Foodie Friday: Dieter’s Dinner Party Stylish Sea Bass

dieters-seabass(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
4 x 120g sea bass fillets
Frylight extra virgin olive oil spray
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, chopped
400g can butter beans, drained
250g baby spinach leaves
4 lemon wedges

Method:
1. Lightly season the sea bass with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Squirt a non-stick pan with olive oil spray and pan-fry the fish, skin side down, for 3 minutes or until the skin is crisp and lightly golden.
2. Turn the fish over and cook for 2 minutes more until it’s just cooked through. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic and butter beans, and cook for a couple of minutes, to warm through.
3. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

Music is certainly the fuel of creative insanity

An entry completely out of order (because why not?) to pay tribute to the artists whose twisted visions of the world fuelled my latest NaNoWriMo project. It’s been a difficult gestation, and the music choices, logged by trustworthy Last.fm, reflect that. Lots of Mittelalter-Rock, which sounds a lot better than the apparently oxymoronic ‘medieval metal’, on top of the usual spooky and/or epic stuff, all seasoned with girl anger. It’s a heady mix.

1. Nox Arcana (421)

2. Midnight Syndicate (271)

3. Adrian von Ziegler (248)

4. Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble of Shadows (196)

5. Letzte Instanz (159)

6. Blind Guardian (147)

7. Saltatio Mortis (141)

8. Nightwish (138)

9. Subway to Sally (138)

10. Schandmaul (131)

11. Emilie Autumn (121)

12. Mediaeval Baebes (105)

13. Epica (86)

The Hound

In my tortured ears there sounds unceasingly a nightmare whirring and flapping, and a faint, distant baying as of some gigantic hound. It is not dream—it is not, I fear, even madness—for too much has already happened to give me these merciful doubts. St. John is a mangled corpse; I alone know why, and such is my knowledge that I am about to blow out my brains for fear I shall be mangled in the same way. Down unlit and illimitable corridors of eldritch phantasy sweeps the black, shapeless Nemesis that drives me to self-annihilation.

May heaven forgive the folly and morbidity which led us both to so monstrous a fate! Wearied with the commonplaces of a prosaic world, where even the joys of romance and adventure soon grow stale, St. John and I had followed enthusiastically every aesthetic and intellectual movement which promised respite from our devastating ennui. The enigmas of the Symbolists and the ecstasies of the pre-Raphaelites all were ours in their time, but each new mood was drained too soon of its diverting novelty and appeal. Only the sombre philosophy of the Decadents could hold us, and this we found potent only by increasing gradually the depth and diabolism of our penetrations. Baudelaire and Huysmans were soon exhausted of thrills, till finally there remained for us only the more direct stimuli of unnatural personal experiences and adventures. It was this frightful emotional need which led us eventually to that detestable course which even in my present fear I mention with shame and timidity—that hideous extremity of human outrage, the abhorred practice of grave-robbing.

Continue reading ‘The Hound’

Genius Loci (2/2)

I can not be sure whether anything more was said by either of us. I have, however, the impression of a blank silence. After his single exclamation of surprise, Amberville seemed to retreat into an impenetrable abstraction, as if he were no longer conscious of my presence; as if, having identified me, he had forgotten me at once. On my part, I felt a weird and overpowering constraint. That infamous, eerie scene depressed me beyond measure. It seemed that the boggy bottom was trying to drag me down in some intangible way. The boughs of the sick alders beckoned. The pool, over which the bony willow presided like an arboreal death, was wooing me foully with its stagnant waters.

Moreover, apart from the ominous atmosphere of the scene itself, I was painfully aware of a further change in Amberville—a change that was an actual alienation, His recent mood, whatever it was, had strengthened upon him enormously: he had gone deeper into its morbid twilight, and was lost to the blithe and sanguine personality I had known. It was as if an incipient madness had seized him; and the possibility of this terrified me.

Continue reading ‘Genius Loci (2/2)’

Genius Loci (1/2)

‘It is a very strange place,’ said Amberville, ‘but I scarcely know how to convey the impression it made upon me. It will all sound so simple and ordinary. There is nothing but a sedgy meadow, surrounded on three sides by slopes of yellow pine. A dreary little stream flows in from the open end, to lose itself in a cul-de-sac of cat-tails and boggy ground. The stream, running slowly and more slowly, forms a stagnant pool of some extent from which several sickly-looking alders seem to fling themselves backwards, as if unwilling to approach it. A dead willow leans above the pool, tangling its wan, skeleton-like reflection with the green scum that mottles the water. There are no blackbirds, no kildees, no dragon-flies even, such as one usually finds in a place of that sort. It is all silent and desolate. The spot is evil—it is unholy in a way that I simply can’t describe. I was compelled to make a drawing of it, almost against my will, since anything so outré is hardly in my line. In fact, I made two drawings. I’ll show them to you, if you like.’

Since I had a high opinion of Amberville’s artistic abilities and had long considered him one of the foremost landscape painters of his generation, I was naturally eager to see the drawings. He, however, did not even pause to await my avowal of interest, but began at once to open his portfolio. His facial expression, the very movements of his hands, were somehow eloquent of a strange mixture of compulsion and repugnance as he brought out and displayed the two water-colour sketches he had mentioned.

Continue reading ‘Genius Loci (1/2)’


Month at a Glance

December 2016
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