Monthly Archives: October 2012

I too have been somewhat remiss

Now what the f**k have I been doing for the past two months? Besides baking this lovely Victoria Sponge?

My last post here was on the sixteenth of August. Two months: just what the f**k have I been doing with my time (besides systematically working my way through Mrs Beaton’s cookbook)? I don’t have a full-time job:  I’m a part time house-husband, part-time shopkeeper and part-time musician (I think I spend a disproportionate amount of my time in the kitchen). Surely I could spare a few minutes to update this blog every now and then (inbetween beating them eggs)?

I’ve said this before, I really need some order and discipline in my life. No, not that type of discipline, Simmons (“it was Smith, Sir! Chastise him with the egg whisk!”). Though some might say that I wasn’t beaten (or indeed whisked, folded or battered) often enough as a child.

So I really should write something while I’m here. Let me see if I can recall anything significant and/or interesting I’ve done in the intervening two months…

Nope.

Okay, let’s see if I can recall anything…

Anything at all…

Oh yes: August, the summer holidays. Where did I go? We had a week in the South of France, in a town called Agde, on the Med. Nice enough, though a bit of a problem with doggy doo. Not me, the town. Don’t recall it being that bad in other French towns I’ve been to. The landlord of the holiday home we were staying in blamed it on the immigrants. I thought it was probably their dogs.

We went on from there to spend a couple of nights in the university town of Montpellier. Very nice, clean – very little doggy doo to report. I’d recommend it for a weekend city break (unless you live halfway round the world in, say, Mission BC – it’s a bit of a trek). We stayed in a part of the town called the Antigone District, which used to be the site of the army barracks but is now a very impressive neo-classical commercial/residential development the size of a small town. Here, have a look for yourself.

Montpellier’s Antigone District: it’s big.

Our hotel is the first substantial building you can see on the right hand side of the picture, coming up from the bottom right hand corner. Antigone was all very nicely laid out and constructed – I was honestly very impressed. Well done you French architects! And all the architecture looks like this:-

Typical neo-classical architecture found in Antigone. I think this is a hotel.

So that was one of several holidays I’ve had this year. I’ll try to post something a little more insightful next time. And I promise not to leave it too long. Though I’m not going to make any promises. Oh hang on…

Getting Lazy

I’ve just realized with a shock  that – to my eternal shame – the old blog is not being kept current. I don’t have time to submit something particularly topical so I am including an excerpt from something I am working on at the moment, in the hope that it cheerfully wastes thirty seconds of your day…

Never fart in a wet suit.

I recall quite vividly, one day as a child when I was sitting in the back seat of my parent’s car. Mum and dad were in the front seats, dad driving as always (mum never did learn to drive). Where we were going is lost in the mushy bits of my memory, and is anyway highly irrelevant – we’re talking about farts after all. Well, anyway, as I was saying, there the three of us were, toddling along the road, when I had the sudden and urgent need to let one go. And so, being a child of tender years, I duly allowed the silent event to take place. Within seconds a foul sulphurous cloud enveloped me – but I didn’t mind (after all, every man loves the smell of his own doesn’t he? – more on this later), in fact I felt unashamedly triumphant! This was a good one, a REALLY good one.

With a mixture of suppressed delight and trepidation I awaited the inevitable reaction from the front seats. perhaps that was what made it so funny; waiting for my little time bomb to take effect. By the time anything happened, I had slipped down to a horizontal position on the back seat (there were no rear seat belts in those days folks), stifling my laughter. And then, as if by magic, my mother was gripped by the invisible beast and uttered a startled “OH!”. Needless to say I barely had time to grab a breath before the convulsive laughing took hold of me. “Good GOD!” she said, emphatically. I was helpless, mouth wide open but making no sound…and then, as in all good crime stories, my dad fell victim too. Now it’s worth bearing in mind that my dad had lived a very varied life (Royal Navy at 15, Police officer for many years at that point), was not given to demonstrative behaviour, and had been known to crank out his own exotic malodourous creations from time to time. He was a hard man to impress.

However, impress him I did. As I said, he was not a man given to extremes of behaviour. This made his spontaneous reaction all the more funny to me. While my mum comically gasped to his left, he simply rapidly rolled down his window (no electric windows in those days either!) and muttered – just loud enough for me to hear, and with deep emphasis: “Bloody Hell…”. Well of course that just finished me off, and the memory can still make me chuckle out loud to this day, almost forty years later.

There I lay, spread across the back seat of that little old Austin 1100 saloon, unable to make any sound, tears streaming from my eyes and into my ears. Deprived of oxygen for a good minute, I had to gasp some air, but even after that first deep breath was only able to make strangled “Ah…ah…ah” noises in the back of my throat. You know the kind. After another thirty seconds or so of this unrestrained mirth I was finally able to wrestle my way outside of  another lungful of air. Opening my tear -filled eyes I could see my mum silently grinning out of the side window while my dad, despite himself, was unable to prevent his characteristic sideways smile from creeping across his face.

Sweet victory, I thought. Sweet victory.