Never Ending Sorbet

June 30, 2016

As one of those people who likes to enjoy themselves in a kitchen full of ingredients and produce lovely things, I have a selection of gadgets that clamour for attention.

Though, sadly, no Kitchen Aid. Otherwise I would be just mixing stuff up all the time.

Carole bought me an ice cream maker a couple of Christmases ago. Because I love ice cream. Like to a ridiculous level. So it stands to reason that the way to my heart is via something which you either have to keep part of in the freezer indefinitely, or know at least 24 hours in advance that you want to make ice cream.

It has been used in anger once to make some ice fream that was both very nice and ridiculously easy. Cheaters ice cream, in a way, as its base was made with custard. But apart from that, nothing.

But I figured I’d change all that and start getting into using it. And I thought rather than ice cream, I’d endulge in some sorbet. After all the house is swimming in fruit because we’ve been infusing waters and making birchers and all sorts of fun things like that.

So I did a quick google for lemon sorbet. I figured go in at the lowest sorbet level I could think of. I found a recipe for it by searching for a lemon sorbet recipe. As you might, in fact, suspect.

But the first result I clicked on didn’t bring up a recipe for lemon sorbet. Despite it being entitled “recipe for lemon sorbet and berries.”

The recipe, which I remember clearly, was part of the American Food Network website. It was by Rachael Ray who is – according to the interwebs – a television personality, businesswoman, author and cook.

If all her recipes are like this one, I’m going to dispute the cook bit.

Lemon sorbet and berries has three ingredients. Two of them are in the title. One is mint. The recipe, and I shit you not, told you to put some berries in a bowl, top it with a servibg of sorbet and sprinkle with chopped up mint leaves.

That’s not a recipe.

I’m not having it.

It’s not a recipe.

It’s, at best, a serving suggestion.

You’d expect to see a picture of the finished thing on the sorbet container. And presumably, once you’d struggled to even imagine how to put something like that together, you would then take to the internet hoping that soneone could help you assemble such a beautiful dish.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to try and fathom out how to make this thing I’ve seen on a packet of fish fingers…


Tipping Point

June 29, 2016

The old mattress has been consigned to a council skip.


When you first look at the prospects of transporting a mattress in a car, your first thought is that you just can’t do it. Then you run through a variety of scenarios in which the mattress is in the car but the boot is held down with a poorly tied piece of string and the mattress is poking out of the back, like when you hang tires over the side of a boat to cushion it against the dock.

Or, if it’s the structureless form of our mattress, you just fold it up, wrap some rope around it and pop it in the boot.

I don’t think either of us were thinking that it was going to be as easy as it was. I think the fact that our old mattress was so incredibly shite finally paid off. All those nights of restless sleep with springs and whatever else jabbing us in the kidneys was worth it. Because all of those contributed to the fact that it just folded like a piece of paper.

I mean, it wasn’t all plain sailing.

My seat – the passenger seat – had to be pushed forward so that I was basically upright and about a foot away from the windscreen. If that. I was so far forward my seatbelt wouldn’t fasten and I spent the whole journey sitting on it knowing that if we did have an accident I would have been out through the windscreen before the airbag even had chance to go off, that’s how close to the front I was sitting. It’s one time I’m glad Carole doesn’t go in for any of those dangly air fresheners, because if she did it would have been slapping me in the face for the whole journey.

When we got to the tip, we unleashed the mattress from its stringy confines. And I left Carole to lift it into the skip while I gathered up the ropes and laughed at her.

We had to stop our tomfoolery, though, when a kind man offered to help as he thought we were genuinely struggling rather than just pissing about because you don’t often see larking around at the tip. We, of course, didn’t let him help – because we could manage perfectly well together, once I’d stopped laughing at Caz trying to manhandle it by herself.

Anyway, I’d clocked that the kind guy had some sort of massive heavy looking thing in the back of his car, and if we’d let him help us we’d have been legally obligated to help him and he didn’t look like he’d appreciate any nonsense from us.

Needless to say, we scarpered before he got to it.


June 28, 2016

As Britain falls apart around our ears, with denizens of the underworld finding the courage to rise to the surface and tell everyone who looks wrong to go home, there are some things you can count on.

Like the weather.

Dark days are ahead, again, but this time I am referring to the light levels, rather than the collapse of civilisation and the need for all of the Shires to put forward two champions who will fight to the death.

It was sunny this morning.

It’s pissing it down now.

I didn’t bring a coat today because, well, it was sunny this morning and because according to the label my coat wasn’t made in the UK and I don’t want to draw attention to that, just in case it is targetted with disgusting laminated cards in two languages telling it to fuck off back to the wardrobe it came from.

What it means, then, is that I am wearing my work shirt. A white inexpensive because meh workshirt.

And if there’s one thing white inexpensive workshirts like, it’s turning transparent when exposed to water. Like they have been crafted from the same material used to build Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet. Or I’m in a wet t-shirt competition at a holiday camp that has allowed boys in as well as girls and I’m giving them a damn good run for their money.

A wet shirt clings to the its wearer like a damp shower curtain to an unsuspecting bather.

