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2005: write on time - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
2005: write on time
Remember learning to write? Your parents or teachers make you trace over the printed outlines of perfectly-formed letters time and time again until, after lines and lines of exercise-book pages, your shaky pencil shapes grow so close to the dotted letters that the deviations from the line can barely be seen. Eventually you're ready to write those same shapes without the safety-net of the dotted letters; and when you do so, your letters may well revert to being a little more uncertain, a little more irregular than they were previously. On the other hand, because there's no longer any underlying image to which to conform, it shows less when you do deviate from what is, after all, only someone else's ideal. You're free to form your letters in whatever way you choose. Eventually your printing becomes neater, and your handwriting settles into something fairly consistent, though it slowly shifts and changes over the years as you refine one bit or another; perhaps you try to neaten it, or make it more romantic, or make it more angular; perhaps you change the pen you use and your writing changes a little to reflect that; or perhaps it's not even conscious, perhaps the shapes of your writing shift like the ponderous movements of continents, and you don't even realise anything has changed until by chance you find a memo to yourself from 10 years ago and you can barely believe it's your writing. And, of course, it isn't; in so many ways, both physical and psychological, you're barely the same person now as you were then.

The only way to improve your handwriting is by practising, but only you know what sort of practice works best for you. Maybe tracing letter-outlines helps you, or maybe you prefer to just write and see what happens; maybe you practise in private where nobody can laugh at your mistakes, or maybe you find that writing to other people helps to motivate you to keep improving.

New Year is an arbitrary blip in the calendar, a milestone (or millstone) that's as meaningless as adult birthdays. But I still make New Year's Resolutions: I like to draw the faint outlines of where and what I want to be, so that later I can see how well my subsequent tracings match the suggested shapes; and I like the external accountability of bringing my progress (or lack of it) into the public eye. Sometimes, somewhere along the way, I have (consciously or otherwise) decided to follow different paths from those I laid out; this doesn't necessarily constitute failure, any more than deciding to write in italic script (perhaps because one prefers the look of it, or the feel of it under the pen) signals a failure to write in upright lettering. The important thing is to distinguish between lapses which damage the desired outcome (e.g. writing a 't' without its crosspiece might render it indistinguishable from an 'l', which would make the writing harder to read and hence make communication more difficult) and lapses which don't (e.g. whether your 'w' is a zigzag or two overlapping 'v's, there aren't really any other letters with which it could become confused). I leave the extension of the already over-stretched analogy as an exercise for the reader (and writer).

So how do the letters line up? Here are last year's resolutions, reproduced here with commentary.

Write something other than boring "what-happened-when" on LJ at least once a week. I'm not sure yet whether my usual disjointed navel-gazing ramblings should 'count' for that.

I think in general I've had a higher signal-to-noise ratio this year than last, in terms of what I choose to define as 'signal' and 'noise' (I'm not implying any kind of absolute value judgement; but I personally want to use my LiveJournal as more than just a diary). Perhaps once a week was over-optimistic.

Write something, anything, in a medium other than LJ/news, this year. Even if nobody else sees it.

I've completely failed to do this unless you count writing my section of our family newsletter, and scrawling some ideas on bits of paper. Maybe I'll do better this year.

Read at least one new (i.e. not previously read) book each week. Keep a record of these by updating this -- if nothing appears here after a few weeks feel free to poke me with sticks.

Finally a mostly-unqualified success; that is, I certainly averaged more than 1 book a week over the year, although there were a couple of weeks when I didn't manage to read anything. I did, however, read an awful lot of trashy rubbish; however, now that I've read all the Saint books I own, I can't count them as 'new' any more, and I don't currently have any other completist obsessions.

Practice at least one of my instruments (piano, violin, viola) at least once a week. Orchestra rehearsals don't count as practice!

Oh dear. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I actually practised violin last year; perhaps both hands for practising piano. This resolution should probably be repeated this year.

Practice karate at least once a week, even if only for a few minutes.

Even more of a failure. At the moment I'm not sure if I actually want to carry on with karate. I don't practise enough to enjoy the lessons or, frankly, to get any further than the stage I'm at now; but if I don't enjoy practising enough to want to do it, perhaps I'd be better off not doing it. (I'd certainly be financially better off -- it's not cheap!)

Stay away from ProQuest! And hopefully find a better job, but to some extent that's out of my hands.

