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*After some commotion*

Beloved: *hurrying in* what happened?

Sparky: Nothing... *irritated voice*

Beloved: yeah... loud swearing in the bathroom is generally bad

Sparky: I'm shaving.

Beloved: *checks the scene* hey, this foaming bleach bathroom cleaner tin is the same size as your shave foam tin!

Sparky: I noticed...

Beloved: I bet that's an awful thing to smear on your face.

Sparky:... yes...

Of course, Beloved is smug because he thinks this proves him right about my not wearing my glasses when I shave (hot water = steam = useless glasses ANYWAY and I don't wear sideburns so shaving the sides of my face while wearing glasses is impossible and annoying). Though his previous arguments were that I would cut my throat which would a) be an impressive feat even as my razor seems to grow an extra blade every time I blink and b) means Beloved apparently doesn't know where his face is unless he can see it in a mirror. Of course, this may be due to his inexperience of actually SHAVING since you can hardly call the removal of patchy, downy fuzz "shaving", right?

Personally I think this is proof of the chaos Beloved causes when he creatively hides things (which he calls "putting things away")

Clearly I am right.
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 Beloved called... he has shopped...


He has a network of friends who work in various food service industries – butchers, abattoirs, someone who does something unspecified with fish. No doubt there are others. While I appreciate the yumminess, it does mean there is food shopping going on I am unable to supervise.


And with the holidays coming up, it is the season to eat until we explode in big messy chunks. There's a lot of feasting, a lot of hosting and enough left overs to last until February, it's always how we keep the holidays.


So high quality but heavily discounted meat is definitely high on my bonus list


Beloved buying it though?


His message (he is now out of contact as he always is when he suspects I may Ask Questions) tells me he spend "over £100".


"Over" is a vague word. Over can mean a lot. Over could mean we have a new mortgage. 


But it's not actually the money I'm too worried about - yes, despite Beloved's previous... issues. I am concerned that if he has spent a copious amount of money on high quality HEAVILY DISCOUNTED meat that that means he has bought a lot of meat


The man who bought the 22lb Turkey


The man who bought the 8 whole chickens


The man who bought the 5lb ball of mince




I fear there may be a whole cow in my kitchen with Beloved next to it saying "at least it's dead!"


I fear even more there may be a whole cow in my kitchen, with Beloved next to it saying "it's alive so it's fresh!"

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Since it's that time of year again, we're looking at presents and Beloved, very kindly, wants to upgrade my tablet.


The thing is, I'm not convinced that a newer tablet is especially necessary given my current - so I need people more technically minded than I to counter Beloved's shiny addiction.


My tablet  is


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1


One of these:


Beloved is thinking of the new google Nexus 9

One of these:


To my untrained eye, the difference between the two appears to be pretty negligible - and certainly not worth £399.



Other things to note: 

The smaller screen doesn't bother me

I do not need 3G, 4G or any number of Gs.

My current tablet DOES have a damage screen (all the colours are wonky after being dropped) which means I want to get this one repaired anyway... which may end up cheaper.


By all means do run in and say "no, forget Samsung and google, you need this one!" but I do prefer Android over IOs and Windows


So techie people, help me out - is Beloved being wise and prudent as well as generous? Or is his shiny addiction overcoming reasonable common sense?


Sep. 1st, 2014 10:04 pm
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 The beginning of September's coming up which means I should be seeing the end of Beloved's first harvest from the garden. I could ask him if there's a lot more summer fruit to pick, but I live in fear of him saying "yes."


Don't get me wrong, i mean he has managed to stick to this obsession for years now - that's almost unprecedented with him! Normally his attention span wanes 12 minutes after he's found out how to load the credit card with useless things we'll never ever use (like his tropical fish which are still in our living room and he still has little to do with them). So a hobby that lasts this long? Excellent!


And he's shockingly good at it- at least, so I can guess from the actual harvests he produces which is a) bountiful b) tasty and c) not mutating into evil monstrous plants that try to eat us. Now, my gardening prowess involves going to a wonderfully "wild" (i.e. "completely ignored") part of the garden and sitting down with a book (sitting on a blanket or bench - not on the actual GROUND with the DIRT and the INSECTS!) and I would actually rather murder the neighbours and be covered in arterial spray than get covered in dirt and fertiliser - so I admit some level of being impressed by this.


So this is all of the good, yes? Well, yes. It's just... too much of a good thing hits at times. And in July and August we have the SUMMER FRUITS DELUGE! Cherries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Brambles, Gooseberries, Black Currants, Red Currants (what do you actually DO with these anyway?).


Last year I made a lot of jam. Which we still have because we don't actually eat much jam; I gave some away but everyone starts to get that "looking for the exits" look because they fear I may press more fruit preserve on them. Also, jam is one of those things that you never ever wants to eat again once you've actually made it (and realised that it's actually 50% sugar. You thought you were eating healthy fruit? Ha! You might as well crunch your way through a bag of caster sugar).

