Thursday, August 31, 2006

On Retreat

Dear Ed is in Laos for the weekend. Some kind of Buddhist retreat I understand. His good friend Chez has suggested that the IDQCT Fan Club should take over his comments and 'trash' the place. I think that 'trash' in Jersey means 'enhance' or 'respect'. I'll be over there in the morning respecting and enhancing to the best of my ability. Just right now I'm too tired to do it justice.

But while we're on the subject does anyone else think that the aforementioned Chez would make a good President of the Fan Club? It's obvious from his comments on Ed's blog that they go back a long way and that he holds his Edness in the highest esteem.

I wonder where in Laos He has pitched His tent.

How It Went

I spent £512.11.

By far the largest amount was spent on running the car for I spent £176 on car tax and nearly £75 on petrol. The second largest amount was used to buy groceries. I spent just over £130 on food and detergents.

The initial fees for my course were £99.

I could have saved £30.81 on other items but that would have meant no birthday card for Zoë, no ice cream and coffee for Hannah and myself the night she was really miz and I was trying to cheer her up and no buns for the workmates and no chocolate (only 4 bars this month and I only scoffed 2 of them) and no newspapers.

But this was only what I spent. I’d like to thank Matty for buying the coffees and eats the times we went out, Bert for breakfasts in the Bluebell and the Nobel and also for the wine. Bert also made his usual contributions to the grocery shopping.

The chart does not include my standing orders and direct debits, which pay for things like my contribution to household bills, the Internet and various insurance and pension contributions. So I did spend quite a bit more than £512.

I drastically reduced my expenditure on confectionary and alcohol. I even reduced (a little) my consumption of same. I bought many fewer newspapers and no magazines. I never darkened the door of a charity shop or TK Maxx. It was a bloody bore.

But I could do it all again and now that I’ll be working for something closer to the minimum wage I may have to.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Happy Birthday To

Moving On

Today I signed up for a course which will give me a teaching qualification.

I then made an application to do agency work.

And I handed in my resignation. I'm leaving Tinkerton.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Making Changes

Bert and I went to the Nobel Cafe today instead of the Bluebell. Bert thought that the prices of the five piece fry did not compare favourably with the Bluebell Cafe. I pointed out that the quality and the portion sizes were superior.

In the Bluebell your woman pokes through the fadge 'til she finds the smallest piece then puts it on my plate! That's every single time.

Maybe she's trying to tell you something.
A change of venue for brunch is not the only change in the air. Bert made steps today in the direction of changing his bank from The Bunch Of Robbing Bastards Bank to The We'll Still Rob You But Not Quite As Drastically As Them Other Boys Bank. Small steps.

And I've been letting this lovely phrase roll off my tongue -

My soon to be ex-boss

More to report tomorrow when contracts are signed and ink dries.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Poets & Dreamers

What a very pleasant and civilised evening we had yesterday.

Gravy Dave read some of his poetry. And it was good - more than good. We drank wine and talked of many, many things.

Nelly: Why do they call you Gravy Dave?

Gravy Dave: Say again?

Nelly: Your name. Gravy Dave. Why do they call you that?

Gravy Dave: Dunno really.

Jamie: It's because there are so many Daves in Stoke. We have to tell them apart somehow. I once went to a festival with seventeen guys all called Dave!

We spoke of dreams. I told them this.

Nelly: I dreamed I walked out of work and got on a bus for Cushendall. Just as we got there I started to panic. I should be in work! I decided to tell them I'd had a nervous breakdown. What does that mean?

Them: It means you hate your job and you want to leave.

Nelly: Then I dreamed I was at work and I had to make an urgent phone call. I couldn't get the phone to work. I started to panic. What does that mean?

Them: It means you hate your job and you want to leave.

Nelly: Then I dreamed I was in work and I looked down at my leg an there was a big patch where I'd obviously missed shaving. There were long black silky ringletted hairs growing from it. They were about four inches long. I started to panic because I was wearing a skirt and I couldn't hide them. What do you think that means?

Them: It means you hate your job and you want to leave.


Looky Likey

Thanking very much CyberScribe for the link to this Face Recognition fun site.

I was straight in there wth my own picture and found out that I was a dead ringer for this one.

Tung Chee Hwa

Cannot say I was offended for he is a bit of a looker.

