No Two Ways About It, That’s Strange. (Part 4)

The following facts about me are important pre-requisite knowledge for reading this particular blog. Most of you will know at least two out of three, so don’t get excited.

I was a vegetarian from birth until I was 18 years old.
I have always been strictly Kosher.
I am an infuriatingly and nonsensically bad eater.

So you can probably see where I am going with this. My attitudes to food are not exactly adventurous. I generally don’t order things in restaurants unless I know every ingredient inside it, and can see as few of them as possible. Even then, I bother waiters all around north west london on a regular basis with orders such as, “I’ll have the pesto and olive pasta, without the pesto, and with lots of cheese. And y’know what? No olives.”

Generally, my tastes haven’t changed since I was a kid, with a few notable exceptions. I now force myself to try new things once in a while, I now eat salad as long as it hasn’t seen a cut up tomato, (how hard is it to leave the cherry tomatoes whole?!) and I’m an unashamed carnivore, much to my mothers dismay.

But (and here comes my point) in absolutely no world, no matter how adventurous an eater I was, or however irreligious I became, or however little I thought of the animal kingdom, could I ever fathom people who trek to a specialist candy store to purchase the below.

Sour cream and onion Crickets. For those intrigued rather than repulsed, they also offer Chilli, and Sea Salt flavours.

These are basically the dare-devils answer to a bag of Revels. My advice is the same for both. I would recommend not munching through a box at the cinema. Nothing worse than chomping down on an orange treat and discovering its a sneaky coffee flavoured horror. I would imagine its similar when you think you’re getting a delicious beetle and accidentally begin chewing a centipede. Imagine how terrible that would be.

This one is by far the oddest. After all, I obviously don’t know what insects taste like, and for all I know they’re delicious. (But if you’re gonna tell me they’re ‘just like chicken’ my advice would be, eat chicken, it’s not nearly £4 a bite.)
But this isn’t even really eating an insect! It’s just a worm, inside an ordinary lollipop. So you basically are eating an extortionately expensive chupa chup, with a bug in the middle. Do you crunch down on the worm when u get near the end? Is the idea to try and keep it whole?

I don’t get it. I don’t even mean from a disgusting point of view, because I’m in the ‘animals are animals’ camp. There really is no difference in my mind between eating a cow or eating a ‘cute little rabbit’ if kosher wasn’t a factor for me. I was more shocked by the deceit than the ingredients of Tesco’s horse burgers for example.

I just don’t understand why anyone would spend a fortune to eat a bug. They can’t be filling, I don’t really believe that you can taste anything under all the chocolate or seasoning they apparently need to be palatable, and they cost about ten times the price of a regular, delicious, non creepy crawling twix bar.

So I suppose it must be a status thing. Much in the same way that men swig beer, or teenagers down tequila shots, if you have enough wasps maybe they go from horrible to bearable to quite nice really, with the added benefit that you can pat yourself on the back for being part of an elite few, part of the latest fad, part of the new sensation.

Must make you feel bad when you’re watching Pinocchio though. “Always let your conscience be your snack” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, after all.

No Two Ways About It, That’s Strange. (Part 3)

Calling out across the world for help on explaining this one.

I was lucky enough to be thoroughly spoiled with a day-trip to Venice yesterday for my 25th birthday. It is truly tourist-ville, with every street corner overflowing with the unique list of items which Venice is famous for. Each stand or small shop was full to the bursting with decorative masks, Murano glassware, and Gondola themed trinkets. Of course, as it was Italy, you also cannot escape the Carbs infatuation, (I knew I’ve always wanted to go there for a reason) and you cant walk ten yards without spotting Pizza or Pasta in one form or another.

This was one form I wasn’t expecting. In nearly every shop, there was a section like the below. This was the only one I saw however with the helpful/confusing sign up, which made me think I may be missing something about the phenomenon. Any ideas?

If this is typical Italian cuisine-I’m just glad we didn’t have time to go to a restaurant. Is this really such a must-have in the pasta department? I have to say, the UK are missing a trick, as I’ve never seen it in Tesco.

Explanation or not, I’ll stick to fusilli thanks.


No two ways about it, that’s strange.

Just had to share this photo I snapped yesterday on my way home. I looked, looked again, and then just had to have tangible proof. There was no film crew, no one else staring, and I wasnt sure that on retelling the story, that I’d be able to capture exactly how it made me feel and do it justice. So here is my present to you, you can almost experience the moment firsthand, how you might have felt being me, when I noticed this family walking a few steps ahead of me.

