I won on the Premium Bonds! Had some since I was a kid, only about £100 or so, and this is the second time they’ve come up for me. Yay Ernie!
It’s only £25 but still, who can say no to free money. I’m gonna put it towards some new boots.
A little something I had to share, just released by the brilliant street theatre group Improv Everywhere.
It’s a beautiful performance, made all the more special because you know the people watching don’t know it’s a performance to begin with.
And if you want to check out the original piece done in a more traditional setting here it is. It’s a little longer but well worth the effort as you get to see all the subtlety in his performance. I really enjoy it; I hope you do too.
That’s right, I’m laying off the mighty potato for a while. Why? Because for the past month or so I’ve been eating loads of chips and mash at every meal; big, heavy, winter comfort foods that are very filling but which are not the most nutritious thing to be having all the time.
The result of all this is my ‘digestion’ has been a little haphazard lately, plus I’ve ended up a wee bit anemic because of the lack of variety, and iron. For iron you need greens, beans, veg, lentils and tofu. There is iron in potatoes, but it’s mostly in the skin. Also, there’s something in potatoes, and spinach, that actually binds with the iron in your food and makes it difficult for you body to absorb it. I can’t remember what it’s called but it’s worth bearing in mind. If I find out I’ll add a comment later.
So, for the month of February I’m going potato free. I guess it’ll mean lots of curries, a bit of pasta, some stir fries, plus whatever else hot I can come up with. Can’t quite contemplate salads yet, what with this cold snap we’re having. Should be the perfect opportunity to try a few new ideas, plus dig out the old cook books and see what treasure they contain. Keep an eye out for upcoming results.
Also, there’s something else I’m going to try and do for the month of February, but I can’t tell you about that until after. It’s a secret.
“You’re a wanker number nine!”
Ever thought, “D’ya know what, I’m in the mood for a lesbian romance.” You have! Excellent. Then read on.
Imagine Me and You is a great wee film. I caught the end of it in work one day and was so intrigued I had to buy it to watch the rest, and I’m so glad I did. I won’t go into too much detail, as I don’t want to give too much away (plus, to be honest, I don’t have a lot of extra info to go into), but it opens with Rachel (Piper Perabo) and Heck (Matthew Goode) getting married. But as she’s going up the aisle Rachel spots Luce (Lena Headey) her florist through the congregation, and it’s pretty much love at first sight.
The rest of the film is a beautifully crafted blossoming romance, surrounded by the problems of being married and falling in love with someone else (who just happens to be a woman), with everyone involved trying to do ‘the right thing’ (often in opposition to what they really want to do), and all of them eventually coming to terms with what they have to do (be it go for the romance, quit and move on, or just stop being such an arse).
Writer/director Ol Parker managed to do a great deal with so many little moments like the one above, and he’s presented us with a lovely little film that I guarantee will warm your cockles. It’s a love story, pure and simple. The fact that’s it’s between two girls is you the spice that gives this familiar recipe it’s unique flavour.
Warning: This film will make you want to live in Primrose Hill, have charming posh friends and run a florists.
Ok, so where is everything at the moment?
First off, I’ve decided not to do the food blog idea (for the moment). I mean I’m hardly keeping this one up to date, so if I started another one that’d just be two blogs I’m not doing. But I am still cooking and I am still posting recipes, so it’s not like I’ve moved away from the cooking idea completely. I’m just putting it on hold until I can give it my full attention.
What I have been doing though, which is a bit unexpected, is meditating every day for over a week now. Ok, so ‘every day’ is a bit of an exaggeration (as is ‘meditating’ probably ), but I have managed to sit for eight out of the last nine days, which is still a win as far as I’m concerned. If I can keep this up I’ll be enlightened by the end of the year, lol.
The day I missed was all down to work. I’ve been meditating in the morning you see, after doing my yoga (I am still doing the yoga every day since I started, which is a good few months now!), but that day I had to get up at 5:30 to go to work, so there wasn’t time, and I just plain forgot to do it in the evening when I got home. Of course this only goes to underline the fact that I need a new job. Plus I’ve been reading Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, which quite simply states that if you believe your job is interfering with your spiritual development then you probably need a change in career. So that’s my main priority for the moment, finding something else to do for cash. I know what I’d like to do, which is write, but I’m also looking at other possibilities too.
That being said the writing is going well. I’m on the second round of rewrites on the script I finished before Christmas. Once that’s done I’ll give it to a friend to proof read, then I can go back to the book I started working on recently. I’ve also got a few other script ideas I’m playing with, so hopefully come the summer I’ll be ready to start chasing down agents and production deals. And no holding back this time. I’m not going to get bogged down with the ‘reality’ of what’s possible. I’m aiming for Hollywood, and ain’t nobody gonna stop me!
