Saturday, 16 June 2007

Drunken Images

Minor Grape: As usual on the front of the paper, which of the worlds several thousand intoxicants does the Guardian choose to illustrate a drink driving story...... you've guessed it a pint of flat looking bitter. It's not paranoia it's a 1000 year old class war. I don't think the world's most famous recent celebrity drink driver was mashed on 6 pints of Broadside was she.
ps I don't like using stats but here's a quote from Decanter magazine.
"France has one of the worst road safety records in Europe. Of 7,242 road deaths a year, 29.5% involve drivers who are over the drink-drive limit. In the UK (whose population is almost identical to France's) the figures are 3,400 and 15% respectively!"

Monday, 11 June 2007

Village Idiots

Most of you will have noticed a particular abuse of English over the last few years the inclusion by the property industry of the words “Village” randomly after place names. I.e Marylebone Village, Blackheath Village. It’s a way of making part of an exclusive area that bit better by attaching the supposed charms of village life to a formally urban location.
It presumably stems from Dulwich village etc which does have the air of a Village, a posh one mind with crap shops and snooty pubs.
And that’s the problem villages are only attractive to those who have never live there. Your typical village will have a grocers come post office that sells little more than atora suet, split peas and old copies of woman’s own. The pub if it’s got one will be full of small minded regulars or have a stroppy landlord. There’s no where to walk and precious else do.
The other side of village life people eulogise is the supposed friendliness of them. That’s if you are white and local that is. Since when has everyone knowing your business being a good thing, you only have to turn to popular culture to see that from everything from the Salem witch trials to midsomer murders that small village life leads to deadly consequences.

So when estate agents call a place posh place “something village” presumably they are targeting the narrow minded nosey bigoted suet buying murderer market and good luck to them.
What brought this all to mind is I often eat my lunch opposite the Molinare film and TV facilities village. In other words a TV studio where they make Jamie Oliver programmes etc. In this case village in the title may be accurate because media types will have more than their usual share of back bating gossips, misanthropes, they ruin the local pubs oh and I bet the shops crap too.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Drunken Thinking 2 those crazy Dutch

Further to my previous post on drinking laws.
Found this it, shows that "problem drinking" may be cultural after all, powdered alcohol for kids anyone?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Caring for Carers

On a more poignant note a good article about the effects of long term illness on the carers, this guy’s story is echoed many times elsewhere. The thing the NHS has not yet to fully grasped is that the most potentially distressing symptoms of diseases like MS are the psychological effects on the patient and carer. The mental health issues always seem to go untreated and yet depression etc are often harder to cope with than even intense physical pain. In fact because the carer becomes depressed this can get in the way of them seeking help for themselves and the “caree”. So until counselling, rest bite care, therapy etc are built into the care plans, carers will continue to end up not only grieving for their lost loved ones but mentally damaged and unwell from the whole process.

Drunken Thinking

A couple of things
Today firstly
Drink. The recent report(ing) and measures to curb drinking are as usual flawed. The first thing to say is the Guardian report is accompanied by a picture of the naked torso of a man carrying two and half pints of lager (in skiffs). Yet the reports states that the at risk groups are young people and older people drinking at home. These groups don’t drink beer as a matter of course, it’s either alcopops or wine so why is the picture not of some midriff bearing 12 years old or middle aged female hand reaching for the wine box and the Pringles before settling down to watch Doc martin? (I refer you to the Saxon verses Normans debate) In fact if everyone drank beer, because it’s weaker and greater in volume and therefore more filling, drunkenness rates would go down!
Now, to look at the measures to fight this, taxing the majority of drinkers to tackle the behaviour the minority of “problem” drinkers. All the offences committed by drinkers and vendors are already covered by other laws. Throwing up in the street: illegal. Selling to minors is illegal. Selling booze to someone in capable is already an offence.
So what needs to happen is to target and sensibly enforcement existing laws before we start punitative taxation.

As for home drinking this is a tricky one because it is down to increased prosperity. I.e. the group that’s drinking too much are richer than before. In times past drinking wine at home was a rarity with a bottle for special meals or special occasions. Now a days wine is cheap and peoples buy it, like any other grocery in bulk. This group that are over indulging are doing so also because wine we drink is stronger than the blue Nun et al of yore. Many of this group aren’t sure what a measure is and drink huge glasses of wine. Also home drinkers are free from social stigma so can go to bed (or sleep on the sofa) plastered without the rebuke of their peers they would get down the pub. The only way to counter the home drinkers is to close tescos and sainsbury which is a good idea but isn’t going to happen.

The other problem with all this is the puritan mealy mouthed nature of New Labour and the double standards of the political classes in general with their late bars, Chianti sodden holiday homes and expense account mullard meals.

Monday, 4 June 2007

It Pays to advertise

The web is a funny place according to a comment on my blog a Portuguese(or possibly Brazilian) online tshirt vendor is interested in my views on "booking fee rip offs". Or is it just spam anyway welcome Rodrigo?

Sunday, 3 June 2007

Monkey Business

Started watching a film about the Monkees channel 4, in the first five minutes they repeated the same wrong story about Mike Nesmith's Mum inventing Tippex, she didn't she invented liquid paper. If the can't get this right what hope is there for the rest, so I turned off.