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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Well I don't want to make a mountain out of a chicken mole hill, but it was actually very nice. I must admit I did feel slightly dubious adding two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the tinned tomatoes, and Lisa couldn't have been more reluctant to try some if I'd cooked up an actual mole, but ultimately it was her loss, because despite looking like a few bits of stewing steak in a chocolate fondue, it was quite tasty, and went very well with the mashed cauliflower. Which Lisa also refused to eat.

On the subject of cauliflower, I'm rapidly going off the idea of supporting local traders. I'd already paid £4 at my local hardware store for a bottle of Brasso which I subsequently found for £1.34 at Asda, but yesterday I popped around the corner to my local greengrocer for a cauliflower. They're 69p each at Asda (which is about 69p too much for someone like Lisa), but my local greengrocer has no qualms about selling them for £1.20. And they're smaller too. It's daylight robbery, but they also sell sugar-free peanut butter, so I didn't like to complain.

One local trader I can rely on however, is the Marie Curie charity shop 100 yards from my front door. Having already bought valuable artwork there before, I dropped by yesterday afternoon and found this pair of dusty old oil paintings...

Haydn Cornner
Naturally I'd never have bought them in a million years, but it's funny how art seems more attractive when you know it could be worth something. Having popped home and looked up the artist on the internet, I found them to be works by Haydn Cornner, who sounds like a yoghurt dessert, but is in fact a surrealist from Hastings. The link there is to the Portal Gallery in London, where he exhibits, and the price for a painting the same size as these is £1,500. So I'm sitting on three grand's worth of art here. Probably. So naturally I ran straight back down the road and bought them for £3.49 each, and they're currently on my wall. If not on Ebay.

Returning to the Marie Curie art emporium, I also found an original watercolour by Wojtek Kozak, a Polish artist now working in Canada (possibly as a plumber) whose illustrations apparently "convey a spectrum ranging from the human condition on the very edge of total collapse, where the niceties of social relations never get a chance to reinforce anyone's self identity, to a sensibility that sees a touch of whimsy in all humanity". Although the picture I found is just a building in the country.

It was quite pretty, but at £4.99 quite pricey too, and according to his website, old Wojtek will paint you a picture for $75, so I hesitate to buy it. I prefer my art to be worth thousands. But hey, it's all for charity, so I might go back this afternoon.

In other news, Lisa and I wasted spent the whole of yesterday evening playing Fluxx, possibly the finest game ever to fit into the palm of your hand. Unless you own a Nintendo DS. We started off playing best of three, which soon became best of five, and then best of seven. By the time I was leading 6-0, Lisa suggested we play one more game to cancel out the last six and officially crown the champion of champions. When I won that, she insisted we play again on the grounds that it was only just gone midnight, and she'd got the hang of it now.

So anyway, 8-0. Today we're playing for money.