30 July 2009

Daily Chat 30/07/09

A couple of firsts and a couple of lasts today. The First Defenestration of Prague took place on this date in 1419. Uruguay defeated Argentina by a score of 4-2 in the first FIFA World Cup in 1930. The last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolled off an assembly line in Mexico in 2003 and the last weekly broadcast of Top of the Pops was aired in 2006. Today's celebrity birthdays would make for quite a party: Buddy Guy, Paul Anka, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rat Scabies, Kate Bush, Daley Thompson, Laurence Fishburn, Lisa Kudrow, J├╝rgen Klinsmann, Simon Baker, Hilary Swank, and Justin Rose. It is Tisha B'Av in the Jewish calendar and Independence Day in Vanuatu. Here's a completely randomly chosen classic Top of the Pops performance. Not sure what ever happened to these guys:

[embed deleted to speed up page loading, 31/07/09]


  1. Going back in time to the Volkswagen part of the opening post, I remember those times when the Beetles made in Germany had supremacy over those built in Brazil or Mexico. There were even differences in aspects and those American ones were even uglier - if that's possible - than the German ones. The windshield was different, flatter and engines were not so well working as the German ones.

    By the way I cannot trace where the name Beetle arose from, it indeed makes you think that the thing you buy is loathsome.

    A "fresher" dubbing would have made decision-taking easier, and the German coffers fuller.

  2. Buddy Guy
    Finest living bluesman. Period.

  3. Just to clear things up...

    I have indeed committed cif suicide as 'Martillo'. Partly because I could contain my dislike of the moderation on cif no longer. Deleting that harmless joke by Papadumb was the last straw for me. No wait, the last straw was seeing the simpering Matt Seaton making his jokes. They also deleted a good joke by brusselslout on the bidisha thread - his only good joke ever, as far as I can tell.

    Also I was tired of Martillo. I used to post under my real name and wanted someone to express my naughtier side. He started to take over and I think I developed an unhealthy cif obsession. I'm having a go at real life for a while. Will drop in here from time to time...

    Tony (ex-Martillo).

  4. Tony Martillo ...

    You could have your own series. Will be good to see you around mate, glad to hear it.

  5. Buddy Guy is amazing - saw him play once.

    Scherfig - thanks for the spud recipe. Will give it a go, but please clarify how it is possible to forget about potatoes.

  6. Hi all,
    sorry about this: I don't know what the form is round here. Do I post on the thread where the discussion is, or on today's thread?
    Just posted the below on the 28th July page, then realised no-one else had been there for a couple of days. So I'd better stick it here, too. Sorry an' all...

    Dear Cath Elliott,
    Thankyou for responding to me in person, rather than with your usual cowardly means of censorship.
    You fail to realise, sadly, that my problem is with dishonesty per se rather than you individually. I have found your writing to be peppered with dishonesty. I have tried to point this out, and been thwarted by censorship. That doesn't make the problem disappear, it merely compounds it.
    It struck me at the time that your open admission to misrepresentating the circumstances of Gibson's resignation was extraordinary. At the time, I wrote that you should in future start all your posts with a statement of their truthfulness. I was censored.
    You write that you were hoping someone would tell you Dr Gibson wouldn't retain his pension. We all knew he would. You were asking for someone else to lie to you to make you feel better. Your own untruth is not enough for you; apparently, others are to be encouraged to join you in it.
    I may be one of just a few readers capable of discerning the depth of your insincerity, but I am not the only one harmed by it. A writer has a duty to all their readers to tell the truth. Tell the truth, Cath, please, or say nothing at all.
    Contrary to your post above, I have never willfully lied. I challenge you to cite a single untrue statement I have ever made.
    I have certainly been wrong, and where I have, I have been quick to admit and correct. Can you say the same?
    For offering other people up to be raped, I say again, shame on you. Only offering others up for murder could possibly be worse. If there is another other way to interpret your statement (that if there are more rapes because lap- dancing clubs are closed, you couldn't care less,) I can't see it.
    Despite what you subsequently wrote (which was typically inconsistent and blindingly both false and sexist- ignoring male rape victims altogether,) you have not retracted or apologised for the original gross offense. If and when you do admit, apologise, and correct the matter will be closed.
    Cath. This is not about you. It's about what you write. It's about how you will be understood by the intelligent reader.
    And it's not about me, either. It's about the help, such as it is, I can give to stem the flow of falsehood.
    So your unflattering personal remarks above are quite beside the point.

  7. Big mouth Edwin! It was going to be a surprise.

    @Freespeech. Could you explain where Cath was dishonest? In all the time I've followed her comments and articles, I've only noticed 2 really annoying things about her. First of all a rather flighty way with statistics. Secondly (and the most grating) a tendency to say "Brilliant article" to just about any writer in possession of a vagina.

  8. I have been giving some thought to the transportation of Montana's Jaffa Cakes. The thought occurred to me that the task would be better undertaken in the winter time, perhaps as a Christmas gift.

    The chocolate face of the said fancy biscuit is susceptible to a 'bloom' if exposed to too much warmth and as I understand it mid USA can get quite toastish in the summer months.

    That said an addict may not be over concerned with a slight tarnishing on the chocolate gloss so best get them in the post with a second parcel in time for Christmas


  9. Deano
    Couldn't we arrange for one of those medical ice boxes they use in organ transplant cases ? Transatlantic flight plus equipment hire... probably only about five grand.

    Those cakes have got to be worth it.

    Good luck with the pregnancy.

  10. Cath is not dishonest at all. She is maybe occasionally inconsistent but hell look at the rest of us; it's a very minor flaw if indeed it is one.

    Cath is one of us not one of them.

  11. Oh no! I missed all the veg chat :-(

    Absolutely brilliant to read it now though. Just a few matters arising.

    kizbot: The Sumerians were the first to do many of the things they did, I believe, so if they did cultivate thyme, they were probably the first. It’s not a race though, is it?

    scherfig: I am a potato purist, and I take that as a complement even though I suspect you didn’t mean it as such. I will always believe that good new potatoes will be at their best when cooked simply, but I’m looking forward to trying out your recipe later in the year.

    MsChin: Even though the potato is not counted as a vegetable by the healthy eating division of the food police, it so obviously is. And it also contains loads of vitamin C, or so my GF argues when she gets a craving for chips.
    But wasn’t it Bentham who first mention the panopticon? Foucault just developed the idea, if I remember rightly.

    Bitterweed: Didn’t you tell us before about how your brother fucked up cooking potatoes? What’s wrong with you weed boys?

    And finally, LordS:
    *Who out of us can say we don’t have a lot to learn about potatoes?*
    Truly noble, my lord.

  12. andysays
    No. I said my brother found seven new ways of fucking up risotto. I only found two ways of fucking up mashed potato.

    As we know, accuracy is key here.

  13. BW - hope you had a good holiday.

    There is recession on and I suspect five grand would be regarded as an indulgence too far. What we need is for some flight crew type person to join the UT then we could do the personal despatch with trans Atlantic refrigeration assured.

    I have worked out a suitable label (with the assistance of my new Philavery) "URGENT ANTIPYRETICS FOA WILDHACK:". The question of the packaging remains difficult.

    Not altogether a dishonest label in Montana's case.


    Tony - hope the pregnancy goes to term and not a minute longer.

  14. mash is good: here are simple roast potatoes

    - use King Edwards

    - parboil in them in three-sided shapes

    - shake them in the pan after draining water to roughen edges

    - roll them in good olive oil and add sprig of rosemary if you've got guests

    Roast and eat. Fab.

  15. Tony/martillo

    Apparently this is my open admission of dishonesty - from my piece about Ian Gibson's resignation:

    "My first reaction when I read through the expenses claims my MP Dr Ian Gibson had posted on his website a few weeks ago was to go on to Twitter and ask: "If my MP had a 2nd home which he claimed mortgage payments on, then he sold it, who gets the profit from the house sale?" I knew the answer really, I knew any profit would have been his to keep, but I was hoping I was wrong, and that someone would tell me the money went back to the taxpayer or something."

    That's it. According to freespeech I deliberately lied to people on Twitter by asking a question when I already thought I knew the answer, and I should henceforth never ever be trusted again.

    Oh yes, and I've apparently used censorship to try and thwart his attempts at outing me as a heinous lying liar, although how I've managed to do that when I have no control or influence over CiF moderation defeats me.

