So here we are, Day 8. Day 8 since Britain officially lost its bloody mind.

I haven’t written a blog post for nearly a year.

Why? All the usual reasons, life got busy on me. I’m a working Mum with a toddler, and my all pervading fatigue simply got in the way. Plus, I thought I was never going to be able to produce enough unique and visually appealing Hemsley style cheese posts. So I stopped.

But now I am back. Because for the last 8 days I have been filled with an enormous sense of rage and sadness and anger and fury – and the only thing I can think of doing is writing. I have missed it.

So here I am. I’m not going to lie, the main cheese that has been eaten this week has been cobbled together cheese toasties – but so what. Because bigger things are going on in the world, and sometimes the only thing which helps is a cheese toastie.

And this blog is called ‘My life with Cheese’. So I am going to start writing about just that. My Life, with cheese. And if no one reads it then so be it, I don’t give a shit. Because I actually need to write this right now, it’s that or go completely insane!

So here we are, Day 8. Day 8 since Britain officially lost its bloody mind.

When I woke up at 4.30am on the morning of Friday 24th June it was to the sound of Adam crawling into bed going ‘I think it’s all over. It’s an Out vote’.

I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.

The boiling rage that waged up in me from that moment has only barely subsided, it took about 6 days for me not to feel overwhelmingly physically furious and grief stricken.

Why? Why? Why have you done this? This 17.4 million of you – why???????????

If you hadn’t already guessed I was and am a staunch Remain voter. No part of me has any understanding of why a British person would vote to leave the European Union. I have always considered it to be a good thing. A thing that British people should be proud of.

Yes, it is not perfect and yes I completely agree that it could be improved upon – but I strongly believe it would be better to fix it from within. Not by removing ourselves from it, especially in the ridiculous manner we have done so – it is awful. Awful!

I do not understand why people think it is so bad that we should leave, at any cost. Why did people make this decision when they didn’t have a true understanding of what the consequences of leaving would be?

I have not been measured in my response. I am not one of those people who was a bit pissed off but after a couple of days started sharing Winnie the Pooh posts about how I could never belittle my friends or loved ones over a simple matter such as a vote.

Oh no.

I think that if you voted to Leave you made a dreadful mistake, and I have made my feelings extremely clear. Probably pissing off quite a few older people I know (most of whom voted out), and no doubt some younger ones too. I’m not especially proud of having such a drastic reaction – but here’s the thing. I also don’t really give a toss because I want people to know how angry I am.

This ridiculous referendum should never have happened. The fall out since is further evidence of that. Neither the Conservatives or Labour expected this to happen and they have no plan – it is a total and utter shambles. An embarrassment.

I do not think the British people were given enough correct information to make an informed decision. But more importantly than that – I do not think the vast majority of the population – say 99% – have enough understanding of all of the issues involved to EVER make an informed decision about this.

We are never trusted to make a decision on other important issues like oh, say – going to war! So why this?

Over the last week I have read many interesting articles and blogs about this, all far more eloquent and knowledgable than mine – my favourite being Katy Boo’s Blog.

What I have started to see is a recurring theme – the anger of liberal people at what they see as an enormous loss, and ultimately – a loss of their and their children’s rights.

The important thing now is that we channel this anger into positive, tangible change for the better.

How to do this is the difficult part. That is for everyone to decide by themselves.

For me I think the answer will lie in actually joining a political party for the first time ever (jury is still out on which one).

Plus other things. Doing some kind of good, be that volunteering or donating. Anything that makes me feel a bit better about the state of the world and bringing positivity back into the community.

But it also needs to be about finding joy in the every day again.

I  appreciate that there are many, many, many worse things that happen to people than what has happened to the British this past week – but for me, bar mass murder, this is the worst thing to happen to this country in decades. The flurry of racist attacks that have happened since, the simple nature of being so divided – across not only communities but families. My own family.

So as well as posting ranty mostly nonsensical posts about political topics I admit to not really having a full grasp of, I am also going to write here about finding joy.

Today’s joy?

Taking my Mother and my Son for lunch to a newly discovered Italian deli and eating  an absolutely, hands down DELICIOUS meal of eggs, prosciutto and taleggio cheese.

Taleggio. Now you can’t get better than that.

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Kasper enjoying voting – his 3rd experience! Or as he’d say, ‘boating’!

 

 

In need of a Young Buck!

Young_Buck_Blue_CheeseHello!

I seem to have taken an unintentional summer break from blogging. But as it is now officially Autumn (ok maybe not but it certainly seems like it looking out the window this week) I find myself here again.

