A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Brown eyes...

Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom

What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart
What a day this is going to be! Two little words "Brown eyes" and a song is wedged in my head for the rest of the day!
Mind you it is a song that I like very much!
Hey where did we go,
Days when the rains came
Down in the hollow,
Playin' a new game,
Laughing and a running hey, hey
Skipping and a jumping In the misty morning fog with
Our hearts a thumpin' and you
My brown eyed girl,
You my brown eyed girl.
Do you remember when we used to sing,
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da
And they are...Noisette by the way!

My Eyes have changed to Green this afternoon!

How Etrange!

Your eyes reflect: Striking attractiveness and danger
What's hidden behind your eyes: A vivid inner world

Friday, April 28, 2006

Algerian Haggis...

Does anyone remember Colonel Gaddafi, in the Eighties, advance the preposterous claim that Shakespeare was an really Arab poet who went by the original name of “Sheik El Zubeir”?

Was he being serious at the time?

After all there are many instances in which expressions have travelled great distances to end up being assimilated into a new language to such an extent that careful investigation is required to establish their true origin.
For example, everyone knows that the Chess term "Checkmate" comes from the Arab/Persian "Sheikh matt..." which literally means "The leader/Elder has died..."

With a little bit of twist, one can prove anything these days, when it comes to the true origins of peoples, words or things.

And this is where Algerian Haggis comes in!

Do not snigger because there is a region in Northern Algeria where the main musical instrument is the bagpipes. This is a true fact!

Many British people, especially the English turn their noses up at haggis, whereas moi, Je l'adore!
Now, does that not prove that I was weaned on the most flavoursome food item one can conjure up out of sheep’s innards?

Every year, throughout the Muslim world, the morning of the Eid El Adha festival, thousands of sheep are slaughtered in honour of Abraham.
In Algeria, one of the most prized dishes is “Osbana". Osbana sounds less revolting than Haggis. Haggis echoes the same reverberation as a wet sneeze and invokes associated taste and discomfort.

Osbana and haggis use the same parts of the sheep and those are, in no preferential order, lung, liver, heart and stomach. Where Osbana shines and Haggis fades away is in the taste. Cumin, coriander and chilli are the main spices that give Osbana its superior exotic flavour. Fried onion and garlic are mixed with the finely chopped lung, liver, heart and spices. This mixture, once cooled down, is bound together with breadcrumbs and egg and then stuffed into a purse made with the thoroughly cleaned stomach.

A final expert stitch will ensure that the contents remain inside during cooking. This round ball is ceremoniously placed into a deep pot then slowly poached in a delicious sauce made using the same spices with the subtle addition of a little tomato. Two hours of gentle and loving simmering turn the seemingly unappetising guck into a delicacy fit for kings.

The story is that my great-great-grandfather once met a ginger-haired travelling troubadour with a funny habit of rolling his r’s. He wore a thick skirt adorned with a hairy pouch that protected his crotch and a funny hat with a pompom on top. He happened to be cruising the Mediterranean in search of inspiration.
True to his legendary Algerian generosity and hospitality, my ancestor invited the bard for lunch and, as it happened to be a festival, Osbana was on the “Menu du Jour”.

The foreign fellow, who went by the name of Rabbi Barnes, was so delighted with the meal that he pestered begged his host for the recipe. It was duly translated almost word for word, except that for copyright purposes, the spices were cunningly missed out.

The bard tried his best to coax my great-great-grandfather to impart with the secret spice mix but he mischievously replied: “Have a guess!”

Once back home in Bonny Scotland, this Rabbi Barnes turned out to be none other than Robbie Burns, the great Scottish poet.
He invited the local gentry to taste his find and when questioned as to the origin, the name of this new dish and its ingredients he simply replied: “Have a guess!” which, when spoken fast, in his Scottish mother tongue sounded like “haggis”!
Try it yourselves and you’ll see it rings true! "hav' guess"..."ha' guess"..."haggis"...