    But anyway, enough. I don't intend responding to freespeech's slurs any longer. It's pointless, and quite frankly life's too short for this nonsense.

    I'm sorry to hear about martillo's demise though, I hope that doesn't mean you'll be disappearing completely.

    Best wishes


  16. Now on to today’s business.

    Montana: Haven’t seen that for a while. Must be the New Year TOTP. Nice to see the boys are all wearing the jumpers their grans gave them for Xmas.

    Jose: I always assumed the Beetle was so called because its shape was like a, what do you call it? Oh yeah, a beetle. It is ugly, I suppose, but it’s an iconic ugliness.
    My main problem with them was that the clutch is kind of all or nothing, and hill starts can be a nightmare. They were also simple, which means they can be easily repaired and parts can even be locally fabricate, if needs be. It’s a shame there not making them anymore.
    The new “Beetle” is a bloody abomination to look at, though maybe the clutch is better.

    Tony: Thanks for clarifying what’s happened to your mate. That real life thing can keep people pretty busy, I hear ;-) Hope you’ll drop in from time to time.

    freespeech: Welcome to The Untrusted. The “form”, such as it is, is that we have a new “page” every day. Other than that, as long as you follow the guidelines at the top of the page, you’ll be welcome to stick around.
    In fact, I think someone else here might be interested in chatting to you regarding your views on the medicinal use of cannabis, about which I believe you are happy to express an opinion when pushed.

    Bitterweed: Ah yes, my mistake. So if you’re cooking the risotto, it’s OK, but if I want potatoes I should go to your brother. I’ll try to remember in future.

    Ooh, is that the time? I believe there’s some cricket coming on soon...

  17. andysays
    Always welcome mate!

    As is Cath.

  18. Martillo - try and drop in time to time, sorry to see "martillo" go to be honest, i liked the moniker, its an old one too, been around the block.

    "Buddy Guy
    Finest living bluesman. Period."

    Gotta agree, BW, still havent seen him play live, very very annoyed. Him and Derek Trucks I am desperate to go and see. Peter Greens still going isnt he? He's gotta be right up there.

    Freespeechoneach - this whole Cath thing is becoming almost surreal. Really, let it go, we all make mistakes sometimes and get in a huff about nothing, and i think thats exactly what this is. Hanging up your keyboard over a rhtorical device Cath used and openly acknowledged? Come on, this is bizarre. Maybe take a break, draw a line under it, forget about it, and just get back to posting as usual, move on. If it was really so unforgivable im sure lots of other posters would share that view, so far every one i have seen is baffled that anyone would get so worked up over it. Cif is losing too many posters at the minute, and there is a small army of cretins waiting in the wings - for all its wrongs it is worth preserving.

  19. On potatoes Wiki says:

    "Almost all the protein content of a potato is contained in a thin layer just under its skin. This is evident when the skin of a boiled potato is carefully peeled; it appears as a yellowish film. For maximum utilisation of this small, but valuable dietary source of protein, potatoes should be consumed whole, or peeled after cooking."

    @ Edwin - that's our favourite variety and method of cooking potatoes too, save that we like duck/goose fat more than olive oil. The rosemary really does add that special little extra!

    @ freespeech - yea Andy's right I was making enquires about the possible medicinal benefits of cannabis for a 62 year old lady with severe arthritic pain in spine/hands/knees. I would welcome any views you have. (She has recently been prescribed the NHS tablet equivalent of cannabis?) The lady is a non-smoker but can bake cookies?


  20. Morning all....

    Cannot believe that the one night I get to keep up with UT everything descends into bickering and yet the next night there is a lively debate about a subject very close to my own heart...

    Perhaps next time someone could initiate a discussion about cheese.....

  21. How about the Black Lace fib Cath? Did that not count?

    And I've got to say, I can't read your comments on rape/lap dancing/prostitution in any other way either - you *do* say that "exploiting" women via prostitution is too high a price to pay for reducing rape; that you aren't willing to see one group of women exploited in order to safeguard another.

    Seems to me you're so wrapped up in this falsehood that all prostitutes are helpless victims that you see it as equivalent to rape, and that's why you can make such bizarre comments.

  22. JayReilly
    Good comment

    (BTW Peter Green is one of rock's greatest tragedies. A brilliant, articulate player with a voice revealing pain and experince decades beyond his age, took according to Mick Fleetwood, only about seven tabs of acid accross the course of a year (a drop in the ocean compared to the average late sixties scenster)... this led to a pshychological disintegration he has never recovered from. The unanimous, saddened reports I hear from his sporadic 'comeback' gigs over the last few years are usually along the lines of "moments of lucidity and that wonderful old Peter Green fire, but mostly just noodling rubbish. Sad. He was astonishingly good with the Mac, by anyone's standards. Funny (well tragic) how Kirwain and Spencer all lost it in similar ways round the same time... Best British blues band of the sixties I reckon.)

    It was great thanks.

  23. Bitterweed - saw him on youtube yesterday, looking very old and none too healthy, not great playing either. Sad indeed. I have a live recording of black magic woman with the most beautiful tone i have ever heard on any track, loved him ever since i heard that.

    "He has the sweetest tone I ever heard. He’s the only one who gave me the cold sweats."

    BB King.

  24. @ Vari - no discussion required ***Blue Stilton*** rules

  25. Heston Blumenfish30 July, 2009 11:27


    You put lard in mash? What's the matter with you? Lard FFS! Lard's for frying chips...you don't eat it...bit of dripping maybe..if you're off on a fifties retro jaunt.

  26. JayReilly
    Oh yes, that tone. I'm at work, but try You Tubing "Love That Burns" from about 1968. I'll have a go later. If it ain't there, I'll put it there. Forking awesome.

    I realise now that, when "mashing the thoroughly cooked potatoes, add seasoning and use a small amount of butter and milk" I should have stuck with the programme. Couldn't find the butter, so used the 'next best' thing or so I though - a dessert spoonful of lard.

    On reflection, I wish I'd had that c@nt Ramsay around. His head would have exploded.

  27. Heston Fish

    You can use lard to slick your hair back - but not reccomended in a place with hot lights.

    Beef dripping with a dash of salt between two slices of Mother's Pride - a fine start to an evening on the pop.


  28. BW

    A good way to remember the difference:

    butter - from the tit of a cow
    lard - from under the skin of a pig.


  29. Talking of music again - not lard - I see Marek Kohn has popped up on CiF explaining again why the English are the only people in the world who are not to be allowed a cultural identity - curious that the socialists have yet to pick up how counter-productive this demand is.

  30. Gordon Ramsayfish


    Considered going on 'Come Dine with Me'?


    Cream of Lard Soup with Lardons


    Deep fried Battered Pork Belly with Lard infused Mashed Potato


    Deep fried Mars Bar with home made icedlard.

  31. Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for the lard...


    #It is one of the biggest complaints about globalisation: that as market forces sweep across the world, so does Western culture. In the end, many fret, whether you are in New York, Rome, Beijing or Mumbai you will buy the same pair of jeans in the same shopping mall, drink the same overpriced latte in the same coffee shop, and watch the same dreary Hollywood blockbuster. Local culture will be no more.

    Ironically, though, the greatest Western cultural export is not Disney or Starbucks or Tom Cruise. It is the very idea of local culture. A notion that originated in late-eighteenth century Europe, in the Romantic backlash against the Enlightenment, has today the whole world in its grip. Every island in the Pacific, every tribe in the Amazon, has its own culture that it wants to defend against the depredation of Western cultural imperialism. You do not even have to be human to possess a culture. Primatologists tell us that different groups of chimpanzees each has its own culture. No doubt some chimp will soon complain that its traditions are disappearing under the steamroller of human cultural imperialism.#

  32. Frank, I seldom agree with you, but Kohn is talking absolute b@llocks and specifically utterly misrepresenting Show of Hands. How dare he cite them in some lazy sneering w@nkfest about folk music and the far right. Pillock.

    For anyone interested, here are their lyrics to "Roots" - people can make up their own minds. That piece epitomises why I won't go near CiF any more. Sneering, condescending and factually incorrect, then the f@cking mods wonder whence our 'vitriol' btl. Turds.

    Now it's been 25 years or more
    I've roamed this land from shore to shore
    From Tyne to Teign, or Severn to Thames
    From moor to vale, from peak to fen

    Played in cafes, pubs and bars
    I've stood in the street with my own guitar
    But I'd be richer than all the rest
    If I had a pound for each request

    For 'Duelling Banjos', 'American Pie'
    It's enough to make you cry
    'Rule Britannia', or 'Swing low...'
    Are they the only songs we English know?

