February 29, 2004
Leap Snow & Biryani

Woke up this “leap Sunday” morning to be greeted by a pretty view out of the window:

Just started to snow quite heavily.
(Route 79 bus stop in the middle there.)

It was bound to happen I suppose - it’s been really cold here in London for the last few days …

… which is why we treated ourselves to a great Saturday-night-in dinner of Lamb Biryani. Perfect winter-time, sit-in-front-of-TV-and-watch-a-great-film soul food. Inspired in part by StroppyCow’s comment to my “More Slough” posting below - I added it to my list of recipes “to-do” - but immediately brought it to the front of the list after the temptation grew too much to bear.

Lamb Biryani - click here to learn how to make it!

Posted by jag at 09:37 AM | Comments (29)
February 28, 2004
Journal Spam

Have been getting a lot of comment-spam for old entries in this journal recently. I tried to install Jay Allen’s MT Blacklist but only succeeded in trashing my configuration - and some of the comments database too - which I’ve carefully spent the last two hours attempting to restore from local backup. Still some parts of the archive missing. Leaving you with a random picture for now.

Defaced “CCTV in Operation” - Wembley High Road.

The above picture is from a series taken as part of my “CCTV is everywhere in London” showcase - which if you missed the first time - you can see by clicking here.

Posted by jag at 09:58 AM | Comments (4)
February 27, 2004
Jimmy & Miss Piggy

An attempt at being arty with photos of my new office:

Looking up in the atrium.

And spotted at a desk near mine:

Jimmy Carter & Miss Piggy.

That painted portrait of Jimmy Carter has been the subject of intrigue for me all week.

Posted by jag at 04:50 PM | Comments (2)
February 25, 2004
More Slough

The commuting to and working in Slough opens up a whole new feast of interesting visuals - some of which I will share with you here from time to time. But whilst I’m in acclimatisation mode - I couldn’t resist snapping up a few on my third day in a new place.

The train from Ealing Broadway in West London to Slough (which is about 10 miles West of the West of Greater London) occasionally stops at another West London town called Southall. Some Indian/Asian readers may probably already be aware that Southall is sometimes known as “Little India” here in London - as the town is almost over 90% Punjabi - and you cannot help but notice this the moment you step off the train - for the signs welcoming you to Southall station are written in both English and Punjabi!

Southall: known as Little India.
(Apparently - even the timetables at this station are printed in both English and Punjabi!)

Click here for some pictures of the main drag: Southall Broadway - which is where, amongst blaring Punjabi music, you will find some of the most delicious North Indian food in the country - at the most ridiculously cheap prices. If you want tandoori style (chicken, lamb, kebab etc.) or chaat (stuff like bhel puri, pani-puri, chole, samosa etc.) - then this is THE place to come in London.

I occasionally do go to Southall - but I never have by train - I almost always go by car - and that’s because I know quite a few people (friends and friends of family) who live there. So - no time to jump off the train and explore - I had work to go to!

Later on in Slough I took a walk at lunchtime to soak-in some of the vibe. And I hadn’t gone too far into the nearest shopping mall when I stumbled upon a sewing machine sale taking place in an open area of the mall outside Woolworths. A sewing machine sale? I was amazed. And then it made sense - Slough is the largest town around here for several miles - and is therefore a shopping capital for a large part of the West of Greater London as well as other nearby towns in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. With a relatively high ethnic Asian population in the surrounding areas (including Southall, Hayes, etc.) it kind of made sense really - as every Indian/Asian family has a sewing machine - and some older-generation Asian women form an army of “work-at-home” mothers for local textile and clothing companies.

Sewing machine sale in Slough shopping mall.
(Just look at that hi-tec Singer machine.)

