Internet highlights – w/c 24th March 2019

30 03 2019

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Off Menu – My perfect meal

28 03 2019

I’ve got completely addicted to James Acaster’s and Ed Gamble’s Podcast “Off Menu”, where celebrity guests discuss their perfect meal. The waiter-genie that is James offers them various choices and they construct their ideal meal this way. It’s very light hearted, a lot of chat and debate on the way through, plus sharing stories as some courses can end up being *very* specific. Geography is no object, time is no object, money is no object – he’s a Genie, remember!

I’ve actually found it’s a really fun conversation to have with your friends too, like the “dream dinner party list” conversation, and having talked about it a few times now, here’s my dream menu set out via the questions they ask (and again, sometimes very specific)!

  • Water for the table: Still, sparkling or tap?
  • Definitely tap. Sparkling water just tastes weird, and still and tap are essentially the same thing other than price.

  • Poppadoms or bread?
  • A fresh-from-the-oven tiger bread roll, crusty and chewy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside, warm enough that the butter melts into it as you spread it.

  • Starter
  • A Chinese starters selection platter. Including:

    • 1 sesame prawn toast
    • 1 chicken satay skewer with peanut sauce
    • 1 butternut squash spring roll
    • 1 mouthful crispy seaweed
    • 1 duck pancake with the sauce and green stuff
    • 1 mouthful of deep fried crispy chilli chicken (normally a main, but couldn’t be missed out!)

    Is that too big for a starter?

  • Main Course
  • Chicken Tikka Chasni. In 2014 I went to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with a friend, and one day we were looking for somewhere for lunch, anywhere that had air-con as there was a heatwave going on (yes I know, in Scotland!) and we dived into a place called India Quay that looked like it’d do. On the menu I saw this dish with the description, “A rich creamy sauce with a twist of sweet and sour”, thought I’d give it a try and was not disappointed!

  • Side Dish
  • A big onion bhaji. Several years ago I went on a course at Oracle University in Reading, and at the canteen one day experienced the best bhaji I’ve ever had!
    None of this mixing-in-lentils nonsense, just lovely crispy onion and massive! I’ve told many people about this bhaji in the intervening years, no bhaji I’ve had since has lived up to it!

  • Drink
  • Cheap, translucent, room temperature apple juice. None of this fancy “cloudy” nonsense, and definitely no ice. When it’s chilled the flavour is so muted, and the cheap stuff is so much sweeter than the fancy stuff!

  • Dessert
  • Slug and Lettuce used to have an amazing dessert on their menu called the “Cookie Cup Explosion”. It was essentially all good things on a plate. A chewy cookie forming a shallow bowl, containing bits of brownie, chocolate honeycomb, marshmallows, chocolate sauce and ice cream, – just amazing!
    The good news is that a different part of the Stonegate Pubs family now has it on their menu!

What about you? What are your answers to these questions?





The Great Gatsby – by F Scott Fitzgerald

24 03 2019

After loving Rebecca, I felt more confident and so picked up another 20th Century Classic from my bookcase.

Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this one so much – I persevered primarily because it was only 180 pages and wasn’t necessarily difficult to read, it just didn’t feel like anything was happening at all until about 40 pages from the end! Upon finishing my main feeling was just relief that I could tick it off and move onto something else.

It’s supposedly one of the greatest pieces of American Literature, but I just didn’t get it – not one for me!





Internet highlights – w/c 17th March 2019

23 03 2019

Marmite & peanut butter.

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Internet highlights – w/c 10th March 2019

16 03 2019

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Found Poetry – by Dave Gorman

9 03 2019

I’m a huge Dave Gorman fan, the man is stupidly clever and also hilarious, and a complete geek – a superb combination! The YouTube video I send people most in this world, is below:

As part of his old radio shows, and then more recently as part of his “Modern Life is Goodish” (of which you can watch the most recent four seasons here), he shares Found Poems. He describes them as comments he’s found when searching “the bottom half of the internet”. Each one is themed around a news story, and he collates sentences from comments sections from different news websites, and the results are pure gold. Each one he reads out to the backing music of Handel’s Saranbade.

This collection was put together in 2012 so there are a few around the Royal Wedding, but the absolute best has to be the horse meat scandal – his performance of it is below, and if you enjoy it, just search “Dave Gorman Found Poem” on YouTube and you’ll find further examples!





Rebecca – by Daphne du Maurier

9 03 2019

I had a couple of friends rave about this and thought I’d brave a “classic” if it came so highly recommended (at least it’s 20th century!). It took me a fair while to read the first chapter or two, but once the description stopped and the story started, it gripped me. The second half of the book I could hardly stop and put it down!

The book has a really interesting quirk in that you never find out the name of the main character who narrates the entire story, and while we know she is “young”, we never know just how young.

Our heroine meets a widower in the south of France and marries him, but when they arrive at his large Cornish estate, everything is still very much in the shadow of his first wife, Rebecca. I won’t give much more away, but it was much easier to read than expected and I really enjoyed it – as my friends who recommended it will verify as I frantically messaged them!