leynos: (Cooking Mama)
I followed [livejournal.com profile] stormsearch's recipe suggestion:



Er... That's:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • A handful of apricots
  • A handful of dates
  • A sprinkling of sultanas
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • A dusting of nutmeg
  • Lots of Pinot Grigio

In the oven at 150 C for 3 hours or there-abouts.

Servers 2

It's very sweet, so I may have to tone something down next time I try, but otherwise, very tasty.

This week, I've also made lamb casserole (which just seemed to get better with each passing day) and the spaghetti bolognese of death (with spectacular spaghetti provided by [livejournal.com profile] scotm

I want to try making a risotto soon. (And yes, I'm still eating my dinner at my desk. Why do you think I was so insistent on a comfy office chair?)

The rest of the evening was spent reading volume 15 of Fruits Basket to Mozart piano concertos.
leynos: (Default)
Hmmm... That'll teach me not to show up at a viewing without having first checked ahead.



Ahem. Anyway, I've lost the bidding on another two flats. The most recent one went for £102,000. That's a ridiculous 47% above the asking price. And that was without any carpets and in dire need of a new kitchen. A quick check of my budget spreadsheet tells me that I can't afford to spend £102,000. Let alone spend that and the £20k or so it would have cost me to get it into ship shape condition.

The second flat I viewed on Thursday was identical structurally, and in the same area, but fully decorated. The prospective buyer wouldn't have had to do anything to the place what so-ever. In other words, I haven't a hope in hell of getting it. Oh well.

Earlier, I also missed a similar flat on a fixed price sale. I put my offer in at 8:45am, the day after it was listed. And it had already gone. This business is insane.

Call me mad, but I'm going to view a couple of flats in the Hailes tomorrow. I liked living in Sighthill. Honest. I only ever got threatened with physical violence once. And it's just across the road from the local Lidl.

--

My experiment for today was to see if using mince from the local butcher would yield a better tasting chili than on one made using frozen mince. I also added a level teaspoon of cumin seeds.

The results from the first night seem to suggest that, yes, it does make quite a bit of difference. Three quid's difference? Well, since it does three meals, it's not so bad when you average it out.

Also, I somehow never seem to manage to spend less than ten quid when I visit Sommerfield. The bottle of 1664 Premiere and the trip to the olive bar didn't help I guess. Tasty though.

--

Fruits Basket volume 13 is out of the way now. Must find volume 14. The suspense is killing me. Will something happen between Kyo and Tohru? And will Ou-chan's crush get a sodding clue?

--

I just found out that Club Noir is on in Edinburgh this month (24th March). And it's at Calton Studios this time. I must go.

Foiled

Jan. 9th, 2007 10:46 pm
leynos: (Wolfteam)
Forbidden Planet scuppered my plan to buy lots of volumes of Fruits Basket at knockdown prices by not having any in stock. Grrr...

--

I've decided not to buy any more DVDs where an HD-DVD version is available, or has been announced. It still seems to me that BRD has better studio support, but I'm banking on HD-DVD, since Sony seem to have a habit of screwing up media formats. CD was a fluke, if you ask me.

I'll start buying HD discs in February. It's my intention to buy a player along with the HD telly in April.
leynos: (Default)
ZOMG, the end of volume 10 was quite a shock. Although I knew it had to happen eventually, I guess. Now I'm on a cliff edge with no way to get more until Monday. I shall be heading for Forbidden Planet forthwith to pick up the next three volumes.

Fruits Basket never ceases to impress. It's brought me to tears on several occasions, but always cheers me up when I'm down. And I love the way Takaya-san conveys emotion through her art.

Tohru is so cool. I wish I could be like her. She's always so radiant and so kind to everyone.
leynos: (Default)
Volume 2 is now over. Good God, is this getting interesting. Revelations are coming thick and fast, having me on the edge of my seat, mouth agape. When that's not happening, I'm oohing over the pathos of unfulfilled romance, smiling and Kyo and Tohrus' faltering love, or just laughing out loud at ridiculous and in part self-imposed situations.

I can't believe I was close to giving up on this manga. I shall be straight into Waterstones tomorrow lunch time to nab volume 3.

~

Amicus Apple has become my new haunt. The combination of friendly staff, inventive cocktails and handy location are just right. Sitting on the steps outside on a warm summer eveing, enjoying a caiparina and some shojou manga can't be beaten. The menu still makes me giggle.

Mmmm...