Success! I shook the dust of ProQuest off my shoes at the end of 2003, and haven't set foot in the place since; the only effect it's had on me is the hangover of sorting out taxes on my freelance earnings (which were untaxed as the time). The job I'm in now is definitely better.

Keep track of what I spend, and don't spend as much (I'm not going to set hard and fast limits because I find that if I break them then I tend to just give up -- I'm hoping that by forcing myself to keep track I'll make myself realise how much I'm spending on useless stuff).

Failure, though I think for most of this year I was doing slightly better with money. All good resolutions went completely to pot at the end of 2004 because I was just having too much fun going to every possible gig/play/film/party with addedentry to keep track of what I was spending... leaving me in Dire Financial Straits (I preferred their early stuff) at the beginning of 2005. The lifestyle of the last three months is simply Not Sustainable on this salary. See this year's resolutions for the latest financial good intentions.

Save money! This isn't really quite the same thing as the previous resolution. I suspect I'm going to need to have some savings, however small, to fall back on at some point this year.

Well, I didn't need the savings, which was just as well, because I didn't have them. Sigh.

Pay credit card bills on time.

I think I actually managed to pay at least the minimum amount on time all year. I also managed to pay off the First Direct credit card, transfer everything to the Egg credit card (which is slowly being paid off but which I may transfer elsewhere to get a different 0%-interest deal), and set up a direct debit to pay the HSBC credit card (which I still use for PayPal) in full each month (which should discourage me to spend too much on it). I also intend to ditch the HSBC credit card and get one with a less crippling interest rate.

Pay the mortgage and pay sion_a back what I owe him.

I currently owe sion_a something approaching the GDP of Uruguay.

Reply to email quicker, if only to send a short message to say "Longer reply will follow" or words to that effect.

I have no way of measuring this, except possibly by a poll to ask my friends if they're satisfied with the email service. Maybe later.

Get Christmas cards sent on time (okay, that's a long way in the future, but there's no harm in making the resolution now, assuming I'll still be in a state to communicate with anyone come Christmas).

Utterly failed! I still haven't managed to send rejs's card and present even now. (For which, apologies.) And most people just had to make do with the 'card' I posted to LiveJournal.

Send fewer text messages (hopefully I won't have so much need to send them, before this year is out, but that's another matter) and/or switch to a better plan for my mobile.

Happily failed on the first part of the resolution, sadly failed on the second too. A trip to the Orange shop is in order this weekend.

And now this year's Resolutions, with more commentary. This year's are a complete ragbag of resolutions, and there are far too many of them, but I figure that if I aim at the stars, I might just hit a tree. I don't really expect anybody to read all this (though obviously you're all free to do so); I'm writing these out more for my own benefit than anybody else's.

Money and Materialism

Don't buy any more unnecessary clothes until May.

Arbitrary time-limit to try to curtail my reckless clothes-buying. The word 'unnecessary' may seem a bit weaselly but all it means is that I've sort of agreed with my conscience that buying things as direct replacements for things which break (and which I actually do wear) doesn't count. So if I can find (at a reasonable price) a pair of black combat trousers or black cords to replace the pairs that have worn through so much that you can see my knickers through them, then that would be great.

Don't buy any CDs over &4.99 until May.

Another arbitrary time-limit. The arbitrary price-limit is because if I allow myself the odd cheap CD in a charity shop I'm less likely to 'accidentally' spend huge amounts of money in Fopp etc. It's not a blanket ban like the clothes one because part of the reason I need to stop buying clothes is the storage space issue, and CDs take up less room than clothes.

Don't buy any more books until I've got rid of at least 20 from the library.

The library is in a ridiculous state. I have heaps of books in piles to give to charity shops, to sell on Amazon, to give to friends, etc., and I really need to actually get round to shifting them.

Sell / give away more stuff on eBay, Amazon, ucam.adverts.forsale/giveaway etc.

I have too much stuff. I have books I'm not going to read, clothes I don't wear, clothes that don't even fit me, music for instruments I don't own and can't play, CDs I don't listen to, and so on, and so forth. It's not so much that I'm a compulsive hoarder (though I have tendencies in that direction) as that I don't like to see things get thrown away; so I rescue things that I don't really need, with the intention of redistributing them, but then don't get round to the all-important second stage of the process. I need to work on the second stage. I have already started putting this resolution into practice, getting rid of various things on u.a.g and currently having two items up for sale on eBay.

