Thursday, September 29, 2005

i'll get by . . .

with more than a little help from my friends.

am back in belfast after an escape to dublin for some urgently required week of r 'n' r and tlc.

so. the big and scary news is i am now separated. temporary at present but indefinate and with no guarantees that it won't be permanent. prayers for both michael and i are intensely appreciated.

things are very tough right now. kinda like being hit by truck. repeatedly.

but i am surround by a stellar community that are making me feel very cherished amidst the ache.
thank you to all those on the care team right now. your kindnesses are truly overwhelming.

apologies to those who've sent messages of love who've yet to hear back from me. i hope the grapevine is keeping you up to date until i get round to making contact.

i'll write more as i feel able.

the only way out is through. . . .

cary, x

Monday, September 19, 2005

a little north, a little nicer

this links to a trailer for the movie that was shot on my brother's street a year ago. it's now ready for release. his house was the next door neighbour's home and his next door neighbour's property got the starring roll of the central setting for the film. you can see ewan's porch for a nano-second - just when woody harrelson gets a pat on the shoulder. . .

ewan and his lovely wife Miriam live in the historic 'town' (fast approaching 200,000 redsidents) of richmond hill just northern edge of toronto's city limits. the title of this entry is the town's motto.


sitting in a very wet and dreary belfast i am now feeling rather depressed having looked at this site. you have been warned.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

the L 'n' X are silent, or, rhymes with goo.

Word up.
pretty much anything in orange/blue is a handy link. me? bored? uh. yeah.

i've been waiting quite a few weeks to blog this book-becomes-film recommendation and i'm gonna do it now because soon it'll be getting a lot of coverage and you won't regret being ahead of the game.

film versions of books are always gonna be potential disasters - especially when you love the book. but i think it's arguably a greater loss when you see an adaptation, really like it and then realise maybe you should have read the book first. d'oh!

so i am begging you: pleeeeeeeease go READ annie proulx's Brokeback Mountain before you see the film, which is due out during the winter.

i read it a few weeks back and reread it within 24 hours i was so impressed and moved by it. it'll take you at most an hour to read. not a moment wasted.

i love proulx's style, although brokebakc mountain is more sparse than her novels. (i have resisted watching the film version of the shipping news because the images
from the book are so vivid in my mind and therefore precious. i just know the former would replace the latter in my imagination. i am currently reading accordian crimes and loving it. )

brokeback mountain is beautiful, tragic, heartbreaking. you can get it at amazon as a lone novella but i'd recommend you spend the extra couple of quid and buy close range: wyoming stories where it sits alongside a bundle of short stories.

only once you've relished the text should you hop over to see the trailer for the movie version, which just won the golden lion at venice for best film and so therefore should be quite good. official site is due up soon.

if you hear anyone say, as some idiot in the observer did, that this is simply a gay cowboy movie, i suspect you should ignore them. it could only be that if ang lee has strayed majorly from the text. the trailer doesn't suggest he has, and looks to have captured the heart of the novella - it is an incredible love story- athough he has cast two men far more good looking that proulx's description suggests. that, however, is not a complaint. also ignore anyone who says that the fact that this is a love story about two men is merely incidental. it is the fact that they are men which drives this story.

so. go read it. get outta here.


or should that be shoulx?


Tuesday, September 13, 2005

look what they did to my paper Ma!

have spent past two days devouring the new berliner guardian. will take some adjusting to, and it's not without its teething problems, but so far i'm quite impressed.

two related items of note:
1. you can look at the digital edition for free for the next two weeks - done as an opportunity for international readers to get to experience the berliner too, albeit on screen. click here

2. perry bible fellowship - the new comic strip about to be featured in the G2 supplement. i checked it out in advance. there's a variety of styles in the drawings but all the strips i've seen are cut through with a rather black sense of humour. so here's a sample far: click here - i recommned the strip called "One More Day".

could say more but i am utterly exhausted. i can barely keep my head up at y dek tody. so this isn msmgropu sa o jvsfc'c./ ,

ah fuggeddit.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

leaves are falling . . . just like embers . . .

big hellos to bananie - her link is on the right. the gal's gone and shaved off her hair. man she's an adventurous spirit and i miss you too sista.

things to be thankful for:

1. the lil' bro. he turned 29 on sunday - september 4th is a popular birthday in our disparate community of folks - again, see bananie's blog. dad was in town for the event, which makes things all the more sweet.
toronto is about to be introduced to the league of gentleman - i sent ewan the "complete" boxset and although they haven't seen it yet he's managed to get his record store colleagues to refer to their workplace as "a local shop for local people". he is thinking he's going to have to start up a weekly showing for all the people to whom he has waxed lyrical on the weird joy that is royson vasey.

2. my dear sister-in-law, mir. i had a fab chat on the phone on sunday. i so wish we were neighbours. i miss her.

3. aforementioned sibling sent me a gift of the new jason mraz album - special edition dual disk. am very much looking forward to watching the dvd and the album is offering up some little gems. when you love someone's first album it can be hard to hear something new but i am listening with an open and friendly heart. the special edition has a journal in it, written while the album was recorded. well worth getting a read off. lovely intimate stuff. i've started rationing it out so as to prolong the first read through experience. very Coupland-esque. and you know that's gonna get my heart racing everytime.

