Thursday, 17 April 2014

The Jar

I've been good. In fact I've been extremely good, even resisting on holiday in Budapest. I gave up chocolate for Lent and I think I've been successful. I only ate a tiny part of fudge icing on my friend's cake which was the first baked good I've seen from him and he really wanted me to try the whole thing. Apart from that time, I have resisted. I even resisted eating the left over melted chocolate when making making rocky road for people at work. Yes, I have been that good.

By the way, for those who aren't familiar with Lent or was forced to learn about it in school, Lent is a time, 40 days to be specific, that takes place before Easter. It is the 40 days that Jesus wondered the desert being tempted by the devil. Or something along those lines. Anyway, Lent is one of those things that stuck from childhood.

Anyway, at the start of Lent I said I was going to fill a jar with chocolate over the 40 days then at the end of it, eat everything in the jar. People said that it was stupid and didn't make sense. I thought of it as a prize at the end. Now, with only two days to go, I don't feel like eating the chocolate I have stored. In fact, all I'm looking forward to, chocolate wise, is a special yoghurt I bought today. I checked, it will keep til Sunday.

To be honest, I give up chocolate on a regular basis. Every Lent, well almost every Lent, I give it up and every year I succeed in not only making it through the 40 days but also giving it up for longer. Last year was an exception. I tried to give something up but things didn't go to plan, then I was made redundant. I have actually gone without chocolate, sweets, crisps and other such goodies for over a year. Of course I still drank and ate biscuits so it was not for dietary reasons but just to see if I could.

I know I can. It may feel like a cheat seeing as I have to avoid so many others things in my diet now which makes it near impossible for me to enjoy a meal. No wheat, rice, onions, mushrooms, nuts obviously and potato, the latter by choice. Now, no chocolate.

There are two things I know for sure I can never give up. Coffee and dairy. But I think I might have to cut down on certain diary products. Although last time I gave up cheese in all forms for 4 months, everyone shouted at me. That was a weird and uncomfortable time.

Back to the jar I have hidden in my room, as well as some other chocolate delight that I remembered about the other day, I haven't filled it, but there are a few things stored. I wanted to find the mystical white Areo to put in but I cannot find it anywhere, so please if you know, in UK, where I can buy this, please tell me!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

By The Danube

Last day in Budapest was rather laid back. We packed up our suitcase and locked up the flat and all the doors for the last time.

We finally had a proper breakfast and after viewing the choices near by we went to the highly recommended (in guides) New York Cafe which happened to be conveniently across the street. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any photos of the amazing interior, it felt like walking into a palace or, as I always, it was like walking onto a film set. The food matched the surroundings too. We each ordered, what we thought was, a simple poached eggs breakfast, but what we were given was a delightful looking meal. The eggs came in individual cups AND with salad, as well as our own little extras we picked to go with the eggs. The waiter was really nice too, after I explained about the dread nut allergy that always gets in the way, he brought me some special non nut bread, which was also gluten free! Heaven. Plus the coffee was delicious.

After breakfast we waddled down to the river, stuffed full of our first and sadly last breakfast in the city. We wondered around a market place where some sort of festival was happening before asking buying tickets for the 'simplest boat ride/tour with no lunch'. That is what we asked for and that is what we got, plus two free drinks.

We had plenty of time until the ride and walked along the Danube promenade, past the Parliament and next the the Shoes on the Danube Promenade memorial. The memorial was put in place for the 60 victims shot into the river by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944-1945.

On a happier note, the boat ride was relaxing, it felt right to look over the riverside before we left and it was great to see parts of that we hadn't see by foot. Although we travelled under one too many, I enjoyed it, unfortunately, my photos aren't that great.

We took a metro back to our area, couldn't face walking, my ankles had started to hurt, it got worse on the plane. We went back to the Book Cafe and it beautiful ceiling for some more coffee, this time a caramellowcino (or something along those lines) lunch and we shared a blueberry mousse. A perfect end to the trip.

