Week 162: Dutch oven
I keep returning to the New York Times no-knead bread recipe. Not because I don’t like kneading – I actually miss the magical joy of turning a sticky mess into something workable – but because I like the results it gives, a really pleasing texture. The recipe calls for a Dutch oven, which here means a casserole dish but can also mean the result of farting in bed. I have neither, just a loaf tin, which this week I didn’t grease properly, and a quirk of the “oven spring” meant the loaf sprouted a protruding bulge at one end, like it had grown a head like a Colin the Caterpillar cake. But “pics or it didn’t happen”, and inexplicably I didn’t take any, so
Voted by post, cos I’ll be out on the day of the day of the election, and it’s so important to have your say about bin collections. Just about managed to follow the instructions, tearing some paper along a dotted line, placing one half in an envelope that goes in another envelope with the other half. There’s a risk that my vote is rejected because my signature’s slightly too different to the one on the postal vote application form – there’s a growing problem, which I last encountered at the driving theory test centre, of young people these days not having consistent signatures.
Bought some shoes from the European Union, and there were some customs charges to pay. No sympathy expected – it’s up there with how it’s harder to take your dog skiing these days.
The Parcelforce website asked for a “payment reference number”, but of course the letter they sent only gave a “tracking reference” and a “parcel reference”. Turned out it wanted the parcel reference after all … so why not say so?
And the bank I bank with offered to let me pay the charges in instalments … which is fair enough, and in less lucky circumstances I might have taken them up on the offer, but my point is how 2022 it is.
The shoes are great, thank you.
🎦 Operation Mincemeat was merely OK. I was tired, and it was sunny outside, so I should have just had a nap in a park instead.
The Worst Person in the World – better. Watch out for the discussion of car parking arrangements in Oslo.
The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe was OK – an ITV drama, you know, but it’s a heartwarming true story about a landlord (12 rental properties) falling on hard times. Someone uses a search engine called “Bong” on a period-appropriate Windows laptop, and there’s a fictional insurance company called “Mutual Assured”.
(Oh the adverts on ITV. Bemused at Jamie Redknapp saying “plus, they’re machine washable”, and unaccountably enranged by the smug Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall–sounding voiceover advertising poncey settees.)
To a room above a backstreet pizzeria to see Liz Lawrence – a small joy.
Down by the river, it doesn’t take much sunshine for folks to lay about the goose shit–smeared grass and enjoy some rosé, which is almost enough to make you feel “proud to be British”. As I walked along, some flat-capped costermongers crossed a bridge ahead of me, and one shouted something something tits at the prone rosé enjoyers, which seemed a bit rude. Was this catcalling that I’d witnessed? As I disappeared under the bridge, I muttered STFU, too quietly to be heard, a weak attempt at allyship.
But when I passed by a bit later, the tits shouters had joined the winebibbers on the riverbank, and a bit like in a thought-provoking advert for a broadsheet newspaper, all was not as it had seemed. They were just normal men, they were just innocent men.