My kitchen floor is now a lake
My pipes are blocked, that’s my mistake
So I’m busy doing unblocking
Got no time to waste on blogging
My kitchen floor is now a lake
My pipes are blocked, that’s my mistake
So I’m busy doing unblocking
Got no time to waste on blogging
The story so far? Just go back over the last three blog posts.
“What’s that? Qu’est-ce c’est?”
xxx“Lievre, mademoiselle … like … er … rabbit, but more big?”
xxx“Aha — hare.” A quick search on her phone confirmed the translation.
xxx“And … ?” She pointed at what looked like a very dark piece of fillet steak.
xxxVenison, specifically from the roe deer, said the internet.
xxxOh yes. Eppy suddenly recalled a recipe she’d seen on television, quick and simple and made by a famously wine-loving celebrity chef on a UK tour. That was the plan, then.
xxx“Merci,” she said, as the assistant wrapped the meat.
xxxIn a reverie, she wandered round the small market hall. A patisserie stall provided an individual pear tartelette for her dessert — and a strawberry one for an afternoon snack. One of many fruit and veg stalls provided a potato. Another sold her something that looked like a tightly-packed anaemic baby broccoli. It had, she later found, a flavour so subtle she decided never to buy it again.
xxxRich, red Rhône wine. Almost local. Right country, anyway. Chateauneuf du Pape.
Number 9 Pope Street? Nice.
Oh I do miss your original wit 😉
xxxI missed it just then, she thought, but she smiled anyway. He made bad jokes with style and she laughed without shame, both with him and at him.
xxxIn a wine shop she found a small bottle of a liqueur from farther North, Crème de Cassis. Essential for her plans. As were matches. Long matches.
xxxSitting at a small, round table outside a corner bar in a small French town, with a café au lait and a croissant for breakfast: what could be better, she asked herself.
xxxThree hours later, much to the waiter’s amusement, she came back and answered her own question with a glass of chilled Chardonnay from Chablis and a croque monsieur, thick slices of ham and melty cheese, between slices of rustic bread, piquant with mustard and all fried in butter. Healthy, probably not; delicious, certainly.
xxxIn between these visits, she had strolled round the town, sketched the houses and the churches, and wandered along the river bank, waving back to the men on the working boats and even sitting on a rock, like the Lorelei, while reading a little of Kat’s Book.
xxxFreedom can be frightening.
xxxLeaving him and starting a new life was the best decision she ever made. Now was the right time to explore her world, her self, her sexuality. Life stretched before her, spreading out like an endless panorama of possibilities, without limits, without restrictions.
xxxBut also without signposts, with its spiritual satnav disabled, disconnected, Liberating but also scary, exhilaratingly scary.
xxxGood grief! Eat, Love, Pray, Barf.
xxxNo, no, no. I will not be defeated. I will keep my mind open. As wide as I can, my dear Katrina. But for now I will content myself with watching the river flow by, accompanied by the shrill sounds of distant children at play, and the plaintive ululations of the boatmen’s horns.
xxxAfter a walk back over the tiny bridge and up the hill, Epifanea stripped off and took a shower. She lay down on her towel on the bed for a short nap. She smiled at her foreshortened image in the full length mirror near the foot of the bed, her unruly pubic garden looking like a rain-soaked wooded valley rising to a pink hill.
xxxBloody Hell, that book’s affecting me already, she thought, and rolled onto her side, bending knees and hips for comfort, stability, and to obscure the reflected view, before any more bad prose reveries sprang to her mind. It didn’t help much. She closed her eyes and tried to make her mind go blank, but somehow one vision after another appeared in her mind’s eye: the reflection of her own, damp body, those overexposed men and women on that Greek beach and even the sensuously dark piece of red meat waiting in the kitchen.
xxxAnd this final image led her to think of the rich red wine she would soon be drinking with it. And the liqueur she would cook it in. And this finally led her thoughts away from sex and sensuality to that mixture of white wine and Cassis named after a former mayor of Dijon, called Felix Kir.
xxxA bit early for an aperitif, she thought.
xxx“Nonsense!” she replied out loud, and headed for the kitchen.
Had a shower. Making a Felix.
xxxShe lied. She smiled. She slipped into her spotted pyjama trousers and pulled on a t-shirt, in case he started demanding proof.
What’s a felix?
