Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tagged again: Obsessions.

(This, dear Reader, is a bad one. I can feel a giant disgracing of myself coming up presently.)

I have been tagged by the lovely but mischievous NMJ, to reveal five obsessions of mine. (Oh dear. This is going to be bad. And NMJ herself had the audacity to do only a "tag lite" on the grockular (don't ask) Mr Zhisou's site, as you'll find out if you follow the first link of this post. But here goes, for Finland and shame tolerance - )

1. Leijonat ("The Lions"), the Finnish national ice hockey team. During the annual ice hockey World Cup, I find myself living for it and it alone. We have the best ice hockey team, feared and revered by all, in the world. That we sometimes play like so many mummos (grannies) does not alter this fact.

Ah, the pain, the shame, the humiliation I have endured for my team! There was that one time we were playing (at home!) against Sweden (boo, hiss) in a World Cup semifinal, leading 5-1 (may I remind you this was in front of a home audience), and then the Swedes (boo, hiss) changed their goalie and beat us 6-5. I could barely face going to work the next day. The hateful words "ice hockey" fell off my vocabulary for a year. And last year, at the Olympics, we played like angels and didn't lose a game (we sent Canada packing, remember that, Canada? ha!) until the f*cking final, where Sweden (boo, hiss) wiped their arses with us. (You may see a pattern developing here. We have seen it too, and it's dreadful.) And, to add to the bitterness of this obsession, the one time we *did* win the World Cup (1994? 95?) (against - boo, hiss - Sweden in the finals!) I was living in Wales, and S4C (pronounced es-pedwar-ec, strangely quaint and sweet) didn't televise it.

This obsession can be transferred onto other male team sports, but only on an international level, I find myself incapable of giving a rat's ass about leagues. One year I very fervently supported the All Blacks in rugby, because they do the haka. Ooh!

2. Washing my hands. I don't think I fully qualify in the obsessive/compulsive department with this obsession, but I do wash my hands *a lot*. Partly this is because of my work - amongst other things, I wipe noses for a living, and therefore wash my hands around 58 times a working day - but partly it's just me. I wash my hands, without failure, the instant I come home. I have found myself wondering whether I should actually wash my hands after I've put the filthy shopping away (other people may have touched this milk carton in the shop), but realised this would lead to having to wash the milk carton as well. I try to keep a lid on this obsession.

3 a). Pornography. A bit like road traffic accidents on motorways, I can't help watching if it's there. I was mighty glad when they took down the free porn channels from Finnish tv, so I could get a decent night's sleep. This one I really try to keep a lid on, as it is not only embarrassing (notice how I've tried to hide it here so you wouldn't notice) but also quite unhealthy. It is only made marginally better by its b-side (think old 45 rpm singles)
b) Sex & religion. I am involved in a conversation about this elsewhere on this blog (which you are welcome to join, should you dare) and don't want to be repeating myself. Suffice it to say, in some weird way, for some weird reason, I would like to have both.

4. Hunter-gathering. I don't eat things that run or fly, but wild berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries too) can't get away from me. Fishing can be quite good, too, but the best of the best is picking wild mushrooms. Chantarelles, horns of plenty, boletuses (boletals?), milk caps - by the time I was seven, I could identify, pick, clean & prepare at least twenty types of fungi. This is *really* good, it satisfies a primitive urge like nothing else. When I lived in Wales, I used also to make my own (elderflower, dandelion, honeysuckle) wine.

I do not obsess about my children - I love them, there's a difference. Sometimes I obsess about a particular song or piece of music but it usually doesn't last forever, I just play it out of my system in the end. I have occasionally fallen for obsessing about a person, too, but that way lies lots of problems, so I have learnt not to. I don't obsess about theatre or books, I feel passionate about them (for or against). So - that's about it, folks, enough shameful stuff to fill a lifetime of embarrassed cringing. And now for passing this horror on - I am tagging you, Charnel Doze, and you, Kanikoski. And, while I am at it, and in retaliation, you too, keltanen. And hey, why not, hannamime too (she is a blog virgin, so go easy on her, folks) (what do you mean I can only tag two people, I'll tag as many as I bloody well please).

Sweet Jesus, I need to write another entry very quickly after this one, to distance myself from it.

PS And I'm not tagging you, Periodic Englishman, because you still owe me a tag. I haven't forgotten. But should you want to, you can take on this one too.


nmj said...

I'm with you on the handwashing, Anna MR, the first thing I do when I get home from anywhere.

I love that you know your mushrooms! I have been on one mushroom hunt and I LOVED it, but was so nervous about cooking them, I didn't believe they weren't poisonous, though we had a book. There is a false chanterelle, isn't there? What is that really scary one, the blue angel or something?

Anna MR said...

Nah, as far as I can remember, the false chantarelle is yellow too but kind of brittler - the real thing has this firm consistency and a heavenly smell, akin to apricots, particularly when cooked. And as far as I recall, the false chantarelle is not poisonous, either.

There is a relative of chantarelle which has a black capside and a greyish underside and stalk. It is known as a horn of plenty or the trumpet of death. Don't worry about the name, it is a good eating mushroom, too.

I used to go mushrooming also in Wales. Everybody thought I was mad and that I would poison my family or them, if they ate my food. Pah, I say. If you are at all unsure, don't pick. I never pick anything I don't have absolute identification on. Boletuses are a good one to start with, they are easy to identify and there is only one bad-tasting one (not poisonous, but really foul, one of them will ruin a dinner entirely) - at least in Finland. Get yourself a good book about British shrooms, my dear, and enjoy. It is gooooood.

nmj said...

hey honey, i have a wee book, i dug it out this evening - it says the false chanterelle has orange gills (?), & that it is poisonous, i think that's why i was so nervous before, they look so alike from the drawings! but i suppose if you are a frequent hunter you will know straight away.