Thursday, April 30, 2009

Polly Scattergood - Please Don't Touch

As I posted previously, I just can't stop listening to Polly Scattergood's excellent debut album. On Monday her latest single is released and the video is above.

Seriously, buy this album. Your ears will love you for ever.

OK, so the video is a bit cheap, but she is only just starting out on a small label, and it's the music that counts I am sure you will agree.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FIA In Fair Punishment For McLaren Shock!

Today the FIA decided on McLaren's punishment for lying about what happened in Australia under the safety car. For once the result was fair!

Mclaren will get a suspended 3 race ban which most people think is about right. I was worried they would get a 4 race ban and not be at Silverstone this year!!

Full story is here.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More Cooking - Focaccia

This weekend I decided to do some more cooking. I decided to have another attempt at a quiche which failed last time due to my crap pastry making skills and I decided to make some more bread. This time a Focaccia bread.

The pastry was once again crap. I seem to have real problems making it. It all goes together fine and feels nice and soft but when I try to roll it out it all falls to bits. Anyone with any suggestions they will be welcomed.

Bread however it a different matter all together. My first attempt at a white loaf was a great success and this weekends Olive and Rosemary Focaccia was also a big success, as you can see by the picture above.

I love making bread. I hate making pastry. Can you guess which one I will be making more of? :-)

Alice's First Cinema Trip

I have been off all this week. I thought I would extend the Easter weekend to a full week as I had not had any time off since Christmas.

Alice and I decided that it was about time she went to the cinema to see a film instead of watching one at home so as I was off we decided that last Tuesday was the time and Monsters vs Aliens was the film.

It may not seem like a bit thing taking your four year old daughter to the cinema but as Alice is a total wuss who is scared by the dark and by loud noises it was a big thing for her.

I decided to pay a pound extra for the posh seats so that there would be plenty of room in case Alice wanted to sit on my knee. Good job I did too. :-) I was also the only parent who paid the extra and we were the only ones sat in the posh seats. It obviously means that I love Alice more than they love their children. :-)

The lights went down and all was fine. Alice was very brave indeed. It was only when the giant robot was attacking San Francisco that it all got a bit too much for her and she moved from her own seat to my knee. That was where she stayed for the rest of the film.

She said she really enjoyed her first trip to the cinema but when I asked her if she would like to go again she said "No. It's too loud". I am sure she will get over it eventually.

I also asked her if she would like to watch Monsters vs Aliens on DVD when it is available and she also said no because it was too loud. I explained that at home we could turn the volume down and she was much happier about the prospect.

All in all a good trip. Alice was very brave and the film was surprisingly good. Recommended.

Well done Alice.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Wisdom Of Alice - Part 11

Alice and I were watching the second practice session for the Chinese grand prix on the BBC red button this morning.

Alice : "Who is first?"

Me : "Jenson is first at the moment"

Alice : "Is that Jenson Button?"

Me : "Yes"

Alice : "Then I will call him Chocolate Button"

Too much easter chocolate me thinks! :-)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Making Children Look Stupid.

Children are funny. They are hilarious in fact. This is mostly unintentional on their part when they are very young but they become natural performers as they get older, and due to their clumsiness and general daftness they continue to be hilarious.

However, they are also a massive burdon to their parents. We have to endure sleepless nights, tantrums, food thrown all over the house, precious things broken, houses that look like a terrorist has blown up a Toys R Us in our lounge, having to disconnect the power and reset buttons on your PC after children discover pressing them makes the screen go blank when mummy or daddy are just trying to read their email, and many other hardships.

We think that they odds are stacked in the favour of the child and that they are not funny enough to make up for all the pain they cause. It is therefore imperative that we as parents balance out the funny/pain levels.

There are many ways to do this but Victoria and I have always gone with the 'Make you child look stupid and take pictures for showing people in later years' approach. Sometimes it goes a bit too far but most of the time it is great fun.

Anyway, the point of this post....

We are off camping in Wales in August and have already been buying the things we will need. We went to CCC yesterday and found the lovely rain suit that Amelia is wearing in the photo above. The picture does not show it but it even has fluorescent strips on the hood and back. Classic!!!

Yet another classic example of making your child look stupid. If any parents out their have any of their own examples I would love to see them. :-)


We had a really nice Easter this year. Alice had of course been excited about it for weeks and was looking forward to having lots of Easter eggs. Last year when people asked if they should get her an egg we said 'No, she will have loads' to too many people and she didn't get very many. We felt guilty about that so this year we made sure she had loads of eggs.

