Dance, food, Health, money, Religion, strangers, Uncategorized

…guest speaker/bible/5Rhythms/ballet/£3,700…

Week 10

Day sixty-five

…been a guest speaker

I Day 65was invited to be a guest speaker at the Greenwich Series, an informal evening where speakers talk for 10 minutes.  The other speakers were from Amnesty International and Talk To Me London, an organisation making strangers communicate better – both worthy causes, unlike my self-centred adventure.

I had no idea how much I was meant to prepare.  Was it best just to get up and speak? Prepare a PowerPoint presentation? Printed hand-outs? Or perhaps an interpretive dance?  I decided just to talk.

As I started speaking my nerves took an unexpected hold on me.  The audience, gathered in the top room of a Greenwich pub, stared at me intently.  The more I talked, the more I was unsure what was coming out of my mouth, but I think something along the lines of “Blah Blah Blah”.  At the end the audience asked a few questions, which was kind. I probably should have done the dance.

I’ve been invited to talk again at the end of these 365 days. I just hope I’m not dead by then. Or in jail.

Day Sixty-six

…tried to read the Bible

I discovered it takes between 50 to 100 hours to read. I was expecting the bible to be easy to follow, considering how popular it is. I managed 17 pages.

At least I tried.

Neil’s book Review:
Title: The Bible
Publisher: Various
Price: free from most good hotels.
I was slightly overwhelmed by the numbers of characters and felt this book could have been shorter, however I certainly liked the snappy title and couldn’t argue with the price.

Day Sixty-seven

…tried a 5Rhythms

The basic idea is to move to the music however you feel, a bit like jumping around in a club without any alcohol.  At occasional points, a somewhat camp man whispered into a microphone in a slightly creepy way to “just move like the sea” or “feel like the wind” or “set your mind free”

At the end we all sat around in a circle, with a candle in the middle (not sure why), and were invited to talk about our feelings.  We sat in silence for a few minutes staring at each other until one woman whispered the words “thank you” whilst touching her heart. Yeah.

However, one middle-aged gent was rather disappointed.  “It’s not as good as my usual one in Oxford,” he sighed. “People seem to be less into you being touchy feely here in London”.

Day Sixty-eight

…had lunch at a members’ clubDay 68

I spent the whole time speaking in a gentle mannered voice.

I also kept looking around to see if there were any celebrities, wondering “who’s that guy?”

Perhaps everyone else was wondering that about me…

Who am I?

Day Sixty-nine

…Been to the BalletDay 69

BORING!!!

Next…

Day Seventy

…eaten a whole scotch bonnet chili, twice

having not learnt a lesson from my experience with the Phall curry on Day 28, I tried a Scotch Bonnet Chili.  It wasn’t as hot as I thought it would be, so I immediately popped another in my mouth – once again, I spent the whole night clutching my stomach just for the sake of a new experience. Idiot.

Day Seventy-one

…bathed in £3,740.Day 71

No, it wasn’t mine (in case the Inland Revenue are asking)

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food

…Eaten a Reindeer Burger (and probably upset lots of vegetarians)

Day 48Day Forty-eight

Feeling festive, as the 25th December was fast approaching, I thought I should do something Christmassy, so I ate Reindeer.

The problem with meat, as delicious as it is, it pretty much all tastes the same and I felt a little guilty tucking into Rudolf as any old regular cow burger would have sufficed.  Oh well.

NEXT…

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food, Uncategorized

…sampled a traditional Danish Christmas dinner in Denmark

Day 34Day Thirty-four

I was in Denmark on business. I won’t say what business just so I sound more mysterious, but it’s not drug smuggling or people trafficking – and I was invited to sample a traditional Danish Christmas meal.

Christmas traditions seem to vary largely in each country. In Britain, it seems to be traditional to eat ridiculous amounts of dried turkey and over boiled sprouts, fall asleep in the afternoon, wake up, then get smashed and upset a relative. In Denmark, apparently, most celebrations take place on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day and the highlight is when the whole family dance around their Christmas tree in the living room.  I’m little jealous we don’t dance around a family tree in Britain, in fact, I’m just jealous I wasn’t born Scandinavian, as they always seem to have a lot of fun and, in general, look nice too.

A traditional Danish Christmas lunch consists of a platter of meats, some creamy cabbage dishes and various sauces.  It was tasty and I was most pleased.  I particularly liked the sharing nature of the lunch as it’s more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas than the British ‘this is my plate of dinner, back off’ way of serving food.

The highlight, for me, was a calorific dessert made of rice, cream and almonds. I apologise for using the term calorific as it makes me sound like one of those annoying calorie counting people who use such terms, but it really is the best way to describe the dish.  I was told there’s a tradition of hiding a whole almond in the dessert and whoever finds it their bowl of creamy Christmas slop wins a prize, or something. Actually I wasn’t listening properly to the rules of the tradition as I was too busy consuming, but it sounded a bit like the British tradition of hiding a penny coin in a Christmas pudding, which apparently has now been banned due to Health and Safety; there’s nothing like Health and Safety to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

So, feeling stuffed and creamy, I can now proudly no longer say I have never tried a traditional Danish lunch.

