Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Madam Deficit Considers Sleeping Space

Naturally this government do have a proper view on what the poor should or should not be prepared to do. According to Lord Freud they (the inconvenient poor) "have the least to lose".

As of April next year... those in social-housing and in receipt of housing benefit must cut their cloth and their living space accordingly. They will see their housing benefit taxed for any spare bedroom they may have! The perceptive Lord Freud has some say in the matter again... which seems to boil down to go somewhere else and/or get a job that will help you pay for your spare bedroom.

I do kind of wonder if there are ever any circumstances that could warrant an extra bedroom? Are there divorced parents with weekend visits from children? Are there people who are trying to set up in business/study for qualifications who need office/storage/study space? And what about the size of this spare bedroom you must not be allowed? My dears... if you go home-hunting you would be surprised at spaces described as "bedrooms"... a cupboard by any other name.

Ah well. Clearly those who have a second-home in London and/or their constituencies for their parliamentary work would have a clear grasp on the matter of "necessary space" for living (their own and their ducks)...... as we have been shown.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Madam Deficit Quotes Freud

No my darlings.... Not Sigmund.... but another of that great and ubiquitous dynasty. I am referring to Lord Freud, Welfare System Reform advisor of choice to New Labour under Blair.... and Minster of same to the Coalition Government under Osborne ... oops! I mean Cameron.

Anyway... I think he just about sums up the prevailing attitude with his statement that...... "...People who are poorer should be prepared to take the biggest risks; they've got the least to lose...."

Then of course there is that other bon mot that has caused a sharp intake of breath in certain quarters.... when discussing the possibility that he may not have any first hand knowledge of what it is like to live on benefits....he says "I think you don't have to the corpse to go to the funeral...."

Well done, there! or was that a Freudian Slip? Grandaddy would be pleased.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bagel Hubris and General Woes

My second batch of bagels were wrinkly flat little things..... "over proved" we do say.... "over proved"....
Apologies for not posting for a few days.
The rain raineth. The wind bloweth. The government makes me cross and "sick to the stomach" and "fed up"... (and other such worthy and incisive quotes from our esteemed Prime Minister....) I can't bear to look at the Middle East....
And Big Sis have finally sold up and is leaving Cornwall  after forty years.... for the other side of the country.....
Was it something I said?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Animated Discussions: Alois Nebel

Received my DVD copy of "Alois Nebel" today and greatly looking forward to watching it.

It's a 2011 Czech animated film by Tomáš Luňák, based on a trilogy of graphic novels. The story is set in the late 1980s in a remote village on the Czech-Polish border where Alois Nebel works as a dis­patcher at the small railway station. A loner, fog brings him hallucinations of trains from the last hundred years passing through his station bringing with them ghosts and shadows from the dark past of Central Eu­rope. His experiences drive him to a sanatorium and his journey continues from there.

Of course I don't know the full story as yet... cos I haven't watched it! The film itself is black and whiteand uses the technique of rotoscoping live-action film.

Animated Discussions: Alois Nebel - Trailer HD

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Reshaping Of Herman

Or rather... the reshaping of Herman-the-German-friendship-cake "starter"....

Because Herman is not as he was when I received him. Then ... he be fed on flour, sugar and milk as per his recipe. To be honest, he be a pale and lazy type... frequently smelling of alcohol.

Anyways I start to substitute the dairy milk with good unsweetened soya milk when he need feeding. (A remnant from my vegan days which I still prefer for some things.... Yes? What? Yes I did once be a vegan .... for several years... and jolly healthy I did feel on it too but cappuccinos with friends set off the moral rot, plus I do get tired of justifying my food faddism with so-called friends who do not understand my views. I backslid into straightforward vegetarianism thus lessening some of the criticism. What? I do not say I be a Heroine!)

Back to Herman. Next - I kinda do not see what the sugar is for.... because The Old Man makes sourdough bread from his "starter" fed on straightforward flour and water which he has kept bubbling away for about five years now. So.... I stop adding sugar to Herman's feeds.

