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Off topic: Completely frivolous thread
Autor de la hebra: Tom in London

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 20:33
Miembro 2007
neerlandés a alemán
+ ...
My proposal: Feb 8

P.L.F.Persio wrote:
My 2 proposals:

The Mervynettes or The Hendersonians.

T


Mervyn's Witnesses, alternatively Mervyn's Whipnesses (for our ghost-in-the-bottle, 😝😂😝😂😝😂)


P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
expressisverbis
 

Jean Dimitriadis  Identity Verified
Miembro
inglés a francés
+ ...
Or just Feb 8

The Mervyns (a nod to the Melvins, a rock band)

To be written with an apostrophe by some heretics (for added effect)

[Edited at 2021-02-08 10:20 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
Zibow Retailleau
expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
I wonder Feb 8

I wonder whether it might be possible to start all over again with a clean slate.

P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
Beatific, me?! Feb 8

I don't know what's come over me. (Easy now, Mervyn...)

I seem to be spreading love and peace all over the show today.

It may be Monday but: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGgMZpGYiy8


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
Mervyn Henderson
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Países Bajos
Local time: 20:33
Miembro 2010
inglés a italiano
+ ...
My Brief Stint as an International Woman of Mystery – Part III, a Feb 11

The Moscow Mysteries are back! In a shameless act of self-promotion, I refer those of you who'd like to read – for the first time or again – Parts 1 & 2, respectively to p.17 (see my post titled Today) and to p.22 on this very thread.

Warning: should you consider yourselves followers of the TL;DR School of Thought, please be aware that this one rambles on and on, and has a Part III, b as well. Enjoy!

“Good luck, kid”, said Humpalot's driver Pyotr with a smirk.... See more
The Moscow Mysteries are back! In a shameless act of self-promotion, I refer those of you who'd like to read – for the first time or again – Parts 1 & 2, respectively to p.17 (see my post titled Today) and to p.22 on this very thread.

Warning: should you consider yourselves followers of the TL;DR School of Thought, please be aware that this one rambles on and on, and has a Part III, b as well. Enjoy!

“Good luck, kid”, said Humpalot's driver Pyotr with a smirk.

We were waiting outside Ms. Lebedev's flat, on the top floor of the House on the Embankment, overlooking the Moskva River, my hands encumbered with the mahogany tea caddy I'd been ordered to deliver personally to her.

The door opened and a lovely old lady, with a heartwarming smile, ushered us in. “Katya, your guests are here!”
And there she was, Katya, a.k.a. Ekaterina Lebedev, People's Artist and Merited Artist of Russia, a very talented and celebrated actress, with an over 25-year long career in Soviet theatre and cinema, also famous in our small circle for being Humpalot's official lover.

She appeared, swishing in a long, peacock blue silk velvet robe, a tall, platinum blonde woman in her early 40's, with pale blue eyes and cheekbones with more than a hint of Mongolian warrior to them, a vision of such tremendous beauty that put me in a state of shock and awe. Well, quite.

She shot a beaming, professional smile at Pyotr, then slowly moved her head towards me, looking me up and down, then staring me straight in the eye, as if she wished to incinerate me with the icy blue fire of her gaze. She grabbed the mahogany tea caddy from my hands.

“Pyotr, come and have a nice cuppa with me in the living room, while Katya and this sweet girl have a chat in the boudoir. I'll bring your teas there”, said the old lady, gently nudging Ms. Lebedev's magnificent shoulder.

After leaving the mahogany tea caddy on her bedside table, Ms. Lebedev sat on a birch bench at the foot of her bed, and lit a cigarette. I was standing against the window, from which a dancing whiteness of snowflakes flooded a soft light into the dark room.

She kept staring at me, and the red tip of her cigarette, glowing amidst its smoke and the steaming glasses of tea, made her look like a beautiful, hungry monoculus dragon.

Finally, she said in a sharp tone of voice: “I am aware that Lt. Col. Humpalot doesn't entrust that bleeping mahogany tea caddy to any random person. So what is it that makes you so special? Are you his little dish on the side? Are you?!”

