Friday, January 26, 2007

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

My Birthday has always clashed with Rabbie Burns's birthday. So tonight I'm going to forgive the old jock and treat my birthday night guests to a traditional Burns night meal of Haggis, Neeps and tatties.

I collected my specially delivered Haggis yesterday from the English shop (on the third visit of the day - the van was delayed in arrival due to snow in Scotland apparently). Bought two turnips and I'm all ready to go.

In the English shop the owner pulled a face at what goes into a haggis. I had a look on the lable and there are only 5 ingredients listed. Sheep offal is the first one, the rest is all flavourings and a binding ingredient. Standard kebab ingredients then mainly.

The English shop provided the haggis with a 4 page guide to running a succesfully Burns night party. But we have decided to exchange all the pomp and ceremony of toasting the haggis and 'toast to the lassies' etc. with a more up to date post dinner poker tournament.

The 4-page guide also mentions other traditional scottish fayre that is available at the Stonemanor supermarket. "Cock-a-leekie soup" and "Tunnocks teacakes" among the highlights.

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!

Rabbie Burns, 1759-1796

Monday, January 22, 2007

Affordable property in central London

If you would like to rub shoulders with Kylie and the like, there is a nice little property gone up for sale in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea. It is expected to fetch £170,000.

One problem though it is a bit wee! Only 11ft by 7ft. It does have a cupboard though.

Expensive but near the shops

Saturday, January 13, 2007

House on Fire! Whereabouts? Sidcup!

If I had to pick my top 10 artists of all time, Mulligan and O'Hare would have to feature.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Lakeside

This years competition is hotting up to be a battle of the hard-core BDO players. The competition was billed as a write-off as new boys Michael van Gerwen and Jelle Klaasen to take the tournament away from the 'old guard'.

But it has proved to be the opposite. The 'old guard' have shown their experience on the big stage and that experience should never be written off.

A lot of rubbish is written about darts, and in general by people who only watch the televised competitions.

We now have three North-East players in the Quater-Finals for the first time.

Tony Eccles of South Bank, Boro
Gary Robson of Northumberland
and Phil Nixon of Durham

There was a chance of all 4 quarters featuring North East players until Davy Richardson from Gateshead lost his second round match.

Unfortunately I think that Eccles has the least chance of making the next round as he has to play the pet-lipped most unsportsmanlike King, whereas Robson and Nixon(a qualifier) have a great chance to make the last 4.

Robson has played out of his skin and looks the more likely to succeed. Let's hope that Eccles can also provide us with some hope against Mervyn King who will be definitely not having any support from the crowd as he has riled both his fellow players and the crowd with some unsporting behavour. But even though he hasn't dropped a set yet his averages would seem to say he won't have much chance against King unless he plays the darts he does on the circuit.

It would be good to see both in the semis as they do have better DWAGS. A synomyn which Tony Green seems to have introduced "Darts Wifes and Girlfirends".

Gary Robsons's wife is the spit of Anna Friel.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Sky at Night

“At my age I do what Mark Twain did. I get my daily paper, look at the obituaries page and if I'm not there I carry on as usual.”

With so much cabbage on the TV these days you would have thought that the BBC would celebrate the 50th anniversary of 'The Sky at Night'. Presented by Patrick Moore in all that time bar 1 programme. But they have decided to put it on at 1.50am on Monday morning.

Scene at the BBC:
Programmer: "Oh that Sky at night , Noone watches it do they?. How come it has lasted 50 years?"
Ashlucher: "Yes indeed Miss lob it in with See Hear and the OU programmes"
Programmer: " Ah Glad you agree coz that wierd baldy bloke rang me up and complained you know!"
Ashlucher: "Oh you know best Miss, What's 50 years! anyway. I'm off to catch up on Celebrity Big Brother."

The fact is that it has been going for 50 years because it has a huge loyal audience. Not down to the xylophone playing Mr Moore but more in it has been the only programme on TV to cover the subject of astronomy. It might have had a bigger audience but it has always been scheduled at a ridiculous time.

I'm going to try and stay awake to watch. 2.50am over here, but i will probably not make it as usual. Instead of interviewing Piers Sellers they should have got Jade on.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Is that it!?

Is that it?. You may be saying after the end of this movie

Along with the along-waited release of Atonement which has already had a pre-release test screening another redcar based movie will be released this year. "Is that it?". A story of losing one's cherry in 'Redcah'. It features Redcar sea-front, Whitby, Roseberry Topping, ICI and Corus, the Regent cinema, Redcar 'Musies' and I'm sure a Lemon-Top will be in there somewhere.

I've been to the Regent once in 1983 to watch E.T. The projector broke down during the emotional send-off scene when ET boards the UFO. The lights came on for 10 minutes while they quickly glued back the film together or whatever was wrong was fixed, and a lot of back seat snogging was rudely interrupted. The movie is set around that time.

"Atonement" spent a fortune on extras and set-building as they needed to create an authentic World War II feel to the movie, whereas 'Is that it?' didn't need to spend much to give Redcar an 80's feel. It was just a question of finding an Escort XR2 and a bottle of Blue Nun.

Here's a clip.

Monday, January 01, 2007

No fireworks next year

Guy Fawkes used less than this

Due to a misunderstanding with our hosts last night I had purchased a box of fireworks. Our hosts had also done this. He had later also been given almost 3 times as much, as we had both bought, by a customer who is a distributor of pyrotechnics. He also took care of a similar present for a colleague to later find out he was on holiday so would not be able to use them. The eventual result was a shit load of them. It took an hour to prepare them and almost an hour for two of us to set them all off. Four of us to carry them to the local square. I have got pain in my thighs from crouching down to light them. I missed most of them as we were madly rushing to get them finished. Next year I'm gonna watch.

We did entertain the loacals mind. We had an audience at one point and even received a round of applause when we simultaenously lit about 80 euros at once.