So I feel quite lucky that I managed to get onto the bus with little absorption. Employing a crafty technique in which I hid in the doorway at work until my bus was almost at the stop by I tackled a bit of the rain.

And this bus is warm. So any residual water has long since evaporated. But getting from the bus stop to home is going to be a different story.

So if anyone happens to see me, please would you just kindly let me and pass…


There Ain’t No Party Like A Donald Trump Party…

June 27, 2016

Donald Trump, the first attempt at allowing genetically modified corn to live as a human, was in the UK on the day of the Brexit result. Which is to say, Friday.

He had come over for the opening, or re-opening I guess, of Turnberry golf course which his son, a man who’s name I have not looked up, had been in charge of. Turnberry, now known as the Trump Turnberry Resort in a just-trips-off-your-tongue kind of way was, of course, one of the places that Trump Snr, the straw-haired business scarecrow, had threatened to pull all his money out of when we – a nation built from a collection of races and creeds – tried to ban him for hate speech with an e-petition and probably an aggressively managed Facebook group.

Since then, of course, it’s come to light that the majority of the country are massive racists who feel that the leave vote has given them the confidence to say a variety of twattish things to a variety of different people because we have spoken and don’t want your kind round here. In our pure British country which has certainly not been invaded, and impregnated, by the Vikings, Romans and French. So trying to ban a spaghetti-haired megaphone for something we’ve managed to stun others with is a bit rich.

But anyway, Trump on his arrival to Scotland took to Twitter because if there’s one thing Donald Trump likes it’s sharing a view. Even if that view is entirely wrong and made up, but does consistently contain a cheering populace.

Scotland, he said, was full of people excited to be leaving the EU. They couldn’t be happier, he said.

Scotland, as a whole, voted to remain a part of the EU. If you vote for one thing, and thr result goes entirely the other way you don’t tend to jump up and down with joy. When Rosie Ribbons crashed out of Pop Idol, despite the best efforts of a ten pound top-up and my fastest texting finger, I did not immediately start celebrating. I was sad and remorseful knowing that by the year 2016 I would be 90% sure I dreamt her entire existence as mo one else remembers her.

And the leave vote was very much Scotland’s Rosie Ribbons. I’m not contesting Trump’s claim that the Scottish couldn’t be happier. Because they couldn’t. Their happiness is limited, like the top speed of a van on the motorway. But I am questioning the celebrations that Trump saw. Because he’s seen them before. And they weren’t real the first time.

As our human custodian of the first shredded wheat fled from the scene of 9-ll in his heletrumper, trumpcopter or whatever he might call it, he said – many, many years after the event – that he saw Muslims, Muslims as far as the eye could see, celebrating the disaster. Rejoicing in the fact that they had brought down these icons of the West.

He didn’t though, did he?

I mean, for starters, how did he know they were Muslims? Is that his special skill? He can observe a celebration at a distance and tell you, without a shadow of doubt, what religion the revellers are.

In much the same way as he was beseiged by the celebrating masses in Scotland, he was apalled by the seething throng of happiness during 9-11. Not enough to mention it at the time. But enough for him to recall it, with crystal clarity, when he most needed an example of the naughty Muslims.

It seems, and I’m going to make a sweeping generalisation here but what’s good for the goose and all that, whenever there is a key moment in history, Donald Trump will always see a party.  Had he been around at the time of the Titanic sinking, one can only imagine he’s have seen tiny droplets of frozen water dancing a sea shanty, or the moon landing would have found him absolutely sure that he saw some small woollen mice living la vida loca and eating blue string soup.

I don’t doubt that there was some kind of celebration in Scotland on Friday. I just figure it would be after he left.

The SS Great Britain

June 26, 2016

It’s been three days since the Brexit vote.

And it’s been an interesting three days.

The EU seem incredibly keen on us activating – or whatever the term is – Article 50, which leads to the conscious uncoupling if the UK from the Union. But we don’t seem that fussed about doing it – David Cameron took Friday as an opportunity to say “you wanted this, you sort it” and pack us his bat and ball before headibg home, and the straw-haired presumptive future leader has said there’s no rush. And practically the entire Labour shadow cabinrt has quit in the last 24 hours.

We are in a rudderless ship drifting towards the choppy waters of shit creek and we don’t have anything that can get us out if it because of a prohibitive trade deal on paddles.

Farage – politics’ Master Bates the Seaman – however, is not allowed in on any of the Brexit discussions so is jumping up and down and making as much noise as he can anyway, while casually forgetting the comments he made in May about petitioning for a fyrther vote if the result was 52-48 in favour of Remaining (sonething he genuinely did do).

It’s also been a weekend in which nany of the Leave voters have come out to variously say that they didn’t realise what they were actually voting for, or even that Leave would win so they just voted that way.

A lot of the Daily Mail readers were shocked over the weekend by an article on how the leave vite will affect them, not realising that their pensions and investments would be affected, or that the immigration they held so dear would work both ways and their dreams of a holiday home in Spain were floating down the river.

