Steamy

I went on this steam train yesterday. Quite by chance, we were coming back from Weston-super-mare with all the T4-on-the-beachers and because of all the people, they needed extra trains. I was able to get on this one with a normal FGW ticket to temple meads.

Love it!

How to…use Condiments

Guy Browning
Saturday July 12, 2008
The Guardian

English food leads the world in the variety and richness of its tracklements, ie tasty little relishes. Most cuisines work on the basis that you start with tasty food, whereas we traditionally boil up some tasteless food and then add a powerful, overwhelming taste on the side of the plate. These tracklements are the underarm deodorants of traditional cooking.

English mustard is basically napalm with colouring. Its function is remarkably similar in that it is designed to burn away the inside of your digestive system so that you won’t notice anything that comes after it. That’s why it’s so popular with British beef, which used to be little different from the part of the animal used to make shoes. By contrast, French mustard tastes like the mouth of an aged French lover.

All roast dinners have their traditional accompaniments. Mint sauce is commonly associated with lamb. This is like having your after-dinner mint during dinner. Horseradish is the English vindaloo and its consumption is a traditional test of manliness in remote rural communities. The only antidote to the bite of the horseradish is the firm application of a yorkshire pudding compress to the affected area.

Redcurrant jam has never made it on to toast. Similarly, you don’t hear about marmalade on roast pork. If you find yourself having onion marmalade for breakfast, something has gone terribly wrong in your life (although there are some legitimate cross-dressers, such as Marmite, which swing between toast and stews).

British cheese and pickle should, in fairness, be called pickle and cheese. For the French, the notion of cheese being in any way secondary to its condiment must seem as surreal and barbaric as shaving one’s legs. Chutneys are generally embalming fluid thickened by apple and sultanas. Like pillboxes, they are relics of wartime. Indeed, there are some jars of chutney that have been in continual circulation in bring and buy sales since the war.

Tomato ketchup is the lubricant on the slippery slope to obesity. It’s highly likely that anything you put ketchup on is also likely to be bad for you. People often imagine that a dose of ketchup counts as one of their daily fruit and veg, but sadly it qualifies about as much as a pear drop.

Links

It’s raining here…. I’m bored.

I found some links to keep people entertained during long wet days so here you go.

Essential Life Lesson

Need some stories…

Desmond

I am now Lucy Deas BSc hons.

Isn’t that cool? I got a 2:2 in my degree. It was only 2% off being a 2:1 which is a bit annoying but good mark anyway so can’t complain. Everyone else I’ve spoken to did very well too so I’m pleased for them.

That’s it now. We don’t graduate till September. I can’t wait really to get my gown and hat and all that. Feel like it’s all been worth it. Apparently I’m the first one in my family – well second to my cousins a few years ago but im my immediate family to get a degree. My dad left school when he was 16, mum went to college and started uni but then dropped out. She told me last night that’s she’s never told either me or my sister that because she thought she might influence us and might have the wrong effect. I told her that would have made me more determined not to end up like her.

Among my morning net surfing I came across this video by a internet friend of mine. Check it out – it’s really very funny. They deserve some publicity.

I’m off to apply for more jobs.

TTFN

Comedy and parties

I’ve been ab it busy last week organising my dad’s 50th birthday. He’s been building a boat for the last 8 years but it’s nearly done now and actually looks boat shaped and as it was his 50th on Saturday, we thought we’d have a casual glass of bubbly and some cake in the shed where it is currently being finished off.

We decorated the shed with loads of bunting and had loads of fairy cakes with pink icing on them. Very twee don’t ya know.

On friday night, I had tickets for Russell Howard at the comedy box in bemmie so me and dad went to that as a sort of pre-birthday outing. Russell was so funny!!! Would recommend for young and old as he definitely appeals to both. The comedy box is really small – a room above a pub reeally so we were really close. He’s so short in real life. So cute. It was a show testing new material for his tour in the autumn which I am also seeing him in the Colston Hall. I’ll be much further away but I hope I’ll still come away with my face hurting from laughing so much.

What else… well still looking for a job. I’m just looking for something that pays really. My ambition is to be a wildlife photographer but as I keep telling uneducated people, you can’t just apply to be a wildlife photographer and get it and then ur sorted. It doesn’t work like that. I am a wildlife photographer at the moment in that I take picture of wildlife a lot. However, I’m not paid for it. I need to be able to find the right person and show them a decent amount of good pictures and for them to say, “those are good, would you like to work for me” etc etc.

