Tag Archives: Family

Anecdotally speaking

‘North’ is over in Canada visiting her aunt and uncle on Vancouver Island at present. It’s been raining more than usual, according to sister in law. Here in the wilder west of Ireland I’ve talked to a number of outdoors people who reckon it’s cooler than usual. South of the equator in the fabled land of Oz, where other in-laws and ‘South’ reside, according to them, report cooler weather this year and last.

Australian brother in law works the Great Barrier reef and says that it looks good. Canadian contacts complain of Polar bear infestations. My suncream futures are dropping like a rock. My ordered colonies of bees are still not ready for delivery because apparently the weather is too borderline for them to forage properly. Just what in Bill Gates‘ Satan’s left trouser leg is going on?

Now I know this is all anecdotal reporting and therefore not ‘science’, but doesn’t it all sound rather counter-intuitive? I mean, according to the greens it’s getting hotter by the year, the Polar bears are dropping like flies and the Great Barrier Reef should be crumbling into rubble by now and we’re all about to drown because the CO2 levels are rising. Yet none of the dire consequences we are constantly bombarded with by the unthinking activist media or politicians are actually happening. Could it be that the true believers in ‘climate science’ have got it terribly wrong? Or are they (Gasp!) purveyors of the dreaded ‘disinformation?

Shirley Knott.

Also I’ve noted that comments on threads concerning the latest scare story, including two of mine on Longrider’s and Leg-Iron’s places have gone missing. Particularly those saying truthfully and honestly that the Monkeypox is spreading mostly amongst gay men. Have I ticked off Leggy and the Rider that much that they are now deleting my comments, or is this one of WordPresses ‘Happiness engineers’ (or their ‘algorithms’) at work? Or did I simply click the wrong button? At least four times? Mmm-hm. Does it, in the full scheme of things, matter all that much? Because no matter how much propaganda is pumped out there, reality will always have the last laugh.

Windows

No, not the constant nagging of Microsoft to ‘upgrade’ to Windows 11, but the glass things covering holes in walls that you can see through. Specifically how to get them out intact. My builders, despite entreaties to keep the old units intact, have managed to smash all but one of the four they have taken out so far. Not by malice, but simple lack of technique.

So on Saturday I took a time out with specialist saw blade and chisel to extract the double glazed glass from the frame, which was surprisingly easy. Put a 10mm cut over one of the bevelled seams, then put a chisel in the gap to lever the bevelled section off the frame all around the glass before gently easing the heavy double glazed section out of the frame.

Took me all of half an hour to figure out and ten minutes per glazed unit to do. I’ll finish the rest by Tuesday. Will probably have to adapt the technique to take the upper storey units from the frames from the inside while the builders are smashing up the ground floor prior to the first concrete pour later next week.

So a conversation will be had with my builders on Monday to let me remove all the rest of the glazing before they have at the frames with jackhammers, as they are wont to do. This means I will have the glazed units for an improvement on two of my sheds and some for cold frames or perhaps even a greenhouse. More light in, protecting delicate flowers and veg from late frost, what’s not to like?

The first of the raised beds is also in situ, built from two leftover pallets treated with fence post preserver. I have a couple of tonnes of woodchip mulch with a promise of more to come for free. The plan is to half fill the raised beds with old logs and mulch before any soil goes in. I believe the Germans have a word for it; Hugelkultur.

By contrast, during my off site time, I got into a YouTube comments spat over anti-Semitism. Having known a few Jews and Zionists in my time, I’ve always wondered about why certain people hate them so much. Is it because Jews control the financial sector? No, because for every Jewish owned company there’s ten owned by non-Jews. But Jewish descended people do seem to be prominent in law, medicine, media and entertainment, especially in the USA, and I, with my limited intellect, have worked out why this is.

Family. It’s that simple. Jewish people have a strong familial tradition where children are trained, not just dumped in front of a TV for their forebrains to fester. In Jewish society, the tendency is to involve their children in a process, where they learn skills, be that in trade, the arts or finance. In the more ultra-orthodox Hassidic communities I’m told a boy is expected to become a grown man at fourteen, recite passages from the Torah (I think) and taught how to be. Be that lawyer, tradesman or merchant. Which I think is quite admirable. It’s a recipe for success in life.

Yet why are the Jews hated so much? From my perspective, I think this is down to the personal inadequacies of those peddling the hate. Those peddling anti-Semitic hate, be they Communist or Fascist (Two sides of the same vile totalitarian coin), hate because they feel themselves to be inferior, or that the continued success of a persecuted class despite centuries of murder and repression, is some sort of slight or adverse reflection upon those peddling anti-Jewish hatred. Which, virus-like, mutates and is passed on. My parents were both sufferers while I have largely remained immune.

Those peddling the hate know their statist, top down cultures are structurally inferior to the more tribal, family oriented bottom up approach. So when in or seeking power, their instinct is to point at the successful and use the rather flaccid argument that the hatemongers disciples are poor and downtrodden because those eeevil outsiders are hoovering up all of the resources, when the reality is that the familial structure of training children to be grown ups and passing on wealth works. And the Jews and Zionists prove it works. Not for them the perversion of teaching six year olds about outlier sexuality. Now there’s a Darwin Award in the making.

