Maybe meandering, possibly peripatetic and indisputably irregular.
So here it is.. a blog. Repository of some of my present musings and interests.|
Sometimes things pop into my head that should probably stay there - it is possible I shall share at least some of them here. (Naturally I shall filter out the ones about my sordid obsession with the culinary dark arts, one has to protect the innocent!) Please feel free not to take this too seriously, much of it could wind up being snippets of things that amuse me.
Yesterday I came up with this:
Few politicians can be considered first class, but not a few are number twos.
What can I do with it? Nothing springs to mind, except perhaps blog it. Perhaps in some other life I'm a failed stand-up comedian.
I have the beginnings of an idea to introduce another player into the Mr Moonlight story, a nice visual has occurred to me, and a summoning gone wrong seems appropriate. When I finish up here I shall literally put pen to paper. I find writing at least initially longhand helps my ideas flow. When I type up what I've written, I give it a first revision at the same time, and as a bare minimum check my spellings and grammar .
I do want to keep tabs on my current reading here. I usually have several books on the go at the same time. Currently I am working through 'Pyramids' by Terry Pratchett. I reread Pratchett's books over and over - usually at work where they provide much needed amusement whilst I eat breakfast.
'The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle', by Stuart Turton was loaned to me by a friend who shares a love of murder mysteries, (especially Agatha Christie's works). It is a new take on the genre and very very clever. The protagonist occupies different bodies - a selection of the guests at the house where Evelyn is murdered. Each day he spends in a different guest, and he has been tasked with discovering the murderer - or maybe saving Evelyn from actually being murdered, it is hard to tell. The book twists and turns and is quite intriguing.
'New Science - Principles of the new science concerning the common nature of nations' is an English translation by David Marsh of 'La Scienza Nuova' by Giambattista Vico, published in 1725. Not far into this yet, I had to find a copy of the frontispiece online, as it wasn't included in the Kindle edition. The first part of the book explains the idea - and uses a detailed description of the frontispiece to convey this. So being without it would have made things somewhat harder.
'The Complete Works of Michael De Montaigne' is again a translation, this time by Donald M. Frame. Montaigne's Essays are famous, I kept reading about them, so treated myself to a nice hardbound copy to dip into - usually just before bedtime.
So there we have it - a blog entry - enjoy! (whispers almost inaudibly 'Bon Appétit).
|Coconut Ice is a really easy to make sweet (candy). Basically it involves mixing together desiccated coconut, icing sugar and condensed milk. Press the mixture into a suitable receptacle, I use a square casserole dish. Cover it, I wrap it in cling film, then let it set in the fridge for 24 hours. Cut into bite size chunks and store in a sealable container.
The recipe I use gives the measurements as 250g (9 oz.) condensed milk 250g (9 oz.) Icing Sugar and 200g (7 oz.) desiccated coconut, different sources give slightly different measurements. The icing sugar needs to be sieved when you use it.
So I made some, but the cans of condensed milk are 379g (about 13 oz.). I had no use for leftover condensed milk at the time, so I recalculated the other ingredients accordingly, using the proportions 5:4 for the amount of icing sugar/condensed milk to desiccated coconut, which meant I used 300g (11 oz.)
Ah!, but I wasn't finished. I bought some glacéed cherries, which i halved and laid out over the set coconut ice. I also bought two blocks of milk cooking chocolate and a carton of single cream. The chocolate I broke into small pieces, and melted in a Pyrex bowl over a saucepan of warm water. When it was melted, I stirred in cream, a little at a time. I also added a small shake of icing sugar to the mix, perhaps an ounce. When it was a homogeneous liquid, I poured it all over the cherries resting on the coconut ice. I was glad that I'd bought two blocks of chocolate, because It covered everything perfectly, the cherries just submerged.
Now it's sitting, again covered in cling film, and will shortly be departing for some more fridge time. Tomorrow I will cut it up and try it. Looking forwards to that.
|I'm not sure if it's possible to reply to an anonymous email, but whoever gave me 10,000 GPs to play with - thank you. I'm afraid I spent them straight away, and bought a merit badge for the author of a really cool short story I'd just read:
|Does anyone else worry that "Eating locally sourced produce." takes on a whole other meaning during a Zombie Apocalypse?
Mondays are nominally a day off for me, since I work all weekend. However they are generally quite busy despite this. There's visiting the bank. This has become less of a chore since covid restrictions have been relaxed. For months we have been queuing to be allowed in, often with people who had no idea what social distancing meant, and who would crowd right up next to you. Fortunately, we have survived unscathed, and being double jabbed has added a further layer of welcome protection.
The main reason I visit the bank is to pay money into it. We are a cash only business, though this cannot remain the state of play much longer, increasingly we are having potential customers leave, because we don't take card. Once inside the bank I am usually using an ATM, and let me tell you, they are a pain. Despite my care in sorting and counting notes, pretty much every transaction of late involves the machine spitting some out. When put back in, they will usually be accepted, there's no clue as to why they didn't go through first time.
Today we had a note flagged as fraudulent, this despite our using a machine to check them at point of sale. When we spoke to one of the ladies who work there, she said that they have never had one turn out to be actually fraudulent, and she took our details so it could be checked and subsequently deposited.
