31 May, 2008


LSS has devised a method of making perfect pork crackling from a bacon joint. The crackling is absolutely crispy and crunchy, with no hard chewy bits anywhere, and the fat underneath melts in your mouth, like the bacon fat that the gods on Olympus suck on during their eternal boys' poker nights.

I ate practically all of it last night, it was so good I could not help myself, and now I do not feel very well.

Oh, we have a new desk (thank you, eBay!) and I love it.

30 May, 2008

Our Continental Cousins

I see the Bishop of Rochester has made all the papers by advocating a return to Christian values. Stop the presses! Anglican bishop in shock espousal of Christianity!

History cycle is all over and now we are bereft. Particularly missing the splendid Richard Cordery as the Lord Protector Humphrey of Gloucester, exuding integrity and steadfastness from every majestic pore. We want him to be our Lord Protector. In fact, we want him to be our daddy. Thinking of starting up a Richard Cordery fan club on Facebook.

Visited an extremely worthwhile NGO in Chicago, Community TV Network, which trains disadvantaged teenagers in video production skills - for a lot of them, it is the difference between going onto college and making something of their lives, or dropping out of school/dealing drugs/going to jail/dying etc.

Had Froggy friends visiting over half-term. They are now living in Amsterdam and can advise that Amsterdam is lovely, the Netherlands is a great country, but that the Dutch stink. Apparently, Dutch people are very very rude. And this is by the standards of the French! So you can imagine how rude that is.

18 May, 2008

Cultural Differences

on the tube last night, going up to see Henry VI part 3, there were 3 Spanish people at the end of our carriage who looked, respectively, like Hugh Jackman, Penelope Cruz and a young Christopher Walken, laughing and carrying on and generally doing the whole beautiful people thing, like members of another species, while the rest of us normal sorts sat there looking very plain and glum.

They got off at Bank and were replaced by 4 Italians. 2 of them sat together at one end of the row of seats and inspected their new shoes (one was black with a white heel and the other was white with a black heel). The other 2 sat at the other end of the row of seats. All 4 carried on an enthusiastic conversation from one end of the row to the other. We couldn't work out why they didn't sit closer together (there were odd seats spare), until we worked out that that would have meant that 3 would have been sitting together and 1 on his own, which is apparently against the Italian religion. No man left behind! And of course they had no qualms about being in breach of one of the major tenets of the British religion, which is not carrying on an audible conversation in the tube, unless well lubricated with alcohol.

The whole audience at the Roundhouse was in the state of febrile excitement that you might expect of a set of people who had already seen 7 hours of Shakespeare that day, as they are putting on all 8 plays this weekend over the space of 2 1/2 days. Jonathan Slinger doing Richard of Gloucester was simply electrifying. Can't wait for his Richard III next Sunday. I'm so so glad we signed up to see the whole cycle. I have not seen anything in the theatre so exciting since, well, I don't know when. It has revived my interest in theatre, Shakespeare, in everything really. Except my job of course.

17 May, 2008


The reason I haven't posted for a while is because I have become obsessed with ebay. Every time I go online intending to post about some subject of general interest, such as the hunkiness of the fellow who's playing Henry V at the Roundhouse at the moment, I find myself irresistibly attracted to the items of Georgian furniture that I am currently watching on ebay. The other day, some bustard led me on to the very last minute, leading me to believe that I was going to get a Georgian chest of drawers for GBP75, before outbidding me in the last 10 seconds. Many colourful swearwords blighted the children's bedtime that day, I can tell you.

Went collecting for Christian Aid week today along Bolingbroke Grove. Apart from a couple of housing association blocks of flats, every single one of these enormous houses fronting right onto Wandsworth Common were owned by individual families. You will not be surprised to learn that we only collected about twenty quid. One woman said, when told which charity we were collecting on behalf of, said: "That's not relevant here," before shutting the door on us. You never said a truer word, baby!

The husband of the family we were collecting with works for the world's local bank. As does the father of the boy whose birthday bowling party Mo went to today. Does everyone work for the world's local bank?

Henry VI part 3 tonight - so looking forward to it. Turns out all it takes for me to fancy someone is a touch of Elizabethan swagger. LSS is happy because the girl who plays Joan of Arc/Margaret of Anjou is a fiery minx.

Reading Eclogues.

Flying to Chicago tomorrow. Virgin. Limo at 0845 on Sunday.

03 May, 2008

My Boring Friday

Hooray! Bank Holiday Weekend! What a dull day I had yesterday, which I will now share with you to dilute the tedium a little. We'd gone to see 2Henry VI the night before, which was terrific and had us all pepped up, but it made it all the more difficult for me to arouse any interest in writing up my notes from Brazil. To add insult to injury, found I'd left my lovely old black court shoes (ok they were looking a bit scruffy but there was nothing wrong with them that a little vigorous rubbing from the Canary Wharf shoeshine boy couldn't fix) in the back of the wardrobe of room 508 at the Radisson Faria Lima Sao Paulo, so had to wear the toe-pinching shiny black patent leather instead.

Balham was a little moist from last night's rain and I nearly twisted my knee again on the same slippery spot by our front step. Jubilee Line was absolutely stiff with sweaty commuters, discovering belatedly that they no longer need their winter coats, and moaning about their ghastly lives and horrible little concerns. Had my usual end of the week treat, which is fried breakfast in the work canteen: fried egg, fried slice, fried mushroom, fried tomato, washed down with spanking hot sweet milky tea, and accompanied by the TLS. Of course this all leaves me feeling thoroughly engorged and not ready for anything more strenuous then a little snooze. Towards the latter part of the afternoon, I had to tell myself strictly to keep going every time I flagged and thought to divert myself with a little internet browsing to keep myself up-to-date on that awful Austrian house of horrors story. They say the maximum sentence for what he has done is 15 years. 15 years! He should get 24 years for each life that he has ruined, with a selection of jailhouse rapists as cellmates. No punishment really could match his crime. After all he has already lived 73 years doing exactly what he wanted and that can't be taken away from him.

The more astute reader may be wondering why this post reads a little oddly. In fact, I have inserted a few key words to see if they trigger a Pavlovian response in Fumie...