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April 25, 2006

I go through little phases of interest, actually sometimes they are quite long. Sometimes they get me into something that’s crap, and hard to get out of, like that time I decided it would be a good idea to do a PhD… Mostly I just lose interest eventually, no harm done. Well I never lose interest, but I do lose impetus. For example, I am currently in the process of learning Dutch, French and Perl…”in the process” meaning “thinking about, not doing much of”. I remember a time when I read cookbooks, specifically Marie Claire cookbooks, every single night. These days, I have next to no kitchen, so my cooking repertoire is shrinking by the day. Compounding the lack of kitchen is a lack of appliances, due to a lack of anywhere to store them. However, my interest in cooking is back up there, due primarily to this site. I love the little summaries at the end, telling you how it tasted. Most cookbooks do not bother with that. Unfortunately, I now utterly require a food processor, a blender and a stand-up mixer. But, no bench space. We need to move.

There are no trains in Iceland. No, no trains, despite what the search results may lead you to believe. You can’t go on a train if you go to Iceland. People who have never left Iceland have never been on a train. You can take a ferry to get there though, not that you’d want to, surely.

Excel Rocks

April 24, 2006

Today I learnt how to make nice databases using Excel. Who knew that Excel was so awesome? Not me! Well, I had some idea, I had a hunch that it's capabilities were infinite (almost) but I didn't realise how easy it all was. I have spent approximately 20+ hours screwing around with various proprietary mousey database systems, and then today I sorted the whole thing out, with maximum functionality, in about 4 hours. Done. Yay.


April 2, 2006

We went to London yesterday. Despite a massive night on Friday (lots of alcohol, very little food), we got up in time to get our 8.35am train, and made it into London a bit after ten. The plan was to head over to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

First, lunch consisted of some yummy breakfast (bacon and eggs, omelette etc) in a little cafe down Exhibition Rd, sitting outside at a tiny table in the sun. Yes, sun! It was April 1st, but I am not kidding. Then we wandered up to the museum, where found a massive queue to get in. Luckily I had read somewhere that there is an alternate entrance around the corner into the Earth Galleries, so we were able to just walk straight in.

After a few hours of staring at stuff, we got a train back to Embankment, went for a coffee and then for dinner in Chinatown. Due in part to Friday’s exploits, we were pretty tired by about 9pm so we bailed. Got back to Leicester and were in the door before 11pm.

This was the first event in a few weeks of actual Getting Out Of The Flat on the weekends. I have a few days off this week as my sister will be visiting, and we’re going to Amsterdam and Paris for a week over Easter. Very exciting and I am soaking up all the info that I can about these places. I want to see lots, but I also want to chill out – I don’t want to stress about seeing everything like I did when we went to Rome.


March 30, 2006

Over the last week or two, I indulged some feelings of Australian nostalgia and made some fairy bread and some chocolate crackles.

The fairy bread was for Louise's birthday, a surprise party with a kiddy theme. I bought a fresh unsliced loaf of bread and cut fairly chunky slices, smeared them thickly with (salted) butter and then inverted them onto a side plate full of hundreds and thousands, which are available in every supermarket, even the tiny Sainsbury's around the corner. Seems the English are well into their cake decorating. The result was pure simple carbs, with a nice balance of saturated fat, and amped me right up. I can not handle my sugar.

Last night I made chocolate crackles, for no particular occasion other than that I had finally remembered to buy icing sugar. Chocolate crackles would not be nice without icing sugar. Now, usually they need Copha, but as far as I can tell, and as I have written before, you just can't buy Copha in this country. I am going to London on Saturday though, so might check out the Australian Shop. Also, Ed says that there is some Indian product that sounds similar. However, he also thinks it's for oiling up your hair, not cooking. I made do with a block of vegetable fat called Cookeen that I found in that tiny Sainsbury's. It tasted like candles instead of coconuts, but was the right consistency and almost the right taste. Everybody at work loved the result, a lot, not knowing any better. In actual fact, they tasted funny. Each chocolate crackle contains 10 g of fat so I won't be repeating the performance too soon, but they could be a good trademark effort for birthdays etc. Yummy!


March 30, 2006

My boyfriend and I are quite funny, but no-one gets our jokes. Maybe they are actually lame-o jokes, I don't know. Today he asked me for a big cordial. "A big cordial?" I asked, "Yeah," he replied, "I'll give you the credit for it". For those not in the know, that is a Seinfeld joke.

Earlier today Susan told me her brother was moving from Chicago to Austin. "Austin, Massachusetts?" I asked. "No, Austin is in Texas," she replied. I had to explain to her that I did know that, but was referring to the film "Road Trip", where Tom Green's character mistakes Austin, Texas for Boston, Massachusetts, and much hilarity ensues. Ahh, dear popular culture, I am you as you are me.

Summer time, a.k.a. daylight saving, kicked in last Saturday/Sunday. It is now even harder than usual to get up in the morning. However, it is also reeeally light in the evning when I am walkking home from work, even if it is nearly 7pm – still light. It's great because I can now go along the pretty route through the park, and since it isn't dark, I don't get yelled at by random homeless people. I don't know why their yelling is restricted to the darkened hours, but that does seem to be the case so I will just be happy instead of questioning it.