Whiskers on Prawns

Yes, I know if we’re talking about our favourite things it should be ‘whiskers on kittens’, but bear with me. So, round the dinner table, the other night, with one of Tom’s Fat Boy chums (actually, now both Fat Boys Slimmed) and a fellow WAG (except we have our own hair, teeth, boobs and nails – ‘though, I wouldn’t rule out swapping any of mine for a better set) we got on to the subject of our favourite things. FBS has a huge collection of music, so I asked him if he could only pick one album what it would be.

After moments of um-ing and ah-ing, he decided on Neil Young’s ‘Harvest’, FWAG picked, Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’, Tom, classical music expert, went for ‘Anything by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Or the Kinks.’ (What is it about the Kinks? Is it a boy thing? Still, I have eaten in the India Garden in Epsom with Ray Davies on two occasions, ‘though not at the same table so he probably won’t remember.) Torn between Nick Cave and John Martyn, I made do with Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ (are you sensing a certain vintage here?) which immediately drew, ‘sooo miserable’ comments.

It was the same with films which raised ‘Zulu’, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’/ ‘Love Actually’, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ (Yes, Tom again. Sigh.) and ‘Blade Runner’ (the original version with voice over - which is pretty cheerful by my standards). Anyway, by the time we’d done this a couple of times the upshot of our discussion was I was left wondering why wallowing in a good old miseryfest really cheers me up. Is it just me, who doesn’t get Huge Grunt? Or Emma Thompson? (Although I could probably put up with her for the sake of seeing ‘Tutti Frutti’ again, just to see if it was as good as I remembered.) My daughter, Rose, is feeling very torn at the moment too, because she really wants to see the film of Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’, but one of her flashpoints is Keira Knightley and she doesn’t know if she can sit there without wanting to get up and kick a hole in the screen.

Ah well, our friends’ visit concludes without any tantrums over taste and Tom and I head off to do another of our favourite things which is visiting galleries. We especially like going to see Margaret and John at Art Matters in Tenby. It’s the opening of their new premises, at the White Lion Street Gallery (they’ll be running courses and workshops at the old gallery from May to October 2009) and it’s good to see lots of people enjoying the paintings. Just a Tom Tomos or two and it would be perfect. Anyway, it’s all looking good, so if you’re in Tenby, do take the time to pop in a look round a very friendly gallery.

While thinking about a few of my favourite things I hear the doorbell. When I go to answer it I find a prawn waving its whiskers at me through the small glass panel. Actually, Mrs Across-the-Road is making it wave, but the good news is she has brought all its friends along, ready-cooked, as a thank you for some trivial favour we have done. (We are not that neighbourly - we just insist on doing favours for Mr & Mrs Across-the-Road, so they’ll keep bringing us lots of fresh sea food.) If you never had Cardigan Bay prawns you are missing a treat; fresh, fat, sweet and juicy they go down a treat with a chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc from Mrs Across-the-Road’s home country, New Zealand. Perfect!

Image is 'Trees at the Seaside' by Tom Tomos


Edward said…
I don't get The Kinks but Mrs Rot does, so it's not a "boy thing". Love John Martyn. "Four Weddings" entirely unwatchable due to the egregious Andie MacDowell, but "Love Actually" and "Notting Hill" both super. As is "Blade Runner" with the original voiceover, which is on my profile! But "Tutti Frutti"! That's a blast from the past - what a superb series. I think Keira Knightley is fine in some things - "Atonement" was terrific.

Anyway, thanks for the memories!
Flowerpot said…
I'm not keen on Keira Knightley - apparently she was dubbed IKEA Knightley but whether for her figure or her acting abilities I don't know.... cor those prawns soundyummy, and with a glass or two of wine....
JJ Beattie said…
My taste in music is slit my throat depressive, so I get you there. (Have you come across The Magnetic Fields?)

I quite understand your daughter's thing with Keira... though I think she has improved a bit with age: Duchess and Atonement. Probably at her worst in Love Actually.

I really fancy a glass of chilled white wine now. I'll have to make do with a cup of tea.
Milla said…
Mrs Rot does indeed love the Kinks, the sentimental ones, not the boysy ones. Favourite LP, oh, OK, CD, would have to be Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon I think. Or a Joan Armatrading. i don't know.
I will forgive the annoying Emma T anything for that heartbreaking scene in Love Actually when she realises the necklace wasn't bought for her and all she's got is some ropey old CD, possibly by the ghastly Joni Mitchell (who E loves). KK ok, had forgotten, til saw JJB's comment that she'd been in Love A. Notting Hill adorable, rather fond of Hugh G actually. Lovely blog CH.
LittleBrownDog said…
Yes, H likes The Kinks (and I have to confess, I quite like them too - what's not to like about Waterloo Sunset and Village Green Preservation Society? Ok, I suppose if you're into Nick Cave, they may be a bit jolly...)but I have to say, I absolutely hate Notting Hill and Love Actually - in fact anything with Hugh Grant in it. Always interesting to hear what other people's top picks are, though.

You're so lucky that you and Tom both enjoy visiting art galleries, though. I can't think of many things me and H both enjoy without being danger of coming to blows over what's fab and what isn't. And you're making Tenby sound incredibly tempting... I think I may have to start thinking about a visit...
liz fenwick said…
Did someone say chilled white wine and prawns - heaven.

