Sometimes the best recipes are those made in error.
My principal ingredient is
1 Whole Makem (Sunderland born) a.k.a. Mak’em or Maccam
Do not be tempted to replace this principal ingredient with a Takem ( Newcastle born) a.k.a. Tak’em or Taccam
The resulting mixture may curdle.
Allow the Makem to settle in a rural village in post-war Durham in a safe environment.
When suitably mature, press the Makem daily into a local colliery school; at the same time, nurture a wild imagination. If you find the Makem at any time under a dirndl skirt, this is merely shyness and in time the Makem will cope with this trait themselves – often combating it by displaying extravert traits with over-excitement.
Introduce before maturity a sibling Makem. This adds colour and flavour and purpose at an early stage.
At this point the Makems two generations above will now one
by one disappear, leaving the young to grieve and wonder.
The care of animals has always been a recognised ingredient to counter-balance loss and foster self-discipline. Rabbits, dogs, ponies will all suffice; in later life caring for others can induce the same sense of purpose.
Repair any lack of confidence at this stage: in this ‘recipe’ the Makem became National Poultry Trussing Champion………a lucky digression.
Now add sporting ability ; I added athletics, hockey, horse-riding and tennis (Howard Kendall was my mixed doubles partner at Grammar School). A little drama perhaps ( Bryan Ferry was Malvolio to my Viola). .
After a musical parental indoctrination of ‘The Standards, gently immerse an Everly Brother or two ,Joan Baez, a guitar and you may find that a morsel of brashness appears.
One Makem could now well become two. Two Makems becomes four until early tragedy may hit; in my recipe a young husband dies and a first-born is dangerously ill for 3 years. At this point ingredients can clash. Withdraw the natural anxiety trait if at all possible without disturbing the equilibrium. Tragedy is a good leveler and can contribute to enhancing others’ lifes by acquiring a soupcon of empathy. However, this more than troublesome hiatus in my mixture wrong footed the other natural ingredients, causing confusion. Mistakes are often made at this juncture. Triumph over adversity can also lead to taking the wrong direction whilst beating a hasty retreat. Have a Wet Wipe to hand.
Here is where I added a false ingredient. Wrong-footed by events, but full of good intention and care I stifled the mixture with agoraphobia and tension. This rescue attempt turned the mixture sour, and a second tragedy meant that the Makem had to be saved by loved ones. Along with dependents.
Remember, however,that the true grit of a Makem, available at local supermarkets throughout Wear-side to the discerning buyer in Family-size packs, can never be totally removed. In time , determination, stubbornness, experience and family dedication can overcome (nearly) all.
I moved my Makem in it’s entirity to France at this point, whilst ingredients were ‘proving’.
Here we can add 1/3 of an architect, 1/3 Rhythm guitarist/rock-folk singer and divide the remainder into equal portions of choir-mistress and gite proprietor /head gardener. Plus dollops of long-distant mother, grand-mother and friend. But too much naivety shows itself. The Makem did not foresee the roller-coaster of emotions that would ensue. Watch out for any tendernesss if this segregation technique flounders.
My advice. Finally. Avert further suffering. My mix was looking pretty good when further tragedy bestowed itself;my Makem   demonstrate much care. In this instance, chance had brought true love and further tragedy in equal measures. The ensuing qualities were evident and with forgiveness and nurturing it made for a good consistency. I added here more than a smidgin’ of compassion to compensate for the devestating predicted results. Sadly, the catalyst to the forgiveness and care in this scenario was the soul-mate and dies, leaving the Makem with a hefty burden of loss to bear.
The Makem licks her wounds aplenty this time and knows her person is now whole and equipped for what might be left.
The Makem was almost complete.
<p class="MsoNormal"……Essential ingredients…….
1 A Pure-bred Makem
2 Timidity ( including respect and a reluctance to be decisive and discriminate).
3 Determination to succeed and overcome .
4 Creativity. i.e. home-making, building bridges and commercial enterprises.
A photographic memory.
6 Ability to forgive……..an excellent ingredient.
7 Love . Unadulterated. Essential for growth.
Nourishment of animals and children.
8 Bottles that are only ever more than half full.
Consider on the grounds of balance…..
For a fuller personality, omit half of the nervousness and anxiety that have proven to be a downfall in times of dire straits. Adding surplus of less damaging attributes can balance a slip into an abyss of self-pity, doom and gloom.
Don’t overdose on the panic buttons. There could be a misguided assumption that rusing head-long gets the job done quickly, but it’s not so….leave the bulk of that disruptive ingredient aside too. I added that one mistakenly.
Acceptance. This is a much discussed and rare commodity. Reader; if you find it in a generous helping, please notify.
If anyone has tried this recipe before, could they inform me know at what point the worrying stops and pleasure takes over, as I have struggled to know how that ingredient is built into the above framework for life?
Different strengths and proportions of any of the above qualities will create a variation but a not altogether distasteful Makem.
Addendum: For the unitiated: a Makem made boats in Sunderland. A Takem sold boats in Newcastle. They are often confused, but a true Makem wouldn’ even suck a Black and White mint.