Monday, 21 January 2013

Naked roller-skating round the banquet hall to Ryan Star

Such a warm heart: this heartfelt Post-It note was left on the
bathroom scales by someone in my household after my recent shock discovery.

After two rambunctious weeks of Christmas over-indulgence and over-imbibance, I jumped on the bathroom scales to find that I'd put on a hell of a lot of weight.  Much to my horror, an ounce in weight!  One ounce!  

It must have been the slice of Ryvita smothered with raw oysters that did it.  Or was it the extra chipolata I stole from the fridge at 3am?

 One of Fanny's favourite snacks: Ryvita with raw oysters.  
But was it this deadly snack that caused me to gain so much weight?

That's the fundamental flaw in Christmas isn't it... one over-indulges and ends up putting on so much weight, it's necessary to be carted around in a wheel-barrow for the months of January and February.

You will know that I'm soon to depart on my Grand 180-Days Around The World vacation, so it's imperative I have a bikini body to show off to all the paparazzi.

Rather than go to a bikini boot-camp in this treacherous weather, I placed an advert in the post office window in Brill:

The door-bell has been ringing non-stop since the advert went up. I've interviewed about ten different applicants: one was a 69-year old farmer with no experience whatsoever; another was a psychiatric patient on the run who kept asking when his UFO would be landing to take him to Uranus.    In the end, after much interviewing, I've decided to appoint a 23-year old fitness coach called Josh.  He's from Buckingham.  Here is his picture:

A sight for sore eyes and bruised thighs: Josh, my personal trainer, all oiled up with Sainsbury's Italian Olive Oil during my recent 6-hour interview with him.
Today, Josh has started me on a programme of intensive physical exercise, called the F Plan, including a diet of boiled cauliflower for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  He's also forbade me from drinking any alcohol what so ever - so no Stoli, no Creme de menthe frappé and definitely no Long Slow Comfortable Screws Up Against The Wall!  

I've taken up ballet and roller-skating instead of supping cocktails.   I'm practicing ballet manoeuvres and rollerskating around the banquet hall completely stark naked.  The original 1930s parquet flooring is ideal for skating on.  Here's a pic:

I've also gone to the added expense of having a state-of-the-art entertainment system installed so I can listen to music absolutely anywhere in the house whilst I'm working out.   

I've just heard Breathe by Ryan Star whilst reaching speeds of over 25 miles per hour on my Santa Barbara V290 skates.  I think I wrote about Ryan Star before: he's one of my favourite male vocalists ever, a true New Yorker and a hunk too.  No-one has heard of him here in Europe.  If you're in England, Ryan, call me!

Have a listen to one of his best songs:
What are YOU listening to right now?  And how is your Weight Loss regime going?   Tell Fanny your favourite songs using the Comments box below, and I'll give them a whirl at my next workout.  I might even do a feature about them... just no Lady Gaga, please as I don't want to have my hearing damaged by the sound of caterwauling! x

Friday, 18 January 2013

Who stole the walnut crackers?

Just as I was about to sit down to watch The Wombles - one of my favourite evening sitcoms - I came across a huge bowl of walnuts in a forgotten corner of the sitting-room.   Christmas seems a distant memory and it's a mystery as to how these walnuts have been overlooked - there they lay, all dusty, wrinkly and unloved, shivering in a corner.

I hunted high and low for one of my Christmas gifts: a 24-carat gold set of walnut-crackers sent from Lady Sybil Trumpington-Bonham-Hyde of Aberdeenshire.   Not really a friend, more of an annoyance really, especially that unnecessary triple-barrelled name.  But a gift is a gift, and it's the thought that counts, even from that whiskey-belching, old trout.   This is what the walnut-crackers looked like.  

Pure gold walnut-crackers: a gift from someone or other, they were one of a kind, very rare and expensive, and keeping with my penchant for all things erotica.

I couldn't find the buggers anywhere and a nasty suspicion dawned upon me that one of my delinquent serving-staff had stolen them, so I instantly sent command for a full body strip-search and interrogation of every single member of the staff first thing tomorrow morning!   In the meantime, a walnut is useless if you can't get the shell off, so I naturally tried this technique (not recommended if you're wearing dentures).  

