Monday 18 December 2017

Things I Learned Last Week

Last week I learned lots of new things - from a variety of sources -
In the Guardian, I read about the Oxford Dictionary's choice for "Word of the Year" 2017- it is Youthquake; a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people. This word has been around since the 1960s, but its use in the UK has increased five-fold in the past year. Other words on the shortlist were
Broflake : A man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his more conventional or conservative views. Gorpcore; A style of dress incorporating utilitarian clothing of a type worn for outdoor activities, Unicorn; Denoting something, especially an item of food or drink, that is dyed in rainbow colours, decorated with glitter, etc.

In the Post Office, I discovered that it is no longer possible to send brown paper packages tied up with string. This was a little disappointing, as I felt I had done a beautiful job on Auntie Peggy's Christmas Gift. However, I'd already sealed all the edges well with Sellotape, so I just whipped out my Swiss Army Knife there and then, and cut off the string. The guy behind the counter was a little bemused, and apologised that their machinery cannot cope with strung-up parcels. When I got home, I discovered that Royal Mail has a whole page of twine and string on their website to buy from their Mailroom Accessories section. WHY, if you can't use the stuff for mailing?

In Sainsburys, whilst hunting for Pudding Rice to make my Karelian Pies I was having little success. The "Rice Aisle"  had long grain, wholegrain, white, brown, easy cook, basmati, microwave, pilau, arborio, sushi, Thai, carnaroli, black, Sea Island pre-fluffed[what ?] and wild...I asked an assistant and was directed to "above the very last freezer - opposite the ice-cream cabinet, in the traditional puddings section" I finally located it, but was too short to reach it. Fortunately I spotted a taller friend and asked him for assistance. In my childhood, I think that was the only sort of rice you could buy in Sainsburys. Now it has to nestle between the semolina and Angel Delight.

Mags alerted me to the wonderful custom of Jolabokaflod. [pronounced Yo-La-Boka- Flot] Oh the utter joy of the entire family each being given a new book on Christmas Eve, and being able to go off to bed and read whilst eating chocolate [I think I'd prefer a mug of hot drinking chocolate...]
This seems and excellent idea.

Bob pointed out to me that Jeremy Corbyn has recently won a prestigious award from the International Peace Bureau, because of his commitment to Nuclear Disarmament. This seems a good thing to me - but this event was not mentioned at the time in the British mainstream press, nor on the BBC News Website. Which is rather sad, imho. [A week or so later, it was picked up in a few places, after people complained]
In the bathroom, I discovered to my cost that when it says "leave to develop for 30 minutes" on the box of hair colour, that is EXACTLY what you should do. MY SIL Marion rang- and Bob said "Ang is upstairs dyeing" and handed me the phone. I sat chatting, and the timer in the bedroom went off, and we went on talking...and when I came to rinse it out ten minutes later, my hair was somewhat darker than I'd planned. In fact, the word goth was actually mentioned by my beloved. But fortunately somebody else said how nice my hair looked at church on Sunday, so I think I can live with this for a while.
It's been a very educational time in one way and another. 
Have you learned anything interesting lately?


  1. I have learned about mobile phones and contracts, I have survived without one of these wretched devices until now but as I drive a lot at night friends have begged me to get one. The press are in the hands of that ghastly Australian so we will never hear good about Labour or Jeremy from that source, however, I am quite confident that the red flag will find its way to no.10 once again, and the meek shall inherit the earth.

  2. I had the same problem in Sainsburys and was eventually directed to the tinned rice shelves, where a solitary bag of pudding rice sat.

  3. and now I've learned a few new things too, although I did know about Iceland's Christmas book reading tradition.
    Merry Christmas from Normandy!

  4. I'm delighted to learn all these facts and details. The press are so awful to Jeremy Corbyn. Good on him!

  5. ... and if you want ground rice or semolina you have to go to Morrison's (other supermarkets may be consulted!).

  6. I have learned all these things new things from reading your post! I was most intrigued by Pudding Rice. I have not heard of pudding rice before this and had to look it up. From the BBC food site, I found out that:
    "This is not a specific type of rice, but a generic description for short-grained white rice used for making rice pudding." Good to know. Indian rice pudding is usually made of basmati rice.

  7. I have made rice pudding very successfully with arborio risotto rice - but that costs more than the generic short-grained rice in the supermarket


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