27 April, 2008

Ai Carambao!

Back from Sao Paulo, which was great - air of palpable confidence and very buzzy. I can understand why Naomi Campbell goes there to get her cosmetic surgery - I mean, completely necessary medical interventions - done. Got taken out to lunch at a funky place where the decor was all very multi-patterned draped fabrics, there was no menu and everything was for sale. Had chicken, beans, rice and "farofa", which no-one there knew the English language equivalent of. Having eaten it, I still cannot say what it was. Taken to dinner at a place called Figueira, which was a glass-roofed restaurant built around a 100-year old fig tree - quite a Malaysian experience, except that in Malaysia they wouldn't bother with the glass roof, and the floor would just be the tarmac of the carpark in which the restaurant was located. I now know how to fake Portuguese - it's just Spanish, with an extra u or o added to the end of every other word.

In and out on BA. The movies were terrible - I tried to watch I Am Legend, American Gangster and The Savages in turn, and didn't make it through 5 minutes of each one. It was one of those experiences which makes you think, My God, have I stopped liking movies? So I watched Leon and Lord of the Rings instead. Watching Leon a decade later, it is all the more obvious what an incredible movie star Natalie Portman is. Even at 12 years old, she just springs off the screen, you can't take your eyes off her. The movie itself has its good points and its bad points - Gary Oldman, as usual, should be taken out and shot. It is also very French, particularly in its attitude to unsavoury thoughts about 12 year old girls.

Got home at 7.30 on Sat morning. Went to Richmond in the afternoon - sausage and sauerkraut lunch at Stein's by the river, cricket with the kids in Petersham Meadow. Richmond is great - it's like going back in time to an 18th century town just outside London, slow green river, lush green banks, Marble Hill House, glowing like a great smug white beacon of civilisation on the opposite bank from Ham House.

Went home and slept for fifteen hours. Hopefully that has de-jetlagged me.

Shoe shopping for the girls on Northcote Road today. Larry now has black Mary Janes for school and also cool black plimsolls. Curly has ox-blood red Mary Janes and olive-green T-bar plimsolls - or plimples, as she insists on calling them. Curly is very much a red shoe kind of girl.

Lunch at Tony's Cafe - the only place on Northcote Road where you can feed a family of five for less than GBP15. Had lunch before buying aforesaid shoes - it is a mistake to shop when you are hungry. We would have been seriously in danger of buying a couple of steaks and tying them to Larry's feet with stringbeans. Lunch was all variations on egg, chips, beans, bacon, sausage, black pudding. Conversation revolves around which sitcoms we secretly enjoy watching. LSS admits to Scrubs. I admit to Two and a Half Men. I don't know which is more shameful really. I've never made it through more than 5 minutes of The Office, which everybody says is a cutting edge very funny sitcom. And yet I have knowingly watched many episodes of Two and a Half Men, which stars Charlie Sheen, for god's sake. On the other hand, Scrubs is embarrassing because it thinks it's so original and cutting edge, when it is about as cutting edge as the cutlery I bought at Woolworth's in 1987 to furnish my first flat.

LSS asks what I would serve up if I were throwing a dinner party: answer - smoked salmon and homemade brown bread; steak and kidney pie, buttery new potatoes and green beans; treacle tart and custard. It's not fancy, but I guarantee that any guest who isn't a vegetarian will enjoy it - certainly if they went to public school.


Blogger Icedink said...

Ain't that the truth about Gary Oldman? I was not really prepared to suspend disbelief when he was throwing a wobbler after popping those little pills. Other violence in that film was quiet shocking, though I finished watching (not seen it for a decade either, though it still feels like yesterday) wanting to know what happened to Leon's pot plant.

8:49 pm  
Blogger fumier said...

You got your first flat when you were 23?


3:26 am  

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