A few weeks ago, I was having dinner in Carluccio's in Bicester, and the deli was still open after we'd finished eating, so we wandered around looking for yummy things to buy, and I found cuttlefish ink! My companion was rather baffled by my extreme excitement over a small and unassuming box, but last night's dinner (and today's lunch) proved that my excitement was entirely justified :-) smiorgan made black pasta*, and it was amazing - the sauce that had been bright tomato-red halfway through cooking was black by the time it reached our plates, and the flavour was... well, indescribable, really. Strong, and a bit fishy, but unlike anything else I've ever eaten, and absolutely delicious.
Eating my lunch today, I kept having to restrain myself from giggling at my black, tentacular food :-)
*Note that this icon is perfectly appropriate, because that recipe does indeed start with "fry an onion and some garlic".
There have been many more trials and tribulations. The boot retailer apparently only answer their phones on alternate days, and ignore all voicemail messages, but are perfectly helpful and friendly on days they will deign to answer the phone. Accordingly, my boots have just been delivered to my office...
So that all ended happily then? Well, um, no. I quite like the boots, but the leather is thin, and feels flimsy. This combined with the single zip makes me worried about their longevity, so I'm going to send them back.
However, in a transparent attempt to stop me whining about my inability to acquire boots, the marvellous secretrebel has found me a supplier of The Perfect Boot! The 14-hole, two-zip, purple DMs of my dreams, and of many previous years of happy wear!
I ordered two pairs. Now [cue ominous music] I just have to wait for them to arrive...
I have other pairs of boots, and indeed of shoes, but my preferred method of keeping my feet warm and dry and not stabbed with sharp things is to cover them with a pair of fourteen-hole DMs with zips (ideally purple ones, but at this point that's looking over-optimistic). So I keep an eye on the ongoing changes to the DM range, with the intention of buying some when ones I like come up. Last year, I bought a pair of black ones with corset-style lacing up the back. They were lovely, but after a week of wear, they were going inside the heel. That was OK, if I replaced them I could get an insole and it would be fine, but in the week I'd had them they had become unavailable, so I swapped for another pair. These were grey, with pretty cut-out bits, but when they arrived the cut out bits looked flimsy, and there was a weird texture effect over part of the boot that was invisible online and looked rubbish in person, so I sent them back.
( This week, I found another pair I liked... )
So I've no idea if this pair of boots will even reach me, let alone turn out to be The Right Boots. On Monday, I'll call the retailer and shout at them until they let me change the delivery address to my office, and hope that when the boots arrive they're worth it.
And in the meantime, if you see a pair of 14-hole purple DMs with zips, in a size 6 or 6.5, buy them for me? I'll pay you back.
So! Please recommend me some feeds! What's the best non-LJ blog you read? What do you think everyone [who is/does x] should read? What's your favourite web comic? Do you have your very own non-LJ blog?
I might, possibly, find myself in a place surrounded by an incredible abundance of crafting*-related shiny this weekend. If you've been in my library recently** you'll know that I already own a reasonable abundance of crafting-related shiny, so in order for there still to be room for the books, I need to exercise some restraint.
My current working theory to guide my purchasing decisions is this:
- Unspun fibre is the main thing I'm interested in, but only interesting dye-jobs or cheapness are worth considering. Plain colours and ordinary prices can be got from the internet.
- I am in the market for one book each on spinning and weaving (quantities not to be extended in the case of very good books; if necessary I will make a note to facilitate later internet purchase).
- I broke one of my spindles, so buying another is just normal replacement purchasing, and can be elevated to upgrade as well if the replacement is a different weight from my remaining one. I may not buy more than one unless the first one seems to be the ultimate perfect spindle***, but is shown to be an imposter by a later find.
- I do not need any yarn.
- No, really. No yarn. Except sock yarn if it's particularly beautiful and either cheap or not to be found on the internet. And burgundy scarf yarn, if such a thing exists.
- I do not believe any set of rules can cover all eventualities, so the general principle is this: immediate gratification can be had for not available
in storeson the internet offers if I'm really sure about them. Otherwise I must wait, and buy it online if I still want it a few days later, at which point my lack of tuits will make up for some of the lack of willpower.
Wish me luck ;-)
*My crafts are mostly knitting and spinning, but I dabble in sewing, felting and dyeing, and I'm about to branch out into weaving.
**OK, also if you know me, even a little bit.
***Purple is probably sufficient, but not necessarily necessary ;-)
smiorgan and I have just returned from a week in Cumbria (of which perhaps more later), and for the long drive up, the many drives around, and the long drive back down again, we purchased some audio books on CD. We're unlikely to relisten to them, and will want more for the next time, so (this might be a long shot) does anyone else buy audio books and would be interested in some swapping?
The ones we have are:
- Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
- Lord Edgeware Dies by Agatha Christie
- Uniform Justice by Donna Leon
This selection is much more random than it looks, because the choice in motorway services is very limited, and we were lucky. We're not terribly fussy about what we swap for, although detective fiction is particularly good for long car journeys for some reason.
I'm happy to swap by post (in the UK), so don't feel excluded if you don't live in Oxford ;-)
I've just returned from another river swim (with pepper_field), my third in a week, and I've another planned for tomorrow. I don't like the hot weather at all, but the prospect of cool river water in the evening makes the heat of the day slightly more bearable :-)
Thank you all for the kind words about my nomination. It still hasn't quite sunk in!
I'm not less shy about it, by the way, I'm just, well, a bit gob-smacked. Telling the news makes it more real :-)
This afternoon, as part of a colleague's leaving do, I went on a walking tour of Oxford, and then back to said colleague's house for some eating and drinking. Her house faces the river (we were picnicing on the grass right beside the water), it was hot, and we'd done quite a lot of walking. I didn't have my swimsuit with me, but I quickly decided I was prepared to swim in my shirt and pants*, so while my colleagues drank beer and ate pringles on the bank, I swam in a little bit of the Thames alongside the riverboats :-)
*Speakers of American English: I mean underpants.
Yesterday, just as I was about to cycle to an appointment, it started to hail. I had no car, there are no buses that cover the route, and it was even too late for me to change my mind and walk (with umbrella, therefore less wet, even if much slower). I probably wouldn't have walked anyway, but I would have liked the choice.
This morning at work, just as I had observed that it was late enough for the campus shop to be open so I could go and buy milk so I could have cereal for breakfast, we heard the sound of running water in the office. Investigation revealed heavy rain directly over some shelves filled with paper files, and an assortment of electronic equipment on the desk below. Heavy, smelly rain, from the three floors of currently-empty student accomodation above. I managed to rescue the files from the worst of the deluge, but got drenched myself. Breakfast was further delayed by the need to go home for a shower and some clean clothes, although at least I was able to remove some of the discomfort of the journey by fashioning a makeshift skirt from my wrap, so I didn't have to sit in the car in my dripping wet original skirt.
Breakfast was delayed even more by my realisation that although I've got milk at home, there's no cereal. I gave up, and bought a flapjack when I got back to work. Roll on lunchtime.
Maybe it's a good thing that it turns out I can't do my first-practical-choice* masters this year. Maybe I could do with a rest.
*Actual first choice is sadly not an option unless someone wants to pay me my salary for not working :-(