Wednesday, February 28, 2007

World Book Day

World Book Day

Read something, it's good for your brain.

They want to know the 10 books you can't live without, I voted for.....

Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Iron Council - China Mieville
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdan
The Hyperion Cantos - Dan Simmons
Fables - Bill Willingham
The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
Lucifer - Mike Carey
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
Skinner - Neal Asher
The Stand - Stephen King

But I read so much, if they asked me again next week I'd probably change my mind about half of them.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.3

Rules - The quiz is open to anyone that wants to join in, just send to answers to on/by Sunday 4th March 2007, if you would title your post "quiz 6.3" it makes it easier to find amidst the spam.

Don't send lists of possible answers.

Please, please don't put answers in the comments, it took ages to make this quiz.

Identify the track and the artist, one point for each so 20 points on offer.

I hope this all works, fingers crossed.











Good luck, and please don't put answers in the comments.
Quizzers, Can You Hear Me ?

Guess what evilness I have in mind for the next round of the quiz ?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Kitten Cannon

Kitten Cannon

396 feet!
World's Worst Air Crash Claims 974 Lives, And Counting

Sad news this week as deaths from the crash of Nigerian Airline's flagship Tardis jetliner continue to mount. Although the plane crashed into the sea off Benin on Boxing Day 2003, the list of the dead, which apparently includes virtually every minor diplomat and bank manager in Africa, keeps getting longer.

Only this morning I was informed of the death of Dr. Zongo Usman, Exchange Manager at the Bank Of Africa, Dr. Usman is being listed as the 974'th fatality on the 112 seater plane.

Dr. Usman also has a spare bank account overflowing with $20m+. The FBI, Interpol and Mossad are now actively engaged in investigating the Benin air disaster as it is estimated that that the personal bank balances of the 974 dead accounts for 102% of world trade for the period 1990-2007 and may involve other missing sums of money such as items from the Titanic, huge piles of Nazi gold and the lost treasure of Atlantis.

A plane really did crash.

In other news, the Irish Times reports that a 5 seat Cessna light aircraft has crashed into Dublin City Cemetery, Police have so far recovered 237 bodies.
Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.2
Answers & League Table

1) What are christopher Wallace, Trevor Smith and Jeffrey Atkins more commonley known as ? (3)

Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes and Ja Rule

2) What links borneo, Ireland, Cuba and Hispaniola ? (2)

They are all islands shared/divided between two nations.
Borneo - Indonesia / Brunei
Ireland - Ireland / UK
Cuba - Cuba / USA
Hispaniola - Haiti / Dominican Republic

3) Which sports star won an incredible 342 titles in a long career, and who shared the final title ? (2)

Martina Navratilova won the US Open Mixed Doubles with partner Bob Bryan.

4) What links Sir Edward Elgar, Elizabeth Fry and Charles Darwin, and who is missing ? (2)

They are all on the back of Bank of England banknotes, Sir John Houblon is on the £50 note.

5) What was the name given to the volunteer forces who fought alongside the Republicans in the Spanish Civl War ? (1)

The International Brigades

6) Who said recently "I have a responsibility to make music loud again, so we can't hear the world coming to an end " ? (1)

Marilyn Manson

7) Which girl links Megadeth, The Monkees, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tom Petty ? (2)

All these artists recorded songs wit Mary in the title...
Mary Jane - Megadeth
Mary, Mary - The Monkees
Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty

8) He was born in Nigeria in 1967, studied at Jos University, has taught at the University of East Anglia, Bauchi and Geroge Mason University in Washington DC. He has published two collections of short stories and two novels, who is he ? (1)

Helon Habila, author of Waiting For An Angel and Measuring Time.

9) It was revealed last week that a classic British film was supposed to end with the deaths of two of the leading characters rather than the cliffhanger that eventually made it on screen. What was the film and who wrote the original ending ? (2)

The Italian Job, Troy Kennedey Martin

10) A 10 year study conducted in Finalnd, The Netherlands and Italy has shown that 3 cups of coffee a day may help to ward off which condition ? (1)


This Week's Scores (from 16)

Dominic L 15
MR 15
Didier 13
Tony G 13
Chez 12
Mr Moosehead 12
Penny 11
Squirt 9
Alistair 9

Quiz Series 6.2 League Table

1) Tony G 23
MR 23
3) Didier 22
4) Dominic L 21
5) Chez 20
Mr Moosehead 20
7) Squirt 15
8) Alistair T 14
9) Penny Farthing 12
10) Dr. P 8
11) Lyle 8
12) Stephanie 6
13) James H 5

I havn't actually written another quiz yet, surprise surprise, that's because I spent all afternoon yesterday playing that little game colour block game I posted, damn it's addictive. Well done folks, another quiz on the way soonish.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Rather addictive colour block game.

