Sunday, 15 January 2012

stirring Herman

or: 'Herman revisited'

you must look after him!

or he will come back to haunt you...........  

Friday, 13 January 2012

ignorance is bliss

to me, lobster is just the most delicious lovely treat ever. yum. I had ordered some for Christmas but the fishmonger hadn’t received my email so I had to go without. I’m making up for this tomorrow, when I have a bunch of friends over for a lobster-indulgence. hurrah! even more of a treat when there is no excuse such as Christmas or anything J

browsing through recipes I discover that

- apparently some of these creatures are incredibly old and it is impossible to tell exactly how old they are because they continuously renew their DNA thanks to an enzyme called telomerase. the lobster we eat tomorrow might be 300 years old! on the one hand, I think that’s cool – I presume it has had a nice life, etc. so I tell myself I don’t need to feel guilty and am allowed to enjoy every bite. on the other hand, gosh, it’s antique, may have been in existence since before Avicenna – and here I am just greedily gobbling it up?!

- I also discover they die painlessly if you stick them in the freezer for 2 hours before cooking them. how on earth did they measure that? but ok, let’s give that a go

- cooking live lobsters is illegal in Italy (according to Wikipedia you could be fined up to €495)

I decide I have read enough & go for simple & delicious. steamed lobster served without guilt but with clarified butter, baby new potatoes, samphire and salad. antipasti for starters and lemon meringue pie for pudding. as long as I have to make do without telomerase I’d better enjoy life while it lasts J

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


today, youngest was ill (man flu) so together we took eldest to school & then went home again. it's very mild here, so we were both in body warmers.

'mara's mummy says i need to wear a coat because otherwise i'll get a cold'

'really? i thought a cold is always because of germs. it may be the germs find it easier to crawl into your  body if you're not wearing a coat but i don't think you get a cold from being cold'

'but mummy, what about the white cells?'

'HUH????' (i mean, he is only 5 years old) 'what do you mean, "what about the white cells"?'

'yes - the white cells. they attack your germs and they keep on attacking really fiercely until absolutely all the germs are totally gone and they never give up'

(if only, i thought, thinking of her husband)

'well, bring 'em on, sweetie, those white cells!'
(fingers crossed i can go to work again tomorrow...)

Sunday, 8 January 2012

village life

our village has about 3 houses
a church
a pub
a village hall

and it has Laura.

thanks to Laura, we have had Barb Jungr in our village hall just before she was off to perform at the Carlisle hotel in New York, some famous actor whose name (v frustratingly) escapes me came to perform Old Herbaceous (both incredible), and last night Neil Taylor (Robbie Williams' guitarist) was here to introduce his new CD. He brought along his mate, Steve Torch, who apparently wrote the lyrics to Cher's hit single believe - the pic below is them performing that (must confess I prefer Cher's version, but still).

below is a picture of the audience....

I said to Laura I wasn't sure I wanted to know how she has managed to persuade the various rock and other stars to honour our village with their presence (entirely inappropriate, of course, in an English village - 'oh, i just asked him' was the rather pointed response) - but to me, she deserves an MBE!