I wanted to Scream, but I was Breathless. I felt like a Trainwreck, and that’s putting it mildly!
During the previous week I’d been to Four Weddings and Funeral. Thank goodness they were all held in and around Notting Hill because I was staying there at the time. Even so, by the end of the week, to me, it had begun to feel like Groundhog Day.
I had been on my way to 84 Charing Road to book into a hotel; however, fortunately, on the way I ran into Georgy Girl and Billy Elliott. They’d be attending the same events as I was. When they showed me Bridget Jones’s Diary that listed our busy schedules, they convinced me I should move closer to where the venue would be held, rather than having to travel back and forth. While we chatted they also warned me not to have my hair done by Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
To top things off – just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, or better, depending which way I looked at it – I attended Muriel’s Wedding, Betsy’s Wedding and My Best Friend’s Wedding, all on the same day! Tender Mercies!
I was home Before Sunrise, though, because I had to be out again Before Sunset to meet The Great Gatsby On Golden Pond where A River Runs Through It. No Strings Attached. We’re Just Friends – Not Friends with Benefits. I have to admit there was One Fine Day while on A Walk to Remember we did have a romantic Breakfast at Tiffany’s; but that was as far as our relationship went. They were Days of Heaven. He wasn’t Just a Gigolo as some ignorantly judged him to be. He was an Officer and a Gentleman.
Fortunately, that year I was on a lengthy Summer Holiday and Wimbledon had been thrown into the mix! Young Winston had been seeded to play. He was really Brassed Off when he lost in the first round. It had gotten to Match Point, and then, due to inexperience he caved in under the pressure.
After my good friend Sabrina and I returned from our Roman Holiday, Moonstruck by the experience, we promised we’d return again Same Time Next Year. Before leaving Italy we spent a few days Under the Tuscan Sun. The Last Time I Saw Paris I made The Vow I’d return, but I never thought it’d be Midnight in Paris when I did!
Regardless of the time, feeling carefree, I ran Barefoot in the Park, and then across Waterloo Bridge.
I’m a Funny Girl, I know - but What’s New, Pussycat?
I had Fun in Acapulco, too; a story for Another Time. After all, this is the real deal; it’s not an Imitation of Life. I intend to enjoy life to the utmost. Pride and Prejudice are not words in my vocabulary. I made a Titanic decision ages ago any inhibitions I’d harboured were Gone with the Wind.
For Nine and a Half Weeks I’d been Sleepless in Seattle when a dear friend said to me, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”
I replied I was Clueless.
She told me her friend Dr. Zhivago had arrived Out of Africa. He’d spent a few years there gathering Water for Elephants. On his return trip, while travelling through Morocco, he stopped in Casablanca briefly. It was there, by chance, he found Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. He also ran into Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary. Those two girls certainly do get around! Apparently, they’d been travelling with The Fabulous Baker Boys of all people!
A while later I met the Object of My Affection. It wasn’t just Love in the Afternoon. Our meeting was Serendipity; nothing like When Harry Met Sally. Ours was a brief, but intense Love Story. It was An Affair to Remember.
Together, we shared a few Nights in Rodanthe. Before we left the Beaches for the Bridges of Madison County I took The Notebook from my purse. On a page I wrote: “Remember Me, The Way We Were. P.S. I Love You.”. I placed the Message in a Bottle. I then threw it into the ocean at Wuthering Heights.
Love Actually hung around for a while. Mysteriously, I could sense the Ghost of not only Annie Hall, but of all the Women in Love. Crazy, Stupid Love!
With no warning, Fast and Furious, Sunday Bloody Sunday arrived.
Abruptly The Days of Wine and Roses skidded to a halt. I had no other choice but to leave for Mansfield Park where I was told by Shallow Hal to “Just Go With It - You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”.
Proof it’s A Wonderful Life, Far from the Madding Crowd while en route to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel I met The Man from Snow River aka The Horse Whisperer. He’d just arrived Home from the Hill.
Without hesitation I told him- “This is your Last Chance Harvey!”
It was like Finding Neverland or having 50 First Dates – or both!
Jaffa Cake: Blend or process zest of 6 oranges and 6 dates; peel oranges; blend with zest/dates to smooth paste. Melt 50g butter, 50g coconut oil with 200g dark chocolate. Beat 4 eggs until thick; fold in 200g almond meal, paste and choc-butter. Pour into greased, lined tin; cook about 1-1/4hrs at 180C. Cool; spread with Jaffa Icing – process big handful macadamias until smooth butter. Add zest of ½ orange; add 1tbs coconut butter and 3tbs cacao powder; blend until smooth; ice cake.
Jaffa Loaf: Preheat oven 180C. Butter and line base of 1.2lt loaf tin. Place 140g softened butter, 200g S.R. flour, 1-1/2tsp baking powder, 200g golden caster sugar, 3 eggs, 6tbs milk and finely grated zest of 1 large orange in bowl; beat with hand whisk or wooden spoon, 3-5mins, until light and fluffy; spoon into tin; level top. Bake 40-50mins. Heat 3tbs orange juice and 50g golden caster sugar gently; stir until sugar dissolves. Remove cake from oven; spoon over the orange mix; leave to cool in tin; then remove from tin; cool on wire rack. Melt 50g dark chocolate; drizzle over cake; leave to set.
Jaffa Crème Brulee: Preheat oven, 150C. Bring 300ml cream, 1c milk and 2x6cm long strips orange rind almost to the boil over med-heat; remove rind. Whisk 5 egg yolks and 1/3c caster sugar until well combined. Whisk cream mix into eggs; strain into jug; place 15g piece of dark chocolate in base of 4x185ml ramekins; pour in custard mixture. Place ramekins in roasting pan; add boiling water to halfway up sides; cook for about 35mins, until just set. Cool slightly; chill 4hrs; sprinkle raw sugar over custards; caramelise under grill or with blowtorch.
Jaffa Fudge: Line a small brownie tin with baking paper. Place 300g dark chocolate and 395g condensed milk in a glass bowl and microwave for one minute; or melt in bowl over water (the tried and true traditional method). Stir mixture until chocolate melts; stir through 1 cup of Jaffas. Pour into prepared tin; chill until set. Slice and enjoy!