Well that’s just my view, reached independently by simple observation without doctrine or dogma. All while I was working out how to fix another issue and save money. Which I have. Which was nice.

By such little increments do we move forward.

Another text

Another day and another message saying I should have a ‘booster’ jab. Another text message I will be ignoring, apart from writing about the experience here. Seriously people? Has no-one else got the memo that you get SARS/COV-2 regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not? Or that the current iteration (The “OHMIGOD!” variant)is like a heavy cold? So what’s the point?

On the family side of things; ‘North’ was allowed to return to work on Monday after a second negative test, so she’s a lot happier. ‘South’ is happier now the fabled land of Oz is opening up once more and my Canadian Investment broker is getting twitchy over this ‘Freedom Convoy’.

To be honest I’d be more worried about what Trudeau is going to do. Rumours have been circulating of Police snipers deployed against unarmed demonstrators. Police have been arbitrarily confiscating fuel containers from supporters of the protests, and harassing people without obvious grounds, which is a bit dodgy, legally speaking. Nova Scotia declaring that supporting the truck convoys is a ‘crime’ punishable by jail time. The premier of Saskatchewan declaring that the restrictions will be over by this coming weekend. Alberta now making conciliatory noises after Jason Kenney’s outburst. The situation is fast moving, fluid, and events are on a hair trigger.

I think Trudeau has painted himself into a political corner and he will be forever damned if the Police take armed action against unarmed and peaceful (Albeit noisy) truck convoy protests. However, more trucks are coming. The point is coming where he needs to call a general election or double down. Personally I think he’ll do the latter because the Liberals will be trashed at the ballot box.

The worst case scenario for him will be if an armed policeman shoots one of the children of the demonstrators, or ironically hits a counter demonstrator. Then all hell will cut loose. Canadians may have the reputation of being overly polite, but there is a point past which even they will not go.

Not that I’m worried myself here in Auld Ireland. The earnings on our investments have slowed to a trickle over the last two years, but what we lost we made back with a little bit more into the bargain last year, so we’re keeping ahead of the game. However, through not panicking we still have a modest cash reserve even after the various market hiccups. Many others have not been so fortunate, I hear a lot have taken a cold bath over the last two years.

Anyway, it’s not a bad old day up here in Mayo, so I’m off out to shift some foliage while the rain holds off. The world will have to do what it does and I will adjust my actions accordingly.

Update: Alberta will lift all restrictions shortly and a number of other provinces are following suit.

The UK has dropped all restrictions. Ireland are going to drop theirs shortly. They think it’s all over.

I think it is now.

Tooling up

Yesterday my new power saw and electric belt sander turned up. Spare saw blades for cutting everything from OSB to mild steel and concrete. Spare sanding belts, coarse and fine for speed and finishing. Yes they cost me a few extra pennies, but for the scope they give me in building things like chicken coops and beehives, far more useful.

Mrs S is overjoyed that our new washing machine arrives today. I know there’s something a bit nostalgic about sitting in launderettes or washing your smalls in cheap hotel rooms road warrior style, but seriously, I will be happy to have my important little places cosseted by properly laundered cloth once more. The bath and washbasins can be returned to their proper function.

We’re also looking at a replacement oven, as the old one is so clagged up it isn’t funny. I haven’t dared to use it as the innards have a definitely unhygienic look to them and I’m not sure if all the heating elements work either. Makes cooking a bit more complicated than need be, but we’ll cope. We always do. No one is going to starve.

New bed has arrived and is far more comfy than the monster Ikea thing we bought with us from Canada. The one we can’t get fitted sheets for unless we shell out for new sets from a company in upstate New York. You see, it’s an old US ‘King’ size, which is seventy eight inches by seventy six, whereas the European ‘Super king’ size, the biggest sold outside North America, is only seventy two inches by seventy six. Which even Ikea have shrunk down to, hey they’re a Swedish company so of course it made sense to rationalise. So the new bed is a ‘super king’ for which we hope to obtain new sheets this week up at one of the ‘big box’ stores.

So, what’s happening back in the old country (Canada). Well the video clip from Indian news outlet WION (Via Tony Heller) asks the burning question; Where’s Trudeau?

Ignore the pro-vaccine sentiment in the middle, but they do have a right go at the substitute drama teachers disappearance the moment a proper domestic crisis arises. I’m sure the two faced little eejit won’t resign and force a General Election, the Liberals would get trashed.

Good to see elsewhere that these vaccine mandates are being dropped. They weren’t going to do anything anyway, given the efficacy of the mRNA ‘vaccines’ on offer. I think the problem is that even a relatively small mutation of the virus renders these treatments effectively useless, and besides, viruses mutate, it’s part of what they do. Which, in the rush to find a definitive answer, a lot of supposedly very clever people seem to have forgotten.

