Monday, 18 March 2013

A Comedic party with a swing

I am feeling slightly delicate today following a little soiree in aid of Comic Relief. You may of remembered readers in an earlier post that I feel I am turning into Hyacinth Bouquet? Well I decided to host a wine and cheese party at my house.  

I know that sounds very cheesy, pardon the pun but it was for a good cause. So I decided to reinvent the wine and cheese concept to ensure it wasn't something stuck in the 1970's. I appreciate some of of the readers may not remember the 1970's. The reason I choose wine and cheese is because I am inundated with wine that I have had to expand my wine rack from a 10 bottle to a 30 bottle. "Poor you!" I hear you say sarcastically. The beau keeps receiving wine as gifts for a job well done. I can't get my head round it. He charges lots of money for the bill and the client pays it and then says "there you have this bottle of wine". I know he is exceptionally good at what he does but I have yet to see him come home with a box of Roses or Quality Street. In Health that's the gift staple and not to say my beau doesn't work hard. He does, exceptionally so but "here is a bill for 7 k, why thank you for that vintage red". "Oh here is the discharge letter to say your body is back to good working order, why thank you for that box of Roses." I do remind myself that health care professionals do it for the love of it and that it is extremely rewarding. Something that if you could bottle it, then it would most definitely sell.
Anyway so there you have it a wine and cheese party to shift the wine on. "Bring a cheese and a fiver for the Comic Relief jar. There will be entertainment!"   

So as we discussed entertainment, again we went off at a tangent. The beau plays piano which is lovely but there is only so much Desperado I can listen to. We discussed hiring a pianist but we couldn't find one that played in public only ones who taught it. Then the beau, as he gets carried away said "oooh look what about these?" They were Bossa Baseline, a fab duo who played great swing music at our soiree for 2 hours. They are really lovely people and were fantastic at playing everything I adore. I love the old time glamour of swing. Everyone had a fantastic time with the periodic singing along.

Once they left a pal decided he would do a recital. Unfortunately he can't actually play the piano but is an amateur dramatic treading of the boards type so he improvised. The video demonstrates that. Please forgive the northern voice over. Golly don't you sound hideous when you listen to yourself. Perhaps that's just me.

My pal who reads this blog wanted me to mention him. He said write "I am swishing the wine, smelling it" and although he didn't say "ooooh" I have added that as poetic licence.

A good time was had by all. We raised £137 for comic relief, so it was worth the effort for the evening.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Yes its a Mong tomato ANNNNDDD????

So readers I have just returned from Waitrose after a hideous shop. I hate shopping on a Saturday its full of families and stressed women. The thing with supermarkets and Saturdays its like someone made an announcement on the previous evening news that the world was about to end. What do people do when that happens? They go shopping!
Remember when the  Millennium was approaching? People, I say people, I mean those that watched Richard and Judy that day as he talked about buying things and storing them for the world to end. Well those people went out panic buying baked beans and powdered milk. What happened when the bells struck 12 that mammoth eve? Nowt that's what happened. I remember it being nowt as I was standing in my street toasting the bells like I had done previous years. I woke up with a monumental hangover and a house that looked like it had just had a home invasion. I was so glad that I didn't have a kitchen full of baked beans and powdered milk to accompany the empty wine glasses and lots of bottles.

Anyway I have gone off at a tangent. Working shifts is hard, you lead an antisocial existence doing your week of nights or those miserable late Sunday shifts. Now as a Monday to Friday worker I enjoy my weekends. However with that I find my self in Waitrose on a beautiful sunny day being interrogated by the till assistant. As  she beeped my shopping through the scanning thingy, she started a running commentary rummaging through my items. There should be some customer till assistant code of conduct where rule one is "Never comment on the customers shopping". Its embarrassing! Maybe she is a spy for Jamie Oliver to see if shoppers are actually "reconnecting with food and  resuscitating dying food culture  and ultimately keeping cooking skills alive.”   Now I get that Jamie. I can resuscitate a dried, dead mushroom at the back of the fridge to look like fabulous cuisine but do you need to send Margaret from Jersey Waitrose to report every ruddy thing in my basket?