Buy lunch in town no more than once a week (on average).

It is ridiculous to spend £2.50 or more on a sandwich or a salad when for the same money I could make lunch for a week out of cheap things like potatoes, tuna, sweetcorn, etc. To this end I would welcome suggestions for cheap and easy-to-make lunches, but preferably not sandwiches because a) I can think of millions of sandwich fillings myself, and b) I get bored of sandwiches very quickly unless they're really exciting fillings, and the exciting fillings are expensive and faffy. Extra points for things that can be made in large quantities at the weekend and will keep for a week.

Pay rent by direct debit.

I owe sion_a about a million years' worth of rent. He's been very generous in letting me be flexible about paying it, but I've taken advantage of this far more than I should have done. If that money just goes straight out of my account at the beginning of the month, it will get paid, because it won't be there for me to spend.

Sort out phone tariff.

I'm on Talk120 and Text120, because starting on the more expensive contracts meant I got my phone cheaper, & the idea was to stay on these for the minimum time necessary and then downgrade them. Of course, I didn't get round to downgrading them, which is what they no doubt hoped would happen. I talk maybe 10 minutes a month, so Talk120 is clearly suboptimal; and even I probably don't actually need Text120.


Shouting because I keep resolving to do this, and never quite seem to manage it. Or rather, I manage it for a few days, or maybe even a few weeks, and then get bored. I need to see a graph of where my money goes so that I can work out where I should be making savings.


Culture or something

Read more books!

Why? Because there are millions and billions of exciting books out there and I want to read all of them. Aiming for 200 books this year, but so long as I beat last year's record of 113 I'll be happy.

Read more non-fiction!

Why? Because I'd like to learn actual factual-ish things as well as appreciating literature and/or immersing myself in escapist fictional worlds. Aiming for 30 non-fiction books this year, but so long as I beat last year's record of, um, 11, I'll be happy.

Practise piano, violin, or karate (if I continue with it at all) at least once a week.

I'm trying to set achievable targets here. There's no way I will practise all three every week, but really, doing any practice at all would be better than the current situation. Perhaps I should stick stickers on the calendar when I do some practice so I can see how (badly!) I'm doing.

Re-learn Japanese hiragana and katakana.

I used to know these! I have forgotten them all! I have no particular use for them but it's fun to be able to read katakana on Japanese stuff.

Write more.

A very vague resolution, but one I want to keep. I don't know what I want to write, but I know that I want to write. I have things to say, but I don't know what the best medium is in which to say them (and LiveJournal, while a useful sounding-board, is somehow ultimately unsatisfying), and I don't know if I have the language for them at all; but I do, however, know that I can't get there unless I take the first step.


Health, etc.

Drink more water.

I get a lot of headaches and often feel tired, fuzzy-headed, etc.; I have had suggestions from several sources that the problem may be simply that I am dehydrated. Since I am lucky enough to live in a country where clean water is readily available, if this is the problem -- or even just a part of it -- it should be trivially fixable. I'm not too bad at remembering to have 'something to drink', but too often that 'something' is coffee or Coke, neither of which is doing me much good.

Cycle more safely.

I still haven't fitted my rear light, because I never have myself/bike/screwdrivers/sufficient light to work by all in the same place. I never replaced my helmet when it was stolen five years ago. I tend to wear a lot of black. Not a great combination, particularly when there is no outdoor lighting where I work. I have in fact already started keeping this resolution, and have bought a super-reflective jacket and some reflective cycle clips. I need to actually take the time to choose a decent helmet, otherwise I will never wear it.

Cook more varied food.

I seem to have reverted to undergraduacy in terms of the food I cook (and whether I get round to cooking at all). I can't remember the last time I made anything more complicated than pasta and pesto. Eating chips at railway stations is probably not very good for me, and while pasta-and-pesto isn't exactly bad for me it's not the most exciting thing in the world, nor is it a particularly balanced diet. This resolution should maybe be in the 'culture' section, because I want to start learning to cook more widely -- and actually using some of the recipe books I have -- but it's definitely a health issue as well.


Administrivia & Miscellany

These are things I shouldn't have to make New Year's resolutions to do, but perhaps if I write them down here, I'll a) get them done, and b) make a move towards getting into the habit of Just Doing Things when they need doing.

Find some sensible 'storage solutions' for my room.

