When Jaz Cummins of Londonist approached me for an interview for their London blogger series, I was naturally delighted to oblige. As usual, I’m late with posting the result, which went live on Monday 6 July. And, as usual, ‘better late than never’ is my catch phrase. Voilà – the Epic answers to some Jaz-y questions.
The London Blogger Interviews #22: Epicurienne
(Villefranche sur Mer, 1 January 2008)
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
Tales of travel and culinary adventure in London, Paris and Auckland (and the places in between).
Why did you start blogging?
I’ve always been one of those people who suffers irrational panic attacks if I don’t have a notebook and pen with me at all times. For that reason I wouldn’t last a day in the Big Brother house. I’ve been keeping journals since I was about nine years old, mostly filled with jottings about travels and restaurants and recipe ideas and inspirational quotes… A blog seemed like the logical next step to take.
What about London inspires your blog?
London full stop inspires my blog. I love the melting-pot atmosphere and the fact that if you can’t be it/ wear it/ try it on the streets of London, then you might just say it’s impossible. I particularly appreciate the fact that it’s possible to eat a different cuisine from a different part of the world every night of the month if you were really so-inclined. And I love the parks and green spaces all over London. Come rain or shine they’re a great place to go and observe Londoners and visitors to London, undertaking all manner of activity from picnicking to roller-blading or sitting quietly under a tree with a book.
What’s been your favourite cause, series or post on the blog?
I thoroughly enjoyed writing about our travels in Malaysia, which earned me a few fans in that part of the world and an interview with the Malay Mail, and you don’t have to ask me twice to write about Italy. But my favourite ever post has to be the video entry I made for the London Bloggers’ Meetup competition stating why I deserved to win a ticket to Blog08. I promised to wear big, wooden clogs to the conference, which someone obviously decided to test, because I did in fact win. And yes, I wore big cow-pattern clogs to the conference, earning me more than my fair share of odd treatment, but I’m pleased I did it.
Tips I can share with wannabe clog- wearers are 1. take them off before taking stairs OR take out comprehensive medical insurance before attempting to go up or down any number of steps. 2. they’re very warm. 3 wear thick woollen socks to make them really comfy. 4. they’re completely waterproof and 5. they make great pot plant holders when you get home.
What are your ‘last supper’ essentials if you had one day left to eat in London?
This is a really tricky one. I think if it were my last day in London, I’d go to Borough Market for breakfast, taking whatever was seasonally available for a snack. Needless to say, I’d take a tonne of photos to remember it by, and probably splurge on a few culinary bits and pieces for my new kitchen cupboard, wherever that might be.
I’d probably lunch somewhere Asian, like LiKo in Lisle street, where the tempura noodle bowls are fantastic value and you really get the feeling of being somewhere completely different from London, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. If my bank balance was looking really healthy, I might be persuaded to go to Nobu. But the main event of the day would be dinner. I’d invite our friends over for a big raclette buffet with asparagus and new potatoes, garlic button mushrooms and sweet vine tomatoes, with some fine French charcuterie courtesy of Monsieur, Epic’s herby chicken fillets and some crusty sourdough bread from the Hammersmith Farmer’s Market. I guess my last day in London had better be in May, given how much I love asparagus! The raclette would come from La Fromagerie in Marylebone, and I’d ask the nice chap at Nicolas to supply a few bottles of his driest Provençale rose to wash it all down. I have a tendancy to make myself hungry when describing food. That would be right now.
Would you feel more or less connected to London, or missed out on things without your blog?
I’ve lived in London for 15 years now, so you might say there’d be something wrong with me if I didn’t feel connected to London by now. However, the blog has made me feel a greater connection to London through extending my London-based community.
It also makes me think twice about things we take for granted as Londoners, which can be of interest to readers elsewhere in the world.
How has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
In my earliest blogging days I found out about the London Bloggers Meetup Group, run by the most welcoming self-confessed marketing blagger Andy Bargery. Through the Group I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of London-based bloggers, which is definitely helpful when most of the people you might get to know through a blog live miles away. The LBM Group gives a sense of reality to writing in the ether.
As for the rest of the world, I have had the great good fortune to ‘meet’ a group of regular readers, who give me a kick up the backside when necessary, are also funny, supportive and intelligent folk. I count them as friends and they live as far afield as the States, Japan, Australia and Paraguay.
