25 December 2010


Merry Christmas, everyone!


  1. I see from the ticker that I am currently the only person about, as you are all probable nursing hangovers / opening presents / staring in bewilderment at turkey, but....


  2. All under control here Phillipa, and no hangover, incredibly.

    A very Happy Christmas to you and everybody!

  3. Good morning and let me wish you all a


  4. Hurrah! more festive souls ahoy....

    am listening to the Christmas service - St Martin's school gospel choir giving it some welly. nice one.

  5. Festive morning, all - am looking at a pile of presents to be wrapped, but need to make a huge pot of tea first. Hope everyone has a great day.

  6. "herod was the kind of ruler who would have made the trains run on time"

    heheheheheh. vicar having a bit of a pop. very moving pieces from two of the men who benefit from St Martins' homeless projects.

  7. woo-hoo! they used will todd's (friend's brother-in-law) setting of 'every stone shall cry'! jazz carols!

  8. I've had to stop reading the Hanman thread. It's too early to be driven to drink as yet.

  9. Fascinating just now on France Inter .. still on . Report later

  10. Happy Whatever everyone ! Looks like you're decided to be driven to drink later, Spike:-)

    On 'testing students'. Experiments in US and I think India. Anonymous you get 'x' result. Same students, get them to categorise themselves as upper castes/dalit or white/black and the results very different....

  11. To all

    the least we can do today is:

    ................eat, drink and be merry..........

    have a good day everyone........

  12. Ho,ho ho!

    Merry Xmas, one and all. Did anybody else get a bicycle and a pony? I did!

  13. @Dave

    Well, at least a solitary Christmas means I can time things as I want. Just about to have bacon and eggs, then back to bed.

    I'm well stocked with booze for later on.

  14. Best wishes to all.

    I'm away to join up with my family.

  15. Hope Spike & PhilB have unexpected delights.

  16. Have a good one, Deano! Thanks.


    Goose in oven veg ready to cook, starter sorted. All I need now is some people to help me eat it!

    Should start arriving at 12:00.

    have shut down computer now and lay the table!

    Have a great day!

  18. Well, I did have a hangover, of a severity that would kill 3 ordinary men (or 97 Liberal Democrats, 186 Grauniad mods and 1.6 million George Osbornes).

    One of the visiting in-laws, however, proposed a novel idea (I translate from his French): fur of the beast that has inflicted the bite savage.

    It's a radical notion, to be sure, but it seems to be working...fingers crosh..crotch..croff...whatever...snigger..they said my hermit wasn't English...like i care..

    I'm glad I was sceptical of all the 'it'll be a white christmas in London' hysteria that persuaded so many people to gift the bookies with money (at piss-poor odds, too).

    Oh, yeah...happy Festivus to all...must attend to the oven...we're having Roast Bourgeois a la Scorpio (take one Lib Den or New Labour careerist, pluck, clean and remove giblets, feed giblets to cat, stuff cavity with pledges, manifestos and PFI contracts, insert iPhone in mouth, bake at 5000 C. for eternity).

    I think I'll just have bread and cheese.

    In an effort to avoid all the 'an invisible friend is born' aural wallpaper, I've been listening to this...Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby

    Santa Baby, slip a sable under the tree,
    for me,
    been an awful good girl, Santa baby,
    so hurry down the chimney tonight.

    Santa baby, a 54 convertible too,
    light blue.
    I'll wait up for you dear,
    Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight.

  19. mods
    you forgot the quango sauce.....it's quite costly and hardly ever turns out well.....

  20. OK - oisette now here, presents opened, duck in over - have a lovely day everyone!

  21. I'll be glad when it's all duck in over...

    Just kidding, Merry Christmas everyone!

  22. Have a happy day everyone. x

  23. Elisabeth Beresford, the creator of The Wombles, has died, her family have announced.--bbc.co.uk, today

    Well, that's a bit of a blow. I have it on good authority (geezer I met in a pub) that a new series of The Wombles was in the making.

    Strongly influenced by Breaking Bad, the series follows Great Uncle Bulgaria's downward criminal spiral as he builds a meth lab and murders the competition (Basil Brush: boom boom, indeed).

    Goddamnit...I was really looking forward to that.

  24. ELFIN SAFETY WARNING on Waitrose Christmas Pud

    "Overheating may cause fruit and sugar to ignite"

    No shit...

  25. Ah.. fuck it.... this has to be worth another run out!
    Have a good one.


  26. Was it summat I said? Where's every one gone?

  27. @Mods

    Is your Lib Den like a Dirty Den but even less reliable?