We have also convinced her that the Easter Bunny is working with Father Christmas and that they have a shared naughty/nice list. If Alice is not good the Easter Bunny will know and reduce the egg count. It worked a treat but we now need another mythical character to cover us over the summer. Any ideas?

Easter Sunday was just the four of us. We started the day with an Easter egg hunt which Alice loved and Amelia wandered around oblivious to. Great fun.

Victoria and I decided to have goose for lunch as I have strangely never tried it. It was delicious if not slightly expensive (£55 for an 8.5 lb bird!!!)

The only bad thing about Easter was that I had a stinking hangover all day after going out for a few too many beers with my brother the night before.

Pictures are available here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

What Is Wrong With Formula 1? - Part 3 - Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone owns the commercial rights to Formula 1. This means he can sell the TV rights and advertising to whoever he wants as well as deciding on who hosts a race and how much they pay for the race. He also pays the F1 teams when they score points. Essentially he holds the F1 purse.

The first way he is ruining F1 is by whoring his shares in Formula One Management to a company called CVC to raise money for himself while promising CVC vast profits after a few years. To make good on his promise he only puts 50% of the profits back into the sport and he is continuously increasing the cost for a track to host a GP. This means that it is increasingly difficult for circuits that do not have government backing to host a race. He charges the circuits around £100 million a year for the race and the circuits take on the gates is around £100 million. They don't even get the advertising rights as they go to the FIA. The only profits they make are food and drink vendors paying for pitches and car parking.

He also seems to have some sort of vendetta against Silverstone. He has been threatening for years to take the race away from them unless they improve the facilities and how can they do that when they make no profit from the GP as he charges so much? I think he just does not like the people who run the circuit but then he seem to not like anyone. The facilities at Silverstone are not at all bad and I have heard that other circuits (Brazil) are much worse and he does not continuously threaten them with losing the race. Anyway, he has finally done it and 2009 is the last race at Silverstone. From 2010 it is moving to Donnington who really seem to be struggling with getting everything ready. If they fail there will be no British GP for the first time since F1 began.

Silverstone is not the only historic circuit to be dropped. France has lost it's race, Canada have lost their race and 2 years ago America lost their race. They are increasingly replaced by boring circuits in Asia and the Middle East. Bahrain, Singapore and now Abu Dabbi. Soulless circuits with no racing history and half filled grandstands. These countries pay Bernie the most money and so get the races at the expense of the classic circuits. The fans don't like this as the races are boring. The teams don't like it because the races are not held in their markets. The people in these countries are indifferent due to not following F1. Abu Dabbi only has seating for 30,000 people which shows how many people they expect!

There really should be an effort to protect the classic GP's.

Recently Bernie has also tried to make more of the races night races. The first night race was last year in Singapore. On the one hand the FIA are saying that F1 needs to be green and on the other Singapore is lighting 3.5 miles of track to be as bright as day for 3 days! Crazy.

The reason for this is that while Bernie is moving the races away from their natural home he also knows that the key audiences are in Europe. Therefore he wants these races to be held at peak viewing times in Europe. First we had Singapore and this year he wanted Australia and Malaysia to become night races. They refused.

Instead Bernie said that the races has to be started at a later time. This mean that the last part of the Australian race was too dark for racing and could have been dangerous and Malaysia was held at a time when it ALWAYS rains at the same time of day, the race halfway mark. The teams knew it was going to rain, the locals knew it was going to rain and I knew it was going to rain. Guess what happened? It rained. So much that the race has to be abandoned. Bernie will not however admit that he is wrong.

The funny thing is that the European fans don't mind the races being a funny times. We are used to getting up at stupid times to watch the race and we all have some method of recording them if we want a lie in.

I'll stop my rant now.

The only thing that can fix F1 of for both Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley to leave which I can't see ever happening. Therefore, and I know it sounds harsh, I am, shall we say, hoping they don't live to be 100.

I still love F1. The racing is as good as ever even with the evil troika of Mosley, the FIA and Ecclestone trying their best to spoil it I will still watch and enjoy it and look forward to better days.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What Is Wrong With Formula 1? - Part 2 - FIA Stewards

Lewis Hamilton has been disqualified from the Australian GP, 5 days after it was run. This is something else that is ruining F1.

After he was penalised in Spa last year for actually racing I would have thought that the FIA would stop messing around with stupid penalties and changing the results after the race has been won, but oh no.

FIA stewards are not F1 experts. They are people that suck Mosley's dick the most. Track owners, FIA members etc. Many of them have never been to an F1 race before they are stewards for a weekend. Within the FIA it is considered a perk to be a steward.

When will they realise they can't keep changing the result after the race.

Read the report here is you wish.

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