Tuesday, 16 August 2016

My difficult relationship with poached eggs

Poached eggs and I have a poor relationship. Oh, I can eat them all right - no probem - but I cannot for the life of me make one.

Look at the poached egg in the picture. Lovely, isn't it? The yolk neatly swaddled like a newborn baby in its smooth white blanket. But not mine. Ooooh no. Mine all, and I mean all, turn out to look like ghosts, trailing flimsy strands of ectoplasm (or even "trailing clouds of glory"*) behind them. Half the ectoplasm always remains behind,  drifting forlornly in the saucepan, too decimated to bother with, and then sticks and is impossible to scrub off.

Please don't tell me to:
Use boiling water
Use simmering water
Use off-the-boil-altogether water
Add vinegar
No vinegar
Swirl the water
Don't swirl the water
Use fresh eggs
Use old eggs

For I have tried all these things, and the result, every time, is another ghost.

So I bought an egg poacher; one of those saucepans that have little plastic nests for the eggs. That'll teach them, I thought. They can't jump out of that. But this didn't work, either. They stuck to the nests, and weren't done properly, because how do you know when they're cooked underneath?

So I've decided to give up on the poached eggs. Next time, I shall fry them. You know where you are with a fried egg.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Why I am not an Olympic athlete

Just imagine doing this: spending your life - and in particular, the last four years - practising (for example) long jump. Every day consisting of run-run-run-run-run....and JUMP....and land in a sandpit. And that's it. Again, and again, and again. It makes my brain hurt just thinking about it. The sheer monotony of it. And the effect on normal life:

'Cup of tea, dear?'
' I'll just do one more jump first.'
'Glass of wine?'
'I can't, because of my diet.'
'Oh, of course, silly me. Then I'll just have one myself, shall I?'

And so on, and so on. For four years.

I'm sure they have to do the whole keep fit thing,  as well (which presumably makes a change). But still.

Then there are the really weird ones, like  putting the shot (what exactly is that for?. And you don't just put it; you have to throw it. A long way.

Running I just about get because running can be useful (think wild bears and missed buses), but most of it just leaves me bewildered.

But never mind. Good luck to them all, bless them. They certainly deserve it.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A writer's life: waiting

One of the hardest parts of a writer's life is waiting. Waiting for That Important Reply. Waiting for editor/agent/publisher or whoever to get back with a verdict on the last precious (or not so precious) offering.

Today, I have faffed about, checked my emails about a hundred times, faffed about some more, visited some blogs, bought a birthday card, chatted to daughter on the phone ( a favourite waiting activity), done a crossword puzzle,  and ....waited. I'm still waiting. Will that person email after 5.30? Of course not. On the other hand, she may be so carried away by the brilliance of my work that she just has to let me know NOW, even if it's two in the morning. So I'll carry on checking my emails. Just in case....

Tomorrow, we have to go to Bristol to buy a bed. That should take my mind off the waiting, but of course, it won't. Waiting and bed-buying are, sadly, not mutually exclusive. So I shall probably just buy the wrong bed and lie awake on it worrying.

 And waiting....