Just joking. A Kir
Got some cassis for the venison
Bit early for an aperitif
Me too. Skype later?
xxxEppy sat with her drink on the terrace, beside the cast iron bistro table. She scrolled through the day’s photos on her state-of-the-art phone, and made notes in an old-fashioned booklet with a primitive pencil. Not for her a meticulously written, formal diary, but neither was she happy to look back at interesting photographs, unable to recall the exact circumstances in which they were taken, or even where they were taken. Not wishing to lug a laptop or even a tablet all over Europe, she just made those notes in case they were needed when she got back home and collated everything. They would help when sharing her memories with friends and family, perhaps even in the form of an online account; memories for her own later years, or perhaps even a small, self-published travel book, that no one would ever read.
xxxA load of recipes, perhaps. The photos she sent him of her every snack, drink or meal, might make an interesting collection one day.
xxxIf I ever get round to it.
xxxSuddenly she realised she’d been on the verge of falling asleep and hadn’t noticed how ‘the glimmering landscape had faded on the sight’, making her reading and writing very tiring to the eyes.
xxxHow long have I been sitting here? Time to cook. Lucky it’s a quick dish.
xxxShe put on a pan of water for the knobbly, pale green monstrosity the man at the market called a choux romanesco. No cabbage this, she thought, more like a small, dense cauliflower, gone green. Indeed, it broke up nicely into conical florets.
xxxShe decided to dispense with potatoes and let a crusty, fresh baguette supply the carbs.
xxx‘No! No baguettes! No — I shall have no baguettes …‘, she sang, contradicting her lyrics by cutting a few lengths from the long rustic loaf.
xxxAnd then, the cooking. A knob of butter melted and foamed in the heavy skillet, with a splash of oil to stop it burning. She placed a spatula flat on top of each piece of meat in turn and brought the heel of her hand down on them smartly a couple of times to flatten and tenderise, then patted salt and freshly-ground pepper onto their surfaces.
xxxInto the fat they went. After only a minute or so, she flipped them over, giving the pan a shake. As they cooked on the second side, she tipped the romanesco florets into the salted water boiling in her saucepan.
xxxShe took the meat from the fat and put it to rest on her plate. Now for the spectacular part. She hoped this kitchen’s smoke alarm was less sensitive than the one she’d set off in Edinburgh, just by making bacon sandwiches for his breakfast. At least in this climate she could have all the windows open without freezing her arse off.
xxxHer right hand held a long match and she’d positioned the matchbox at the side of the cooker near her left, which she first used to pour half a glass of the blackcurrant liqueur into the bubbling mix of butter, oil and meat juices.
xxxImmediately, she took hold of the box and struck the match. As it burst into flame, she held it low over the pan. A sheet of blue-violet flame danced over the liquid, as Eppy swirled it around to mix up and let most of the alcohol burn off.
xxxNot all. She preferred to blow it out before it ran out of fuel; she was convinced that gave the finished sauce a touch more ‘bite’. He, of course, insisted he couldn’t tell any difference. But tonight she could do it her way, without fear of smart-alec comments or criticisms.
xxxShe added a little beef stock and a small spoon of tomato puree, and stirred, before tasting, and completing the seasoning with some finely chopped basil and a little more black pepper from the grinder. The stock and the steaks had enough salt already. All it needed now was a pleasing glaze, which she created by whisking in one more small knob of butter.
xxxThe meat was put back into the pan and doused with the sauce to heat through, while she drained the green florets and arranged them on one side of the warmed plate. On the other side, she arranged the venison medallions and poured the sauce, dramatically, if not very artistically, over them. The large glass of red wine had obviously been filled — and refilled — well in advance.
xxxLess than ten minutes for the whole process, she thought proudly. As she confirmed this by checking the time on her phone. That was when she saw his impatient messages.
xxxWhich she ignored until after she had eaten.
xxxAnd rested for a while.
xxxThat dish had, except for the green lumps, been too tasty not to savour, slowly.
xxxAfter which, his attempts to have a flirtatious conversation were hampered by his feelings of annoyance and frustration; if he was trying to hide those feelings, he was doing a terrible job. Nonetheless, his hands, hidden below the level of the picture on her screen, seemed restless and she wondered what he might be doing with them. She had no intention of asking him.
xxxHer hands meanwhile, equally concealed from his view, were busy making rude and disrespectful gestures. She managed to keep a straight face.
[More on that story later]
I’m writing this a day ahead because I’m going away
Going clubbing in That London in a rather fancy way
And waiting for a van with new tv and broadband hub
Makes me, I think, a member of a far more boring club
We’re now inside the window where delivery is due
The tracking site tells me the van has fourteen more to do
Before it gets to my place and delivers me my shit
And so, in just an hour or so, I can instal my kit
So why have I been sitting, since the text showed on my phone,
For over five long hours doing nothing, all alone?
I’m leaving, or I should be, on that midnight train to
So I should be getting ready, press my suit and put my shoes on
But I’m mesmerised to watch the dot that shows me where it’s at
Always sitting, hitting keys, and just refreshing like a prat
It’s been on number 55 for longer than I’d care
Perhaps he’s found some extra action with a lonely housewife there
In the old days we would moan that we’d be waiting all day long,
For things that never came or when they did the time was wrong
But now that I can track the damn things electronic-ly
I’m even more distracted then I ever used to be!
The title says it all
As they used to say on Sunday Night at the London Palladium…
Can you come back next week?
Well, it isn’t but I had a tooth out yesterday and don’t feel like blogging today so this is by way of a sick note from me mam, with a random photo of her parents…
Come back next week
“Let’s stop romanticising the misguided, possibly dangerous actions of spurned men.