We were lucky to get a lift back to the airport, which was rather smaller than expected. We thought how to spend the last forint (HUF), we didn't, then it was the very long walk to the gate. Just as we had arrived walking across the tarmac and along fenced off tunnels, so we left that way but not before were forced to wait in what could only be described as a warehouse for ages. The plane was also delayed, not helping my then swelling ankles. The warehouse was the place that in any other airport would be the departure lounge.

I was restless most of the way back and was seriously confused and irritated by all the children coming back from Grenoble who were collecting their luggage too. It was sort of good to be home. But after my day off it was back to work, then I wanted to be on holiday again.

Already planning the next trip in my head . . . .

Sunday, 13 April 2014

You MUST See This

You HAVE to see this.

You MUST see this.

If you don't watch this, you will regret it.

WHAT! You STILL haven't seen this?

I am guilty of saying these things to people. All the time. In fact most of the time when I say this to people, they are the ones who say it to me too. I suppose I am known for brushing aside others opinions to evoke my own, only when it comes to films and TV though. Those are the areas where I have my strongest and yes, most aggressive opinions. But I think its better to be quite passionate about a neutral subject like that rather than a subject where people fight over it ... just my opinion.

Apart from me, trying to convince everyone at work that The Hobbit films are amazing works of cinema and trying to get my parents to watch anything I suggest without them only watching it because someone else suggested they watch it, that really annoys me, there are plenty of films and TV shows where I have be hounded to watch. Yes, literally hounded. Here is only a small selection.

Oldboy, 2003, dir. Park Chan-wook

Yes, I get it, this film is (meant to be) amazing, STOP TELLING ME. This started off in college, my friends who loved the film would not let it go. Being stubborn, if I am told to watch something enough times and it didn't interest me in the first place, I just won't do it. I was hounded so much, I didn't watch it. My interest was peaked though when the remake came out, I thought it was time to watch the original. But then the hounding started again. I've seen the remake, but more on my thoughts about that film in another post. I will one day watch the original film, probably by accident.

The Seven Samurai, 1954, dir. Akira Kurosawa

Being told to watch this film started off as a joke and to be honest, its only my Dad who keeps telling me to watch it. He even tried to bribe into watching the film. It didn't work. It comforts me that there are some film enthusiasts and film critics and filmmakers who have not watched this (so I'm told) masterpiece. So in my defence, there is really no rush to watch this. Stop telling me to watch it Dad!

Scarface, 1983, dir. Brian De Palma

Sorry gangster film fans, I really have no interest in this film. Al Pacino is a good actor but not the best that ever lived. I would however be interested in the original black and white film made in 1932.

The Godfather Trilogy, 1972, 1974, 1990, dir Francis Ford Coppola

I have actually seen the first film, I liked it but (please don't strike me down for saying this) I started to watch the second film but got bored and left the room. I suppose its the old gangster film vibe that didn't interest me. Going back to the first Godfather, I can see why its a classic and why every film fan holds it in high esteem. 

Breaking Bad, 2008-2013

This is a major one, like Oldboy. I've actually seen part of the first episode, long before i was harassed to see it, long before it was even remotely popular. I downloaded the first episode because it was free and I couldn't ease into it. I kept it for another day but that day turned into years. Then it was popular. Everyone started talking about it but I just pushed it to the back burner, decided to wait until first season was done but then there was other shows I wanted to watch more so again, I waited til the show ended but guess what, it's still waiting to be watched. I am have been hounded, again, by so many people to watch it, I think I might just burn the DVD. Now, I can be persistent but no where near as bad as others have been about this damn TV show. Even the media hounds me about it. I will watch it or I won't watch it, it really doesn't matter.

Those have been the main ones, also, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but they are all popular films and a popular TV show. I like to think that apart from defending Middle Earth, I try to recommend films and shows not seen by many or talked about many, therefore I like to think that I am recommending variety and unusual finds. Right?

So, go and watch Green Wing, Utopia, Bored to Death, In Plain Sight and Banshee. Oh and look up, Death to Smoochy, The Fall, Broken, The Lonely Guy and Micmacs.