February 15th, 2007

Dragon b/w

Cook it yourself

It says here that a romantic dinner is much more romantic if you cook it yourself.
A well-done romantic meal says so much about the person behind the apron - that you're practical (you can chop veg without losing fingers) and organised (it's all ready and hot at the same time) yet creative (not a baked bean in sight).

It goes without saying that something which involves the words "pierce film lid" and a microwave won't do.
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Dragon b/w

Anthony and Cleopatra: not much to look at

"Roman writers tell us that Cleopatra was intelligent and charismatic, and had a seductive voice," she said. But, tellingly, "they do not mention her beauty at all."
Notions of Cleopatra as a beautiful seductress probably began when William Shakespeare's epic tragedy "Antony and Cleopatra," rolled off some primitive printing presses in 1608.
"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety," Shakespeare wrote of the Egyptian queen.

It turns out the reason "age cannot wither her" is that you can't wet a river.
In fact, one antiquarian now describes the Roman general and his Egyptian queen as, well, downright ugly.
It seems that far from being the glamorous hunk portrayed on movie screens by Richard Burton in the 1960s, Antony in fact had peculiar bulging eyes, a distinctly hooked nose and a sumo wrestler's thick neck.
And the real Cleopatra seems many leagues removed from the beauty portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor, having a sort of pointy chin, a nose like a witch and a shallow forehead. For good measure, Cleo appears to have misplaced her dentures.
This rather stark depiction of the demigods of Shakespearean fame is based on a tiny, 2,000-year-old silver coin that, after being hidden away in a bank vault for the past 85 years, was put on display to celebrate Valentine's Day yesterday at Newcastle University in England.