Monday, February 20, 2006

Eastenders update

So my favourite soap opera here is called Eastenders. It's a long-standing tradition in the UK. I've talked about it before...it's a bunch of trashy, sad people from a fictitious neighbourhood in East London. It's totally refreshing compared to US soaps. The characters are poor, they're not that attractive, they talk funny, ridiculously bad things happen to them, and they're just generally miserable people.

My current favourite story line has 60 something, overweight people having a hot, steamy affair. Pat is an Omar's Tent kind of chubby lady who wears the ugliest earrings ever and tons of leopard print. Her hair is peroxide blonde. Her makeup is applied with a trowel, and you can usually identify at least 4 distinct colours on her face. She's practically a clown. She used to be a prostitute and has a history of stealing husbands.

Patrick is a West Indian man who wears wife-beater t-shirts made of white fishnet and who has a fedora on most of the time. He's got a twinkle in his eye all the time and his wife is pretty and nice. He doesn't like to work, but he's started running a car lot because he wants money for going round the pub and betting on the ponies.

They'd been flirting for weeks, what since Pat works at the carlot with Patrick. Patrick decided that Pat had to go to remove temptation from his path. He didn't want to fire her, so he tried to make her quit by telling her he'd been flirting with her just to make her feel better about herself. It worked...she was furious. But when his wife (Yolande) found out that Patrick had let Pat do all the books because he couldn't figure out licenses and taxes, she insisted he hire her back. He had to beg. In the begging, Pat suggested that they had to do something about the sexual tension. The show continued to other scenes, and then came back to a shot of Pat's bedroom. Pat was in her dressing gown smoking a cigarette and looking out the window. Patrick was in the bed grinning with his stupid fishnet t-shirt and his damn HAT on. Pat said, "Ready for round two, Tiger?" and that was the cliffhanger for the week.

Since then, they've done it in the carlot office, Pat's kitchen, and an alley. These people are practically my parents age. Good grief.

Vital Statistics

I received this email from a friend, but rather than filling it out and forwarding, I'm putting my answers here. If you'd like to reply, go ahead and copy this into an email and send to me.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:27 for an 8:50 departure for work
2. Diamonds or pearls? I want one big diamond in a funky platinum setting and I'll buy this myself since I've no spouse to do it for me.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Capote, which is excellent, FYI
4. What is your favorite TV show? The Daily Show with Jon Stewart rocks my world.
5. What did you have for breakfast? grapes and turkey bacon
6. What is your middle name? June
7. What is your favorite cuisine? Thai, sushi, and the occasional tapas
8.What foods do you dislike? pate, oily fish, and all organ meats. And that shellfish vein/sac. I hate that.
9. What kind of potato chips do you like? Thai Chili
10. What is your favorite music? I listen to everything, as you'll find out in July
11. What kind of car do you drive? Blue Audi A3
12. Favorite sandwich? I hate sandwiches. What is there to like about sandwiches?
13. What characteristics do you despise? passive aggressiveness, long-waistedness, close-set eyes, pike-eyes, hyena laughs, unruly eyebrows, pettiness, arrogance, meanness, self-righteousness, stupidity, bigotry, homophobia (I'll stop now...)
14. Favorite item of clothing? my black jeans
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation,where would you go? Vietnam
16. What color is your bathroom? yellow with a green painted wood floor
17. What is your favorite brand of clothing? stuff that fits
18. Where would you want to retire? I want a porch, I want water, and I want someone who makes me laugh sitting next to me. Location is irrelevant.
19. Favorite time of day? 11 PM
20. Where were you born? Manchester IA USA
21. Favorite sport to watch? Cricket
22. Coke or Pepsi? I'm morally opposed to Pepsi. It is evil.
23. Are you a morning person or night owl? Guess.
24. What size shoe do you wear? UK 7
25. What did you want to be when you were little? a journalist
26. What is your best childhood memory? watching Marie Tyler Moore after my bath on Saturday nights
27. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? dj, waitress, retail plebe, temp, executive assistant to a crazy person, temp, temp, temp, event planner
28. What color underwear are you wearing? lavender
29. Nicknames: Min, Mindaloo, Reality Girl, Petunia, Black Jane...I have many aliases (or is that aliae?)
20. Piercing? ears only, though I'd pierce my nose if I thought I'd get by with it. Just a little stud, not some creepy hoop.
31. Eye color? brown
32. Ever been to Africa? no
33. Ever been toilet papering? can you say ISO house?
34. Love someone so much it made you cry? Yes
35. Been in a car accident? Several. One with a garage door, one with a car, and one with cars AND guardrail. Sparks flew. It was crazy.
36. Croutons or bacon bits? depends upon the salad
37. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
38. Favorite flower? gerber daisies and dahlias
39. Favorite ice cream? green tea
40. Disney or Warner Brothers? Why is that a choice?
41. Favorite fast food restaurant? wagamama
42. What color is your bedroom carpet? taupe
43. Failed your drivers test? not yet
44. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail from? Ben
45. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Harvey Nichols
46. What do you most often do when you are bored? move
47. Bedtime? 1130 on a normal night, 1248 for the shipping forecast if I'm up after 12.
48. Last person you went to dinner with? Rachel from my office
49. Ford or Chevy? Toyota
50. What are you listening to right now? The Clash
51. What is your favorite color? blue
52. Lake, Ocean or river? Any
53. How many tattoos do you have? none yet
54. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Rhetorical questions suck.
55. How many people are you sending this Email to? none
56. Time you finished this e-mail? 8:34 PM

