Thursday, March 29, 2007

Where the hell is Matt?

Some of you may know of the dancing-around-the-world videos by Matt Harding. If you don't, check this one out, it's brilliant!

The music is by Deep Forest, a group consisting of two French musicians, Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez, who compose "world music" mixing ethnic with electronic sounds.

Read more about Matt and watch more videos and outtakes here. They're guaranteed to put a smile on your face, even if you've had a shitty day/week/month, like I've had.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nights full of light

I love this song. And I like it better in Italian.

Notte di luce
Una notte infinita
Una lettera che
Non sara mai spedita
Cos'e la realta
Non lo so piu
Ad occhi aperti
Il mio sogno sei tu

Io ti amo
Si, ti amo
Quanto ti amo

Guardo la gente
Mano per mano
Nessuno capisce
Quello che provo
Respiro il silencio
Dei tuoi pensieri
Un giorno sarai
Tutto quello che speri

Io ti amo
Si, ti amo
Quanto ti amo

Monday, March 19, 2007

Anyone for spag-bol?

According to the findings of a survey for Loyd Grossman sauces, the average household survives on just four staple dishes because that's all they can cook (presumably these dishes exclude bacon & eggs, cereal and beans on toast, although you never know). What's worse, it is estimated that spaghetti bolognese is cooked twice a week by 6.1 million people in Britain, which means that the average Briton eats 2,960 portions of spag-bol in a lifetime.

Considering the last time I ate spag-bol was in November 1993, does that mean that someone out there eats spag-bol four times a week, every week?!

I couldn't find a link to the actual survey, but thought this article by The Times was most interesting.

So, go on, tell us - how often do YOU eat spag-bol?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Nul points, again...

The Great British public have decided. Once again, we've done our best to eliminate any act that would have the faintest hope of success in the Eurovision Song Contest. Let's hope the political voting doesn't let us down now - can you imagine if this entry came back with any points at all? Musicians around the country would give up making music and take up crocheting instead.

(I know I would if I was a musician. Maybe not crocheting though. Embroidery would be more my thing.)

P.S. Anyone remember Slovenia's Transvestite Sisters from the 2002 contest? We can't even claim points for originality.

P.P.S. This is the song. Listen at your peril.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy birthday!

Today's my brother's birthday. I know he thinks I forget because sometimes I neglect to ring him until late in the evening (I bet he thinks Mum has to remind me too) but the truth is, I've never once forgotten his birthday, ever.

Every year during the first fortnight in March I count down to his birthday. I'm probably more aware of his birthday than I am of mine, because today is the day when I stopped being "alone" in the world, and for this I'm very thankful.

So here it is, bro: proof that I remembered ;-)

Happy Birthday! Xronia Polla!
P.S. OK if I don't ring you now?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Irish hotpot: a recipe for St Patrick's day

With St Patrick's day round the corner, I thought I'd tell you about a delish Irish dish I cooked last weekend. As I'd not done a proper supermarket shop for some time, the only exciting foodstuffs I had in the house were Tesco Healthy Eating pork sausages and Sainsbury's white potatoes ("multipurpose, tasty and versatile" no less). The obvious choice was bangers and mash, but I fancied something a little more exciting, so I googled "sausage+potato" and came up with a recipe for an Irish hotpot.

Now, I've heard all the jokes about Irish cooking, but I decided to give it a go purely because this particular dish seemed simple and quick, and I had all the ingredients to hand. The result completely surpassed my expectations. I'd never have thought that you could prepare a scrumptious meal with such basic ingredients, but scrumptious it definitely was.

In case you're looking for inspiration this weekend, here is the recipe as modified by moi:

Heat 2 tbsp of groundnut oil in a shallow casserole dish with a lid and fry the onion and sausages until starting to brown.
Add potato slices and cook, stirring occasionally until golden.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1 tbsp of English mustard and half a tbsp of French wholegrain mustard (to get some cross-cultural flavours going ;-) to the stock, then pour into the casserole.
Cover with lid and cook for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Preheat the grill to medium.
Scatter 200 gr of grated Cheddar cheese over the top.
Put the casserole under the grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
Serve with steamed vegetables (we had green beans).

