Thursday, October 28, 2004

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz - Week 3

Another picture quiz, identify the building/city, then tell me which city or country it is in.

Answers to Yorkshiresoul@gmail.com, titled 'Quiz 3 Answers', on or by Wednesday Nov 3rd.

1)


2)


3)



4)



5)



6)



7)



8)



9)




10)


Wine Review - Edi4ione ('02) ****



Edizione is a Laithwaites own brand super Tuscan, made as a vino de tavola to get around the problematic Italian wine laws.

It's a deep, dark wine with a great nose, prune and plum flavours with a hint of oak. The tannins are still a little too noticeable but should mellow. I sampled the wine with the pheasant dish mentioned below, it mthed up very well, and would equally suit venison, most game birds, good steak and casseroles.

Edizione is made from a blend of five grapes, which under wine law they're not supposed to tell you, it's 13% abv but he intense flavour might fool you into thinking it's a heavier wine, thy're also not supposed to be able to classify table wines as a vintage but they have cunningly printed the vintage on the cork, the 2002 it is then. It is very reasonably priced at £8.91 per bottle (if you buy 12).

I've got three 'vintages' of this in the cellar now, good news for the big red boys.

Over the summer I seem to have drunk most of my bottles from France, Italy and Spain, so I invested a bit last week to balance the cellar up again, some nice ready to drink Bordeaux, a few Rhone reds, some Amarone (I'm trying not to remember the cost, it was a moment of madness), some Onix from Priorato (possibly a second moment of madness) nad a few odds and sods and stickies.

Next year I await delivery of a number of 'holy grail' 2001 Gran Reserva Rioja's, this is the first time I have ever bought 'en primeur', I do hope they are worth waiting for.

The other half of the cellar is mostly Australian, Tim Adams Shiraz, St. Hallet Shiraz, Filsell Old Vine shiraz (hmmm, I'm seeing a thread here), some vintage chardonnays and a few older German rieslings, and my vertical of Chateau Musar. The cellar as a whole began to mature nicely this year, I extracted some Pesquera and Best's Grest Western Shiraz that I laid down a few years ago, hopefully I shall be able to pull a few more wines off the shelves at their drinking peak this year.
Oh goody, the game season is open us. I popped in to the excellent Lishman's and got a pheasant, I'm mad for game but Mrs YS isn't, so I have to do two dinners if I want to indulge, pork loin for the missus then.

For my birthday earlier in the year Johnathon and Christine very kindly got me the Farlow's Game Conservancy Trust Game & Fish Cookbook. I decided on removing the breasts from the carcass, very easily done with s sharp knife, even for a novice, and wrapping them in bacon.

Then I made a soft rosti, a sliced red onion, sauteed, three potatoes grated and well seasoned, stir all together and then lay into a shallow, buttered casserole, place the brests on top and cook in a moderate oven (gas 5) for 30 minutes or so.

To go with the dish I knockd up a sauce, sauteed mushrooms, reduced red wine, reduced beef gravy and a splash of cream.

The pheasant was good, they will improve as the season goes on of course. If anyone wants a brace or two I'll be getting some in from the esate shoot when I come bck from the USA (last week in Nov), get in touch.


Here's a nice little animation, the US election via Bohemian Rhapsody, link shamelessly pinched from Bellus Opium Dream
Restaurant Review - The Priest's House *****

This might not be too useful as a restaurant review, Robert and Jo leave Barden Tower at the end of next week after 14 years, I think you might get a table if you are prepared to wait a while on Saturday to Wednesday for lunch, it would be worth it.

Robert needs a knee operation, school rugby and too many years of standing on hard kitchen floors, and he doesn't want another restaurant, so he's undecided on is next career move.

The lunch then, no bookings, we arrived, had a drink in the rapidly filling, compact and therefore packed bar, and chose our meals from the 'All Star' menu Robert has put on for his last few weeks.

A three course lunch is £17.50. I opted for the Stilton Rarebitlette with Balsamic pickle, two large slices of grilled, crusty bread with lashings of stilton topping, Mrs YS went for the Duck Spring Rolls with Hoi Sin, these were apparently so good that I didn't get offered any.