And finally - as I headed back to the office following my lunchtime stroll I spotted some interesting graffiti on a wall right in the heart of the shopping district. I subsequently spotted the same “tag” in several other places. The tag goes by the name “Master Gurpal” - and is accompained by an extremely original graphic that almost made me laugh out loud. Perhaps “Master Gurpal” is the Slough equivalent to West London’s Fume? The graphic is obviously dubbed using spray-can and stencil:

Even the graffiti here is Indian style.

Posted by jag at 09:51 PM | Comments (19)
February 24, 2004
Beautiful Slough

Well - the office move happened. I am now getting used to commuting from NorthWest London to Slough. It’s not too bad really - I have a choice of ways in which to get to Ealing Broadway - starting with the Route79 bus of course - perhaps hopping on to another bus along the way - or maybe even the tube. At Ealing Broadway I have to jump onto a train that started it’s journey at Paddington - and probably finishes it’s journey at Oxford or some other provincial English town - but stops at Slough along the way.

It seems that Slough is fast becoming a really fashionable place to be. Kind of like the new “Dallas”. And I am told that this is because of a really popular BBC comedy series called “The Office” - which amazingly won a Golden Globe award recently. I have never watched that show - but because of it everybody in the world, it seems, now knows about Slough! Well - I suppose it takes some of the depressing edge off the fact that we relocated there from Hammersmith.

Click here to read one of my really early postings about venturing out of the office in Slough when I was visiting there a couple of years ago.

You see the problem with Slough is not so much the office, my new office is actually a bit nicer than the one in Hammersmith - very spacious, not too far from the station - practically next door to two major shopping malls (Queensmere and Observatory) and a humungous Tesco. No - the problem is three-fold:

  • Firstly: It’s the name “Slough”. It’s hardly a glamorous sounding name. It just doesn’t sound cool to say “I work in Slough”.
  • Second: It’s the location - Slough is the London-end of what commuters often call the “M4 corridor”. However, the image of Slough is not one of hi-tech buildings nestling amontst idyllic green meadows and pastures - no - Slough is far from being “London” - and far from being “countryside” - it’s not even stuck in the middle of those two things. It’s more like a giant industrial estate with a provincial shopping centre and council estates bolted onto one end.
  • And thirdly: the people. I hate to be egotistic here - but the people of Slough seem so - er “cold”. It’s hard to describe really. I know that many people would say that Londoners are “cold” - but if that’s the case then I’m positively “hot” compared to the people of Slough! I dunno - I’m not sure what it is - but I get given funny stares by everybody I walk past in Slough. Expressionless ones. That’s just not done in London.

Anyway - I’m sure we’ll get used to it. Here is a picture of our office - on a street called Wellington Street - which is one of the main roads that runs though Slough. (I have “smudged” out my employers’ logo in case you wonder.)

The office at Wellington Street in Slough
(Don’t you think it looks a bit like an Embassy Suites hotel in Florida?
It has an atrium that certainly looks like one!)

Somebody in the office asked me to consider relocating the office to a Carribean island - since it is known that I am a bit of wiz with Photoshop. So I did. I created a picture-postcard that we could use as a “wallpaper” for our Windows on our computers. So, Slough has now become “Beautiful Slough” - and Wellington Street has now become “Wellington Beach” :

Now relocated to Wellington beach in Beautiful Slough.

(Actually - the request I got was to produce a holiday-postcard-style wallpaper that would include more than just a nice beach. The above image is crop of the original, more-titillating-for-men image. Click here to see the full picture - starring an Indian fashion model called Kavita Verma.)

Posted by jag at 10:56 PM | Comments (12)
February 23, 2004
Warwick Avenue

Haven’t been able to post here for the last few days due to being preoccupied with the relocation of the office where I work. So - here is a really dull entry to make a change from Nina Hossein.

For reasons of business - I happened to have to go to a place in London called Warwick Avenue last week. It was only when I got there that I discovered that this is where you will find London’s Little Venice. When I surfaced to street level at the tube station I headed towards where I wanted to be near Edgware Road - and walked right past Little Venice. I must admit I wasn’t terribly impressed with what I saw: A garden. Some flowers. Some nice grass. A canal. Some boats. Wow.

