The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Baking a cake

Stress is something that affects us all in different ways, and we all have a variety of coping mechanisms (or not-coping mechanisms would probably be a more accurate description). For married men, or those in a long-term relationship, sooner or later you learn the tell tale signs of a partner under pressure.

Some men have to cope with wives who suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. Others are trying to support their spouses through postnatal depression, or dealing with financially crippling retail addiction. A few even have to cope with violent or aggressive behaviour.

For me, it’s baking. Given everything we’ve been going through lately I shouldn’t have been too surprised to smell flour, sugar and butter being mixed together in various alchemical ratios.

Maggie has been away for a few days, helping my stepdaughter settle back into her flat and talk to various official people, and yesterday we drove up to Central Scotland to bring her back home to a family with an emotional Maggie shaped hole in it. There is much to happen over the next few months as my stepdaughter rebuilds her and her children’s lives, but for the moment there is a brief lull.

As I wandered into the kitchen I found Maggie using the scone cutters to make scones out of the mix on the worktop, which were ready for eating when I got home from collecting Meg from school.

No one makes warm, squidgy combinations of sugar, salt and fat like Maggie and they are absolutely impossible to resist. But given that we are trying to restore our healthy eating regime after the gluttonous season, it does deal something of a body-blow.

However, I don’t have to deal with physical or financial violence, depression, drug or alcohol addiction from her, so if eating a bit of cake and a few warm, buttery scones is all I need to put up with, then I’m not going to complain.


Belly said...

Mmmmm cake. And warm buttery scones. Yes, I suppose given the spectrum of what some must put up with that is really not all so bad.


kats said...

Mmmmmmmmmm comfort food

Asher Hunter said...

Oh, the life you lead my friend. I cannot help but feel your suffering, and hope that somehow, someway, you find the strength to soldier onwards.


Kim Ayres said...

Belly - it's a tough job, but someone's got to do it

Kats - I know, I know.

Asher - I appreciate your support and have no doubt that if you lived a little closer then you would be calling round to help share my burden.

Andraste said... heart bleeds for you.

Having said that, I just decompressed from a stressful week with cheddar & ale soup.

It was like drinking cheese whiz.

swiss rebecca said...

Mmmmmm..... fresh baked goods. Yummy. I'm a bad partner in that sense- I tend to clean things that don't need cleaning (i.e. reorganize the kitchen cupboard). Which is immediately recognizable as stress, since I don't normally clean anything of free will.

Kim Ayres said...

Andraste - Cheddar and Ale soup? I can't imagine. Sounds like a student thing -

"what's left in the fridge?"

"Half a pound of cheese and an unfinished bottle of Newcastle Brown."

"Cheddar and Ale soup it is then."

Swiss Rebecca - it's amazing the different ways we try and bring a sense of control back into our lives when we're under stress

Natalia said...

Amen to that. I know some people who deal with stress by exercising. I would like to be one of them. Alas, I am more likely to eat comfort food than jump on a treadmill when I am stressed...maybe I can teach myself how to be that kind of person.

I write to make stress go away. By writing, I can gain perspective, put distance between me and the issue and let it go.


Gyrobo said...

It's the little things in life that keep you sane. 'Cause you'd totally go psycho if you had to deal with everything at once.

Dude! My word verification thing says "webconf"! Weird.

Anonymous said...

why cant i open barney's blog today,
any answers?

Kim Ayres said...

Natalia - I'm starting to find that writing can help too. I write a great deal more than anyone reads as there's a fair amount that is just for being cathartic

Gyrobo - my WV is hotfn, which could be hot fun. I'll take it as a sign and go out and enjoy myself :)

anonymous - who are you? why should I know? and I'm not having any problems with it.

Stella said...

mmmmmmmmm cake yep, that's tough on you alright.

fatmammycat said...

Kim, you are an intelligent sage, but also a father. if you have time, head on over to
and give me your opinion of this most troubling of subjets. I would be interested to see what you think.

Kim Ayres said...

Stella - I knew you'd understand ;)

fatmammycat - I've written my next blog posting about it.

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