My heart was skipping several beats and, rather dramatically I admit, I thought that I wouldn't make it out of her bedroom alive.

“That cheating bastard! That humongous, gigantic, gargantuan son of a bitch! I'm mad at you, but it's him I would kill slowly and painfully right now. And it's not the first time, oh no, there have been plenty of little sluts like you before, do you think you are the one and only? There's never a one and only with him, with men like him, with men.”

After this outburst, she seemed to cool down a little bit. “I'm sorry I called you a slut, kid. But this is the first time he doesn't bring the mahogany tea caddy to me himself. And I'm no better than you and the others. His wife left him because of me. I'm the worst of all, if anything.”

“I'm so sorry to upset you, Ms. Lebedev, I didn't mean to. I didn't even know that he was married or engaged to another woman, to me it looked like he hadn't had sex in a while, when we ... I mean, it's like he's just got out after a long stint in jail ...” I panicked, realising too late that I might have said too much.

But Katya burst into a hearty laugh. “Oh, you're so right! It is exactly like you say. You have to wait for the second or – more often than not – the third round for him to take notice that his lady friend may want to join in in the party.”

“I don't think I caught your name, kiddo”, she said and, when I told her, she finally mellowed: “Oh, is it really? That was my very first Shakespearian role! Look, I'll show you something, sit down here with me”, she stood up and took a big book out from a shelf.

It was a photo album in dark blue Morocco leather, emblazoned with her name in golden letters, in the Old Church Slavonic calligraphy.
“Don't I look dashing, in my Venetian Renaissance lawyer gown? They said that my performance showed a maturity well beyond my years, I was 22 at the time. Not my first heroine role though, that was Natasha Rostov, yes, her exactly from Tolstoy's War and Peace.”

She gazed longingly at her photographs.

“Please go on, Ms. Lebedev. Tell me more.”

“I was 16, still studying at Drama school, and I wanted that role so much I could have died. There was another reason, I have to say. The great actor Pavel Orlov had already been chosen to play the part of Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, and I was so desperately in love with him, I'd be damned, if he had to romance a Natasha other than me.”

“I remember Pavel Orlov from that romantic comedy/propaganda film A Patriot's Love is a Joy Forever*, he looked so handsome in it!”

“He so did. I'd have walked through fire for him. Have you ever felt that way? My teacher warned me that I was too tall, blonde and well-nourished to play Natasha. So I went home, and told my consternated mother that no kind of food was to pass my lips, until at least the day of the official auditions, and I meant it. I spent the following 10 days studying my part, singing, rehearsing, not eating, trying not to faint, drinking tea with no sugar, and having arguments with mum, whenever she tried to pour a dash of milk into my glass.

When the big day arrived, I had much less chubby cheeks and my eyes looked bigger, sparkling with a passionate flame. (It was pure and simple hunger, but I like to think that they were also burning with my love for the Art.) I had smeared my head with my dad's black shoe polish, which caused another argument with mum, who then blackmailed me to eat a small bowl of kasha, or she wouldn't let me leave the house. I wolfed down my semolina porridge, and hurried to the auditions. My hair was a complete mess, but at least I could pass for a brunette, and acted and sang my heart out, and ... I got the part!

Now, having War and Peace adapted as a drama play isn't half a joke, and that meant rehearsing 8 days a week, 25 hours a day, if not more. One Saturday night, Orlov took me for dinner to a lovely Caucasian restaurant, where he was bemused and amused by the quantity of food I could scoff down, while talking and laughing incessantly. He wouldn't let me touch a drop of alcohol though, and he just drank a small glass of Georgian red wine.
We then went to his flat, he put on a record of Gypsy romances, took my face between his long, beautiful hands, and then kissed me on the forehead, just like my dad would have done.

‘I'm sorry, Katya, I can't do this. You're a great, charming, funny young woman, but I'm not in love with you. I can't love you, I can't love anyone, for that matter. Love is just not on the cards for me.’