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Damn Swans

The damn swans won't leave the pond across the street. And the ducks aren't any happier than I am. Today, I was looking out the kitchen window while I did some dishes, and I saw three ducks floating in a corner of the pond, like they were plotting. It was as though one of them said, "Break!" The three separated, kind of circled casually over to the area where the swans were floating, and they created a huge ruckus, actually coming near a swan's head as one of them took to flight, and the swans ended up getting out of the water.

Meanwhile, I think the swans know I'm onto their nastiness and they're coming to get me. I found a giant goose-like poo on my sidewalk, and a huge mudprint of a webbed foot near it.

Bring it on, you long-necked freaks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

my valentine to you


Today, my valentine to you is a selection of a few of my favourite love musings. Happy Valentine's Day.


--------------------------------------------------------------------

since feeling is first...e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis
----------------------------------------
Love Sonnet XVII...Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
----------------------------------------

Sonnet 130....William Shakespeare

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

------------------------------

I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You...Colin Hay

I drink good coffee every morning
Comes from a place that's far away
And when I'm done I feel like talking
Without you here there is less to say

I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy
What is closer to the truth
That if I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you

I'm no longer moved to drink strong whisky
'Cause I shook the hand of time and I knew
That if I lived till I could no longer climb my stairs
I just don't think I'll ever get over you

Your face it dances and it haunts me
Your laughter's still ringing in my ears
I still find pieces of your presence here
Even after all these years

But I don't want you thinking I don't get asked to dinner
'Cause I'm here to say that I sometimes do
Even though I may soon feel the touch of love
I just don't think I'll ever get over you

If I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
--------------------------------------

When She Kisses Me...Jonathan Richman

Well, she was born in the winter
When the sun shines so pale.
Whereas I was born in the spring
In case you can't tell
In case you can't tell.
But when she kisses me
That's when the maple tree meets the honey bee.
When she kisses me
When she kisses me.

Now, they don't last long and they're not hot.
And they're not the wettest kisses I ever got.
I open my eyes and where is she? (well, she?)
She still don't know what she does to me
When she kisses me, I still react
My eyes stay closed long after the fact
When she kisses me
When she kisses me.
All right, yeah yeah
Whoa oh yeah yeah
What I say?
When she kisses me
When she kisses me.

