Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Lego space men

Lego space men
Originally uploaded by Gaetan Lee

We're coming for you, Gordon.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Anthony Worrall Thompson

Medievally bearded chef Anthony Worrall Thompson--who looks like a smaller, kinder version of Henry VIII--has a dirty secret.

Unbeknownst to his legion of food-preparation-enjoying TV acolytes, Wozza has an unusual favourite food - Babybel cheese.

"It beats the crap out of all this other stuff," says Worrall Thompson, waving his arm over a tableau of fine dishes he has created.

"I spent years at catering college getting my NVQ, got a TV show, bought a big car, a caravan, so much Space Lego that I could retire and just live off the interest, but I still can't come up with a dish to beat a single portion of Babybel cheese."

Televised kitchen rumours suggest that AWT's arch rival Gordon 'Rustic' Ramsay is close to creating a Babybel-beater.

A source insinuated as much, saying, "Gordon's introducing the cheese-market to the concept of whimsy. This is going to be the biggest thing since Primula abandoned prawns."

A spokesperson for prawns was unavailable for comment.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Master Chef

Few people realise that as well as being a leading chef, foodster Gordon Ramsey has one of Britain's largest collections of Space Lego.

Thirty-plus Ramsay was said to be 'furious' after a recent kitchen cock-up saw him accidentally marinate a rare blue Lego spaceman in soy sauce before frying him with ginger and spring onion and serving with braised pak choi and a glass of diet 7-Up.

A repentent Ramsay, forty-minus, said, "It was a schoolboy error, uncharacteristic. Everyone knows that the blue spaceman is better served with buttered bread and a rustic-type alcohol free cider."

Monday, 4 June 2007

"Aah! Pease pudding, of course!"

This is my idea for a new aftershave which smells a bit like pease pudding:

A man steers a speedboat by a beautiful Caribbean coastline. Behind him stands a gorgeous woman. As he swerves to avoid a carelessly discarded giant inflatable Gene Wilder head, the woman leans in close to him, remarking, "Aah! Pease pudding... Of course!"

The commercial concludes with the speedboat whizzing off into the distance, at which point the giant inflatable head (close up, bobbing in the wake of the boat) speaks to the camera (voiced by the real Gene Wilder):

"Aah! Pease pudding... Of course!" says Gene.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Rice puddingey

Synaesthesia makes a vague impact upon my life as I watch Tales of the Unexpected.

In the episode I choose (to help me navigate the stack of ironing I have been growing over a period of several weeks), the actor Keith Barron plays a murderous husband. As this is Tales his plan goes horribly wrong, and his lover is murdered instead of his wife by his doofus hired gun. He didn't expect that.

Anyway, the plot is immaterial. As soon as Keith comes on screen I can taste rice pudding. And I don't like it.

A week later Barron appears in something else I'm watching and the same thing happens. Rice pudding.

Later in the week a caretaker passes my desk, his lab coat gusting cape-like as he trots along whistling the theme from Duty Free (or at least something similarly Spanish sounding and jaunty). Again, Ambrosia; cooked in a saucepan till it nearly catches. Dusted in sugary ramekin batches.

As much as I like Keith Barron this must be stopped, so I decide, one lonely Wednesday night, to make a quantity of delicious butterscotch Angel Delight and re-watch the tales of the unexpected episode which kicked this whole sorry business off. I am also armed with a giant Toblerone, just in case.

Alas, failure. I swear I could be glugging TCP and I'd still taste rice pud when Barron appears.

But it could have been worse: thank the lord that John Nettles never appeared in Tales of the Unexpected.



Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Velcro trainers

I was looking at a stack of end-of-line Adidas Stan Smith on a clearance shelf at TK Maxx the other week and it occured to me that I was lucky enough to witness the original Velcro trainer explosion in the early eighties.

Spaceman-style footwear facilitating quick release hit a UK boom patch sometime around 1982 or '83.

Suddenly PE lessons had a new sound: instead of fumbling with laces after the usual session of movement to music / British bulldgogs (British school sports at primary level were, in my day, a paradoxical, fruit salad mix-up of humiliation, daring, high-octane thrills and seahorse impersonation; all choreographed by a middle-aged lady with a whistle), the post-PE changing rooms would echo with the sound of ripping Velcro as we cast aside sportsgear and returned to our wide-fit Clarks for an afternoon of study.

Of course, the Velcro straps of a quarter of a century ago were a far cry from the trim, pliant fasteners of a modern Stan Smith. Our Velcro came in the form of vast 'wings' which sat across our insteps. Indeed, Brian Blessed would have signed us up for the birdman army quick sharp once he clapped his bulging eyes on those sneakers.

Needless to say, as parents grew ever more aware of the cheap imitation Velcro which was rendering some of these newfangled trainers useless after a few weeks, laces were soon back in charge, and the next massive footwear revelation would be the phenomenal popularity of Ivan Lendl's tennis shoes and Hi-Tec Squash a couple of years later.

Webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives...

Kudos to the VW people for the new Golf advert which features an excerpt of Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood as performed by the inimitable Richard Burton.

To have a listen to the full audio, go to http://www.undermilkwood.net/prose_umw1.html.