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    They're never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    They need roots

    After the speeches, when the cake's been cut
    The disco's over and the bar is shut
    At christening, birthday, wedding or wake
    What can we sing 'til the morning breaks

    When the Indians, Asians, Afro-Celts
    It's in their blood, below their belt
    They're playing and dancing all night long
    So what have they got right that we've got wrong?

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    They're never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    They need roots and

    Haul away boys, let them go
    Out in the wind and the rain and snow
    We've lost more than we'll ever know
    'Round the rocky shores of England
    We need roots

    And a minister said his vision of hell
    Is three folk singers in a pub near Wales
    Well, I've got a vision of urban sprawl
    There's pubs where no-one ever sings at all

    And everyone stares at a great big screen
    Overpaid soccer stars, prancing teens
    Australian soap, American rap
    Estuary English, baseball caps

    And we oughta be ashamed of all we walk
    Of the way we look, at the way we talk
    Without our stories or our songs

    How will we know where we come from?
    I've lost St. George and the Union Jack
    That's my flag too and I want it back

    Seed, bark, flower, fruit
    Never gonna grow without their roots
    Branch, stem, shoot
    We need roots

    Haul away boys, let them go
    Out in the wind and the rain and snow
    We've lost more than we'll ever know
    'Round the rocky shores of England
    We need roots...


    Bollocks to CIF.

  33. Thanks for the culinary tips by the way ;-)

  34. ' I see Marek Kohn has popped up on CiF explaining again why the English are the only people in the world who are not to be allowed a cultural identity'

    I see this as a bonus not a lack Frank. Scotland rarely play England at football because of fear of English hooligans, but Scotland also rarely play the Republic of Ireland because when they do large numbers of Celtic supporters turn up waving Irish tricolours and you start getting commentators going on about them not being 'True Scots'.

    Fluid identity is a good thing: my mother-in-law is a Shetlander, and she's Shetland first, British second and Scottish a long way behind, round about the Norway identity level.

    Am sure I've mentioned two Glasgow girls of Pakistani origin here before; in Glasgow they are conscious of their Pakistani/Muslim heritage, when they meet their English relations, they feel Scottish, when they visit Pakistan they feel very British.

    It's all fine!

  35. Bitterweed you forced me to go back to CIf to read the Kohn piece: utter drivel it is. Steve Knightley is a genius (I first heard him on Radio 3, odd as it seems) and is also very popular with Scottish folkies.

  36. Edwin Moore
    Indeed; it's an example of CIF in its purest form. A dishonest or at least lazy and ill informed analysis, that nonetheless ticks all the right-on boxes.

    And they wonder why we throw tomatoes.

  37. No play in the cricket :-(

    Bitterweed & Edwin: Yes, yes, and yes again.

    Here’s some contemporary Scottish folk music...
    (*play fucken loud*)

  38. It's all fine!

    I beg to disagree. And i'm talking about English identity, not British. I have never felt British, never particularly wanted to. I'm English, I feel English. I feel I know what it is to be English. When people like Kohn tell me this has no meaning, that it isn't even possible, that even if it were, it would be a bad thing, I just wish he would fuck off. In fact there's a whole host fo things he's saying that make me want to tell him to fuck off...

    It just baffles me how these people with a socialist/anti racist/ why can't we all just getalong agenda cannot see how what they're doing is making everything worse. WHY do we English have to justify our fondness for a particular music, particular place, justify our sense of belonging? Why? Kohn wouldn't ask anyone else to do that - why us?

    martillo meantions "last straws" on CiF above; since I quit I keep finding a dozen things, every day, that *would* have been my last straw. I am so quit from CiF. I couldn't be more quit if I became allergic to electrons. I really dont' understand what the hell they are doing. It's like Stalin's scorched earth policy or something; but why? Totally bizarre.

  39. Cultural attache fish from the lager federation.30 July, 2009 12:36

    Do we need a cultural identity? At some point in the past culture achieved a sort of self-awareness. Prior to that they just got on with living their lives blissfully unaware that they were ever partaking in something called culture.

    Once a culture has been identified and described it becomes politicised which distorts the whole thing. Rather than simply evolving or indeed disappearing, the culture in question gets fetishised and consciously preserved in a way that is not at all natural. Worst of all, these artificially privileged and bastardised cultures are thrust into a competetive marketplace slugging it out for funding by stressing their purity and authenticity.

    They're like some dusty, glassy-eyed, stuffed hyena shoved on a museum shelf. We all walk past, pretending to read the bumph about how their environment is under threat and what well adapted creatures they are, but really, we're just killing time before we get to the multicoloured, interactive model space shuttle.

  40. Do we need a cultural identity?

    What we don't need are people telling us we can't have one.

    We don't need to overthink it, or over-emphasise it, but nor should we be instructed to overlook it. There is something that runs deeper than big brother and sleb watching and it *is* connected to the land, and history, and perhaps even blood. And you bet Griffin would love to tap into it. But then so does that arse Brown.

    And it's not just on what you lot would consider the Right. I remember... well it's almost exactly ten years ago - the eclipse. Beforehand I'd worked out where I wanted to see it from - I wanted space and seclusion, so dragged out the OS maps, found a tiny ruined stone circle five miles onto Bodmin Moor, figure no one would be there. And sure enough as we walked in on that morning there was no one around except a few ponies. But by eleven, there were maybe fifty people around. All sorts. Mr and Mrs Average, travellers, rave kiddies - some with picnics, some with horns and drums. Like some Quatermass movie, the English had thought, "where do you watch a total eclipse from?" and for some reason had decided "a stone circle". As the sun went away and blackness fell the people howled and drummed and blew their horns as the very people who built that circle might have done five thousand years earlier...

    I call that a fucking identity. Marek Kohn can fuck off.

  41. I’m basically with Fishface (LOL) on this one. I’m the sole representative of the andysays culture.

    Although my passport says I’m British, my sex/gender is male and my skin is a sort of very pale pink colour, I define myself at least as much by my divergence from the stereotypical cultural conventions of what those things mean as by my adherence to said conventions.

    But then being a contrary fucker has always been central to the andysays culture, and to limit me in being so is clearly to oppress my rights to cultural autonomy, innit?

  42. Oh, Frank, I think you'll find that seeking out stone circles precedes those Angle-ish invaders....

    Being from Norn Iron, when the flags start waving and the songs start being sung, I start looking for somewhere good to hide.

    Otoh, on goes my Ireland shirt during 6 Nations.

  43. Hi Tony.
    Cath pretended she didn't know something, when she did. It was deceitful. And apparently it's a habit. Not only about Ian Gibson's house sale proceeds (NOT pension as I said earlier,) but also- it occurs to me now- about rape. She knows there are male rape victims, but by the way she writes, no-one would guess. So people who do not know there are male rape victims will not be enlightened by Cath; they will be further misled.
    No- one should ever be misled on purpose. A writer owes his/ her readers the truth. Without truth, there is no communication. Without communication there is no progress and no hope.
    Cath persists in taking these comments as though they are intended as personal insults. She replies to me as though personal insults impress me. Neither is true. My comments are criticism. To the open mind, criticism is a blessing. To the bigot and to the liar, it is a threat.
    Cath called me a lair, and I have challenged her to substantiate the charge. Faced with this challenge, she has retreated into her customary "I'm not talking to you..."
    Unless and until Cath provides evidence that I have lied, I will be grateful to other readers who disbelieve Cath's easy, unsupported slur.
    It is certainly untrue to claim, as Cath does, that she has no influence on what gets deleted. We all do- via that "report abuse" button. I do not believe for one minute Cath has not reported every one of my criticisms via that button. I suspect she has privately encouraged others to follow. (I've heard it said there is an email tree among the rad fems for this very purpose.) If I'm wrong in this, she has only to say so.

    Dear Jay. We have to agree to differ on this, I'm afraid. I can't remember a time I thought you were so wrong; usually you're pretty much spot on.
    There is no way I'm wasting my time on CiF so long as it is a tyranny of the mendacious.

    On the happier subject of medicinal cannabis; I'd love to help. But it will be in a new post!

