Friday, 15 January 2021

Never a Dull Moment?

 

The expression 'There's never a dull moment' is not always true; we have plenty of dull moments.

It's not every day that I encounter screaming women, people who smash brand new water meters, or even folk who openly steal copyrights. Such goings-on, although not exactly every-day events, do, occasionally, give me something 'interesting' to write about. Otherwise I'm obliged to consider much more mundane subjects, such as Cassoulet, Trugs, and Tree Houses.

                              

So, you can imagine my 'excitement' when I spotted this taped-off area just fifty metres from our cottage. Of course, I was obliged to inspect.


It turned-out to be a mini-sink-hole. It's not particularly deep; I estimated about two metres. But the fact that it suddenly appeared overnight is 'of interest'.

I mentioned it to my neighbour J, and he told me of another one, much bigger, in the woods nearby, that has simply been left as it was found. Not filled-in, but still a large gaping hole. I didn't ask where it was exactly, as I think I'd rather not know. 

I suspect that there are many more in the immediate area; probably caused by constant erosion from underground streams. 

As long as one doesn't suddenly appear in Haddock's; I shall try to ignore them! 

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Vulgus Vehementi.



There is no question that many social injustices have been overturned, and corrected, following civil unrest, but to attempt to overturn the results of a Presidential Election by similar means is not only undemocratic, but, frankly, ridiculous. 

However, a regular mélange of anarchists, civil libertarians, Marxists, hooded opportunist tracksuit-wearing rabble-rousers, Fascists, and even CND supporters, see fit to cause trouble for their governments by taking to the streets, and rioting. Personally I can never see this as a 'right'. Peaceful protest OK, but not wanton destruction.

At present on the world's streets are Proud Boys, Rebellion Extinction lovies, BLM activists, every day Anarchists, and MAGA red-necks, amongst a multitude of other groups. Some are peaceful; others are no less than well-armed destructive militia. Those who recently stormed The Capitol are plainly just ill-informed criminal hooligans.

Ex-UK Prime minister, David Cameron, rightly said "No government I lead will ever put those who fight to defend democracy, on the same footing as those who seek to destroy it". Our problem is that the less one does to quell such destruction and violence on our streets, the more it gives encouragement to those those who are out for blood.

No-one wishes to stop peaceful demonstration; it's all part of the democratic process. But overtly violent mobs on our streets should be dealt with swiftly and sharply. When Boris was Mayor of London he bought several water cannons to give such people a good soaking, but the bleeding heart do-gooders claimed it was against their human rights to be drenched, and the cannons were banned and eventually sold for scrap; at a loss to the good folk of London of £300,000.

There's a fine line between lawful and unlawful protest, but when destructive looting takes place, and the police, and government property, attacked, then immediate action should and must be taken, and those who have instigated the violence made to face the law; or even impeachment.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Cassoulet.

One of the better known dishes from this part of France is 'Cassoulet'.

Depending on who you talk to, it either originated in Toulouse, or Castelnaudary. Most would go for the latter.


What is certain, however, are the basic ingredients; Beans, Confit de Canard, Toulouse sausage, and time. 

I tend to add a small squirt of Tomato purée, a splash of red wine, and some fresh herbs. Then it's simply a matter of time; a couple of hours very slow cooking on 'George', and it's done.

Perfect winter food. Lovely.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

MasterChef.


As a bit of a foodie, I suppose that MasterChef should be amongst my favourite TV programmes; but it isn't.

MasterChef has become a classic over recent years. This UK TV show is now shown, or made, in over 60 countries, and takes various forms.

Anyway, here's a bit from an earlier series.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Forward thinking.


We have a Dutch friend, who, having just returned from Holland, very kindly gave us the cheese below.

As you can probably see, it is a Gouda type cheese, flavoured with a hand made Pesto. I suspect it will be totally delicious.


But this is not really about the cheese itself, nor about our generous friend. It is about the piece of paper on which the vacuum-packed cheese is lying.

The cheese itself is a farm produced, hand-made, cheese; vacuum-packed for convenience. But once opened, the accompanying sheet of 'cheese paper' has been specially supplied for you to re-wrap it in, in order that it stays in tip-top condition.


What a bloody marvellous idea. I have never encountered this before. Such pride in their cheese means that they even care about its correct preservation once broached.

The cheese is delicious, by the way. If only all cheesemakers/sellers were as conscientious.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Sunday Special: Jesus On Holiday. A True Story.


It is a well known 'fact' that Jesus went on holiday to England with his Uncle Joseph of Arimathea (above). The why, and wherefores, are less well known.

His Uncle was Jesus's mother's brother who was a tin merchant, so their visit was probably mostly for business.

What they got up to over in Blighty is not sure, other than they visited Glastonbury, possibly for the festival, and Priddy, where they might have attended the Folk Festival and Sheep Fair.  I expect when in the area they would also have visited the ancient site of Stonehenge (as do all).

After Jesus died, his Uncle Joe returned to Glastonbury where, in memory of his nephew, he drove his walking stick into the ground and it took root. The resulting tree, known as the Glastonbury Thorn, was still growing within living memory, and apparently flowered twice a year. It finally died in 1991, and was chopped-down the following February. A few cuttings were cultivated, so its legacy lives on.

Jesus's visit was famously memorialised in England's (and the WI's) favourite Hymn 'Jerusalem', with lyrics by William Blake.

And did those feet in ancient time

walk upon England's mountains green.

And was the Holy Lamb of God (Jesus)

On England's pleasant pastures seen?

The 'did' casts some doubt over his visit, but without need. The story is 100% true, so please don't question its validity. The modern phenomenon of 'Fake News' (Trumpism) wasn't invented until some 2,000 later.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Arthur and Vincent in Toulouse


After all the excessive eating of the Christmas period, you may not want to watch this.

Arthur and Vincent are having the day off. They visit beautiful Toulouse (a bit south of here) to enjoy some lunch, with someone else doing all the work for a change. 

I really must visit this restaurant!

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