Day out

Right. Went off out to BigTown and the box stores Friday to pick up some tools for some heavy duty pruning. Just a set of loppers, a bowsaw and some spare blades. I could have used my bolt cutters, but that’s reserved for steel. Could have bought a chainsaw, but honestly I’d never use it enough to warrant the expense.

News from jolly old Londinium is that ‘North’ has contracted the dreaded lurgi. Despite being all jabbed and boostered poor lamb. She’s feeling a bit tired and has a productive cough by the sound of it, but I think she’ll be all fine and her usual bouncy self by the end of Sunday.

We’re looking at the end of mandates and restrictions by the end of February, and the backtracking from some media outlets has had a kind of Paggliacci-like air to it. Their clownish tears and pleas for forgiveness after all the divisive rhetoric they spewed is rather pathetic. Others still are doubling down on the scaremongering.

Frankly I’m inclined to forgive all things considered, but considering that they have tainted their brand over the last two years over COVID, feel that I cannot trust these outlets even if they said the sky was blue on a clear sunny day.

None of the real life data supports the scaremongers arguments. The death rate for COVID alone is barely above seasonal norms. The much vaunted mRNA vaccines don’t stop spread, they barely mitigate symptoms. The ‘booster’ is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. The masks don’t stop the spread and may even act as ‘catchers’ when viral microdroplets land on the fibrous outside and are then inhaled through the mesh by the next breath.

No one has ever, at least to my knowledge, done any tests on this, just to see if a surgical mask, which has become the choix de jour of the terminally terrified, does this. Shouldn’t be hard to confirm or falsify the hypothesis. a sealable chamber and mechanical breathing dummy with a surgical mask on it’s face, a microdroplet generator and some UV dye, set it running for two or three minutes, then shut down, take the mask off the dummy and measure how much dye got into the dummies artificial trachea. Then do exactly the same test without a mask at all with mouth sealed and nostrils open and vice versa to simulate mouth and nasal breathing. Run same test several times for consistency. Contrast, compare and we’d all know for certain. Repeat for differing droplet sizes. This is science at it’s simplest. Not modelling, but real world testing.

The point is that surgical masks are anti-bacterial, not antiviral. The only thing that will stop viral spread dead in it’s tracks, as I have pointed out with dull regularity, is a face covering hood, sealed properly at the neck with it’s own activated charcoal filtered air supply, like for an NBC or proper Hazmat suit. Even N95 masks aren’t ideal. If not properly worn, they are worse than no mask at all.

As previously stated we should be rid of the wretched things over here by the end of February anyway, so I suppose it’s all rather academic. However, the more I look at the real data, the more I am convinced that masks and lockdowns haven’t just not worked, they’ve actually made the pandemic worse. No matter what the mainstream media say. Most of their ‘journalists’ have no scientific training at all and simply parrot what they are told. The lack of critical thinking on the part of far too many has been somewhat depressing.

Notwithstanding. Bowsaw and pruning gear have been purchased and put to good use on several of our multiple trees, there’s an ancient dysfunctional dishwasher to fix and we’re awaiting builder’s and plumbers quotes with bated wallets.

While we’re waiting we’re cutting back some of the overgrowth around the place, and even Mrs S is pitching in vigorously, enjoying herself immensely, ripping down ivy from overgrown walls. Overall we’re both sleeping better and feeling healthier than for a long time. Which just goes to show, fresh air, good food and moderate exercise are good for you.

In

Our move is complete and the tedious business of unpacking our lives begins anew. In between times there was a plague of flies to be eliminated, lists of building works to be agreed and the years projects to be funded and planned for.

Planning is all I’m good for right now. Physically I’m knackered. After a strenuous last few days my bodily particles have all formed a protest movement and gone on a work to rule. My ATP reserves are depleted and I need a solid twelve hours of deep sleep to recover. I can’t even raise the motivation to make silly gags about the latest media-fuelled panic.

That and I’ve got a raging need for protein, raw or cooked. When it comes to times like these, I have learned to trust my body and do what it tells me.

One doorstep bacon butty (Minimal bread, lots of bacon) later I’m starting to feel vaguely human again and may just make it for another four hours until bedtime. At times like these, carbs just won’t do. Cakes, chocolates or sugary stuff for fast energy only makes me extra sleepy. Only bacon or steak can cut it followed by fruit juice (Maybe, beer is also good). I know this from long experience. Don’t ask me what the underlying metabolic process is, but it’s worked since my late teens and that’s all there is to it.

Anyway. Mrs S is suffering too. She has her own remedy at times like these. Sleep, lots of it.

We’ll be fine in the morning.

That’s it, I think

Don’t care what anyone else thinks, but moving money, especially my own and paying large amounts of it to someone else is always stressful. Especially when the other party has all the get up and go of roadkill. Fortunately the people I’ve chosen to do the job are heads up and on the bounce.

