Looking Up, Looking Down

Bril­liant con­cepts are often described in ris­ible ways: ‘push the envel­ope’, ‘wake up and smell the cof­fee’, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, ‘let’s make a plan going for­ward’ and ‘blue-sky-think­ing’. I aim to do all of those things most of the time, but nev­er, ever will you get me to use any of those phrases. Take ‘blue-sky-think­ing’ for example: the notion of devis­ing cre­at­ive ideas that are unfettered by the mundane or the ped­es­tri­an. The concept is per­fect, but the cliche-rid­den pack­aging kills it stone dead. But then it struck me that per­haps ‘blue-sky-think­ing’ would be bet­ter if I rever­ted to tak­ing it lit­er­ally rather than meta­phor­ic­ally. Lying on a forest floor and star­ing up through the can­opy of trees at the blue, wintry sky bey­ond is as good a way of think­ing new things as any and it cer­tainly took some of the sting out of the cliche.

To be abso­lutely truth­ful, the idea that came to me while I looked up through the can­opy of leaves wasn’t exactly revolu­tion­ary. All I kept think­ing as I stared up at the sky was that look­ing up is the same as look­ing down — it’s the simple action of tak­ing a dif­fer­ent view­point that counts. To prove my the­ory, I’ve been star­ing down into a pot of home-made orange curd to see what inspir­a­tion might come. My orange-pot-think­ing pro­duced two and a half decent ideas — I will tell you about them in my next post. In the mean­time, here’s my recipe for orange curd to help you with a little orange-pot-think­ing of your own.


Makes four or five 200ml jars

  • 4 large oranges — finely grated zest and juice
  • Juice of 2 lem­ons
  • 400g caster sug­ar
  • 300g unsalted but­ter, chopped
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 3 extra yolks, beaten

Add the but­ter, sug­ar, lem­on juice, orange zest and orange juice to a pan and heat gently until the but­ter has melted. Pour the mix­ture into a heat­proof bowl and place above a plan of sim­mer­ing water. Strain the eggs into the mix­ture and stir con­stantly until everything is com­bined. It will then take at least an hour to thick­en. Stir it fre­quently and do not allow it to get too hot — it will sep­ar­ate if you do. If you’re cau­tious with the heat, the thick­en­ing will take longer, but you will avoid calam­ity. Once the mix­ture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, pour it into the ster­il­ised jars and cov­er with a circle of greased paper. It will keep for around 6 to 8 weeks in the fridge.

P.S. I have used the phrase ‘orange-pot-think­ing’ three times in this post. It is now offi­cially a cliche and I prom­ise nev­er to use it again — unless, of course, lit­er­ally.

If You are inter­ested in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the time to do so. So the next ques­tion is where can you find inform­a­tion that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop­u­lar phys­ic is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly either adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men include lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good sound­ness, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor forth­with for a com­plete medi­cin­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

24 thoughts on “Looking Up, Looking Down

  1. That first pic­ture is abso­lutely stun­ning Charlie, and I love this recipe, much more fun than the mono­tony of but­ter and toast!

    • I sup­pose orange curd could become mono­ton­ous in the end, if you ate it every day — a bit like a cliche in fact. Thanks for com­ment­ing, Boin­sey. It’s hugely appre­ci­ated.

  2. Gor­geous pic and you’ve really made me smile. I used to cringe on busi­ness train­ing courses when these phrases were strung togeth­er. And the idea of gaz­ing into a pot of orange curd for inspir­a­tion is won­der­ful.

    • Thanks Andrea. It’s aston­ish­ing, isn’t it, that any­one could recom­mend these dread­ful phrases. I’m very glad it made you smile.

  3. I rather like ‘blue sky think­ing’, cliche though it be. I can’t recall who it was who defen­ded cliches by say­ing if they were true or evoc­at­ive in some way they were OK. ‘Going for­ward’ is, and always has been, exec­rable though. Why that should be so, if it is, could make an inter­est­ing study. I sus­pect col­our cliches engage emo­tion­al responses and mana­geri­al ones don’t.
    Crack­ing pics and spark­ling wit (or is that a cliche?) as always.

    • You could be right. The sub­ject of a PhD per­haps — emo­tion v man­age­ment. Thanks so much for your com­ment, Jakey. And p.s. spark­ling wit is abso­lutely fine by me!

