Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Homework: seven things

It's been a while since it last happened, but I've been tagged for some homework. It's not too onerous, so here are Seven Things I Haven't Mentioned Before On This Blog. Some of them are not very interesting, though.

1. I really like lentils: orange, green, brown, whatever. Most people have an aversion from early exposure to badly-cooked tasteless brown glop, much the same as school tapioca did for me. But mum always made a wicked lentil soup, and it was one of the first recipes I asked her for when I went to university. I have progressed beyond soup, onwards and upwards to lentil salad, seasoned with a vinaigrette or spiced up with some chilli. Dhal - loverly.

Lola II from above, walking by the sea2. Before Lola II and I were called Lola, we shared a house in Manchester, which had a very stained carpet in the living room. Mum sent us a bottle of 1001 carpet cleaner (that had a price sticker in shillings and pence). The instructions were to rub the stains with the liquid, and then dab the area dry. While I reclined on the sofa, my sister did the hard work of vigorous rubbing, then I leaned over and lightly dabbed the area with a cloth. "Over to my assistant, Lola," she said, parodying some TV show of the time. You really had to be there to understand how funny this was, but we both liked the name so much that we adopted it. That was in 1991.

3. I have just been contacted via Facebook by my very first boyfriend. I can't remember how old I was, but still at school, possibly aged 15 or 16. He was very nice, made me laugh, and we must have gone out for, oh, maybe six weeks if memory serves. Two months? Three? It seemed like a long time back then. I wrote him a letter saying I didn't want to go out with him any more, and walked all the way to his house and back one day (and he lived a long way away) to deliver it. I don't think we ever met again.

Monkey in her natural habitat4. Lola II and I once went to the Good Food Show in Birmingham, and volunteered to be guinea pigs in a cooking demonstration area, led by a presenter with a proper chef and a small audience. We were each given stickers to write our names on. As the demonstration proceeded, we all followed instructions at our workstations, mixing this and heating that. The presenter wandered around, talking to each participant, and was astonished to find not one, but two Lolas in her group. "What are the chances of that?" she said.

5. I have neither owned nor wanted either a pet or a child since I was old enough to be responsible for one. Actually, I'm not sure I'm old enough now.

Lola II lying on her back and reading with a head torch6. After she'd finished university, Lola II signed up to a programme that took her to Japan for a year, to help out with teaching English at a secondary school, and I went to visit her out there.* I'd travelled for an eternity by plane and train, and finally reached her apartment in the early evening local time. I was completely exhausted by the travelling and the time difference. Lola II wanted to celebrate my arrival and catch up on everything, but I just needed to sleep, and she was most disappointed that I needed to go straight to bed.

I woke up in the night, completely disorientated, but needing the toilet. It was dark, I didn't know the layout of the apartment, I staggered out of my room and tried one of the doors, which turned out to be Lola II's bedroom. She woke up, delighted, thinking I'd now recovered from the journey. I was still asleep, just wanting the toilet, standing there in the wrong room in a stupor, trying to find the complex mix of words of reassurance to thank her for her concern, that I would be better later but just now I still needed to sleep but still appreciated her welcoming gesture, and I was actually looking for the toilet.

What I managed to say was, "Shut up!"

In the morning, after I had apologised as best I could, she told me that I had pulled the door shut over the telephone cable, wedging it so hard she could hardly open it next morning.

7. I have just seen the most extraordinary music video - apparently one of several by the same artist, Lior Narkis. Don't worry too much about the lyrics, it's just an ordinary bland pop song ("You're sweet, I want to hug you"), and stay with it even though it seems rather tasteless - it all gets very surreal just after 2 minutes.

Another monkey
* This is what has fuelled my passion for sushi ever since. I'm not sure that any non-Japanese sushi can match that perfect mixture of rice, fish, vinegar, wasabi, soy: all the flavours melding together and hitting the tastebuds in perfect harmony for the first time.


Caz said...

Don't you just love Facebook!!

Anonymous said...

1:Lentils...yum and tasty.
2:Lentil stain?
3:The letter worked then....?
4:They eat guinea pigs in Poland
5:They eat guinea pigs in Poland
6:Sushi - taste?
7:pop - tasteless.

So how many tasteful or tasteless?