Monthly Archives: September 2012

TV Review: The Boy Who Can’t Forget – Channel 4, 9pm 25/09/12

British student Aurelian claims to be able to remember everything that’s ever happened to him. He can remember what he watched on TV on April 15 1997, as well as what he had for breakfast on October 27 2004, etc. With the inability to forget things that happen to him, Aurelian’s life is the complete opposite of Guy Pearce’s in Memento. His condition qualifies as the sort of freakish concept that Hollywood producers build $150 million sci-fi blockbusters around. The Boy Who Can’t Forget explores the lives of people living with superior autobiographic memory.

The idea of having a superior autobiographic memory is fascinating. You wouldn’t need to bother keeping a diary, and you’d never forget your mum’s birthday. It’s perfectly understandable that people would shell out for an automemory app if it was available to download directly to your brain from Apple’s iMemory store. Continue reading


TV Review: One Born: Plus Size Mums – Channel 4, 10pm 20/09/12

Channel 4’s prying birthathon One Born Every Minute ventured into the realms of fatsploitation when it returned last night with a weightier edition. One Born: Plus Size Mums confounds the viewer into a paralytic state of morbid curiosity, rubbernecking three obese mothers as they prepare to give birth.

Pregnant women often crave types of food during pregnancy but even so, alarming figures show that almost a fifth of British mothers-to-be are clinically obese. As well as the threat of their baby dying, these women face increased risks of haemorrhages, high blood pressure and deep vein thrombosis.

Not that police switchboard operator Jenna seems too fussed. “You go on about it and it makes you want to eat!” she laughs, inexplicably. “Go and get me a bar of chocolate!” Jenna, it turns out, weighs 21 stone and lives in Middlesbrough, so it’s no wonder she’s so blasé about the harrowing threat of deep vein thrombosis. Continue reading

The Great British Bake Off… How Hard Can It Be?

The Great British Bake Off continues to mesmerise us with its gastric delights later tonight, with this week’s episode seeing the bakers rustle up pies and beef wellingtons for the judges. But is this bakery malarkey really that difficult? I decided to find out, spending Sunday afternoon baking a Wellington to eat with my parents, who kindly offered to purchase the ingredients. I’d never baked anything before in my life, let alone a beef wellington, but how hard could it be?

I set about searching online for a recipe but my mum insisted I use one found in Delia Smith’s 1978 tome, Complete Cookery Course. Dubious about the relevance of a dusty 34-year-old cookbook in the contemporary digital world, I was soon on YouTube watching videos of American chefs demonstrating how to cook “restaurant-worthy” beef wellingtons. But whereas they were using ready-made puff pastry from Wal-Mart, I made my own pastry from margarine and flour. Continue reading