Archive of December 2008

December 26

Happy New Year, Happy New Blog

the Christmas dinner shift went well - I shall write about it in more detail when my memories, like the food, have been digested! I shall try to write also about how it only feels like Christmas if family is subtracted. And how rare happy Christmas memories are for me. Anyone out there who survived it or accumulated happy memories - well done! With the New year will come the new blog - and this and the previous post be amalgamated and rewritten…. one other highlight to come in the new blog is hopefully I shall link and post to a homeless person with a blog, if they come and comment here… Now THAT impressed me!
06:52 AM | 1 Comment | Tags: , ,
December 19

Coming Soon

I know it has been a while without a post.  I have not been entirely idle so far as blogging goes though, I have taken a copy of my blog and upgraded it to Chyrp RC3.  However there are a few things I still need to get fixed and working (like all the old post tags).  I am persevering with that and I expect I shall get some support from the Chyrp community and overcome eventually.  You will be sure to notice just as soon as I do, because then I shall move my changes over here to “go live” and the blog will be all shiny newness.

One of the things I am hoping to change is to allow anonymous comments from guests (I was getting too many spam comments this way before).  There should also be a blog search function.  And generally a new look all round - I’ll probably review the sidebar too (though I intend to keep my blogroll and the books I am reading).

At the same time as reviewing the technology I use I have also been mulling over that the blog does not have a coherent focus and wondering if I should reconsider that.  One possibility would be to make this blog very specifically for my writing and about writers concerns and issues.  Another possibility would be to spin that off to a separateblog and keep this one somewhat “personal”.  I am aware from the blogs that I choose to read myself (see blogroll) that any “personal” blogs tend to make for the most awfully boring reading though.  And I confess that, now I have been blogging for perhaps three months, I have developed an appetite for growing my audience and getting more lively comments…. Any suggestions as to specialisations or blog “causes” most welcome!

05:47 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , ,
December 13

My celestial birthday treat

Last night I learned that it was not just any full moon on my birthday, but a rather special one.

Unfortunately the weather did not play along with this and permit me to witness the event, there was unbroken cloud throughout the hours of darkness and some pretty awful weather to boot.

Despite the weather I'm having a fine old time, it was worth making the effort to drive over to Redditch and stay with my friend.  I brought all my discarded computer components in varying states of disrepair and by combining these with those he may have available the hope is that we come up with a working machine to take home for my daughter as a sort of Christmas present from him (he is her Godfather too).  No doubt there may also be an excursion to te cinema tomorrow, I am hoping to escape "High School Musical 3" in favour of "Madagascar 2" or even "Desperaux", we shall see.

Although I did not blog about it at the time I have been Carol singing for charity a couple of times with the Lewisham Choral Society.  I have also shown Robert, and will share here, something which myself and other "Friends" composed for a bit of fun that I shall be helping sing as entertainment at the Christmas lunch on Sunday afternoon, to be sung to the tune of "Christmas Wonderland":-



1.         Sleigh-bells ring, are you listening?

In the road all is glistening.

We cheerfully walk but in Meeting don’t talk,

Walking in a Quaker wonderland.


2.         Be patterns, be examples

Whilst we’re sewing all our samples,

We stand in the light and try not to fight,

Walking in a Quaker wonderland.


3.         All-age worship we can build a snowman,

And pretend that it’s a metaphor

And if you find you want a new committee

We’ll help you find a reason it is for!


4.         When it works, ain’t it thrilling,

Though your doubts may be chilling.

We frolic and play in a moderate way,

Walking in a Quaker wonderland.


5.         We decide a lot in Local Meeting,

Once we have decided what it’s for.

Everything that’s said will get a minute

Until we haven’t got a minute more!


(Work out how to do a silence here?)


6.         Sleigh-bells ring, are you listening?

In the road all is glistening.

We cheerfully walk but in Meeting don’t talk,

Walking in a Quaker wonderland.


1, 2, 4 and 6 are the chorus tune

3 and 5 are the verse tune.


So, as you see, things are getting remarkably festive already, and I guess that's getting reflected in my blog.

04:30 AM | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,
December 07

Memories - A restaurant called Manna

There's this restaurant in Primrose Hill and it is called "Manna".  When I was a young boy I had to eat there a LOT.  My abiding memory is of the glazed earthenware plates and the macrobiotic (IE unhusked) brown rice.  I was totally convinced that the plates were chipping and I was eating the glaze along with the rice!  It was a co-operative restaurant run largely by a hippy group of women so far as I could tell, but my father did spells as a "chef" there, hence the frequent occasions when I had to eat there.

I think it left me with a prejudice against vegetarian food that I have only recently shed!

There are good memories of those times too though and they all came flooding back when I had to traipse along Upper Street for a day of induction to the Christmas voluntary work I am doing with Quaker Homeless Action at the Union Chapel.  I got talking with a colleague who lived in Camden also back in those days (they were in a squat, more recently than my forty odd years ago! But they had no awareness of the rehabilitation of the Roundhouse).  I reassured them that Marine ices were still going strong though.

Anyway, coming back to Manna, as you can see from the website I linked, they are a million light years from the co-operative venture that enables them to bill themselves as "London's oldest Vegetarian restaurant".  The establishment is EXTREMELY posh and upmarket now, far from the rattan mats and pine furniture it sported when it opened.  I found a trip back there some eight years ago very depressing and sad.  No-one was interested in the fact I had dined there and my father was once a chef either.  So big thumbs down from me!

One thing though - I have a great memory of the condiment they placed on the tables in lieu of salt - it was the only thing I could use to make the rice edible and to this day I would like to know WHAT it was!  If anyone can help then please do comment - it seemed like orange flakes that one would sprinkle fairly liberally according to taste and I have not seen it since! 

07:35 PM | 1 Comment | Tags: , , , , ,