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A Lot On My Plate


Some Things I Like to Cook & Clementine Day acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, create and live, and we recognise that Sovereignty has never been ceded.
We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

︎Copyright Some Things I Like to Cook 2020

A Lot On My Plate

As part of my monthly newsletter, I will be sharing short interviews with friends and creatives who have a lot on their plate. 2020 has been a year of pivoting, side hustles and new ventures for lots of creatives and I want to check in and see how they're going, how it's treating them and what they're eating!

For interview #4 I caught up with Lucy Roleff. Lucy is an artist but is also a musician! Can you even believe it? Her still life paintings are as jaw-droppingly beautiful as her music is. Alongside playing the harp (!), Lucy has one of the most beautiful voices. Lucy has a lot of nice insights to share about her experiences this year. I hope you enjoy. 

How did lockdown affect your working habits?

I'm a bit of a lone wolf in most of my endeavours, so I was able to keep working throughout as all I really needed was my easel, paints and a desk. Though I did have to relocate a couple of times between my studio and my apartment which was a bit of an overhaul. Then at the end of lockdown I was off to the Napier Quarter guest house in Fitzroy where I was extremely fortunate to stay for a few weeks, as artist in residence. In some ways I was more productive as I was able to paint full time, but certain logistics like correspondence, post, sourcing materials etc were slowed down - as they were for everyone.

How has easing restrictions changed your daily routines?

Returning to my old routine of getting up in the morning, grabbing coffee and walking the twenty minute stretch to my studio has been a huge relief. It was good to note how healthy it is for me to work outside of the house, though I know I was very lucky to be able to work at home for such a stretch and for the most part it was smooth sailing. There are some nice changes that have occured from being in relative isolation for a while, such as being more observant when outdoors. I think since most of us were hitting the streets for exercise and sanity, practically overnight everyone became a flâneur. Like on my walk to the studio today I can tell you I saw two dead crows, a little fairy door someone had installed at the bottom of a tree, a bee hive (which I nearly walked into to take a closer look at the fairy door)  .. I don't know if I was so aware before, maybe I was much more in my head as I took basic outdoor time for granted.

The old adage goes, some eat to live, others live to eat. Where would you place yourself?

I think most of the time I live to eat. I think I get this from my Dad, who is German and eats from a place connected to his emotions. Growing up we would eat things that reminded him of home or his parents. Same on my Mum's side, which is Maltese. My family is huge on both sides so some dishes will always be present at certain celebrations or gatherings. Potato salad with gherkins makes me think of Christmas Eve, baked macaroni reminds me of my Nunna. I never thought much about how people view food differently til talking to my brother who is in the navy and often eats from the viewpoint that it's fuel for energy. If i'm really busy maybe I can sway to that side a bit.

Did you learn to cook anything new during lockdown?

Yes! To be honest I am usually a pretty lazy cook. I think because I work with my hands and creative brain so much, by the time it rolls around to preparing something to eat I typically see it as a waste of my time if it takes longer than 20-30 minutes. This did shift a bit at the start of the first lockdown though - like lots of people I got very into preparing food in those first two weeks. Mostly I was interested in making herbal tincture medicines and sewing, but I also made apricot jam, preserved plums and made some new favourite recipes such as an israeli eggplant dish and oladky (ukranian yoghurt drop scones.)

Where was the first place you went to eat after things started opening back up?

I was very fortunate to be working on my residency at Napier Quarter at the time, where anyone who is in the know will be well aware of their coffee, anchovy toast and fine pastries.

Could you share with us some of the music that’s been getting you through the past few months?

I've actually been chipping away at two seasonal playlists which I update every so often. One for Autumn and Winter and one for Spring and Summer. So the Spring and Summer one has been on high rotation at my studio the last couple of months.

What do you most look forward to now that life is reaching "COVID Normal"?

It will be nice to have more freedom to go on long drives, visit the country and to see family. I'm taking it easy with the reemerging as i'm an introverted type and get easily overwhelmed by too many people. I think many folks like me are going the slow burn route with returning to 'normal' life, and hopefully establishing new ways of being from here on.