Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #296

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

Hearing :: aid
Aggression :: anger
Charged :: electrical
Traveler :: gap year
Hydrate :: water
Detox :: clean out
Qualify :: competition
Prison :: crime and then punishment
Frontal :: on a kitchen cupboard
Pep talk ::
Do some unconscious muttering of your own?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So very lovely

Memories of my summer in France

Sunflowers in the Aude

Sunflowers in the Aude
Sunflowers in the Aude
Fields of golden sunshine from Toulouse to the sea!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A not very Welsh Weekend

So ... it didn't rain - how un-Welsh was that?? It was cool, yet crisp, sunny and gorgeous. Showed me anyway ;o)

On Friday I drove to Hounslow, picked up an old friend Bethan - we've known each other since the first day of senior school in 1981 - and off we went. Her parents live just up the road from home ... I dropped her off and then went to Andrew's. It was a weekend of shocks and treats ~ nephew #2 has grown enormously ... he's 14 (15 in November) and can now, when standing next to me, rest his crooked elbow on top of my head - yes he took advantage of that fact more than once.
Saturday started early ... no hangover which was amazing considering that I had an 8 yr old sommelier topping up my glass every whip-stitch - we (nephews #4 and #5 and me) were at the park by 9am - swings, slides, walk around the football pitch, more swings, more slides, home for 10.30 - I was already tired! Saturday afternoon was spent visiting old friends - from school days - and family before sitting down for an Indian with the family.
Sunday dawned bright and early and we watched nephew #3 play rugby for his village side before the long drive back up the motorway - tired, yes. Happy - that too! I just wish the M4 wasn't so bloody long ... anyone know where I can buy a tardis?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #295

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

Heist :: robbery
Hack :: Internet
Dane :: Denmark
Stings :: wasp
Monkey :: Davy Jones
Junkie :: drugs
Pumped :: up
Brass :: band
Fight! :: Run!
Vouch :: for you

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm going to Wales tonight ... a weekend of family fun and nephews. Play nicely whilst I'm gone!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Am I being read??

I think maybe I am. Privacy beckons for a while - just until I'm sure!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Even MORE further notes to self

If you ask Margaret for a lift to work again then she will talk all the way there. Whilst Simon will have the car and be able to go to the tip, she will give you bucket-loads of detail about people that a) you don't know b) you don't ever want to know. She will give you names, dates of births, favourite food-stuffs and National Insurance numbers and expect you to remember them. You WILL end up with the mother of all headaches by lunchtime. NOTE TO SELF ... Carry extra-strength Panadol/Syndol when you have a lift with Margaret.

Jack will scream today, he screamed (and hit) yesterday, he screamed last Thursday and last Friday. He will scream today. 4 more newbies start today. At least one more of them will try the screaming / quiet sobbing / combo-of-both lark. NOTE TO SELF ... forget buying painkillers when having a lift with Margaret, go to Tesco for extra-strength Panadol/Syndol today!
You would like to go to Paris for the day during half term. Virginie is expecting you! Fairly soon the Eurostar will be fully booked. The day you want is ALREADY low-availability. NOTE TO SELF ... book a god-damn ticket Joanne!!
Simon is not going to be happy about Paris for the day. Even though it's a purely girly day of chat and gossip, mostly in FRENCH - which he doesn't speak and there'll be children involved - which he most definetly doesn't do, he will feel that he is missing out. He is missing out, on a day in Paris. You can't lie about it. You are going to have to think hard about how you explain this to him! NOTE TO SELF ... think quick!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

I found this over at Ms Mac's and as a dedicated omnivore who is currently obsessed with food (how many points left?) I felt it was my god given right to do it - well if I'm blogging about food I can't be stuffing it in my gob!

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison - it's alright, a bit chewy really. My parents live in France and it's often available legally and illegally (road kill)!

