Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. -Maya Angelou

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Lunacy from the "old country" 2006

A month on and Jack Frost is making his appearance most mornings. Winter is setting in,the trees are bare and the sunshine when we get it lacks warmth. The clocks moved back some weeks ago and the days are short, its dark by four.
I managed to get some part time shift work in a local nursing home. The pay is appalling even at the weekends when I am on duty from 8 till 8 but the inmates make up for it and are dotty and delightful. Aunty P is 103, she tells me with a twinkle in her eye, that her parents removed her from school because she was "too frail" for the system. She obviously thrived despite the lack of education which unfortunately can't be said for the youth of today in this country who wear their ASBO's (Anti Social Behaviour Order) convictions as badges of merit.
Britain seems obsessed with "nannying" its population and if the Department of Health and Safety had its way we wouldn't set foot outside our front doors. Staying in bed is not an option either and will do you no good unless your duvet is tripled "tog" endorsed by the British Safety Council and is stuffed with Eco-friendly duck or goose down from hopefully organic poultry farms committed to deep litter carpets for its webfooted residents. Of course there will also be a resident manicurist on hand to deal with any annoying broken claws.
I bought some sausages yesterday which informed me on the packet(bio degradable from sustainable forests) that these sausages were made from "happy pigs that had access to custom made shelters in adverse weather conditions". Who are they kidding. A pigsty and plenty of leftovers more likely and of course they will be "happy as pigs in ...." until the farmer waves the sage in front of their noses.
Guy Fawkes Night was filled with anxiety for the locals and one county council (on grounds of health and safety) and fed up with all the restrictions, banned all fireworks and the bonfire. Instead they opted for a large screen erected on the local common to show a filmed fire and fireworks display. Maybe they had a point as some idiot in a neighbouring village decided the most sensible thing to do was to try and launch a rocket from his bottom. I kid you not!. Needless to say he wont be sitting comfortably for some considerable time. It gives a whole new meaning to "up yours" for the arsonly challenged.
I am comforted by the thought that the government is bringing in legislation to provide teachers to help me learn to recite nursery rhymes to my kids. Now if only they could help me find my keys.......
The shops are filled with Christmas goodies and we are exhorted to pay homage to the God Plastic and only declare bankruptcy in the New Year. I hope you will not succumb and instead opt for the Eco-friendly version; hand crafted presents from your local car boot sale, wrapped in brown paper and string and tastefully decorated with tags from last years Xmas cards.
Happy days!

Christmas in a Glass aka Mulled Wine
(it helps you forget the lunacy! Well actually it helps you forget anything....)

3 bottles of red plonk (cheap is best here....truly)
300 gm demerara sugar
Rind of 1 lemon,and 1 orange
4 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 vanilla pod
3 star anise
1 whole nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
4 slices of fresh ginger

Put sugar, rind, ginger and all the spices and one bottle of wine in a large pot. Heat stirring occasionally until sugar has melted. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat and leave it to infuse for 30 mins (if you are desperate you could miss this stage!But it does help with the flavour)
Add the other 2 bottles of wine and bring back to heat.
Enough to warm the cockles of yer heart........have a blessed Christmas full of good cheer.