Monday, 7 April 2014

WWE – Distributors of propaganda and destroyers of dreams.


Anger is a very raw (excuse the pun) emotion. When you release it without thinking things through you run the risk of looking like a fool.....but that’s a chance I’m willing to take since I think it’s impossible for anyone to look as stupid as WWE do right now.

I try not to eat too much junk but since WrestleMania is bigger than Christmas for most wrestling fans I treated myself to a bottle of Lilt, some sweets and crisps then sat down to watch the showcase of the immortals.....but I wish I hadn’t bothered.....maybe WrestleMania should now be dubbed the showcase of the mortals!?

I haven’t even finished watching WrestleMania 30 (and maybe I never will).....but after witnessing the lunacy of the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker match I sat there stunned for the next 10-15 minutes while the Diva’s Championship match was on and then I simply had to turn off the TV. Right now for all I know Daniel Bryan could be WWE World Heavyweight Champion but you know what.....it doesn’t matter! If the holy grail of wrestling ‘The Streak’ can be tossed away in such a shabby fashion the WWE World Heavyweight Championship should be in the ‘Reduced to Clear’ section of the Argos jewellery department.

I was proud to be a wrestling fan. I never hid my passion. It was one of the first things I would tell people about myself and it was even noted on my CV. But now I’m ashamed.....what a load of f**king b*ll*cks!

What WWE fail to realise is that fans do not HAVE to watch, they CHOOSE to watch.....but from now on.....after 25 years.....I choose NOT to watch anymore.

WWE have been f**king with their fans for far too long now. I watch wrestling to be happy.....why on earth would I watch it if the happiness is outweighed by sadness?

I understand things can’t always go the way you want in wrestling, if it did there would be no point in watching but there are some things (well maybe only one actually) that you should NEVER do.....end The Streak.....and certainly not to a mercenary like Brock Lesnar!

Is this what WWE fan travel half way across the world for?

Earlier in the evening WWE induced out of me one of the biggest wrestling related smiles I have given in a long time when Cesaro body slammed The Big Show over the top rope to win the inaugural Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.....and at that moment I wondered “Could Cesaro be the man to end The Streak in a couple of years?”

Let’s get one thing straight, just in case it isn’t glaringly obvious, I do not think The Streak should ever have ended, EVER! Too much has gone into it just to throw it all away and make no mistake, it has ALL been thrown away. The Streak no longer exists, it’s now just a really good win percentage at WrestleMania.

I know these days WWE is all about making money for its share holders.....that is not a disgruntled fan talking, that is FACT! Everything WWE give to their fans is just an investment not a gift. The difference being, a gift is something you give with no expectation of receiving anything in return, while an investment is something you give with the hope of getting more than you initially invested. I say this because, to understand why WWE do things you first need to understand what their motivation is.....profit! But.....I really can’t imagine a stampede of WWE fans rushing out to buy a Brock Lesnar t-shirt.....but The Shreak.....it should have been immortal. There could have been a glut of merchandise being sold long after The Undertaker had eventually retired and for many, many years after that because a legend like ‘The Streak’ would live forever.

I’m sure The Undertaker would have been key in the decision to end The Streak and there are probably many factors which I am not aware of but this is NOT how it should have ended. For all The Undertaker has given to WWE, more than ANY wrestler in history, he has only been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion on seven occasions, not such a big deal I guess since championships never seemed to add anything to the character, if anything it’s possible the titles detracted from his aura. Titles weren’t The Undertakers thing but The Streak was. Unless WWE in their infinite wisdom decide to do some kind of idiotic Goldberg-esque angle with Alexander Rusev beating 10 men in one night at WrestleMania 31 & 32 (don’t rule it out, they’re morons!) no one will ever get close to 21-0 so why destroy something that you have now when you will never be able to replicate it in the future?

I give on average 1 hour of each day to WWE. Spread that over a lifetime and if I’m lucky enough to live until I’m 96, I would have dedicated 4 whole years of my life to watching WWE.....f**k that! I’ve got better things to do!

I’m sad I’ve probably missed Daniel Bryan being crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I’m sad I’m not going to witness the potential debut of Sting and feud with The Undertaker. I’m sad I’m not going to experience the wonderful journey with the likes of Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Adrian Neville and Paige like I did with Rowdy Roddy Piper, Goldust, William Regal and Shawn Michales. And I’m devastated that I’m having to walk away from my hero and role model Mick Foley.....if I didn’t it would be like and alcoholic saying “I’m giving up beer, wine, vodka, gin and whisky.....all I’m going to drink now is tequila.”