Then I thought I'd try Ganching to see if any family likeness came up.

Sylevester Stallone

Can't see the family resemblance myself.

Then I adjusted the thing for gender and came up with these pair - Nelly and Ganching respectively.

Joan Cusack =Nelly looky likey [Love those mad staring eyes. So me]

Sarit Hadad = Ganching looky likey

You can definitely see the family resemblance there can't you?.

So then I moved on to the weans.

Zoe - Fred Durst

Katy - Eliza Dushku

Hannah - Billie Piper

Have to say I was appalled at Zoe's doppelganger. Fred Durst is not any mother's ideal choice 'cepting of course Fred Durst's actual mother. So I submitted another photo of Zobo sans Red Hat and came up with Eliza Dushku. Result!

Incidentally I have never hear't tell of Eliza Dushku but she is gorgeous and there are lots of photos of her on t'internet. So she must be all right.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Nelly Gets Nasty

Yesterday morning I threw a strop and it started like this.

Do you know we’ll soon be living in this house for a year?


Yes. A year. In October. And the bloody place is still not finished. Look at the state of that floor. When is that useless bastard Nameless coming back to finish it? Two months we’ve been ringing him. He’s nothing but a [insert very bad word]. If you had laid a floor and that happened would you not at least have come round to check it out?

Aye. I suppose I would.

Well typical useless get can’t even be bothered to do that. You can just knock a hundred quid, at least, off his bill for all our bother and expense.

He still hasn’t billed us for any of the work he’s done so far.

Huh. Typical lazy, useless get can’t even do that!

And so it went on and on taking in, along the way, the tramping in of muck, dogs drooling on the cushions, a pan not washed since Tuesday evening and a petulant refusal to finish cooking the pancakes I’d started on.

Naturally enough Bert lost his head at it all, told me he was fed up listening to my ranting and complaining, advised me to shut the [insert moderately bad word] up and made a damn good try at storming off in his van.

But I got to him before he got off the yard. Begged him to reconsider his actions and contritely promised to finish cooking the pancakes.

And the outcome was that Bert finished the floor himself. It took him all day. All that was required of me was to help him to puzzle out which boards went back where, make lots of tea, admire his skill and intelligence, and cook him a lovely meal with dessert to follow.

Which is why I’d no time to post any blog entries yesterday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fungi Has A Lot To Answer For

Sometimes I like to idle away a few hours minutes surfing and so on. Tonight I've been googling a small village on the Dingle peninsula. I first visited Ballydolphinig* in the 1980s. One of my sisters was going about with a lad from those parts. In fact she ended up marrying him and they're around there to this day. But anyway I wander off.

Ballydolphinig was a very small place then and I understand it still is. It nestled at the foot of a shale mountain and consisted of a collection of houses. They called it a village but there was no pub, no post-office and no shops. The people of the village had roots reaching back for centuries and they all spoke Irish. Except for the children who spoke and were spoken to in English.

Sure they'll get enough Irish to do them.

It was a quiet place then. The main excitement for the youngsters of an evening was setting the fuchsia hedges on fire. Or hitching a lift on a donkey and cart to the next crossroads for a bit of oul craic.

Of course it's all changed now. Ballydolphinig is all modern with satellite TV and the best of cars and household goods and everything a body could ask for. They've all got computers and the internet but not, as far as I know, broadband.

Even so, can you imagine my shock on googling through parish registers, pictures of beehive cells and advertisements for holiday cottages, to find a web page called Ballydolphinig Swingers. With pictures of the lively couples too. All ages, all creeds and all colours. Thirty-nine pairs of them! And some without tan-lines.

They must be blow-ins.

*name has been changed to protect the innocent

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


You've Changed 40% in 10 Years

Ah, the past! You may not remember it well - because you're still living in it.
While you've changed some, you may want to update your wardrobe, music collection and circle of friends.

Found at Baboon Pirates

Huh! I think 40% a lot of changing for a woman in her middle years.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Thinspiration

Mrs Bun the Baker in her Kitchen

Despite all the walking I've been doing I'm still all fat & jolly and to tell you the honest truth there are times I'm not a bit jolly about it at all. Of course I do eat like a savage and all this home baking I'm doing is taking a toll. Incidentally Bert remains his usual skinny self. So snot fair.