Well, I swoon and I lean cause I can't stand erect
She thinks I'm swoonin' just for special effect.
No, I swoon and I linger, so delighted.
When she kisses me I still get so excited
After all this time
And when she kisses me, I feel ecstatic
She thinks that's just me bein' overdramatic
When she kisses me
When she kisses me.
All right, yeah yeah
Whoa oh yeah yeah
What I say?
When she kisses me
When she kisses me.

And, I’m putting this in for a few of you out there who've had some hard years and who I think might appreciate it on this Valentine's Day. Nanci wrote a song for the battle-scarred. But of course she did. She's Nanci, and Nanci is perfect.

More Than A Whisper…Nanci Griffith

Oh, I wish that you would call
We have not spoken since last fall
That smoky conversation's coming home
Do I just read between your lines
Yeah it could be this winter wine
So sweet upon my tongue tonight
It recalls your tender eyes
And I need more than a whisper
So much more than a whisper
It takes more than a whisper
To wake this weary fool
Oh give me more than a whisper
If you're saying I love you
Cuz it's the whispers that I've never understood
And it's snowing up in the northlands
I read your warm words from the plains
While the poets say that I should never
Be thinking of you this way
They say that I misread your lines
Because I've been lonely all my life
And I'd be reaching for some silver
And leave my heart out in the fire
And I need more than a whisper
So much more than a whisper
It takes more than a whisper
To wake this weary fool
Oh give me more than a whisper
If you're saying I love you
Cuz it's the whispers that I've never understood
Well I will drink my winter wine
When I get home I'll change my life
I'll only whisper that I love you
In those smoky bars at night
And though the poets say I'm lonely
There's still this woman here inside
And I've never been a fool
When my heart was on the line
Cuz I need more than a whisper
So much more than a whisper
It takes more than a whisper
To wake this weary fool
Oh give me more than a whisper
If you're saying I love you
Cuz it's the whispers that I've never understood

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sunday Night

Have had a productive weekend.
  1. Spent most of it working on school stuff. I am slowly beginning to make sense of my accounting textbook. I have a lot of work to do before I can successfully analyze the Body Shop's annual report for Friday AM, but I'm further along than I was.
  2. Somehow, all of my clothes had migrated to the guest bedroom. I think it was a combo of the laundry done when I arrived home, school starting, I took to piling things on the bed rather than putting them away, and then a closet cleanout last weekend to find things that fit me and get rid of things that are now unsightly big. So I spent a good hour today helping things find their proper homes and I have a guest bedroom again.
  3. I need storage in this house. For starters, I need to go through and pitch all the crap that's been left behind by others. There are partial gallons of paint, empty boxes, substandard furniture, and various useless kitchen items. I have permission to take things out of the house that I deem unnecessary, now I need to find time to do it. I've slated April...I have three weeks without classes and that seems a good time to clean. But even with a good go-through, I need to find more storage for things. There's too much clutter. I've got it in my head that a closet-ish thing from IKEA would do nicely on the landing for sheets/towels/bathroomy stuff. And in the third bedroom I've got plans for an Ikea futon to replace the giant desk. The tumble dry will need to stay in there, but I think I can fit a bookcase for school stuff, a small table to rest the laptop on when necessary, and this futon. Will give me an office space and a third bed.
  4. I will have a housemate as of April 1. Katrina will live here, probably thru the summer, to help us both save some money and then her plan is to get her own place. Third bed becomes useful in this case, since she'll have the guestbedroom as her own. Couples who visit can have my bed, others can have the single. See how this will all work out well??
  5. Keep honing the 40 at 40. Testdrove the songlist by Tom. He approved it, but even since that conversation I've made a couple of tweaks. It's amazing how difficult this is. There are over 20 songs waiting, just in case, and these are just the ones I've come out with from my head....I haven't actually looked at my playlists and cd collection.
  6. Been keeping an eye on the Olympics. I'm watching them mostly on Eurosport Live because they're doing 24/7 coverage live. Favourites so far are the Chinese pair skaters and the Flying Tomato on the halfpipe. Watched a bit of the normal hill jump, the luge, and the short-track speed skating, but didn't get too wrapped up. Cringed while watching the strain of those cross-country women going up that huge hill. I was sad the American placed 4th on the luge because I was hoping for a medal from him. I've always been an Olympic watcher, and I'm enjoying it more this year. No skate-to-the-head, soft-focus personal bios here. Just honest coverage of the events. They don't really show any nationalist bias, either. They mostly talk about who's favoured, how they're doing, any surprises, and other relevant stuff. If Americans are favoured, then you hear about them. If they're not contenders, you won't really. Much better than the US-focused stuff NBC does. Oddly, I am actually MORE inclined to watch for US participants now than I am at home because I'm not forced to hear about them. Maybe it's also a bit of homesickness or national pride, too, because if the US team isn't a contender I automatically look for a Canadian (the next best thing to home.) I have noticed that you can often pick the US/Canadian athletes out of the crowd by ethnicity. They're not all pure white. I like that. I'm rooting for the Chinese quite a bit, and it seem that the Czechs have a lot of promising contenders as well, most of whom are a bit of the underdog in their sport.
  7. Another guilty TV pleasure...I am enjoying the new season of Boston Legal. I had decided that David E. Kelley was a loser and I didn't need another show about quirky lawyers, but James Spader and William Shatner have won me over. I Tivo it and catch up when I have time.
  8. In fact, other than the Olympics I haven't seen any tv lately when it actually airs. It's all tivoed for later viewing when I get around to it. Tivo is a good thing.
  9. There's a book upstairs by my bed called The Mammoth Cheese. It's by the woman who wrote the Dress Lodger and I want to read it because I like the title. I have found little time to read anything not related to school, so it's bumming me out. Will make time this week. Or maybe I'll do that next Sunday when I'm home from school.
  10. Should go to bed. It's late and I have a long week ahead.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cuties Part Two






























