I had a Daniel Craig moment in the swimming baths this morning. Ok, so Daniel Craig is tall, has rippling pecs, hair and has millions in the bank. I, on the other hand, can boast none of these attributes.
But as I climbed up the steps from the water I couldn't help notice that all eyes were turned on me. It was as if the blokes all wanted to be me and the women, ok they were all probably short-sighted and not one of them was below 50, all wanted to be with me. I walked cockily back to the dressing rooms, the sunlight glistening on my admirable torso, and hopped into the shower, feeling quite chuffed.
Then I spotted the rip that extended from the bottom to the top of one of the legs of my bermuda shorts. In fact, there was more resemblance to a cheap Hollywood hooker than the latest 007, star of the James Bond movies, who has become a pin-up for many frustrated housewives up and down the land.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, really. The trunks have certainly had a lot of use since I bought them, what, at least 15 years ago I would think. Time to invest in a new pair, I reckon.
Mrs Rippers and I are trying to persuade young Rippers to turn around. With just under four weeks left until our lives change forever and the little mite pops out, he, or she, has decided to lie the wrong way around in a very strange position where the two little feet have somehow found themselves next to the head. Looks a bit uncomfortable and we are informed that this is the breach position. To correct this there has been plenty of advice, one piece being that Mrs Rippers should do the opposite to the baby and lie with arse in the air and head on the floor. Not exactly the most flattering pose and I can't see it catching on.
There is time yet, though, but if the little one doesn't feel like moving we aren't going to try to persuade it otherwise - it may well mean Mrs R has to have a c-section but we will wait and see what the doc says tomorrow.
Last night I made a rather tasty spicy Italian Lamb casserole.
What you need:
3 tablespoons olive oil
Lamb (I used two lamb steaks cut into cubes)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup red wine
3/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon of crushed juniper berries (I didn't have these so threw in five red seedless grapes)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 sprig of rosemary
12 small onions
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
WHAT I DID:
Pre-heat over to 350 degrees/gas mark 4
Heat the oil in a large casserole
Add the lamb in batches, season with salt and pepper, and brown over a high heat
Remove when browned.
Add the onion, celery and garlic to the remaining oil, reduce the heat and cook for 4-5 mins until softened
Return lamb to casserole and pour on marsala. Cook over high heat until dark brown and reduced by half.
Add chilli flakes, juniper berries (or grapes) and cook, stirring, for 10-15 secs.
Add tomato paste, chicken stock, rosemary and 1 cup of water, just enough to cover the ingredients.
Cover with lid and bake in oven for 45 minutes.
Add the small onions and potato and cook for a further 45 minutes.
Stir in the parsley, then serve.