Well, the porn mail keeps coming thick and fast (oo-err missus), but with an added twist.
In a failed attempt to get past my spam sensors the spammers (I like to imagine them as Russian for some reason) have started to include little snippets of real text in the body of the message, some of which are actually quite alluring. So for the past few weeks I’ve been garnering these little gems of word play together and now I’ve worked them up into something (in my humble opinion) quite beautiful.
Now I confess, I have included the odd word of my own here and there to improve the flow and help it make sense, but the vast majority of the sentences are complete as sent to me by my porn obsessed compadres overseas. I hope you like it. It’s called…
Dancing the Lonely Road
The unnatural sparkle of the opium-eater,
falsely deeming that his peace of mind had fled,
brought forth the order we see; the light, the day,
the truth of identity, especially at the end of the book.
Hope is an illusion of the future,
it springs from a deep instinctive faith.
The Divine dispensations, the sound of sirens,
seemed to rise palpably before him.
Amusements were over, or neglected,
summer’s delights were not.
There are clouds on the horizon, but they are illuminated,
by a golden thread which binds together all books.
The pages presented an image of Emily’s heart.
Many of these were marked, “everything, eventually, is done.”
Now he dance tango, sure putted, without restraint;
a puppet of the public, convincing God of his intense human truth.
A quick little sweet that is surprisingly tasty. I came up with this one for Christmas but it’s taken me a wee while to get the amounts right. I’ve been eating chocolate almonds for weeks!
125g blanched almonds
60g dark chocolate (2/3 of a bar)
1/2 cup of raisins
40g poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water (you only need a little water in the pan – keep it from touching the bottom of the bowl). Once melted take it off the heat.
Add the almonds and raisins and stir until completely covered.
Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Mix the poppy seeds and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle a layer of seed mix on the paper, then spread the almonds and raisins evenly on top.
Sprinkle generously with remaining seeds. Put in the fridge to cool.
Once cooled break up into individual pieces (they’ll probably be all stuck together), eat, and enjoy.
Here’s a little something I came up with to get a good mix of nutrients all together in one place. The beans, the bulgar, the watercress, it’s all good.
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 butternut squash, diced
1 tin mixed beans, rinsed
1/4 cup bulgar
750ml vegetable stock
1-2 handfuls of watercress, chopped
salt, to taste
In a large saucepan fry the onion, garlic and cumin seeds in olive oil until onions have gone soft.
Add the turmeric, squash, beans, bulgar and stock. Bring to boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the squash is fully cooked.
Add watercress and salt and simmer on a low heat for a further 5 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
Now the qualifying statements:
1. The ingredients listed are slightly different to the ones I used in the stew pictured. In the one pictured I used 1/2 a cup of bulgar, but I found that over night this tented to soak up a lot of the juices and make the stew a lot thicker than I’d intended, so I think it will work better with half the amount.
2. I also had some sweetcorn in the one pictured, but that was just coz I had some left in the fridge and really it didn’t add anything to the taste so I decided to leave it out.
3. There’s also just less than a handful of watercress in the one I made, as again that was all I had left in the fridge, but I think it will work better with more in, so I doubled the quantity in the recipe.
4. Finally, when I made mine I used 500ml stock, and 250ml plain water, but you couldn’t really taste the stock in there, so I think all stock would be better.
I was in two minds about posting a semi-tested recipe. But it’s a decent enough little recipe and I wanted to let people have a play with it if they wanted. Was it a good idea do you think? Or is it best to try, try, try again before posting stuff? Let me know.
After all the indulgences of Christmas it’s time for something healthy to cleanse the system.
1 Avocado, diced
2 Tomatoes, diced
25-50g Watercress, chopped (1-2 handfuls)
1 tbsp Mixed Seeds (I used Pumpkin and Sunflower)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp Whole Grain Mustard
2 tsp Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Honey
Put the diced avocado, tomatoes, chopped watercress and mixed seeds into a large bowl.
Mix the olive oil, mustard, honey and vinegar in a small bowl, then pour over other ingredients and toss well.
Maybe a bit cheeky calling this a ‘recipe’, seeing as how it’s so simple, but what they hey, it’s still an idea worth sharing. It’s healthy thanks to the seeds, which contain a good variety of vitamins and minerals, and the watercress, which has lots of iron in it. There’s a wee bit of natural sugar in the honey, and proteins in the tomato and avocado, so it’s a winner all round really. Tastes nice too.
So, to that end, I give you…
(listen to the words)
“The world has gone insane (baby monkey)!”
And, saving the best ’til last;
I dare you not to laugh!