(Seen at Greasy Chip Butty)
Simple Charts Explained

Strange Days Indeed....

...when I find myself agreeing with anything that the Manc intellectual Noel Gallagher has to say, but I saw two quotes recently that had me nodding in agreement....

"Paul McCartney, one of the best songwriters of all time, has only produced manure for the past 25 years"

"I despise hip hop. Loathe it. Eminem is an idiot and I find 50 Cent the most distasteful character I have ever crossed in my life. I just don't like the dragging women around on leads and all that stuff. I'm not fucking having that."

Who would have thought it ? The wit and wisdom of Noel Gallagher.

Oasis are still crap though.
The Shield Of Achilles

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.

W H Auden, 1952

That's just brilliant, it sums up the whole Iraq debacle.

Complete poem 'The Shield Of Achilles' here.
Are You A Happy Person ?

I was reading this article about the happiest man in the world in the Indy, where academic / Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard explains that you only need to put in about 10,000 hours of meditation in order to become supremely happy.

10,000 hours ! Or roughly 1,250 working days, 250 weeks or five years out of your life (based on working weeks, I thought you might want weekends off). This is all very well if you can find five years to sit on your arse saying "Om" with a mystical smile on your face (you're a university student for example), but for the rest of us I just can't see it working.

Anyway, as always, I get sidetracked and digress. I don't really know why I am so happy, but I am, and I think that on the whole, as I get older, I seem to get a bit happier. I was much more stressed out and shouty as a younger chef, but that's behind me now, I'd much rather get on well with my staff than have them terrorized into submission. I still have the odd moment of course, I'm no angel, but it's all flash in the pan these days, once I've raised my voice at work it's all done, I'm not bearing a grudge for the rest of the day.

I'm happy at work, I still enjoy cooking, especially when I can get on with it without endless distractions, although I admit I can get a bit grumpy when the phone starts to ring constantly, this always happens when you're doing something really messy like making pastry or gutting fish.

Music makes me happy, I know you might find this odd considering the loud, angry forms of music I listen to, but I'm quite content with The Exploited, Metallica or System Of A Down thundering away.

Reading makes me happy, when I'm reading a book I am actually in the book, the outside world seems to fade away until I'm taking part in the written words. My default state of being could be set as reading, it's also a boredom threshold thing, I need something to do.

Blogging makes me happy, I enjoy by bits of writing, sometimes tv and films make me happy, but I prefer the interactivity of the web to be honest.

I'm happy when I'm with people, playing games with my friends, out for dinner with Mrs YS, days of daft running around with the kids, chatting with chatty chef Robyn and the staff. I'm also very happy in my own company, I love my solitary days out roaming the hills and Dales of Yorkshire, I'm happy in my own head as the hills rise and fall and the weather changes, even on the days of most awful weather, I'm still happier to be out there seeing it for myself.

I happy when I'm travelling, I'm not a keen driver but being driven is great (you can read books then!), flying is mostly ok unless it's a long haul flight. I like going to different places and trying new foods and drinks.

I am not happy with the state of the world of course, there are a lot of things I would like to see changed, the current Government of self helpers, liars and charlatans, the war in Iraq, world poverty, global warming, I'm concerned about all these things, and though they do make me angry at times, they don't make me happy in the long run.

I have a lot of things to be grateful for, a good family, true and honest friends, I have a decent job even if I do sometimes work daft hours, but hey, I've got a job right! I'm healthy enough, I get the odd twinge from my back but I'm hardly ever ill, almost never in fact. I also honestly believe that is a correlation between a positive mental state and illness, people that think they are always ill are oddly enough, often ill. Me, I don't believe I get ill, and I drink red wine, and I keep fit a bit even if I am carrying some extra weight.

Insomnia gets me sometimes, I can never predict when it is going to happen, and it is harder to be happy when you're exhausted, but you can't let yourself worry about it when it's not happening, that way lies madness. I'm also a bit of a worrier sometimes, and this may be connected to the bouts of insomnia, even though I've cooked huge functions dozens of times, I still sometimes lie awake pondering the next day's menu when I know I have a 100+ people dining, I just want it all to go well.