And that’s why I can positively say, without reserve that, Haggis may well have originated in Algeria.

After all, if Gaddafi can pinch Shakespeare from the English, what harm could I cause by borrowing a little Haggis from the Scots?

My intention is not to denigrate haggis, which I truly love. I am merely trying to show that, using true sounding arguments, any TRIPE can be turned into virtual reality!

I rest my case!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cool, calm customer service....

An award should go to the Virgin Airlines gate Attendant in Sydney some months ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after Virgin's 767s had been withdrawn from service. A single attendant was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travellers.

Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it HAS to be FIRST CLASS".

The attendant replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address microphone: "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please," She began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal.
"We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "F... You!"

Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too!”

I love it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Saturday Night Skive...

Casa del Mar. Last Saturday night 9.30pm. Our young team is flying!

Three months! Since we opened Casa!
Time flies when you're having fennel!

Good food, Good Atmosphere, Wine, Friends! Everyone having a great time!

But guess where I went just after taking these photos?

...Yes to my favourite Chinese restaurant for a quiet meal with the owner.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday in Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors...

Whitby is famous for its Abbey but most of all its "Fish and Chips"...

The Magpie Café is the most popular fish restaurant in Whitby and as you can judge by this queue on an ordinary Monday lunchtime, you can imagine what it is like on Bank Holidays...

The Cod was very fresh and the batter out of this world!
Washed down with tea...

Hutton-le-Hole Beautiful little village with the obligatory stream running down the centre...

If you have an argument, just slip down this yard and wash your dirty linen in public...
I noticed a sign in the café:
"If we can put a man on the moon..
Why can't we put them all there?"
That could put a stop to the arguments!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Lazy Sunny Sunday afternoon

Click on photo to enlarge.

This is the best day we have had for a long time. Must have come all the way from France!

So I went out and took this photo just a few minutes from home!

Lots of spring lambs playing about. I felt so sorry for them I had a cheese sandwich for lunch!
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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Les Whiskers du Chat!

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Henry the knife throwing cat perform an amazing array of tricks...just after he's finished licking the knife clean of smoked salmon...

Henry loves fish!
Bloody spoilt!

He could be in the garden, garage or just lying asleep somewhere.
Even if I cough loudly to hide the sound of a tin of John West being opened or the vac-pac of smoked salmon being torn, I know that the very next minute, Henry will be there panting like a young lad at a lap dancing club (boom boom)

Thursday night, the little s--t (Chat) jumped on the kitchen worktop as soon as he saw me go to open a bottle of wine. I had laid a whole pack of smoked salmon (£1.49 for 100g from Asda) on a plate.

Anyway, I only got the bloody thing because I didn't want the lasses at the till to think that I was a wino. I'd bought two bottles of Chilean Carmenere (Love it!) and the smoked salmon acted as a decoy. "Ah, he's having a social evening!"
If I had bought a wedge of Brie instead they would've thought: "All he needs now is a French stick and some cardboard and he'll surely be spending the night under a bridge!"

You see you have to be cunning with them bloody Asda girls!

Getting back to Henry, as soon as I had my back turned, looking for my Spanish corkscrew, you know, the one with two levers, Amazing! They're good for skinny barmaids or men with limp wrists or Hmmm...just tough guys who want to show off!

As soon as I turned my back, the bugger was on the bench! How the hell did he do it?
How high is a bench? Two foot? Two and a half foot? At his age, (80 in human years) he shouldn't have been able to hop let alone jump that high!

I turned round just as he was flying through the air towards my supper!

One hand on the wine, the other holding the corkscrew, I dived head first and grabbed the plate between my teeth! Actually I shouted so loud he froze in mid-air for a second and then landed on his feet! How do they do it? Every time I fall, I end up on my arse!

The little chat! I thought.

He followed me to the sitting room and watched me wolf the whole thing down leaving nothing but a fishy knife! Actually I made sure I ate very slowly, you should've seen the saliva dripping down his whiskers!
Chat-nese torture!