What’s the most underrated thing about London?
It might sound crazy but in my opinion the weather is the most underrated thing about London. Why? Because when the sun shines, even if it’s just for a few hours, it transforms everyone’s demeanour from grumpy to friendly. Admittedly, it can be too grey, too cold, too wet, too depressing at times, especially in the winter, but even that’s good because it means we don’t take the good weather for granted. Ever. Even the heavy snow in January seemed to unite neighbours as they moaned about not being able to get to work, whilst secretly enjoying building their snowmen and igloos.
And for some general London chat…Where do you live and why do you love it?
I live in Maida Vale, which neither Monsieur nor I knew very well before moving here. It didn’t take long to convince us that it’s a great place to be in London, though. It’s handy for getting to the West End and has good connections to most parts of London. It’s not far from Paddington. It’s leafy in summer with hidden communal gardens where we can picnic. There’s a great sense of community. On Guy Fawke’s Day there are some fantastic fireworks displays in the area and at the end of a rough day at work, it FEELS like home. There are some great pubs in the neighbourhood and people are as friendly as I’ve ever found them to be in any part of London.
At our tube stop there is one London Underground employee whom I swear must be the happiest man in their employ, writing silly messages on the whiteboard each morning to cheer us on the way to work, and Little Venice is a picturesque place to visit – with canal cruises to take with visitors and decent eateries with water views. Right now, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in London, although now I’ve said that, we’ll probably find ourselves on the move.
What’s your favourite place in London?
My favourite place in London would have to be around the river. At lunchtime I sometimes walk down to the Thames near Hammersmith, where I work. There’s always a tonne of interest going on down there – rowers in training, people walking their dogs, runners, pub-goers, interesting places to eat, strange buildings… The river gives a sense of openness. When entertaining visitors to London, it gives a lot of options. I love walking along the various sections of the South Bank, be it in Battersea Park or past the Tate Modern, or hanging out at Butler’s Wharf, or taking photos of Tower Bridge, or having a pint by the boats at St Katherine’s Dock… There’s the wobbly bridge to cross, strange river traffic to watch, not to mention the wonderful views of the city, including St Paul’s and the Gherkin. If you want to invite me somewhere, just make sure it’s on the river and I’ll be there, bells ringing loudly.
What do you know about London that noone else does?
I once met a woman whose husband fell seriously ill quite out of the blue. He went into a coma and the doctors were quite certain he wouldn’t come out of it. The woman had heard about the Tyburn Convent at Marble Arch, going there each day to pray for her husband. He subsequently made an astonishing recovery, encouraging his doctors to write about it in medical journals. They couldn’t explain it. Everyone called it a miracle and the woman has no doubt that that’s exactly what it was. So if you’re ever in the honest need of a miracle, I would recommend visiting the Tyburn Convent, which is dedicated to the Catholic nuns who were hanged during the Reformation on the site where Marble Arch now stands.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
No, thankfully I have never been sick on the tube, as in physically lose my lunch all over someone’s Jimmy Choos. I’ve felt faint in summer and claustrophobic on sardine days and certain armpits have made me gag at times, but luckily I’ve always made it to my stop without having an Exorcist moment. Having said that, as I was thinking about this question, I overheard a guy on the street chatting to his friend about having vomited on the tube the night before. That made me chuckle.
Anything else we should know?
Nope, I think that covers it. Thank you for asking me to do this interview.
For a link directly to the page, please click here.
Top o’ the morning to ya, and I know I’m a bit late in posting about a St Patrick’s Day celebration, but as a wise, New Zealand-born food-lover once said, ‘better late than never’.
London Bloggers’ Meetup Organiser, Facilitator and All-Round Guru, Andy Bargery and the team at Splendid Communications (Haran, Emma and Chris) recently arranged a heady evening of Guinness and Bushmills whisky-based cocktails at Diageo’s London Headquarters. Here’s the cocktail list for you to dribble over -
I confess I had not one, but two Bushmills apricot mules thanks to Splendid Chris accidentally (on purpose?) over-ordering for me. There’s something about the ginger ale that gives a particularly refreshing zing to this drink, so I didn’t exactly refuse the two highballs of deliciousness. I also braved a Bushmills Black Bush Vanilla Sour, which was wonderfully nostalgic in flavour, the vanilla present but not overpowering. In fact, with cocktails like the Old-Fashioned and a version of the Mint Julep featuring on the menu, everything I tasted made me think of times of yore.
