Wednesday, March 28 2012
I have created a Lego Monster, dear readers. This is only made worse by the realisation that my blog category “Lego” and “Addictions” is only getting bigger by the day. As those of you who have read “My Boyfriend is Addicted to Lego Shopping” will know, his new found obsession with Lego started off as a well meaning attempt to put some of the child like sparkle back into Christmas for him. Unfortunately I didn’t really foresee the long term effects of this: not only have I caused my twenty six year old boyfriend to regress back to playing with Lego, but I’ve caused his twenty three and twenty one year old brothers to go the same way. Now I wish to make it clear that I never intended for the two of them to be similarly affected.
Last night, following the incident of the Altercation with the Dustbin, the boyfriend kindly picked me up from work and presented me with a carrier bag full of lovely posh chocolate. My immediate response was to proclaim this to be a reward for being ridiculous and I should continue driving my car as if it were a bumper car at the funfair. Shortly after this I surmised it was in fact a (very well aimed) ruse. A deflection if you will, from what the three had been up to all day. I knew there had been some talk about going shopping while I was at work and visiting the Lego Shop (a.k.a Mecca – not to be confused with Meccano which, apparently, is “TOTALLY different from Legos, duh”).
The three, grown men, had gone and whiled away the hours at the Lego shop. They managed to frighten away any child that so much as glanced at their coveted treasures and, after maiming several children, left the shop with six different Lego sets between them. Yes, SIX. My boyfriend had desired one of these sets for quite some time (having researched all the other possible sets he could add to his ever expanding Lego Collection: “But I am just getting next month’s Lego allowance early”?!?!) and had chosen the biggest one they had in the store: “NO, there are other bigger ones….”
My Dad pointed out to me earlier that it would actually be fairly easy to maintain order in a relationship where my partner had regressed so far as all I needed to do was threaten to take his toys away if he didn’t do as he was told. This was especially appropriate as I had already done this the previous evening when the conversation steered back towards the incident of the Altercation with the Dustbin and I threatened to take away and hide a vital component of his new Lego if he persisted. His response: “Oh no! Don’t take away the battery pack!” Sorry did you just say “battery pack”? Apparently his amazing super duper wow new Lego has a battery pack included: “It doesn’t drive or anything but the windows and doors open”.
As I sighed and looked around for a sane person in the room I found that all had gone silent. It was, in fact, the quietest the house had ever been when they were all in before which seemed eerie. Then I realised that the silence was that perfect silence of concentration. The boys were all sat on the floor with little piles of different coloured Lego all around them trying to construct theirs the fastest.
What have I done?
Thursday, March 17 2011
We’re in the middle of Lent – not that many observe it in the same way it was once. No meat certainly, even if you could afford it, and a daily diet of fish would certainly begin to pall after a while, nor was there the wide range of vegetables that we have now.
Apparently the 40 days of fasting produced excellent physical effects by giving the digestive system a rest after the excesses of the winter season and Christmas festivities.
Household cooks were on their mettle to produce appetising dishes while adhering to the general idea of abstinence.
Kent is famous for its Lent Pudding. Sometimes called a tart or pudding pie, it is similar to a baked cheesecake and usually includes ground rice and currants.
There are several recipes to be found in the internet, although I haven’t tried them, including Kent Lent Tart; Kent Lenten Pudding Pie; and from the KM itself: Kentish Pudding Pie.
Let me know if you try them.
Tuesday, January 18 2011
“Boris Island”, or the construction of an airport in the Thames Estuary, is the most controversial design in history – apart from Emperor's Palpatine's Death Star. As we can see (from the image I've included) the whole design is deeply flawed and a logistical nightmare. I cannot fathom the words to describe the idea of the terminals located on land and, yet, the runways to be stationed at sea.
I foresee transportation problems, especially when we experience bad weather. And planes might be rather sophisticated machines -ability to operate unaided- but I admire the pilots navigating towards two tiny runaways in the Thames Estuary. In fact, the tiny “ditch” in the Estuary reminds me of the Death Star. Which lead to the inevitable destruction of the space station....His Greatness, the Mayor of London, has perpetuated the environmental benefits towards this devilish scheme – including a potential flood barrier. Yes, that is correct. An airport substituting as a flood barrier. The word “fear” comes to mind....
When this revelation made its début and gleefully graced my presence, I did study the economic argument at great lengths. Kent does require significant upgrades to infrastructures and investment, too. An airport would provide jobs to the economy, including an influx of tourist to sections of Kent. But, after careful meditation on the matter, this airport is a very bad idea – and the majority of Kent agree.
