Lemon Custard presents a festival

Exciting announcement to be made! For a while I’ve had the idea of undertaking a particular blogging event, you might call it. I’ve taken the plunge. I don’t know if a virtual festival has been done before, but I’ve made one up. Announcing: “From The Plate” – a post-fest from March 1 – March 7 (inclusive).  It’s a bit difficult to really describe what it is, so you will basically have to see it for yourself, but here is the festival flyer (made to look like a vintage carnival poster): From The Plate flier

Not long till the festival starts, and I promise to deliver.

Sweetness, LC

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Lemon Custard’s Guide to Travel ~ Part III: Driving

“The best cure for a short temper is a long walk” – Jacqueline Schiff

“The best cause for a short temper is a long drive” – Lemon Custard

A volatile driver is a common thing, as I learnt on a recent forty-five-minute drive I took with two humans. This flimsy nature in drivers can sometimes make the roads look like some kind of Punch and Judy show. Taxi drivers are, of course, a particularly volatile population. As a human acquaintance of mine remarked, the angry drivers are just safely behind their windscreens, and it brings out their worst. Here follows an example of what usually results (scene written by LC, based on fact).

Persons represented:
DRIVER OF CAR 1
DRIVER OF CAR 2
DRIVER OF CAR 3
(Extras may include birds or pedestrians)

Situation:
DRIVER OF CAR 1 is driving on a moderately busy road behind DRIVER OF CAR 2.

Script:
DOC2 commits small diving error (eg. veers around slightly for no apparent reason/slows for no apparent reason/turns or pulls over without indicating).
DOC1: “Idiot! What are you doing?! The road’s full of stupid drivers. Can’t stand it.”
DOC1’s anger results in DOC1 committing an error (eg. speeding) later – near DOC3.
DOC3: “Look at that – flying down the road like it’s a race! Where are the cops when you need them?”

A cheerful situation for all involved. Such situations get worse around Christmas for a real feeling of peace on Earth. But even in the middle of the year, it can get pretty un-peaceful on the roads.

Sweetness, LC

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Lemon Custard’s Guide to Travel ~ Part II: City Trains

Some people never take city trains, and think them either a novelty or something for those beneath them – and some people take them all the time and hate them with a passion. So where does that leave one? A custard’s view is required.

A train – on which a custard’s view is required.

To my mind, you feel hemmed in, and at the mercy of anyone sneezing, talking loudly on the phone, or dropping something on the floor. Really, everyone can’t be at everyone’s mercy – that would make no sense at all. Sneezing in Trains: always a problem for everyone around you. Custards never sneeze. Talking Loudly on Phone in Train: even worse. Even if the conversation is of an un-private nature (which it often isn’t), it still makes one squirm. Custards never concern themselves with phones on public transport. Dropping Items on Floor of Train by Accident: very embarrassing. People briefly and sleepily rouse themselves from their electronic timewasters to look hazily in the direction of the sound. Despite the whirring, roaring noise of a train moving, the sound of an object being dropped inside it cannot be masked. The item’s dropper usually feels too embarrassed to say “sorry” – who am I addressing, anyway? they think– but quite embarrassed at not saying anything, too. Custards never carry anything, so they can’t ever drop things.

Additionally, the people who take trains regularly can seem like quite an intimidating culture when seen altogether in their natural habitat (a train). Most of them are probably not intimidating people in general, but there is something that the sight of many train veterans together seems to say to anyone else. We know what we’re doing, they seem to say, and this is a place for those who know what they’re doing. Alright, so I don’t mean to be unjust to those who take trains often, and I’m sure most, if not all, of them don’t mean to give that impression, but they often do.

Sweetness, LC

Note: This is following on from my previous post – part I of my travel guide. Look out for part III next. Also note: I am not claiming ownership of the picture in this post, and I mean no harm from using it. LC

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Lemon Custard’s Guide to Travel ~ Part I: Flying

Not that long ago, I had an experience unusual for a custard – a plane flight. I expect my readers are staring – well, fine. Custards can do anything. Perhaps I shall skydive one day.

I had a reasonable time during the flight, enjoying my contempt for all the security. Eatables get quite a bad rap. One of the more entertaining parts of the journey (apart from the man in front of me sneezing unexpectedly with a sound like waves crashing on rocks shortly before landing) was watching the flight attendants. Think of all the adverts for airlines that feature flight attendants. They look incredibly pulled together, and sleek – probably to match the plane exterior. Nobody puts it better than a favourite author of mine, who, though she was not actually discussing a flight attendant, once described one of her characters as seeming like “a box expensive jewellery might come in… neat and compact and shiny”. When I first read this, my mind jumped to sophisticated “air hostesses”.