2. Nettle tea - not had it, would try it.
3. Huevos rancheros - yum!
4. Steak tartare - yum! Had it in France and the UK, I love carpaccio too.
5. Crocodile - whilst staying in Zimbabwe it came as part of a surf and turf in a restaurant in Bulawayo. The turf was an ostrich steak. The crocodile was "chickeny".
6. Black pudding - yum, love it.
7. Cheese fondue - lovely but I like vegetables dipped in it more than bread.
8. Carp - haven't tried it, would try it.
9. Borscht - yum, my gay best friend makes a sweet sparkling version as a dessert too ~ very funky.
10. Baba ghanoush - love aubergine, love "dips" - double yum.
11. Calamari - delicious whether battered or just griddled. Never cooked it myself I should give it a go.
12. Pho - I'd give this a go as long as I could guarantee there was no tripe involved.
13. PB&J sandwich - haven't but what's not too like? What jelly should it be? Is it the same as jam? The only jelly you get here that I have seen is bramble jelly. Oh and sweet chili jelly - not sure I'd fancy that.
14. Aloo gobi - yummy. I work in a school where the children are 40% Sikh and many of my colleagues are Asian so I get to eat a lot of homemade Indian food and share lots of recipes. he trick apparently is to not break up the cauliflower too much. Mine is getting there.
15. Hot dog from a street cart - yum, yes at a cart in WDW ~ I'd love to try one in New York though.
16. Epoisses - yeh why not, I like most cheese - not keen on anything too crumbly/dry like Caerphilly.
17. Black truffle - I have one in the freezer and a little one in my egg box ... it seeps through the shell and you have instant truffle omelette. Well not "instant" you have to cook it but you know what I mean.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - I've had peach wine, that delicious.
19. Steamed pork buns - nope but they sound good.
20. Pistachio ice cream - yum, yes in France one of my stock phrases during childhood was "deux boules svp, pistache et fraise".
21. Heirloom tomatoes - the village where my parents live has a farmer's market during the summer ... 7 stalls in the village square - it's a bit of an excuse to drink cold beer in the warm sunshine and gossip. One of the stall holder's sells the most amazing heirloom tomatoes ... organic, funny shapes, all different colours, picked hours before you buy them. They make amazing tomato salad drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with flaky Maldon sea salt.
22. Fresh wild berries - yep, straight out of the hedgerows.
23. Foie gras - oh yes, yes, yes! I LOVE foie gras - just spread it right on my hips.
24. Rice and beans - not had it but I'd happily scarf it.
25. Brawn, or head cheese - yep, as a 3 yr old I could explain how it was made having watched my "auntie" (friend of my mum's who used to child-mind me) prepare it.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - hell no!
27. Dulce de leche - yes, it's what goes in the middle of my Banoffi Pie. My friend Ruth will eat it spread on digestive biscuits ... she deserves to be the size of a house that girl.
28. Oysters - yep, they're ok. I'd rather have a bowl of mussels.
29. Baklava - yum.
30. Bagna cauda - nope, no thanks, I think the thought of it puts me off but if I was to give it a go it'd probably be lovely but right now - nah! I'm probably judging it harshly.
31. Wasabi peas - don't know what they are ... off to google. Ah ... you get those in the Japanese rice cracker mix ... lovely.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - not had it would love to try it.
33. Salted lassi - no thanks, not keen on yoghurty drinks.
34. Sauerkraut - no thanks, don't think I'd like it.
35. Root beer float - no thanks root beer smells/tastes like germolene and what a waste of ice-cream.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - cognac yes, cigar no thanks, not again.
37. Clotted cream tea - yum, yum, yum.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - sounds good, marrow rum is nice too.
39. Gumbo - sounds good, not had it.
40. Oxtail - I like oxtail soup does that count?
41. Curried goat - I've had goat, it was tough and chewy. I actually watched it being killed. I imagine that currying it would make it tenderer, so yes.
42. Whole insects - never again after the mopane worms in Gaborone
43. Phaal - no thanks, too hot for me. I can manage a madras but that's about it.
44. Goat’s milk - I think I'd like it, I love goat's cheese.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - no thanks, don't like the taste of whisky.
46. Fugu - yes I'd try it ... I might want to see the chef's licence but I'd give it a go.