Our main courses were, for me, a brown ragout of lamb, perfectly cooked tender chunks of lamb, easily enough for one Yorkshireman or two normal folk, with mustard mash, roasties, braised red cabbage and swede/carrot puree. Mrs. YS had a breaded minute steak with piquant sauce. Both were excellent.

Due to Robert's Yorkshire portions I feared for a moment that I would be unable to have a pudding, but I put food theory #1 into operation (....that you have a seperate stomach for chocolate) and manfully waded through a giant portion of grid waffles with chocolate and ice cream.

We had a quick drink at the bar afterwards, the restaurant was packed with regulars, people were still arriving and waiting patiently for one of the 8 tables. It was a grand meal, as have been all the meals I have eaten here, I'll be sorry to see Robert and Jo go.

The new folk, Debbie Leathley and Mark Finch, of the DD2 restaurant in Pudsey, take over from November 20th, we shall visit again.


Sunset in the Wharfe Valley last week, looking up part of Rombalds Moor towards Steeton.
John Peel has died. For those of us who were part of the alternative music scene, Peely was a legend. I spent many late nights in the kitchen as a young chef listening to him play the broadest selection of music you could hear on the radio.

The Radio 1 Peel Sessions were the launching pad for many musical careers, from punk to goth to indie to metal to just generally odd, Peely knew them all. He played music on the radio as it should be played, he gave an introduction, then he played the music, and he didn't talk again until it finished, good bloke.

Peel also worked on the excellent R4 programme Home Truths. If you have not heard this then listen in at 9am Satuday morning, they are running a tribute to Peel with a selection of the most interesting interviews an articles from past editions.

He was a dedicated family man, according to his one of his daughters "He has the largest collection of records known to man, and not one worth listening to". John Peel died suddenly whilst on holiday.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

why won't blogger work?
Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz, Week 2 Answers

Scroll back to Tues 19th to see the pictures again.

1) Carlie Butler, golf, Australian (Not a soul got this one)

2) Martin Brodeur, Canadian, New Jersey Devils

3) Keiren Fallon, jockey, Irish

4) Henry Olonga, cricket, Zimbabwe

5) Gerd Muller, Germany, scorer of most world cup goals for his country

6) Kenenisa Bekela, Ethiopian (or Adidasian as Donut pointed out)

7) John Elway, American football, Denver Bronco's (Eleanor wishes to point out that the CFL is better than the NFL, however, they are both shite compared to footy)

8) Tonya Harding, Figure Skating (Eleanor again...."Ah yes, the touch of class in this collection of athletes - the infamous Tonya Harding.
Figure skating brought her a measure oflegitimate fame. However, that was a tad prissy for white trash icon,Ms. Tonya. So she developed a taste for breaking knee caps ofopponents by proxy, appearing in the tabloids on a regular basis forengaging in brawls and cat fights of various description, and finally,the grandmammy of them all, embarrassing all who know her even furtherby appearing in a celebrity boxing match.
What a role model for theyoung women of today.")

9) Sugar Ray Leonard, boxing, American

10) Kirsten Lawton, trampoline, British (sadly came back from the Olympics with two black eyes)

The scores then from a possible 28.....

Malcolm R 21
I Am A Donut 21
Eleanor 21
Dr. P 19
Chez 14
Penny 1

League Table Week 2

1) Eleanor 32
2) Malcolm R 29
3) Dr. P 27
4) Chez 22
5) I Am A Donut 21
6) Penny Farthing 9
7) Alex H 5
8)Katherine 1

I'll post another quiz soonish.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


When I read an entry on this a couple of days ago (Jackie Rolf), I thought for a brief moment it was serious, and that I was reading some sort of demented hate blog, but no, it's actually a work of comic genius, read on......Fast Times At Electra High
Bam Margera sweaty fat fuck pictures, look, I don't have any, I'm not entirely sure why you are searching for this. I could entirely understand why you're looking for information, or preferably pictures of the Argentina breast size world record, and if you find some, please report back. But this, a man stuffs his entire head inside pussy, yuck, that's just nasty, leave the household pets alone.

What is all this ? Just a random selection from my log page yesterday, don't panic, the links only lead to the Google page.


Friday, October 22, 2004

1. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? Going Postal by Terry Pratchett, How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered The World by Francis Wheen, Moonseed by Stephen Baxter

2. WHAT TIME IS IT NOW? 2.30pm

3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The evil bloke from Star Wars, him with the red and black spiky head.

