Urban Tales II: the accidental housewife, the sequel by Fresco and Chris




Yes, dears, I have something to be thankful for. The kind folks at nieuws.be have been kind enough to name me their blogger of the week. I don't know why this honour has befallen me, but yours truly is naturally very flattered, blushing and giggly that they chose, MOI! Cue my Miss Piggy moment.

I suspect that I should be quaffing champagne (no Bolli or Veuve, we only believe in prosecco, remember) but given that I already imbibed too much of the damn stuff yesterday during our equivalent of A Sex and the City chat session and followed it up with a Chardonnay and a Viognier, you will forgive me for stating the obvious: my body needs a few days to recover from all this alcohol in its present state. Oh, and I also lost my voice in the process because we talked so much. Subjects covered included your parents having sex (the horror, the horror), falling in love with married men, domestic bliss, lesbians who drool over men, Louboutins, the benchmark for really high heels, etc.

And yes, we are still Neanderthinning, ladies and gentlemen. We even went so far as to serve our lady guests a Neanderthinian salad yesterday, albeit it that we compromised with some Turkish bread on the side. The salad of mixed greens and stir-fried prawns went down a treat and we did splurge on dessert: grilled pineapple and a hot dark chocolate sauce courtesy of the ever lovely Nigella Lawson.

I feel like boring you with some inane drivel about my favourite mascara tonight, but I'll spare you the details. Instead I would like to remind you to switch off the light on Saturday for earth hour, or if you choose for a grand power outage of the European grid as we all switch on our lights again.

On a final note, dears, I feel love! I hope you do too. Now take me back to my nice little padded cell ;-) And, oh, one of our guests brought the chocolates pictured above. In this house we firmly believe in Marcolini and Green and Black's. Nevertheless, these must be eaten. How could one let any chocolate go to waste?



Things that made me really go weak in the knees recently
- A story written by a 10-year old about a volcano that fell in love
- the munchkin who came home with her face painted as a “princess cat”
- a kiss on my forehead from my SO, followed by a lopsided smile
- the week of sun, which felt like summer, with a hint of spring thrown in for good measure
- our photo album of Iceland, even though we looked a little butch then
- Gregorian chants
- The smell of our first Meyer lemon from our own lemon tree

Things that drove me mad recently
- my new hair
- my old hair
- The fact that certain people expect you to gloss over everything, and I mean everything.
- my search for red shoes, no! purple shoes, no! black shoes, no! No shoes!
- The fact that the old router is playing up again; and that my provider thinks it’s normal to shut off the Internet at 3 am for an hour (hello?! People do work at night, you know?)

Things that made me stop in my tracks recently
- The fact that my mother knows how to repair zippers so I no longer have to carry around 3 girls skirts in my purse while searching for a seamstress
- The fact that I won a purse organizer for having the messiest purse evah! (remember the photographic evidence?)
- My mirror image
- Chris and Fresco’s sequel to the events in the supermarket parking lot

Things I really, really want
- A trip to London
- A trip to Iceland
- my old hair
- a pair of red shoes, no! purple shoes, no! black shoes
- a starbucks mug that says London on it (did you hear me, Fresco?)
- a cheese sandwich?



Some of you may be aware that we have changed our feeding habits at Casa de Goddess since Monday. Over the last month or so, I was growing increasingly dissatisfied with my general appearance, or rather the space it occupied and so I started reading up on nutrition again.
In the past, I had achieved stellar results with the Atkins diet. Another diet that worked really well for me was the diet I followed in preparation of my pregnancy: it consisted of eating extremely healthily, and enjoying everything in moderation.
Then, at some point, I hit on the site of Arthur De Vany and I was hooked.

To put it briefly, De Vany believes that we should all revisit our Neanderthal selves and adhere to a more protein and fat-based diet, which also relies heavily on fruit and vegetables. Nix the bread and the dairy (unless you are growing child) and eat as much as you can. Exercise 2 x 45 minutes a week and you can look like the man himself.

For your info, he's 69 in this photo...

