Monday, February 27

Aha ! (having just figured out the link function)

R has been in town since Friday, so we’ve been eating like piglets. He is someone I don’t see often at all (and, cool travel tidbit, we have never seen each other twice in the same country) but I still consider him a friend. We have much in common, and enjoy many of the same things, one of which just happens to be food. So on Friday we had a Cajun dinner at Thanksgiving, Saturday night we had a traditional French meal at Le Bouclard and last night we had dim sum and other fabulous food, including deep fried soft shelled crabs, in Chinatown. Just lovely. Am even more skint now than usual at the end of each month, but so well fed.

All this leads to the fact that I no longer fit comfortably in what used to be my best interview suit, as I found out much to my dismay half an hour before my interview with a recruitment agency this afternoon. Very sad. It’s a Cacharel pant suit, black with white pinstripes, the jacket is slightly boxy (I like a more fitted shape now) but the pants make my legs look long, or at least they did back when I could still do up the zipper and button and breathe satisfactorily.

I found something else to wear, and the interview went well. I am “very good, but expensive”. Well, I could have told the interviewer that right away, but it’s always a nice thing to hear from a professional. I think.

Friday, February 24

Forging ahead with the food theme…

In one of the comments below, I say I’m not a food snob. This made S laugh (or was that a snort?) with disbelief. Yes you are, he claims.

So here are my 5 reasons for definitely NOT being a food snob, even though MFK Fisher is one of my favourite writers and I do know my Saint Marcellin from my Saint Félicien, and my blanc de blanc from my bog standard champagne.

1. Although I haven’t eaten in McDonald’s since reading Fast Food Nation over 3 years ago, I still occasionally think that a Big Mac or Egg McMuffin would really hit the spot.

2. One of my snacks of choice: crab sticks. You know, those fake looking things that are bright orange on the outside, white on the inside, made with a percentage of fish (one hopes) and a percentage of goodness knows what else.

3. Another guilty pleasure: frozen breaded fish fingers, with ketchup.

4. A trip to New York is incomplete without a hot dog from a street cart. Yes, there are many other gastronomic pleasures to be had in that great city, but there you go.

5. I like English food. Fish and chips, full English breakfasts (oh, yum !), yes even beans from a can on toast. (This is serious - I might be asked to renounce my French nationality for admitting this…)

Voilà. A food snob, moi ? C’est impossible !

I'm It !

Eeek, I’ve been tagged by Y to come up with 5 food challenges ! Okey dokey –

1. Cook more fish

I love fish, but don’t often cook it because I find it intimidating. It’s less forgiving than a roast, or a stew, or a veggie stir fry. You can’t just leave fish to simmer or bake or fry for an extra few minutes while you toss a salad, for instance. And fish seems to require a fancy sauce, too. I’m a good cook, I think, but my cooking is low maintenance, and fish is high maintenance. Scary stuff.

2. Cook more, period.

S has taken over the kitchen and does the vast majority of the cooking, and most of the grocery shopping as well. But as much as I love coming home from work and flopping on the couch, asking “what’s for dinner?” I do also love the look on his face when I make dinner and come up with something good. Cooking for someone else (who truly enjoys food and is appreciative of your efforts) is so much more fun than cooking for one.

3. Eat more fruit

This shouldn’t be hard, but for some reason it is. I love most fruit, but rarely eat any type of dessert and when I want a snack I’m much more likely to reach for something savory rather than something sweet.

4. Use up the cans and jars of interesting looking sauces and condiments I buy on a whim and then leave untouched, gathering dust on the kitchen shelves.

‘Nuff said.

5. Make more food posts !

Originally this was going to be one of the blog’s main focuses (hence the kitchen table bit) but as it happens I rarely post about food. So from now on, I will talk about food more often. Maybe I’ll post recipes. Restaurant reviews. Stuff like that.

Soooo…. Now my problem is who to tag ? All the bloggers I know have already done this, or have been tagged by Y. Except for a certain dumb blonde in the South of France … (hey, her words, not mine !).

And if any other kind soul reads this and hasn’t yet done the 5 food challenge, consider yourself tagged ;-)

Wednesday, February 22

Teeth issues

S has been told by a French dentist that he needs to have all four of his wisdom teeth removed.

(Cue jokes about the NHS and dental care in the UK, if you will.)

He is now very worried.

Have tried to tell him that when I had mine out, it really wasn't such a big deal, the swelling was minimal, and barely 2 days later I was eating quite normally and not to make such a fuss. To no avail:

"I don't have a will!"
"What if he breaks my jaw?"
"I'll have to stay in bed for weeks afterwards"
"Why can't I have a general anesthesia?"
"My ears will drop off" (to which I replied that his brain might drain out of the holes left by the upper teeth - so much for being supportive...)

Tuesday, February 21

Jobs are a lot like men... should leave them both before you hate them, when you can still part on amicable terms, wishing each other the best.

Unfortunately I seem to have sailed past that stage with my current job, and am now firmly entrenched in the skin-crawling-cringing-I-cannot-believe-what-I-ever-saw-in-this-I-can’t-stand-it-any-longer phase.

Sunday, February 19

a perfect lunch

... for a grey winter Sunday.

Roasted pumpkin, onion & garlic soup, served with crusty chunks of baguette slathered with salted butter.

Tuesday, February 14

Valenswine's Day

The current post on the Waiter Rant blog (see links section) made me laugh :

“Valenswine’s Day is the day before Valentine’s Day,” she explains. “It’s when cheating husbands take their mistresses out to dinner.”

Sunday, February 12

this weekend's outfit

Baggy yoga pants and my favorite cashmere sweater.

Perfect comfort dressing : half slob, half snob.

Friday, February 10

A sign, another sign !

(of my needing a new job)

Two nights in a row, I have dreamed about work. The first dream involved my computer being infected by a virus, and having my ‘net surfing blamed for it (I guilt trip even during sleep !). The second one involved me working for a new boss who was simply odious. When I told him I didn’t see us working well together, he replied that I didn’t have any choice in the matter, and I woke up gasping and feeling really oppressed.

Arrived at the office this morning to more bad news about an assignment. It’s so tiring when projects that should be conducted in 3 months drag on. And on. And on. And on. So that 6, 9 or 12 months later you are still working on the same things, losing motivation day by day. With new projects coming in as well, so that the workload just gets heavier and heavier.

On a cheerier note though, I have rediscovered my gorgeous pair of suede and leather Vanessa Bruno boots and am wearing them today. Thank goodness my fashionista self is a happier bunny than my professional self.

Thursday, February 9

a sign, a sign !

(of my needing a new job)

I just picked up the phone in such anger that I banged the receiver against my ear really hard. ouch.

Wednesday, February 1

Mr Darcy again

Sorry, am a bit obsessed.

Has anyone else noticed that Matthew McFadyen looks a little bit like John Cusack ?

Pride & Prejudice

Just got back from the cinema after seeing P & P for the second time. Delightful.

There was a group of very giggly young girls sitting behind us. They cooed and gasped and held their breaths and sighed at all the romantic scenes and laughed whole heartedly at the funny bits. It enhanced my own pleasure at watching the movie.

(And allowed me to indulge in a bit of old fartiness when I caught myself thinking that it was good that they liked the film, because now they might be encouraged to read some Austen...)