Monday, November 8, 2010


Saturday 06/11/2010

Today marks the birthday of a legendary* drummer (*May not be legendary in all corners of the globe. Hey wait, do globes even have corners...?). To celebrate such a momentous occasion, a rather unusual activity had been chosen: Paintballing...because nothing says happy birthday like being shot in the ass with paint.

You really couldn't have picked a better day in the midst of autumn for running around in the woods, armed to the teeth with rifles and smoke grenades, as the sun was beaming merrily down upon us, and the chill in the air was barely noticeable with the adrenaline pumping through my veins. 500 tiny spheres of pain were handed out, along with some very fetching jump suits that looked like they had been washed a few too many times to qualify as camouflage.

Team blue

2 teams, us vs "them"... the other team was composed mainly of kids, one was even on crutches, but this didn't lessen the satisfaction of tearing through their ranks to destroy them. I was willing to show some mercy at the beginning, and offer a painless surrender to any close-up encounters, but after one of the little rodents shot me multiple times in the butt after I had already been eliminated, my compassion evaporated as quickly as a cluster of stinging bruises appeared.

Paintball came to end and only a few injuries had been sustained. I'd been shot in the neck, directly between my mask, and clothing, which was quite unfortunate, being the only bit of exposed skin, but what hurt more were my feelings when I saw that the origin of the shot had come from a rogue teammate.

Motorcade's new album cover

After freshening up a bit, we went to see the bonfire and fireworks, which was a nice surprise - I'd almost forgotten about celebrating people trying to blow up the parliament buildings.


Firewires at the Racecourse

Mesmerised By Explosions

Captivated By Fireworks

Next up on the agenda was Sabai Sabai, a Thai restaurant where I had some very tasty Thai Green Curry, with rice, but not before a pint in Voodoo. After coming to terms with the impressive half a grand bill, we headed straight for somewhere slightly easier on the wallets. Satchwells was as cheap and cheerful as ever, more so because of the beer festival, where I got an interesting pint of vanilla flavoured beer.

The Birthday Girl

The Portuguese

Playing Knuckles at the Beer Festival

Finally, we ended up in a random house party, hosted by Jim, Motorcade's front man, where we met people from all over globe, including drunk French people, Spanish people, crazy swedes (actually he was with us...!). I ended up watching Motorcade play into the early hours of the morning, which rounded off the evening very nicely.

Motorcade Unplugged

If only every day was as fun as this one! Happy birthday tor :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cake in the Making

My next project is to master the art of cake. The particular cake I'm aiming for requires a whole new baking discipline that I've never really experimented with before - icing.

My first few attempts at icing have usually ended up with a slurry of sugary grease, but there are plenty of awesome cake chefs out there to show us that decorating a cake isn't impossible. I still thought I'd better get some advice of a real pro before starting though, and now, armed with some sugary wisdom, I'm preparing for Cake Mark II.

You may be wondering what happened to Mark I? Well, this particular cake adventure is a top secret project, for a good friend's birthday, and I thought I better not post my preliminary findings in the unlikely event that he somehow stumbles on the page and ruins the surprise! But here it is now!

Cake Mark I


Here are some potential recipes I've found so far:
Rich Vanilla Frosting Not so keen on this one, as it uses soya milk powder, which is sold here at a whopping £10 minimum. Creamy White Frosting interesting looking recipe here - vinegar seems like an odd addition though...

In Other News
Other than cake, here's a few other things I've made in the last couple of weeks:

Pie and Tarts
Coconut custard pie and tarts

Left over custard, decorated with one of my cute borage flowers from the back garden, dessicated coconut, and chocolate ganache

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Night In The Caribbean

"Carribean Food". That's what I promised for my next poker evening. So now I've got to work out exactly what that is, before I go to the supermarket in a few minutes, to inevitably realise that supermarkets don't have yukas, plantains or any other carribean items that my recipes call for!

So far my research is leading me to some kind of rice and beans combination as being a fairly traditional. Apparently the trick to this kind of dish is in the "sofrito", which is a sauce made from frying together finely chopped onions, garlic, pepper, corriander and oregano in olive oil, for around 15-30 minutes. Mix that with some precooked kidney/black beans, and serve mixed into some plain rice, and thats that. Dish #1.

Allspice seems like an essential flavour too, the spice of the carribean. So does rum. But how can I incorporate those things with the quinesential plantains and pineapples to create some kind of stew to go with the rice? Sounds more like a cocktail so far! (Well, that's certainly one way to make sure I win the poker!)