Friday Links: A mixed bag

Happy Friday!

You may or may not have noticed my absence from this space, I was having some site issues and was just really busy so it took me a while to sort out! Anyway, here are some links…

Lyme Disease Is Baffling, Even to Experts. One of the things that sticks out about this is the way doctors treat things that they either don’t understand because of science or don’t understand because of experience. I understand that pain is subjective but I also know that I’ve had experiences when I’ve known that something isn’t right and the doctor hasn’t wanted to believe that it’s serious or that I know is not right and it’s exhausting, advocating for yourself without knowing what’s going on.

Dingoes Have Created a Scientific Rift

Don’t Ban Assault Weapons—Tax Them

Nationalism in England is not just a rightwing nostalgia trip

Talk of a public housing renaissance in London is fake news

Hong Kong Shows the Flaws in China’s Zero-Sum Worldview. I haven’t thought much about China beyond thinking that I wouldn’t trust the Chinese government all that much, but this is interesting…

Of course the US supports a no deal – it makes a minnow out of Britain

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian’s approval. Almost like adult women are actual people…

People want to travel more sustainably. But we need help to do it. While I agree that flying should be more expensive than going by train. Here’s an idea, maybe people should limit their travel full stop.

Meghan Markle Can’t Be a Royal Radical. It’s interesting what’s missing in this article. That’s money. Some of the stuff that Meghan Markle getting flack for is much less about her and more about her nationality and skin colour (and all of that is absolutely disgusting). However, she had a career and she gave it up and she is living off the State. I believe that if the Royal Family lived on a council estate The Sun would call them benefit scroungers. It’s an enormous privilege to never have to worry about money again, but it’s a gilded cage they all chose either to stay in or to enter. None of them can say they didn’t know what the deal was.

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Sunday Music: Eight Dogs, Eight Banjos – Old Crow Medicine Show

I’m sure I’ve had this on Sunday Music before but it’s my birthday on Tuesday and last week, when I was feeling pressured and tired, this came on and it made me happy! Because if you have a dog and a banjo (and you’re a hillbilly) then ‘yessir, we’re talking happiness here’…


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Friday Links: The News Doesn’t Get Any Better

Happy Friday!

Folks it has been a week. I’ve been having some minor house drama and it feels like the world is on fire. Boris Johnson is Prime Minister and no one seems to care…

Here are this week’s links…

My Boris Johnson story. This is so worth reading…

The Vote Leave gang now running Britain do not want to govern. They want to win. If one more brexiteer says that we won the War, I’m going to scream. We did at tremendous cost and we wouldn’t have won it if not for the Russians and Lend Lease (and can we all also note what happened when America called that bill in). The truth is that we are not at war, most of the generation of people who fought in that war and are still alive, voted remain. It’s the boomers who have no clue what it was actually like to live through a war that overwhelmingly voted for Brexit. (not all boomers, Ma!). Finally can we think about the language we’re using, we’re not at war ffs, not even close.

Mr Johnson swears off an early election, but his sweaty aroma says otherwise

Boris Johnson plans to frighten Europe then charm it. Here’s why he’ll fail

No-deal Brexit was once a sick Tory joke. Now it’s serious

What Jacob Rees-Mogg’s language rules reveal about him. I would say that they reveal he’s a hopelessly out of date idiot who is more concerned with rules, seeking the vision of a Victorian society that only ever ran for the rich and never for everyone in the country. Which is why he’s all grammar rules and Brexit instead doing something about homelessness and poverty…

UK’s cherry industry bounces back after almost withering

I followed the advice for Paris’s hottest day – it didn’t help. Paris has had a longer heat wave but they did more than London did. When we had 37C, it was 33C in the house. I basically wore a nightie, sat in front of a fan and had several tepid baths to keep cool. It wasn’t a fun day but it was survivable without air con. But that was one day and I’m privileged, I can work from home, I have fans and access to running water. When we tip into this being the weather? What then?

You can have a church or be a free woman – but having both is a struggle. This is worth reading. I come from a different tradition but ultimately left because I didn’t fit into any of the boxes that the Church had for me and thought that my faith was as valuable to God as that of the parish priest.

A Trump trade deal with Britain will unleash a bonfire of regulations

How we stopped counting calories and learned to love Spindrift

Chronic wounds: the hidden health crisis hitting 2m Britons

Boar wars: how wild hogs are trashing European cities File under things I didn’t know!

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Cooking from the Plot: Gooseberry Compote

We are nearly at the end of gooseberry season at chez Dempsey and it’s been amazing. We’ve had about 5kgs all in and even for a gooseberry loving pair it’s been a lot. I’m not sure what the variety is but they can be eaten straight off the bush so we’ve eaten loads of them just as they come. I’ve frozen some and I’ve made compote.

Compote is always really simple, take 500g of gooseberries and 125g of sugar and throw them in the pan. Heat gently until the gooseberries have burst and the sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.

I like to eat mine in yogurt or on ice cream, but it’s jammy enough to go in the middle of a cake with some cream!

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Allotment Adventures: Courgettes and rain and tidying the shed

So the shed is finally tidy. We have new shelves (thanks Kathy and Adam!) and new drawers (Wilko’s finest!) and thanks to lots of tidying, it’s looking tidier. Ma still thinks there is too much stuff but I think we have the stuff we need!

