Sunday Roast: they’re not hounds, they’re corgis

OMG! It’s Cas! See that cute girl drinking a cup of tea in the header of the blog? That is me, and I am writing a roast. May this herald the return to the greatness that in the past typified this blog. I have ideas for posts, I have the desire to write, I have wrists that aren’t too bad so I actually can write… Now all we need are all you lovely readers to forgive the recent less-than-stellar service and return to the comments, and things will be back to how we all love them to be. Pretty please with sugary sprinkles on top?

This week I have cute lion cubs, time travelers, crime-solving bees, Katie Price, Kevin Bacon and a film called “Sex Drive”. Don’t believe me, read on gentle readers, read on…

An interesting piece on the BBC, putatively about the accents of recent Dr Who stars, but really about perceptions of differing accents, got me to thinking on accents myself. (I actually prefer both John Barrowman and David Tennant when they use their native Scots). I have an unfortunate, and unconscious, habit of adopting certain aspects of peoples speech patterns if I hang around them for a while. I once spent a week on a boat with a group of Irish men and by the end of it I sounded like I was taking the piss with my faux-Irish brogue. I can’t help it, it just happens! (Alternatively, I can go the other way – when I was in New York last, people kept asking me to “sound British” and I have never sounded more like I had a silver spoon shoved where the sun don’t shine!) So what is my “true” accent if it changes so readily? Surely nationality is more about where you grew up and where your roots are than how you actually sound?

As someone with recently discovered and still emerging food sensitivities and allergies, I am finding shopping for food now costs twice as much and takes three times as long as it used to. No longer can I just pick my staples off the shelves, ram a few cakes in the basket as treats, and be out the door in 15 minutes flat. Now every label needs to be carefully looked over. Want a beefburger or sausage? Even lots of the high quality ones have wheat. You would be surprised and, perhaps horrified, to realise the amount of products dairy gets into. Add to that colourings, preservatives and flavourings, and you would forgive me my dream of having essential nutrients via a pill and doing away with eating all together. Breakfast is the latest in my fight to get my diet including more than one item of food. Oatcakes are starting to pall after four solid months! But, again, even the speciality stuff tends to have at least one naughty item lurking in the midst of the ingredient list. Or just looks so boring as to make oatcakes appealing again. So pick-n-mix muesli sounds like a great idea. Just look at all the ingredients you can choose from! Moose makes her own, kudos to her, but the preparation time just irritates me. Plus I’d probably get bored half-way through a batch. I might be willing to pay the extra for the convenience… (For the record I am currently chomping through spelt-pops, with a satsuma on top, and a dollup of goats yoghurt and honey).

Bumblebees used in hunting serial killers. Kinda. Sorta. It’s like an Episode of Numb3rs where Charlie exposes some bizarre theory from the natural world and uses the maths to solve the latest darstadly crime. Yes, I am cynical. Perhaps I need cute FBI agent Don Epps to explain it to me?

Have you noticed an increase in misleading book covers lately? You’re not alone. I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to browsing the library: if I’m looking for an easy read, I go for the swirly writing; if I’m looking to have a serial killer terrorise me before I fall asleep, I go for the san serif in a bold primary colour. With dripping blood. I look across at my bookshelves and you know what? Most of my favourites I keep revisiting are my fathers old Penguins with their iconic design. Nothing prejudices my idea of what’s going to be in the book beyond the author, blurb, and how well written the first few pages are.

Yes. I see the arguments from both points because, frankly, most of the time I can’t be bothered to scour the shelves for a hidden gem, and AM guided by covers. I know though, that I am missing great books.

Frustration (also, uncomfortable I’d imagine!)

Vero has a tale of what a friend of hers found at the bottom of his pond. This appeals to me on so many levels, not least the archaeologist in me who is always telling stories about the past lives of buildings and landscapes. We think we own our land, but really we are just custodians for those that will come later.

And before I go off on a whole long rant, inspired no doubt by flicking through my old landscape archaeology notes in yesterdays clean-out, I shall bring you the promised lion cubs.

Lion cubs. So cute!

The new Large Hadron Collider at CERN isn’t for physics, really. It’s a giant art installation. Seriously, those images are awesome in all definitions of the word!

Kevin Kelly has some interesting additions to the ‘future of the book’ debate.

All I want for the future is for Neal Stephenson to keep writing books, but possible for them to be either shorter or lighter. I’m rereading The Baroque Cycle as I do yearly, and even the paperback versions of the books are house brick size, and weight.

I have decided, all the chick lit and YA/vampire/supernatural stuff I am reading isn’t chick lit at all. Really it is brain floss. Great term 😀

So I lied, I haven’t actually got Kevin Bacon in the roast this week (and on sober reflection I just couldn’t link to a Katie Price article, even though it WAS book related) but I do bring you news that Microsoft has proven only six degrees of separation link us all. What interests me more would be the strengths of those connections. Yes, theoretically I might be linked to a couple of big names in certain fields (ask me about the provenance of my PowerBook battery some time) but how reliable can those connections be? If I were to ask X to help me connect to Y so I could get to Z, would he/she?

Networks on paper are one thing, but what is making my brain go tingle is the idea of mapping connections and seeing what they could really lead to. I have just read Danny Wallace’s latest book, Friends Like These where he goes around reconnecting to people he hasn’t seen since childhood. The book is funny, touching, but what gets me still is how through people he connects to other people, and yet other people, and how they are all willing to help. Makes me think more about networks…

And lastly a trailer. Called Sex Drive. I wonder what it is about? I have little/no desire to actually see this film, but the trail did make me laugh, so it gets included
Sex Drive

3 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: they’re not hounds, they’re corgis

  1. That letter at the bottom of the pond was neat! Thanks for sharing.

    Good luck with the new diet. A few years ago, I was afraid that I had a wheat allergy, so I avoided it for about a week until I could get tested. I still remember how hard it was to find things without wheat in them. It’s in almost everything — including things I didn’t think to check at first, like soy sauce. Luckily I found a wheat-free section at Whole Foods… limited selections, but better than none. Hope you find some new options soon!

  2. The pond thing made me laugh, lots. so very British! It makes me wonder what future generations of archaeologists are going to make of the sometimes bizarre in-jokes that make it into the backfill of archaeological trenches (Yes, this is naughty).

    The networks thing made me think- did our ‘publishing’ contact get a hold of you yet? He’s a bit flaky 🙂

  3. Thanks for the luck Cheryl! I have found the gluten-free section of Waitrose – handy. I will say, as supermarkets go, Waitrose are very good with their labelling, especially of their own brand goods. It’s just a bit pricier than I might like.

    Neko – I’ve decided that when I get buried, it’s going to be with a symbol from every religion I can think of just to confuse things, and with an engraved metal plaque saying “Leave me alone! I was an archaeologist too!”

    And no. Though to be fair I am just as flaky as I haven’t got in touch with *him* either!

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