So here’s a picture of something a little more interesting:

Riding up the escalator at Warwick Avenue tube station.

Posted by jag at 04:16 PM | Comments (12)
February 21, 2004
Ah: Nina Hossein

There is a quirky aspect of national television broadcasting in UK - especially on the terrestrial channels: BBC1 and ITV1. And it is this: when the national evening news programmes are being broadcast - e.g. the BBC 10 O‘clock News - right at the very end of the programme - the “national” broadcast switches to “local” for around 5 minutes. The idea is that everybody in the country is watching the same thing for most of the programme - and then in the last five minutes the broadcast changes so that what you see for those five minutes depends on where in the country you are viewing the programme from. e.g. if you are watching in Birmingham you will get local “BBC Birmingham” news for the last five minutes. If you are in Manchester - you will get local “BBC Manchester” news for the last five minutes - and so on and so on.

Each of these local news bulletins are hosted by a “local” BBC crew, with different presenters and different BBC-esque style branding etc. This is the “grass roots” of BBC TV journalism. All the big, famous, national TV presenters probably worked there way up through these local outfits. Of course, since I live in London - my lcoal BBC crew go by the branding “BBC London” - which for some strange reason has decided to adopt the branding acronym of “BBC LDN”. Not quite sure what the reason for that is - but you do get used it I suppose.

Anyway - getting to the point: there is particular Asian lady presenter on BBC London that I always really look forward to watching. And her name is Nina Hossein. I am hoping that she will make it to the national TV schedule some day. The news can be quite depressing most of the time - but when Nina tells it - the news is always good. Maybe it’s me? Maybe when Nina tells it I don’t quite hear it - or maybe I’m just not listening? Alas - I only get 5 minutes of her on most days. The good news is that I have got a Tivo - so I record those five minutes of Nina automatically every day. But that’s not because I like to watch her over and over again - it’s so that I can get to watch her when Ms.79 isn’t around …

The really nice Nina Hossein from BBC LDN news.
(Picture taken from the website stated below)

It seems that I am not the only one who looks forward to Nina Hossein. You can find some more great pics of her presenting the news at: http://geocities.com/currentbunsuk1/nina2.html.

Posted by jag at 10:48 AM | Comments (16)
February 20, 2004
Hammersmith goodbyes

On the way to work this morning I noticed the seats across the aisle on the upper deck of the bus were ripped and torn.

Ripped and torn.

This afternoon, after clearing out - I took one last look at my desk in my office in Hammersmith.

Purposely devoided of any signs of occupancy.

The abandoned green network cable almost brought a couple of tears to my eyes.

I had this momentary feeling of being ripped and torn inside.

Last look at my desk.

Abandoned network cable.

As I left the building - I sighed, breathed deeply - and then bid a final farewell to Hammersmith.

Posted by jag at 08:42 PM | Comments (10)
February 19, 2004
Wrong Focus

Sometimes the auto-focus on your camera targets things that you didn’t want it to target. But sometimes it adds a completely different spin on the story you were trying to tell with it.

In this case it was intended to be a Route79 bus standing at my bus stop. Instead it turns out to be something more like winter twigs on the trees and how we all can’t wait for the Summer.

Can’t wait for the Summer.

Posted by jag at 09:42 PM | Comments (6)
February 18, 2004
Night Life

I looked at my watch as I raced to get an email out of the way in the office yesterday evening. It was half-past-five - and it was still daylight. How did I miss that? Roll on Spring. I still got home late. Dark. One thing I noticed gazing out of the bus window was that the art of the street is different in the night. A dark art.

Night-time street art

Despite the night - I sought solace in a late night breakfast.

Route 79 Omelette.

Click here to learn how to cook this in 15 minutes.

