"Crab" Cakes, Metamorphosing & WTF is with Reformer Pilates ?

Hey Honeybunches, I've just got back from getting my covid booster & flu shot. One in each arm, stab - stab. Combined with trying Reformer pilates for the first time last night (that is a worrrrld, I did not know existed!), I'm tip-tapitee typing fast before my arms feel like lead!

While the days still feel so long & difficult for my brain, these newsletters do cause for healing reflection. I've kept cooking, pitching, parenting my dog in a loving secure-attachment way (or re-parenting myself through the act ha!), gone to therapy, studio-hopped to so many yoga classes, voice messaged friends like it's a daily journaling practice, learnt new things & kept metamorphosing - which is the vibe of the era!

But first a word on Reformer pilates - I mean this with love, but what in the world is that wOrLD?! On a whim (and wanting to try it!) I went to a beginner class at a KX studio last night & it felt like a cult! The combination of blaring music, clanging/banging machines and a cohort of attendees I felt like a raging weirdo amongst (not pilates fault), I didn't have the bestest of times. Also for someone who thought they were reasonably fit, that ruled that right out of the park! I felt like my arms were so wobbly I was a safety risk on the drive home! But all shits on it aside, I will probably give it another go (at a different studio). I can see it would be a smoother experience with a little practice & it could truly help with my pitiful arm strength situation. Anyhoo, venty review over !

*the right-photo above is - yes, a terry-toweling poncho for children (swim accessory) that I did buy, and have incorporated into my pErSoNaL sTyLe. I love it so much ahh!

I redeemed an adult sewing class voucher this week @ the Recycled Sewing Studio in Hampton (where I had all my microbakery pop-ups), and I made a vest out of the middle panel of an old dusty blue cable jumper, adding peek-a-boo patchwork strips down each side. As I take my sensory needs seriously (following my psychologist & GP agreeing it's highly likely I'm autistic), I'm trying to lean into my wacky-wonky fashion, food, everything-preferences. Point being, this piece is warm, but I like that it resembles a tea-cosy, in that my limbs are freeeee - so I wont feel increasingly claustrophobic wearing it.

We had the wildest of thunderstorms yesterday morning (felt like the world woke up and chose violence... or the apocalypse lol) & with that I think Autumn has marked it's arrival. Anyway, this all means Easter is around the corner (yes, yes - it's not in Spring for us southern-hemisphere-ers) & this display of Australiana chocolates I saw at our local IGA the other day truly swelled my heart. Marsupials really do make for bonny bunny substitutes!


My ABC Everyday piece came out last Monday! It was such a special day omg. People actually read it! They took the time out of their day to comment & message me about how they related, some searched me out to email me with heartfelt gratitude. It was a very validating, warm fuzzy response-filled day. I don't think I've ever been that candid in pAiD oNLiNe wOrK - so I'm still riding the gratitude felt for having been granted the space to write it.


I'm so proud of how many new things I've made in the kitchen over the last couple of weeks. I've really pushed & "taken my cooking medicine" so to speak - lovingly submitting myself to the initial discomfort, for the nervous system pay-off, self-satisfaction and everything else that cooking brings, every, single, tiiiime (how novel?!). It's all headed for my new YouTube series - but above we have an udon noodle soup, ruby noodles & buttered miso noodles.

Buttered quinoa cinnamon porridge, banana split with hot chocolate fudge sauce & herb flecked crêpes I later stuffed with a spinach and mushroom crème.


Lessons in Chemistry, By Bonnie Garmus | My neighbour lent me this one to read, which I happily accepted as it's everywhere (plus Nigella approved!). It's a very rEaL feeling fictitious story about a gifted (autistically coded) female chemist in the 60s dealing with sexism, the patriarchy, misogyny, having a child out of wedlock & being a single parent. It has a stunningly healthy (if probably unrealistic) romance at the heart of it, as well as a cooking show which felt very Julia Child - but also entirely original. I don't think I was the target audience, to find it as page turning as all of my mum's friends have done - but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. It's visceral, very human & manages to include a talking (kinda) dog, seamlessly.

Late Bloomer: How An Autism Diagnosis Changed My Life, By Clem Bastow | I'd been meaning to read this memoir for ages, only I'd been put off by the loud glittery-ness of the cover & not being familiar with the author prior. Clem Bastow grew up in east-Melbourne and is a script writer, journalist & teacher. They were diagnosed (I think I'm remembering this correctly) at 35 and this book is about their life with the *tism, when they knew that's what it was & when they didn't. It's beautiful. I learn more about autism from first person perspectives than more official sources (although they are obviously very important). The Melbourne suburban-ness of this was delightfully relatable & as I edge closer to pursuing my own autism assessment (more on that, another day) this felt like a warm hug.


I'm sharing my recipe for Artichoke "Crab" Cakes with you today! These are morishly crunchy, fresh & gently reminiscent of the sea. They can be made into teeni-tiny versions for an appetizer or as larger patties for a midweek dinner - which will keep reliably for lunches in the following days. They're surprisingly filling (I think from the chickpea flour) & I often crave them just wrapped in an iceburg leaf dunked in garlicky dill aioli. So good!

Thank you for being here as always (even in the darker times),

Phoebe & Merlin x

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