Life skills

I feel like by now I have some serious life skills to share with the world. Here goes.


    Falafel with corn bits in it. Not dry!
  1. If tap water tastes like chlorine (mine does), you can purify it using a stick. There's something called Binchotan Charcoal, which is supposed to be the best one for filtering. You buy a stick, put it in a jug, fill the jug with water.
    The filtering process takes up to 8h, but you might be happy with the water in as little as 1h. After 6 months you boil the stick for 10 minutes and it's good as new. After 12 months you're supposed to replace the stick but I just reboiled mine and it worked for a couple of years before it grew green fur.

  2. I don't trust pressure cookers, they're death traps. I invested in a good stainless steel one with fancy lock up tech and at some point it still exploded. Someone could have died there. Just saying.

  3. If you put corn kernels into your falafels, they won't be dry (see photo). I prefer the raw corn off the cob. I know this is a successful tip, because my cats ripped leftover falafel to shreds and left them all over the kitchen floor.

  4. Broccoli soup that doesn't suck is the one where you char the broccoli on the pan first.

  5. My favourite method for rice cooking comes from a Hare Krishna book that my mother was given on the street once. Pre-soak the rice for 15mins. Use a measuring dish for rice, then use the same dish to measure double the amount in water for boiling. Bring the rice to the boil, then cover, switch heat to lowest and leave for 8 minutes. Then switch the heat off completely and leave for another 8mins. Fluff with a fork et voila! Doesn't always work 100% (depends
    on the rice, stove, etc.) but it's a pretty solid technique. However! If it's not necessary for the rice to soak up all the
    cooking liquid, nevermind all this fancy shit: just plonk the rice into the pot, add lots of water, bring to the boil, turn
    it down on low and cook until ready. Then strain.
    Buttscratcher 2000
    Buttscratcher 2000 as seen in Beavis & Butthead, s7ep29.
  6. If you put MSG crystals in a coffee instead of sugar, it tastes sort of like coffee and sort of like a Chinese takeaway.
    It's fucking disgusting but sort of interesting.

  7. If the kitchen sink pipe drips, look in the sink, take off any filter until your sink hole (serious plumbing terms here, no
    doubt) is naked, then tighten the screw in the centre. If your kitchen sink gets blocked, do this in order: 1) Pour bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and hot water down the sink; 2) Unscrew the pipe under the sink and poke about in it
    with Butt-Scratcher 2000 (which you can make out of a clothes hanger, see picture); 3) Go outside and remove the
    leaves from the drain; 4) Buy a plumber's snake (at the shop they'll know what you mean) and stick it down your pipe from thea kitchen end; 5) If nothing works there's only one way. The plumbers can use this really powerful hoover to
    suck shit out of your drains but if you live in a flat these are not your flat's drains so don't spend your own money, harrass the building owner.

Other rooms

  1. Here is how you fix the walls.


I don't drink anymore but I used to be a drunk. During that time I learned a few things.

  1. Drinking on public transport in London is tolerated because prohibition is too cumbersome to enforce. At train stations, you can open your bottles on the edge of the bench.
  2. Domestic alcoholism (liet. 'buitinis alkoholizmas') is great but grows old after a while. Tends to be heavier, lengthier and to involve more nudity.
  3. Apparently, if you're low on alcohol, you should drink what you have an then put your head on the radiator (??). Mother's tip for when I was going off to university.
  4. You can make unlimited alcohol of unlimited strength by making basic ginger beer. It's really easy and can be fermented in big plastic bottles but it will taste of plastic.
  5. White cider is what the street drunks drink in the UK, whereas in France they drink wine that comes in cartons.
  6. Someone told me of a guy they knew who worked at a cider factory. His job was to turn the white cider cans over to check that it hadn't corroded the metal. White cider is not made from apples. Curiously, there's a sparkling wine in the U.K. that even white cider drinkers won't touch.
  7. If you mix beer and cider, you get 'snakebite'. If you top your beer with a dash of cider, you get 'lemonade top', or just 'top'. If you mix beer and lemonade, you get 'shandy' and people make fun of you.
  8. When I was a teenager, I had an online friend from the US. He told me that he was too young to buy alcohol but that mint cake flavouring was 99% alcohol. Poor kids.
  9. My teenage drink of choice was whiskey mixed with plum compote, although that might not be so good today.

Going out

  1. If you're in a trashy bar on a Friday night and you go to the bathroom and you lift the lid of the toilet cistern, there are a bunch of credit cards floating around. Not actually useful, just an urban curio.
  2. If you are calling a secret number to find out the location of an illegal rave, don't go there straight away. Give it an hour or two and call again as those bastards are sure to change the location last minute and you will be stuck in the wrong part of the city.
  3. I probably don't need to say this but don't leave your glass unattended and get all your drinks yourself.

Health and wellbeing

  1. If you're feeling nauseous, chew/suck on ginger. Works for motion sickness too.
  2. If you get awful periods, consume small quantities of ginger daily during the week prior.
  3. Iboprufen on an empty stomach could result in bleeding from your stomach lining. Fun!
  4. For flagging mental health, Feeling Good podcasts are the bomb.
  5. If you do yoga, make sure you do some strength training too. Yoga alone likely won't be enough and you'll overload the wrong muscles/tendons.

Take me home