Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I've been trying to post some photos but I keep getting a dumbass error message from blogger. How annoying. I get a reference number with the error, but can I really be bothered to follow it up?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

7 random things

I've been tagged. OK, here are 7 random facts in a hurry before I have to go to work. Yep, working on a Sunday....sigh.

1. I enjoy what I do for a living. I find it challenging and (dare I say it)...satisfying.

2. I'm scared of worms. To the point that I hate picnics (won't sit on grass) or walking on grass (even with shoes on) in case those bastards come out. I think my fear stems from rainy days in primary school when they used to come out in the drains....*shudder*

3. I'm not an easy person to get to know. I'm a very private person. Mr K-E says I'm "stand-offish". It doesn't mean thatI'm unfriendly.....just...guarded.

4. I can burn up that dance floor. Men (and women) watch in awe.

5. I hate any kind of stupid "styled" facial hair. Especially the "tufts" - little triangles that people (mainly New Zealanders, it seems) cultivate under their bottom lips. Goatees are for goats.

6. I have dry skin.

7. I find bookshops really relaxing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I sent in my application for a promotion this evening. I'm confident but "many a slip twixt cup and lip" as the saying goes.

And Mr K-E adds - pride comes before a fall. Gee, thanks honey. Now I feel anxious.


We are heading off to Japan in two weeks; the interview will probably be as soon as I get back.

*fingers crossed*

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Digital TV

Well, we finally got ourselves a set-top box so we are a digital household at last. Mr K-E finally cracked after years of dodgy reception and went down to Maplin on Saturday to get a digital receiver.

Now Mr K-E can drive me even more crazy.....flicking through dozens of channels before he decides that there is nothing on TV and wanders off.

Me (sitting with laptop in front of the TV): Stop that! It's making me nuts. Just watch one thing.
Mr K-E: Why do you care? You're blogging anyway.
Me: Just stop it OK. It's really distracting.
Mr K-E: Jeez, you sound just like my mother.


Gorgeous Goulash

It's been ages since I've done a food post, so I thought I'd blog about our Sunday night dinner i.e. Delia Smith's Braised Beef Goulash with Smoked Pimenton.

I really like this recipe and it's perfect for a chilly winter's evening. It's a pretty standard beef stew, except for the magic ingredients - smoked pimenton, which is smoked paprika from Spain. It comes in two types, sweet or hot. Delia uses both types in her recipe and they make the kitchen smell so delicious and smoky.

I added some button mushrooms to the recipe for extra yumminess.

The whole point of making a stew or casserole is to make a delicious meal out of cheaper, tougher cuts of beef, but it takes organisation to start cooking hours before eyou you actually want to eat. This recipe calls for 2.5 hours of "stewing" - after two hours, you have to stir in some sliced peppers to cook in the final half hour. I guess if you put them in too early they get too soggy.

Then just before serving, stir in some sour cream....mmmmmm. The photo doesn't look that appetising, but believe me, it was delicious.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Watching the World Cup

Somehow all my plans for mid-week blogging went out the window. Now it's Saturday and Mr K-E is watching the Rugby World Cup Final. I am squiffy. Too much Grolsh too quickly. Even a giant bag of Kettle Chips (Honey Barbeque) didn't help.

Oh dear, England are behind. Over and out.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


So, I told Mr K-E I was going shopping. I needed some comfortable, practical shoes or boots; suitable for actually walking around in all day.

This what I came home with.

Mr K-E despairs. Ultra high heels, purple and snakeskin. How practical is that? I told him - thanks for my anniversary present :)

In the meantime, I still need some practical shoes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

14 - 9

Mr K-E is very happy. England has beaten France in Paris to enter the Rugby World Cup final.

I still can't believe it. Normally for most big games (football, rugby, cricket, whatever) England start well and then things start to go wrong, and before you know it, Mr K-E is holding his head in his hands groaning No, no, no.....

Mr K-E says I don't care what happens now. We've beaten the French and that's all that matters. Silly man.

I am watching the post-match analysis now and the England fans are singing Oasis' Don't look in anger. Is that a rugby song?

And also on a good note, she's back. Woohoo!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

Very Good! Sensitively written with interesting characters that you really care about.