At some point, someone suggested I try the Irish Coffee, but I needed some convincing. Then I saw one, served in a Martini glass, and sneaked a sip. Two dangerously more-ish Irish Coffees later and it was time to learn how to pour a Guinness.
Duncan makes sure I don’t spill a drop… ‘Allo love. What kin i getcha?
The mixologist for the evening was one Duncan Macrae and a patient man he must be for he spent some time teaching a small crowd of us to pour Guinness. We were told to hold the glass at a 45 degree angle, start to pour against the side of the glass and as the glass fills to around the two-thirds mark, ease it into an upright position, stop pouring and leave to settle. Once the liquid has turned completely dark, it’s time to top up the pint. Duncan showed me how to do a shamrock shape on the head, and this I managed to achieve… just, although it looked like the sort of shamrock that had been trodden on by a herd of marauding sheep, i.e. not the smoothest shape you’ve ever seen.
Those are the chins of serious concentration and the bud of a shaky shamrock.
Splendid Chris enjoys a pint o’ the black stuff.
Flanked by Melanie Seasons of Fake Plastic Noodles (left) and Splendid Chris (right).
Duncan Macrae tells Timinator that under no circumstances will he be served again tonight. No siree. Enough is enough.
Katie and Andy Bargery with their Bushmills Irish Coffees.
Apart from testing the Bushmills cocktails and learning to pull a pint, we also discovered that Maltese Guinness is alcohol free (it tastes quite nice, really, but nowhere near as dark or heavy as the real McCoy), that there is such a thing as Red Guinness only it isn’t red, it’s just branded that way, (in fact, when I tried it, the main difference was in the taste. It’s just like regular Guinness only maltier), and Drew from Chameleon Net spoke to us about the (then) forthcoming talk at the next Meetup, featuring the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
That Meetup happened last week. Once again it was good to catch up with all the regulars and meet some newbies to the blogosphere. The Equality and Human Rights Commission were represented by some passionate and entertaining speakers, raising our awareness of what they’re all about. One of their key areas of debate was whether to use traditional journalists or bloggers to write about their causes. Personally, when I hear of more hard-copy periodicals closing their doors and more on-line periodicals opening up, I think we’ll be left with no choice but to find a way for the two to co-exist. Yet, it’s also easy to understand that a fully-qualified journalist will be better equipped with certain skills than your average blogger, but sometimes bloggers explore viewpoints which journalists have failed to represent.
Technology is also changing opinion on who would be better suited to covering certain stories, especially as with a single click on our phone/PDA/ laptop we can upload content to the internet, be it to our blog, or in 140 characters or less on Twitter, using any one of an increasing number of social networking sites and applications. In summary, technology is making it possible fofr just about anyone to break a story or contribute to it.
So, where to tonight? I’m off to a foodies’ Easter egg tasting, courtesy of Word of Mouth, the Guardian’s online food blog. Thank heavens I didn’t give up chocolate for Easter. Missing out on this event would have been an Epicurean travesty.
Andy Bargery at Londonbloggers.net has done it again. He has secured generous sponsorship for our bloggers’ meetup tonight, from Bacardi Breezer (the 100 calorie version) and House of Fraser. Epic Brother will be joining me at the meetup because I’m encouraging him to take to his keyboard and blog. It should be interesting for him to mingle with the blog-erati of London, whilst enjoying a low-calorie Breezer or two from the folk at Bacardi.
In anticipation of tonight’s festivities at Verve on St Martin’s Lane, Andy posted a competition. This time we had to say our most enjoyable methods of losing 100 calories and needless to say, because it’s a family-rated site, no indoor games of an adult variety were appropriate, not that I’d know any.
When I racked my brain, I don’t really have FUN losing calories, especially as the Epicurienne waistline has grown since co-habiting with Monsieur, due to our shared love of all things gastronomic and therefore I’ve been working hard recently to lose those extra pounds. None of it has been particularly enjoyable, although I’m happy to say that it’s working and I’ve dropped more than a dress size. My tips? I highly recommend coordinating the move of a large office, working 12 days straight, developing a chest infection and eating sea bass for Christmas lunch in order to kick start any weight loss plan. After that, eating less in the evening and swimming three times a week should work wonders along with a bit of Wii to combat the bingo wings.
