24 December 2010


It is only a poor sort of happiness that could ever come by caring very much about our own pleasures. We can only have the highest happiness such as goes along with being a great man, by having wide thoughts and much feeling for the rest of the world as well as ourselves.
-George Eliot


  1. Frustrates the crap out of me when I get it in my head that I want a photo/image of a particular thing and I can't find what I want. This one's okay, I guess, but I was surprised by the lack of choice. It's the Esala Perahera, a festival that takes place every year in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

  2. Hathi bhot soana Montana! Made it in to work, can't describe how happy seeing the bus at 7am made me! Just have to do all the food and booze shopping b4 the shops shut. A most festive season to all UTrs and the very best for 2011

    love and kisses

    p TX xxx

  3. Morning all and happy Crimble Eve to everyone.

    I am surprisingly not at all hungover, which by rights I deserve to be. Nearly organised too - just some tidying-up, setting table, sorting out stockings etc. to finish.

    Cory, the nicest rat in the world, is perking up a bit - has been taking his meds nicely, and drinking sugar-water and eating a bit of soft bread and butter. Very clingy and cuddly at the moment, though, and still wheezy. He is not yet old in rat terms, so I am hoping he will pull through.

    Hope the Brighton contingent had a good evening!

    ...And instead of doing stuff I am sitting here watching Doctor Who and chatting on the intarwebz. Typical. :p

  4. And can I just add that whatever Montana wants to do with the UT is absolutely fine.

    I love this place, and I am very grateful to you for keeping it going, Montana.

    Much love to all at Cowpat Junction xx

  5. A very merry Christmas to everyone on here.

    I am still reading, if not posting, and you have all been on top form lately, I am still getting random giggles when I remember the jump carrots line.

  6. Going to say Happy Christmas now people, very limited acces at me mums due to most things apparently still being conveyed via bell wire in that part of Suffolk.

    Be good. Be cool.


    Viz Top Tip: This Christmas, save the embarassment of presents you ordered from Amazon not showing up by shooting the relative concerned.

  7. All the best, Bitters. And here's hoping for a happy new year with lots of music!

  8. Jen

    Hi! Glad to see ya!

    Best wishes to all - and great news about CoryB.

  9. Hugs to you all.

    Doctor Who has nearly finished, heralding the need for me to get off my lazy bottom and do stuff.

    I will try and look in tonight if I can, but if I don't, have a wonderful time xx

  10. Happy Eve, all! That's a bling elephant and no mistake. And hello jen, hope you are well.

    Am currently awaiting confirmation from the last set of people trying to get home that they haave made it - may have a bit of a crowd over tomorrow if things go tits up.

  11. I am very well Philippa. :)

    Very sorry to hear that your travel plans were scuppered, I hope you manage to salvage a magical Christmas from the wreckage.

    It sounds like you will and I hope you have some nice company tomorrow. x

  12. "It's evidence of Iran's meddling in countries outside its borders"--US spokesdroid on BBC News, commenting on the arrest of an Iranian Revolutionary Guardsman in Afghanistan (which, unlike the US, is actually next-door to Iran).

    Irony isn't merely dead: its corpse has been disinterred, stuffed into an Uncle Sam costume and forced to consume cheeseburgers and Coca-Cola while singing 'God Bless America'.

  13. morning!
    Made it! without any probs...sorry Philippa and spike!
    now in the frozen wastes of derbyshire...

  14. Likewise MsChin ! Just been hired by a pretty good agency BTW. Will hopefully get some nice gigs out of this lot in 2011.

  15. well done gandolfo! (am living vicariously through other people's transport success at the moment)

    jen - am actually quite looking forward to having a relaxed Christmas and doing exactly what I want, heheheheh. and am going to take next week as holiday (as originally planned) so will have a nice break from work.

    that hallelujah chorus flashmob thingy seems to have gone viral on cif - lightacandle in particular is posting it all over the place, seems to be cheering people up! job done, dad, nice one...

  16. Great stuff, BW - congrats.

    Welcome back to Blighty, gandolfo. Happy Crimbo, BB, Mods, Turm and dearest Philippa, who didn't get home but is still cheerful about it.

    And a salutary thought for those who do their shopping at Fortnum & Mason, I'm off across town with one of my kids - they are going to buy someone some gas as they don't have the money to feed the token meter.

    Back later, hopefully.

  17. mschin - there's more thought and love in that present than a thousand pairs of monogrammed silk socks. good for your kid!

  18. Morning all,

    Great to see you Jen, and good to see Gandolfo dodged the weather and the anarchists to get home too!

    Everything's coming up Millhouse.…

  19. mschin - i would also suggest you post that news on the simon jenkins thread "Snowy slopes, blue skies. Ignore what you read in the papers – most people are having a lovely break"

    this cues me in for a fifteenth time to point that itt's all very well telling people not to travel and 'stay home' when a fair proportion of people are trying to 'get home'.

    the articles along this line show an interesting dichotomy, think. because they seem to assume that everyone travelling is off to f-ing val d'isere or the maldives or something. and therefore think they are being really 'down to earth' by telling us how lovely it is to stay home.

    but they are flawed in their assumption, and this is because they are basing the assumption on what they would do, thus proving that they aren't 'down to earth' at all.

    seeing some of the people queueing in the LSP chaos crying because they are trying to get home, the assumption that everyone travelling is jetting off for a lovely holiday says more about the writer than the people they are writing abot, think.