I'd have to say though, that on the whole, I am happy, I mean I'm not bouncing off the walls madly, zany happy, or even hippy dippy spend my time in a meditative daze happy, but I'm quite content for long periods of time. I agree with the Buddhist Ricard when he says you have to try to be happy, I'm sure that both anger, happiness and hatred are all self feeding states of mind, when you get locked into one it's hard to break away from, so you may as well get locked into the happiness groove. 10,00 hours wearing an orange bin liner ? Well if it works for you, if it makes you happy then do it.

For me though, I'll see you on the hills (from a distance obviously), and then we could meet for dinner and wine afterwards.

Stay happy.

Lands End To John O'Groats

I have edited the previous post, scroll down.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Gig Review - Hammerfall*****, Krokus***, The Poodles****, Bradford Rio 23/02/07

I manage to get in just as the absurdly named Poodles are getting into their stride, they look like any one of a dozen cock rock bands (Motley Crue / Poison / Pretty Boy Floyd etc), their sound is a little more slid than that genre though, hard rock verging on power metal, strong clean vocals from Jacob Samuel and good catchy riffs.

The Poodles hail from Stockholm and released their debut album 'Metal Will Stand Tall' last year, I know the album has been released in Sweden and parts of Europe, but I'm not sure if they have a UK record deal yet, but there's always Amazon if not. They were pretty good, Samuel worked the crowd, getting them to sing and clap along, and it looks like there is small core of Poodles fans amongst the sizeable crowd here to see the headliners.

Krokus have never been one of my favourite metal bands, I'm not all that keen on Marc Storace's screechy vocal style, but the Swiss metal men put on a decent show, pumping out some of the old classics from their thirty odd year career alongside a couple of newer tracks from last year's Hellraiser album. Rhythm guitarist Dominique Favez is the spitting image of one of the Terrorvision boys, Leigh I think. Krokus get a good reception form the crowd.

Swedish headliners Hammerfall have never managed to tour the UK despite a ten year, seven album career, singer Joacim Cans apologises for not gracing our chores before and the band get a rapturous reception from the audience, at the end of every song the fans start chanting the band's name and Joacim looks genuinely impressed with their reception.

Hammerfall are great, power metal to the max, big riffs and plenty of solos, and, here they go, wahey! Four man synchronised hair twirling, with the exception of Stefan Elmgren who just nods his shiny, shaven bonce a bit. Hammerfall all look they are having tremendous fun, it's all smiles and laughs on stage, they are very accessible, stopping to shake the outstretched hands of fans at many point during the gig.

As always I didn't take notes, but they stormed through Riders Of The Storm, Hearts On Fire, Legacy Of Kings, Let The Hammer Fall, Renegade, A Legend Reborn, Templars Of Steel and may others in a set that lasted for one and three quarter hours. The fans didn't want them to go, and Hammerfall didn't want to leave, they responded with encore after encore after encore, the licks and solos just kept pouring out.

Hammerfall are great entertainment, in a genre seemingly divided between dull, turgid extreme/black metal and post pop punk, it's great to see some blokes are still holding a torch for old school heavy metal, keep the faith Hammerfall, and don't be strangers, we'd like to see you back before another decade is up.

(If nayone has any pics from the gig that they would like to see posted, please get in touch)

The Poodles MySpace

Krokus MySpace

Hammerfall MySpace

Friday, February 23, 2007

Dear Reader

This Is For You

Because you are my friend*

*with the exception of the bloke that got the blog shut down, you're not my friend, you're a dick.
Soup's Head To Head

We're thinking about selling our home made soups to take out/home, so I popped up to Evil Empire (aka Tesco) and grabbed a quick selection of ready soups to try out.

Tesco Cream Of Mushroom Soup 95p*
This is nasty, chef robyn and myself both pulled faces after trying this. We both thought the overwhelming taste was of chemicals, there isn't any flavour even remotely resembling mushrooms, it's just nasty.

Tesco Finest Pea And Ham £1.79**
This looks nice, it's a good vibrant green colour with lots of shreds of ham in it, and the flavour ? Predominantly mint with the vaguest hint of pea. I would have preferred the soup to be a little thicker as well, I think pea soup should stick to your ribs a bit, if a soup's thick you can at least let it down to suit you.

New Covent Garden Wild Mushroom £1.99***
This was alright, it tasted pleasent, but not fantastic, again it was a bit on the thin side and the mushroom flavour was a little diluted, but it was better then the Tesco one.