Posted by jag at 07:27 AM | Comments (12)
February 16, 2004
Greener Brent

If you ever ride the buses of suburban London you can’t help but notice the fact that “wheelie-bins” are everywhere. (Click here to see a wheelie-bin in the context of contemporary suburban London architecture.) In my part of London, along the path of Route79 - you are rarely ever a few metres away from a standard Brent Council-issued wheelie bin. Waste collection is taken seriously in London - by both councils and council-tax-payers. The issue better had be taken seriously - after all most people seem to associate their extortionately high rates of Council Tax with the collection of waste piled up in wheelie-bins.

Now - the UK has always been woefully behind many other more forward-thinking countries when it comes to the recycling of domestic waste. And my theory is that there is always not much of an incentive to do so. And that’s because the majority of us are a selfish, lazy, unconscientious bunch. For example - a few years ago, Brent Council issued environmentally friendly “Green Boxes” to every household in the borough. The idea being that instead of throwing certain types of waste in your wheelie-bin (e.g. newspaper, bottles, cardboard etc.) you put it in the Green Box and every week a special recycling truck comes around to collect it - and presumably recycle it. However - where’s the incentive? At least, where’s the “instantly-gratificationable” incentive? Never mind the fact the Green Box probably “flew away” and got lost from your front garden doorstep the last time there was a gale-force wind - the fact is that you could equally place such recycleable waste in the standard wheelie-bin and it didn’t make any difference at all on the surface: it got collected and removed along with all the other regular household waste. For the unconscientious majority - the Green Box was a waste of effort - if you still had one.

Well - it seems that, finally, an incentive to recycle certain types of waste has been found. The following letter from Brent Council appeared through my letterbox today:

According to the above - the incentive is patronisingly clear: if you dump garden waste in your “standard” wheelie-bin - it will NOT be taken away. So - you must dump it in the green one instead. The waste in the green wheelie-bin will be taken for composting. This is the incentive - it forces the homeowner to separate the waste properly - otherwise it won’t be taken away. Big cheer to Brent Council’s Environmental Services department!

I think this is fantastic. I wonder if there are any other London boroughs (or UK counties) doing the same sort of thing? Perhaps Brent is slow off the mark? I dunno - it’s a step in the right direction - but the cynic in me suggests that there will be a major protest at this scheme: homeowners protesting at the fact that YET ANOTHER wheelie-bin has to blight the pretty front gardens of suburban London. At least in Brent’s case - it’s not so bad: most homeowners around here are Indian/Asian - which means that aesthetic-looking front gardens are not a priority. Most are concreted and paved over to make way for off-road car-parking anyway! From these residents there will be little protest I am sure, for the Green Wheelie bin will not only serve a useful, entirely functional, purpose - but they will also ensure that your garden waste gets taken away. Problem is - like I said: most Indian/Asian households don’t generate garden waste .…

Ah - the irony.

Posted by jag at 07:30 PM | Comments (12)
February 15, 2004
Food section

I finally got around to creating a new section on this website. It’s called “Food” - and you can see it over in the left-hand side-bar. I was getting a bit tired of embedding the Route79 household food recipes within the pages of the journal - and so the birth of the food section. I’ve copied over all my previous cooking articles over - and I’ve added some new ones to mark it’s opening as well:

Freshly cooked gobi-paratha with chillie pickle : a lunch to die for!

Click here to learn how to make the above.

UPDATE: Since we cook something practically every evening - the list of step-by-step guides on the left should get longer quite quickly. If anybody has any special requests then please let me know!

Posted by jag at 05:42 PM | Comments (23)
February 14, 2004
Roses & Tesco

Having spent the whole of yesterday in Slough, I popped into the biggest Tesco that I have ever seen in my life - right across the road from the office - and right next to the railway station there. Was reminded to pick up some roses - which when I got home, I popped into the bowl of our food processor (couldn’t find a vase) - added a little water and hid overnight in the en-suite bathroom. She doesn’t use that bathroom you see. Delivered them with a quick peck and a “would you like a cup of tea darling?” this morning.