Right. My part in the house and land purchase is done. All I have to do is oversee getting the Interweb connected and arrange to fill up the oil tank so we can warm our new place up before the movers do their stuff. The worst is all over bar the shouting, and arrangements are made for the last of the vendors rubbish to be removed, accounts for water and leccy sorted. So, all I have to do is turn up on time to oversee works and stand there looking masterful. All right, stop laughing. I can look masterful when required. Allegedly.

Frankly I’ve begun tuning out all the panicky hand waving COVID stuff. If anyone tries to use it as an excuse not to do things I contract for they won’t get paid, simple as that.

Any whining noises won’t be coming from this end of the house. For my part, recently I’ve had a headache, a minor cough, sense of smell a bit off kilter and felt a bit snotty, but you know what I’m going to do? That’s right. Ignore it. Just like I ignore all minor symptoms. What am I saying?

OH MY GOD! I’VE GOT THE DREADED LURGI! WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Full Hazmat everyone! Distribute testing kits! Bill’s got the plague!!!! Emergency! Emergency! AWOOGA! AWOOGA! We’re all DOOOOOMED!!!

Sorry, no idea what came over me there. Take a breath everyone. Panic over. As you were. I’m perfectly fine. A paracetamol took care of the headache, I caught a nap to catch up on the old Z’s and the snottiness and cough disappeared by ten am after a large mug of tea and a couple of biscuits. I’m a great believer in the healing power of a cuppa.

Anyway, there is whiskey, lots of wine and beer left over from crimble, so we’re all good. Apart from Mrs S turning round three or four times a day to say “Bill… have you thought about?” you can hear my eyeballs rolling from over the interweb, can’t you?

That said, there’ll be plenty to do over the next week, but I’m all geared up and as ready as I can be. My office is packed up and ready to go, has been for weeks. As has Mrs S’s. We’ve both been working off the kitchen table, and you know what’s really great? No-one died.

They say there’s no rest for the wicked. Hi ho. If that is true then I must have negative Karma coming out of every orifice because there’s always something clamouring for my immediate, repeat immediate, like do it this minute Bill, attention. It is all, as they say, part of life’s rich tapestry.

Well then.

So. Here it is. 2022. ‘North’ goes back to jolly old Londinium shortly to resume her frenetic pace of life. We hope we haven’t bored her while she’s been with us. She has been spending a good deal of her time asleep. Maybe she’s just playing catch up. I just keep the fires stoked and make sure everyone has a full glass available.

Happy to report that ‘South’ is out of restrictions and back out with her mates again in the fabled land of Oz. During this mornings video conference she looked much happier and not in the least bit snotty. Funny though, she did test positive for the dreaded lurgi despite being double jabbed with a top up.

I’m still on tenterhooks awaiting completion on our new domicile in the next few days. Which is getting far too close to the wire for my liking. If we have to reschedule moving and connections, which will cost me extra money, I will be looking for someone to sue for breach of contract. Or strangle and provide future archaeologists with a little mystery to solve. Either will do.

Anyway, despite all the hype I’m not very impressed with these vaccines. They only give you partial immunity for less than five months from what I can see, which doesn’t sound like they’re much good. And the ‘breakthrough infection’ rate (i.e. getting the disease even after the ‘vaccine’) is far too high for my liking, so what’s the point of these constant top ups? Israel, with one of the highest percentage of vaccinated has been talking about mandating a fourth or even fifth jab. Then there’s the adverse reactions, which though ‘rare’ are still significant.

Considering that Sarf Efrica only had at the last count only 24% of population vaccinated, they didn’t lock down or similar despite being the source for the heavy cold now masquerading as the Moronic Pandemic. Indeed, the chief medical honcho down there has repeatedly said that the Moronic variant is nothing to worry about.

Yet the powers that be this side of the equator and their pet media (or should that be the other way around?) are all losing their collective shit despite a relative lack of people snuffing it, and the complete failure of the Moronic Variant to overwhelm health services all around the world. But no, they keep mandating masks and lockdowns, then when that fails yet again, more masks and lockdowns. It’s like being on some sort of a dystopian merry go round. Frankly me deario’s I think they’d have done less harm if they’d done nothing. Or just issued standard colds and flu advice and put the Army medical corps on standby to staff overflow units like the ‘Nightingale’ hospitals that never really got used.

Across the pond, Florida man (to be more specific his press secretary) is having a giggle over all those privileged New Yawk hypocrites like Occasional Cortex who have left their home city with all it’s curfews and mandatory masks and been seen in various Floridian locations sipping the local beverages, pandering to the only demographic who believe in her.

Likewise a lot of ‘red’ states have simply dispensed with all the Hoo-Haw and simply got on with life as normal. Even that Brandon old fool masquerading as their illustrious leader has thrown up his hands and said that it’s all down to the individual states. Not that he’s really in charge. Any more than Bojo the clown in the UK is. Who they’re in hock to, no one’s quite sure, but they’re not doing sense and logic, that’s for sure. Don’t even mention the fop allegedly in charge of Canada, because it will call you an ‘ist’ if you disagree. There, that’s you told. So there!

