Jan 20, 2019: Sandwich

I’ve been together with Carole for over ten years, and in that time I have come to know, love and not at all be irritated with any and all of her foibles. And in the same time she has come to know, love and not at all be irritated by all of my foibles.

One of my favourite things about Carole is anything that falls under the category of food.

She won’t eat anything out of date. Which is why one of my fondest memories is of not long after we started dating and we went to my parents for tea. My dad cooked a lovely meal and the dessert was a chocolate sponge, which was delicious. Carole was happily munching her way through it before my dad let it be known that it had been made with a whole heap of out-of-date Flyte bars from the vending machine at his work (for which he was responsible). The look on her face, and the internal conflict about whether to spit the sponge out in front of my parents will stay with me forever.

She always leaves one bite of something. Doesn’t matter what it is, or how big or little it is, she will always become “full” precisely one bite from the end of it.

She will often, while eating or concocting something to eat, ask “is it weird if…” The answer is always yes. Always. She made herself a ham and marmalade sandwich for work once. That turned out exactly as you would expect. Unless you expected it to be nice in which case you’re an idiot.

One of the weird things she does have, and does like, is an omelette with apple sauce on the side. Because what goes together better than eggs and apples, eh? Other than, you know, literally anything else.

But she crossed a line this morning and I don’t know what to do.

“I’ve just had,” she said, excitedly, “the best breakfast ever. Something I haven’t had for ages…”

I was intrigued. What could it be? What gastronomic delight had she cobbled together from our various shelves and cupboards. I knew it involved toast. Or I was having a stroke. But after that, I couldn’t think what it could be.

“A marmite and treacle sandwich! Haven’t had one in ages.”

I mean…

What. The. Frick?!?


Jan 19, 2019: Radiation

For as long as I’ve known Carole she’s had a microwave that we love and hate in spurts.

It’s handy to have for nuking things like soup, or a round of veg but generally we’ll cook using traditional oven and stove top methods. It’s not an invaluable part of our kitchenware, but it’s definitely something that comes in to its own every now and again.

But it’s got the weirdest timing set up I’ve ever seen. The scale for the timer goes from 20 seconds to 15 minutes. In increments, like it’s the prize ladder on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. If you wanted to cook something for, say, six minutes you have to set it going for a minute (or five minutes) wait until that finishes and then set it going again for the difference.

It’s a fricking ball ache.

It’s also so old that the wattage has been phased off every single cooking instruction on the planet. We have to look up conversions online if we want to cook things without the power of guesswork.

So we have a new one. It’s not the one I wanted because a) we thought that one wasn’t in stock and b) when we did find it, it was classed as ugly. The one we settled on has stainless steel trim and looks sophisticated. The one I fancied had none of that. I just liked it because it had a push button door opener instead of having to pull it open with my actual arms. It was also a fiver cheaper than the one we ended up with… but hey ho. Such is the price of stainless steel.

I used it today for the first time.

I didn’t realise how large it was until I cooked something in it.

I had – and I will hang my head in shame – a Rustlers microwave burger because I’d been at work all day, Carole had been out and I couldn’t be arsed with cooking anything properly. I tired the suggested technique of toasting the bun and cooking the burger separately for a better burger taste. It wasn’t better, but hey ho.

What I did learn, though, is what it would look like if you blew up a child’s paddling pool and left it in the middle of the Albert Hall. Because that’s what my burger looked like inside this huge microwave.

I was nearly shoulder-deep reaching in to take it out.

If these microwaves had existed in Victorian times they’d have employed a child to climb inside and clean them. Such is their vastness.

But hey, it’s worth it for not having to work out how to enter your cooking times like you’re trying to solve that puzzle where you need 4 litres of water but only have a 3 and a 5 litre container…

18 Jan, 2019: Word

I sat down today to do something I have been intending to get to for a couple of weeks but always finding the time to do something else in its stead.

It was time, I decided, to tackle Auntie Pam’s laptop.

I’ve mentioned it before a couple of times. Carole’s aunt has, probably, the highest number of problems accessing her email of anyone on the face of the Earth. That includes people who don’t even have email.

For whatever reason she can’t get it to work properly and I have promised I will have a look at it. So I am currently in possession of the laptop and a notebook in which all the important things like passwords are written down. Apparently.

I’ll tell you what isn’t in the notebook. Any password, apart from one for Skype. Which I really don’t need.

I can’t even get past the welcome screen because the password is a mystery to me. I mean, you’d think that would be the one piece of information that would have come with the laptop – the actual code needed to access the bloomin’ thing in the first place.

But no.

Instead I just a hint to work off.

I thought, several times, that I’d cracked it. But, it turns out, the Windows log on screen will occasionally spin the little ball circle of progress for a while even though it knows you’re shit out of luck when it comes to password entry.

