Wednesday, 5 October 2011

5 on the 5th for Stephen Chapman's blog

Pleasure #1 - Enjoying an unseasonally hot Autumn sun. 
This is Worthing seafront on what was the hottest October day ever recorded in southern England - 30 degrees C (87 F) in one area. Although this pic was taken at 3.30 p.m. the lower sun at this time of day gives the scene a somewhat eerie feel, rather like during the very nearly total solar eclipse, seen here in 1999 . Although it's all very well to enjoy this unusually late hot sun, I'm also a little apprehensive as to it being yet another worrying sign of climate changes on the way. The number of oddities in the weather, though they may be dismissed individually as mere chance variables, just keeps on increasing.

Pleasure #2 - A burst of Autumn colour
I'm not one who appreciates the visual arts such as painting, architecture, sculpture, design etc, very profoundly as some do, though I am familiar with basic facts and can usually recognise the work of renowned artists. But there is little 'response of the soul' there, as there is for me with music and literature. However,  one visual experience which does touch me within - and that is seeing flowers - any flowers, singly or in bunches, displays etc. Even simple wild flowers like the humble dandelion, buttercup, daisy etc just knock me out with their beauty when I stop and gaze at them.
I couldn't resist snapping this wonderful profusion of yellow in a garden just down my road. I don't know what flowers they are but they seemed to have sprung out of nowhere, lasted for a few days and now, alas, have largely gone - rather like a wonderful flash of lightning. Lovely sight!

Pleasure #3 - a delicious meal (some people may say "Yuk!")
While my Friday main meal is almost invariably a variant of omelette, and Sunday's is a veg pie, on Saturday it's nearly always an oriental something like this - lentils with cauliflower and fried onions on a pile of (usually Basmati) rice. I don't skimp on the curry powder, salt and pepper - and always add a sensibly-modest amount of turmeric. This delicious meal is about as advanced as I get in cooking - largely because I can just set things on the stove and go away and read while things are simmering away. Yummy!

Pleasure #4 - My own 'Cinema Paradiso'.
Although there are about 20 cinema screens relatively easily accessible to me - here in Worthing, westwards in Brighton and eastwards in Chichester - I see 75% of films at this place, the single-screen Duke of York's in Brighton, This 'art-house' cinema (one of the very oldest in the entire country) is where I see nearly all films which do not get a cinema release in the big multiplex chains, including non-English language films. My life would be a lot poorer if there was not this admirable establishment within reach. Almost a kind of life-saver, in a way.

Pleasure #5 - Flea comb
The pleasure here is really for my cats, though it  pleases me too to see them content. While Blackso will purr loudly for any reason at all, such as just picking him up, Noodles here only seems to purr when I give him his daily flea-combing. He gets so stimulated that he wants to rub against anything in sight but if I continue too long it pushes him over the edge and he'll try to bite my hand - while still purring. Timing is of the essence. It's a sort of "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours"  - the hand! (Ouch!)


  1. Brilliant post! Thank you!

    Excellent photos and your really interesting narratives of explanation.

    I will confess that I did dwell, perhaps over-long on your curried lentils and cauliflower, being a great fan of 'Indian' food and most other types of curried cuisine.

    I know what you mean about turmeric though - almost the answer to a permanent marker!

  2. I like your pics, Ray, and especially the art-house cinema. How much do tickets run there? At our local art-house cinema the tickets are $8US, not so bad. Tix at the local megaplex are about $12US!

  3. Thanks Micky. That particular meal originates with my Indian connections, having been born there. I sometimes vary it by using Bombay potatoes (from a tin, of course) instead of the lentils.
    I agree with you about turmeric. However there is one ingredient which some might think also essential but which I cannot stand in ANY food - and that is garlic. Sorry, but NO!

  4. Cubby, thanks to you too. At this particular cinema the ticket prices are tiered, further complicated by additional reductions for members (among whom I am one). I go to the cheapest showings which are on Mon & Tues afternoons - around equivalent of $4.50 American. For non-members prices are about the same as other cinemas.
    Multiplex tickets are about $8 in the afternoons, around $12 in the evenings. So maybe not very different from your prices.

  5. Very nice. The delicious meal does in fact look delicious. And noodles looks to be in pure ecstasy as you comb him.

  6. Ray, love your photo choices and love your explanations even more. The meal looks delicious. Sounds like a variation of one I make from time to time.