And yes there's loads of cakes and pies you can make with fruit - and we have, all the lovely things. But there comes a time when you've eaten the 9th creamy, meringuy fruity desert that you just crave chocolate. Or treacle. Or cheese. Or anything without berries. 


There is one solution to this inundation - ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream. Exactly how long can ice scream freeze anyway? I worry about the ice cream. Ice cream always seems to be something that is oddly random compared to most of what we make - there's always chance of us producing odd, pykrete like blocks of indestructible yumminess


So... either I have a freezer full of tasty, fruity ice creamy goodness


Or I have the makings of a Summer Fruits Aircraft Carrier.


And gooseberries. Why do we grow this many gooseberries? Does anyone truly love gooseberries this much? I don't know what possesses him, I mean between us we eat just about everything. We're not fussy eaters, we'll try anything 3 times (the first two times it could have just been cooked badly. Third time and still awful? Yes, that's just awful). and usually like what we eat - yet he has this truly magical talent for producing large amounts of the few things we don't love: Gooseberries, Kale, broad beans and worse.


It's a special talent.

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 Some people probably know Steam had a summer sale


It was a very good summer sale. 


So many shinies. So very many shinies. I had my usual conflict - I see a shiny. I sensibly tell myself that I don't need said shiny. I don't want said shiny. I don't have time to play the shiny. So I will ignore the shiny


Then I spend the next several hours doing nothing but obsess over the shiny, staring at the shiny, checking the shiny every 5 seconds, until I finally give in and buy the shiny


This time was a little different because I rarely had to perform the last step - because Beloved had got there before me. Naturally, since he is irresponsibly buying a megafuckton of games on Steam that he will never play and this is Irresponsible and something I would Never Do, I confronted him ready to Shame Most Cruelly


He does have a good excuse - having seen my constant agonising over not buying these he has decided that I waste far more time, energy and productivity than I would actually lose if I just bought them in the first place.


He is SAVING me from MYSELF. Oh what a saint he is. And there is absolutely NOTHING self-serving about this excuse, of course


Needless to say, these excuses do not work. Especially since we know, oh boy do we know, that Beloved has absolutely zero impulse control when it comes to shinies and credit cards (do I need to mention the BBQ again? Because the BBQ is totally relevant here).


So now we have a gazillion games I do not have time to play and he does not have time to play. I haven't actually had time to play any computer game. But we have them, taking up hard drive space. And they're caaaallllling to me. 


See, for this you have to understand the Sparky brain. The Sparky brain likes - no - NEEDS things to be complete. This is why when I start reading a series of books I have to finish them EVEN IF EVERY WORD IS AWFUL. The incompleteness nags at me. As to how this affects me with computer games?

I have Civilisation V. I have played it several times. I have played as the Moroccan, Greek, Assyrian Songhai, Hunnic, German and Celtic Empires. What is the connection? Their leaders are in alphabetical order. No, really. The next one is Casimir of Poland.


This is how my brain brains. It cannot be healthy


And now I have games. Games that haven't been played. Games that need to be played. Games with Steam achievements that now need to be filled. They're calling to me...


Of course this is helped a lot by Beloved reading my Steam library aloud, reciting achievements I don't have and, occasionally, just saying "plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay meeeeeeeeeeeee! Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaay meeeeeeeeeee!" in a ghostly voice. 


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 Beloved: What's for dinner?


Me: beef wellington, wine sauce, sauteed spinach, sauteed potatoes and cauliflower puree. Also pate, crisp bread and cake.


Beloved:.... Marry me.


Me: I already did


Beloved: That's because I'm awesome and have super power of foresight.


Me: And saw this meal?


Beloved: Exactly.


Me: But you haven't eaten yet, it could be awful?


Beloved: if it is then I would have foreseen it and wouldn't have married you so you wouldn't have cooked it.


Me: So... if this meal is bad we have a paradox?


Beloved: Yes, the whole timeline will collapse and the world ends.


Me:... I better check the seasoning then.


Beloved: uh-huh. OR the Doctor will come and put things right and we can them ambush him and become Companions


Me: Do you think he'd take us?


Beloved: he took Pond.


Me: Gods no - I'm not getting all excited hear the Tardis arriving, running out and seeing the 11th doctor. That'd be cosmically unfair.


Beloved: then you better check the seasoning - end of the world or being stuck on the Tardis with Pond and Not!Tenant.




Thankfully for the world (and our not becoming the first companions to murder the other companions, imprison the doctor and repeatedly kill him until he regenerated into Tenant again) the seasoning was perfect.

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 So, returning to Beloved’s familial bullshit that began in the New Year, now I think we can safely say we’ve come out the other side.


Things are… not good with his family now, but maybe better because everyone is accepting that things are bad. That makes lots of sense, right?


