Monday, June 30, 2008


We've had the OFSTED phone call. That's my Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday STUFFED. SHIT!!

My blogging? Finally on the slippery slope?

I suddenly noticed this week the slide into decline of my blogging habits ... it all started when on Thursday I noticed this -

blog archive numbers
Good God I was keen in 2005 ... almost a post a day, especially as the whole thing didn't start until the very last day of February. And that included 6 weeks in France with "slower than paint drying" French dial-up* Internet. And then it looks like the rot started. 40 less posts in 2006 and then ... wait, is this a pattern forming ... 40 less post in 2007 and then there's 2008. Christ on a bike! What a total slacker I am. Even if I want to stick to my pattern and post just **rapidly tries to work out the answer to 215-40 without calculator** 175 times this year I have to post 18 times a month from now until New Year's Eve. I don't think there's been a month so far this year when I have managed 18 posts?!?
So I'm going for a NaBloPoMo this coming month. A photo NaBloPoMo. A photo-post a day through the month of July to try and hold off the decline for a little while. Will I manage it?? I seriously doubt it to be honest. **stalks off to look inspiration** Oooh and the NaBloPoMo theme is food - that bit I can do, honest!!
*You'll be pleased to know that in theory this is already fixed for this summer. When I say "in theory" what I mean is that Broadband is installed BUT (and it's a big BUT ... no, not that BUTT, yeh I know that's big too but please pay attention) because of the geographical location of Le Laquet - well suffice to say that there could be improvements to the Broadband service, in fact even the Mairie is now on the case with France Telecom and Neuf.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Collage Photo Meme

I stole this meme from Mercedes ... I can't remember how I got there but it seemed like fun. BTW, how does she get half the post to not be there until you click on the read more link. Do you know what I mean?? No I don't think I do either ;o)

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food? right now?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you?
12. What is your flickr name?
Eh voila! Pretty 'cept I can't see all of the lovely Mr Jackman. Credits in the comments box.
Collage Photo Meme

Unconscious mutterings #283

I say ... and you think ... ?

Loneliness :: sad
Traffic :: A2 hell every morning
Chaos :: traffic
Burp :: wind
500 :: pounds please?
Movie :: my most recent movie seen was The Dark is Rising ... not as good as the book was when I was a kid - I mean how can Will Stanton be an American???
Coma :: Michael Crichton
Bark :: tree
Stare :: Paddington Bear
Angelina ::
one half of Brangelina
Do some mutterings of your very own and let everyone know about it here!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quizzically, already round 2

Aha the ubiquitous picture round.

If I was Paxo himself, I would at this point rearrange my M&S y-fronts, bark about starters for 10 and show you an 18th century oil painting. But, hey, our pub quizzes in Uni were more about beer and sex questions so here we go.
Can you name these famous people before they were famous?
not yet the top gun
sitting oh so quietly
someone interrupted this girl
this footloose little cherub became an icon
a famous son and now, a famous husband
DON'T give the girl a cigar
listen to my heart go throb
the hardest one of all but the most saintly
Gee I guess you must be Jane
free in the Rainbow Nation
Right, off you go - answers in the comments box if you wish. Have fun. Remember **puts on Loyd Grossman "Through the keyhole voice"** the clues ... are in the pictures.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Looking at you quizzically

My mum and dad are members of a "quiz league" and she is convinced that it'll be her turn soon to set the quiz questions. So we got everything sorted whilst we were in Spain. Here's round 1 - can you answer them without cheating by looking on t'Internet? Or do you have any killer questions that you can add?

