Archive for July, 2006

Are we there yet?

Did you see that a Professor Dwight Barkley, of the mathematics department at the University of Warwick has come up with an equation to work out when your kids are going to ask that genetically inherited phrase.. Are we there yet?


I’ve been rebelling against internet overload (like having watched too much bad TV) and giving my wrist a break (which has worked) hence the lack of posts, call it an [unintentional] summer break.

Cine Colour

Well the heat is back and I have been thinking about past summers. The first really hot summer I remember was in ’76 – I remember that summer as vivid browns and oranges in wonderful saturated cine colour. I have memories of being in the garden playing with all the family enjoying the sun. I had my first experience of sunburn that year, coming in from the garden and asking my mother why my skin was all red and having cream rubbed into my shoulders. The fact that it was so hot seemed like something special that was new to everyone. One of the ways of judging how hot it was was whether or not I could walk on the patio without shoes and discovering that the heat would grow in intensity and realizing that my feet could only cope with so much, but I would still try and hold the course, even if it meant breaking into a sprint and there was always the relief and comfort of hitting the cool grass.

Summer cake

Saturday Sandy and I ventured into deepest darkest Surrey in search of redcurrants, which we found at a local farm. For T’s birthday, Big R wanted to make a Redcurrant and Raspberry Tart – her version of Ribiselkuchen*.

1/2 lb Redcurrants
1/2 lb Raspberries
8oz Flour
5.5oz Butter
2 Eggs plus two extra egg whites
8 oz Sugar
A little lemon peel

Make the pastry using the flour, butter, egg yolks and two tablespoons of the sugar, plus the lemon peel. Leave in a cool place for at least half an hour.
Destalk the redcurrants.
Boil two tablespoons of sugar in about half a gill of water. Add the fruit. Boil for a few moments only. Lift the fruit out with a perforated spoon. Let it cool. Carry on boiling the syrup to reduce and thicken it.
Roll out the pastry very thinly. Bake it blind, on a baking sheet to a very light golden colour. Leave to cool. Brush with the thick syrup. Arrange the fruit on top.
Whisk the egg whites until they stand in peaks. Fold in the remaining sugar. Spread over the fruit at once. Return to a moderate oven, the meringue should dry out, but not bake. Cut and eat hot or cold. Enjoy!

*It’s a variation of a recipe in Rosl Philpot’s Viennese Cookery (1965).

Painful wrist

I’ve been a bit low as I’ve got a problem with my wrist and it’s getting me down. I can’t really use my hand without it hurting. I went to the doctor about a month ago and have been waiting for a referral – but as of today, nothing. I’m now thinking I should just go to A & E and today wrote to my doctor asking “should I just go to A & E?” It’s scary how one small part of your body that hurts can completely change what you do – so I’ve not been able to do yoga or cycle, using my computer now makes it hurt, even holding a book to read is uncomfortable – in this heat, I feel like a beached whale.

The Optimist


This evening a walk in the park, you’d think would be relaxing, but the police were out telling people off for cycling in the wrong places, which makes me mad (its a park for f**ck sake), there was an incident with an over boisterous Alsatian, three boys discussing Jews, Germany and the Holocaust (I’m not kidding), Sandy leading me through a pathway guarded by spiders – I got through two webs, then freaked turned around and ran back the way we came. Then she did her “I’m going to just go by the road and pretend to cross it” and then looked all hurt when I shouted at her… On the other-hand the park is still green and I caught a view that was stunning, England’s green and pleasant land, Sandy had a dip or two in the lake and a gallop or two, then there were rabbits running, young swans swimming, horses trotting and friendly people out for their evening stroll.

Hottest July day

Well how did you do? I left some chocolate out and it melted, it was rather yummy. Around here it was about 36C with a hot breeze. I didn’t get much done; it’s like being in the Mediterranean with the wrong architecture.


So I just bought these online as they’re all sold out in the shops. I’m curious as to what the colour is really going to look like, as long as they don’t look too much like gardening shoes, I’ll be happy.

Heat wave again

I’m not sure I can cope with the weather* – we are hotter than Bermuda and Rio and tomorrow it’s going to be even hotter (35C or higher). Mostly I’ve been hiding out at home, catching up on work, but now I’m all caught up I need to go out and about – and it’s just SO hot. I’m only grateful that I don’t have to use the tube (up to 47C) – I think I can put that off for a little while longer.

*Don’t get me wrong I love hot weather, on holiday though, not at home in England where we just aren’t prepared for it.

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