December 30, 2008 | Published in | 0 comments

2008 was by no means altogether shit; it was, in fact, a year of many unexpected surprises. Like a box of chocolates or whatever it is that Forrest Gump says. 

Time for one of those magnanimous messages and objective yearly reviews:

1) I am eternally grateful to those who have tolerated my ability to get angry about anything and everything that moves and doesn't move. It is a horrible habit, I must admit. If I have harmed you verbally or physically this year, I am sorry. If I haven't (yet?)...well, this is a warning. 

Really, to all those who have listened to my incessant bitching, thank you. I will bake more.

2) I am also eternally grateful for the food on my plate, gym membership and Miu Miu handbag.

3) OK fine I will study harder this year since I already do that whole 5-days-a-week-at-the-gym thing that most people aim to do during the start of the year. (Ha ha) 

4) I must really improve my grasp on spoken Mandarin and Cantonese. 

5) Whatever will be, will be. 


How Good Have You Been This Year?

December 15, 2008 | Published in | 0 comments

Want: new bags, new shoes, new kitchen sink, new coat, new American Apparel dress, new pet rabbit, new belt, new fur-trimmed bolero, new purple giraffe, new sneakers, snazzy Ralph Lauren blazer, Chanel earrings, new laptop, new Internet connection, new loaf tin, new leggings, new eyebrows, new Topshop accessories, new French Soles, new gym shoes, new dinosaur model, new ....me?

Need: Absolutely nothing - except maybe washboard abs and Bundchenian legs.

The true spirit of Christmas is in the giving, kids. Santa knows it when you try to earn brownie points. Heigh ho!

I Don't Sleep

December 10, 2008 | Published in | 0 comments

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do

This song often pervades my dreams.

Of Surprises and Marathons

December 07, 2008 | Published in | 0 comments

Fairly eventful weekend. Am not particularly fond of blogging about what I've done because I don't believe my life is worth going into excessive detail about- but, well, this weekend was slightly different.

Saturday morning - went to Borough Market to eat more food. I have a newfound love for wild boar sausages. I delight in its remarkable crunchy chewiness. So much better than regular pork sausages, to be honest.
May it set your heart aflutter.

I tried out a recipe for eggless brownies this weekend as a present for a friend. I don't know how people survive sans eggs or meat, but I personally couldn't do it; so much so that I baked another Banana Chocolate Walnut cake (with eggs) this evening. Saturday ended with a re-run of X Factor and discovering cute boyband. Bring back the boybands!

And then. And then. That marathon I've been training for. I wake up at 7AM this morning, brush my teeth, put on my contacts, have a hearty oaty breakfast with the requisite mug of coffee (two tsp of Nescafe, one sugar, skimmed milk), put on my running clothes, thought "Goddammit I shall finish that 42km today whether I like it or not", chat to my not-cranky-for-the-first-time-in-the-morning flatmates who are most supportive and head out the door. To my surprise, it is a lovely day. Oh, how could anything go wrong? I will finish running 42km before the sun sets and I can say "Omfg, I just ran a marathon and didn't die."


Here's where I quote that asshole Murphy who came up with this: "If anything can go wrong, it will"

Here's what happened in short:

- A car had hit black ice and taken a tumble, blocking a large part of a very narrow country lane.
- The people couldn't get the car out in time. Window of sunlight gets shorter and shorter.
- They decide they can't continue the race because they don't want people running in dark country lanes.
- Race is cancelled.

(Nobody was hurt, so I have the freedom to bitch as explicitly as possible without hurting anyone's feelings)

What ARE the chances of ALLL that happening on a BRIGHT but cold Sunday morning? Shouldn't a person be in bed all wrapped up and warm? The only people who should be out on a Sunday morning are crazy morons like us who enjoy the pain of running loopy distances in negative temperatures! Everyone else should be sleeping or enjoying a nice Sunday breakfast with the family in the conservatory, munching on buttered toast or sipping on strawberry tea with honey - certainly not driving at high speeds through ice!