That's me up there feigning jollity and rattling the pots & pans to get another big feed of cakes and buns on the go.

I'm delighted to hear that Carisenda has been successful in reducing his BMI. I wonder if that method would work for me? Or should I get one of those scary looking snakes that Nicole Richie has? Poor girl cannot call a slice of pizza her own. No wonder she's so emaciated. I'd know when to stop though. When I got down to a svelte eleven stone I'd get Bert to chop the snake up for firewood or, better still, give it to Dave for whittling with.

Is it just me or are those sunglasses really, really stupid looking?

Baby Blogger of the Year

Your Esteemed Candidate

Vote vote vote for Sandra.

Best young blogger I know.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Helping the Police

The Scene: An Office In A Town

The Characters:

Woman, Somewhat Glum
Young Woman, Somewhat Giggly
Female Police Officer
Male Police Officer

MPO: So your man has the Advanced Driver’s Licence but he got it over 20 years ago and now he’s half blind. You’d need to be sitting beside him telling him where to drive, what to watch out for, walls and things, for he sees nothing.

WSG: Do the police not get youse ones to refresh that sort of thing after a period of time?

FPO: Huh! Hardly. Sure we’re waiting forever to get refresher courses in firearms training.

WSG: I’d like firearms training.

All parties look at Woman, Somewhat Glum askance. She continues…

WSG: For I might be the sort of person you’ll find someday at a high window picking people off…

YWSG: giggles

FPO: I could give you a list.

MPO: (points out window) Take out a few in that row there and you’ll cut the town’s crime rate in half.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Song For Nelly

grrr, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

All together now



We hate Nelly, she's a hateful cow
We hate Nelly, she's a fat oul sow
We hate Nelly and her rotten blog
We hate Nelly and we're singing this in Dog

And Moving Swiftly On...

Here are some more pictures about which, I'm certain, there shall be no complaints.

Rosie Sleeping

Rosie says: Ah for pity's sake is that the best photo you could find. I look like a right scruffy oul fecker in that and my nose looks stupid and my arse looks fat and that's not my best foreleg I'm showing..

Paddy Racing on the Loan Hill

Paddy says: Aye! And I look like I'm racing to catch the Special Bus. For God's sake Nelly! Mad staring eyes, tongue lolling and my ears... the cut of my ears! Take it down Nelly. My fans will hate it.

Scruff Licking The Cream Bowl

Scruff: Damn you to hell and back Nelly. That's a cut. My hairs standing on end and my head stuck in a bowl of cream. I look so bloody old! And greedy! That's not going to help my thinspiration cred is it now? Not one bit!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stray Toaster and Dimples

Stray Toaster and Dimples, originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.

For Sandra and the rest of the girls.

Of course it doesn't do them justice. They're both even better in the flesh.

Note to self. Calm down. You know using words like 'flesh' will only bring on one of your hot flushes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


I recently spoke to An Eighty-Year-Old Woman With Whom I Am Very Well Acquainted and I asked her what her thoughts were on the recent Critical Security Alert. She answered me thus.

A lot of made up nonsense! There’s that oul get Blair away on his holidays and the next thing this carry-on starts! They had it all planned out. I was listening to that oul Reid and that other doll on the television and y’know they were that well rehearsed. They’d that all planned. Your Daddy used to say that they always started some sort of a carry-on all over the TV and the papers when they were up to something they didn’t want anybody to know about. And d’ye not think that oul Blair looks evil like the divil? Or maybe it’s some sort of an act he’s putting on?

An Accidental Delinking

Somebody went missing from my links sidebar.

I only noticed this morning.

My first thought (being paranoid) was that he'd hacked into my computer and removed it himself for he's clever like that.

My second thought was that I'd probably done it myself while messing under the bonnet of this blog.

Anyway he's back now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Memory

Around five or six years ago we had a car boot sale in the grounds of my workplace in Spide City. Our aim was to raise some money so that we could take the clients and their children on an outing or two. At that time our manager was Ursa Major and she put a lot of effort into fundraising. That was the kind of manager she was, hands on and a good team leader.

