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Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Last week I received a text message which said: "Can you spare a couple of days for me to come to Askam for one of your lasagnes?".

Yes, they come far and wide for my lasagne. I do make a good one, with fresh mince, onions, chopped mushrooms and red peppers and sizzling grated cheese on top. Errrrm, I do use the Dolmio ready-made lasagne sauce and white sauce, but who cares? No-one has ever refused a second helping of my lasagne.

This time my visitor was former student, friend, colleague and fellow biologist Carolyn, who sped up the M6 from Leicester in her flashy little sports car to spend the weekend. The lasagne was in the oven as she arrived, and I could see her nostrils dilating as she entered the door.
Carolyn! White wine with lasagne - whatever next!

I refer to Carolyn affectionately as my Décor Advisor. I have no sense of décor whatsoever and am only too ready to accept advice. Since moving into Maalie Court in October 2001, Carolyn has advised me on numerous occcasions. "What colour carpet do I need in my bedroom?"; "Where should I put this picture?"; "Would this bookcase be better over there?" are just some of the things she has advised me on.

Carolyn is also very tidy. On this visit she attacked the drawers and linen cupboard in my bedroom, long overdue. We filled two black dustbin liners with pants with perished elastic, socks riddled with holes and towells so threadbare you could see through them. I never realised how much extra space could be generated by folding the pants and boxers. And a whole shelf was generated in the linen cupboard, ample to keep my camping bedding.

Sometimes, however, Carolyn can be a little too consciencious. Anything that is visible tends to be put away, and I have to be quite firm. "No, Carolyn, there simply isn't room to squash the ironing board in the cupboard with my fishing rods, it lives in the bathroom!". After she leaves, I spend a wistful day or two discovering where exactly she "tidied up" my antique corkscrew; my chopping board; my steam iron....

Carolyn, if you're reading this, please text me and tell me where you put my albatross skull!


Blogger Ju's little sister said...

It looks like you are well looked after my friend, and relax - the skull will turn up :-)
If you're ever back in New Zealand we might have to create an oportunity for my Mum's special recipe spag bol (a definite level up from Mum's Dolmeo spag bol, which is also delicious!)

9:05 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

J's.L.S. - I love your icon, is it over the Kaikouras? But I bet it can't out-fly a maalie :-)

10:02 pm  
Blogger Davy said...

It'll be behind the fridge... it always is, unless there's been a woman in the house... then try the dishwasher...

12:47 am  
Blogger simon said...

well.. you never made one whilst we were in the desert mate!! I fancy it to be honest!

8:50 am  
Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Dolmio is very forgiving of culinary ineptness in my kitchen;-)

9:09 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

Davy: I don't have a dishwasher, but I know what you mean! I expect it's in some obscure drawer with other items considered to be "non-essential". At least I have found my wing-ruler!

Simon, well mate you kept feeding me these monstrous rump steaks! Now, if only you had packrd a mincing machine into that troopie of yours, we might have been able to do something ;-)

Kiwi: Yes, brilliant stuff, isn't it?

9:53 am  
Blogger TCA 2006 said...

"...I could see her nostrils dilating as she entered the door"

You should stop reading those Mills & Boon!


11:52 am  
Blogger tortoiseshell said...

...We filled two black dustbin liners with pants with perished elastic, socks riddled with holes...

Wot no mistnets?

5:13 pm  
Blogger simon said...

tca:- hahahah! :o)

10:38 pm  
Blogger Ju's little sister said...

Er, to confess I think my icon might be an American Skyhawk. A glide ratio of 1:8 I think those babies have, so if you lose your only engine you'd find yourself up a particular proverbial stream without a paddle. Very very cool though. I never had the privelige of working on one. The mighty Orion are my aircraft. Sleek, smooth and sneaky. Incidentally, our emblem/crest/mascot is an albatross.

Back to the rest of the comments - leave the lad alone! How many lovely ladies can you expect to happily help a man throw out his old undies, AND eat his food?

10:55 pm  
Blogger Maalie said...

J's.L.S.: Thank you! Do you mean the Lockheed WP-3D Orion? The ones they use for meteorological research and stuff? Propeller aircraft aren't they?
By the way, the Maalie is a close relative of the Albatrosses - same family.

7:50 am  
Blogger Ju's little sister said...

totally bragging... but the RNZAF used to hold the record for the longest low-level flight in a turbo-prop aircraft, so we like our connection with those majestic birds and I am glad to hear the Maalie are a relation.
The RNZAF bought Lockheed Martin P3-B aircraft from the United States, the first country outside America to be permitted to do so. We discovered at some point after operating them for a while that there was an inherent weakness in the wings. These were upgraded by the Air Force after some serious re-design and the aircraft were re-designated P3-K. (K for Kiwi)
Our particular Orion are capable of maintaining a presence at 1,400km from base for up to eight hours - and that includes flying there and back, so I can imagine that the your WD-P3 are used for meteorology

9:07 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

Goodness, I would hate someone to go through my cupboards and tidy them, but it sounds like you enjoy being organised.

Your lasagne sounds fantastic, Dolmio sauces are heaven sent, life is too short to be tied to the kitchen sink.

I have a special recipe too for rhubarb lasagne, which is actually quite scrummy and very easy to make. I will give you the recipe so next time your guests can tuck into this, as well as your original version.

11:26 am  
Anonymous Ellee said...

P.S. You've been memed by me today, hope you don't mind, you might find it fun.

11:30 am  
Blogger Maalie said...

J's.L.S.: I suppose it does much the same sort of surveillance work as our Nimrod?
I used to much prefer flying in the turbo-prop Viscounts (with Rolls Royce engines) on internal flight in NZ. I suppose they have all been phased out now? Along with the Fokker Friendships?
Hope you like the latest post to my blog :-)

Ellee: At last I was safe in the knowledge that everthing was clean in my drawers, if not ancient and tatty!
Errrm, I hate rhubarb, I'm afraid (so does Carwyn!). Any other ideas?
Re the meme, please see your blog.

12:51 pm  
Anonymous Ellee said...

Re the rhubarb lasagne, I guess rhubarb could be substituted with another sharp tasting fruit, perhaps gooseberries. I don't think it would work with apples or apricots.

I must tidy my drawers, it's always one of those rainy day jobs.

8:22 pm  
Blogger Ju's little sister said...

The friendships, andover and catalina are all gone and yes, the P3-K cover the same roles as the Nimrod. We actually compete against them in sub-hunting and surveillance competitions.

We don't have the viscounts either, but both the C-130 Hercules and the Orion have T-56 Rolls Royce turbo-prop engines, so we haven't lost all our style!

And yes - I love the latest post, so much I had to copy! Hee hee, no I wanted you to see our Orion too. The poem has touched me, I keep returning to it.

3:25 am  

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