I can’t say that I’ve always enjoyed porridge. However, when I was recording my Fire This Love album in the US, we were having these massively long recording days that would kick off at 10am and often not finish until 2am. I found myself starting most days at the Frothy Monkey in Franklin, TN where I’d order myself a flat white coffee and a bowl of ‘oatmeal’. Each day, I’d order the same oatmeal toppings - strawberries, bananas and blueberries, and each day I’d get something different - obviously my Australian accent had been misunderstood by whoever took my order. It was like a very positive porridge version of Russian roulette. I did notice that the porridge each morning gave me a little bit more energy throughout the day. I kept the routine going when I returned to Nashville to record my Outside the Inside album (although I might’ve just mentioned that to include a link to my new album page).
So, on my long concert road tours across Australia, I found myself ordering porridges, not realising that the humble porridge has now been taken to a rarified art form by budding breakfast chefs. The first photo I posted on social media was met with an outcry over the micro herbs that were perched atop the glistening oat flakes. “Is that a salad?” one person posted mockingly. “Are you actually eating flowers?” another scoffed. But soon enough, people were asking me for the next porridge photo. Soon the porridge photos threatened to eclipse my concert photos. What had I started?
After the tour, I found my life empty and un-oated. So I’ve begun my own porridge ritual here at home. I alternate between a hearty old-style hot porridge on one day, and then the next day will be a cutting-edge, overnight oat and chia seed experiment. It has enriched my life.