Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I've been watching

a programme on telly about the hundred favourite foods of the British as voted by viewers. Fish came out as number one. Thai food was listed in the top five. Fish is such a generic term that I can't disagree with it's number one spot but the most astonishing food I've ever tasted by far must be Thai. I was taken to a Thai restaurant about 10 years ago and was fairly po faced about it because (miserable get that I am) I thought the food would be a variation of Chinese food, and hey, who hasn't eaten their fair share of Chinese food? No disrespect to our Chinese brothers and sisters.

Vegetable tempura in the lightest most mouthwatering batter was served first with a sweet chili dipping sauce. I was entranced. This was followed by a hot and spicy chicken soup scented with lime leaves and lemon grass. Silence overcame me because of aromas and tastes I had simply never before experienced in my entire life. Even long after I can still remember the restaurant, the table and the food which had so clearly been passed down to us by the very Gods themselves. And mark my words I'm an athiest. It was such an assault on my senses, so delicious that in gratitude I briefly considered giving all my worldly goods to the chefs and converting to Islam. In the following weeks I bored people to death with a tale of food so awesome it could barely be described using a crude medium like language.

10 years after, Thai remains for me the most exquisite food on this planet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


The road to work passes out of Manchester towards Stockport in the southern suburbs. At this time of year when it's clear the rising sun shines directly into my eyes as I'm driving. The winter sun is bright and hard edged, a deep yellow set in a cold azure sky. I like the word azure. One of the definitions of azure in the Collins dictionary is 'serene' but I think in winter azure is more harsh, edgy. On wet roads the glare is so strong that even a sun visor isn't much help against the piercing light.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Sunday night

Today I've been sleeping on the sofa suffering from a surfeit of gin last night. It started off with tea time glasses of wine at friends then back to mine for more wine. The wine tasted so good it ran out. Only gin left in fridge so I pulped some tangerines, to make the drink healthy, and finished off the gin. Ended up watching the film 'Notting Hill' with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and even though I was very drunk my critical faculties were unnafected, the film was absolute shite. The downside of being drunk meant I forgot to turn the film off so I lay there cursing this complete load of cack! Hugh Grant played himself, as usual, and Julia Roberts played a famous film star who falls in love with him. I did not laugh once.

I suppose a lesson to be learned here is how alcohol can confuse a functioning mind in that it didn't occur to me that I could turn the bloody thing off. Yet at the same time alcohol can strangely leave other parts of the rational mind untouched, I really knew I was watching something truly abysmal.

This film was so bad that being really pissed couldn't improve it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

There's much to be angry about, much to stand up for.

I've been reading Riverbend's blog from Bagdad and she writes movingly of the tragedy of Falooja. Yet still Blair and Bush get away with it. The horror's these two santimonious arses visit on the Iraqi people are breathtaking, literally. Next March there are to be demonstrations across the world opposing the occupation of Iraq. I went on the great demonstration of 2 million in London on February 15th last year and expect the demo in March 05 to be large and lively. There is much to be angry about, much to stand up for.

I was talking to my friend Amanda who is a teacher and is exhausted by these shitty school inspectors who have been in sneering at everything she does. In my workplace the inspectors have just finished. They didn't sneer though they did look down their noses at me. Bastards!

In the UK it sometimes feels like a pressure cooker. Tremendous anger and bitterness over the corrupt Blair and his rich friends and a generalised feeling that change must happen. However the steam keeps powering through small cracks here and there. Social Workers in Liverpool on all out strike, government workers balloting for a national strike, a demonstration by students in Cardiff, the build up for the demo in March next year. Sometimes it feels like a big change is coming. And not before time.