When I thought harder about fun ways to lose 100 calories, I could have said that the achievement of climbing Ben Nevis was fun, but it wasn’t. It was bl**dy hard work going up and we got lost on our way down and my group included Little Miss Moany-pants, whom I dearly wanted to kick down the side of the mountain at one point. To make it worse, once we’d checked out the summit, which was freezing and looked like the moon, we realised that going DOWN the mountain hurt our legs more than going UP. It was a complete ankle-cracker. No, it was not fun. The best part of climbing Ben Nevis was the last 200 metres when we could see the pub.
Then I thought of kayaking. I love kayaking and so does Monsieur, but there’s a good reason why they call a tandem kayak ‘the marriage wrecker’. The last time we stepped into one of these boats, Monsieur and I had been engaged for a mere 48 hours. By the end of our little trip down the Dordogne, I think we could both have burned a further 100 calories by beating each other over the head with our paddles. No, I couldn’t put that down as fun.
I don’t ‘do’ gyms, apart from swimming, which I love. I no longer have the stamina for clubbing but I do like dancing around the living room. I can do certain Wii games but I’m embarrassing at others, and when I tried to play PS3 at the weekend, Monsieur got so frustrated with my lack of skill that he had to leave the room. (I think my somewhat vigorous abuse of the console may also have contributed to his exit.) How else can we kill those calories? Well, I heard once that housework burns them off, but I’ve never enjoyed shaking a feather duster or vacuuming, so cross those off the list. However, in the course of my research I found that pretty much everything I do during a typical day contributes to burning those calories, from blogging to cooking. Yes, my friends, you can even lose weight whilst whipping up some dinner.
So that’s what I decided to write in my entry – a Day in the Life of Epicurienne. I also had fun playing around with my avatar and the Paint application. Hmmm. I may not be a whizz at Photoshop but you just may see more Paint-ed pictures here soon. Here’s my entry:
Recently, the London Bloggers Meetup Group got together at the London Headquarters of drinks magnate, Diageo, for an evening of Blogology. The evening was the brainchild of Rax Lakhani and team at Splendid Communications and, as far as sponsors go, they really outdid themselves!
We were greeted with Moscow Mule cocktails, made with Smirnoff red vodka and ginger ale, before joining the queue to watch our own cocktails being made, the recipes of which had been cleverly designed to match our blogs. Yes, the Splendid team had sat down, trawled through each and every blog belonging to the bloggers on the guest list, to create bespoke cocktails, one per person, to reflect what we blog about. Clever, or what? It was most impressive, especially considering how much time all that cocktail recipe writing must have taken.
We even had a pair of dedicated mixologists, who quickly got to work and didn’t pause for breath as they shook their stuff behind the bar. Ridiculous laughed about his Ridiculous cocktail, which seemed to have a bit of everything in it, while Mex, blogging about the London Underground, sipped on a cocktail made by matching potential ingredients to tube line colours. Inspired.
Here’s a clip of how to make a few different types of Moscow Mule:
And here are our clever mixologists who worked hard all night shaking our drinks…
a lot of concentration went on behind that bar to ensure our cocktails were mixed to perfection and not a drop wasted…
yep, he got every last bit of fruit out of that shaker… Or so he thinks.
“Is that a fly in there?”
“No, love, it’s just a bit of blackberry.”
Here I am with The Epicurienne, a fizzy special featuring inspiration from England (strawberries), France (chambord) and New Zealand (pineapple. They said they didn’t have kiwis and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that pineapples don’t grow in New Zealand, but they do grow in many places around the Pacific, so it was good enough for me). Splash in some Smirnoff, naturellement, top up with ginger ale and voila! The Epicurienne! Mmm, tasty.
(Thanks to Katie Bargery for this snap.)
