allochthonous: (Default)
It is National Poetry Day in the UK, so Twitter informs me, which is a good moment to link to this post by Sofia Samatar, who wrote  . the beautiful-but-not-very-plotty A Stranger in Olondria. Samatar has done translations of some classical Arabic poetry by women; my favourite is this, by tenth-century Cordoban Aisha bint Ahmed al-Qurtubiyya, who knew how to send someone packing:

I'm a lioness.
I'll never be anyone's safe place.
And if I did choose that, I wouldn't love a dog
when I've been deaf to lions.

There are some lovely (and very funny) poems at the link - do have a look. Aisha herself sounds awesome:  she died in 1010 having never married, but she seemed to have far more fun being an excellent calligrapher, writing copies of the Koran, collecting books and being keen on science. And living in Andalucia, which no doubt was pretty OK, too.

I am having an unusually delicious day: determined to break out of my carrot and ginger soup rut, I made spicy aubergine, apricot and tomato soup for lunch (it still has ginger in it. Baby steps.), and carrot, cumin and bean burgers from A Girl Called Jack for supper. Working from home has its upsides.
allochthonous: (communist party)
I am out of bed, bandages off and well and truly over being any kind of invalid. All my former teammates are enjoying a giant Christmas party in Vienna, and I am hobbling around the house picking disconsolately at a large block of marzipan which I am supposed to be putting on the Christmas cake.

But! The prospect of future employment has cheered me up no end (SO glad I had that conversation yesterday because I got a trickle of rejections today. I do wish that there wasn't a requirement to advertise jobs if organisations already know they're going to fill the position internally - it's such a waste of everyone's time. At least the emails I got today came right out and said that thye'd basically known who they were going to take all along, so I don't feel that inadequate). I still feel that saying anything about immiment Georgia-ness will jinx it as nothing's been signed, but if all goes to plan then I should be retreating to the Caucasus early next year for much eating of dumplings and cheese pies, drinking of dodgy homebrews and cheap red wine, and (if my boss has anything to do with it) being forcibly taught to ski in ex-Soviet ski resorts. Could be worse.

In honour of the prospect of my buggering off somewhere more interesting, here is something I wrote about Albania. Er, six months ago.

In which I have a Byronic moment. )

Now I am going to go and try and make some panettone. Possibly sacreligious, but I think it might work well with cranberries. After all, most things do.
allochthonous: (communist party)
Happy Thanksgiving to my American flisters, and happy Thursday to everyone else! Thanksgiving is really the best kind of holiday, and I am always sad there is no British equivalent, but that doesn't preclude you from eating delicious food tonight anyway.

Last weekend was Thanksgiving the First, with a group of old school friends (some of us more convincingly American than others, but all capable of a cracking pie when need arises - which reminds me I need to get E's buttermilk pie recipe, it was excellent cold for breakfast), and usually the only Thanksgiving I attend, because it's very rare my entire family is ever on the same continent at the same time so we normally don't bother beyond a token pie (or two). But this year we are hosting a minor invasion of the Real American branch of the family, so Thanksgiving Proper is occurring for the first time in years. My work is cheerfully accommodating about "cultural holidays" so I have the day off, and I am using it to make pies and then try and instagram them, which is what most of twitter appears to be doing, and we have that West Wing episode with CJ and the turkeys in the background, and many bottles of fizz in the fridge and all is very right with the world. It will be even righter if the cranberry upside down cake doesn't stick to the tin, but as of this moment, hope is a wonderful thing.

And on an entirely unrelated subject *cough* Grace Jones advises how to get wasted elegantly. "Someone please fetch my knickers, I'm leaving now".
allochthonous: (cold reality)
Due to a minor linguistic SNAFU, I am now in posession of about a kilogram of spinach. I like the stuff, but I can't eat it all sauteed with garlic (MAYBE I CAN). Recipe suggestions, anyone?


allochthonous: (Default)

April 2015



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