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Friday, 12 June 2020

Foodie Fridays: Jamie's Clandestine Fish Pie

Jamie Oliver's Clandestine Fish Pie Recipe

Deleted from his own website and replaced by an inferior version, this is the original and best fish pie recipe.

1 kg potatoes (mashed)
1 x Carrot (grated)
2 x Celery sticks (finely diced)
1 x Red chilli (finely chopped)
Parsley (1 x 30g packet)
150g cheddar cheese (grated)
1 lemon juice and zest
Handful of spinach
2 x plum tomatoes
Fish pie pack, defrosted
King prawns, ditto
Olive oil, glug!
Seasoning, the usual suspects

In a big oven dish; grate the carrot and cheese, add the chopped celery, chilli, spinach, parsely and tomatoes, add the fish and prawns, zest the lemon and squeeze the juice, big glug of olive oil, season AND mix!
Top with mashed potato.
Bang into a pre-heated oven at 180c (fan) or 200c for 40-50 minutes.
Serve with (nice) bread and butter.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Quotes Worth Saving (31): Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure Kikigaki

Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Hagakure, The Book of the Samurai (meaning 'Hidden Leaves')
Translated by William Scott Wilson

Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day, when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears, and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead.

There is a saying of the elder's that goes, "step from under the eaves and you're a dead man. Leave the gate and the enemy is waiting." It is not a matter of being careful. It is to consider oneself dead beforehand.

I found this in an old notebook of mine, which had a selection of quotes showing that I've always been a cataloguer at heart. This must date from around 2004.

Monday, 11 May 2020

Melancholy Mondays: Archives of Pain

We are all the children of murderers, rapists and war criminals. To think any different is to ignore the guilt of the past.

We are also the children of altruists, iconoclasts and serene kind-hearted peace-lovers. To believe any different is to lose the hope for the future.

Any fool can regret yesterday, as the Manic Street Preacher correctly says.

The potential for pain is infinite.

The capacity of the sufferer is finite.

Thus, there will always be pain in the world.

An individual's ability to suffer is limited.

While there is being there is pain.

Only in death is there freedom from pain.

Death is the endless 'experience' of nothing.

Existence is the constant suffering of pain by degree.

Pain is infinite.

The sufferer is finite.

Alleviation can therefore only be partial or temporary.

The can be no final escape unless one believes in rebirth or existence post-death.

Pain is being within the world. It is an excess of contact.

Managing pain is control of the circumstances of the world.

Something that can never be total. Although it is the dream of every dictator.

Pain is the outcome of existence. It is the proof of the passage of time.

© Jenny Saville

Friday, 1 May 2020

Quotes Worth Saving (30): Slavoj Žižek, "all we have is our activity"

Slavoj Žižek
Trouble in Paradise

And connected to earlier thoughts and usage of a quote from the same book.

Perhaps the Left should learn fully to assume the basic 'alienation' of the historical process: we cannot control the consequences of our acts - not because we are just puppets in the hands of some secret Master of Fate which pulls the strings, but for precisely the opposite reason: there is no big Other, no agent of total accountability that can take into account the consequences of our own acts. This acceptance of 'alienation' in no way entails a cynical distance; it implies a fully engaged position aware of the risks involved - there is no higher historical Necessity whose instruments we are and which guarantees the final outcome of our interventions. From this standpoint, our despair at the present deadlock appears in a new light: we have to renounce the very eschatological scheme which underlies our despair. There will never be a Left that magically transforms confused revolts and protests into one consistent Projection of Salvation; all we have is our activity, open to all the risks of contingent history.


Monday, 13 April 2020

Magickal Melancholy Mondays: Are you a person that needs people?

This isn't quite Melancholy but it isn't quite Magickal either.

It's an old piece written by a previous self sometime in 2009. I wonder if that self would be pleased to find himself where I now am? I'd hope so, but I've found myself worrying about my past selves in a fatherly manner. Perhaps as some sort of practice for dealing with my own son and his future problems etc. More 'What Ifs' again.

Are you a person that needs people?

I certainly am.

For a long time I believed that the paradigmatic existence was one away from people, living like a Nietzschean hermit, standing above those that would 'destroy' me. I now see this as youthful cowardice, an attempt to deny what made me by distancing myself into a cold distant realm of dream-like thoughts.

An obvious fantasy of the sort of life that is very attractive to the quiet withdrawn boy I once was, but still its attraction is no mistake or flaw although I called it cowardice a moment ago. It might be seen as a necessary step for the type of person that I am.

I've come to the realisation now that what I desire is not the absence of all people, but the inclusion of the right people. I both want and need a small friendly community in which to live, a dedicated group of close friends with whom I can share, and, perhaps most of all, someone to love completely, to wake alongside, and with whom I can share everything, or perhaps this is simply my new fantasy.

The dream of the ideal partner and the ideal life. If it is (and it might be) it is still a greater more detailed and richer outlook than the dream of the hermit.

Of course, the last clause need not be realised. I think I could manage to live alone as long as I did not live alone. Aristotle once called friendship one of the most important aspects of human existence. Who am I to disagree?

Lascaux cave painting, an example of community co-operation