  20. thanks all...surprisingly trouble free!

    bloody cold have had a temp change of about 15°

    i think there are more viable targets for them anarchist.....no names mentioned of course!

    good to see you hope you are well...

  21. Grab a couple of quick posting minutes while I can.

    Happy Christmas to everyone here and elsewhere, including those who have spun off the treacherous road after encountering killer black-ice and ended up in ditches and waysides and those who have smashed through the leafless hedge and clattered to a plop in pastures new to them.

    Have fun, be hearty, be of good cheer, whether senseless and witless or intentional and well-meant, enjoy your time alone or with others and be glad to be alive.

    Get sozzled, get stuffed, get drugged and get over it.

    Happy Christmas!

    [With a small idle threat to be back later - weather permitting, indoors if wet, subject to contract and ROAR]

  22. Grandparents - why not liven up the atmosphere this Christmas by discussing medical procedures and updating us on local deaths ?

  23. Stop. The. Fucking. Presses.

    Reflections on a year in CIF now up!!

    (can't do links at the moment, find it yourself, lazy fuckers)

    Let me be the first to say on it; Bollocks!!

    And, before you read it, have a guess which commenter has jumped straight in with a 'let me just say, *slurp*, that you're wonderful, *slurp, slurp*, and this, well, this is even better than usual, *aaaaaaahhhhh*'!?


  24. @James Dixon, lol ....CirclejerkingIsFree

  25. Indeed Bitters,

    As if there isn't enough fakery, smiling-through-gritted-teeth and pomposity about at this time of year, they throw in a bit of mutual egosturbation too!!

    When I read it, I gone done a bit of sick in my mouth.....

  26. I haven't looked yet, James, but I'm guessing MalvolioInEatYourVegetables has got his tongue working overtime. Desperate to get his Big Blue 'C' back.

    It would be tragic if it weren't so fucking comical. Oh...and I suspect English Hairnet is putting in some quality fawning-time...

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. james

    jesus wept.....magnified-idiotic-ectoplasm...is really trolling for someone to tell him to fuck off but you know i can't be bothered, he's not worth the effort......

  29. I predict that in 2011, we will all be speaking Mandarin and living under Sharia law. No, hang on, that can't be right...

  30. james - have made my disappointment clear on the thread. that's a bollocks 'round robin'. doesn't mention a single medical procedure.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Just dropping by quickly to thank you for all the fun and friendship this last year. You're the best bunch on the interconnect.

    Happy Christmas and love to all,

    Leni x

  33. WTF? was expecting You and Yours on R4 but am listening to yet another 'drama' featuring 'comedy' eastern european accents...

  34. aw, Leni! Bless you...

    bitterweed - where d'ye get the ★s from?

  35. ooh, that worked! exciting...

  36. phil don't know whether the reply to you from harman is sarky or not........

  37. leni

    have a wonderful yuletide....!

  38. i choose to believe she is serious and will therefore be making notes throughout the year.


  39. ˚*。˚★Merry☆* 。 • ˚ ° ★。
    •。★Christmas *˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •˚*。˚ ˚*
    ★ --Π___*。*˚ ★˛ ˚° 。 °★
    //_____ / \\。˚ ˚ ˛。 °˚ ˛ ˚° 。 °
    l|田田|門| you ★ gang of deviants!!! ★

  40. phil

    oh, just read what i wrote...didn't mean that what you wrote wasn't funny it was.....! harman seems a sarky minx to me.....

  41. And the 3 nominees for Christmas Turkey are:

    1. Libby Brook's 'A Self-Aggrandizing Speech & Pimping Out Your Family For a Photo-Op Equals Dignity In Defeat'.

    2. Nichi Hodgson's 'Panto Thru The Prism, Once Again, of Gender Roles'.

    3. Laurie Penny's 'I'm Part of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (In Between Appearances on Radio 4 & Sky News).'

    I'm beginning to believe that this is now a race to create the perfect CiF parody and still get it published as a sincere article.

  42. eddie - which can cause confusion, eg my little 'sandwich' article, which was apparently taken seriously by a worrying number of people. i still think there should be a sign up, or something.

    option 1 - "this person is taking the piss to make a satirical commentary on something"

    option 2 - "this person is just taking the piss - yup, they actually believe this shit"

    that would make things clearer, think

  43. From the Hanman thread:

    It is usual at this time to mourn the passing of friends - so happy Christmas to the banned and pre modded should they be reading.

    Best wishes to everyone.


    Well said Leni; as if we didn't all need reminding of the sham that is CIF.

  44. everyone else,

    it's a good one ain't it.

    Oh to be a meedjuh type in these straightened times.

