Monday, 7 May 2018

Miscellaneous Musings

The cheerful elegance of Spring .... 
Basically I started this post with this photo because it looks so much better than Sauerkraut - unless you love Sauerkraut and are really hungry, of course!

Musings on a Sunday afternoon

OK, so it isn't Sunday, but a bank holiday.  But it feels just the same.  I had a leisurely stroll up the road for a coffee and the papers, engaged in a little light shopping, and fitted in a video of Mancheeze before lunch - I love her videos, though they are perhaps not for everyone ...

Lunch was a plate full of salads and sausages!

Don't you just love this little creature?  Bought it together with some Christmas ornaments, but way too cute to hang on a tree for just three days a year!

Musings on Sauerkraut

The Sauerkraut turned out really well, and I have been dipping into my Sauerkraut-crock on a daily basis.  I like to east it raw as a salad, mixed with onion, apple, and a bit of olive oil.  Delicious with anything or by itself, though sausages are nice.

Of course you could heat it up and eat it with boiled potatoes and smoked cured sausages as well, as is done in Germany.  I think heating up the sauerkraut might destroy some nutrients, though..

I shall soon stock my smaller crock-pot with mixed pickles!

Musings on condensed milk

I like to keep a tin of condensed milk at the ready, just in case I run out of regular milk.  And you know what?  If used in tea, it sinks to the bottom of the cup and stays there, unless the tea is stirred.  If I put regular milk in a cup of tea, the motion of walking from the kitchen to my armchair with the cup is enough to mix the milk with the tea.  But not so with condensed milk.  Probably one of those occult phenomena that scientists will eventually get around investigating.  Remember, you read it here first!

Musings on mis-naming

There has been a lot in the news (well the sort of news I get) about addressing people with the wrong gender terms, and how this is rude and causes real distress.  Well, what I heard on the radio today makes me emphasise suddenly!

A nurse was reading from her diary, and from what I heard she is one of those kind compassionate ones.

Not like the type I recently heard about on a youtube video - where a "brain-dead" person heard herself referred to as "can someone please help me move this 'thing'!" by a nurse, and "I wish her relatives stopped fussing and released her body for organ donation!" by a doctor - the "Thing woke from her coma a week later and lived to become a nurse herself.

Anyway, this kind nurse who was reading from her diary on the radio was reporting talking to an old lady patient, who was called "Betty" throughout, had her hand petted, and was treated throughout as though she was a two year old child.

Is that what patients are treated like in the NHS?  If I were in a coma and someone referred to me as 'DB' or even worse as 'Doris' I think my blood pressure would double and my face would grow purple with rage!  Show some respect, people!  What about calling people Ms and Mr, or Madam and Sir?

'Course, this could be a medically proven procedure to get people out of a coma ....

Musings on Handkerchiefs - again!

I am still on a handkerchief hunt.  Nice soft, 'man-sized' handkerchiefs, soft on my nose, and soft on my environmental conscience.  I have even purchased a few wooden handkerchief boxes, one for each room, to store my ironed treasures in.

Handkerchiefs box in the bathroom

Full of handkerchiefs

And in the back bedroom

I store my main stash in the cupboard inside my hall stand - that way I can quickly grab a few on the way out.

The other day I had a little search on youtube, looking for some sort of In Praise of Handkerchiefs, but met with little success.  'Handkerchiefs' nowadays mainly seems to mean 'Pocket-square' - those ridiculous useless little pieces of coloured fabric some men insist on wearing in the breast pocket of their suit.

However, The Gentleman's Gazette does include the Linen Handkerchief as #6 on their  '18 Must have items every gentleman should own:

Monday, 30 April 2018

Celebrating the 26th of April - at Angelina's!

Angelina is much discussed in the internet, because apparently they serve one of the best hot chocolates in the world.  Anyway, in Paris.

Unfortunately this leaked out a few years ago, and it is practically impossible to get in on the weekend, which is when I am in Paris.  The queues snake around the block several times, and I am not prepared to wait for hours for even the best hot chocolate ever.

However, just to throw a spanner in the works of fate, last week I went on a weekday.  My friend the Goth and I first went to my club for a nice poolside lunch (she changed clothes before we entered), and then meandered about, thinking of maybe dripping into the Louvre or something.

And what did I see as we trickled down the Rue de Rivoli?  A totally queueless Angelina!!!!   Well, almost queueless, there were maybe half a dozen people waiting.  We immediately joined that tiny little queue, and within ten minutes had a table.

