Dangerous cheese

We missed Dave the Cheese after he scampered off to pastures new. There was a silence in the kitchen, no strange smells wafting throughout the place, nothing kicking at the fridge door to get out or nibbling the other food. So when we went shopping yesterday and spotted a younger Dave that hadn’t yet grown in size or maturity, it appealed to our softer side, we bought it and brought it home. We’ve called it our Little Dave, and are sure it will grow up big and strong just like Dave the Cheese, if it doesn’t escape first.


But we found that Little Dave has character in ways that Dave the Cheese didn’t possess. When eating a slice of bread and cheese yesterday Little Dave fought back, resulting in a sheered tooth which earned me an emergency appointment at the dentist. I now approach with caution, brandishing a wooden spoon and a pint of milk for Little Dave to nosh on.

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Food experiments

For reasons I won’t go into, I now have free-range in a kitchen. This means I can start all sorts of experiments and attempt to cook food that I have never tried to cook before.

Dave has departed, as he grew so lively that he ran away to a new life and we thought it best to let him go. He’ll be happier there, though we’ll miss him.

Recipe for Lasagne:
1. Phone a relative. Be told that “It’s made the usual way”.
2. Email Feminine side. Recieve comprehensive recipe including lots of ingredients and wine.
3. Make lasagne according to recipe, except for wine, half the ingredients and lasagne dish.
4. Congratulate self on successful lasagne. Not as good as Feminine side’s but a worthy first effort.
5. A week later make a second lasagne without referring to recipe and with fewer ingredients.
6. As the sauce runs out, extend with milk and flour, inadvertently change consistency to dough.
7. Layer lasagne, replacing missing pasta sheets with spagetti. Bake in oven.
8. Chisel crust off lasagne dishes to remove lasagne. Enjoy lasagne pie.

Roast potatoes:
1. Using Maris Piper potatoes, par-boil, chop, stir in oil and herbs, place on baking tray, roast.
2. A week later, using cheaper potatoes of unknown type, repeat.
3. After stirring the herbs and oil into the slop, ladle mash onto baking tray and roast.
4. Enjoy roast mash with hint of herbs, when chipped off the tray.

1. Decide to make according to the instructions.
2. Discover supply of saucepans has been exhausted.
3. Ignore instruction to add hot milk to powder. Add cold milk instead.
4. Admire the bright orange shade not found in nature, the powder/grit consistency and the brown crystalised sugar that has now solidified as surprise crunchy bits.
5. Put dentist on speed-dial.
6. Wait until the cloud disperses, then cook custard in microwave according to instructions.

What’s worrying is that those eating these creations have declared that I am a good cook. Either there are some very low standards round here or someone is up to something…

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Following on

Following on from that last post I was asked, “So what has been around for 400 years?”

It’s an obvious question, until you start to think it through at 9pm after a day at work when there’s still things to do.

Jam? Yes. Refined sugar.
“DVDs haven’t”
No, but it’s a film. Based on a play. And that has.

Basically, everything has, just how it’s done has changed. Email is new, but wanting to talk to each other isn’t.

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Modern shopping

I think I’m starting to get old. It didn’t help that gmail estimated my age as over ten years more than it really is.

I went shopping at the weekend for things that I think of as normal. I can see that there is an immediate problem with this, that ‘normal’ is the view of the majority, and I suspect that this is where it went wrong. I had a list and came home empty-handed.

Tried to by a bodkin, a large blunt needle used for darning and nalbinding. It needs to be blunt otherwise it splits the wool so is a craft staple. Best response was from John Lewis who hadn’t heard of it. “How long’s it been called that?” “About 400 years” “OK” she said and went off to look in the sewing machine section.

Then I tried to find ‘The Church Mice’ books, a staple of children’s stories since 1972 and still in print now. Waterstones hadn’t heard of it and all other bookshops in town have shut. Amazon did it for £7 including postal. I’d much prefer a real, live bookshop with people and books, but that’s not an option any more.

Now I’m trying to find a pair of plain black shoes that don’t come off when I walk about. Men’s, women’s, children’s, I’m not fussed. But in the shops I can have anything I want so long as it’s low cut. The style I need went out 15 years ago, which explains why I’ve had my current ones resoled twice and glued numerous times. Now the arches have fallen even I admit it’s time for a new pair. So back to the drawing board and the realisation that for some things I was born a little too late.

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Dave the Cheese

Many years ago a nice young man ‘volunteered’ to store an unwashed sheepfleece for me in the boot of his car. Even after washing the smell remained and when his car was eventually written-off as it was rear-ended in roadworks, one of his first positive comments about the experience was that at least his next car would be less fragrant.

Driving Dragon last night I was aware of the aroma from the boot of a ‘mature’ Camembert that had only just been put there the moment before, sealed and under other things. Now it has escaped the fridge and is bounding round the kitchen leaving a cloud behind it. We’ve called it Dave and are thinking of getting it a basket and some toys to play with.

I have been asked to decline any further Camembert as he’s highly impressionable and any friends would only encourage him. We also don’t want any little Camemberts as we’re not sure we could find good homes for them all. We suspect that the person giving Dave away was also trying to avoid the aftermath of owning a healthy pair.

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Timely reminder

Little Dragon has just got to the end of a two week saga at the vet’s. As I was driving round a one-way system I realised that the wheel was pulling to the left and that there was a funny noise. In the retail park I discovered a completely flat tyre. After 30 mins the nice man came to change it to the space-saver and dragon then limped along at below 50mph for the next week. Now the tyre has been properly replaced and today the tracking was sorted out. Theoretically the camber should have been sorted out too, but due to age, sagging and general decline that’s not a Dragon-specific problem any more.

I was late for work by 1.25 hrs and much comments were made about my inability to change a tyre. I do know how to do it, but I also know that my driving test had “call the nice insured, practiced person to do it for you” as the correct answer, that 1/8 of all road fatalities are on the hard shoulder and that the nuts are on so tight that I’d have had to call someone to loosen them anyway.

But it was nothing compared to the timely reminder. Although I don’t like standing in the rain waiting, at least I found out before hitting the motorway. It was 12th January and it happened to be the 15th anniversary of a friend who didn’t find out until she was on the M3, when the subsequent blow-out caused her to be declared dead at the scene.

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After realising how worn through my current coat is I went shopping for a winter coat in the sales today. I looked at full price things too.

In diverse shops in a town of 150,000 I did not find anything below size 14.

At least some of the coats had seen a sheep though – at £40 for a 50% wool coat I can see why one shop had an empty rack. The others had full racks, of different styles and fabrics, but nothing that would actually fit – a balance that will right itself over time through economic pressure.

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