Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Seduction for Mathematicians

I went round to Charles' flat for a meal tonight. As I was leaving to go home, he was trying very hard to sit me back down in order to explain the binary arithmetic of RAW images and the limits of 8 bits per channel images. It was a bit late at night for my poor brain to cope with that, bless him!

Charles' seduction technique - force maths on a girl!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Buy Two, Get One Free

My friend Raj is working in Kiev in the Ukraine at the moment. This weekend he took the overnight train to Odessa for a little tourist break. Raj is a big chappie, 6 foot tall and heavily built – and he sent me a text to say that he was sharing a compartment with a guy who was even bigger than him! I wonder if that train had a bit of a list to it that night?! Once esconced in his hotel he caught the lift up to the panoramic restaurant and four spectacularly good looking women looked at him as he exited the lift. He thought they were prostitutes so he did what any red-blooded male would have done… turned around, got straight back into the lift and went down again! He’s been told that in Kiev you can get prostitutes at a bulk discount… one Finnish bloke who worked there got three at one time apparently! Buy two and get one free?!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Today I started my new lunchtime running regime. This involved Ingrid (enthusiastic running partner) coming up to my desk and saying she felt too lazy to go out actually... so we walked once around the field outside, chatting, and came back in again. Hmm, that will lose me a lot of calories. Not. Then ate a large cheesecake.

Going to be as slim as Britney in no time!

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Charles has been working flat out the last couple of weeks, working nights and weekends trying to finish a report for work. Apparently all the intensive sitting on his hard wooden stool has been crushing his man-bits rather painfully, so today I went out and bought the poor boy a proper typing chair! Also a wicker armchair so that his little bum can be comfortable when he’s reading!

They are both bits of embarrassingly cheap tat (if he knew how little they cost he would feel insulted - he would think, "Pah! Is that all I am worth?!") But I hope they will do for a few months until he can afford to get something a bit nicer.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day is a Fascist Plot

Charlie-boy was lovely today. He hates Valentine’s Day, he thinks it’s all a fascist plot to send everyone into debt by trying to outdo each other with how much plastic, heart-shaped tat they can buy their girlfriends, and how much they will overspend on a fake-romantic meal. Whereas I think Valentine’s Day is fab. (Or it ought to be if I ever got a Valentine!)

Personally I think it’s the one day of the year when every long-suffering girlfriend who has been ignored all year long in favour of either beer and footy matches or computers and geeky magazines (depending on whether her boyfriend is a yob or a geek) can justifiably demand that her yob or her geek:
1) buys her a big expensive present that isn’t any kind of man-gadget bought, in reality, because he wants one himself and can play with it whenever he’s round her place;
2) gives her flowers (and a big, special bouquet too – even the thickest bloke knows that a 99p bunch of carnations just won’t cut it on Valentine's Day, even if they are pink);
3) takes her out alone, with not a mate of his in sight, and spends all evening talking to her rather than over her shoulder at someone else;
4) and says “I love you” as many times as possible so that she can get her year’s worth before the clock chimes midnight.
Without Valentine's Day all the above would be a vague and unfulfilled dream for most women!

Anyway, back to Charles. Even though he hates Valentine’s Day with a vengeance, he made a special effort to cook me dinner tonight. (In fact, dinner had even been his suggestion - woo hoo!) We had a properly home-made curry and rice, followed by yoghurt with fruit and honey in it, and all laid out nicely on the table with flowers and everything. I was really touched by him doing that, especially as he's working so very hard right now. He sooo got lucky afterwards!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I spent ages this evening trying to get Charles something for Valentine’s Day. I couldn’t get him any old thing – it had to be small and cheap because he doesn’t do Valentine’s Day and had asked me not to get him a present – yet I wanted it to be something a bit special too, because he’s worth it. Just how do you do cheap and unassuming yet special?! I did find the perfect thing – a beautiful pink-petalled orchid – however he already has one of those on his kitchen worktop so I couldn’t very well hand him another identical one! In the end I settled on some pots of bulbs that were just coming into flower, and I got some nice wicker flower pots to set them in. He likes wicker, and I thought if he doesn’t like the bulbs he can at least use the pots to keep pencils in or something!

My next problem was when to take Charles’ present down to his house as I wanted to leave it outside his door. However he has a habit of not coming home until long after I have gone to bed, and I couldn’t decide whether I should force myself to stay awake and yawningly deposit the present at about 1.00am, or get up very early and go to work via his house, which is in totally the wrong direction so would mean getting up verrry early indeed! Fortuitously at just after 10.00pm Charles rang me for a quick chat, thereby letting me know that he was already home, and that was my cue to put my coat on over my pyjamas and get down to his flat, stealthily tiptoeing up the stairs to leave his flower pots and Valentine card outside his front door. He should trip over them whenever he finally drags himself out of his pit tomorrow!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ye Big Feaste

Today I cooked a grand medieval feast. All by myself. Three courses of six dishes each, plus some things to take home afterwards. At least that was the plan!

The actuality was that I hadn’t done nearly enough preparation beforehand. I had spent several days on the fun stuff of making little flags to stick in the pies, making little booklets about feasting in the Middle Ages, researching all my recipes… and I had only got around to making one single food item, some marzipan fruits (which looked pretty good, though, I have to admit!), the day before. That was it! I hadn’t done the gingerbread, or any of the pies which were also supposed to be made in advance ready for heating. I then also didn’t start cooking until this afternoon and I should really have got going at about 5 o’clock this morning!

Once I had begun crenellating pie crusts and strewing saffron about, I quickly realised that I didn’t actually have enough kitchen space, or cooking pots, or time to make all of my planned dishes and therefore had to cut out some of them. Pity, I never like to be beaten, even by a menu! I also ended up throwing the first course onto the table in front of my guests and disappearing back into the kitchen to carry on cooking, which wasn’t exactly sociable! All in all I suppose I did pretty well for just four hours of preparation and cooking, considering what I was attempting. But I’m never happy with anything less than perfection though, so grumpy with myself that I didn’t manage to do everything I had planned. Next time I WILL damn well start at 5 o’clock in the morning!

That said, there was plenty of food left over at the end. I shall ignore the little voice in my head that says, “Hmm, maybe that’s because nobody liked your cooking missy!” and assume I filled all bellies adequately! Everyone except Ben left their booklets behind, though, the bastards – they could at least have pretended to like them! Does anyone out there have any need for a flag with a deer on it? Or a book about feasting? Oh well, never mind then.

For those who are interested, the menu that I served my guests (as opposed to the one that I planned to serve them!) is below.

Ye First Course
Mushroom pasty
Spynoches yfryed
Seethed salmon

Ye Second Course
Tourte parmerienne
Tarte in ymbre day
Buttered wortes

Ye Third Course
A custarde
Frytour blaunched
Payne foundow

Fruits made of marchpane

And to drink…
Potus Ypocras
Grape juice
Apple juice