So the first item through my beep beep experience was a jam jar with Freesias in it for the sum of £5. I liked them they were twee like me. Margaret's response "Ooh oh in a jam jar, smell nice only £5 very good" Now I agree with that point, thank you Margaret I like them too. Next item Heinz Tomato Ketchup flavoured Cheddar. Yes I am aware that's an interesting concept, but I am trying to keep my Slimming World diet interesting. 3 weeks in and I am 11 1/2 lbs  lighter. I am committed to it so I thought oh they might be interesting. Well they are readers very tasty indeed. I would recommend them. I appreciate its not a Blacksticks Blue or a fine mature Cheddar but once in a while we need something quirky. Margaret seemed particularly shocked by the tomato cheesy slices to the point of a slight shriek. "Well I never tomato sauce.. in a cheese..when did they come in? Never seen them..I mean cheese with tomato sauce in" It was like a Peter Kay moment of garlic bread. Next came the fig and nut slice bought to accompany a cheese board for an evening I am having next Saturday.
" Whats that? What do you do with that?"
 "Its for a cheese board" I respond.
 "You put it with cheese well I have never EVER seen one of them"
Then there was the marrow I bought. "Oh these are very popular today" Maybe thats because there is a bucket load reduced I thought.
"Well you can't have one of those when you live on your own they are too big"
I said nothing.

The lady behind is now smirking as she looks down at her shopping knowing any minute now she will endure the same experience. Glancing over she has a fairly well balanced shop. Her embarrassment may only be 2 minutes long over the papaya she is hiding under a loaf of white bread.
Margaret remarked on pretty much several items of the shopping. However what prompted me to share this experience with you readers? Well it was this.

What you looking at? Never seen a tomato before?
I love tomatoes and they are very good for Slimming World. I can eat as many as I like. Its name a Mong tomato, named after Hmong, an anti communist who brought it originally from Vietnam in the 1970's. I saw them on the shelf and thought oh I have had that tomato before, I will get it again. Well Margaret picked it up and said in a very alarmed voice "What on earth is this?" The lady behind me who was smirking before was trying not to make eye contact as I could see her face was about to erupt with laughing. This was  the conversation that ensued.
Me: "It's a tomato"
Margaret: "A what?"
Me: "A tomato"
Margaret "It looks like one of them weird things"
The beau " A kumsquash?"
Glares at the beau. Me: "You mean a kumquat. Shush"  
Beau now laughing like a school boy saying the word kumsquash.
Margaret proceeds to look item up on her menargerie of fruit and vegetable intelligence.
Margaret: "I can't find it. You sure its not one of them weird things"
Me: "Its a tomato"
I look back at the mounting queue at the checkout. Eventually she locates the item.
Margaret: " Is it a mo..err.mang...err Mong tomato?"
Me: "Yes a tomato"
Phew the last item to bag. Then I can get out of here. She still hasn't handed the tomato over.
Margaret: "What do you do with it?"
Me: "Put it in a salad"
Margaret: "Well it must be quite the delicacy at THAT PRICE"

That was it! That's what incensed me. Its my tomato and I will get it if I want to. I like tomatoes. Its not like I can get the rum baba I actually really want. I am on a diet. So I am comforting myself with an exotic tomato at the princely sum of 89 p.  Of course that conversation was in my head. I didn't share it with Margaret as that would of been rude. I wanted to shout loudly in Waitrose "everyone look at my Mong tomato that's a kumsquah in disguise." We left the shop went home and unpacked the shopping.

I have had this experience before with a till assistant. He repeatedly remarked on my shopping. Even flicked through the magazines I may of purchased and commented on the articles. He was a pest. So I decided to hopefully shush him once and for all. I felt I couldn't say shush and stop being nosey at my shopping as it does feel rude. I know they are being friendly and just engaging with the customer. 
However reading my magazine articles and stating "Cheryl Cole looks fat there" was becoming annoying.
So one week I bought a copy of Razzle, a bottle of Newcastle Brown and a chamois leather. Awaiting the running commentary of "ooh she could do with a trim, newkie brown eww and what a bargain price for a chamois leather". He said not one word. Not a comment, a cough or a snort. He may now think of me as the weird pervert with a fetish for chamois leathers, but at least he isn't rummaging through my shopping!

Enjoy your weekend readers.