It’s late. I’ve just been to see Jeremy Hardy in Cirencester. I remember seeing him many years ago and what saddens me is that his targets haven’t changed. Because things have just got worse around them. It’s Friday night so I’m not going to write about usability, I’m having a party tomorrow and I have been making vol au vents. This was entirely inspired by a trip to Waitrose where a pack of twelve mini vol au vents cost £4.99. “I can do that for a fraction of the price” I thought (indeed, but it was probably a vulgar fraction, perhaps even improper).
The big difference between the Waitrose vol au vents and my own are – I bet they didn’t make theirs with a scone cutter and a milk bottle top. I would like to claim that I had cut out my vol au vents using a white wine glass and a champagne glass, but being realistic, that would have made massive vol au vents. I used the smaller of my two scone cutters and the top off a two litre milk flask? flagon? plastic bottle? what’s the right term? I did want to use a champagne glass. I took a beautiful champagne glass down from the shelf (the only beautiful champagne glass left) and discovered a truth about optical illusion that we had been taught in applied cognitive science. Champagne glasses look slenderer than scone cutters, but actually, the diameter is virtually identical. So there (which explains why Danni Harmer is accused of being fat on Strictly Come Dancing), she’s not fat, people, she’s short.
And as if inspired by the champagne glass example, the empty vol au vent cases expanded in the oven. They over-reached themselves and curled over like looping caterpillars. Waitroses’s vol au vent cases were approximately equivalent to a Norman church. Mine were a cross between the Gherkin, the leaning tower of Pisa and a decidedly detumescent willy. I fear that when I fill them they will dribble.
I also counted up the people I have invited to this party and discovered it is definitely over forty. I admit, I have bought a new flatline telly (see last post) so that people can watch Strictly Come Dancing as the party warm-up experience. That should, of course, be flatscreen. flat-line is a serious medical problem. Actually, a slightly less serious waste disposal problem. However, returning to a small room which already contains, two chairs, a sofa, and enough free space left to insert a TV but not rotate it; I reckon that given an ability to sit with one’s legs crossed in the patient posture of primary-school pupils, we could possibly fit nine people in the sitting room (given an ordered arrangement of entry and exit). Forty will be an interesting challenge. I hope they’re not Strictly fans.