    * * *

    Right, I'm back up and gradually working my way through the obligatory phone calls. Have slept 14 hours in the last 24 and hope that's doing some good.

    Will have another cup of PG Tips before officially declaring sun over yard arm and breaking out the Chablis while I peel sprouts. This rolled turkey joint stuffed with morels in armagnac had better be good.

    I'll probably eat to the accompaniment of death, misery and mayhem on Enders. Janine hasn't killed a husband for a while, so...

  28. sounds very nice, spike! we've just watched the Alice in Wonderland tha BBC did back in 1999 - think NRJ12 have bought a job lot of BBC drama, it's Oliver Twist on later. and i have been bought some books, a jumper, and a quiche tray, so I am very happy. full and happy. and there is chocolate everywhere...

  29. Cheers for the Pogues, Chekhov.

    Here's one for me, in a fit of aural self-harming... ;-)

  30. How's your microbiology, Phil? The only Bisto for poultry I have left is an unopened sealed box best before 2006. Do gravy granules actually go off? I suppose I could make a little and taste it.

  31. spike - i only ever use the gravy browning, and that does for everything. the granules are probably mainly flour, so might well have gone a bit, erm, bad...

    you could just do it the old fashioned way, deglaze roasting tin with a bit of vin or cidre, throw in water from the veggies, maybe half a stock cube, and then a bit of flour and water paste to thicken it up.

  32. On the Hanman thread, Berchmans bemoaned the passing of Khartoumi and Souraya. I answered:


    Agreed. And TrueLeft. Sadly missed.

    Many of us no longer really bother with the I/P threads. The last few times I've posted, taking time to write detailed, argued, researched posts, I've seen them disappear one by one as the pro-Israelis swarm past clicking on the abuse buttons and mods in search of a quiet life bow to Cifwatch and delete, probably without reading.

    And then when you ask the mods why a perfectly fair, on-topic, community-standards compliant post was deleted (enclosing a copy of it in your mail), if you're lucky enough to get an answer, it's a standard one saying that posters should be careful to remain on-topic.

    Apparently talking about Israel's steady annexation of East Jerusalem on a thread about Israel's steady annexation of East Jerusalem is off-topic.

    Deleted of course.

    "The first rule of Mod Club is you don't talk about Mod Club."

  33. Chekhov -- panicstations here mate!

    3 kids, partners, 4 smalls ETA 1700hrs. ---

    Mould cleaned out of frig -- the Inspectors always check there...

    Loo etc OK

    Frog3 mentioned heating s'thing under the grill. The amount of fat recovered there will light the stove tomorrow morning...

    Aves, saws and chisels away from baby-reach, but I'm not moving that disassembled gearbox from the table by the piano...

    This made me think of " variations and Frog5, so stacks of books off the piano, and dusted ready for him... then play the youtube at right mom...

    PS The Lisa O'Carroll arts on the Business page well worth a look, and support, plus the one there on Economists Optimistic.? Anyone caring to squeeze in a link to Golem's stuff on Ireland,the art in Village mag on WhistleblowerIRL wd be good .

    Change from working togs now....

  34. i wondered what you'd said, spike!

  35. @Phil

    Cheers. Or I can just use ordinary red Bisto that hasn't reached its expiry date. I'm not going to go to too much trouble just for me.

    I feel a bit like Normal Lovett:

    Living on my own, I felt it might be nice to have a wife. So I cooked myself dinner, put it in the oven and went down the pub. Then I came back two hours late, took it out of the oven and threw it over my head.

  36. aye, they all taste vaguely the same, it's really only the amount of caramel colouring they throw in that changes. maybe make it a bit thinner, but turkey can normally cope with a bit more flavour...

  37. more earthquakes in NZ - friends fearing aftershocks, now spending boxing day (very early) morning clearing up.

    what a sod.

  38. Enough of a lull in the proceedings for me to put my feet up, drink a glass of cava uninterrupted and wish everyone a

    Merry Christmas!

    Much love to all - catch up tomorrow xx

  39. Happy Christmas, everyone!

    Quick fly-by only, like spraying graffiti from a moving train.

    My stomach seems to have decided to take in refugees or paying guests or something. There must be several people crammed in there and it is a case of either waiting for them to leave or evict or evacuate them.

    Either that or I am pregnant - again.

    Apparently, I can resist anything but excess.

    Have fun and the Alka-Seltzer are probably at the back of the medicine cabinet, having turned brownish and crumbled - but they cannot make you feel any worse, can they?