    (Still, I did write a series of letters to Santa, pretending to be Natalie, asking for some self-awareness (and a better hairdresser), Martyyyyn, asking for some self-respect (and a new poncho), and GMG, asking for a kazillion-gazillion pounds to cover that pissed away by being gash, so, you know, fingers crossed.....)

  45. Hello all. Just a quick pop by to say merry xmas to all and sundry.

    Get better soon Deano and Spike and all others ill and afflicted.

    Happy crimbo to my fellow Sheffielder MsC. Hope you are not too exhausted! And to Sheff - hope you're having a great time.

    Jen good to see you back and LaRit good to see your spirits restored.

    Montana thanks for running this site and hope you have a lovely holidays in Cowpat. As for the move debate - I don't mind - I like it here but if we move thats fine too - I think whatever is easiest for you.

    Off to take my little dog out as it is a gorgeous day here today - really blue sky. But cold!

    I wish all UT'ers a wonderful christmas and a fabulous 2011. xxx

  46. OK - I'm defo outta here til after boxing day - have a blinder everyone !

    Anyone not feeling 100%, hope you feel 100% better tomorrow.


  47. Just parking this before it gets modded!

    24 December 2010 1:18PM
    But Natalie - can you explain to me why it is that every time I suggest that the Guardian's support for the coalition government and in particular, the Liberal Democrats, has had an adverse impact on the Guardians circulation and sales, my comment is wiped by the moderator. My comments are always in relation to an article, (or more usually an editorial) that highlights the Guardian's move to the right politically.

    I subscribed to the Guardian for almost 40 years before calling a halt when I felt that i could no longer support financially a newspaper that was and is still, becoming increasingly right wing. The same goes for the Observer by the way. I fell out of love with both papers when they campaigned for the Liberal Democrats but though I was prepared to accept that the Guardian was duped like much of the electorate, the paper does not seem to see that at all. Your readership sees it though hence the drop in sales. Surely that is a valid argument but your moderators do not seem to have the capacity to understand this. Incidentally, I have never used offensive language, though I notice that others do and their comments survive the moderator's scrutiny.

    No doubt this comment will be wiped too.

  48. ...we really are trying, and appreciate the input of readers who also aspire to having conversations that really drive debates forward, in inspiring, informing, challenging and enjoyable ways.

    Is Natalie Hangman an advance-unit of the Borg Hive-Mind?

    We are the Grauniad...we appreciate reader input...as long as it doesn't disturb our fatuous consensus...join the Grauniad, puny earthlings, and drive debates forward...or, erm...don't...

    I wish they (it?) would go back where they (it?) came from [Alpha Centauri-Ed.]

  49. Atom -
    Have fun, be hearty, be of good cheer, whether senseless and witless or intentional and well-meant, enjoy your time alone or with others and be glad to be alive.

    Couldn't have put it better myself!

    Won't get drunk or drugged but will almost crtainly get stuffed (with food anyway (; )

    Well the amount of nosh I'm preparing for tomorrow should be easy enough!

    Got abouthalf way through my list! Thank God the Goose arrived last night!

    Seriously have a wonderful time whatever you are doing.

  50. listening to 'more or less', they are using the music from the Box of Delights! have just worked out what am going to watch this evening - have the box set around here somewhere.


  51. Alpha Centauri? Alfafa Cuntsarewe, more like!!

    (Ah, thanyouverymuch. I'm here all week!!)

  52. *Alfalfa*!!

    It's how I tell 'em!

  53. Keep forgetting ...

    Thanks for the Ctrl + tip Ms Chin - much easier than magnifier!

  54. Just to say I agree with PCC's alarm (expressed on the Open thread) at the rightward drift of the Graun. The sad part of it is that the Graun isn't representing coalition thinking on the subject, but Miliband's.

    I had a look-see around the interwibble with a view to actually using my blog for once, looking at Miliband's attitude to social welfare. It amounts to:

    * He 'gets it' about shirkers and layabouts.

    * Labour had made a damn good start on welfare reform - Social Welfare Reform Act 2007 + review underway at the time of the election.

    * But they didn't do enough to reform it (although they were suggesting a housing benefit cap, before they went into opposition and started opposing a housing benefit cap).

    So just bear in mind, when the Graun calls trade unionist 70s dinosaurs, when they tell public service workers not to inconvenience people by striking in defence of their jobs and when they keep schtum on Atos and A4e, that's not the voice of Julian Glover, that's the channeling of Ed Miliband.

    That all 3 main parties are in such violent agreement over their attitudes towards just about every issue of the day is infinitely sadder than a few Graun editorials.

  55. ok, cooks - question.

    i have searched the larder and i have access to raisins, apples, lemons, confit orange pieces, dried figs, hazelnuts, and jam. no suet, but have fat and flour.

    d'ye think i could mock up a form of ersatz mincemeat from that lot or would that score highly on the 'going horribly wrong' probability index?

  56. paul - just occasionally, the advertising industry comes up some corkers!

    shaz - that's genius! at least somebody in the US administration has a sense of humour...