That Tesco really is quite handy.

Happy Valentines Day.

Later - roses in vase.
Ms.79 - sitting on edge of bed.
Urging me to get going (shopping)

Even later: dinner - spicy chicken niblets with veg-rice and salad

Posted by jag at 10:27 AM | Comments (24)
February 13, 2004
Crime & Fume-Spotting

Every week, around 3 different “free” local newspapers get put through our front door letterbox. Every week I spend no more than 60 seconds flicking through the pages - mostly to figure out what the house prices in our area are like - and then they get put into the kitchen to use as a convenient “wrapper” for waste food by-product - e.g. potato and carrot peelings, onion skins etc. before they go into the bin. One of this week’s papers however (Harrow Times) had a very short article in it that caught my attention:

Route 79 Bus Robbery last Friday

This is the first time I’ve ever seen Route79 mentioned in the news. (Click here to view the article on the Harrow Times website.)

This made me think: what would I have done had I been there? The hero in me tells me that I would have taken control of the situation and told the attackers what’s what. On the other hand - the sensible side of me says that I would have made a fast escape and gotten off the bus. This conflict between heart and mind really bugs me.

Anyway - a report from VeryVeryBored in Eastbourne (which is a UK South-coast seaside town mostly populated by retired folks) indicates that the prolific, infamous London graffiti writer “Fume” appears to be heading towards his own retirement?

Posted by jag at 09:11 PM | Comments (6)
February 11, 2004
Flying home

Have been out of circulation for a day or so. Flew to Munich yesterday. Back today.
In between: 24 hours of just-about-bearable corporate hotel, engaging corporate meetings and stupidly corporate plane behaviour.
Until I got home that is. It’s always a great feeling to be back home after corporate excursions like this.

Some observations picked up on the way:

It snowed quite heavily overnight in Munich. Why is it that Munich seems to function perfectly as normal the day after the night that it snows? (Unlike London.)

Snow-covered Munich: a city in standstill? Most definitely not!

Why is it that the stupid majority of people on the aeroplane cannot understand what it means when the captain says that you should remain seated until the seatbelt light is switched off - even after landing and parking? I cannot understand this. On today’s flight back to London (having been upgraded to Business Class due to a full flight) - and despite the allegedly higher clicks of intelligence and civility that you’d expect from the folks who pay through the nose to sit in Business Class - you still find that the majority of these spoilt terds are still incapable of following very simple and straightforward aircraft safety instructions. Of course: they do it absolutely deliberately - as if to make make some sort of point about being of some higher intelligence than the crew that got them home safely. Sorry - I’m getting carried away there - but I was incensed even more by the bloke sitting next to me who was “tutting” furiously when I stayed put in my seat until the seatbelt light was switched off. Preventing him from getting up and getting his stuff together so that he could make the sharpest possible exit from the plane. I was probably the only person on the entire plane who followed this particular safety instruction - and this particular guy had the fucking nerve to tut at me for doing so. Sheeesh. (I grinned as big a grin as I could every time I encountered the same terd of a guy waiting behind me in queues at passport control and customs etc.)

A view of the airfield at Munich Airport - whilst waiting at the gate for boarding.

And similarly - why can’t people understand the instruction to NOT switch on their mobile phones until they have left the aircraft? Why is it that within seconds after the plane stopping at the air-bridge you can hear “beep-beep-beep, beeeeeeep-beeeeeeep-beeeeeeeep, beep-beeep-beep” echoing up and down the aeroplane as people switch on their mobile phones and backlogged text messages come flooding through. Don’t these people understand simple instructions? Once again - perhaps they really do believe that they know better …

Anyway - it’s always good to get back home after such trips: the very shabby-ness of Heathrow Terminal 2 compared to Munich’s gleaming new terminal building is enough to make you feel like you’re back on home territory. And it feels good too. The best moment for me was the bus part of the trip home: how great it felt to be sitting at the very back of a dirty, smelly, graffiti-ridden, top-deck of a suburban London Bus for the last few miles of the journey home.

