Sunday, 17 January 2010

Weekly Barrel Scrape, sorry, Review

I haven't done a weekly review for ages, so I'll give it a shot. See what dregs I can conjure up. I should warn you I am multitasking, half-heartedly trying to throw tennis balls for the weepette from my bed without hitting anything important. I have no cultural matters to opine on, and I have mainly eaten crème caramels or toast, so there won't be recipes (ha! Belgian Waffle recipes: Take bread. Toast. Butter. Eat. Remove Bonne Maman from fridge, remove foil top, eat.). I am impossibly, insanely lazy. January had better end soon before I meld into this mattress any further. I am fast becoming a formless white blob of bedding.


Drawing a blank here. Selective memory syndrome. Hang on, let me pull up the doubtless extensive gchat with brain twin... No, nothing. God this is like doing timesheets. I can tell you M made a Victoria Sponge and Hainanese chicken and that I discussed brainless corporate slogans with Mrs Trefusis. Sounds like a full and frank day.


Watched 24 with the CFO in the evening in a bizarre simulacrum of our previous life. Jack Bauer is looking good. The CFO is looking thin and I am looking lame. I mean, properly, physically lame, not just mentally lame as usual.


I am a crap, not terribly conscientious babysitter to my own children. Thankfully they are used to substandard parental care from me and we are at least rather delighted to see each other on a Papa week.


I go shopping. This is distinctly not allowed, but my tax rebate makes me reckless. I buy a Nespresso machine, signing myself up to their lunatic cult. I love it, guiltily, deliciously. It is cute, small, red and efficient and makes perfectly reasonable coffee. I no longer have to pass for a cultural simpleton, offering effete tea when workmen come round. I have coffee. Ouf. (I told you it wouldn't be up to much. This is the best I can do, OK?). I also buy new scent I am distinctly unsure about.

In the evening I go Out. This is sufficiently rare to be worthy of comment. We are aiming to go to Chez Maman, Brussels's premier transvestite lipsynching cabaret venue, but are aghast to find it shut. Instead we end up in a horrible, tiny dive enticingly called 'Homo Erectus'. There is some form of drag act, but the clientele are so compellingly horrible, it's more entertaining to watch them. Finally conceding defeat, we wander back through the Grand Place, sliding on the rain greased cobbles. It looks very pretty. I never see these bits of Brussels, on my rat runs from rainy Uccle to rainy office.


I am a little unwell (hem hem) and spend much of the day curled in a ball. However my FIRE arrives causing the weather to instantly warm up by 5°. I boil myself gently to death in my bed by not knowing how to turn the fire off.


After a dull, rainy, drudgery filled day I get to kick back and go into town in a daft dress and heels. I discover that Czechs eat coypus, which are, disturbingly, like baby Dr Capybaras, that Zurich has a burlesque scene, and that something about the combination of steak frites, gin and tonic and poultry themed bars makes me faint. I recover from my dorky fainting fit, gathering dust on the bar floor to rally Chez Maman, where dubious quality "travelottes" alternate with cheap and cheerful disco. There is approximately a square centimetre of space per patron. Cosy. It's a very late night full of gin and enormous but entertaining cloakroom queues.


Feeling delicate. I clear up dog related carnage in my nightie, cursing, and go to the Brasseries Georges with Prog Rock where the mere sight of steak frites makes me have a funny turn. He tells me about new poetry phenomena he has been reading about in Le Monde Diplomatique, one of which he claims is called "The Vroum Vroum" and involves falling downstairs. I am comprehensively puzzled. He is merciful and only starts one sentence with "In Eugene Onegin.." He even takes the weepette for a totter round the block for me. I go back to bed. The Catholics torment me and my lifestyle choices with constant drilling and the Jackson 5 (eh?).

Oh god, I've bored myself into submission. Go on, tell me about your week. Or better still, suggest a recipe. One that I can make from bed, ideally. Remember, I have FIRE.


Artichoke Queen said...