  57. Philippa - found this - My mom has used this one for years. I use about 1/2 the butter recommended in the recipe.

    1 pound of raisins
    1 pound of currants
    1¼ pounds of apples
    ¼ pound each of candied citron, orange and lemon
    1 pound of sugar
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    ½ grated nutmeg
    ½ saltspoon of powdered cloves
    2 sherry glasses of brandy
    Pick and wash the currants, stone the raisins.
    Peel and slice the apples; they must be weighed after they are prepared.
    Shred very finely the citron, orange and lemon.
    Put them all into a large bowl, and mix well, then chop them either on a chopping-board or in a chopping bowl.
    When the fruit has been sufficiently chopped, return it to the large bowl, and mix in the sugar and spices.
    Put the mince-meat in a jar and pour the brandy over it.
    When it is used it should be well mixed, and until it is required must be kept carefully covered.
    A dessertspoon of mince-meat should be put into a three-inch pie; and as there is no suet in the mince-meat, a piece of butter, the size of a hazel nut, must be placed in the middle of the mince-meat in each pie.

    No personal experience though...

  58. ...and when it says 'My mom', that's not my mum - copied and pasted the lot off Yahoo answers...

    Paul - for an advert using that loathsome music, it's brilliant!

  59. thanks shaz - that looks bloody complicated (and large!)

    may stick to jam tarts and just stick a festive garnish on. or may just eat biscuits. or i'll undertake an experiment and possibly cause illness...

    my choice!

  60. Hah. All done apart from peeling spuds and whipping cream, so I am going to have a little skive while I wait for his nibs to come in from work.

    Haven't seen the Hanman thread yet - will it ruin my mood?

    Love that Irn Bru ad, Paul. Their ads really are excellent.

  61. Merry Crimbletide you types. May your crackers yield Tiffany cufflinks and your puddings groan with Krugerrands.

    Quick straw poll - has anyone ever managed to pissed on Baileys? I've had half a bottle so far and I can still carry a child up the stairs without dropping it.

  62. ave speedy - baileys has a sort of inbuilt limiter system, what with the amount needed to get you pissed being about twice as much as the amount that makes you feel very ill indeed...

  63. @sk

    I've had half a bottle so far and I can still carry a child up the stairs without dropping it.

    The child or the bottle?

  64. Speedkermit - last but one New Year's Day, a friend and I cleared a bottle and a half of mint Bailey's. Quite merry afterwards, but astonishingly not ill.

  65. Philippa - of course it'll work if you use enough brandy! Psst you seem to be rather enjoying yourself after the initial deception, suspected you might ... :-)

    Happy Thinggy to all, and good to see Jenni back and on form, which I trust means that the rest of the family are winning through.

    24hrs before the younger generations come for tea, the housework continues ....

    XXXXX froggie

  66. I've made it home to Paris, pumped up the heating and I'm going to bed for a bit.

    See you all later!

  67. dave - oh lord, the housework - just returned from a foray to Morrison's and am now desperately trying to stave off the evil hour... sitting room chaotic, dining table missing in action... just one more cup of coffee...

  68. shaz -- I could have had a homehelp from june last year when I left hospital; didn't ask, it shows :-)

    A great sense of achievement when it's done, H hour 1630ish demain. Off shopping!I'm not doinganything special except an englis christmas pud( bought) for the crowd tomorrow.

  69. BB
    i tried to call you yesterday....i shall call after the festivities, are you still up for a drink?!!!!

  70. I did all my panicking yesterday shaz and got most of it done so I could be less panicked today. I was still wrapping presents at midnight this time last year...

  71. Gandolpho!

    Was that Horhsam number on my phone you? I was working til about 1.30 then driving home so I missed it. Deffo still up for a drink - let me know when you will be down this way. And if any of the Brighton peeps are still around.

  72. well done spike! settle in there...

    froggie - aye, am stuffed with a picnicky lunch and looking forward to the Box of Delights and a little box of chocolate crepes dentelles that *cough* inadvertently *cough* fell into my shopping basket earlier...

  73. Where are you planning to drink, BB? (okay, it's Chrimble, so anywhere and everywhere... but leaving that aside...)

  74. Spot on, Eddie. 3 flavours of neo-liberal, poor-hating cunts is what's on offer and The Graun is cool with that. Wankers.

    Still, never mind, because I've just discovered a great new game that fucks with their pointy little heads. It's a double-winner in that it annoys the hell out of the mods and shows up the 'report abuse' button for the worthless rubbish it is.

    Here's how it works: go through a thread and report lots of people for abuse, citing the most ridiculous reasons.

    So far, I've reported MerlinInEnemas for: 'talkin forin' (I suggested the Grauniad deport him); reported him for 'hate speech' saying 'I really hate this cunt'; reported him for 'copyright issues' suggesting that 'Uriah Heep owns the rights to this sycophantic rubbish.'

    I've also reported Natalie Hangman for : having a hairdo I don't like and for talking absolute crap.

    I reckon if enough people do this often enough, the mods will have a nervous breakdown...Result!

    And by the way, you don't have to be registered to play this game. Sorry if you lot had already worked this one out but I'd never explored the 'report abuse' button before and hadn't realised its potential for mischief (i.e. making the mods life a misery).