In case you’d like to try The Epicurienne, here’s the recipe:
Meanwhile, in another part of the hip Diageo bar, a cocktail bartender competition was taking place, only we didn’t realise until an announcement was made towards the end of the evening. Unbeknownst to us bloggers, the entrants had been busy making drinks to impress the judges. Ah! The penny dropped for Katie B and me, as we’d spent ages watching some Michael Schumacher lookalike in a chic waistcoat fashion a chunk of ice into a perfect tennis ball shape for a whisky on the rock (singular), only to have the guy he was making if for walk off and leave it. How rude! we thought. That was before we realised that the rude person was a judge. I guess it’s best not to get drunk on the job if that’s your vocation. Such restraint! Anyway, we rescued the drink and gave it to Andy. Waste not, want not.
As if the evening wasn’t exciting enough, we were all sent home with goodie bags of Smirnoff Red and ginger ale so we can try to Make The Mule At Home! I think Monsieur has a cocktail utensil set somewhere so I might just have to give it a whirl, only I’m pretty sure it won’t taste as good as when shaken by the Smirnoff mixologists. I guess I can but try.
It’s been a busy week on the London Bloggers‘ front. We had another Meetup (more about that later) and I’ve entered another competition. For this one I’ve had to explain why I think I deserve a free ticket to Blog08 in Amsterdam. Here’s the entry:
BTW the music was supposed to be These Boots Were Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra, but that track just wouldn’t behave, so I used Catwalk instead… but that was a bit short so now it’s Tiptoe Through the Tulips! Gosh, this is fun.
Good morning people and welcome to the Friday Fun Post. Today is all about hair. Why hair? you may ask, how does hair relate to travel, food and blogging? The answer is that tonight I’m on a mission with my London Bloggers Meetup mates, Cathy (of the Jog Blog) and Tracey (of the year-long Free Alcohol Challenge), to tidy ourselves up and bond over conditioners, serums and glasses of bubbly. Yes, people, the salon we’re going to serves bubbly, but more about that AFTER the chop.
My hair and I have our moments. There have been issues; a lifetime of them in fact. Early on I learnt that a fringe does not work on me, so we don’t do fringes now. Then I went short and short worked for a while until my mother booked me in for a pampering cut after a tough week at work and I walked out looking like Sheena Easton.
I’d tried to stop the hairdresser from shearing the crown. She even acknowledged my increasingly desperate requests to leave the top long, but she was one of those hairdressers who lives for gossip and her chopping became more angry and frantic as she told me about another customer’s husband’s affair. The end result was horrible. Longish in the front but so short at the crown that a big circle of my hair sprouted vertically from my scalp. Then came the dreaded blow drying with a canful of moose and a lot of scrunching. Biting my lip until was a safe distance from the shop, I then burst into tears. I admit it. It was a veritable hairstyle Disaster (note the capital D). Thank heavens for my baseball cap collection which saved me from looking like a complete eighties retro loser. I wore one every day (colour coordinated, of course) for two weeks. Only then could I go out and safely bare my hair. Following that experience, we don’t do short anymore.
There have been a couple of interesting dye situations. My hair bleaches naturally in the sun so I get the odd light brown/ vaguely blonde streak. Then bright spark here thought a burgundy hair colour was a good idea, but I emerged from the bathroom with bright pink streaks where my hair was lighter. Given that I had a lovely linen jacket for work that was lemon yellow, I looked particularly colourful that summer. Oh well, I was never a punk so this part-way made up for it.
When I think about the worst haircuts in the world, here’s what I come up with: the mullet. Short sides, long on top and really unattractive long curly bits at the neck. In fact, with a proper mullet, you can’t see the neck at all. It’s Billy Ray Cyrus of the nineties and has no place in the 21st century.
While we’re on the subject, if you google ‘mullet’, you’ll find some interesting examples of the human species (oooh, Baby!):
And if you crave a mullet but don’t want to wait the time required to grow one, you can buy a mullet wig:
So what will tonight’s haircut involve? Hopefully, a blunt cut bob, all one length, thank you very much and no arguments, although most hairdressers want to do something more ‘interesting’ with my hair than a blunt cut bob . Yes, a multi-layered highlighted cut of the moment might make the hairdresser’s workday more interesting but with stubborn hair like mine, it will only ever look good for about two hours and those two hours are directly following the cut.
Given that Tracey and Cathy go to London Girl Geek dinners and I’m now signed up to join them, it’s possible we’ll end up walking out like a trio of Microserf Geeks:
wearing microchip hairclips:
(Hey, where can you buy those things, anyway?)
