So what is it about Great British Bake Off that has me dusting off my apron and tutting at the poor array of baking equipment in my cupboard? (Seriously. Can't even do a Victoria sponge.)
I seem to have been bitten by the baking bug. In the last week, I have made: one loaf of white bread with linseeds (and who'd have thought that the humble linseed could so totally transform bread?); one batch of rotis, ginger and oat cookies, chocolate chip and walnut biscuits, and now I have a teeny tiny batch of meringues in the oven. I've never made meringues before, but I've been meaning to try for a while, and with an egg white left over from the biscuits, I thought - why not? The world's smallest batch of meringue ever made. Fingers crossed they come out well.
Baking is so much more relaxing than vegging in front of the tv. Unfortunately, with the tiny kitchen we have, it can't be a social activity - if it were, it would be an ideal evening entertainment. Of course, then I'd have to find someone to EAT all the biscuits, or I'd be the size of a hippopotamus. As it is, I'm finding that baking is such a release after a stressful day - normally I really struggle to switch off from work, but baking takes all my concentration and involves me mentally and physically in a very satisfying task - and one which results in tasty treats for me and my boyfriend.
So many of the things we do for fun these days are about becoming absent - television and Facebook take us somewhere else, which is brilliant in small doses, but can result in us not being here for much of our free time. I'm very glad I have a boyfriend who enjoys cooking, board games and reading, as these are things we can share together. Not just passively enjoying on the same sofa, but engaging with each other as well as relaxing.
So I'm raising my mixing bowl and wooden spoon to baking as a means of bringing myself back to the here and now, whilst simultaneously recharging my emotional batteries, far more effectively than modern technology.