I have been reading madly, discovering neanderthin and paleo diets, and basically familiarizing myself with things that I have always known. Feed me heaps of carbohydrates and the scale will skyrocket. Which has always puzzled my SO, as she never understood how I could eat what I did and not gain (too much) weight. In retrospect, I realize it's the bread and dairy that's done me in.

Since Monday, I have had anything from bacon and eggs, fruit salads, roast beef, huge salad with scampi and salmon, Cuban pork chops, etc. I have scrounged on nuts. This afternoon, I slipped momentarily as I ordered a cafe latte, but then I remembered the golden rule: loosen up occasionally. Did I eat the bread that came with the salad this evening? No! Did I want to? Yes, in all fairness; but then I remembered that in the past I would have eaten all 3 pieces of the French roll provided.

How do I feel? This morning I felt like crap, but I wondered if it had to do with detoxing. My body is mildly confused. No bread and no dairy means I am depriving it of two of the staples of my diet. But my body also feels better for it. I haven't weighed myself yet.

This diet has also made us laugh hysterically. Foods that get the go-ahead include grass-fed bison... (I can just imagine how happy the zoo will be with that... ) Or such corny jokes as: how do you like the cow that I hunted from the butcher this morning?

I promise to keep you updated on my progress and I leave you with the recipe for the Cuban pork chops (4):

season 4 pork chops with pepper.
Take 2 cloves of garlic, 1/8 tsp each of oregano and cumin and crush it together. You will have something that resembles a paste. Rub the pork chops with it.
Place the pork chops in a bowl and pour over 1/4 cup of orange juice. Slice up one onion and add to the marinade. We didn't have the time to refrigerate so we just left it out of the fridge for half an hour. If you choose to refrigerate, then do so for up to 3 hours.
Heat some oil in a skillet and flash-fry the chops on both sides. Then bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 180°C. You can also just fry them in the pan if you want to. In either case, you use the marinade. We ate this with sugar snaps and sweet potato mash.



A Vanity Fair Portrait - four generations of the Redgrave theatrical dynasty: Rachel Kempson, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Joely Richardson, Daisy Bevan.

Urban tales I: the accidental housewife


On Thursday, we had a babysitter mind our munchkin as we went out for some good food in some good company.

This, of course, required some strategizing, as it was the first time, and we had no idea what the young damsel would require in the area of sustenance. What do you feed hungry teens? Since we only knew the young lady by referral, I headed to the supermarket to stock up on some treats.

To understand what comes next, you need to know that our supermarket has a closed car park with a barrier to prevent neighbours from using it.

As I stood at the checkout and watched Goth Girl scan our salty and sweet treats, a young boy walked up to the cashier, asking her to validate a parking ticket for exiting the car park. The kid must have been eleven at the most and looked decidedly nervous. From where I was standing, I could see a queue forming in the parking lot and I watched as he ran back out to their silver car.

Only a few minutes later, as I was paying, his mother sailed in. Think Marcia Gay Harden in Season II of Damages. She was wearing exquisite brown leather shoes and her autumn coloured outfit offset her auburn hair. Her mood was equally stormy. Now, I too have been in the position where the ticket has been validated but the barrier won't open. But this lady was having none of that. Her temper was frayed and it was showing. She proceeded to berate the cashier, who answered back in a surly manner. She looked exactly like dear Carol below, minus the glasses, but with the usual piercings.

Meanwhile, I was stuck in the middle of this, with the munchkin in the supermarket cart all agog, mouth and eyes wide open. Now, ordinarily, I would have intervened and tried to mediate. But with a four-year old in tow, suddenly your whole outlook changes. All you want is for this situation to go away. And to be honest, I had visions of 'Falling Down' (remember Michael Douglas going ballistic as the frustrated angry customer...?).

So I pretended to notice nothing, schlepped all our shopping in the cart on the protesting munchkin, and wheeled past meltdown momma. As I rounded the corner, I noticed that Goth Girl left her register and stomped off towards the management cubicle.

Nothing could have prepared me for what followed in the car park, as I was loading our shopping into the car and getting ready to leave.