Beloved has not connected to any great degree with his parents and there is a lesser, but still painfully present, distance between him and his sisters. Parents and sisters have encouraged him to close the gap and Beloved isn’t refusing all contact – but nor is he encouraging fluffy closeness, comfort or particularly frequent or extensive time spent together either.


I have to say, I have not encouraged him to close that gap. In fact, I am probably instrumental in keeping that distance there. I’m not ashamed of that; while I think Beloved needs to define the relationship between himself and his parents and siblings according to his needs, endurance and desire (and I will support his choice there, no matter how much I disagree), I’m not going to pretend it’s not my business.


Beloved’s family have tried to seek peace… by pretending nothing happened. No apologies, no “we’ve learned, we don’t think you’re a terrible threat to children any more”, no backtrack, no attempt to address why Beloved is hurt or why Beloved doesn’t trust them. Just an expectation for him to get over it and pretend everything is as it is before. Beloved, in turn, is guarded, wary, tense and, generally, incapable of relaxing around them because he can’t trust them not to bring out something awful.


They burned the bridges and have made no attempt to rebuild them – just expect him to swim across the shark infested water to be bitten again. It’s not a tempting offer.

 Beloved is less… angry and hostile, but I was right in that his ability to trust has taken a set back. It’s knocked on to a fair number of his friends and work colleagues and that’s hard to explain. I mean, how do you say to people “I’m treating you differently because I was reminded that people are arseholes and people are homophobic and trusting is a really really foolish thing for me to do. I kept doing it and kept getting burned and I’m sick of sticking my hand in the flames. Have a nice day.”? It’s not easy to work in conversation.


Clinging to the positive – he managed to maintain a level of trust and hope far beyond what I would have in his place and to a far greater age than I managed or anyone would manage through his life; it’s a credit to his general positivity (or an indictment of his iron hard naivety). Frankly, I’ve always been slightly in awe (and, I admit, savagely envious) of Beloved’s ability to recuperate, to let nothing touch him, to still be so light and shiny and golden no matter how much shit has been thrown at him. It has been kind of humbling to watch over the years and it makes it a little harder to see that sheen dull. But at the same time, I have a feeling of relief – because I always expected it to shatter and it was always nagging there – how bad would the crash be when it actually happened?


He has a new plateau. One which, while less friendly and upbeat than before, is certainly safer and probably more reasonable. There is good here. It’s a hard good, it’s not a fun good – but it’s a sensible good, it’s a realistic good. He's spent a lot of time in the garden which is really good and healing for him - which surprises me, I have to admit. I did kind of put his gardening down as another one of his silly hobbies he'd eventually get bored of and abandon for the next little fad - mea culpa.



Life moves on and we’ve got it. I think that’s the main thing – we’ve got it, we live, we thrive, we move on. 



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 Beloved has been having a hard time with his family this year which I’ve alluded to before the holidays. His parents said some things that… well, are hard to forgive. It began with some deeply unacceptable comments about Beloved being a hypothetical parent and it just escalated from there – and the fact it managed to escalate after setting the “oh you did not say that?!” standard

 Your own parents implying you’re a danger to children is… not an easy thing to swallow. Especially since we were both pretty much convinced they didn’t have a problem in that area. Turns out hypothetical jokes go out the window when possible reality looms (not that it is, but they thought it was). It just got worse from there, it’s like a decade of carefully bottled bigotry broke the dam and splurged everywhere.

It was bad.  His parents way of dealing with this “let’s pretend it never happened and never talk about these things again” isn’t sufficient to mend any rift – and agreeing to disagree on whether or not we’re child abusers is not on the cards either.

 To rub salt in the wounds, Beloved’s sisters are working over time… to make excuses. They’re not saying what the parents said was right, but they are brushing it off, downplaying it and generally jumping on the “la la la la didn’t happen!” train to eternal family peace. I know this train, it runs regularly in my family.

 It hasn’t been easy for Beloved.

 To this add that I have resolved to remove things from my life that aren’t helping – urged by Beloved with his usual good sense but a whole new level of impatience for homophobic bullshit. One of those things is Not!friend who is a good friend of Fs but, frankly has had years of driving me up the wall. I could list the many times she has annoyed, offended and infuriated me but that’s a post in itself; in a nutshell, she is the epitome of the straight woman who thinks gay men (no, sorry “the gays”) are cool, fun toys and pets for her amusement, she has no sense of boundaries, is incapable of treating gay men as individuals and believes her oh-so-coolness makes her a member of the community happy to speak at length (and in judgement) of things she knows fuck all about, complete with slurs that “totally don’t matter because it’s me” -  and she never ever learns no matter how many times she’s been told she’s out of line.

 We dumped her which was a relief – but she still hovers around like a freaky freaky stalker and she’s been giving her friend F endless grief because of it. I sympathise, it’s not a nice situation for F to be in – but nor am I  - are we - going to listen to apologetics from F about Not!friend nor am I particularly thrilled with F for basically tricking me into social situations with Not!friend. F has had a front row seat to a lot of Not!friends antics for a long time now and I am… saddened that she thinks I should brush this constant aggravation aside or that it isn’t that much of a problem.

