Friday, April 13, 2007


TWO little words were enough to destroy any dreams Shutts might have harboured of leading the England cricket team's pace bowling attack in the future.
Having supped a few pints with Withers and Catherine Mary in the chilly environment of The Yard smoking area (two tables, no heating) I decided to end the suffering and return to the warmth of my own home. Who should I bump into on my wobbling way to the taxi rank but the Glamorgan fast bowler Simon Jones, now looking fully recovered from his injury problems and fit as a flea.
"Hi Simon," I said, knowing full well that he was very unlikely to recognise me having only met me once previously - that being about three years ago. Also, unlike him, I haven't done any centre spreads for Cosmo or Hello magazines (can't think why, every day I'm waiting for the phone to ring so that I can quote them something ridiculous for full frontal pics).
Simon's one of my England Ashes heroes and he disguised his confusion very well as he wondered who the bozo was offering to shake his hand.
"You spoke to my reporter colleague Shutts the other day," I told him, nudging his memory.
Enlightenment spread across his face and he looked to the skies. "Oh, yeh. He's a biiiiig bloke, isn't he?"
Glad to now be engaging the great man in conversation, I joined in the theme. "Yes, he is about 6ft 8ins. He's about as big as Curtley Ambrose (the great West Indian pace ace). Do you reckon with the right training he could bowl fast for England?"
Simon looked at me knowingly, smiled and gave a dismissive shake of the head. Then he patted his belly. "Too fat," he said. Sorry, Shutts, you can put those whites away now.

The stand-up comedians of Britain can sleep soundly in their beds tonight, safe in the knowledge that the wonderful Withers won't be stealing their thunder. Withers, not surprisingly, pulled out of the three-minute audition which could have seen him elevated to global status on the basis that "the trains aren't running" and "I would have to take the whole day off". Other unkind individuals are more likely to suggest, in the words of Roberts, "his a*** went". Sadly, we shall probably never know the truth. At least he bounced back with an appearance on Radio Wales this morning, waxing lyrical about the joys of political blogging. When his interviewer suggested that some blogs were inclined to just go on about "what people did in the pub the previous night" he had the perfect opportunity to talk about the most entertaining blog around. Once again, he failed miserably. Withers, you're a bozo supreme.

Last night I got home and cooked Kedgeree. It wasn't supposed to be Kedgeree, it's just I overcooked the rice and the cod broke up quickly so I mixed the two together. And it was very nice.
What I did was rinse the rice then cover it with plenty of water, bring to the boil and then leave on a high heat until must of the water evaporated leaving a gooey mess at the bottom of the pan. I then put olive oil into a frying pan and when it got hot I added a large spoonful of flour and stirred it into the oil.
This produced a paste and I then fried some chopped shallot in it before adding the fish, skin side down, allowing this to crisp. Turning the fish I added three fresh chopped tomatoes and a teaspoon of paprika. When the fish was done it broke up, so I just added it to the rice and stirred it in. It was actually surprisingly tasty.

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