so……….now you know

Hmm. Hmmmmmm.

What to do when something enormous happens, and I’m so used to living my life as publicly as I can, tweeting every vapid-but-it-feels-kinda-deep thought and blogging about every up, down, and diagonal shunt of my life. But this one needs some time, some respect, some quiet. 
But also it would be really impossible to not address it, so in compromise, I’m just gonna talk about it pretty quickly. 
Two things happened recently: One, I realised I’m gay. (…gayer than I initially thought, if you will.) 
Two, well, Tim and I are as a direct result no longer getting married. Or together. A person’s sexuality is entirely their own business, no explanations are owed to anyone, (how can you explain something that just is?) and a relationship is the business of the people in the relationship only. Seriously. But – I offer you the following bullet points.
– Tim and I were together for nearly nine years. Much as it would’ve been convenient if this had all fallen into place when I was, oh, seven years old, I would not trade Tim’s and my time together for any trinket in the world. 
– We started off as best friends, and we’re gonna end up as best friends, whether we’re ninety years old and hanging out together on a porch somewhere drinking whisky or whether we finally work out how to become vampires and live forever and avoid aging and like, just meet up occasionally until infinity. There’s obviously one hell of a journey ahead (not least, we’ve accumulated an intimidating quantity of possessions) but this will never, ever change.
– My brother summed it up the best when he txted me and said something very wonderful to the effect of “I’m sad you two had to end but I’m happy you found yourself.” Those are pretty much the emotions flying round right now, but to the power of five hundred. 
– I’m gay. The gayest. Stone cold gay. Tony award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden. Things don’t fall into place immediately. Sometimes things are hidden so deep because you don’t want to notice them, sometimes things were there all along. It’s not black and white, it’s not a light switch, it’s…it just is. Again: no-one’s business, but I’d just like to gently point out that all of us are somewhere on a spectrum. Much as we might be taught otherwise, or indeed, have the subject studiously avoided altogether.  
Cool. Okay. Lots of change ahead. Lots of things will never change. 
I haven’t really felt like cooking for a while – truth be told, I’d felt nauseous for days, maybe weeks – but on Monday night I made Tim and I (well, we’re still living together) a roast chicken for dinner and on Tuesday morning I made us breakfast, Breakfast Apple Crumble that is. And it felt good. And then I was like “wow Laura you’re a genius with this recipe from your incredible cookbook you should really make breakfast more often”. Yep, it’s so good that it stopped me being self-deprecating for a whole minute. That’s probably the nicest thing I can say about a recipe, but to be more helpfully specific – the quickly fried, roughly chopped apples topped with toasted oats, chewy with butter and brown sugar, is an actual gift to yourself first thing in the morning. 

This recipe is indeed from my cookbook, Hungry and Frozen: the cookbook. Who among us can say that they don’t like mentioning their cookbook whenever possible? (trick question, not many of us can. Because not many of us have cookbooks. I have one though! Oh man, this got obnoxious.)

Breakfast Apple Crumble

2 apples
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons whole oats
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Finely dice the apples. It can be roughly done, but the smaller the pieces the faster they’ll cook. Heat a tablespoon of the butter in a frying pan, and tip in the apple. Fry gently, stirring, for five minutes till it is softened slightly. Tip it all into a bowl, then melt the remaining butter and the brown sugar together in the same pan. Once sizzling, tip in the remaining ingredients and stir to toast everything slightly and coat in syrup. Once it’s looking browned and crisp, spatula it over the apples. 

I said it served one person in my book, but to be honest it was plenty for the two of us. Also I didn’t have sunflower seeds so used some almonds instead and it was still grand of course.

Apples and cinnamon together are like eating a hug. A hug. With cream poured over, so much the better. Ideally it would’ve been evaporated milk, which I used to have as a child poured over canned peaches for dessert, but I’m not turning my nose up at actual cream before 8am.

So that’s what’s been going on lately. While this is one hell of a situation, Tim and I have been very lucky that so many people surrounding us have been kind, generous, caring, thoughtful, amazing, and accepting without question. We’ve been able to hang out together, but we’ve also had people surrounding us individually with love and basically being giant ears for whatever we’ve got to say. People are wonderful, Tim is wonderful, I’m really not too bad myself, and I hope I can give that same level of support to someone else if it’s ever, ever needed.