  44. Freespeach, fair enough, but i think an awful lot that is technically "dishonest" is not malign, its often even benign, the "white lie" etc. Every human being is dishonest in some respect probably almost every day of their lives. I dont think Caths example really harmed anyone nor particularly benefitted her, she hasnt cheated something from someone by dishonest means. And in the grand scheme of CIF lies from ATLs, this really is pitifully small. Biddy, for example, never retracted the statement, "DV is the leading cause of death for women in the UK". It kills about a hundred a year, heart disease alone causes something like 30,000. Thats what i call a lie.

  45. Anyone else really got the hots for Lisa Kudrow BTW?

    Think I might invite her over for pi and mash.

  46. Freespeechoneeach, please don't take this the wrong way, but isn't it time to drop it?

    Thauma, have to take you up on a comment you made about Crouch, he's admittedly not in the Brad Pitt mould (thank goodness), but I would.....

  47. thauma: I’m with you on the “English” thing.

    As I’ve attempted to argue on CiF before now, England and Englishness are only really valid to a specific part of the history of the island on which most of us here currently live.

    The Anglo Saxons arrived here in about 400AD, so England didn’t exist at all before that. And the Acts of Union between the English and Scottish Parliaments came into effect on May 1st 1707.

    England ceased to exist in any meaningful way about 300 years ago.

    Some people obviously didn’t pay attention in history class...

  48. If you want her to put out BW, you might reconsider the mash part of your menu.

  49. Right! Eating dope! Hurrah!
    Some basics first. Cannabis eaten or drunk is absorbed entirely differently from cannabis smoked. Smoked, cannabis enters the bloodstream and brain very quickly and the effects last two or three hours, not more. Cannabis eaten is processed by the stomach, liver and kidneys before it enters the bloodstream and brain. The chemical composition is actually altered in the process; (it becomes what is known as an endocannabinoid.) Consequently, cannabis eaten takes at least an hour, typically two, to have any noticable effect. But once active, the effects are much more persistent and will last at least six, probably eight hours.
    Leaving aside the super- strong varieties, by smoking cannabis in moderation you're unlikely to
    reach an overdose level. But by eating cannabis, the overdose level's quite easy to reach, and care must be taken.
    What do I mean by overdose? Well, it's what the prohibitionists like to call psychosis and old- time freaks call paranoia. It's an unpleasant mental disturbance, usually very fearful.
    Everyone has a different overdose level- so newbies need to be extra careful about dosages while they discover what they can tolerate.
    If you get into overdose, two things only to remember. One. It's temporary- you will be okay tomorrow. And two. Never take big decisions or make rash judgements in this state. Much better to concentrate on keeping warm and trying to relax.
    All that said, cannabis was used for centuries as a medicine. Its prohibition coincided with the discovery of aspirin.
    Properly used, it's an amazing remedy for a host of problems; including chronic pain and inflammation.

    How to make cannabis preparations will be a new post, coming soon folks.

  50. Bitterweed, to expand on vari’s comment:

    I heard your brother was a hit with Jennifer and Courtney when he had them round for pie and mash.

    Maybe you should stick to risotto with their mate?

  51. Freespeech - interesting post on eating vs smoking, thanks, but can I ask you to also please give it a rest on Cath? I don't see the dishonesty either in what she said. (And I don't agree with a lot of her opinions on sex workers.)

    Vari - Brad Pitt does nothing for me but I'm afraid that, if forced to choose between him & Crouch, I'd have to go Brad.

  52. England ceased to exist in any meaningful way about 300 years ago.

    Balls. And India didn't exist until the Raj? Kurds doesn't exist even now? Funny, cus I'm sitting opposite one.

    The *name* and political nature of a region or nation may change, the region does not. Earth Abides. The Romans may have chased off druids and picts and angles, those druids and picts chased off others,a nd sometimes they got chased back. Yes this place is and always has been a hotch potch - your point? My missus is convinced I hail from a lot further north - as I'm never comfortable in anything warmer than 15C, she's from parts south and hates the cold, the kids are a range in between. Doesn't mean any of us are seeking, or should be seeking, any kind of cultural background other than the one we were born into and raising in and... sometimes perhaps choose.

    BTW, does each and every comment from MattS seem calculated to enrage, or is it just me?

  53. Deano - re roast tatties - agree about the goose fatr :-P

  54. Well Thauma, its good to know that if we were ever to be marooned on a desert island with messrs pitt and crouch we will be well prepared to satisfy our needs.....

  55. @ Freespeech

    That's a great start to my quest for more knowledge on the subject. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions in due course but carry on with the explain for now - I'm learning.

    regards deano

  56. BTW, does each and every comment from MattS seem calculated to enrage, or is it just me?

    Bugs the shit out of me, Pikey, makes a farce out of any claim he has to objectivity. if nothing else.

  57. Frank: The fact that the nature of the people living in a region changes over time, for any number of reasons, is so obvious that I won’t even bother to explain how and why.

    *Earth Abides*
    Well, in some ways I suppose it does, but even in purely physical, geographic and environmental terms, the island on which you and I live is totally different now to the place where your druid mates did their thing.

    Not just history lessons you bunked off, then?

  58. Making good cannabis recipes is based on another fact about the cannabis molecule: its chemical affinity with fats. As water and alcohol bind together, so do cannabis and dietary fats. Combining fats and cannabis well is the key to good recipes.
    A recipe I use all the time (for pain relief- I don't get stoned!) is a simple combination of hash and soya milk. You can do it with cow's milk too- I happen to be intolerant to it.
    You get some ordinary hash and powder it. Various ways to do this, but I like to shred it with a sharp knife. You only need a level teaspoonful. (Always use the same secret chopping board, and don't wash it. In times of scarcity there will be a little reserve there.)
    Heat one litre of milk to boiling point. Remove from the heat, stir in the powder with the tip of a knife (to break up the lumps) and return to the heat. Simmer for about ten minutes (or two minutes in a pressure cooker)- watch it doesn't boil over(!)- and then allow to cool. Use a latex knife to get every last bit out of the pan into a nice jug or other fridge container. Keeps up to a week in the fridge. Use in tea or coffee. A tablespoon is enough for a dose. DON'T TAKE TOO MUCH! You can always come back for more in two hours if its not working, but if you get paranoid, you're stuck with it.

    If you can't get hash, you can use grass. Depending on the strength of the weed, you need to vary the ammount you put in. Always err on the side of caution. (See above.) Dry the weed out thoroughly first (2 minutes in a hot oven if needs be,) and then powder it in a coffee blender (30 seconds) before use.
    With super- skunk I'd use an eighth of the volume of hash in the recipe. With a mellower weed, maybe half as much. I usually make cookies with weed though- another post on the way about that.

  59. I've got no problem with anyone identifying with Englishness although I am a bit confused about what is comprehended by Englishness that wouldn't also be comprehended by Britishness - but no doubt that is my own problem as a not-English person. (I'm thinking things like Real Ale, pies, cream teas, etc. - all enjoyed throughout the British Isles.)

    Frank, I think the point about druids and Angles and a' that is that someone from Newcastle, while English, is probably going to have a lot more in common, culturally, with a lowland Scot than with someone from southern England.

    That is partly geography, partly politics and partly the fact that invaders tended to invade from the southeast and push outwards, thereby pushing the Celts (and others) to the "fringes".

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. Funnily enough, Frank, my “missus” (don’t let her know I called her that) is happier with the heat than I am.

    Maybe it’s because one of her grandparents was Mexican, or maybe it’s because she was born in Brighton.

    Or maybe she is just happier with the heat than I am...

  62. @ annetan - I thought you might agree on the fat.

    What about the Cheese I posted for Vari to savour *** Blue Stilton*** (left at a warm room temperature for several and a few days - just before it finally starts to revert to liquid?). Me all time favourite.

    There is however that soft fat/blue French one (the one where the salt rises to the surface in the sweat of the cheese as it comes to room temp) I forget it's name St ???

    And that absurdly and unexpectedly delicious Dutch stuff "Old Amsterdam"

    Then there is that total contradiction in terms "Mature Lancashire" - only ever seen on the market in Lancaster. Nectar Nectar ((Sweated and salted whey held in suspension between strong tasting crumbs of traditional farmhouse Lancs)) Melt in your soul cheese.

  63. thauma: interesting point, if slightly simplistic (though I note the word tended).

    Those crafty buggers the Vikings actually arrived from the North and East and West (via Ireland) taking everyone by surprise.

