cooking

I’ve always had a soft spot for fried calamari. I used to make them on Saturday evenings back in Turkey and they tasted delicious. In order to recreate those memories (and have more delicious meals) I started cooking calamari again. First few tries were terrible but recently I managed to make quite good ones (to my taste anyway). I’ll use this post to consult to whenever I need this recipe again.

Ingredients

  • 2 packs of raw calamari tubes
  • 15 - 20g bicarbonate of soda
  • 10g salt
  • Lemon juice (for bicarbonate soda to rise just enough to cover the whole batch of calamari)

Steps

  • Step 1: Defreeze and let it sit in water in about 2 hours
  • Step 2: Take it out of the water and filter excess water
  • Step 3: Add bicarbonate of soda and salt and knead for 10 minutes
  • Step 4: Cover with PVC film and let it rest for 24 hours
  • Step 5: Cover with flour and fry

Resources

travel

It’s been a few years since I last went to The Comedy Store. I decided to resume going as it’s always a recipe for a good time!

Pre-Show

  • One thing that was disappointing was soon after I purchased my tickets they changed their ticketing system and they stopped accepting e-tickets. Instead you have to go to the box office where they print you your tickets. After this minor inconvenience I was in!

  • I went in 1 hour before the show. It wasn’t really packed but still the seats were almost half full. Saturday evening must be the busiest time of the club which is not very surprising anyway!

  • Some guy was having a stag party and his friends forced him to sit in the second row wearing rainbow coloured outfit with shorts and a purple hat. I guess the idea was to have the comedians mock the poor guy. None of the comedians saw him but the MC noticed his clothes and cracked a few jokes about him.

  • Turns out nothing much has changed over the years. Even the announcements and the messages on the big screen were mostly the same.

  • Break between the sets was a bit long (25 minutes)

The Show

From Thursday to Saturday they their best line up for week on which is called The Best in Stand Up.

Line up for the night was:

  • Ian Moore (MC)
  • Jo Caulfield
  • John Lynn
  • Sean Collins
  • Mike Gunn

And a young guest comic (with a shorter set about 15 minute)

The show started at 7:30 and ended close to 22:00.

Post-Show

I liked the show in general but in my memory this Best in Stand Up shows were funnier. I especially like Mike Gunn’s set. He was really very funny. Jo Caulfield was also great. I liked her observations and edginess. John Lynn basically had 1 story in the whole set and I didn’t find it too funny. Maybe it was good enough for a few jokes for a few minutes but definitely not for an entire set.

Resources

travel

UK is set to leave the EU and we probably won’t have the luxury of travelling anywhere in Europe by just buying a train/plane ticket. I wanted to take advantage this luxury before the self-destruction starts and decided to take the day off and take a train to Paris.

Preparations

As this is a daily trip I didn’t plan too much about it. Here’s all I did:

  • Buy a return ticket from Eurostar (from London St. Pancras to Paris Gare Du Nord and back). This set me back £88 which is not too bad for international travel.
  • I only packed my iPad Pro and a couple powerbanks. The idea is to balance functionality with weight.
  • As proven in Norway and Sweden trips, roaming works well with GiffGaff. There’s no additional charge and I was able to use my phone just as I could in London.
  • No need to buy Euros as planned to use card for all the transactions. Might cost some extra bank charges but at least eliminates the hassle of buying cash and selling it back.
  • Found a blog post called Paris in a Day and planning to visit the places mentioned in that post. Let’s see how many of them I’ll manage to actually see:

    • Notre Dame
    • The Louvre
    • Champs-Élysées
    • Arc de Triomphe
    • Eiffel Tower
    • Seine River Cruise
    • Tour Montparnasse

The Trip

  • I arrived at St. Pancras International about 1 hour earlier. I didn’t know there were security checks and passport controls but apparently there are checks carried out by the French police so I’m glad I didn’t treat it as a commuter train and tried to board at the last minute.
  • 15 minutes after departure more passengers boarded at Ebbsfleet.
  • A message on the screen said we were travelling at 295 km/h

  • On return journey, it also stopped at Ashford International station.

Paris

It was a nice sunny day and I walked around all day. Spent most of the time going to The Eiffel Tower and a 2-hour hop on/off bus tour. Here’s some pictures from the trip:

Lessons Learned

  • I didn’t buy any Euros for this trip assuming I could pay for everything by card. It didn’t quite work out that way. They don’t accept card in public toilets which may be a very important issue depending on your liquid consumption! Also in a convenience store minimum amount to use card was €6 so had to make some unnecessary purchases just to meet the minimum.
  • In a daily trip time is of essence so there’s a feeling of rushing everything. For example I skipped going up The Eiffel Tower becasue the queue was too long.

Resources