Saturday, September 17, 2005

I'm swimming..., I'm drowning...

...yes, that’s actually me, the tiny blue speck (pun absolutely intended) in the middle of the picture... but I wasn’t drowning then, I was simply enjoying the crashing waves at Plage Verger.
Before I digress[1], what I meant to say was: I’m drowning because of all these things I’ve signed up to do ... not to mention all the depressing things I really ought to do.

And on top of it all, Ozzy insists that he really does want to go to grammar school – even though he has so far not put in any effort whatsoever and is struggling on all fronts, even with the non-verbal reasoning – which had me tearing my hair out and trying to find a tutor with whom he’d hopefully not throw a tantrum, argue over semantics and claim that the tests’ authors needed their heads examined.
When really, at this stage in the proceedings, we ought to give up. When really, at this time of the year, I should get down to sorting through my own piles of teaching materials. When really ..., no, I won’t own up (yet) to what really, really, really needs doing and has been waiting to be done for... ehm, 3 years? 4 years?

Still, at least there won’t be any apple or pear harvest this autumn (both the apple and the pear tree had to be sacrificed), and therefore no chutney making (not that this has slowed me down in terms of holding on to every glass jar our family has managed to empty in the course of the year...). Which brings me neatly to the fun things I’ve signed myself up for.

Something fruity, something autumnal

– that’s the theme of Euro Blogging By Post 2, organised again by Andrew of spittoon.

Or rather, that’s one half of the theme. The other being a cupboard raid – to rummage around at the very back of it for an ingredient which you may have bought in a mad flurry of high spirited culinary inspiration only to find your enthusiasm dwindling into nano crumbles faced with your piles of ironing to do/essays to write/admin to sort. In other words, an ingredient you have never got round to using. In an ingenious twist to the care parcel idea, you add one such ingredient, AND – this is the exciting bit – your recipient has to create something with it. (I expect it is supposed to be something edible, not making a collage, or using it for urgent wall plastering – which is probably all my back-of-the-cupboard-ingredients are good for, suspecting that they’re so alarmingly beyond their use-by-date that the World Health Organisation is probably issuing toxic waste warnings as we speak.

To pass something on that you thought you wanted to use but then lost interest in, to someone else to wrestle with, is an excellent idea, which could work for me in many different areas. “Wouldn’t a yoghurt maker be of use to you? Part of the symptoms of an unfamiliar strain of domesticity I seem inexplicably to have caught last summer”. “Here are a few rolls of wallpaper I bought during a bout of decorating fever which befell me all too briefly in 1998”, “How about a batch of wool? I must have acquired it during a spot of earthmotherly delusions in a former life.”

In fact, I can feel lots of ‘Secret Santas’ coming on – which is the just the cue for another thing I’ve signed up for: a parcel exchange between people on Chocolate & Zucchini.
Similar to the Euro one, except there are no country restrictions and we’ll talk about it on C&Z, as opposed to a blog.

On the same forum, initiated by me, and deadlined for next Wednesday – so there really is no excuse!!! – will be the Life of Pi book review and menu presentation . I have to hang my head in shame, but I’m not even half way through the book, and worse still, so far it hasn’t succeeded to tickle the parts which ignite culinary invention, or at least the parts which conjure up food memories...

The latter can induce involuntary salivating, as I’m sure you all know, and is probably what will happen when you read about other people’s food memoirs – which you have the opportunity to do when you follow through the following meme[2], which I was privileged to have been tagged for by a lovely new acquaintance from C&Z: KAI whose blog is bucaio.

NEXT: Childhood Food Memories, THEN: Cupboard Love

[1] “I’m swimming” was an expression serving staff used at the Mövenpick restaurant when they weren’t coping with the amount of orders in their ‘station’. As you may know, the second law of thermodynamics commands people to feel the urge for dining out at exactly the same time, and when they turn up at the same eatery in bulk, a subcategory of the centrifugal force compels them to seat themselves in the relative confines of only one waiter’s ‘station’ – totally oblivious to the fact that other loitering waiters and waitresses aren’t actually supposed to take orders outside their ‘station’, unless a colleague with piles of plates in their hands gallops by with barely concealed panic, and hoarsely hisses the above idiom. (If you’re young and female, and you’ve got Italian colleagues, they might actually approach you at the first sign of your gazelle like sprint, and volunteer to help... ah, those were the days!)

[2] From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term meme (
pronounced [miːm] in IPA; from the Greek word μνήμη for 'memory') first appeared in the 1976 book by Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. ... Different definitions of the meme generally agree, very roughly, that a meme consists of some sort of a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution having a resemblance to the gene (the unit of genetics). ... In casual use, the term meme often refers to any piece of information passed from one mind to another. This usage more closely resembles the analogy of "language as a virus" than Dawkins' analogy of memes as replicating units. This definition has come into popular use on the Internet.


Kai said...

Hahaha, if not in anything, aren't we all great in procrastination. I was about to start a forum at C&Z specifically to ask those participating how they're getting on with Life of Pi. Take it easy, and don't set aside the fun of it all. ;-)

Mona said...

Hey! I haven't been tagged yet for this topic (been away this weekend) and I'm excited about this meme! Will let you know when I finish!
Thanks for checking out my blog!

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