Monday, January 29, 2007

It's been a long weekend

The only thing for it is a mound of chocolate and a stiff (yet smooth) drink.

Chocolate Weekend-end Comisseration Slice

3x mars bars, chopped
90gm butter
2 cups rice bubbles
1/3 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup sultanas
1/3 cup chopped mixed nuts (I used hazels, brazils and pecans)
125gm dark chocolate, melted

Melt the butter and chopped mars bars in a saucepan over a low heat until you have a gooey mess. Stir in the rice bubbles, coconut, sultanas and nuts, and mix till everything is coated nicely. Press firmly into a flat container (anything rectangular will do) lined with aluminium foil. Pour melted chocolate over the top and spread around as evenly as possible. Leave in the fridge as long as you can stand it and then remove from the container and cut into lots of small, dainty pieces. At this point, it is your privilege, nay, responsibility as the "cook" to eat the corner bits, as well as any broken or imperfect pieces.

Serve with large helpings of Frangelico, poured into an innappropriate glass (not shown).

Enjoy responsibly.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Snow glorious snow

It *snowed* last night! I didn't notice when I blearily cracked open the curtain a fraction in the bedroom, but when I pulled up the blinds in the kitchen, I was greeted with the most magnificent sight since Lucy went snooping around the back of the wardrobe and stumbled across Narnia.

Click on the images to see them a bit bigger.

I used to believe...

The internet is a strange place. It sometimes seems like it is a high-contrast version of reality - it is such a brilliant tool to have access to, but it is also capable of harbouring evil.

I love it when I come across something innocent and life-affirming on the web. There is too much badness in the world as it is. And no, it ain't, I can't stand that sappy sh*t - I will leave that particular site to the novelty-jumpered, tea-set-collecting "lay-dees" of the world. is a really cute idea, where people write in with the crazy things they used to believe when they were little and didn't know better. My own contribution was about how I used to think that, to learn a new language, you just had to get access to a "code-breaker", where A would equal (something), B would equal (something else), and that you could literally decode foreign languages letter by letter.

If only! Some of the stories are really cute, some are silly and some are plain crazy. There are some gems, though:

"I used to think that since the movie screens in theatres were so big, that there was a huge video player behind the screen and several people had to lift the gigantic tape into the player and then someone had to be shot out of a canon to hit the play button."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sway my way

Woooooooo. Did I mention that I work on the 23rd floor of a building? A really tall building in the middle of one of the lowest-rise cities in the world? I only mention it because today the vertical blinds were swaying in a most sickening way. The pull-cord for the light was making lazy circles in the bathroom. If you stand still or sit on a fixed seat (ie. the toilet), you can actually feel the building swaying back and forth underneath your feet/butt. Quease-making.

In other extremely specific news, I am a very Bad Daughter. I forgot to call my Dad on his birthday recently (I was going to phone from work! then I got tied up! then it was too late! etc. etc). Sorry, Pops. When I find a card to match the funniness of "Rupert", I will send it on to you post haste. Meanwhile I will curse the time difference by shaking my fist at the moon. Sorry, I have been experiencing too much of that Boosh-love lately.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Zany Crazy Love Children from Outer Space are Eating my Brai-i-i-in

Oh my goodness, I am enjoying watching The Mighty Boosh DVD perhaps a wee bit too much. This surreal comedy has got me hankering for a little more craziness in my life, and a little less drone-like trudgery - a little more surreality and a little less commuting-with-the-grey-people.

Watching The Boosh is like taking drugs, without taking drugs. Parts of it are so funny I find myself laughing out loud at the mere recollection, at inappropriate moments - like last night, when I sprayed the bathroom mirror with a mouthful of toothpaste at the memory of a particularly hilarious scene.

Everyone needs a bit of silliness in their life. And this program is brimming with the stuff - good-natured, unself-conscious, flamboyant barrel-loads of it; set in a fantasy world where cowboy hats and lycra are de riguer, Death is a cockney geezer, the Moon is an alabaster retard, and there is always an excuse to break into song or scare small children.

