Saturday, February 25, 2006

Friday: A Short Summary

Most entertaining sight: walking to work in a high wind behind a chap with a spectacular comb-over that was merrily flapping in the opposite direction from his head like an errant puppy ear.

Most surprising trolley contents: in Sainsbury's after work, a trolley I was passing suddenly started talking to itself, almost making me jump into the butter fridge with alarm. Upon closer inspection, it proved to contain a small girl-child, sitting not in the infant seat, but in the bottom of the trolley, and covered with groceries so that only her top half was visible.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Without so much as a pot to piss in

So anyway, when I registered with the Health Centre, they signed me up for an introductory session with the nurse.

Along I went this morning, to wait (and eavesdrop) dutifully amongst the assembled infirm - "I'm blind you know." "Pardon?" (and I know that shouldn't be funny, but I'm sorry it just is, and it took my mind off the other people hacking their guts up around me).

I have to say, the entire expedition was a huge and pointless waste of my time and theirs. She weighed me (63.2 I think. 63.2 what? anyone know what that is in old money?), measured me against a rule that didn't seem to have any numbers on it, and seemed to give her so much difficulty in working it out that I suspect she made something up in the end, and took my blood pressure. And that was it, wham, bam, next please.

When I first went in she asked if I'd brought her a sample, and gave me a cross sort of look when I explained that no, I hadn't, because no one had asked me to. After being measured, I was subsequently banished to the loos armed with pot, where I spectacularly failed to perform. Despite having necked a glass of water before setting out, in suspicion of just such a request. I sidled back in, to where the nurse was discussing flavours of hot chocolate with another nurse. Said that I could drop it in the next day, really no bother. Was told that no, this wasn't necessary, really. Tried to give the pot back. No no, you keep it. You might need it. Need it? What the hell for? Making some sort of suburban grenade? Something to throw at muggers instead of mace?

The other thing about the experience I found slightly unsettling was that at the same time, another nurse was examining a man in the other half of the room. Now it's not as if either of us was being stripped or anything, but in the circumstances of a medical examination - any medical examination - I don't want random members of the public present, and I don't imagine he felt any more comfortable.

The final interesting element of all this of course, was that the last time I had my blood pressure taken, I promptly passed out across a doctor's table. And the (only) time before that, it had given me pins and needles for about 24 hours. Neither reaction, I am told, is normal. So you can imagine how eagerly I was anticipatng the reaction to this. In the event, it just sent me extremely weak and dizzy for the walk home, with the disturbing feeling that my head might be about to explode. Cheaper than doing drugs, I suppose.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Clarks Restaurant - Big on Courgette, Big on the Causes of Courgette

Went out for dinner last night to Clarks Restaurant.

Very friendly, cheerful waitress with excellent service, not intrusive but popped up immediately as soon as she was needed.

We were offered a jug of water without asking which was impressive (although it never occurs to me in time to say don't put bloody lemon slices in it - I HATE this convention, it's like drinking disinfectant*).

We were booked in at 7:30 so it would be reasonably quiet, but needn't have worried - the whole time we were there, there weren't more than two other couples dining. This is obviously going to go the way of any other restaurant in Falmouth that I decide I like, and promptly close down (but I hope not).

Comfort-wise, the table was bizarrely high, it was like leaning over a wall - made it very awkward to read the menu and so on because your arms were forced into an odd angle - also, there was a very deep bit of wood under the tabletop, which meant I couldn't cross my legs (but if they'd made the seat any lower my chin would have been in my dinner because of the table height). I did thoroughly approve of the fact that the fairy lights round the window weren't on though. Too many places have evil little migraine inducing spotlights these days.

In terms of price, very good value - a three course dinner for two, with wine and coffee for £60.

To start with, C. had the sweet potato soup, which was good 'n thick 'n tasty (no jokes please), and I had prawns in garlic sauce, which might have been better done with big buggers rather than the little frozen shrimp jobs, but it was very very tasty, and had bread to mop up the sauce. The only bum note being that there was a napkin under the bowl that was absolutely sopping with whatever sticky orange gloop they'd drizzled over the salad.

