Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Author: megan (Page 1 of 258)

Those top 10 movies in Detail

I loved the Facebum 10 day movie challenge where you post a still a day from your 10 best movies and let your friends guess what they are. It was a delight to reconnect with and recommend the movies I love, so here is a bit more about my favourites.

  1. Brazil – I don’t know how many times I have watched this film. It is Terry Gilliam‘s masterpiece (he wrote it, with Tom Stoppard, and directed it) and it made Jonathan Pryce one of my favourite actors. There are so many scenes, lines, moments and visuals that I love. Too many to write about. But it is also Robert De Niro‘s greatest cameo. 

2. Spirited Away – when I think about this film I go to a place in my childhood    that remains unexplained yet deeply felt. Everything about this film is moving.

3. Whale Rider – This movie. Family drama. Cultural heritage. Feminism. Animals.

4. Funny Bones – the saddest deconstruction of what comedy is. This movie is the most triggering, heartfelt, brilliant, savage movie. And Leslie Caron. Wow.

5. Black Cat,White Cat – I didn’t know that movies could be anything until this one. The most creative, funny, dark, theatrical, visual and made film.

6. Volver – I love all of Pedro Almodóvar‘s films, but this one is my best. I also love Penélope Cruz the best.

7. As It Is In Heaven – This is a feel good movie that is beautiful and sentimental and so completely lovely, because it is character driven, and set in Sweden, and it has a choir. 

8. Big Fish – This is Tim Burton at his best, with a heavenly cast that includes Jessica Lange. And the theme song is by Eddie Vedder. I adore this movie.

9. Delicatessen – Another one of those movies that totally altered everything; performance, story, design. Saw this at least 5 times.

10. The Intouchables – Another French movie of utter fantasticalness. A deep connection tear-jerker. 

 

Then, a list of should be in the top ten only I thought about them too late, or forgot about them and then remembered. Everything is Illuminated. Pan’s Labyrinth. Beetlejuice. Finding Neverland. The Life of Brian. Silverado.

 

Quinoa made Edible

I want to experiment with this idea of blogging some of my own very useful vegan hacks and I thought that the best place to start is with the mostly utterly tasteless but so nutritious  quinoa.

Most recipes call for the simple boiling of this magical legume and the only thing it can compete with in terms of tastelessness is tofu.

So, here is my quinoa hack.

I fry up onion in some olive oil (not a lot), add the quinoa, salt, pepper and sometimes even other dried herbs, and enough water to cover and then an added 10mm over the top, and add a Knorr veg stock pot. I bring it to the boil, then turn it down and let all the water absorb.

So, chop half an onion.

Fry it up in a little olive oil.

Add a cup of quinoa. (I like white, but red or black quinoa is good too)

Stir up the quinoa to coat it.

Add water to cover and a little extra (10mm).

These are the stock pots.

Bring to boil, then simmer slowly until water is absorbed and evaporated.

I don’t have more pics because I used it immediately after cooking. I made Yotam Ottolenghi’s quinoa and sweet potato salad, which is so delicious.

Please leave me feedback about this post.

Lemon Drizzle Cake Veganised

I really only have one cake recipe that I love and that I have made over the years. It uses fresh lemon and is the perfect combo of tart and sweet. Big Friendly nags for it and it is the one thing I miss as a vegan. The non vegan recipe relies heavily on butter and eggs, so I always imagined it would be a challenge to veganise, but it is very easy, and doesn’t need anything fancier than egg replacer.

Here is the vegan recipe, which is pretty easy to follow. The only thing that is vital is that you allow it the full baking time. Don’t test it with a prick because it will look done and might not be cooked all the way through.

Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

1 cup coconut oil

2 cups white sugar

2 cups flour

egg replacer to replace 4 whole eggs

vanilla extract or even just essence

100 ml lemon juice

2 tsp baking powder

salt

icing sugar and more lemon juice

What to do

Pre heat your over to 180. Grease and line a round or loaf baking tin. In your mixer, beat up the coconut oil and sugar until the granules have disappeared. Then add the vanilla essence and the egg replacer mixture. In another bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and slowly add to the wet mix along with the lemon juice. It ends up being quite a stiff mix. Scoop it into the tin and bake for 50 minutes. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven when it looks magnificent. Let it bake. When you do take it out, let it cool as you mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to a runny consistency. I like mine very tart. Then literally drizzle it over the cake and allow it to fall over the edges. Yum.

 

Reginald Dwyer

Here’s another product of my writing group. Many of the elements used to thread the story together were prompts. See if you can identify them.

Reginald threw the watch into the disappointingly calm sea. He imagined feeling something huge. Instead he watched as the thing sunk like a stone, and because the water was so unexcited, he saw it plonk on the sandy bottom and stay there, suddenly motionless. He turned and huffed his way along the beach, squinting at the sunset and glowering at the couples looped in each other’s arms and kissing, eyes closed. His twingy hip alerted him to the fact that the beach was sloped, and the fine sand was filling and emptying in his brogues as he walked. Suddenly, and without any warning to himself, he grabbed at his shoes, ripping them from his feet to reveal his beige and brown diamond socks. He hated them the minute he saw them and tore them from his feet too. Everything was thrown into the sea. The socks floating, the shoes sinking slowly.

His slight stutter and small frame had resulted in Reginald Dwyer having a completely sheltered upbringing. Fussed over by a social worker mother and completely ignored by his slightly abusive and competitive, muscular father, Reginald slid through school avoiding blows and spending afternoons in the school library. Mr Collins, the insane school PE teacher knew he was there, and preferred it that way. Reginald was left hand left eye dominant and useless at ball sports. That library clock; its gentle ticking and slow, mechanical second hand had been his first love.