This wasn’t supposed to be a particularly coherent blog/article/post (whatever) all it was supposed to be was me saying “F**k you! I’m off!” and a way of empowering myself to walk away.

Ending The Streak did not pass the torch.....it simply extinguished the flame.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

How do you know if it is time to let go?

This might come as a bit of a surprise to some of you, especially if you happen to be one of my ex-girlfriends, but the truth is, I have been in another secret relationship for the last 22 years. This other ‘lady’ really is my true love and together we have shared some of the happiest moments of my life. Unfortunately over the past few years those special moments have become few and far between and as things stand today ‘she’ is unrecognisable from the ‘girl’ I fell in love with over two decades ago. Week after week I chase that elusive special moment with ‘her’…..a moment I haven’t seen for so long that I am not even sure I would recognise it if I saw it.

Right now I don’t want to live with ‘her’ but I don’t want to live without ‘her’…..what I actually want is for ‘her’ to go back to how ‘she’ used to be but ‘she’ just keeps saying “I’m not that person anymore, I have changed”. ‘She’ continually leaves me disappointed but the memory of how things used to be convince me to give her second chance after second chance.....but I think I have now run out of chances to give.


22 years of good times and bad times, laughing and crying, growing, learning and becoming who I am today. I have invested so much in to this relationship and that is why am finding it so hard to walk away. Do I just flush it all down the toilet and start a fresh?.....or do I dig my heals in and hope for a return to the good old days?.....what if the good old days do not come back?.....what happens if the good old days do come back but I am no longer around? I just don’t know what to do for the best.

I sometimes think that every minute I spend with ‘her’ could be sixty seconds spent with someone else who would actually make me happy, but then the glorious memories flood my mind like a raging tsunami sent by the Ocean of Guilt and Sea of Nostalgia then I am swept away only to find myself stranded on the Island of Indecisiveness.

As you can probably already tell this is one of the most serious blog entries I have written, no jokes, no innuendo, in fact it is probably the first time I have shown this side of myself but that tells you how important this is to me and that is also why I need some advice from you my readers.

I think I am only holding on because I have forgotten how to let go.

Now just in case you are one of the millions of girls who were ‘lucky’ enough to have been in a relationship with me, before you start leaving flaming bags of poo on my door step or sending me the heads of various animals by special delivery the other ‘woman’ who I have been in a 22 year love affair with is…..Sheridan Smith (pictured on the right) from ‘Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps’…..no, that’s not true…..the other ‘woman’ is actually World Wrestling Entertainment…..not a woman in the usual sense but I love ‘her’ all the same…..or at least I used to.

Now let’s get one thing straight, I haven’t suddenly grown up and become too old for wrestling as some of you may speculate, the problem is that WWE has turned ‘her’ back on me by adopting a ‘PG’ rating for all of ‘her’ shows and in doing so 'she' has alienated the very person who took 'her' to the dance in the first place, me (and the loyal fans).

It’s like coming home from work one day only to find a pile of black bin bags containing your clothes sitting in the front garden, then catching a glimpse of your wife performing a lap dance in the front room while a man you have never seen before is holding the remote control for YOUR TV! Do I walk in, take a seat and watch the RUGBY with ‘Dave’ before asking if it would be OK for me to share my wife with him…..or do I smash the door down, kick 'Dave' up the b*ll*cks, grab the 50” plasma TV and MY f**king TV remote control then go down the pub and watch the FOOTBALL?

So should I stick with it and hope the bad times come to an end or do I offer a parting embrace and a goodbye kiss before turning my back and walking away?


The question is this “How do you know if it is time to let go?”

Harry Federchi.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Recipe: Fish Head Curry

Finally…..the recipe you have all been waiting for…..Fish Head Curry…..well I say Fish Head Curry but in reality it is a Fish Curry using the whole fish including the head.

(It has suddenly dawned on me that I forgot to take a photo of the dinner to show you.....oh well, I'll think of something.....)


I have to say that half way through cooking, the curry did not taste too good, it was OK but nothing special however after a few adjustments, I was very happy with the end result.

This is a great dish for the whole family because you really need to get stuck in with your fingers (and maybe a spoon) to eat it and the kids will go mad when they get a big fish head on their plate. Poking the eyes and using the head for a bit of ventriloquism may not be particularly good manners but once in a while it doesn’t hurt and more importantly it educates kids to know that the sea is not full of little golden fish fingers swimming around and jumping into fisherman’s nets. They learn that when they eat any type of meat that a living, breathing, swimming or walking animal with eyes and a heart has had to die to provide the meal, it may not be nice but it is reality. Hopefully as they get older they will appreciate the food more and understand that maybe it is time for humans to lower their consumption of meat which is unsustainable at its current rate of growth, especially when people only want to eat prime cuts like chicken breast and fillet steak for example. I believe in ‘Nose To Tail Eating’ and think you should only eat meat if you are happy to eat every part of the animal and why would you not want to when there are so many delicious and cheap cuts of meat that are so under used like Pork Shoulder and the wide range of offal that today’s society is so squeamish about.