Cry uncle, you lovers of puppies and kittens.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cuties


Not to be outdone by Tom, Lauren, and Emma, I've decided to upload my own puppies and kittens tribute.

AlphaMindy Unveiled

Anyone who knows me know that, in general, I'm pretty easy going. Sure I have my obsessive-compulsive, slightly neurotic subtext, but I'm not a high-maintenance, my-way-or-highway kind of girl. I know the difference between my opinions and truth, even if I don't always state it that way. I don't take myself that seriously and can find humour in most things. I live a pretty non-confrontational life about 90% of the time. Affable, I think they'd call me.

But if you've known me very long, you also know that there is a threshold where the 90 is silenced instantly by the 10% bitch. (Stop quibbling with ratios...you know what I mean...) You can almost hear the door slam, and I go all aggressive business on you. What's your point? Substantiate it. Convince me you're not an asshole and that I should still be listening to you. We're moving on....are you coming????

I think of this person as the AlphaMindy.

Tonight, my learning team met her with a vengeance. The paper I wrote on Monday night has been revised, and revised, and revised. It is now a tight document that is ready to be polished, appendixed, and turned in. And tonight on our Skype call we start phaffing around again. I was the diplomat for awhile, listening and chatting and letting the subject bounce around. But I could feel the AM stirring, and about 30 minutes into the conversation WHAM she was commanding the call.

I think I startled them. You could hear furious typing, probably between the two people who were trying to change the document (or, rather, asking ME to change the document.) But my "assertiveness" got the team to vote and majority ruled on each issue. We incorporated everyone's feedback but watered some of it down because the person with the big idea couldn't actually implement it without starting the paper from scratch. Funny how you suggest they take on their own creative revision and suddenly they're willing to try a different tactic. And I made everyone say the were satisfied before we could end the call. Even if they were just scared to say they weren't, everyone heard them say it was okay.

After we hung up, two of the four people called me to comment on the dynamic, saying they're glad I handled it that way.

