Today's soundtrack: Scritti Politti - Songs to Remember
So - you like the new look? 175 days in, and I got bored. Plain blue is just soooo yesterday, darlings, and spots are where it's at in the brave new blogosphere. Unfortunately now I've started to tinker, the layout will probably change on at least a weekly basis, until I get fed up and revert to the original look.
But for now at least, you've got spots.
Up early today to man the kitchen, churning out rashers of bacon and the odd sausage for our overnight visitors, before they headed back off to Birmingham for the inevitable post-holiday decline. That's the only thing about holidays - you have to come home.
Oh, in all the excitement, I forgot to tell you all about my latest baking experiment...I made brioche the other day - very yummy it was (and still is) too! Baked like a normal loaf, but with four times the butter, and eggs and milk making up the liquid content rather than water, it is as sweet and rich as it sounds. As much cake as bread, it's not a loaf you'd eat with ham and cheese and I can't imagine it toasted, but simply spread with a thin smear of butter it was delicious! A special occasion loaf, I think.
International weekend for the football, so no club matches in the big divisions. I had to get my fix by watching the England friendly. Slovenia the opponents, presumably to prepare the team for the 'real' game on Wednesday against Croatia. And a strange game it was too, some bizarre refereeing and some even more bizarre defending.
If Robert Green is the answer, then the question can only be 'Can we find a keeper even more eccentric than David James?' What possessed him, in the first few minutes of the match, to catch a ball two yards outside his penalty area? And what were the officials doing, that they missed it?
They spotted the England penalty though. It now appear penalties are given to the attacking side if you fall over whilst trying to break a defender's ankle. A boon to our attackers, but a bit of a pisser for the poor defender!
So 1-0 at half time due to a spawny penalty. Lead doubled after the break by Jermaine Defoe, scoring quite a cute goal after coming off the bench. He's now scored hatfuls in the last few internationals,all after coming on as a second half substitute. Cue inevitable calls from the 'experts' for him to start up front in the next game. Now I may be missing something here, but the common thread in all his recent England goals is that he scored them all after coming off the bench in the second half. Now this tells me that he is probably most effective as an impact player, coming on fresh when defences are beginning to flag, rather than as a starting forward.
But what do I know, eh?
Oh, and Slovenia sneaked a soft goal right at the end due to some awful England defending. From two defenders, one who cost £17m, the other £24m. Best defender in the country? He wasn't even the best defender at Everton. Not that I'm bitter. Oh no.
I watched the footy whist cooking tonight's lasagne. Or rather, whilst cooking two lasagnes. One of the perils of this blog is that it actually gets read on occasion. On this occasion by Son No 2, who spotted yesterday my intention to cook lasagne tonight. So I get a text from him - "if you're making lasagne can you make one without mushrooms and bring it over with you tomorrow?" Cheeky sod. I'm already printing off a load of copies of his cv to take over for him, and he's also asked me to bake him a loaf of bread as well!
Got me on the soft.
Nice to be typing this with a bit of Scritti Politti in the background. Originally a bunch of squat-dwelling Situationists with cod-philosophical posturing to the fore, they evolved into one of the most melodic and enjoyable bands to come out of the late 70's. 'Songs to Remember' is their first album, and contains their breakthrough single, The "Sweetest Girl". (The quotation marks, often ignored when quoting the song title, were deliberate - supposedly to make the title 'ironic'.) Not your typical soppy love song, the lyrics include the lines:
"Politics is pride too
Vagaries of science
She left because she understood
The value of defiance"
No, I don't really know what it means either - but it's not your usual moon/June stuff, is it? Best not to overanalyse - just listen: