Sunday, September 30, 2007


At last I've been degusting.

It's not for the faint hearted. Make sure your cc is up to date or you end up washing dishes. Or in debtors prison begging the guards for more straw to sleep on.

Imagine a restaurant of entrees. (He who should be obeyed mentioned that entrees don't always mean the same thing to all people so to clarify things, we are talking first course - the bit that has the dozen oysters in it.)

When I go to restaurants I invariably find they have a wonderful first course menu. They usually can be interesting and imaginative. When the menu planner gets to the main course, they get bogged down in the 'jus', the 'marinad of' whatever is fashionable at the time. What can just be a yellow arches hamburger can be transformed into magic like:

Tender yearling (notice we don't mention moo cows) beef molded into delicate cakes infused with free range ingredients, combined with delicate shavings of tender baby lettuce, vine grown hand picked (by a Mexican refugee on under rate wages) tomatoes, cheese from New Mexico Jersey and pickles nurtured in the sunshine of the Colorado desert combined in a delicate jus of fragrant Heinz ketchup and Mayonnaise de la cuisine.

So I therefore go for a couple of entrees rather than get bogged down by these stuffy mains.

Therefore Saturday night was a change for the positive. It has an Italian name, and they call themselves a grazing restaurant. They have a formula which expertly explained by the waitress - in our case a very charming blonde in her twenties. The menus contained things like:

Barramudi rolls.
Baked Haloumi with ginger jus
Soft skin crab in sweet chilli.
Pork belly something or other which was quite delicious.

One is instructed to order two dishes per person. And there are enough on each plate for the participants to share.

He who should be obeyed, who also eats a lot at restaurants was very pleased with the standard of the food and the service. She who should obey was very impressed by the prices. The food was good and the wine was the equivalent of the annual budget for a country that starts with "the Democratic Republic of".

Over all, the concept is new, but invented by me because I already entreed extensively throughout the world. (Two entrees is far more interesting than one main.)

Company was good. A fine night was had by all.

And then the next morning I plotted. Yes. Plotted. I'm basically a panster but this current novel needed a bit more pre-planning. And also these days unusual for me but I got it all down with a pen and paper. Also drew a map of the surrounds (shades of Winnie the Pooh at Pooh Corner, or J.R. Tolkien???). Have been using a house plan during the whole of the writing of current WIP but decided I needed to cement the surrounds into something solid. Enjoying my characters too. Don't forget that as the reader reads a story, so does a writer imagine it. Bit by bit. But once the book goes into print, we are simply treading the same pathway - author and reader - hand in hand through the same adventure in wonderland. I just get to be the leader.

Today is windy. We in the antipodes are coming into spring. Time to sow the seed, which was performed by He Who Should be Obeyed. Begonias and other little garden blessings. Little babies being nursed in a garded all freshly turned with a delicate blend of soils probably some poor old scalped volcano somewhere. And amply supplied with nutrients from same yielding yearling who laid down their short lives for a very large golden arches.

"Oh my darling you degust so delightfully," he said. "Why I'd even say you are a weapon of mass degustation!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

By George! She got it

I knew the word started with a g! I just know the word started with a g!

And that the dictionary was wrong, wrong, wrong that the word I wanted wasn't there...


degustation. degust... to taste, to relish, to have a relishing taste.
degustate, to degust.
degustation, the act of tasting.
degustatory the act of tasting.
Latin source is de, (down) and gustare (to taste)

Romance writers of the world jump for joy. If you are game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Darling, do I degust you?"

"Yes my sweet nothing. You degust any time, any place."

And so she did.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I went turfing.

Never thought I'd be a turfie girl. But I am. I've turfed today and it was fun. It's easy.

We are a long way from the turf. It was quite a drive. But it's so picturesque on the way there. There's an old barn and farm house on the way. They recently used it for an advertisement - a funky one, that has humans growing as seeds, like triffids, with their shells yielding white cotton.
It leans on one side. Must have been there since before the 1900's and I bet it's seen it's own little share of history down the decades. Births, deaths and dramas.

Back to turfing.

Turfing isn't fun when you get home.

Oh heck what are you thinking?

I know.


I bought 11 rolls of turf for Coward's Castle. He Who Should be Obeyed is getting Spring Fever for the garden. He's a buffalo man in case you wondered. He swears by buffalo grass. It's tough as boots and there's a new variety called Shademaster, which basically means you can plant it under trees.