 I’m saddened because F was one of the few straight people who was in my “safe” box… now, I’m not so sure. Beloved isn’t as close to F as me but he’s similarly vexed and I spoke to him about how my trust of F had been damaged. And he asked me if he’d come out – I said she’s straight and he said, basically, that I should have known  better than to consider her safe in the first place.

 Which isn’t very like him. Very like me, certainly, but not so much like him.

 Beloved has always had a talent for deciding someone or something is no good for him and then removing them from his life entirely; in some ways he’s always had an even lower tolerance for homophobic bullshit than I have. But he’s always been more… affable about things, less suspicious, less cynical. That’s always been my thing. I expect the worst and am grimly unsurprised when I’m inevitably right. Beloved hopes for the best and when he’s wrong, he shuts it down and moves on, hope relatively untarnished; he bounces back. He doesn’t go in expecting the worst, he doesn’t consider open trust naïve – or didn’t. But if this straight people are untrustworthy then who can he trust? I don’t have an answer for that.

I don’t know… is it weird to have wished that my husband could have remained more hopeful than me? Was it really silly to expect Beloved to be relatively untouched when I’ve always said before that it’s nearly impossible to be GBLT in this world and not have your illusions irreparably shattered? It’s not that he wasn’t painfully aware of homophobia before – far from it, like me he is no stranger to violent attack and discrimination and a whole lot of intolerable bullshit – but he came through it still bright, still positive, still open, still willing to trust and extend a vast benefit of the totally undeserved doubt. No matter what the straight world threw at either of us, he always kept his hope and a general positivity.

 Are they solely responsible? No, this is very much the last straw on top of many other straws – but the camel’s back is now broken and I’m not sure it will ever be fixed.


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 ...or digging the whole deeper, Beloved insists on some clarifications
1) Apparently a pomegranate and a turnip look superficially similar before one cuts into them.
Apparently. Perhaps to someone who is not familiar with either...
2) The pomegranate was put in the vegetable drawer
-true... however I only receive an echoing silence when I ask who put them there
3) He didn't make a mess cutting the pomegranate, but by using the potato peeler on one.
...this is apparently better.

This also shows that he only has the slightest idea how to use the peeler

4) He doesn't like pomegranates. 
...I fail to see the relevance 

5) He thinks you can put turnip in my chilli
...this is why he doesn't make chilli
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 Wishing to "help", Beloved decided to chop vegetables.


We will, for the moment, leave aside the fact I didn't ask him to, that he didn't know what I intended to cook, what vegetables I intend to use (if any) or even, really, whether the vegetables he was chopping even remotely go with each other, let alone anything else I intend to cook. Also, of course, "chop" and even "peel" can mean many things depending on what veg you're cutting and for what recipe


I mean, I wouldn't mind if he'd chopped an onion. The chances of me not frying and onion in butter and garlic no matter what I'm cooking is pretty remote. All food starts with chopped onion, butter and garlic. Well, almost.

But, no, I will leave that aside. For now.


But I do object to him chopping the turnips


Because we do not have turnips.


We do have pomegranates.


I think you can see where I am going with this.


I... can't quite fathom how one mistakes a pomegranate for a turnip.


I'm also not sure why, even if shocked to find your "turnip" contains a multitude of ruby red seeds, it is quite necessary to spread those little seeds everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. 



Oh, and if he'd checked the oven he would find the chilli, nicely slow cooking away, already made and in no need of any vegetables at all


No turnip needed


And most certainly not needing pomegranate. 

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 A fuller post will be posted later


The last few weeks have been chaos with more chaos and extra chaos. Actually it's getting on for months now

We had family drama then family socialising then more drama from the socialising topped with more socialising and relatives all over the place and you're not allowed to kill any of them


We had the work drama of DOOM due to 3 colleagues all not working for different reasons (hiatus, pregnancy, leaving to another firm) and NO-ONE TELLING ANYONE ELSE ABOUT THIS and the SPs again proving that they may be bloody excellent lawyers but they're bloody shit organisers which created WORK LOAD OF DOOM.


A 52" 3D television turning up in my living room then being dismantled for reasons I cannot even begin to fathom. Beloved was involved. Things became complicated. A fish tank broke. 


Various things conspired to completely destroy the lead we'd built up on Fangs for the Fantasy just as the busy Autumn season starts and I know, hiatus is fine, dropping some of the schedule is fine - but my obsessive-zomg-you-do-this-or-you-have-FAILED does not agree.


