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Skipped Back 10

May 27th, 2009

Not about cake

But about Penguins bars, which are - I believe - technically a biscuit product.  ]

There is something very comforting about the biscuity blandness of a Penguin.  It has just enough chocolate to make it seem a bit like eating a chocolate bar, but slightly less bad.

And I like the jokes.  More chocolate should come with pathetic jokes. 

It helps the morning pass.

March 20th, 2009

Another post about cake...

Because that's what I do now, apparently.  (Although technically, this one is about pastry and baked goods in general, thus providing the kind of variety that makes this LJ such a stimulating and sintilating read).

Waitrose apple turnovers are a thing of beauty and wonder.  Never before have I fully appreciated the delights of the apple turnover - but then, I grew up in heston where pastry is the thing they sell in a warm fridge-counter in the kebab shop and doubles as an offensive weapon in the event of mugging.

Waitrose bakery has introduced me to many high-fat-content lovely things, like those swirly pink iced cupcakes which I detest for their nasty reactionary consumerist-1950s-faux-nostalgia and innate over-sized americanism but love because I don't have to bake them myself and they're really very pretty. I'm not sure there is anything better in the world than a giant pink french fancy.

I feel justified in the artery gunking gorging because I have been very good* for many days, drinking hot lemon and honey in the morning in the manner of a wholesome person who does such things because they genuinely enjoy being healthy (rather than wanting to maintain their topshop size and thus avoid expensive spring wardrobe shopping).

These are my thoughts about Cake, and Life, which as ever seem to be one.

* "good" in that exclusively female sense, meaning successful in petty acts of self-deprivation culminating not in good health but a guilt-free calorie orgy of gleeful self-destruction.

March 11th, 2009

Death and cake

The nice thing about working in a place of death is that people bring us a lot of cake.  They probably assume that working with a lot of deadness is depressing, and thus bring the cake to comfort us.  I don't mind the death.  But I do like cake.

This particular cake is a victoria sponge*, home-made in a richmond kitchen by a very nice lady who is not dead.

*With jam and cream in the middle, as is the proper way. As cake with a jam-only filling = death.

March 6th, 2009

I write this post...

in the semi-knowledge that I may already have written it. But I thought it would be more interesting to write it anyway, and then check if it already exists afterwards. You may disagree...

It's a strange office-born tradition that on the departure of a co-worker, we give them a fond farewell by standing about in their office and eating large amounts of cake.  I don't know if the cake is supposed to act as a comforting device, suggesting how much we will miss them by modeling the great gaping hole they will be leaving in our lives out of cake, and eating it.  Or if it is just an excuse to eat cake.

Probably the cake thing.

Although, amount and quality of cake does seem proportional to how much we like(d) the person. i.e. IT person no-one spoke to unless their printer was broken = Mr Kipling bakewell slices. Much loved girl who used to do my job but better and now leaving to do something complicated with children and science = home-made lemon drizzle and coffee-walnut cakes.

It's quite a good system of life-assessment really, measuring how much people really like you in cake. Baked goods never lie.

I wonder what sort of cake I would get if I went away...

*EDIT: Apparently I haven't. Clearly one of the many fascinating LJ snippets I compose in my head while I should be doing something else and never summon up the motivation to actually write. Also further proof that not only do I not have very interesting thoughts e.g. long meditations on cake, but I also have the same not very interesting thoughts repeatedly. Excellent.*

March 4th, 2009

There are men clambering in and out of my office windows and roaming precariously on the sills, whistling.  With no explanation.  We came back from lunch and found them here, one leg in, one leg out, straddling the listed sash windows.  Boss decided the British thing to do would be to simply ignore them, so we have booted up computers and are busy moving papers about in the normal way, as if there were not two burly gentleman sans ties climbing on our furniture.

They have ladders, and tools. 

I believe they may be window cleaners. 

Or very self-assured burglars.  Or exceptionally determined suicides.

There is a large manual labour footprint on my desk.

Surely normal work not possible in these circumstances? 

February 27th, 2009

Why is it that after scurrying in 10-15 minutes late every day, the one day I decide I am clearly going to be horrifically late and actually force myself to phone up and make up a terrible excuse about diverted buses, TFL's pesky transport services conspire to pull off a bizarre trick of time and deposit me at work ten minutes early, thus making me look like a big big crazy?

February 2nd, 2009

Abysmal Holidays 

Tired of those holiday blues when your trip to the sun proves to be a big wet letdown?  Avoid the anti-climax with a holiday package that deliver on its promises: dreariness desolation and disappointment.  At Abysmal Holidays, we understand that holidays are a desperate attempt to escape the mundane awfulness of every day life and a naive projection of all the hopes and dreams that you have failed to realise.  We know your holiday is doomed to be a terrible disappointment when it turns out to be just OK: much like your Real Life but somewhere hotter with an unfamiliar shower and oddly-named food and three times more expensive. 