And a man in Barnsley voted Leave to stop the Muslims coming in from Iraq and Syria so, you know, you’ve got to wonder if people actually knew what they were voting for. Which they didn’t. They just saw Nigel Farage’s yellow-teethef visigog in front of a picture if a long line of immigrants, remembered him saying something about then coming over here and doing our sex crimes and voted to Leave. Because if an Englishman can’t even do his own sex crimes because of bloody foreigners, then what has this country become.

I don’t agree with any of the Leave campaign. I very much don’t. And there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that a decent proportion of that 52% didn’t have a fucking clue what they were voting for. But they are very keen to tell us that the majority have spoken. Some of them monosyllabically, but they have spoken.

So let’s see where this ship of fools takes us, with Farage at the bow, arms outstretched, shouting that he’s king of the world… shortly before asking Boris Johnson or Michael Gove to draw him like he does those French Girls.



Into The Woods

June 25, 2016

We went to see Into The Woods at the West Yorkshire Playhouse today.

And lo, it was good.

But as we’ve not seen a shit show there yet, that was kind of to be expected.

But it was really good to see the whole show, at last, without it being a film with Janes Corden in because years ago I saw the last 30-40 minutes of it on BBC 2 one Christmas and really enjoyed what I saw, but have never seen the preceeding couple of hours of show.

And we had the added bonus of seeing our nemesis from when we saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Pushy Mother and Precocious Kid were there, of course, because she – the kid – is in a drama group which provides the children for shows like this and Into The Woods. She’s not good enough to be in the shows, but she does know at least one of the children who she won’t be able to spot before losing interest and then becoming a pain in the arse.

This time, huzzah, the Pushy Mother had clearly oaid more for her tickets as we were in the cheap seats and they were in a much higher class area. Presumably annoying people who had paid more to not have to sit near a girl twanging her bracelet round and empty coke can.

But the show itself was amazing.

Especially considering I don’r like musicals….


The Undiscovered Country

June 24, 2016

Waking up this morning, my first thought wasn’t that I had to go to work or that Carole has the nosiest water bottle in the known universe, coupled with a Strepsil packet that could wake the dead.

It was for the result of the Referendum.

Not the result we got, mind. Sometimes, ignorance isn’t bliss.

I was undecided. My mind was made up by the events of last week, but even undecided I’d have voted Remain yesterday because I clearly didn’t know enough to  make a reasoned decision against the position we were currently in.

So we’re leaving the EU. It will take years to sort out the finer points of the deal but the pound already dropped like a rock and £180 billion has been wiped off the value of UK businesses.

That’s worse, incidentally, than when the banking industry of this country brought us to the verge of economic collapse.

The main champions of the Leave vote are in a demographic who will see the least change in their lifetimes. They are the ones who will have to live with the consequences for the shortest time. And by 6.30 this morning we already knew that one of the consequences was that the £350 million we’d be saving would be heading nowhere near the NHS.

An NHS, incidentally, that the Government wanted to dismantle, and have very little love for at the best of times. The EU had no influence over that.

Brexit’s resident mouthpiece, Nigel Farage, had made three different speeches by 7am this morning, including the now well-retweeted backtracking on the money to the NHS. Farage isn’t a member of Parliament, or an official membet of the Brexit team but is – despite his best protests – loved by the media because he’s basically a cock in a tie.

By 7am he’d managed to say that the Leave campaign had won without a single bullet being fired. Casually forgetting the three bullets which were fired into the body of Jo Cox only eight days earlier by a fan of the Leave campaign.

The Leave vote, let’s be honest, hinged on one thing and one thing only. Immigration. The inherent racism of a certain age group of people and the ignorance of others meant thst immigration was where the fighting really took place.

Leave’s resident ass-hat unveiled his anti-immigration poster on the day Jo Cox died, showing a queue of people heading for a better life. We’re supposed to think they were coming here – they weren’t. Text was conveniently placed across the image to obscure the white faces in the crowd and the green grass was tweaked to make us think of England’s vibrant countryside.

But it’s already been stated this morning that immigration won’t magically fall to zero. That anyone who thinks immigration will magically stop because of the Leave vote is going to be sadly disappointed. And that’s by someone in the Leave camp (presumably Farage was in the loo or something and someone else managed to get a word in).

But the Leave vote doesn’t just affect immigration. It affects migration. People will no longer just be able to work and live in other EU countries. We’ve taken away the ability for our children, or our children’s children, to live and work in Europe – to make new friends, to fall in love, to grow.

And with Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to stay, while the majority of England and all of Wales votes to leave ee are no longer a United Kingdom. We’re not a Great Britain.

We’re a fractured isle, tearing ourselves apart for an outcome based on half truths and broken promises. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe the Remain campaign was any better in presenting the truth and lies of the whole campaign.

But then I don’t believe that something as closely contested as a 52/48 split is a conclusive result. The majority has spoken, yes, but only just. It’s not a definitive split like have been seen in some of the voting areas. How something as important as this can have a “first to 50%” goal post is beyond me.

Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. Maybe trying to understand what has happened is a step too far. But I find myself needing to know, because the prospect of not knowing – of uncertainty – frightens the life out of me.

Welcome to Britain.