A person who thinks she's a great friend of mine but I considered to be a moderate friend has kind of reinforced why I was never close to them. They're a source of great drama and stress and worse they ARE a big-uber-good friend of F who now feels torn and it's a complete minefield of emotion and badness


Beloved's parents said something pretty tasteless and hurtful to Beloved and then tried to explain themselves by being even worse but it basically boils down to they don't think Beloved and I should ever ever ever think of having children for reasons-that-are-totally-not-homophobic-honest-but-really-are and they're now playing they we're-totally-not-going-to-resolve-this-we're-just-going-to-not-talk-about-it which works FINE if you're arguing over whether Aunty Pearls vase is more hideous than a mutilated cow's arse, but is rather inadequate when the topic is "would we shun our grandchildren". It's causing some fallout beyond that because Beloved was still living under the rather naive delusion that his family had fully accepted him; which is kind of odd because it was kind of blatantly obvious that, no they hadn't but at the same time it's easy to convince ourselves of something we want to believe


Freaky note writer is still writing freaky notes but that's kind of background noise


It also meant that everything I mentioned here just kept happening. Endless human contact, endless people needing something from me, endless social events and never ever alone has frankly eroded me down to a very brittle, fragile state. Still I cling to the positive - I may be brittle and fragile and fraying at the edges and needing to tip-toe desperately around my teetering sanity but I HAVEN'T shattered. And yes, that's an achievement, that's progress. Beloved isn't and doesn't shatter, he quietly fumes, loudly raves or just decides "well that's done then" and just abandons huge segments of his life, no matter how invested he is in it - it's a rather terrifying element about him. He will decide a thing, a hobby, a job, a person even a close friend or loved one is no longer a source of goodness to him and... they're gone. End of. Erased. I'm both impressed and quietly freaked out by his ability to do that


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 Beloved has bought me all the expansion packs for Civilisation 5.


I don't know whether to declare eternal love and a promise to accommodate any and all kinky requests forever (once I've finished playing) or to curse him out for destroying my time when he KNOWS i'm busy, damn it.


Can I do both?








Must resist.... muuuuuuuuuuuust resist the shiny. I have work to do! Work! No games! WORK!


Ah hell, I'm screwed.

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 After a couple of weeks of doing nothing but poke obsessively at Fangs (due to current bad mooseness I’m on all hands-on-deck mode in a classic obsessive need to DO ALL THE THINGS) and poke obsessively at work and occasionally poke obsessively at various other projects (which also somewhat explains my not entire presence here or on twitter which may continue for some time), Beloved decided I needed a break and booked tickets for the Great British Food Festival; a nice day out where I could indulge all my foody leanings.


See, he can be a good one when he chooses.


Ok there were hiccoughs. No.1 was his insistence that the festival is pretty close until our Satnav informed us that the site, Shugborough Hall, which is in Staffordshire, aka FREAKING MILES AWAY. This meant getting up at yefuckinggods o’clock on a Sunday morning. (Also worth noting, yes Staffordshire is a pretty pretty county and yes those olde timey hump-back bridges are pretty – but single lane blind humpback bridges allowing 2 way traffic is a whole new form of quaint and picturesque terror).



The Good:

Food! There were so many food stalls with so many things cooked and just begging me to try! Food of all kinds, lots of local produce, lots of different cooking styles, a few odd exotics (kangaroo?). You could walk around buying and eating stuff and trying all the wonderful things. If I had even the slightest complaint, it’s that too many of the stalls didn’t embrace the idea that we want to TRY ALL THE THINGS and needed to sell food in smaller portions

Price! Ok it wasn’t cheap – certainly not the drink (but zomg! Scrumpy slushies! REAL scrumpy! And crushed ice!) – but nor was it price-gougy ridiculous that you often expect at these things (except the lemonade. I don’t care if it is home made from diamond encrusted lemons and limes, £3.50 is silly).


Produce! Ok there was the craft fare clinging to a corner (who goes to those things?) but other than that there were lots of butchers, brewers, wine makers, cheese makers, bakers et al providing a gazillion free samples of truly awesome yumminess; including some amazing infused oils and a rhubarb and Custard cordial. Rhubarb and Custard drink that is just so good. Some of these stalls were good enough that I didn’t just eat samples and buy stuff, but made a note of the company so I can find the nearest supplier (Snowdon cheese? Your whiskey cheese owns my Soul!)


Cooking demonstrations, a local chef gets up on stage and cooks and shows us how; these probably needed a bigger tent because they were popular. We caught 2. The first was really excellent – funny, clever and informative. Ok what he cooked wasn’t complicated, I’ve done it before, but he had ideas and techniques and hints that I hadn’t.



The second one was also pretty fun to watch – but he was far more ambitious and not nearly as good at explaining what he was doing or why (like the first chef would tell us what oil he was using and why). It was hard to keep track since he did 3 dishes simultaneously and he rather liked more obscure ingredients (and don’t you just hate chefs who can’t cook a meal without special braised antelope horn or mermaid pubic hair?) He seemed much more interested in promoting himself – to an extent where I was rolling my eyes and muttering at the guy to get over himself. Still it was good to watch and fun.



