At the footy

Wednesday 25 May 2011

The red and the white v the brown and the yellow;
That’s the game to be played in the warm autumn gleam.
Same hue attired fans, be them lass, be them fellow,
Fill the stands, eat the pies, shout the rules, carn their team.

I’m the guest of a friend but the friend couldn’t make it,
So there’s two of us acting as substitute fans.
Been a year since I’ve been to the arena to fake it.
I’m afraid these emotions aren’t stowed in my glands.

I don’t follow sport; I’m confused by the legal.
Is this one the one where you can’t play off side?
But I love its theatre – the players so regal!
It’s food for the masses, the critics one-eyed.

The players – half fumble, half ballet – play forward.
The smell of deep heat permeates through the air.
All action heads south and then suddenly nor’ward
The crowd squeals like kids on the rides at the fair.

A man right behind me shouts animate slogans.
Watch ya doing? Pick the ball up! Get a move on! Domineer!
On the oval the coloured teams battle like shoguns.
When one scores a goal the entire crowd cheer.

A young girl beside me reads Roald Dahl’s “The Witches”.
Her sister, in contrast, eyes the game intense.
She’s covered in badges, from her cap to her britches,
The other just yawns… it’s all mere pretense.

Four beers and a pie with tomato sauce later
It’s time to head home. All is lost. Game is done.
Were the Swans overwhelmed? Did the Hawks just play greater?
Let’s just say, on the day, that the better team won.

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Feed your family… Italian style

Thursday 19 May 2011

You’re not my friend any more Curtis Stone.

I’ve been following your “Under $10” recipes since the very beginning and, while they’ve never cost less than $15, I’ve enjoyed them immensely. I felt you were teaching me to be both frugal and flavoursome, taking me on a journey through the marvels of budgeted home culinary. I felt, perhaps, you understood me.

So I hope you understand why I say this: Baked Rigatoni with Tomato and Sopressa Salami.

I wrote the ingredients out carefully and trotted to my local Coles with green bag in hand. First stop the deli for the pre-sliced ingredients, and the first sign of a chink in our friendship. My Coles had none – NONE – of the listed ingredients: not the 150g Sopressa salami, not the 100g Delre mozzarella, and not the 1/4 cup Coles Parmigiano Reggiano parmesan cheese. “Fine, I’ll buy it from fridge section,” I said, but the salami comes in packs of 100g, so I had to buy two, and the mozzarella and parmesan in lots of 250g.

So your “$9.97” meal, including the herbs, ended up costing $32.95!

Having spent three times what you reckon this meal was going to, I started preparing. It was here our friendship completely fell apart. It was a small issue, as most friendship-enders are, but I’m sure the reason why a lot of people have stopped being chummy with chefs. It appears time and time again and does nothing but frustrate the amateur cook.

It’s the half a small brown onion.

Why must you include such a ridiculous ingredient? What’s wrong with a full brown onion? You know everyone’s going to include the whole onion – who keeps half a brown onion? – so why specify such a measurement? Really Curtis, do you seriously think any of us, no matter how many episodes of MasterChef we’ve suffered, can tell the difference between the taste of half and a full brown onion? And what am I supposed to do with the onion’s other half? The baked rigatoni serves 4; single me will be eating this the better part of the week!

And don’t get me started on the 350g of Coles rigatoni pasta. Why – WHY – stipulate 350g when pasta comes in bags of 500g? What am I supposed to do with the other 150g? I had to buy a grater for the 1 small carrot; must I purchase a set of kitchen scales as well?

So I’m sorry Curtis but I can’t be friends with you anymore, it just makes me too upset when I attempt your recipes. I hope you’ll understand and perhaps one day we can laugh about this.

However, I must say that the final result was pretty tasty, even if I did forget to include the basil.


A poem for Scott

Thursday 12 May 2011

Scott's new vase

My dear friend Scott once bought a jug,
A tiny thing from history.
The salesmen thought him quite the mug:
Such fuss for some old pottery!

Scott paid the bill and pock’d the prize
(All carefully wrapped in cellophane)
Then told the man, to his surprise,
“Tis priceless piece from Grecian fame.”

The man, his jaw gobsmacked it fell
And echoed round his antique freighter.
Scott thanked the man, then said he’d sell
It back to him on ebay later.



Script Frenzy – Winner!

Monday 2 May 2011

If you’ve been reading during the last month you might have wondered what all this “Script Frenzy” stuff is about, but, then again, you probably weren’t as you were too busy making little bunnies

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. It’s like NaNoWriMo (where your write a 50,000 novel in the month of November, an event I failed dismally when I first attempted) but you write a script instead. The counting system differs as while a novel writer could use a gamut of fonts or spacing sizes, meaning their 50,000 word novel could fill an unknowable number of pages, script writing is very precise and governed by formatting rules. How I’ve dumped my writing scraps sort of mimics the layout, but only just. The notion is that in true script formatting one page of script is equal to one minute of screen time, so a 100 page script is 100 minutes, the average length of most films.

Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages wins, and – yay me! – I wrote 115 pages during the month. (Click on the icon on the right for more info on Script Frenzy.)

So what did I win? I win the bragging rights to say I wrote a script in a month. I also won this:

Pretty nifty, hey?

My script (which was also chosen as a 30 Posters, 30 Days entry) is still going. I’m only up to the morning of the Final Battle and, I must admit, am having a bit of trouble trying to work out what happens next. To keep the momentum going I’m sticking with the daily page requirements, writing at least three pages a day, until it’s finished. It might be all rubbish at the end but at least I will have it out of the head and on to the page, and in a few months time I’ll be able to go back and edit the hell out if it.

Ernest Hemingway wrote “The first draft of anything is shit.” Mark Haddon said “Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.” Justice Louis Brandeis remarked “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” And Richard Back noted “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

Me, I’m with Winnie-the-Pooh:

For I am a bear of very little brain
and long words bother me.

Hope you keep enjoying.

Clyde