47. Chicken tikka masala - lovely, often have this or butter chicken.
48. Eel - had it in France I thought it tasted muddy, wouldn't go out of my way to eat it again BUT wouldn't die if someone served me it.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - yes, gorgeous.
50. Sea urchin - I haven't tried it, the look is quite off putting BUT I'd give it a go.
51. Prickly pear - I've had jam made of this in Mallorca, it's delicious.
52. Umeboshi - yes with sushi rice, sour but strangely satisfying.
53. Abalone - as it's endangered I wouldn't eat it unless it was farmed but I love seafood and so I can imagine it would be lovely.
54. Paneer - love it, I make my own. Saag Paneer ~ favourite dish from the local takeaway.
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - yes I have BUT I prefer KFC.
56. Spaetzle - I haven't tried them but they look good when Nigel Slater (I think it was him) cooked them. Or maybe it was ... what's his name that used to do guest spots on Real Food with Rowley Leigh? I always thought they were a couple ... am I allowed to say that?
57. Dirty gin
martini - yum, sounds good.
58. Beer above 8% ABV - not much of a beer drinker to be honest
Poutine - oh my god!! Chips, cheese and gravy??? Oh my god! But yes I'd try it.
60. Carob chips - I've had a carob bar ... but why substitute it for chocolate is beyond me. Just eat the chocolate. But what are carob chips?? Oh my do tell me it's not like Poutine!
S’mores - they sound interesting ... yeh I'd try one.
Sweetbreads - yes I like these, I know you're all cringing now but they're lovely. Ah Noix de Ris de Veau - delicious!
63. Kaolin - umm, don't know why I'd need to eat this.
64. Currywurst - that sounds delicious, yep I'd scarf that.
Durian - delicious, I buy it in the Chinese supermarket in Croydon ... it stinks though.
66. Frogs’ legs - they're ok, not my favourite but not awful.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - churros / beignets, yum.
Haggis - it was ok, I liked the barley in it.
69. Fried plantain - haven't tried it, I would ... there's a Caribbean restaurant in Strood I must persuade Simon that we need to go.
Chitterlings, or andouillette - no, no, no NEVER AGAIN!
71. Gazpacho - lovely
72. Caviar and blini - more loveliness
73. Louche absinthe - I don't like aniseed - bleugh!
74. Gjetost, or brunost - why not, I like cheese.
75. Roadkill - umm yes, well, you see it's like this ... years ago I worked at a tourist office in South West France and lived with family friends (Monique and Jeannot). Now they had a friend (Mickey) who owned a small supermarket and used to drive up to the Marché Capucins in Bordeaux, buy food for the supermarket and drive back very early in the morning. And if he ever hit a chevreuil whilst going through the pine forests he'd chuck it in the back of the van and then bring it over later that day for him and Jeannot to butcher - highly illegal but delicious all the same!
Baijiu - nope not tried it but I'd give it a go.
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - never heard of it.
78. Snail - love them, the more garlicky the better.
Lapsang souchong - love it.
Bellini - yummy, so much nicer than Buck's Fizz.
81. Tom yum - I love this at Thai 4 Two in Rochester - full of chicken and prawn.
82. Eggs Benedict - yum, yum yum
Pocky - they sound like Mikado in France, love them!
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant. - I would love to ... one day a lunch at El Bulli will be mine, or the French Laundry - I'm not fussy!
Kobe beef - sounds and looks good BUT SO expensive. Maybe one day.
86. Hare - had it in France in a kind of a stew ... it was delicious.
Goulash - lovely, lovely, lovely ... paprika and sour cream yum!
Flowers - I've eaten nasturtium petals in a salad, they were lovely.
89. Horse - yep, horse steak and burgers, both good.
90. Criollo chocolate - no is it special?
91. Spam - yum, what's not to like? Spam fritters - yay!
Soft shell crab - lovely, dusted in seasoned flour and deep-fried.
93. Rose harissa - I love harissa, you should try my Lamb and Fig Tajine! In fact come over on Friday!
94. Catfish - not had it, I love fish though.
Mole poblano - nope not tried it but I love Mexican food.
96. Bagel and
lox - deliciousness
Lobster Thermidor - I've had it BUT I think it's a waste of good lobster, I'd rather have it as it is with melted butter.
Polenta - yum, pan fried with some tomato sauce.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - gorgeous
100. Snake
- umm, no thanks I'll pass.
So that's 57/100 that I've eaten and only 10/100 that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole ... dinner anyone?