  4. I can deal with blue-sky think­ing (although now prefer your altern­at­ive) per­haps because it’s because it evokes the pic­ture of the intense blue of an Eng­lish sky in my head imme­di­ately (the col­our in your beau­ti­ful pic­ture). Any post that has a pot of curd and the word ris­ible is going to make a great start to my day. Sit­ting here with a smile on my face (as always) after read­ing.

    • I was inspired to make the orange curd hav­ing seen pic­tures of your beau­ti­ful lem­on curd in your New Year post. And I’m very happy to have made you smile, Sally.

  5. Oh dear Charlie how “Pooh-esque” your post made me want to dash into Jasper’s room and read the kind of logic­al com­fort only A.A.Milne can provide. i always love pho­to­graph­ing up to the tree­tops and who could res­ist a curd! now feel rumbly in my tummbly and will make blood orange curd today and think of you! big hugs Karin

  6. I have actu­ally nev­er heard the phrase “blue-sky think­ing” — maybe it is spe­cific­ally Brit­ish? But I like the concept of it through your eyes — star­ing up through a veil of leaves into the blue sky. Dream­ing. Or look­ing down and dream­ing, think­ing, rum­ma­ging through the dark corners of the brain for inspir­a­tion. And I love your orange curd. I have been won­der­ing what to do with oranges and maybe that is it. Eureka! I’ve made lime curd and lem­on curd but not yet orange curd. Onward and upward! To the stars!

    • I won­der what the French or Amer­ic­an equi­val­ents might be, Jam­ie. I love the idea of lime curd by the way, which I’ve nev­er tried but which sounds abso­lutely deli­cious. As you say, onward and upward.

  7. Blue-sky think­ing is one of the few cor­por­ate speak terms that I actu­ally don’t mind — it does call to mind images of lying in a field star­ing up at the clouds and doing some prop­er think­ing — some­thing we have all to little time to do these days. I love the orange-pot think­ing ana­logy too as cook­ing is just anoth­er way of relax­ing the mind so that it can focus on import­ant stuff. My fath­er was a huge fan of lem­on curd but I’ve nev­er had orange curd — a gross over­sight I sus­pect!

    • A con­sensus seems to be emer­ging that, as you say, blue sky think­ing is nowhere near as bad as some of the oth­er dread­ful clichés and phrases that we hear every day. I won­der if that’s because it is at least ima­gin­able as a concept — unlike the ridicu­lous ‘wake up and smell the cof­fee’ which I noticed Dav­id Camer­on used in his recent Europe speech. (I think he needs a new speech­writer). I so agree with you about the relax­a­tion of the mind that occurs when cook­ing. It’s when I have my best — to me at least — ideas. I will toast your fath­er when I next eat lem­on curd.

  8. My not-very-ori­gin­al thought was ooh, your bot­tom must have been freez­ing! Your orange curd looks deli­cious. I was very temp­ted when I saw bags of Seville oranges reduced to 25p last week­end and was rack­ing my brain for some­thing to do with them, (still suf­fer­ing from marmalade exhaus­tion from the week­end before!). And then I thought of all that but­ter and sug­ar and the scones that I would no doubt make to use it all up … if only I still had the meta­bol­ism I had when I was 20!

    • I wasn’t as cold as you might think, on account of the very unglam­or­ous assort­ment of clothes I was wear­ing at the time. I know what you mean about ‘marmalade exhaus­tion’ — I have it too, as well as RSI in my spoon-stir­ring arm, although that’s come about because of too much typ­ing!

  9. All those cor­por­ate phrases are funny. Like Sally I don’t mind blue sky think­ing since it invokes imagery of blue skies that are rather lack­ing at present! ‘Going for­ward’ how­ever is a phrase that always makes me cringe. Lovely recipe for the orange curd. Sunny and cheer­ing on a non blue sky day.

  10. A tre­mend­ous altern­at­ive to ‘blue-sky think­ing’ was over­head at a meet­ing of ‘suits’ in the City. The meet­ing got under way with the cheery starter from the top of the board­room table “OK let’s smoke some weed”

    • Are you ser­i­ous? That’s so daft it’s funny. But infin­itely prefer­able to ‘blue-sky think­ing’.

  11. Read­ing this made me won­der wheth­er I’d mis­judged the lem­on or orange curd all my life, but then I came to my senses, the World righted itself again and my view of the curd went back in its place.

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