The Bad:

There was a shuttle bus taking you from the car park to the site, but it wasn’t clearly labelled. More to the point, no-one was warned that the site is actually an incredible hike over 10 squillion fields. A sign would have been nice “Here is the bus. If you don’t want to take the bus, have 3 hours to waste and are experienced in cross country hikes – by all means walk”.  The walk is especially fun because there are hedges that block vision, and each time you reach one you THINK you’ve made it – and then there’s another field in front of you.


SHADE! It was probably the hottest, sunniest day of the year yesterday* and the only real shade available was in crowded tents displaying things which were even hotter than the outside due to the crush of people. There was a lot of seating (and more places to sprawl on the grass) but it was all in full sunlight. I’m amazed there weren’t people dropping like flies from the sunstroke


Crowds! ZOMG SO MANY PEOPLE!** (To be fair, lots of people but few queues or blockages)


Live Music! The singer was… moderate. And, being of moderate talent, he should really really really leave Adele’s songs alone.



I am willing to declare this day a success, but now I need to sleep for a month. And eat all the things.



*Beloved is currently unable to MOVE from sunburn. And he even, for once, acceded to my demand that he must must must wear suncream. And that there is no way his Scandanavian skin tone was ever, ever going to tan; sunlight was not something his genetic line has ever been exposed to. But even with precautions he’s suffering today. Even I’m feeling warm along my arms



**Which is why I am currently unable to do almost anything because I had a full blown ZOMG CROWDS splodey brain which is bad and I will talk about elsewhere because I don’t want my bad brain chemistry overshadowing what was a good day and a good thing

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 Beloved bought me a baking recipe book by Paul Hollywood (a master baker and becoming celebrity chef baker)


This is how he terms it.


I think of it more him buying a list of things he wants to eat and expects me to make. He resents this interpretation of events.


And yesterday he found a recipe for a kind of Brioche (French faffy bread of faffiness that is faffy) and the recipe for it is even more faffy than your average faffy French recipe. Supposedly it’s sweet, rich and very very light. Now I’ve made brioche before and it didn’t even remotely resemble this recipe

Because I looked at the recipe and saw “500g flour, 250g butter, 5 eggs” and declared that it isn’t bread, it’s cake. It’s cake with yeast in it. It’s cake without enough sugar. But it’s still cake. Twice flour to fat and lots of eggs = cake batter. It’s a sponge cake pretending to be bread. It also has 140ml of milk which, with the eggs (let alone the butter) is a metric fuckton of liquid.


But, fool that I am, I agree despite it taking 2 days. And I try to knead it. Oh how I tried.


I would not wish kneading this stuff on my worst enemy. It isn’t bread dough. It’s porridge. Cement porridge. It’s a batter. It’s the gloopiest, stickiest, nastiest stuff you ever did do battle with. You could build buildings with it, it resembled sawdust suspended in vomit, it looked like something they serve you for breakfast in Scotland, it grabbed hold of spoons and wouldn’t let go and if you go it on your hands then, suck it up because you ARE losing a layer of skin. In frustration I corralled the sticky mass into a food mixer and, something I hardly ever do, tried to get it to do the kneading. And the motor nearly burned out. This stuff nearly killed my mixer. It still has sticky goo invading its crevices. A long, hard rehabilitation awaits before it can rejoin kitchen society

The funnies part was when Beloved read aloud the instructions to “tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into balls”. After trying to murder him (damn he can move fast when he wants to), I made a hasty dam to stop the substance from oozing off the counter top.


After wrestling it into the oven (not a cement mixer which may have been more appropriate) and cooking it we did end up with something that very closely resembled bread!

And we cut into it and it was so incredibly light – you could cut it with a butter knife.



It’s unsweetened spongecake with a crust and a bread-like flavour. It tastes like bread, it has the texture of cake. Which is, apparently, correct – but but but why would anyone want this? Why do you want bread with the texture of cake? Why do you want crumbly bread? WHYYY?


And why would you spend so much time and energy making bread with so little substance? Why? Because this is French cookery for you – endless faff for damn little reward *harrumph*


It is a little redeemed watching Beloved try to make sandwiches with it.




In defence to the recipe, I have found 2 issues that are Beloved’s fault:


Flour. He assures me he hasn’t mixed up my flour containers and put the wrong kind in the wrong tub. He swears he hasn’t. He’s also a lying liar who lies. Because that “strong white bread flour” had wholemeal in it.



