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Haven’t you got better things to do?

wizzo fun

On Sunday I went to the British Moo-seum with Angie and we were all set for an afternoon of culture and nantiquities ekcetera, but it did not turn out like that. We were both cross and wet from being rained on so we were desperate for a cup of tea and a bun, but the main cafe bit was closed and we kept walking round and round looking for the sekrit alternative cafe but it was carefully hidden. We were so crazed with bun lust that we walked straight past such as the Rosetta Stone and Easter Island statues without noticing.

Eventually we found the cafe and had a rest, but then we decided to go to the pub instead, so we went to a nearby tavern in the town and drank all afternoon and then stood outside the tube station swigging ‘K’ cider and shouting abuse at passers-by and singing ‘The Eye of the Tiger’. OK not that last bit. But it was a fun day out.

In the evening I made a delicious pizza out of various ingrediments eg a giant pepperoni, and gobbled it all up while watching Station X and The Secret War. It does not get any better than that really.

Sunny Sunday Onion Bread

This is a delicious recipe which is invented by me, keithlard, and not copied off some flour.

You will need

  • Granary flour
  • Onions
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Yeast
  • Salt ekcetera

How to make

  1. Chop up the onions and garlic and fry for a while until the onions have gone all nice and caramelised. Stir in the brown sugar.
  2. While the onions are cooking, mix up the flour, butter, yeast and salt with a spoonful of olive oil. Mix in warm water until you have a pliable dough that leaves the bowl clean.
  3. Stir in the caramelised onions.
  4. Knead while listening to cheerful polka music, like Kramer and Newman making sausages.
  5. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size. That is the dough not you, it would be a bit worrying if you doubled in size although you might after eating lots of this tasty bread.
  6. Put into loaf tins or a big dish and brush with olive oil and the chopped rosemary.
  7. Put into preheated oven at 230 degrees C or basically as hot as it goes.
  8. Bake for about half an hour or until delicious.

oh no I've not read any books

I saw this article in the Observer about the poll for the best non-American novel of the last 25 years. It is a bit worrying as I have basically not read any of them mostly. It is like that game Humiliation, where you have to own up to importint books you have not read, only I would win, as I never read anything that says on the front ‘Powerful, moving - a tour de force’ or ‘The greatest novelist of his generation’. I read books with things on the front like ‘Choose your own adventure!’ or ‘Fossilised fish-hooks! What wizzo scrapes will Jennings and his chums get into next?’.

I will now have to do some emergency reading in case I meet any English teachers that tell me off and write on my face in red felt tip ‘0/10 See Me’.

Flap detection

I am reading a book called Pro Nagios 2.0, it is not exactly a gripper as you can imagine, being tremendously dull and technical, suffice it to say if you do not know what the title means, you don’t need to read it. But there are some good terms in it eg:

  • Flap detection
  • Host obsession
  • State stalking
  • Parent monitoring
  • Notification throttling

It all paints a rarther worrying picture.

Books ekcetera

Massive excitemint as I have been tagged by anthrokeight to do a meme, normally no one ever tags me for anything. I do not bother about quizzes such as ‘Which quirky, ill-fated science fiction series are you? You are Firefly!’, but this is about books so it is quite intresting.

One book that changed your life

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was my introduction to Taoism and still the best book on the subject that I’ve read. It is not that it turned me into a Taoist, but when I read this book I realised that’s what I already was. I just didn’t know it had a name. It also struck a chord with me because I am a Bear of Very Small Brain, and also quite keen on Hunny.

One book you would want on a desert island

I think I would cheat and take the Dune series by Frank Herbert, I know it is six books really, especially if you do not count the rubbish prequels, which I do not. It is a huge, rich, baroque, dense and complicated book exploring politics, philosophy, ethics, ecology, history, and about a million other things all wrapped up in an exciting story of feuding mediaeval baronies in space. In terms of maximum reading enjoyment per kilogram it’s a clear winner.

I would also sneakily distract the guards and cram all the Sherlock Holmes books into my pants while they were not looking, as I do not think it is possible to ever get tired of reading them (the books not my pants).