Calorific!

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food, Uncategorized

…eaten a Phall Curry (apparently Britain’s hottest Indian dish)

Day 28Day twenty-eight

As a child I was brought up by my grandparents and my father, who’s an electrician, with my time being shared equally between them.  My grandmother, who’d do all the cooking, fed me a staple diet of meat and two veg – as my grandfather would refuse to eat anything else, and still does.  Doreen (grandmother) always said “I give you proper English food and your father feeds you what I call ’foreign stuff’”.  Andy (father) fed me kebabs, takeaway and whatever food was in the reduced to clear bin at Tesco, I guess the staple diet of any electrician.

I remember my dad first taking me for a curry (foreign stuff) at one of my hometown’s many Indian restaurants. Outside the restaurant is a water fountain, which I think is meant to add a sense of sophistication to the dining experience. My first taste of curry, probably at about the age of ten, ended with me throwing up into the restaurant’s water feature and us never going there again – very sophisticated.

I always remember my dad telling me that the hottest curry you can get in Britain was the Phall, infamously hotter than the Vindaloo.  He said he’d never tried it but had heard a man had died from sampling just one bite (I may have added the last bit).

On day twenty-eight I felt the time in my life had come to sample Britain’s culinary scorcher.  Firstly, I discovered it’s quite hard to find an Indian restaurant that actually offers the Phall. Secondly, sampling it with a massive hangover may not have been a great idea.

Day 28bThe curry was a lethal looking colour, the kind of colour that in the natural world would mean; ‘instant death don’t touch’.  The Chicken Phall was hot and tears ran down my face, but it wasn’t as hot as I’d expected. When I finished it I thought it wasn’t that bad, how foolishly smug I was.

One hour after sampling the ‘bum burner’, I suddenly felt I had little desire to do anything. In fact I just wanted to go to bed, because I felt a little wrong inside. During the night I never properly slept, visited the toilet several times and was sick twice, but luckily this time in the privacy of my own home and not in a local water feature.

It took me two days to recover from the Phall.

…CAUTIOUSLY ON TO THE NEXT NEW THING

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My friend Jon was holding a Thanksgiving party at his flat in London. I’ve never actually celebrated the American festive occasion before, I’m still not exactly sure what it’s a celebration of, but I felt it was an ideal opportunity to tick off another box on the long list of things I’ve never done.

Unfortunately when I arrived at the party it seemed no Americans had actually turned up. Jon was serving up some very tasty ‘chilli dogs’ but that seemed the closest we were going to get to a proper Thanksgiving.

I wasn’t totally satisfied I’d achieved something new, but luckily someone had brought a bar of chocolate that had pieces of salt and vinegar crisps in (or potato chips if we’re going to stick with the American theme) which I’d certainly never tried before.

Here is a very short video of me sampling the bizarrely flavoured confectionary. After I eat the chocolate you can see bits of the crisps in between my teeth, this makes me feel a bit ill so much so I nearly didn’t upload the video…oh well!

food, Uncategorized

…tried Cock Soup

Day 13cDay Thirteen

The sixty-nine pence packet of Cock Soup gathering dust on the furthest shelf in the furthest part of my local newsagent (the one with the lovely tomatoes) caught my eye.  I thought, after sniggering to myself like a small child, I’ve never tried that before and really don’t want to, yet due to the already dwindling list of new things to try in a year I was going to have to.

According to the packet, Cock Soup (still sniggering) is a Caribbean favourite and consists of delicious ingredients such as Dried Noodles, Onion, a variety of Spices, and lashings of fresh tasty Monosodium Glutamate and Disodium 5′-Ribonucleotides.

I cooked up the powered mixture carefully following the complex instructions (add boiling water).

It looked remarkably like the colour of human urine or indeed any animals’ urine.  Do animals have different colour urine to humans, I really don’t know?  I imagine they would, but I’ve never looked – must research. Day 13b

It tasted fairly disgusting, a bit like drinking Chicken Stock, but overall I was delighted it didn’t actually taste of penis.  Not that I know what penis tastes like, and I’m not prepared yet to add that to list of new things to try.

The fifty gram packet made one litre of Cock Soup.  I consumed the lot just because I knew I’d never have to sample it again, unless of course next year I decide to do three hundred and sixty-five things I’ve never done twice before, but that would just be a waste of time.  I felt really odd after drinking a litre of the Caribbean favourite (again the manufacturer’s words not mine) but that might be because of the twelve point eight grams of salt I unknowingly consumed during one sitting.

Cock Soup: I’d never tried it, but now I have.  It was worth it just to satisfy my inner giggling six year old self.Day 13

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