That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

For Yasgur’s farm.

I couldn’t resist a quick tramp through the bracken with the 410 so I was a bit late getting into work yesterday. I got a couple of fine doe hares and three brace of pigeons, right plump ones too.

I split the kill with Dick when I got in:

‘There you go and don’t say I’m not good to you. That’d cost you a few quid in the shops.’
‘These ladies are from Icelandair,’ he said, a bit frosty. ‘They’ve been waiting since 11 o’clock to discuss the maintenance contract. Remember?’

There was blood and feathers on my jerkin and my moleskins were covered in briars, but I hid it well.

‘Yes of course I remember. Inga and Sandra! How are you both? Good flight I hope.’

I reached out a hearty hand. Sometimes I hate my big practical hands.*

Cooking tip.

A raised pie uses hot-water crust pastry. That works the best.

Make the stock with the leg bones of the hare and the carcases of the pigeons after you’ve removed the breasts.

For the pie, you’ll need the breasts of 4 pigeons and the boned hare sliced into strips. Mix with 10 oz of pork sausage meat, a quarter pound of cooked ham chopped, 6 oz of chopped mushrooms, a chopped optional hardboiled egg, ½ cup red wine or vermouth and season with salt pepper and grated lemon rind.

Remove the hot-water crust pastry from the pie mould. Check the resultant pie case for holes and repair. Fill the pie case with the mixture. Dampen the rim, cover and seal, - crimping to make a decorative edge. Cut a 2” vent in the top. Brush with a beaten egg and bake in the hot oven for an hour.

Remove from the oven, make a cigarette out of greaseproof paper and force it into the vent to keep it open. Brush the top and sides with more beaten egg and replace in the hot oven but on a lower shelf, for another hour.

Remove the pie from the oven. Let it cool a bit then pour 1¾ cups of the stock through a funnel into the vent of the still warm pie. If the pie has leaked in the oven, wait until it’s cold before pouring in the stock. You can use any remaining stock to make a rich game sauce by reducing it with some sherry wine and unsalted butter and one of the blood bags out the hare. Lovely.

Let it chill for 5 hours before cutting.

*You can’t get the gloves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I could tell you about my life and keep you amused I’m sure. Look, never mind all that, listen.
Today, as always around this time [14.05] I am submerging. For a quarter hour I slide down this mad helter-skelter into the rotten core of my weak human heart.
I don’t fight it. I dive deeper. The sooner it’s over, the sooner it’s over.
Lately it’s been getting worse. These days, my mind turns quite naturally to novel ways of inflicting pain at its most exquisite. I’m surprising myself. We’re in terra nova folks; we sure as hell ain’t in fucking Kansas Toto.
The objects of my malevolence?
David and Ruth Archer.
I want them to die. I want them to suffer pain in some painful combine harvester wait…I want them fed, feet first, into some kind of industrial meat grinding machine… in slow motion…yes in slow motion…it mustn’t be quick…not for those bastasrds!
I said I was surprising myself. I don’t say I’m a good man, oh but I would be, if I could.

Monday, April 23, 2007

St. George and the Budley Salterton Bypass.

A happy St George’s Day to Pat and all the other English bloggers like Ayres and Foot Eater and Neil and Dick and the rest of them. God bless you all.

Only the top notch countries have a patron saint and they don’t come more pukka than St George. He kills the dragon and gets a virgin! Result!

The English flag is in fact just the flag of St. George.
They liked it so much, that they made it their own.
‘We like the whole St George story so much,’ they said, ‘that we’ll make your flag, our flag.’ and that was that. St George’s flag was now England’s flag as well.
Hmmm, a little bit naughty when you think about it. Didn’t really ask, did they? Little bit previous if you ask me. Didn’t wait to be offered. Just stretched out and took it, like the last bun on the plate.
Anyway, all a long time ago and I’m sure we wish them well, on this, their day of days.
Was a bit rude though. Manners don’t cost anything. ‘Ooh that looks nice, I’m having that…’
Yeah, just like India.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Maserati passed me at Stirling. It so like evoked Fatmammycat in her shiny leather catsuit. That’s right. In my mind that’s what she always wears.
I know what you’re thinking : it must chafe and squeak. Well she’s worth it.
As I drove on, I pictured us both in my luxury jet, flying off to somewhere tropical, you know? Somewhere like so long haul.
It was great. We had in-flight Cobb salads and afterwards she had a bloody mary while I drove over the rumble strip onto the hard shoulder. Whoops.
Those rumble strips are a triumph of British ingenuity. They stop you drifting right enough. After that I toned down my fantasy considerably.