  75. a little box of chocolate crepes dentelles that *cough* inadvertently *cough* fell into my shopping basket earlier...

    Oh - that happens to you too, Philippa? Thank goodness, thought it was just me when I found a pack of half price smoked salmon in my bag when I got back from Morrison's...

  76. Afternoon all. Saw MF and PeterJ last night for drinks, good blokes the pair of them, and good company. I have a bad feeling i left without saying goodbye but think that would be too stupid even by my standards, will check with them. Then went on to meet friends, bumped into an old *aquaintance* and managed to be rude to her, unintentionally, within about 30 seconds. Then she sent me a message today, all forgiven... Thank god for the Xmas spirit ;)

  77. And happy xmas and new year to all in case i forget!

  78. Mint Baileys? Can there be such a travesty?

  79. It's all right, Speedkermit, you don't notice the mint much after the first half bottle - perseverance, that's all it takes...

  80. bb
    i thought you would be busy....anyway i'll call boxing day it will be from a derby number now! should be down on the 27th so it's then or never!!

    horsham brighton ish area where are you?

  81. 27th is good!

    Speedy - didn't have you down as a Baileys drinker somehow.. :o)

    Phil - chocolate crepes dentelles for the win. I have got a little tin of bloc de foie gras that I am opening tonight. (Yes I know it's cruel. And I know I will suffer for it.)

    Spike - look after yourself, mate.

    Dave - what are you planning food-wise tomorrow? French style unusual meat? (I've had roe venison with cherries and wild boar in my time for Xmas dinner in France)or UK style?

    Jay - as long as you haven't got any random drunken injuries, you've had a good night by the sound of things... :o)

  82. mods

    i might give that a try......!!!!

    baileys....jesus kermit and shaz you drink that stuff without vomitting? i heard about a recipe for baileys' cheesecake.......double vom effect!!

  83. What is 'rocket surgery'?

    something you do after you've studied rocket science?

  84. I'm wondering just how much anaesthetic you need to put out a rocket. Or do they operate without it, the cruel bastards?

  85. what are you planning meerkat?

    or have you had too much baileys?

  86. Gandolfo... wouldn't be my drink of choice, but that was all the bloke had in the house of an alcoholic nature...

  87. Happy times to all, I've enjoyed reading this blog and hope you all get what you wish for.



  88. Hello everyone; compliments of the season to all.
    Just got back from supermarket with the important stuff(alcohol!) so I'm going to mix an industrial strength G&T before I set to work preparing the bird.

    BTW; it's about 16 Llbs, anyone know long it needs cooking for?

  89. Right, that's me heading off on the road. Sans Kerouac, obviously.

    Now you all have a good Christmas, d'ya hear!!??


  90. "so I'm going to mix an industrial strength G&T before I set to work preparing the bird."

    presume you mean the turkey type of bird?!!??

    3hrs ish if it's unstuffed around 4ish stuffed......gas 4ish

  91. james

    have a good one...in the sun!!!


  92. happy Christmas james! good travelling!

    blimey - have opened the dentelles thingies - wouldn't rate their chances of lasting until tomorrow. yum.

    chekhov - no idea - delia says

    15-20 lb (6.75-9 kg) –
    45 minutes at gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), then
    4-5 hours at gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C) , then
    a final 30 minutes (uncovered) at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

    probably closer to 4 hours for the middle bit if its 16lbs.

  93. ah, yes - if stuffing, weigh after that.

  94. Yep, turkey Gandolfo, thanks for the tips and Phillipa's too.

  95. Gandolfo, I have not yet started the annual overindulgence, but will start soon. I prefer Amarula to Baileys (I know, I know, but I'm sorry, it really is much nicer!). But for tonight, I'm guessing we'll stick to red wine, and maybe a bit of cointreau before bed. Small girl and I have an annual tradition of very cheesy cheese fondue on Christmas eve night, so I'll start that in a sec. Then mince pies, and for the past five years she's always read The Night Before Christmas to me, near the tree. She's rolled her eyes but indicated that she'll do it 'for you mother, sigh' later. I suspect this is the last year... :-(

    I was about to build a flatpack dressing table for her room, but on getting it out of the box have discovered it's a bit buggered, so rather grumpy about that.

    Family dinner tomorrow with the ex husband, small girl, and Tim, which should be nice. A quiet boxing day of just the two of us. We had Tim's family round a couple of days ago, and most of my own family are in New Zealand, Aus and Florida, so we won't be seeing them this year.

    Mostly, I need a lot of sleep and a good rest, after what's been a really hard term.

  96. "BTW; it's about 16 Llbs, anyone know long it needs cooking for?"

    Fuck me, is it an ostrich? I'd start now if I were you...

    Can't add much to what Delia said other than not to stuff anything in the cavity or it'll be undercooked in the middle and you'll all have the shits by teatime.

  97. aye, stuffing only at the neck end...you can put 'flavourers' in the cavity (lemons, garlic), but that's not really necessary with turkey - works lovely with chicken, though.

    meerkatjie - enjoy your story!

