Sunday, 25 February 2007


Popped to the supermarket for some shopping earlier. I wanted some meat and veg and such like, also wanted suet. Wandering around I started reflecting on how little of what the shop stocked my grandmother would have recognised - she died in the early 1980s. First up let's ignore the country of origin information on the fruit and veg - some of these countries had different names in 1980 (Zimbabwe, Croatia, etc) and let's also ignore all the electrical kit that simply wasn't around. It's the packets and pouches, tins and cartons, boxes and bags. I'm not suggesting that ready meals and processed food are new but it's the sheer welter of it - I'm trying to remember the name of those chinese meals with dehydrated "meat" and crispy noodles that had to be fried. Gran would also have been shocked by the small amount of space devoted to "real food", so little unprocessed stock, so few of the basics like flour and cornflour and the bits and pieces that those who can cook like to have festering at the back of the cupboard.

Of course that doesn't mean that these things aren't stocked but there were six different types of tinned chopped tomatoes and two types of flour. Next to the suet are boxes and boxes of suet dumpling mixes with different flavourings - trust me, if you can master making suet dumplings making herby suet dumplings isn't a great stretch. And that's where I ended up, I realised that the stuff on the shelves was mainly made from a few bits of the other stuff on the shelves but by mixing it in a factory rather than selling to people with the gumption to mix them at home the manufacturers and supermarkets are making a killing. I know none of this is new but it takes me a while to catch on.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Wednesday, 7 February 2007


"Something's gotta give" is on TV right now. Smashing film with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. They can both act but what I find most striking is how stunningly attractive Ms Keaton is.

Years ago I fell in love with her in "Annie Hall" - to see her again after all these years has taken my breath away.

But she never calls, she doesn't write............

Useful science!

I think that scientists actually engage in some valuable research - at least some of the time!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

People power?

I've mentioned the petitions section on the government's web site in the past but this petition has really attracted some attention. It's been discussed on a couple of BBC radio programmes and I think that's helped boost it to 707,000 signatures and I think it might be getting names simply because people have heard about it rather than any great views about the petition - though I think it's a good idea to stop the government's poorly constructed plans. See what you think?

Every little helps!

This has been bouncing round internally for a week or so but it's finally getting some exposure.