Mike in Finland

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Monday evening Sampola group

There is no class next Monday, the 25th, because it´s the ski holiday week.

The exact location of my favorite fish and chip shop in London that I mentioned in our last class is :

The Rock and Sole Plaice on the corner of Shorts Gardens and Endell Street, just north of Covent Garden.

Here´s some more info:

Fish and chips is quite a tradition in England, but it can vary a lot. When it´s not good, it can be pretty bad. Two key things to look out for: the batter coating the fish should be thin and crisp. If it´s thick and soggy, that´s a bad sign. Secondly, look for chips made from fresh potatoes, not frozen from a plastic bag. The meal should be cooked to order, not cooked in advance and then kept hot until somebody buys it.

As you can see, the chips are made from fresh potatoes. The fish was soft and succulent and really tasty and the batter was crisp and delicious. The Rock and Sole Plaice is highly recommended. And they have outdoor seating with heating.

How do you order your meal? Every fish and chip shop has a list of the fish on offer on the wall behind the counter. You select the type of fish you want. Some types of fish are well known to most foreign visitors: cod (turska in Finnish), sole (meriantura), haddock (very similar to cod), plaice (punakampela). But why not try something a bit different? We had rock salmon and skate. Skate is rausku in Finnish and rock salmon, or rock for short, is actually a kind of shark. Its real name is dogfish, which doesn´t sound very appetising, so they call it rock salmon, which sounds a lot more delicious. And it really was delicious. The flesh of rock salmon is very soft and white apart from some parts where there is more blood in the flesh and it´s a greyish brown colour. It has a large central backbone, but very few bones otherwise.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Here´s a tip, a free Kindle book. If you don´t have a Kindle, you can download a free app to your pc. I have a Mac and I didn´t have to download anything to read Kindle versions.

V.G. Lee's novel Diary of a Provincial Lesbian is free from today until Tuesday. It's already in the top 100 on Amazon US for literary fiction, which is quite an achievement. It's important to download from Amazon in your own country, and it's available on sites all round the world including UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Provincial-Lesbian-ebook/dp/B00BFGFKSA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360799431&sr=8-1 and US http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=B00BFGFKSA

Thursday, 14 February 2013

A haiku

I don´t write haiku very often, but I find it an interesting form because of its delicacy. This is one I wrote a few years ago which has survived several purges.

Air as still as glass.
Under the bare damson tree
a broken wasps´ nest.