||[20 May 2007|10:46pm]
I think I've hit my maximum cake limit and it's not even my birthday yet.
I can't actually remember what savoury tastes like.
||[02 Apr 2007|10:00pm]
Has anyone been to Hungary and got anywhere to recommend to stay? Pleasethankyouyes.
A fine moustache and
friend for Julia Davis:
Dan Ashcroft; Friday
||[21 Mar 2007|10:06pm]
bold is what I've read, italic is what I'd like to read and the rest is just flotsam.
1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown) (ashamedly)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) (but I watched it - that's enough, right?)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay) (but I have seen the film, which I am sure counts)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible - bits of
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) BEST BOOK EVER
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) NEVER WANT TO READ THIS
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)
|From my Household Hints and Tips book
||[24 Feb 2007|07:28pm]
'To prevent windows from steaming up, rub the glass with a little glycerine or neat washing up liquid.'
One less good:
'At moulting time, try gently vacuuming your dog to keep hairs on the floor and furniture to a minimum.'
I don't think Bingo would let me hoover her.
||[21 Feb 2007|10:55pm]
From my behaviour the last two nights, I think the only way for me to proceed through Lent is to give up eating anything that is not pancakes.
They're so delicious and such a wonderful foodstuff. No I have not eaten enough!
||[16 Feb 2007|07:30pm]
What annoys me most about David Cameron (today) is not just that he's the king of the Tories but that his media training is all just so VISIBLE and OBVIOUS.
He was just on Ch4 news set in front of a messy bookcase full of higgledy-piggledy children's books, with a large Maisy book on clear display. I wouldn't be surprised if they invoiced the publisher for the free advertising.
You can't look at the scene and think it's likely to be anything other than a lovely family room with lots of fun things for the kiddies to do, but that would be if he wasn't a politician.
Still, if you're going to be a glossy right wing/right of centre politician, is it morally better to be hijacking nice and 'good' things in the world like cycling and family rooms full of bright books or to just be an obviously horrible man, like Bush?
||[15 Feb 2007|10:35pm]
carefully wrote out and delivered tried to eat the Valentine gift for her best friend and boyfriend, Elmo. In return she got a beautiful card in the shape of a kitty collar.
Is this so wrong?
I've gone a bit cake-crazy. Last night I made almond cakes with rosewater syrup and am having to take them into work to get eaten. Don't get me wrong - they're delicious. Too delicious. If I start to eat them I will never stop.
In other news, on Monday a photographer from the only national newspaper anyone I know buys on a Saturday is coming to take my photograph. THIS HAS GONE TOO FAR. Am rather scared.
||[12 Feb 2007|06:29pm]
I've been off work today, exhibiting every cold-based symptom there is. Snuffle cough moan.
But last night - before the illness set in - I finished off the felted clogs that I first saw over at Erin's page. You knit them up huge then felt them down to size. NB I was felting them down to a boy's size, not my size.
First unfelted clog
After felting - took all evening
|Nigel Slater's English apple cake
||[11 Feb 2007|09:27pm]
This weekend's bake off brought to you by Nigel Slater and his lovely apple cake. I had bought a bag of apples from Co-Op and all of them had bruises big enough to make each one inedible as itself, so I went looking to go cooking. I actually had a lot of apple recipes but Nigel's got today's treatment and it was lovely and easy and is DELICIOUS.
I've had a three day weekend and it's been marvellous. Hopefully this will mean I'll cope with tomorrow OK.
||[07 Feb 2007|10:24pm]
Tonight I saw A Prairie Home Companion and I loved it! I didn't know much of Garrison Keillor apart from that my mum seemed to have a copy of Lake Wobegone Days on her bedside table throughout the 1980s. *checks Wikipedia* OK since 1985 at the earliest.
I love how he has created the name Garrison from Gary though. Since my friend suggested that Barry was short for Barold, I've very much enjoyed lengthening '-ry' names.