Then there have been the protests against all the continual restrictions across Europe, where the politicians keep on doing more of the same to the point where their respective populations are kicking off at various protests. Even normally docile Germans are going off on one. Now they have around twenty million jab refuseniks. Smart people the Germans, pity about the 1930’s and 40’s. And the whole of the 19th and early 20th century. Who do they think they are? English?

Back over here in the Wilder West we’ve not been going out as much as we normally would because everywhere shuts down by gubbermint edict at eight pee em. As if any disease was that time sensitive. Even in daytime nowhere has been very crowded, except Dunnes, the local equivalent of Marcus Expensius in the week before Christmas. The hospitality business must be almost dead on it’s feet.

Strikes me that the lockdown lobby must be stuffed with the ‘no-one must have any fun at any time any where’ faction. I remember people like that from school. They were miserable bossy little tossers back then and I don’t think they’ve changed much since.

Anyway. Here’s hoping for a better year. The wind is howling outside and I hope to lessen my own inner howl by getting extra busy in the next couple of days. Good luck everyone, I have a feeling we’re going to need it.

We need…

After a day at the beach and subsequent discussion session it’s been concluded, we need a dog for new year. Mrs S would like a house dog for company. I would like a companion for when I’m working up the fields and come back to the house knackered. ‘North’ also wants us to have a dog so she has someone else to play with when she comes visiting. Said dog will also occasionally travel with us.

Oh by the way, here’s a picture of our two little fields taken from the back of the house (See below). We’re still waiting on final completion, but we and our money are committed and probably should be, but what the hell, you go nowhere in this life if you don’t take the occasional leap of faith.

My previous pooch was a much loved family member. And I’m not sure who picked whom at the shelter I got him from. All the other dogs didn’t make an impression, but when I first saw him he cocked his head expectantly and looked directly at me as if to say “Is it you?” He’d have loved our new place. A complete slut when it came to fuss and treats, and his loss still grieves me after almost seven years. I’d have loved to have gone straight out and found another to replace him, but circumstances and landlords forbade, so we went dogless. Which has left me feeling a little empty at times.

If there’s one thing that can break my heart, wound me to my very soul, it’s losing a family pet. Because deep down I’m a big old softy. Even if I put on a stern face toward the world and can be quite implacable to humans. Pups and kittens? There lies my Achilles heel. Mrs S knows, ‘North’ and ‘South’ know. Anyone even briefly acquainted with me knows. So now we are putting down roots (Finally!) and have something to put roots into, a dog comes as part of the package.

My own preference is for a modest dog. Not a miniature or ‘toy’, nor a purebreed. A mutt or mongrel is my choice. Spaniel / Collie size. Short haired and under 6 months old. Said pooch will have the run of our 5 acres plot and a loving home. As well as the pick of my leftovers and it’s own specially brewed batches of ‘Stoo‘. No one goes hungry on my watch.

However, lockdowns and fashion have inflated the market for house dogs out of all recognition. No doubt when the fad ends the shelters will be swamped with some animals turfed out simply because they are ‘inconvenient’ or ‘unfashionable’. Which is sad for the dogs. They are pack animals and to simply oust them because they are no longer part of a ‘lifestyle package’ must be like throwing a child out of the family home for no good reason.

Dogs, for all their other faults, are loyal, and a good family pet is just that, an inseparable part of your little tribe. To cast them off like so many are is cruelty personified. At least from the dogs perspective. Abandonment from the pack is worse than death because to canines, that is death. A pack is a voluntary co-operative tied by bloodline and preference. Each member has a purpose and to lose that raison d’etre must be agony for them. It’s bad enough for humans. I speak from experience.

Better not to take them into your home in the first place, because the bond between human and dog should be ‘until death do you part’. But that’s just me. A dog is part of your life, not simply a lifestyle ‘choice’. If all you want something just to cuddle or show off to the neighbours, buy yourself a Teddy bear.

It is said you can always tell the measure of a man (or woman) by the way he or she treats his dog (or cat, or whatever). There the matter stands. I may be a while choosing. So may the dog.

An alternative Christmas dinner

Is there more to Christmas dinner than just Turkey or a roast joint? Well, if one of your much loved close family is vegetarian, and your spouse is on a strict keto diet, you have to get a bit thoughtful in order to accommodate everyone. Compromise is the keynote here.

One of the great things about this festival, although fowl is often the menu of choice, this year I have deviated, they can’t touch you for it, and gone down the piscine path, purchasing a bargain priced side of Salmon and doing the rest of the veg with my own carefully considered choices. Going for a mix of traditional and acceptable alternatives.

You don’t have to have turkey for Christmas dinner. It is not written on any graven monuments saying “Thou shalt only partake of roast fowl this holy day”. Even though that is the tradition. Jesus did not say “Hey, let’s kill a tree and eat only turkey” So while we like tradition in our household, sometimes it’s fun to try something different.

So here it is, the menu for today’s Christmas lunch.

