Friday, September 07, 2007

Soul Sister

The Mrs said knock off work early and get home before the kids get out of school and I shall indulge you in an exotic treat. Well, what would you do? So I booked 5 hours toil and headed home late this morning, and she did indulge me in an exotic treat; she took me to Newport, to a slightly bizarre Korean restaurant. I don't know what the hell we ate but it was all delicious. Actually, I do know what we ate because another diner, who had the same as us asked, and he was told "starter!"then later when he asked again, "main course!". So that's what we had, a variety of starters and a main course.

The place is called Seoul House, ( thank god it isn't Seoul Food) and if you are anywhere within striking distance you should give it a try. Each dish, each mouthful, was bloody a delight, with light, subtle, refreshing flavours. Something that may or may not have been mooli was covered with a delicate, but pungent dressing and exploded a symphony of flavours on the palate. There was depth and length to the flavours, and the spicy stuff was just right, enough to make you know it was there, not so much that was intrusive or offensive.

I don't watch much telly but I confess to enjoying Hells Kitchen. Sort of enjoying anyway, the one with Gordon Ramsey was great, last years with Gary Rhodes was poor. Watch any of Rhodes other programmes and he likes to come across as a bloke who is really interested in food and really keen on sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge, but on Hells Kitchen he just came across as a berk. I expect the producers told him to be hard and nasty, but it wasn't convincing.

This year, Marco Pierre White has been a revelation, and has completely flummoxed the increasingly pointless Angus Deayton. He is charming, inspiring, caring. He wants these "celebrities" to do well and he really helps them along. He accepts their limitation with grace and humour and defends them against the varied nonentities who see fit to complain at receiving free food and wine. Deayton has been completely wrong footed, he still keeps going on about Whites fearsome temper, although it hasn't been much in evidence and he keeps going on about diners not being fed, although every one of them has been. I don't vote in such things, but if there was a vote to remove Angus, I might be tempted.

There is no denying that White is arrogant, but then I suppose he has plenty to be arrogant about. Take away the head band and the curly locks and the attitude and just look at his face and his facial expressions, and I would lay money on him being the bastard son of his fellow Yorkie, Jimmy Saville.

I just walked past our telly and the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup is on. Has there ever been anyone in the world, at any event, who has looked forward to and enjoyed an opening ceremony?

No Blues game this weekend, we have England to look forward to instead. Christ, I have come to despise the national team and I have no interest in how they do (not much interest anyway) I can't quite figure out why, although I have never given much of a stuff, even as nipper. It could be that as I get older, I believe more and more that we are all one, I don't so much believe that national boundaries don't matter, but that we are all actually connected, one way or another, we all love the same, all suffer the same, whatever our apparent cultural differences ( I exclude Villa fans from that, obviously, they have no Seoul)

I don't think it has much to do within that however, I think it is a combination of two things, the first being the arrogance, xenophobia and sheer stupidity of the national media and the the increasingly silly participants in phone ins. There is rarely any insight or balance, just a blind acceptance that we are the best, and if we fail it is because some hapless coach has royally screwed up. Or some cheating foreigner has exposed us colluded with the ref to cheat us of our destiny. No reflection, just knee jerk jingoism.

Then we have the players, and, at the current time, the manager. The players, I have said enough about in the past. They are a very uninspiring bunch. Whenever I hear Terry or Gerrard speak I cringe. Again, there is little self reflection, little analysis and there is never, ever, any wit ( as opposed to puerile attempts at humour) As for the manager, his is a textbook case of a media makeover gone horribly wrong. Wear a permanent, rictus grin, say nothing, give nothing away, regard your audience as imbeciles and then, close your eyes and hope, by Christ, that no one notices that you are a vacuous fool.

As readers of the other blog won't remember, I have been a bit sniffy about"world music" in the past, describing it as all a bit samey. I bought Uncut today for the first time in months, mainly because it has a 20 years of world music cd with it, and it is a marvelous cd. Dunno what the magazine is like, but the cd is worth the price of admission alone.
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