Game of thrones. A clash of kings

Clash of Kings is the second book of the Game of Thrones saga and I want to talk a little about this one.

If you have read the first volume you will know the 3 major storylines of the book, but if not, you will understand now.

On the one hand we have the war for the iron throne. This time there are not only 2 families fighting but everybody in the kingdom. Each knight of the realm joins the family he has sworn allegiance, and many battles that take place are carefully planned by the most influential families of the kingdom.

On the other hand we have the battle of the wall. The Stark family lemma is “Winter is coming” and reading the book, I imagine that in this land there are two “cycles”: a season where the days have a normal duration and one where there are very few hours of sunshine (similar to what happens at the poles of the earth). When they say winter is coming they refer to the arrival of the season where there are many hours of darkness and magical creatures awake. The night guard receives information about the plans of savages, who are beyond the wall to cross to the south. They send a troop to further investigate the issue and they leave us more info about the creatures that inhabit the northern parts of the wall.

And finally, we move from north to south. Daenerys continues recruitting an army to cross the sea and reclaim the throne of his family, the famous iron throne. (Personally I think that, if it is succesfull, we will have a good battle ). On his way to recruit his army she passes through magnificent cities where their heads are very colorful and rich merchants. Beliefs, religious or not, and magic reign in this area so that in this part of the story may occur very strange things.

After talking broadly about the events taking place in this second volume of the saga, I want to say that the only problem that I saw in the first volume ( the overwhelming number of names to be controlled to avoid getting lost in history ) continues to increasing, so if you don’t pay attention to what you are reading, you can loose the urge to keep reading. This does not mean that the book is bad or anything like that but needs to be treated carefully.

If I said in the entry for the first volume that the series was incredibly faithful to the book, now I say that the second season loses this quality. In the book there is a huge amount of details that are impossible to capture in the series and, without being proud of what I will tell you, I think is more “efficient” to see the series than reading the book.

I hope I have helped to read, or not,this book if you have not done yet and, of course, the ones who have read the book can comment here.

Broad beans salad

Today I propose a nice recipe for summer. A salad is always very easy to do and, for those who want to eat something light these days, it is a very good choice.

We will need the following ingredients:

  •      Broad beans. (Frozen)
  •      Diced ham.
  •      Lettuce.
  •      Mustard.
  •      Oil.
  •      Vinegar.
  •      Salt.

And we will continue the following steps:

Cook the beans in a saucepan until tender. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette with 8 tablespoons oil, 3 vinegar, 1 mustard and salt. When the beans are cooked drain them and mix with the vinaigrette. We will leave the beans marinate in the vinaigrette for an hour. (If you do not have the time, nothing happens, they taste good too). Then we cut the lettuce leaves and put them in a bowl. Add the beans with the vinaigrette, diced ham and it’s ready to serve.

Hope you like!

PHOTOGRAPHY: The challenge of the drop

The only way to improve the quality of your photographs is taking pictures, many pictures. But there are more enjoyable ways to do this task: completing challenges.

I found a very informative site about photography which offer various challenges and the first is a drop of water photo so I’ve made it and here is the result.

The picture was taken at F5.6, 1/200 ( the flash does not allow me more speed ), ISO800 and 36mm focal length.

It’s nothing spectacular but why are we here? To learn, isn’t it?. If someone wants to give some advice that might improve this photo please do it and, of course, if you want to teach your photos, just link it!

FILMS: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

Ponyo on the cliff is a Japanese animated film. The one who is already thinking about the word “geek” please, stop reading now. This entry is only for those with a little more open-mind.

Studies Ghibli create real masterpieces of animation though, for me, this is not the best. Japanese culture is totally different to ours so do not expect to see “Disney features” in their films. I say this because Ponyo is a free adaptation of The Little Mermaid. Ponyo is a strange fish that wants to become human and Sosuke is a child who lives with his mother in a fishing town. These two are the stars of a story that, with the music of Joe Hisaishi, will lead to an imaginary world full of gods and ancient Japanese mythology. It may seem no, it is a children’s film but you just have to remove the odd prejudice in order to enjoy this story.

I take this opportunity to recommend (the one who likes this movie) Spirited Away, from the same director ( Hayao Miyazaki). This one is one of the films i liked most, by now, from Ghibli studies.

Toast with zucchini and mushrooms

Today I propose a recipe that can be used as an aperitif or first course. You cannot only eat toast at the bars. It is very easy to make it at home.

We just need the following ingredients:

  •      1 zucchini.
  •      1 large potato.
  •      2 eggs per person.
  •      Slices of country bread.
  •      Mushrooms.
  •      Grated cheese.
  •      Butter.
  •      Salt
  •      Pepper.
  •      Nutmeg.

And we will follow these steps:

Peel and cut the zucchini and potatoes into thin slices. We put the slices in the microwave with a little water and salt and leave heating about 10 minutes, until they are tender. We spread the slices of bread with butter and put them on a plate. We put on each slice a layer of zucchini, one of potato and other of mushrooms. Then beat the eggs in a bowl and add the pepper and nutmeg. Add this mixture to the slices and put grated cheese on top. Finally, we put in the oven until the cheese gratin and enjoy!

NOTE: The image is of the toast that I made with white bread and heated in microwave. This won’t be so tastefull but you can make an adjustment like me if you don’t have the necessary items. I will upload the photo the next time, when i had the bread and the oven.

Intouchables

Intouchables is a French film highly recommended. It’s in theaters right now so, if you would like to go to the cinema but do not know what to see, this is a good choice.


Philippe, a quadriplegic, needs a caretaker at all times of day. Driss is presented to the job with the sole idea of being able to have unemployment. They 2, with other assistants of the incredibly rich Philippe, are the protagonists of a film that will not let you indifferent. Philippe is very different to Driss but, with no doubt, they are exactly what each other needs  to supplement their lives.

It may seem a sad story but nothing further from the truth. The humor, sometimes too acidic, is present during the 2-hour, which the film is not heavy at all.

Note to fans of true stories, “Untouchable” is based on a true story. At the end of the movie you can see in a picture who the real people of this great story are.

Tapas route in Madrid

Tapas routes are always a good way to try different dishes at a reasonable price.

A few months ago I proposed the Gastro Madrid 2012 festival. This time, the restaurants of Madrid offer us, with Cruzcampo, a magnificent dining plan from 10 to 20 May.


In Tapas in Madrid, they offer us 110 bars and restaurants where you could have a Cruzcampo nice and cool and one of their delicacies for € 2.40. Madrid have been divided into 4 zones: routes yellow, red, green and blue.

Just take a little look over to know that it is absolutely necessary to prove the “Cuban habanito duck” or “chicken flute”, to name a few examples.

Anyone who want to go with me?

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