Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Tuesday 29 April 2008

rain rain rain rain rain
rain rain rain rain rain rain rain
rain rain sun rain rain

Still no sign of God, although there have been some sinister signs appearing in Tube Trains lately with large quotations from the Bible, sponsored by The Lamb of God. I’m not at all happy about this since I have to travel in at least six of these trains a day and I don’t really see why I should be subjected to religious propaganda. Are there any rules about what can and cannot be advertised on The Underground? Let’s find out. I’d be grateful if sympathetic readers of this blog could also complain. is the link given for an online complaint form.

Dear London Underground

I would like to complain about the adverts appearing recently on various Tube Lines from 'The Lamb of God' with selected quotations from the Bible. I find them very intrusive and do not appreciate being bombarded with religious propaganda while I am on the Tube. I get enough of that from various people outside Tube Stations, often with leaflets, some with megaphones. Isn't there some law which prohibits this sort of thing? The design and the sheer number of posters is, I find, aggressive, intrusive and, let's be honest, quite unnecessary. Please can you stop putting them on the trains?

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Monday 28 April 2008

i can’t remember
what the dream was that woke me
apart from rail tracks

Questions Fundamentalist Christians should ask themselves. No 2

If God created Neanderthal Man, was this before or after Adam and Eve came out of Eden? Did the Neanderthals have their own Eden? Did they get conned by the serpent/apple trick as well? If so, you’d think God would have put up some fencing or something. A bit of chicken wire round the perimeter of the Tree of Knowledge would have saved us all a lot of bother.

My favourite TV ad right now is the one for Lloyd Grossman’s sauces, where various people do impressions of Lloyd Grossman. It’s not an easy thing to do since Lloyd’s accent is a peculiar and unique one. One suspects that Lloyd grew up in a part of America where no one else lives, and thus cornered an accent all to himself.
The range of TV ads is somewhat disappointing right now, with very few new and inspiring ones about. The Halifax ads make me want to protest outside their head office by chaining myself to the railings and singing abusive songs based on the melody of a popular hit, as the terminally annoying Howard (who first appeared on screen some years ago with his trademark bottle-bottom glasses) is still making ads for them, despite the fact that I can find no one, I repeat no one, who has a good word to say about the man.
The idea of finding actual managers from Halifax branches to appear in the ads singing Halifax-based versions of popular songs might have been a good one at the time (some time in the last century I imagine), but surely by now they could have come up with at least one more idea.

Sunday 27 April 2008

i am the bright lure
but i am also the fish
so what do i do?

Questions Fundamentalist Christians should ask themselves. No 1

If the universe is only six thousand years old, shouldn’t we only be able to see stars that are less than six thousand light years away?

There was a film crew in Southall Park today making a Bollywood movie. I assume it was a Bollywood movie since there were a lot of Indian people in brightly coloured traditional costumes dancing around frenetically. I note that the local council had gone to the trouble of fixing the fountain for the occasion. I bet by next week it will have been turned off again.
I bought some vodka on the way home and returned to discover that ‘Midsomer Murders’ is back. Hoorah!
The County of Midsomer, although full of sleepy villages packed to the thatched rafters with eccentric British folk, is a dangerous place to live. People are murdered with monotonous regularity although in stylish and entertaining ways. In tonight’s episode, during filming of a low budget version of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ the guillotine is put to good use.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Saturday 26 April 2008

those seven tired words
‘my legs! i can’t move my legs!’
return to haunt me

There is a certain cliché which turns up in dramas with alarming regularity, sometimes in hospital wards where a patient has been paralysed, or in action films where some character has been shot in the back or pinned to the floor by the body of a large dead carnivore or an Emmerdale tractor.
‘My legs!’ they cry. ‘I can’t move my legs!’
This well-worn phrase was dragged out again this week on Doctor Who, a show not normally prone to sloppy dialogue.
Two soldiers, investigating the nether regions of a factory complex, were confronted by a Sontaran who fired an electrical charge at one of the soldier’s legs.
‘My legs! I can’t move my legs!’ he screamed, unaware of the semiological history of the phrase. It’s something which has passed into the unconscious memory of our culture, transmitted to all of us as a meme and has since no doubt been said many times in real situations of leg immobility.
Its status as a cliché was highlighted in the nineteen-seventies in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ where, toward the end, the protagonists are held immobile by Frank N Furter’s sonic transducer.
‘My legs! I can’t move my legs!’ cries Brad.
‘My wheels! I can’t move my wheels!’ responds the wheelchair-bound Dr Everett Scott, which tends to suggest that even then the phrase was one which the audience would recognise.
Later, we were treated to the cinematic experience that is Lindsay Lohan in the Golden Raspberry Award winning film ‘I Know Who Killed Me!’ The film won ‘Worst Film, Worst Actress (a tie between Lindsay Lohan as Aubrey and Lindsay Lohan as Dakota), Worst Screen Couple (Lindsay Lohan and Lindsay Lohan) Worst Remake or Rip-off (Rip-Off of Hostel, Saw and The Patty Duke Show), Worst Director, Worst Screenplay and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie.
Is it that bad? Well, yes it is. Ultimately it makes no sense whatsoever and one is left guessing why the murderer surrounds himself with blue ‘things’ and has a room full of artificial limbs. I’ve seen worse actresses than Lindsay Lohan, but not often in big budget productions.

