It is Boxing day…and I feel like putting together a collection of random thoughts…
Continuing my Chef motif – I was amused by this quote (Pandora’s quotes of the year: Independent 26 December) which I had not seen before.
Gordon Ramsay is talking about Raymond Blanc..
“I couldn’t give a fuck what that jumped-up little French twat thinks. The only reason he’s in Britain is because he failed in France. When I heard that Maison Blanc had gone tits up, it added two inches to my cock!”
Government announces that NHS treatment may be denied to those who inflict ill health upon themselves – smokers, booze bingers and fat people
The Independent reported today: Smokers, people with alcohol problems and the obese could be denied priority treatment on the NHS if they do not try to change their lifestyle.
I thought Blair had been educated at Fettes – but it appears that he may also have trained as a Norland Nanny . In fact the entire government appears to have been on a secret distance learning course with some online ‘nannying’ provider – except, John Prescott and John Reid who, mercifully, seem to be unreconstructed ‘bruisers’ of the old school. Smoking is banned in public from 1st July. The government are moving in on drinking and, with perfect timing, during the annual British gorgefest, are now giving the obese a kick up the arse – if you will forgive the metaphor.
Britain is now the ‘fattest’ country in Europe. Apparently – smoking related illness costs the country £1.7 billion. (How do they calculate such matters with precision?). I have no idea how much tax revenue smokers and drinkers bring to the country – but I am pretty sure someone at HMRC does. The Independent states that drinking related disease costs the country roughly the same – but then declares that the obese are costing us £7 billion. At least we are winning at something these days… the cricket isn’t going terribly well.
And…so to Peerages, Knighthoods et al
Yet again my envelope from the Palace has been lost in the post – C’est la vie, as we say in West London. We live in a wonderfully eccentric country and the pageant and history (bloody though it has been) forges our eccentricity and talent and culture as a nation. Does it really matter if someone wants to call themselves ‘Lord Perjury’ or ‘Sir Alan’ or run onto stage as ‘Sir Mick’? Not really. I shall content myself with being called ‘Citizen Charon’ and continue to wave my glass around another glass and say the toast “To the King across the water” while taking of the vino rosso.
British wine challenges French…
Some years ago I was invited to drink a glass of white wine from Kent. I did not enjoy it and reached for the Gaviscon. In fairness, I don’t drink white wine much. I find it too acidic after the first half bottle. Things have changed. The Sun (Forgive me – it is Boxing day and I had a bit of time on my hands) reports that British wine is improving because of global warming and we are winning awards.
I suspect it will take a few more years of global warming before the reds match the standard of the whites? I drank a glass of German red a couple of years ago – interesting, but not robust enough and made me rather sombre – which, cannot be said about their beers. After drinking a couple of Weiss beers and a few Bavarian lagers, I found the ‘oompah’ music excellent and started asking where I could buy some lederhosen and those curious hats with feathers in them.
I shall return.. later. I am going to get something to eat. Restaurants have opened in Chiswick. My curious meal of yesterday – AllBran, Jacob’s crackers and excellent Red Leicester and grapes, and a bottle of Rioja gave me a different perspective on life. I am dining with an Italienne tonight and will eat more sensibly. A piu tarde.