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Monday 9th May 2022


Phoebe’s BFG observation continues to take internet by storm. It's doing such big business that people are accusing me of making it up or saying I am exploiting the situation for "clout" or trying to get the book banned. And an inordinate number of people are not telling me that it's actually his hand, as if anyone was really thinkgin that Quentin Blake had drawn a giant's cock in the book and no one had told him that was inappropriate.
I just thought it was funny mainly due to it being the innocent observation of a child, but it seems some people are cautious of believing anything any more. Believing nothing is true is just as dumb as believeing everything is true. Some things are true. But I would say that. I'm in on the BFG Cock conspiracy. I don't even have a daughter.

I picked the kids up from school tonight and then tried to make pasta from scratch with them. I have never made pasta before, but Phoebe had been gifted a cookery course and the first box contained the raw ingredients for ravioli and gnocchi and pesto(well some of them - you had to provide some of the perishable stuff yourself). So we gave it a go. 
I’ve never made pesto before either, because as with pasta you can just buy it from the shops and it’s much easier, but that was the fun bit. Putting loads of basil, some pine nuts, some parmesan and a LOT of oil in the blender and blitzing it. Ernie thought it tasted good. Phoebe was less sure.
We then mixed together some bags of white powder and added an egg and some more oil and from this pasta  magically appeared. Well some dough that we rolled out and cut out into circles, which we filled with pesto and then put another circle of pasta on top and crimped the edges together. By now the kids were losing interest. Ernie had taken off all his clothes and began pushing the cold water dispenser of the freezer and splashing around in the puddle he had created. You don’t get that on Masterchef.
There were a few minutes of anarchy and arguing and Catie had to come down from working upstairs to see what was going on. But order was eventually restored.
The instructions didn’t explain what you were meant to do next, but I assumed you boiled the ravioli for a bit.I  did that. Nearly all the ravioli separated back into two bits and the pesto dissipated into the boiling water. 
A couple survived, but they didn’t taste great and might have been a bit undercooked. I ate one or two, Phoebe nibbled at one, Ernie ate all of the rest. He loved it. The boy is a maniac. 
The kids had had enough but there was lots of pesto left, plus the ingredients for gnocchi, so whilst they watched TV, I did the kids cookery course and made that for my wife and my dinner. It involved sweet potato and it was basically edible. All in all I think it’s easier just to buy your pasta ready made, or go to a restaurant where it will generally be quite nice, but at least we’d tried. And it only looked like a bomb had hit the kitchen.
As always with cooking it feels like a conjuring trick when come bags of flour turn into an (almost) proper meal.  Pasta seems like such an impossible thing to make from scratch, but it’s actually pretty easy. It’s just not worth the effort. Because whatever you make won’t even be as nice as a tin of alphabetti spaghetti.
I got some time with the kids though. I did bedtime too and played noughts and crosses with Phoebe instead of reading her a bedtime story. She told me I had to try my hardest to win and I took a few rounds off her, but had to throw a couple, even though she knew I was letting her win. It’s actually quite hard to lose the game in a believable manner. It’s very hard to win it too, unless you’re playing a seven year old.
It was fun though and reminded me of playing noughts and crosses with my mum when she was in hospital back in the seventies. She kept beating me too and I only recall how surprised she was that I was that bad at the game. Given I was 28 years old. 
In reality I must have been at least 10 at that stage, so it’s just as embarrassing. I was able to tell Phoebe that she was a lot cleverer than me even when I was three years older than her. Before smashing her on the noughts and crosses court again. She did beat me once without me trying to lose too, so I may not be as clever as I think I am.

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