  98. Fuck me, is it an ostrich? I'd start now if I were you...

    I'm only cooking for ten. The record for seats at table for Christmas dinner in my family is twenty five!

    No one has a house big enough for those sort of bunfights anymore.

  99. chekov
    you could put it in tonight about 1am-2am on a low heat and leave it there all night covered with tin foil... under the privet thing, where you put the bird in the roasting pan, put a little water and some half lemons, and whatever you fancy to keep it moist....

  100. meerkat

    hope you have a good rest and enjoy your time with your little one........!

  101. just listening to the news - the jacqueline gold story - charges are "administering poison with intent to annoy"


    WTF is that about? keep thinking of rowan atkinson as the 'wild' gorilla - "wild? I was absolutely livid, I was..."

  102. @Gandolfo; yeah I was thinking abouts maybe cooking it overnight on a low heat. might have a bash at that.

  103. Hey Meerkatjie and Chekhov

    Merry Christmas - and to anyone else I have missed.

    Your evening with the small girl sounds lovely, Meerkatjie. They grow up very quickly and, it seems, all of a sudden too. Have a wonderful night.

  104. Happy Christmas Eve to anyone who's still checking in! Well, happy Christmas Eve to everyone, but anyone who's not still checking in isn't going to see this, so it seems, well, you know what I mean.

    I'll be having a quiet day by myself tomorrow, so anyone who's bored can come here & keep me company.

  105. Gee, thanks, Phil. Now that's going to be going through my head all day.

  106. evening montana! my pleasure, hehehehehe.

    will be amusing self tomorrow until about midday when the oisette gets back from family reveillon. then it will be presents and duck andyorkshire puddings and snoozing all the way....

  107. Good evening happy christmas campers!

    Right, have had a nap and I'm feeling almost human. As it seems to be de rigueur to drink something sickly tonight, I've opened a bottle of coconut punch which is pleasant enough.

    In fact, I'm feeling almost human enough to go for that lamb madras tonight. With pilau rice, hot lime pickle and I'll see if I have the energy to do poppadums.

    Administering poison with intent to annoy sounds like selling microdots with a touch too much strychnine in the acid. Used to stop me getting off to sleep and having Lovecraft dreams while I was coming down.


    Glad you had a good time in Brighton. I was literally and figuratively sick to have missed you all and I'm hoping I'll get another chance later in the year.

  108. ok, last one in german - just wait until 1.30 in, it's gorgeous...

  109. hi montana!

    spike.....mmmm poppadums you just gotta do 'em...

    windscreen fluid in your food.....annoy seems to be a slight understatement.......

  110. @ Phillipa; you got a recipe for Yorkshire puds.
    I'm ashamed to say that even though I'm from Yorkshire mine usually turn out a bit soggy.

  111. @Meerkatjie & BB

    Your evening with the small girl sounds lovely, Meerkatjie.

    A small girl sounds rather heavy for a réveillon, but they are tender and delicious. I hope you started cooking her early enough, because while small-girl meat may be delicious rosé, you don't want it too rare.

    A light red wine with small girl, naturally. I'd recommend a good Mercurey with thin slices of shoulder. And a spoon of apple sauce. The back will make delicious crackling. And remember to keep the bones and offal for that delicious soup!

  112. I'm ashamed to say that even though I'm from Yorkshire mine usually turn out a bit soggy.

    And mine - can never live up to my mum's, which are the epitome of perfection... like her mince pies...

  113. chekov

    you gotta have the oil really hot before you put in the batter.....the batter shouldn't be too thick the right consistency is that it is not thick and leaves a thinnish covering on the back of a metal spoon, i always put a bit of oil in the batter.......

  114. have mum's all-purpose-batter recipe up in the kitchen - makes nice yorkies, and pancakes guaranteed to aggravate a french person.

    half pint milk (semi or skimmed best, makes them crispier)
    2 eggs - just crack into the milk jug, and whisk in, it's quicker
    then add bit-by-bit to
    4 oz flour

    think mum does hers for 20 mins at gas 7 - am not exactly sure if I have gas 7, but will put them in and then they're done when they sound a bit hollo if you give them a tap. make sure fat is hot before putting in the buntray, or they can stick.

  115. and, loth as i am to agree with julie bindel about anything, leave the batter a bit before you use it - works best if has been sitting a bit before cooking. she says an hour, I say 30 mins is fine...

  116. Hi All

    Best of the season to everyone, have a great time.

    House full of people, including 3 grandkids, for the Christmas eve dinner. My computer privileges having been reduced by chaotic activities, I shall be absent but content. Maybe a bit drunk too, but not on Baileys!

    Ciao for now.

  117. Whislt we are on a German theme, here's the inimitable Lotte Lenya (Kurt Veil's Mrs, with lyrics by Bertholt Brecht)

    A true classic in anyones language.


  118. And continuing the musical heritage of our Germanic cousins, this from the brilliant artist Klaus Nomi, who was one of the early victims of AIDS. Sung rather higher that the composer intended, but all the more unforgettable for that, The Cold Song.