Anyway, rant over, time for the recipe…..

Serves 4 with Basmati Rice

INGREDIENTS:

4 Whole Tilapia gutted and cut into 4-5 pieces including the heads and tails (try getting these from a fish market, cost about £4.00 each in Tesco but I paid less than £1.00 each from Hackney Market)
10 tbsp Mustard Oil
10 Green Cardamom Pods (crushed)
8 Cloves
4 Bay Leaves
2 tsp Panch Phoran (a blend of equal quantities of fenugreek, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, cumin and mustard seeds) also known as Bengali Five-Spice
2 Onions (finely chopped)
5 Green Chillies (pricked with a fork)
4 Rounded tbsp Ginger Paste (made by crushing or blending fresh ginger to a rough paste)
5 Large Cloves of Garlic (blended to a paste)
2 tbsp Ground Coriander
4 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Turmeric
½ tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ tsp Paprika
3-4 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
800ml Water
1 very large handful of Fresh Coriander (chopped)


METHOD:

In a large pot or wok heat 5 tbsp of Mustard Oil until smoking hot then remove from heat for 30 seconds.

Add the Cardamom Pods, Cloves, Bay Leaves and Panch Phoran then fry over a low heat for about 3-5 minutes while stirring well.

Add the Onions and fry for a further 3-5 minutes.

Add the Green Chillies, Ginger Paste and Garlic Paste while continuing to cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the all powdered spices, salt and sugar and cook for 1 minute then add the water. Bring the mixture to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer the mixture for 15 minutes or until the volume of liquid has reduced then put to one side.

In a frying pan or wok, fry the pieces of fish using the remaining Mustard Oil for about 3-5 minutes until golden brown on each side depending on the thickness of the fish (you will need to do this in batches starting with the heads and ending with the thinnest bits) then add to the gravy.

Once all the fish has been cooked and added to the gravy, simmer the whole lot for about 5 minutes.

Add the chopped Coriander and make sure everything is well combined then serve.


I doubt you will find all the stuff you need for this recipe in your local supermarket so here is a link to the online Asian food store I use called ‘The Asian Cook Shop’, they provide a great service, deliver direct to your door and offer good value for money: http://www.theasiancookshop.co.uk/index.asp


Harry Federchi

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

The Immortal 23.


Back in 2006 I was horrified by the England World Cup squad Sven Goran Eriksson announced so I have decided to take matters in to my own hands. My hope is that somehow, someway my advice will find it’s way to Fabio Capello and England’s World Cup dreams and aspirations will come true. So here it is, my England squad that can win the 2010 FIFA World Cup.


Goalkeepers:

1 James: More likely to win you a game than loose you a game these days and even at the ripe old age of 39 still capable of making a World Cup winning save. England’s number 1.


13 Robinson: Robbo has had a fantastic season with Blackburn showing the kind of form that won him the place as England’s number 1 at the World Cup in 2006. He is England’s second most experienced goalkeeper and it’s no good throwing in a young kid if James gets injured after 20 minutes of a semi final.


23 Hart: The most talented of all England’s young goalkeepers.



Defenders:

2 Johnson: Growing all the time as a player but his attacking down the right flank is what makes him stand out as England’s first choice right-back. After recently returning from a 3 month injury layoff, Johnson will be looking to rediscover his early season club form in time for the trip to South Africa.


3 A. Cole: Another major injury scare for England happened when Ashley Cole fractured his ankle back in February but thankfully he returned to the Chelsea starting line-up this past weekend and just in time to get a few games under his belt before the preliminary England squad is announced. Remember the days when Ashley Cole more or less got into the England team because he was excellent going forward? Seems like a long time ago now. These days he is a true defender who is very good positionally and excellent in the tackle. One of the best left-backs in the world…..and still good going forward!


5 Ferdinand: Rio’s constant injury problems this season have thrown England in to the midst of a not so mini crisis. Mr Capello’s insistence on only taking fully fit players to the World Cup must cast doubt over Ferdinand’s inclusion but as England captain and one of the finest defenders of his generation the whole country will be hoping Rio can recover in time. Pace, power, great on the ball and vast experience.


