Oct62010

Gail’s Thoughts on New Zealand and Marmite

Steampunk

My compliments to the Kiwi dairy farmers! The milk, cheese, and yoghurt was marvelous. So, thank heavens was the tea. Still not as strong as Twinning’s Gold label but we fond ourselves drinking Auckland based Chanui black tea of a morning. Described as: A strong full bodied blend that was the choice of English lords and ladies at their breakfast table, hence its name. One can enjoy it at anytime of day though, usually with milk. Warm the pot, Jeeves!

This rather strange blend of casual Britishness and New World charm reminded me irresistibly of my mother, being a Londoner by birth and a Californian by choice. It seemed the tenor of New Zealand, although I will say that Kiwis are kinder and friendlier than both. Even the countryside was the irrepressible green of Devonshire mixed with the vegetation and roadside fruit stands of my native territory. As a result, I found it most enjoyable. Even the soggy gray and intermittent mists of spring were familiar to me, from one aspect of my youth or another.I also stumbled upon this museum of old technology, very steampunk. Here are a few photos, feel free to use if you would like. AKA scenes from Madame Lefoux’s Contrivance chamber.


However, let us discuss the marmite in New Zealand.
Or what is labeled marmite.

I am terribly sorry to offend such a lovely host country (and I really did have a wonderful time) but, really? I mean to say, really? In addition to the standard yeast extract (what certain persons refers to as “yeast pooh”) the ingredients list on this little red container had “sugar, mineral salt, wheat maltodextrin, colour, herbs, and spices.” I’m sorry but why would you want to add such atrocities to perfectly wonderful yeast extract? That’s like yeast torture! Sugar as the second ingredient! And wheat, for goodness sake. Wheat! Sacrilege. The result is a spread much blacker in color than traditional proper marmite, and much much much milder in taste. Luckily, we packed our own marmite and brought it with us or there might have been tears. (For all you Marmite haters out there a certain individual of my acquaintance refers to the substance as “yeast poo” a moniker I find inexplicably hilarious.

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
New Vintage Lady
Your Tisane of Smart:
The mimic octopus photo gallery.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Dan tackles Pro-Rate Markets List for short fiction, he lists periodicals only broken out by genre, and listed in order of highest paying to lowest.

My Reader’s Block says, “Gail Carriger’s series starring Alexia Tarabotti is slowly, but surely winning me over to steampunk. Changeless, the second in the series, is an absolute mad-dash, romping adventure that takes our heroine by dirigible to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.”
SPOILER ALERT! Rebecca says nice things about the language in Changeless.
Even bigger SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first. My agent talks about trying to sell debut adult SF right now.

Heartless: First draft with first readers. Final draft due Nov 1.
Timeless: Just an outline, making sure I pick up cookies and threads.
Secret Project F: Axed down and back with the agent.
CAKE in Space: Trunked.
See table of contents here, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded available for preorder, releases November 15, 2010.
Short story turned in. The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance 2 available for preorder, releases October 12, 2010.

Quote of the Day:
“The clockmaker nibbled delicately at some of the foodstuffs but took no libations, commenting that he believed tea would make a superior beverage served cold over ice. Were ice, of course, to become a less expensive commodity. At which statement, Alexia utterly despaired of both him and his moral integrity.”
~ From Blameless

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