Friday 25 April 2008

fish finger cravings
i had to go and buy some
i had them with beans

Still no sign of God.

Thursday 24 April 2008

the light of evening
is a promise locked up and
waiting to be freed

I was so tired today that I headed straight home, intending to flop on the sofa and soak up coffee and some unchallenging TV.
There was a box on my sofa, a shoebox.
‘What is this?’ I asked the Ugly One, but he merely smiled.
In the shoebox, it transpired, was the complete ‘The Tomorrow People’ on DVD, a series I loved as a child. Unlike some TV SF of the time it has dated badly, but it still holds a certain charm.
The new ‘Tomorrow People’ is of course ‘Heroes’ which returned for a second series this evening. Apparently American audiences weren’t too taken by the first few episodes of the new run, but I’ve never taken too much notice of what American audiences think, since there is the question of whether American audiences actually think at all.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Wednesday 23 April 2008

forced to wear a shirt
like a shackle. freedom
eroded by buttons.

On the Apprentice this week the teams had to invent new flavours of ice-cream and sell to new clients. Lucinda, who is one of those women who looks as if she has a dreamcatcher in her bedroom window and communes with animal spirits, was in charge of one team while evil Claire (who last week was so gobby that Sir Sid James could take no more of her voice and banished her from the room) was in charge of the other.
Claire’s team – despite sloppy planning and general apathy – somehow managed to win. Lucinda surprised everyone by showing unexpected management skills and taking off her tartan beret.
Nevertheless, someone had to go. This week it was Lindy. Put in charge of sales she failed stop Jennifer (she’s the irish one who looks spookily like Michelle from Corrie) from handing out exclusivity on ice cream sales to all and sundry.
Afterwards, back at the house Jennifer announced to the dinner table ‘Sir Alan said I was cold!’
A deathly hush fell over the dining room as tumbleweeds rambled lazily along the table past the cruets.
I felt an opportunity was missed by not making ice-creams in the shape of Raef Bjayou’s hair. I’m sure ice-cream loving top tottys would have snapped them up.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

leaves poking heads out
green with surprise at the world.
they emerge slowly

I’m very behind with Days of Our Lives and have taken to watching it on fast forward. The weird thing is that the actors talk so slowly on DOOL that speeding them up makes them sound almost normal.
The big news is that Victor ‘No-Neck’ Kiriakis’ company ‘Titan’ and John Black’s new company ‘Basic Black’ are in a bidding war to gain the rights to Permalash, a mascara so powerful it will give those with the rights to it the power to control the world.
Meanwhile, the secret of the swapped babies is out, and Glen and Barb (I'm thinking they should have called them Ken and Barb. Glen is the one who never wears a shirt and seems to be always wet) have hired a lawyer to get their baby back from Bo and Hope Brady.
Nicole’s mother Fay is refusing to face the fact that her husband Paul was a bad man despite the fact that he’d recently come out of prison, tried to kill several people in Puerto Rico, raped a schoolgirl and forced his daughter to make porn films. Fay is a professional simperer, and trembles her bottom lip most professionally at every opportunity. Her bottom lip, I am told, is fast gaining popularity in the ratings.
John Black’s eyebrows, however, once again receive the award for intensity of emotional expression by a bodily part.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Monday 21 April 2008

i saw art malik
searching the street; an actor
lost for direction.