One book that made you laugh

Hmm that is intresting as it is hard to pick just one book. For sheer, sustained, shrieking-out-loud-on-the-Tube type funny, it’d have to be a cage match between Three Men in a Boat, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Cold Comfort Farm, and the entire canon of P.G. Wodehouse. I’d have to give honourable mentions to P.J. O’Rourke, Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams though. Also the William books by Richmal Crompton, which I think are some of the greatest and most unjustly ignored classics of grown-up literature disguised as children’s books.

One book that made you cry

Watership Down is an obvious one as only someone with a heart of stone or the cold, dead eyes of a killer could refrain from crying at the end of that. I am a huge soft girl when it comes to things like this and also cried during the last episode of Friends. And at a very obscure book called Zeno Was Here by Jan Mark, which only I and Jan Mark have read.

One book you wish you had written

Steven Pinker’s How the Mind Works - in fact I did start writing this, but was annoyed to discover that he had beaten me to it. That will teach me to leave my notes lying around for anyone to see.

One book you wish had never been written

Probably The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It is not actually that bad of a book, but I’m just scared by the type of people who like it, eg some scary folk I saw on a TV show that believe it is actually literally real and they went to all the places mentioned in the book looking for Clues. In fact I am glad it has been written because it serves as an infallible touchstone for the kind of person I am going to want to be friends with, ie people that do not like this book, other than as a trashy, stilted, enjoyable rubbish thriller.

One book you are currently reading

I am reading Catherine de’ Medici by Hugh Ross Williamson, which is very intresting not boring old history like you thought. She was a remarkable woman and all the politics and religious strife ekcetera that was going on at the time is fascinating. Plus it is full of gorgeous full-colour paintings, portraits and woodcuts of the time, and lots of photos of sumptuous luxury French chateaux which is like stately home porn.

I am also reading (I know it only says one, stop fussing or we will never get through this) Collected Stories by Peter Carey, which Liz lent me and it is really good. Perhaps like sherry and dark chocolate it is best in small doses though, as too much of these stories at one go makes me feel a bit strange and miserable. They tell of weird alternate realities and a baroque and broken-down future, full of rust, decay, loneliness and bad sex, and though the writing sparkles with a benzedrine intensity it leaves you with a hangover taste in the mouth. It is powerful stuff and certainly a lot more serious than my normal reading which, as previously discussed, is mostly limited to the adventures of Paddington Bear, and the IKEA catalogue.

One book you have been meaning to read

I am really looking forward to reading Silent Bob Speaks: The Collected Writings of Kevin Smith which has been in my to-read pile for at least a year and I have nearly worked my way down to it now. The man is a warped genius and I could happily watch any of his movies any number of times. Except Jersey Girl obviously.

It's Finchley Fish! (now with intresting chips)

Stuff to buy at the shop where you buy food

  • Some fish
  • Lemons
  • Flour
  • Parsnips
  • Salt and pepper ekcetera

What to do with the stuff

  1. Preheat oven.
  2. Cut the parsnips into chips and drizzle with olive oil and salt.
  3. Bake in oven for 30m or until nearly crispy.
  4. Heat some oil in big pan.
  5. Drench fish in lemon juice, salt, pepper ekcetera.
  6. Roll around in some flour (do not laugh it is obvious what I meant).
  7. Fry.
  8. Serve with delicious vegertable chips you prepared earlier.

keithlard-style Tandoori Shrimp

This is a delicious and authentic Indian snack invented by a pasty faced unshaven white man from North London, ie viz. me although I did copy it off the back of some tandoori shrimp I found in Tescos.

What you will need to make the food

  • Shrimp (or prawns, it is all the same really, like terrorists and freedom fighters)
  • Tandoori masala powder
  • Chilli powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Flour to coat

The procedure to follow in preparing these ingrediments

  1. Wet the prawns with a spoon or two of water.
  2. Coat with the flour and spices and mix well.
  3. Drop spoonfuls into very hot oil and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Yum yum.

You will need to drink a lot of beer with this. It does not matter if it is special Indian beer, eg Tiger, Cobra or Kingfisher, or another beer named after a dangerous predatory animal, but it is better if it is.