And this is what he is today. A lean beast of strong white flour and soya milk who lives in a covered bowl in the kitchen porch being fed on same about every four-five days. Now he is thicker, bubbles a bit ... and he smells of yeast rather than alcohol. So.... for you who be interested in the conversion and reshaping of Herman into brioche (ooh-la-la) and bagels (oy-veh).... This is how he lost flab and be made strong.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

In Which Herman Becomes Jewish

My "Herman the German Friendship Cake Starter" is continuing to travel and transmogrify. I did tell you about this dollop of sourdough in another post which it successfully sampled being French and turning into Brioche. This weekend it successfully turned itself into Bagels. It's a right little chameleon.

The recipe came from Sourdough Companion again. I just lessened the quantity a little... based on their Baker's Percentage ingredients... and was most surprised to have Bagels for Sunday Breakfast. Next time I will try cooking at 225C for a little shorter time.... cos it has to be admitted that these are of course delicious but be a trifle.... crusty. Their recipe for Sourdough bagels be here.

Mounts Bay Harriers Strike Out

Down on Long Rock Beach for the Sunday Walk and we see the Mounts Bay Harriers reaching their turnaround point after running from Marazion. One barefoot, some with dogs.

The grumpy Lowry figure with its back to us on the extreme right be The Old Man stomping off on his own. He be grumpy because he be furious over the BBC resignation brou-ha-ha. And that be another story.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Never Mind The Sheep - Back To Crime

OK. Brushing aside the brioche crumbs and sheep's wool...
I'm back to say that I do catch up with and greatly enjoy Tuesday's episode in BBC One's "Imagine" series: "Ian Rankin and the Case of the Disappearing Detective". Amongst other things it takes us through Rankin's writing process and his decision to bring Rebus back from retirement by following his writing of "Standing in Another Man's Grave"  from day one of draft one through to the book's completion.

I do very much enjoy watching this process and observe that an experienced and successful writer may still undergo that dreadful see-saw of doubt and satisfaction that accompanies creative activities. "Page 65" is apparently the tipping point. I just know the middle of making something is Doomsday.... but my efforts are largely confined to lino-cuts. Not quite such public acts of doubt then.

And of course while on the subject of crime thrillers - whatever Rankin may think about Scandinavian crime - a nation of fans is standing at the ready for the third and final series of "The Killing" due to take off with a double episode on our telly screens - BBC Four Saturday Nov 17th 21.00.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Madame Deficit Speaks

Did you know that you can keep warm on colder days by letting your pet sheep sit on your lap? Feed it with chopped mint and stale brioche and your next meal will be ready-stuffed lamb. Delish!


Monday, 5 November 2012

Where Have I Been?

.... Well nowhere of course. But overcome by the eating of brioche I have been swept into the winsome world of Marie-Antoinette. After all... was she not nicknamed by her unhappy peoples of France as "Madame Deficit"? And be not I in similar situation being of pensionable age and having worked in the public sector? It would appear that my position is responsible for the debt of our nation and the ruination of generations to come.

Some months ago The Old Man and I did visit a certain Cheese Shop to buy some .... cheese. In the course of our conversation the owner do ask what jobs we do before retirement... we do both reply "public sector". The owner smirked and do mutter about "gold-plated" pensions. We did take our cheese and leave... but we do not visit the shop any more... which I hope do bring the cheese-man to the realisation that only those with gold-plated pensions can afford the price of his cheese. Meanwhile I do cower if people do ask what I did to earn my living. I fear the village stocks and rotten cabbages... or worse... the tumbrel ....if I do tell them that I worked in the public sector.

Cottage from the Queens Garden.
Instead I toss my curls, embrace my frivolous nature and do escape into rural fantasy, gambolling about with my flock of pet sheep and designing model villages so many royals be prone to do. When I do peer at the starving masses I do naturally ask why, if they have no bread do they not eat cake?  "S'ils n'ont pas de pain, qui'ls mangent de la brioche." (Though some people do say that Marie-Antoinette did not actually say this. Which is possible. Speaking as another ninny who seems to be blamed for the poverty of others I have only sympathy with her on that point.)

Alors! I must be off and gather rosebuds whilst I may and work up an appetite for all that brioche I do be baking.