My Mum once said of me that I “flutter in all ways, and fly in none” (gee, thanks Mum!). Well actually she didn’t say it quite so prosaically, but her gist was the same.
In truth those are the words of a George Eliot character (Philip Wakem in The Mill on the Floss), and they struck a chord with me more than twenty years ago because this was how I was perceived. Here’s the passage from which it comes:
I think of too many things – sow all sorts of seeds, and get no great harvest from any one of them. I’m cursed with susceptibility in every direction and effective faculty in none. I care for painting and music. I care for classic literature, and medieval literature and modern literature: I flutter in all ways, and fly in none.
On the surface, this seems an uncanny likeness, and even on a deeper level, it speaks of diagnosed facets of my inner self, namely ADHD and OCD . I do indeed think of too many things, and am cursed with susceptibilities in all manner of directions, usually taking things up obsessively and dropping them if my progress to perfection is too slow.
My flutterings in the past have included oil painting, guitar, cross stitch, papercrafts, clarinet, mandolin, Spanish, writing, woodwork and a gazillion more. Don’t get me started on how much money I could make selling all the gear!
Well one thing I have fluttered at long enough to feel I am finally starting to fly, is cooking, and in particular baking. My family consider me the Queen of Desserts, and I am a dab hand at making cakes. So recently I have developed a deeper passion for the art of baking and have decided to lengthen my journey by trying my hand at pastry making, bread baking, and most importantly, cake decorating and sugar art.
I cannot deny, that some elements of my exploration are obsessive, often hyperfocussed, and a little bit out of control. And so as I chronicle my baking efforts, I will not be able to avoid straying into the path of OCD behaviours. Nevertheless I think it will be worthwhile, and helpful, to express and share both sides of the coin in this baking blog. Rest assured I am living with two types of OCD, the baking kind AND the medical kind and it is not my intention to belittle the latter.