Monday, November 23, 2009

Cate's Mastermind subject is the Habsburgs

We went for the first time in a long time to Cantinetta Antinori and it was absolutely outstanding. We had not expected to end up there so I was not really dressed for the occasion. You don’t need a suit and a tie for a place like that but I was certainly the only person in a T-Shirt. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable but we are clearly Auslanders and heathens so it didn’t matter too much in the overall scheme of things.

On Saturday we tried somewhere completely new – Zimolo – off Weihburggasse – which we have wanted to try for some time as we have had recommendations from Cate’s work colleagues. It was indeed excellent and we will pay it another visit.

We were next to a table of 12 which was celebrating a birthday party – until a large grim Russian (LGR) arrived with a smaller grim Russia (SGR). The large grim Russian greeted the Birthday Boy (BB) and then everyone else at the table with a handshake - and then the two Russians sat at a table by themselves – about 1 metre from the Birthday Party.

This killed the party completely and they all just sat there looking glum and smoking. We spent some time speculating about the relationship between the LGR and BB. Our final (and our most rational) theory was that the LGR had come to ensure that BB carried out his allotted task of whacking someone in the Restaurant. Indeed BB left the table for 10 minutes later in the evening and came back wiping his hands.

I did not inspect the toilets to see if there was a body there but will wait the Austrian Times – if it did happen they will report it.

We presume that BB had to do this so that they could assess his suitability to work for the Russian government whacking journalists in Moscow subways. There is a growing demand for this occupation in the run up to Putin declaring himself President for Life.

Sunday was a bit grim here and we had planned to go out but in fact spent the entire day indoors (apart from a visit my me at lunchtime to buy Hot Dogs at the Wurstel Stand opposite MAK).

I lit the fire before lunch and the cats took it in turns to bake themselves in front of it throughout the day. Cate read about the Habsburgs (this will be her subject on Mastermind) and I did some German and later in the evening watched the Peoria Ponies beat the Baltimore Ravens.

This was incidentally the Ponies 10th consecutive win this season and they are 10-0. I am not sure they are playing well enough to win the Championship but they should go close.

I also watched a couple of episodes of one of Rick Stein’s seafood shows (Cate doesn’t like him at ) and had a quick look at a reality show called Ace of Cakes - a cake shop in Baltimore.

Yes – it is indeed just as exciting as it sounds and – as the cake maker Duff Goldman puts it:

“It’s sort of the day-to-day craziness that happens in our bakery. It’s the pressure of getting the cakes done on time and getting them done well,” Goldman said. “There is no reality TV formula for this type of drama because we’re so deadline driven. The deadline is already here, and the drama is already here. We don’t have to fake stuff, it’s a very natural feeling show.”

I have high hopes for this show and the movie that will be made from it.

I see Harvey Keitel playing the part of Goldman, Steve Buscemi as the genius wedding-cake maker and Gwyneth Paltrow as the vacuous dough-maker who falls into the machine – is dismembered, baked and served up at the wedding of John Malkovich and Meryl Streep. (I don’t like Ms Paltrow and sometimes let my personal preferences influence my casting decisions – wrong I know but I saw Sliding Doors and something like that is almost impossible to forget).

So far we have had two visits from the Dishwasher repairman – at a cost of €260. The extent of the leak is now back to where it as before his first visit (It deteriorated dramatically between the first and second visits) and I consider this to be progress.

After all – this is Vienna – you can’t expect much for €260 – but I would be a smidge worried if the landlord was not paying. I calculate it will take two more visits and another €200 Euros to stop the leak. I will report.


  1. It's all about the real drama, er, cake!

  2. I trust you got at least a kiss under that mistletoe.

    Could they have been grim oligarchs at the party, casing the joint maybe? You should have invited them over...

  3. Merisi - you should pitch this idea to Demel.

    No kisses - but we did have a nice stroll through Stadtpark communing with the Ducks. They could have been Grim Oligarchs but didn't look too friendly so we kept to ourselves.

  4. i have also had the misfortune of watching ace of cakes. talk about dragging a lame idea out for an excrutiating 30 mins of television. then again that's the principle that mtv is built on.... and channel 9 in oz. if you actually watch it closely ( yes i have watched it more than once ) you will start to see that every one of the workers in the cake shop actually secretly hate their boss and i think the season final will invole him being beaten to death with sponge cake and entombed in marzipan.