Welcome Home

A roundup of the first few days back in London.


Our friends L + A (aka Travel Couple) have been doing what they do best, which is to travel. Whether they go near or far, they always share their recommendations with everyone they meet.

They also delight in sharing such gems like these Fat Rascals from Betty’s in Yorkshire. I love Fat Rascals and have spent a considerable amount of time trying to work out how to make them at home.





With each bite I convince myself I am one step closer but before you know it, I have eaten through a whole one and have to wait for another opportunity before the dissection starts again.




In the meantime there are other treats like a Yorkshire Tea Loaf and best of all for me, an early box of Mince Pies.

I have stated before, I love mince pies. These had no expiry date which must mean they should be eaten as soon as possible






Settling back into London life has been difficult because I caught a cold somewhere along the line. Could be from the hospital visits with my dad. Also, the passenger behind me on the flight back coughed and blew his nose heavily and continuously for 14 hours. Personally speaking, it is dangerous carrying an infectious passenger like that, given the closed ventilation system on the plane.

So I am sometimes breathless but not miserable. It’s a matter of keeping busy at home and keeping away from close contact with friends. I have seen the children and of course Mr Gochugaru on a daily basis, which is unavoidable, but we are family and families have to go through these kinds of things together.

I have been watching Korean films as part of the 11th London Korean Film Festival, which seems an unassuming thing to do when in semi-quarantine. Interestingly, the three films we have watched so far have been about political scandal. Given the intense media interest in the personal affairs of the current President of South Korea, I wonder if the directors and writers of these films knew a thing or two, or whether the themes featured in the films – greed, ambition, betrayal, vengeance – are common in everyday Korean politics.




The acting in each one of the films was superb but there are levels of scariness. All had murder scenes and varying degrees of violence.

Asura: City of Madness 아수라 was the most gory and violent, and the one you wished really didn’t reflect real life. I spent the last part of it with my hand in front of my eyes. Thoroughly unsatisfactory from the point of view that there were no heroes, only villains, but the quality of these villains leave nothing more to desire: they were mad, bad, dangerous and worst of all, armed and in power.

The Truth Beneath 비밀은 없다 was a sad portrayal of a family falling apart although it would be classed as a thriller for genre purposes. On reflection I can understand why each family member did what they did, although there can be no justification for their actions except for the wife’s, because wives (especially if they are mothers) usually act to protect their family.

Inside Men: The Original 내부자들: 디 오리지널 was a 3-hour long feast of twists and turns but a very satisfying film to watch, as the pace was just right, allowing the audience to digest some vital bit of information before proceeding to the next set of complications. It also had what I consider to be a good ending, because the ending in Asura was so grim that I didn’t want another no-ending ending i.e. where is the justice in all of this?

The films were in Korean with English subtitles. It was a mercy that I concentrated so hard on listening to the verb endings, reading the subtitles and watching the acting that I ignored the Korean swear words which were coming out thick and fast in some scenes.

Generally speaking, it is dangerous to copy a phrase from a film or drama and use it as part of your everyday conversation, without checking if this usage is acceptable for daily life. To this end, Mr Gochugaru and I need to brush up on our vocabulary and this is what I am going to do for the rest of week whilst trying to lie low and shake off this troublesome cold.