Monday, July 25, 2005

There is a guy I work with who drives me fucking nuts. He cannot walk down the corridor to the kitchen without accompanying his journey with an assortment of whistling, doo-da-doo-da-ing, finger clicking and general relentlessly cheery noise. I hate him.

Another bizarre noise heard recently was my niece laughing. She’s nearly four and has, after too much telly, cultivated a crazy guffaw. She unleashed it on the bus, and it goes something like HYUCK HYUCK HYUCK HYUCK HYUCK, very loudly, with each HYUCK enunciated clearly and deliberately. I am all for encouraging children to express themselves and be individuals, but, my dear, there are limits.

The scene of the crime, above

I lost about half a stone on the Bilbao Salmonella Diet, and have put it all back on, now that I have rediscovered the joys of stuffing my face. On Saturday night I made a picnic for me and Steve, but as it was grey and muggy outside and there was a threat of flying ants, we ate indoors. Read the menu and drool.

Thin slices of salty Parma ham wrapped around chunks of melon

A Polish tomato salad, made from ripe vine tomatoes, finely chopped onion, olive oil and black pepper, mixed together in a bowl

Mags’ potato salad, which I adapted to suit my lazy cooking style. New potatoes, finely chopped gherkins, mayonnaise and a little bit of Dijon mustard. If you want to be healthy and/or fancy, use 2/3 mayo and 1/3 natural yoghurt, and add a chopped Golden Delicious apple.

Creamy, pungent Roquefort and crumbly Double Gloucester with caramelised onion, French bread and Hovis crackers

Mini pork and pickle pies. It’s not a picnic without them, as I keep telling my cardiologist

Bottle of crisp, cold white wine

Pudding was vaguely healthy, but actually not at all. I made a variation of Eton Mess, substituting blueberries for strawberries. And as I don’t own a whisk, I used double cream, which you could literally stand a spoon in.

Sunday morning we had tea and shortbread while discussing our mortgage. I realise that sentence manages to make us seem simultaneously bourgeois, twee and adult, but in fact the conversation went something like this.
‘Which one shall we get?’
‘Dunno. What’s the difference between them again?’

Tomorrow is softball night, but I will not be attending this week. I did go to last Tuesday’s game, to sit and watch, and it was freezing, and I had just bought a coat, so I put it on and people made fun of me. The coat was billowy and smock-like (I returned it the next day), and on windswept Primrose Hill I looked like a shivering Pablo Picasso clutching a beer in one hand and trying to keep my bag from blowing away with the other.

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