Also, I was interviewed last night by The Guardian. See me/my words coming at you in a Rise section soon!
||[02 Feb 2007|11:56pm]
These are my two new albums, new favourites in my collection. Both harvested after hearing samples on Radio 2. Ah, Radio 2. TV is totally shit these days, and I'm not sure if it's because of or in spite of only having 5 channels at my disposal. Thank goodness for the radio.
It's been another Friday night bake-off. I have made:
12 x bars of baked oatmeal
1 x loaf white bread
24 x madelines
They were fun to make. You have to whisk 4 eggs with sugar and lemon zest together until the mix is pale, creamy and thick enough to almost peak. Then you sift in the flour and pour melted butter in around the edges. Then you refridgerate it for 45 mins before baking. Whoop.
I have also prepared a strata for baking tomorrow morning for brunch; I'd never even heard of it before onegirldown suggested it. Let's hope it's tasty! Otherwise it's just madelines for breakfast.
||[28 Jan 2007|10:47pm]
I didn't make a New Year resolution but I have a February resolution: to not use my credit card.
But thankfully Saturday was still January and I took advantage of the sales to buy my Best Cardigan Ever. (Half price is still expensive but at least within reason, unlike its full price. West London prices, eh?)
A terrible thing happened in West London too, though. We saw a tiny cat that had been RUN OVER. It was lying awkwardly in the road, miaowing furiously and pitifully as if to say 'help me! help me, you humans! I'm all alone here and I cannot walk! where is my owner? help!'
I was very close to bursting into tears, its miaows were so terrible to hear.
But then Mia told us about how she was beaten up by a randomly aggro and bonkers man in Shepherd's Bush and that nobody helped her, and yet there were 8 or 10 people fussing around this cat and isn't that wrong?
And of course it is, but I had Cat Mummy pangs, myself. I never, never thought I would be like this. I used to hate cats.
Did you know that the Marrakech marathon, which happened today, only stops traffic for the first 4 hours of the event?? My friend ran it today and thankfully only took 4 hours 8 minutes (go Abi!) so didn't have to contend with trucks and donkeys for too long.
Marrakech street, yesterday
||[22 Jan 2007|09:48pm]
I took a learning from The Age of Innocence. Newland falls in love with a lady when he's on the brink of marrying a nice, different, girl he now realises he's not actually in love with. But he doesn't do anything about it and the planned marriage goes ahead.
Years later he no longer burns with the fiery passion for his lost lover. He says that to be upset at not winning her would be like being upset at not winning the lottery. It would be a fantastical, wonderful and amazing thing to have shared a life with her but ordinary life was just fine, good and provided much goodness.
That's a good learning, isn't it. One from ages past but perhaps even more relevant in our era of believing dreams can come true being promoted in the movies, TV, lotto.
Obviously you've got to have a dream to have a dream come true, but you shouldn't get upset that it doesn't.
||[21 Jan 2007|09:02pm]
Everyone knows by now, but Joanna Newsom at the Barbican on Friday was sublime; spine-tingling from the opening note to the final pine cone exhumed by Sadie. We also had unexpectedly brilliant seats, with a fabulous view, only spoiled twice when a ticketless girl who'd picked up someone else's dropped ticket tried her luck at finding the seat, shuffling past us into the middle of the row ... and then back out again when she found the seat unsurprisingly occupied.
The hottest tickets in town!
It was something of a society event, too, with all the usual and expected faces there. Even Billy Smog was there!
I like the idea of a society event. I have been reading The Age of Innocence (and loved it and - oh - the sad ending) and it was full of SOCIETY and its exclusions.
Not that it's the exclusions I like. Just the fact that it's an outdated and confusing concept.
I've had a lovely, lengthy weekend and now at its end Bingo is being very loving and my heart is tugging as she lies in my arms* semi-asleep and purring.
* actually I had to put her down** to type here
** not kill her
I went to the ancestral home and joined dad and pals (ex-teachers, 'aunties' and godparents) for a Sunday morning ramble as a run up to a delicious pub lunch. We walked past a house where a naughty doggie stuck his head out of the catflap to show us his big bark. I LAUGHED IN HIS FACE and took a photo.