Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Regardless of whether I baked them as a headache cure or a feminist statement on the worthiness of women's work (both quite dubious claims), they taste pretty damn good.

Chocolate butterfly cakes with whisky butter cream.

Anecdotal lack of evidence

About two hours ago I got a really bad headache - one of those that makes your eye sockets burn and makes you want to run and throw up as soon as the room stops spinning. Even half an hour after taking painkillers it hadn't let up. Now, thankfully, it's gone. I'd love to know what stopped it so I can try the same thing again next time but I don't know whether it was:
  • Having a glass of water
  • Lying down for 15 mins
  • My flatmate coming home and distracting me for a while
  • Having my tea cooked for me
  • Drinking a glass of fizzy sugary stuff
  • My flatmate leaving again and no longer distracting me
  • Looking at cake porn for a bit, deciding what to bake for a picnic tomorrow
  • Baking the usual basic chocolate fairy cakes
  • Listening to the White Album*
  • The painkillers finally kicking in
  • The temperature dropping slightly
  • Someone in the vicinity doing a bit of yogic flying
  • None, all, or several of the above
There's absolutely no way to say for sure, and no way to even come close to an educated guess. That's why next time any of my friends has a headache I won't be advising them to drink water lying down in a cool room for fifteen minutes, as someone bakes cakes for them while singing along to Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey... not even if I thought telling them that would distract them enough to make them forget they ever had a headache. I'll fetch the water and painkillers, because at least that's worked on more than just me.

*Actually, I'm pretty sure this didn't help. The White Album is one of the worst possible things to listen to with a headache, second only to EinstΓΌrzende Neubauten.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Stop blowing holes in your plots

I'm looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean team. On Stranger Tides was a great film, and worked well even without reference to the previous three. The silliness works well, to a point, but there's only so much my disbelief can be suspended before at least part of it has to drop. Here are the top five groan-worthy moments:

  1. Does coal really catch fire that quickly?
  2. I'm not convinced by that combination of king, palace, interior and location relative to the rest of London.
  3. We have other prisons, you know, not just the Tower of London. If you're going to always go for the most popular local references, why not go the whole hog and drive them there in an anachronistic red bus?
  4. Why would a pirate ship be so badly looked after? And holes in the sails? Your main character is pretty much entirely motivated by his love for a ship, and the freedom it represents to a pirate. Are we really supposed to believe that Blackbeard, with all the resources at his command, would put up with his ship having sails like fishnet stockings?
  5. If you stand on a small tree, loop a rope around a thicker tree, and pull on the rope, the first thing that moves will not be the big tree.
There was so much else that was done well in this film, it seems a shame to not put just that little more thought into it, and not set good actors out in very leaky vessels.