Random musings from the front line (well, more like the support trench, or perhaps the castle 10 miles away, supping Chateau Lafite with the General Staff) in the battle for curiosity, inertia, grammar and a Dachshund called Colin.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The "Other" White Meat

Serving Suggestion Only - Actual Dinner May Look Considerably ShitterFirst of all, thank you to all of my 3 readers for caring enough that I'd disappeared from the blogosphere to mention it by comment. It's been a hell of a fortnight, and I've not only not stopped long enough to read/write any blogs, I've also not even had time to check my email, pay my cleaning lady, notice my mortgage discount has finished, realise my car tax had expired AND almost missed my stepfather's birthday - which is difficult, as it's the same as mine. Phew! It's all because I've finally finished my secondment to the University of Stupidity (or "US", as they now call themselves, with no hint of irony!) and have spent the last 2 weeks preparing for my handover, conducting my handover, driving to the West Country to certify that my handover is complete, and then getting blind drunk with my former students to celebrate my handover (oh, and the aforementioned birthday, which was last Saturday). In amongst all of this, I attended Remembrance Day commemorations, had 3 formal dinners (as part of the handover - ie "meet my successor, Sir Ponsonby") and put over 2000 miles on my car. I also went to an Elbow concert (very good gig), where they were supported by a superb Danish band called Mew. And the highlight of all of this activity? The world's best Sunday Roast - as cooked by yours truly - wherein I impressed my mother and stepfather with the best-timed, best-prepared and goddamn tastiest roast pork dinner EVER! The recipe was one of those easy ones from the "Good Housekeeping Basic Cookery" book, that I've used for every bog standard recipe I've ever needed since I was 18 (35 mins per lb, plus 35 mins - you know the formula).

Oh, if you insist....But there was a downside. No one else was there to share my culinary triumph. My other half isn't quite ready to "meet the parents" (it's complicated), my housemate was away on a cycling weekend (camping in minus 8 degrees in Wales - nutter), my friends were either busy, or too hungover, to attend and my sister was so fed up with the A303 that she cancelled en route. So .... the 3 of us sat down to this masterpiece (with enough food for 5) - the first time in my life I have cooked a roast for my parents - on Snday lunhctime and exchanged presents, and ate cake and drunk champagne, and caught up for the first time in a few months. It was a good day. After they had gone, I even thought about blogging again for the first time in 2 weeks, but had to spend the next day (yesterday) doing such fun stuff as:
  • Remortgaging (I bloody missed the deadline and am now on the painful Standard Variable Rate - ouch).
  • Booked a tree surgeon to come and chop down the rubbish trees in my back garden - and convince him to chop them into logs which should be ready for next year.
  • Painted all the doorframes in my house - they've been annoying me.
  • Made a real effort with my front garden - which is now a vision of semi-completed loveliness (think bamboos, Mahonia, Podocarps and Laurel bushes. Mmmmmmm).
  • Washed the car.
  • Applied for a grant to insulate my attic. If I was old, or feckless, I'd get it done for free. Anyone want to lend me a yobbo or granny?
  • Draught-proofed the front door.
  • Went to cinema for first time in 3 months. Barry Trotter - good film!

It's amazing what you can do with a day off - what am I going to do with 2 weeks off?!? Oh, did I forget to mention that? God Bless LASS. Or, if I'm feeling expansive in my luxury - "Leave After Sea Service". Now where's that cinema timetable?

8 Rants & Replies:

Blogger garfer said...

Give roast rib of beef a go next time. That's the real business.
Dunno about Good Housekeeping though.

9:22 pm, November 22, 2005

Blogger patroclus said...

Wahey, he's back! Happy birthday too! Were you at the same Elbow gig as Spinsterella, and if so, you're not the sensibly-coiffed ex-public school boy in question, are you?

8:39 am, November 23, 2005

Blogger Wyndham said...

My god, you packed a lot into that day. It would take me months, nay years, to do all that lot.

10:02 am, November 23, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

Garfer - we're not all cordon bleu curry chefs, you know! I'm a simple sailor, of simple tastes and not much patience, and the book in question tells me how long to fry eggs, boil veg, roast meat and bake potatoes, so it's invaluable for beginners like me. I'll try beef next time!

Patroclus - not me, I'm afraid, as I went to the gig the night before Spinny's one. Besides, I'm not 26, I'm not blond, my hair is a (renowned!) mess and I don't (or can't) play in a band. Other than that, he's my spitting image. Sounds lovely....

Wyndham - it's not so much a uestion of time management, more about having to get up at 0700 to answer the door to the postman, and getting very bored very quickly for the remaining 16 hours of the day. Oh, and not having any kids to distract me!

11:35 am, November 23, 2005

Blogger WordWhiz said...

Wow...you've been busy!! If you run out of chores before you run out of energy, I could use you over here at my place!!

Have a really wonderful Thanksgiving. (I guess you don't actually celebrate it over there, do you? Have a good weekend, regardless!)

PS: Love the billboard!

11:37 am, November 23, 2005

Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

I was going to ask what Wyndham asked you. I just don't believe you managed to get all that done. Well, only in comparison to my lazy, lazy self.

Take today, for instance. I've got 101 things to do and am I doing them? No. I'm sitting in front of the Demon Box skipping through Blogs and leaving little "messages" everywhere.

Although, I did get up at 8:00 (and on a Saturday, no less) to put some washing on!

8:50 am, November 26, 2005

Blogger Merkin said...

You're very kind, DeVice, me old mucker. Even if your blog is a complete mystery to me - and a bloody good mystery it is too. I'm touched that you've linked to me as well - alongside the missing (and mellifluous) HoneyTom. Oooh, I've come over all hero worshipping...

11:59 pm, November 27, 2005

Blogger Aginoth said...

glad you're back Merkin, sounds like a stressful and hectic little interlude...

8:35 pm, November 28, 2005


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