New Covent Garden Puy Lentil and Toulouse Sausage £1.99****
Although this should more correctly have been called Tomato Soup with Lentils and Sausage, it was easily the best of the bunch, well flavoured with good chunks of fresh tomato and slightly crunchy lentils. The only downside was that the sausage tasted rather mealy and overboiled, it would have been much better with something like chorizo added.

We wern't madly impressed with this selection of ready to eat soups, especially the Tesco own brand ones. Soup isn't at all difficult to make, both me and chef Robyn thought we make soups much better than this selection.
Book Review : The Highest Tide - Jim Lynch****

What a lovely book, Jim Lynch's debut novel is a delightful coming of age story set amidst the weird and beautiful flora and fauna of a bay in small town America. Miles O'Malley, the shortest 13 year old in his class, is obsessed with the life of the sea and mud flats in a way that only small boys can be, but other things are starting to impinge on his early teenage consciousness, specifically Angie Stegner, the daughter of a judge who babysat him when he was younger and has now emerged ahead of him into an almost incomprehensible adult world of sex and drugs and rock and roll.

Miles searches the foreshore for unusual clams and shellfish that he sells either to local restaurants or aquariums, on one of these expeditions he discovers the body of a giant squid, and this discovery pushes his life into a bizarre whirl of dubious media celebrity and scrutiny by a seemingly friendly local cult.

Whilst Miles struggles with his new found fame and his feelings for Angie, his parents are splitting up. His mother believes she has married below herself and has often referred to Miles as a mistake, his father is obsessed with and vastly dissapointed by his son's lack of physical stature and neither can really comprehend how they have managed to raise a biology genius.

Lynch's novel is funny and touching, he writes with a delicate touch. I especially enjoyed the interplay between Miles, who feels nothing but pure love for Angie, and his best friend Phelps, who notices a girl's breasts before anything else and talks constantly of sex. Lynch has a great memory for what it was like to be a boy on that cusp between childhood and teenager and he expresses it on the page in a wry and charming style.

A beautiful and charming novel, gentle in parts, deliciously funny in others.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tomorrow Night



The Poodles

At the lovely, fragrant Bradford Rio. I think I'll pop along for a night of melodic / power metal.
The Haggis Head To Head







All three haggi (is their a plural for haggis ?) look good, both the Scots haggi are presented in natural casing, all three were heated gently in a non stick frying pan (personally, I prefer pan frying to steaming/boiling), and served with tatties and neeps, mashed of course.


MacSween's has a delightfully crumbly texture, and a decent bite to the oatmeal. Lishman's didn't crumble and remained solid during cooking, the oatmeal could have had more texture. Blackface did crumble nicely but again could have done with a bit more texture.


The MacSween's wins hands down, really meaty and well seasoned and giving off a delightful, mouth watering smell, this is the strongest tasting of the three haggis. The Lishman's haggis was fairly good, although a little more seasoning and 'meatiness' would have been nice, and the same can be said for the Blackface.

In our taste test, we would recommend the MacSween's haggis, it looks the most appealing when cooked, and has the richest, most well developed flavour and the best texture of the three.

MacSween's *****
Lishman's ***
Blackface ***

***** Superb
**** Good Quality
*** Slightly Above Average
** Below Average
* I Don't Want This In My Mouth Ever Again
Quiz Series 6.2

Closing date for quiz entries will now be on/by Sunday 25th Feb, I'll do the answers & league on Monday 26th.
No Porn, Nothing To See Here, Move Right Along

Apparently, it's against the terms of my hosting license to put up pictures of celebrities sans clothing, and some tiresome buffoon has had the time and patience to research who hosts Yorkshiresoul and had reported me to them. They took the site down and thus I've been missing for two days.

My hosts sent me an e-mail at 1pm, demanding that I remove some pictures by 6pm or they would close me down, of course, like most folks, I'm at work during this time and didn't know the blog had gone until I got a phone call from Wosser.

I got in touch with my hosts and proceeded to have one of those bizarre circular conversations.

Them - "You have to take these pictures down"

Me - "But you havn't told me which pictures, I've posted about 2,700 articles to the blog, it could be anything."

Them - "These are the pictures (........................), you must remove them"

Me - "But you've denied access to my blog, I can't do a search to find the pictures, how am I going to remove them if I can't find them ?"

Them - "That's not our problem"

Me - "I use Blogger to publish the site, you have broken the ftp link and Blogger won't publish to anything, so even if I can find the pictures, I can't edit them"

After a mountain of e-mails they finally accepted that I might have to see the blog in order to be able to work on it, but even after the photos had been removed they still dragged their feet for hours before putting the site back up.

