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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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I owe the eager world a post about the IRSCL Congress, but I got up at 5.30am today and am now too tired to do anything but answer cmcmck's Britmeme:

1. Marmite- love or hate?
Love. So much love. On toast, as soldiers with a runny egg, or just added as a little something extra to vivify a sandwich made with some bland cheese such as brie.

2. Marmalade- thick cut or thin cut?
Not a fan - though I'd like to be. I imagine I'd prefer it thick cut, on the principle that I prefer crunchy peanut butter to smooth, and orange juice with bits (that being the scientific name for pulp).

3. Porridge- made with milk or water?
For feeding to horses, as per Dr Johnson.

4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
I don't own a horse.

5. Loose tea or teabags?
I recently bought one of these, which is great for hot days. I often make myself powdered macha (I have a whisk and everything), but otherwise I sometimes use green tea bags. Oh, did I mention? I only like green tea. And white, quite. Black, not so much - though I'll drink it if there's no other hot drink available around 4pm.

6. Where on your door is your letterbox?
Horizontal - centre.

7. What's your favourite curry?
I'm fond of a lamb rogan josh.

8. What age is the place where you live?
9. I bought it new.

9. Where do the folks running your local corner shop come from?
Somewhere on the subcontinent, but I'm not sure exactly.

10. Instant or fresh coffee?

11. How far are you from the sea?
If the Bristol Channel counts, about 8 miles..

12. Have you travelled via Eurostar?
Once - to Brussels, en route to Luxembourg.

13. If you were going to travel abroad, where's the nearest country to you?
Ireland - though my first instinct was to say Wales, which I can reach by car in 20 minutes.

14. If you're female (or possible even some males) do you carry a handbag?
Yes - a capacious one.

15. Do you have a garden? What do you like growing?
A small one. I have an apple tree, a gooseberry bush, honeysuckle and a mock orange. I think those are the only things I've planted, other than dead pets.

16. Full cream, semi skimmed or skimmed?
I don't buy cream much. Most often it's sour, to go with nachos. I might occasionally buy a small pot of single for strawberries, or something like that.

17. Which London terminal would you travel into if going to the capital?

18. Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?
It's a major port and student city - what do you think?

19. Do you keep Euros in the house?
Only the sad remnants I didn't manage to spend at the airport. I probably have less than 10.

20. Does your home town have a Latin, Gaelic or Welsh alternative name?
Bristol was an English invention, as was my home town of Romsey - so, no. The alternative name is Brizzle.

21. Do you have a well known local artist or author?
Quite a few: shall we pick Chatterton at a venture? And, as reported recently in this journal, it turns out that Richard Long is a Bristol boy.

22. Do you have a favourite Corrie character?
I'm fond of the capital "C".

23. Are your kitchen sink taps separate or a mixer?
Mixer - thank God.

24. Do you have a favourite brand of blended tea?
Pukka do a nice blend of macha, sencha and something else that escapes me.

25. What's in your attic if you have one?
Lots of insulation.

26. If you go out for a cream tea, what jam do you like on your scone?

27. Talking of scones- scon or scown? Jam or cream first?
Not being from the peninsula I'll let the Cornish and Devonians fight about it. By the time they've finished, I'll have scoffed the lot.

28. Barth or bath?
Long a.

29. Carstle or castle?
Long a.

30. What flavour of crisps do you favour?
Marmite's hard to beat. Mexican chilli (McCoys) or beef are also good.

31. If you go to the chippie, what do you like with your chips?
Cod or haddock. Salt and plenty of vinegar. Also, "bits".

32. Take away, take out or carry out?

33. If you have one, what colour is your wheelie bin?
Black (glass, metal and paper), green (carboard and plastic) and brown (food).

34. What colour skips does your local skip hire use?
Mostly yellow.

35. Do you celebrate Guy Fawkes?
Not so much now the children are grown but only because they've robbed me of the excuse.

36. Dettol or TCP?
37. Do you have a bidet in the bathroom?

38. Do you prefer courgettes or aubergines?
Aubergines by a country mile. Courgettes are okay, but aubergines are the shit.

39. In the 'real world' Do you have friends of other nationalities? Which nationalities?
Iranian, Burmese, Japanese, American, Canadian, Australian, Spanish, French, Russian, Icelandic, Luxembourgish, German, Irish, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Israeli, Polish - and quite a lot more, depending on the degree of intimacy you imply by 'friend'.