I had a rare day off today and took myself up to Holland park where a celebrity omen appeared to me in the form of Hollywood and Holby City star Art Malik, who was roaming up and down Holland Park Avenue, clutching a piece of paper, checking the numbers on the doors and looking generally exasperated. Eventually he got through to someone on a mobile and strode off in a huff in the direction of Shepherds Bush.
What could this omen augur?
I took myself into The Mitre and had a quiet glass of wine while chatting to the Brazilian barman.
This evening the BNP broadcast their party political message which said very little. The only coloured face in the film was a green bin with eyes and a smiling mouth. That said more than the broadcast did.

Sunday 20 April 2008

mad man on the bus
shouting ‘tutankhamun!’
as if he knew him.

The weather is improving, slowly. I went up to Southall today and spent some time in the park there, which is very nice.
Our double bill for the evening was ‘Hostel II’ which I thought not to be as good as ‘Hostel I’. I’m not sure what the Czechoslovak tourist industry think of it all. It can’t have done them a lot of good. I would feel much trepidation venturing about on my own there with the threat of being carted off to a murderous factory or attacked by feral children hanging over my head.
The second film was ‘Frankenfish’, a low budget yet entertaining piece of nonsense which featured genetically engineered giant fish escaping into the swamplands of Florida and dining on the locals.
I would rather see ‘Frankenfish II’ than ‘Hostel III’ at this point in time.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Saturday 19 April 2008

another mad man
insisted that he knew me,
asked for ninety pee.

I had to work today. Actually i do not mind working on Saturdays as the phone does not ring, I do not get government agents asking me for gun requisition forms and it is generally quiet enough for me to catch up with the paperwork without undue interference.
On the way in, however, I was accosted by another mad person.
‘Hello mate,’ said a man I had never seen before. ‘I haven’t seen you for ages.’
‘Who are you?’
‘It’s me, Kelvin! You must remember your old mate Kelvin!’
‘I don’t have an old mate Kelvin, and if I do, you’re not him.’
‘You do mate... It’s me, Kelvin!’
‘Look! What do you want?’
There was a pause.
‘Ninety pence.’
‘I haven’t got it.’
‘Can I have a cigarette then?’
‘No. Now F*** off!’
I’m not usually so rude, but I don’t see why people can’t just ask politely instead of inventing a fictional world for me to live in on the off chance I might just believe it and hand over money.
Later I was vexed by the fact that ITV have chosen to cancel the second episode of the wonderful ‘Pushing Daisies’. The reason for this is that if they complete the run of nine episodes, the final episode will be scheduled for the same night as the football.
Very poor, ITV! I am pretty sure that amongst the next eight weeks of the usual crap you schedule there must be space where you could fit in an extra episode. Alternatively, just show the football after the final episode. I don’t see where the problem lies.

Friday 18 April 2008

fifteen lost minutes
i went somewhere in my head
and was late for work

In Coronation Street, high drama is the order of the day. Roy is fighting against the evil Capitalism of Scottish Tony, who smoked out a colony of bats in order that his property development could proceed unimpeded. We know Tony is evil because he has a strange Mad Eye Moody eye which he can no doubt detach and leave in the Underworld factory in order to look up Janice Battersby’s skirt while she’s busy sewing bodices for Northern trendsetters.
Vernon, meanwhile, has developed a coldsore and young David Platt has been sentenced to four months in the Weatherfield Bad Lads Penitentiary for crimes against the community. I suspect that David’s warder has been sentenced to five years for criminal acting. Where did they find him? At a bus stop in Moss Side? This is not what we expect from Corrie.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Thursday 17 April 2008

‘do you speak german?’
he asked in perfect english
so i replied ‘nein!’

Please visit the Corrie website below, run by someone called Flaming Nora. Coronation Street is a National Institution and should be supported.

I am getting a little tired of mad people. Usually I have nothing against mad people, but in sufficient numbers they get even my goat, and my goat is generally difficult to get. Today I was having a quiet cigarette, on the street outside our secret government bunker, contemplating the empty godless universe and the inevitability of the entropic death of the cosmos (as you do), when a man in a Dr Van Hargens wide-brimmed hat walked up to me.
‘Do you speak German?’ he asked.
‘No. I don’t sorry.’
‘It is a shame. I myself am German.’
‘Very well... Guten Tag!’
‘Guten Tag!’
‘Ahhh!’ he cried, gazing at me with a new glint in his eye as though I were a plasticised Welshman, about to be sliced into wafer thin strips. ‘So you do speak German!’
I sidled away, like a crab, and escaped back in through the high security doors.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Wednesday 16 April 2008

a new computer
like a new relationship
fun but no comfort.

