Tuesday, 26 June 2007

elders not wiser

I'm quite getting into my stride with this blogging business. It's great - if no one wants to listen to my ramblings, it doesn't matter. I just write it here and fling it into cyberspace. Here's today's...
We all know that language evolves - and so it should, it's an organic thing.
Yet when something new arrives it makes me bristle. I just want to yell: "It's not a word like that. It's not that part of speech. Stop it."
We managed fine at the hairdresser before 'product' started to be a noun to refer to any goop you put on your hair. Previously we had 'gel', 'spray', 'mousse' or 'Brylcreem' depending.
I suppose it just became impossible to invent new words quick enough to keep pace with the gurus of goop.
I came across another one today. 'Elders' used to refer collectively to older people.
As in "we had to explain how we would encourage elders to use internet technology in a safe and secure environment" for something that happened on Silver Surfers' Day.
Now, I'd probably bet that one of the 'elders' (who in this instance are over 50) would cheerfully stuff a keyboard down the throat of that patronising person.
But having written news stories and press releases featuring the more mature members of society, 'elders' will come in damn handy.
It's inaccurate to write 'old age pensioners' especially as they might, under 65, not be pensioners, ditto grannies. 'The elderly' makes them sound like they've got one foot in the proverbial. 'Old folk', simply yuk. 'Wrinklies', 'crinklies' and 'coffin dodgers' won't do.
We'll be stuck with 'elders' I fear, it's just too useful.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Barbecued monkfish

They were chunky and juicy and wrapped in basil and palma ham. Absolutely delicious and far prettier than the picture. We were at our friend's new house and managed to squeeze a sneaky BBQ in before the deluge.
Actually it probably wouldn't have mattered as the exceptionally snazzy new barbecue had a lid. Don't suppose we'd have all fitted under though.
The day started with G&T and monkfish and moved through tea and cake, Trivial Pursuit (the girls won, by the way... again) and on to the rock guitar telly game thing.
A lovely weekend in good company and even the children were quite pleasant - ours not theirs, theirs is a year-old, chubby bundle of grins.
Came away with a mild case of house envy...

living in a fabric conditioner advert

At the moment my life is one long Lenor ad. I am very very happy with my new washing machine - it gets things clean, they smell nice and they dry quickly. Eventually, I zealously believe, the eczema will go too.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

in a spin

We're expecting a new arrival here soon. I'm very excited, although no one else seems to be quite so enthusiastic.
I've bought a new washing machine and it comes tomorrow. That means things will be clean and lovely first time round.
In fact, I'm absolutely sure that the boys will be much much more thrilled by the presence of a vast cardboard box.
Still it'll make my day in a really-should-get-out more kind of way.

caesar salad

Hurray for me - the Yorkshireman ate salad last night.
I did have to put some sausage in it, but it was cold and some of it was green so it was technically salad.
Although the notion that because it's salad it must be healthy doesn't really apply to Caesar salad - parmesan, olive oil, anchovies, crutons. The lettuce is only there to stop it being soup.

Monday, 18 June 2007

All I can say is ow

I did the Edinburgh Moonwalk on Saturday night with my sister and my friend. I'd been dreading it and, by the time we got to the end, I understood that it was a perfectly reasonable dread.
Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic event and the more we can do to raise money and awareness about breast cancer the better. But.
Don't forget to do your training.
It's a very long way and it'll hurt if you don't practice - dozy cow.

Friday, 15 June 2007

smoked makerel pate

Makerel pate to go with garlic bread out of a packet
I am still enamoured of the new food processor K gave me for my 40th birthday which accounts for why most things currently are milled, mashed, grated or juiced.
Anyhow, the garlic bread - horrid low fat stuff - was approaching d-day and I really don't like throwing food away. So I suggested to K that we should have garlic bread and dips and stuff for supper.
He was outraged (well slightly less outraged than he was at my first suggestion that we have proper caesar salad). I suppose it's only fair to say that he's five days into giving up smoking, is coming down with a cold and has almost painted the house. This means that he feels he deserves a little treat and salad is not a treat for a Yorkshireman.
While the what'll we have for supper debate trundled to its inevitable halt outside the takeaway curry shop we cooked the bread and I made smoked makerel pate to go with it. It's kind of necessary as it's revolting on its own.
And now I'm too full for curry.

