Sunday Music: Madness – Embarrassment

As I said on Friday, this has been an earworm this week…

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Recommendations: Healthy Feet

I have really awful feet. There’s not a lot I can do about it but I can keep them moisturised and this is the best stuff I’ve found to do it.


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Friday Links: Embarrassment

Happy Friday!  Every time a Tory Party Leadership candidate comes on, Madness’  Embarrassment has being running through my head. It’s been that kind of week..

It’s also been raining….a lot..

Here are this week’s links….

Between homelessness and the FT’s How to Spend It, our culture has completely lost its way. True….

How Grenfell survivors came together – and how Britain failed them. I’m horrified but not really surprised.

Ignore Boris Johnson’s bluster about Brexit. He wants a general election

If there is one clear lesson from the past three years, it is that it is unwise to deduce method from madness. Sometimes idiocy is all that there is.

Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to be the UK’s next prime minister, explained If only it was this easy to explain Boris, it doesn’t cover the trying to have a journalist beaten up, his affairs and use of High Court Orders to try and keep them (and the resulting offspring) quiet, it doesn’t cover the disaster that was the Garden Bridge or the frankly terrible state in which he left London’s economy. To a certain extent, if he is the next Prime Minister, that will be the end of the Tories, if only the Labour Party was in a position to take advantage of it…

Was Boris Johnson as successful as London mayor as he claims? No he was not.

My Catholic, trans child is living proof of how wrong the Vatican is on gender. The Vatican is wrong about lots of things, people and connection should always win out over rejection and isolating people. The parish sister’s response is about where I would land on all of this. The sad truth is that the Church and the Pope only wants compassion and love to be extended to the people with problems he understands….

“There will be people who don’t understand. The world is changing, and the church can be slow to catch up. But your child should be treated with love, compassion and kindness. Who are we to turn our backs on her?”

Highly processed foods look more and more unhealthy. The reason why may be hiding in our guts.

Pity the poor man who’s had the Women’s World Cup shoved down his throat. One of the most old school ‘white wine for the ladies’ Chelsea supporters I know, watches all of the women’s games with his daughter, he watches quite a few of the men’s games too but if he can do it and not moan. Then so can everyone else.

Save $1 Million by Forgoing Coffee and Joy of Any Kind in This Soulless World. Funny.

Why the mayor of Liverpool has revoked Esther McVey’s ‘scouse privileges’ When even Liverpool doesn’t want you, you’re in trouble…

Pale rosé isn’t better – and nine other pink wine myths debunked. It’s probably still not going to get my mum to drink it….

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know I overuse the word fascinating. My father’s family have serious issues with addiction, mostly alcohol. My dad and my uncle died young and alcohol played a massive part of that, I have one more paternal uncle who doesn’t drink anymore because otherwise he wouldn’t be married. So I’m aware of the dangers of alcohol so I find this stuff fascinating, it’s a long piece but really worth reading…

‘This is not a “what if” story’: Tokyo braces for the earthquake of a century. Wow, they are really thorough. I love the disaster parks…

Every Grocery Store Should Be Like Stew Leonard’s. Honestly, I’m not sure if I could cope with food shopping in that environment but I’d like to try it just once…

Why we’re all obsessed with looking like Fleabag. I’m sure that Phoebe Waller Bridge is a lovely person, but I don’t get Fleabag at all. But looking at all the people who rave about about it, I think I get it. It’s for upper middle class millennials who suddenly feel seen. She’s in emotional pain and her café (in the first series anyway) isn’t doing all that well but look at her, she’s pretty and well dressed.  Not everything is for everyone and that’s ok, I just wish stuff like this didn’t always have to be by and for the privately educated upper middle class set.


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Allotment Adventures: Garlic disaster

We tried again with garlic this year and we failed again. They got rust, they got white onion rot, they got allium leaf miner and noticing that everyone else had pulled theirs up, we took ours up. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either but we aren’t going to grow garlic again unless and until I can grow it in a polytunnel, the results aren’t good enough to justify the effort (especially considering that it’s not that much effort). We also de-raspberried the bed and Ma (because she did it so well last year!) will sow chard in there sometime over the next couple of weeks. It’s a bigger bed as I’m hoping to have more to pick over the winter. Last year’s bed we picked every two to three weeks in midwinter but I’m hoping to have enough plants we can pick every week all through winter.Ma picked the last of the broad beans and pulled them up, they were utterly infested with blackfly so it was time. In the next few weeks I’ll plant the leeks out in that bed and the one next to it.