The hot chocolate really is very good!  Not too sweet, served with lots of whipped cream.  Delicious.

I took lots of photos inside, because somehow I don't think I am going to get this lucky ever again!

Outside of Angelina, Rue de Rivoli

Inside looking up from the entrance

There is a shop that sells chocolate and cakes as well

Inside the restaurant, founded in 1903

Let the feast begin!

A adores hot chocolate even more than I do

Lemon tart - very nice

The hot chocolate comes in this pitcher - if it came in a pot with a lid it would stay hot longer!

Served with lots - and I mean lots! - of whipped cream

Scraping out every last drop

From the upstairs

Strangely the upstairs area is completely empty of customers - if they served here, too, the queues would be much shorter!

The queue got a little longer while we were inside - view from he upstairs loo

Having had our fill of chocolate, we went across the street to the Jardin des Tuileries to admire the goats - not sure what they were doing there.  Luckily there was a moat that separated them from me.  I distrust goats, but they can be quite delicious, especially when young.  I suspect that's why they are so ornery.

Here it is again.

Weather was changeable, we had some decent sunshine, and sat in a chair to digest.

Handkerchiefs ....

Handkerchiefs soaking in the bathtub
I love cloth handkerchiefs!

My favourite ones are cotton lawn, followed closely by multi-washed linen ones.  The more you wash a handkerchief the softer it becomes.  However, if you wash it too much it gets too flimsy, develops holes, and will have to be discarded.

If you use cloth handkerchiefs when you have a cold your nose will be less raw.

Cloth handkerchiefs can double as bandages, napkins, towels, and all-purpose cloths, like cleaning the face of your tiny child "spit on this", and polishing your shoes.  Personally I would not polish my shoes with the same handkerchief that I use to clean a child's face with - and I wouldn't use a white, perfectly laundered, Irish linen handkerchief to do either.  Because good handkerchiefs can be hard to find.

I own about 200 handkerchiefs.  Partly because I am an evil hoarder.  Partly because I like to wash them separately from the other laundry, and it takes a lot of handkerchiefs to fill a washing machine.

The main purpose of this post if to provide proof to an unbelieving public that I really do own 200 handkerchiefs.  The bathtub above and below holds 175.

I almost run out recently when I had a very nasty cold.

I feel I should hit Ebay and buy a few more.

Just in case.

You never know.

I mean, one wouldn't want to use toilet paper or anything ...

They soak in salt water for a few hours, then get run through the washing machine.

Ironing them all is a bit of a drag.  I can do 13 in 15 minutes.  Last weekend I ironed 175 handkerchiefs.  And then I had to fold them all.  It took a long time.

But afterwards, when I stood in front of my massive stash of freshly laundered handkerchiefs, full of pride and admiration, it was all worth it.

Maybe next time I write about my linen bed sheets ...

Bookish delights ...

A good spot for a little literary criticism ...

Just in case you wondered, the book club is still going strong.  We meet regularly - monthly is the ideal, but this can't always be arranged - and discuss a chosen volume.  We cover quite a range of subjects, and have graduated from short books to lengthy tomes.  Next time's read is 'The Year of the Runaways' by Sunjeev Sahota, a cool 468 pages.  Bad pages, apparently.  "You are going to hate this one," opined C, who chose it.  Well, with my kind of bus journeys I can get that done in a week or less!  And I am due to choose the next one - hehehehe!!!  I cackle, rubbing hands with glee. 

There is an interesting little volume that describes the ordeal of a few heroic bacteria who got lost in a chemistry lab.  Or perhaps the delightfully perverted "Unnatural Selection" by Daniel Evan Weiss.  It has one review in Amazon by a delighted customer: "I first read this book about 30 years ago. Why is it out of print? It is so politically incorrect that it should be required reading today. Indeed, I imagine bookstores would be picketed if this were sold today."

Then there is The Case of Mr Crump by Ludwig Lewisohn, or Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, or even Tea and Tranquillisers by Diane Harpwood.

I will not sink as low as The Annals of the Indoor Birdwatchers Society, though.

Good views

Flowers and things

Pesky pigeon getting free drinks from the fountain

Demonstration abut Armenia on the walk home!?!?!

Apparently this chin-high bench thing is for porters - they can let their rucksacks (or whatever) rest on the bench while they take a little break.  Never seen one of those!