Chicken Run

Portrait of our Rooster

Portrait of our Rooster

Now that I am overqualified and underemployed, I decided I needed a hobby to take me through the mornings. My obsession with Game of Thrones doesn’t count as it is unhealthy, so we decided to get some chickens. I wanted them for eggs but my husband delusionally thought we were getting them for meat. Then the children gave them names which put paid to that fantasy. (Come to think of it, why does anyone in Game of Thrones have names? Careless and ignorant as I am on poultry raising I have still lost fewer chickens than the average headcount per episode of Series 3.)

Continue Reading »

game_of_thrones_wallpaper__seven_noble_houses_by_mcnealy-d4tbx4eNow that I am gainfully unemployed I am filling my time, as I promised myself I would when I was in the thick of the MBA, by getting obsessively involved in a television series. It seemed like the kind of thing that people with leisure time on their hands would do. My hypothesis has been proved correct. My addiction of choice is Game of Thrones, and series 4 starts on Friday and I can hardly wait.

My daughter calls it “ Harry Potter for adults”, she walked in on me watching it one day, and caught a scene with the dragons. Harry Potter also has dragons, swords and magic, but not as much sex and graphic violence. If my children are home when I am watching it I have to keep one finger on the pause button in case they wander in, because at any given moment someone might either be getting their throat slit (the preferred method of character termination) or be slipping out of their pants or dress (none of the characters in the series appear to wear any underwear). But unlike Harry Potter where the lines between good and evil are age appropriately drawn in black and white, the boundaries here are deliciously blurred. Continue Reading »

Vitamin B Dog

2 dogsSome misguided people believe that the internet was created so that academic institutions could share their research and build on the universal body of knowledge by publishing it in an internationally accessible forum. Others believe the internet was invented as a mutual pet appreciation platform. Obviously the latter is correct because there is an abundance of unsubstantiated, nonacademic and unreferenced rubbish on the web but few blogs entitled, “I hate my cat.” This is why I have avoided blogging about my dogs. They are a cause of great stress in my life, but I realize that if I admit this, my blog readership will fall into the negative and people I don’t really know will unfriend me on facebook. Continue Reading »

Pile-of-books--001So the year of the dragon has come and gone and is defined by my failure to post anything at all on my blog site. My husband pointed this out in about September, which I found a little odd since he is one of the people who actually knows what I have been doing this year, and since he is the one who is paying for me to be a student again, one would think that he would be glad that I was not spending my precious study time blogging. Continue Reading »

OK, maybe I’m getting a little anxious about the impending thesis, but this kind of thing really irritates me. Yes, I did really send this off. Not waiting breathlessly for the response.See the actual flyer at the end of the post.

Dear Tsunami in Morningside

I was at your restaurant for lunch on Sunday the 3rd February with my 2 daughters.  We spent the meal entertaining ourselves with finding new and hilarious spelling errors on your Valentine’s Special flyer. Continue Reading »

I’ve never been a fan of butter cream icing. It isn’t the miracle decorating medium it is made out to be – it is difficult to spread, is either too stiff or too sloppy, collects crumbs and breaks your hands when trying to pipe it. It also needs heavy machinery to make, especially since I consider sifting icing sugar to be the number one most tedious kitchen chore. I just toss the butter and sugar into the Kenwood cake mixer and turn it on high for a very long time.  No lumps survive force 10 pulverisation.

I have tried other icings, Royal icing is nice for biscuits, doesn’t work for three dimensional Barbie cakes. I have tried Italian Meringue, aka 7 minute icing, although it didn’t take 7 minutes to make (it was more like 12 anxious minutes watching beating egg white and boiling sugar syrup trying to make friends in my cake mixer) and my children hated it, which disqualifies it for the Value for Effort certification. It also covers your kitchen in a fine, but irritating, layer of stickiness. I have finally found an icing that works for me. I like to call it satin icing because the texture is smoother and creamier than buttercream, it is easier to work with, stays glossy and luxurious and is just generally much nicer. Continue Reading »

Maybe I am guilty of a bit of hyperbole here, but if I had headed my post “Spaghetti with Marmite” you would have gone “Yuck” and moved on. I saw Nigella Lawson making this the other day on TV. At the time I thought it was well below her usual standard, but even if I wouldn’t trust Nigella with my life, (she traded in her first husband while he was still on his deathbed), I would definitely trust her with my lunch. This hardly even qualifies as “Value  for Effort”, the effort is negligible, but since my children’s eating habits are inversely proportional to the amount of effort I put into their meals, this is a real winner. Continue Reading »