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[personal profile] mirrorshard
I'm back from a weekend in the Raj - well, in Belper, actually. Which for those of you who (like me) had never heard of it is a small town near Derby. Nineteen of us stayed in a converted Baptist chapel and read through (the television adaptation of) Paul Scott's Raj Quartet novels. It was a lot of fun, with some fairly intense dramatic moments, and a certain amount of dressing up in Indian clothing and eating Indian food.

I cooked some of said food - butter chicken, as requested, on Friday evening. Arriving in a strange place and immediately cooking for nineteen is rather fun - especially because I'd never cooked for that many at once before, and for that matter I'd never made that recipe before either. It was also the first time I'd made anything that required an entire kilo of butter. I based it on this recipe, but made a few alterations. The chicken didn't get to sit for nearly as long as the recipe specifies, but that's all to the good because we didn't have anywhere sensible to put it - three-quarters of an hour in a bowl on the worktop, covered in yoghurt and garlic, is OK when baking it immediately afterwards, but three hours wouldn't be. I also started the sauce with sauteed onions (four large ones) and spices, and then added the passata. The vegetarian version involved three tins of chickpeas and 650g paneer, but no other changes. The next time I make this, I'll probably scale down the butter somewhat.

I'm horribly rusty at acting (I haven't even roleplayed worth speaking of in five years) but I think it's getting there. I was lucky in having lots of good people to act with or indeed against, and that always helps. I also managed to act while having a moderate blood-sugar crisis - though I only noticed that when I left a scene and reacted quite badly to an innocent and indeed helpful comment about my volume. Food and tea fixed that, though.

There was also some sauna time, a certain amount of snuggling, lots of interesting conversation, and some singing. I've got a fair way to go before I could be legitimately described as "good", but I'd like to think I wasn't actually being actively bad - and after several hours' of joining in when I knew or could see the words, my throat wasn't the slightest bit sore, so obviously I'm getting the hang of it a bit. Having done several days' acting beforehand, with proper warmups, does help there, of course - and that's not all it helps with, since I ended the weekend an inch and a half taller than usual. I'm back to my normal 5'7"ish now, after a long trip with heavy bags, but I really should do stretching exercises more often.

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