Boris metamorphose into Lex Luthor is quite hilarious, yet alarming too. Both envision bizarre and ludicrous concepts; with a passionate thirst for world domination and terrorising cities in their spare time. Leaving facetious comparisons aside, a message to Boris: politicians don't make good architects
(Below, the "Design". Credit to London Evening Standard)
Thursday, October 14 2010
I'm currently preoccupied drafting an critical opinion on the role of religion in society. I reject those who suggest atheism and Darwinism resulted, or influenced, national socialism or communism. Modern or rational societies should not be subverted by superstition or theocratic principles - its a schism that has done nothing to divide and destroy countless cultures over history. But, however, I'll keep my thoughts (and atheism) and use them in my work. I'll post the full article, when published.
In other news, I'm hoping to become a regular contributor for a new online magazine (I'll keep you informed!)
Also, this week, your humble political blogger had work published on Left Foot Forward.
Are the drone strikes in Waziristan war crimes?
Other work can be found on ConservativeHome and LibDemVoice, if you're interested.
Saturday, October 2 2010
As someone who spends significant man hours in the NHS - I do take great interest in the reforms of the health system. The vast bureaucracy has become a nightmare and accident & emergency closures are a reminder of a declining health service in this country. However, do we want greater competition? Do I want my hospital, in Canterbury, to compete with Ashford? I don't think I do. My deep profound fear is -if these reforms fail- then the only choice left is a private health system. Even though it would bring economic benefits, the moral implications of removing a free service will be a deep scar on the United Kingdom.
Due to the fiscal crisis, some are asking can we even afford a nationalised health service.
If a doctor is allowed to control the budgets then are they prevented from denying treatment - if its too costly. Government might suggest otherwise, but these concerns do need addressing. A hybrid, public service operating as a private organisation might lead to a far greater, more dangerous, creation. In the end, I fear, we will start having to pay for certain treatments on the National Health Service.
Friday, October 1 2010
Former chief executive Peter Gilroy had a controversial reign at Kent County Council, most notably his salary was called into question. To put it into prospective, he earned twice as much as the Prime Minister.
But still, he felt the need to charge the taxpayer for restaurant bills and other expenses. Alas, we forgive and forget, for they know not what they do. The recent revelation, however, is more odd. 3/4 of a mile taxi ride, for lunch, which cost us £4.50. £240,000 salary and yet, the taxpayer, was billed.
Why is that?
Apparently, Mr Gilroy was recovering from an operation and was unable to walk. Fine, I accept that. However, if the gentlemen was recovering from an operation - then I must ask - why was he at work? KCC statement said Peter Gilroy could not walk or drive. Under Health and Safety guidelines, he should not be in work.
Note to KCC: In future, give staff sufficient time to recover from operations. Much better for the individual and the taxpayer.
Tuesday, September 28 2010
There is one lugubrious sight that never changes within Canterbury and this is the long, tedious and ugly traffic jams during rush hour. It's inexcusable and a nightmare. Along Sturry Road, many homes and businesses are covered in dirt from pollution – surprised we've never seen a public health crisis to be honest. But the most frustrating fact is this: majority of the traffic, that comes through Canterbury, has no business in Canterbury. Drivers, in some cases, have no choice but to go through the city.
A conversation is needed among us residents, local and central government. Canterbury needs a bypass. Seriously, the decades of talking need to bare witness to a serious idea on how to deal with traffic problem and the city. Environmentalists -I am aware- will be in uproar and I understand, but the local road network cannot be expected to ignore the changes in population growth and its interdependent relationship towards infrastructure. Many taxi drivers (that I've spoken to) do believe a bypass is long overdue. Alas, there is one problem though. Money.
Britain is undergoing austerity measures to tackle the worst peace time budget deficit. Central government cannot afford it or the Department of Transport might struggle to justify such a large scale project. However, I disagree. If the government is promising “justified spending” then a bypass around Canterbury is public money well spent. Air pollution will decline, from a significant reduction of traffic jams, and properties will be much cleaner too. Secondly, businesses be will tempted to invest in the city due to improved logistical links and the project could lead to regeneration of deprived areas of Canterbury.
It shouldn't be me, your humble political blogger, leading the debate. Councillors need to be discussing this issue and calling on Westminster for action. We cannot go on like this.
Tuesday, September 28 2010
Chris Cooper camping in grounds of St Mary the Virgin Church in Ashford protesting against development at the church, by GARY BROWNE.
Click here to read the story in full.
Click here to buy KM Group pictures.