Which are normally quite safe and only rarely explosive (and then only if you get the amount of nitroglycerine wrong): you take half a tin of sweetcorn and stick it in the blender along with four tbsp of flour, salt, an egg, some chopped spring onion and as much cayenne pepper as you happen to feel like, and whizz the lot into a thick batter. Then you stir in the rest of the sweetcorn, a tin of crab-meat (such as you will have lying around in the pantry somewhere) and some more thinly-sliced spring onion, before making little balls and deep-frying them.
So let that be a warning to you. I would also recommend wearing safety goggles when deep-frying, were it not that seeing the cook in full hazmat kit does rather tend to put guests off their feed.
Anyway, what is it with these people? What makes them think that Spring is here already? There are no buds, no flowers, the branches are bare, but already the bloody cyclists are out, lycra-clad and puffing along uncertainly down the back roads. And they tend to go in packs of forty or so, six abreast and seven or eight deep, so that they can chat happily amongst themselves and incidentally block the lane. It's worse than having an Aixam or a flock of Dutch camper-vans in front. I suppose it's Mother Nature's way of improving the species, or something, because the inexorable invisible hand will get them. Or if ever Adam Smith fails, there's always the front-mounted rocket-launchers that came as optional equipment with the car.
So Margo was telling me about the time when she had to get some information about setting up a small business and she went in to see officialdom, as one does, and she happened to ask - I don't know how it came up - "just what is the weirdest one you've had?". The woman looked around, closed the door, and confessed that it was this guy who'd invented a set-top box to detect aliens. Despite not being a Canadian politician he was convinced that they are amongst us, and his box would bleep if one came in the door.
(Of course, there are other ways to be conspicuous. If, for instance, you are a serving French president, you can go off to see your mistress on the back of a scooter driven by a member of your security detachment. You are likely to be noticed for the simple reason that your scooter will be the only one obeying traffic regulations.)
And even if we're speaking in the religious/moral sense, of a fall from grace, I remain to be convinced that a bladder can actually be said to be in a state of grace in the first place, in which case it can hardly be said to fall from that state, now can it? Not as though there's some cheeky serpent with an apple wandering around the small intestines, going from duodenum to pancreas trying to tempt various under-esteemed organs (liver and lights, as they're known in the trade - the unmentionables). Not in my abdomen there's not, at any rate.
Very cunningly, I headed off to Chambéry last week, this being when they turned the heating off so as to be able to shift the boiler a couple of metres to the west. This is not because of feng shui, just because we thought it would be rather a good idea to have it lurking in its own little - sound-proofed - utility cupboard with the 150l hot-water cylinder (which has yet to be hooked up - suppose that'll mean they'll be turning the heating off again and this time I will be here, woe is me!) rather than invading our living space.
And we shall have to go get some parquet flottant, and some jute matting for the bathrooms, and pick out tiles for the showers, and then there's always the vexed question of paint. But one thing at a time, I guess.
Which is fine so long as he sticks to floor level, but when he decides to explore my desk I do rather draw the line.