I don't think the banks want us to use cash any more. This is for several reasons of course,, but the prime one is that by making all transactions electronic, they can take a slice from EVERY transaction. It may appear free to the customer, but every transaction has a sum deducted from it before it gets to the seller. We had one guy come in trying to sell us a card machine, with a breezy, "I'll keep it really simple, it's just 80p out of every ten pounds." Evidentially he thought that being small shop keepers - we are stupid, we get a lot of that.
People still ring us trying to sell us things, usually when we are in the middle of the breakfast rush on a Friday. I am usually very polite, but I take command of the conversation and they find I have thanked them for calling, asked them not to call again, and hung up, before they ever get to make their pitch. My favourite response was one I gave to somebody who called and asked, "Who handles the electricity there?" which set me up neatly for "Oh nobody handles electricity here, that would be incredibly dangerous." I also use the phone's blocker to stop folk interrupting me again.
Incidentally the bank charges us for the privilege of putting money into the account, for making any payments from it - including Direct Debits, that just happen every month. They also charge us for withdrawing change - and as Covid has meant anyone who does pay cash, generally pays with a note, we get through quite a bit of silver now.
Enough of this grumbling.
The other things that I do on Mondays usually includes cooking a main meal, for various reasons this only happens on Mondays and Tuesdays. Today was a cheese pie, which is simple to make and also delicious, though I say so myself. However I am also going to make a Paella, which will be cooked in a slow cooker, and be ready for tomorrow's meal. I am looking forwards to this, as I haven't made one in a while.
Shopping is another Monday activity. Today was a bit special for me in that I finally decided to renew my audible membership. I quite enjoy listening to books, especially when I'm working on something like painting. What tempted me back was that I can get a new Doctor Who fix. Big Finish is a company that has used past actors who have played the Doctor, and his companions, to record new adventures. I got two free as my introductory offer, and I can hardly wait to listen to them. I do have quite a bit of painting coming up, many areas at work are due to be decorated. So I shall have ample opportunity to indulge myself, and hopefully enjoy new Doctor stories.
Naturally, I have a few ideas for Doctor Who stories of my own, some of which I have written quite extended outlines for. One in particular I have a bit of a buzz about, a three parter introducing a new Doctor, new companion and a horrifying twist. Ahh fanfic....
If anyone invites you to meat (sic) the neighbours, run. Just. Run!!
|Thank you to the anonymous donator of gift points. Someone very kindly sent me some for a public review, I'll do my best to distribute them as I do more reviews, and thank you again.
It's my day off - working in a food shop means working weekends, and I have spent it happily writing nonsense, writing a little more seriously, and doing a couple of reviews. A good day.
Now I'm going to concentrate on finishing 'The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle', I'm within shout of the end and can hardly wait to find out what's going on
|Some things that might not otherwise see the light of day.
Many strange thoughts wander through my mind, some of them I capture - often on the small scraps of paper we use to write orders down at work. Here are a few samples:
The Bavarian Snail Voice Choir bring you a selection of favourite down-tempo classics.
The Indelible Adventures of Mallory Winterbourne and his unacceptable sidekick Philomena.
Everyone called me today.
People I hadn't heard from in years. I was surprised some of them still had my number.
"I thought I should let you know."
"Just in case no one had let you know."
"Has anyone told you?"
Everyone rang today, to let me know that you had died.
The Three Wise-Ass Monkeys
Unlikely Book Titles:
The Devil's Cornflakes
How To Wear Hats and other Instructional and Explanatory Texts.
Some Character Names:
Orwell and Goode
Admiral Skinglass, Retired Naval Officer of the Highest Watermark
General Lee Weird
So there we have it - if someone asks what's on my mind, they have to be careful, or else I might tell them!
|Despite being English, my reaction to Sunday's football defeat was 'Oh dear, how sad, never mind.' Whilst I'm quite happy for others to enjoy it, football does nothing for me.
On Monday the news here was awash with the reaction to our failure to score penalties, and especially that some fans were expressing themselves racially. The England team Manager described the abuse as 'unforgivable'. One of the players, Harry Kane, is quoted as telling racist social media abusers "you're not an England fan and we don't want you".
Thinking about football fans, and indeed supporters of sports teams in general, it's not hard to conclude that they exhibit tribal behaviour. They enjoy their sense of belonging to a group, dressing in the appropriate colours, singing the anthems, shouting and chanting. Often they have a hatred of some rival team. This can in some instances express deeper roots than the sport itself, a well known example is the rivalry between Celtic, which has a strong Roman Catholic identity, and Rangers, who are largely Protestant Unionists in their identity.
Football fans often enjoy a strong sense of 'them and us', and some part of those that fanatically follow their team clearly exhibit other 'them and us' traits. Their frustration and misery at being defeated has been expressed inappropriately by fixating upon the colour of those who 'failed' them, and this is reprehensible, but also not at all surprising.
|Whilst waiting for England to do whatever it was going to do in the football, (I don't find football very interesting, but I am so tired of hearing that it's been so many decades since we last won something big, (I was 2 when we won the world cup)), I have added to my Mr Moonlight introduction. Despite my computer freezing on me and losing the last couple of paragraphs I wrote, there was enough retained to make an update worthwhile.
|As a fan of the poet Edward Lear, I felt that this news item should be shared. Previously unpublished works have been discovered.