Butter. When I say “I need 250g softened butter” he interprets that as “250g of spreadable alleged-butter”.  Which doesn’t solidify when fridged of course.

sparkindarkness: (Default)
 Firefox has been giving me all kinds of grief lately, fighting with Flashplayer, eating computer performance and generally being a nuisance.
I applied my usual tech support methods. I swore at it. I frenziedly clicked the mouse. I swore at it some more. I restarted the computer. I swore at it some more. I turned off the computer and went and read and pretended I didn't want to use the computer anyway, so there. I then swore at it some more. I even *gasp* reinstalled stuff.
None of it worked. I know, I was shocked too.
So I poked Beloved and insisted he do the magical arcane computer thing. I assume sacrificing a goat was involved (this is how you make computers work, yes?)
And I came back to find my computer no longer has Firefox. It has Chrome.
This is why I don't ask him to fix things. Now things are Changed. I don't like Change *huffs in a corner*
Also, we're decorating. Which is probably silly since we've also kinda-not-idly discussed moving
sparkindarkness: (Default)

Being under the weather I couldn’t face cooking – odd I’m not nauseous or not hungry, but I am hellaciously exhausted.

Which is a problem – because there’s WANTING to eat, yet not being able to cook and facing… Beloved’s offer to cook instead.

There follows the sudden moment when I desperately try to think of what is in the freezer – surely there must be something ready made? Something I’ve already cooked that Beloved just needs to defrost and warm up? Something he can’t ruin too much? Maybe…

It’s like a scene from a horror movie where the protagonist is desperately trying to remember if they’ve locked all the doors, or think of a way out or where there’s a weapon and in a panic they just can’t remember and the monster – the horrific ghastly monster – is just getting closer!

And I have to remember exactly what I’ve frozen – I mean, I know I HAVE frozen meals because I always do… but if I say “yes I fancy lasagne” and it turns out that I haven’t frozen a lasagne, Beloved will then attempt to make a lasagne. The very idea makes me want to cower in terror.

I could say “go see what I’ve frozen because you cannot cook and will kill us all if you try!” but then he will INSIST on cooking to prove that he CAN cook and then he will EAT whatever he cooks and declare it delicious even though it’s a complete and utter lie and the toxic slop can’t even be fed to the cat without us being arrested for animal cruelty. Then I go without food and have to put up with Beloved making himself ill.

So I declare I will cook. A creative lie helps allay suspicion – cooking helps me relax, cooking will take my mind off things, cooking will be good for me! Ha - better for me than poisoning at any rate

Except exhaustion means I don’t do the sensible thing and go rooting in the freezer early enough to defrost and I eventually roll into the kitchen only when too hungry to do anything else (and Beloved was making threatening moves in that direction).

I could have ordered take away, but Beloved lived on it while we were away and looked faintly green at the suggestion.

So… cheese. Screw it, cheese, crackers, fruit and bread (that which is still fresh). We always have immense amounts of cheese lurking in the bottom of the fridge, in the salad crisper to make sure anything green and leafy and healthy is aware that this is a calorie loving household and not to get too comfortable.

Ok not the most involved of meals but we love cheese and eating up some of the vast stock isn’t a bad thing. Except... the brie

 I don’t know where this brie comes from but we always have this massive wheel of brie. Now I’m not against brie, we both quite like brie. A little brie now and then is a good thing. A little – so why do we always have this huge great wheel of cheese that could feed half of France? I would accuse Beloved but I can’t see him getting enthusiastic enough about brie to buy this – if it were cheddar or wensleydale, yes – but not brie. Maybe we have a crafty cheesemonger who can manipulate him into inundating us with unwanted French cheese? Beloved swears it’s not him and I know it’s not me – so if no-one is buying brie where does it keep coming from? Do we have a secret brie mine? The brie elves visit? Or maybe it’s breeding….

 Then there’s the eternal stilton. Now this, I do know where the Eternal Stilton comes from. My uncle – who has given us out own bodyweight in stilton every damn Christmas ever. He does the same with everyone, I don’t think he has ever given anyone a gift that wasn’t a metric fuckton of stilton. His kids first birthday? Stilton. Wife’s anniversary? Stilton. Daughter’s wedding? Stilton! I think he must have shares in the dairy.

 Sure it’s nice in a few recipes – but how much strong blue cheese can you just eat? It’s not like you can put it in sandwiches!

 Even if we liked stilton, this package is too much. No-one likes stilton this much. It’s not actually possible to like stilton this much. Eating this much stilton would actually kill someone. It doesn’t help that it’s in a ceramic container so doesn’t rot and reach a point where it can be thrown away – especially since, as it’s blue cheese, it doesn’t really go off anyway

 But it does get more… pungent. It is now locked in its little ceramic box and… we dare not open it. And if we dare not open it, we cannot check it to see if it is time to throw it away. But the ceramic lid fits really tightly. It’s sealed, I think.

So it remains, in the cheese drawer. Tightly sealed. Watching. Waiting. One day it plans to escape.

 And then may the gods have mercy on us all.

sparkindarkness: (Default)


So Beloved has, after a pause to try and lull me into a false sense of security, launched his counter strike.

Oh it was subtly done I will give him that.

