Natasha Oakley - British Romance Author

Writer of tug-at-the-heartstrings, feel-good romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Mostly about food!

Anyone else out there own an alphasmart? They do exactly what 'it says on the tin' (it's light to carry, works for ever on three batteries and doesn't need to have air circulating around it) but I just can't get on with mine.

I woke up at 4.30 this morning and decided I might as well try and 'steal' some writing time. Since the house was cold it occured to me it might be nice to write while remaining snuggled up in my duvet, so I pulled my alphie out and blew off the dust.

First off, the batteries kept falling out of alignment and the alphie kept shutting off - which would have been fine if I hadn't been typing in the dark and not noticed. Grrrr. Secondly, it's sooo darn clanky. It was far from being a quiet option that wouldn't wake my husband. I ended up having to go downstairs to make tea! :)

Back at my 'big' computer I've found a very pleasant way to waste yet more writing time. I have no idea what biorhythms actually are but if you click here you can find out who's your perfect celebrity match.

As I've long suspected, Johnny Depp is not quite complete without me! I, naturally, tried out my husband's date of birth and discovered that we're a respectible 84%. So that's nice to know.

It didn't seem fair not to find out who my husband would be more perfectly matched with. He's very happy to discover the celebrity who matches his biorhythms most perfectly is Nigella Lawson.

There are a few issues here I'd like you to consider. Nigella Lawson is a cookery writer who is of the 'never knowingly under-catered' school of thought and is famed for her curvaceous figure. Let's pause for a moment to remember that I am on a diet.

Not once since I began eating limitless vegetables has he uttered the words, 'Please, darling, don't lose a lb as I prefer you with more curves' rather he's taken the 'supportive' role of 'How many points is that?'!!!!!!

I feel it all quite keenly today because it's weigh-in day and I'm still really missing the snacking I used to do. I'm not convinced books can be written without chocolate as a motivating force.

Anyway, it's another 2lb loss for me.

Next week will be more of a struggle I think. Even if I save up maximum amount of points for our Burns Night Supper I reckon I'm still going to be 'over'.

Here, especially for Nic, is the best picture I could find of Haggis, bashed neeps and chappit tatties.

If you ask my dad 'what's a haggis?' he'll tell you it's a small three-legged Highland animal. He'll also tell you that catching them is all about knowing whether you're dealing with a left or right-handed specimen. (Their limbs being shorter on one side so they can run around the hills without either ascending or descending.)

I'm sure it's a tale made up for tourists because the truth sounds so revolting. There are a million and one recipes for Haggis but it's basically sheep's heart, liver and lung, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach. I promise you, it's lovely!

I'm afraid if you live in North America it breaks your food safety laws and you'll have to have a 'pretend' one. Tatties are potatoes. Neeps are Swedish Turnips. At least they are if you live in Scotland. Down south we call them Swedes and, I believe, in the States you call it rutabaga.

Cranachan is a calorific nightmare - consisting of cream, more cream and cream!

Again, there are lots of variations. I toast about 3 oz of pinhead oatmeal in a frying pan until brown. Then whisk half a pint of cream to a soft consistency and mix in the toasted oatmeal and a slug of Drambuie. Raspberries are lovely with it and do allow you to fool yourself you're not being too unhealthy! :)

Anyone care to venture how many Weight Watchers points that'll be???


  • At 10:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for translating, Natasha!
    I swear, for a while there I thought you were speaking a different language!! The only thing I recognised was haggis (I'll take your word for it about the delicious bit ;) )

  • At 2:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    God you can tell you're on a diet!!! I talked so much about food yesterday I went home and ate a whole pack of salt and vinegar chips.

    Have fun at the party!!! Go wild!!!


  • At 2:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why Natasha did you send me to that sight!!!??? My best matches?

    Karl Urban 98%
    Michael Vartan 98%
    Orlando Bloom 97%
    Jared Leto 97%
    Narain Karthikeyan 97%

    It seems I am bound to be matched to fine-boned pretty boys. Waaaahhhhh...


  • At 5:37 am, Blogger Natasha said…

    Ooooh Michael Vartan! He's half French. There's something about that language. :) I could see you liking him. Mind you, I think you'd have to exchange your passion for football. He's all for hockey, isn't he?

  • At 5:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alright so thats me off to the biorhythms site then too... sheesh...

    When is a gal sposed to WORK???

    And Im not even TALKING TO YOU about the diet ticker... GRUMP

  • At 5:36 pm, Blogger Natasha said…

    That's only because you went off and over-indulged in Dublin. Serves you right!

    So, who do you match up with?????

  • At 7:03 am, Anonymous Nicolette said…

    Okay, so the site said I'm matched with Michael Schumacher, Marilyn Manson and Nigel Harman.

    I'll take Nigel, thanks very much! Was rather hoping for Orlando, Johnny Depp or Richard Armitage, but I suppose Nigel will have to do.

    Picky? Moi?

  • At 7:42 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, good grief. It's months since I braved my scales and Christmas was a chocolate disaster, despite efforts not to buy the usual quantities of the stuff. As if they knew supplies were low, people kept giving it to me. One elderly lady I know even -- absently -- gave me back the box I gave her.

    I tried!


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