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This forum has a long history, by interent standards anyway-unfortunately it has been abandoned for far too long due to real life circumstances knocking the heck out of what had been my very real desire to keep this board alive and well forever so that all of us could meet here and communicate with each other everyday.

I'm not sure that a forum like this is even needed nowadays since the advent of facebook, etc...but I hope that this once thriving BB does bring some of us back together again and that maybe some new folks will join us as well!   
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Re: To Julie and Robert...

Robert, Sir!

Yes, with spring being on, social events tends to suddenly "explode". Both planned aswell as "improvised" such. One only has to take a walk in down town parts of any city, and see all the pubs and/or restaurants suddenly having put out tables and chairs outdoors aswell for their customers, and those places being the ones being occupied first. "Everyone" wants to enjoy their "pint" sitting outside in the sun, rather than indoors in the restaurant/pub. Usually, by the time I go to work, central city is not Too crowded. But now? Geez! "People everywere"! People having gone off their jobbs for the day, do not go home right away, but instead "enjoyes a pint in the sun" with friends or workcollegues in the city, before going home later in the early evening.

That 1970-style party sounds as having been a fun one for you! A punkrocker.... He he he! Yes, I suppose the "punk" was a bit more....errrr... "intense" over here in Europe in general, and in the UK in particular, compared to the other side of the pond. I remember the punkrock-era quite well myself, from my own youth. But I never really got in to it though. That thing with the saftypins through the cheek was not my thing. And besides, musically, I am more for early 1970s, rather than later 1970s. Definitly more for Led Zeppelin for example, than "The Clash". That still today applies as far as my musical taste is concerned.

So, Julies friend turned 50 years old.... Well, getting closer and closer to that digit-combination myself, allthough I of try not to think about it to often..... "Sigh"! (Oh, shoot, I am not cheap about this). Correction!: "Doubble sigh"! (And that, in "squere").

I whish to also take the opportunity to say that, I am indeed happy for that the Iraqi couple, whom you and Julie were invited to for dinner, have been able to create a good life for themselves. It is not easy, moving permanently to another country. You of course already know this yourself, when it comes to all the "byrocratic rules" involved with it. But still, a tad easier moving from for example USA to the UK, than compared to a non-English linguistic nation to an English linguistic nation, in other aspects. Just take the small everyday things as an example. You are in a foodstore, and you need to find a particular spice. "What is the spice called in English???" And there you are, frustrated, walking back and forth along the shelf, trying to locate the spice the wife wrote on the shoppinglist for you.... The everyday small stuff, that in such case can yet create quite a bit of inner frustration temporarily.... May not read as being all that much to put weight in, as being a "small stuff". But if happening every other day, regarding seperate things, the frustration does "build up" inside. Allthough I have not been in the same situation, as having moved permanently to another country with a different language, my own father did. And I do remember his frustration at times, from when I was a child! My father moved, permanently, from Spain to Sweden. And Spanish has nothing linguisticly incommon with Swedish. Sooner or later, "one" do "get in to it" of course. But until having reached that point.... Not allways an easy road to walk!

Regarding the Iraqi meal you enjoyed at their home! Being intressted in cooking myself, I can imagen the fun of tasting an entirely different type of cuisine. Both as far as how to prepare different ingredients in a different way, in a dish, aswell as different ways to use seperate spices, aswell as other flavours one is perhaps not used to use in certain way of cooking. Just take honey as 1 example, which in some cuisines are used in cooking food, while in other cuisines are "restricted" more to "only" being used as desert-sweetening or similar. I mean, you will most likely not see for example bacon fried in oliveoil, together with honey in the fry-pan, in most of the Swedish home-kitchens. But try that! Tastes Good, in some dishes! (Sometimes mix both fresh squized lemonjuice and honey together in the frypan, when making the bacon-part of the dish).

I must admit that, I am rather in the dark when it comes to specifically the Iraqi-cuisine. But I do know that in the SWA-parts of the world, for example certain specific vegitables are used to a quite different extent, than compared to for example in northern Europe. In the mediterrainian areas of the SWA-area, for example eggplant/aubergine is used extensively more, than up in northern Europe, in dishes. This is however seen also in a specific part of southern Europe though, were "traces" of this cuisine-culture is found. I am in this thinking especially of Sicily, Italy. Sicilian cuisine is, besides being quite "maritime" to its nature (natural of course, since being an island), having a very developed vegitable cuisine. And to some degree, this is by historical influence from the very western parts of SWA, such as for example Lebanon, Syria and so on.

So what I am trying to say, allthough in my usual "motormouthic way" is that, I have no problem what so ever to imagen you and Julie having enjoyed the dinner over at home of the Iraqi couple!

I am releived that you are now "tea-qualified"! Was worried for you, about that part of your UK-training. (Chuckle!)

T G C!