I thought we were all adults here, somtimes I post adult orientated material to the blog, I swear too much, and if I may quote Lemmy from Motorhead......

"I like to see the women naked, I'm not in denial"

If there is something that bothers you dear reader, talk to me. This is the nature of blogging, the authors are very accessible, this isn't a novel or a national newspaper where the writer is distant and out of reach, it's a blog, one bloke's obsession, if you think I've crossed the line of good taste / moral questionability / temporary insanity, post a comment, drop me an e-mail, talk to me.

If I get closed down again, you should be able to contact me at....

Yorkshiresoul's MySpace page

Yorkshiresoul's / Audioscrobbler page

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oh yes, The Fighting Cocks have a new album, Music For Lapdancers, on the way. I've spoken to the band recently and I might even manage a free copy which I'll happily give away in some sort of music question/quiz thingy, wow, you could actually win something tangible on Yorkshiresoul.

Come And See CD review on Yorkshiresoul

Gogol Bordello - Fighting Cocks at Leeds Cockpit
Land's End to John O'Groats 5
Cannington, Somerset

I'm still moving on steadily, I've travelled through the lovely Exmoor National Park and then over the Quantock Hills and across the border into Somerset (3 counties travelled through!) to arrive in pretty Cannington.

The Wild Hunt was supposed to have roamed the Quontocks......"It is told that one man who dared to cross it about midnight heard the sounds of a pack of hounds in full cry, and for a time wondered what fetched "the old squire" out hunting at that time of night. However, as there was evidently a good run going on, he hastened to open the field gate toward which the pack was coming, and stood by to watch. And when the dogs came through, they were not the squire's, but terrible great black dogs, with fiery red tongues lolling out, and the gentleman with them was riding a great black horse without a head." (By Rhiannon on The Modern Antiquarian. )

This area was first settled in the Iron Age, and a fort from this era can be found on a limestone ridge just outside the present village. The name of the village comes from Cantuc, and old British word for ridge, and ton from the Saxon for settlement, the original name was therefore Cantucton, or hill (Quantock) village.

Cannington is a community of about 2,500 souls, there is are two churches here, a school, a farming college, but best of all, there is the Oatley Vineyard producing English wine from the Kernling and Madeleine Angevine grapes. The owners also write a Vineyard Blog keeping friends and customers up to date with vineyard events.

In the 1960's quarrying destroyed the old Christian cemetery outside the village, many of those interred were brought to the cemetery at the parish church of St. Mary's, one of those reburied was an unidentified girl child of around 16 years of age, she is now known as the Child Of Cannington and a wooden statue in the church commemorates her.

There are a fair few places to stay in and around the village, including the splendid looking Blackmore Farm, a former 14th century manor house.

One of the rooms at Blackmoor Farm.

I can get dinner tonight at The Friendly Spirit which advertises 'an extensive grill and fresh seafood menu, or I could get a traditional roast dinner at the King's Head, followed by a game of skittles in the King's Head's own skittle alley.

Cannington circled on a map of South East England.

Total Distance Travelled = 244 kilometers

Rowing 84k
Walking 61k
Running 21k
X-training 22k
Cycling 56k

Monday, February 19, 2007

Poor Old Britney

She's rather lost the plot, I don't think the Nazi Skinhead look is really her thing.
Foam Party

at Bradford Rio (Wed 28th Feb), do you think this will get the carpets clean ?

Perhaps it will clear up that unusual scent that always hangs around Rio.
Best Holiday Picture

I think this is the bast arty shot I managed on Lanzarote.
Weekly Scrobble Eclectic

When the widget updates....

1 +7 The God Damn Whores 23 (rock)

2 +8 Rasputina 15 (cello rock ? Like lightweight Apocalyptica with folk vocals)

3 -1 Coheed and Cambria 14 (prog)

4 +27 Desmond Dekker 11 (ska)

4 +19 Lily Allen 11 (pop, and wry, witty lyrics)

4 +14 Ginger 11 (rock)

7 Lindisfarne 9 (folk)

8 Motörhead 7 (thrash metal)

8 The Clash 7 (punk)

10 -7 Alanis Morissette 6 (pop)

10 Def Leppard 6 (rock)

10 -9 Madness 6 (ska)

10 The Fighting Cocks 6 (gypsy electronic folk punk, new album out soon)

As always, my taste in music is bloody awesome.
Gig After Gig After Motherfucking Gig

02/05/07: Bradford, Rios - The Wildhearts

03/05/07: Sheffield, Corporation - The Wildhearts

04/05/07: Manchester, Academy - The Wildhearts

05/05/07: Nottingham Rockcity - The Wildhearts

Work allowing, I can make Braford, Manchester or Notts, who's coming ?
There is a full tour, but these are the closest gigs.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Album Review : We Are The Lucky 13 - The God Damn Whores****

The God Damn Whores are Random Jon Poole's side project (or one of many perhaps), according to the sleeve notes, Jon played bass, lead and drums on the album, sang all the vocals, wrote all the songs and produced the album, so he's either a genius or nobody wants to play with him ?