  40. This is worth a re-post too. I linked it over three weeks a go when I was at my sister's
    in St Albans and Sheff picked up on it a few days later.

    Makes me all moist eyed with a faith in human nature that the neo-liberal fuckwits would rather we didn't have!


  41. Had The Now Show (Radio 4) on in the kitchen and I was pleased to note the mockery, insults and contempt aimed at Clegg and the Lib Dims (all received enthusiastically by the audience). If they don't get annihilated in every upcoming election, I'll be shocked.

    Then again...what's the fucking point? Our electoral choices are basically amoral, neoliberal scum with different-coloured rosettes.

    The prime constant factor in American politics across the past six decades has been a counter-attack by the rich against the social reforms of the 1930s.

    If Obama can be identified with one historic mission on behalf of capital it is this – and though success is by no means guaranteed, it is closer than it has ever been.

    But surely for progressives, infuriated by the tax giveaway to the rich, and whose support Obama will be counting on for re-election in 2012, cuts in Social Security will be the last straw?

    Don’t bet on it.

    Against the tax betrayal these middle-class progressives will tout the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Identity politics will trump class politics, as has been the case for middle-class progressives for the past quarter-century.
    --Alexander Cockburn@counterpunch.org

    "Identity politics will trump class politics..." .

    So, thanks a million, Peter Tatchell, Julie Bindel, Bea Campbell, Bidisha, Cath Elliot, Joseph Harker, Harriet Harman, Dennis McShane, Inayat Bunglawala, The Guardian and every other selfish, deluded, blinkered motherfucker who thought that their cause trumped all other considerations.

    With 'enemies' like that lot, Capital can sleep easy.

    Charlie Dore - I'm Cleaning Out My House

    PS: Spike, don't thicken gravy with flour--it gives it a horrible, gluey, wallpaper-paste flavour. Use mashed potatoes, actual or instant. Much better.

  42. Cheers, politely! And you are...? (I'm going to have to set up a bitey-style database to follow the different IDs)

    * * *

    Half the Chablis gone already (very pleasant, since you ask) and a warm glow enhanced by twenty minutes on Skype with my sister's family.

  43. @PH:

    Progressives in America will vote for Obama again because whoever the Repugs run in 2012 will be even scarier than the prospect of 4 more years of Bambi, not because they place identity politics above economic politics. We know that whoever we elect will be a corporatist. So the only choice we have is the corporatist who will keep abortion legal and end discriminatory policies like DADT or will we elect a corporatist who will also enact social policies that assure that America is safe for white, heterosexual Christians.

  44. OK. Turkey joint, roast spuds, carrots, sprouts and broccoli all cooking. Lalande de Pomerol breathing. I'll see if the poultry gravy is OK and if not have the normal. The cranberry sauce is ready on the table.

    I really get the feeling that I care about myself. All the effort I've gone to, just for me. A tear wells...


    If you want to flee to Europe, we can always sort something out.

    * * *

    Oh shit. I've forgotten the stuffing. Do I still have time?

  45. Yes. Should all come together nicely for 9 o'clock and Eastenders.

  46. On a seasonal plus subject.

    Christmas dinner with married son and family - just home,bit tiddly.

    Taking G open thread on Guardian Angels as starter did family thing- always starting from youngest- and asked who believed in GA

    . There were 6 of us so told children that to agree with survey that would mean 2 of us would believe in GAs. We are not a religious family.

    Willo - aged 8 went first. He said "Sometimes I think with my heart and sometimes with my head - thinking with my heart I think there is an angel sitting on my head now "

  47. Anyone in Paris and hungry? There's enough for two ravenous people here.

  48. Hello Spike

    Glad you are well enough to cook.With you in spirit my friend.

    Love Leni X

  49. Thanks, Leni!

    My main symptom now seems to be sleeping for most of the day, so much better.

    Hope you've had a great Christmas!


    P.S. Put half of what I'd cooked on my plate and ate half of that, so lot's left in fridge. Even so, feeling very, very full. Drinking seems to be less of a problem. :-)

  50. @Spike "Cheers, politely! And you are...?"

    What? You need someone's bona fides before you accept their advice on gravy? Wow...and I thought I was discerning...

    Montana, I take your point, but regard it as the counsel of despair. Corporatist fucks like Obama throw you a couple of bones while his masters in Wall St eat your lunch and fuck you sideways. It ain't my idea of any kind of deal.

    I don't suppose it's yours either, but as long as the likes of Obama can count on people giving him a pass because the alternative is too awful to contemplate, the more deeply the rot sets in.

