Posts from September 2007

Sep 07

Small yellow flowers made of cheese

FT + Pumpkin Publog5 comments • 1,353 views

Ever felt your cheese platters to be somewhat lacking? But you never knew why? The answer is to hand: you were missing a Girolle! The Girolle is a device used to curl “Tete de Moine” (me neither) cheese into beautiful rosettes and if the website is to be believed, is used by 2 million households and restaurants worldwide! But why only Tete de Moine cheese? What even IS that anyway?? What OTHER cheese flowers could we make??

Full schematics and more to be found at the Home of Girolle – iI for one will be looking upon a rough shewn chunk of cheddar carved off the lump with DISDAIN from now on. Do you hear me, T&J Bernard “Ploughman’s Lunches”?

Sep 07

My Every Changing Bouze: The Quin

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 556 views

quin3.jpgWe love the Quin. Its one of those pubs you feel priviliged to know. Its that “lock-in pub”, where more times than not you have discovered that not only is it well past closing, but they are miraculously still serving. I have had no end of terrific nights both begin and end in there. A Christmas meal ended there a couple of years ago in a nice way, and my first visit I met some good friends of Tim’s. I have seen another friend drink his body weight in beer in there, and someone else almost be won over to the cause of the dog. (It is a pub with boisterous dogs).

It is, for publog historians, the pub where THIS was rediscovered, in this post.

All of which is in the present tense because to me that is what the Quin still is. But I got a text from a friend about a month ago saying that the Quin is now a shadow of its former self under its new management. I was sad but thought little of it. Until saw this flyer, being handed out to my students. Apparently according to another staff member here (who had a hithertoo unheard of fondness for the pub) it still does Landlord, and has added Black Sheep to its portfolio. But no dogs and no lock-ins. And a student night.

We will report back.

food science (zoology dept)

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 507 views

secanimals i et bits of last night inc.

i. autruche
ii. ane
iii. sanglier
iv. cerf <--- did not start this yet in villefranche there was a "sept saucissons secs for €20" deal -- and in fact the nice man popped in an eighth -- but while each has a little label of ingredients (except the eighth) they were all in lady-one-flavour style (viz the others, also unstarted so far were ail, cepes and poivre) my conclusion -- shared co-taster -- is that the french sausage-making process does NOT require meat of any given provenance, for it all to taste much the same: i liked donkey best and he preferred ostrich, but i'm not sure i could identify them blindfold

Sep 07


FT + Popular131 comments • 11,401 views

#338, 29th September 1973

How to evaluate a theme tune from a TV programme I’ve never seen? All I have is the name and this track. I asked my Dad if he remembered a show called Van Der Valk, which would have been popular around when I was born. “Yes!” I felt hopeful. “It had a very good theme song.” Ah. He told me it was about a Dutch detective and returned to his chess problem.


Tanya’s Who Do They Think They Are: 1: Robyn

FT + I Hate Music3 comments • 2,115 views

Robyn NowEveryone knows that the hatchet faced Swede has not burst fully formed on to the UK pop scene with her number one hit “With Every Heartbeat”. Indeed she has been flogging the song for about a year, with the involvement of DJ Kleerup, who seems to have misunderstood the meaning of his own name by leaving Robyn’s vocals on the track. That’s not clearing up! But any cursory look at the strangely Bibi Andersson-esque singer will note she is no spring chicken. And those of you with nothing better to do will remember her previous dalliance with the UK charts. Yes hers was the thoroughly anonymous voice on “Show Me Love” back in 1999 – the song which spoiled the Lukas Moodysson film Fucking Amal for me. Fucking Robyn!

But yes yes, you say. Everyone knows this. Her tedious tale of how she was dropped by her label due to musical differences (they wanted her music to sound different* One assumes better). But very few people know of her even earlier career in pop.


Sep 07

I WAS A GOBLIN: I Was A Gothling

FT8 comments • 1,193 views

The World Of Darkness series of RPGs, beginning with Vampire: The Masquerade, were nineties gaming’s great success story. They appealed to an older audience than D&D and its imitators; they brought new gamers, including a lot of women, into the hobby; they drew on and seemed relevant to wider popular culture. 

They also built into their systems a lot of modifications designed to make gaming more story- and character-oriented, correctly recognising that this was the one real point of difference the tabletop hobby now had in a world where videogames could handle the dice-rolling and levelling-up more efficiently and enjoyably. Characters in Vampire and its successors were created with personality traits and flaws to the fore, things that would make a real difference to how a game might progress – and there were game mechanics to allow decisive player interventions in the story flow that might override the throw of the dice.

