Sunday, November 14, 2010

Compositions For The Young And Old

Poncey - my word of the day.

Sunday mornings seem full of cookery programmes; from Nigella's unbelievably fake kitchen - today she went 'hunter gathering' not in the woods or the fields, but bloody Waitrose! To some shit on Channel 5 where a cook was showing off his nice gadget that allows him to put creamed onions on a plate in a perfect rectangle - gah! Actually, that wasn't the worst thing about this programme; twice they referred to seasonal things - wild mushrooms (which have just about finished now, unless you want overblown field blewitts) and asparagus!!! Well, it's in season if you live in Peru.

Seriously, don't we want cooking programmes that actually apply to the majority of people watching?

***

This morning, The Observer has a column, from one of its more serious columnists, about how Strictly Come Dancing has lost its credibility... Duh... Apparently (I don't know as I've never watched it and never will) it has a panel of judges who determine who is best and worst at dancing, but then this panel of judges is ignored in favour of the British public's own voting preference; which means that regardless of how much Ann Widdicombe is dragged around the floor as a kind of sentient floor mop, she's now in with a chance of winning the show because people are voting for her to stay. I wasn't aware that SCD was a comedy show. Anyhow, what is the point of having a panel of judges if the bottom line is decided by a public that paradoxically watches this shit in the first place and thinks it would be cool to allow a fat, unfuckable, fascist to remain while allegedly talented people get kicked off?

Also in the Observer was their Picture of the Week: from the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1). It has, as you can see, our three heroes all grown up. Now keep this image in your head, because I'm going to seem like I'm digressing...

On Friday, on the Graham Norton Show, there were four guests; Colin Farrell, Rhianna, Rhod Gilbert and hot from the premiere of the above film, one Daniel Radcliffe. Apart from being a really tiny fella, Radcliffe looked totally overwhelmed. It was like he couldn't believe he was in the presence of Rhod Gilbert, let alone the two A listers. He was self-effacing, slightly embarrassed and totally human. You can't help like the bloke. He was even prepared to make a tit of himself and yet he was treated by the 3 fellow guests like he was the true A list celebrity there.
Now, look again at the picture to the left. Look at the poppies the three of them are wearing. Watson and Grint are sporting designer poppies, which I believe retail for about £80 each. Yeah, they might have bought them, but Radcliffe is wearing a bog standard poppy, the kind you buy off the corner of a street from a war veteran.
Don't you think that it looks better on him than the designer ones do on his lesser supporting cast? Would you also agree that it sort of makes him look as though Armistice Day might mean more to him?

***

Just a little mention for a genius. Bob Mould - nuff said.

***

Roger said on the way home from the restaurant last night that he'd seriously considered writing a review of the place before we went; but had opted against it.

The reason was simple; sometimes my favourite food place in the world is a bit of a let down. Pooja, the real Indian restaurant in Wellingborough, is a real haven for great vegetarian food; but once in a while it all seems to go to pot. Last night was one of those rare occasions where they screwed up; yet it all started so well.

I think one of the problems is that we use the place so much we've sort of become like old furniture. There's a familiarity and informality there now that seems to transcend actual service and courtesy. Last night, we got our starters in double quick time - our spouses receiving a plate of potato bhajiya - a wonderful mix of slice spud, gram flour and delicate spices deep fried - and Roger and I our chilli paneer and mogo chips. it was all fresh and piping hot.

However, by the time our main courses arrived something had gone wrong. Roger and the wives had all ordered dosas - which are essentially crispy pancakes filled with a spicy bubble and squeak like mixture. they are quite wonderful; but they really need to be hot. That's hot as in temperature. I was having my favourite meal of all time Kadai Bengun Aloo - or potato and aubergine curry and for a change I opted for a vegetable pilao rather than just plain rice. The dosas were all cold, or lukewarm at best. My curry was okay, but the rice was stone cold.

I rarely complain, but this once I was going to. There is nothing worse at an Indian restaurant than having cold rice. There is nothing worse than the waiter trying to pass it off and attempt to put said cold rice on your plate, insisting that it was hot under the cold top. I stopped him and insisted I had hot rice. He relented, but I wasn't happy. Yes, we eat at this place about 9 times a year and we're friends with the owner and manager; but we also expect good service. Former waiter, Lallis, who went back to Gujarat in 2008 is sorely missed, as his replacement has taken our friendship with his employers as a friendship with him and seems to think we'll expect substandard food because of this relationship.

The manager, Myood, seemed intent on giving us a big bag of Indian sweets as we were leaving; almost as if he was aware we weren't happy. It made me feel slightly embarrassed, because in the 9 years we've been going to this place, he has always been the most cordial of gentlemen. It isn't going to stop us from going, but it has made us a little reluctant about doing it again so soon...

***

The new car has been purchased. It's a bit weird; having a new(ish) car. It takes getting used to. If its a 2nd hand car then there are other things that you worry about. Is that smell normal? Should it do that? Did the guy at the car showroom lie through his teeth about putting a tenner's worth of petrol in it and if he did how come it's all gone in a 22 mile round trip?

Remarkably, it seems the Zafira is actually bigger than the Doblo. Obviously not as boxy or as tall, but a lot longer, which will make parallel parking interesting until we both get used to driving it. I think the wife was amazed at my patience towards her yesterday; I didn't seem (nor feel) to give her a hard time about getting used to driving it. And so it should be!

***

Controversy time:

I'm a bit of a pacifist. I don't believe in the armed forces, therefore Remembrance Sunday means nothing to me at all. People who want to die for their country, especially in butt holes like Iraq and Afghanistan aren't big or clever; they're stupid. The armed forces top brass who feel we should spend more money on this fictional war against terror should all be offered the chance to go and work for country's that actually need generals. Supporting 'our boys' is supporting war and violence and hurt and grief and pain. I'm not being disrespectful, I'm being realistic.

If I was in charge of the country I'd turn our armed forces into the equivalent of Norway's. Just enough to defend our shores, if really necessary and maybe a few extra to bolster the UN's peace corps. I'd scrap all nuclear weapons and actively encourage Muslims to join my nice little defensive army. Not only would it save shit loads of money, but might stop us from being a potential target of fundamentalists.

Obviously it wouldn't work, because we're a belligerent warmongering country. But I can dream.

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