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24 January 2013 @ 04:51 pm
Goodnight LJ. It's been ok. I'm still yayworthy, but at wordpress now.

2006-2013. RIP.
Feeling: sadsad
I was angry.

Yesterday I received an email from a job I applied to. Though mostly aimed at graduates of engineering, they said maths was an acceptable subject. I didn't really read the part about "accreditation" because I thought that was something that concerned engineers only. Unfortunately, it turns out that there is such a thing as the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications: http://www.ima.org.uk/ and such a body does not recognise my degree.

Great, I thought, I'll never get a job now. I wondered who to complain to. I initially tried my tutor but in minutes it was referred to Dave Wood (director of undergrad studies / mostly spends his time saying he is too busy to talk to you / once asked me if I was dying).

"No, our degrees are not accredited and we have no wish to be; in fact most of the top maths degrees in the country are not accredited, including Oxford, Cambridge and Imperial. I would much rather be in the same bracket as those departments than Coventry and London Met."

Well, Dave you are just being silly. So, perhaps the IMA was set up so that universities like Coventry (I'm trying really hard not to offend here) can feel they can compete with the top universities; to award themselves recognition. But it's gone too far! The employers believe the list! What use is having a "top" maths degree if employers don't recognise it? I'm afraid that we aren't Oxbridge, Warwick, we just aren't.

It might interest you to know that the physics degree here is accredited by the Institute of Physics and all 79 engineering programmes are recognised by the relevant body. Why is maths still on its high horse? My MMath prepares me for nothing but a PhD in maths research, or admittedly the dreaded financial sector.

I wish I had thought of this before and taken options in stats or (much more preferably) operational research. The algebra and number theory certainly don't help, but what does it matter. Warwick MMath, which we were promised would get us a good job, is not eligible for consideration.

I'm calmer now, because I went to the Duck and cried a bit (I'm surprised I've never cried in there before considering I'm there at least twice a week since uni began) and James looked after me and when brass soc were deep in conversation about the Uni Brass contest David (James' non musical best friend since toddling) appeared and I could talk to him instead.
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15 January 2013 @ 10:28 pm
Hark back all to those "CRG does cooking" days (Summer 2009, probably all friendslocked/privated now).

The following is a recipe invented by myself at the time of 8pm this very day. It is as yet untitled. I am styling it, as ever, as a curry.

You will need (per person, but then I only cook for one these days);
- half a red onion
- two tomatoes
- one quarter of a packet of tesco "now only £1" mushrooms (soil left on)
- tomato puree x one squirt (THE SECRET INGREDIENT)
- ground ginger x a lot (I like ginger and would have used real if I'd remembered to buy some)
- ground cumin x a lot
- ground tumeric x a half as much as you put in cumin and ginger
- oil (veg oil in this case)
- basmati rice (x one darren mugful) to serve

You will notice the following changes to the usual program
1. THE SECRET INGREDIENT. I mean really, never use tin tom again! Actually toms are less heavy to carry back from the shop too. It's win win.
2. Red onions. This is a genius idea. I think Pete had been on to this all along and thats why his bologs were so good. I'm never buying brown onions again.
3. No ground coriander, or coriander in any form! A genuine shock but it does surprisingly work.
4. Soil left on. No comment ;)
5. No meat. I am a student, so its cheaper, but other advantages you might concoct include less likely to give food poisoning and suitable for your vegetarian friends!
6. No garam masala! Yes, I finally chucked it away. We had had it since first year. It had lost all claims to taste.

The actual how to cook:
1. Chop things as far as you like (me: roughly onion, quarter or eighth the mushrooms and toms)
2. Select your favourite pan or pot. This is important. To add love, you have to use a well loved pot (it may contain stains of curries gone by)
3. Put oil in pot (enough to line the base)
4. Fry onions, toms and mushrooms for five mins or however long your patience allows.
5. Add spices. Keep frying.
6. Put your rice on. Realise you can't cook rice, still. Attempt anyway.
7. If the curry dries out while the rice is cooking, add a bit of boiling water.
8. After 22 mins of total time spent cooking, your rice may be done (we'll never really know) and your curry certainly will be.
9. Enjoy!
10. Wash up before your housemates go mad. Only kidding, I've mellowed a bit (and my flatmates are quite reasonable at their washing up)

Other CRG Cooking Tips (Patent Pending)
- You may cook your rice in the microwave or on the hob, or any other way you see fit.
- Recipes are made to be broken, so tell me how you altered it and I will try your way!

"Ginger always does remind me of you" - Ben (2013)
09 January 2013 @ 01:52 pm
It's Lumbini, in Uxbridge. Or it might be in Denham, I'm not sure. That's the problem with London, the only indication that you are anywhere new is local perception. "Being on this road now means you are in Hillingdon", I would tend to be helpfully informed.

This is a bit of a change for me because it's in fact my first experience of a Nepalese restaurant. The notable difference to a usual curryhouse is their making it of a full evening out (in contrast to the sort of place where you are rushed out with the bill as soon as the starter arrives). So we arrived between 7 and 7.30, and ate a main around 10? This was because we had poppadoms, after which our starter order was taken, we had starters, after which our main order was taken. Dessert didn't seem to be an option, but we heading back for birthday cake anyway.

I couldn't work out if it was bad waiting on (i.e. not taking all the food order) or a deliberate move, but in any case, since they make all the food exactly to order (on balance I view this as good) it did involve a lot of waiting (and I was hungry!). I amused James' nan by consuming lots of Nepalese lager to pass the time. (And you know my usual sparkling wit and conversation).

The poppadoms were excellent because the mango chutney was actually made fresh with actual mangoes. This I have never seen before. For my starter I had "Poko Poko" which was little vegetable wrap things with tamarind sauce (I guess this is more Nepalese?) and it was quite good. For my main (in a new idea I've had for reviewing) I had the house special / chefs recommended / whatever such a dish is called. It was (ah yes - signature dish) Kukuhura Lumbini, advertised as being in dopiaza style (I disagree due to no visible onions) and containing ingredient X (either coconut or was sadly drowned in coconut). I accompanied this with a chili garlic naan. This was good because it was quite a mild dish - another trademark of theirs, they only add chillis when you ask them, but I think, there are other ways to make spicy than just adding chili at the end - and so coupled with the naan made it up to the right spice.

Others found the traditionally bland things too bland, which is probably not great. The lemon rice did not meet up to The Bengal's standards. I struggle to compare to IH (I think in fairness, the naan here was IH good which must add half a point). It certainly was a different than usual experience. Is it better than The Raj, our other Uxbridge friend? Probably I would say so, then, yes (although we went there again and I liked it better than the time I reviewed it.)

During the pauses waiting for food I gave it "9...8...7...6...5" out of 10, however, on reflection, I give it 7 and a half. It might have been 6 and a half but they gave James and his mum a birthday present in the form of a Buddha statue of which I was jealous.

Since the modern thing to do would be to start adding links, here you are:
08 January 2013 @ 06:30 pm
I'm back at uni and already causing havoc on my bicycle. Funny that I now seldom don't cycle to lectures, considering I live only 12 mins walk away from them and when you include the time I spend faffing / crashing into academics I don't save that much time by doing so.

I owe you all at least one curry review (I think): Lumbini in Uxbridge. This is pending.

I would like to blog more, but I don't like new livejournal. I'm sorry LJ, you have been my online home for nearly 7 (!) years now, but maybe you should only be a curry archive.
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