6 Terry: Lacking form since shortly after the revelations surrounding his private life emerged. However, love him or loath him JT is a leader of men, something England are short of so it is important that he finds his rhythm soon. Determination, experiences and never say die attitude.


16 King: In my opinion not only England’s best defender but the best defender in world football. He had a bad game against Arsenal at The Emirates in October but that is the first bad game he has had in the last 50. With lightning pace, tackles timed to the microsecond and excellent control of the ball with both feet Ledley can boss any striker. His injuries limit him to one game per week but with the World Cup taking place over four and a half weeks, on paper it looks like Ledley would be able to play in 6 of England’s 7 potential World Cup games. Without his chronic knee problem King could have gone on to eclipse the career of any England defender past or present and would be a definite starter going in to this summer’s tournament…..but let’s face facts, Ledley does have atleast one dodgy knee so it is imperative that the England coaching staff take the advice of the Tottenham Hotspur medical team and manage Ledley properly. Should the worst happen and John Terry and Rio Ferdinand pick up injury’s or suspensions there is no way that England will win the World Cup with any combination of Matthew Upson, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka or Ryan Shawcross. Just look at the recent winners of the World Cup, Italy, Brazil and France…..they could boast defenders like Fabio Cannavaro, Lucio and Marcel Desailly…..if England are to stand a chance, they need to take a chance. For me it’s a no-brainer, Ledley should go to South Africa but because the majority of the English press are so negative they will no doubt say it is a bad move should Capello decide to take him. However, if King plays a significant part in a successful World Cup for England the decision will be seen as a masterstroke and Fabio will be heralded as some kind of modern day Galileo when in reality it is the obvious and correct decision to make. It is true that taking Ledley King is a gamble, sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t but one thing you can be sure of is the fact that you can only win if you gamble. It’s better to have Superman in a wheelchair than asking Mr T to fly.


20 Dawson: After starting the season as Tottenham’s 4th choice centre half Michael Dawson showed exactly the kind of commitment and determination England need by working hard and taking his chance when it came along. Now one of the first names on Harry Redknapp’s team sheet, Dawson has been the most consistent English defender this season and fully deserves to win his first International cap in the friendly against Mexico next month.


12 Brown: Kind of lucky to be getting on my plain to South Africa but we need an understudy at right-back. I would normally prefer take a chance on someone like Micah Richards who I think has the potential to go on and become a much better player than Wes Brown but on this occasion I am going against my natural judgment and picking a player who can ‘do a job’ rather than a player who could win you a game just as easily as he could lose it. Just to clarify I am choosing Wes Brown, let’s hope England don’t need to use him.


15 Bridge: I am still optimistic that Wayne Bridge might reconsider his decision to make himself unavailable for England duty. He has vast experience at the highest level and although not up to the standards set by Ashley Cole, Bridge does offer a good alternative. Should Bridge decide not to return I would go with Leighton Baines who had an impressive International debut last month and as well as his defensive qualities shows great ability from set pieces.



Midfielders:

4 Gerrard: What can I say about Stevie G that hasn’t already been said? I could say “He’s rubbish” but that would be a lie. England need at least 3 big games from Gerrard at the World Cup if they are going to win it and for all those who say England have no chance of winning the tornament…..if Steven Gerrard is in your team, you always have a chance. His club form has been under par this season so let’s hope for a role reversal where Stevie plays indifferent for his club and is a world beater for England.


8 Lampard: Frank is proof that hard work pays. He never sits out the friendly games for England like some players, he wants to play every minute of every game…..and wouldn’t it be nice to see him play every minute of all 7 potential England games at the World Cup. Regular scorer of 20 goals per season for club and he is Mr Reliable from the spot Lampard already has 25 goals this term and is a shocking omission from the PFA Team of the Season. Lamps is just as likely to bang one in from 30 yards as he is to slip through an intricate pass to set up someone else. England will be looking for at least 3 goals during the tournament from Lampard on route to World Cup glory.


11 Barry: Many people credit Emile Haskey with helping to get the best out of Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard but I think Gareth Barry is the glue that holds everything together. Let’s get things straight, Barry is a top quality player who can do it all. Centre-back, full-back, wing-back, winger, defensive, central and attacking midfield are all positions Gareth has played during his career…..but why so many positions? Answer: Because he is strong, he can tackle, he can head the ball, he is a good short and long range passer, brilliant at getting on the end of and delivering free-kicks plus he has a good eye for goal. This season Gareth Barry has looked a bit one dimensional but this is because he has had to be the disciplined member of the Manchester City team who has allowed the likes of Craig Bellamy and Shawn Wright-Phillips to bomb forward and support the strikers. Barry can offer something similar to England by lessening the defensive duties of Lampard, Gerrard and Lennon thus giving them more licence to get up the pitch and interact with the forwards. Make no mistake this is a very important, if somewhat unsung role.