‘The Apprentice’ was very disappointing this evening as Sir Sid James fired Simon, the cute soldier who has, so he tells us, an IQ of 170. This did not stop him from confusing the words abdicate and abrogate. ‘I’m not abdicating my responsibilities!’ he said, at least twice. I’m sure Raef would have corrected him, had he heard, as despite his Mr Whippy hairstyle he no doubt has an IQ of 583.
Having said that, he is the man who wrote in his CV ‘I have faced death in the face many times.’
I suspect Claire is evil and entered the show on a mission from Satan.

Tuesday 15 April 2008

common sense is rare.
i search in the brains of my
colleagues... no!... nothing!

Monday 14 April 2008

walking to stockwell
i wish i could keep faces
like stamps in a book

Monday, 14 April 2008

Sunday 13 April 2008

under an awning
I wait and smoke. rain has no

‘Britain’s Got Talent’ is back, hosted by the ubiquitous Ant & Dec, and judged by the odious Simon Cowell and his marginally more interesting sidekicks Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan.
The beauty of this show, of course, is the crazy people who seem convinced that they’re entertainment gold. Some of them, due to their sheer audacity and a surreal quality which is hard to define, are entertaining in themselves, certainly more entertaining than the troupes of hopeful screeching pre-teen schoolgirls dancing around the stage in identical frocks.
The first act, for instance, was an elderly gentleman whose only wish was to play the theme from Star Wars on an electric organ. Armed with his copy of ‘The Complete Keyboard Player’ he launched into a reggae version of the theme, which was well-received by all but Mr Cowell, a man so devoid of humour that he rose from his seat and pressed the other judge’s red buttons in order to get the act off the stage.

Saturday 12 April 2008

back to the old ways.
a handful of regulars
circle endlessly

I was supposed to go in to work today but my boss rang me as I was leaving to tell me that the door to the office was locked and that I wouldn’t be able to get in.
So, having got up early, I spent a quiet morning catching up with ‘Days of Our Lives’.
Lexy Carver’s party in the Dimera Mansion (which seems to consist of two rooms and a foyer) has finally ended after about two weeks of champagne and canapés.
John Black and his sentient eyebrows smelt something fishy and realised that someone (it was evil Rolf in a secret room full of machines with winky blinky lights) was trying to reactivate Hope Brady’s brain chip and turn her back into Princess Gina. John, fortunately recalling his mercenary training and the day he learned to remove such chips, ushered Hope into a bedroom and was about to dig it out from her brain with his Swiss Army knife, but Bo Brady rushed in, found them on the bed and assumed the worst.
Meanwhile, Brady – John Black’s son, madly in love with the opera-singing teenager Chloe Lane – is struggling to express his feelings since Chloe feels she still loves Philip Wet-Lettuce, the weediest quarterback in the US and the son of the tycoon Victor Kiriakis, head of the Titan corporation and cursed with having no neck.
Dr Marlena Evans, psychiatrist and mother, continues to look aloof and concerned in every scene. She was in Columbo last week, She looked aloof and concerned in that too, so at least she’s consistent.

Friday 11 April 2008

my new solitaire
game arrived this afternoon.
it saves me talking

Ode to Coronation Street

when I am old and leaking out of
mouth and back and front
I’ll have my gender reassigned
my plumbing plugged and redesigned
I’ll join ‘the street’, be feared, revered
like betty turpin or blanche hunt

‘now listen,lady!’ I will say
‘this haslet’s not been sliced today.
it’s crusted, I say crusted, chook!’
at which I’ll aim a fearful look.
one of elsie tanner’s faces
could kill a man at fifty paces

Friday, 11 April 2008

Thursday 10 April 2008

crumpets and butter
it must be real butter though
not imaginary

Even Martin Luther wondered how there could be 26 apostles buried in Germany, when they were only twelve in the entire Bible. . . It is clear that most 'relics' are frauds.--Bart Brewer, Pilgrimage From Rome, (C) 1986 Bob Jones University Press , p. 126