Then again, perhaps not. I’m just looking forward to an evening with the girls where we can talk to each other about the benefits of RSS feeds and how to raise reader stats in one breath and which hair treatment suits us best in another, all girl-geeks together. As for Monsieur, when I told him I’d be getting my hair cut with a couple of bloggers, he looked at me really hard, was quiet for a moment, then said:
“Going for a hair cut WITH people? Hmmm. It must be a girl thing.”
Last night I went to the London Bloggers’ Meetup Group’s Summer Social at Doggett’s Coat & Badge. The room we had overlooked the Thames, giving us a great view of the City’s skyline, from St Paul’s to The Gherkin, and the boats travelling up and down on the river below. Quite a few of us found ourselves leaning out the windows, snapping the great views. Peter, trusty camera in hand, even snapped the couple glued in sticky embrace on the other side of the road. (We’re pretty sure they didn’t notice.)
Stella Artois were the kind sponsors of the Social, providing us with ample free drinks and special Stella glasses with Stella USB sticks popped inside – just what a blogger needs in this sort of heat: something to drink from and something with memory. Andy Bargery announced the winners of the Stella Artois Star Over London airship trip… and I was one of them! Jason Mical of Edelman Digital then had a chat with the winners about the trip, which is booked for Friday 1st August – this coming Friday. Unfortunately, I will be in France with the in-laws, and I don’t think they’d understand if I cancelled them for an airship. Luckily, Jason is trying to find me an alternative date so I can still have that Indiana Jones moment in an airship above London, after all.
There’s so much more to tell, like the moment when I tried to introduce Paul to his girlfriend, Barbara, or the sharing of free alcohol tips… but I have a plane to catch.
Epicurienne is now officially on holiday. See you all next week!
Following a recent London Bloggers’ Meet-up, Andy Bargery posted a note on the Meet-up site to say that Berocca, that fizzy vitamin pick-me-up in a glass, had launched a Bloggers’ Relief Pack. If we bloggers were interested in receiving one, we should follow this link and apply. Well, I’m very excited to say that Berocca e-mailed me last week to say that I’d be receiving one of these packs, containing all sorts of stress relief toys to ease the angst of keeping the target number of weekly posts on track.
Someone at Berocca must know my dirty little secret. When I was at university, I passed all my exams thanks to Berocca. Paying no heed to the directions which state that just the one tablet a day should be dissolved in a glass of still water, I downed three per day, at least. Anyway, the interesting by-product of consuming so many vitamins (a healthy mix of the Bs and C) is psychedelic green pee.
Throughout exam weeks, I stayed alert, succombed to no nasty germs and my pee remained the resolute green of a highlighter pen. Each year, when exam time ended, the Berocca went to live in the bathroom cabinet until a hangover or the threat of a cold brought it out again. In the meantime, my pee returned to a regular colour and always gave me a shock. “Something’s wrong,” I screeched to a girlfriend one year after exams, “my pee’s yellow!” Shaking her head at my stupidity (too many brain cells dead with exhaustion, no doubt) she said “that’s because you’re not taking Berocca anymore.” Doh. That was a real Homer Simpson moment.
Even now, my colleagues and I live with a tube of Berocca in our desk drawers. In fact, I’ve never known a workplace without Berocca living in a drawer somewhere. In desperate times when faced with an empty chemist shelf I’ve tried wannabe versions but they all taste wrong. If we’re going to fight our ailments, we’ll be fighting them with the original vitamin kick-start fizz with a giant B on the packet. I’m therefore quite excited at the prospect of receiving my Bloggers’ Relief Pack with its box of Berocca inside, although now I have an adventure ahead: going to collect it.
The delivery company tried to deliver my bubble wrap keyring, Dead Fred pen holder, and other Berocca goodies on Monday. They only deliver during working hours but Monsieur and I are strangely enough at work during working hours, so I suggested they return on Saturday. “We don’t deliver on Saturdays.” came the response. Brilliant. So now I have to find a way to collect it from a depot that lies in the middle of an industrial estate, located halfway between a cemetery and a prison (eeek) and a long, long walk from the nearest tube station. It should make for an interesting blog if I make it home alive. In the meantime, thank you Berocca People, for raising the profile of the unsung bloggers out there, killing themselves to finish their posts on time. I guess that’s where Dead Fred comes in…