7 Lennon: Just like Ashley Cole, Aaron Lennon returned to action last weekend for the first time since 2009 and for the brief time he was on the pitch he looked pretty sharp. He now needs to get a few games under his belt and should be up to speed by the time the World Cup kicks off. Of all the heir apparents to David Beckham’s throne Aaron looks like the player most likely to start on the right for England this summer. He is the only midfielder in the proposed starting line up who possess real blistering pace and this will be key to England’s chances. It has been nice to see Aazza mix things up more in terms of his delivery. We all know he can skin any defender and loves to get to the byline to deliver his crosses but these days he also cuts inside the defender because he is growing more confident with his left foot. A much more intelligent player than when he went to the World Cup in 2006 Lennon now realises that he attracts a lot of attention from defenders who often double up on him so from time to time you should find Aaron playing in the overlapping full-back should that be Vedran Corluka at club level or Glen Johnson with England.


14 J.Cole: England fans have been robbed of seeing Joe Cole for well over a year but before then he had made the left side of midfield his own. Fabio Capello seems somewhat underwhelmed by the mercurial Cole but a look back to the last World Cup where Joe was England’s stand out player should give the England coach a hint, if he needs it, that Joe Cole should be on the plane. Joe is one of few England players who can go past a defender with skill alone and if he can show he is back to his best he will be off to his third World Cup Finals.


17 Milner: I have always likes James Milner but I think his versatility has sometimes held him back however, in terms of a World Cup squad his versatility will be a massive bonus. I have been very impressed with the newly crowned PFA Young Player of the Year for both Aston Villa and England this season. He can play at full-back, centre midfield, both wings or even as a second striker. He is good with both feet but his hard work and desire really stand out. If you had asked me 8 months ago I would have suggested that Milner could be a star of the 2010 World Cup Finals and the only thing that has changed since then is the fact that my opinion now seems to be the consensus among many football fans.


21 Walcott: In 2006 I was gobsmacked to find out that Sven had decided to take Theo Walcott to the World Cup instead of Jermain Defoe, it was a scandalous decision that may or may not have cost us the World Cup that year. Although I personally still think the jury is out on Theo I am prepared to take a leap of faith and include him…..but I would like to think I am making a more informed decision than Sven did back in 2006.


22 Huddlestone: This was a hard choice, I initially chose Michael Carrick but decided that the lack of faith shown in him by Sir Alex Ferguson would surely have dented his confidence. I then decided to take a 5th striker in Darren Bent who has had an amazing debut season in what was a sometimes struggling Sunderland side. I do feel that Darren Bent does deserve to go to South Africa and I believe he would score goals at international level, however after looking at the balance of the squad I decided I had enough firepower in the squad but the midfield was looking a little bit light. Step up Tom Huddlestone. ‘Big’ Tom’s passing ability is unsurpassed in the Premier League and he is also one of the best strikers of the ball but I did use to worry about his ability to get around the pitch. Being a virtual ever present for Spurs this season has helped Huddlestone no end and because he has played more games than ever before his fitness has improved and his mobility issues no longer seem to be a problem.



Strikers:

10 Rooney: I’m sure Wayne has got a twin brother! Whenever I watch him play it seems like there are two of him on the pitch, how often do we see such a supremely skilled player with his workaholic attitude? Wazza is enough to occupy two defenders and still leave them sitting on their backside. Rooney will be desperate to make up for the disappointment of 2006 and something tells me that he might just get some retribution against his old mate Cristiano ‘The Winker’ Ronaldo. Whether Manchester United fans like it or not, Wayne Rooney has been as close to a one man team as it is possible to get. The new PFA Player of the Season is truly awesome so let’s hope his little injury setback offers him a much deserved rest before he continues where he left off just in time for the World Cup.


18 Defoe: Defoe is England’s most natural goal scorer, often hitting the back of the net with little half chances he creates for himself Jermain is just as much of a threat from 2 yards as he is from 22 yards. Electric speed, vicious shooting power with accuracy and twinkle toes to take him past any defender. In my opinion Defoe is still underrated by the English public, put him of the world stage and he will not be overshadowed by anyone. Beardsley and Lineker were one of England’s greatest ever attacking duo’s…..both were of small to average stature but more importantly both were extremely talented footballers. All this “You can’t play with two little men up front” is total nonsense…..good players can play together, end of! What everyone needs to remember is that Rooney is not your normal small player, you are more likely to see Rooney bullying a 6ft 4in centre-half than the other way around. Mike Tyson was one of the smallest heavyweights around at only 5ft 11in yet he managed to become one of the greatest fighters of all time…..it’s not about the size of the dog in the fight, it’s about the size of the fight in the dog!