And then he read the Sherlock Holmes novels. The stories kept him awake and intrigued. Moriarty was alluring and terrifying. Reginald fell into a fantasy world that had him fixing clocks, solving crimes and being the world’s greatest cat burglar. He stole and collected his mother’s hair pins and taught himself to pick locks. He listened to the ticks and clicks of safe mechanisms. He practiced saying “the dead never speak” in French and German accents. In case he was ever caught. The fantasy ended in him swallowing a fast-acting poison that he had concocted in his very own underground laboratory. He thought of the pill box that housed his first tooth as the perfect poison holder. He was a loner. Independent. Secretive.

Reginald waded up to his knees. His heart was stuck in his chest. How had this happened to him? He was always the picture of restraint, manners, old fashioned distance.

How had his emotions unravelled so tremendously? The icy water lapped plastic packets against his legs. He felt trapped. His chest constricted.

Mrs Cartwright had started coming to the watch repair shop with silly little requests. She had asked to sit next to him while he worked. Her heady sandalwood incense perfume made him queasy. Fix this link. Change that face. This little watch runs slow. That one runs too fast. And then she had started sending the SMSes. Always the same. Always in caps. “I love you”. It was horrific. She had leaned over. Touched him. He had taken the watch on a chain and strangled her. And run.

The sun had disappeared. Couples had gathered their blankets and bottles and were heading to the parking lot. And Reginald Dwyer walked into the gloomy water.

Where the White Things Are

(with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

It’s well after nine in the safe neighbourhood

The Pilates girls gather – they look tight and good

They finish their flat whites and rinse out their glasses

And stretch the muscles of their super white arses

 

Then after, they convoy in their gold 4x4s

At the waiting red lights they remote lock their doors

And listen to Eusebius until he offends

Then switch back to 5 with its cross over blends

 

They wave at the beggars with go away hands

Or pretend not to see through their shaded Ray bans

And some of them gather to highlight their hair

But first a good massage in the lean-back chair

 

Where invisible hands make the water just right

And conditioner is spread to sighs of delight

And more coffee is brought and more coffee is sipped

As invisible hands in ammonia are dipped

 

Then magically golden to match their gold cars

These creatures regather at chic sushi bars

Where they order the hand rolls without any rice

It’s bad for their colons although it tastes nice

 

Then it’s home time for children from the private school

In pre-ordered Ubers; they all play the fool

While their mothers meet up at another safe space

To talk about charity, feminism and race

 

And craft gins are drunk and a good tip is left

But the old man outside will be most bereft

Because cocktails were paid for with a gold credit card

It’s, “I’m sorry, no change” for the usual car guard.

 

With giggles and waves and kisses and shouts

“See you tomorrows” slip from collagen pouts

And the 4x4s purr out the parking lot places

As the winter sun sets on their plastic white faces.

Out of the Blue

Seriously. This little writing group is messing with my mind. This is what came out of me last night and I don’t even know what to do with it, so I am leaving it here. The first piece was a warm-up with two prompts; desert and sea (or see or C)

Out of the Blue

Waves but not water. Heat moving outwards under dunes. A false shimmer. Attention grabber. Ultimate distraction. My tongue runs along the ridges of my palette. Other less mutable waves. I close my eyes. Two hard red C’s are burned onto my retinas. My eyes throb. I see their blood vessels. I am seeing my own blood.

I scan the horizon. Useless. I can’t tell the difference between wave, motion and man. My hands do the check. Gun, helmet, gas mask, ear piece still attached.

Something emerges. Form becomes more. Three bodies. They move like a dance. They are dancing. The earpiece crackles. A voice. “Shoot. Aim for legs.” These are dancers. The exploding bullets of the IDF will blow their legs off. The dancers are graceful. Small. Women. I aim. Through the eyepiece they are bigger. Real. Knee. Chest. Head.

They drop. Puffs of dust. Then waves. They disappear in the waves. Sweat stings my eyes. I close them again. Hard red blood C’s.

And then, following the instruction to ‘write the passenger safety card for a time travel machine’ my brain spewed this.

Dearest and most beloved on high Patronager and Provider of all things governmental and Spiritual

It is time for you to travel away from us and towards our future.

The Worker’s Union of Nambia most respectfully and with tiniest detail attending thoughtfulness have built the definitive and most secret not to mention special and outcompeting time travel machine outstriving not only the scabby and inconsistent Ruskians, the grabby and fat Amilkians and the troublesome and unhealthy Seffafikans.

Please consider this seat your golden on high throne to the future of Nambia.

Strapping your holy and divine body securely with the maroon stretchy safety garter belt will ensure your un whiplashed haloed head and prevent you from stainage on your most royally blue corduroy pant.

Two fluffy sheepswool head rest ear covers will respectfully surround your ears and prevent them from hearing false rumours and engine failure.

Special and Beyonce feet boot holders will overwhelmingly nurture your footness in the holding position beyond all movement and escapism.

This divine and shiny gear leverage will assist you painlessly to our Nambian future where you, most highly high personage and the only one capable of withstanding troublesome forces, will go to see who we become.

Thanking you subjugatedly and apologetically in advance for tiny errors. Please warm your royal bummage on the preheated bum cushion of this time traveling machine. Close your eyeness. Sit backwards and relapse.

The Workers’ Union of Nambia.

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