When I finished I placed the empty plate on the floor. Henry looked everywhere for a scrap of salmon!

Could he hell find any! So the bugger started licking the knife!

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Friday, April 21, 2006

Still no sunshine...

Where has it gone? Far, far, far away!

has tagged me. I must list six random things about myself, and then tag six more victims people. She has instructed me to "First post your six things, then you go to six other blogs and let them know they are tagged and to find the details on your blog."

1- I am daft about my home made mottos such as:

"Holidays are in the head."
"As long as I know!" ...
"I'm more into the content than the container."

2- I've met Kevin Keegan whose Cherrypie's mother dumped. He's dined with us a few times... Your mother made the right choice, Cherry! A guy with a perm!

3- I am always on Cloud Nine and only get off to use the toilet. Don't want to mess the forecast.

4- I snore (I've been told) worse than
Papa did when I was a kid.

5- I hate using a spirit level or a tape measure when putting pictures on walls. Very rarely wonky and if they are, "Who bloody cares!"

6- I won a Tourism SmilE Award (2004) and Steve McLaren (Middlesbrough FC and maybe future England footie manager) came second.

Six poor victims...
Cave Renovator
Chill Daddy
I leave the last one open to anyone who wants to do this tag.

Come on people, send some of your sunshine over here, please!
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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Give me sunshine...

Click on photo to enlarge.

One cold, foggy evening around us...
What is it like wherever you are?

When I am at work (work?) I couldn't care less whether it is raining or snowing!
But when I am at a loose end, weather really rules my moods...
Give me a tiny ray of sunshine and I am flying up to Durham or Newcastle, grabbing a seat by the Quayside, a couple of friends, a cool beer and feeling on top of the world. So easily pleased!

The rest of the time, I just keep my head down

and think of a Smiling facE somewhere far away...

That's my sunshine on a cloudy day!

Have you seen your sunshine lately?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Lapping it up?

Durham 2pm. Any excuse to play truant!

I met up with a friend of mine who manages a tap laptop dancing club in Edinburgh!
"Such an easy operation!" He said. While we ate our Mushroom burgers with goat's cheese and rocket.
"Girls from Eastern Europe, Africa as well as University students are queuing up to dance!
They give the club £100 a night and keep the rest for themselves! Some, he said make £1000 a a night!"

On one of my visits to the Athens of the North my wild young cousin (even wilder than his older cousin) begged dragged led me astray! Actually, I went in willingly to try and understand what makes guys go to these places.
After all, you only have to turn on Channel 5 at 10.30pm and by 11pm there is nothing else for you to learn on the subject.

The whole thing is both funny and sad.

Beautiful girls, (the lighting is subdued) drag subdued young men to a dark corner.
They sit the victim guy on a very uncomfortable Ikea chair and for a tenner (paid for in advance), wriggle in front of him for a couple of minutes maybe three if they like the look of him.

The end result is a poor lad, sweating and panting, his tongue hanging past his belt, happy as a lark and a girl ten pounds richer! Good on you, girl!

It just goes to prove that sex does sell!
Although, in my case, that night it did quite the opposite! It ended up in the red! The Buds (£5 each) had been on the house!

Next time my cousin attempts the same trick, I'll just say:

"Gis a bag of crisps!"

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

La culture...

"La culture, c'est comme de la confiture. Moins on en a, plus on l'étale"
Culture is like jam. The less we have, the more we spread it!

"Les vertus se perdent dans l'intérét, comme les fleuves se perdent dans la mer"
Virtues are lost in self-interest as rivers are lost in the sea.
Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

Ever since I did La Rochefoucauld at school I have come to understand the real meaning of these two maxims.

If one picked an everyday situation and analysed it thoroughly, one would find that one or both of these maxims will apply.
Simply think for a second of, let's say something that happened to you or something you may have come across just yesterday.
Anything whatsoever and you will see that if went right into the nitty-gritty you will be very surprised.

