Monday, January 4, 2010

Culture vulture or sword swallower?

Like a particularly woolly sheep I am joining the flock and heading at top speed towards that truly original topic, New Year Resolutions. I particularly liked the Sydney Morning Herald cartoon that suggested that it is worth making ones that will be a pleasure to keep – eg drink more, party endlessly.

Here are some of mine:
I am resolved to become more cultured and as a start try to go to our very good independent cinema (complete with Wurlitzer organ) more often. These film outings will almost certainly not be in tandem with husband who has a preference for the violent and bloodthirsty mixed in with sci fi and if there is a car chase, sex and a gun fight thrown in, then that’s all to the good. As I spend most of these type of films peering at the floor through my fingers trying to judge from the tempo of the music whether I can look or not without catching some type of alien decapitation they hardly rank as worthwhile trips. Anyway I am feeling very smug as I am off to 'Bright Star'3, the John Keats film tonight – though in true style, day one of my new cultured life started off with trip to GP to deal with a child’s verrucas – does it get any more glamorous?

Buy a new set of bathroom scales – I know it is a common claim that one’s scales are misreading but I think I have justifiable grounds for concern in that instead of returning to zero as I stop balancing on one leg and leap lithely off, the pointer whizzes round and gets stuck at 14 stone. I feel I must clarify here that I am nowhere near 14 stone and also that I am not opening this blog up to some kind of answers on a postcard event with estimates of my true weight.

Become more adventurous on the cooking front – although there are a number of variations on my standard dishes e.g. charred or burnt to a cinder, I have come to the depressing conclusion that spaghetti bolognaise, shepherds pie and pasta interspersed with beans on toast when things get desperate hardly offer a sparkling repertoire. Sydney is blessed with fabulous fish and a wonderful fish market capable of inspiring the most piscine challenged of cooks so I have just got to seize the moment and get familiar with a flounder or two.

One of the things that makes the most enormous difference to my life is having the ability to stream BBC Radio 4 over the Internet. I have just been listening to a Woman’s Hour broadcast dealing with some of the inspirational women they have interviewed over the last year. I particularly liked the UK politician Shirley Jenkins recounting how her father had proudly introduced her as a young girl to Nancy Astor, the first female MP in the UK with the words “My daughter wants to be an MP” only for Lady Astor to glance at her before saying dismissively “Not with that hair, she won’t”.

Also very taken with Marguerite Patten, a 91 year old cookery writer who briskly remarked mid interview “Now to answer the question you haven’t asked me yet”. I thought I might store this up as a useful bit of dialogue when I wish to be particularly cutting.

I could hardly listen to the last bit of the programme where Jenni Murray was interviewing a female sword swallower – something completely hideous about listening on radio to someone potentially disemboweling themselves. There were very impressive initial noises where the sword zipped through a cucumber with an impressive hissing sound to demonstrate its sharpness. Have to say just listening to the horrified silence as the python like ‘Miss Behave’ disposed of the sword made my bottom hurt. As Jenni Murray said with quivering hysteria in her voice “don’t try this at home” – have therefore crossed learning to sword swallow off the list of resolutions.

No comments:

Post a Comment