Wednesday, 31 August 2016

A bit embarrassed, really

I worked up in Costa Coffee in Highgate this morning. I had hoped to go to the cafe at Jackson's Lane Theatre, but the place is running limited hours. The entertainment industry rather disappears in August. All the actors and theatre people go to Edinburgh and the TV execs head for their villas in the hills of Tuscany!

I was working underneath a giant mirror in the cafe and was horrified when one young girl, who looked a little like Princess Beatrice, decided to stand right above me, staring into the mirror whilst trying to squeeze a spot inside her nose. In the end she failed, and went back to her Mum saying, "I couldn't get to it, it's too deep." I'm not exactly brimming over with decorum, but that was too much even for me.

Elsewhere, a woman seemed to be having some kind of religious crisis. She was white but wearing a headscarf which made me think she was a Muslim convert, but the girl sitting opposite her was talking almost obsessively about Judaism and Jerusalem. The woman in the headscarf was being very unpleasant to the girl and telling her off almost as though she were a five-year-old. At one point she made the girl sit in front of her muffin for ten minutes without eating it because "you've just had a sandwich. You need to let that go down first." It was all very weird. Then they sat in silence for half an hour whilst the woman in the headscarf played with her phone and the girl sitting opposite sat and fiddled with her boobs.

Back at home I carried on writing all the way until Nathan came back from work. It turned out that it's The Great British Bake Off tonight and I got it into my head that we needed to make some biscuits to eat whilst watching the show. We ran to the shops to buy the right ingredients and were most amused by the guy behind the counter randomly, and at high speed, tapping made-up numbers into the till. He looked like a child pretending to type. He ended up over-charging us by the best part of £4, so we made him add everything up again. Slowly. Gloriously toe-curling.

I tried to make twelve uniform biscuits, like they do on the show, but I only had one baking tray so the rest went into a Yorkshire pudding tin. To make matters worse, it turns out that our oven has broken, so now, if you try to cook something, it grills it instead. So basically I grilled my biscuits until the ones on the top shelf in the Yorkshire pudding tin burned, and then Nathan set fire to the chocolate that we were going to melt onto the top. Great clouds of acrid smoke came out of the microwave. I burned my finger and then singed all the hairs on the back of my hand. All in all it was a fairly huge disaster, although one or two of the biscuits were almost edible, which I think is one of the most important things about baking. The ones which hadn't burned had a very weird taste about them, however. They tasted a bit floury and a bit salty. Maybe I should have washed the baking tray before putting the biscuits on it?

That's all there is to say about the day. I'm a bit embarrassed, really...

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