Like this post for example, if I really dissect the reason for it, then I could come up with the following elements:
-I may be bragging that I speak French. (Jam spreading)
-I may be showing off that I did La Rochefoucault at school. (Jam spreading)
-I may be wanting someone to say: "Bloody hell, he's deep!" (Self-interest)
...And so on and so forth.
Another example: if I help a blind person cross the road, what am I doing it for?
-For empathy (Passers-by)

-God is watching me (Self interest)
-For gratitude (The blind man)
-or even for my own satisfaction, a good deed for the day...This too is a bit of self-interest if we had to be really pedantic!

Or if I flatter someone. Am I doing it because I want to make them feel good or just them to like me? Either way, the end result will make ME feel good!

One can't win!
Them French philosophers, they were so bloody clever, weren't they!


Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter Monday Afternoon...

Well I got off my butt and phoned Karen's daughter to see if we could take Evie and Alex out for the day.
Evie insisted on bringing along her Bratz CD...Three hours of Thump-thump-thump... And screeching...

We got in the car and hit the Bank Holiday traffic jams...

Daft people climbing Roseberry Topping (famous hill in Cleveland).

Alex psyching me up with his own version of Purple Fiction. We had some average Pub food:(...

Helmsley (North Yorkshire Market town). The backstreet is very serene and quiet...

...But the town square usually gets invaded by daytrippers and bikers. All in good humour...

I bought these two well-known figures for a couple of pounds. "What windmills?"

Evie posing as usual!

Lazy evening...

Lazy Easter Monday...

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Watching “A Picture of Britain” narrated by David Dimbleby (Vera Lynn in the background with The White Cliffs of Dover), surfing Blogland and trying to decide whether to go for a ride.
Not a bad day out there although rain is forecast for this afternoon.

Evie smiling at me from the top of the telly cabinet...

Just noticed the reflection of the dining room window on the laptop screen!
Another window open!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sixty two languages!

I listened to the Pope's Easter address and he wished a happy Easter to Mongolians, Croatians, Swahilis...
I watched and remembered last July in the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. The square wasn't as busy as today but the queue to the Sistine Chapel was very long. Water sellers made a bomb...a water bomb!

As we neared the Sistine Chapel a lady asked me whether we had reached it.
I joked: "This is the Fifteen. The Sistine is next!" She gave me a very uncatholic look.

It didn't bother me because I am ahteits...paygan not religious. I only went to the Vatican to say "I've been there!"

Today as I listened to the sixty two languages I wondered whether people from those countries would be laughing at the Pope's accent!
Mind you, his French accent was very good although his English had frightening German tones.

I tried Tony's Chinese contraption and it didn't work. So I had another glass of Monte! Slurp!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chinese Takeaway....

Tonight, after floating about around our Marina, in the car, checking on our restaurants, I headed for my favourite Chinese restaurant in town.
It is my favourite because (a) it is never busy before 1am by which time I'm usually at home and (b) Tony, the owner, a Chinese ex-nurse who'd worked in the Seychelles, often orders the best stuff going and sits with me for a late night nibble and waffle!

Tonight we had squid with chilli and spring onions and king prawns in crispy batter for starters then crispy duck with pancakes for main course.

He saw that my neck was giving me some bother so when I was leaving he gave me this contraption with Chinese instructions and promised that it would take away the pain. He explained how it worked. He had used it once after spraining his wrist.

I honestly like Tony and trust his judgment but I made sure that I had a bottle of Montepulciano just for backup!

Tomorrow, I shall give Chinese medicine a go for the first time in my life! Posted by Picasa

On strike...

Today I am going on strike. I don't really mean it!

Last night, between slurps Wendy taught me how to strikethrough words!
I had always wondered, looked for special buttons on the toolbar, my keyboard, under the desk... (I love it!)
Je suis sûr that Wendy won't be upset if I let the cat out and explain how it is done to those who haven't yet disco discovered the joys of strikethrough!

