Friday, July 21, 2006

I think I'm beginning to get the hang of blogging. There has been so much to learn and still so much I don't know. So far this week I have learnt how to put a picture into my blog, and how to insert a hyper link (click on 'Lime trees' in my rant to see what that means). I still don't know how to insert a list of links to blogs I like, how to get a 'hit' button - or any other kind of button for that matter, but hells bells, Rome wasn't built in a day! I'll get there in the end.

I've just finished reading "Home Ground" a novel by Lynn Freed. this was given to me by a cousin from Australia, who, like myself is an ex-South African. I try to read everything I can find which has been written by South African novelists post WW2. How Lynn Freed escaped my radar I don't know, but I am so grateful to Marion for giving me this book. It was chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one of it's notable books of the year for 1986.
It is a novel of family life in Durban during the 1950s-60s as seen through the eyes of the youngest of three daughters of a bohemian Jewish family. The story takes the reader through ten years in the life of the family, with all the attendant tensions and anxieties of adolescence. The greater dramas of the political situation in South Africa at that time - Sharpville, the POQO threat etc - are reduced to mere background murmurs. I suspect that it is a very autobiographical novel. I enjoyed it as a novel of adolescence, but never related to it as I did to Barbara Trapido's wonderful book "Frankie & Stankie" which is set in the same place at the same time. None-the-less it is a great addition to my collection .


Every summer I get really fed up with the aphids. Of course I'd rather not have them on my garden plants, but it is the ones on the Lime trees which line our street that really get me wound up. The aphids produce vast quantities of a sugary liquid waste called Honeydew which drops onto everything beneath the trees including all the cars . Dust then sticks to this and the cars become filthy, it is impossible to see clearly through the windscreen but using the normal windscreen wash and wipers won't remove it. If that were not bad enough, this sticky waste attracts ants which feed off it, and also a fungus called Sooty Mould. I have been told that when the long-term parking lot at Gatwick Airport was being planned and built, some bright spark thought that planting trees would provide shade and make the place look better - so they planted Lime Trees, dozens of them. So now people jet off on two weeks summer hols and come back to find their cars a dusty sticky mess of Honeydew. Duh!

Unfortunately there are too many Lime trees in our street, and they are too big for me to do anything about this whole messy, sticky irritating situation - otherwise I would be running a massive KILL THE APHIDS campaign. God I hate the pesky critters - Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

Last night I had dinner at a local restaurant with a dear friend from Capetown and her daughter plus a motley crew of other young South Africans. We had such a good time, sitting out on a terrace by the street, drinking cold Pinot Grigio, eating Tapas, and talking nineteen to the dozen. I thought I should post one of my favourite Tapas recipes, one that is easy to make at home and is simply delish.


450g good Chorizo, sliced into 1cm thick slices
60 ml red wine2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs - parsley, thyme, oregano

Pre-heat the oven to 180°-200°C
Put the chorizo slices in a small, shallow, oven-proof dish (you probably know the little round brown earthenware dishes the Spanish use - choose something similar as this is an oven to table situation) . Pour the wine, garlic and herbs over the slices and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with chunks of crusty bread to mop up the juices. Great as an appetizer with drinks or as part of a group of Tapas-type dishes as a meal.

By the way, it is still hot as hell. I think my brain may be melting so you must excuse all typos, spelling errors, grammatical absurdities and bad language. Toodle pip!

1 comment:

Trevor said...

I think you are getting the hang of blogging too!