I happened to be in the locale of London’s best food market today – Borough Market – and as I traipsed through the rain dodging puddles I couldn’t resist a visit to one of my favourite cheese shops. I have a feeling Neal’s Yard is going to feature quite a lot on this blog!

Anyhoo. A helpful young Yorkshire Lass guided me in the direction of a blue cheese I have never had before. Young Buck from Northern Ireland. It’s got the depth of a stilton but a slightly milder flavour. It’s delish!

Young Buck is the brainchild of Michael Thomson of Mike’s Fancy Cheese

Michael was a young cheese fiend who worked hard to learn his craft, becoming his own master of artisan cheeses through crowdfunding no less. And so we have Young Buck.

I’m not eating this with fancy crackers oh no. This is currently delicious with a simple Jacob’s cracker and a mug of tea.

Jacob’s are one of my fall backs and they always remind me of my Grandpa Angus.

My grandparents lived in a tiny village in Scotland. The front of the house looked out on the sea and the back looked out at a canal, so no matter what you could look out a window and see water.

Every evening Grandpa would go for a walk and often I’d join him. Sometimes it would be along the canal bank, where you’d see yachts mooring up for the evening. Or down to the seafront and along to ‘Ian’s’ beach as we all called it for some reason.

After his walk he’d settle down for a spot of ‘tea’ (the main meal of the day was at lunch of course) which usually seemed to involve a couple Jacob’s crackers,  slices of cheddar or red leicester and perhaps a tomato. All washed down with a cup of tea and a few drafts of his pipe.

The simple pleasures eh.

When it gets to this time of year and I haven’t been to Scotland I find myself missing it. The smell of the ever fresh air, the sea, the mountains. The rain. After the week we’ve had no wonder I’m feeling nostalgic. But Jacob’s crackers and delicious Young Buck will have to do.

Happy Autumn!

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Cornish Cruncher Delight

IMG_20150612_204037133It’s been a funny week, but all rather good. My sister had a very exciting experience on Tuesday which has made me happy too.

My sister is a teacher and earlier this week none other than Michelle Obama came to visit their school. Isn’t that mental! Michelle Obama. At a school in East London. Wowsers. There is something so impressive and wonderful about that lady. I loved her speech too.

It wasn’t quite on the same scale but I had a surprise too. With Adam working at home and myself working in London (it’s usually the other way round) I had a free pass, so met up with some old friends at a pub garden in Brixton. We had laughs, talked about funny, interesting things and I ate a giant halloumi kebab. Sweet.

One thing about having kids is that you lose the ability to be spontaneous in the evening, so it was very nice to have an unexpected night out.

After all that excitement I have of course been taking a more relaxed pace, quiet and reflective, taking it all in.

With the help of this little beauty. A three year aged cheddar, the rather delicious Cornish Cruncher.

Believe it or not it was created only a few years ago, by Davidstow Creamery in Cornwall. It is quite lovely if you’re in the mood for something sharp, it measures a 7 on the cheese richter scale. Perfect with some leftover Roquefort, green tomato chutney bought from my local farmers market and of course, a lovely glass of red. Yum.

 

Somerset Stawley

Today I was fortunate to be working just down the road from Neal’s Yard Dairy in Covent Garden. At the moment I am working one day a week in London and the best bit about that by far is taking a wander on my lunch break. Covent Garden is an amazing location to work in.

For years I was there five days a week, and had the opportunity to buy cheese from Neal’s Yard all the time. Did I? Of course not. I’ve probably been in there about three times. There is something quite overwhelming about it. Any self confessed cheese freak will surely understand what I mean. You walk in, and in front of you is a delightful array of delicious, albeit reasonably expensive, cheeses. How do you know what to choose?

Thankfully there are plenty of tastings on offer. And I am getting my cheese groove on these days ya get me. So today I walked away with half a Stawley. A Somerset goats cheese with a rather pungent smell, but is quite smooth.

After a day in the office sitting here and eating Stawley on oat cakes with a glass of Spanish Red to wash it all down. Well, what more could I ask for. Happy plate time.

It turns out Stawley is made by two relative newcomers to the cheese world, Caroline and Will Atkinson on Hillside Farm in Somerset. Caroline apparently used to work in Neal’s Yard (I swear I didn’t know that when I bought it! Some kind of weird pre-requisite!?) and Will was a Lawyer. Go figure. Now they have a farm in the Somerset countryside where they keep 100 goats and make a few cheeses. Nice.

I’d recommend Stawley if you fancy a different goats cheese. It has a nice, smooth flavour. I suppose it’s on the stronger side, but for me that is just perfect.

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