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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Food for body and mind

Food by the kilo

I have been in quality restaurants where the meat and fish was fresh and waiting to be selected by the customer form a cold display and then cooked to order.  For that sort of service, the meat or fish is sometimes weighed and the cost of your meal depends on the weight of the main ingredient.
            Never before have I been in a restaurant where your whole dish (including the plate) was weighed and a sticky ticket affixed to your bill! 
            Picking up Toni from his mother’s in Terrassa at lunchtime, the three of us went to lunch in the entertainment centre in the city.  This monstrosity is the usual collection of cinemas, restaurants, shops and other money extracting establishments set in a series of building which look as though they have been constructed for a cheap film set.
            Everything about the place is ‘faux’ and that included the rustic modern restaurant that we patronized where my favourite pieces of kitsch were the signs for the toilets.  Each of the toilets was designated by means of a ceramic tile in the style of C18th naïf figures.  There was even one for the disabled toilet showing a knickerbocker wearing person in an archaic wheelchair!  Priceless!
            Around the stone cladding and wooden beams in the particular part of the concrete barn where the restaurant was situated there was a non-functional fireplace replete with churns, cereal stalks and three-legged stools.
            The food, however, was fine.  It was served in a buffet style and when you had loaded you plate to your satisfaction you took it to the desk where it was put on a weighing scales, a button pressed and sticky price emerged to be stuck on your bill.
            The basic cost for everything was 14€ per kilo.  An interesting concept and one which, going by the numbers of people there, appears to work.

Publication!

My poem sequence, now entitled Clocks of Dust has been printed and it looks very fine indeed.  I would print a photograph of the main cover, but this site appears not to like the format that I use and so I will have to try something else.
            The final appearance of the booklet owes a lot to Toni who helped with the design of the logo and of the front cover.  It is by far the most professional looking of the ‘books’ that I have written and is something of which I am inordinately proud.
            Indeed to celebrate its publication we went to La Fusta and had a jar of sangria and a selection of tapas.  A photograph was taken showing me with book and glass and, when I am stronger, I will attempt to load it here!
            I have downloaded the print version (so called because none of the graphics were accepted by the site) http://smrnewpoems.blogspot.com.es and readers will be able to see the small but I think significant changes that I have made to the originals of the poems which are also on the site.
            A very limited edition of 12 copies has been produced in a print version and anyone else who is interested will have to make do with the electronic version.  And I will have to ask Toni’s advice about how to ensure that the graphics say with the print when I send them off!
            I am pleased with the final version, though this version too may be changed by the time it is published in book form, which I estimate will be in October 2016.
            I hope that there will be other ‘sequences’ which I can publish in Chapbook form before then, but the 2016 date is one which I think is ‘doable’ after Flesh Can Be Bright is published this October.
            What I am really looking forward to is the reaction of the Poetry Group in Barcelona; last week the group organizer said that we should consider publishing chapbooks of poems that we thought worthy of wider attention.  This week, voila!  And with a good cover too!

Seasonal Demands

I have nailed my seasonal colours to the mast, so to speak, and bought my first bottle of suntan lotion.  This is my clean indication to the weather powers that be, that I consider summer to have started and demand that the weather follow my whim.
            I have taken note of the welter of well meaning information that is available on the Internet and have decided to ignore the highly publicised blandishments of high profile and high cost lotions and go for the Lidl alternative.  I already use the Lidl aftersun lotion, and have done for some time, as it is an excellent moisturiser and I use it on the understanding, as Tesco’s so cleverly put it, that ‘every little helps.’  It can’t do any harm and ageing skin can take all the help it can get.  It’s not that cheap any more, but I am faithful to something that doesn’t do me hurt!
            The bike riding is beginning to tan my legs and arms now that I have decided that it is warm enough to cycle in a t-shirt.  Sometimes that decision is more determination than pleasure, but, as the Labour Party so memorably put it, ‘things can only get better’ – at least in sunshine terms.

Politics

I truly don’t know which country, Spain or Britain, has more of my contempt when it comes to voting intentions.  The odious conservative party in Spain, PP, has lost all credibility and respect – and yet people vote for them.  Lots of people.  They remind me of one of my old lapel badges, which, astonishingly enough for me had “Vote Tory!” in big letters in the middle.  That certainly got people who knew me giving the badge a double take.  It was only when they came closer to check that what they had seen was real that they were able to read the writing around the circumference of the badge, which asked: “Young and stupid?  Old and selfish?”  Then the central “Vote Tory!” made sense.  I see no reason to change that badge for either country!
            UKIP is beneath contempt.  But that will not stop people voting for a ‘chap’ who rejects the hypocrisy of the other established parties and who gives voters heartfelt common sense from a ‘reasonable bloke.’  Any one who believes that he actually is ‘one of them’ will have to be the same public school educated, upper class banker (and that last word was not the one that I wanted to type but it does rhyme with it) who hates foreigners yet has a German wife and whose policies make Toytown seem like Oxbridge sort of person themselves.  Which most of the people who are going to vote for him and his joke of a party are clearly not.

            If nothing else, no one can pretend that there is not something to vote for in the elections this year.  Each vote counts.  God help us!
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