Feeling a little bit shit today; have slight cold, neck aching and fingers still tingling. But the sun is shining, I’m still alive and I’m cooking fish pie today. Spoke with my key nurse, she wasn’t sure about my neck and to keep an eye on it but tingling is chemo related. I’d sort of forgotten about chemo as all the other side effects have been radio-related. Has depressed me a little, every now and then things remind me that I’ve undergone heavy duty treatment and it will be a while before anything like a full recovery, if ever.
Still, Kate and I are round at Kate and Tim’s tonight for a film evening watching Boyhood and I’m cooking: a new mushroom starter, fish pie and apple tart. I love fish pie, it’s a great comfort food. When Kate and I got together I occasionally cooked fish pie on a Friday (didn’t know I was catholic?), the other family members increasingly complained so I haven’t cooked it for a long time. When I suggested cooking it the other day there was protestation all round, “we used to have fish pie every Friday”. I find it interesting how tales, even fables, develop. Yes we had fish pie occasionally but this has developed within our family lore as if we had it every Friday for years on end. As a truth seeking pedant I sometimes find it difficult when these stories develop, they are always based on some truth but with each retelling they are altered, personal embellishment takes hold. This happens with personal stories too and I must admit even I have slightly spiffed up the odd anecdote.
Writing of tales did you hear the one about the tory mp who embellishes their experience of life outside parliament by taking up various company directorships with generous remuneration. Such is the essence of condom cameron’s defence of rifkind and others taking these positions outside their ‘day job’. What a load of bollocks. I think to get anything like experience of life beyond the Commons they should spend a while on ‘jobseeker’s allowance (especially ian decidedly stupid), working zero hours style on minimum wage, as a black woman, as a teacher, as a cleaner, anything that takes them out of their gilded existence. I remember many years ago Matthew Parrish, then an MP now a journalist, attempted to spend a week on the dole, he couldn’t manage it (and it was more generous than nowadays). Would they still be as bigoted or evil?
Have you read or heard about Masih Alinejad? She’s an Iranian journalist who created a facebook page inviting Iranian women to post pictures of themselves without their heads covered. She claims it is a basic human right for Moslem women to choose whether they wear the hijab or not, she is not against the hijab just the forced wearing of it. Add male religious leaders to my list a couple of days ago of ‘merited males’. She calls her campaign ‘stealthy freedom’ and is another opportunity for men to support women and move towards equality.
So, Labour are proposing to counter zero hours working conditions by forcing employers to offer fixed contracts after 6 months. Crap idea, employers will just get others in before the 6 months is up, need far firmer stuff to counter this. But will they? The mantra is ‘flexibility’, right, the flexibility afforded to employers to exploit cheap labour with no rights and steal as much money as they can.
Meanwhile I read sales of ‘gluten free’ foods are mushrooming, I even had gluten free sausages for my lunch at my watercolour session. Apparently coeliac disease affects about 1% of the population and there are some other conditions that warrant a gluten free diet but not to the extent that gluten free stuff has developed, it’s a big industry now. Sort of reminds me of the demonisation of fat which is now proving misguided. What effects on our bodies will this gluten free stuff have? When will we start getting reports of all the benefits of gluten? And who will be the first person to report jaw muscle atrophy from lack of chewing?
See the grinning gargoyle has been at an American republican get together alongside such nutters as sarah palin. The tea party has a bit of fruitcake to go with it. Also a recent poll has him leading in the Thanet South constituency. I may be wrong but don’t these people of Kent realise that if elected the gargoyle will not do much locally and would find it hard existing on an MP’s salary.
Manifesto 90: (getting close to 100)
- before anyone takes your photo (or after one has been taken) they need your permission. Perhaps those folk who think that taking a photo is stealing your soul might have a point.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.