Monday, 29 September 2008

The Devil Served Tortellini

Well, for those who are following this one, I'm about seventy pages into The Devil Served Tortellini, which I picked up in Murder One on Saturday at Cassie's signing. It is a stunning artistic tour de force and I predict it will some day be a GCSE set text. I'm thinking of throwing it open to the public. £5 a viewing. No children. No dogs. K and John are both welcome to borrow when I am done, but please ignore the chocolatey smudges; I felt that if I was going to read modern romance I ought to do it in the bath with a lot of Lindt.

I picked up City of Ashes too so as not to feel left out.

The Divali lights have gone up along the lampposts on the main road. They are very carefully 'vendor agnostic' decorations, mainly candles and the like, that will be easily converted to Christmas lights after a few weeks. It's also Eid tomorrow, so we're all set for the fireworks, and it will be easy to get a seat in the local curry joints after sundown.

Monday, 22 September 2008

What's that coming over the hill?

I've been doing rather well vis-a-vis the perks in this job. In the past week I've scored both Arbutus and Quo Vadis for the first time ever. Arbutus set me up with an amazing pig cheek and apple salad, Elwy Valley lamb with sweetbreads and olives, which was probably the most succulent lamb I've ever eaten, and an apple and blackberry charlotte that was average for one Michelin star, but still worth it for the custard alone. The wine was something in a carafe that I don't remember what it was.

Today saw me on the next street over for Quo Vadis, which AA Gill wrote up a few weeks back, where I had amazing tempura courgette flowers and a sirloin steak with bearnaise and very thick cut goose fat chips. No dessert but a 2005 Bordeaux seemed to go rather well with it. I know next to nothing about wine and tend to buy brand-names if left to my own devices, so I am assuming it was a good match. Didn't have me fleeing from the restaurant gagging and clutching my throat, at any rate.

I also moved house again and am now happily installed with L in a cosy little one-bedroom hideaway just off the Upper Tooting Road. We lack for a TV aerial socket, but there's no shortage of brilliant Indian restaurants within two minutes walk, a handy sushi/bento joint, a big Sainsburys, two tube stations, speedy interwebs and a pub that appears to be staffed by cretins. If you care to update your Christmas card address lists leave me a comment with email for you.

I am also cycling to work now, which I'm very pleased about. I'm doing about twelve miles a day, six there and back, in forty minutes, although I could probably do twenty-five if I didn't mind arriving at work smelling funny or got some slick tyres to replace my knobbly MTB kit.

This is one thing I don't understand about British commuter cyclists; in places like Copenhagen or other cities with an actual cycling culture you see hordes of bikers heading into work every day in their suits and work clothes, going at a leisurely pace so as not to work up a sweat, but here everybody wears full kevlar body armour and grumbles if there aren't enough showers at work. I suspect it may have something to do with the total lack of usable segregated facilities. We have segregated facilities in the UK, but most of them are inconvenient, unsafe, or in a lot of cases utterly pointless.

At any rate I've not needed the body armour yet, although I've invested in a very tasteful reflective jacket.

Before I end up going onto any other disparate subjects I'm going to stop typing this now and end on my usual hope that I'll ever update this blog on a more regular basis.