WEIRD. Just genuinely weird. Are they en route to a Denim convention? A B*Witched lookalike competition? Are they simply the most unimaginative family ever? I will leave it to you to decide.. But one thing is for sure. There is something very odd about this.

The Plot Thickens.
note: Once I’d snapped my snap (Ironically outside Snappy Snaps) I overtook them on the left. Upon seeing me, the girl was then very clearly heard saying in my direction, “She’s wearing a jean skirt.”

Any and all ideas to make me less confused gratefully recieved.

Don’t keep my baby waiting

Taking kids to public places is really really hard. And not to sound condescending, but it really is one of those situations where, if you don’t have kids, you just have no idea.

Lateness is my personal pet peeve. I promised myself that just because I became a mother, I would not become someone who keeps others waiting. It’s disrespectful and rude, and in most cases unecessary. Where is is unavoidable, there is absolutely no reason why you cant let the person know as soon as you know, or if you don’t have a definite ETA, keep them posted. In this age of skype on our phones, free texts, and public mobile charging points, there really arent many excuses left for keeping someone waiting without explanation.

Before R, I was happy to turn up half an hour early (armed with a novel) rather than risk being 5 minutes late. The same was true when I had my newborn. He would sleep, or eat, or sit in the sling, and I would read my book, or gaze at his tiny face, and time would pass. This newborn phase is also known affectionately by me as ‘Starbucks age.’ The few months where your baby is happy to follow you around everywhere, fit in with your plans, and be generally unobtrusive to your social life.

Warning to those of you who are currently enjoying this honeymoon period… It passes. From about 11 months (7 for most kids) it became impossible to take R to a public place without some serious pre-thought and planning.

If we meet at 11.30.. I can amuse him for 15 minutes, and then feed him at 11.45… and hopefully if I shake the buggy enough he could sleep until 1.30… and that gives us two hours, at least one of which i can concentrate fully on what you’re saying during.

Meeting at 10.. Ok.. I can take with this pot and lid, which will keep him entertained for a half hour possibly, and then take some snacks for midmorning in case he starts grizzling, and hopefully he will find being in a public place entertaining and he could rip up some napklins for a few minutes at some point.. and I suppose if worse comes to worst we’l have to have our drinks to take away and walk around the mall?

I’m sorry. Can we just meet in the library?

Such is life. I want to see my friends, and I appreciate that the ones without kids arent interested in meeting me at baby yoga or riding up and down the train line all day, (to make him as happy as he is below) so I try my hardest to make it work. I am blessed with a cheerful baby, who doesnt mind me snatching the odd hour of social life which doesnt involve soft play, and most importantly, I am always armed with a bag of cheerios.

But if I am making this effort, and I have spent an hour or more making sure I am fully prepared for ‘Public Place Time’ the very least I can expect is that whoever I am meeting is on time.

Pre-R, It annoyed me. Post-R, it ruins my day, and potentially our friendship. We arrange to meet at 11. The second I walk in the door, the clock begins. We have a limited time where R is going to be happy to endure an activity which doesnt centre around his enjoyment. So I have planned appropriately, I wont arrive before 10.58, if necessary walking up and down the road outisde, maximising the time I can spend with my friend.

11.01, you are late. I am playing with my son, keeping him amused with songs and actions and silly faces. 11.05, out comes the stacking cups, and I help him build towers. Maybe I get a text from you saying you’re running late. Too late to tell me that, because I cant put him back in the buggy and take him for a walk to keep him amused, not only would we lose our seats and I’ve already got my drink, but also he would not appreciate being taken in and out like a jack in the box. 11.15, he is already trying to crawl away from our sofas, and taking things from a neighbours handbag. 11.20, you are ‘almost there’  but our twenty minutes of happy playtime are up. R is clearly frustrated, and by the time you walk in the door at 11.23, what you would call “only 20 minutes late” has taken up most of our alloted chat time. Out come the snacks, even though it’s nearly lunch time, and my son, who has picked up on my own frustration, manages another 15 minutes of fractuous conversation before we need to leave.

Your response, intimated or otherwise, “This is proof. Babies ruin social lives.” And to some extent you are right. We are never going to get that easy lazy 3 hour chat in the middle of the day, where we order more drinks and take our time flitting from subject to subject. But I’ve made it pretty easy for you to get an hour of my (almost undivided) attention. Just do me the courtesy of turning up on time.