On Saturday, the Bristol Post reported the story of how a 34-year-old man was intending to play one of the city’s public pianos in order to “win” back his ex girlfriend. Calling the woman who he’d been dating for four months “Rapunzel”, the stunt was intended to show off how much he loved her.
As is fairly typical in these kinds of stories, the Post branded the stunt as romantic, calling Luke Howard “heartbroken”, tagging his efforts as “dedication” in their tweet. However, in refusing to accept his ex girlfriend’s “no”, and by making a huge public statement demanding that she recognises his “love” for her, Howard’s behaviour is not romantic. It’s entitled – and it’s symptomatic of a wider problem of men’s harassment of their exes.
This is not the first time that women have been told to accept men not taking no for an answer as a romantic gesture. From John Cusack’s ghetto blaster in Say Anything… to the best man’s creepy filming of his friend’s bride in Love Actually, the ideal of a heartbroken man harassing the object of his affection has been sold to us as true love over and over again.
But there’s nothing romantic about refusing to accept that a woman has a right to leave you. It’s not a love story when a woman tells a man “no” and he demands she change it to a “yes”.”
[various posts, originating on a site called The Pool, I think]
I find the reactions in some quarters to this poor, suffering sod most upsetting, What mean-minded miserable buggers there are in this world. HAve they never been dumped? Or even loved?
On what basis are people extrapolating shit about ‘entitlement’, and his not accepting her ‘right’ to leave him? It’s a dumbass gesture born of wretchedness, and I’ll agree the guy seems a bit of a wet twerp, but at most it’s a case of pleading, not ‘demanding’. I see no evidence in article or interview of him not ‘accepting her right’, but he seems to be trying to exercise his own right of appeal (not very appealingly, it must be said). And unless the poor lass lives near the piano or he’s lugging around wherever she goes, he’s hardly ‘harrassing’ her.
Personally, I would support a policy of summary execution for anyone who dumps their partner without good demonstrable cause (though not after such a short relationship as his with ‘Rapunzel’, and with the proviso that the dumpee has to agree to it — and that after a cooling-off period). If I stabbed someone I could cause them extreme pain and some possible impairment, and I would quite rightly be castigated and punished for it, but the wounds would heal in short order, and life continue much as it was. Dumping someone who loves you can cause at least as much anguish, physical pain, and even seriously increase their risk of heart failure, leaving internal scars that time does little more than stick plasters over, and which make successive relationships harder to hold down; but the law doesn’t even get involved unless the sufferer acts unreasonably and illegally. Even then the victim gets all the blame and deprecation, rather than any support or help.
Theologists used to say (maybe still do) that the greatest sin is to break a vow. If free will is the main gift of the deity, we take a great step by surrendering it to a promise. So the greatest insult to said deity is to throw the gift back in Her face by breaking our word. And the same people who demand (and they are demanding) that guys simply accept the pain of being dumped are usually those who bemoan the lack of commitment shown by so many blokes these days. I have heard someone say that their vow to stay for better for worse, ‘didn’t include if it made me miserable’. For fuck’s sake, it’s no vow if you’re only saying ‘I promise to stay as long as it makes me happy’! And anyway, statistics show that a great many dumpers come to regret it later, by which times. I’d be the last to say ‘suck it up’ about any misery it does cause, but to cause even more misery to get out of it is morally no better than stealing to solve your cash flow problems.
But like I say, the guy seems to be making a prize pranny of himself. Stephen Pinker suggested that the irrational actions of the rejected have evolved to make the rejectee scared and more likely to stay around out of physical fear. I rather think they’re there to ensure the separation. Grand romantic gestures, and all the other things that a man or woman will do when scrabbling with bleeding fingertips to cling onto a crumbling cliff, do little more than make us look complete twats that no one could possibly love. That will kill any tendency to guilt feelings in the dumper, so they can go off and mate with some fresh supplier of eggs or sperm. Life, eh?
crippling headache and photophobia
going back to bed
service may resume next week, if i’m still alive
here’s some tall ships in Cádiz harbour
Must to my club just now. Picture on display in the new group show. May be back late. This post just a placeholder. Something may replace it soon.
Or not. Can’t show the picture for rather silly personal reasons.
Addendumb: I’m trying to set up a form at my website to do a questionnaire for a chum. It’s quite a learning curve. What you see there is not yet in the form of a form. The answers are dummies (as I think is rather obvious from the content). It’s taking up my spare time so blogging is on hold.
I was gonna write summat wuzn’t I?
Maybe I should just copy and paste some of the bonehead spam mail I get on here, but any wordpresser will no doubt get the same.
I still smile when a post congratulates me on the ‘useful info’ in my posts on ‘this subject’, when the post is a pome, a pic or a short story with about as much info as a Microsoft User Guide.
I don’t even care what the ones in Japanese say.
But it’s been a busy ol’ day, still cataloguing the SPA portrait entries and I’ve bought a wee desk to turn my bedroom into an office/sleeping quarters for my wee Chinese houseguest in August.
And that, said John, for now, is that.