Also, completely incidentally, Noel Fielding (who plays Vince Noir) reminds me a tiny bit of my gorgeous boyfriend. And we all know that can only be good.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mildest Winter Ever

Global warming is happening, people. I know there are still some idiots persons out there who continue to deny that the earth is heating up, persons who by sheer unrelated coincidence happen to sell 4x4's or crude oil or sun-loungers for a living, but there is no disputing the fact that every Winter I have spent in the UK has been warmer than the last. This one in particular has been a breeze - a light, mild breeze at that. A breeze which barely necessitates the addition of a scarf, let alone the coat + fleecy + multi-layered-undergarments combo that the first Winter required.

The first Winter I spent here, skirts were out of the question. Even light trousers were a no-go. Knee-high socks underneath the trousers were not uncommon. It's not just me; people who have lived here all their lives comment on how much colder it used to be. We had a wasp in our kitchen last night - a WASP! - in what is supposed to be the dead of Winter.

And I think that is what concerns me the most, the fact that insects and animals are starting to get confused and behave strangely: coming out of hibernation early and finding that their usual food source is unavailable; or migrating further north than they should because the water temperature is too warm. Once we manage to stuff up that ever-so delicate balance of life on this planet, we are all screwed.

Most of all, I really, REALLY don't want to be watching re-runs of Planet Earth with my under-developed, brittle-boned albino grandchildren, telling them that yes, that snow leopard really did exist in Grandma's lifetime; but that we didn't look after our beautiful planet and that is why we all have to live in oxygen pods on Mars now. And drink recycled urine.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Got my skates on

I went ice-skating (outdoor - novelty!) the other night with the girls from work. I can't believe it has been so long since I got a pair of skates on. I used to rollerblade quite regularly in Melbourne - who wouldn't, what with that long, gorgeous bike path snaking along St Kilda beach? - but have never been skating in London. This is partly because my new life here is lived 99.9% indoors, and partly because I have no one to go with.

So it was a pleasure to experience that lovely, effortless gliding motion once again, especially in the biting cold London night; especially in the shadow of the quite impressive Tower of London; and especially after crossing the tourist-tastic Tower Bridge on foot.

There were lots of kids having spectacular stacks (Australian for "crashes") in the middle of the rink, and after one particularly bad tumble, I skated past a little boy being led to the edge by his Dad. As I glided past, I overheard him saying quite hysterically to his Dad, "Am I dead or what?".

If I were his parent, I would have been tempted to answer, "Yes, Brandon/Callum/Maddox, and heaven is a giant ice-skating rink in the sky, where your boots never dig into your ankles, and you can skate in any direction you like, and the music that plays is less Generic R n' B and more Electric Boogaloo."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 - the year I resolve to ignore the fact that I am turning 30

Thirty? Pfft. Isn't it the new twenty, anyway?

My New Year's resolution is to pretend that turning thirty is really no biggie. I am going to defy the Gods who made me the anxious, angst-filled, worry-wart that I am with a big two fingers to the sky.

In the world outside my head, this year has been not so great for a few people I know (and indeed, the person closest to me in the world). Then again, in my circle of "peeps" there has been the birth of a beautiful baby boy, the purchase of a dream house, and some new relationships formed (and no significant break-ups). A year of mixed blessings, then.

In music, as in school reports, the girls have performed better than the boys this year. The albums which have made the most impact on me this year have all been by women, with the possible exception of Scott Matthews (and then only because of the hints of Jeff Buckley which ghost through his voice). Amy Winehouse blew me away with her deep and gutsy Back to Black. Joan as Police Woman (again, the Buckley connection) broke my heart with her soulful, cracked voice. Jenny Lewis brought me around to alt country. Cat Power came out with her best album to date, appropriately titled The Greatest. Claire Bowditch reminded me of what I love about Melbourne (I was a little behind on this discovery).

Most Gorgeous Gig of the Year: Lior at Camden Lock

Sweetest & Funniest Flick of the Year: Little Miss Sunshine

Most Breathtaking TV Programme of the Year: Planet Earth

Best Haircut of my Life: November 2007. Thank you, Stace.
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