Lots of stuff to post, so I shall follow Luddo's trailblazing footsteps. Btw, if you haven't read the post, please do. Especially the one on orphaned railway wagons. I remember once seeing one of these NEFR thingies in Shoranur circa 1989. Don pointed it out to me and I felt so sorry for it that I started crying. Since then, every time we pass by Shoranur, I look for it. It was there for years but disappeared in 2004. Some kind engine must have found it and taken it home. If I ever meet that engine, I shall thank it properly. Anyway.
1. Booker shortlist
Feanor got it right - Booker nonsense is what it is. Then again, the longlist does usually turn up a couple of gems which is the only point of the Booker though I am still yet to find them this year. Not giving up though, another month to go. Oh yeah, reviews until now here.
2. Bill's defense
Cat: Apparently it was a real defense. I have never heard Bill call anything "nerve-wracking". That must count for something, no?
The news is that its over. Doctor Bill will now shop over the weekend (is there any other reason to cross the Atlantic anymore?) and be back early next week.
Since Amma is here, I got a mini onam feast with avial and payasam. Apparently, the real thing is on the menu next weekend when the Doctor Marumagan is back.
Also called all Mallu junta back home for Onam. Apparently, no one makes feast at home anymore - all these restaurants offer 26-course Onasadya which people go to. Don says that this is causing the usual suspects to bemoan the loss of culture and healthy home-cooked food and what not. I was nodding in agreeance (the thought of not being able to go any home and have a proper home-cooked feast is more then a little disconcerting) until Don reminded me what this Onasadya process really meant in most Mallu homes:
7 bottles of Johnnie Walker, 1 Chivas (6 from Gelf, 2 from military canteen) for men of the house
3 days of non-stop cooking and cleaning activity for women of the house
Obviously things don't get as out of hand as it does for X'mas as 1) the number of Gelfies and propotionally the number of alco bottles coming back to homeland goes up and 2) meat and fish consumption goes up exponentially BUT Onam is second only to X'mas as far as alcohol consumption goes. Then he reminded me that Malluland still has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in the country. Which by itself is not a bad thing but consider what most women are doing when this alcohol fest is going on.
Anyway. Related post on cooking on UV here.
4. Padam time
October is around the corner which means two film festivals - London and Chicago. I am in Chicago for one weekend and it will eat into my annual shopping time so not sure whether I will get to watch anything there but there's always London. Full programme here.
My personal movie advisor doesn't think this is a particularly exciting year, but suggests these films:
Achilles and the Tortoise
Synechdoche New York
Mahadev Ki Sajjanpur
and naturally, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Good, The Bad and the Weird
My plan this year is really to see the archives / restored films which the advisor thinks is an excellent idea.
5. New Project
Space Bar came up with such an awesome name that it makes no sense to keep it secret. It is called The Blank Blood Bank Project. But sorry, can't tell you anything about the project mostly because its not a real project - its a name in search of a project.
For those of you who know what I am talking about, Omerta.