Tag Archives: UK General Election

Is Gordon Brown a volcano?

Before I get into the subject of volcanoes, I decided to do some research on what appeals to blog readers.  This research involved asking my wife and she immediately came back with food blogs and in particular those featuring fantastic recipes.  I’m not a great cook but I’ve got a few ‘go to’ recipes in my larder which make an appearance in the summer when my family makes a sharp exit, one hour forty minutes after school breaks up.  I have to be honest at this point and own up to my inspiration coming from Jamie Oliver.  Here goes with the recipe that never fails.  I’ve named it Keith’s two-minute banker:


One tin of baked beanz (250g or 400g, I prefer 400g for left-overs the next day)
Two healthy sized gherkins sliced however takes your fancy
Six Herta Hot Dogs sliced into half inch chunks
One chilli cut finely (Keith’s tip, don’t throw away the seeds!)


Mix all of the ingredients into a Pyrex bowl (cling film over the top optional, don’t bother if you want to save on waste)
Put in microwave for 95 seconds
Leave to rest for 78 seconds


Season generously with pepper
Add a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
And here is where I deviate from Jamie – add a dollop of mayonnaise (don’t stir in)
Serve without any green chopped stuff on top.

Moving swiftly on from food as I know the boys would have been captivated by my award winning recipe but I may have lost a few of the girls (by the way I did sell that recipe at a dinner party and I’m pretty sure Donna Sheridan and Lee Faulkner are still trying to perfect their versions).  I was searching for a volcano metaphor and I hit upon a review of a book on Gordon Brown by Andrew Rawnsley who is a columnist for The Guardian.  His central thesis is that Gordy is a playground bully prone to erupting like a volcano whenever the mood takes him.  My advice is to steer clear of him on May 5th as the Liberal Democrats are going to win!  Now wouldn’t that be fun simply on the basis that the Lib. Dems. have been completely ignored by the Aussie bruiser who has run British politics since the days of Thatcher.  Even Blair took a punt and decided to ask for Rupert’s blessing on the basis that things could only get better.  Now Murdoch has switched allegiance again and bet on Cameron and I hope he loses his shirt and trousers.  Tail firmly between his legs, perhaps Murdoch will do us all a favour and decamp permanently to America where he can continue to spread his own special brand of vitriolic right-wing propaganda through Fox and the Wall Street Journal.  Guess how many journalists the Sun sent to cover the last Liberal party conference?  The answer is exactly the same as the Times, i.e. a big, round none.  So Clegg will not be indebted to Rupert and his spiteful army of media thugs and can get on with governing the country for the benefit of the country rather than for all of Rupert’s rich mates.

With travel chaos throughout Europe I was interested to see what the poor airlines thought of it all and more importantly what they would do.  The answer my friend was blowing in a wind of volcanic ash; namely to send intrepid pilots on test flights into the eye of the storm to see what would happen.  Now I know where my hand would have been when the request for volunteers came.  Impressively Willie Walsh of BA chief exec. fame was the first to volunteer which adds a whole new layer to putting your money where your mouth is.

While on the subject of airlines do you recall all of Richard Branson’s indignation about BA price fixing?  Well guess what, the peoples’ champion has been up to according to the tabloids?   ‘Virgin Atlantic has been hit by allegations by the Office of Fair Trading that it colluded with Cathay Pacific to fix airfares.’

Following on from this, a bit of honesty from a manufacturer – Toyota take note.  As reported in Arabian Business; 3D TVs on sale in UAE by mid-May – Samsung. UPDATE 1: Watching 3D TV can give viewers epileptic seizures and strokes – Samsung.


And now for something completely different, an image of the sun posted on the NASA website last week.  I’ve left the technical explanation below for all of you boffins I’ve been attracting to my blog.

Picture of the sun

A full-disk multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image of the sun taken by SDO on March 30, 2010. False colors trace different gas temperatures. Reds are relatively cool (about 60,000 Kelvin, or 107,540 F); blues and greens are hotter (greater than 1 million Kelvin, or 1,799,540 F). Credit: NASA

Before my infamous top 5s, below is a free download for a track from the upcoming album by The National; it’s brilliant.


The argument about Top 5 punk songs is still raging so this week I’m going to try top 5 Heavy Metal tunes – no apologies for top and tailing with Ozzy and his merry men (but happy to open a debate as to whether Led Zep fall into the heavy metal category).

  • Black Sabbath; War Pigs
  • Motorhead; Ace of Spades
  • Led Zeppelin; Immigrant Song (thank you Oscar Faulkner for remembering the title for me)
  • At The Drive In; One Armed Scissor
  • Black Sabbath; Paranoid


Filed under Observations