Sometimes, the things you love most are the things you fear. I adore enormous bookstores but sometimes when I walk into them my heart beats faster, because Oh, excellent, there are so many books! but also Oh no. There are so many books and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to read even a small percentage of them all, why isn’t there more time in the day?
I love holding my niece, who is six months old and squishy, with big blue eyes and very little hair, and she is wriggly and I. Must. Not. Drop. The. Squirmy. Baby. I stand her on my lap, one tiny, ticklish foot on each thigh, and I do not know what to say to her. Small talk is hard enough with a fully-grown human.
I will always want crispy bacon on my burgers, but if I grill it, I will watch it, cross-legged and unblinking on the floor like I’m on the Bake Off, just in case the fat catches and bursts into flames like it did that one time when I was a kid.
There’s a big place in my heart for huge, fluffy muffins – the properly craggy-topped ones, not supermarket double chocolates, all sticky on top and dry at the bottom – and I am convinced that I can’t make them.
Well, I didn’t say any of the things I am scared of were rational, did I?
But I revel in stepping through the doors of Foyles on Charing Cross Rd; I still scoop up that smiley little kid and wrangle her into my arms; I’m not giving up bacon. And, damn it, I’m going to conquer muffins.
Honey-roasted peach and cinnamon muffins
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Makes 12 muffins
3 peaches, cut into small chunks
300g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon