Hobbies to drive your spouse crazy

There must be nothing more annoying than a friend or family member learning a new language (except maybe a friend or family member learning piano or violin or the trombone). These linguist-wannabes would go around all day saying asinine things like “I am eating an apple” (in whatever language) even if it’s blindingly obvious that they are not, in fact, eating anything at all.

They would tell you in earnest: “The cat is black and the orange is orange,” and you would wonder about ringing up their therapist.

And maybe you should because goodness knows everyone needs a therapist these days.


Comic - Learning a new language


I should know because, right now, I am spouting truisms such as “el vino y la manzana son rojos” on a daily basis. (For the Spanish-challenged, this means “the wine and the apple are red”.) I am diligent in practising my sentences because I’m sure they will come in handy when I next visit Spain.

“El vino y la manzana son rojos,” I will say to the nice lady ringing up my shopping at the supermarket while I point at the apple and the delectable bottle of Spanish wine in my basket.

And she will clap her hands in glee and give me a discount because I just said something very useful to her.


Comic - Learning a new language 2


All I need to do is make sure that I preserve my sanity long enough to even make the trip to Spain. One does tend to feel a bit crazy after one has kindly informed one’s family for the umpteenth time the colours of various objects in the household and the ways in which one can interact with said objects, only to be met with a blank stare.

For example, I would tell Piers, in Spanish, “The newspaper is black and white. I read the newspaper,” and he would give me either a blank stare or, more often, a “Shall I ring your therapist?” stare, slightly quizzical, slightly worried, but mostly what the fuck.

Perhaps it’s his sanity I should be worried about.


Comic - Learning a new language 3


Now, remember in the beginning I mentioned that someone learning a musical instrument would probably be more annoying than someone telling you dumb things in Spanish all day long?

Well, guess what, I’m buying a piano, too!

Or, rather, Piers has just agreed to buy me a piano!

Ooh. I just realised that he probably isn’t yet aware of the double whammy situation he’s gotten himself into.

Double insanity!

Well, I am not exactly a totally virgin beginner pianist. I took piano lessons when I was 11 for a year or two and passed a few exams. However it HAS been a while, so I’m anticipating long months of banging out Yankee Doodle or whatever stupid songs they make you learn in piano these days.

I should probably put a therapist on our speed dial.

On the health front, I’ve decided to give yoga another try. (Went to a class a long time ago and hated it because it was so boring.) But I need to like it because of, well, health reasons, lol, so I’m going to try it at home first (using yoga apps on the iPad) and see how that works out before going to actual classes.

Perhaps Piers will be so distracted (and distraught) by the crazy poses that he won’t notice the other hobbies!


Comic - Yoga


There’s a plan, huh?

Probably not a very good one but we all gotta do what we all gotta do and spouses gotta put up with it. :D

Will keep you posted on outcomes!


Eating in England — Part 4

I was quite surprised to find Bournemouth so cosmopolitan. We have easy access any kind of cuisine we want, many within walking distance, some a short drive away.

I’m so happy that Piers lives here because it is a very nice place to live in, being a beach resort town as well as a regional business centre. In a survey done in 2007, Bournemouth residents were found to be the happiest people in Britain.

Before coming here, I had thought I would be eating English food maybe 80% of the time. It turns out that we’re eating English food less than 10% of the time, mainly because English food is served in pubs and Piers doesn’t like going to pubs much because they can get pretty noisy.

And also because there’s so many other kinds of food to choose. Here’s a look at some of the “foreign” foods we’ve eaten recently.




Nippon Inn

Nippon Inn
124 Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset BH8 8UT


The food in Nippon Inn is decent. I’m not blown away but I might go there again if taken by a Japanese food craving. The service is really pleasant; we had two friendly and cute Japanese girls serving us.

Piers’ ramen was tasty but it was mostly chicken stock and soy sauce. The tofu salad was really nice but that was largely to do with the sesame dressing which I think you can buy at the supermarket.

My sushi just passed the mark of edible because the tobiko sushi tasted a bit funny, like, I can’t describe it, it was all at once sweet, sour and salty.

I think, mostly, I was impressed by the cute origami that came with our bill.


Nippon Inn








Tapas Plus

Tapas Plus
53 Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 6DW


Tapas is a special cuisine of appetisers originating in Spain. It’s like a culture, spending hours in a restaurant, chatting with your friends, drinking wine and munching away on assorted appetisers until you’re full or tired. You don’t order any main courses.

I like this kind of meal, almost like going to a buffet where you get to eat many kinds of food in one sitting.

I like Tapas Plus mainly because of the garlic prawns. Not only is the marinade tasty (although too oily), some of the prawns are stuffed full of ebiko (prawn roe). Piers will not touch the roe, which is lucky for me cos I get them all! Bwahahaha. Tastiest prawns I ever had, although a bit small.

Other than that, I find the other tapas dishes just okay. Some are downright bland and boring while others are tasty enough but not anything I would crave.

Still, I quite enjoy going there for a meal with Piers. We’ve gone there twice, both times when we had two hours to kill before a movie.


Prawn roe


Tapas Plus





Romanzo Greek Taverna
87 Poole Road, Bournemouth BH4 9BB


This little Greek restaurant has a very homely feel with friendly service but I didn’t enjoy the main courses so much. The appetisers were great, though, so I would recommend ordering a selection of starters and skipping the mains, tapas style.

We had garlic prawns and garlic mushrooms for starters. They were excellent, tasting exactly the way garlic prawns and garlic mushrooms should taste.

For my main, I had a leg of lamb and Piers had some sort of stewed pork with rice. They looked pretty good but were quite bland in taste, with the meat being overcooked and dry.


Garlic prawns


Garlic mushrooms


Pork thingy with rice


Leg of lamb





58 Westover Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH1 2BZ


Prezzo is a huge chain of Italian restaurants in the UK and the price is quite cheap for the standard of food (and the decor and ambience), with the main courses averaging £10 each.

Piers really enjoyed his spicy beef pizza. One of the most enjoyable pizzas he’s had, apparently. I found it a bit bland but then I only had a very small sampling. He said there were bits that were really tasty, and every bite was kind of different.

I was in a healthy mood that night, so ordered a pollo al funghi (chargrilled chicken breast with field mushrooms and baby spinach in a marsala wine sauce). The wine sauce was really tasty so that even though my chicken breast was overcooked and dry, I enjoyed my meal very much and would order the meal again.


Spicy beef pizza


Pollo al funghi


Green salad


Okay, that’s quite enough food for today.

More cuisines coming up soon!