Although I'm quite used to having nuts in my mouth, this type of nut is tedious and hard work, like trying to bite in half a marble.  So I thought of another solution.  As many of you know, during last summer I've been riding a bicycle, or more precisely a vintage Penny-farthing, around the lanes of Buckinghamshire, Hampstead Heath and Clapham Common (as well as often seen parked outside the men's toilets in Waddesdon village for long periods of time).  Anyway, riding such a heavy piece of vintage bicycle up and down hills, I've developed butt cheeks so strong I estimated I'd easily be able to crack a few walnuts between them.   Here's how I did it on the sitting-room floor:

You have to get into a position you're most comfortable, such as lying on your back (a position I'm most accustomed to).  I was, however, quite keen not to miss The Wombles on TV, so I went as fast as I could

Before you could say "Uncle Bulgaria", this is what the bowl of walnuts had become:
I was able to crack over 200 walnuts in just 6 minutes.  Is that a world record?  Will I be in the Guinness Book of World Records alongside Jeremy Beadle?  Yes!  And I got to enjoy a lovely mouthful of nuts whilst watching The Wombles.  Needless to say, such cracking doesn't come without a priceAfterwards I needed four ice-baths to cool the burning sensation in my nether regions, followed by the urgent need to spray twelve cannisters of Ralgex muscle spray one after the other onto the affected area.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Recipes with Yellow Snow

The weather is as bitter as gall here in rural England.  It's so cold you could freeze a rice pudding on your head!  A man with the whitest face and beetrooty marks on his bulbous forehead - looking disturbingly like Mikhail Gorbachev - is presenting the BBC Weather Forecast every five minutes pontificating that this is "the Beast from the East": a savage cold front raging in from Russia, taking no prisoners.  We've just had six inches of snow; with day-time temperatures peaking at minus 1c.  

My house, Raffles, is surrounded by 12-inch deep snow and the villagers of Brill are walking on the tops of hedges, like Elizabethan paupers heading to church for their dry bread roll and cheap mutton soup. As a punishment for my staff's insubordination, I've ordered the hand-servants to dig out the grand drive using only silver teaspoons so I can get my Rolls Royce out for a leisurely slut-crawl down to Soho, London, as I want to buy a set of sexy Chantilly under-garments.  If it's too snowy for the drive, I might take the helicopter!

Having grown up in arid Texas (where the annual average temperature is enough to flash-cook a chicken wing in the shade in just 5 minutes), snow is a gross novelty to Fanny: when it does snow, I feel I need to go out into the grounds, strip naked and roll around in the cold, wet stuff, just to see if it's real.  I'm amazed by the brightness of it.

However, on this occasion, I felt incredibly adventurous and decided to turn my hand to culinary creations involving another phenomena which I know jack-shit about, that is, yellow snow.  I'd never heard of naturally-occurring yellow snow, but apparently yellow snow can be found in many public parks and commons, especially around lamp-posts.

It is said that Eskimos have over 50 words for snow; conversely, us Texans, given our native, desert-like surroundings, only have one phrase for anything closely resembling snow: "ice cubes".

I don't know how yellow snow occurs or why, but it's out there if you look!

Now, Fanny has an exceptionally creative hand in the kitchen and when Mother Nature has turned the Great Outdoors into a vast refrigerator, there's no time better to go out and collect up indiscriminate amounts of snow, armed with an ice-cream scoop and a scrubbed-out old margarine container, and lovingly fashion the icey mush into extraordinarily-beautiful yellow ice lollies.  As it's yellow snow I'm lucky enough to scoop up, I really don't need to bother with food colourants like beta-carotene:

As you will see, my Press Office came up with the idea of printing on the ice lolly stick the words "Aunt Fanny's Yellow Surprise".  I do think that's a fitting description for what surely is a wonderful icey surprise.  Snow never lasts in England but it got me thinking about business entrepreneurialism.  Maybe I'll sell my lovely yellow ice lollies to Waitrose.  Goodness, they could do with a lift in their frozen foods section!   In the meantime, I've taken the four dozen yellow lollies I've made down to the Brill Womens' Institute. By the looks of them, they need something nice to suck on.

In true Blue Peter style, here's another one I made earlier.   I think, unfortunately, there's some sort of garden worm or bug caught in the ice, a careless but very minor oversight; other than that, it's a great-tasting ice lolly, made by the fair hands of Fanny Love and now for sale in the village shop for a mere snip at £22.99 (all proceeds to the registered charity, The Fanny Love Barbados Charity Fund):

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Fan-Air flight FL2357 to Reykjavik / Rio

The red carpet was rolled out as I boarded my private jet, arm-in-arm with Juan.  You'll notice I'm flying on Fan Air, my own airline, with its motto "the Real Mile High club".  After take-off, I usually instruct the pilot to do a few low swoops over London, just to ensure the Royal Family and any B-list celebrities who live there are aware of my presence in the skies above them.  On one occasion, I even instructed that the contents of the toilet-tank were jettisoned over Tower Bridge, no doubt adding a new dimension to the phrase "a shower of shit".   We sometimes try and do a double-loop south in order to release the second and third toilet-tanks, as well as the bilges, over Crawley and Croydon.