When you're doing the post, go to the 'html' view...find the word you want to strikethrough...example....cream... and you put...< strike > cream< /strike > and hey, presto! I am struck! cream

They say little things please little minds, but for me, as I explained a few posts back, this is one of those tiny victories that make my life amazingly boring interesting!

So there! If any of yous out there happen to have equally fantastically stuff please feel free to pass it on!
It will help while away the hours between Sundays.

In my quest to translate the word Liver into Spanish I discovered a great language site http://www.wordreference.com/ Hìgado, by the way!

Friday, April 14, 2006

I've got the bloody nerve...

Remember my famous trapped nerve?
Well, guess what!

It’s still bloody famous and still a pain in the bloody neck! It has NOT gone away! It has NOT withered away and died!
Two sets of expensive physiotherapists later and it remains a toothache in my shoulder!

Many customers, feeling sorry for me, gave me the names of a dozen massage artists who worked wonders on their trapped nerves, cold shoulders, cheeky chops, frozen shoulders, inflated egos, haemorrhoids (?) yes, all the pain in the arse stuff!
One name kept cropping up! Mr K! I could swear I’d heard the name before!
Of course, it’s that of one of our new recruits! Sixteen year old kitchen porter! The son!

K.Senior is Norwegian! And a trusted physiotherapist! Just a couple days earlier he was dining at one of our restaurants.

Tuesday morning I phone the health centre.
The soonest I can get an appointment: Thursday 20th!

Ten more days of agony!
Mr, K only holds surgeries on Mondays and Thursdays.
“I am dying!” I beg. “Tell him it’s Cream!” (I'll sack his bloody son!)
“I thought I’d recognised your voice!” the receptionist replies.
Honest, that’s what she said!
Can you imagine me making a dirty phone call?
“Oh, yes, that’s right, you’ve got a BIG ONE...but can I book a table for Saturday night?”

“I tell you what,” she says “Give me your mobile number and I’ll ask Mr K. to call you back!”
“I owe you a drink!”
I promise. Not that I know who I’m talking to!

Half an hour later, our Norse friend calls to say that he can see me at 6pm.
Magic or what!

At ten minutes past six, he knows exactly what is wrong with my neck, says that he will fix it and then apologises for wearing jeans!
“You see, I am on a few days’ holiday!”

I suddenly feel as good as if not better than bloody royalty!

You see, I’ve got the bloody nerve!

One week later and:

Update: Personal DNA chart

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Life Journeys....

July 1978.
Nikos, my Greek friend came back to Sunderland after a year out. He had spent it working for his ship-owner cousin repairing and selling ships.
The day he came back I had steak for the first time in months in the best hotel restaurant in town. Two bottles of Médoc and a great night out.

He had driven back from London in a second-hand Land Rover he had just bought.
“We’re going to Greece for a holiday!” he announced.
“When are we leaving?”
“As soon as we find two adventurous girls willing to join us!”

Several expeditions to local night clubs failed to uncover a pair of Sunderland lasses open-minded enough to embark on a blind European journey so, a few days later, we loaded up our luggage and headed south on our own.

Just 35 miles down the A1, on the outskirts of Darlington, the engine blew up!
We tried to get it repaired but ended up selling the jeep for scrap!

Undeterred, we hired a van and drove to London where we bought two £28 return coach tickets to Athens.

I spent a wonderful month in a tiny Greek village enjoying the hospitality of Nikos’ family. We lazed around all day on the local beach, visited his relatives for coffee and baklava and then wined and dined the nights away in friendly country tavernas.

At the end of the holiday I left Piraeus on a nine-month sea journey that took me to West Africa, around the Med and all the way to Madagascar working my way from grease monkey to third engineer. Paid holiday!

The time of my life!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Elle est à toi, cette chanson...

Many moons ago, I wrote a post about Jacques Brel. I really liked his amazing songs.

