Showing posts from October, 2005

Travels in the South

On Thursday, we headed to the countryside. We started off at Stonehenge. It was a glorious day, with spectacular sun and warm temps. Next stop - Wells and their cool cathedral. Wells is a really cute little village, and there's this great ruin of a medieval castle right next to the cathedral. Not to mention some really fabulous shoe stores. Then on to the Cheddar Gorge and Bath. Our hotel was in a great location...centrally located within walking distance of everything. We went to a cool little bar for cocktails, where Patricia helped strike up a conversation with the bartender and a local guy who was bellyed up. We enjoyed a couple rounds with them, then headed down the street to a little French place for a scrumptious dinner. Friday we spent the day in Bath seeing the sites. In the AM we did the Roman Baths, and then in the afternoon we split up. Patricia and Susan went off for more costume stuff (Bath has one of the best collections in Europe.) Katie and I stopped for a b


Monday and Tuesday, Susan and Katie spent the days in London...and then I'd pick them up at the train station. On Monday I was too tired to cook, so we went to a cool old pub in town and had delicious pub grub like Beef and Speckled Hen pie (SH is an ale.) But we were smart and went to the grocer on the way home so on Tuesday we made a Burmese Chili Pork Salad. Burmese Chili Pork Salad 2 Tablespoons of groundnut oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Three or four shallots, chopped One package of mushrooms, chopped 2 large dried chilis, coarsely chopped (or just use dried chili flakes...maybe 1 1/2 Tablespoons) Minced maybe a pound? Tender young broccoli stems, cut in bitesize pieces Carrot slivers 2 Tablespoons fish sauce 2 Tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar Lettuce, tomato, and cucumber Heat the wok. Heat the oil. Toss in the garlic and cook for a minute or two, ditto for the shallots, and then the mushrooms. Add the chili and stir for about 20 seconds. Then add t

I'm back

I've had a wonderful week. My friends Susan and Katie were here. It was great. They arrived via National Express from Gatwick, which took a little longer than expected but got them here just the same. I took them to the Indian restaurant in the church in Stony. It's got a big wow factor, and as long as you avoid the saag dishes (which are just so-so) the food is really good. We had a scrumptious banquet of spicy things, then came home and watched Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and talked forever. Couldn't believe they made it until midnight before going to bed. Saturday we went to Hampton Court to pick up Patricia and took the train to London. Our first stop: the Ice Bar! It's a totally lame marketing ploy, but it was still fun. The bar is kept at about 5 degrees, and they serve vodka drinks in ice glasses. You are allowed a 45 minute slot, and you're given thermal capes and gloves to keep warm. I had an appletini. Patricia wanted to go to the Arts and Crafts

Going Quietly?

If you're a Republican and you receive some sort of correspondence criticizing your beliefs this week, it's possible that this is the source . I must say, that definitely shows commitment to a cause.

Best song EVAH

One of the best songs ever is called "Debra" and it's by Beck. It's on Midnight Vultures . Do you know it? If not, check it out on itunes or wherever you get music.

School Girl Crush

"In 1997, Miers sent Bush a belated birthday card featuring a sad-looking dog and the note: "Dear Governor GWB, You are the best Governor ever -- deserving of great respect!" I wonder if she uses a little heart to dot her i's when she signs her name?

I love Charlotte Church

This is a new thing for me. I was never a fan of her creepy, other-worldly, faux opera thing when she was a child. I thought she was wholly unsettling, actually. But Charlotte has grown up , and now she is one of my favourite celebrities in England. She's curvy, bordering on chubby. She wears too much makeup. She says outlandish things and takes the mick out of herself, and she occasionally swears in public. She's managed to grow into a down to earth person, which is an achievement considering her childhood fame. She occasionally binge drinks and she dates dishy rugby players. She is basically a big mess , and doesn't really care what people say because she's 19 and she's enjoying her life and making mistakes and putting herself before her career. And she's not one of those trampy Britney types, either. She doesn't wear tight, revealing clothes and she doesn't do pole-and-lap-dance gyrations when she performs. She's actually an interesting mix of

New baby name

Many people think it's a good thing I don't have kids. This is not usually linked to their assessment of my potential parenting skills (or at least they claim it's not,) but more to my questionable choice in names for kids. My mom is an identical twin, and that makes me the generation that could carry this on...therefore I used to plan my names in pairs, just in case I ended up with unexpected babies and had to think fast. (Don't take that sentence at face know what I mean.) The boys would be Otto and Oscar (my grandfathers) and the girls would be June and Esther (my grandmother and her sister). And, on the off-chance that my partner had his own ideas about names and might think these are a bit naff, I always kept Astrid and Delia and Bjorn and Thor in my back pocket as alternates, just in case. (There were also Christopher Hans and Dinah, the fictional children Tom and I were planning, but those were specific circumstances and not on the main list.) Even

Burning Question

I wonder which is worse to live with...Narcolepsy or Tourette's?

Helpful Hint

If you've had a long day and decide to order chinese food for delivery: A) order from a good restaurant, not one that serves everything in sweet and spicy, sticky red sauce; and B) when you discover that you've ordered foul chinese food that belongs in the bin, stop eating, you moron. If only someone had told me this three hours ago. Pleh.

The Shipping Forecast

I have discovered a new oddity to love about England. At 0048 each day, the folks on BBC Radio 4 read the shipping forecast . I'd heard tell of this, and absolutely every Brit I've questioned on it raves likes it is some sort of mystical oracle. I've been up at 0048 and still alert quite a bit in the last few weeks so I tuned in. I, too, am mesmerised by its power. It's not unlike the commodities prices they read on the AM radio news in the midwest US. There's the part about the indecipherable language that's fascinating, but the shipping forecast is even better. (And it's hard to get better than futures on corn or beans or the price of cattle at the Ronan Trading Barn.) The shipping forecast sets one's mind to thinking about the possibilities of life...of sailing off into the sunset/sunrise, heading out for adventure in the great unknown. As you sit snuggly in your dark, quiet house in the middle of the night (made snugger now that the heat is on,)


In retrospect, even Michael J. Fox has a little Elvis in him. I've decided to forgive him for Family Ties. I mean, he got to work with Meredith Baxter Birney.

London Calling

It's been awhile since I have had a good long dose of London, and my friends Kat and Anna were feeling the same way. I'd had a difficult week, to say the least (11PM was my average leaving time from work) and I'd been out with the chairman of our company on a presentation Friday that put me home around 9 PM. I was in the mood. So Saturday we took the train to the city. Anna had arranged for free rooms at a hotel, which is code for "We'll put you up for free but you have to tour the place first." We did the tour, and then headed into the city. Met Kat in Leicester Square and had some tapas and a glass of wine in the sunny early fall day. Went to tkts and took a gander at the choices. Richard II is in previews, and Kevin Spacey...dishy pasty-white-stay-inside if ever there was playing the lead. Made a mental note to do that one soon. There were tickets to High Society and I've always loved that (MY she was YAR!) but Epitaph for George Dillon won