By the way SheBah, if you’re reading this, I am six one with smooth golden skin, long sensitive fingers and the darkest liquid eyes. I love painting, especially WW2 fighters and bombers. I can play trad on the piano and smoke on the water on the guitar. I’ve got a fuzz box.

let’s get back to those toned-down fantasies;

• for the Friday booze run to Tesco, I now dress her in boots, britches, cravat and give her a riding crop. Yoiks! Halloo!
• for the bar supper down at Wetherspoon’s, it’s Emma Peel’s jumpsuit from the Avengers. Two mixed grill sizzlers please!
• for clubbing at the Ice Factory, I’m thinking Dallas Cowboys cheerleader with like, cowboy boots and silver cap guns. TOUCHDOWN!
• and for watching Celtic on Setanta in the front bar, a simple and elegant French maid’s outfit with feather duster. Deux kir? Oui s’il vous plait!

It’s not the same without the duster. Everyone knows that.
Some nights I dream of finding solutions to mathematical functions but not so much recently.

And when the dam breaks, many years from now…

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anglophilia and the Scottish Elections.

I believe that the Scots and Irish are anglophiles.

I don’t mean the mindless sycophancy of Ulster and West of Scotland Unionists; which is a buttock clenching horror upon the earth; I mean our deep hidden admiration of the English and their English ways.
Many times I’ve heard ‘bloody English!’[and worse] in the cosy Front Bar of an evening.
I always challenge this because that’s just the kinda guy I am.
A frank exchange of views then takes place where the thrust of reason and rational counter argument take the floor and cant and sophistry slink off to their cheerless hovels...

And it’s not all roses in the English garden either. There is the royal family for instance. Surely in 2007 even the idea of a royal family is an embarrassing anachronism. Hereditary privilege? And worse, a constitutional function? Based on genes? What are we thinking about? Are we mad?
There we are, preaching parliamentary democracy to the poor and ignorant of the world, (3,000,000,000 on a dollar a day or less) while we pamper our royals to the point of obscenity.
But of course to disestablish the monarchy would mean taking a hard look at all our upper classes and they wouldn’t like that so they will never let us. A pity really because it lessens us, whoever ‘us’ is, and that’s another thing, there never was an ethnic British identity, let alone one that should be protected.
No matter what any Nationalist will tell you.
Nationalists. They are another anachronism.
The idea that people are simply better because of the bit of ground they were born on.
Give me strength.
Sean Connery? What, for the love of Christ, is that all about? He’s Spanish for God’s sake, in his kilt or no’.
The only good thing to be said for independence is that it might make us less anally retentive, because by God, THAT is the national disorder of the Scots. That and a parochialism that would astound. To the Nationalists, I heartily say:
“Hamish! The world’s speeding up!. Jump on! Leave Brig o' Doon and come with us to Rio and Noo Yoik and Barthelona and LA and high-ceilinged Paris.”

If we were to become a republic and be in the EU with euros and everything and not be dragged into disgraceful wars all over the place and we had a Chinese woman from Dundee or Garnethill or even Kirkaldy as the first president, then I’d probably vote for Them. The Nationalists I mean,- not the Chinese; they’ll be here soon enough.

I’m doing ‘Ameriphilia’ next.

Mater has come. She’s been here four days now but it seems longer. She’s a total townie. Unfenced grass upsets her, it makes her nervous, she hates it. Even the fair city of Perth, gateway to the highlands, heart of Scotland, holds no joy for her beyond the pleasure of sniffing at the place. She should have been a duchess. Our house backs onto the park where the village fete is held. Once, some years ago now, she was up and as we walked over, we were met by some smiling villagers and it soon became clear that they had mistaken her for Lady Somebody Else who had been booked to cut the ribbon. Made her day of course. I remember it fine. There was a racehorse, a Grand National winner and at the bottle stall I won a bottle of Mateus Rose and one of Head and Shoulders shampoo. Mrs Maroon has taken a lot of extra shifts. The money will come in handy.
Still no sign of NTL.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Diet of worms.