Forgive the marketing jargon, but I can't think of another generic term for what I mean; I need to find various sorts of stacking drawers, boxes, files, etc. to keep all the papers, laundry, and STUFF in my room under control. I also need to work out what I need first and then go and look for it, rather than impulse-buying some kind of shiny new system that will turn out not to work/fit.

Register with a dentist.

I have lived in Cambridge since September 2000. I still haven't registered with a dentist. My teeth are basically okay but I have had one or two fairly painful twinges in the wisdom-tooth area over the last year and I think it's time I actually got my teeth checked out, even though it's an expense I feel I could do without when they don't really seem to be causing me any trouble.

Make an optician's appointment.

I need an eye checkup. I also need to remember to get work to pay for it this time. Furthermore, it would be great if they could fix my current pair of glasses, because the little nubbin that holds it onto the nose has half broken and thus keeps falling off when I pull jumpers off over my head without taking my glasses off first, resulting in the nubbin sproinging off somewhere and me scrabbling around comically in the assorted bedroom debris for half an hour looking for it.

Sort out my photo collection (physical and digital).

I probably only really need to keep about an eighth of my real photos, and an even smaller fraction of my digital photos. Also, until/unless they're in some sort of order (and labelled while I still remember what they're photos of) they're useless.

Finish ripping my CD collection to mp3 (or rather mp4 actually).

I want to have backups of all my CDs, and I want my shiny laptop to be a portable music machine. Hurrah.

Learn how to use my phone properly, work out how to synchronise my phone with my computer, how to download photos from my phone, etc.

I have enough shiny tech to sink a ship yet I can barely program the bloody video recorder. This is verging on learned helplessness: it doesn't take more than half an hour to read a manual. For heaven's sake.

Get pto452 fixed (her speedometer still doesn't work) so that I can drive her again.

I really don't deserve to have a lovely car, given how badly I neglect her.

I haven't really made any resolutions about friendships and relationships, or thoughts and feelings, because it's so hard to quantify things; however, for the sake of external accountability, I do intend to make more of an effort to keep in touch with old friends as well as meeting new ones, and I want to be more reliable about getting in touch with people when I've said I'll do so. I also want to get more of a grip on my self-image, but that's heading out of the realm of New Year's Resolutions and into cognitive therapy. If I think it won't be too navel-gazing, I may write about some of that here.

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(Deleted comment)
hairyears From: hairyears Date: January 10th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good luck with them! Or at least, have fun breaking some of them. Texting especially.

*sigh* I am simply too chaotic to keep resolutions. I've given up on the idea.
From: ex_humanfema327 Date: January 10th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Give my piano to Romany

Oo, i agree.
From: rmc28 Date: January 10th, 2005 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)


I experiment intermittently with things I can bring in and heat/reheat in the microwave here. Mashed potato, risotto, pasta leftovers etc. A good one is a big vat of misc. veg. stew, containing whatever is left in the veg racks and fridge and needs eating. The vat is then decanted into storage boxes (some tupperware, some re-used chinese takeaway microwaveable plastic) for freezer and fridge. I've found this works best if I bring in some bread in to eat with the stew, but also that I can't usually manage more than 2 lunches like this in a week, it might be a food-too-samey problem.
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: January 10th, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)


Salads of the actually satisfying variety are good; I like ones with mayonnaise. So, potato salad, or egg mayonnaise, for instance. I like the combination of pasta, hard-boiled egg, garlic and olives in mayonnaise (though my Patrick said it was better with some of the leftover Xmas ham added).

Or there's a really nice salad I sometimes make with rice and tuna and red and green peppers and chunks of garlic sausage and onion and garlic and french dressing (I don't even like peppers but I'll eat them in this!).

Patrick often takes left-over bolognese sauce or chili con carne to work for his lunch - those could be made in bulk beforehand. You could also do it with what I call "sausage stuff" - a tomato-based sauce like bolognese but with chopped-up sausages instead of mince and slightly different herbs.

Just a few thoughts...
j4 From: j4 Date: January 14th, 2005 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Lunchiness

We don't have much freezer space unfortunately so making stuff in bulk and freezing it is kind of tricky. Otherwise yes I'd probably just make enough bolognese to feed an army... :)

Hard-boiled eggs are a good idea though -- I love them and they're cheap and they last for ages in the fridge. Thanks for the suggestion!