The woman, having had her ticket validated for the fourth time apparently, dashed back to her car as people honked impatiently. She then tried to align her car with the terminal to insert the ticket, and given her frazzled nerves, somehow managed to get too close. The tell tale screech of metal on metal was heard. And right there and then, the impending meltdown happened. For as she tried to move her car away, she just kept on scraping it into the terminal. Finally, she reversed the car, got out, and just lost it. She was in floods, screamed something as she looked up at the sky and then walked up to the car behind her. The man in it for a second must have hesitated whether he wanted to roll down his window or not, but to his credit, he did. She then proceeded to ask him for help to move her car, as she was clearly incapable of driving it by that time. The kids inside looked petrified. It was also raining quite heavily, adding to the general discomfiture.

I looked on aghast. The munchkin was silent in the backseat. Then she stated very simply: "That lady is crying".

And I quietly found myself wondering what had happened to this poor woman during the day to generate such a response to such a futility, putting us all momentarily in the eye of the storm.

More randomness


1. I've become addicted to the vanilla lattes at Barsserie Nero.
2. They have a hotspot there too, so now I think that I might make it my other office.
3. Office means that I actually have work, unlike some of my colleagues, who don't... If you say the word recession fast, do you think that it will go away?
4. I didn't get red shoes, so I won't be clicking my heels anytime soon.
5. Today I managed to anger at least one person (you know who you are...).
6. I'm completely uninterested in food lately. I'll eat it but I can't bear to think about it.
7. I am gearing up for the Paleo way of life as from next week. But I'm not aspiring to Art de Vany's bod. I think that's my father-in-law's goal in life. He goes to the gym three (that's 3!!!, people) times a day. So: don't attack me about my carbon footprint or you will unleash the animal in me.
8. The L Word is finally behind us. Can we put this train wreck to rest now? Let's face it: who cares about who killed Jenny? It's just as depressing as this effin' weather.
9. We have a babysitter. It's only taken us 4.5 years. Testing her on Thursday. Wonder if she comes with a money back guarantee?
10. My SO is a member of the White House press corps for the day. Shout out and a thank you to Joe Biden for bringing this about.
11. I got so smashed on Cointreaupolitans this past Saturday that I passed out at 10 pm.
12. I missed the school shindig because I feel asleep on the sofa. Woke around 1 a.m. only to realize that the party was ending at 2 a.m. Couldn't really be bovvered...
13. I have decided that I will abstain from giving any relationship advice for the rest of my life.
14. I am soooo tired; but hey, that's not exactly breaking news, innit?

Random pickings


Not much else going on at the moment, so I will just share some random thoughts with you (am sensing a pattern here).

1. why did my virus scanner decide overnight that it should block every email on my computer without me changing any settings?
2. why have I still not received any mail this morning?
3. why will my child eat smoked mozzarella and the most mature Parmigiano but not touch a mild fresh mozzarella ball?
4. there must be some strange mechanism in my head that forces me to wake up at 3 p.m. in the morning.
5. I just can't bring myself to understand why my cat always has to sleep on anything that I have touched.
6. my fingers, at times, start having these strange tremors. Mind in the machine?
7. we start every dinner saying 'no wine tonight' and yet we always find ourselves having it anyway. Managed to limit ourselves to half a bottle though.
8. how is it that my sister, who is a trained chef, can accuse me of fancy dining tastes?
9. best meal I had this week: charolais beef marinated in lemon, garlic, olive oil and thyme, after grilling, with green asparagus. I guess this is proof of the statement in 8.
8. I am pondering the acquisition of some natural leather ankle boots for spring, but I just can't bring myself to buy them because of the colour.
9. I really want red ankle boots instead.
10. Being a parent has imposed the biggest strain on me ever, as it forces me to be outgoing for my child's sake.
11. I am so glad that the L Word is finally drawing to a close. It is so not my story.
12. can you tell that I am bored beyond belief at the moment?

Oh, and Deboo, my next post will be on chicken stock and anything else that anybody can suggest because my mind is facing a blank.

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