Jesting aside, Lucky 13 is a pretty decent album, as with everything involving any of the (numerous) ex-Wildhearts*, this has a sort of Wildhearts feel to it, most of the songs would fit Ginger's voice, there some big CJ style riffs and some fairly well written songs.

*With the exception of Strapping Young Lad.

There are twelve tracks on the album, oh no, there's 13, that's right, there's a hidden track after the last song. Why on earth do bands bother with 'hidden' tracks these days ? It used to be great fun to leave an album running silently after the last track only to find a new song suddenly booming out minutes later, but in the mp3 age, you can see how long a track is, anyway, I digress.

Random Jon has put out a pretty decent rock album, quirky minute long tracks aside (of which there are a handful on the album) it is a solid, riff laden effort with good guitar parts and nicely catchy riffs. I still don't think he has the greatest of voices, but the vocals sound much better on the album than they did live.

I think if you're a fan of The Wildhearts, or just a lover of solid rock and roll, you'll find quite a lot to like on Lucky 13.
I'm Not Mocking

Team..... Matches.... Points... Rating
South Africa 36...... 4595..... 128
Australia... 45...........5692 .....126

Oh, well perhaps I'll just mock a little bit, those Australians, they just can't stop losing.
Blackface Lamb

My lamb arrived from Blackface on Thursday, both Mrs YS and myself are big lamb fans so we won't quickley get bored of eating the same thing night after night.

The lamb was jointed and vac packed and came as follows....

2 legs, one whole (and high cur on the leg for a really good sized joint), the other cut into two smaller joints.

2 shoulders, presented as the legs.

20 chops, 16 cut up, the others left as a rack

Liver & Kidneys - havn't seen this, it must have dropped into the depths of my freezer.

Flank piece.


1 Haggis.

So far we have had some of the chops just simply grilled, and last night I braised the shanks. I usually buy my meat from Lishman's of Ilkley, so, in a comparison, how does the Blackface fare against the free range lamb from my local butcher ?

Well, it is good, but I'm not sure that it is any better than the Yorkshire lamb from my local butcher, the chops were good, but sometimes I've had some awesome lamb from Lishman's, the shanks are not really a good test, once anything has been brasied for hours it should be tender and succulent however it started out. Lishman's are just edging it at the moment then.

A whole lamb from Blackface cost £109.
Book Review : White Line Fever - Lemmy****

Quicky review = Sex and drugs and rock and roll.

That pretty much sums it up, Lemmy has always lived lived to the full, and beyond. He loves his music, from his early days with the Rocking Vicars, through his time with prog rock maestros Hawkwind and the three decades plus with thrash metal pioneers Motorhead, Lemmy has always playes it fast and hard.

Lemmy has shown a bit of wisdom by enlisting journalist Janiss Garza to co-write his autobiography, with her on board White Line Fever comes over as a much more polished effort than the last autobiography by a rock star that I read, Adam Ant's Stand and Deliver.

Whereas the strongest thing to pass Adam's lips though was a cup of strong tea, Lemmy has always been infamous for his narcotic consumption, although he strongly advises against taking as many drugs as he has, and many times in the narrative he warns of the dangers of heroin and laments the many friends in the music industry he has lost to smack.

White Line Fever is wry and funny, Lemmy is as blunt as forthright as you would expect, he calls a spade a spade, pointing out the high and the low points of Motorhead's long career.

The thing that lets the book down a bit though is Lemmy's refusal to write about his whole life, I've noticed this in a few rock autobiographies, I know fans want to read about the wild gigs, groupies and drug use, but what about friends, families and interests outside metal ? Lemmy has two sons, only one of whom he has any contact with as far as I can gather, but it would make for much more interesting reading were the book to be rounded out with events away from the music arena.