I ought to have loved Vampire – it aligned with everything I wanted from a RPG and represented a major break from the wargaming tradition. But, though I played a handful of games, I never liked it, and its success marked the end of my involvement in structured, rule-led gaming.


Sep 07

And then a baby drives a car…

Do You See + FT9 comments • 893 views

“Across The Universe” is described like this: “At once gritty, whimsical and highly theatrical, Revolution Studios’ Across the Universe is an original movie musical springing from the imagination of The Beatles, acclaimed director Julie Taymor and Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.” It is what can only be called a tribute musical, which uses the Beatles original music, and reinterpretations to tell a tale as old as time of love, loss and Mr Kite.

Yes. Bishmillah strikes again. Here are the character names in “Across The Universe”:
Jude. Sadie. Prudence. Maxwell. JoJo. Lucy. Dr Robert. Molly. Mr Kite. DESMOND.

Look here is a still from the film.
Mr Kite is played by Eddie Izzard. One assumes not for the benefit of the audience.


BBC Exceeds Recycling Targets!

Do You See + FT1 comment • 865 views

One of the rounds of last night’s Mock the Week (itself recycled from old bits of Have I Got News For You, Whose Line Is It Anyway and leftover Radio 4 panel quizzes) asked the comedians to suggest “Letters That Would Never Get Read Out on Points of View”.

Straight to the front of the stage was Hugh Dennis, a glint in his eye. Before he moved his lips I knew what was coming, and he didn’t disappoint, although Meg was rather surprised as I joined in rather too loudly:


mary-white.jpgThis, to my knowledge, first appeared in a Mary Whitehouse Experience sketch about Points of View, when MWE was still good on Radio One*, almost twenty years ago, well done Hugh, no need to waste resources. I look forward to forthcoming jokes about Henry Kelly (what a Henry Kelly), f3ltching and david baddiel being funny again rob newman being sexy again over long agatha christie based skits (BABABA BAAAAAM).

*quick plug for No Rock & Roll Fun’s Radio One More Time which hasn’t yet mentioned the comedy half hour, but top reading none the less.

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 52, Joe Jackson – It’s Different For Girls

FT/5 comments • 2,060 views

DIFFERENT FOR GIRLSLook over there! Where? There in wikipedia where it tells you that Joe Jackson has been putting out records (but not cigarettes) constantly since the late 70s. Not just those two songs once. Yes JJ is one of those unfortunate artists that you know more of their songs than you realise. “Stepping Out” that was him too — a song I know very well, but didn’t even know the title or that it was by him until 20 minutes ago. (Go find it on youtube.) But that was later, smoother 80s JJ — you don’t get more dinner-party-smooth than playing piano for Suzanne Vega, and Stepping Out is even on one of the GTA soundtracks – so perhaps the right phrase is “Mondeo Pop”. If it is I have to insist there are no pejorative connotations. Good, that’s settled.

Anyway. Earlier in 79/80, It’s Different for Girls, and Is She Really Going Out With Him?. These merge into one another in my head. Partly because, well , they do sound the same (they do!), but also because they are in a particularly malleable bit of my memory (someone find me a JJ megamix plz!). The late 70s was the environment that formed my own pre-teen musical tastes


Sep 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 53: Wham! – Wham Rap

FT/15 comments • 6,361 views

hmmm, where shall i put this shuttlecock...They rly don’t make ’em like this any more. Boy bands singing about unemployment? Mentions of governmental departments in choruses? Comedy rapping? OK, there’s still comedy rapping.

My “best of wham!”, which features the 12″ mix of wham rap (all 6:46 of it!), credits the song to michael and ridgeley, I’d kind of always assumed it was written for them, otherwise why is the george michael “character” so very far from the different corner/careless whisper big girls blouse GM we grew to love (and which was clearly much more commercially successful)? In terms of early 80s english rap singles, it’s probably the best though (not that there was a lot of competition). It does kind of capture the Chic groove that eg rappers delight has, and is arguably no more lyrically niave, why shouldn’t essex boys do rap? I think it works because they’re singing about what they know, what three million people knew at the time (although I doubt whether dole money stretched to buying singles, which might explain why this was their lowest charting proper single). Interesting that the lyrics on the 12″ version include the wonderful line “i choose to cruise”, but this is excised from the single version, Tom Watkins’ idea not to raise suspicions perhaps?