Monday, June 18, 2007

Very Brown in Parts

Blessed with a natural tint of porridge, I have devoted many, many summertime hours to Leg-Dying.

It began in the hopeful teenage days of TanUfantasticallyFab – an exciting innovation at the time and a sure way of making yourself indefinitely orange in two unfortunate swipes.
Since then, it’s been one letdown after another.

I’ve tried baking in the back garden, too dazzled to read but fully occupied in fighting off millions of tiny flesh-eating creatures that never land on anyone else.

The beach is just as bad and you get sand inside your vest, to boot.

Actually, there was a six-month stay in Australia when I went brown, but only after four months of very pink and a terrifying week of Deep Violet after a foolhardy topless afternoon on the lawn. (The dangers weren’t quite as fully appreciated, then).

The month leading up to my wedding twenty years ago, I spent hours and tedious HOURS on a sunbed so that there might be a sort of healthy contrast between me and my dress, but to no avail. Mind you, I think it helped for the honeymoon, because for the last two Searing days there was a definite tinge of brownish.

I have desperately and fruitlessly tried a new version of autobronze every year… until now! Because they’ve invented a cunning gradual tan. Slop it on every morning and after five days you’ll be beautifully bronzed. And because the inevitable streaks are in different places each day, they cancel each other out!

The results of these potions (for there are many inventors suddenly) are indeed Magical – at last shorts and jaunty skirts can be worn with careless abandon!

There are even face and arm autobronzers so you can join up all the bits! (Personally I haven’t taken that plunge for fear of mismatching and tide marks).

Admittedly, the smell can be a bit potent (but no worse than an essential Mossie-Splat spray). And it’s somewhat sticky for an inordinately long time after application. But what the hell! Just don’t touch anything for three hours … or get dressed or sit down…

And you do have to remember to keep the slapping-on up for fear of pasty fading...

But why not try a version – I’m just THRILLED with my results! and at the barbecue this afternoon as we huddle shiveringly under our damp tarpaulin, I shall flaunt my Brown with pride.

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Trouble with Cherries

If you’ve ever seen Woody Allen’s film "Sleeper", you may remember the expanding pudding that escapes from the pan and keeps on growing in a bulging palpitating mass while he tries to kill it with a big stick.

A scene brought vividly back to life in our own kitchen this week by George’s Cherry Clafoutis. (Eggs, milk, spattering of flour and Lots of Fruit, festered in the oven for a while).

We did have LOTS of fruit left over from an unusually bumper crop. The trouble with cherries is that they all come at once – on everybody’s trees.

Everyone we know is pink with cherry-surfeit, and the streets are filled with people muttering around distractedly, begging strangers to take… maybe a few, then? Sometimes they’ll just leave a huge box-full on a doorstep, ring the bell and run away.

We do the same, and our Lovely Neighbours opposite give us VATS of home-made jam in return, then I make them scones. Which are a novelty over here, but surprisingly popular when tried.

When last week we’d thrust our cherries on everyone we could, George decided to use up the excess by making a Clafoutis. Since he has this ailment whereby he can only cook in platoon-size servings, the excess has indeed been used up. Transformed into a bulging palpitating mass of which Woody Allen would be frightened, and that anyone who ventures over our threshold will be eating for the next month.

By which time, we’ll be well into… The PEACHES!