I knew what he was going to add, or, rather, not add. I knew that teenage boys and girls would engage in same sex love-making, something I had done myself with my friends during the long summer nights at the Young Pioneer camp, when they used to switch off the lights at 9:00 in the evening, and no one wanted to go to sleep. Oh, you did that too? Well, I guess some things never change. But I thought that grown-ups wouldn't do that anymore, because they married. I was so naïve!

I burst into tears, I told him I didn't care, that I wanted to marry him, no matter what, and I was willing not to have sex in my whole life anymore, if only I could be with him forever, working with him, sharing everything but a bed with him. I loved him so much! But he did and said the right thing. Marriage is a serious matter, you go into it with someone you truly love and who truly loves you.”

She sighed, and the melancholic smile on her lips was so endearing, like she were 16 again.

“Eventually, I made peace with that, and we went on to enjoy a huge success with our play. It was the start of my career. In the meanwhile, I had fallen in love with the actor playing Count Pierre Bezukhov who, on the other hand, was very much into women, so much so that I left him, the love-rat, just before we tied the knot, a couple of years later.
Orlov now lives in Paris, where he doesn't have to play the heart-throb anymore. We're still friends.”

It was snowing heavily. Ms. Lebedev suggested that I and Pyotr the driver would stay for dinner, since Auntie Valya, the lovely old lady, had cooked a lavish meal, expecting Humpalot to spend the evening and the night there.

*There's no Soviet film titled A Patriot's Love is a Joy Forever. Well, our loss, I guess.

(to be continued)

[Edited at 2021-02-11 10:12 GMT]

[Edited at 2021-02-11 11:39 GMT]
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Zibow Retailleau
Mervyn Henderson
Chris S
expressisverbis
texjax DDS PhD
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 20:33
español a inglés
+ ...
She's back! Feb 11

IWoM, I mean. Wonderful stuff, Portia!! - I love those descriptions, the little details about the dancing snowflakes and the glowing tips of cigarettes and the icy blue fire of her gaze. Despite myself, because I usually yawn my way through highly descriptive stuff.

Great dialogues, too. And I'd have swallowed "A Patriot's Love is a Joy Forever" hook, line and sinker. It sounds so plausibly Soviety to me.

[Edited at 2021-02-11 10:52 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
Chapeau! Feb 11

Can't wait for the next portian...

P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
expressisverbis
Zibow Retailleau
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
Just in case anyone was anxiously awaiting an update... Feb 11

... I can confirm that halloumi still out-yums anything I’ve ever tried to pair it with.

How can something made from the milk of a creature so closely related to a goat, source of the foulest milks and cheeses on Earth, be so totally, utterly, completely and invincibly scrumptious?

Even when roasted, Don, to retain that quintessential rubbery squeakiness.


Mervyn Henderson
Jean Dimitriadis
P.L.F.Persio
 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
Local time: 19:33
Miembro 2014
japonés a inglés
I am relieved Feb 11

Chris S wrote:
... I can confirm that halloumi still out-yums anything I’ve ever tried to pair it with.
How can something made from the milk of a creature so closely related to a goat, source of the foulest milks and cheeses on Earth, be so totally, utterly, completely and invincibly scrumptious?
Even when roasted, Don, to retain that quintessential rubbery squeakiness.

After James rather meanly locked that thread I thought that was the last I was going to hear of the halloumi, but I am glad to hear it went well.

There's a bloke lives up your way, in the Cothi valley, Richard.
He used to do very good goats-milk cheese.

Don


Chris S
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
España
Local time: 20:33
español a inglés
+ ...
Spelling Feb 11

I see they've got my name out of sync on the German thread too. Maybe I've been wrong about it myself all these years. I'll have to do some research, check a few things out.

Chris S
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 20:33
Miembro 2007
neerlandés a alemán
+ ...
And it wasn't Lord Haw-Haw ... Feb 12

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

I see they've got my name out of sync on the German thread too. Maybe I've been wrong about it myself all these years. I'll have to do some research, check a few things out.