I still need to paint the shed again though!

We were on the plot for about 4 hours but it didn’t feel like we got much done. Harvesting. (this season’s summer squash count is 44 courgettes and 4 crooknecks).Then I pulled down the sweet peas from the lettuce bed and the spinach that didn’t grow. Ma sowed the chard in a bed at the top of the plot. We then spent some time with the tomatoes. First Joe’s, which we tied up and tidied.Then some of mine, which I’m getting to this week.It’s the time of year that I always leave the plot with green fingers.As I said last week, we’re at an inbetween time but the cucamelons are about to flowerAnd everything seems to be ok.

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What I’ve Read: June and July 2019

It’s not been a brilliant couple of months for getting the TBR lists down because the library re-opened and although it’s not as big as it used to be, it’s still the library!

The Blade Itself: The First Law Book One – Joe Abercrombie

This was on the Kindle TBR and I enjoyed it but then it kind of stopped. I know it’s part of a trilogy but it set everything up and then stopped, I still have very little idea where it is going, I did try to see if I could get the second book at the library but I’m not sure I want to spent another £14 finding out what happens!

Superfan – Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen, I liked it, the story has been hinted at in the other Brooklyn Bruisers books and it made me happy to be in a world that I know nothing about. I did like that the heroine although was having issues with her career, she was the one with the money and that although she’s loved up and working on her issues she still has them!

Teach Me – Oliva Dade

Hurrah for a 40 something couple, who have been through the mill. I liked that even though the hero could be bitter, he wasn’t nasty about his ex wife and that his relationship with his daughter was such that she could see where he hurt and adjust, even though Dad wasn’t saying anything. While I understood the heroine, it took me longer to warm to her but I did love the competence porn. She was good at her job and respected for it, even if she was distant from the staff. Overall, it was lovely and once they had overcome their issues a HEA ensued…

The Ingredients of Us – Jennifer Gold

This was a free Kindle book of the month and I’m glad it was free because I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t like the structure of the story, generally jumping back and forward has to have a point and honesty I couldn’t see it. I also didn’t like anyone in the book, so I didn’t care…

Say No to the Duke – Eloisa James

Another Eloisa James, I love the way James’ books always end with lots of children but I also really love that this book has an aunt who is amazing! Because spinster aunts are amazing and one day my nephews will get it!! The only tiny problem I have with this book is the PTSD, did soldiers get in in the Revolutionary War, probably, but I’m not sure that the emotions and feelings about it she ascribes to the upper classes are of the time but it’s a romance not a history book and I did enjoy it.

Gilded Cage (The Dark Gifts Trilogy 1) – Vic James

This was a Kindle free book that’s been sitting in the TBR list for a while. It’s an interesting setting. Basically an alternate Britain where a magic class of people are the aristocracy that deposed Charles I and set up a state where they are the only ones with power and very ungifted person has to do 10 years as a slave. And that is how the world and the economy runs and it’s as horrific as you’d expect. I enjoyed it enough to buy the rest of the trilogy and will probably get around to them next month.

War of the Wolf – Bernard Cornwall

So I was in the library picking up a book I had on hold and there this was in the recently arrived books. I love this series, with the improbably aged Uhtred and you can see how much and how little the world is changing and how the idea of an England is taking shape. Uhtred is going to be the oldest man alive in England by the time the books are done!

The Cruel Prince – Holly Black

This was also on the display shelf in the library, I love Holly Black and I loved this. How do you hold on to yourself in a world where nothing is human and how do you survive? Can you without losing something vital? I really like that Jude decides to win power, not love. I have the second book on hold already..

The Obelisk Gate – N.K. Jemisin

This was the book I had on hold, I loved it. I liked the idea but also the way the story is told. It’s not until you read something that isn’t automatically based in white, western culture that you realise that not everything has to be. I really enjoyed this and have the last one on hold at the library!

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Monday Miscellany: Too hot to do anything

Happy Monday! Last week we had a mini heatwave, it was intense, it was 37C in my house on Thursday, I took many coldish baths and sat in front of fan. It’s calmed down now and thank God. So we are still going to hell in a handcart but I’m with Dante, hell is cold…

So aside from the heat, it was a fairly average week, work, I saw Kathy, Adam and children on Wednesday night when I went to pick some shelves and Kathy and the children again early Thursday morning for a plot tour. The kids were so funny, trying to work out what they could pick and identifying (or not) what was growing!

Friday was a day off and a much needed haircut! My hair is back to looking good again and what magic is it that I look less grey after a haircut even though I don’t colour it anymore? Also I swear my teeth look more wonky as I get older!

On Saturday Ma and I went to the theatre. We saw The Lehman Trilogy and if theatre is your thing, this is worth seeing, three actors being technically and emotionally brilliant! Even if we were in the gods and the ice cream was nearly a fiver!Afterwards we had dinner at Brasserie Zedel and the pinkest napkins that ever were!Sunday was a day for allotment and laundry. Awesome and busy. The plot is green after all the heat and then the rain and the shed is tidy!This week is my last week before a week off and the first week of a new boss, or at least a new person to look after. So make sure everything is handed over, tidy the flat before the family arrive for lunch next Sunday, allotment tidy on Saturday, and pack for going to Newcastle on Monday and having birthday fun!

What is everyone else up to?


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