agree a lot of mothers are truly inspirational.

lady thinker - yes, Nigella seems to have gone completely over teh top now! Thanks for your thoughts re husband.

crystal - 'm so sorry to hear about your uncle tom. Depression is a truly terrible thing to live with - or not in his case. Keep up teh writing and best of luck with the novel - it sounds great. Writing evidently runs in the family.

Dee said...

I like Nigella. I don't think she cooks very healthy food (I watched the same show.. a whole tub of mayonnaise! I mean come on!), but nevertheless I like some of her dishes and I like watching her.

Sorry to hear about your husband's illness. Sending both of you my very best thoughts and wishes.

As for inspiration, I am truly inspired by all the wonderful blogs I have come across this year, and the friends I've made far and near. Sometimes I can't believe my luck.

My mum has also been an inspiration to me when she was alive, and still is today, 4 and a half years after she passed away (lungcancer) at the age of 58. My life is now more so than ever guided by her.

Lane said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's cancer flowerpot. He sounds like an inspiration. So do you.

Re Nigella...I'm sure she's very nice but there is just something about her that makes me go grrrrrrrr

(plus I cooked her 'Curry In A Hurry' the other night and it was sooo runny...and it wasn't my fault:))

liz fenwick said...

So sorry to here about your husband's cancer. Sending good vibes through to both of you.

JJ said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's cancer too.

I agree about Nigella too: she's quite shocking. We had a family lunch once in a gastro pub in London near my sister's flat, where Nigella was lunching with some friends. My Dad couldn't take his eyes off her: but she's all woman, good for her for not being stick insect thin!

Rob Clack said...

I used to drool over Nigella but nearly threw up watching the first of her new series. Those "Aren't I sexy?" sideways glances at camera. No thank you.

Flowerpot said...

dee - glad that someone appreciates Nigella! But so sorry to hear about your mum. Seh sounds a wonderful person and I can only guess how much you miss her.

Lane - actually, N's curry in a hurry looked pretty good to me - teh only thing that did. Interesting that it didnt live up to reproduction, so to speak!

Liz - thanks for your kind thuguhts, particularly when you are in such a state of upheaval at the moment.

jj I quite agree N is an example in not being stick thin, but she is expanding by the programme, I swear. A friend of mine reckons she was wearing one of those heavy duty corsets for teh show the other night. Miaow...

Rob - good to meet youand please pass this way again! I quite agree about N's 'sexy' looks. Surprised teh camera didn't crack.

What a bitch.....

Mopsa said...

FP- best of luck to you and Himself. Fingers tightly crossed for you.

Now. Nigella. I have to say I love it, and think she loves the hamming it up too - surely she is a very bright woman and knows she is living up to the caricature that has been created around her? The perfect life, the perfect house, the perfect friends? We all know that can't be so, and it's a hoot seeing it presented as such. I think her tongue is in her cheek, not as a sexy simper but in self mockery.

Flowerpot said...

Mopsa - how good to see you again! Thanks for your thoughts and interesting to hear yours about Nigella. I do hope you're right. She seems too intelligent otherwise.