Last night I was looking for song lyrics when I discovered Georges Brassens' site
I don't know how many of my blogging friends have heard of this great, sadly departed French poet-singer who wrote nearly 200 songs, many of which are still found in French village jukeboxes or played at country fetes.

I grew up listening to him, dreaming of his poems and trying to sing some of his songs at University get-togethers. "Chanson pour l'Auvergnat" was my favourite.

In August 1996, my niece, Myriam got married in Auvergne. She now lives near the Swiss border.

The French wedding was so different from the British version!
The Savoyard groom's family and friends rang giant cow bells as the couple entered la Mairie.
The evening do took place at a village sports hall, began at 8pm and finished at 5am with Soupe à l'oignon! (Onion soup!)

The food was delicious, the wedding cake (pièce montée), alpine and the Champagne fountain, torrential...
And then a karaoke!

The song catalogue was passed around the room. My eyes caught sight of "Chanson pour l'Auvergnat!"
I was dying to get up and sing it. My sister-in-law kept saying: "Allons-y! Je chanterai avec toi!" (Come on, I'll sing with you!)

I, Cream the wimp, chickened out! Yes, bird flu nailed my beak to the table!

Every time I hear this beautiful song, I get a whiff of wedding cake! Arghhhh!

Nowadays, apart from karaoke, I don't often let things pass me by!
After all, who wants to miss out on such daft chapters out of one's book of life?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Joke for Tat...

Tat, our Wendy's blogging friend was a little under the weather on Monday, so here's a joke to cheer her up!

A married couple go to the hospital to have their baby delivered.
Upon their arrival, the doctor says he has invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother's labour pain to the FATHER. He asks if they were willing to try it out.

They're both very much in favour of it.
The doctor sets the pain transfer to 10% for starters, explaining that even 10% is probably more pain than the father has ever experienced.

But as the labour progresses, the husband feels fine and asks the doctor to go ahead and bump it up a notch. The doctor then adjusts the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband's still feeling fine.
The doctor checks the husband's blood pressure and is amazed at how well he's doing. At this point they decide to try for 50%. The husband continues to feel quite well. Since the pain transfer is obviously helping out his wife considerably, the husband decides to go the whole hog and asks the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him.

The wife delivers a healthy baby with virtually no pain. She and her husband are ecstatic. The doctor's delighted with his invention.
The couple leave the hospital with their new addition....

When they get home, they find the milkman lying dead on the doorstep!

Hope you like it!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

My Bood Flog...

SPEED! Watch them fingers!
(Illustration Friday)

Has anyone tried any of the dishes in Bood Flog? The latest is Fish Tagine... Muy delicioso, queridos!
If you have tried any of the recipes, please let me know whether they were easy to make.
I believe cooking shouldn't be complicated especially with all the kitchen gadgets available.
I also use a pressure cooker for speed especially for soups.

Can't remember the last time I made it but it was very simple to make.

Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time I cooked for myself.
Two slices of brown toast this morning! That's it!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Grand National

Saturdays, I usually go and watch my local football team play but today it's playing away. Drew 1-1.
Busy day repairing rickety chairs until we've made enough money at Casa to replace the ones we inherited from the past restaurant.
Our Pizzeria got a fantastic write-up in the local paper. 5 out of 5 for food, service and value for money! Best marks ever! The young chefs are delighted.

A rival Italian restaurant that's been struggling a little since we opened Casa had an advert in the same paper: "Don't just settle for bits and pieces (meaning tapas) when you can have the whole piece!"
I thought it was a badly written advert for starters but worst of all it shows that the Iranian owner is jealous! Hah!

I am getting hooked on non-alcoholic Mojitos at lunch!
I went to Casa to test the food, well I was hungry at 1.30pm. The paella and albondigas were very tasty.
I gave Kevin my feedback and then, as today was Grand National and as he was going to the betting shop I gave him a fiver to place on a horse of his choice. He chickened out and asked one of the waitresses to pick one at random. It didn't win!
Our Pizzeria head-chef won £195, the lucky so-and-so!

