Just back from an enormous creative boost at the Sheffield Documentary Festival.  Met some amazing new people and some much cherished old friends – the wonderful Sarah and Suzanne.  I was also thrilled to see my much-adored mentor Hugh. I just bumped into him in the street, absolutely by chance, what a joyful bit of serendipity.  Every time I see him I think about the time about 10 years ago he made me laugh SO MUCH with his quote about the perfect age difference between two lovers.  Something about halving the older person’s age and adding 2 – at that particular moment in time the sums added up.  It was such a perfect moment that I wrote a story about it but goodness knows where it is now.

I was there for work and was very busy with meetings so only got to see two films: Searching for Sugar Man

which was very cool and The Artist Is Present

which I absolutely adored.  I loved that film from start to finish.  What an inspiration.

I hope it won’t make me sound too shallow to say that the most memorable moment of the whole film was seeing Marina Abramovic cutting up courgettes.  Her feat of endurance at MOMA was just stunning, but it was the way she cut her courgettes that will stay with me for ever I am sure.  Ha ha, I am not a good artist.

I had four BIG courgettes in the fridge left over from the Vincent Price extravaganza so I decided to make this soup.  I am quite down in the dumps today after a roller-coaster 24 hours which has rocked my world in two places – but as Val Doonican would put it – only gently.

Making soup is one of those things which brings everything back into perspective and this is now in the slow cooker so I am content.

Courgettes cut just as Marina would do it…

Hal K Dawson’s Zucchini Soup recipe as he wrote it…

2 lbs zucchini, cut in chunks

1 cube margarine (actually I just realised I forgot about this!)

1 large white onion, cut up

2 chicken bouillon cubes (I didn’t have any so used Herb Knorr thingies)

1 cup water

Pinch thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil together until tender but not mushy.  Blend in blender in creamy.  Serve hot or cold.  Delicious.

Serves 4-6

PS – I found the Val Doonican picture here – Then Play Long – the type of blog I really like, where someone has set themselves a big project.  In this case to review every UK number 1 album.  What a task!  Looks like the author of the blog – Marcello Carlin – is up to 1976 so has about 35 years worth of albums to go.  Ha!  What an admirable undertaking.
Here is Hal K. looking majestic.

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