Fine, he may have been driving slowly and you can't really see black ice, but I am a bitter underexercised girl.

I can't help but wonder, as Carrie Bradshaw would, perhaps something bad would have happened had I run today.

I should just go out and buy myself a lottery ticket. After everything that has happened today, the chances of winning the lottery are certainly not that much slimmer.

A Sedate but Yummy Wednesday

December 03, 2008 | Published in | 1 comments

One steps foot into the Dorchester expecting nothing less than the sycophantic doorman and an all-too-keen bellboy. Not that I would know; it was all in the imagination from reading novels about dining at the Ritz and watching Bond films. Well, it really is like that in reality. One asks for Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and is politely shown to a restaurant at the end of the corridor, past The Promenade, The Grill and The Bar. The room is spacious and alight with a soft glow that lulls the senses into a dreamy state. Yet, one can't help but talk about the finer things in life when dining in this place. Call it a lack of exposure on my part - a jakun if you will - but it's true :-)

The pompous maître d' greets us, asks us whether we'd like champagne with lunch. Bubbly in the afternoon? Thanks, but that would be far too decadent, sir. He then brings us a cute bowl of bread and cheese balls, each one dotted carefully with either paprika or black pepper.

These little babies are quite delectable. I am a carb junkie; what can I say?

Thereafter, we are presented with the chef's first delectable delight: the amuse-bouche - literally translated from the French as 'mouth amuser'. The chef knows no bounds with the amuse-bouche, as it is meant to whet the guest's appetite in anticipation of the coming meal. Well, it works! Today's amuse-bouche comes to us in the form of creamed broccoli with black olives garnished sparingly with slices of various raw vegetable. I gush at the taste of black olive combined with the broccoli cream and scoop every last drop pitifully. My bouche is now tres amused.

I have a sinful weakness for all things buttery, like most other gluttons. Note how much of the butter has been unmercifully knifed away (below). I could eat this on its own.

For starters, I order the 'Slightly Sauteed Shrimp'. It is an esoteric palette of tastes. The shrimp, together with some regular broccoli, peppers and finely cut carrot, is sitting on a bed of seemingly solidified (and quite salty) stock. It tickles my curious tastebuds and I am actually quite confused as what to make of it, so I dismiss it as 'fairly forgettable', if not a little overwhelming in texture and saltiness. The solidified salty jelly stuff does not do the shrimp justice.

By this point, the three of us are pleasantly surprised. We have satisfied our Tesco saturated tastebuds! But, oh, what's zis? More food! Ze other snotty French maître d' (hereafter known simply as Pompous) trots along and presents us with our main courses. I picked the 'Roast Veal with Creamy Spinach' because, you know, gym rats like me need my daily hit of protein and fat all at once.

One of us remarked that, yes, it does indeed resemble 'siew yoke'. It even tastes a bit like it, but after five mouthfuls, I am up to my neck in richness. The meat is delightfully plump and tender and when eaten with the correct sliver of fat, it can actually cause shivers of sheer pleasure. What I do not fancy, though, is how much the sauce tastes like it has a lot of Knorr's Beef Stock Concentrate in it i.e. the stuff I use for my gravy. Either the chef had a slip-up or Knorr really know their stuff.

And then comes the most favouritest part of the meal: dessert! After a rich main, I look forward to calming myself down with a tangy dessert. I get exactly that in this wonderful and most awesomest Vacherin served in the most cutest dessert bowl (I gotta get me one of these).

The colours are far more exciting than they look; it really resembles a mini Hawaiian luau. Underneath the mini meringue crusts, mango sorbet and coconut, lime and banana sorbet (which Pompous snidely dismisses as vanilla when I ask him what flavour it is and then comes back apologetically telling me it really is coconut, banana and lime. Tous est, eh, what you call it...c'est stupide??) is a titillatingly zingy passion fruit compote. I adore passion fruit with a zealous passion - no pun intended :) This is, by far, the pièce de résistance of the meal. We are not exactly stuffed, but it's okay. Food makes people happy. Food makes me happy, anyway.

'To the good life that we shall afford next time'.