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Highs and Lows

Well that was a pretty, damn epic weekend.

Friday night involved mulled cider, lipstick on boobs, and other nefarious goings on including realising it was time to go to bed because daylight was returning. It was one of those unexpectedly good evenings of making new friends, and probably involved a little more whisky than was sensible but everyone involved had a great time. Not sure I could handle doing that every weekend mind you… getting old … but as you are only as old as the woman you feel… well I’m a lot younger than most of you ;-)

Saturday involved not enough sleep, hangovers, chocolate Santas, an afternoon snooze, and an evening with a Mr. Bill Bailey who was tear-inducingly funny as well as bloody talented. I won’t spoil any of the jokes, although some of the funniest moments was him reacting to the Glasgow audience, including an (I think) off the cuff story of a Glasgwegian friend of his trying to order a pint of lager in Holland, in typical Glasgwegian brogue delivered at 1000mph. The tour was called Dandelion Mind, worth catching it on DVD when it comes out (if it comes out).

And finally a lazy Sunday which involved a bit more sleep, and a wedding reception in Perth. It was the wedding of the daughter of my parents close friends (close enough that they are ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’ by name). So good to see the bride so happy, she deserves it, and she even gave us all a wee song. Shame we had to leave early but some of us had to be in work this morning.

But wait! Even though it’s now Monday, Kirsty and I have decided to extend the weekend to include tonight, which involves poetry delivered by a friend of my sisters. He’s bloody good and I’m really looking forward to hearing him deliver his own material.

Alas, amongst the highs came the sad news of Gary Speed. A young man (he was 42), who was successful, universally liked and whose suicide came as a real shock. The presumptions (I’ve not seen it confirmed anywhere and it’s almost beside the point…) is that he was suffering from depression.

Long time readers and close friends will know I too have had my share of ups and downs with the dreaded D word. I was going to write more about that, and I probably will. But not today.

Today is for focussing on the highs, finishing the weekend of awesome (as it will heretofore be known) and counting my blessings, for I have many.

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Cooking of the slow variety

Having received a slow cooker for my birthday (rock ‘n’ roll!) I’ve been enjoying some tasty dishes, culled from a couple of recipe books aimed at said method of cooking. Meat based dishes are wonderfully tender, and full of flavour, soup based dishes are thick, wholesome and not laced with salt like most canned soups (speaking of which, erk!).

Last night was my first shot at using it without a recipe. I had some vegetables left over from other recipes and so decided on soup as a ‘foolproof’ offering.

Unless you are this fool, it seems.

Where did I go wrong? Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 ‘thumb’ of ginger
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Red Lentils
  • 1 pint of stock
  • Crushed Cumin
  • Pepper for seasoning
I wasn’t expecting anything amazing but it’s decidely… not quite right.
And I can’t put my finger on why not… the balance is obviously wrong, but how do I fix it?

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I don’t know Barbara and to be honest, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.

I only know Barbara because of her repeated attempts at posting comments on this blog. They have all been blocked as spam (because they are) but I have to admire her tenacity.

However, I don’t think Barbara is real. In fact, I’m certain of it.

You see, most spam comments take the form of a non-specific congratulatory or argumentative statement. They could be applied to every blog post ever posted.

But I think Barbara is broken because the other day, instead of the usual one sentence comment, she ‘posted’ this:

Hello, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

Hi, I just wanted to say, you’re wrong. Your point doesn’t make any sense.

What’s up, how’s it going? Just shared this post with a colleague, we had a good laugh.

Incredible points. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

This text is invaluable. When can I find out more?

Very energetic article, I loved that bit. Will there be a part 2?

Incredible quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

So I’m pretty sure Barbara is a spam bot. And part of me is a little bit disappointed…

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