9 Crouch: 6ft 7in and more likely to score with his ball-bag than his head but Crouchie is the big man England need. Why play Heskey who never scores when you can have Crouch who has a goals per game ratio that is better than 1 in 2 at International level. ‘Big Pete’ can hold the ball up and lay it off well, he causes panic in the oppositions penalty area and he can score every type of goal. He is good at defending his own area from corners and the throw-ins as he showed against Stoke’s Rory Delap earlier in the season and is the type of player every nation wishes they had.


19 Zamora: Not many players make their International debut at the age of 29 and just a few weeks before the start of a World Cup but just as his club side Fulham have defied the odds this season Bobby Zamora is going to have to do the same. He has been in sparkling form over the past 9 months showing good ball control, power, goal threat and excellent hold up play. Zamora is offering himself as a genuine alternative to the goal shy Emile Heskey.



So, Mr Capello, if you are reading this just take on board what I have said and the Three Lions are sure to bring the World Cup home to England…..what do you think?



Harry Federchi.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ladies and gentleman, Harry Federchi has left the building!

There is nothing like a 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford to bring you back down to Earth with a bump, oh well let’s hope that other bunch of dirty red scum bags (the ones from North…..er, South London) do Spurs a favour against Manchester City today.

Since the weather is so nice today I have decided to leave the confines of my house and venture in to the ‘World Beyond The Walls’…..so I am currently typing this from my garden! I know you are thinking to yourself “Oh well done Harry”……so thanks, it was a big step for me. I’m not sure how long it will last though, the sun is playing havoc with the contrast on my laptop screen and I’m not sure how much longer the battery will last…..so obviously I will soon be returning to ‘Fort Federchi’. I have heard that some people sit in the garden and…..well that’s it, they sit there and soak up a bit of sun. How strange! No Internet, no TV, no PS3…..god what is the point of living?.....weirdos!

Getting back to the real world, last week I watched the first 2 series of Gavin & Stacey (plus the Christmas Special)…..I had never watched it before because I missed the first couple of episodes and my obsessive compulsion would not allow me to tune in half way through the series……anyway, it sure was worth the wait. The only downside for me is that I do not have any friends called either ‘Gavin’ or ‘Pamela’ …..I so want to do the old “Gavlarrrr”, “Pamelarrrr”…..and I have had an unhealthy craving for one of Gwen’s omelette’s…..however a member of my family, who shall remain nameless, is on a low cholesterol diet so all talk of trying to replicate one of Gwen’s Barry Island specials has been put on hold. I have to admit that I did feel that lump in my throat develop a few times, especially when Stacey gave “Gavlarrrrr” (there I done it) the wedding ring back in series 2…..by the way, why do we get that lump in our throat when we cry?......”Oh!” (as the Welsh say), I wasn’t crying by the way. I could google the answer to that question but I am trying to encourage a bit of interaction with you, my readers, so maybe you can tell me what that lump is? I have one series left to watch and I am very much looking forward to it…..I wonder if I will find out what happened on that fishing trip?

Don’t wait up mum, because Harry is out tonight! I’ve got the extension lead plugged in and the laptop is now ‘cooking on gas’…..”Write on. Write on. With a laptop, on my lap. ‘coz I’ll neeeeever get a job. I’ll neeeeever get a job.”

Actually, saying that…..I have got a job…..well I say a job, really it is just a last resort. I missed out on Glastonbury tickets in the first sale and also in the resale so I had to use all my charm to blag a place as a volunteer at this summer’s festival. Thankfully I will not be cleaning the toilets or the even more disgusting job of Shakira’s ‘quick change costume assistant’…..what the f**k is she doing at Glastonbury? Instead I will be doing a bit of customer service…..I’m not actually sure what that will entail at Glastonbury but I assume I will be dragging the p*ss heads out of the mud, stopping the Northerners from nicking the contents of peoples tents and telling the kids where they can buy E’s and Whizz. I have to work 3 shifts and in return I get my ticket for free (£185.00) but luckily I get to do 2 shifts before the festival even starts. I have chosen to do my final shift between 8am and 4pm on the Friday which means I only miss the likes of Corinne Bailey-Rae…..”I knows, tidy” (I say in a ‘Nessa styliee). However as usual fate seems to have conspired against me because The Cribs who have been my favourite band for the last 3 years are on stage at the same time as England will be playing their first knock out game in the World Cup, that is if they finish top of their group, so I for one will be hoping England have a (very) little slip up and finish 2nd in their World Cup group.