Most of the known world, some of us realise, is in denial about basic truths that affect us all. We’ll avoid the subject of evolution for today, since that is something the truth of which seems blindingly obvious to me, but which a large percentage of people refuse to accept, since it challenges their basic conception of their universe.
Let’s look at something more specific. St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, a site of pilgrimage for many Catholics and allegedly the place where St Peter died. The new Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, ( for instance states ‘St. Peter's residence and death in Rome are established beyond contention as historical facts by a series of distinct testimonies extending from the end of the first to the end of the second centuries, and issuing from several lands.’
The Catholic Encyclopedia’s definition of the phrase ‘historical facts’ is not a definition which professional historians would recognise, but then we are dealing with an organisation which presumably treats the Bible itself as historical fact, so we have to be aware that we are dealing with ‘historical facts’ on that level.
Two separate Popes of the twentieth century (neither of them archaeologists or anthropologists) have endorsed the veracity of the discovery of St Peter’s bones, despite the fact that these were two separate sites and two separate skeletons. The most recent, allegedly discovered beneath the Basilica, is now displayed in an arrangement of plastic display cases, and contains – amongst other things - five tibias, one of which is a woman’s, and the bones of sheep, cows, pigs, goats, a chicken and a mouse.
For a more detailed account of what is essentially an act of massive fraud perpetrated by the Catholic Church, please check out

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Wednesday 9 April 2008

he’s a strange man but
no stranger than the stranger
who shouts ‘dad’ at me

On my way home this evening, the touts were outside Brixton station selling tickets.
‘Tickets for Black Crows! Tickets For Black Crows!’
‘That sounds,’ shouted one tout to another in the loud voice they employ, presumably even at home, ‘like you’re saying ‘Tickets for Macros!’’
At this point, the tout turned to me and said ‘Would you like a ticket for Macros, sir? They have some lovely televisions.’
I smiled, and moved swiftly on.
Meanwhile, ‘The Apprentice’ continues with all the bleak inevitability of a lemming in a suit driving toward Dover. This week the teams were given the task of providing a themed food day in a London Pub.
The girls eventually got their act together and set up a Bollywood evening in an Islington bar, complete with curry, saried waitresses and a male dancer.
The boys, on the other hand, were totally disorganised in their Hampstead bar where they planned an evening of ‘A Taste of Italy’. Head Chef Kevin (who still looks spookily like Dafydd, the only Gay in the village) surprised even the advisory chef (provided by Sir Sid James to prevent his candidates poisoning innocent bystanders) by insisting that coffee was a dessert.
The Project Manager was Ian, a blue-eyed tousle-haired suit, who so far has gone unnoticed. He went unnoticed last night too, since his entire team seemed to regard his presence as non-existent.
Sir Sid was not impressed by their antics, since they failed to do any costings before pricing the food and served up bland bolognese and half-pizzas, having run out of toppings. Ian tried to blame Dafydd the OGITV, and the cute soldier, Simon.
‘It’s a disgrace!’ said Sir Sid, staring at Ian from his evil swivelly chair. ‘You’re Fired!’
This week, there was very little seen of Raef Bjayou, the posh man’s Nogbad The Bad, although we did get a shot of his strange meringue-like hair as the boys discussed their Italian theme.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

I went out to sky
and the shared cold, which warmed me
with a random smile

Monday 7 April 2008

spring in the city
has not been delivered yet
due to staff shortage

I got up late this morning and rushed out. I forgot that the Ugly One had a day off today and it was only when he rang me up that I realised I had locked him in.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Sunday 6 April 2008

lamb korma pilaf
is like a potion brewed as
radio four chants

The next time I cook Lamb Korma Pilaf (if indeed, this is not the last) I shall set aside more time. Doing things like this is a bit of an extended ritual, and I take my hat off, or at least I would if I were wearing a hat in the kitchen, to generations of Indian women and men who have gone through all this palava just for a bit of dinner.
The main element of time consumption is the onions. Indian food requires that onions be fried until they are a deep golden brown and smell so good you want to marry them. For some reason the onions on this occasion chose to be stubborn and remained a contented shade of green for a goodly time. I have seen packets of onions, conveniently fried for my convenience, down at my local Indian Food supplies shop, but I always feel that using them would be the thin end of the Cook-In Sauce Wedge.
Anyway, after about four hours, I sandwiched a layer of curried lamb between two layers of basmati rice and stuck it in the oven.
It was fab.
I think I upset my mate Anthony from the US the other day. He rang me up after I’d sent him a recipe for Welsh Chili Baked Risotto.
‘Can you get rice cookers over there?’ he asked.
‘Why do you ask?’
‘Because I want to cook rice.’
‘You have a cooker, water and a saucepan. Why do you need a rice cooker?’
‘It’s easier.’
‘Not the point!’ I shout, down the phone. ‘Cook the rice properly. You’re just Lazy!’
Americans, as I have discovered, think things are better if you have to do less work to produce them.