It looks so easy on the movies and wotnot.

Oh yeah, I’ll just hack into so-and-so.

I spent ages trying to guess a fruit, for crying out loud. Which is not to say I didn’t guess a fruit. I guessed several. Tens of several, in fact. But none of them worked. And life’s too short to sit and type Orange1, Orange2… etc before reverting to another fruit from the list after a certain time.

I think we have now discovered what the password is, straight from the horse’s mouth.

I’ll just have to see if I can find some time to get round to it again…

Jan 17, 2019: Knock

This week, more than any other week, I think I have discovered that you can’t hear people knocking on the front door if you’re in the kitchen with either the radio, or some sort of streaming media, playing.

And both of those occasions have involved Carole.

So I’m probably in the dog house for that.

I locked her out of the house the other night, which I don’t normally do. The front door was locked and my keys were in the door which meant her keys couldn’t be. I usually unlock the door before she gets home from work, if I’ve not had cause to do so already, to try and pretend that I’ve had an exciting and diverse day at home (if I’m not working) rather than just a day of cooking, TV, computers and videogames.

I don’t know what the unlocked door suggests may have happened. But I still do it.

Ironically, the day I locked her out I had been out to the post office to send my mum’s parcel to my sister so the door should have been unlocked anyway but clearly I’m thinking it’s better to be safe than sorry!

And then today I was in the kitchen again, washing up, when a parcel for Carole was delivered. Or, rather, not delivered.

I came out of the kitchen to find a “could not deliver” card and was immediately upset because I had been expecting a package from Amazon and thought it was that I had missed. You can imagine how happy I was when I learnt that it wasn’t my stuff that went undelivered.

This does, however, also raise the point that if you’re in the kitchen you probably couldn’t hear if anyone just let themselves into the house either.

So maybe the door should stay locked and lead to more incidents of Carole stuck outside in the cold/rain/snow/wind or whatever. Rather than, you know, strangers meandering in and stealing all our stuff while I’m watching an Outside Xtra video and can’t hear anything over the sound of Ellen’s constant laughter.

I remember one time coming home from Leeds and Carole was absolutely convinced I was already home because she’d heard the door go (she was in the kitchen at the time) so, yeah… I’m much more of a chicken than Carole is so…

Maybe we should get one of those video doorbells which, according to the adverts, will allow me to shoo people away from the comfort of a supermarket. I’d love to be woken at random intervals during the night because it’s detected the movement of a cat. Or another cat. Or a car driving past. Or some cats stacked on each other’s shoulders wearing a moustache and a trench coat. Whereas it probably wouldn’t detect a postman as the adverts for the doorbells very rarely show anyone genuine arriving at your door.



Jan 16, 2019: Spoil

The world is going to hell in a handbasket.

And no, I’m not talking about Brexit, or lack thereof,  or the fact that Donald Trump can’t spell “hamburger” properly.

I’m talking about the trailer for the new Spider-Man movie which dropped yesterday.

The trailer, which is a couple of minutes long and shows Peter Parker and pals heading on a European school trip (which, of course, becomes problematic when fishbowl-wearing Mysterio turns up) looks pretty darn good. It seems to have captured all the fun of Homecoming and run with it. It looks like a decent Spidey movie, is what I’m saying.

But people are not happy.

Because the trailer “ruins” Avengers: Endgame by showing that Peter survives. And Nick Fury, for that matter.

I don’t think anyone – anyone – is thinking that when Avengers: Endgame lands it’s going to be a two hour film in which everyone perishes and Thanos goes on living in that shack like he’s a side-quest character in Red Dead Redemption.. It’s not about whether Thanos can be defeated, it’s about how. And who makes the sacrifice.

And so this trailer, by arriving earlier than Endgame, has ruined everything. Apparently.

Apart from the fact that this Spidey-flick had been announced before Infinity War. So everyone knew it was coming. It’s not a huge leap in logic to assume that Spider-man would survive. There’s a Black Panther 2 as well, and he was last seen turning to dust so lets hope nobody gets wind of that before Endgame or they’re going to lose their shit even more than they already have.

And Guardians Of The Galaxy 3, for that matter. Which currently consists of a sad, lonely and very angry raccoon.

It worries me, in a way, that people are this thrown by it. That it’s this much of a spoiler for them. I haven’t read the Infinity War comic arc, but I know enough to know with some certainty that good will triumph over evil, the snap will be reversed and things will be good again. Captain People are probably going to die, that’s for sure. Infinity War had barely started before the life was crushed out of Loki, after all (although, spoiler alert, TV series coming so that’s that ruined as well, I guess).

If you want to be super petty, you could say that the Spidey-Trailer has ruined Endgame because… no, wait, you really can’t. All it’s done is made it clear that two characters you already knew were going to live have lived.

Which is entirely the opposite of a spoiler.