Sunday, 19 May 2013

Cheesed off

Mum rang whilst we were eating supper at Grampa's. She was a bit stressed as she'd come home from work and found the remnants of all the cheese in the world on the floor. The box. No wrappers. No half a block of feta, no full cheddar, no slices of brie. As she had to tidy it up then take Lexie for a walk to wear him out a bit more she missed the first half of the play she was going to see with her friend Andrea, and hadn't had any supper. Whoops!

We on the other hand had quite enough cheese. Ro had made us a lasagne with 1300 calories in it per slice. Like Mum, all I could see left in the kitchen were odd crumbs. It also had spinach and pine nuts in but that's like an obsese person eating eight pasties and then celebrating an orange. It doesn't count.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Duchy Originals

To pass time when we'd run out of conversation and ways to slag off boys we made a top five of lots of things. This is my top five best of Bob.

1) Her small stomach. I knew I'd get that second half of chocolate croissant.
2) Her memory foam body. Crashing into her on a bike is just like body hitting blancmange. Pain free
3) All her clothes come from Cornwall
4) She is unable to down water or eat an entire apple so thinks i'm unbelievably special for that.
5) Her Mum.

Her small stomach came in handy lots of times on hol when I didn't really want to share my snacks. We had this oreo and coconut cake in a little cafe which was the best cake i've ever tasted. This blog isn't really an ode to Bob but a pean to this cake. And Bob's inability to eat her half of it.
Unfortunately my ability to find this recipe on the internet is as high as Bob's ability to find a restaurant on a bike.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Amsterdam Plats du Jour

 Breakfast: After Bob's best sleep ever (she likes me staring at her over the pillow barrier as she drifts off) we picked up some tomatoes and a baguette to go with Marina's eggs and fresh coffee. Well, why stop at using her house, soap and perfume.
Then we spent an hour taking photos of us in a cherry blossom tree. Then as the antidote to that we cycled to the sex area. Pretty scary. I got frozen with panic in a street where everywhere we turned had an worn out lady wriggling and tapping on the windows. I just couldn't move! It was like they were in cages. Very traumatic. I'd only run down that street to see a pretty church. And there were huge footballer mobs just round the corner. I showed Bob my favourite clean lines vibrator range to soothe her before we pedalled back as fast as her little legs would let us.

Lunch: To readdress the gender inequality balance we played the top five hot nationalities game at a cafe. We did this whilst eating a really good coconut and oreo biscuit cake and talking loudly about some well bred Dutch men sitting at the next table enjoying a casual Sunday morning coffee. They all look like they were hand reared by Mono from goats milk and dandelions. So smooth skinned and healthy. 
Then we cycled to somewhere nearby where I knew I wanted to go but I couldn't remember why. So we cycled to a mystery location address. More fun that way. A nice man pointed out a closed 18th century distillery. I knew I had good taste. 
We then went to the park for the Liberation of Amsterdam celebration festival. Although I'm afraid my anti food liberation stance left much to be desired. I wouldn't let Bob eat until we had assessed every single lunch stall. We ended up with some hammy mustard baps and a wait of twenty minutes for a mojito because Bob forgot to speak at the counter. 

Dinner: I packed us up a really nice picnic for the ferry of cheese and tomato salad sandwich, strawberries, and lemon fanta. After eating and watching Dirty Dancing and the ferry kennels channel tv in our bunks, we went to the bar and shared a shot of "oily" Dutch gin. Bob surprisingly didn't like her straight half a shot so I drank hers too. With sugar and lime. 

We agreed that we had had a very nice time. As we fell asleep Bob said to me, 'I can't believe we nearly had a threesome on a Stena Line." Well, Bob... You're just lucky I've been practising my assertiveness and can say no for both of us. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Van Scoff

We were queuing for the cloakroom at the Van Gogh museum when a man infront of us caught our eye. He wanted to check his coat and leave his rucksack. 
"You have to check your rucksack", said the girl at the desk.
"It's not a rucksack, it's my lenses." Bob and I gawped as he peeled down the zip to reveal a bag of camera lenses with camera. "Oh." The cloakroom attendance was non plussed. "Well you have to check it."
"But I change my lenses for nearly every shot." We grimaced. Cloakroom lady stared. "Well you can take them in without the bag.." We scampered off at this point whispering loudly about how even Venture photographers don't bother changing their lenses that often.