Saturday 5 April

fishing for glances
a lonely pastime and they
mostly get away

Still no sign of God! You'd think that two thousand years would be enough to see a vast miracle or two. Time was when God was always there, inflicting boils, parting seas, destroying cities, turning women into salt, handing out tablets...
Nowadays, nothing. If I were a cynical religious person I'd be beginning to suspect that he never existed at all.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Friday 4 April 2008

this deep weariness
like pulling a caravan
someone packed with time

In ‘Days of Our Lives’ Hope Brady’s brain-chip has been reactivated and Princess Gina has returned to her brain. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up, International Man of Evil Stefano Dimera placed a chip in Hope Brady’s brain which convinced her that she was Princess Gina Von Omberg, monarch of a small (and unknown) European country, and International Jewel Thief.
Hope eventually came to her senses and returned to her own life, but now, Dimera’s daughter Lexy has reactivated the chip in order that it will stop Hope from discovering that her baby was swapped at birth with the baby Lexy adopted.
Lexy therefore arranged a party at the Dimera mansion. The party has been going on for at least eight days now, and only one person is drunk.
There is obviously something fishy going on.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Thursday 3 April 2008

from a stockwell bar
we viewed the panorama
of broken people

I had one of those moments today. As I came out of Hammersmith Station this morning, I was struck by a thought of vast philosophical insight and made a mental note to write it all down once I got to work.
Having now remembered to write it down, I realise that I cannot recall what the thought of vast philosophical insight was. This is probably because I have spent all morning recording complaints from the public about contractors leaving holes in the pavement for six months.
Tonight, I hied it to Stockwell, where my friend Brad was having a leaving party in a bar called Thirdspace. On the leaflet, it looks like a vast cavernous bar, but on entry it was discovered just how good extreme wide-angle photographic lenses can be, as the bar is actually the size of a large living room. I always go to these events with the intention of not leaving too late, as it is my wont to do, but one Smirnoff Ice led to another and before I knew it, it was 11.45 and I was deep in conversation with a ginger-bearded man called Jason (who looks very much like he should be forging traffic signs in Middle Earth) about the significance of Doctor Who within the Gay Community. He’s not gay, as it happens, but was I think trying to absolve himself of the worry of gay tendencies emerging should he develop an unhealthy interest in ‘Genesis of The Daleks’.
Earlier, someone showed me photographs of when he recently attended The Porn Awards, which isn’t something I would have expected of local government employees.
There are always, I have discovered, people who surprise you.

Wednesday 2 April 2008

a tide of e-mail
I am canute of the desk
‘stop!’ I say. they don’t.

This week, on The Apprentice, Raef Bjayou took charge of the boys’ team in the task of running a laundry. Sadly, nothing went wrong for the boys. They got a deal from a hotel to wash all their mucky sheet and pillowcases, while the girls, managed by sinister, ginger and very scary Jenny, spiralled into a whirling tumble-dryer nightmare of chaos (OK, it wasn’t that bad, but I like the metaphor).
Sir Alan, whose facial expressions seem to be growing more extraordinary as time goes on, decided to fire Shazia, a decision not popular in the real world of the general public.
I have a sneaky feeling that Sir Alan knows very early on who the real potential apprentices are and if he has three people in front of him, none of whom he has any intention of employing, he might well feel that he will sack the one who generates the least ratings.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Tuesday 1 April 2008

today laksa paste
chicken and creamed coconut
dancing with noodles

I was fooled by the BBC’s report this morning of the discovery of a new species of flying penguin. In my own defence, I had only just got up and caught a snippet of the news while I stumbled blearily between the bathroom and the kitchen, glimpsing a sequence of penguins happily flapping across an ice-floe. By the time I got back with restorative coffee, the news had moved on to the regular menu of politicians, murder and international mayhem. It was only later I got a text from the Ugly One telling me that that the penguins had been an April Fool’s joke. Seeing the full sequence later I was very glad I had not mentioned it at work, since the flying penguins allegedly migrate to the Amazon rain forest during the winter months.
I was in the Chinese supermarket in Brixton when I got the text, holding three spears of lemon grass in my right hand. This may seem like irrelevant detail and indeed it is, but it leads me neatly on to my latest obsession, which seems to be obscure and exotic Eastern dishes.
I made Laksa paste last night, which involved blending a paste from onions, garlic, ginger, galangal, shrimp paste, lemon grass and a selection of spices. One fries the resulting paste, adds some water, some creamed coconut, some diced chicken and some roasted peppers and stir until the chicken is cooked. Then a dash of fish sauce, and the result is somewhat fantastic, even though I say so myself.