I’ve never felt older than I did this morning, when, standing at a bus-stop surrounded by screaming kids effing and jeffing, I tutted to myself and thought ‘kids these days’. Well actually, what I thought was ‘kids these days…if I kicked the littlest one under the wheels of a bus would I REALLY be in the wrong?’. Which is a trifle worrying but honestly, they were so loud. All the conversation was happening at twice the speed I’d expect, like someone leaning on the BPM slider on an old record-player. At one point I thought they were speaking Gujarati until I made the words ‘here-man-ye-FUCKING-DONKEY’ explode through all the vocal drawls and tics. Plus half of the little scrotes were smoking, albeit they were doing that affected ‘suck in a tiny bit and exhale like you’re trying to blow out a chip pan fire’ smoking. I mean if you’re GOING to smoke do it properly, I didn’t hear one lung-rattling cough amongst them. Amateurs. I was on half a tin of Peterson Old Dublin at their age.
You may wonder why someone as sociopathic as me was on a bus – well, I had to take my dear little car in for a service. It’s a brand new car so there should be no problems and it could have waited but see, my windscreen wipers were leaving an annoying smear on the window and rather than just clean them myself, I just took the car in for a full service and asked for a new set. We’re terrible with money, what can I say. But we’ve got no debt so we’re doing something right! I had to sit outside the dealership for twenty minutes waiting for someone to open up, and then I was immediately cut up in the queue by someone with a nicotine fringe and Build-a-Bear shoes. It’s OK, I’m British, I’ll queue politely and stare at the back of your greasy head with such unimaginable fury that I’m surprised the word KNOBJOCKEY didn’t burn across your ears.
He was booking in his bellendmobile for a service too and I almost ground my teeth into diamonds at his excruciating exchange with the receptionist. See, she asked him what time he wanted to pick up the car, he replied ‘Whatever time is good for you, I’m easy’. That made me vomit gently against the back of my teeth but I held it back. She then suggested 4pm – nope, no good, he was picking the kids up. 5pm? No, he was taking his mother to hospital. 3pm? He’d be at work. Tomorrow morning? He drives a lorry for a living, he’d be away. I mean HAWAY MAN, it’s not bloody hard to give HER a time instead of trying to be a smooth bastard with your plaitable earhair and chip-fat musk. After what felt like enough time to the rubber on my tyres to perish in the sun, he fucked off, it was my turn, I signed the car over and was away before she could click her pen.
The bus, then. Awful. For so many reasons. Firstly, I like my own personal space. I don’t like sharing that personal space with someone for whom deodorant and mouthwash are part of an “alternative lifestyle”. I immediately tune into their every defect – the way their nostrils whistle when they breathe out, the way they click their teeth over every speedbump, the way they lean against me as the bus turns a corner. I hate it. I’m not perfect by any stretch but see that’s why I contain myself in a car. People don’t respect personal space but I probably take it to the other extreme – I wince like a beaten dog if someone so much as gets in the lift with me.
Plus, the journey cost me £2.20. For a distance no greater than two miles, all downhill. Had I not been worried about my lovely shirt, I could have laid on my back and barrelled down the hill like a roll of carpet. I could even have walked (shock, I know, but even I’m not fat enough to decline a walk downhill) but I would have been late for my dentist and he’s the last guy I want to piss off. That’s extortionate, and it took almost half an hour because the bus stopped quite literally every 100 yards or so to let someone off and on, with all their bloody questions taking another five minutes. The driver had all the charisma of a roadside piss and snatched tickets and cash like he was on the Crystal Maze. I don’t doubt there are exceptions but do they make all bus drivers go to a training camp to thrash all the human decency out of them? Or is it dealing with rotten human beings all day that turn them into such miserable buggers? I saw someone stumble over the word Megarider and I honestly thought the driver was going to punch her on the tit.
Ah well. The dentist went very well – I’m not even going to write a sarcastic recount of that, because I just can’t fault my dentist. He’s lovely. He takes the time to tell me what he’s going to do and I think he must minimise anything that ‘hurts’ because I rarely feel a thing. Apparently I have animal teeth AND naturally white. Not surprised, what with all the “whitening solution” I’ve had cascaded over them over the years, am I right? If I was richer, I’d have every last tooth torn out and replaced with big fake white teeth. I know it looks unnatural but it’s the one thing about me that I’m genuinely shy about – even though my teeth are pretty decent. Paul hides his teeth all the time too, despite having a lovely smile – but in the nine years we’ve been together I’ve never been allowed to look at the back of his mouth. The guy is happy enough texting me a picture of his balloon knot with an ‘URGENT: OPEN THIS’ caption, but his teeth? No. Weird.
Anyway, as it happens, the car came back completely free of any worries and they replaced the blades for nowt because they should have lasted longer! RESULT.
Tonight’s recipe, then:
to make lamb kofta, you’ll need:
ingredients for the kofta: 900g lean lamb mince, 1 large onion, 3cm piece of root ginger (peeled and chopped), 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chilli pepper (deseeded), 1 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp garam masala, 1tsp salt, 1 egg
to make lamb kofta, you should:
- throw the onion, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cumin, coriander, garam masala, salt and egg into a food processor and pulse until it makes a grainy paste
- mix together the minced lamb and egg, and then combine with the paste mixture
- leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour
- divide the mixture into ten portions and roll out into a thick sausage shape – you want it to be about the size of a penis that, when presented, you wouldn’t get very excited about, and skewer
- in a small bowl mix together a little fat free yoghurt with a drop or two of oil and add a pinch of black pepper
- using a pastry brush, lightly coat the koftas with the yoghurt mixture
- grill under a medium heat for around 5 minutes per side
We served this on a HEB WW tortilla bread from Tesco, plus some tomato and a giant lettuce leaf.
ingredients for the creamy cool cucumbers: 1 cucumber (sliced thinly), 1 onion (sliced), 60g fat free natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp sweetener, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 tsp dill
- mix together the yoghurt, onion, white wine vinegar, sweetener, salt and pepper
- pour over the cucumbers and toss well to mix
- sprinkle the dill over the mix just before serving
Listen: I know I go on about this all the time. But if you haven’t got a mandolin slicer, bloody well get one. Fair enough you might circumcise the end of your fingers but it’ll be worth it – you can slice your onion and cucumber for this recipe in less time then it would take you to get a knife out of the block and crack a few jokes about the girth of the cucumber. The one we use is from Amazon and is brilliant – and only £12. Think of all the time you spend crying over your onion and irregular slices. Treat yourself. It’s this or chocolate.
Better to make this just before serving otherwise the cucumber leaks its water and the sauce looks like something you might get treatment at the clap clinic for.
End on a high!