Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Alan Coren

Listening to the News Quiz on the way back from work on Saturday and noticed again that Alan Coren wasn't in it. Googled him to find that as I was beginning to fear he had died. How come I am always missing the important events? I remember him answering a question on the appointment of Rowan Williams as Archbishop " I know nothing about him except that when you see him in those robes you just know there is some serious sandaling going on under there"
Just down the road in the next village towards Builth is the Erwood Inn which has associations with Punch.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Llyswen in the top 10 - just

seeSunday Times

Big it up

I ve just looked at some dreadful paintings on a website where the artist declares amongst other things ‘ I paint because I don’t know how not to’ . I think she rather underestimates herself as the stuff I saw was an excellent demonstration of how not to. Where does all this excessive confidence come from these days?
Does it date to Muhammad Ali whose self glorification seemed at least different and was anyway mainly true.?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cardiff Bay

After Fish and Chips at BHS Newport yesterday went on to Cardiff Bay and had a pot of tea in the warm February sunshine on an outside table on that little pier on the right.
There are some nice buildings but the overpriced Assembly building already looked a little rusty round some of the screws on its fitments and the great wooden underside of the billowing canopy like roof ,if it belonged to us, I would be beginning to fear pressure from Ann to give it another coat of varnish. Also there were a couple of metal pillars there that looked to me like somebody had thought after the event - I think we had better stick another couple in to be on the safe side. Nevertheless it was good to see.

Never trust a dairy farmer – the Cheese Conspiracy

I think I am safe in saying that as they are all sheep farmers in these parts.
We are what we are by reason of our genes and by the accidents of life as we wade through it. From a genetic point of view I can think or I can feel within my self no innate propensity to drink milk or to take it and let it go off a bit before consuming its solidifying remains. Therefore that I have drunk milk and eaten cheese must be due to some event or events which have befallen me. I can imagine no accident however bizarre that would cause me to discover on my own that the milk of an unrelated species was something I should ‘drinka pinta’ day of .
So that is it the false claims of the farming industry that milk, butter cheese etc are ‘good for you’ being established in the climate before I was born.
I am made of genes which are rigid in their influence changing only as they mutate to subsequent generations. I am also shaped by life as I encounter it and it interacts with my genetic propensity. But the body of ‘knowledge’ that exists in the world, like ‘dairy products are good for you’, is also like genes in influencing behaviour except that it exists outside of the body of an individual and can mutate during the lifetime of an individual. That would explain the longevity of certain defunct ideas like democracy for example.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fish, chips, peas and the Big Issue

Two top hole eating experiences in two days !!
Today it was British Home Stores Newport – fish chips and peas at £5.25.
A bit more pricey than the Bell Hotel and the extra 50p probably reflected the more sophisticated lifestyle of a big city like Newport.
The Big Issue seller was himself from Newport and had a great line in patter.
‘Big issue love? Go on buy it - take it home - sling it in the recycling if you like.’
He worked very hard and I sat watching him while Ann was wandering round Marks.
I calculated that only about 1 in 40 bought despite him working constantly and with an original script. He deserved much more and in another selling environment he would have been top man without too much trouble.
The Big Issue seller in Llandod and the one in Brecon appear to be East Europeans and one is tempted to ask whether their homeless are doing our homeless out of their birthright.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Beautiful Ote

Sunday Lunch at the The Bell Hotel Talgarth. A friend of mine used to call it the Belle Ote because for a number of years, Reggy Perrin like, it had mysteriously shed the letters from both ends of ‘Hotel’.But now its signage is fully restored and I do not have to wonder what a beautiful ote might be.
This was the first time I had been in despite living here for 26 years.
The menu was roast beef or pork or pheasant - £4.75. I ordered a pint of beer and a tonic water which came to £2.60.
The surroundings were beautifully anachronistic I cant think of a time when I would not have recognised them or been surprised at what the Bell contained.They have permanently diverted all traffic round Talgarth now and the quietness as the sunlight streamed in through the windows from the main road added to the pleasure. Ann had a rice pudding and I had treacle tart and ice cream and this boosted the overall cost by £4. Excellent value but more than that a beautifully ‘unimproved’ experience.