Oh: I apologise if this is not the way you anticipated finding this news out. Tim and I know a lot of people. It’s hard to keep track of who knows things and who doesn’t, how far news has spread…I hate phone calls and scary one-on-ones anyway, and this blog is my home away from home, so this is probably the most personal and hey-you-yes-you way I could say this. So…now you know.
title from: Queenie Was a Blonde, from Andrew Lippa’s 2000 off-Broadway musical The Wild Party, which was what introduced me to my idol Idina Menzel and another idol Julia Murney, many years ago. Probably worth a listen even if you don’t like musicals, it just goes to so many places from the classic 20s wah-wah opening and is such a cool expositional song. “A fascinating couple, as they go….” (should point out here that Tim joked about how maybe the title should be “my love came crumbling down” because you know, break-up plus apple crumble and I was like HA! PUN! but also um, maybe a little on-the-nose if this is your first time hearing about this news. And I say that as someone who tends to turn to jokes when things get serious. Still: good pun, though, yeah?)

music lately:

Lana Del Rey, Once Upon a Dream. Del Rey’s cover of the song from Sleeping Beauty is just…dreamy is far too pale a word to describe how dreamy it is. Listening to it is like that feeling where you can just sense yourself falling asleep and you’re still the tiniest bit cognisant and it’s all muted and muffled and a bit sinister but lovely. Or, uh, it’s a nice song, is what I’m saying.

Guess who’s been listening to lots of Green Day? Me, obviously, this is my blog. I just love ’em. Tim and I were actually at the Milton Keynes concert that got recorded for the Bullet in a Bible album/DVD (Truly. We just happened to be in the audience that night. Who would’ve known that the blandest city in England would’ve ended up having a concert recorded live there?) so I’ll always have a thing for that. Brain Stew and Are We The Waiting/St Jimmy and p much the whole thing are really great.

Kate Nash, Mouthwash. I just get in a Kate Nash mood sometimes, like daily.
next time: yeah nah, who knows. But for your sake hopefully something more relaxed. Well, for my sake too.

22 thoughts on “so……….now you know

  1. Emma says:

    Ah Laura, I had been quite worried for you, what with your last post. I'm glad to see everyone is alive and well, and feeling plenty of those great big wonderful scary sad feelings that make us the wonderful beings we are. Change is hard, but we are here for you.



  2. Evie says:

    Great post about great people and great changes and amazing food. I also don't think you pimp your incredible cookbook nearly enough. Yay for finding yourself and being brave and being you! xxx


  3. alana says:

    Good work Laura, and keep moving forward. Love the apple crumble for brekkie idea too! I finally got around to posting the other day – down to one per month, if I'm lucky! 🙂


  4. anne louise says:

    So many feelings indeed xx
    Go you, I'm pretty sure that you're awesome (Tim, too), and that things are pretty shitty now, sorry. But tunnels are only tunnels if they have two ends (otherwise they'd be…mine shafts? Burrows? Very long pieces of bamboo? I don't know, sorry) so keep on keeping on because you'll get to the light in the end x


  5. G says:

    It's really difficult to know what to say – except for that I admire your bravery, and to wish you both well in the coming period of transition. Go gently on yourself, lots of crumble breakfasts…! x


  6. Hannah says:

    It's just that I love you SO much. And I deeply, deeply wish I could take you out of whiskey and scotch and vodka, classy-like, but also for very silly drinks with umbrellas. And ice cream. I love you. Hugs. To you and to the magnificent Tim. xo


  7. big mamabird says:

    I had to continue living with a boyfriend for a couple weeks after he told me I was never, and would never be, the right woman for him…oh and it was so very hard…I wish you and Tim all the best in this hard/growing time! Hand in there, babies! Oh,I lived through it, and had further adventures and so on… and now have two kids and a 20 year anniversary!!


  8. herrera_nz says:

    Dearest lovely Laura,

    While I wish I could say “I know what you're going through”, it would be an utter lie.Nevertheless, what I, and many others can say is you will always have the support of your friends, family, and like, a gazillion strangers.

    You have managed to uncover a deep, hidden facet to yourself which you have so bravely revealed, and for that I commend you.

    May you treat yourself kind, live lots, laugh lots,eat lots (DUHHHH) and celebrate your new found confidence.
    I also hope that this revelation allows you to sleep, where you can dream of cat's and unicorns, possibly even canicorns?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Just wanted to say , go you – I love your cookbook and your blog and I make your bacon satay sandwhiches all the time. They are the best!!


  10. Anonymous says:

    Well done on being ready and taking the big step to come out. Looks like you have a wonderful support base around you. Totally understand you wanting Tim to be safe and secure, I have been through the same kind of situation. Good luck working through all of these big feelings. It was the best move I made in my life. I hope the future brings you exciting new adventures and many more food related endeavours.


  11. Anonymous says:

    I know the feeling exactly! I'm only eighteen, but I feel like I've been here, there, and everywhere in terms of the sexuality spectrum! It's a journey, something to discover, and sometimes you realise it when the timing isn't quite right but in my opinion you've done the right thing. Best wishes for the future! 🙂


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