The good ol’ bus journey home.

Posted by jag at 08:51 PM | Comments (9)
February 08, 2004

When you live so close to a popular IKEA - you know to go an hour before it closes - and to go into the store from the wrong end (i.e. the exit end) - and to go to exactly what you want and come right back out again (i.e. don’t tempt yourself into starting any more interesting home projects.)

IKEA: Huge cages of organic-smelling, handy-looking, space-saving stuff.

Posted by jag at 04:46 PM | Comments (4)
February 05, 2004

Several months ago I tried to summarise my life in a text message. Today I put a different spin on it: Every morning - I wake up to the sound of Radio 4’s Today programme. More often than not - I fall out of the bed and into the bathroom. Before I’ve even gotten my clothes on properly - I’m online and logged in. A parody of clicking and Ok’ing- all the way to my Outlook Calendar - to help me remind myself where I have to be today - and when. From then on - it’s bus, tube and work - and work, tube and bus - until the very end of the day. There are two images which represent this daily routine. And here they are:

The button that opens the windows first thing in the morning.

And then …

The button that gets me home.

Posted by jag at 10:01 PM | Comments (10)
February 04, 2004
Preserving "newness"

I know I must be sounding like some kind of bus nerd, but trust me when I say I’m not. Yesterday’s posting about the brand-spanking new Route79 bus reminded me of something that I’m sure you might identify with. But before I go into that - especially for Sathish, here is a pic (from the outside) of the very same bus that I got home yesterday - which by coincidence was the bus that I caught going to work this morning. I just managed to get the shot as I got off - just before it sped away from in front of Alperton tube station:

That brand-spanking new Route79 bus.
(With an upper deck nicer than British Airways business class.)

And so let me tell you about something very typically Indian: the obsessive desire to preserve and protect “newness”. It’s something that I remember vividly from childhood. I don’t know why it is - but it’s something that still, to this day (especially in the homes of the older generation Asians), you see Indian/Asian folks practise. Are you Indian? You are if you:

  • Have cling-film around your TV, VCR, DVD player and Sky TV remote controls - you wouldn’t want to “wear” out the buttons would you?
  • Cover your kitchen hob with tin-foil - to protect the chrome or brushed stainless steel from splodges of caked-up daal or splashes of oil.
  • Cover your nice wooden dining table with a thick sheet of clear-plastic from John Lewis - to stop the surface from getting heat marks or scratches.
  • Cover your nice leather sofas with polythene - or if you’re a bit more style-conscious: with fabric “throws” to stop the leather/upholstery from getting worn.
  • Spread rugs all over your nice new wooden floor - so much that you cannot see it - so that people wearing shoes or stiletto heels don’t leave marks or scratches all over it.

I’m sure there’s more like that!

And although I have lived the “Western” lifestyle for practically all of my life - I still subconsciously find myself practising this obsession - but in more subtle and personal sorts of ways. For example - a couple of years ago I had a brand new mobile phone. And I just couldn’t bring myself around to peeling off the protective plastic film-cover over the nice new display on the front of the phone. (You know - that thin protective film of plastic that’s stuck to the screen of the phone when you take it out of its box for the first time.) In fact - I went around for nearly six months not having peeled off the protective plastic cover on my phone. But one day - I was showing off my phone to some guy in the office - and this guy takes my phone into his hand - and notices that I haven’t peeled off the protective plastic film yet. So - he does it himself! Yes - he so confidently and without thinking about - just peels it right off - right in front of my eyes! And whilst he’s talking to me (completely oblivious to my distress) - he scrunches up the plastic film and drops it into the waste-paper-basket. My heart dropped at this moment! That was a “virgin” phone - and he just peeled it right off - without even asking me! Not only was it a very distressing moment - I sure would have looked really stupid if I’d gone fumbling around in the waste-paper-basket to retrieve that scrunched up bit of plastic film. I just had to painfully accept the fact that he had done it. But it was an awful feeling at the time. It really hurt. It was almost as if I felt that he had been really insensitive.