Rice would be a great idea if I could actually make rice without it all sticking to the pan. Sigh. Maybe I should have resolved to Learn To Cook Rice... or buy a rice-cooker. :)
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: January 14th, 2005 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Lunchiness

How To Cook Rice...

This is for cooking brown rice, which is (a) better for you and (b) nicer IMO than white rice.

Get a mug. An ordinary-sized mug, not huge and not dainty. Fill it with uncooked rice. This, when cooked, will be enough for two people. Put the rice in a pot. Add twice as much cold water - i.e. two mug-fulls. Add a little salt and a little cooking oil (a wee bit of cooking oil helps prevent sticking). Put the pot of rice on a hot-plate and turn it up as hot as it will go. Bring to the boil (this will take about 10 minutes, maybe longer if it's an electric hot-plate). When it's boiling, turn the heat right down and simmer until you can't see any water, only rice (this will take about 20 minutes). Fish out a little bit of the rice and eat it to see if it's really cooked - if not, leave it a bit longer, but check frequently. When the rice is cooked, sit a colander in the sink and dump the contents of the pot into it. Rinse the pot in hot water (this should remove rice that is clinging to the bottom of the pot) and dump the rinse-water into the colander too. Now rinse the contents of the colander (you can use cold water here if you're making a cold rice salad; it'll help cool the rice). Rinsing the rice helps prevent it sticking together in nasty clumps. Now fill your pot with hot water and leave it to soak so washing-up will be easier. And do what you want with your cooked rice.

I find that, as long as I don't wander off and forget about my rice, this method ensures non-stuck-to-the-pot-ness.
brrm From: brrm Date: January 10th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Learn how to use my phone properly, work out how to synchronise my phone with my computer, how to download photos from my phone, etc.

I've decided possibly the easiest way for me to do this is using the weird-little-proprietary-Sony-memory-stick to weird-slightly-bigger-proprietary-Sony-memory-stick converter supplied with the P900, to stick the memory card into the 7-in-1 USB card reader I already had. If you don't have/want to buy one of those, though, this might not be a good answer for you. I'm not totally sure if there is a better one for macs, though :-(

Get pto452 fixed (her speedometer still doesn't work) so that I can drive her again.

We must get round to organising this one soon(ish) :)
teleute From: teleute Date: January 11th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Since rmc28 and dorianegray have already given you most of the food suggestions I'd have thought of, the only thing to add is that if you make a bunch of different things in bulk (aim to cook a major bulk item each weekend for a few weeks, for instance) then you always have something different to take in to work, or to eat at home when you don't have the energy to cook that night. Soups are really good, but my mainstays are shepherds pie (I can give you my totally knockout recipe if you don't have one), spag bol, and risotto. With shepherds pie, you can't really freeze the potato bit, but you can make the mince in advance. Then I cook enough for four, and Adrian and I eat half that night and there are two portions left over for the rest of the week. Cooking for at least double seems to be a generally useful trick.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 14th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Making lots of different stuff is a good idea except that we only have a tiny freezer... which means if I cooked double-quantities of a meal for dinner I'd probably have to eat the same meal for the next two days for lunch, which would get a bit same-y. Maybe I ought to Just Put Up With It, though, while trying to claw my finances back into order...

Would love the recipe for shepherd's pie though anyway!
teleute From: teleute Date: January 14th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
(for 4-6)
2 finely chopped onions
3oz. butter
3/4 lb cooked mince beef or lamb (I use raw and make sure to cook it through)
4 fl. oz. beef stock or gravy (or water)
1 level tbsp tomato ketchup (I use more :-) )
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce (I use a lot more!)
salt and pepper
2 - 3 tbsp milk
1 lb. mashed potatoes

Cook the onions in 1 oz. of the butter until soft; add the meat and cook until lightly brouwn. Stir in the stock, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce; season.

Beat the remaining, melted butter and the milk into the potatoes. Put the meat in a greased ovenproof dish, cover with potato and ripple the top with a fork. Bake near the top of an oven heated to 425F (mark 7) for 30 minuste or until brown.

[I use lots of tomato ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, and then very little other seasoning. I also tend to add peas and chopped carrots so that I don't have to cook a veg to go with it. I experimented with the seasoning until Adrian and I agreed on the best flavor.]
julietk From: julietk Date: January 11th, 2005 09:31 am (UTC) (Link)
You probably know this already; but coffee & Coke are diuretics, so not only are they not as helpful as water, but they can actually make you *more* dehydrated. I believe this is also true of fruit juice, but at least that has some nutritional content as well :-) I do pretty well with water during the week (because the bottle sits on my desk at work), but very badly at weekends.

