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Showing posts from October, 2011

Flying, eating, reading (and Writing Prompts)

Life doesn't get better than that. Although I have to say that flying isn’t what it used to be. I’ve put up with Easy Jet over the last three years because of cheap flights from Nice and convenient airports (Gatwick and Bristol). Their food is pretty dodgy though, particularly anything hot – the last bacon breakfast sandwich I had looked and tasted like it had been laminated – so I’ve tended to stick to a bottle of water or a tomato juice.
But the price of Easy Jet flights have been increasing. They might look cheaper on the Select Your Flight page but by the time you’ve added luggage and Speedy Boarding (essential if you don’t want to board a plane as part of a re-enaction of The Charge of the Light Brigade) the price starts to lose all attractiveness. The last time I flew to the UK it was cheaper to fly with British Airways than with Sleasy, and that was booking directly on the BA website too.
I remember when a two hour flight guaranteed being served a lunch, or at least a sandwic…

Dreams and transformations, marmalade, and the best view in the world, probably

The bird in my dream is tame. It sits on my hand while I am standing outside my house in Kent. It bathes in the water I pour into a dip in the tarmac right next to my feet. When it presses against my leg it changes into a grey floppy-eared puppy with a thick suede collar around its neck printed with a message: this dog is looking for a home, if it is returned to the address noted it will be destroyed.
Dreams are full of transformations. We walk into one house and find ourselves in a different place entirely. We talk to people we know who don’t look like the people we know. When we dream we’re supposed to be always dreaming about ourselves, each symbol representing some aspect of our character, our psyche.
The dream makes sense on some levels. I am leaving France and going home to our house in Kent. If I am both the bird and the dog then I am relinquishing the air for the earth, flight for firm ground.

Between the age of 8 and 9, in my second year at junior school, I had recurring nightm…

Programmed to Eat and A Nice Cup of Tea

Are we born with some of our our food preferences already genetically programmed? I don’t mean not liking the texture of raw tomatoes, or preferring custard to cream, or heating up your sugar puffs in the microwave for 30 seconds. I’m talking about the cultural relationship to our food. I don’t know any British person who doesn’t look forward to, or who doesn’t starts salivating at the thought of a roast dinner, personal hostilities towards parsnips or sprouts aside.
I have drawn the line at cooking a traditional Sunday lunch during the summertime here on the Cote d’Azur – there’s only so much heat any cook can take – but outside of those months the preparation and the cooking and the dishing up and the eating of a plate of roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots, green beans, sausage-meat stuffing and gravy makes me feel all happy and glowing inside and out.
I’ve tried the roast dinner on French neighbours and they have appeared… well… indifferent. Politely complimentary, yes, but not …