Also mu uni results are out this week. They are released into the wild on the 1st July which is today. However, they tend to not arrive in the post actually on the 1st so we’ll see. The postman hasn’t been yet so you’ll find out as I’ll post something later on if I know anything. Fingers crossed, ey.. wish me luck.

How to… learn a language

Guy Browning
Saturday December 3, 2005

Learning a language is a wonderful thing. Once you’ve spent years mastering it completely, you can then talk the same rubbish as you do in your own language. You also realise that to get by in life you need only five key phrases: “Hello”, “Please”, “Excuse me”, “Thank you” and “I’ve lost my passport”.The first stage of learning is realising that you already know words such as sushi and sayonara. It then dawns on you that there are other words, often verbs, connecting the two words that you already know. That’s when you sign up to evening classes. On average it takes about 3,000 evenings before you’ll be able to order a Coke. You can then progress to the intermediate class.

Some languages are more difficult to learn than others. The hardest ones are tonal languages. In English, we have two tones: normal and sarcastic. In Chinese, they have 19 tones, three of which are sarcastic, so it’s a great language to learn if you want to be sarcastic with a billion other people

Once you start learning a language, you really appreciate English, especially the fact that you don’t have to remember whether the word for plank is masculine or feminine. Similarly, our verbs stay the same: I am pissed, I was pissed, I will be pissed. In a foreign language, you would need to include Pisa, Pizzeria, and Pizzicato. No wonder the British find it easier to get drunk.

Finding a native speaker who will talk to you is a big help. A native speaker means somebody who speaks the language very, very fast and who hasn’t yet learned to speak the language as clearly as you have. Make sure this person likes you, otherwise they will speed up rather than slow down.

When you try to speak a new language, you feel as though your brain is in a mild coma, your tongue has swollen to twice its normal size and your memory has been wiped clean. But remember, the natives will always appreciate you making an effort to speak their language – and giving them hours of amusement.

Of course, there is no better way to learn a language than total immersion in the country and culture. You therefore need to travel to the country, find the local expat community and attend evening classes with them.

Moving stuff.

On Wednesday, me and dad went down to Dartmouth to pick up our new toy. It happens to be an Airstream caravan which belongs or used to belong to a friend of ours who lives in Dartmouth and was keeping this thing in the field where his office is. We’ve just bought it off him and have a field to put it in in Saltash in Cornwall. However, this thing is 8ft wide and 27 ft long. It also (being American) has a difference size towball so cannot easily be towed by a large car.

We managed to find a flatbed truck that had trucks more than 8ft wide so booked one of those. Getting it on the truck proved to be quite simple in the end. The truck had loads of high tech parts that came out and we put it on the back and drove it to Cornwall. The hard bit was getting it to the field was it was down a long narrow lane with not many turning spaces. We decided to abandon that idea and take it off the recovery truck at the top of the road on a large junction. From there, we attached it to the back of Dad’s car (Nissan Navara big truck thing) which was ok to go about a mile down the road. We managed to get it a bit stuck on some large stone gateposts not far before the field, which meant we had to unattach it, and swing it round manually and then connect it to the car again. Eventually with the help of Nick the previous owner and his pick up truck, we got it down the lane and into a space next to the field where it’s going to go eventually which is currently headheight with grass and nettles.

After that, we had to drive to a nearby boatyard to pick up a trailer for dad’s workmate.  We were making the most of this trailer to pick up a boatmast from further down in Cornwall. and take it back to Bristol. It was a bit bad in that we didn’t arrive at this place until gone 8.00 in the evening. I think we did a pretty good job adding randon parts of wood and rope to this trailer so the 11ft mast could go along it and not stick up miles above the car. It was a bit difficult so we compromised a bit by having it sticking out quite far at the back. At least it was low down there. As it was quite late, the roads through Cornwall and going up the M5, it was nearly empty and we got back to Bristol without any problems about 1am. Well – everything sorted.

Went out last night with friends. Bit of a school reunion cus Dawn was back in Bristol just for that day so loads of us were meeting up for drinks. Me and Vikkie had to be elsewhere at 8.00 but we had a good catch up and a drink with the old lot and then went to the Assembly. The usual quiz was on. We weren’t up to our usual standards of winning by miles but I don’t think it was our fault. The questions are definitely getting hard lately and the quiz has become quite popular especially with slightly older people. There were 9 teams there last night. We managed to come 3rd which wasn’t too bad but there were a few questions we should have got right. It was fun anyway but I am very competitive so humbug to the lot of them. Maybe we’ll have another go next week.