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Dansak .. February 26, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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The coffee point at my work is a gathering place. It’s an open plan office and there are sofa and tables a plenty for people to kick back. About four or five years ago, there was a large switch in how my company resourced IT development and the bulk of the actual work switched to India. Subsequently, the numbers of onshore resource from India rocketed and there is now a fairly large contingent of Indian staff in sleepy Suffolk.

The best thing about this is the trend for communal lunchtimes where the aroma of various curry dishes is a sight for the senses .. I am not a huge lover of Curry, and, seeing as most of my enquiries as to what one item was over another proved incorrect, I am not much of an expert, but this is as close to genuine indian cookery as I have ever been .. and it’s very impressive. It all seems leaps ahead of your average pissed and proud curry house .. I’m guessing the alcohol might have something to do with those menu options though. I am being educated too .. I can now spot Rogan Josh from 5 paces ..

250px-chicken_tikka_jalfrezi.jpgI tend to socialise with friends at lunchtimes, but not on the scale of ‘why dont we each cook something, bring it into work and all sit round a table and share … share … at lunchtime .. there more likely to be a fight over who’s turn it is to buy creme eggs at the coffee shop than us actually sharing food ..

We obviously need to progress multi cultural Britain a further notch before we see such advancement ..

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Velcro Stripper Pants .. February 26, 2007

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More searchs that headed my way over the weekend .. ‘Velcro stripper pants’ .. it wasn’t me honest ??!!

Worf .. February 26, 2007

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worf.jpgLaughter lines is a very cute and nobel term for the aging process. I bet even miserable buggers who never laugh call them laughter lines. So what phraseology can we draw on when you wake up on a Sunday morning and the wrinkles on your forehead have morphed with the laughter lines around your eyes?! Laughter Circles?

I have a learned friend, a few years my senior, who wakes up every morning with a face like a cotton shirt left to dry au naturel in the mid day sun .. it eventually uncreases itself around mid morning, but provides endless amusement for the spectator.. Thankfully, at the moment at least, this was a one off, but no doubt the sign of things to come .. woo hoo ..

On a bad day, pre 9.30am, I could soon take part as an extra in Star Trek without make up .. <sigh>

Soup Sir .. February 20, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.
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I have joined the smug self righteous middle classes that buy large quantities of organic vegetables and yet still search out cheap air flights for city breaks at an alarming rate. My carbon footprint might not be entirely positive, but I am working on it. I had my first vegetable ‘Box’ delivered stock full of things that I might raise an eyebrow to in the supermarket* .. and boy was ita fun experience ..

The pinnacle was reached tonight when I persuaded my 8 Year Old Son, who considers anything that does not contain E numbers and Glucose to be the work of a lower life form, to eat a rather large helping of Vegetable soup, containing Cabbage, Broccoli, Parsnip, Aubergine, Basil, Onion, Tomato and Chilli !! Woh .. count them .. there’s no five a day living in this household, we can eat cakes and choc ices for a week now ..

There was even a neighbourhood call out that brought in 3 visitors to try out ‘Vegetables in a soup that actually taste really nice!’ .. Plus we only have to wait till Thursday before the next delivery .. it’s like Santa digging in the dirt ..

* aka satan’s lair for anyone that reads the Ecologist ..

I love you Hilary .. February 16, 2007

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I know the news is all about Barrack and lets be honest, it’s looking good for the guy & he wants to get out of Iraq .. but .. I read a brilliant peice of one line genius from Hilary Clinton this week …

160px-hillary_rodham_clinton.jpgThe former first lady pulled over into a Petrol station, miles from anywhere, and the attendant was an ex-high school sweetheart of hers. After the greeting and surprise, the attendant says “Just think. if you had married me, you would be the wife of a gas station attendant now”.

Hilary hits back with “No!” … “If I had married you, you would be the President of the USA”.

Genius …

Almonds & Artichokes .. February 15, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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Valentines went really well & I have to say I really got into the cooking part. I hate mess in the kitchen and it bugs me how some people seem to create a mess inversely 120 times proportional to the size of food that results. How does that happen*?! Yesterday was however caution to the wind and I was juggling saucepans and baking trays like a Jamie Oliver on Amphetamines .. which probably isn’t too far from the truth..

