Royal Weddings

Or Why can’t they just disappear of to Vegas and get married by an Elvis impersonator?

I’m sure that the Daily Mail would give me thirty thousand reasons as to why this is not a good idea, but I can’t think of one.

For the next six to nine months this is what we are in for people so brace yourselves:

  • We will really need to know that they are 23rd cousins twice removed, because some past royal had a one night stand with Kate Middleton’s 6xgreat grand-mother. I haven’t actually seen this as yet, but believe me every newspaper, with the possible exceptions of the Guardian and the Independent, is doing the research.
  • We will need to see endless photos of Kate Middleton in various stages of undress taken in an earlier more carefree life.
  • Likewise we will need to hear the remembrances of someone who was her third best friend in nursery class?
  • We need an avalanche of Kate’n’Wills© tat – it is probably the only boost the economy is going to get this year

I think it is mainly the prurience that I am objecting to, but it may be my republican sympathies coming out.

I don’t have a problem with two people who are in love getting married, but outside of family and friends should anyone really be concerned about a wedding? Unless of course you make the argument, which I reject completely, that we, as citizens of the United Kingdom, are, in some magical way, the children of Elizabeth Windsor.

Something else occurs to me, mainly about the timing of this. Our ConDem government is going to be attracting a lot of negative attention in the coming months as tax increases and spending cuts start to bite. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but might just make an exception in this case. This is going to soak up front page headlines for the next six to nine months, and probably a fair while after that. A good year to bury bad news?


Jaffna House Café Tooting High Street

I’ve been eating fairly regularly at the Jaffna House in Tooting since being introduced to it by Mrs Johnm55’s Sri Lankan friend. We have just had lunch there (with the aforementioned Sri Lankan friend) an I feel that it is time to announce what a fine and wallet friendly place it is.

I am talking about the café / takeaway part on Tooting High Street rather than the licensed restaurant, the entrance to which is round the corner on Coverton Road. The restaurant I am sure also serves excellent food and will also be very good value for money, but I have never eaten in it so I can’t comment. The café however is in my opinion brilliant.

My starter was quite simple, just two Masala Vadai, served with red and green coconut chutneys, they were nicely crisp on the outside, but the spiced potato filling was moist and soft. The chutneys had, for me, just the right amount of chilli kick, the red being a bit more fiery than the green. I pinched a bit of Mrs johnm55’s Chana Chundal (chick peas) and they were excellent as well. The SL friend originally wasn’t going to have a starter, but changed her mind and came back with a couple of what looked like miniature deep-fried Cornish Pasties, she did say what they were, but as you get older the short-term memory goes a bit.

My main was Oothappam which is probably best described as a thick pancake with peppers, tomatoes, chillies and other veggies mixed into the batter and served with a vegetable curry and a coconut sambar. The softness, almost but not quite stodginess of the pancake batter was sharpened by the heat of the chillies. The vegetable curry added more flavour and lubrication (after I had picked out the okra – I don’t like the texture) and the sambar gave a bit more heat, if needed. I was just what was needed on a grey rainy November day.

Mrs johnm55 had a Masala Dosai as she normally does, and pronounced it as being up to the normal standard. The SL friend had three Idaly. I’m not quite sure what they are, but as she often orders them, I’ll take it on trust that they are good. I might even try them the next time I eat there. The fourth member of the party, a Canadian, had the Sunday special, Jaffna House Special Noodles, which are noodles with mixed veg, mutton, egg and prawns, which she said were rather good, just don’t turn up on Tuesday expecting them to be on the menu

If you decide to eat there remember it is a café, Sometimes all the plates do not arrive at the same time, but they do arrive within a few minutes of each other. The café is also unlicensed so no Cobra.

There were four of us, we each had starters, main courses and (soft) drinks. We all enjoyed our meal.The total bill was just under £16.00. I consider that pretty good value for money.

The Release of Aung San Suu Kyi

The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the more welcome developments of the past few weeks. unfortunately I don’t think that it is as significant in the process of change in Burma as Nelson Mandela’s release was in South Africa’s.

When Mandela was released everyone knew that this showed that the apartheid regime in South Africa had bowed to the inevitable and that this was the start of a process that would lead to full democracy in South Africa. What Aung San Su Kyi’s release signifies in the process of Burma’s progress on the path to democracy and freedom I am so sure.

The military are still in (apparent) full control. The retain their capacity to suppress any form of protest violently and presumably would be able to re-arrest her at a moments notice. Perhaps the Generals are more mindful of international opinion than they used to be, placing her back in detention would inevitably provoke an international outcry, but I fear beyond that there would be no significant action taken. In fact I’m not all that sure that there is any significant action that the West could take. China, of course will take no action what so ever.

“I am so glad to see so many people here and so happy to be free,”
“There is a time to be quiet and a time to talk. People must work in unison. Only then can we achieve our goal.”

These were her words to her supporters who greeted her outside the gates of what is now her house which was until yesterday he prison. She is not going to be leading a violent revolution, she is going to follow the non-violent principles of Gahndi and Martin Luther King and help the people of Burma chip away at the foundations of the whole rotten edifice, then let it collapse under its own weight.

Hello world!

Well this is my first post on this blog.

There is a bit about who I am on my about page.

The blog will feature my random ramblings, but you will probably find that there are three main topics.

  1. Politics – you will find that my views are generally left of centre
  2. Cycling – I enjoy riding my bike, but I am also a fan of cycle sport in general and road racing in particular.
  3. Art – I paint, not very well, but I enjoy it, I also have views on other artists work.

There are other bloggers out there, as you probably already know, but this guy Fred Clark, who goes by the name Slacktivist is worth following.

Random thoughts, ramblings and rants

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