Lunches: if you have access to a microwave, curry & rice is good (curry can be made in bulk, rice can't really[0] but if you eat breakfast, it can be put on the stove & left alone while you have breakfast, & then packed up). In general, if you *do* manage to make proper food the night before, make double & take the leftovers in for lunch - I quite often do this, as well. Baked potatoes are good with a lot of things (inc chilli & leftover pasta sauce), & you can do them in the oven the previous night & then warm them up in the microwave - they go a bit strangely wrinkly, but still taste nice.

Rice salad is another nice one, but sadly see below - you can't really do it in bulk. Bean salad (pick your bean, add peppers, carrots, onion, fresh coriander, lemon/lime juice, oil, etc) is nice, as is pasta salad.

Hmm. Maybe you could try chopping up lots of veg (peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms, anything else you fancy), & then mixing them separately with a bunch of different things (beans/pasta/rice/potatoes) & different seasonings, & then you'd have different stuff for the duration of the week but you could make it all at once. Actually, I might try that myself :-)

I know you said not-sandwiches, but I will comment that refried beans, rocket, & sour cream is Very Nice, not too faffy, & *I* think it's exciting :-) And refried beans will keep in the fridge for bloody ages, so you can make it once then have it once a week or something & it won't become too repetitive. Rocket won't, but hey, you can eat that out of the packet, mmm lovely rocket. I don't know about sour cream. Vegan cream cheese, which is what I use instead, keeps forever, as well. Actually, I find that rocket generally makes sandwiches more exciting with minimal faff - it also goes well with hummous (OK, that's probably not exciting) & carrot&lentil pate (with salsa as well is even better). Carrot&lentil stuff also keeps for ages; recipes for both on Kake's website.

Mmmm food. Hungry now.

[0] I happily eat several-day-old rice, but Pete & Marna are convinced that this will give me food poisoning. Hasn't yet, mind. I have a reasonably tough stomach; I probably wouldn't recommend eating rice more than a day or so old, & it *has* to live in the fridge.
imc From: imc Date: January 11th, 2005 12:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the diuretic effect of caffeine is overstated. I certainly think the assertion that drinking coffee can make you more dehydrated is a pretty strong claim which needs backing up. A quick google found me some studies which suggest that the effect is far less than you may have been led to believe.
julietk From: julietk Date: January 11th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cheers - that's useful! I mostly don't drink caffeine myself anyway these days (for several reasons, not least the fact that I'm mildly allergic to it), but I shall bear it in mind for future discussions of this sort.
k425 From: k425 Date: January 11th, 2005 12:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
My favourite pasta salad:

Pasta, olives, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts (if you're feeling flush. Sunflower seeds actually work just as well), baby spinach leaves if you fancy them, parmesan. Dressing made with pesto and olive oil. Divide into 5 lidded tubs, stick in the fridge, take one out each morning to take to work.

Couscous made up with stock and allowed to cool, with peppers and spring onions, and anything else you fancy (dried apricots are nice).

Look out for Cas Clarke's books - Grub on a grant, Peckish but poor - if you're looking for recipes for 1-2. Or borrow mine if you fancy.
jiggery_pokery From: jiggery_pokery Date: January 11th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't know why, but I think this is a really cool post.

Good luck (or, perhaps more importantly, good self-discipline) with getting them done. :-)
claerwen From: claerwen Date: January 13th, 2005 09:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Re-learn Japanese hiragana and katakana.

I have a set of flashcards—well, I say cards; they're actually just little pieces of paper, 4.5x3cm—with hiragana printed on one side and romaji on the other, made when I was learning hiragana (which, yes, I've now forgotten). As I say, they're kind of shabby, but they worked stunningly at the time. Do you want them? We're about to move onto a narrowboat, so I'm chucking stuff out in general.
j4 From: j4 Date: January 14th, 2005 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd love them, if you're sure you don't want them!

I keep thinking that I would love to live on a houseboat, but then I remember all the not-owning-so-much-stuff that would be involved... and I'm still not sure I could get a piano on a boat at all.

Ho hum. Maybe one day.
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