On Superpowers

Having grown up with a diet of science fiction and comic books (although the latter were more likely to be Asterix) I’ve always had the romantic notion that we all have a superpower, but only those with relatively mundane ones such as brilliant musicianship and Nobel-level intellects, ever find out what they are.

And yet… I may have discovered mine.

Looking back, I think there are many examples of my superpower, but I can date three.

May 13, 2012 and Man City are playing QPR. If they win, they’re Champions. Now, I have no love for Man City, but the alternative would have been United winning and that, you see, would not be good. I’m watching the game, getting more and more annoyed at City’s inability to win – in fact with less than a few minutes left, they’re losing. LOSING! “Right”, says I, “enough of this, I’m off to walk the dogs”. It was only an hour later that I discovered that they’d come back to win the game.

Hmmm..

So, it’s a week later and Chelsea are losing to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. Again, no love for Chelsea, but Bayern, well they’re German. Anyway, with minutes to go, I decided it was worth a try. Turning the tele off, I washed up, taking just long enough for Drogba to equalise. Chelsea, as we all know, went on to win and I think I deserve one of the medals.

This brings us to the latest manifestation. England-Sweden.Sweden are 2-1 up and things look grim. Realising my patriotic duty, I switched to a pre-recorded CSI until we decided that it was a bit too gruesome (eyes gouged out, yuk) so we turned back and guess what? Yep, England are winning.

Now, call these coincidences if you like, but I’m not so sure.

The trick with super-powers, of course, is to exploit them. So, if anyone wants to pay me to wash up, walk dogs or basically find any way of avoiding the game, I’m open to offers.

On Restaurants

I’ve often wondered whether my ideal job would be a restaurant critic, but as I don’t live in London where, it seems, all restaurant reviews are written, that ambition appears to be doomed.

But that may not be the only problem, because I sometimes wonder whether I have much of a palette. Nine times out of ten you see, I find restaurant food bland and tasteless.

I also have reputation, well earned I’ll admit, for always choosing the wrong thing from a menu. I have friends who – and I’m not kidding here – wait to see what I order before ordering something else.

Worrying.

But, having said that, I do like to eat out, and I think it might be fun to review restaurants on this blog.

So to start with, not actual reviews, but my favourite eating places in no particular order:

  • Food – Worthing. Always excellent, last went there early 2011.
  • Crescent Road Café also in Worthing. Went there mid 2011, one of the best meals ever.
  • Earl of March in Lavant, haven’t been there for a couple of years but very, very good.
  • La Coupole, Boulevard Montparnasse. Absolutely love it, but sadly haven’t been for far too long.

The most recent evening meal out was the Swallow’s Return in Worthing. This is a gastropup in a fabulous setting which is well…inconsistent. Sometimes there’s a wow, but more often it’s just ok. This time it was ok, at best. My starter of scallops and pork belly was, yes, ok. The pork belly was undercooked but the syrupy dressing of sweet apple with rocket was excellent, a taste sensation.

Sadly, the mixed grill that followed was poor. The various cuts of meat were tough and tasteless and the ‘rare’ steak was anything but. To be fair though, everyone else seemed to enjoy their mains – from the enormous deep-fried haddock to the calves liver.

Maybe I just chose the wrong thing as usual. Overall not good enough, but not so bad that I wouldn’t try it again.

Far better was breakfast at the Bluebird Café in Ferring. Everything about it is perfect from the setting on the beach to the atmosphere, but the cooked full-English is just wonderful.