As always the bric-a-brac was a big draw. I’d had a good clear out myself and one of the things I’d donated to the sale was a box of Action Man dolls, outfits, accessories and vehicles. These had belonged to the son of a good friend of mine who, at 14 or 15, had long since outgrown them. They had been lying about our house for ages and I was glad to get rid of them. It turned out that Ursa Major’s son had also put his Action Man toys into the sale. He was there with his mum and I remember watching him looking through the other boy’s collection. He was a big handsome blond boy of twelve or thirteen and I thought he looked wistful as if he wished he wasn’t too old to play with Action Men.

It would be far too hard to bear if we could see into the future. My good friend’s son has since broken her heart. And Ursa Major’s son died early this morning. He was eighteen.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Harry De Prince and the Exclamation Marks

How unlike the homelife of our own dear Queen!
And would you look at the cut of that Prince William? Shit-faced is not the word! And to think I once thought he'd make a suitable squire for my lovely Hannah! His mother must be turning in her grave!
And as for that trollop with the shop-bought titties! No better than she ought to be I'm sure! Her parents must be mortified. I know I'd be!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Knowing One's Letters

You know how there are people who just hate to write? Well obviously I’m not one of them but Bert is. He loves to read and is quite literate but, for him, the act of writing is a terrible chore. The only stuff he writes down on a regular basis are the names of plants when he’s writing invoices and making out orders. He usually tries to get me to fill in his other forms and to write his letters for him. The other day he had a reference to write and, as usual, tried to palm the task off to me. I suggested I dictate it to him and he could write it. He struggled with it for a while. Then he asked,

“How do you make an F?”

“It’s the first letter of fremontodendron.”


But at least he can spell ‘blatant’.

Another person having trouble with letters at her first aid training is Hannah.

As always there's some total eejit that says something stupid and, as always, it's me who says it. We were given several letters. G C L I P S. We were told they were the 1st letter to several words that were all different types of blood-loss wounds. He gave us the answer to G (graze) and told us to figure out the rest. We worked in groups and each group got the same answers. We all got all but one right. We all thought C was for cut but when the guy said they were all kinds of cuts and what else could it be, I yelled out,


"Sorry, what?" yer fella says.

"Castration", says I, "You know when your hand is cut off or something.''

"You mean amputation Hannah?" he says with a smile.

"Aye that's what I mean."

''Castration's something else Hannah but we'll chat about that later" he says, still smiling, everyone laughing.

"Aye but it's still a blood-loss wound." says I, going bright red.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Full House

This weekend we had eight guests plus ourselves but as the Hotel Nellybert can comfortably accommodate eleven this wasn’t a problem.

Room 1 (Bert’s room) Nellybert
Room 2 (The room with the huge bed) Mr & Mrs Banjo
Room 3 (The haunted room) Bert’s old friend, Christophe
Room 4 (Nelly’s room) Hannah & the three young Banjos, Paddy, Rosie & Harry de Cat
Room 5 (The attic) John the Lodger

Non-resident guests included Ploppy Pants, Jenny Wren, Swisser and Pedro.

The evening function went well. Nelly the Head Chef performed admirably despite some initial worries over the apple cinnamon sponge. Her cheese & spinach pie was deemed a triumph. Commis Chef Jazzer exceeded her oven privileges and it was also noted that there was some unnecessary wastage of yellow peppers in the vegetable prep room. Trainee Commis Chef Miss Banjo introduced some innovative onion chopping techniques and was heaped with praise.

Head Housekeeper Nelly and Chambermaid Jazzer completed the preparation of bedrooms whilst Chambermaid Ben valiantly threw all the spare duvets down the attic stairs.

The house band played enthusiastically for several hours to the delight of all present, only descending into drunkenness and debauchery after the younger guests had retired for the night. I’m sad to report that Manager Bert joined the band in their antics and was not feeling his best at breakfast time.

Beauty Therapist Miss Banjo and her assistant Erin gave several of the gentlemen, including Christophe, Ploppy Pants and Ben Banjo, makeovers - these involving tinting their hair and (in Ploppy’s Case) beards chestnut brown and finishing Nelly’s last canister of extremely expensive tinted mousse. Bert would not consent to tinting but did submit to bobbles once again.