40. Do you have a holy book of any sort in the house?
None that I think of in those terms. I have plenty of religious ones.

41. Do you prefer a hankie or tissues?

42. Are you a fan of crumpets? What do you like on them?
In theory, but I very seldom buy them. Honey is good.

43. Doorbell, knocker or both?
44. Do you own a car? What sort?

45. What sort of pants do you guys prefer? Y fronts or boxers?

46. Anyone still a fan of suspenders?
Not really.

47. Do you have a favourite quote from the bard?
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. [This is one for consonantia's Chiasmus Watch!]

48. Do you like toasted muffins?
See crumpets.

49. Do you think a traditional trifle should contain jelly?
In moderation.

50. Do you attend regular religious worship? Of what kind?
In theory I occasionally go to a Quaker meeting but I actually do it about as often as I buy crumpets.

This might be a stupid question, but how does one make good tea from powdered macha? I have some that I've attempted to use a couple of times and however little I use the tea always ends up fiendishly strong and the powder precipitates out and settles on the bottom as a sludge.

I'm no expert, but I've learned a bit from trial and error. You need to have a chawan (or at least something bowl shaped, with a flat bottom), and a whisk (ideally a bamboo one made for the purpose). For the powder I use a scoop - about a flat teaspoonful, I'd say. The water should be boiled and then cooled to around 80 degrees. Pour an inch or so into the bowl, and whisk it quickly for a good thirty seconds - that should get rid of the sludge. It should froth up to an extent.

It is fairly bitter, and I can see it wouldn't be to everyone's taste, but I love it.

Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?

I had a moment of dissonance at that one because "greasy spoon" always makes me think of American diners!

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.

Yay chiasmus! This one is so simple and effective. (I particularly noticed the simplicity and monosyllables because I spent the morning trying to make an iambic pentameter sestina and despairing at my automatic tendency toward long abstract Latinate too-many-feet-taking-up words that end in -tion - and -ment and such and, in the case where one ended a line, super easy of course to repeat six times in creative punchy ways.... *headdesk*)

I don't know for sure, but I suspect "greasy spoon" is a US import as a phrase, though the thing it refers to is of long standing. When I was young, such places were simply caffs.

I feel your sestina pain!

(Deleted comment)
I hadn't thought of that! I assumed it was café but pronounced in a way that pointedly ignores the acute accent, c.f. Nestlé, which then (but not now) was pronounced "nestle".

A small one. I have an apple tree, a gooseberry bush, honeysuckle and a mock orange. I think those are the only things I've planted, other than dead pets.

That's lovely. I wish I had trees. We looked at an apartment today whose back yard contained Concord grapes and a quince tree, but the apartment was nowhere near as cool. (Or inhabitable.)

Habitability does seem a reasonable minimum requirement in a home. A quince tree would certainly be a nice extra, though.

I seem to have created a monster.

Is this how one goes viral, I wonder? :o)

Perhaps you should get an agent? :)

Hmmmm.....Ilya Nikovitch Kuryakin might be nice! :o)

Definitely preferable to his new incarnation, from what I've seen!

There's a family connection, other half's mum knew David McCallums's dad!

It looks like most of these were invented so that Americans wouldn't know what they were. Especially no. 38. But I'm one American who does know those terms; it's saved me much grief on British menus. (I like courgettes, but I've never had an aubergine I found physically edible.) A few I did have to look up, like "Corrie" (I've heard of the show, albeit never seen it, but I did not know this nickname for it). "Greasy spoon" is an Americanism. My favorite flavour of crisps is barbecue. Of all the strange ones I've seen in the UK, I don't recall that being one of them there.

Ah, I suspected that about "greasy spoon".

I've definitely seen barbecue crisps in various varieties (e.g. beef, chicken, "southern style"), but I wouldn't say it's ever really taken off.

I once encountered a Brit who made a reference to Heinz 57 varieties and then asked if we had that in the US. Yes ... it came from here.

Does "southern style" on a pack of crisps in the UK signal "southern US" to you? It doesn't make you think "Home Counties"?

Of course nothing could be more American than Heinz, but can I take it that the phrase's application to mongrel dogs is also current in the US?

In a barbecue context "southern style" definitely means the US - and probably Texas in particular. Although I'd guess that if most Brits had to name a place they associated with barbecues (as opposed to barbecue sauces) they would say Australia.

Pretty sure the mongrel dogs thing was an expression in the US at one point, but I would be surprised if my kids had heard it.

It is USian in origin but got over the pond as early as 1925!