2 digestive biscuits
1 2" square of poor quality chocolate
1 large marshmallow

Toast marshmallow over FIRE. Place chocolate square on a digestive biscuit. Place smooshy marshmallow on top, and top with second digestive. In America, we call these S'mores (as in "may I have s'more) and they are ACE.

Laurel said...

Did I miss the explanation of the FIRE? Because I am very curious about what it is, and where you got it. If it is not in your fireplace, as the photo makes it appear, it looks like the sort of thing they would not let you have in the U.S. even if you signed a dozen legal releases. Therefore, also very appealing.

M. said...

I don't know why I'm bothering doing this, because you already know most of it.

Monday: Hmmm. Nope. Can't remember anything. Except the victoria sponge was flat as a pancake, and the freezer is now full of chicken rice.

Tuesday: back to school with a perma headache. Debilitating mixture of assessments, and getting the students to "map the industry", whatever the fuck that means, while post-its refuse to stay stuck on the wall. A lot of cursing and muttering ensues. Realize half way through the session that the lights aren't working. Give up.

Wednesday: school day again. I volunteer to make DVD instead of more mind numbing assessments. I get chatted up by bald electrician. "I make films in my spare time. It's not like I have anything else to do. I don't have children or anything." Riiiight.

Thursday: my condescending arse of an accountant explains to me, in very slow, smily language, that I made a profit this year. All £450 of it. Sadly, I have already spent it on shoes and frivolous trips to Paris instead of my enormous taxbill. I ignore the urge to kick him in the teeth. Afternoon work-prep meeting makes me die a little bit inside. I discover the joys of Mario Kart.

Friday: a minor disagreement over fridge magnets deteriorates into full blown door banging. I sob.

Saturday: I cycle through sheets of broken, floating ice, in large puddles of ice cold water. More Mario Kart. I discuss the classification of pubes (short and straight = active sex life, long and curly = no nookie).

Sunday: nap. Utterly fail to tackle long list of to dos. Also fail to give a shit.

Recipe: chop bananas into bowl. Pour condensed milk over it. I call it "bananes au lait concentré". Or just squeeze tube straight into mouth.

Lisa-Marie said...

I want the fire thing! Is it actually outside the fireplace? I bet my landlord would hate it.


Big bar of good chocolate
Strawberries,marshmallows,biscuits, fudge, other stuff that goes with chocolate.

melt chocolate in pot/cup/dish thing
sit pot on potstand/tea-towel/pillow
dip yummy things in it.

Alternatively, toast yummy brioche on the fire and dip it in the melted chocolate.

Veronica Wald said...

1 jar of overly-sweetened American peanut butter (crunchy is best)
1 bag of Nestle's chocolate chips (speaking of poor quality chocolate)
1 large spoon
Those are the ingredients. Do you really need directions?

truestarr said...


* Can of Fruit Cocktail
* Rum

Open can of chilled fruit cocktail, drain juice from can (keeping fruit that hasn't escaped, after tipping can and not keeping the lid in place) Put fruit in bowl. Add rum. Cover bowl and carry to bedroom. Bring spoon.

(may add chunks of cake to soak up juices.)


livesbythewoods said...

Monday. Spend day progressively feeling sicker and sicker, develop chills and fever, take to bed at 6pm. Spend entire night vomiting in a violent and hellish manner, or having to visit the bathroom for unspeakable sordid ailment-related stuff. Husband makes notes of symptoms for when he has to call ambulance. Ambulance not called, however.

Tuesday. Remain in bed, less vomiting, but more bathroom-intensive Other Things going on. Drink as much water as can hold down or hang onto. Fever subsides by nightfall.

Wednesday. Still in bed. Still having recurring nightmarish bathroom visits. Still trying to drink water, also Lucozade. Turn TV on and watch Starksy and Hutch with one eye from bed.

Thursday. Get out of bed at noon and have a shower and wash hair. Put clean pyjamas on and get back into bed. Watch Star Trek, then more Starsky and Hutch. Both eyes used, an improvement. Feel as though death may not be imminent after all.

