Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Serendip SW17

The word serendipity, which means the making of happy and unexpected discoveries by accident or when looking for something else, was first committed to paper by Horace Walpole in a letter he wrote on January 28, 1754 in the library of his gothic mansion Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. In the letter he says that he formed the word from the title of the fairy-tale `The Three Princes of Serendip', the heroes of which `were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of'.

Serendip is an old name for Ceylon which in turn is an old name for Sri Lanka, and a serendipitously discovered advantage of living and working within walking distance of Colliers Wood tube is access to a great range of South Indian and especially Sri Lankan restaurants.

Yesterday's lunch was masala dosai - served on a banana leaf, along with chicken biryani prepared with curry leaves and green chillis, and egg masala at the aptly named Banana Leaf, for about the same as it would cost us to go to Burger King.

We need to count the pennies as we will be eating at Verre, Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Dubai on Monday. As Derek Smalls and David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap have noted, "people should envy us.... I envy us.... yeah I envy us too".

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