  119. The problem with these sickly drinks is that they skip down far too easily. One quarter of a bottle of coconut punch remaining.

  120. Bloody hell I've just necked three G&Ts and un packed the bird to find I've been short changed (there are no friggin giblets) How the fuck am I going to make the gravy?

    BTW: thanks for the Yorshire pud recipe Phillipa.

  121. spike - brilliant stuff, have never heard that before!

    now, i know dear ol' diamanda isn't german, but somehow I always think she is....

  122. chekhov - is there neck? neck works.

  123. Evening all, and thank god the days are on the uptick, light-wise!

    Have just skimmed last night's and today's threads ... loved Atomboy's contribution today, and many other amusing ones as well.

    This is my happy song, even if most people find it sort of mournful.

    Now going to listen to Spike's Nina Hagen ... haven't listened to her in years, but oddly enough was just thinking I should yesterday.

  124. ooh, just went back and listened to the lotte lenya. cracking voice.

    youtube informs me in the sidebar that robbie williams had the balls to cover this.

    lasted 8 seconds before diving for pause button. 6 of those instrumental.

  125. 'look at me now' seems to have disappeared, so here's manhattan instead....

  126. How about calling this place-

    The Last Resort

  127. thauma - think you may have muddled your links, that one is nina hagen...

    and if we're doing mournful...

  128. Thanks Philippa! (I must've copied Spike's *fucking brilliant* song to the clipboard in the meantime.)

    I meant this one.

  129. Oh, and I meant to say regarding the "not getting the comment box" problems that it only happens to me when I'm using work's antiquated IE 7.

    So a browser upgrade might be in order for the afflicted, if poss.

  130. and these berks were, well, berks, but there's something to be said for expressing anger.

    great outro. pity my 'happy song' isn't available anywhere and i don't know how to get music from vinyl to the interwebz...

  131. ooh! sometimes the side-bar comes good

  132. ...he was infamous for 15 minutes and appeared on panorama...


  133. Mixing things up a little, Nina Hagen's wonderful cover of the Tubes' White Punks on Dope, entitled TV-glotzer

    I still prefer the original though...

  134. Fucking hell, isn't Prince Caspian a load of boring old guff? They've even had to put decidedly un-CS Lewis snappy dialogue in to make it less po-faced. Gve me the Princess Bride any day

  135. possibly the only song about nicolas van hoogstosser?

    sidebar has now got me solidly back in my teenage years. some of you may need to hide under a table.

    still true about the pop industry

    (thauma - that is lovely. avalon always makes me a bit wistful...

  136. Lovely Nick Cave, Philippa.

    SK - sometimes it's best not to watch the films.

    Have bought a few crappy crime novels for the holidays - hoorah!

  137. Evening all - have been out all day doing the present shopping I'd been putting off, and then celebrating getting it done with mulled cider and a whiskey mac chaser in the Battle of Trafalgar before getting a cab home.

    It was great to see MF and Jay last night - a sound pair of geezers.

    Happy travelling, staying in, and festivities to everyone. Dawkins bless us, every one!

  138. a mate of mine used to be in a band, mainly covering neds and pwei (he was young, it was popular then...) and their best song was one with a chorus that went "if Jesus was here....he'd probably get back to me"

    never learned the name of it. obviously, searching on those lyrics brings up a lot of very strange results...


    meanwhile - how to sample - blatantly and multiply

  139. Right, now we've touched even tangentially on The Tubes, one of my 100 greatest songs of all time: Don't touch me there.

  140. ok, i spared you sigue sigue sputnik, but as i started this sesh with cyndi lauper, this seems to follow on nicely...

  141. Philippa - Fatman not bad either! New to me.

    I like the RM song referenced earlier (once successfully) because I think - to go all maudlin and seasonal and shit - that it's about enjoying what you have and not craving anything else: more than this ... there is nothing.

    The mournfulness is for the things you thought you wanted in the past but found out aren't necessary at all.

  142. Spike - help me out - remembering parts of a Nina Hagen song: Felici ... Felici ... where's Felici? ....... I know where Felici is: she's dead!

    Qu'est-ce que c'est?

  143. Ha ha, Carter USM. I had the JIm Bob haircut at age 19 (just a fringe), set fire to it by accident in a Jacko stylee...

    My favourite Cave song from my favourite Cave album, seasonally satanic...

  144. One of my brothers-in-law alerted me to this compelling (I think that's the word) flick that he'd come across:

    Nude Nuns With Big Guns starring Bill Oberst Jr., Tomas Boykin, Devanny Pinn and Tawny Amber Young (US, 2009)

    "Upon taking her vows to become a nun, Sister Sarah is abused, brainwashed and drugged into submission by the corrupt clergy. On the verge of death from a lethal dose of drugs, Sister Sarah receives a message from GOD telling her to take vengeance on all those who did her wrong. Armed with God’s will and an arsenal of big guns, she dispenses Judgment Day on her former tormentors. When the church hires merciless motorcycle gang Los Muertos to track down and kill her, they soon realize that this Sister is ONE BAD MOTHER."

    Nude nuns, guns, biker gangs, drugs and GOD...now that's what I call seasonal entertainment.

