Monthly Archives: March 2013

Spectator cookery Part 3 – flunking the practical

I decided I was going to make some awesome lemon meringue cakes, as seen on ITV’s This Morning. Someone made them for work and they were amazing. Surely cakes can’t be that difficult? Well apparently they can if you don’t have the proper tools, like a cake tin and an electric mixer. This is what they’re supposed to look like:

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

They don’t look as nice as the ones I had (those weird lemon sweets looked vile too), but you get the idea. Inside the cakes are a blob of lemon curd, and on top is meringue with a bit more lemon curd inside the nest.

I did reasonably with the cakes, apart from missing out the milk first time. Without a cake tin they spread out a bit too much, at best looking squarish, at worst a weird kite shape. But they tasted fine. The meringue was more troublesome. I’ve never made it before, so following the recipe I didn’t think the ‘stiff peaks’ bit came until you added half the sugar, so I ended up with sloppy egg-white soup. In my defence I probably would have ended up with that anyway without an electric mixer. So the cakes were meringue-less. Continue reading

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TV: Doctor Who – “The Bells of Saint John”

Tonight saw the return of Doctor Who to Saturday night, with the second half of series 7 of the re-booted sci-fi warhorse. I’m not sure I really liked how this series was split down the middle. I hope there’s not going to be a test on what happened in the first half, other than the retirement of companions Amy & Rory and some foreshadowing of latest companion Clara in (so far) two previous lives.

The big worry is that I didn’t really miss the show. I used to be a big fan, particularly in the Tennant days, but while I’ve warmed to Matt Smith (eventually), Moffatt’s convoluted storylines and frequent descents into total gobbledegook haven’t made for gripping viewing.

Doctor who bells of saint john

Sure, he loves a climax (don’t we all) but when all story strands lead to the series finale, I’m often a little disappointed by the pay-off. So the main thrust of this half-season, Clara’s peculiar backstory, looks like it might end up with some dribbly-wibbly timey-wimey nonsense explanation. I think I miss Russell T Davies’ idea of a finale, i.e. “OMG the Daleks are going to blow up the Earth and kill the Doctor but all the allies from dimensions past and present are here to help him WHEEE!!!” Continue reading

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Album: Madonna – “Confessions on a dance floor” (2005)

Here we are now, the great rejuvanation of her career (again), or should I say revagination. So the leotard wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea… to be honest I thought it was great for the first single until I realised it was going to be a permanent fixture for the rest of the campaign. But after the politics of “American Life”, the experimental “Music”, the spiritual awakening of “Ray of light”, it was time to do some proper balls-out (or vag-out) pop music and this delivered in SPADES.

I will save the hyperbole for the track-by-track, but giving this album a bit of space has really helped me remember how great it was and is. Continue reading


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Eurovision 2013: Semi-final running orders revealed

What’s it been, five days without some Eurovision stuff? I knew you’d worry about me, so here’s a little morsel for you to chew over.

Get your foil-hats at the ready, as SVT reveal the running order that they’ve decided for the two semi-finals. Conspiracy theories and second-guessing abound, as the usual critics complain about hidden agendas and vendettas that alleged antichrist Christer Björkman has against so-and-so a country etc. This is the inevitable side-effect of SVT’s controversial decision to try to make Eurovision a fun show for viewers, rather than rely on the fair but haphazard iPod Shuffle method that previous contests have used to determine their schedule. Continue reading

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New leaf, old habits (Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DS)

I’m so excited I may just explode. I really hope I don’t because then I wouldn’t have a chance to enjoy the long-delayed European release of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on 3DS. After over a year of heartbreaking delays, it’s only 79 days until it finally arrives.

For those of you looking puzzled, Animal Crossing is a long-running Nintendo franchise. You live in a small village populated by friendly animal villagers, and spend your days making money to pay off your mortgage by catching fish, digging up fossils, catching bugs, trading turnips and countless other activities.

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Filed under Computer games, Talking rubbish again