There was an unfortunate incident when young Ben Banjo got hold of a bayonet (circa 1877) and started waving it around in a foolhardy manner but Head of Security Pedro decommissioned the weapon by placing it on top of the highest kitchen cupboard. Pedro had to take action again when he confiscated a catapult from Bert after the unfortunate incident when Nelly was hit on the cheek by a missile (foam rubber yet unpleasantly stingy) and where Bert also smashed a wine glass in his careless excitement at having scored a bull’s-eye against his better half. However Pedro took no action when Ben ran around wearing his sister’s turquoise thong. This was excused on the grounds of Ben’s youthful high spirits.

Despite some initial worries that his rest would be disturbed by 'The Ghost of Uncle Andy' Chris spent a restful night. Mr and Mrs Banjo enjoyed the comfort of the Huge Bed so much that they did not leave it until well past midday. The younger guests made no complaint that two dogs and Harry de Cat invaded their room. John the Lodger also found his apartments to his liking and stayed in them until afternoon. All guests helped themselves to breakfast and spent a pleasant morning/afternoon perusing the papers and discussing politics.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Overheard At Nellybert's

Ben Banjo! Please tell me that's not your sister's knickers you're wearing!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Dress Down Friday

Does your workplace have a dress code? Mine doesn’t. We have all sorts working here in Mingerton. We have rock chicks, boho babes and grungers and we have George. I’m undecided as to George’s thought processes regarding choosing his attire for the day. Does he do it to disconcert? Is he simply colour-blind? Some other reason? Today he wore jade green pants, a violet shirt, a daffodil yellow tie and a mustard jacket. And then there is me. I’m the one wearing the curtains.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Nelly Gets Nekkid

No photograph available. Do I hear an audible sigh of relief go up from my younger readers? I thought so.

This is what happened. Last night was my sleepover shift in Mingerton. All was relatively quiet. The natives were tired after their previous night’s restlessness. The current crop of paedophiles (real and imaginary) had been driven from the estate. Their houses had been satisfactorily pillaged and all their valuables and pretty things removed into the custody of their moral superiors. Anything that was flammable had been burned on an eighth night bonfire. All was quiet and I passed a peaceable enough night. The only snag was that I forgot to pack my sleeping attire and had to spend the night in my tee shirt. It was a small annoyance.

Until…. the next morning when I left my bed to attend to my toilette. Slam! That was the bedroom door closing against me. And there was I without my glasses, without my denture, without my keys, without access to a phone and, most crucially, without a knicker to my name.

So what did I do? I considered forcing the door but had a better idea. I wrapped myself in a large curtain and walked down two flights of stairs. No one saw me. I considered crossing the courtyard but then had a cleverer idea. At the front door of the block I was in I opened the door, stuck my top half round, pressed the buzzer and explained, over the intercom, my predicament to the security guard. She came over, with pass key, as quickly as she could, which wasn’t easy for her, seeing as she was wetting herself laughing at the cut of me. She said that at first she couldn’t fathom where the wee wild woman wearing curtains had come out of. But you know what they say – all’s well that ends well.

Garden Party

Rod, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

When I drove past this man's house this evening there were dozens of people milling through his garden. Rod's getting a TV garden makeover today courtesy of the Greenmount Garden team. We'll be watching it on BBC1 sometime in the near future.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ursa Major

Ursa Major is Ursa Minor's older sister. She was one of the best bosses I've ever worked for. I heard today that her youngest son is grievously ill. Please pray for her and her family.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

We Approve

We're not huge fans of Mariah Carey here at Nelly's Garden but we do applaud her sensible undergarments which are just as roomy and comfortable as the ones favoured by yours truly. Mariah wore these at a show in Miami recently. It does get very muggy in Miami but even so, I think I'd have put on a little cotton frock if I'd been Mariah. But that's those crazy show biz folk for you. Normal rules just don't apply.

I think Mariah's knickers might be Cherubs. They also come in bottle green and navy blue.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

So Far, So Tight












(potatoes, Belfast Telegraph, milk)



The Belfast Telegraph was necessary spending as it was Friday and I am jobseeking.

I keep wanting to buy chocolate and magazines.

Work wasn't too hideous. Bert is thrilled to find his internet fame is increasing but he says he cannot possibly start his own blog just now as the bastard dogs have got away. Again!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Look at the state of that door! Pencil marks everywhere! Lead pencil too! What sort of a joiner did that? Was he a joiner? People just don't care do they? I'll have to cut right into the wood to get that sanded off. Do you see that? He didn't even get those hinges right first time either. He's left it that rough. I'll bet those doors weren't cheap either. They just don't care nowadays. There's no such thing as proper tradesmen any more.

