Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Potato Abandonment, Potato Inspiration, and Sherlock Holmes

Tonight, I solved a mystery.

For the past few days, I have been noticing a strange smell in my house. It was a kind of musty, earthy smell, with a bit of standing water thrown in. I thought that it was the drains, and that I would be forced to get out the drain rods again and investigate the sewage system..

Incidentally, those drain rods cost me £14 pounds plus postage, so I am determined to get the use out of them in one way or another. Possible alternative uses I have contemplated include:
  • Hitting the snooze button on my clock radio which sits on my chest of drawers, approximately two metres from my bed.
erm....that's it so far actually. I'm struggling to think of additional uses for them as I'm rather put off by the smell they have. If I think of anymore during the course of this post, I'll insert them randomly.

And when I say insert them randomly, I mean of course, into this post - you filthy minded lot!

Anyway, there has been a strange smell in my house - predominantly in the kitchen. This led me to initially think that something in my fridge had gone off, most likely vegetables. I assumed it would be the vegetables because my diet over the past week or so has wandered out of its nutritional lane on the motorway of healthy eating, ploughed through the central reservation of everything in moderation, and piled head first into the oncoming traffic of overindulgence causing a pile up with amongst other things chocolate, beer, Mcdonalds, and curry.
So, I checked my vegetables - as every man should, regularly - but found that they were fine. Now I was confused; not because I couldn't find my way back out of the fridge, but because I couldn't think what the smell could be. There was nothing else in my fridge that could go off - I had no milk, I had no beer, and although I keep my chocolate in the fridge because I like it cold, it's only ever in there for an hour or so before being consumed.
I was just beginning to think "dead rat", when it hit me - not a rat, but the answer. If I had even seen a rat, let alone come into contact with one, I would have screamed louder than an Eight year old in the front row at a Justin Bieber concert.
Friday night. Jacket potato. BIG Jacket potato. Big jacket potato that I put into the microwave for 10 minutes, to prepare it for transportation to the pre-heated oven where it would be baked for two hours to ensure through cooking.

Big jacket potato that I put in the microwave for 10 minutes and then promptly forgot about for four days.

I opened the microwave, and a waft of manky potato shot up my nostrils. There, lying on a microwaveable plate was the potato - it's tiny eyes staring lifeless out at me. For a moment I felt a pang of guilt at abandoning this innocent potato, but that soon passed as the rotten smell of the potato reached my stomach and, like a firm alarm, instructed its contents to evacuate as quickly as possible. Luckily for me, I threw the potato in the bin, and managed to keep my stomach contents down.

I don't know why I forgot to finish off my jacket potato. I don't know what I had for dinner on Friday night. Maybe my memory is failing me. More likely is the fact that I was distracted by something shiny on the floor, or bright colours on the TV.

Surprisingly, the unpleasant discovery of the jacket potato did not put me off using potatoes in my dinner tonight. I decided to have sausages with new potatoes and parsnips, and was merrily preparing to dish it up, when inspiration slapped me in the face and said "How about trying a little twist on this classic meal?"
You see, I was cooking my parsnips by slicing them and boiling them in the same water as the New potatoes. Suddenly I decided that mashing the potato and parsnips together could be a taste sensation. And it was!!

That bit of this post was a lot shorter than I thought it would be. Weird.......

Which brings me nicely to the final topic of today's post: Sherlock Holmes is my all time favourite detective. Arthur Conan Doyle's stories of his adventures are a joy for me to both read in book form, and watch in film and TV form. In terms of on screen reincarnations, Holmes has been played by many actors including Tom Baker, John Cleese, Peter Cushing (an actor my mum fancied like mad by the way), Charlton Heston, and Peter Cook. But for me, there are three actors who have in their own unique way brought the great detective to life:

Basil Rathbone, who played Sherlock Holmes between 1939 and 1946. Probably the greatest embodiment of Holmes, he really brought the character to life. His partnership with Nigel Bruce who gave an often comic portrayal of  Doctor Watson, remains one of the greatest pairings on screen of all time.

Jeremy Brett is the Holmes I have watched the most. He is more of a troubled soul than the Basil Rathbone Holmes, but had a rapier wit to match his razor sharp intellect. The dramatisation of the Holmes mysteries with Jeremy Brett in are among my favourites.

Benedict Cumberbatch - the newest incarnation of Holmes. He brings Holmes into the modern era, and yet maintains in his own style the aura that Rathbone and Brett portrayed so well. His relationship with Watson (Martin Freeman) is not yet a strong (there has only been one series so far), but the chemistry between them is there. Both actors give excellent performances, which makes this era of Holmes all the more enjoyable to watch.

So, I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes - who would have guessed that?

Well, Sherlock Holmes I would hope - or I've really been calling this one wrong........

And no further uses for Drain Rods. Probably a good idea.


  1. Lal, after all these years I didn't know you liked Sherlock Holmes that much.
    Jeremy Brett is my favourite but I do love the new movies too. Stephen Fry Is in the 2nd one......

  2. Great post but what about the parakeet?