Unconscious Mutterings #294

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

Cut the crap :: tell the truth
Scent :: smell
Vanishing :: gone
Wetness :: moist - yuk!
Cheap :: credit crunch
Badges :: CND
Puppy :: dog
Problem solver :: fixed
Gambling :: Las Vegas
Sophia :: Loren
Go and do some mutterings of your own over here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I have questions - many questions

As you know I'm interested in life* and my questions are posted for the day - go on, go over and answer a couple. Let me know what you had for breakfast, what you're reading or simply fill me in.

* The adjective nosey has been bandied about ... but not by anyone who's still alive!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gold star

Thank god for WW ... to quote MsMac "it's the points baby!" The nurse was very pleased ... my blood presure is down. Apparently in February it was 160 over 110!! Shit - I didn't realise it was THAT bad! Yesterday it was 133 over 88. Not brilliant BUT so much better. She weighed me and that's another 3lbs off. This won't turn into a weightloss blog honest - mind you then at least I'd post more reguarly.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Big announcement

... but not quite as big as it was in June!

I came home from Rosas in June feeling foul, fat and frumpy. My mother (who's been WW-ing since last December) looked fantastic - she'd lost 6 stone and was like a different person ... thinner, fitter, healthier and above all happier. She didn't nag but she did suggest that I give it a go. BUT I was on my holiday!! And I just didn't want to think about it. NO! Because for me it's not a matter of loosing a couple of lbs and everything being ok - it's about changing eating (and drinking) habits for life. A whole lifestyle change. And that's not what holidays are about.
And then pain in my knee started. And I thought do I want to be 40 and still fat? Finding walking hard? High blood pressure and popping medication like candy?
And maybe something clicked in my head because this morning I am 3 stone (42 lbs / 18.6 kgs) lighter than I was the day I got back from Rosas, 3 (almost 5 in some makes) dress sizes smaller. I am wearing clothes that haven't come near me for 5 years. I have lost significantly over 10% of my body weight and my blood pressure is down. I am off to see the doctor today to see by how much and am midway through chucking out 7 pairs of trousers. People in work are asking what I am doing - parents as well as colleagues.
My next goal is to weigh less than my 6' 2" husband - I'm going to catch you Simon ... watch this space ;o)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #293

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

House :: home
Think :: thoughtful
Clot :: thick
Believe me :: truthful
Fumigation :: smell
Bore :: water
Luck :: be a lady tonight
Patient :: hospital
Tremors :: earthquake
Pickles ::
onions - yum!
Go and do some muttering of your very own!

Friday, September 05, 2008

I've got one

I have you know, I've got one.

I bet you've got one and if you haven't then you had one or you know someone who is one or has one.
As you can imagine at the end of working day #4 of 195 in this academic year I am of course referring to the colleague from hell. The moany, argumentative old so and so who would swear blind that black is "sky-blue-pink with knobs on" just to piss you off. The one who will always give you a list of reasons why something can't work rather than a list on ways in which something COULD work! Well, I've got one and her name is MARION! Actually lets call her P.O.A.D. from now on "Purveyor of All Doom!"
Marion P.O.A.D. actually asked me yesterday morning if she was upsetting me because yesterday I apparently started every conversation to/with/at* her with the words "now I know you wont agree with me when I say this BUT ..." She informed me of this at 7.30 yesterday morning when I arrived in work and apparently that was MY fault not her's. She didn't think that she was "that argumentative" ... nevermind that OFSTED praised me and the nursery and said SHE needs to change, nevermind I have to argue the toss with her to get her to do anything, nevermind that she's the school's most complained (by parents) about teacher. Know a good hit man working cheap anyone?*
No, honestly I haven't spoken "at" her ... I'm not that kind of a manager - I am in fact the kind that's more likely to smack her across the back of the head a la Gibbs if she doesn't stop arguing with me!!