17 July 2008

let's call the whole thing off

"You say tomato" and so on.

Last night I wrote: "On which thought, time for dinner. I defrosted some cooked meat, can't tell what it was so I've added some tomato paste. Works every time - I hope."

Which I did. Cooked up a little spiral pasta and poured the meat, with added tomato paste, over. The meat turned out to be a strognaoff and the addition of tomato paste definitely did not work this time.

I had it as stroganoff tonight, it was...a lot better.

And so, on which trite, domestic note, we celebrate post number 600 here at pied-a-terre VVB.

Actually, speaking of pied a terre, I'll need to brush up la francaise as I am attending a Bastille Day dinner on Saturday night. Several years of learning French at school didn't really leave me with much facility in the language as I was always too embarrassed to give it a real go when we had to speak. Teenage boys, etc, I would put it down to.

On the other hand, as soon as we got off the plane in Algiers in January 1977 there was no choice. I eventually did acquire some ability and several instances stand out in my mind. I once answered the phone at the office and, as part of the conversation, gave out our address. Our Algerian receptionist then appeared, listened to the performance and applauded.

In another example, I was in a corner shop buying some stuff when the shopkeeper asked me where I came from and guessed that I was Spanish. I was quite chuffed, at least Spain is in Europe (sort of).

The best one was trying to explain to the tellers at the bank that in Australia we have 4 codes of le football, ie we have le football (which everyone understands) and we have 3 others that Algerian bank tellers can't even imagine. Especially Aussie Rules.

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