Friday. Get out of bed and put clothes on. Eat a banana. Put washing in the machine, have to go and have a lie down afterwards. Have huge ineffectual weeping fit about fucking useless health and lack of since early December. Pull self together, drink water, watch Starsky and Hutch, eat plain boiled rice. Retain rice. A big improvement. Feel as though life may in fact be worth living.

Saturday. Almost back to normal, barring short-lived but agonizing pains in the stomach and guts intermittently. Eat pasta and fruit in the evening, and feel like proper human being again.

Sunday: Watch the grand sausage-making shennanigans in the garage, and make celebratory spaghetti bolognese. Physical symptoms gone, appetite returning, ability to laugh about previous week developing.

Recipe suggestion: Cocktail sausages toasted on a long fork, with a selection of dips (ketchup, honey mustard, mayonnaise etc) in small elegant dishes close to hand. Bread, wine, ta-daa, dinner is served.

J. said...

Recipe: take a sharp implement. Impale a marshmallow onto the end of the sharp implement. Shove the marshmallow end of the implement into the fire, until the marshmallow catches fire. Remove, and watch the marshmallow's outer layer turn into a crispy carbon coating while the inside melts into delicious goo (toasting is for suckers). Allow to cool briefly, then eat it. Repeat until you are nauseous or run out of marshmallows, whichever comes first.

Ellie said...

Take one jar nutella. Spoon optional.

ptooie said...

melt chocolate over FIRE. Add dash of alcohol to make chocolate smooth.
whip up some whipping cream.
blend above ingredients, gently if possible. (adding vanilla &/or butter instead of alcohol is good if you will be forced to share with children.)

please, can anyone help explain "ouf!" to me?? My father went to Paris and brought me a bizarre zipper-pull thing that says it, and did not explain it to a point I understood it at all.

Margaret said...

Ptoiee: I thought it was the sound you make when you get socked in the solar plexus. I will try your recipe for breakfast as soon as the husband leaves for work.

curlywurlyfi said...

Toast can be made with new fire, no?

Anonymous said...

Monday - interview
Tuesday - interview
Wednesday - interview
Thursday - in a fit of self pity I bought a hugely expensive bag with the forbidden credit card, shoes, boots and insanely expensive make up and moisturiser, the packaging of which made me feel instantly better and 10 years younger.
Friday - interview, followed by many many lovely cocktails which led me to drop my guard and confess purchases to husband in a glow of drunken optimism. He. went. mad. Much sobbing and slamming with increasingly nasty recriminations ensued. He left for the States yesterday and it's probably for the best.

pinolona said...

Do you have a sandwich toaster? We used to do all kinds of sinful things with ours at uni. I recommend chopped Mars bar. Or crunchy peanut butter, honey, banana and cinnamon. Mmm...

Madame DeFarge said...

My week was spent in an orgy of self indulgence, passing an exam, grumbling about work, doing things I shouldn't and generally avoiding the ironing. It's the last that makes me the happiest.

WrathofDawn said...

Entire week spend fighting the Head Cold of Doom. *HONK!* Survived near drowning with Neti pot. Grudgingly admit that semi-drowning makes sinuses feel better. Remember nothing else.

Léonie said...

My week involved nearly having my hair cut, nearly doing some exercise and nearly cutting all bread out of my diet.

I also nearly didn't drink, smoke or torment the cat. A veritable success.

Recipe idea: look at FIRE. Take 1 phone, call takeaway. Instruct deliveryman to climb up side of house, wrench open window, deliver food and rifle through your purse until he finds the appropriate amount of money. He can take a bit more if he also delivers a. cutlery and b. gin.

Jaywalker said...

Léonie, I think you are actually living in my brain, because that's exactly the thought that was formulating.

mme defarge - félicitations!

ptooie - ouf is multi-meaning. It's an expression of relief, like 'phew'. But it's also 'fou' backwards, and slang for kerazy.

LBTW - there, there. Better now.

Rest of you: I like all your recipes. I might even try some of them even though I think the fire booklet might disagree. Mmmmmm.