Now I look back and laugh hysterically. But the even funnier thing is this: I still see Indian folks with new phones (friends and family) who haven’t removed the protective plastic film cover from their mobile phones!

Posted by jag at 10:03 PM | Comments (8)
February 03, 2004
Club Level

As I jumped off the tube train at Alperton on the way home today - I raced down the stairs and through the barrier in order to jump onto the Route79 bus waiting at the bus stop. Only this was no ordinary 2002 version of the bus - this was a late-2003 version. As near as damn-it brand new, state-of-the-art double-decker bus as you can get in London. I marvelled in the glory of it as I made my way up to the upper deck - which I call the “Club Level” - and proceeded to the very back seat. As I sat there I took in all the finely designed curves, the smell of the brand new upholstery and the smart new LCD TFT flat-panel display at the front of the upper deck:

Hi-tech Club Level on Route79.

Later: I decided that tonight was not a night for cooking. Instead - I prepared a Route79 club sandwich:

  • A few leaves of fresh, crisp iceberge lettuce
  • One large ripe tomato, sliced thinly
  • Quarter of cucumber sliced thinly
  • Four cooked chicken thighs (skin-removed) chopped into half-bite-sized pieces
  • One ripe avocado - chopped into pieces same size as chicken
  • A few large dollops of mayonnaise
  • 6 small pickled gherkins - sliced finely
  • Some pre-sliced, smoked ham
  • Bread for toasting
  • Low-cholesterol margarine
  • Ground pepper

Gently stir the chopped chicken, mayonnaise and chopped avocado together in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Grind some black pepper into the mixture and stir well.

Ingredients for Route79 Club Sandwich

The idea here is to make two sandwiches - comprising three slices of bread each. In other words - two “double-decker” sandwiches.

For each sandwich - take 3 slices of bread, toast them lightly - and spread each slice with margarine whilst still hot. Spread one of the slices with margarine on both sides - this is the slice that will go in the middle - the slice that splits the bottom deck from the top deck!

Then - on the bottom slice - cover with lettuce - then spoon on some of the chicken/avocado mixture. Cover with some more lettuce. Then place the middle (dual-margarined) slice of bread on top. Then add two slices of ham on top. Arrange some slices of tomato - and arrange the cucumber and gherkin slices on top. Sprinkle some more salt and pepper on top - and then add another two slices of ham on top of that. Finally add the top layer of toast. Press it all together firmly using the palm of your hand and cut the double-decker into four quarters using a sharp serrated knife. (Straight - not diagonally.)

Serve on a large plate with a packet of tomato-ketchup (or salt and vinegar) flavoured Walkers Crisps. Voila!

She’s lovin’ it

Very tasty.

Posted by jag at 09:46 PM | Comments (10)
February 01, 2004
Hallway Table

Do you have a little table in your hallway? Somewhere to dump miscellaneous things when you arrive home? The place from which you pick up things when you leave home for work? You must have something equivalent. Our hallway table serves an under-rated but essential purpose in our lives. Here I pay tribute to our very own hallway table:

Our hallway table

  • The Scottish £5 note has been there for months. I’m always reluctant to put in my pocket for fear of causing a scene in a shop if I try to use it.
  • The 10 Euro note is a remnant from my last trip to Dublin, Ireland. I’m hoping that I might use it on my next trip to Munich, Germany.
  • The can of WD40 has also been there for ages. I bought it to help un-jam a jammed padlock on our back-garden gate - but never got around to doing it.
  • The loose coins collect up into a big pile. After a few months I count them all up and donate them to charity.
Posted by jag at 09:58 PM | Comments (11)

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