Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Wreckers

There's something to be said about poking around the internet with no apparent objective. Last week I stumbled across 'The Wreckers' - a haunting melody by Eliza Broc, a singer-songwriter I'd never heard of. Now I'm no musical connoisseur - I play no instruments and can't sing for fear of alienating the few friends that continue to tolerate my rabid rantings - but I do know good when I hear it. Not everyone's to going like this; it's cool. I don't dig 50 Cent either, so I guess we're even.

In a world of remixed, homogenised, artificially flavoured, mass produced, assembly-line drivel that passes for music, Eliza is like a breath of fresh air. There had to be more than just a stunningly beautiful voice and a Tori Amos-esque edge to the song. There had to be a story; a purpose. I simply HAD to know. In my geekiness, I found the singer and asked her. I was right.

'The Wreckers' is inspired by Eliza's favourite Daphne du Maurier 1936 novel ‘Jamaica Inn’, a gothic tale set in nineteenth-century Cornwall about a bloodthirsty gang of wreckers who lure ships onto the rocks, drown the crew and steal the cargo. If you'd like to know more, you can get the book here. (I couldn't find it for Kindle). If you're an Alfred Hitchcock fan, you could get the 1939 film he made based on the book here

As Eliza describes it, the song is her musical interpretation of the tempestuous relationship between the story’s two focal characters. The lyrics specifically relate to a pertinent scene that appears halfway through the book where a chilling confession is made. Eliza is currently working on material for her first album. This single is not available in stores or for sale online.

Waves smash like stone
Through the dark they will roam
Rabid cries float on the midnight foam
Feet kicking slow in a voiceless unknown
The wreckers dream awakes a world obscene

I’m a soldier, I’m a willing hand
I’m a traitor, sleeping on the sand
As you hold me with a shallow heart
Our stare will last a lifetime, never can we part

Rocks hit the air
Seaweed dances in my hair
Watch me sway a silent breath away
Tales can’t be told
Eyes are eaten, fingers cold
Wrap the tongue the clamour has begun

Lyrics reproduced with permission. © Eliza Broc 

Monday, 5 December 2011


You know one of those Sunday afternoons when you're pottering around in your PJs, the kids are putting their homework away, there's nothing on TV and the prospect of a cold Monday morning looms over the house? Today was one of them.

I thought I'd reinvent an old favourite. Turned out pretty good too.

Here's what you will need:

4 hard-boiled eggs
4 panino rolls - you can use regular rolls if you want. Panini are just sexier.
1 green chilli or two if they're small
1 small white onion about the size of a ping-pong ball.
1 small tomato - a cherry tomato will do
A fistful of finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons of pasta sauce - I used Dolmios
2 tablespoons of butter - I used Clover
Some ground red chillies, coarsely ground black pepper and salt

The steps below occur in quick succession and on high heat, so make sure you have everything ready before you begin.

Chop the onions and the tomato into small (no bigger than 5mm x 5mm) pieces.
Cut open the green chilli and get rid of the seeds inside it. Then chop it into thin slivers.
Cut up the eggs into small chunks, no bigger than, say an olive, including the yolks.
Cut the panini.

Ready? Here goes...

1. Non-stick pan. High heat. Butter. Once the butter melts, throw in the chopped onion.
2. As the onion starts turning pink, add the tomatoes, stirring all the while.
3. Wait 30 seconds and add the green chilli and coriander leaves. Keep stirring.
4. Add a teaspoon each of red chilli powder, black pepper and a little salt. Don't stop stirring. Give it about 60 seconds.
5. Add two tablespoons of pasta sauce and mix it all well. 10 seconds at most.
6. Chuck in the chopped boiled egg and mix well. Turn down the flame somewhat.
7. Stick a panino roll in the toaster
8. Turn the heat up to full and stir to prevent browning. Do this for about 30 more seconds and then turn the heat off.
9. The roll should be toasted by now, butter it up (this is important if the egg mix is too dry); add the egg mix and serve with cold beer.

If you choose to add mayonnaise, make sure you never, ever tell me about it.