  • Baked salmon with a Honey and Whiskey glaze
  • Sautéed buffalo spiced cabbage
  • Roast garlic butter sprouts
  • English style sprouts (For traditions sake)
  • Roast potatoes with rosemary (Roasties)
  • Riced buttered potato (Mashed spud)
  • A white parsley, dill and lemon sauce

Followed by:

  • Profiteroles (Plain and chocolate)
  • Chocolate and Jameson’s Custard

The above menu has been approved by both Mrs S and ‘North’ in advance. They have wisely left the cook to do his thing while playing with their pressies and videoconferencing in the front room. Cook (Me) is wandering around with a sly smile on his face, headphones in ears, quietly grooving away to some music and watching lovingly prepared foodstuffs bubble and brown their way to perfection.

For those of you gloomily staring at the parsons nose of yet another roast bird while thinking of having a pint in the pub, fear not, while Sunday roast style cooking is fine in moderation, every so often it’s nice to go the extra mile and do something very different. All it takes is a recipe book and a little creative thought.

Merry Christmas to you all…..

Update; A hit, a palpable hit, at least according to my diners. Have been asked to do one of my Bramley apple crumbles (Real Bramley apples, not much sugar, with a breath of cloves) later this week. Perhaps a no-bake lemon and ginger cheesecake as well. What can I say, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Yum.

Small joys

“North’ is with us. Safe and sound. If the threatened lockdowns are applied in the New Year, she may not be able to go home to jolly old Londinium. We shall see. ‘South’, still in the fabled prison camp of Oz continues to improve although she’s still a bit snotty, but we keep up with daily contact and tell her lots of bad jokes.

Right. In keeping with the spirit of the season, a recipe. A vegetarian, nay vegan recipe. Which is a bit of a divergence for this blog as I am a committed omnivore, but as I am wont to say, chacun a son gout.

Today’s offering is:

Italianate salad dressing. For those times when too much turkey / whatever is enough. If you like a change from Caesar or Blue Cheese, this will get the taste buds talking to you again.

Now I have done this one in a previous post, but these are the detailed instructions, not the precis posted earlier. Again, the focus is on simplicity and taste. Just the thing for when you’ve had a complete day and need something tasty to give an edge to your guilt driven salad.

All salads are driven by guilt. it is in their very nature. We are told they are ‘healthy’ and ‘good for us’, but why, he asked pointedly, do so many salads have to be bland and tasteless or smothered in sugary dressings? Is all that lettuce and stuff food or punishment?

Right, there is a balance to be addressed so here goes. You will need;

  • Half a cup Olive oil. Extra virgin if you can get it. Do not substitute anything else. Other cooking oils are no good.
  • A quarter cup of of Artisan balsamic vinegar. This is the thick and gloopy sweet stuff with a high price tag, but very, very nice. I buy it in 500ml bottles from specialist stores. Each bottle lasts me about two years.
  • A quarter cup of the more commonplace Industriale Balsamic. This is the thin, runny stuff more typically found in your local supermarket. Fine for general use, but none of the complexities and nuances of the Artisan.
  • A splash of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (For our transatlantic cousins this is properly pronounced Wooster-sheer, not War sester shyer. Be told.)
  • One clove of crushed and minced Garlic
  • A pinch (Oh all right, a quarter teaspoon) of dried Basil

It is worth noting that these are not so much amounts as proportions. This is a totally scalable recipe, so you can think of it in terms of 50% Olive oil, 25% Expensive balsamic, 25% cheap balsamic with elements of basil, garlic and Worcester sauce. Find a small clean glass bottle or jar large enough to take all ingredients with a little airspace and put all the ingredients in.

Put top on bottle very firmly. And keep your thumb on top for the next step.

Now shake very vigorously until all ingredients are mixed. Should take five to ten seconds. Leave to stand for an hour or two while the flavours suffuse.

Shake again before use.

Now drizzle (Not pour! Less is more here) a tiny trickle across your guilt trip salad. Taste. Enjoy. Somehow your day will seem a little brighter. And there’s no added sugar so you can use this to enlighten even the dullest Keto salad dish with a completely clear conscience.

In these control freak times, when our lives are subject to the oppressive diktats of panicking politicians, their ‘advisors’ and the perennially petrified, these small gustatory and family joys are a way of quietly fighting back against the bullshit.

Happy solstice.

All for nothing

Today we wait with bated breath to see if ‘North’ will actually be able to get on the plane to come and see us. I have fresh veg, olive oil and balsamic vinegar (A 60/40 mix of Olive oil and balsamic makes a tasty dip for Ciabatta, add a pinch of chilli and garlic with a squidge of lemon juice and Worcester sauce for an excellent Italianate salad dressing) to purchase for her visit, and another case (or two) of wine.

‘South’ reports that she is feeling much better, despite testing positive for SARS/COV-2 and being forced by diktat to self isolate over the entire festive season. We’ll find a way to get her over this Summer and give her a swinging hammock, a book and some personal space to fully find herself again.

