January is a crappy month, especially in the northern hemisphere: cold, dark skies, short days, no Christmas holidays to look forward to, and (in the U.S.) the prospect of filing your tax return.
Which makes me wonder why people would want to make the month even more miserable by suggesting that this would be a good time to cut out those things which can alleviate our misery (“Veganuary”, how cute; and “Dry January”). What infamy is this? As if January isn’t shitty enough, now we have to add itching powder to the hairshirt by giving up meat and beer?
It’s only 7am as I write this, yet I feel a nagging need for steak ‘n (butter-fried) eggs, washed down with a Bloody Mary — and we’re not even halfway through the month.
I am getting so sick of people trying to change our lifestyle and behavior “for your own good” — it’s like living with Gwyneth Paltrow and Chuck Schumer in your house, with no earplugs to drown out their endless nagging do-goodery.
Leave me the fuck alone.
If you’re crippled with guilt over the upcoming feast known as Christmas dinner, fear not. Some doctor bloke has debunked most of the myths associated with “bad foods”:
If you’re to follow the clean-eating gurus of our time, your life – and waistline – depend on avoiding carbs and sugar and dairy. By that logic, the indulgent dinners over the Christmas period sound like a death wish.
In actual fact, there is not much evidence underpinning these fads, points out Dr Aaron Carroll, a nutritionist and physician at Indiana University.
The fact that Dr. Carroll thinks the World Health Organization (and by extension, Gwyneth Paltrow et al.) are full of shit makes me feel quite festive.
So go ahead: enjoy yourselves, as will I. I’m spending Christmas Day with a longtime friend and her adult kids. See y’all later.
So after arriving at Heathrow yesterday, I wasted no time in re-submerging myself into Britishland culture: sausage roll and a cuppa at the station at 10am, followed by a lunchtime pint of Fuller’s London Pride (my tipple of choice where Wadworth 6X isn’t available).
…which I imbibed at this fine establishment:
For this last leg of my sabbatical, I’m staying in another hotel in Ye Olde Fleabagge Inne chain, this time in Earl’s Court. It’s been many years since I stayed here, but fortunately, it hasn’t changed much — although I continue to lament the disappearance of the excellent Hi-Tide chippie: last night’s fish & chips dinner in a nearby pub was mediocre. (I won’t mention the fucking background music because it was so loud it was actually foreground music, requiring that conversation had to be shouted to be audible; and in true Earl’s Court fashion — because all residents of Earl’s Court appear to be ESL* — the screams emanating from the neighboring table to mine sounded like a conversation between Latke and Simka from the Taxi TV show.)
All that said, I love Earl’s Court; it’s regarded with absolute horror by the upper crust — and I have had several letters from friends in said demographic commiserating with my plight — but I can think of no better catalyst to wake me from my somnolence after having relaxed in one of Johannesburg’s toniest suburbs for the past two weeks.
The difference between this:
…and this cannot be overstated.
And now, if you’ll excuse me… I’m off to find a decent Full English Breakfast amidst the curry palaces, Italian bistros, vegan vendors and halaal kebab restaurants hereabouts. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the only bloke in the place who’s reading the Daily Telegraph.
I love London.
*ESL = English [as] Second Language, to my non-U.S. Readers.
In Comments to an earlier post, Longtime Reader & Friend Mh bewailed the lack of decent South African boerewors (sausage) available in the U.S. of A.
In the interests of Reader bennies, allow me to point all my Dallas-area Readers / visitors to Hirsch’s Meats in Plano, which has not only boerewors, but better boerewors than I’ve been able to find here in South Africa so far. It’s made to an original Afrikaans recipe, by the way.
The lovely stuff is kept in the freezers on the right as you enter the store, and people fly in from out of town to buy it there. The store assistants tell me that their boerewors is the only product in the entire store which is bought in multiple packs by customers (I typically buy three or four at a time myself; others buy still more). They are seldom if ever out of stock, too; if there’s none in the freezer, they’ll usually have some in the back which just hasn’t been put out yet. Ask in that unlikely event. (Warning: they’re closed on Sundays and Mondays.)
For best results, toss it on the barbie (or, if you want to go all ethnic, have a braaivleis). Just don’t overcook it, or it will be dry — the fat bursts out of the skin quite quickly. When ready, it should look like this:
As I said earlier, I eat it for breakfast every single day, except when I’m in Britishland or Yurp. I think I’ll have some now, come to think of it.
If ever you want to know why Britain’s leaving the EU (“Brexit”) is not only a Good Thing, but absolutely vital, here’s proof:
A change in European Union rules could see doner kebabs banned across the continent, infuriating takeaways and fast-food lovers.
The European Union’s legislature is moving to ban the phosphates used in the slabs of meat at the heart of the popular street snack that originated in Turkey.
Up-in-arms kebab vendors in Germany have skewered the idea.
EU lawmakers are citing health concerns based on studies that linked phosphates to cardiovascular disease.
Just so we’re all clear what’s being discussed here, this is what these tools want to ban:
Lamb Shwarma happens to be one of my favorite “fast foods”; and nobody tell my kids about this or else there’ll be murders (as they say Over Here). Along with pizza and crêpes, doner was one of their staple street foods when we traveled together in Euroland: cheap, filling and delicious; and if these disappeared from Europe, it would be a major disincentive to go there. I’m not kidding.
And if the above pic has made yer mouth start to water, I’m sorry (not really).
No time to post anything cultural today; I’m off to the south of France, e.g.:
…and tonight I should be dining somewhere like this:
Yeah, I’ve had enough cold weather for a while, although apparently a cold front has swept through the place, making the weather more like Hardy Country than the Midi. (I know, I know: First World Problems.)
Tomorrow: Monaco, or maybe Provence. (I’m in the hands of Longtime Friend & Drummer Knob, so I have no idea where we’re going or what we’re doing. Pics to follow, if I can get decent wi-fi access on the road.)