  7. Brilliant selection, well done! Love the cat, seems sooo content.
    One of my cats has a tendency to use my arm as pillow when I'm at the computer looking just the same. I don't have the heart to push her away.


  8. nice pictures, like the cinema building and the cat :)

  9. Thanks New Leaf. The meal (or variations thereof) is something I really look forward to (otherwise I wouldn't have it!). Like eggs it's something I could eat daily but, also as for eggs, I restrain myself because of the danger of having 'too much of a good thing'.

    Flea-combing is the only time I get Noodles' full attention. At all other times he takes me for granted, expecting food whenever he wants but otherwise ignoring my presence. All so unlike my other pussy, Blackso, who never stops saying that he appreciates me, by rubbing against my legs, even when he doesn't want anything - as well as jumping into my lap whenever and wherever I'm sitting, something Noodles never does. But I love them both to bits.

  10. Ta, Kyle: I always feel especially privileged when you visit here. I often wish that among your own political blogs you had more time and inclination to tell of your own personal life, particularly because we seem to have so much in common. But it's good to have even a peek into your life through your comments like this one. Thanks again, pal.

  11. Thanks so much, Daniel. Yes, I'm a big softie too when Blackso wants to get into my lap when I'm on the computer. Although it's very awkward I let him stay there for a while but he seems to get jealous at the attention I give to the keyboard and will stretch his front legs right over the keys as though trying to stop me typing. With heavy heart, that is the point when I've just got to put him down. But if he insisted, like yours, on using an arm as a pillow, that would just as surely put an end to the computer session.

    Btw This morning I had not only my own two but an additional two 'visitors' coming through the window for breakfast. Feeding them all at the same time while being aware how the fur starts flying (literally) if they got too close to each other, is a juggling trick requiring some skill. But managed it without sustaining any scratches.

    Give both (all?) yours gentle strokes from me, please.

  12. TF, love to have you visit here.
    Yes, the cinema is a really old-style establishment. Having nearly all the former large cinemas being broken up into smaller screens, this auditorium must now be about the biggest within a 50-mile area. Good that it's usually so well attended, too.

    I'll give Noodles an extra-long combing this morning, just for you. And I WILL let him know that it's because of you that I'm giving him the extra treat. ;-)

  13. I love this post! Great photos. Great stories. 30 degrees is a cool day here right now. The neighborhood flowers are a joy. The Friday main meal sounds delicious (and looks ... interesting). I would love to go to that theater. And you've really made me miss our cats.

  14. Mitch, the temps here are now dropping dramatically. Down to 15 degrees today, which you might describe as 'Arctic'!

    So sorry I've brought to mind your own dear pussies. I know when I have to put my dynamic duo in a cattery for just three or four days while I'm away, I'm fretting for them the whole time. Far more, I think, than they are thinking of me.

    Thanks so much for dropping by.

  15. Super photos and a wonderful insight in to the birth of each one. I love the Duke Of Yorks cinema for it's comeplete feel of everything a cinema should be, arty, art house, independent, call it what you will. It's a slice of heaven in a troubled world.

    Nice noodles, but lentils, really? Hmmm that's not pleasure, that's pain, stomachpain!!!

  16. I to am a flower lover, and know only a very few names of them, but didnt shakespear cover that for us? Food, ah food, is there any thing better than a wonderful meal? Your wee kitty looks besides himself with happiness. great pictures!

  17. Thanks, Jase. I'd made the assumption that you'd be a fan of D/Y, so it's no surprise that you are.
    But not a lover of lentils? Maybe my inner works have since childhood adapted themselves to dealing with it, but lentils are one of life's staples for me. Each has their own difficulties e.g. I cannot cope with RAW onions, though I love 'em.

  18. Biki, good to hear that you also appreciate flowers. I knew from a very early age that the sight and smell of them were like nothing else on earth, yet, afraid of my appearing 'feminine', I never openly said so. But since accepting it, seeing a certain flower in a garden which I casually pass can literally stop me in my tracks and I just stand there fixatedly drinking in the sight, while others seeing me must think I'm either bonkers or acting suspiciously. They really are little 'miracles' of nature.
    Glad you liked the sight of Noodles in his state of contentment too. Any cat-lover is going a long way to being a friend of mine.