Aargh! The Horror!! I’m turning THIRTy!!!! The number leers at me. It lurks in my hair in whimsically un-dyed strands of grey.  In the  ever appearing cracks in my face. It bundles around my belly and hips. Such a very ROUND looking number indeed. Oh you old fool, lifting your glass at me smirking. Like an unwanted suitor in a renaissance play with greasy hair. Little wonder then that I am so pre-occupied with getting things done. Just yesterday during my daily jog, I huffed thinking how far behind my peers in growing up I am.  Yet that unforgiving clock just won’t slack off.

My newest PUG “probably unnecessary goal” (newly acquired today) is to become the best bread baker in the whole world. In my mind I am donning a bright smile, chic 1950’s tailored dress in a matriarchal royal blue; toying my afternoon pearls as admiring friends well, admire my latest baked triumph. With this picture in mind, I ambitiously shove the premix pack back on to the shelf and shimmy on over to the raw materials isle. The professional isle. I load my shopping cart with all possible baking necessities and walk out the shop with a new raw determination. If I’m going to do this. I’m gonna do it right!

I love how I’m shopping for recipes. By picture. First pinning a few lovely looking breads as if I were a casting agent seeking the right look for my first triumphant attempt. Flicking through gorgeous Italian and other European breads, I am escorted through dreams of vineyards and brown paper packaging at rustic outdoor markets. Suddenly I’m cycling  on an old black Western Flyer in a cool vinatage knee-length daffodil print summer dress with a boatneck and headscarf with dramatic Brigitte Bardot eyeliner and coiffe, aforementioned supplies in bicycle basket. Then in the next shot, having glamorously dealt with the kneading and mixing off camera, I remove a perfect little loaf from a stone oven with a pretty tea towel and serve the piping hot bread with melting butter and preserves and cheese and awesomeness to some woodworking, gardening, artistic, academically intellectual architect with an accent, and we drive off into the sunset in a red vintage convertible.

What have I learnt? I must obtain this stone oven… I must jot down a trip to rural Tuscany on an old bicycle on my travel wish-list, round bread is prettier than boring rectangular bread-pan bread…and I’m probably obsessing over achieving world domination before thirty too much.

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