Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
- When eating a whole sardine, do you also eat the head? I decided not to.
- Why do some people travel to distant countries to stay in a youth hostel and then spend the whole day asleep? There was this German guy who stayed in the same dorm room as me. He was asleep in the room when I arrived to drop off my bags at around midday. He was still asleep when I came back to change before dinner. He woke up briefly and appeared in the common room for about an hour during the evening and then went to the room to sleep some more. He left the next day. Strange.
- Why when I am on holiday in a strange city can I find my way around without a map but when I'm in my home town I always get lost?
- Why do all the photos I take when on holiday feature either (1) buildings shown from a steep upwards looking angle or (2) views that consist mainly of horizon? Examples of both from my Lisbon trip appear below, but I have numerous others from lots of different places around the world. I obviously spend most of my holiday-time looking straight up or gazing at some non-specific distant point on the horizon.
On another note, I learnt a new word on the weekend - it's Portugese and I'm not sure how it's spelt but it sounds like "saldage" or "saldadge" or something like that. It means the feeling of missing somebody, which may be happy (like when you're reminiscing about a really good time you had on holiday with a friend) or sad (like when you're missing a family member who's passed away). I can't think of any direct translation in English, so I'm officially adopting it into the language. Is there a process that needs to be followed? Do I need to write to the OED or something like that?
Sunday, February 3, 2008
When breakfast was done, I packed up my sports gear and trundled off up to Kilburn to pay a visit to the gym. Browsing through YouTube the other day I saw some fascinating footage of the sauna world championships (almost every activity can be turned into ao competition if you try hard enough), so I thought I'd have a crack at the old sauna myself. The idea of sitting naked and sweaty on a wooden bench in a small room with a bunch of other naked and sweaty men may not sound all that appealing and to, tell you the truth, it's not. But the beautiful thing about the sauna is that it's so unpleasant inside, it makes the outside feel much, much nicer. Nothing beats the first lungful of cold air after you've just left the sauna. The gym brochure advertising the sauna promised that it would promote an "overall sense of wellbeing". It's pretty accurate, because I did feel pretty damn good after leaving the sweatbox. On a side note, do you think it's weird to read a newspaper in the sauna? Everytime I've been there, there have been discarded newspapers lying around, but I've never actually seen anyone read them. Weird.
After leaving the gym, I wandered down to the shops to buy groceries for dinner and then stopped off at the hairdressers on the way back home. My route didn't take me past the Turkish barbers I usually go to, and the Caribbean barbers always charge a little bit more, so instead I opted for a little Indian "boutique" that I spotted down a side street. My hair isn't all that complicated to cut, so any barbershop that has a working set of clippers is good enough for me. And this particular shop had the added benefits of Bollywood musicals on the TV which my barber sang along to while cutting my hair. There was a canary in a cage singing in the background, and the sound of the bird combined with the TV, the barber's singing and the buzz of the clippers was surprisingly fun to listen along to.
When I finally made it back home I took a long nap before waking up to spend an enjoyable half hour or so watching a music video show entitled "What on earth were they thinking?" Watching terrible music videos is fascinating and surprising good fun. By this time, it was getting on a bit, so I started preparing dinner. Cooking wise, Jamie Oliver is my main man at the moment. I'm working through his Italian cook book and every recipe so far has been a winner. Today I made pork chops with sage, prosciutto and dried apricot stuffing. In Italian that turns out to be costolette di maiale con salvia. In my language, it means "delicious". For dessert I had fresh berries, yoghurt and honey.
And now I'm lying on the couch watching football. In a few hours, coverage of the Superbowl (the world's ultimate televisual experience) begins. Does life get any better? The only thing I'm missing at the moment is a nubile Egyptian princess to scratch my back when it gets itchy and feed me grapes. Actually, I do have some grapes in the fridge. Yep, this is pretty close to perfection.