... who did so nor myself. They have a discussion there, going on zäh wie Leder und hart wie Kruppstahl, about an approach of the Duden (our standard monolingual dictionary) to describe (only to describe, NOT to prescribe!), how certain attempts of gendering nouns can be implemented, that are already established for a few years. Nobody will be forced to do so (unless you work for an institution or media, that does prescribe these rules as part of their style guide). The toughest defenders of the old school German style are (again) NOT coming from Germany*, and had also other things to criticize going on in my country:

https://www.proz.com/forum/german/349258-rettet_die_deutsche_sprache_vor_dem_duden-page3.html#2892848

(You need to scroll up a bit to see completely the post I refer to with above link)

Just for your information. Oh yes, and Chris S had a good point there too, and I hope I could answer it properly. I expect that soon one of our linguistic grandfathers will show up, the German Grey Eminence of Kudoz. Then the discussion will be ended and everybody will withdraw themselves with their heads bowed.

* and this time not from Austria, too

[Bearbeitet am 2021-02-12 07:29 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Hauke Christian
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
@ You foreign types Feb 12

Having now very briefly dipped my toes into expressing myself in German on this site, admittedly not a language I ever use any more but one I did speak fluently when younger, I am once again humbly reminded of just how much in awe I am of so many of the other people around here, not only when it comes to your ability to follow ridiculously long and complex sentences like this and some of the more obscure wordplays some of us are prone to resort to for a cheap laugh, but also, in fact much more s... See more
Having now very briefly dipped my toes into expressing myself in German on this site, admittedly not a language I ever use any more but one I did speak fluently when younger, I am once again humbly reminded of just how much in awe I am of so many of the other people around here, not only when it comes to your ability to follow ridiculously long and complex sentences like this and some of the more obscure wordplays some of us are prone to resort to for a cheap laugh, but also, in fact much more so, when it comes to the active use of my language in ways that often just leave me lost for words.

I get that we’re linguists and that it’s our job, but even so. It’s easy for the likes of Merlin and me, we’re just messing in our own language. I wouldn’t know where to start even in Swedish. Bravo.

End of eulogy.
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Mervyn Henderson
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Alemania
Local time: 20:33
Miembro 2007
neerlandés a alemán
+ ...
Thank you ...  Feb 12


End of eulogy.

... Tom!

[Bearbeitet am 2021-02-12 09:56 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
Chris S
Mervyn Henderson
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Países Bajos
Local time: 20:33
Miembro 2010
inglés a italiano
+ ...
@Chris Feb 12

It takes a great, generous heart to express such feelings publicly.

In order to express my gratitude, I'd send you a charcoal drawing, but I can't draw for toffee, so here's another – very simple but oh so tasty – halloumi recipe by Nigella:

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/hall
... See more
It takes a great, generous heart to express such feelings publicly.

In order to express my gratitude, I'd send you a charcoal drawing, but I can't draw for toffee, so here's another – very simple but oh so tasty – halloumi recipe by Nigella:

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/halloumi-with-chilli?utm_source=mailer_rotd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Halloumi_With_Chilli_20210212

Bon appétit!

Of course, I'm aware – despite my own utter lack of self-effacement – that those wonderful compliments weren't meant for me personally, but for Matthias, and for other esteemed colleagues.

Nevertheless, what I say about your generosity still stands.

[Edited at 2021-02-12 15:08 GMT]
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Chris S
Matthias Brombach
Mervyn Henderson
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Reino Unido
sueco a inglés
+ ...
Charcoal! Feb 12

P.L.F.Persio wrote:

It takes a great, generous heart to express such feelings publicly.

In order to express my gratitude, I'd send you a charcoal drawing, but I can't draw for toffee, so here's another – very simple but oh so tasty – halloumi recipe by Nigella:

https://www.nigella.com/recipes/halloumi-with-chilli?utm_source=mailer_rotd&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Halloumi_With_Chilli_20210212

Bon appétit!


Ooooooh. I'm all excited now. And not just by the idea of licking toffee off a generously proportioned charcoal drawing. I'm a bit of a chilli fiend, and this recipe makes beans on toast look like brain surgery.

That's supper sorted.


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 
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