Old folk at lunch

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A meeting of minds


It was pleasing to me recently to meet someone else who thinks global warming is a big fraud and who thinks Mr Trump's policies are so good that we need him here in Australia. All that is a bit on the amazing side but it adds to the amazement that this simpatico person is just about as beautiful a woman as you can get. She is married and is also very bright.  She has just completed a higher degree on an important subject in a field that I know a fair bit about.

Her mother and I are friends who occasionally breakfast together.

She is pretty cheesed off about the fact that just about everyone she meets bad-mouths Mr Trump.  So I may get her along to the meetings of the "gang of four" whom I occasionally shout dinner to.  It would be a change for her to find herself among like-minded people. It won't happen immediately but sometime in the next few months I may get her along to join us over my dubious cookery.  All very amazing.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

An outing and a non-outing


A few non-routine events recently: On Friday, I took Anne to the Yeronga club again.  I took her there just before her trip to the Arctic as a birthday dinner but it was a two-for-Tuesday night so all she got for her dinner was two sausages!  So I took her on Friday 9th for a buffet night.  And buffets there are as good as any ever in my opinion so we really did well.  So her birthday was in the end appropriately celebrated.

Then on Monday I had a trip to see a hernia specialist and he agreed that my hernia was so small as to be of no immediate concern.  That was a big relief.  I was not looking forward to being hospitalized.  Been there done that.

Also on Monday a pesky keratosis on my index finger turned out to be a keratocanthoma.  That's good?  Yes.  The keratosis was closely adjacent to a knuckle, which meant that it would need a graft to replace it when excised.  And grafts and I often do not get on well.  I lose them. But a keratocanthoma goes away of its own accord.  It swells up, sort of explodes and then fades away. And it started to die on Monday and it is now only about a half of its former size.  And it was due to be excised on Wednesday.  So I just squeaked in on that one.  But it was a very pleasing outcome.

Then on Wednesday I went in for a couple of other excisions, both on my face.  No fun at all but expert surgery meant that I felt pretty much back to normal on Thursday morning.  I had to skip the booze on Wednesday night and sleep on my back all night but with the help of two Temaz I managed it.

Also on Wednesday, however, was Valentine's day.  I prepared  for it by buying in a bunch of red roses the day before and had said that I would take Anne to a Chinese restaurant for  Peking Duck as a special treat.  When the time came, however, Anne could see that I was feeling a bit unfit after surgery only a couple of hours previously so very kindly gave up her treat to cook me a dinner at home.

I had in my freezer some Jamie Oliver chicken fillets marinated and coated so we had that. I made up a cold collation on a big platter with Rotkohl etc to have with it, which seemed to go well. 

Because we were not opening wine, Anne requested a Martini. I don't drink them myself but the ones I make seem well-received.  I gave Anne a tropical Martini. 

As is well known, a Martini is basically just gin and Vermouth poured over ice cubes.  The proportions you use and various other factors do come into it however.  Everybody has their own recipe. You should, for instance, use fairly small ice cubes so that the liquor and the ice have maximum contact, making the drink cold.  Normally the ice is filtered off rather than left in the drink but for a tropical Martini you leave the ice in.  In hot weather it helps to keep the drink cold.  Whether you can do that may however depend on the size of your cocktail glasses.  Mine are a bit on the large size so everything fits in nicely.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Interesting days recently.


On Sunday morning (4th) Joe and I had our usual brunch.  Joe was in a mood for Maccas so we went there and took our purchases to the Kangaroo Pt cliffs to eat.  It is very scenic there. I had some sort of breakfast burger that was quite good plus a big chocolate shake.  One of the things Joe had was a serve of hotcakes.

Then on the evening of the same day, I hosted a small dinner  dedicated to men's talk.  Joe could not come as his cat had just got sick so he had to go to the vet. But Christopher and Graham were there.  Graham brought along a couple of 19th century British cavalry sabres for display.  I have now asked him to get one for me too.  They were a remarkably fine piece of work considering when they were made.  Chris brought along sidearms:  A replica Colt 45 American army revolver of the 19th century plus a German Luger pistol.  I could see how the Luger "points well", helping you to hit your tahget.

Mostly however we just talked, covering a very wide range of topics.  I explained the sequence of events plus the psychological motivation behind WWI. We got onto the Battle of Jutland, which is a particular interest of mine.  I pointed out that Admiral Scheer ran rings around admiral Jellicoe. And it turned out that Graham had an ancestor on one of the ships that the Kaiserliche Marine sank. We also touched briefly on the Crimean war and the battle of Hastings in 1066.

I noted that our ancestors originally came from the South Baltic shores but something happened that made them want to find greener fields -- crop failures due to global cooling probably.  Anyway some drove South and some got into boats and drove West -- creating Saxony and England respectivelly.  Saxony is a very choice part of the German lands so it is clear that the Saxons were good warriors who won their battles. And in both places where they made their new settlements there were already other people there -- Celts.  So the people of both Saxony and England today are a blend of Saxons and Celts.  When the Celts lost a battle to the Saxons, you can guess what happened to the Celtic women.

And I pointed out that the Celts in our ancestry really were one ethnic group.  Since all the surving Celtic groups in Western Europe speak similar languages -- Welsh, Irish, Cornish, Manx, Breton, Scots Gaelic -- that is very clear.  Other European groups called Celts may however be unrelated.  "Celt" is from "keltoi", the Greek word for "foreigner". We also have Caesar's report in de bello gallico that the Gauls and the British were the one race and respected one-another's priests (Druids).

Christopher was particularly taken with Breton folk-music and noted that it was the theme music to the “Black Hawk down” movie



So those of us with Celtic ancestry have a wide range of cultures to make our own. I believe that the Breton folk scene is particularly lively  -- and it is ours if we want it.

We also talked quite a bit about old motorbikes, particularly remembering our surprise when the Honda Dream first came out.  It upset lots of our conceptions of what motorbikes were like.

We aso noted with approval the ideas of psychologist Jordan Peterson and wondered if he might become a major change agent.

So in discussing men's topics a good time was had by all.

Graham and I next day had a rather traditional brekkie of savoury mince on toast at my place and Graham left shortly afterward to catch his plane back to Melbourne