I wonder what the other two were talking about?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The most lost person I've ever met

Tonight we had a team meeting at school to review the marketing proposal we're working on. My teammate, Adam, is an EngD student and lives at Silsoe, the research campus about 15 miles away. He needed a ride home and he had my accounting book at his house so I volunteered to drive him home so I can spend some time pondering accrual accounting (which sucks, FYI.)

So we get in the car and go to leave campus. I don't know where I'm going and say, "Left or right?" He says, "Um.....left, I think." I guess I'm tired or preoccupied or something, but I didn't see the signs. So we drive. For forty five minutes. Around country lanes. Looking for Silsoe.

Adam isn't so good with directions. He's a thoughtful guy and he has really good ideas about a lot of the work we do, but he's not a guy who spends a lot of time paying attention to the world around him. And other than the name of the little village, he doesn't know where he lives.

20 Years

Some things don't change. I was up until 3AM last night writing my Marketing Paper, and then I cried uncle and went to bed with an unpolished, uncited draft that is nowhere near ready to submit.

Some things do. It's not actually due until 5 PM on Friday, so there's lots of time to make it good.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Rock School

Oh. And another highlight of this day....on Sundays there are new episodes of Rock School, a reality show where Gene Simmons of Kiss fame takes kids and makes them into a band. He was at a stuffy public (means high-end private, actually) school last season, and this season he's in a rough state school with kids with piercings and bad teeth. It's pretty funny.

African Peanut Stew and Billy Bragg

It's been a lazy Sunday. I didn't roll out of bed until 1030. After my entry last night, not only did I get sucked into Along Came Polly, which actually does give PSH a chance to shine after all, but then I also ended up watching The Pianist for the final 35 minutes. I think I was wired from all that sleep and school.

Have spent the day working on my research paper for Marketing and reading the news on the internet. Had a nice Skype chat with Soni. Went to the gym for a training session. cleaned a bit and did some laundry. One of those Sundays that we all need once in awhile to recharge.

Now I'm listening to Billy Bragg (Worker's Playtime, to be specific, the merits of which I've extolled in earlier posts,) while I make African Peanut Stew. I'm pretty relaxed, and I'll be ready to plug in and finish my writing soon.

I love days like this. I've gotten some things done, and I've had time to chill, and I didn't just sit on my can, either. I think I'm going to plan ahead with the schoolwork and head into London. The British Museum is calling, plus I'm betting there's some good art that I haven't had time to see yet. I'm also hot to see Walk the Line, which I didn't get to while I was home.

Just in case you don't know what to have for dinner, here's what I'm having:

African Peanut Stew

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 medium onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 large sweet potatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 lb ground turkey
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut milk

Slice the onions, mince the garlic, then heat the oil. Put the curry powder in for about a minute, then add the onions. Keep stirring. After about a couple of minutes, add the garlic. Stir around for a minute or so, then add the potatoes, the stock, DRAIN THE TOMATOES, then dump them in, too and chop them up with the spoon. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add just a drop of oil to a pan and cook the turkey. Add the cayenne and the black pepper and some of the salt. Let sit.

When the 20 - 30 minute simmer is up, add the coconut milk and the turkey to the soup. Dump in the peanut butter and stir until it's all dissolved and mixed in. Let simmer for another 20 minutes and you're set.

I'm having mine with kale, sauteed with a little garlic and then steamed in red wine vinegar, water, salt, pepper, and tabasco until wilted and the stalks are tender.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Online Grocery Shopping

I am so busy, I've had trouble finding time to plan meals and get to the store to anticipate my grocery needs. Which means I eat crap or substitute ingredients in recipes or make up some ridiculous dishes in an effort to feed myself. So I've taken this time at home (two days off for this nasty flu crap I've got) to research my online options and placed an order that will arrive shortly after I get back from school on Saturday.