4 FAVOURITE BOARD GAME? Ogre

5.FAVOURITE MAGAZINE? National Geographic

6. BABIES? No, but I borrow my sisters and friends sometimes

7. FAVOURITE SOUND? Wind in the heather and distant sheep, or Megadeth at ear splitting volume

8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Is my cricket box supposed to implode on impact ?

9. FIRST THING YOU THINK OF IN THE MORNING? Get the wife a cup of tea

10. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE?

11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME: As I'm not having any, Rachel for a girl, Yngwie for a boy

12. FAVOURITE COLOUR? Black

13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE? Family, friends.

14. FAVOURITE FOOD? Oh dear, fillet steak with pepper sauce, braised pheasent with cream and whisky, pigeon breasts with red wine, garlic and red wine, Chinese, Italian, modern British, rare roast rib of beef with Yorkshire puddings and crispy roast potatoes, then chocolate, and a good sized cheeseboard please, petit fours ? Don't mind if I do.

15. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Guitar, I'd be an absolute fretwank God

16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? Not really

17. SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? No, I'd just like to make clear that I have never slept with any animal, stuffed or ambulatory

18. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY? I love storms, you get better weather value with storms

19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? An old Rover automatic, it only died two months ago
20. THE ONE PERSON FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO? Jesus

21. FAVOURITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Red wine, big oaky Australian monsters or refined Rioja
22. WHAT'S IN THE TRUNK OF YOUR CAR? Some road maps and street maps, my hiking boots, daysack and leather hat, and some rope, handcuffs and a gag, but don't tell the waitresses, it'll only worry them

23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Not always, but I eat more of it than Geroge Bush does.

24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB YOU WANTED WHAT WOULD IT BE? Patron of a combined fine wine and sf book store.

25. PERSON LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND TO THIS?

26. EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Yes

27. IS THE GLASS HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL? Half full, where's the bloody bottle gone, I bet Paddy's finished it off

28. FAVOURITE MOVIE? Dune, or Schindler's List

29. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? No, and my fingers have dyslexia

30. WHATS UNDER YOUR BED? Carpet

31. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NUMBER? "And England are now 200-1"

32. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SPORT TO WATCH? Cricket

33. SAY AT LEAST ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU. I stole it!

34. IF YOU COULD BUILD A HOUSE ANYWHERE WHERE WOULD IT BE? Up the side of some fairly innaccessible hillside up the Dales, I'd like half of it sunk into the ground, but with a vast panoramic window so I can see the vast, panoramic Yorkshire landscape

35. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING? My Dragonfly skull shirt, I know, I know, after all I've said about designer punks

36. BEACH, MOUNTAINS OR CITY? Mountains

37. TECHNOLOGY OR ART? I have to choose ? If I choose art can it be the kind with naked ladies ? Yes! Ok then, art it is

38. COMEDY OR HORROR? How about Shaun Of The Dead, 'A Romance - With Zombies'

39. FAVOURITE PHYSICAL FEATURE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX? Bum, then legs

40. FAVOURITE TIME OF DAY? I quite like early in the morning when nobody else is around

41.THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT? Goldie Lookin' Chain

42. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO BE MASSAGED? Hey! This is a family blog!

43. WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT, STRONG IN MIND OR STRONG IN BODY? Mind

44. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? About 7

45.WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE KITCHEN ITEM? My super sexy one piece Global Vanadium knife, mind you, I have a chrome Magimix and that's pretty hot as well

46. WHAT MAKES YOU REALLY ANGRY? Staff phoning in sick, are you dead ? No, then get in to work, oh, and global warming

47. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR OR SUV? I'm not really a car person, on the whole I'd prefer a chauffer

48. DO YOU BELIEVE IN AFTERLIFE? Yes

49. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SEASON? Winter, because I get alot more time off and holidays

50. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Can I be a vampire ? Does that count as a super power ? No, ok then, I'll settle for an invisible force field that destroys any approaching mosquito, by buggery I'm allergic to their bites.