Oh the complexity of my life and the worries I have to deal with on a seemingly monthly basis…..it’s a wonder that I am so normal!

The sun has gone in and it feels a bit chilly now, sorry ladies (and men I guess) the t-shits has to go back on.

The other highlights of my week have been a lovely walk to Holborn to collect my new pop-up, camouflage tent on what was a very sunny day…..and I saw Jack Dee.....that’s it really.

Harry Federchi.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

ITV, Gammon and Quantum Mechanics

So I’m back…..after an extended hiatus my return has been welcomed with the type of hysteria I would expect if Steve McClaren were to return as the England Football Manager.

Have you heard the saying “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail”?.....well I have not prepared any ideas for this blog, I am just writing it because I know my public miss me…..I hope I do not disappoint you.

First I thought about sharing another recipe with you but last week was rather a strange time on the culinary frontier…..half the family was away so I purchased a big joint of gammon and decided to see how far I could make it go. On Monday we had ‘Honey & Mustard Roast Gammon’ with cabbage and apples. Tuesday was ‘Savory Gammon & Vegetable Rice’…..Wednesday saw the invention of the revolutionary ‘Gammon Bolognese’…..and finally Thursday’s treat was ‘Gammon Rolls with Home Made Apple Sauce’ and a side salad…..so there, that goes to show that Tottenham fans are partial to a bit of piggy meat from time to time…..but never fear, I am planning on making a ‘Fish Head Curry’ very soon (once I have finalised the recipe) and if all goes well I will share the recipe with you…..my family still think I am winding them up whenever I mention the ‘Fish Head Curry’.

You could be excused for thinking that I had abandoned my blog in favour of a meteoric pub crawl, first to drown my sorrows after Spurs lost to Pompey in the FA Cup Semi-Final and then in sheer jubilation after seeing Tottenham beat both Arsenal and Chelsea in the same week…..in fact, I quite like the idea of you thinking that I have such a reckless side to my character…..but in reality I watched the trio of games from the safety of my own home consuming nothing stronger than Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles!


Now I think about it, quite a bit has happened since my last blog entry…..not much in terms of ‘life as you know it’ but as far as my ‘synthetic existence’ is concerned…..well “It’s been emotional”.

After losing all hope of ever finding a job I was at one of my lowest ebbs, mainly because I felt starved of any hope…..but as Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park “Life finds a way”…..and that is kind of what happened. Whoa there! Steady! No…..I haven’t got a job, actually I’m not even close to getting one…..but what I have got is an idea, in fact I have got lots of ideas so I decided to share one with someone who I thought ‘Maybe, Just Maybe’ might be able to help me…..no, not Terry Venables! I fully expected to get a knock back, not because I do not have faith in my ideas but because I do not have faith in people to recognise the potential in my ideas, however this time my lack of faith was misguided. Anyway the up shot of my new found belief if that someone does like my idea and instead of me finding a job for myself I might actually be able to create one! Anyway that’s enough optimism for now, so in the immortal words of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin “That’s all I got to say about that!”…..besides I need to save all my optimism for Tottenham’s dream of finishing 4th in the Premier League!

Talking of dreams…..last night I had one of them dreams that I wish I never awoke from…..but luckily for you, my blog reading bum chums, I did wake up…..but I’m not going to tell you what the dream was about.

Now for more urgent matters…..’Married, Single, Other’ or ‘MSO’ as my friend who worked on the show refers to it…..now that is name dropping without actually dropping a name! Did you watch it? To be honest, after watching all 6 episodes of ‘MSO’ back to back, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I am here today writing this…..it would have only taken a ‘brown’ rather than a ‘golden’ slice of toast or a cup of tea made by putting the milk in the cup before the water to send me over the edge. If I had a job I would have defiantly been signed off for the week with depression by my doctor (they’ll do anything for a score these GP’s, sick notes, temazepam, rectal examinations…..gotta love the NHS). Seriously though, what a heart breaking TV show…..trust ITV to come up with the most depressing programme in the history of the world while Great Britain struggles to recover from the midst of the most severe recession since Ant McPartlin’s hairline…..whey to go ITV! Don’t get me wrong, this was a really good series but as good as it was it was also extraordinarily sad which precipitated to make the series bad…..does that make sense? ITV won favour by creating some very likeable characters but ultimately that proved to be the problem. The golden rule of farming livestock is ‘do not name the animals’ because they are cute enough as it is and giving them an identity and becoming attached makes the process of slaughtering the little piggies and lambs a very harrowing experience.