    Now, of course, the invaders arrive in specially chartered luxury planes, at every airport the length and breadth of the land. It’s a wonder there’s any room left for those poor druids...

  64. Sorry Deano30....

    Is it St Agur? I love that, even more that I do Stilton - which incidentally always has to be blue and where the fuck do people get off making white stilton and putting apricots in it?

    I never thought I was a fan of the soft french cheeses, but I've recently been doing a lot of cooking with brie and camembert and they're working out well. Also, brie is fantastic in a baguette with a sharp apple chutney. However, on a cheeseboard, they would be my last choices.

    Which brings me to a really, really strong cheddar, so strong that when you put it in your mouth you actually get that tingling sensation. On a cracker, that is the King of the Cheeses.....

  65. Blue Stilton, yes, lovely! A nice ripe Camembert, yum.

    Lots of other superb cheeses in the world but I've forgotten the names of most of the ones I like best. Ewes' milk and goats' milk ones tend to be scrummy. (Am obviously assuming it takes the milk of more than one ewe or goat to make the cheese....)

  66. Vari

    where the fuck do people get off making white stilton and putting apricots in it?

    That makes me very, very angry too.

  67. Thanks for pointing out the Marek thread. Possibly best for Andy not to go there without medication, since Imogen's doing more to convince us that she is a comedy luvvie with tales of her dabbling in rap ("at uni, I highly recommend having a go yourself ... the rhytmic style is a great way to get past your inhibitions and extreemly cathartic if a particular subject is bugging you"; priceless) and folk music ("at drama school").

  68. Excellent, we won't even be disagreeing about cheese when we're marooned.

    And very much with you Thauma on the goats cheese, especially when lightly grilled and served with dressed salad leaves and some really good bread. Walnut bread in particular works well.

  69. Nice one andysays


    In other news, viagra has today become available in powder form. You just add water and then drink it.

    So now a man can pour himself a stiff one...

  70. Some excellent cheese input too people. One hell of a thread today.

    Catch you all later, work to do...

  71. Hi thaumaturge,
    Only too happy to give it a rest! That's why I resigned from CiF after all.

    24 flapjacks made with weed.
    3 cups porridge oats.
    1 cup sugar (I mix 1/2 dark brown and 1/2 lo- cal sugar, for guilt-free yumminess.)
    1 large egg.
    Tablespoon of oil (I use hemp oil- from wholefood shop.)
    Level tablespoon of powdered grass. (I use a variety which is half as strong as skunk or less.)
    Teaspoon of vanilla essence
    1/2 teaspoon of salt.
    Cup- cake cases, 24.
    Preheat the oven to mark 5.

    Whisk the egg and stir in the oil, vanilla and salt. Add the sugar and stir to a smooth consistency. Carefully stir in the powdered grass. Stir the mix very thoroughly to ensure evenness.
    Add the oats bit- by- bit to make a managable mixture. Form the mix into a ball in your bowl.
    Lay out your cup cake cases. If you have those special baking trays to put them in, so much the better. If not, flat baking trays will do.
    Scoop up one tablespoon of the mix from the side of your ball and use the back of a teaspoon to shove it out into a case. Use the teaspoon to get every last bit out of the tablespoon, wiping off onto the top of your flapjack. Repeat until there are 24 filled cases in front of you. Distribute any remaining mix evenly until it's all used up.
    ( All this care is intended to ensure the flapjacks are all of the same strength.)
    Stick them in the oven for 20- 25 minutes. (If you don't have a fan- assisted oven, get them out and turn them/ swap them from lower to upper shelf half- way through to ensure even cooking.)
    When they're sizzling and golden- brown they're ready. Take them out early they'll be chewy, take them out late they'll be firm. Either way they'll be good for what ails you.
    No more than one a day, please!

    On very special occasions, you might like to upgrade to super chocolate topping. Get a couple of bars of good cooks chocolate. Avoid the supermarket branded ones- they're horrid. Green and Blacks do a nice one.
    Melt over a gentle heat in a double boiler. (Or in a small milk pan inside a large veg pan containing hot water.) You can add half a teaspoon of powdered hash and stir it in with a knife if you want to upgrade to getting- stoned cookies.
    Pour the melted chocky over your flappies evenly. Allow to cool.
    Play carefully, okay?
    Under no circumstances use with alcohol- that's an absolute no- no.

  72. the island on which you and I live is totally different now to the place where your druid mates did their thing.

    You know, I really don't think that it is. Sure the forests are gone and the people have chanegd and the landscape we see is largely a human one - but that was becoming true even 5000 years ago.

    Now, I don't know entirely what this might mean but I have absolute certainty that if I had a time machine that ws *also* a space machine - a tardis - and we wizzed back 5000 but got wormholed a few hundred miles and ended up in France, rather than England, I would feel *less* at home than if I were in this green and pleasant land...

    However, I also feel very drawn to the North - could be scando genes, could just tbe the iron in my soul...

    Don't get me started on those poxy fucking ID cards. Only this government could institute a PC big brother state - but then it's where we have been heading for some years.

  73. Hi Fencewalker:

    I had no intention of checking out the Kohn thread, but if imogen is on board, I might have to.

    No, I’m not going to pick on her anymore. I went too far last time and have already apologised.

    And don’t worry, I’ve already taken my Medication today, thank you.

    Mental illness isn’t a subject for throwaway “jokes”, in my opinion and my experience.


  74. Last one for today.
    The product Sativex is being given to some pain patients but only under special arrangements, as it has not been licensed. It does contain the cannabinoid which can help alleviate suffering. It also contains alcohol, I understand, so it's no use at all to someone like me.
    I believe you have to get a doctor and a pharmacist to agree to prescribe and dispense it, which is far from easy to do. The Government says there is no prospect whatever that raw cannabis will ever be considered as a possible therapy for pain patients. In this, they exhibit characteristic double standards. Raw natural products are used in their many thousands in Chinese medicine without let or hindrance.
    Cannabis was clearly too useful in controlling pain for the makers of Aspirin to compete with. Just as the paper, oil and alcohol industries have huge vested interests in keeping cannabis illegal, so do the manufacturers of analgesics.
    I wish all Sativex users well with it, and congratulate them on actually getting hold of it. I'd be really interested in hearing how they get on.
    Love to all, shutting up now....

  75. Frank: do yourself a favour.

    Read a Book

    Recommended to anyone with an interest in the British countryside and landscape, BTW

  76. freespeech: thanks for the tutorial.

    Personally, I get my medication through the NHS (see above) but the information you’ve provided is very useful.

    Welcome back anytime (as is everyone, of course).

  77. Damn! Said coffee blender. Meant coffee grinder. What an idiot!
    Powder your dry grass in a grinder not a blender. D'oh! I have no brain at all!
    That was a mistake, not a deliberate untruth. See the difference?

  78. freespeech: I hope you’re not posting “under the influence” ;-)

    Still no bloody cricket :-(

  79. Frank

    I'm guessing you're no great fan of multiculturalism or identity. But I don't see how this is consistent with bemoaning what you see as the lack of prominence given to English culture. I fuckin baulk at official or media notions of what culture is..I'm quite content for it to remain a personal attribute along with religion or sexuality. I don't want other people's culture shoved in my face and I particularly don't want to read some gobshite, oxbridge journalistic tyro comin' all over all 'social-anthropologist' in a piece on Morris Dancing or Bhangra nights.

    I think you'd be better spending your time attacking liberal attempts to fetishise and set everyday goings-on in some sort of cultural aspic. Keep your culture to yourself. Or at least be honest about it...I'd say however much we might like to pretend otherwise that if we audited our cultural influences, we'd all be at least 40% Hollywood, 20% 'X factor', 20% BBC and the rest...the stuff we admit to might be what we consider authentic and worthwhile...interests, activities, books, bands, music we feel paint us in a more favourable light.

    I was in Brighton Saturday, down on the beach. Bright sunshine, crazy golf, trampolines,trampolines, even one guy in a knotted handkerchief...'traditional English seaside culture'. Now a Guardian journo might start bemoaning the absence of McGill postcards, donkeys or Kiss Me Quick hats and probably look in the archives for a few photos from the fifties to set the scene in a seamless historical cultural continuum.

    However, I was bored out my tree..the only thing I was into was the ice cold Stella which I drank while watching the bungee jumping and eating the Thai chicken and noodles from a not so traditional seaside stall. Culture adapts, it has to. Otherwise it's not culture and in an ideal world, we'd lose the fuckin word altogether.

