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I believe in miracles, you sexy thing!
May 14, 2010 at 22:28:13
Categories: drink comedy As this unseasonably warm autumn is making its way for the blistering cold of winter - although I'm fortunate enough to live in what is supposedly a sub-tropical area, so I don't know the "true meaning of 'cold'" (it last snowed here in 1836, apparently) and twenty-degree days in winter are not uncommon in Sydney anyway...and once again, I digress and fail at writing a focused piece...life is so detailed; you want to record everything in minute detail, but you can't. Basically, I'm a modern-day Tristram Shandy. No, I've not read the novel -- just skimmed through it (I daresay most people that have tried to read it give up, due to its overtly tangential nature and possibly impenetrable 18th century English), although I have watched the film A Cock and Bull Story, which is a mockumentary on the filming of the "unfilmable novel" and stars my long-time comedy hero Steve Coogan...I'm surprised I didn't tell all of you about the time Coogan did his first series of live stage shows in Australia last year and how my cousin and I went to see him at the Enmore Theatre. Like, hello, this is blogworthy material but I couldn't be bothered writing about it at the time! What gives? In short, it was a fulfillment of a nine-year long dream; that's how long I'd been a fan of his (now, it's ten years ;). The first half was a bit of a disappointment with his Pauline Calf, Paul Calf and Tony Ferrino characters, as he was just mostly rehashing his previous work and, much to the chagrin of everyone around me, I was reciting each line before he said it -- awesome, though, as it was that I was in the same friggin' room as Steve Coogan! Also disappointed to learn that he stripped down the show in adapting it for his Australian tour; the tour book that I bought at the performance suggests that Coogan's "new" character pest-controller/roadie Tommy Saxondale appeared in the original UK tour, but was replaced with Ferrino for the Australian tour. Shame, really. Would've wanted to see some more fresh, new material. Second half was much better, devoted mostly to Alan Partridge. It was a reworking of his earlier "Lessons in Life Management" sketch, although a great deal of it was original and you could tell the audience as a whole enjoyed it quite a fair bit. Shame he couldnt've put more effort into his other characters. Plus I would've prefered it if he didn't replace "Tesco's" with "Coles" and "Alan Titchmarsh" with "Don Burke", etc. -- I know Coogan's trying to make his characters more accessible to the Australian audience, but it just sounds incongruous, alienating and impure; besides, I'm sure most people in the audience that night were British ex-pats anyhow, since nobody in Australia has ever heard of Coogan. The bawdy song-and-dance number at the end where he appears at the end, out of costume, as "himself" -- or at least a caricature of his public persona -- was friggin' awesome, in which he suggests that "everyone's a bit of a 'rhymes with "hunt"' sometimes", especially himself. Overall, only just worth the modest entry fee. Hope he comes back with a bigger and better show....and I know I could just place my tangents in footnotes, as I've done in previous posts, but I wish to become a more disciplined, focused writer and keep them to a minimum; avoid them, if possible. Let's start again, this time without the digression! -- As this unseasonably warm autumn is making its way for the blistering cold of winter, the men don their jackets, the young, nubile women their skin-tight leggings (oh, yes :) and a marked shift in preference for warm beverages over cold takes place. For a lot of people, the warm beverage of choice is hot chocolate, i.e. cocoa powder dissolved in hot milk. Even I - a dedicated coffee drinker - like to indulge in a little hot chocolate from time to time. As I was working on this piece, I was sipping a cup of microwaved milk and chocolate Nesquik. Nice, in its own way, and quick and easy to make, but - as I discovered some time ago - not a patch on the genuine article, because - let's face it - Nesquik is a cheap cop-out. My first "true hot chocolate" experience as a child wasn't a pleasant one. My mother bought some Cadbury's Bournville Cocoa - I think - to bake a cake with, but she had some powder left over, so she tried to make some hot chocolate for myself (and presumably my older sister) by just dumping some powder into a mug and pouring in stove-boiled milk. It tasted terrible, to say the least. Certainly didn't taste like Cadbury chocolate, that's for sure. My mother - nice lady that she is - simply wasn't familiar with the correct method of making hot chocolate and neither were us silly kids, so I remained in ignorant, (Nes)Quik bliss for many years after that. Flash forward to last year, when I decided to pay a visit to 't Winkeltje, a small shop selling Dutch groceries and furniture, located smack bang in the middle of the Smithfield industrial zone near my house, having heard about it from my Dutch cousin-in-law's mother. Stepping into that place is like travelling through space and time i.e. how I would imagine the Netherlands in the eighties to be like - it has to be seen to be believed. Along with the pea and rookwurst soup I had for lunch in the shop's cafe, I drank some Droste hot chocolate, the national hot chocolate of the Netherlands. Before leaving the shop with its wooden clogs, mussel pots and Sinterklaas chocolate letters, I decided to buy a packet of Droste powder (the one with the nurse on the box, holding a box of Droste, which has a nurse on that box, holding a box of Droste, etc...it's called "the Droste effect" - I'm not making this up), so that I could have some after dinner that night. Somehow, somewhere, I managed to figure out the correct way to make hot chocolate and - let me tell you - the cup I had that night (and subsequent nights until I ran out of powder) was the best hot chocolate I had ever had! (yes, even better than Max Brenner) There are four basic things you need to know to make the perfect cup:
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Tomislav "Tom" Bozic
a "recovering hikikomori"
and "Croatian mirepoix"
was born on
14th Iyyar 5744, or
27th Floréal CXCII
and spends most of his time within the
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
metropolitan area. (the rest shall be revealed in due course...)
All dates and times displayed on this page are based on Sydney local time.