51. DO YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT? Yes, I have a little skull on my right upper arm, and a skull with a Yorkshire rose in it's teeth on my left arm

52. CAN YOU JUGGLE? I can drop and smash things with some aplomb

53. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE DAY? Don't have one

54. WHICH DO YOU PREFER SUSHI OR HAMBURGER? Burger I'm afraid, apart from smoked salmon I'm not really into raw fish

55. FROM THE PEOPLE YOU WILL EMAIL THIS TO, WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO REPLY? I'm not emailing it!

56. WHO DID YOU RECEIVE THIS FROM? Stolen from Chatiry

57.WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CARTOON? Simpsons

58. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? How about, Lobster Thermidor to start with a vintage Riesling, then some game, perhaps venison in a port sauce, with mustard mash and roast vegetables, accompanied by a rather epic Amarone, chocolate for dessert, a sumptous dark mousse with raspberries and langue du chat biscuits, a glass of Tokay, then a cheeseboard with stilton, mature cheddar, some goats cheese, plenty of port with the cheese, then coffee, then some Armagnac.

59. IF YOU COULD TAKE A VACATION ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE WOULD IT BE? Las Vegas, New Orleans and New York, which is exactly where I'm going

60. DO YOU HAVE PETS? No, and don't buy me any more fish, they just die
A little Friday game for the boys, Strip Britney Spears, nice and simple, just guide the little ball around the maze, every time you get to the end zone Britney removes an item of clothing, if you have your volume turned up then you can hear Ms Spears whispering dirty words of encouragement to you, have fun.
They say McDonalds are trying to rebrand their image in the increasingly obese UK, I tell you,
it can't come a moment too soon.



Review - Welcome To The North - The Music****



I don't know much about this lot, I think they're from Leeds, and this is their second album. The 'difficult' second album cliche has been proved entirely true this year by poor efforts from Avril Lavigne, Hundred Reasons and The Datsuns. It can be a career breaker, you get off to a good start, bring out a shoddy second album and all your fans depart thinking you only had eight good songs in you.

I saw the video for Freedom Fighters, stark and bare with an intense looking young man staring into the camera and was rather intrigued. The young singer, Robert Harvey, has both a look and an attitude that harks back to the early days of the mighty Led Zep. Indeed the sound of The Music has a feel that is very similar to Led Zep.

That said, The Music have not tried to directly copy anybody, their infectious, funky, guitar based light rock has a style reminiscent of many bands, you can hear little bits of Rush and Jane's Addiction creeping in, but their illuminating, uplifting style is pretty much their own.

There are eleven tracks on the album, opening with three stunners, the fast and loose title track, the hard rock of the single 'Freedom Fighters' and then the wholly Kashmir'ish 'Bleed From Within'. If I have a complaint about this album, it is the uniformity of the tracks. I have played the album quite a few times, and am happy to listen all the way through, but the middle of the album does seem a bit samey.

Points in favour though, they're from oop North, it's a happy listening experience, you can close your eyes and imagine a young, wild haired Robert Plant is behind the mic.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Review - XS All Areas - Status Quo*****



Beofre I bought this, I had to ask myself...."Do I really need another Quo compilation ?", but, most of my Quo is on vinyl, except for some of their early recordings which are on the original wax cylinder. So I have rationalised my purchase by wanting some Quo for the car.

Quo used to be THE biggest rock band in the UK, they could headline Donnington Monsters Of Rock, they did sell out tours, they had many, many top ten singles and they were the very best at what they did.

What did they do ? Solid twelve bar boogie blues based rock, they never strayed into anything remotely metal, but in their earlier days, circa '45 Hundred Times' they were a solid wall of noise, driven along mainly by that familiar, chugging dum da dum da dum da dum. They didn't do politics or social comment, they just did beered up, noisy Saturday night fun, they were the biggest and best pub band ever.

If you've got any of the previous 624 Status Quo compilation albums to be released, you probably have every track bar two on this 40 track epic. The tracks have been well chosen to reflect the Quo's (almost) four decade career, although the running order isn't chronological and seems a little random.