1. If you're on a diet, steer clear! I reckon there were 1,000 calories per mouthful (but if you went easy on the cheese it might be OK-ish, like you'd only need to fast for a couple of days to make up for it).

2. I have no idea if this is a "proper" Irish dish or not. My past contact with all things Irish is limited to drinking coffee with Baileys, watching Ed Byrne on TV and reading Marian Keyes novels. I know nothing about Irish cuisine and very little about any other cuisine.

3. The doggy's got nothing to do with the recipe. I used the photo because it looked cute :-)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Raising money for Cancer Research UK

My friends Sharon & Aileen are taking part in Race for Life on 24 May to raise money for Cancer Research UK. If you're not sponsoring anyone else in the race, please consider sponsoring them. They hope to raise at least £250 between them so they need all the support they can get. It's really easy - you can donate online by credit or debit card at the following address:

You can donate any amount of money, large or small. All donations are secure and sent electronically to Cancer Research UK. If you are a UK taxpayer, a 28% bonus will automatically be added to your donation at no cost to you.

Go Sharon! Go Aileen!

A jukebox just a click away

I read about this music site in Gigi's blog and thought I'd share it with you.

Whether you're after a trip down memory lane or just looking to listen to some good pop music, you'll enjoy visiting the site.

NB: Works best for the over 30's.

"Shaggy Blog Stories" for Red Nose Day

Mike at Troubled Diva has set himself the enormous task of selecting the funniest of British blog entries for inclusion in Shaggy Blog Stories, a book that will be printed and sold in support of Comic Relief.

I don't think there's anything in my own blog that qualifies, but if you're a British blogger, or know someone who could contribute a piece, please refer them to Troubled Diva.

The deadline is 6:00 pm UK time on Wednesday evening (March 14).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I'm a true Adama

Finally, a questionnaire that matters: you answer 40 questions to determine which Battlestar Galactica character you're most like. Apparently I'm 50% Admiral Adama and 50% Chief Tyrol. I was hoping to turn out to be more like Six, but I guess I screwed my chances when I answered "No Frakking Way" to Q9 - there are many copies. Oh well. It could have been worse, I could have turned out to be Starbuck, which would have been awful for two reasons: a) Starbuck has a destiny which doesn't involve living to be 90; and b) Jasmine may never speak to me again (which would be awful since she's my best friend).

You scored as Commander William Adama. You have risen to your position by being damn good at what you do. Not only that, you have the deepest respect for the people under your command. You may be a little grumpy and unapproachable, but every commander needs to distance himself. Shame that you apply that to your children too.

CPO Galen Tyrol


Commander William Adama


Dr Gaius Baltar


President Laura Roslin


Tom Zarek


Capt. Lee Adama (Apollo)


Number 6


Col. Saul Tigh


Lt. Kara Thrace (Starbuck)


Lt. Sharon Valerii (Boomer)


What New Battlestar Galactica character are you?
created with

Thank you, Sarah, for giving me the idea for this post!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Peter climbs Kilimanjaro

My friend Peter recently returned from Tanzania where he climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world. Kilimanjaro is in fact a giant volcano, but not currently active. Its highest point is Uhuru Peak on the volcano Kibo, which stands at 5,895 metres above sea level (that's 19,340 ft for the metrically challenged amongst you). As the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak is one of the Seven Summits.

Obviously I think Peter's mad, but he claims he had a brilliant time, despite the physical challenge - to get to the top you need to trek through the rainforest, then hike through lava-covered plateaus and finally climb the snow-covered slopes to the top. The higher up you go, the more difficult it gets, not just because of the snow, but also because of the lack of oxygen in the air. Still, it's not called the roof of Africa for nothing, and I can only imagine how invigorating it must have been to reach the top and stand next to that sign.

Peter is a keen photographer and took scores of pictures while he was there, all very unusual and impressive. Here are some of the ones I like best.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lunal eclipse

Last night we had a lunar eclipse. My photos aren't anything special, but my friend Loops took this photo of the red moon with her super duper Canon camera.

Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

We've lost Sky!

We had it until 1 hour ago. Then the clock struck midnight and we lost it, just like Cinderella lost her shoe. Which means no new episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Lost, 24 or The Simpsons.