This book caught my eye in the local bookshop and looked intriguing. I wasn't disappointed and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed The Kite Runner or God of Small Things.

It's set in Cairo around the time of the first Gulf War and describes the lives of the people living in the Yacoubian building. Some people live in poverty in the roof, while others live in the faded glory of the apartments. The book ties in the lives of a varied group of people, from Taha the doorman's son to Zaki Bey, an aging playboy clinging on to his aristocratic past.

None of the people in the book are "perfect" or do the "right" thing; they are alive and real from the first pages. The writer does a good job of drawing you into the characters, making you care about them and their struggles or triumphs.

My favourite character was Busayna, a young woman from a very poor family. She has no choice but to put up with the advances of lecherous employers, and she faces these ordeals pragmatically in order to support her family. However, day by day her bitterness grows and you can almost feel her self-belief ebbing away. How she reconciles what she has to do to survive with her deep, sincere religious beliefs is sad and sharp at the same time.

The book was originally written in Arabic and was the bestselling Arabic novel in 2002 and 2003. I knew this when I started reading, so I was surprised by the sympathetically written description of homosexuality. It addresses corruption, Islamic fundamentalism as well as human weaknesses and strengths. Read it!!! It's really good!


Hey, do you guys remember me talking about entering some competitions awhile ago?

Well, guess what! My product won first prize!!

It was announced at a black-tie awards ceremony a few nights ago in a central london hotel. I hadn't heard anything for ages so I assumed that we hadn't won anything, but then last week I got a phone call saying - uh, are you actually coming to the ceremony, because you might have won something. None of the Directors could make it so it was just me and one other person, luckily I managed to fill a table of 8 with industry guests.

The speeches themselves were incredibly boring and my guests had that "eyes glazed over" look during some of the more technical speeches.

Nevermind, I've won!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Why can't I be.....

I wish I could wake up tomorrow as Elektra. The movie with Jennifer Garner as Elektra was on TV last night.

Why can't I be a super-fit, stunning martial arts expert with superpowers? Why? Why?

Slippery Slope

On Sunday we had a look around the Canary Wharf area. I particularly like this building with a sloping roof.

The building is part of a private development and there security guards eyeing us up as we tried to walk around inconspicuously. Obviously we look too scummy to be residents, hahaha.


I met my cousin at Victoria Station, dumped his bags in the left luggage and headed on to Charing Cross Road for some dimsum lunch. Victoria station was in chaos, so I gave up and we got a taxi instead.

Mr K-E joined us in the afternoon and we wandered around Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square for a bit. The usual protests were on - this time for Burma.

Doesn't Mr K-E have a lovely eye for a shot? Look at Nelson framed dramatically against that sky.

Then we headed to Harrods. Aaahh, Harrods - home of overpriced plastic shopping bags and expensive biscuits that you buy for folks back home. Yep, I bought one of those tacky vinyl bags that says "Harrods" on it as a gift for a cousin back home. No point trying to resist. Just pay the money and move on. :)

I haven't been to Harrods for years, so I had forgotten how OTT it is. I certainly don't remember this bust of Pharoah Mohamad Al-Fayed. The man really has no shame.


Friday, October 05, 2007

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson

Made me smile. A "typical" Bill Bryson, sweet and charming. But is it getting a bit same-y?

You know where you are with Bill Bryson and this book doesn't spring any surprises on you. It's an account of Bill's small town childhood and describes his amily, his teachers, neighbourhood, pranks etc.

Despite his best efforts at making them seem weird or unusual, his family are hardly that interesting. It all seemed very white-bread to me. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book. Just that it's not as fresh as the first Bryson I ever read which made me snort with laughter.

If you enjoyed his other books then you might as well read this one too. If you have never read any of his books, then it's probably best to start with The Lost Continent or Notes from a Small Island.

Friday evening

Is it Friday already? Where has the week gone? Mr K-E is away tonight; he has been white water rafting with his work colleagues and is staying overnight in Nottingham.

He had a big night out planned with his gang, and I certainly wouldn't want to get in his way!

Tomorrow my cousin is coming over for a few days. We have cleaned and tidied up the flat; only the bathroom is left to do. I just can't bring myself to do it tonight - the plan is, get up early and whizz through it before heading to meet cousin at Victoria station. Aaah, housework.