4. the ikon community. following a successful GB05, we had a beer fuelled discussion last night about where we're headed. there could be some dramatic changes ahead. but then we always say that don't we? but i managed through the discussion to hit on something i was grasping at on my return from GB05, or at least, ben did it for me:
hre said, "there is a gap in the church experience that ikon fills. but there is a also a gap in the ikon experience that church can fill". for me, it's the latter gap that needs helping. without church, ikon's function of being something to react with and deconstruct with becomes somewhat pointless. in other ways it remains vital. i know there'll be a load more to come on this. . . . my head is alive with wriggling thoughts all vying to get birthed through articulation. no idea what my own conclusions will end up being. i'll do my best to keep a running commentary and you bright young things can keep me in check.

5. today while walking to work with my moccachino, a leaf floated down from the trees on lisburn road. the first autumnal fluttering of the season. i love this time of year and i began planning my new wardrobe. being able to layer up opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

right better get on with some work so am just gonna stop mid-flow.
i have a load of links to stick on here. will address that soon. . .

later peeps. bless you.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Camp Cuisine

Okay, as promised: here are Pád's recipes from Greenbelt. And yes - we really did eat like this. The campsite looked like a Keith Floyd outside broadcast. We had at good dozen folks eating together every evening.

Pád always does a bit of a Nigella Lawson, and indeed like the aforementioned Keith, is a bit vague about amounts. So you just kind of throw in what looks or feels right.

These 3 recipes are simply named after the sauce they were cooked in. We had the vegetarian option of each.

Bon appetit!

Oyster, Ginger & Coconut Sauce:

Fry onions, garlic and Ginger all together. (also fresh chillis if you're looking for Heat)
Throw in lovely amounts of Oyster Sauce, sweet chilli sauce and Coconut milk, and cover - leaving it heat up.
Add in vegetables - the ones that'll take longer to cook first (give anything like chopped potatoes, carrots etc. about 20-25 minutes) and other lighter vegetables anything from 5-10 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like them.
When adding in the lighter vegetables, add in some nuts - peanuts are fine - cashews or almonds are delicious.
At the last minute, add in some sesame oil and some freshly chopped corriander.
I don't think this dish needs any extra salt - although you may want to put some in.

You can add in some pan-fried chicken too - that's nice.

Serve with Nooooodles.


Tomato Sauce

Fry onions.
Add in Garlic.
Add in 3 tins of chopped tomatoes.
Add in 1 glass of red wine, one spoon of salt, one spoon of sugar.
I like to put in Tomato Paste to thicken it a bit, and strengthen the Tomato taste - it can reduce the watherey taste.
If you like, add in one spoon of soy sauce instead of the salt.
Add in chilli - optional.
A nice thickener is anything that resembles Philadelphia (the cream cheese, not the city). Otherwise, the old Cornflour trick is good.

If you'd prefer it to keep a strong red colour, use white wine instead of red, add in extra red peppers, and semi-sundried tomatoes, and don't use soy sauce.

Same as the Oyster sauce - add in the heavier vegetables, giving them about 20 minutes to cook, and the lighter ones will cook in anything from 5-10 minutes.

If you want to use meat with it, here's an Italian trick - fry the mince meat just as it is, with no flavourings, and pour off the fat. Then put it back on the heat, with a cup of milk per 300g's of meat. Boil it until the milk is absorbed into the meat. Put it aside, and add it into the sauce about 20 minutes before you serve it.

Whatever the weather, throw in heavenly amounts of Basil towards the end.

If the sauce is looking a bit heavy, and you want to water it down a bit, you can put in either milk, or else some of the water that your pasta is boiling in - the starch in the water makes it a very good addition.


Mango Chutney sauce:

Fry onions, garlic, ginger and chili.
Add in Mango Chutney, and some Elmlea "Cream" - that's for Mike the Snob, who turned up his nasal slits at the idea of Elmlea last year....but it doesn't curdle, (mostly because it has nothing that actually resembles cream in's somehow from vegetables)
Add in any vegetables you like - same as other recipes.
You can also add in some nice pan-fried chicken.
Put in some Sesame Oil last thing.

A few varieties of that one can be to add in some chopped apples towards the end.
or, you can use Apricot or Plum Jam instead of Mango Chutney - make sure it's good quality stuff though, with lots of fruit, otherwise the dish can taste far too syrupy.
Tomatoes add a nice flavour, and they do take away from the overt richness of the chutney-esqueness.

After frying the onions, and putting in the chutney and cream, you can bung it all in the oven for 90 minutes, along with the vegetables.

You can try it with sour cream, or even natural yoghurt too. Just make sure to add in the yoghurt very slowly, and to keep stirring like a mad thing.

You can serve it with spuds, rice, or noodles - a versatile dish.

It's the great I am

When? Thursday 13th October
Where? Spring and Airbrake, Belfast
Who? Sufjan Stevens

tickets purchased.
doin' a li'l dance . . . :0)

'nuff said.

LB, x

p.s. things are lookin' up. keep prayin'.