Tourette’s Syndrome by Proxy

This was an idea I had a while ago: about a condition where someone makes other people swear involuntarily.  I’ve known quite a few people with this condition, and I think probably most politicians have it too.  I’m not sure what treatments are available, as diagnosis is still in its early stages, but it sure is a problem: I swore at the radio three times this morning, which means that three different broadcasters have Tourette’s by proxy…

I’m making slow progress with the rose hips.  I made the mistake of choosing hips from a dog-rose bush; these are quite small and topping-and-tailing them has taken me hours.  I shall wait and get some from the garden I think.

One of the things that makes me swear at the radio (apart from the usual political reasons) is what John Humphrys calls the ‘mangling and manipulation’ of the English language.  I particularly hate the wrenching of nouns into verbs; one such horror that seems to have crept into the language is ‘to gift’.  It’s entirely unnecessary: if you give something, it’s already, automatically a gift!  QED.  I also heard ‘writing out’ the other day from one of the banks who’d just been caught out in the typical things that banks do (I can’t even be bothered remembering what it was).  ‘We are writing out to customers,’ the man said, without a shred of embarrassment.  ‘No, you’re not!’ I shouted.  ‘You’re writing to customers!’

And please, please please can everybody chill (ho ho) about Baked Alaskas?  Baking should be fun, shouldn’t it?  What is the point of making it so competitive?  It’s ridiculous.  And I DON’T CARE!!!

Oh, and can anyone tell me what I’m doing at the Crumblin’ Cookie for Everybody’s Reading Week?  My name is on there but I don’t remember offering to do anything…

Kirk out


Gather Ye Rosehips While Ye May…

There seems to be a bit of a seasonal thing going on in my mind here, what with summer and spring ideas parodying themselves for autumn in the last couple of posts: anyway, today I went out to gather the last of the blackberries (not for wine this time but just for eating) and I was diverted by a positive cornucopia of rose hips.  Rose hips have been hovering at the edge of my mind for a while now: they are everywhere at this time of year, and like a lot of hedgerow produce, under-used and undervalued.  People tend to think that all you can do with them is make rose hip syrup, but this is not true.  Incidentally, every time I think of rose hip syrup I hear Hilda’s voice in my mind.  I mean of course the Hilda of ‘Howard and Hilda’: she of the hand-knitted twin sweaters and camomile tea.  If you still don’t know who I’m on about here’s a clip:

Howard and Hilda appear about 4 minutes in, in their typical matching sweaters.  For my money, EDC, though not as much fun, is more thoughtful and better written than ‘The Good Life.’  I became obsessed with it at one point, which I guess is appropriate…

Anyway… like I said, I can never think of rose hip syrup without hearing Hilda’s voice offering Martin some.  I picked a pound or so this afternoon and they are beautiful.

Kirk out

Not Rose Hip Syrup

Good morning people! I am speaking to you quite literally from my bed this  morning, for we have a new tablet and hey! I can blog on it. Yesterday was a bit mixed:I failed to go to Philosophy as my brain went all fizzy and so I went home and rested for a while; then went to ‘You and me’ in the afternoon and Drink and Think in the evening where we discussed topics to take us up to Christmas.

I’m having a week off this week, since I’ve stormed my way through a draft of the novel I’ve been trying to write for a while – my own version of NaNoWriMo, if you will – and I now feel in need of a rest.  The novel is up to around 35,000 words, which is about a third of the required length, so that’s not bad.

This morning at the Crime Reading Group we are having an author visit: Rod Duncan who wrote the ‘Breakbeat’ novel I reviewed earlier, is coming to talk to us.  So that will be interesting.  Here’s the review:

I also caught, in between doing the compost, a radio discussion on Christianity in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and how it is less specific and more open to pagan interpretations, than the ‘Narnia’ series:

I’m also going to make rose hip wine.  There are TONS of rose hips about at the moment, and I hate the idea of wasting all that fruit, so I’ve found a recipe.  You have to gather them after the first frost, though, so I’ll have to wait a week or two.

Kirk out