ITV have obviously not done much farming recently…..Babs, Dickie, Clint, Abbey, Eddie, Lillie, Harry, Gina and Joe…..ideal names for a bunch of soft, cuddly and loveable little farm animals…..and ITV decided to torture and slaughter them in the metaphorical abattoirs that were the living rooms of the entire nation. ‘Married, Single, Other’ really had the potential to be a fantastically uplifting show but the writers got it all wrong……did Lillie really need to die? Couldn’t that have happened in series 6 or something? Did that slut Fabiana really have to come along and ruin the lives of Babs, Dickie, Clint and Abbey before we got the chance to enjoy even a bit of their happy (only for 1 episode) relationships? Even ‘Hazza’ (Harry) and Gina were left stewing in a pot of teenage hormones without a spoon to enjoy it! But at least I can sleep easy at night knowing that brainiac Joe will find a way to save humanity ‘if’ someone forgets to plug in Stephen Hawking or ‘when’ Brian Cox decides to desert the BBC in order to become a roadie for the Rolling Stones ‘last’ World Tour in 2045.

Talking of our two great scientists…..no not Mick and Keith, Stephen and Brian…..I’m sure I am right in thinking that they believe in the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics where there are an infinite number of worlds in which anything and everything is possible. For example there is a world where the meteorite didn’t crash into Chicxulub 65.5 million years ago and wipe out the dinosaurs and they are still roaming the Earth…..or a world where every single thing is exactly as it is right here now on Earth, apart from I have a job…..OK that one is a bit farfetched but my point is this: Why don’t ITV make another series of Married, Single, Other starting from exactly the same point as the beginning of Series 1, Episode 1 but take things in a different direction like Lillie not getting punched in the head and dying…..go on ITV try doing something right for once…..Imagine a world where ITV is a good TV channel!

Harry Federchi.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Recipe: The One Parent Family Dinner.

I would imagine that since I was born my mother has spent about 90% of her money on stuff for the house, stuff for my brother and I (when we were younger) and stuff to eat…..the other 10% probably got spent on MDMA or something. Anyway, what I’m saying is that my mum has put my brother and I before herself every single day of her life…..apart from 2 weeks in July 1987 when she jetted of to Acapulco and left us with a case of Panda Cola, a freezer full of Findus Crispy Pancakes and whole box packed with VHS films that wouldn’t play on our poxy Betamax machine…..she then said “I wont be long and don’t answer the door!”

After she returned and her golden sun tan had worn off she quickly got back in to the groove of looking after us and cooking was a big part of that. Dinner was always on the table a few minutes after we got home from school and it was usually a healthy, well balanced meal the point of which normally got ruined by the sugar overdose we received in the form of one of her home made puddings like ‘Coconut Cakes’ or the dreaded ‘Oaty Flapjack’. But from time to time an evening meal was not as easy to come by as it should be so my mum had to use her imagination and creativity to make a hearty dinner out of very little.

One of those cheap meals survives to this day and we actually had it yesterday. My mum affectionately refers to as her “One Parent Family Dinner” and it has 4 simple ingredients: Oxo Cubes, Potatoes, Corned Beef and Heinz Baked Beans (we were never too poor for Heinz)…..now before you say it, no, it’s not Corned Beef Hash…..it is ‘Corned Beef Surprise’!

……and here is the recipe:


Serves 6


INGREDIENTS:

2 Tins of Corned Beef
3 Tins of ‘Heinz’ Baked Beans
Potatoes (I don’t know how many, it depends on how big they are, use your initiative!)
3 Oxo cubes

…..and if you want to be posh as we are these days…..

A bit of Cheese (anything will do)
A few Tomatoes


METHOD:

Put a pot of water on to boil and cut up the potatoes ready for boiling. NOTE: Only peel the potatoes if the skins are not very nice, what is the point of wasting all the goodness and flavour that is in the skin?

Boil the Potatoes, drain off the water and then…..mash ‘em up!.....but not too much, you still want to find the odd lump of potato.

Dissolve the 3 Oxo Cubes in just 1 mug of Boiling Water.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5.

Squish the 2 tins of Corned Beef in to the bottom of a large oven proof dish then add the Oxo and leave to soak in for 1 or 2 minutes. Now pour over the 3 tins of beans and pile on the mashes potato as you would with a Shepherd’s Pie.

Now for the posh part! Grate a load of cheese over the top then add a few slices of Tomato.

Smash it in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden!

“Corned Beef Surprise…..done!”

Tip: If you are not part of a one parent family, why not arrange for either the mother or father not to come home that night for a real authentic feel.


Harry Federchi.