This was followed up with duck breast in raspberry and redcurrant sauce, and I had the rack of lamb in rosemary and thyme (cue Felicity Kendall gags) red wine sauce. Both dishes were garnished with half a courgette, sliced (unevenly) lengthways. Why? And was it the end bits that had been floating in the soup earlier?

Both dishes were delicious, but the strength of the sauces made it hard to identify the actual meat flavour (and next time could you skip the huge chunks of badly peeled boiled carrot in the veg dish?).

Slightly disturbed by the sign in the loo which said something like this lavatory is sanitised weekly. Weekly? Ewww. Hopefully they give it a bit of a wipe more often that that. Particularly as it's unisex, hence a pool of pee on the floor, (and a broken pedal on the bin meaning you had to pry it open by hand). It was a decent sized, nicely decorated space though.

We both had magnificent sundaes (raspberry, and chocolate & nut) for dessert, with very good coffee. All in all, a very nice evening, good food, good service, and somewhere I would definitely go again.

* probably.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Say cheese

Can I just say, if there's one thing more annoying than gouging a chunk out of your thumb whilst grating cheese, it's doing the same thing again, in the same place, just as it's healed up? I can? Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day, Ramblers

~xx~ mmmwwah! ~xx~

Friday, February 10, 2006

Hotel Chocolat

You know the bits that fall out of papers and tv guides and so forth when you shake them - occasionally one advertising chocolates flutters out, and I would drool over this before consigning it to the recycling bag with the rest. Well the other week I cracked, and signed up with The Chocolate Tasting Club - and yesterday the most feet-stampingly good box of chocolates arrived in the post. It's huge! And only a tenner, including delivery, for the introductory box. And it came with free drinking chocolate, which is basically flakes of actualy chocolate, for dissolving in warm milk. How cool (or hot) can you get?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

That's the Ticket

FirstGroup having recently taken over our train services, they've started with barrier action on the railway platform - not letting anyone off the train in the morning until they show a valid ticket.

With our normal conductor, this is not a problem (all the halts on our branch-line are unmanned, so we cannot get a ticket before getting on the train), however today we had his occasional stand-in, who is terribly nice but moves at a speed that can only be adequately described in geological terminology.

He'd done about a THIRD of one carriage by the time we pulled in. We then had to queue up disconsolately while he continued, very slowly, to issue tickets (there didn't seem to be anyone else doing it, not even the guy on the trestle barrier). In fact, it took so long, that by the time he was getting to us at the back, some old boy stuck his head back in the carriage and said "ere, the barrier's gone!"

Reader, we legged it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Absent With Leave

Well, here endeth two days off work; spare bits of annual leave lying around are a wonderful thing. I have variously:

  • been to the dentist (about a pound a minute for the comedy Yorkshireman routine),
  • drunk a very good cup of coffee at Cinnamon Girl,
  • bought more books (bookshop forced to give me two actual pounds as change, having run out of tokens, hah!),
  • had a very good lunch with a friend (cajun chicken and rocket ciabatta and fries (ooh, get her), even better when looking at receipt later and discovering they'd forgotten to charge me for one of the glasses of wine),
  • registered with health centre after 6 years of meaning to get round to it, and bumping into a friend I'd not seen for years on the way,
  • received from eBay and read in 2 hours the whole of the River of Adventure in 1956 illustrated hardback edition.

Back to work tomorrow, sadly. Still, three day week, mustn't grumble...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Meet The Cluckers

Spent Saturday afternoon helping some friends renovating their house - this mostly involved hours of shovelling interspersed with carrying bits of wood, and also gave us the chance to say hello to their new chickens, newly rescued from battery hell. Fresh eggs a very good payment for hard labour in my opinion. Now if only I didn't feel like I'd been thrown through a window this morning...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

“if Candlemas Day be bright and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year”

So I suppose it's actually a good thing that today saw a constant blanket of thick grey cloud. It was noticably warmer though (probably thanks to said cloud), and I saw catkins and primroses on the way to work. The birds are a-singing in the trees, Spring is almost sprung methinks.

Image (c) Charles Winpenny