While this is not entirely false advertising, it is true that things can never be quite how they appear in the world of adverts and media. The flight attendants are real people, even if they are acting professionally – and they usually are. Besides, one important point (never portrayed in any adverts) is that part of a flight attendant’s job does involve acting rather ridiculously, at least at the beginning of the flight. Fine, nothing wrong with a safety routine at the start of the trip – important, actually. But why make the attendants serve as live signposts to point to the emergency exits? It does look a bit absurd. If I saw someone behaving like that outside of the plane circumstances, I should probably assume they were  a) directing traffic, b)doing arm exercises, c) being a sundial or weathervane, or d) trying to swim.

I don’t really remember much else about the flight, but I know loyal readers realise that one doesn’t read Lemon Custard for an average perspective, because I zone in on the more obscure things.

Sweetness,
LC

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Even desserts misjudge other sweets

Sometimes you can have a totally inaccurate impression of something from the way it is presented. For instance, you might sit down to a meal (that cost an arm and a leg) and see the beautiful centrepiece of seasonal flowers, and the thick linen napkins, and not discover your mistake until the effects of food poisoning hit a few hours later.  Leading people astray with impression is an advertiser’s duty. It can work the other way too – “rubbish!” may be your initial reaction, and yet you soon find impressions had led you astray.

I had an experience like that just recently, and, while I knew it would be hard, I decided to blog about it. It required some human assistance, which was difficult for me to swallow, being a highly-strung flavoured custard, but at least I was able to minimise human involvement.  I can now be known as a writing dessert who also dabbles in photography. It’s now on my “About” page, see? It also means I now have made my own Flickr account, for the purpose of displaying my photos. I suppose I could have written this post without involving photographs, but they help to make my point. Here goes.

Over Christmas (when humans eat like pigs and custards remain civil) a set of chocolates came into the house. Nothing to do with me. However, I was looking at them one day, and judging by the way they were wrapped, I didn’t think they would be very, well, sophisticated sweets. See for yourself. One thinks of the small processed, packaged “cakes” one buys in America. The empty wrappers don’t look all that great either. Obviously, I made an assumption. When I witnessed one being unwrapped, I realised my mistake. These were clearly chocolates of distinction, with great visual elegance. I also heard from humans that they were delicious.

So, to show how wrong I had been, I set up a static scene of elegance and distinction, into which I placed three of the chocolates. As you can see, they fitted in well.  I also took a picture with one the chocolates sliced open at the front – a favourite thing in chocolate adverts.

The ridiculous wrapping of the sweets would never make you think that the real things would fit so well into a sophisticated setting. Custards have an obvious elegance, and one which is quite accurate.

Sweetness, LC

“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make – bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake – if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble.” – Lemony Snicket, author

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New Year’s Resolutions: A Dessert’s Eye-roll at Human Behaviour

Happy New Year to all my readers! I actually haven’t posted all year.

I’m sure not every human makes new year’s resolutions, but I know a lot do, and as a dessert, I have the ability to see the bigger picture (interestingly a favourite activity for humans to attempt at New Year),  and, honestly, I don’t see what they are on about. What is the biggest difference between New Year’s Eve/Day and the rest of the year? Nothing a dessert would think worth mentioning.

Nothing wrong with deciding to make a change for the better in your life. If there’s something that needs addressing – fine. But why wait until the start of a year to do it? There is a massive failure rate – of humans – with New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps that term has become kind of unpleasant in most people’s minds. In general, if one thinks of “New Year’s Resolutions” (as made by humans), they think of someone making a decision that they really need to address something or other, and spending New Year’s Eve thinking about it, and then saying it’s their resolution, and this will be the year. Cough. Note that this is entirely relating to humans at New Year, and not anything to do with custards.

So perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea, next time a Resolution Idea occurs to you (particularly if it at an awkward time of year – like March) to decide you will try it out from tomorrow.

Sweetness, LC

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A Dessert’s End-of-year Address To the Public

To my readers- while I am not sure how many I have, I would like to thank anyone who has not entirely abandoned following my blog lately – you must have the patience of a pudding. I must also make a massive apology to everyone for simply vanishing without a word for so long. I really do love to blog, but other parts of a dessert’s busy lifestyle pick me up and carry me off, telling me to think about other things for the time being – and then more time, and then more. I don’t know who has stuck it out through the long wait – except for one reader – so I would like to give a particular thank you to A Leek Writes; and take the opportunity to highly recommend her blog. It’s great to read the work of a green, savoury eatable item.

 I am now going to announce that I will try, for the coming year, to behave as if I exist – to the eyes of my readers. My absolute minimum will be one post per month. There’s a lot to observe and reflect to the world, LC, and you know it. You – my readers will not be disappointed so far as quantity goes. As for quality, you guys can judge, but I won’t do any more vanishing acts.

I hope you have had a happy holiday season (the biggest time of year for custards the world over) and are enjoying the time between festivities and the new year. I have always liked this time best – there is something pleasing about it. The new year kind of sits importantly up in your mind like a Supreme Court Justice as “The New Year” [fanfare], and Christmastime sort of there with all kinds of expectations and memories crammed into it – as “Christmastime”[Hark The Herald Angels plays]. At the time in between, you can brood over both – at either end. You can also recover from overeating.

