Sunday, 6 July 2008

Ear we go then!

Our household is in a state of shock this morning as the larger of our two giraffes is missing an ear. Last night a dinner guest playfully threw it out of the window which worried me at the time but in the cold light of day, I have spotted it and will go and get it as soon as I'm dressed.

Admittedly we had been discussing our mutual hearing problems. I have a little hearing loss in one ear caused by damage to my middle ear and our guest has always had problems with one ear but to condemn the giraffe to being half deaf is a bit cruel.

I was back in Scyceland last weekend for the birthday party of a friend and before the party we met up with a few friends in a large pub called the Vines but referred to by the locals as the Big House situated next door to the Adelphi Hotel. The pub is very impressive looking inside with an amazing painted ceiling along the lines of the Sisteen Chapel and very fancy mirrorwork etc. Unfortunately as seems to be the case these days in any big pub in Blighty, there was Karaoke! It was in a different room at the back and shouldn't have been too intrusive except that they had seen fit to pipe the dreadful noise through the whole pub. In a state of stone cold sobriety - soon to be remedied I hasten to add - the experience was excruciating.

I was amused to notice a large group of deaf people seated around a table laden with drinks and empty glasses and signing animatedly to each other and laughing a lot - completely oblivious to the whole screaming cacophony. Bliss!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Fallen Angels

Blodwyn and I went to Rome for the weekend. We met up with another friend ariving from the UK who, for reasons I won't divulge, I will call the 'Airhostess'. The weather was lovely, not too hot for long indulgent lunches and fine wining and dining. We hadn't seen the Airhostess for ages so there was a lot of catching up to be done. In between we saw one or two of 'the sights'.

Enjoying a post prandial stroll near to the Colosseum, the three of us in row - Blodders (the blond) flanked by myself and the Airhostess as we picked over the cobblestones, we suddenly encountered a very attractive 'Gladiator' - now most of the Gladiators and Centurians in the vicinity looked like extras from 'Asterix the Gaul' but the sight of this one was definitely for sore eyes - all dark eyes and muscles, complete with skirt and leather breastplate.

"Wow!" he said "Charlie's Angels" which stopped us in our tracks. He put his arm round Blodders, making her blush, while trying to persuade us to have our photo taken with him.

She did cop a sneaky feel of his fake leather.

"Where are you from?" he asked in heavily accented English. "Where do you think?" Blodders replied. "Paradiiise" he drawled. Of course, we politely said "no grazie", whereupon he turned her round and gave her a pat on the bottom.

Now, we are probably much nearer the age of the original 'Angels' than the new fangled kickboxing ones and I KNOW it was a line but a much appreciated confidence boost for us all, especially Blodwyn who has been going through some stuff lately.

PS. Don't you just love Italian waiters - especially if they are called Gianfranco apparently.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Red, White and Pink

It has been a long time since I have been moved to post something. The pace of life in the Capital of Europe leaves little time for thinking - let alone posting - but I was walking to work the other morning and was forced to stop and wait while a large Delhaize truck was stuck at a road junction blocking my way across the road.

I just sort of stood there for a while in the usual early morning daze but then I looked at the side of the truck across which was blazoned 3 huge bottles of wine. I must have been on the Flemish side of the truck as the captions read 'Wit', 'Rood' and 'Rosé'. This got me thinking about the merits of different colours of wine.

Maybe white wine makes you witty and red wine makes you rude and rosé is obviously rosé by any other name. My preference is for Red - mainly because you don't have to plan ahead and get it chilled but perhaps that is not the best way to go. When I was a child I used to think that rosé was red wine but diluted - probably with white wine. Maybe that means that it makes you witty but not too much and with just the right amount of rudeness. It certainly gives you a rosy glow.

I was reading the works internal magazine (bit bored at work at the moment) and came across the following article:

Some Rolling Stones with your wine?
Music can influence the taste of wine. Different types of music stimulate different parts of the brain, and prime us to taste wines in a corresponding way. Researchers discovered that when a powerful piece of music such as Carmina Burana is heard, a Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60% more powerful, rich and robust than when no music is heard. Other suggested music included "Honky Tonk Woman" by The Rolling Stones to accompany Cabernet Sauvignon.

Where do they test these things and why wasn't I invited? Blodders and I will try and conduct our own tests in Rome this weekend and let you know our findings - if we can find our way home that is.