Sunday, 13 September 2015

tzatziki & being a happy loner

I have a gripe. Why is it still seen as socially awkward if you decide to do things alone? While going to an art gallery or exhibition may seem awfully contemplative and creative – place yourself at the door of a restaurant and ask for a table for one and you’re most likely to be met with a raised eyebrow. Or, if you're lucky a sniggering bored person will furtively add you next to their OMG! on social media. We feel free to frequent coffee shops and little bistros but there are so many amazing restaurants and eateries that I want to visit and would like to do so unabashedly, and alone. I don’t want a dinner date, nor do I want to feel the need to phone around to see if a friend is free before venturing out. I want to be able to order that Brazilian barbeque or green tea ice cream sandwich whilst sitting down and not to go, pretending that I was always intending to order to go, instead of feeling like it’s the normal thing to do because I’m alone.

Many people I know like going to the movies alone. Personally I treasure the ability to watch a film in complete silence – away from myself. Yes, away from myself. You see, I am that annoying person who finds it very difficult not to offer a running commentary throughout the entire film and attempts to exchange information with the person next to her at very frequent intervals. Watching something with people you know (to me) means asking them if they thought a particular part of a film was funny, or if they knew where I’d seen that actor before. One of my favourite film genres is mystery/thriller as I like to guess every single move of the detective and perpetrator to prove my amazing psychic talents. You have to admit, it feels great when you are right about a revelation that takes place ten minutes later. Doesn't it? Are you listening?

So, I am in the mood to re-connect with my inner introvert and revert back to being the happy loner I used to be growing up. I loved nothing more than burying myself in a fantastical novel and eating biscuits and tea - all the while avoiding any form of socialising. It made me odd back then but it also made me who I am today. I say embrace this simple joy in life. If you want to do something alone, do it. Just don’t turn into Miss Havisham and you’ll be absolutely fine!
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
250g Greek yoghurt
1 cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
Salt and pepper to taste
½  tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs chopped fresh mint
2 cloves of finely crushed garlic
½ tsp chilli flakes

Finely chop cucumber and mix with about ¼ tsp of salt and place in a colander to drain excess water.

In a bowl mix together yoghurt, salt, pepper, paprika and crushed garlic, along with lemon juice and combine the drained cucumber.

Finally, mix in some olive oil and coarsely chopped mint. Allowing the Tzatziki to rest for a few hours or overnight in the fridge also helps to develop the flavours.

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