  1. How many mascots do the Chinese have for the Olympics that are due to be held there this coming summer? (1 point)
  2. What is the Welsh “iodine packed breakfast delicacy” traditionally served with fried bacon and cockles called? **AND FOR A BONUS POINT** What is it made of? (2 points - 1 each)
  3. Alphabetically speaking, what are the first and last states of the U.S.A.? (2 points, 1 for each)
  4. Name 3 of the 5 Tudor monarchs. (3 points)
  5. Who plays Indiana Jones’ love interest Marion Ravenwood in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull? (1 point)
  6. What are the capital cities of the following southern African countries? Botswana? Namibia? (2 points, 1 for each)
  7. Who designed the current Stansted Airport building? (1 point)
  8. Where is the town with the world’s longest place name? Wales? New Zealand? Or Peru? (1 point)
  9. Which musician had a garden designed in his honour at the RHS Chelsea Flower show 2008? (1 point)
  10. In 1928 Walt Disney released the first “Mickey Mouse” cartoon, what was it called? (1 point)

So, how many did you score? There is more. Round 2 is a picture round - famous faces before they were famous ... I know that's going to be a corker!

Unconscious mutterings #282

I say ... and you think ... ?

Goodbye :: in Welsh it's "Da boch chi" ... how do you say Goodbye?
Cage :: zoo
Buddy :: friend
Magic words :: oculus reparo
Library :: books
Fall in love :: more magic?
Tense :: wound up
Work! :: school
Empty :: finished
Heat wave :: Tropical Heatwave ... give it to us Piggy!
Do some unconscious muttering of your very own.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hoist with my own petard

I went out for dinner last night - it was a work birthday "do!" Unfortunately the birthday girl couldn't make it ... but wait that's a whole other ball game/story of whip lash - no not whips and lashes the whole "stiff neck after a car crash" thing and she spent the night in bed on make-me-loopy pain killers.

But I'm getting off story. We went for a meal at the Bassant in Gravesend. We had fabulous food - shish kebabs, tandoori chicken, mixed vegetable pakora, samosas and plenty of chutney to start. Our main course was Aloo Gobi, Murgh Makhni, Chana Dal, vegetable rice, naan, raita and another chicken dish whose name escapes me. For pudding - which was lovely but just too sweet for me - we had bowls of Gajar Halwa ... carrots cooked with sugar, almonds, pistachios and a kind of ricotta.

I was stuffed. I laughed too loudly and too raucously. I have no voice. One well behaved Punjabi lady with us asked the waiter if she could take him upstairs ... nothing to do with me I might add.

And why am I hoist with my own petard you might ask? I shall simply quote myself as I distinctly remember asking "Why aren't lunches like this for €9.50 (£7.50) available in the UK??" Our meal last night cost just £10! Fabulous.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Unconscious mutterings #281

I say ... and you think ... ?

Purchase :: buy
Squeaky clean :: Josephine
Blended :: mixed
Wednesday :: Addams Family
Function :: a bit of a "do"
Look down :: at your feet
July? :: August?
Raspberry :: ripple
Assertive :: forceful / bossy
Cracker :: Jack

Do some unconscious muttering of your very own.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And yet more food

A holiday's not really a holiday without a dodgy pick up surely? Is it? Isn't it? Which lead to us meeting Anne and Ian (previously of Graulle Haute, lately of Massanet) in a supermarket car park in Massanet. After coffee at their gorgeous new home we headed for the equivalent of the local greasy spoon where for the princely sum of €9.50* we had the most stunning lunch. My starter of "picadillo de patata y col"** turned out to be gorgeously, garlicky bubble and squeak topped with a crispy chunk of belly pork - yum. After that I enjoyed a fillet of panga aka pterogymnus laniarius cooked on a griddle until crispy and gorgeous. Dessert was "formatge amb codony/queso con membrillo" - wow! This was a thin slice of white cheese - tasted a lkittle like cottage cheese - with a piece of membrillo ... a thick sweet paste made out of quince. DELICIOUS!

