Sunday, July 19, 2009

Food Cocktails

Recently my intrepid girlfriend and I have discovered a short series of foods which go together in the strangest way. They merge into one in a slightly disturbing manner which makes you unsure where one ends and the other begins. I thought I would share these with you to try at your own delicious peril...

Chocolate Chip Brioche and Vanilla Ice-Cream

Chocolate Brownie and Raspberries

Camembert and Crab Terrine

Thursday, July 16, 2009


A great lion roared and bit off my head
But I was not dead:
I could still see his mouth
It made an odd house


Friday, July 03, 2009

A Ducks Tale

At 2:56pm on a rainy Sunday afternoon outside Charles De Gaulle station a man wearing a hat two sizes two big buys 2 cornetto’s for himself from an ice-cream van which was once regarded the toast of the town. He pays with change from a woman’s purse, which he had found the previous month and despite a frankly aggressive flyer posting campaign, has never found it’s owner. The ice-cream man, Jean-Claude Froit, notices the purse and assumes that that man’s mother is treating him from somewhere out of sight and gives him an accordingly judgemental stare. The man, Antoine Dechard, has a nervous disposition and assumes that the ice-cream man has judged him for his pink purse and is considering him to be some sort of rapist or serial killer who gets off on using his victims purses once the bodies have been disposed of. His over-thinking of the situation makes him fumble with the zipper on the purse and drop his two ice-creams in a most unfortunate manner. Where he is standing is to be the site of a new street sign proclaiming that ice-cream vans are not permitted on that road, but due to that particular ice-cream van’s previous prominence in the city’s history, the sign has not yet been erected. A small circular hole has however been made in the ground, and miraculously both ice creams fall into it, head to tale so they are standing up in it perfectly, with only the tip of the bottom of a cone peeking out. The man curses his luck but buys no more ice-cream that day, as he immediately sets off to find the owner of the purse and clear his name once and for all.

At 11:27am on an overcast Tuesday morning outside Charles De Gaulle station, the most famous duck in all of the EU is escorting his family to the train station for their summer vacation. General Constanz Quackismo always works hardest through summer, whilst his contemporaries do little but float, and this year would be no different despite his becoming a father for the first time. He has decided to send his family to the coast so that they will have to compete with seagulls for their floating and scavenging rights, and thereby hopefully become tough enough for a military life. Eight out of nine of his children had protested due to there being a summer camp for young birds being held in the base of the Eiffel Tower this year, and false promises of being sent there next year instead by their father didn’t quell the descent. However, the ninth duckling, Pierre Quackismo, had supported his father’s decision entirely, but requested that he alone be allowed to stay and study at his father’s side. General Constanz Quackismo loved Pierre more than all his other children for this one simple request, as never before had he met another duck who wished to study all through the summer months, but always he had dreamed that there be another out there like him. He could not however show favouritism to his children at such an early age so he had denied the request and had taken them all to the station.

At 4:16pm on a cold Monday afternoon, Jean-Claude Froit receives a terrible phone call from the authorities saying that despite his previous services to the great city of Paris, they would be going ahead with the banning of ice-cream vans outside of Charles De Gaulle station. Jean-Claude is furious and tells the authorities that he will not move without a fight and that if they want him gone they will have to send the army. Unfortunately Jean-Claude is in reality a coward, with no heat in his blood to fight anyone so on an overcast Tuesday morning at 11:30am when he spots an army procession heading towards the station, he takes flight in his ice-cream van not even pausing to turn on his trademark music maker.

Pierre Quackismo is in front of the van when this happens, and accepts his fate with remarkable repose for one so young. He pushes his sister Juliette Quackismo out of the way and utters a prayer to keep his family in crusts before the tire rolls over his tiny body. His sister at first believes the push to be a childish game, however as she sees her brother disappear before the beloved ice-cream van her heart breaks and she forgives him all his sins, and laments herself for all of hers.

General Constanz Quackismo is a hard working duck, stern in a way that no-one can explain. It is this dedicated and considered nature that led him to rise so fast in the army, however as he sees his daughter Juliette’s tears and counts his children, his composure disappears in an instant. He explodes into a feral frenzy not commonly seen in ducks and flaps and quacks terror into the hearts of all the commuters around him. A man drops his brioche out of fear, and perhaps as some sort of offering, and the Quackismo children run to gorge themselves on it, not being able to distinguish between sadness and hunger yet at this early age.

At 11:35am on an overcast Tuesday morning, the army regiment which Jean-Claude Froit had fleed from, arrives at Charles De Gaulle station to catch a train but instead find one of their most decorated generals sobbing in the streets. Inconsolable as he is, the troops rally and try to comfort the General, as this duck is more beloved than any mallard in the country. Nothing they say affects the General’s mood however, and it is several moments before they can ascertain what has happened. News of the tragedy ripples through the soldiers and the commuters as the ducklings proclaim their diminished number and tears spread throughout the area seeding the way for the rain that is coming. The Generals sobbing subsides into a brooding and seething nothing as he loses all joy and all hope. He stares blankly at his children and his men with nothing in his eyes but a desire for one of them to make it all better. His tears mix with all the others to form puddles of unlimited sadness. No-one moves, no-one speaks. Everything is grey.

At 11:40am on an overcast Tuesday morning, a miracle happens. A vet is arriving and asking to see the patient, quickly, vite vite, when an unaccounted for quacking is heard. The army regiment is quick off the mark to check the area for an extra duckling, and believing that he could be vitally injured, every man, woman and child in sight is sent to search as quickly as they can. A father, distraught and feeling alone wanders over to where his son was and quickly becomes pleased by the lack of any blood. He stops his high hopes in their tracks, as he is all too aware of the problems with counting chickens before they hatch, but waddles over to the place his son was last seen. The spot on the ground that would always hold nothing but pain for him, holds something else as well that he cannot yet know. On that spot, which is almost set for a lifetime of scorn and sadness, there is a hole covered by a flyer for a lost purse. In that hole there is a happy little duckling covered in ice-cream quacking for help. On that day there is an overcast Tuesday morning which is covered by cries of joy. The saddest puddle trickles into the whole and Pierre floats to the top perfectly into his father’s gaze. His father berates him with love and his happy faux-angry quacking soon brings back the now thousands of volunteers out searching for this fluffy little yellow fellow. The cheering from the crowd spreads like wildfire with the news of this magically missed tragedy across the continent and even a little further.

With this new joy in his heart General Quackismo becomes more famous and beloved than ever, and with the support of the people becomes President, eventually succeeded by his son Pierre.