That said, it was still a good read, you can't help but smile sometimes as Motorhead stumble, drink, snort, shag, fight and play their way to eventual success. There are namechecks for Metallica, especially Lars Ulrich, who Lemmy praises for the respect and acknowledgement they have given him, there is also praise for Ozzy Osbourne, Girlschool, Twisted Sister, Wendy O Wiliams and the Plasmatics and many others. Lemmy might seem a gruff hard man, but he has many kind words for his friends.

I enjoyed this, Lemmy can be a prize lunatic at times, but he's lived a full old life, and when I say old, did you know that the grand old man of speed metal is 62 this year ? It's all the drugs, he's probably unkillable.

I may have told this before, many times, but I met Lemmy once. I was at a nightclub, rather the worse for wear, and as I stumbled into the toilets, Lemmy was stumbling out, my brain froze.

"Oh wow," I said to his face. "It's Lemmy from Motorhead."

"Yeah," he replied. "So fucking what ?"
Really Useful MySpace

I'm looking for some new waiting staff, and begining the search for a new chef to replace the lovely Robyn who leaves in a couple of months to pursue a career in mental health care. Three of my recent employees have gone into mental nursing, I must be providing good background material.

Anyway, I wrote an advert and spent an hour putting it out to all the youngsters on one of the current staff's friend's list, as of this morning I have 3 replies for waitressing jobs and (hopefully) one reply for the full time position.

For an hour of my time, that's a better response than the last time I advertised in the Ilkley Gazette, and for free. Four years ago we spent just short of £1,500 placing job adverts for a chef, if MySpace can save me that I'll be very happy.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Dinner For 6 ?

A rare mutation has given this duckling four legs, and they named it Stumpy.

So that's pan fried duck breast for two, and four portions of confit then ?
Get On Your Bike / Eurostar / EasyJet etc.

The LibDems are whining about new Government measures which will force first time passport applicants to attend face to face interviews.

The Lib Dems' Simon Hughes said the move would disrupt the lives of working people.

"Most people do not have the time or the inclination to have to travel, probably quite a long way from where they live."

So, why do they want a passport in the first place then ?
Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.2

The Rules.....

The quiz is open to anyone who fancies having a go.

Please don't put answers in the comments, it takes me ages to do these quizzes.

Send your answers to me,, on/by Fri 23rd Feb.
Please put QUIZ 6.2 as the header, it makes it much easier to find amidst the spam.

1) What are christopher Wallace, Trevor Smith and Jeffrey Atkins more commonley known as ? (3)

2) What links borneo, Ireland, Cuba and Hispaniola ? (2)

3) Which sports star won an incredible 342 titles in a long career, and who shared the final title ? (2)

4) What links Sir Edward Elgar, Elizabeth Fry and Charles Darwin, and who is missing ? (2)

5) What was the name given to the volunteer forces who fought alongside the Republicans in the Spanish Civl War ? (1)

6) Who said recently "I have a responsibility to make music loud again, so we can't hear the world coming to an end " ? (1)

7) Which girl links Megadeth, The Monkees, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Tom Petty ? (2)

8) He was born in Nigeria in 1967, studied at Jos University, has taught at the University of East Anglia, Bauchi and Geroge Mason University in Washington DC. He has published two collections of short stories and two novels, who is he ? (1)

9) It was revealed last week that a classic British film was supposed to end with the deaths of two of the leading characters rather than the cliffhanger that eventually made it on screen. What was the film and who wrote the original ending ? (2)

10) A 10 year study conducted in Finalnd, The Netherlands and Italy has shown that 3 cups of coffee a day may help to ward off which condition ? (1)

Good luck folks.

Please don't post answers in the comments.
Holiday Snaps by Mrs YS

YS and Wosser laughing like proverbial drains at the water park.

Natty and the ucky, sticky candyfloss.

Sunset at Peurto Del Carmen.

The Gang dining at La Lonja in the old town harbour.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Quizzers, Can You Hear Me ?

Press this
Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz : Series 6.1

Sorry about the delay, but here are the answers, you had to identify a sci-fi movie from a single still, (if it was a series, the main series title would do)......

1) Alien

2) The Matrix

3) The Abyss

4) Silent Running

5) Soylent Green

6) X-Men

7) Star Wars

8) Metropolis

9) Minority Report

10) Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

6.1 League Table

1) Tony G 10
2) Didier 9
3) Chez 8
Dr. P 8
Lyle 8
MR 8
Mr Moosehead 8
8) Dominic L 6
Squirt 6
Stephanie 6
11) Alastair T 5
James H 5
13) Penny Farthing 1

Well done folks, the next quiz should be up on Sunday or Monday.
My Heroes Diminish

I watched the Metallica documentary, Some Kind Of Monster, just before I went away, for a fan of the band it makes for horrible viewing. Rock bands are supposed to be aggressive, demanding, wild, strong, sexy, all the things you want to be when you're listening to them.