  80. trampolines, trampolines...WTF do I read into that?

  81. Just lost My post on Englishness:(

    So I'll try again.

    Most of you know I'm Welsh we are allowed to have our Welsh culture and to be proud of what we we are. This doesn't involve claiming that other people are rubbish, we all have the right to be proud of who we are. There is a difference between identity and identity politics.

    It is interesting to note that whereas the SNP and Plaid Cymru are mainstream parties that actually win elections, there is no equivalent party in England. I'm not a political nationalist but even though I am not a Welsh speaker (and the language has been an issue taken up by Plaid) I actually like our bi-lingual road signs because it makes it feel like 'home'. I'm not going to try to defend that entirely irrational response I can't except to say that I feel it.

    Of course the English have right to be proud of being English, its not even necessary to define what 'Englishness' is. It's almost certainly different things to different people. i'm sure the 'Welshness' that I am proud of is not the same as the Welshness worn with equal pride by those who inhabit the Maes (means field) at the national Eisteddford each to their own.

    Bitterweed - thanks for those lyrics the key words here are (I think).

    I've lost St George and the Union Jack, Its my flag too and i want it back'

    Who, I wonder do they want it back from?

  82. This comment has been removed by the author.

  83. But I don't see how this is consistent with bemoaning what you see as the lack of prominence given to English culture.

    I'm not moaning about lack of prominence, two other things - when it does appear, it's slagged off. When it does appear, we're told it's invalid.

    I dont' want the state or the arts council or anyone else running round *promoting* their idea of culture, which is invariably awful; rather, I want them to take their hands of grassroots *vernacular* culture - yet they do quite the reverse; to use other musical examples: attacking live music in pubs, attacking raves.

    Yes, culture is fluid - and it *never* comes from the top down.

  84. annetan42
    Knowing that band, they want them back from football hooligans and racists, Nick Griffin etc. I can see how easy it is to infer the oposite for Kohn if taken without knowledge or context. Which is the blase, sneering CIF attidude.

    The meaning is in this: go to Ireland and you'll find plenty of bars with local live music, scotland the same. In the UK, well, the key lines are here:

    "And a minister said his vision of hell
    Is three folk singers in a pub near Wales
    Well, I've got a vision of urban sprawl
    There's pubs where no-one ever sings at all"

    "And everyone stares at a great big screen
    Overpaid soccer stars, prancing teens
    Australian soap, American rap
    Estuary English, baseball caps"


  85. If anyone has a bit of time to spare please read the following, it really is quite superb but needs some patience early on, it is a quite brilliant scam played on some email scammers (members of the Nigerian elite no doubt), you have to read the first link before the second, and the first is quite lengthy, but stick with it, the finale is fantastic.



  86. Ahh Oliver Rackham, good book by a good scholar (Hoskins is still a good, if often wrongish read, too). The new English Heritage series on the English regions is a nice looking set as well.

    I'm afraid, Andy, your medication has too few afros for me.

  87. good to see you back fencewalker.

  88. Frank - quite agree about culture rising from below. The English can only rediscover their culture (and so continue to create it) if the decision(not sure thats the right word?) is from the grass roots.

    External authorities cannot do it, the question that really interests me is what exactly destroyed this sense of culture in the first place? or is it actually still there but not visible. One thing is certain, its no use asking the Graun!

  89. Bitterweed, thats why i said that verse was key in this particular context. Its just not PC the union flag is it? Its come to represent Racism, fascism and imperialism.

    Mind you I would be inclined to say that the those are things it DOES represent. The problem for the English is that the English flag (the cross of St George) isn't much better, the people need to claim that back too.

    Or better still create a new one.

  90. Re Kohn thread - love English Hermit's comment about Excalibuer.

  91. Why is it that the English have such a problem with identity? People here in Spain seem to have a much better time of it, even those (Catalans and Basques, principally, though not all of them) who are arguing for a different cultural identity. There are so many great fiestas, and the one small thing that limits my enjoyment is a feeling of envy.

    Cath, I'm convinced of your basic honesty (well, apart from finding so many feminist writers 'brilliant' or 'great').

    Freespeech: I agree with others: I hope you'll drop this 'cos as far as I'm concerned the incident you describe was a simple piece of rhetoric such as many of us might use.

    Potatoes: 1. Roasted in Goosefat
    2. Home - made chips
    3. Tortilla de patatas
    4. Mash.
    5. Dauphinoise

  92. "England and Englishness are only really valid to a specific part of the history of the island on which most of us here currently live."

    Sorry, have to disagree there. Regardless of the roots of the word concept or country, I am english, and I live in england. Whether or not that is identical or completely different to the historical definition of english is utterly irrelevant: it is just the name to ascribe to a group of people of which I am one.
    I am technically british but actually english. What some people seem to be suggesting is that people in the uk are either welsh, scottish, irish or british. And that isn't true. It isn't something I have strong feelings on (I'm not massively proud to be english) but its definitely part of my identity.

  93. The best cheese in the world is halloumi.

    Thats a fact and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

  94. I'm not going to fight you Sealion, its a great cheese, and definitely the best cheese in the world, for the barbecue. You need to have a system of categories, in my opinion.

    Why has nobody mentioned the baked potato? They're delicious, particularly when filled with cheese....(and beans, cheese in first, I'm not a heathen)

  95. @ Vari

    It was St Agur that I had in mind (a delight and a half in my book)- guess you've seen some UK supermarkets are stocking it now.

    I know what you mean about that tongue tingle from a very fine long matured Cheddar on the neutral base of a suitable cracker.

  96. monkeyfish..citizen of the Earth30 July, 2009 16:27

    I'm not English...never have been...I'm scouse-which is a state of mind..not a geographical accident of birth. I've got 4 Irish grandparents more cousins than you could shake a stick at and no culture. I eat curry at least 3 times a week, Attenborough and Sport aside-despise the output of the BBC and tend to favour black American music. The Royal family make my skin crawl. I just don't 'get' cricket and I have huge issues with virtually everything said and done by mainstream political parties in the last decade at least. That said, I don't think I'm especially untypical and, although I'd reject the label, am not untypically English.

    Regarding the many 'what is Englishness' tropes that have recently emerged, all leave me cold and I don't identify with any. I don't think we need a reemergence of English culture. I think we need to drop culture from the vocabulary.

  97. I've noticed that they've made a St Agur spread, its borderline criminal and very disappointing when you've bollocksed up your online shopping order.

    Don't get me started on crackers.

  98. Hmm... I feel you are damning the noble halloumi with faint praise, Vari. The list of cheeses you can successfully barbecue is, after all, rather short.
    The first time I went to Northern Ireland I was introduced to cheesy chips. Utter genius. Deep fried potato stuck together with cheese. It looked like someone's brain.

  99. Cheese is OK though..or it was until that goon from Blur started getting all poncey about it and started littering the pages of your glossy English colour supplements with his inane gobshitery.

    I like Stilton, white Lancashire or Cambozola...I'm such a foodie

    PS. Bitterweed

    Lard isn't cheese. (just to clear up any confusion next time you're in the fridge)

  100. Last night potatoes, this afternoon cheese.
    Untrusted pisses on CiF for debating the issues that matter, doesn’t it?

    I’m afraid I’m something of a traditionalist in matters cheese-related too.
    Can’t beat a good cheddar (Isle of Bute is my current fave)

  101. With you there Cheesefish. No matter how delicious his cheese might be (no jokes please), I would be put off it by the gurning twat producer.

    And thats not a measure of my pettiness, thats a measure of how much of a cock he is.

  102. Sealion: disagree by all means.

    Re-reading my comment, I missed out the important qualification that I don’t have any problem with anyone identifying themselves as English (or anything else). I only have a problem with the little-Englanders who argue that their Englishness makes them special, more entitled, etc.

    I’ve come up against them on CiF, but no one is doing that here, certainly not you.

    My mistake (though freespeech and all his chat about cannabis is probably to blame for my forgetting to include that bit before)

  103. Nothing to say this time except what a great thread - love it.

    Oh and for our cheesey friends, I live just a few yards from the Glasgow Mellis, one of the greatest cheese shops in Britain. I bake our own bread normally, but they also do gorgeous baguetttes which I can't. And the best unsalted butter.


