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What I did on my birthday

So, time's winged chariot duly rumbled past last Wednesday and added another year to my age, putting me indisputably past the halfway mark of my three score and ten. ias and I took the day off, having left the garklet in the nursery, and we went out! And saw a film! In a cinema! Without the garklet! Like real people!

We ended up going to the Harbour Lights to see Quantum of Solace, mainly because it meant we'd have a fighting chance of staying awake; the garklet had been pretty unsettled the night before, so we were in need of sleep. Not bad overall, even if it should really have been titled Casino Royale, part two. Still like Craig as Bond, though. This may be TMI, but I had to nip to the gents halfway through. Apparently, turning thirty-six has meant that my bladder can no longer hold the metabolic by-products of a pint of Hoegaarden for longer than half an hour. Thus begins the long, slow slide to senescence.

Picked the lad up after the film, fed him and waited for our babysitter. Not only had we gone to the cinema (!), but we were also going out to a restaurant sans-garklet. Had a few complaints from him on the grounds that I wasn't following the bedtime script to the letter, but he went down without too much wailing, and slept soundly from then on.

We'd decided to go to Zen (japanese place that theno23 had recommended in the past). Wednesday night was all-you-can-eat night, but this was cooked to order rather than steam table dross. Food generally good, though it stuck to the safe favourites. By this point, we were feeling rather shattered, and lapsed into blank-eyed silence. A good night out, nonetheless.

Part two of the birthday bits was today, with a selection of the usual sorts descending on us for Sunday brunch. Cooked Mexican, just as last year, but scaled down both the variety and the quantities, as follows:

  • Huevos Revueltos con Chorizo
  • Frijoles
  • Salsa Verde
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Tortillas

We still had food left over (mainly guacamole, since I'd not been able to pass up the chance to buy ripe Hass avocados at three for GBP1), but of manageable proportions. We also had a large platter of fruit (principally pineapple, papaya and lime), cocktails (pisco sours, tequila sunrises, bloody marys) and a regularly replenished supply of cafe de olla. I'll certainly make the cafe de olla again. Best of all, we managed to keep the garklet away from the egg.

We really ought to hold brunches at ours more often...

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Oooo sounds lovely. I love Mexican brekkie like stuff. What is cafe de olla??

Spiced coffee (I used the recipe from your Ortiz book, which was an improvement on the one in the Nichols book that I've been using so far).

4 cups water
1/2 cup piloncillo (Mexican unrefined sugar - I used dark muscovado)
2" cinnamon stick
4 cloves
4 tbsp dark roast coffee (I used a mocha)

Put in pot. Put pot on stove until contents hot and coffee-like. Remember to strain coffee when pouring.


I've also fallen for a couple of extra Mexican cookery books by Diana Kennedy, thanks to a recommendation by the Mexican father of one of the garklet's friends at nursery - I'll let you know how they are.

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He slept badly again last night. We're all now shattered, and he's just moved up to the next room in nursery. I predict that he won't have a nap today, and won't eat much of his lunch, and that a a result none of us will get much sleep tonight either.

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It might be an idea...

Happy belated Birthday.

We should also have dinner parties more often.

I would suggest next dinner party should be your PhD students plus their better halves. if their calendars are completely packed, we could probably fit it in between now and Christmas.

I was thinking exactly that...

I can't imagine how you two find the strength to host brunch or similar as often as you do. But it's always nice to see everyone and for us to be so civilised for a change. Thanks again.

Every review show, current affairs show, or music show I watched last week (PVR) seemed to have David Arnold pop up to tell me that he didn't want to use the Bond theme much because the theme reminds us that Bond is invincible and the audience would realise that he's in no danger. But that's hopeless. The writers and director's job is to create a compelling reason for the audience to keep watching even though /we know Bond can't die/. In Casino Royale I bought his argument that Bond needed to earn that theme, that it should creep in as he is transformed by experience (IIRC when we first meet him he's never even killed anyone). But I don't see how he can keep that up. The writers need to pull their weight.

We hadn't managed to host brunch since the same time last year, even though we had planned to do it more often. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for coming.

I tend to drink Hoegaarden at the Riverside double bills and - indeed! - by the end of the first screening I'm sitting cross legged and antsy and partake of the bathroom quickstep as the credits roll...

Still.. Hoegaarden, mmmmm...

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