All the classics are here........
CD1:1. Caroline2. Down Down 3. Paper Plane 4. Big Fat Mama5. Roll Over Lay Down 6. Softer Ride 7. Don't Waste My Time 8. Little Lady 9. Mystery Song 10. Rain 11. Break The Rules 12. Something About You Baby I Like 13. Hold You Back 14. Rockin' All Over The World 15. Whatever You Want 16. Don't Drive My Car 17. Again And Again 18. Forty Five Hundred Times 19. All Stand Up
CD2:1. You'll Come 'Round (new track)2. Thinking Of You (new track) 3. Jam Side Down4. Creepin Up On You 5. Down The Dustpipe 6. Pictures Of Matchstick Men 7. Ice In The Sun 8. In My Chair 9. Gerdundula 10. Wild Side Of Life 11. Rock n' Roll 12. What You're Proposin' 13. The Wanderer 14. Livin On An Island 15. Marguerita Time 16. In The Army Now 17. When You Walk In The Room 18. Burning Bridges 19. Fun Fun Fun 20. Old Time Rock and Roll 21. Anniversary Waltz Part 1

What more can I say, if you love 'em you love 'em, and I do, if you hate them ? Well, it's your loss.


Thanks for the first few contributions to We're All Living In America , just the sort of thing I was looking for, pictures to Yorkshiresoul@gmail.com please.




Tuesday, October 19, 2004

What is the smallest pub in England?

The Thalidomide Arms. (Thanks to Gripes)

A man takes his grandson on a tour of his hometown.
First they come to a cottage. The grandfather explains that he helped build that cottage with his own two hands. "But they don't call you a cottage builder in this town for that," the grandfather says.
Next, they come to a bridge, and the grandfather tells his grandson that he spent his entire junior year in high school helping to build that bridge. "But they don't call you a bridge builder in this town for that," the grandfather says.
A few minutes later, evidently in nostalgic thought, the grandfather almost thinks outloud, "But if you fuck a goat just one time..." (Thanks to Armer)

In the south of America an old english sheep dog has been found tied to a burning cross.
Sources say the Dulux clan have claimed responsibility (Cheers Plomien)
Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz - Week 2

A picture quiz this week, pictured below are ten sporting stars along with a question or three about each one, some are easy, some are tricksy, answers to my gmail on or by Sunday 24th Oct please.

1) Who is this, what is her sport and nationality ? (3)



2) Who is this, which team did he spend most of his career at, what is his nationality ? (3)



3) Who is this, what is his sport and nationality? (3)




4) Who is this, what is his sport and nationality ? (3)




5) Who is this, what is his nationality, and what record did he achieve for his country ? (3)



6) Who is this and what nationality is he ? (2)



7) Who is this, what is his sport and which team did he spend most of his career at ? (3)



8) Who is this, and which sport made her famous ? (2)




9) Who is this, what was his sport and nationality ? (3)



10) Who is this, what is her sport and nationality ? (3)


Monday, October 18, 2004

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz - Week 1 Answers

1) Gary Cooper made his first big screen appearence in which film ? (1) Blind Justice (1923)

2) What links Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Paul Henreid and John Mills with,Peter O'Toole, Petula clark, Michael Redgrave and Sian Philips ? (2)

They were the leading actors in the film 'Goodbye Mr. Chips', the original 1939 version and the 1969 remake.

3) It is a Norman D enclosure founded in c.1080, extended with six round towers added by Robert Cliffod, beseiged and severley damaged in 1645, and later renovated by Lady Anne Clifford, what is it ? (1) Skipton Castle

4) Which profession undertook training on 'Baker Days' ? (1) Teachers

5) What are the next two names on this list ? (2)
University
Balliol
Merton

St. Edmund Hall
Exeter
These are the colleges of Oxford University in order of foundation.

6) Basil Brush always punctuated his jokes with a 'Boom Boom!', but which comedian coined the phrase ? (1)
Billy Bennet

7) In 1797, the Norman X Depot at Stilton became the worlds first what ? (1) Prisoner of war camp.

8) 'Perish my birthday and the night I was conceived,
keep it darkened,
don't let the Lord see it, shine your lights elsewhere,
tear it from the calender, scrub it from the tally of days,
silence any happy voices, why was I not stillborn ?

