Friday 8 February 2013

It's a joke

Here we go again...yet another food crisis.  We've managed a couple of years without one, so it was well overdue.  I sit here amazed that the food all levels...can lurch from crisis to must be one of the most heavily regulated sectors in the UK as we pander to all sorts of neuroses, yet still it's at home to Captain Cock-Up.  There's only two things about it that I've taken as - I discovered that Findus still exists...I thought it had died away a very long time ago, in fact probably went out with the floral shirts of the 1970's, and secondly whilst all this is going on the anniversary of Shergar's disappearance has been marked...a cruel juxtaposition I feel.  Personally, I'm quite happy to eat horse, just providing it's gone through he proper channels.  Anyway, it's a shame that these incidents just re-inforce the notion that 'food is bad' rather than the 'food is to be celebrated' as it is in France, Spain, Italy, etc, etc.  At home that shows itself when The Cat refuses to touch anything beyond its 'sell by' or 'best before' dates and woe betide any banana that has even the feintist hint of brown on it. Anyway, the general application of common sense, rather than yet more rules and regulations by faceless bureaucrats would seem the way forward to me.

I can't bring myself to comment on the mid-Staffs hospital crisis as my father was dying of Parkinsons there at the time.  I'm sure a lot of good, hardworking nurses and doctors are feeling their names have been blackened by the poor work of the few.

I was amused by the controversy over a Margaret Thatcher statue that either is or isn't wanted in her home town, and certainly saddened that some unguarded comments by an employee of the local museum have got her suspended.  I'm having to redefine my views about the woman herself...I've always held true that although she caused a lot of angst and misery for many, many people, we should thank her for the changes that brought Britain into the modern world....however, I now think that what she did was lay the foundations for the relentlessly heartless policies of Tony Blair which has dehumanised society to the level that allows the Staffordshire Health Trust problem to occur.....and whilst I'm at it allowed the bankers to screw us over (I'll never get off that band-wagon).

Last week was one of those relatively quiet weeks on the social front for us.  Monday I managed a beer at the local hostelry...not something I do often and it was brilliant to be sitting putting the world to rights over a pint or two of Guinness.  A simple pleasure, simply enjoyed.  And then last night it was comedy evening at The School...three tip top comedians for a tenner...absolutely marvellous:

Carl Donnelly

Jim Smallman

And finally the extremely funny  Markus Birdman

Enjoy the show

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Travel traumas

I had the following from Transport for London today:

"I am writing to let you know that if you drive in London, you can now follow us on Twitter for real time road traffic updates in London. Transport for London provide information about traffic disruptions, road closures and re‑openings for road users."

So it's all right to be checking out your Twitter feed whilst driving is it?

As part of the University application process, The Boy has gone off to Warwick University today.  Transport for London hasn't helped by making the Central Line run so badly this morning that he missed his train.  Not to worry though, because the ticket I bought him from The Trainline was an off-peak one, so he hopped on the next train.  Except that the ticket collector decided his ticket wasn't valid on that train so made him cough up another £45.  Now, if I'd been there, I'd have argued my corner and caused a God Almighty scene...but as a seventeen year old he has thankfully not inherited my temperament. It was fortunate that he had the £45 otherwise heaven only knows what would have happened.  Still, it's given me a good reason to ring The Trainline and hurl abuse at them, and I will also do so at Virgin Trains....

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Year of the snake

Well it's a bit of a shame about Chris Huhne...although to be fair nobody seems to have a good word for him (and after all, what good sport it is, kicking a man when he's down).  Now I'm not saying that his then wife should have taken the points for him...but, by hearsay, that's not uncommon, but it does seem a shame that an entire career is destroyed by what started off as something so small.  There's an irony that he lost his licence anyway just a few weeks later when caught by the police for using his mobile whilst driving.  I wonder how the ex-Mrs Huhne feels now.  She told the journalist as a woman scorned.  Does revenge feel good?  And if it does, will it still feel good in the future?  I somehow doubt it.  I read that both Mr and the ex-Mrs are best described as 'highly manipulative', so perhaps they should have stayed together as they seem well suited.

This weekend there will be celebrations aplenty amongst the Chinese community as it's the Chinese New Year....the year of the snake.  I was born in the year of the rat.  Why don't they have nice animals for their years?  How about Year of the Pussycat, Year of the Koala, Year of the Budgerigar?  London's ChinaTown will be one of the major centres of celebration, and if you happen to be free come down and have a look in the morning.  No not at the dancing Chinese lions and dragons, but at me, me, me.  Some of the Olympic Opening Ceremony Drummers and Working Men and Women will be reprising their roles from the Pandemonium Sequence.  I will be one of them.  I'm very much looking forward to it.  I won't be able to take the grin off my face.

Welcome to the year of the snake.

Monday 4 February 2013

Friday night

I'm back on the Marmite we are with a complete collection of limited editions.  The right-hand one is the most'll notice it is without much branding...that was an idea of Selfridges about reducing 'noise'.

We were in Selfridges just a couple of weeks ago, and sitting just near us was Chris Eubank and a pretty embarrassed mate.  the former was trying to chat up an attractive woman who was having none of it.  Eventually the mate got up and walked out, and shortly former boxer Eubank swaggered out too.  The lovely lady simply got on with drinking her champagne whilst waiting for her friends...or to arrive.

We used to see former boxer Eubank regularly.  He liked to think of himself as a dandy, we thought of him as a tosser.  He used to drive a vast American truck backwards and forwards along Brighton seafront to attract attention.  some people waved, most ignored him.  Presumably he stopped when he was declared bankrupt.

On Saturday night we were in Brighton and went to see Django.  I cannot help but enjoy Quentin Tarrantino films...I think he's brilliant.  The Cat's Mother enjoyed the film too, although she didn't see as much as me as she hid behind her hands every time there was a gory bit.  It's a great story, wonderfully filmed and as usual has a fantastic soundtrack.  Leonardo DiCaprio was at his best, as  are Christoph Waltz and Samuel L Jackson and of course Jamie Foxx.  Tarantino should stick to writing and directing and producing as his acting skills are yet to be found.  The mandingo fighting was grim.  Watch out for the woman (?) in the red scarf...and let me know if you get the significance.

We'd arrived in Brighton very late Friday night having been up The being billed as Western Europe's tallest building, since those damned Russians built something taller in Moscow, and evidently that is considered to be in Europe.  It was the first day it was open to the public, and I'd bought tickets months ago for The Cat's Mother's birthday in September.  The view is absolutely spectacular...especially at night.  I would say well-worth the trip, but they've put the price up to £30 each, so 'worth' doesn't come into it.  I would also recommend you take a polishing cloth up there with you to wipe away all the hand and nose smudges which didn't help see London.  Anyway, a great thing to do, if you can find someone to treat you.