East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Game, Set, Match

game_set_and_match_tv_series-420999511-largeSo, basically – I’m about to do a series of posts on the three Harry Palmer spy movies, The IPCRESS File, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain, and the novels they are based on.
I’ve been a long-time Lee Deighton fan, and his books are certainly an influence on my writing – and my cooking!1 – and I’ve always loved the Michael Caine movies.
And while I was looking online for resources for those next posts, I found out that you can view the whole 12 episodes of Game Set & Match on Youtube.

And so I said to myself, why not make a post on that, too? And here it is. Continue reading

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Cooking is one of those skills that look good on a writer, a scientist, or an action hero.
Being able to put together some quality food out of raw ingredients is a show of mastery, and an essential skill.
Anyway, that’s my rationale.

9781906502904One year ago – give or take a few weeks – I bought a book as a gift for a friend’s wife.
The poor girl can’t cook to save her life (it’s not a mortal sin, mind you, just a fact of life) and she’s always been rather curious about my (supposed) cooking prowness.
So I went and got her a copy of South Wind through the Kitchen, that’s a sort of best-of compilation of recipes and food writing by the great late lamented Elizabeth David.
If I can do anything at all in the kitchen, I owe it to my mom, Len Deighton and Elizabeth David.
And as I could not give my mom to that lady as a gift, in doubt I went for the David book, because it’s sort of more dignified than Deighton’s by any means masterful Action Cook Book.
Also, I caught a copy in a local book store, which is always better, I thought, than having the book mailed through Amazon.
I picked it up and thought about wrapping it up in brown paper, like something out of a grocery store.
Something silly like that. Continue reading