Good luck with the rewrite!
Frances said…
Another Kinks fan here. Ray Davies used to keep an apartment in this general neighborhood and I did once pass by him on the sidewalk.

Used to love seeing the Kinks performances at the Beacon Theatre, then a tatty, converted old movie theatre.

Calico Kate said…
HG films get a thumbs up from me. Not KK fan she is way too scrawny. Love ET, one of my best friends looks just like her! She should eat more prawns, running in buttery juices and bottles of wine. Music tastes too old for (sorry!) but bang on the nail with the food!
Elizabethd said…
Mmmm, the prawns and white wine sound perfect!
I wish I had a neighbour across the road like that - son staying in Tenby and Solva over Easter - lucky bugs!
KK got better for me with Atonement, then Duchess - she lost the guppy look then!
Debs said…
Hugh Grant drives me nuts when he does the floppy haired brit thing in films (which is most of them, of course) though I did love Four Weddings when it came out and enjoyed Love Actually.

I could do with a glass of wine too.
Pondside said…
I'm with your Rose re KK - wanted to slap or shake her in Duchesse and in Atonement - or send her to a good speech therapist/dentist. There, I've been mean about something the poor wee thing can't change.
I'm with you on the neighbourliness business and would be mowing and spading for gifts of fresh, cooked prawns.
Don't get me started on men and their music. The Great Dane thinks Iron Butterfly is the greatest.
Pipany said…
Interesting lists of faves Chris, though I too enjoy a good wallow. Agree with most of what Milla says (as per) and do quite like Hugh though not in a fancying way xx
Pat Posner said…
I love Fields of Gold though it always makes me cry!

I love prawns, too.

ChrisH said…
Edward, thank you for your thoughts on The Kinks and boys - will have to rework my theory. I wonder what the chances are of a rerun of 'Tutti Frutti'?

FP, you'd better not go to the cinema with Rose then, there could be a big hole in the screen! Prawns were LUSH!

JJ - no, but I'm going off to look for them on Spotify! Perhaps we could have a good virtual miseryfest together?

Milla - interesting about The Kinks, yes, I like a bit of Joan Armatrading, too. No, I am too hard-hearted to feel for ET! Thank you, dear heart.

LBD, exactly! Although if tied down and forced to listen could probably manage 'Days'. Tenby is great - but don't go when it's heaving. And if you have an ice cream watch out for the seagulls; Rose got mugged by one!

Liz, yes, but I don't get as much lovely sunshine as you (give or take the odd open air downpour when you're at a gig!)

Frances, I bet you were more subtle than I was! I practically pointed my fork at him in the restaurant, poor man (on both occasions!).
ChrisH said…
Kate, well, we can hardly hear what we're supposed to be listening to what with our hearing aids and that! Luckily we can still slurp up the prawns and wine.

Elizabeth, especially when you get the prawns delivered to your door!

SBS, lucky son, indeed. I think I ought to see 'Atonement' judging by the rave reviews here.

Debs, - well he ain't Richard Armitage, that's for sure! oh, here, have a glass of wine to take to the shed with you!

Pondside! The snow's got to you today, hasn't it? I do hope you've come down off the roof by now - UPL and I need you!

Pip, oh good, another one for the virtual wallow!

Pat, aw! There must be a story behind that...
BT said…
Oh Chris, I had lost you. I changed blog layout and lost half my blogs. I saw a comment by you fortunately and here I am, back again. Phew! Love Tom's Trees picture. Why hasn't he any pictures in that gallery? Has he tried?

I, too, tend to wallow in the miserable a bit. 'Doctor Zhivago' for one! I can go with the Kinks too. I do like 'Love Actually' though, which is quite cheerful! Music is more difficult really. I'm an opera fan at heart! All the sad ones. Madame Butterfly, Tosca, La Boheme, etc...
Great to be back.
Lane said…
I would so love to see a prawn waving at me through a window. Maybe I'm not drinking enough of the chilled white:-)
Preseli Mags said…
I don't get the Kinks or Huge Grunt (it's the hair) but I have warmed to ET since seeing Nanny McPhee (very useful with the children. Now I tell them if they don't behave I'll get a government nanny. Works like a dream!)

As for the prawns waving throught he window all whiskery and delicious - perfect indeed!
Fennie said…
I'd be hopeless choosing one album - the choice would vary daily - but I could choose prawns, my favourite dish and it would either be eating them (well shrimps I suppose) by the half-pint on a salty Essex foreshore (better then mudflat don't you think?) with a lovely glass of rich hoppy beer to wash them down with (or should it be down with which to wash them?) and secondly, but more importantly, Gambas a l'aillo - fresh prawns in hot spicy, garlicky olive oil served in a cast iron bowl from which you have to fish your prawns with a fork. Expensive on the olive oil but most incredibly wonderful.
ChrisH said…
BT, I'm so pleased to see you! I thought I'd lost you! With you on the operas (something Tom doesn't 'do'!).

Lane, yes, it is worth seeing. It made me very happy.

Mags, I haven't seen that. I wonder if my girls are too old to scare them with that? Hmm.

Fennie, another of my favourite part of the world, those moody backwaters... and the inspiration for FTT. Ooh, you've made me long for more prawns!

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