When we shrank our lives into a castle instead of a palace, we left the chandeliers and the billiards behind for the new Lord and Lady of that Mannerhouse - we can fit our grass into the back of a Subara which is the current estate wagon.

When weeds grow in our little castle they look as big as trees.

Took the navigator. She's called Julie. She's a few grams short of a kilo - and I don't know but I think she is trying to kill me and keep He who Should be Obeyed all to herself. We are a little bit jealous of each other. She is the only one who he let's nag him about where to go. Wouldn't you be envious?

Anyhow. That's been my day.

And tonight we go to an unusual restaurant. It's where one doesn't eat but grazes apparently. I've been trying to think of the darn word all day but only get a -g- idea in the back of my head - it's not Asian, but you kind of share a magnitude on the table... bit like a Tapas or an Anti-pasto but it's a meal. It's in an 'eat street' so it'll probably be funky. I hope it's not sit on the floor. Since my multiple leg break I avoid Japanese set-ups. (or set-downs)

So as I bow out of today's blog guess what tune I'm humming...

"Hey there turfie girl..."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday 13 at Coward's Castle

Taken on the tag challenge at Coward's Castle.

Thirteen things I can never find in Cowards Castle.

A pen when I need it. People always ring me when they know I don't have a pen or paper. Therefore their phone number to ring back gets written on an envelope, the tv times - it was easier when I was a smoker.

My shopping list. It's a miracle if I remember to take it. But the odd times I remember it, I can't find it. Leave it in the car. Wherever it goes it ain't to me.

Car keys. Alas it's true. It's a miracle whenever I can find them. I must say though that the inventive places I lose them in I should be admired for. Or something like that.

Socks from the washing. Somewhere out there in the Land of Sox, are the mates to the ones that decide to stay at Coward's Castle. A lot of divorce goes on in my washing machine. It's a Fischer and Paykel. Maybe if I tried another brand?

Scissors. I keep buying them. They keep going missing. Is there some message I'm supposed to be comprehending?

Filing. I am in charge of filing in this house. Bills. Warranties. Accounts. Insurance details. So why is it that when He Who Should be Obeyed turns to me and says:
"Can I have a copy of..."
My blood runs cold as an arctic winter (writers say things like that - cold isn't enough) and I know... I know... that even though it was filed IN THE RIGHT SPOT at the time, that I'm not going to be able to find it. He Who Should be Obeyed has once again zoned in on the one thing in my system which is not immediately available. And he turns self righteously to She Who hasn't Obeyed and says:
"I don't know. You couldn't run a chicken raffle"
(But then; Who in their right mind would want to run a chicken raffle.)

Shoe. One of my weaknesses is SHOES. I never get ready to go anywhere until the last minute. My internal wiring won't allow me to be a careful person who plans everything in advance. I pack at the last minute for journeys. I only remember the shopping list after I've left home. So I'm in a hurry to find the other shoe out of the pile in my wardrobe. I love my shoes but my shoes hate me. The minute the wardrobe door closes they all scramble to have illicite swapping parties.

Photo. I know I've got it. I know I do. So where is it? Where is that photo I only just filed? Where is it? Where is it? Why can't I find it?

Glasses. We play chasies all day long.

Book. I have a huge library. I know every single one of them. They are my friends. I know I can google but there is nothing like a book. I cannot borrow a book. I must have it. I must have it in my library. It must be there. I cannot use a library. I cannot be trusted in a library. I am one of life's possessors. So why the hell can't I find what I'm looking for? I know what colour the jacket is. I know exactly where it should be but isn't. But gets back to it's spot when I am not looking for it.

DVD. So I'm in the mood for it. I want to watch it. Imust watch it now. They are all filed in alphabetical order. One of the few orderly things I do in this place. So where is it now? I cannot compromise. The more it's missing the more my desire to see it. So where is it now?

Internet Passwords. Including this one. One of the hazards of modern life is passwords. I try to keep the KISS method. For those of you who are not aware, this is a basic system. Keep it Simple Stupid. But the demand for variance is increasing.

Oooh phew only one more needed. This 13 thing ain't all that easy.

Well the daddy (or Mother) of all losing is my...