Oh leave it Olly. We don't care about a few pencil marks. Varnish over them. Gives the door character. Don't fuss yourself.

I like the job to be done right. And what if you have people in and they say, 'Who did your painting?' and you say, 'Olly', I'd hate anyone to think I'd leave something like that.

Don't worry about that Olly. Anyone asks who did the painting for us we say, Olly. What a torment he is. Girn, girn, whinge, whinge. Who did it like that? Who left it like that? That's terrible! We just say to him. Olly we don't care. Just paint it.

Oh well. That's all right then.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


So off he goes to the shop for his ma and he says, "You need anything?"

I say, "Just washing up liquid."

He comes back and says, "I got you apples to make a pie if you feel like it."

I say, "Oh thanks. Maybe I will."

Later I decide I will make an apple cinnamon sponge. Afterwards I prepare to wash the dishes.

"Bert! Where'd you put the washing up liquid?"

"Oh shit! I forgot to get it. I knew there was something else."

Question is what did I say next? Did I say...?

A Never mind darling. I'll get some tomorrow.


B You complete stupid big eedjit!

No Spending Month...So Far

1st August - spent nil
2nd August - spent nil

I wanted chocolate, a newspaper and a far

And I must buy road tax and washing up liquid

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What I Did On My Recent Four Days Off Work

Tuesday evening: Watched BB nominations and had a shower.

Tuesday early evening: Done up like a kipper during home visit from our financial advisor Mr GFK. Dogs return from scunging.

Tuesday midday: Zoë and I visited Matty and Leitrim Sister and saw highlights of the video from her birthday in Kerry. Best bit for me was Matty mistaking video camera for a still camera and grabbing hold of the nearest grandchild to pose rigidly for photograph.

Tuesday morning: Visitors all use Nellybert shower (not at once) after hearing that it was tourist attraction comparable to Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge only cheaper. Dogs escape and go scunging.

Monday evening: Musical evening and supper at Nellybert’s. 9 out of 10 people agree that Tor is best guitarist ever to play Nellybert smoking room. Sorry other guitarists who may read this but he is.

Monday afternoon: Cooking marathon.

Monday midday: Shopping marathon.

Sunday evening: Delightful evening with the Stray Toasters at Galgorm Manor Hotel followed by dreadful breach of etiquette by self. (Top secret – need to know basis only)

Sunday afternoon: Hanging about reading the papers sort of thing.

Sunday morning: Bed mostly.

Saturday evening: Swisser visits, eats all the chocolate and tells tall tales as usual. Harry murders rabbit.

Saturday afternoon: Delightful afternoon spent in company of Marc, Ed, The Broom, Hannah & Jamie. Also met Jaffs for unfortunately far too brief a time. I sat beside Ed but treated him with utmost respect the whole time. Beowulf was unable to make it and was sadly missed especially by the ladies of the company. Self included. Of course.

Saturday morning: Drinking lots of tea, eating nothing, recovering from….

Very early Saturday morning: Delayed allergic reaction to Tinkerton. Very poorly indeed.

I'm Not One To Boast But...

Those who know me also know I’m not one to boast but… I do make exceedingly good pastry. The secret is Neill’s flour, butter (not marge) and a light handling. After that you cannot really fail. Yesterday I made a cheese & spinach pie for Jamie, Hannah and their friends. The spinach was home grown and there were three kinds of cheese in the pie. It was good.

I also made Rabia Chicken (p137, The Curry Book), which is chicken drumsticks cooked in a mix of fresh ginger and garlic with added dried spices. Tor, who is from Thailand, said it was the best which was praise indeed. But it still needs to pass this man’s taste test before it can be pronounced a truly great dish. We shall see.

And as if that were not enough compliments for one evening I had my head truly turned when Bert declared that my apple cinnamon sponge (with battered cream) was sublime and medicinal. He swore that it boosts the immune system and fights depression far more effectively than Seroxat or Prozac. This morning he said that it was the best aid ever for a deep and restful night's sleep.

So far the aphrodisiac powers of my apple cinnamon sponge remain untested.