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Religion for Atheists

    Creativity Corner Vive La Différence

    Vive La Différence – Eat, Pray, Love

    October 14, 2013

    It’s Vive la Différence Monday! Where does the time go. It’s certainly colder and wetter than last month!

    My guest this month is Carole Poirot , writer of Mademoiselle Poirot. Carole photographs all of the images on her blog. ‘I am passionate about interior design and decorating, cooking, baking, painting and photography. I’m a dreamer with a day job, a romantic with a big dose of cynicism, a mum with a motorbike, an admirer of beauty with an edge.’

    For new readers:

    The concept: each month i will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image. There are 20 themes and 20 objects my guest can choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then also create an image based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a line drawing, a collage, a hand painted image, a styled table top, the choice is yours! The fun part is that you guys will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.

    Carole chose the theme: Eat, Pray, Love with the objects: food, art supplies and books – Here’s her take on this.

    When Tina asked me to take part in the Vive la Différence series, I was immediately up for it – before I even knew what it would entail – as I admire her blog and voice. When I received the list of items and subjects, I panicked for a second as I wondered which subject would have any relevance to me and what I do. Going through it though, I saw ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and knew it was the one I could really relate to.

    Disclaimer: This has nothing whatsoever to do with the book or film and it’s a shame that these three words will now forever be associated with it.

    ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ does encompass (nearly) everything I do and everything that features heavily in my daily life. The love for the people in my life, my love of books, interiors, painting, and good seasonal food are all things which make me feel fulfilled and happy. I grew up with all these things, have learned to cook from scratch from my mum and still love sharing home made meals with family, friends and anybody who likes to sit around my pine table to enjoy some wine and laughter along with the food. I have always read books and have always loved interiors. As a child, used to rearrange my bedroom in the middle of the night to get it just right. I remember asking my parents to buy me some wall emulsion so that I could repaint my room – in pale pink and chocolate brown! In my defence, it was the mid-80’s… When invited to ‘adult parties’ with my parents, I was the one sitting in a corner drawing the faces of the people there and being thoroughly happy to be left to do that. Loving all these things, being able to act on that love in my daily life and having people around me whom I love and who love me back is something I not only hugely appreciate, but also feel very fortunate to have.

    Feeling this fortunate brings me to the ‘praying’ bit. Though I’m not a particularly religious person and I don’t subscribe to one particular religion in itself, I do thank whoever might be out there for my good fortune. Some people might call it ‘praying’ and I guess it fits the general idea of what praying means to most people. I ‘pray’ to say thank you for what I have, as I believe that there will always be an element of luck, good fortune, or ‘somebody watching over me’ involved in my success. I don’t believe that people rise to the top by talent and hard work alone. These are obviously very important and significant factors, but if they were truly the absolute and only deciding ones, then there would be an awful lot of people right at the top who are currently unrecognised despite all of their hard work. I have had complete chance meetings which have resulted in some great things for me and they were purely down to luck. My abilities came into it later when I had to prove that my luck was deserved.

    ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is shorthand for everything that is good in my life, everything that interests me, the people who surround me, my work, my good fortune. If I had my way, I’d add one more to this list as I believe it really fits in: Karma! You can pray as much as you like, but if you show a lack of respect and empathy for others, karma will rightfully be a bitch! But that’s one for another post I guess…

    Vive la Différence - Eat, Pray, Love - Carole Poirot
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    Eat, Pray, Love has indeed been hijacked by Elizabeth Gilbert but I did enjoy the book when it came out. The words eat, pray and love are very profound as they all encompass everything from fun right through to healing! Well, maybe ‘pray’ hasn’t got much connotation with ‘fun’, some may say but then Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists provocative book argues that we can benefit from the wisdom and power of religion—without having to believe in any of it. I wouldn’t exactly call myself an atheists, but i see myself more spiritual than religious.

    For my vignette I photographed home-made soup. This is something I have nearly daily, especially in autumn/winter. I find it nourishes my soul as well as keep away any nasty bugs I might otherwise catch. It’s no wonder that chicken soup is sometimes called ‘Jewish Penicillin’. Here’s what I use to make my soups.

    Home-made chicken/beef stock
    Olive oil or cocomut oil
    First I use banana shallots, carrots, celery. Then I will rotate between frozen peas, broad beans, chestnut mushrooms, broccoli and courgettes.
    Once it’s all softened (only takes a few minutes) I put in the stock and bring it to the boil.
    Now I shred in some spinach, cavolo nero or kale and throw in some mange tout at the very last minute.
    Serve with either coriander or basil, a drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated ginger or/and horseradish. Season to your liking.

    To make this into a full meal, I will poach a piece of salmon inside the soup and sometimes also add some rice noodles.
    That’s it. It’s fresh, full of goodness and gives you lots of nutrients and greens all in one go! Why not give it a try.

    I’ve also included some favourite books of mine, relating to eat, pray, love. See if they appeal to you:

    The Self-Healing Cookbook. Although written as a macrobiotic book, i bought it to help me understand the relationship between food and our minds and moods. I’ve cherished this book for the past 15 years.

    Everything I’ve ever done that worked. ‘A beautiful collection of short essays which act as a spiritual and emotional first-aid kit.’ (The Guardian) Lesley Garner’s writing is beautiful and comforting all in one. Here she’s distilled her own life’s experiences.

    Everything I’ve ever learned about Love. Another book by Lesley Garner. It’s the first time I found a book that so eloquently explained the multitude facets of love. Your idea of love will be forever expanded and transformed.

    Oh, and for the art supplies, see my yellow squiggles:-)

    Vive la Différence - Eat, Pray, Love - Tina Bernstein

    It remains for me to thank Carole for taking part in this series and sharing so generously of herself.. Merci.

    I hope you all have a great beginning to the week and I’ll see you back here on Thursday!