  145. damnit, now I'm thinking of that dreadful 'punk' band around 1990 with a 'kerrazy' lead singer with pink dreads called katy something and they only had one hit and the video was filmed in an 'artistic squat'.

    it has a 'b' in it. lots of screaming. anyone?

  146. Fucking hell, isn't Prince Caspian a load of boring old guff? They've even had to put decidedly un-CS Lewis snappy dialogue in to make it less po-faced

    Yes. Turned it off. Just as I did the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe yesterday.

  147. oh, speedy, good call - one of my favourites (came across it first on the 'scream' soundtrack - it was the chiming that was really chilling...)

    and carter usm, oh yes - when i was about fifteen, it seemed like every second kid in town had one of their 'thirtysomething' t-shirts. thauma - they were a bit shouty, but it was political pop, and got several of my mates more engaged, which must be good.

  148. "Nude nuns, guns, biker gangs, drugs and GOD...now that's what I call seasonal entertainment."

    Reminds me of that Viz-classic 'Robot Nun' ("She's got tommy-gun tits")

  149. And I have no idea why I've got onto this, but here's an extraordinarily kitsch version of Schubert's Ave Maria. Feel free to find a less Deanna Durbin version.
    La Rit, is this in your range?

  150. but this, with the train song as above, is my favourite cave song...

    something to do with descending minor chordds being the musical equivalent of emotional blackmail, but...

    I cried mercy....have mercy on me...


  151. Nina Hagen he he he ... methinks Hermione would enjoy that one!

  152. Thaum, I can't help you.

    Hagen moves in mysterious ways.


    I've found Nude Nuns on emule and have started downloading.

    Respec' bro'.

  153. damnit, can't find live footage - again, it's the outro that's the kicker

  154. ok, not the same song, but some live fottage of BSS, featuring pretty much everybody who was staying in camber that weekend....

    and yes, that is j mascis looking like the hippy grandad who has inadvertently wandered in while looking for the toilets.

  155. (That was a joke, in case anyone is wondering....)

  156. Lamb sizzling in pan. I may not be back for some time.

  157. Back to mournful.

    Posted it before, but what the hell.

    (Yes, Habib.)

  158. watch bon iver sideways, due to inebriation of person wielding recording device. great version though...

  159. Philippa baby, you know your Cave...

    ...but my favourite track off Tender Prey is this...

  160. Ha! This one is posted by one of our regular correspondents, no?

    Another lovely mournful one.

  161. This comment has been removed by the author.

  162. bollocksed that up - this should work better.

    speedy - it's like the cocktail bar band decided that life just wasn't worth living, wasn't it? brilliant...

  163. Woo-hoo! I have Sharwood's ready to eat poppadums from my last trip to England that don't expire until February!

  164. Right ... off out to do an Irish jig at the church hall.

    Will prob pop in tomorrow, but if not, happy xmas, everyone!

  165. happy Christmas thauma!

    dooby dooby dooby

    blimey, speedy, have a heart! heheheheheh

  166. buggered that up too.

    anyway - got confused trying to find the band was trying to think of earlier...

    it's not strawberry switchblade, but it's something like that

  167. ...and yet again the sidebar comes up very good...

  168. Bloody hell, Speedy, that was a bit grim.

    Here's summat a bit more up-lifting:


  169. Here's a good un!


  170. can't believe I've managed to get in an argument on the de facto chat thread on Christmas sodding Eve. funny thing is, get the feeling i know the person involved. anyway - can't hit return or a window for 'edit plan settings' pops up. any advice?

  171. back to the german ignoring flashing little orange tabby thing in tray. genuinely, every time i hit 'return', it just flashes at me, doesn't actually 'return' or anything...

  172. arse - tried putting in lots of spaces to make up for lack of returns, but they got eaten. this is going to cause problems....

  173. arse. now the 'windows mobility centre' has started popping up.

    mobility centre?

    is that like a small carpark for computers?

    but i seem to have got my returns back...

  174. Phillipa, I think you may have broke the interwebz... are all your doors locked?

  175. aye, but the window is currently held together with masking tape and a tea-towel baffle.

    i love old buildings....

  176. hi i,m amelie chekhov,s daughter i wish you a merry Christmas,i wish you a merry christmas,i wish you merry christmas and a happy new year!i hope you get load,s of presents!


  177. now that's a Christmas message - Joyeux Noel Amelie!

  178. Amelie obviously went to the same school as Paul since she doesn't know the difference between an apostrophe and a comma either but then she's only 8!

    Ooops; sorry Paul...couldn't resist...only kidding;-)

  179. Hi Amelie - hope you all have a warm and happy Christmas! :o) x

  180. i wanted to try out the smily face so here we go!

  181. Happy Christmas Amelie! Hope Santa brings you everything you ask for! x

    And a little christmas present for everyone else:

    Four candles

  182. incidentally, heard excerpt from brenda's annual round robin (aka the queen's speech) on the news, and it struck me as quite funny that even the famously apolitical (ahem) monarch is putting the boot into ol' Govey...