Yesterdays media revelations about Government data modelling that Governments only ask for bad news from the data modellers rankles. No wonder, the panic button has been pressed so hard and so often over the last two years that the public is terrified of it’s own shadows. And it’s all been for nothing.

Yes, nothing. The restrictions and vaccinations have saved no-one. I’ve said from April 2020 onwards that the scenarios / predictions we were all being presented with by government and media over COVID made no sense. But up until yesterday’s news I didn’t understand the actual process.

Oh yes I suspected, but suspicion is not proof. And proof is needed. Evidence is needed. But now we have the evidence in the words of the chairman of the data modellers that they are only asked to model for worst case scenarios. No wonder we’re in a mess.

There is a solidifying body of opinion, but not yet fact, that the restrictions and disruptions have cost tens of thousands of worthwhile lives. All on the back of over-pessimistic worst case scenarios. And all for nothing. All those untreated people who could have been saved. All those who lost everything and were forced onto the breadline and worse. For nothing.

This is not ‘disinformation’ it is the simple truth and anyone complicit in suppressing that truth or censoring conflicting real world evidence is guilty of crimes against humanity. We’re looking at the tech giants here and the big media outfits, with very few exceptions. They’re all guilty as hell of the deaths and economic damage based on nothing but the justification of worst case scenarios produced by uncaring academics for self justifying bureaucrats.

And it’s all been for nothing. The pandemic has gone. The virus has mutated into a relatively benign form. Panic over. Let’s just dump these nonsensical restrictions and try to rebuild society. Said task of rebuilding should be left to the people on the ground, not their governments, who will only get in the way and cock things up.

Like they have been doing for the last two years.

Causality is a harsh mistress

Difficult news day. Down in the fabled prison camp of Oz, ‘South’ has just been diagnosed with a SARS/COV-2 infection. She will miss Christmas as she now has to stay indoors for two weeks poor lamb. However, she’s young, fit and otherwise healthy, so she’ll be a bit rough over the weekend and be drumming her heels for the whole of Yule.

For our part we will try to keep her entertained via various video sharing platforms, and all her aunts and uncles will be likewise checking in from their quarantines. We have agreed to all work together to ensure she doesn’t feel isolated and alone. She’s got a good social circle too, so they will be pitching in to help where they can, but Christmas dinner for her will be a sad little sparkler in a glass of orange juice with the culinary horror of a TV dinner. We’ll make it up to her when she finally gets out. You can take that to the bank.

This side of the world it’s a bit touch and go whether ‘North’ will make it across the Irish sea next week. We’re paying for all her extra tests to satisfy the authorities that she is ‘clean’, but honestly I’m kept up nights worrying about the closing window of opportunity. At any time the regulators can slam the door on her leaving and there’s nothing we can do short of smuggling her out to Blackpool and hijacking or bribing a fishing boat or helicopter under the radar to bring her across.

I think I’ve made this point before, but this is abuse by Government diktat. The disease isn’t that bad, the “OHMYGAWD!” variant being more akin to a common cold at this stage if the data coming out of Sarf Efrika is to be taken at face value.

I am only heartened by watching the Tories getting drubbed in their supposedly ‘safe’ seat of Shropshire North, with the potential for another kicking at the ballot box at David Amess’s old seat of Southend West. Pity that not enough protest votes are going to Reform or Reclaim, but that’s for the conscience of the individual voter. They seem to think that keeping on voting for the same mainstream parties will make a change for the better. They will find that this decision will not help, because the legacy political classes are all heavily biased in favour of return to the tentacular grasp of the EU and yet more restrictions.

Unfortunately this will lead to causality writ large. Vote for a rejoiner party, even in protest, and this is what you will get. More pointless regulation of the minutiae of your lives. More masks, more lockdowns, and don’t you dare miss your scheduled jab citizen or it’s off to the COVID gulag with you. No, not them, you. Just because it is someone else’s turn this week does not mean that it won’t be yours next. No matter how far you bend the knee. It will never be enough. This is what giving your life over to doctors looks like. Cause, meet effect. Happy now?

Because those voting for ‘safety’ will only find out that causality is a very harsh mistress. Very harsh indeed.

System admin

Okay. Contacts signed. Movers booked. And then there’s Christmas and a brand new business venture, including web sites, business accounts, registrations and suchlike. All the fun of systems admin. Then Mrs S got to badgering me about menu’s for Christmas fortnight when ‘North’ is hopefully going to arrive.

All the fuss and bother is driving yours truly ever so slightly bwanas, so I got a bit grumpy and told her to sort out the menu’s and leave the cook (Me) alone to get on with all his other jobs. Like doing all the other stuff she wants me to do. If I stuck a broom up my arse I could probably clean the floor as I go.

Whether ‘North’ will get here or not will be in the hands of the most blitheringly incompetent bunch of brain dead bozo’s (A.K.A. the collective Governments of the UK, Europe and much of the English speaking world, Yes this especially means you Australia), busy panicking about a bad head cold first identified in Sarf Efrika.