  104. How do I send an email to Montana anyone?

    The link/thing at the top of the page seems to want to limit me to 300 characters.

    I know that she has published her email address here on UT but I don't want to wade back through the weeks and weeks to find it.

    Anybody oblige with her email address please?

  105. Deano, here it is:


    When are you going to tell us about the weekend, you old tease?

  106. deano


    Sorry, been in various rivers for the last couple of days, are there any vegetable questions you lot still want answered?

    (Be warned though, I've been working more on animals for the last 10 years or so!)

  107. Seen it now - there is an email link through her profile!!

  108. Deano - what about Bresse Blue - beautiful soft French blue cheese

  109. I once met some bus-dwelling tpes - perhaps FrankFisher met them at the '99 eclipse - who used to make hash pipes out of root vegetables.

    The potato was a favourite because of its cooling effect on the smoke.

    And once again, thanks, once again, for the heads-up Cheesefish.

  110. Thanks Guys

    @ Montana there is a begging email on it's way too you - a request to help me remedy a silly ill advised indiscretion of mine. Hope you will be able to help.

    Deano must remember to log in here via his Gmail account - because that gives him the power to delete his own nonsense without sending begging emails!! Prat Deano slinks off to walk the dogs.

  111. Not the mass produced Bresse Bleu - but the original Bleu de Bresse I should have said. Yum.

  112. This English/British question. Maybe it isn't my place to put in an opinion, but I'm going to and I'll try to do it gently. Haven't seen the Cif thread that has sparked the debate.

    You're never going to keep people from turning to the BNP if you fail to acknowledge their fears/discomfort about immigration or simply dismiss them as racism. I've seen people on Cif claim that saris and curry are as English as tweed and chips. That's nonsense and when you try to make claims like that, you're only going to make matters worse.

    I also don't see what's racist in expecting immigrants to try to adapt to the host culture. I don't mean that non-Christians have to convert or anything like that, but when you choose to live in a culture that is not your own, you must expect to adapt to that culture. If I moved to Pakistan, I would wear shalwar kameez and learn to speak Urdu. I wouldn't expect to walk around in shorts and sleeveless tops. I wouldn't decorate my house at Christmas time.

    I don't sympathise with the BNP but I also think it's risible to claim that there's no such thing as 'Englishness'.

  113. About this Englishness thing Frank is banging on about - I find myself in agreement with Roy Hattersley when he says:

    not making a fuss about being English seems to me an essential ingredient of Englishness

    Englishness, Roy Hattersley

  114. @ Montana

    Please see my comment to you at 17:40 above.

    I must say that your comment at 17:43 above is finely tuned but very very close to what many, at least here, in the North of England are thinking.

    A lot is allowed to pass without comment in England(but it is not unobserved and it is not without angst) because of the alleged "tolerance" of the English.

    Tolerance and inclusiveness sit fairly naturally and comfortably together but they should not be taken for granted and nor should they be seen as sign of indifference.

    Do you know the story of the Quaker and the selling of the string by the measure of your conscience?

    Quakers are the most tolerant of people but they can be riled and disturbed by lack of conscience

    Plainly to abuse the hospitality of a tolerant soul is not a good idea and sadly may well be get intolerance.

  115. Montana

    " I wouldn't decorate my house at Christmas time."

    Lots of Muslims love Christmas and although they don't celebrate it in the same way, they enjoy sending out and receiving cards and being included in the festivities - in the same way I send out Eid Mubarak cards to Muslim friends and join their celebrations.

    We had a big Pakistani wedding in the street last weekend - with music and drumming - lots of wedding cars with the traditional 'English' ribbons decorating them - everyone in their best clothes - some European some Asian - and all were welcomed to join in - its very mix and match round here which is what i like about it, as did all the other 'English' in the street as far as I could tell and it's a very working class neighbourhood which is probably why it was so exuberant.

  116. Montana: of course you can offer your opinion.

    Interesting that you pick on Tweed and chips as your examples of things which are English.

    I’ve always thought of Tweed as being Scottish, though apparently there’s an Irish variety too. So although it’s worn in England and by the English, it’s not made here/there. And although fish and chips is (are?) seen as a great British (not exclusively English) tradition, I’ve frequently heard that it was introduced here by Jewish refugees from the Spanish Inquisition.

    I point this out not to split hairs or pick holes in what you’re saying (who, me?), but to point out that many of the things now considered English/British, including all the people who live here (Britain was uninhabitable during the last Ice Age) have come from somewhere else.

    All the arguing regarding immigration is just about who arrived before some arbitary cut-off point, whether it’s first Neolithic people, the Anglo-Saxon influx or the docking of the Windrush.

    We in Britain (just as the vast majority of you in the US) are all immigrants and as soon as anyone suggests that anyone should, in effect, fuck off to where they came from, they completely undermine their own case for staying.

    There is something called “Englishness”, obviously, but it’s always going to be a pretty vague and subjective term, and therefore not terribly useful.

  117. Fuck me, Jay, you weren't joking about it being lengthy! Funny though!

  118. cheese eating no surrender take no prisoners monkey30 July, 2009 18:30


    No problem matey..any other culinary tips you want just fire away...alternatively go to..cheesefish.com/what is lard?

    Motto: blessed are the cheesemakers except that prick outa Blur
    ...contrary to the scurrilous slander put about by the Life of Brian, this does not extend to other producers of other dairy products, especially yoghurt.

  119. Yes, Andy, the Yanks who solved the problem of the Troubles by asserting that the Prods should just leave Ireland were very annoying. Especially as most of their foreparents arrived in the US long after the Prods did in NI.

    Still, I don't give a toss if anyone who identifies as English calls themselves such and enjoys whatever are English traditions.

    However (and I'm probably going to annoy people here, but fuckit), I do see a teeny bit of irony in English people complaining that they have no representation etc. when in fact the current situation in the UK is entirely due to the English conquering the other bits and enforcing their rule.

    And I know we can't blame today's English for what happened 800 years ago, but still....

    The real crisis in identity, I think, is due to a huge influx of immigrants - the sheer numbers causing a disinclination to assimilation. This affects all of the UK, but England disproportionally as this is where most immigrants have settled.

    And no, I am not a BNP member, nor would I consider becoming so in a thousand years. The government has to acknowledge that this is a problem.

  120. Er - I didn't mean that the problem is that I'm not considering BNP membership....

    Note to self: read before posting.

  121. thauma: *the English conquering the other bits*?

    As I’ve mentioned already today

    *The Acts of Union between the English and Scottish Parliaments came into effect on May 1st 1707*

    Were you off for a crafty fag with Frank for that history lesson?

    Right, I’m off again. Good evening to you all.

  122. In other news, here's the latest on Swine Flu

  123. Andy - I was referring to Ireland!

  124. Thauma

    I agree there has been an upsurge in immigration over the past few decades and there are those who see it as a massive problem - bigger, I think than it either is or needs to be and therein lies the problem. The more people bang on about it the more recent immigrants resist integration by virtue of feeling threatened by what they perceive to be all the hostility surrounding them.

    I also think that HMG and local authorities have failed dismally to deal with the issues it raises in housing, schools and local amenities which exacerbates the bad feeling, leaving it to local community organisations to pick up the pieces as best they can.

    Can't speak for anywhere else but mostly we rub along together quite well round here - but then we're quite well endowed with people who think getting the community together and onside is a good idea.

    I have noticed issues with recently arrived east Europeans who aren't used to living in very diverse communities and find it a bit strange.

  125. LOL BW...People are going down like flies at work this week. The cleaners are doing 'special' desk cleans in rubber gloves with disinfectants. I suppose it's only a matter of time before i get it. Paracetemol and a week in bed...quite looking forward to it.

  126. thauma: You may have intended to refer specifically to Ireland, but you actually said

    *the current situation in the UK*

    Scotland is still part of the UK, isn’t it? Just checking.

    Remember, young lady, Comment is Free, but Facts are Sacred ;-)

    Later, everyone

  127. Sheff - yes, the problem is probably exaggerated, but then I live in the country so I don't see what's happening in large cities. Agree about all the hyperbole being threatening.

    I would have no problem whatsoever if all my neighbours were immigrants - as long as they were from various ethnic backgrounds. However, if you get a large monolithic bloc of a single ethnic background all living in the same area, then I would think it starts to feel like the whole culture has changed.