Kitchen sync

Look, it's my blog I can do what I like. So I've decided to blog about what I cook and eat.
OK it is just a self-indulgent food diary with adjectives, but I don't care. If you don't like it, blog off somewhere else.
The book group I'm in read Nigel Slater's lovely Toast recently and I was struck by how effective food is a memory aid.
So, sorry Nigel, I know you had the idea first, but I didn't think you'd mind.
When I think back I can usually remember what we ate at most of the significant moments of my life - right back to what was for supper the night my parents told us they were splitting up. Sweet and sour chicken, if you're interested.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

good idea

We're going to build an extension. It'll be fab, all new and tidy.
It all started with a bit of bog envy. We really need a downstairs cludgy. There are four of us and some how we all seem to want to go at once and some of us take ages. And.. it would be so nice not to share facilities with three boys.
So when K and I got married last October we asked everyone to help us pay for a lovely shiny new lavvy in the cupbourd under the stairs. Right here in fact.
No, I don't blog in the bog. That plan changed with yet another attempt at work-life-balance and me flinging myself into freelancing.
So H Potter was evicted from the cupboard under the stairs and I moved in.
Now I quite like it here and the Fabulous News and Copy Agency is going swimmingly, but it is a tad on the cosy side and the problem of the puddlesome piddlers and ponderous pooing still remain.
New plan. Let's turn the garage into a deluxe new home for the FNCA with ensuite dodah. Hurrah. Easy peasy.
A builder chap who lives up the road as been to have a look and he reckons it's not such a big job - not once all the garbage in the garage has been hoofed anyway.
He said he'd get his mate the architect to call and he can draw us up some super plans...
Well that was last week and I tried to call the builderchapwholivesuptheroad and the number isn't recognised.
Oh well.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The final birthday bow

That's it - all the birthday fun is over except for scratching the midge bites.
It's been fantastic and I am really chuffed that I have such lovely friends and family.
The last round of the oldageathon was a weekend at the Barn in Borrowdale.
We used to visit the Barn as kids - my previous visit was probably more than 30 years ago. It seemed to have got smaller in the meantime.
I also don't remember the Lake District being quite so eye-wateringly lovely...

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Racism bad - sexism ignored

Oh yes, we're in for a huge hooha about racism on Big Brother. Emily said a forbidden and shocking word. She shouldn't have done it and BB had no choice but to sling her oot. Fair enough. More likely she is guilty of being unpleasant and stupid than racist.
However, last night I was much more bothered by what I watched on the other side. My husband - who cares about these things - insisted I watched The Apprentice as it's nearly the end. (Thank the lord, this series has been running for most of the past decade it seems)
None of the people on it are very nice and they are all going through the longest and most elaborate job interview in the history of the world, since last time.
I quite warmed to Katie Hopkins. I thought she was a sensible sort of woman from what I saw over the top of my crossword.
Husband didn't agree - said she was putting it on. Although it's hard to see what you'd be hiding to put on such a show of sensible. Anyhow, as I keep telling him, it's only light entertainment telly and none of it is properly real.
But I was bothered by how closely Katie and the other woman, whose name I didn't bother with, were questioned about their children, childcare and plans for breeding. None of the men were.
I was especially uncomfortable when Katie was asked what her priority was and she said "my children". That was pounced upon as if she'd admitted she was a bit fuzzy in the head due to all the baking she'd been doing lately.
If she didn't say her children were the most important things in her life she'd have been villified for being a callous bitch.
In a nutshell that two minutes of light entertainment summed up the whole women-at-work subtle sexism thing. We all love our kids the very most in the world, but that doesn't stop us doing a good, reliable and ambitious job at work.
In fact often we're better at our jobs because we have so much to organise and it just makes life easier to get it right first time.
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