We decided to follow him to see how many times he changed his lens. Not once according to Bob. Who lest we forget has been employed for her skills.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Menu Amsterdam

Breakfast: Today we were welcomed by Marina and the Diamonds to her apartment. We saw lots of hot dads with babies on the way, and copied their chocolate croissant.  Bob says she knew I wanted it. She thought I was just going to bite one from a hot dad's hand whilst he looked up our directions on his iPhone.
Marina rang to make sure we weren't lost. Lost in the pastry shop, soz.

Lunch: Once we had settled in and reapplied our make up for an hour we hired bikes so we could cycle all over Amsterdam. Ten minutes in I had to stop for lunch and luckily we were right next to a cute champignon shaped place with tables outside in the sun. We ordered the most incomprehensible things on the menu and sat back to wait. They turned out to be meaty croquettes and a well flavoured chicken and bread thing. All with a lot of mustard. 

Dinner: We were worn out after our day so we climbed into bed with a pastry slice and eventually fell asleep in a nest of crumbs about six pm. Now it could have been the three hour nap, or it could have been us cycling an hour and a half in the wrong direction (past Narborough, all the way to Beaumont Leas), but we didn't get to our chosen restaurant for dinner until 11.30pm. They'd stopped serving.

But we thought we were in Europe not Lutterworth! Well, at least they've got a kebab shop.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The hook of love!

Under the drips of my bikini drying on the overhead train rack Bob and I settled into our holiday with a bottle of red wine and some cheese sandwiches. After an hour or so we were most excited when we pulled up beside the sea! Off we go!

We happily re enacted the Titanic old people dying in bed scene (whoops sorry your duvet got so wet and spitty there, Bob) in our little cabin and then spent an hour putting on make up. Ready for duty free now. That's where the disco is at FYI. We decided the best way to get duplicate free testers of Dooleys at the duty free counter was to flirt with the cashier. A little too successfully as soon we had a napkin with his room number on it.. Uhoh. Time to leave. By now a female staff member had started following us round incase we were shoplifting. Seeing as we had so much make up on, and so many testers of expensive cleansers at our disposal, we poured an amount of a few different ones into our sticky paws and sealed them up. Then quickly tried to walk back to our cabin.

Apprehended! Suddenly our flirty cashier and another man jumped out at us on deck ten. Oh my gosh. They wanted to help us find our room. I bet they did. We quickened pace, trying to contain the face cleanser in our hand at the same time as drunkenly trying to hide our room from them. This didn't help as then we looked lost. "What's in your hand?" They asked Bob.

Errrrr, drunk face, voice warble, "I cut myself". She's extending her arm away from them with her fist clenched painfully and making eyes as if she's dying. Drips of blue liquid shimmering from under her finger tips. Maybe she's blue blooded. "Let's see?" He makes a grab.

"Err no it's ok". She's practically convulsing out of their grasp by now with desperate eyes like a goldfish trying to breathe. I was still pretending we didn't know where our room was at the same time as Bob was outside it trying to jam the key card in whilst  blue clinique toner seeped from her fake hand wound.  They looked confused.

"So do you want to come for a drink?"

"No, we're too injured", I managed to squeal as I tumbled in on top of Bob.

 "Phew, well done Franny, I probably would have just gone if you hadn't been so firm".

London keeled over

My holiday dived into a good start on Friday when I went swimming with Alex in London Fields Lido. The sun was hot so I could work on my face AND my body whilst lapping no one, the sky was blue, and there was cherry blossom scattering itself down into my eyes making me even more scared of bumping into other swimmers.
There was a raucous group of Polish men who either seemed very uncoordinated or liked trying to touch me in the deep end. The Polish have always been fond of me. They can spot the memory of a winter puffa jacket even under water. I probably smell of down and nylon.

I managed 38 lengths in Alex's 45. In the midlands swimming pool i'd attended recently I'd done 50 in 35 minutes. I complained to Bob later that the water felt thicker in London Fields, and she pointed out that it was probably tight with scenester sperm. Very difficult to doggy paddle through.

Half way through swimming Alex joined me at the side and apologised for it not being a very social activity. But I didn't mind. I kept forgetting where I even was. I would come to when a suspiciously fast and aggressive child mowed me down and then realise that I wasn't just in the bath. "Oh HI again Alex, I forgot you were here, drown face, sad face, see you in another two lengths".