Until yesterday I hadn’t even heard of ‘Croustade’, but it worked very well, even though I say so myself and whilst all such acts are selfish for one’s own pleasure, it was also suitably appreciated ..

* I think it is a female gene, but I have no scientific evidence

Nervous Valentine .. February 13, 2007

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I am putting it upon myself to ‘do the right thing’ & cook this Valentines. The relationship being mere weeks old, the chance for me to get out the vanilla candles & silver napkin rings is too great to resist .. oh but what to cook ..

There are a million and one www sites telling what to do, and I just wanted one of those Dave Gorman Googlewhack things where I’m pointed at the one that tells me once and only once ..

Wish me well ..

Waiting Room .. February 13, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Music, Reviews.
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joe.jpgLast night I took a trip to Norwich to see Joe Lally at the Arts Centre. I love the Arts Centre, it being a fairly regular focal point to my teens and early twenties. It was a full rush of nostalgia walking in there last night, I could even picture the 21 year old me getting everyone to sing happy birthday (to me) from the balcony in the bar room.

It was also life affirming meeting up with some old Norwich friends that I hadn’t seen in an age. The times change from them being dope smoking punks to dope smoking Phd graduate teachers, but the backdrop remains the same and it was very nice catching up on tales – more appreciation for Architecture and the Russian revolution though than the latest jade Tree  SoCal punk trio.. It is fair to say that some characters stay with you for life – I don’t think I will ever forgot those guys, they manage to make me laugh just walking in the room ..

The gig itself was pretty low key. Joe looked uneasy being the front man. The tunes were bass heavy (there was no guitar), Jazz subtlety almost, but engaging and lyrically thought provoking. Fugazi it was/is not – the irony brought to the fore by Simon Goober reminding me that when Fugazi first played over here, people would be asking ‘do they sound like Minor Threat?’ .. its the kind of thing that would grow with familiarity, but worth checking out .. I was however convinced that he broke into the first two lines of Waiting Room on more than one occasion ..

Holiday Hair .. February 11, 2007

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.
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The kids arrived on Friday & from just within my periphery vision I watched them get out of the car .. something caught my eye .. G had what car manufacturers would call ‘vivid blue’ hair & D a shade that might be described as ‘Candyfloss Red’ in the Dulux adverts .. Donna had been busy ..

They were both very pleased with their new colouring and delight in the fact that I wouldn’t choose to coulour their hair .. it’s alomost like having free rebel points as I pretty neutral on the subject, but find it quite cool that recognise it as a form of rebellion ..

Watching G play in goal for his football team in the pouring rain was pretty funny, the ‘vivid’ blue streaking effect running down his face suggested that the dye was only semi permanent – it may have put off the opposition!

I was briefly suspended from school in my teens for being outrageous enough to have my hair cut short .. imagine that .. the irony of the moment was being told by a near completely bald deputy head that I needed to stay home till my hair grew was almost too much to take .. I did think about suggesting he did the same, but it seemed a step too far at the time ..

I remember having to be at home for a couple of weeks and whilst I don’t remember discussing it in detail with my parents, I sensed they were not best pleased. I visited my Mum today and was chatting about hair styles in light of D’s Red Mowhawk invading her front room .. it turns out that both my Dad and her were pissed off, but not at me, at the school .. my Dad’s line being that if I had broken the law it would be different .. I was really touched to hear that. Although left leaning politically, my Dad was fairly Conservative in his later years, and it was great to hear that he went to see the school and gave them ‘a piece of his mind’ on my behalf ..

I never discussed it with him, and had always assumed it was parental disapproval that resulted in the silence, but it appears it was history repeating in reverse .. I await the calls from high school regarding my/our kids hair styles and claims on independence .. I may be in need of new soap box for Xmas ..

Treadmill .. February 9, 2007

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I’ve been volunteered for a half marathon later this year .. woo hoo .. well to be honest that wasn’t my first reaction! I kicked off the training plan this week with a 2 days of treadmill action <gulp> this isn’t going to be easy ..