Saturday, October 08, 2005

*gasp* Saturday Evening Post

(Anyone get the pun?)
I broke my no weekend post rule...but I have so much to tell you all, well not really. Then again, why would I not blog while waiting for the laundry?

I forgot the rest of the Psychologies tidbits from the day before yesterday.
Plus I saw a movie last night which made me cry like a baby.
And finally how I will prepare the duck tonight.


End section The Five Senses:

The Power of Scent
Intro: our sense of smell is neglected in favour of vision. Plato denounced it as the sense of lust, desire and impulse, and placed it firmly at the bottom of the sensory hierarchy ... Animals have acute senses of smell whereas human beings, standing upright, rely on sight.

The Sensual World:
the sense of smell can save our lives. People suffering from a total loss of smell (anosmia) can become depressed. [Taste too, in psych I heard of a man who tried to commit suicide because he'd lost his sense of taste due to a head injury some years before.]
Our sense of smell is found in the cortex, connected to the limbic system, which generates moods, emotions, and memory.
Scientists are still unclear as to how scents trigger memory.

Creating an Identity: Your choice of perfume gives others a strong sense of what makes you unique, and is never meaningless.
Everyone has their own odour identity, determined by our genes, skin, mood, environment, diet, and lifestyle - which combine so that no fragrance smells the same on two people.
A pleasurable fragrance tends to attract us to the person wearing it.

Consciously tuning into fragrance takes time, but the rewards are worth it.

[I'm very much into scent. Vanessa will attest that every product I own smells good. I won't buy it if I don't like the smell. I take ages just choosing a hand soap...In fact a few years ago I almost wanted to become a professional nez, the expert employed by parfumeries.]

Then a section about hair and makeup.

How to obtain a peaceful sleep: stick to the same hours, even on weekends. Don't nap in the day. Avoid caffeine in the late evening. Make the evening meal light and mostly carbs and include these sleep-promoting foods: lettuce, oats, fish, turkey, bananas, wheatgerm, avocados, warm milk. [They all contain tryptophan...and Beatrix Potter described lettuce as having a "soporific effect" on the Flopsy Bunnies...]

The therapeutic virtues of writing: According to an American clinical study, writing can alleviate physical symptoms. Patients suffering from asthma or rheumatoid arthritis, writing for 20 minutes a day for 3 days, felt better and took fewer drugs.

'Writing is a form of therapy,' wrote Graham Greene. 'Sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness...inherent in the human situation.'

In moments of high stress, the body's speech production centre is deactivated and there is a pronounced activation of the visual cortex, so turning the images later on into words could alter the way they are encoded in the brain.

[Of course blogging is a sort of therapy, but still not as effective as the personal journal, which would remain private and express all sorts of things one would only discuss on the proverbial couch.]

The Food Section:
Sour cream leek tartlets. Yum. And how to plan a pleasant dinner party for a few close friends.
[Heh, riiiiight, it's like herding rabbits...]

A cozy winter cocktail idea: organic apple juice + Calvados apple brandy + soda or ginger ale.

Join other volunteers on a conservation effort for a couple of weeks.

Unexplained: they're still not entirely sure what causes deja-vu. It could be triggered by having had a similar experience which was, until that moment, forgotten.
Or you could have seen but not registered someone a moment before, so that when you do see them, you're left wondering where you'd seen them before...this is called priming.

The End.

If I buy this magazine again, do you all want a more condensed review? I'd be happy to oblige. Just let me know if you're interested...


Brokedown Palace. Starring Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale. Two girls on holiday in Thailand are imprisoned for smuggling heroin. One girl (Danes) makes the ultimate sacrifice for her innocent friend (Beckinsale).
No spoilers but this beats any previous record for me: it was a 4-tissue film and that was only in the last 5 minutes. And it wasn't just the wet-eyed dabbing, it was actual heartbroken sobbing.
I am surprised at this...


And finally, the duck. I am not hungry enough for it. I will pop a quiche into the oven and prepare a scrumptious rocket, tomato, parmesan, olive oil and balsamic vinegar salad.

Something I have learned through two failed attempts: Never order a salad for your main course. They are best eaten as a side dish at home.
I once had a fortified sort of rocket salad at Patisserie Valerie (I think with peppers, olives, feta, etc.) and they were all stalks. Delightful described them as shrubs.
Rocket is supposed to be tender and tasty, not woody.
The second failure, again with Delightful, was at some Daisy-pickin' California place in Crouch End...I ordered a jerk chicken on a bed of those earthy tasting red-stalked leaves. Such hard work it was.
And that is when I made my resolution. I will make one exception only: the exceedingly good Caesar Saltgrass Steakhouse or Red Texas (!)

So if any of you ever catch me ordering a salad in THIS country, please holler at me. Though I doubt I will forget...


P.S. Just got a phone call from Brian. (He's one of the only Brits who calls to talk on the phone!) Hi Mr B for when you read this! *wave*
He invited me to the Institut Francais to see a documentary on ballet in the Paris Opera next Wednesday evening. Since discovering that I like ballet, and he being a man isn't supposed to, he's taken to inviting me to a few ballet-related dos so he doesn't feel as guilty about going alone. Hehehe :P
Except in a moment of dismay he remembered he had chemo the day before, so the ballet event at the IF is off. None of you other heathens are into it, are you?

P.P.S. Two of you have complained about my comments section, so I have returned it to the much better old format. So keep the feedback rolling in!


Jia Li said...

the ballet sounds fun

merserene said...

Patisserie Valerie! We didn't have salad there but we did enjoy some nice tea and pastries around tea time. It was highly recommended by a friend who used to live in London; of course we had to pay a visit. Fond memories.

Olivia said...

Merserene - wow really! Which one did you go to, was it in S. Kensington, between Harrods and the museum?

They also do a good Croque-Monsieur which is my usual choice, only I was encouraged that time to be "different".

merserene said...

Yes, it was the one down the street from Harrods. If I remember correctly, we went there after a stroll in Harrods (from which I made out with several boxes of tea ;) ). I can't remember what we had; only that it was good and I loved the set-up there.

More info than you want to know - but we stayed in S. Kensington while in London; I absolutely adored evening walks there and looking into people's fancy flats!

Olivia said...

Merserene - S. Ken. is popular with the tourists. It is nice there in the evening, very lively. I always love glimpsing inside when the lights are on and the curtains are not yet drawn...Something cosy about it specially in winter.