Thursday, January 12, 2006

I, Baker

This wholemeal loaf is my second attempt at baking bread. I am pleased with the result.
When I opened the oven door at the appointed time and an actual loaf had arisen in the tin I was satisfied out of all proportion. I strongly recommend this activity, especially if you have a little time on your hands and can cope with making an unholy mess. Do not forget to coat your hands (back AND front) with flour before kneading the dough. Otherwise, much sludge sticks to your hands and can only be removed via a humiliating trudge to the sink. I forgot twice which is why the loaf looks small - a substantial quantity of the original dough never made it to breadhood.
I'm going to push on to more advanced breads which looks like being expensive (this is a highly uncommercial enterprise). Raisin Bread, for instance, looks like setting me back about £30 to buy the ingredients. Unless you can buy 1 tablespoon of brandy. Next week - rye bread. Incidentally, I stopped eating bread recently. I only really wanted to make it. That's quite chefish.
I've just received a text message which suggests to me that I might have unsuspected powers as a motivational speaker. I had coffee this afternoon with a friend who was dreading going to a restaurant with her work colleagues tonight. I said, without any serious intent, that she should take it upon herself to be the one who made the party swing and get everyone involved in the conversation (she is quite reserved and self-conscious and seems to have a downer on most of her co-workers). I added that, on her way to the restaurant, she should think of something good about everyone who would be there. Cheesey and obvious, I know, but that was the spirit it was said in.
Well, as things turned out the planted seed insisted on growing and she had a good time and BIG THANKS to me.
This has made me acutely aware of the extent that things said casually can have an effect on others, good or bad.
Clearly, the next step is to take my own advice now that it has been safely tested on someone else. You see, I'm realising that I have developed a survivor mentality. I've been going into most situations in life with the goal of getting through them and, folks, that is not LIVING!
Ok. Enough words. Let actions speak.
I will bake a better man.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

coat hanger...not for the squeamish

This bizarre accident happened to an actor I know a few months ago in London. Acknowledgments to Ed for relating the tale. Paul, the actor, has a second job as a croupier/dealer at poker clubs and casinos. Naturally, the job requires that he wears a suit. He arrived at an engagement by taxi one evening, got out and pulled his suit (which was on a hanger) out of the back seat. This must have been a bit of a struggle because he yanked it out with enough force for the hook of the hanger to find its way between his eyeball and eye socket. In blind panic, he raised his hands to his face to try to remove the hook, thereby leaving his suit hanging from the 'peg' of his eye socket. Understandably, his instinct was to get it out of there asap and subsequent tugging freed it by ripping a big gash down his cheek which required plastic surgery.
Fortunately, his eye suffered no serious damage.
Almost certainly a unique event.