Fan-Air Flight FL2357 to Reykjavik /Rio empties its toilets over Tower Bridge in silent
salute to the Royal Family and the B-list celebrities of Londinium.

As we jetted north in preparation for our own New Year's celebrations, Juan and I enjoyed rare Latvian quail eggs served in lapis lazuli egg-cups with a platter of Beluga caviar, preserved in little yellow tins from the 1930s, eaten with pickled beetroot, cream cheese and blinis.   As I've said before, I enjoy eating Beluga caviar from the delicate contours of Juan's highly-muscled abdomen, placing the black sturgeons' eggs on his undulating, lower six-pack and gobbling all those lovely salty balls down.  It drives him wild.  Well...what did you expect - after all - my airline's motto is the real Mile High club!

Not for paupers: Latvian quail eggs. 

These Fan-Air private jets are quite amazing; apart from their top speed of 1800mph, they even have their own luxury bathroom with a bath-tub, replete with a French antique crystal chandelier and a surround-sound entertainment system.

As we reached 36,000ft, I wallowed in a warm bath of champagne.  Yes, a bath of champagne.   That is to say, Krug 1928 - bottled in 1938, and costing a mere $21,000 per bottle; it takes 22 bottles to fill the bath-tub up, and it leaves my skin feeling baby-soft, a curious ritual similar to Cleopatra who insisted on bathing in asses' milk.  It was a nuisance for the hand-servants who had to heat the champagne in fish-kettles to a reasonable temperature, but well worth the lovely feeling!

First stop for our New Year's celebration was Reykjavik, Iceland, where, upon landing, we were helicoptered to the Blue Lagoon: a natural geothermal spa with steamy waters, black rocks, and wild views of moonscapes, all part of a lava formation.

Gleðilegt nýtt ár is Icelandic for Happy New Year and we enjoyed the high spirits and revelry.  The waters are heated to 98–102°F so whilst the air is bitterly cold, it's a sensuous experience to bathe here for a few hours.  After our meal of smoked salmon, hakarl and vodka, we were being helicoptered back to the private jet, and no sooner than you can say "Eurozone crisis" we took off again this time on a 6-hour flight to the party capital of Latin America, Rio de Janeiro. 

Does it sound like a flagrant waste of money jetting up to Iceland and then down to Rio?  Yes!  Well good!  You see, Fanny likes decadent extremes: to party in snow-bound Reykjavik and then, 6 hours later, to have the privilege to be in sub-tropical Rio, it's the ultimate way to celebrate the New Year, as well as being the envy of the newspaper-reading world!  Lady Gaga has to do with the Hamptons (so yesterday!).

We touched down at 3pm on New Year's Eve and went straight to Ipanema and Copacabana beaches where I donned a tiny turquoise swimsuit about the size of a shoe-lace, also known as a "micro bikini" - it's a local custom to wear such tiny garments in this neck of the woods.  Juan, being a native carioca, felt at home on the beach.  We partied on the soft sandy beach with some beautiful local couples until the fiery sun sizzled into the sea and we then headed for a string of exclusive nightclubs to celebrate Réveillon, the Brazilian-Portuguese expression for the dawn of the New Year.   

I love the Latin spirit of partying - such fun and absolutely no requirement to wake up in a pool of your own vomit the next morning in a urine-stinking police cell, as is customarily practiced in England every New Years Eve!

After a wonderful further five days spent at the Copacabana Palace (an elegant Art Deco hotel, looking like a 1920s wedding cake), we touched down in England again after a marathon 10,000 air miles!  

Owing to bad weather, we could not land the jet at my private landing strip in Buckinghamshire and so were diverted to the blot on the landscape that is Heathrow, known to some as Thieves' Row, to others as Stalag 9 or the Russian Front.  No red carpet on the tarmac here!  Landing at Heathrow Terminal 2 has the same shame-factor as admitting you've caught crabs.

Such was the inconvenience of being forced to land here, I really couldn't be bothered changing and instead walked through Immigration and Arrivals in a 'Barely There Black' micro-bikini which I had bought in Rio:

I do hope the UK Border Control were impressed by my generous show of sun-kissed flesh!  Certainly, the whole terminal-building was full of audible gasps and finger-pointing, presumably at the bare cheek of my arrival.

All this New Years' travelling has made me realise that I need to re-new my passport before I embark on my 180 days Around the World trip - it expires in just 13 days!