    And of course people from similar backgrounds are going to want to live in proximity to each other - it will make life more comfortable for them. But it makes assimilation much harder, and clashes between cultures much more likely - and not just with the "indigenous" culture (as BNP members are so fond of saying), but also between different immigrant groups, as you point out.

  128. Andy, you bleeding pedant. The situation *today* is the result of history. So the conquest of Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the eventual acts of union under English control and English laws have ironically led to the state of devolution that exists today.

    Do I make myself clear? ;-)

  129. Sheffpixie
    Exactly, I've got shitloads of good movies and a whole series (3) of The Wire backed up on my freeview box.

    Pandemic my arse.

  130. You mentioned halloumi, Sealion, greatest cheese ever assembled. First time i cooked it i tried to slice it too think for some burgers, i fried it all, stuck to the pan, generally went tits up. So mashed it all together into a sort of grotesque halloumi omelette then ripped off chunks off for each burger. Despite its looks (a charred mess of vomit) it was one of the best burgers i've had.

    On Englishness - for me it is a thing of culture, not genes, so talk of who invaded this geographical land in which century etc is completely irrelevant to me and that aspect of my identity which is Englishness. My genes dont bother me, when i meet someone their genes are irrelevant as well as largely unknowable, so it has no real life impact on pretty much anything. Culture certainly does though. To try and strip a people of any sense of national identity (which seems the basic mission of some elements of the left) just seems like asking for trouble and is an absolute gift to Griffin and his ilk. Its counterproductive.

  131. Here's a cracker...Daily Mail at its glorious best..


  132. I am on a diet and you are talking about cheese and potatoes! So cruel.

    My favourite cheeses;
    Extra extra mature cheddar - the type with the crispy, gritty bits
    Cambonzola - blue bree mmm
    Vignotte - leave in a cool, cellar type room for a few days so it's good and smelly and gooey
    Chaum - same treatment as Vignotte but smellier
    Halloumi - but can be really rubbery if done wrong
    Goats cheese
    Beyaz peynir - turkish soft white cheese, salty So good when in a hot country for breakfast. With lovely fresh, soft boiled eggs and fresh bread..

    Par boil, shake, roasted in goose fat, rosemary & garlic
    New/salad type spuds cooked slowly in a stew with lamb so take up the flavour
    Mashed with butter (and sometimes cheese)
    Homemade chips or wedges with mayo mixed with cayenne pepper
    Baked with tuna & red onion mayo

    er... went overboard I think. This diet is going to be murder.


  133. @Sealion
    The best cheese in the world is halloumi
    Cheese should not squeak when you eat it, it's very off-putting.

  134. Or soft white cream cheese mashed with smoked mackerel to make a kind of pate...

    Ok I have to stop now.

  135. Goat's cheese, best thing to do with:

    Roast a few bulbs of garlic with olive oil and herbs of your choice (basil good)

    Cut up a baguette into slices and toast lightly

    Spread goat's cheese on toasted baguette, then a layer of roasted garlic, top off with roasted red peppers. Do not skimp on anything.

    Grilled portabellos can be added too.


  136. thauma - that sounds delicious

    I am going to have to go and try and quell my appetite with a cigarette. Or many.

  137. Original - I suppose if you use a bit less cheese, it's probably not too high-calorie either!

    Enjoy your fags. I am.

  138. Andy, with all due respect, I think you're trying to have it both ways a bit on this argument. On the one hand, you're claiming that England is a nation of immigrants by going all the way back to the Neolithic era and that fish and chips isn't English because it might have been introduced by Jews from Spain five hundred years ago. On the other, you're telling Thauma that English conquest of Scotland, Wales and Ireland is irrelevant because the Acts of Union happened in 1707, implying that that was so long ago that everything ought to be copacetic by now.

    You can't have it both ways and there are an awful lot of English people who would not agree with your view that England is a nation of immigrants because, if you go back thousands of years, there wasn't anyone living there.

    I would hope that some day the descendants of today's immigrants will have become so integrated into British/English culture that Eid, Diwali, shalwar kameez, saris, etc. will have become part of the fabric of Englishness. But one has to acknowledge that their arrival is too recent for them to be considered so just yet.

  139. I am. Keep meaning to give up. I know I should. But truthfully, I just don't want to. Yes they smell but it feels so good.

  140. Just warched quite an interesting little Norwegian film called The Bothersome Man - dystopian view of Ikea world. It's on BBC iplayer here:

    The bothersome Man

  141. In fact it was the last abortive attempt at quitting smoking that is the cause of the diet. Bit of a disaster story - quit smoking, thought I will take up running (lived by the sea at the time, thought it would be a good distraction and stop me gaining weight). Ran daily for a week. Spent the following week in bed unable to bend knees without screaming and the next 12 weeks having sports physio. Result - stopped smoking for 8 weeks, gained a stone, buggered my knees and started smoking again. Fail.

  142. Montana - yes, as someone (Jay?) said upthread, Englishness is a cultural construct and not a racial one. The trouble with distinguishing it from Britishness is that the English imposed their culture (and again - I'm really not trying to be controversial!) on the rest of the British Isles (and other colonies to a lesser extent) and no doubt also some colonial attributes were absorbed into 'Englishness' - look at the enormous influence Indian culture has had, at first on the upper classes (tiffin, polo, etc.) and then on the rest in different forms (curry, e.g.).

    Hell, I can buy soda farls at my local Sainsbury's, and that is a source of great joy!

    (Food is an important source of cultural unity and acceptance. The more the merrier, says I.)

  143. Original - running appears to be much more dangerous to health than smoking. Look at all the people who not only injure themselves but actually drop dead from heart attacks and such!

    A fate worse than, er, coughing profusely every morning.

  144. Indeed - my doctor specifically told me I was not to run on the ground again.

    So.. The Chocolate and Cheese Question. If yo could only have one for the rest of your life, which would it be? Chocolate or Cheese?

  145. Ah tiffin and polo...pink gins and spanking.. did we already have the spanking or did it come with the empire?

  146. Hmmmmmmmm

    I'd have to say 'cheese' because my sweet tooth has been steadily declining over the years, but my cheese tooth has actually sharpened.

  147. Sheff - I think spanking was introduced by the Romans.

  148. thauma - totally agree. I eat chocolate about once a month, if that. And out of the many people I have asked that only one has ever said chocolate. And that was my dad. Who keeps little stashes of chocolate hidden all over the place and has yet to find a chocolate cake that is chocolatey enough.

  149. Some really weird hats

    Just thought I would share.

    I think the oddest has to be the bathroom one at the end.

  150. Original
    I wonder which one Bru (our resident style guru) would choose? Probably not the bathroom one .. it's pretty weird!

  151. thauma and Montana: my point with regard to Scotland is that it wasn’t actually conquered, unlike Wales and, later, Ireland.

    The English and Scottish thrones were united under James Stuart, and the Parliaments were united about 100 years later.

    Both Scotland and England gave up their status as separate sovereign nations voluntarily to become one country, Britain.

    The politics of the situation are more complicated than that basic summary might suggest, but the fact is that Scotland and England united to form Britain by agreement, not because one of them conquered the other.

    I’d agree with thauma that an “English” culture was imposed on Scotland after this Union, and that that is also hugely significant to where Britain is now, but that is something slightly different.

    Obviously, there are huge numbers of people who don’t share my views on Britishness, Englishness, immigration and many other related matters. That doesn’t change the incontrovertible fact that everyone in Britain is descended solely from immigrants, those who arrived here from somewhere else.

    On one level I agree with Montana’s last paragraph, although I suppose I would prefer it if the clothes became part of British culture, but the religions and their festivals disappeared, just as I hope all the other religions which have arrived on this island previously will eventually disappear.

  152. But now I'm going to bed.

    Goodnight all...

  153. "That doesn’t change the incontrovertible fact that everyone in Britain is descended solely from immigrants, those who arrived here from somewhere else."

    But isnt this true of virtually every nation on earth? Which nations can really trace their gene line back to an ape who occupied the same plot of land? And how far back down the evolutionary line do you go before a people have the right to call themselves indigenous? Im not sure if this singling out of Britain is really supported by the facts.

    I see Thaums point though, Britishness and Englishness are of course largely intertwined in a different way to the Welsh and Scottish (and Irish) identities.

  154. "Which nations can really trace their gene line back to an ape who occupied the same plot of land?"

    Land of Kong !

  155. Apart from Kong, BW, rumour has it Kong was killed in the 30s anyway.