The doctors who identified this new bug are all openly wondering what the fuss is about, as all the data says this ‘variant’ is about as harmful as a six week old kitten.

The brain dead bozo’s, who don’t like to be blamed for anything, even if it is demonstrably their fault, are running around like headless chickens shutting down travel or imposing draconian measures like putting people who might have been close to someone else who had a sniffle in what are, to all intents and purposes, prison camps.

Australian brother and sister in law have gone home to their pleasant little place in Queensland, but as he is now forbidden to go back to work across the territorial border, his company will have to find someone with his very rare (and expensive) skill set already close to their offices, and find them inside a week. Which frankly isn’t going to happen without some serious laws being broken. Brother in law is a key person in the import / export supply chain, and without him or people like him, important things will not happen.

Also in Oz, ‘South’ was hoping to get out for Christmas, which at the moment seems unlikely. Personally I think she’s a bit desperate like so many others, poor lamb. All we can do from our end is send gifts and keep her talking with the promise of better times and a break in the Irish countryside with all her aunts, uncles and sister, all of whom she is missing terribly. It is our turn to host the gathering of the clan and we hope to be ready for it mid 2022.

As for prison camps. Oh boy, that’s going to (and probably has already) make for some serious discontent, and I’m sitting here waiting to see when the first bombs go off. Because unless these restrictions are walked back, that is what is eventually going to happen.

I can see it coming in like an Atlantic rainstorm towards a western beach. Some hothead, sick of being demonised and spat on by politicians, media and other boneheads, will start chucking home made explosives about, mark my words. And I predict said hothead will be that security operatives nightmare, the intelligent ‘clean skin’ with no affiliations or history who has not made an out of line comment on the Interweb but has the nous to use all those clever ‘how to’ video’s on various platforms and effectively cover their tracks.

The only way out of course is for the panicking politicians (as well as everybody else) to calm the f*ck down and take a chill pill. The virus will finish running it’s course regardless of them repeating the same old mistakes in the same old way. So let people have their festive season and civil liberties back or be prepared for trouble.

But then that’s just me stating the bleedin’ obvious. I cite as my example the repeated clamping down on civil rights of Catholics as the main trigger for firstly the 1916 Irish uprising and war of independence, also in the 1960’s the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland resulting in decades of murders and counter-murders, including the assassination of politicians.

Notwithstanding the aforementioned, I’m simply going to plunge on regardless with plans for Christmas in the hopes that sanity will prevail and we can ditch all the worthless masks, travel restrictions and lockdowns to just enjoy what should be a happy time of year. If ‘North’s’ visit happens it will be nice. If not, I’m going to remain very, very angry. Like so many others.

In the meantime. While I’m busy moving multiple domains, creating new e-commerce websites, getting ready to move house and negotiating bustling crowds of Christmas shoppers, here’s a few great oldies from the Moody Blues.

All very apposite, if you care to think about it. Enjoy.

Oh nooooooo!

So the next scare story is the “OH MY GOD!” mutation of the COVID bogeyman. The ‘Scientists fear’ lie is being pumped out by the politicians and mainstream media and we’re all going to DIE!!!! Allegedly.

And other such bolleaux. Like forbidding the unvaccinated from even going out of their houses to go food shopping, as mooted by some fruitcase in the Irish Senate and other such dickheads. We must all go into panic mode NOW! or else we’re all dooooomed!!! Despite the description by one doctor treating this new variant as ‘a storm in a teacup’.

What a bunch of morons. Like those cretins of ‘Extinction Rebellion’ who were reportedly blocking Amazon’s UK depot. So if your Amazon bought chrissy pressies are late, you know who to blame. If one of your neighbours is a supporter or member, some cascara in their festive glass of mulled wine might be a good idea. Or exclude them from any parties you might be throwing, because their brand of crazy might be catching. And, one pandemic at a time, okay?

My major worry is that the perennially petrified in power will decide that we need to lose another Christmas (But not Eid or Diwali, funny that) and ‘North’ will be forbidden entry to Ireland. Which would screw up our plans for a family get together. ‘South’ is planning to visit sunnier climes because she can’t quite afford the ticket to Eire, and besides, she prefers places with a bit more noise than the tranquillity of the wilder west. She says she’ll try and break out of the great prison state of Australia sometime mid 2022. Maybe. Australian brother and sister in law are stuck in Queensland, but hopefully brother in law has a contact or two who can help him out. He’s like that.

Re the new place, we’re signing contracts at long last, and hopefully there will be no more hangups because there’s work to do, and we’re already two months behind our original schedule. There are things that I’m going to have to do in sub-zero temperatures, like fixing shed roofs and fitting a new woodburner.

Anyway, we will see what we will see. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry he sighed theatrically. Wish it wasn’t but it is. The nutcases are in the driving seat and the great vehicle of state in which we all ride is swerving all over the place like a drunk in a tractor. Fortunately Mrs S has bought me a bottle of Black Barrel which should take the edge off things.