2. In 'first world problems' land, went out for dinner with some friends yesterday evening in London. Have probably been to this restaurant twice a year for the last 14 years (alright, maybe a slight exaggeration, we usually meet up about twice a year and have probably been to it 2/3 of the time, principally because it is the sort of thing the other people like, vaguely nouvelle French, and of such things it is better than the others we have tried), and it was the first time I have been disappointed - viz. the parsnip soup was about 95% cream, would not have had it if the menu had said 'bowl of heated cream with some garlic and salt and maybe tiny amount of parsnip' and the honey ice cream didn't really taste of anything apart from that which ice cream tastes of if you don't put any flavouring in it. Oh well.
3. Have opened another bottle of Visciolata del Cardinale dessert wine (Italian - cabernet sauvignon and sour cherries by which I mean real cherries not 'I'm getting cherries, cut grass and badger shavings') . I got one for Christmas and have bought 3 more bottles - one of which will be a present back to the person who gave me the bottle. I commend it to you, it is without parallel - well, it is on some level reminiscent of sherry, but better.
4. Our coffee machine has finally died. It was a duel use filter and espresso machine, got for my 40th birthday. It started out being used for espresso, then the espresso bit died and resisted attempts to repair it so we started using the filter bit but that too has died. Unfortunately no coffee machines have good reviews, not enough to make one want to buy one. I am back to using the Moka pot. Which, actually, may be the best way of making coffee. With the decaf Lavazza it gives the coffee a pleasant nutty flavour you don't get with the filter, espresso or plunger. Obviously 1.5 bars is the pressure to go for. One of t__m__i's Italian colleagues recommended it.
4a. Talking of coffee, the deli in town where I get a coffee when I go into the big market town from the outlying village for market day, if you have a small cappuccino makes a coffee with the thing that drips coffee out of both sides and only puts one side over the paper cup. If you see what I mean, i.e. they make a large coffee and let half of if drip away. Do other people do this? Seems a slightly strange business model to me.
4b. Talking of the market, cheapo biscuit man was back today, for some reason I thought he might have gone for good. Clothes weren't there this week.
5. Had a migraine yesterday afternoon before the trip to London., preemptively had a couple of Ibuprofen and went for a walk. Flashing lights, no nausea or headache.
6. London seemed quite quiet for a Thursday evening in January, I thought, but maybe there is a 'paid earlier than usual in December, paid for Christmas, not yet paid for January' aspect to things. Beyond that, the infallible weasel vibe detector (TM) suggest that London is still vibrant and confident despite being into the 2nd year of the Dunningite-Krugerist regime. I do rather like the fact the graffiti'd skatepark is still there at the South Bank. I am surprised that THEY have allowed it to stay there for so long, surely you could fit a couple more sandwich shops in there instead.
[ Footnote, ah, bless http://www.caughtinthecrossfire.com/skate/does-skateboarding-have-a-future-at-southbank/ ]
7. As you can see the lights out by 2310 regime has gone out of the window for the moment. (For those of you not up with the news, Nellie, the senior greyhound, died last week after a short illness i.e. she was doing very well for her age, but went down hill very quickly)
8. Idea for book: 'Because You Touch Yourself At Night', an anthology of the most idiotic comments on the internet, along with a sociological analysis of the conditions that give rise to such comments. [The title comes from what, to me, was the quintessential YouTube comment].
9. Have been reading the Metrozone novels by Simon Morden. Half way through number 3 at the moment. Cyberpunk set in London, moderately diverting and light-hearted.
10. I have also bought The Islanders by Chris Priest. Have been reading this in a desultory fashion, along with the Visual Studio 2010 version of the Apress Pro C# book (all on the Kindle).
11. Did you know that Boris Johnson was 'Keeper of the College Wall'? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eton_wall_game [Citation Needed]. To the tune of 'Leader of the Pack' "That's when I fell for the keeper of the wall". So, we must ask ourselves, what is is about the 'top' public schools that encourage them to play their own games rather than the ones that everyone else plays? Eton has two games of course, the wall game and the field game. Though Harrow apparently play Harrow old boys at Newcastle University at theirs. Obviously on some level it must be viewed as some sort of solipsism - who cares that no-one else plays the game so we haven't got anyone we can compare ourselves to. Is it arrogance - well, clearly we are the best and brightest so even if anyone else played, we'd win? Or is it on the same lines as the fake cult of amateurism, invented by the British upper classes to make sure they'd win by making sure the oiks can't afford to train enough to win? Discuss. Or, as ever, not.
12. Was going to say something about software, but meh.