    I think it might actually have been better if McCain/Palin had won. Give people a close look into the fucking abyss and utterly destroy the conservatives/republicans for decades to come.

    Then a genuine reforming Democrat could get some work done, instead of having to play patt-a-cake with evil/moronic scumbags.

    Back to 'I, Claudius' on the radio...

  51. @Politely

    I've just managed to clumsily smash a wine glass across the coffee table and send shards all over the living room, so who am I to be difficult?

  52. Spike

    Isn't it just a bugger when our humaness intervenes - smashed glasses, falling over or tripping on words.

    Sometimes i think my mind , my aspirations are so far ahead of my ability to implement them that I am unsure if it is the mind or the body which has been taken over by an alien.

  53. @Spike:

    I'd be fleeing America tomorrow if I knew I'd be able to keep a roof over Joe's head once we got there.


    Well, I could've sworn we'd had 8 years looking into the abyss when Shrub was nominally in charge, but "progressive" Americans still seemed to think that HRC or Obama would be left enough to suit them -- not for any identity politics reasons, either.

    The sad fact is, most Democrats -- even at the grassroots level -- would fit comfortably on the centre right in Europe. It simply doesn't occur to most Americans that things like national single-payer healthcare or nationalised railroads could be a good thing.

    Things are going to have to get much, much worse here economically before working class Americans will be sufficiently angry to get behind someone like Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders in large enough numbers to have any real chance of changing things.

    Oh, and, not meaning to speak for Spike, but I think some of us just feel at a disadvantage when Ciffers show up here under names we're unfamiliar with. Are you Xenium1? He was 'round the other day with a different nick, but some of us are old & have bad memories (what with our best days being behind us & all).

  54. @PH:

    Okay. I feel really stupid now. Not Xenium1. You have too many names, love.

  55. You can never have too many names on the interwebz, kiddo, but I think I'll stick with this one--it's the name of my blog and my music channel, so what the hell...

    Well, lets hope for President Palin and VP (let's see...who's as loony as Palin? O'Donnell? That'll do) O'Donnell in 2012--the dream ticket.

    A couple of years of those maniacs and the lynch mobs will be coming for Murdoch, the Koch brothers, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Fatty O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and every other right-wing, God-bothering nutcase/thug/crook and neocon shit-dribble who's helped turn the country into a bad zombie movie.

    I know...I'm just a crazy dreamer...

  56. montana

    hello - hope you and Joe had a good and happy Christmas. I'm half reading, half drowsing - should go to bed but I'm too warm and sleepy to move.

  57. Hello Leni; I've just had a kip and getting my second wind if you want a chat!

  58. chekhov
    I have managed to keep awake after a busy but happy day. All the children were pleased with presents, everybody well fed . Lots of silly photos- the usual family stuff. The most loved present ? Believe it or not - 2 golden apple snails set up in a tank and ready for a growth surge. They ate a sprout from Christmas dinner so joined in the celebrations.

    How did Amelie's Christmas day go ?

  59. Amelie got a brand new bicycle which she was thrilled with. The only problem now is where to keep it. Mine got stolen from the garden shed so that's not an option!

  60. chekhov

    Strong padlocks perhaps - or the good old under the stairs ?

    The mountain bikers here have stands with stout locks but I think they may be expensive. Make sure her bike is insured - you can add it on as contents to your household insurance.

    Well - I can stay awake no longer; wine , food and chocolates have done their worst.

    Sleep well x

  61. Good night Leni and anyone else still up! And thanks to Montana; I love this blog and have made friends (IRL) because of it.
    You should be well proud of your achievement Montana.

  62. Leni, chekhov, Boudican, Paul and Medve,

    You have been great company through the year, thank you. I think if we all ever meet up, it would be... a party.

  63. This is too fuckin' weird.We just got back from a party and i said to my better half that i just wanted to say hi to the UT night crew. I don't know medve but i was thinking of Leni,boudican,james,habib,chekhov and princess.You guys are the best!

    @Habib i reckon you and me have a psychic connection bro'.Or maybe we're just both mad:-)
    Anyways aa big fraternal hug coming down the cyber pathways to you and i hope you have a fuckin' great 2011.

    @I've been playing a few tracks recently from the latest Will Downing CD.Here's another one we were dancing too tonight called SHADES

    Have a great Boxing Day everyone x

  64. @ Heyhabib; like wise many thanks for your contrbutions; look forward to many more!

  65. Hello Paul, thanks for checking in. I wondered where you'd fucked off to!
    Where's Deano and Sheff for that matter? I want to know what's going off in Morrocco!