Friday, May 30, 2008

Ah, Caffeine

That moment of clarity.
When you sit up, your brain switches back on.
The thoughts flow, the fingers fly on the keyboard.
The journal article you read once over and made no head or tail of, suddenly has a head, a tail, and even a whole body.
Time to make use of it while it lasts!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Roast Chicken

Watching Cookworks the other day made me feel like having roast chicken. The show's feature was really a turkey, and it looked moist and tender. And I wanted a moist and tender piece of meat heading straight for my mouth. A roast chicken would have to do!

I fell back on good ole Jamie Oliver, or at least an improvisation of his recipe, with ingredients I could find in the kitchen. Did I have rosemary? No. Did I have bacon slices? No. Still, the roast chicken was pretty yummy.


Pair that with a simple salad of butterhead lettuce, button mushrooms, a couple of small tomatoes, an avocado, dressed with some pepper, olive oil and lemon. Happy days.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The evening ceremony was about the same as in the morning, just done in reverse. The flag glided down the pole and was put away in the wooden box. The flag doesn't wave at night.
Why the flag has to be put away at night I have no idea. The country still exists at night, no? And plenty of people are hard at work. Doesn't seem fair that those people can't have the same flag flying over them. Maybe it's a silly thing to worry about - just the kind of thought a person like me is liable to fret over.

Haruki Murakami's Firefly
From Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Saturday, May 17, 2008

“House Taken Over”

My library is not a single beast but a composite of many others, a fantastic animal made up of the several libraries built and then abandoned, over and over again, throughout my life. I can’t remember a time in which I didn’t have a library of some sort. The present one is a sort of multilayered autobiography, each book holding the moment in which I opened it for the first time. The scribbles on the margins, the occasional date on the flyleaf, the faded bus ticket marking a page for a reason today mysterious, all try to remind me of who I was then. For the most part, they fail. My memory is less interested in me than in my books, and I find it easier to remember the story read once than the young man who then read it.

Alberto Manguel writes about his 30,000-volume library

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ex libris

There are some books that you race through, the exciting plot drives you on, the pages flip madly as you head for the finish line, sometimes even staying up way past bedtime.

And then there are books that you just want to take your time with, and hold back that need to read more. That's how I've been feeling about Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris. It's a collection of 18 essays she wrote over a period of four years, and they're all about books and reading.

As she says in the preface:
Books wrote our life story, and as they accumulated on our shelves (and on our windowsills, and underneath our sofa, and on top of our refrigerator), they became chapters in it themselves. How could it be otherwise?

She writes of marrying her and her husband's libraries together, how their American collection is alphabetised, whereas their English collection is in chronological order (and chronological even within each author).

"You mean we're going to be chronological within each author?" he gasped. "But no one even knows for sure when Shakespeare wrote his plays!"
"Well," I blustered, "we know he wrote Romeo and Juliet before The Tempest. I'd like to see that reflected on our shelves."
George says that was one of the few times he has seriously contemplated divorce.

Oh definitely a book that's to be savoured, page by page, word by word.

Read an excerpt here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Where have you been all my life?

Oh boy, are we going to be such good friends!

Because when you can turn this
Leek and Potato Soup (before)

into this
Leek and Potato Soup (after)

(ok not such a great picture, but it's actually Leek and Potato Soup)
Leek and Potato Soup Recipe

You've won me over. At first pulse.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

mothers day

As I'm not much of a fan of cheesecake, it's something I've never made. But my mum does. So here's a lemon orange non-bake cheesecake. Happy Mothers' Day!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


A series of fourteen cryptograms for when you're bored at work, or just want to do something else than write reports.

Friday, May 02, 2008

let it rain

Every morning I wake up to a slightly cool (well compared to the night before) morning breeze and the faint hope that it will rain, that it will storm, that the temperature will not keep rising and that the dense humidity will not envelope me and leave a shiny sheen on every inch of my skin.

Oh for some of this

Or this

And on that note, some suitable songs, but as with most songs about rain, they're sad ones:

Tilly and the Wall
- Let It Rain
Madeleine Peyroux - California Raining
Regina Spektor - 20 Years of Snow
Emiliana Torrini - Snow

Lightning flashes when you glance
I'm thunderstruck walk in slow motion
Ran a hand on a rainy railing
Cats and dogs falling but kept on walking
(The Postmarks - Looks like Rain)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Oh, anyway, it's looking like a beautiful day

Here's stuff I've been listening to recently.

Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
Elbow sticks to what they know, and what they do best. As with Asleep in the Back, Cast of Thousands, and Leaders of the Free World, The Seldom Seen Kid is brilliant! I love the complexity of their music.
Love Weather To Fly, The Bones of You, Grounds for Divorce,

One Day Like This

Tina Dico (thanks to hucks)
One of my favourite tracks by this Danish singer is 'Give In' from the album In The Red, her first internationally released album.

The Raconteurs
- Consolers of the Lonely
Quite a lot of it is pretty awesome, like Hold Up, Many Shades of Black, Rich Kid Blues. Others like These Stones Will Shout is a bit ho-hum.