Wishing everyone reading this a safe and happy new year – and, reinforcing my promise – at least one observation from my head to be aired to the world each month.

Sweetness,
L. Custard

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The Spiral of Despair: Humans and Housework

I’ve haven’t blogged in a little while, as the hectic lifestyle of a flavored dessert often doesn’t allow it. But thoughts on this have truly penetrated my blogless state: Humans and Housework.

“Doing housework is like threading beads onto a cord with no knot at the other end,” says a human of my acquaintance. Housework: a word that stirs up the raw and ugly worst in all mortals. Humans reading this: shut your eyes now and let the loaded word run through your head. Are you:

  1. Breaking out in a sweat?
  2. Falling off your chair?
  3. Hyperventilating?
  4. Finding nightmarish memories rushing back into your head?
  5. Shaking uncontrollably?

If you answered yes to two or more questions, you are exactly the right sort of human to be reading this observation.

Humans generally do housework with a sort of “resigned to this fate” expression and demeanor. As I write this, a human in my household is, with slumped shoulders and bowed head, doing the dishes. There are clothes on the washing line that will have to be brought in by a human awkwardly wielding a cracked white washing basket, one that has probably accumulated dust and grime since its last use, and so will slightly dirty the clean clothes. Vacuuming is, of course, a constant woe, and is responsible for much loss of temper. Dusting is a terrible fuss, and seems so pointless and tiresome. Making beds is a highly controversial topic, as some people think it helpful and necessary and others consider it useless: “the beds only get slept in again, anyway”.

Being a custard, I have no particular opinion on housework myself, but I know what a big and very real terror it is for most humans. Perhaps, even now, after reading this, you are feeling terribly shaken up at seeing your worst fears discussed so plainly and openly on the internet. Take heart in that only by facing your fears can you conquer them.

Sweetness, LC

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Humans and the seasons

First of all, I’m awfully sorry for not having blogged in so long. You might think that a custard wouldn’t get all that busy, but humans really haven’t much insight into such things.

Another thing about humans that has struck me (enough to make me want to post about it) is that humans seem to have very warped ideas of the seasons of the year. It is winter where I am, and the weather is quite harsh, from what I can see through the window. Luckily I have a warm kitchen.

I’ll give you an example of humans being terrible with their seasons: think of how humans talk about winter when it isn’t happening (“being cozy indoors while eating hot toast and soup; wrapping up and going walking in the bracing cold”), and how they talk about winter when it is (“stupid rain won’t go” – “the heater/kettle/electric blanket isn’t working” – “it’s too cold to open the windows, and not cold enough to put the heater on” – “can’t get up early in winter”). See? One would think that humans would be little better at their seasons, as they get four every year, but evidently not. What about summer: “having lovely picnics in the shade and listening to the bees buzz” – “going swimming” – “drinking a cold milkshake with real fruit in a tall glass” – “relaxing by the poolside on balmy summer nights as the sun goes down”. Really! During summer, the majority of humans are saying things much more like: “I can’t believe this heat”, or “mozzies everywhere” (supplementary material: see my December 2010 post entitled Humans and Mosquitoes), or “the air conditioner broke down”, or “I don’t feel like going anywhere – too hot”.  Humans really are foolish. Take spring: “Ah, beautiful springtime” when it isn’t happening, and “stupid hayfever” when it is. Or autumn: “the leaves look so nice” vs. “Hey! Someone brought leaves into the hall on their shoes!”

See my point? Humans are pretty unrealistic when talking about a good deal of things, and it seems it takes a custard to notice it.

Sweetness, LC

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Humans and the Phone

This probably won’t be a long observation, as a title like  Humans and the Phone says a lot by itself, but what I do have to say on the subject, I figured I should put down.

Humans will often begin a call to a business with “Oh, hello,” as though slightly surprised, even though they knew the callee would pick up, or the answering machine would. Perhaps they think it sounds humble. Humans also like to show how smart they are with “Caller ID”, and will pick up the phone saying “Hi, (insert name),” which can lead to a rather embarrassing situation if someone else is using the caller’s phone.

Another thing about humans on the phone is that they can’t seem to keep still. Even if they would sit or stand quite immobile during a face-to-face conversation, they suddenly believe that it will help get their point across to walk about, or nod, or jab the air, even though they can’t be seen by whoever they’re talking to. It’s quite amusing to watch a cross or excited human talk on the phone.

Silences during conversation are generally quite alright for all participating humans if it’s in a face-to-face situation, but on the phone it must feel very awkward, listening to the faint buzz, and hoping you can say something to break the silence without sounding foolish. Generally a “so… how have you been?” makes the human who just said it groan inwardly at themself. 

I would have to say that humans behave more strangely on the phone than at most other times.

Sweetness, LC

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