Friday, 3 May 2013

Below is guest blog by Rosie 'funnier than her sister' Harkness

(One) Sweet Tooth

This is Sam - he's 162 years old (not dog years I might add- real time.) He only has one (snaggle) tooth left and unfortunately this means his tongue lolls attractively out of the other side of his mouth at all times. He doesn't do much with his days - just naps in his basket by the aga and occasionally is sick or urinates all over himself and his bedding just to keep us on our toes. To be honest, I know how he feels. How many times have I been nice and warm in bed and needed to get up to go to the toilet? We've all been there! All you want to do is wet the bed. I recounted this story to Fran and she said she did it once. Of COURSE you did.

I've had kind kind offers from my uncle and boyfriend to 'finish him off for you'and 'stop him making that howling noise forever' but I've had to decline this sweetness because HE'S A LIVING CREATURE AND I DON'T BELIEVE WE SHOULD KILL THINGS JUST BECAUSE THEY GET OLD. My boyfriend's great aunt is being of some trouble to his family. Maybe I should offer my services?

Anyway, I'm rambling. I need to tell you about the culinary challenge that's afoot. Like all oldies, Sam is a bit off his food. Now, normally he gets given dog biscuits and maybe a bit of cat food if he's been really good. But lately he won't eat anything and he's lost 0.05kg as a result. Please don't scoff - he only weighs about 2.5kg in total (did I not mention that he's tiny? I once got asked why I had a rat on a lead!) My challenge now is to try and find some appetising food for my darling.

I tried:
Cut up bits of mackerel - not interested
Mushed up fish pie leftovers - not even a sniff of interest
Slices of boiled egg -  a disdainful look.

But now I have cracked it. First I dissolved a lot of sugar in some hot water, then added milk. Then I crushed a digestive in there and smeared on some Honey. Finally I crumbled a muffin on top. And you know what - he loved it! My boy has a sweet single tooth!!

Unfortunately an hour later I found him next to a pile of creamy looking sick. But I was delighted to see that he had got up and was re-eating it! Eating the sick!
Now if that's not the highest compliment for any chef I don't know what is!


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wash out

I volunteered for the North Chingford Lifeboats' collecting day. Very bravely I might add. I had no idea that I'd end up so at sea.

It started off a nice Sunny day when my old pal Mrs Tinkler picked me up to start our two hours bucket collection. "Where are the buckets?", she said. Oh. I jumped ship and went inside to look. Granny had left me two buckets, and two strong yellow coats. Later I would be glad they were oil cloth.

After about two hours I'd grown tired of waiting outside the post office practising my coy face. Margaret didn't seem to be having much luck over the road outside the garden centre either. I'd been curious to see who would win. Cute old lady or unusually friendly young woman. Neither it seemed were floating North Chingford's boat.

Whilst I was holding a woman's muzzled dog so she didn't have to tie him up whilst she waited for ten hours in the post office queue, an elderly man grizzled up to me. "I would you know, but I already donate to the animals." "That's fine with me, I can see you would want to go home anyway to rest those sores on your face. Donate from the comfort of your phone."
He was such a tease. He would walk away, give me a sideways wicked look and then stumble back for some more conversation about whether you would be more sad to lose your eyes or your legs. His dentist yesterday had suggested legs and he'd called her a silly bitch. Apparently eyes are much more useful. He pointed out to me that I couldn't be doing this collecting now if I didn't have any eyes. Unfortch it was so cold by now that my encouraging smile had frozen on to my face,

"I bet you like James Bond." "Hmm.." "Not the modern one though." " Sean?" I ask. He nods, "Yeahhh." Knowing look. Twinkle. He knows my type.
"I was at the beach in Hasting by myself. I won't tell you why". Dramatic pause. "And this James Bond sort comes on to the beach. It's rough out there but he tells me he can handle it. I fall asleep. When I wake up I'm..." "Sleepy?", I volunteer." "Yeahhhhh. I don't know where I am for some moments." Tell me about it. "And then I notice this guy's pile of clothes still on the stones next to me. I peer into the sea. There's what looks like a beach ball..."He searches for corrective adjective. "Bouncing?" "Yeahhhhhh. Bouncing on the surface of the sea." "So I call the Lifeboats. And then I get a letter sometime later, because I left my contact details, informing me the man had died."

I'm not sure whether that's a tear rolling down my face or his spitty spray on my cheek.

"I wished I had no eyes that day."