I’m there working away on Vital Worky Type Stuff when Beloved saunters in

Beloved: Dragon Age 3’s supposed to be released this year

Sparky: I know, already looking forward to it

Beloved: Do you think it’ll continue the other games?

Sparky: Maybe – but even if it doesn’t I bet you can import game files that will have an effect like Origins to DA2

Beloved: Do you have game files ready? It’s been a while

Sparky: Should do.

Beloved: Ha, so long as you remember what you did and don’t have to do the whole thing again

Sparky: I think I do.

Beloved: At least there isn’t a Mass Effect 4, you won’t be disappearing for a month again.


{conversation goes of in a tangent in which chickens are mentioned, repeatedly. Because he’s never allowed to forget the chickens. Ever).  He wanders off and I’m left alone


Sparky: *working on the Vital Worky Type Stuff*

Sparky Brain: Draaaaagon Age

Sparky: I’m working

SB: Are you working on Dragon Age?

Sparky: No, work. Concentrate brain

SB: I am concentrating. On the best mage build – is it just me or is an all primal mage pointless? Sure you get the achievement bu-

Sparky: Stop! Stop! Stop! Work!

SB: Fine I’ll work

Sparky: Good. *focus focus focus*

SB: Alistair…

Sparky: Stop it.

SB: Alllllistair…

Sparky: Stop it, stop it right now. WORK damn it. *focus focus focus*

SB: I can’t believe you’re doing this when Thedas is being consumed by a Blight. How heartless are you?

Sparky: I am NOT doing a Dragon Age marathon!

SB: Bets?


Beloved: oh, Dragon Age. How long after I left did you start playing?

Sparky: You did that on purpose.
Beloved: *smug look*


I must now spend time plotting revenge again. He cannot cannot cannot be allowed to win. And yes, this will escalate. And no, I do not care if the entire world is consumed in nuclear fire, I WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH!


sparkindarkness: (Default)

So Beloved and I are having a brief little tussle.

 We have a doorstop in our kitchen. And I hate it.

 Firstly, you have to understand I like my barriers. I hate open plan. I like my walls. I like closed doors. I like curtains drawn. I like a house to be made of lots of little boxes that can be nicely sealed away from the outside world. And a door’s default state should be CLOSED.

 I also cook. I don’t want the door open when I’m cooking, smoke and grease and cooking smells permeate the house and sink into the soft furnishings. This is common sense.

Beloved leaves doors open. This annoys me, I’m constantly closing them after him and plotting revenge

 But in the kitchen? He uses a doorstop. WHY?! Why would you want to prop the door open?! He claims it’s because he often has to leave the kitchen with hands full of plates and pots. This is not an excuse, the door is easily opened and he does that maybe once a day. But he uses the stop, which I have to fight with and kick across the floor several times a day. And the times I’ve stood on it in bare feet

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it

 And now I’ve thrown it away

 An hour before the binmen came. Beloved couldn’t rescue it. We now don’t have a doorstop.


 I emerge victorious from the field of battle, battered and with sore feet, I did prevail and the doors are now closed.

 Beloved is now amused. Beloved is plotting revenge. I will be ready for him.


Jan. 6th, 2013 01:47 pm
sparkindarkness: (Default)

Now that was surprisingly not awful.

 It was bad, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t the long drawn out hell of relatives I want to kill with a flamethrower  but can’t because there’s so many of them and it’d cause a severe fire hazard.

 Part of it is simply that our vast huge family is breaking up. As the oldest generation shuffles off their mortal coil, a lot of my parent’s generation, my generation and my nieces and nephew’s generation are less inclined to make the effort to stay in touch with 3rd cousins and the like. There are one or two lynchpins and the clan will generally keep in touch – but the endless visiting and HUGE DAMN PARTIES are probably a thing of the past. I think I’m, supposed to be sad about this but… I’m not. I’m generally of the opinion that if you lose touch with someone, there’s usually a reason.

 Of course some of the awful was still there with the family gatherings I couldn’t duck, but I’ve found a nice counter tactic if just gasping “WHY DO YOU WANT TO RUIN CHRISTMAS?!” at them in an increasingly shrill and louder voice until they subside and leave me alone. Not the most mature response, but surprisingly effective. I’ve backed it up by assuming anyone mentioning anything about being gay is coming out to me, when they say they’re not, I ask them a) why they care and b) why I should care what they have to say. Also rather effective.

Thankfully, my own holiday celebrations happen on the solstice, so I can endure the annoying without it ruining my day. Beloved’s holiday celebrations happen around wherever bottles of booze are open

 Dramas aside, we were faced with a terrible terrible scourge. Poultry.
Read more... )

Yes. Again.

Dec. 2nd, 2012 06:55 pm
sparkindarkness: (Default)

Beloved: *smells cooking* ooh what's for dinner?

Sparky: Chicken.

Beloved: Again?





I admire his courage.


sparkindarkness: (Default)

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