'Crickey! I have paraphrased his speech, but who was having such a bad time that he said this ? (1) Job

9) What was the original name for German Bight, and in which year was its name changed ? (2)

German Bight was called Heligoland until the name was changed in 1956

10) Which group adopted the phrase 'Year Zero' to denote the start of their period of rule ? (1) Khmer Rouge

Week 1 League Table

Eleanor 11
Chez 8
Penny Farthing 8
MR 8
Dr. P 8
Alex H 5
Katherine 1

Ey up! The game is on and roaring into a three point lead is the lovely Eleanor from Canada (find her at Bellus Opium Dream) , the ladies have put up a strong challenge to our all conquering duo of Malcolm R and Dr.P, but it's a marathon not a sprint, so keep it up.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Golf, It Doesn't Have To Be Dull

or

Yorkshire Soul's Golfing Babes

I know this could be construed as heresy considering where I work, but I honestly don't find golf all that fascinating. I might see a hundred or so golfers on a busy day, and all of them are bursting to tell you about their round, hole by hole, stroke by stroke, sometimes with anecdotes about other matches and courses thrown in.

Mostly this leaves me with a fixed grin and the burning desire to be somewhere else, however, if this young lady wishes to pop in and discuss her problems in the bunker, I'm all ears.





Natalie Gulbis, she has her own website....NatalieGulbis.com, she comes from Las Vegas, she loves Van Halen, her dad looks like Ozzy's brother, and that's all I know, better have some more pictures then....






Friday, October 15, 2004

We're All Living In America

I'm going to run a second blog for a while, inspired by Rammstein's 'Amerika.' I would like you to send me photo's from around the world that demonstrate one of two things.........

1) How we're all living in America, no matter where we actually live.

2) Something that's absolutely, typically, undeniably British, German, Australian, Thai, Russian etc, as long as it's not American.

These will be posted up at We're All Living In America

Send photo's to Yorkshiresoul@gmail.com

Have fun y'all.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Seldom does a television programme leave me wanting to inflict physical injury upon someone (unless Leeds are on Match Of The Day), but last night I had the misfortune to catch part of a show in which two women dressed like they came in last in line for the Oxfam sale, tell other women what, in their shallow opinion, they should be wearing.

Trinny and Susana, you should start carrying a cricket bat, just in case you meet them on the street.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Review - American Idiot - Green Day *****




I may have mentioned Green Day once or twice before on the site, usually as 'crap', 'a pointless waste of space' or indeed 'as punk as my grandma.' Now though, I'm going to gladly eat a few of those words.

Green Day have produced a proper punk album, full of venom and righteous anger at the system, and although this doesn't entirely excuse them from having a back catalogue filled with fart jokes and rhyming couplets about masturbation, taken on it's own, it is the finest punk album to be released for a long time.

Touted as a concept album, or even as a punk rock opera, the album gets somewhat close to that mark. Green Day as musicians though are not Rush or Muse, don't expect wild variations from them, still, I think they have stretched their limitations here, and Idiot's 13 tracks contain some welcome changes in pace and styling alongside the bouncy pop punk that the band have become famous for.

The 'concept' behind AI is also a little harder to deduce, there isn't the obvious lost love motive that powered Marillion's epic Misplaced Childhood, nor the even more direct and accessible storyline on The Streets last, excellent album. The concept here seems to be a little more wooly, sure boy meets girl, falls in love, takes drugs, rages against the unfairness of it all, but I couldn't say that some tracks, lyrically, obviously follow on from the previous one.

The album opens with the already familiar title track, choppy and bouncy but politically aware, it's not American Idiot, it's 'please don't make idiots out of the Americans, we're not as bad as our leaders would have you think.'

The second (and12th) tracks are both 5 piece epics, with multiple changes of pace and style welded together, Jesus of Suburbia opens up the hollow life of the urban disenfranchised youth, believing more in Oprah and crack than God, finding hate and bitterness easier to cope with than love and honesty. The songs here are the best that Billie Joe Armstrong has ever written, 'Jesus of Suburbia/City of the Damned' with their tv obsessed pointlessness of life become the anthemic 'I Don't Care' chant of youth and then meld back into the mental and drug fuelled confusion of 'Dearly Beloved' and 'Tales of Another Broken Home.'

'Holiday' is my high point of the album, with its driving drum beat and lyrics that you would be happy in the Dead Kennedys were singing, indeed, the specter of Jello Biafra must have visited Billie Joe as he penned...
"Can I get another amen ?
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men."
...and...
"I beg to dream and differ,
from the hollow lies."

