Archive for June, 2013

Pangasius – not the fish of choice

Posted in General, Work on June 19, 2013 by thecognitivekey

Interesting that our work canteen has had pangasius fishcakes on the menu for the past two days.

They used to have fried pangasius on Fridays but replaced it with hake. I don’t know whether that was a decision based on economics or welfare, my guess is economics. But it’s a good thing NOT to have pangasius on the menu. It’s not known to be a good source of food. Maybe in Vietnam it’s OK, but the cultivation and processing for the export market leaves much to be desired.

Certainly I shan’t be eating pangasius in any form, ever.


The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul – Douglas Adams

Posted in Books on June 16, 2013 by thecognitivekey

Les Miserables is a long, almost interminable book. It is time to take another breather from it and read something a shade lighter.

I like The Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, it meanders easily through the plot and has some interesting things to say as it goes. The HHGTTG is a funny book, or rather it’s a funny book adaptation of an excellent radio series. The books rather lack the crispness of the radio.

The Long Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul is the second of Adams’ Dirk Gently novels. I haven’t read the first. I don’t think I shall.

The LDT-TOTS centres on the idea that Norse gods are still here in a sort of parallel universe which can be entered, and that they have negotiated with a music industry executive a lot of their power. One god rebels and this is that story and Gently’s involvement in it. I didn’t like the story at all. I felt no empathy for any of the characters, Gently appears to be able to come to conclusions through some psychic power which is never explained or justified. There are loose ends throughout which a competent writer would have tied down.

It is interesting actually as Adams had editorial help with the HHGTTG. It was too cumbersome for the radio and had to be cut back. The result is a very tight radio series which works very well. The books re-introduce some of the missing edits and are as a result a little sloppy and loose. I do wonder therefore whether the loose, meandering tale is the norm for Adams and what he really needed throughout was a tough editor to keep things in check. Further, the recent tour of the radio series reinstated some of the missing edits from the radio series under the guise of improving the broadcast radio script under the guise that this was the real HHGTTG. It might have been what Adams originally wrote but it’s not the HHGTTG that was broadcast, and the reinstatement diluted the HHGTTG on stage. It was a big let-down. The edits were essential.

Merely an observation. I realise that Adams is a god in some quarters. I appreciate the quality of the HHGTTG, but I realise that in some of the edited forms it doesn’t hit the right spots.

Wickham Fete

Posted in General on June 8, 2013 by thecognitivekey

Another fete in Wickham already – it doesn’t seem that long ago since the last but it must be time…it’s June and that’s when the fete is held. I anticipate some more fun on the coconut shy. I am not too worried about anything else but the coconut shy is the key.

It rained the day before the fete, but fete day itself is sunny and warm. Collect Janie from the station, and after a quick cup of tea, on to the fete. Argh…instantly I can see that there is no coconut shy! What! The main reason for coming was to throw things at coconuts.

The chap who usually runs the shy is manning another stall, selling bottles. He was offered the chance to change stall this year so he took it – the scouts are organising the coconuts. They have the corner of the garden over there…and indeed that part of the garden was replete with scouts, but not a coconut in sight. Instead there was an insipid obstacle course, with a cargo net and I am not sure what else. What a disappointment.

The rest of the fete was pretty much the same as usual, but then that’s what we expect of a village fete, continuity. We didn’t stay long.

Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes – Baby Caught The Bus

Posted in Music on June 2, 2013 by thecognitivekey

I have been rather neglectful in recent months on the music I hear. So many other things which have to be looked at, and work is a demanding mistress when it is shift work.

However here is an album which just demands to be written about. An absolute peach of a debut album.

The band are Australian, but the style is English. Immediately there are strains of Amy Winehouse, but there is more. They have absorbed Amy and added a quality unique to themselves. Stunning just doesn’t do them justice.

The music is great. Lovely catchy tunes delivered with their own style. It’s very infectious and it is impossible not to move with the rhythm. Even better, the videos show just what passion they put into this music. Wow! What style. A lot of humour and fun in this album, it’s a pleasure to listen to and even better I can play it on the radio!

This is one of the best albums I have heard for many years. Even better they have an image which will last a long time. I am looking forward to playing many more new Clairy Browne albums.

They have completed a tour of the US and are back in Australia, touring. If they ever come to the UK I shall make every effort to be there to see them. These are the early days of a great band…you heard it here first…