While Ma weeded. I thinned the carrots and beetroot, neither crop is ready yet but the beetroot greens are great as a spinach/chard substitute and the carrot tops make our first pesto of the year!The autumn raspberries are fruiting but have taken a bashing from the bloody pigeons! So we put net over the raspberries and the blueberries. I sense a fruit cage in my future! Especially as I bought another blackcurrant plant this week, so yes I need to find somewhere to put them until the autumm/winter.On Saturday on the way back from West Ealing, I bumped into a friend from the allotments, who said she didn’t really have a concrete reason to but she was feeling a bit disheartened by the plot and I knew exactly what she meant. Nothing is really wrong. All my tiny tomatoes are still alive, the peas, salad, carrots and beetroot are doing well. Things are growing, and ok yes I’ve lost a courgette plant but I have a spare that can go in that space and I do have six other plants that seem to be going well. It’s just that there seem to be aphids all over the plot, it’s so dry and it seems like I need to defend everything from the pigeons or the foxes and I’ve lost 5 winter squashes and the cucumbers are looking very unhealthy!It will all be ok, and soon it will stop raining…


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Monday Miscellany: Flaming June?

Happy Monday?

It’s 10 June, and it’s not warm and sunny. English weather, even climate change can’t make it less unpredictable.

Last week was pretty good, usual stuff, I didn’t celebrate World Gin Day but I did finally get around to making cocktail cherries. It’s amazing how much more expansive the weekend feels when it’s three days. If I could afford it, I’d only ever work four days a week!

I got to spend time with Kathy and Michael but the trains were all mucked up and prevented my haircut happening. I’ll have to trim my own fringe and stick it out until the end of July!

This week is a full week, and I’m not sure about how busy work is going to be but the aim I have is to be more in control of the house, to do a little less coming in and opening a book and a little more coming in doing house things and then opening a book!

Have a good week.

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Recommendation: Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Toner

I never used to use toner, I thought it was a waste of money. I would occasionally flirt with the Liz Earle or Dermalogica toners but they never made enough of a difference for me to spend the money on a regular basis.But age and perimenopause are really starting to show on my face and I’ve been using some of the other Naturally Radiant range to great affect, so when this got a Sali Hughes recommend, I decided to pick this up when I bought the cleanser as part of the buy one, get one free.

I works seemingly on both the wrinkles and the spots! I started using once a day, before bedtime and it’s been a revelation, my skin just feel smoother and looks clearer. Make up goes on better too. It’s not going to change the world but it has changed my face!

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Friday Links: It’s been quite a week

Happy Friday!

The Derry Girls are right – a boycott won’t change Northern Ireland abortion law.

Brexiters beware: Donald Trump will trample all over our sovereignty. This, so much this…

Want to tackle inequality? Then first change our land ownership laws. I should also note that I know one of the authors of the report talked about here, but that’s not why it’s important.

A Middle East Peace Plan Built on Un-American Principles. It won’t work, not because it’s based on un-American principles but because it won’t address the elephant in the room. Which is that it won’t apply a stick to Israel. They get away with it and they keep getting away with it and so they’ll carry on doing it. It being violating international law, ignoring UN resolutions and putting Palestinians in what is effectively a ghetto. Because that always works well.

Why you want oysters and a salt marsh between you and a hurricane

‘I’m such a big fan of the menstrual cycle!’ – the women asking whether it’s possible to have a better period.. I’m not a huge fan of the menstrual cycle….

Too Many People Want to Travel. Apparently we shouldn’t worry too much and it’ll all work out. Seriously? Look I live in a city inundated with tourists, at the moment we are doing that thing where US schools are out and ours aren’t and then European schools are bringing all their kids over for a school trip. Ealing is currently awash with stylishly dressed but completely obnoxious groups of Italian kids milling about in front of entrances and staircases (I don’t know why they are all Italian, they just are!). Mostly I get it, it’s the price of London, and I love my city and wouldn’t deprive anyone of the chance to see it. But 1 billion flights a year? Come on, London’s pollution is bad enough and I live on a flight path. I know not all 1 billion flights are going to go over my head but that much air travel cannot be good for the planet. And for those keeping up, I last few to Strasbourg in 2015 and all my holidays since Washington have been in the UK, so on this one I am walking the walk….

The Myth That Babies Look More Like Their Dads. I think this is hilarious because no-one ever said that Ben or I looked like Dad. Loads of people say that B looks like our maternal grandfather, but no-one has ever said we look like Dad. To the point that when I was 15 a complete stranger, who knew Ma but had never met me or seen a picture of me, asked me if I was her daughter…

Funnily enough, Ma has always looked like Grandad’s family, I have a picture of my great-grandmother (Grandad’s mum) that people have thought was her but there is also a picture of my Grandma, that really looks like my mum. For B, he has one kid that is the image of Lu but with his colouring (Oli) and one that looks like him but with Lu’s colouring (Joe) and J looks like Ben did when he was a three not like he is now. Genetics are funny. I also have a friend with adopted children and one of them looks like his Grandad, which I really have to try hard not to comment on. Maybe we all begin to look like each other…

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