Love it!

You might forget what it’s an advert for but the advert itself sticks in you mind.

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Satire, or the plain truth?

Many a true word spoken in jest.

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Broken heart?

A broken yolk on a fried egg is usually the sign of a sloppy cook.

valantine-egg

Unless it’s on the fourteenth of February!

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1 down, 2 to go

That’s the first (of three) New Year resolutions down the pan.

I was trying to grow my hair long enough to look like an aging hippy but it was turning out a bit wild, more like a mad scientist’s. I tried trimming it just enough to make it look tidier. The clippers were not working properly so I took them apart and removed a wad of compacted hair from between the blades.

I should have put my glasses on first, lost one of the screws. Found the escaped screw under the kitchen table and put the clippers back together… Still not working, at this stage I looked as if I had alopecia, not good.

Two options.

Go into town and pay for a decent haircut or shower + shave = Uncle Fester.

hair-where

I’ve not been to the barber’s since Friday… Friday 11th June 2004.

The other two resolutions? I’m doing fine with them, much better than expected, but not tempting providence by boasting about what they are.

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Oh wow!

It’s either wow or ow, or maybe a bit of both.

There has been a curry (chick peas and mixed veg) simmering in the slow cooker overnight. As one does I had to try it as soon as I got up this morning.

It was a bit tame, so I added a gloop of Frank’s Extra Hot.

Still tame, so I added half a teaspoon of this…

godslayer

Believe me, it does exactly what it says on the label, this is Fucking Hot Sauce!

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Chilli con peanuts

peanuts

I was born in an era before nut allergies were popular, the labels on peanut butter jars used to say “children thrive on it”… And we did. I still love peanut butter, and peanuts, to this day and tried a new idea out yesterday… Peanut chilli!

The nuts were soaked and boiled with the beans, I gave the boiling stage extra time because there were butter beans in the mix so the pan was on the hob for about half an hour before being tipped into the slow cooker. Fresh chillies and a good gloop of Encona West Indian Extra Hot chilli sauce were added and the mix left to simmer overnight.

That’s breakfast, dinner and tea sorted for the next couple of days!

chilli.jpg

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Deep thought

“In the past the whales had been able to sing to each other across whole oceans, even from one ocean to another because sound travels such huge distances underwater. But now, again because of the way in which sound travels, there is no part of the ocean that is not constantly jangling with the hubbub of ships’ motors, through which it is now virtually impossible for the whales to hear each other’s songs or messages.

So fucking what, is pretty much the way that people tend to view this problem, and understandably so, thought Dirk. After all, who wants to hear a bunch of fat fish, oh all right, mammals, burping at each other?

But for a moment Dirk had a sense of infinite loss and sadness that somewhere amongst the frenzy of information noise that daily rattled the lives of men he thought he might have heard a few notes that denoted the movements of gods.”

Douglas Adams – Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul
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You do the maths… No, don’t bother, I’ve done it.

The bloody railway passengers are whinging about fare increases again. They need to think about how their commute is financed. For every passenger there are a lot more tax payers who never use a train from one year end to the next.

Yet these taxpayers still subsidise the privatised train companies via government handouts, handouts that are then raked off by the companies to pay dividends to shareholders instead of reinvested to give the passengers a better service.

Maybe, just maybe, if all those commuters in the south east had to subsidise transport costs for provincial peasants in the rest of the country who do not flock like lemmings into the capital each day they might appreciate just how their daily journey to a highly rewarded London job is paid for.

I’ve just looked at the National Rail website. The fare quoted for tomorrow, setting off from Brighton at 06:30 and returning from London at 17:30 is £40, in round figures, for the return journey. Season tickets are charged at comparatively lower rates than daily fares.

It costs me more than two pounds for a single, slightly less than a mile, journey if I go to work by bus… That’s why I walk.

Which is the better value for money, £40 for just over a hundred miles or £2 for just under a mile? If it were pro-rata, and estimating fifty two miles each way, you’d be looking at a fare in excess of £208 for the Brighton commuter.

Nationalising the railway as one entity, trains, track, signalling, maintenance, all under one roof, would make an instant saving equal to the amount of money that is given to shareholders. A saving that could be reinvested to improve the service or just used to reduce the annual fare increases.

Think about it.
Stop whinging.
Stop voting for the Tories.
Stop them giving your money to their fat cat friends.
Get the railway into public ownership where it belongs.

And, while we’re at it, let’s have the buses back under local government control.

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Support your local pub?

Or so they say. I took Harvey for a walk after lunch, intending to spend a few hours in the Midland to welcome in the New Year. When we got there it was closed, the lights were on but the lady across the road said they’d been left on all night.

So much for that then. Not wanting to have walked all the way to Elworth for nothing we crossed the station bridge and I had a couple of pints in the Fox. It was the first time I’d been in there for several years and I have to say the renovation job was a vast improvement. Wells’ Bombardier, well kept but nothing to write home about.

We then wandered into town, aiming for the Lower Chequer. Also closed. What is it with pubs these days? They moan when you don’t go in and shut when you want a pint. Disappointed but not downhearted we headed for the Swan. It was open. It had a fairly good crowd around the bar. They were all drinking lager. The bitter was past its best. I didn’t finish the pint, in fact I left most of it on the bar.

Next port of call was the Old Hall. Lovely warm welcome. Fantastic pint of the local stuff, Merlin’s Gold from Arclid, but at a price. £3.80, compared to the £2.50 I would have been paying for a pint of Citra if the Midland was open, ouch!

So that was it, my favourite session of the year is New Year’s Day lunchtime. What a pity my favourite pubs had decided that they were not going to bother opening, why should I bother going out of my way to spend money in them next time?

Better off at home with a couple of cheap supermarket bottles, despite anything Camra might tell you to the contrary.

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Clayhead pizza

I’ve had half a jar of pasta sauce in the fridge for a couple of days so I decided to spice it up by stirring in a few tablespoonfuls of hot chilli sauce.

Recipe –

  1. Place a Staffordshire oatcake on a plate.
  2. Spread with the spiced up sauce.
  3. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  4. Place another oatcake on top of the first.
  5. Spread with sauce.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese.
  7. Repeat with each oatcake from the pack until stacked 6 high.
  8. Ping for 5 minutes, stand for 3 minutes, ping again for 2 more minutes.
  9. Remove from microwave, allow to cool, slice and serve.
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