The album continues in mostly fine style, some slower numbers appear, the pain of modern urban life is explored in some depth, the feeling that no matter what the protagonist does,the government will do as it wants. 'St. Jimmy' thunders in and out in radio friendly unit shifter fashion, 'She's A Rebel' and 'extraordinary Girl' keep the pace up before 'Wake Me Up when September Ends' appears. Although the track makes no direct reference to the most important and tragic event in modern American history, it's dating on the sleeve calendar and track number are no coincidence, it's lyrics are filled with sorrow and loss as one of the story's characters considers sleeping away all his troubles.

Bang. As the second epic, 'Homecoming' starts, we lose one of the characters, filled with despair, confused and disturbed by life and drugs, he seeks the only solace that he can. Things don't get any better for the others as they struggle through the bleakness of 'East 12th Street' and into the playground chant of 'Nobody Likes You' ("Everyone left you, they're all out together, having fun") and into another anthemic chant of 'We're Coming Home.'

The album closes with 'Whatsername', nothing has really changed or improved for our character, the world is much the same, maybe a little worse, and mentally he's in no great shape.

The album is superb, ok, so Green Day are not the worlds most stunning musicians, but they have really strived for something different here, it might have taken them about ten albums to get to this point, but they have produced a proper punk record, well done boys, keep it up.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I havn't played the Sims, but I might just have to pop out and buy a copy after reading this.






With An Election Looming, I Believe......

In fair taxation, not super tax for the wealthy, 20% of a rich man's vast earnings contribute far more to the treasury than the 20% of my average wage, we don't need to punish the wealthy just because we ae not.

On the other hand, I want a fair days pay for a fair days work. When an MD leaves a company with a six figure golden goodbye after said shares have plummeted by a third during his reign, I'd like that stopped.

I would like football wages to be capped, one club out of 92 able to make a profit is no way for an industry to operate, and agents should be banned.

I'm a devout carnivore, I believe that everyone who eats meat should have to kill their dinner at lead once. I love hunting, it is part of the very fabric of the country, NO BAN!

I'm a Yorkshireman, and an Englishman, and that won't change if we join the EU fully, bring on the Euro, bye bye Sterling.

I honestly think the Post Office was better when it was nationalised, it always used to ake a profit while at the same time keeping branches open in even the smallest communities.

I believe in free and fair trade, but not to the extent that wealthy nations can wreck other nations markets by flooding them with cheap, subsidised goods.

I'm quite green, I like to recycle, I want my government to do something to save our fragile biosphere before we kill the planet, we need to stand up, be counted, lead the way here. We only have one planet. By the time my sisters kids are my age the planet could be up to 5 degrees warmer, leading to ever worsening weather, massive flooding and millions dead or homeless across the world, we really need to act now.

End 3rd world debt, it will benefit us all in the long term, put food in the bellies of starving children and get medicine to the sick instead of swelling the coffers of the West.

I want a good standard of education for our children, but you can have that as a plumber, or a sparky, or a carpenter, or chef, copper, office worker or candlestick maker. You don't have to go to university, the country needs a lot of skilled people, what it doesn't need are 45,000 kids with a degree in 'media studies'.

I'm coming to believe that in many cases prison does not benefit offenders, and by that I mean that prison does not change them for the better, we need better prison facilities and improved education.

So, my question is, come the next election, who do you think should get my vote ?


Monday, October 11, 2004

This weeks bargain food offers at posted over at Nesfield
Trier







The Market Cross in the Market area, and buildings surrounding the market in the centre of Trier. This is the oldest city in Germany, founded by the Romans who built the Porta Nigra, or Black Gate, as the entrance to the city.






The front of Trier cathedral, the building doesn't actually lean in the alarming manner suggested by this photo, but after several glasses of wine, the phtographer does.




Death comes calling, a grave monument inside Trier cathedral.





The Harvest Festival Parade on their way into the Cathedral.




A gift stall in the Autumn Market, you could also buy wines and flavoured schnapps of all sorts, beers, cheese, meats, salami, sausages, rosti with apple sauce, it was a gastronomic delight.




The swineherd of Trier, the Saarlanders are very fond of their porkfleische.




Bride on a Harley, oh when will my leather clad prince come ?




Another of the pretty buildings in the centre of Trier. We didn't get to see all of the town, missing out on the Roman ampitheatre and the riverside, but we still had a most enjoyable day there.

