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Posts tagged ‘lingo’

Part I: The crumpet saga

My top* Trademe purchases to date, ranked according to a weighted assessment  are:-

1/ Panasonic bread machine – $60
2/ Breville Cafe Roma espresso machine – $20
3/Leather motorcycle jacket that I’ve never worn, although I’m sure that will change any day now – $10

* Note: ‘Top’ is calculated according to a combination of: value for money, frequency of subsequent use, and/or unbelievably cool. My waffle iron would have made the #3 slot, except the seller still emails me embarassing photographs of herself. The espresso machine would have made the #1 slot, except the woman who sold it to me refuses to email embarassing photographs of herself.

I use the bread machine pretty much daily since acquiring it just over two months ago. There were several false starts: the honey oatmeal bread with the soggy bottom; the cranberry walnut bread where the yeast didn’t activate so much as die a long, slow, painful death; the country seed bread that redecorated the kitchen.

Then our landlords sent me a recipe for their Acclaimed White Bread For Which They Are Renowned Throughout The Sounds. I can’t write too much about it because I get emotional. But oh! The golden, explosively crusty exterior concealing a light, aromatic, most tender of interiors that you just want to snuggle up to and/or roll around in, the whole emitting such a glorious bready smell. I just- it makes me feel so- so-

Sorry! Sorry! But I did warn you.

Then Meep introduced me to Alison Holst’s range of cookery books, specifically ‘The Bread Book‘. Alison Holst has been around for centuries – or certainly as long as Andrew can remember – and is apparently a Kiwi icon, which I presume means she has a purple perm, a thrilling bosom concealed behind a pinny, and says things like, “First catch your weka”. Certainly, the introduction to ‘The Bread Book’ would appear to support this:

However excited you may be about the wonderful things a new machine will do, you may be daunted by the idea of ‘getting the thing going!’

Since my children were 10-12 years old, I have found that the best way to learn about a new machine is to encourage them to read the instructions and use the machine. I then get them to show me what to do, and operate it under their supervision, preferably several times. After this, I am ‘away laughing’, can now read the instruction book and understand it, and can see just how simple the machine is.

I was initially put off by Alison’s inability to either a) read, or b) grapple with the complexity of pressing three buttons. However, I was encouraged by her eager grasp of ‘the lingo’.

Due respect: Alison’s recipes produce outstanding results. Furthermore, whereas I am generally a fan of Antipodean cooking, it often has an unhealthy fixation on fats and dairy produce; yet Alison’s bread recipes favour oil over butter; keep the salt and sugar to a minimum; and substitute wholemeal flour for plain.

Husband and I look significantly more robust and vigorously healthy. Yeah, I’m not sure how many kilos it translates to; I’m afraid to weigh myself. We have enjoyed multigrain bread, wholemeal bread, yoghurt bread, muesli bread, cinnamon raisin bread, hot cross buns, pizza bread and fruity oatmeal bread with toasted almonds.

But then . . . then there were the crumpets.


Driving to Achill Island yesterday, a car shot in front of us out a side road, causing Husband to brake sharply.

“The big gobshite,” said Husband.

The sentiment could only have been improved by the use of the words ‘hairy’ and ‘feck’ or variations thereof, but otherwise it was spoken like a native. I’m delighted Husband’s Irish genes have found a verbal outlet.

Achill Sound

The end of Achill barely visible in the mist

Husband looks stressed at the prospect of a walk, despite being heavily armed with umbrella

I love fungus

Wouldn’t recognise cool if my tongue stuck to it

By now I’m pretty adept at the ‘yehs’ – sometimes I’ve conducted entire conversations utilising only that word and a head-scratch – but I haven’t worked up to calling anyone ‘mate’ yet. I’m not sure whether it is a guy thing. I haven’t heard a Kiwi woman call anyone ‘mate’.

I’ve also picked up some phraseology for everyday use. Pronouncing satisfaction with something or someone: ‘sweet AS’ or ‘suh-WEET!’. When something strikes you as visually appealing, it is ‘stylie’ or, when particularly moved, ‘VERY stylie’. Someone who spends too much time cuddling their inner child is ‘emo (v)’ or ‘an Emo (n)’. For example, Husband is ‘pretty much the diametric opposite of emo (n or v)’.

I picked up much of my lingo from The Bro. My brother in law is cooler than a frostbitten penguin – I think. See, I wouldn’t recognise cool if my tongue stuck to it. I’ve never been cool. At school, I pulled my socks right up to the knee; at college I spent too much time in the library and not enough in the Student Union Bar. Now I’m too old to be cool, but The Bro leaves me in no doubt by frequently verifying I’m ‘waaay uncool, Dude’.

The Bro wears things like pointy cream shoes and pin-striped shorts (thankfully not together). He can wear sunglasses on his forehead and make you wonder why anyone would wear them on their nose. He listens to ‘Yo Bro Yo Momma’s A Ho’ music and never, ever sings along. On a recent night out, he had the shirt ripped off him by a group of hens; after another, he sported a row of hickies up his neck.

One night, The Bro invited me out for a drink with his friends while Husband was in Sydney. It might have had something to do with my offering to drive. Perhaps I should have made more an effort than throwing a sweatshirt on over a pair of jeans. I realised this when The Bro surfed out of his room on a tidal wave of aftershave, wearing a t-shirt with a logo so ironic it nearly gave me anaemia. Regrettably, it was too late to do anything about my attire, apart from bitterly regret not applying a dash of foundation.

The bar in St Helier’s was jammed to the transgressively revivalist rafters with pert, shiny young things. The Bro’s friends fell into this category – some of them literally, since they were all in various stages of advanced inebriation.

“Dude! You’re gay,” The Bro’s best friend, Dan, greeted him.

“No, you’re gay.”

“You’re gay.”

“Dude, you’re SO gay.”

“Maybe you should both deal with your manlove and, you know, move on?” I suggested marmishly.

“Yeah, but he’s gay,” mumbled Dan into a pint of Steinlager.

A couple at the other side of the table were engaged in a heated argument about whether or not he loved her, so I tucked into their mussels in white wine sauce and chips. Beside me, Rosie only looked at me to blow smoke – and she wasn’t even SMOKING. I can’t remember the last time I felt so old, or so way uncool, or so little like a dude – or so darn sober.

After a while, arguing couple left sucking each others face, and Rosie was bodily removed by what I assume was her boyfriend. Dan and The Bro, having thoroughly debated their respective sexualities, abruptly departed to investigate their heterosexuality with a group of girls.

Since it was half an hour past my bedtime, I went home

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