I forgot how great online grocery shopping can be. Back in Saint Paul, I used to have Simon Delivers show up with groceries and I loved it. They'd save your grocery list staples and you could automatically load them to your order. They brought excellent fruit and veg, which I always worried about since I couldn't pick it out myself. And the drivers were always so nice. Twice they carried the bins up the steps into the house (when they delivered when I was home.) It made eating healthy and cooking-in so much easier.

Here in the UK, online shopping is a big deal. Most of the major grocery stores offer the service and honour all in-store prices, so you can get your loyalty points (also a big thing here) and buy your favourite in-store brands. They, too, save your lists and search for deals for you, and one of them has a price-comparing module that lets you shop your list at a competitor to prove they're the cheapest. (On my list they weren't, but I buy weird things like lemongrass and shitake mushrooms.) What's even better, they deliver wine, beer, and spirits, too. (Minnesota needs to get with the programme on this one...get these things into the grocery stores where they belong so you don't have to run all over town with your errands. Plus you're getting a Trader Joe's in St. Louis Park, and you will have trouble with the Two Buck Chuck if the laws don't change.)

The best thing about online shopping here is that the stock isn't regionalised to accommodate your local tastes. UK grocers, even big ones, stock their shelves according to what they think their audience wants, and items vary greatly from chain to chain and store to store. There's a great chocolate bar from Green and Black that I can only get at the Tesco in Kingston, and the Tesco in Wolverton is the only place for turkey bacon, and Waitrose has enough mexican groceries to make a passable enchilada and Sainsbury's can help me find cheap lowfat rhubarb yogurt. Oh. And NO ONE has kosher dills. But online, all of these vendors carry all of these things! It's great! I HAVE PICKLES COMING, and the ingredients do not include sugar! I even found Jif peanut butter and Makers Mark at an affordable price. (Jif averages about $5.50 for a small jar and Maker's Mark is about $40 for a not-quite-fifth if you shop in the stores.)

And, in the end I only spent slightly more than I would have if I'd gone to the stores. And there's no queueing, and no screaming babies, and I don't have to bag my own (which is standard here...good luck finding the nice little old man like you have at Lunds) and I don't have to haul it all into the house, and grocery shopping took no dedicated time...just the 10 minutes that I'll need to put it all away.

It's the little things that make life good, you know?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sick Day

Stayed home today with the flu. It's not just a possible case now, it's full-blown evil. Chills, throat, head, body aches, the whole thing. I know there've been a few people in the office that have fallen down with this, so I expect that it's just par for the course. The nice thing about England is that you have sick days that are not part of your personal day allotment. Within reason, a normal person can call in sick and not have to worry or take vacation to be out ill. Which means that you actually stay in bed instead of working sick trying to save holiday for real vacation occasions.

Other than the 20 minutes I was up to call in sick and put my out of office message on, I have been asleep most of the last 24 hours. I got up at 5 pm today. Ran to the store for juice and now I'm safely back in bed to try to stay up for a few hours. I had some cod in the fridge that was going to go bad if I didn't use it so I made this:

Zuppa di Baccala

11 oz of salt cod (soaked 24 hours to remove salt) or 1 lb fresh cod/haddock/monkfish, tossed in a good dose of sea salt and kept in fridge overnight then rinsed
1 onion
2 small carrots
2 sticks celery
2 cloves garlic
fresh flat-leaf parsley
evoo
dried chili
2 cans of whole plum tomatoes
1 pint chicken stock
freshly ground pepper
lemon

Coarsely chop all the veggies and parsley, heat some olive oil, and slowly sweat the veggies and the equivalent of one dried red chili (15 minutes or so)

Now add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.

Now add the stock and bring to a boil.

Break up the tomato, then put the fish in there (be sure it's rinsed because it's already going to be salty.) Simmer about 15 minutes, flake the fish, add some cracked black pepper and the juice of 1/2 - 1 lemons (to taste).

Scatter with a bit more of the parsley when you serve.

It's pretty tasty, even with the flu.