Week 32: Cooking live lobster

Quite a simple task this week, I was approached by our catering manager at work to come into the kitchen and try something for my blog.

I walked into the kitchen and could smell the fish from outside the door. I hate fish the little slimy buggers, so was thinking the worst. Once I opened the door, it was worse, a box full of live lobsters, in ice. The challenge was simply pick up a live lobster and help the chef cook it. Picking the lobster up was the worst thing, I was told they are aggressive things, and fortunately their pincers were taped up. Just the way the little monster wriggled around in the box was off putting enough for me.

I did however have to pick it up, it was using it’s legs to push me away like mad, but I held on all the same. I didn’t enjoy holding it all. The smell and the wriggling made the whole experience very unpleasant.

Live Lobster

Cooking lobsters alive is the way to cook lobsters apparently.. It reduces the chances of food poisoning I’m told. I couldn’t physically cook it myself, the thought of cooking the little monster alive, was too much for me. I’d happily eat a lobster I haven’t seen cooked, but I think there would be blood on my hands if I had to kill the creature myself. Note to self, you have no career as a chef.

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Week 31: Painting

Week 31 of my comfort zone challenge… this week I got my creative juices flowing as I received a painting lesson.

To say I’m not an artist would be a bit of an understatement, despite my mum, sister and uncle all being excellent artists, I got the art genes from my dad. A bit of my art background, during my year 7 art class, I was given a merit for my art drawing with the teacher telling me “I love that you’ve done some abstract art, if I wanted it to look like the object, I’d take a photo”… I did however, try and draw to look like the object. My other infamous piece of artwork as a child is my drawing of a goalkeeper aged 9 (see below). So it’s safe to say I wasn’t blessed with artistic ability.

Tom Rose - 26/12/2000
Tom Rose – 26/12/2000

I can’t remember ever really painting at school, so was keen to have a little lesson and try it out. I contacted Marcia from Creative Art Academy, and managed to arrange a good time to do it. So happy I did, as Marcia was one of the nicest women I’ve ever met. Originally from America, she moved over to England 20 years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Talk about doing something out of your comfort zone… Moving to another country. I had no idea what I wanted to paint really, so left it Marcia to find something suitable. Bless her, she knew I was an Oasis fan, so found me a suitable picture!

FullSizeRender (17)

So how was she going to make a terrible artist paint? Well we started off by reducing the picture into a grid, and drawing the shapes in each section of the grid on a piece of paper. Once we were happy with the outline, we turned over the piece of paper and coloured the whole back of it in with pencil. Then we put the paper over the canvas and went over the original lines to put it onto the canvas. Marcia was great at helping me find the correct colours, and they key to mixing in the colours was to not let it dry. We were doing a mix media painting, using water colours and oil paints (I think).

Progress
Progress

Conversation flowed whilst we’d work the magic, and the time just flew. I almost got in concentration when doing it, so much so I forgot to eat my ginger biscuits that were kindly offered! It was extremely therapeutic and I can totally understand why people paint regularly.

Wow..

I have to say, I never believed I would be able to do a job as I did on this. Marcia is one hell of a teacher. If you’re local to the Hastings area, I implore you to get in touch with Marcia and learn to paint with her. She does all sorts including ceramics and yoga! A lady of many talents!

Proud as punch

Just look what I did in two and a half hours with her. Genuinely surprised myself that I could do this, and I’m proud as punch of my painting. I’ve decided to put up my masterpiece on my bedroom wall!

Pride of place
Pride of place

Week 30: An over of 90mph cricket

This weeks challenge was inspired by Stuart Broad after his Ashes heroics of 8-15 in the 4thTest match at Trent Bridge, to seal England the Urn.

As a rough guide, I wanted to see what it would be like to face a test match bowler, bowling at 90mph. I’m fortunate enough to work at a cricket club that has a machine called ‘Truman’. This shows the outline of a bowler, as he runs up and then the machine flings the ball down at whatever pace you set it too. It replicates test match bowlers actions. This time, I took on a bit of Brett Lee.

I consider myself an okay cricketer. Despite being a batsman, that is usually happy that when he reaches double figures, I do call myself a batsman. You never really know as a club cricketer what kind of speeds you are facing compared to the professionals, so I thought this would be a good way to get an idea.

A rare occasion I scored runs
A rare occasion I scored runs

So to get my ‘eye in’ we started Truman off on 70mph. This was already too quick for me. I had a rough idea where it was going, but missed loads. Only 20mph to go. As we would go up the speed, I’d hit a few here and there, but spent the majority of my session wafting at the ball. By the time we got up to over 80mph I was way out of my depth.

We eventually cranked up to 90mph, where I had 6 balls to face. I always thought it would be too fast for me to even see. The weird thing was, my eyes saw the ball the whole way, but my body just didn’t move quick enough to react.  I had a rough idea where it was going to go but struggled to get near it… and when the ball whack me straight on the foot, it was just way too quick AND it hurt.

I still hold ambitions of playing for England in the Ashes despite this ropey net session, and now injured foot.

Skip to 7 minutes 49 seconds if you want to see me get hit!