Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Well what did I do today? (strictly speaking,
it was yesterday when I typed this!)

It’s Valentine’s Day, as a lot of you will
have remembered.

When I got up, I fed and watered our cats and
then made a large mug of tea for myself. A
short while later, I got ready a pint of warm
water, flavoured with fresh lemon juice for
Mrs C, and took it up to her when she woke up
around 8am. We exchanged cards and pressies.
Mrs C bought me a small box of delicious
heart-shaped biscuits, with a lemon glaze on
them – tasted nice with fresh coffee later in
the morning.

I got Mrs C a CD of Johnny Cash doing a live
gig at Folsom Prison, for a surprise (as we’d
just seen the biopic, “Walk The Line”). It
was a smash hit in its day (1968), but like
a lot of American Country music, it all
sounds the same.

After hanging up the clothes washing (in the
bathroom with the dehumidifier on), I spent
the rest of the morning doing some online
research into flights to New Zealand for our
3 week stay in December. On the advice of
friends we’ve chosen Singapore Airlines, and
we plan to stop over for 1-2 days in
Singapore on both of the journeys. Mrs C has
cousins living out there, who we’ve been
meaning to visit for ages (and never got
round to doing so). I’m just wondering if
it’s worth spending about £4k on the entire
trip for the two of us, but then it should
be one of those mind-blowing experiences.

We’re hoping to get seats with as much
leg-room as possible, and also we require
in-flight food with no meat in it, so we
plan to go to Travelbag/Trailfinders in
Nottm to sort all this out (rather than
book online). I had a long phone
conversation with one of my pals, B, who
went with his family last year to Australia,
about all this.

I also asked B about whether or not my Norton
anti-virus software could be re-used on our
new laptop (which arrived from Dabs dot com
this evening). My existing computer is an old
machine with Windows 98 on it, and NTL
supplies us with Broadband. I’ve bought a
wireless router to link the laptop to the
internet, for Mrs C’s use, so she can be on
the internet possible the same time as me
(on my old machine). Anyway, B suggested I
have a go using the Norton CD on the new
laptop, to see if I can upload the anti-viral
software onto the laptop (for no extra
charge). If I can’t get it to load up, then
I’ll nip to a computer shop not to far away
and buy another Norton CD.

If any of you out there, think I’m heading
for trouble using my existing Norton CD,
then I’d be pleased to hear your comments.

This afternoon I spent an interesting couple
of hours at a philosophy discussion group in
the city centre – our first meeting, which
is being lead by someone (let me call him CT),
who is very well read on the subject.
Today’s topic was all about “thinking”. CT
started us off by asking us to think about
anything for a couple of minutes, anything
from some minor concern to more major issues
of the day.

To be honest, my mind went a complete blank –
I was trying to think of something
interesting to talk about (as I thought he
would soon be asking each one of us in turn,
what he/she had thought about). Then I
thought about making Mrs C one of her (and
my own) favourite meals – smoked salmon
salad for tonight’s special meal, and what
I needed to buy at Vicky Centre Tesco. I’d
already had some thoughts about the subject,
but reckoned it was something interesting to
talk about.

CT then asked us to talk about what we’d
thought about to one or two of our immediate
neighbours in the group (there were over 20
of us at the meeting), and then asked us to
comment on our thinking process. Some people
said they strongly linked their thoughts to
pictures (I pictured both the salmon salad
and the interior of Tescos), others reckoned
they thought about things more in terms of
feelings (which I do a bit too). By this
time the discussion was really taking off,
with contributions from most people there,
and with diversions off into other related

At times, my thought processing tends to go
off at a tangent (lateral thinking is what I
like to call it – I’m generally thinking about
something interesting to add to the
discussion), but most of my family think I’m
illogical when I start talking about
something a bit off the subject. “How did
you arrive at that?” used to be a common
question from them.

You might like to know what went into the
smoked salmon salad. It’s one of Jamie
Oliver’s recipes (which we saw him put
together on one of his TV programmes) ...a
recipe which you can vary to suit your taste.

For two people: hard-boil three large eggs
for about 9 mins (and then cool them down as
fast as possible in running cold water to
stop the egg yolks from turning black). Shell
the eggs and halve them.

Slice up some new potatoes, with their skins
on, and then boil or steam them (you get
better flavour by steaming veg) until they
are tender. This can take up to 18 mins to
do so. Now drain off all the water, and let
the potato cool to down to a warmish
temperature. Well that’s all the cooking done.

Then you start layering everything up...put
a lot of green salad into a large fairly
shallow serving bowl... whatever green
salad you fancy... mixed lettuce leaves,
rocket, baby spinach, watercress, etc, and
then extra salad on top: slices of cucumber,
tomato, radish, red/yellow pepper, spring
onion, etc.

On top of all this goes a layer of potato,
plus halves of egg, and slices of one large
avocado (without the avocado skin). Put over
on top of all this, small pieces of smoked
salmon, and then add a salad dressing of your
choice. We like a sprinkling of the Pizza
Express salad dressing, and then some lemon
juice (juice of half a lemon) sprinkled on
top too. Add a little salt and freshly
ground black pepper to your taste.

We had a glass of some nice M&S Chardonnay
with the salmon. Mrs S is very choosey about
this type of wine – most of it tastes like
cabbage water to her (not to me, I should
add), but she was lucky to find one she likes.
The name on the bottle is Casa Leona and it’s
from Chile. It’s said to be dry, but I think
it’s medium dry. Delicious flavour, somewhat
like Brown Brothers’ Sauvignon Blanc (from
Australia), and I think Mrs C paid about £4
for it (it was on offer). A bloody bargain
for wine of this quality.

Watched some TV as usual in the evening,
catching up on some stuff we’d videoed –
some brilliant ice-skating, interspersed
with snippets of Gillian McKeith’s “You are
what you eat”, which was on this evening … we
went back to the ice-skating when GM got
togged up to inspect someone’s poo. We
missed most of the first part of GM’s
programme, highlights of which we shown in
the second part anyway – a typical habit of
Channel 4 programme makers, that put us off
watching some of their programmes … too much
repetition. We’ve videoed “Shameless” on
Channel 4, to watch later in the week (and
to cut out all the adverts).

Then I did a bit of washing up, and then
typed this blog. So that’s most of what’s
happened today.


Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

All I can say is that you had a VERY busy day! And an interesting one too.

10:22 pm  

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