“After all this time, Severus?” “Always.”

26 Jul

Friday 15th July – Greek foods

Just a quick mention of the fact that I went for proper Greek food for the first time ever last Friday and it was incredible. I now plan to go to Greece one day and spend a week or two eating similarly huge quantities of moussaka, green leafy things in various states of cookedness (dolmathes and tabbouleh representing either end of the spectrum) , and pastry-based goods such as spanakopita and baklava. Long live the Greeks and their ability to make foods that not only taste excellent but also have names that are fun to say.

Saturday 16th July – Harry Potter

Finally, after months of ecstatically childish excitement, I went to watch the last Harry Potter film and with it feel my childhood officially come to an end. Joining me in observing this rite of passage were Sally (who is a proper person and understands the magicalness); Phil, Michael, Wham, and Jesse (who are losers and spent most of the time picking holes in the plot); and Brendan (who I think secretly loves the Potter but was pretending he didn’t in order to look cool).

I was genuinely worried that the grown-ups directing the film would have cocked it up in some way as they have been known to do in the past, but against all my negative expectations it was FANTASTIC. The story is heartbreaking, terrifying and somehow still rather spiffingly British, the special effects were easily good enough to rival Lord of the Rings, and the many much-neglected proper actors in the cast got to do some proper acting, especially Maggie Smith and the oh-so-sexy-yet-impossibly-becoming-ever-sexier Alan Rickman, who had me practically weeping towards the end. I won’t ramble on about how good it was (trust me, I could go on all week) but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who has read the books/seen the previous films and will therefore understand what’s going on. If you haven’t fulfilled any of the aforementioned criteria and are therefore a muggle, watch this infinitely simplified version of events instead:

I feel the need (rather pointlessly as she will never read it) to thank J K Rowling from the bottom of my heart for making my life that little bit more magical, and reinforcing my belief that you should always try to see the best in people, even if they are greasy heads of Slytherin house who used to be Death Eaters.

After Harry Potter the plan was to go to the lovely Lisa’s house for a party. We went to Michael’s house first, where his wonderful mum proceeded to give me a very informative lesson about Japanese alcoholic drinks, namely sake and plum wine, and lots of it! I hadn’t realised how dangerously drinkable sake is. I also had no idea that in Japanese culture your guest isn’t allowed to have an empty cup, and I felt rude for not finishing what was in my cup every time it was refilled, so I ended up very tipsy very quickly! We also ate interesting Japanese snacks including dried pea things and tiny dried silver fishies, which I felt a little bit sorry for but they were yummy, so it’s sort of their own fault.

Thankfully we left for Lisa’s while I was still able to walk. The party was a lovely affair, and I seem to remember me and Sally spending a long time talking through various technicalities of Harry Potter with various people. After that conversation moved on the the usual: prog rock, crap films and the like. Joel was going around taking photos on his very expensive-looking camera, and when Michael told him that I hate having my picture taken all hell broke loose… I dread to think how many terrible pictures he has of me on his camera now! Joel, if you’re reading this, never let them see the light of day (unless by some miracle there are actually some acceptable ones). I did however manage to take some nice photographs that didn’t have me in them:

Lovely Australian people

After this picture was taken everything becomes a bit of a haze. I seem to remember talking to many people about many indeterminate but retrospectively fascinating things, putting a lot of skittles in Phil’s beer for no reason and then developing the worst bout of hiccups I’ve ever had and being terrified that they would never ever stop (they did, after a not particularly impressive length of time).

Monday 17th July – Limes & kumquats

On Monday I decided to have a day off, but was either too lazy or too unimaginative to think of anything to do. By default this meant that it was time to do some baking, so I dragged Phil to the shop to get ingredients. After spending ELEVEN DOLLARS on limes and even more dollars on various other things (including stamps to finally post my postcards) we came home and managed to put together a triumphant concoction of key lime and candied kumquat pie.

Key lime and candied kumquat pie: not for the faint-hearted or weak of tooth

 Unfortunately we went a bit too mental with the candying of kumquats and the end result was two-thirds yummy pudding (the limey bit and the biscuity bit) with the other third being a rock solid layer of – admittedly rather tasty – kumquat concrete in between them! It was still highly enjoyable but I have learned valuable lessons about the use of potentially dangerous candied items for the future. If anyone has any small children with wobbly teeth that need removing quickly and humanely, get in touch and I’ll send you the recipe!

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