The weather was perfect, about 24c, and with the street entertainment that was going on around the Harvest Festival the tourists and locals had flocked in, there was live music of all kinds from oompah bands to a local metal band performing on the street and lots to see and do.

Trier really is a most attractive place.
Restaurant Review - Adam's, Gehweiler ****

Actually, Adam's isn't in Gehweiler, but after bumping our way along some rather ropey farm tracks in the dark, it could be anywhere in a 5 mile radius.

Service was friendly, we had been drinking there the night before and the owner greeted us with "Oh, it's been so long since I've seen you all." She even kept from grimacing when I proceeded to assault the German language with my best Tyke pronunciation throughout the meal.

You only really need one phrase though, "Ein grosse beer bitte."

We shared two starters between the four of us, breaded butterfly prawns in garlic sauce and calamari, all very authentic German fare, but pretty good.

For main courses, everyone else opted for a pizza, I like to eat as the Romans do though, or in this case as the Saarlanders do, I opted for Hackbraten, Rosti and Green Beans.

Hackbraten is a sort of meatloaf made from minced pork, onions and herbs, it was served with a brown mushroom sauce, very tasty. The rosti was a bit packaged looking, not as nice as the ones we had seen being made fresh at the autumn market earlier in the day, the beans though were delicious, served in a dill, cream and bacon sauce.

The Germans like their portions man sized, my Hackbraten was the size of a small loaf with about a pint of sauce, the pizza's everyone else had were reported to be good.

We didn't opt for desserts, we had been nibbling choclates all day anyway, but did have quite a few more 'Grosse Beers' and a round of coffee's. The price for all of this came to just over 60 euro's, or roughly £40, you get great value in rural Germany.


Bored ? American ? Can't pronounce the letter Z ? Try invading Canada, although those rabid beavers might be more trouble than you think.

Head injuries, bad haircuts, it's that waiter boy, he's gone and got his own blog, Rics Site.



Sunday, October 10, 2004

Little Johnny misses a day at school.
He comes back the next day and the teacher asks why he was off.
"Sorry Miss," he replied, "Daddy got burned"
"Oh dear" says the teacher, "I do hope it wasn't serious"
"Well Miss, they don't fuck about at the crematorium"

(Thanks to Kinell)

2 women walking home pissed from the boozer dying for a piss. Whilst walking through the graveyard they decide to answer the call of nature. Alas, our intrepid ladies have no toilet paper. One of the ladies uses her knickers to wipe herself with and throws them away.

The other, trying to be move resourceful, finds a ribbon from a nearby wreath that had been left on a freshly made grave and uses that.

The next day, the husbands are talking.
One says to the other "We better keep an eye on our 2 birds, mine came home last night with no knickers on"
The other husband replies "you think that's bad? Mine came home with a card hanging out of her arse that said "From all the lads at the station,we'll never forget you...."

(Thanks to Foxystoat)

Jill Dando's husband wanted to paint their front door green, but she was dead against it.

(From Localknow)

Why did Princess Diana cross the road?
She wasn't wearing her seatbelt.

(Thanks to BorderlineSchizo)

How do you get a granny to shout "Cunt!"?

Get another one to shout "Bingo".

(Thanks to Jimlad)

Friday, October 08, 2004

Gehweiler

Gehweiler was the tiny village in south Western Germany that we stayed in, the scenery isn't too dissimilar to home, rolling hills, more wooded than at home, and with more arable land rather than fields of beasts.




There are no shops in the village, but there is a cigarette machine on every street.






The local pub, run by the local postman, it only seems to open on weekend evenings.




A pretty field of late autumn wildflowers, looking down into the village, the next village, Werden, can just be seen on the right, Werden is huge, it has a butcher and a hairdresser!




A hunting hide on the edge of the forest, you gets your gun, wait up here and bang! Dinner is shot. There are hundreds of these hides along the forest edges.




A monument, made from marble brought from five different countries, nobody seems to know why this had ended up here.




The shrine at the top of the hill, this man came to live in the woods as a hermit after one of his children died, local rumour has it that he did not eat or drink and therefore must have been saintly. Seeing how kind and generous the locals are, it is much more likely that they brought him regular food parcels.





The monument at the start of the peace road, there are lumps of rock like this across Germany, over the border and all the way to Moscow to signify the peace between Germany and Russia.