Jul. 19th, 2006 11:47 pm
leynos: (Default)
The very best thing about my new workplace is... Free hot chocolate. Yum. :9

Manga

I'm onto the second volume of Fruits Basket now. What a bouncy cute story it is. So delightfully detached from reality. It felt a bit disjoint at the start, but I kind of got a feel for it midway through the first volume. People suddenly appearing through panel walls mid-page etc. Tohru's flashback opening volume 2 illustrates this style perfectly, with incongruous details being piled on seemingly out of nowhere. In short, lovely.

I've also bought volume 2 of Love Hina and volume 1 of Princess Ai for my lunch time reading. I really need more Ranma though.

Big Eyes, You Know The Drill

The BESM game continues to get curiouser and curiouser. After running into a young lady seemingly under duress by a group of samurai, we engaged in small scale street warfare to rescue her. Turns out she's a ninja (or a proto-ninja) who is also my great^23 grand daughter (remember, 400 years have passed). So she didn't need much rescuing. In fact, it was her who dealt the killing blow against their leader. Though [livejournal.com profile] kunshu revoking said leader's "breathing privileges" went a fair bit towards the victory too.

We're all having fun acting out our messed up characters. Kunshu as the opium addicted senjojin was a laugh. He took "easily distracted" to heart and spent most of the game staring into space or playing with the shafts of light. Andrew's character is now in denial that she ever was a living being and is now doing her best to be an emotionless programmed automaton dedicated to destroying all evil. And Iyo, Eric's character is as psychopathic as ever, but with four hundred years of putting up with her even more psychopathic alter-ego piled on top of this.

I'm not sure exactly how a dryad ought to behave, but I seem to be getting away with it so far.

So, much entertainment abound. Kunshu, as promised, brought cookies. All fifty-two of them were devoured in short shift. Stephen wants to continue the game beyond the summer, since he'd rather not rush things, and we seem to prefer to take the proceedings at a "leisurely" pace.
leynos: (Default)
Kendo went well tonight, despite the dojo doing its best impersonation of a greenhouse.

After a rather energetic warm-up, the lesson once again took us through the nine kihon keiko-ho exercises with bokuto and then with shinai. Repetition breeds familiarity, and I am now beginning to see these drills not as a bewildering series of attacks and parries, but as the building blocks of combat, that will one day be put to use in sparring. The order of the drills is starting to ingrain itself into my mind, and next time, I hope that I won't have to think about which follows which and will instead be able to focus on the opportunities for study that they afford. I will devote some time this week to learning their correct names and ordering.

It came as something of a surprise to me that we were actually asked to strike our motodachis' tsuki (a guard covering the throat, attacked with a thrust). It all seemed quite dangerous to me. But I guess it shows that the sempais have a reasonable amount of confidence in us beginners if they're letting us do this.

The lesson also included a session of Uchikomi geiko, an exerciese where the motodachi makes a target available, which the kakarite attacks. Several openings can be offered in sequence and this exercise provides excellent opportunity to practice both recognizing attack openings, and the fundamental cut attacks that make up kendo. I did my best to let these attacks flow as intuitively as possible, whilst focusing my attention on footwork, posture and vocalization. (Kiai, the calling of attacks, is an important aspect of kendo, as it influences focus and control of breathing.)

I came away from class tonight feeling that I had learned a lot in the space of two hours. If I am to capitalize upon this fully, I must find time this week to study the kihon-waza ordering and to at least practice sword strokes and footwork in some way.

Ranma


It's nearly ten years since I first read Ranma 1/2. Finally getting around to reading the second volume this week brought a lot back. I'd forgotten how bloody hilarious it is. My workmates thought I'd taken leave of my senses whilst I read it on my lunch break. Never mind love triangles. Ms Takahashi writes love tetrahedrons, and I'm sure it will only get far more complex as the series progresses. Each new character seems to have an infatuation with someone, who invariably hates them or isn't aware of their true identity. Or both. I can't wait to find out what happens next. A trip to Forbidden Planet may be in order.

Wuddaya mean you don't know what Ranma 1/2 is? Okay. Ranma Saotome and his father travelled to China to train in kung fu at the Training Ground of the Accursed Springs. Whilst there, they fell into a couple of said springs. Now, whenever Ranma is doused in cold water, he changes sex. Hot water changes him back again. Likewise for his father, except he changes into a panda. Upon returning to Japan, Ranma's father meets with his old friend Tendo of the School of Indiscriminate Grappling, who agrees that his daughter, Akane should marry Ranma. Akane isn't interested in boys, but gets on well with Ranma in his female form. Meanwhile, the upperclassman, Kuno, at Ranma's new school, who already has a thing for Akane, is smitten with the female Ranma form at first sight. Of course, Ranma and Kuno can't stand each other. Extrapolate from there.

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