‘I want Fatmammycat.’
‘Tell us something we don’t know.’ he sneered, dragging the red pencil around Japing Ape.
‘Hey, fuck off Ayres!’ I protested, ‘Bananas must remain a joint protectorate forever.’
‘Fuck you Maroon!’ he replied, stroking his chin, ‘this beard needs the lebensraum.’
‘Why not take your access to the sea through Fishwhacker Swindle?’ I challenged.
‘Poor infrastructure,’ he objected, ‘and who the fuck died and left you SheBah?’ he demanded, suddenly standing up and pointing at the map.

The landlord came over.

‘I wonder if you’d mind keeping it down, gents? Only we’ve got a lot in for lunches today.’ he pleaded.
‘Oh Yeah?’ scoffed Ayres, belligerently sipping his raspberry and vanilla infusion.
‘Leave it Kim, he’s a civilian.’ I soothed…

Once again, Ayres and his beard and I were in neutral Clackmannanshire deciding the future map of the Blogosphere. It was Yalta all over again…

‘What about Hutton?’ Ayres continued.
‘Have it and welcome.’ I offered.
‘I don’t want it.’ he shrugged.
‘Me neither.’ I assured.
‘What about Past Imperfect then?’ he wheedled slyly.
‘Piss off! Just because it’s non-aligned you think you can walk in and make yourself at home.’ I expostulated.
‘Fine, I’ll take Kitchenbitch then.’ he smirked.
‘Oh no you don’t, you slimy fucker. They smash crockery there, -that’s a Maroon trait, -there’s a definite cultural connection speaking geopolitically!’ I raged, spilling my Appletiser into the bargain.
‘Philosophically speaking, that blog is in MY sphere of influence.’ Ayres bellowed, thumping the table with his shoe and upsetting the sugar tongs.

The landlord reappeared:

‘If you keep using words like that, I’m going to ask you to leave.’
‘What, “slimy fucker” ?’ I enquired in amazement.
‘Geopolitical.’ avowed the landlord, before adding darkly; ‘you’ve been warned.’
‘Ooh, hark at her,’ mocked Ayres, ‘…right, what about Problemchildbride?...

Friday, April 06, 2007

Juxtaposition. I’m from a place where the use of that word earns you a punch in the mouth, from your own family even.
Tossed and turned all night I did, but the day had arrived. What would the big man in the beard say? What insight would fall from his lips? Which path would he illuminate for me? Would I measure up?

I wasn’t let down. He always delivers. He managed to juxtapose genetic Frankenstein heart valves and mankind’s black heart and the sacred heart of Christ on the cross! Well, it is Good Friday and he is the Archbishop of Canterbury.He always get “thought for the day” during Easter. Fides defens etc. It was a triumph.

As for Ayres, who the hell knows what he has to say for himself?

Never heard about Oscar Wilde and Brendan Behan, Sean O’ Casey, George Bernard Shaw, (can’t think about) Samuel Beckett, Eugene O’ Neil, Edna O’ Brien and Laurence Stern…

This week, I have mainly been listening to Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

And Alice Cooper.

I wear lace and I wear black leather.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I’m using up a day of leave to see Ayres tomorrow. If I don’t, he’ll sulk for months and contrive to throw it in my face in a hundred ways. I’ve told him straight that personal contact is the death of blogging. Does he listen?

Skip to the end.

The point is this: If you have any questions you want to ask the great philosopher, now’s your chance. Get them in and I’ll ask him point-blank.

Post them in the comments, or if you are shy, email and I’ll post the answers.

Personally I wouldn’t ask him anything. His answers are usually flimflam out of some textbook he says he’s read but I think you should have the option. I hope he doesn’t bring his mandolin again. That troubadour look is sooo last century.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I 'm a bit liverish so let's just sit here quiet and listen to the screams of the robots and the people making the fan blades and stuff not twenty feet away.
Noisy ain't it?
Well no, it isn't.
They're like a gang of Trappists.
That would be weird. A bunch of hooded men working in an engineering workshop in silence. Their cassocks would get caught in the milling machines.
Actually, we haven't got any milling machines.
We had to get rid of them because of the cassocks.

11.47. just another lifetime to go.