Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Andrex talk frankly to men about a personal problem

Thanks to Kimberly-Clark there is now no need for men who have been run over to worry about the state of their underpants. The makers of Andrex have thought of everything and have launched a campaign to advise men of the solution showing a full page shot of a man's pants clad bottom with an appalled dragon looking at the question "Could you be cleaner? Their solution:Use Andrex "moistened after regular toilet paper to leave you cleaner and fresher than ever"
Walls brilliant bacon

Within a couple of months of me complaining about the horrible white stuff in cheap bacon Walls come up with the goods.In a beautiful full page ad in the Telegraph magazine they promote their brand with theslogan "less white stuff".

Isn't the power of blogging amazing/

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Film masterpiece emerges after 27 years

Langrishe go down was shown on BBC 2 television on 16 August late night with virtually no publicity. Newspaper television reviews did not draw attention to it. I watched it accidentally having awoken with the television on a few minutes after it had begun. I was mesmerised by every part of the production.
I have never seen a sexual relationship captured so well in a film with the fascinating combination of strength, vulnerability and eroticism portrayed by Judy Dench.The cinematography was haunting and the dialogue witty and moving. Only afterwards did I realise the involvement of Harold Pinter.
It is truly amazing that this television film was shown just once in 1978 and not repeated until 2005.
Minette Marrin has a great website

One of my favourite columnists is Minette Marrin who writes for the Sunday Times. I have only just discovered her website in which I can read all that she has written for newspapers since 1991.

Such websites could well provide an alternative portal into the history of what concerns intelligent and perceptive people over the period in which they write.

She's jolly brave, however, to leave in everything she has written. I just rereasd her piece on Labour's election victory in 1997 that, as a Conservative supporter, gave her a considerable amount of pleasure. I don't know whether she ever recanted that pleasure.

Her archive index is very easy to use. I look forward to dipping into it to revisit articles that I enjoyed and to find ones that I missed.

You can find her on

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cooking a Morrison's chicken

I wonder who is responsible for the cooking instructions to be found at the back of the food labels attached to plastic film covered chickens. At Morrison's the first thing is a careful choice of colour of the typeface. What about grey? That should do the trick. Now fill up the space available by repeating information like the Morrison logo and a reminder that it is a GRADE A FRESH GARLIC BASTED CHICKEN which we of course already knew because that is what it said on the outside of the packet. Next make the typeface as small as possible. Perfect. Given the distortion caused by any attempt to read this through the plastic film, customers without 20/20 vision can be given the maximum aggravation.
Now there's one in the eye for the Disability Commission. There should be a law against it! Come to think of it there already is.
Technical note: 55 minutes a kilo at 190 centigrade + 25 minutes should do the trick.
But please take expert advice and legal advice before attempting to cook a chicken.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Frying cheap bacon

I don't know why they do it but supermarkets insist on watering down their economy bacon. There is so much water that they all seem to recommend grilling the stuff.

I like my bacon fried because I like the fat. But when you 'fry' it it is more like stewing it. What is the answer? Just put a little oil in the non stick pan and fry until the water is extruded from the bacon. There is quite a lot. Pour the mixture of water and fat away [and the horrid white gunge that comes with it] and start again with a little oil.

Now the bacon is more or less the real thing and it cooks the way it ought to before the food scientists got to it.
Pommes de terre sautées à la Lyonnaise [not quite]

Tamasin Day-Lewis explains how to do the real thing in the Sunday Telegraph but my version seemed to work quite well.

Take enough potatoes, peel them, boil them until they are cooked but don't fall apart when you cut them up into as near as you can make cubes.

Fry them in fat until they are golden brown turning them carefully. You can use bacon fat, goose fat , dripping or butter. I did two portions using bacon fat in the first and olive oil in the second.

At the same time slice an onion very thinly and fry separately. This is where a sharp knife is absolutely vital. When the onion is cooked finish off in the pan with the potatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

You should use heavy bottomed frying pans but if you don't have them don't worry.
Côtes du Rhône now relegated to also rans

£2.77 at ASDA*. How the mighty have the fallen. And it doesn’t taste bad. It has been boosted up to 13%. It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault and other grape varieties.

On the shelves medium price Australian wines seem to have collared the market. Certainly that was what I was buying. I only went for the Côtes du Rhône because it was cheap.

*ASDA is a British supermarket chain.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Saatchi’s big fish nets £7million.

Sunday Times Arts Editor Richard brooks reveals [16 January] the sale of Damien Hirst’s 1991 pickled shark to an American buyer for £7million.

The piece of conceptual art had been bought by Charles Saatchi for just £50,000 and he gets a return of 14,000% on his investment in Young British Artists.

Richard Brooks states that the work “will be lost to Britain”, that its departure is “a big loss to Britain” and that Nicholas Serota of Tate Modern was “disappointed not just for his gallery’s sake but for Britain”. He also appears to lament the fact that since the fishy statement is less than fifty years old government powers cannot stop its export.

Brooks, however, ends his article by saying that: “Some believe that Saatchi may have seen that conceptual art is on the wane.

This Arts Editor agrees andsays that Charles Saatchi, Richard Brooks, Nicholas Serota and even Damien Hirst should be given a Queen’s Award to Exporters.

Apparently the big fish is destined for the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The photograph to illustrate the work of art seems to show the shark smiling enigmatically.