I never gamble apart from this special occasion when the whole of Britain goes crackers.

Do you ever have the odd flutter?

Friday, April 07, 2006

A new clear day...

Today I went to a Cash and Carry warehouse to see if I could find some outdoor furniture for Casa.
You see, up here in the North East of England, people are very hardy. Give them a tiny ray of sunshine and they will gladly sit outside with a beer.
I had forgotten my card but a day pass was soon produced to admit me.
They only had the aluminium kind (now for our friends across the Pond, it is Al-you-min-yum not Aloomi numb! G.W.Bush drives me crazy when he says that or Newcular for Nuclear!)

I looked around the place, going from the food section, (vegetables and meats from all over) to the non-food section (Computers, tellies, pans, etc...)
I leafed through a few books, caressed a couple of saucepans, kicked one or two bike tyres and then decided to buy myself some headphones and a bottle of Allure aftershave.

I left the shop minus the outdoor furniture but I smelt nice.

I've discovered a useful website where I learnt how to say "Hello" in Inuit, "Kutaa" and Mohawk, "Kwe" just in case we get a customer from one of these great nations.
I also learnt how to say "I love you!" in Sioux, "Techihhila" and in Friesian, "Ik hald fan dei".

So on the whole, today has been quite fruitful even though I spilt a whole bottle of water on my lap just before I went into the warehouse.
The receptionist kindly pointed to the toilets after she gave me the day pass.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Blogstory Chapter 13 Illustration

At last, I have just finished the illustration!
He squeaked. "Call me Derek"
"Ok, Derek, what do you want?"
He coughed, "Well it's like this, we know all about the egg, including the one that’s currently tucked up in your..err, um, br….bus….blouse"
Alma clutched herself. "How did you know that?"
Derek smiled "We have our ways", he smiled at her.

If you don't understand what's going on then you haven't been following The Great Blogstory
Get yourselves there!

I used my new A4 Intuos tablet but I found far too big to use with the laptop so I'm going to try and get it swapped for an A5.

Then I will embark on the very hard task of trying to create illustrations for Hayden's Chocolate Princess. She has far too much faith in me!

Did I say I was bored?

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Manic Mondays...

This morning my new Intuos3 (Graphic and Art) tablet was delivered. I can't wait to start experimenting with it. You see, I have to illustrate the Blogstory's Chapter 13... And to be honest, I don't know where to start! It's been so long since the last time that I produced an illustration, I have a feeling that I'll botch this one up!

I went to work...with my tool box!
I put up a few more pictures up at Casa. The cleaner jokingly moaned that I was adding to her workload... More dusting!

Our restaurants are closed on Mondays. The wages are done every other Monday but since the Spanish getaway, I haven't had to do them! Yeah!!

Adam had a problem printing the summaries. I messed about with the computer, checked the leads, opening this, closed that...Then, as a last resort I switched the printer off and back on. Hey, presto, it began churning page after page of figures. All the stuff in quadruplicate!

I got a phone call that one of the other restaurants had sprung a leak!
I rushed over. Two minutes away.
Water was gushing out of a toilet cistern. I turned it off. The bar was totally flooded!
The floating ball that usually turns the water off when the cistern is full had split, filled with water and remained at the bottom.
A trip to the DIY store, 99p.
A simple job for which our contracted plumber would have charged at least £30 plus VAT! One of those little victories that make my day!

Lunch at a village pub. A jumbo cod, chips and mushy peas.
Many of the customers present are also our regulars. The usual question is: "Busman's holiday? Are you here on a spying mission?" All in good fun, really!

Tonight I went to see Firewall at the local cinema. Action movie with Harrison Ford. I think most of his films have been the same lately.

Finished The Pact by Jodi Picoult. I liked it as much as Salem Falls.

I thought I'd have an early night but made the mistake of taking my laptop to bed! The wireless lark is lethal!

Bonne Nuit, Buenas Noches, Kalli Nichta...

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