Monday, April 21, 2008

Bette Davis Marmalade

"Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it's because I'm not a bitch. Maybe that's why Miss Crawford always plays ladies."

Bette or Joan? Bette or Joan? I am increasingly obsessed with both of them and just can't decide who I like best. At the moment Bette has a slight edge because of her bad behaviour, but I'm increasingly loving Joan's obsessive compulsiveness...

Just back from a whirlwind tour of Buckinghamshire and Essex with the National Rail system in Britain charging me the equivalent of a Eurostar fare to Paris just to nip in and out of London a bit. Grrr. Still, it was lovely seeing my parents, spending time with Laurel and seeing the fabulous Rita.

It's been a while since we sat and guzzled four bottles of wine between us. Orson was there for the spaghetti then at some point Rita yelled, "Piss off to bed Orson, I have important things to discuss with my friend", and he duly did. The conversation did take a very serious turn - which is unlike us - but the next morning we were back on form despite Rita's rotten hangover. I had taken her some Bette Davis Marmalade which we had on toast as a restorative. "Like honey," she observed, it is indeed rather runny...

She told me all about Mike Leigh rummaging through her kitchen cupboards, how she once saw Bette Davis in Croyden and that she went to the cinema to see "Mommie Dearest" with her mother. All things which made me laugh out loud. The post arrived as she was taking some Nurofen for her hangover and in a bizarre co-incidence it was a cheque for £180 from my nemesis ex-boss for the use of some of Rita's home movies.

Later when she kissed me goodbye at the door I said I hoped her hangover wouldn't last all day and she said, "Oh I'm fine. I feel a lot better since that cheque arrived."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sonja Henie's Scandinavian Cookies

Ginger very kindly bought me some posh cherry jam to go in the indentations of the little treats that are Sonja's Scandinavian Cookies. Fresh out of the oven they were enjoyed by Jack (he liked the nuts) and Grace (she liked the dough-y centre).

I managed to get six of them to Southend in one piece for Laurel and he liked them too. When he bought me breakfast in bed on Sunday morning he had made a characteristically cute arrangement of four semi-circular halves of bagels with a jam centred cookie in the middle. Adorable. I ate the bagels then I said that I was too full to eat the cookie. "I didn't think you'd be able to eat the biscuit too," he said, "I was just using it as a garnish".

In a major development at the pub on Saturday night I was sitting right under a strong light and was worried that it was making me look haggered. Laurel removed the lightbulb for me in an act of kindness. When the barman later picked it up from the table and asked if it was a "dead one" Laurel said that it was still live but he had removed it as, "My girlfriend was being blinded by the light".... Firstly I loved the high drama of the statement and of course I like being called the girlfriend.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Marlene Dietrich's Banana Nut Bread

Laurel said that he was instantly transported to the banana zone upon eating a piece of Marlene's cake. It was consumed in large slices in bed in Southend with a nice mug of tea. I am still recovering from the weekend as we barely made it out of the bedroom - apart from to walk up to the rockabilly night at the Castle. Southend is most defnitely the epicentre of the British rockabilly type. It made my heart glad to see so many old rockers and their molls.

Barney has a very sweet tooth so next weekend I might see how he likes Sonja Henie's Scandinavian Cookies...