Sunday, 16 November 2008

Diana Watch

Good news! They’ve re-sited that bus stop. Bad news! Nasty Wetherspoons want to stop doing their pub quiz because they are not making a massive profit on it. Now that just isn’t nice and after all the effort we went to last Monday to dress up for it as well. Significant other looked very nice in her bestest party frock and I wore a lovely grey wool 3 piece, over dressing for fun, we drank champagne as well, they definitely made a profit on that week.

Can you guess why significant other came home from the Chinese supermarket with this packet of dried lemon grass?


Enough smut and on to the weeks news which has been dominated by the death of a baby. The odd thing about this is the way that the story of baby “P” has dominated the media but the death of a baby and toddler stabbed to death by their mother has not. In both cases various bodies were involved and yet the babies still died. So what is the difference? I think it is the fact that social services were involved in the baby “P” case and the media loves to slate them. Many years ago there was a scandal in the papers that too many children where being taken into care. Much fuss was made and the protocols by which decisions are made were changed and now there is a fuss that too many children remain at home, who’d be a social worker?
This sort of convenient amnesia by both politicians and various media outlets has also been evident in the treatment of the world’s financial problems. Unemployment has risen to an 11 year high, which is sad for the people who have lost their jobs, and these numbers have been attacked by the Tories but who was in charge 11 years ago? No, wait, I can get this one……… oh yes, it was them! On the Andrew Marr program this morning George “I love big yachts me” Osborne said that the value of the pound is the lowest for 13 years. Again, who was in charge? I think you can guess.
It does seem that the Government is considering some sort of Roosevelt style “New Deal” i.e. massive government spending on infrastructure projects in order to stimulate the economy and give people jobs. Now, while this is a good idea in principle there have to be one or two things taken into consideration. The first, and some would say the most important, is the fact, now widely excepted, that the New Deal didn’t really work and it was the beginning of the 2nd World War that really stimulated the U.S. economy. Do we want a massive war to get us all spending again? The second point is how this spending will be directed. The problem is that during these chastened times those against the “Green” agenda will use it to claim that everything good is far too expensive. They will want quick fixes, build runways and power stations. Let the next generation worry about the planet way have to save our profits from extinction. Well how about we try and kill 2 metaphoric birds with 2 politically expedient stones. How about massive government investment in environmentally sound industries and technologies? Invest in research into making micro generation, my personnel favourite as I’m sure you will have noticed, or even carbon capture. No one has ever built a full scale power plant with carbon capture and storage technology, so why don’t we? Think of the kudos! Think of the jobs! Invest in mass insulation projects. Invest in research into wave powered generation or hydrogen fuel cells for cars or into cleaner fuel sources for shipping. Oh, quick note on shipping. Due to the current turmoil in money the amount of shipping currently ruining this nice green planet is down 90%, every cloud, silver lining etc.
Now, whilst reading yesterdays Guardian I noted that Polly Toynbee had mentioned in passing a similar idea and I said to significant other, “ha, I wrote about on the blog last week, she’s a week behind me”, it turns out that she wasn’t and I wrote it in my note book on Monday or Tuesday and had thought I’d written it last week, D’oh.

One of chemistry’s most enduring problems has been solved this week by Dr John Emsley of the The Royal Society of Chemistry who has come up with the definitive recipe for Yorkshire Puddings and here it is,

Tablespoon and a half of plain flour
1 egg
Skimmed Milk to make a thin batter
Half a teaspoon of salt.

Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg, stir until the two are combined then start gradually adding the milk and water combining as you go.
Add the liquid until the batter is a smooth and thin consistency.
Stir in half teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes
Put beef dripping into Yorkshire pudding tins or into one large tin but don't use too much fat.
Put into hot oven until the fat starts to smoke.
Give the batter a final stir and pour into the tin or tins.
Place in hot oven until well risen - should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Sorry it hasn’t come too you before lunch time today (and there are no quantities, blame the internet, because I can’t find it with any) but you’ll just have to wait until next week too try it. The most surprising thing about this is that finally some one has found a use for skimmed milk. I am pretty sure that this is the first time in all recorded history that this has happened.

The E.U. (European Union) has decided to scrap some of its food and vegetable standardisation laws, although not the ones that affect the really expensive ones strangely, and this has been welcomed by many newspapers which have used them, incorrectly, as a metaphor for interfering E.U. ministers. To be honest the story isn’t that interesting but it should lead to slightly cheaper food prices, apparently up to 30% of fruit and veg has had to been thrown away but it does give me the opportunity to tell you my favourite E.U. regulations gone made story. The Sun once reported that the regulations called for English sausages to no longer be called sausages unless they contained some more meat. Of course the paper overreacted to the story with ridiculous headlines and rhetoric bordered on the xenophobic. Their view seemed to be “leave us alone to eat our crap food that contains no nutrition whatsoever and may actually do us harm.” Sun readers are odd people.
This comes from a long line of “Interference” stories that our papers like to run. The other favourite is the “Winterval” type of story. The problem with all of these types of story is that they are made up. They are not true. They are, at best, misinterpretations, be that accidental or deliberate or, at worst, lies, but for a good “Winterval” story, the first of the year I believe, go to
Whilst we are sort of talking about Christmas, as it should always be called, not Xmas, whilst shopping in the surprisingly busy considering the credit crunch Bournemouth on Saturday we went into Monsoon and they are officially the first shop to be playing seasonal tunes. Feel sorry for the people who work there, over 6 weeks of Wham and East 17. Every year that passes without a shopping assistant running amuck with a tinselly hanger and a giant bubble, slaughtering all insight is a surprise to me.

And so to the Awards,

The Award For Disappointment Of The Week (Not Including Pub Quiz Cancellation),

Significant Other came home this week and said that there was a man in South Street (Our shopping street) standing on a small plastic stool berating the non-believers and damning us all for our belief in the “fairytale for adults” that is evolution. I pulled on my “Godless Liberal” T-shirt but wasted time trying to decided between that one and my “Atheist” T-shirt and by the time I arrived at the spot outside Waterstones he was packing up to go home, such a shame.

The Award For Surprise Of The Week,

One of the many unbelievable plots in the dreadful soap opera that is Hollyoaks is that of the young people of the village forming a band. Well guess what? They are too realising a single. Oh yes, a big proper single with a video and everything. This, in it’s self is not a great surprise, it is a road well travelled, but the surprising thing is that it isn’t bad. Yes, it is a cover, originally by a band called The Dimestars who once supported Kylie I believe (I looked it up, I didn’t know that) and the riff sounds a bit like “Too drunk too fuck” by The Dead Kennedys but that’s no bad thing. Oh and the middle 8 is a bit dodgy but I’m being picky, it’s ok really and to prove it you'll have to go to this url because i'm not allowed to embed it,

The Award For The Most Middle Class Thing I’ve Seen All Week,

Who needs a mango stoner, really, who’s life would be completed by one of those?

Have a good week and happy birthday for my Brother for tomorrow xx

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