Thursday dawned very dodgily indeed ... not even being able to see the nearby mountains which make up the Cap de Creus. They were shrouded with the thickest, darkest cloud you've seen since Beloq tied Indy to that palm tree with Marion and opened the ark! Didn't the Spanish powers that be see the previous night's pink sky? Or does pink mean really shitty whilst only red signifies delight. By half ten though it was almost sunny and I settled myself in a deck chair outside with factor 15 on my nose and a good book - bliss. An evening stroll along the beach and through Rosas after dinner and then zonked out on fresh air and sunshine by 10 o'clock.
Rosas (1)
Rosas (3)
Friday was spent on the beach and by the pool - by 6 o'clock I knew I'd over done it but hey ho ... at least I was going home brown! After prodigious amounts of after sun we went out for dinner ... I ate tellines - tiny little clams cooked garlic and parsley, followed by monkfish and finally creme catalana. Throughout the meal the TV (on the restaurant wall) played a film about 2 people inhabiting a windswept, minute and desolate island in the Quemenes ... where the bloody hell are they for god's sake? And why would they want to put themselves through that much hard work?
Nearly done ... tapas on Saturday to follow ... I'm off to open up the dinghy so that I can paddle to the car to get to work.
*Bread and a glass of sangria included. Why aren't lunches like this for €9.50 (£7.50) available in the UK?? Even a sandwich and a pint of coke costs almost that much at the local on a Friday lunchtime.
**The Austrian waitress spoke only a little English and it truly was only a very little.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Unconscious mutterings #280

I say ... and you think ... ?

Rambling :: shorts and hairy legs
Magnetic :: personality
Again! :: over and over
Acoustic :: guitar
Mahogany :: dark
Promises :: to be broken
Ill fitting :: too tight
Sublime :: ridiculous
Poop :: deck
Disoriented :: spun around

Do some muttering of your own.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

All about Spain, I mean a list of food

So, Spain was lovely - after a flight stuffed to the gills with over-loud French children I arrived in Perpignan and was whisked south to Santa Margarida de Roses. And straight out for dinner - that's what I love about holidays, none of that fannying about - food. Croquetas, bacalao de Bilbao and fresas con nata (is that Catalan or Spanish??)

Sunday was spent dodging the unrelenting rain by shopping in Empuriasbrava and drinking hot chocolate (xocolata calenta) that was so thick you could stand a spoon up in it ... I imagine that's how the river in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory tasted! I needed a biscuit to "drink it" ... what do you mean, of course I finished it. Dinner was bought from the local take away - I know not very impressive if this was downtown Gillingham but this was spit roasted chicken that had been cooked with a handful of herbs and a lemon shoved up it's bottom and it was fabulously juicy.
Monday morning when the thunder and lightening finally stopped we headed north to Cadeques where seemingly every Spanish and Catalan artist there ever was visited - can't say I blame them ... it's gorgeous. We wandered along the front, bought some pottery - my mother can never resist and then sat in a cafe and drank cold beer (me) in the sunshine. On to El Port de la Selva* for lunch - mussels, fried fish - meant that there was very little energy left for anything but a late siesta.
Cadeques (2)
After my siesta it was more than evident that actually I'd burnt during lunch so after Sangria at the local German bar - leather bound blonde waiters, such a stereotype - and a stroll along the beach I was ready for bed. And then just after 1am on Tuesday morning the pyrotechnics started. Bloody hell they know how to do a storm ... flash, flash, flash, rumble, crash, chunks of ice and unrelenting rain. I was waiting for us to be washed into the sea, by the torrents coming down the mountains. And then again at 4am. And at 8am. Do you think I'm a jinx? My father is beginning to wonder!
To avoid the rain we drove to Tossa de Mar - it followed us.
Tossa de Mar (2)
Eventually the sun began to shine as we walked along and I reminded my mother about the present I'd like when she wins the lottery. Lunch - escalivada, hake and crema Catalana - followed by more wandering in the sunshine. After the broken sleep the night before we were all in bed early.
To be continued - yes, there'll be more talk of food.
* We've been holidaying there on and off since 1979 and I still love it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Unconscious mutterings #279

I say ... and you think ... ?

Gossipping :: Moi? Perhaps ;o)
Misplaced :: Lost
Spaceship :: Starship Troopers
Ignore :: Rude
Bodily :: Functions
Tweezers :: Eyebrows
Goodnight :: Sleep tight
Curls :: Hair
Faucet :: Tap
Right? :: Wrong!

Do some muttering of your own.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Well, I'm back.
It was lovely, I will get my arse in gear and post ... but for now a view of the beach at El Port de la Selva to wet your appetite.

El Port de la Selva - away from the hustle and bustle.