Abysmal Holidays have the answer: pre-arranged crappiness, no frills, no hidden extras - just rubbish locations, dreadful facilities, and guaranteed horribleness, that will make you actually appreciate being at home.  Come with us for a thoroughly miserable time.

The "Hell" Holiday

Two weeks in a very cramped caravan (just let us know how many are in your party and we can shrink the space accordingly) in the middle of a wet field. Constant rain, no activities and absolutely no sites of interest guaranteed. Facilities include an electric kettle with mildly entertaining whistling noise, which will provide hours of tedium for all the family*.  Just when you think it can't get any worse, you will be invaded by Graham Norton and a group of highly embarassed students who will re-enact river dance in your rickety caravan until you want to kill yourself.

*Boiling the kettle without water is not recommended.

The "Withnail" Trip

A weekend in the countryside, in a neglected cottage, complete with hostile locals and dramatic rainstorms.  Almost constant saturation and an inability to get properly dry again is assured.  No mod. cons. included, to ensure complete misery.  Fully catered with a supply of potent alcohol and one live chicken.  Enjoy two days of isolation in which your companions will prove completely intolerable and wildly irritable.  Local sites of interest include a cake shop, who will refuse you service and call the police, and a fictitious wellington boot seller.  If you think that sounds dull, you can look forward to a surprise visit from Lecherous Uncle Monty, who will break in during the night and inevitably try to molest one or more of the pert male guests.  This memorable trip is rounded off with an inebriated drive home and a night in the cells.*

*For a modest fee, we can arrange for your home to be occupied on your return by a drugged up friend and a large black man in your bathtub.

The Black Books Airport Experience

For those of a spontaneous nature, this thoroughly depressing excursion can be booked at an evening's notice: spend five days visiting some of the world's most convoluted airports in a dizzy series of connecting flights and stop-overs, complete with flight delays, lost baggage and disorientating naps on uncomfortable plastic chairs, expensive duty free binges and headache inducing coffee in a range of identical chain cafes.  Discover the answers to those eternal questions: what does anyone really need from tie-rack? Just how many flights can you take with your closest friends before you want to put big spikes through their heads? Why are airport staff that disturbing shade of orange? Why do your bags always end up at a more exotic location than you?  When you're at your most burnt out and airport-staff-incompetence-provoked-psychotic, enjoy one and a half hours in your planned destination before you get the do the whole terrible business again.

You can also sample our wide range of Extras:
- Lost baggage (or for a slightly wider budget, have your bags blown up at the airport!)
- Flight cancellation and/or bumping down a class (it's a widely spread myth that you can't put passengers in the cargo deck)
- Hotel check-ins up to eight hours after you arrive, or a bonus lost reservation special
- Sick child to look after, who will cry constantly and demand you sing the-wheels-on-the-bus by the Pussycat Dolls, with the curtains drawn.

Abysmal Holidays; travel experiences that won't let you down*

(*but may lead to bouts of severe depression/anxiety/birdflu, which your travel insurance won't cover.)

Home never looked so good

January 23rd, 2009

I broke my finger on the hoover Dyson.

*Edit* Perhaps not technically broken, but much more bruised and painful than it was pre-Dyson-bashing.

Also - technically, not on the Dyson, but against kitchen counter while trying to artistically flick the cord out of my way. This is where cleaning with a flourish gets you.

January 20th, 2009

Two more reasons

to question my status as a functioning member of society.

One: Princess Alexandra popped into the Home this morning for a meet 'n' greet, for the duration of which I hid. In a cupboard.*

Two: I find myself alone in strangely quiet Legacy department. This is not because everyone is dead, but because majority of work colleagues are at birthday lunch. I ignored mass invitation by all-inclusive email as always feel intrinsically that all-inclusive group emails are not meant to include me. On encountering colleague three minutes before said lunch, was overcome with the awkwardness that would be involved in a) having ignored email, b) effort of pretending had not seen email, c) speaking to a person. So I hid. Behind a photocopier.

This is what I mean when I say I want to be less rubbish.

* Not just because meet 'n' greet is such a nasty nasty corporate americanism.

January 12th, 2009

The 2008 Review

Five Books:
The Master Bedroom - Tessa Hadley
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox - Maggie O'Farrell

Five Films:
I'm Not There
There Will Be Blood
Mulholland Drive

Five Albums:
Slipway Fires - Razorlight
Watershed - KD Lang
In Rainbows - Radiohead
Jarvis - Jarvis Cocker
I'm Not There OST

Five Concerts:
KD Lang at Hammersmith
Razorlight at Brixton
Jarvis at Shepherd's Bush
Radiohead at Victoria Park
Babyshambles at Brixton
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