St. Anger era Metallica though showed a band destroying themselves, it would be funny if it were not so terribly sad, an album that takes two years to record, band members bickering like little kids over who is getting more influence than somebody else. The low point is surely the band's mentor / psychotherapist / sponging layabout, I mean, you can't really blame the bloke, I'd be advising them on just about everything if they were paying me ten grand a week to listen to my pontificating. It's awful to watch the three of them whining their way through an endless series of "And how do you feel about this ?" questions. They even manage a face to face with Dave Mustaine, who proceeds to nearly cry as he whines about Megadeth not being as good as 'Talica, oh Dave, shut up man.

Unintentionally, Metallica have produced an excellent sequel to Spinal Tap, watching the prolonged making of the album is on par with the hopeless US tour that ST undertake. Is there a Metallica fan who didn't want to reach out and strangle Jamyz as he puts down pointless and petty rules (like only working from 12-4pm every day, with no-pne else allowedto work on after that).

When I was a youngster, these blokes were the gods of metal, they changed the face of rock music with Ride The Lightning and Master Of Puppets, then they went a bit mad and recorded some right crap, Load and Reload are surely two of the worst albums to grace any metalheads shelves, then they went completely bonkers whilst recording St Anger. At the time I gave the album a good review, but looking back, it isn't very good at all, it could have been, perhaps if the drums didn't sound as if they were recorded in a biscuit tin, perhaps if they had allowed Kirk to actually play his guitar, perhaps, perhaps.
Book Review - Stand & Deliver, The Autobiography - Adam Ant**

Poor old Adam, the beautiful face of punk rock, driven by bi-polar disorder and a fierce need for adulation and success, he became hugely popular in the UK and managed a minor level of celebrity in the States. His autobiography then should make for interesting reading, but sadly, Adam just isn't a great writer.

I was a huge ant fan when they were at their peak, I painted my bedroom with a five foot high ant head surrounded by song titles, I had a drummer boy jacket (rock fashion is a circular thing, look at My Chemical Romance dressing up as little Adam's) and would wear nail varnish and white stripes on my cheeks, it was just the sort of look that went down really well in a small Yorkshire village. I really wanted this book to be good because Adam was one of my early musical heroes.

His life story seems at first glance to leave nothing out, he is painfully honest about his childhood, his mental state and the obsession with sex, but for all the in depth stuff that he includes, the missing parts of the story spoil the book. I really wanted to know more about the break up of the Ants, but Adam dismisses it as "they had reached the end of their contracts," was that really it ? Just like that ? One of the most popular bands of that era ended because contracts had come to an end, I don't believe it was as simple as all that.

Also lacking from the book is any real detail about his life after his musical career ground to a halt, the sad events that led to his arrest and sectioning are mentioned, but the last decade is skated over.

Adam's obsession with popularity is painful to read, his desire for publicity seems boundless, it controls his mental state. He seems unable to comprehend why his acting career never reached stellar levels, well mate, the truth is this, as a singer you were great entertainment, as an actor you were bloody awful. Adam was fantastic on stage, mesmerising, brilliant, on film he was the opposite, dull, wooden, lacking any spark.

He hasn't been great to people either, I suspect that some interesting parts of his life have been left out as they would leave him open to criticism from other people, and it's obvious that he really can't bear any sort of criticism. Stand & Deliver is a flawed work then, but given Adam's state of mind for much of his life, I suppose that is only to be expected.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Just Checking In

Hello folks, this is our last day on Lanzarote, we fly home tomorrow, and we´re all very sunburnt. We spent yesterday at the water park playing on the slides and rapids, the temperature had reached about 30 centigrade during the day and now we all look like freshly cooked lobsters, therefore I´m blogging, we have to spend some time out of the sun today.

The weather has been really good for the whole week, usually some cloud in the mornings that vanishes by midday. We have been all over the island, looking at the art and architecture of Cesar Manriques, traipsing through kilometres of underground lava tunnels, digging on the beach and playing in the waves. I gather it has been a bit chilly back in dear old Yorkshire, good, I´m glad I´m here then.

As usual I have been taking lots of photos, as has Wosser and Mrs YS, so expect lots of piccies of sun kissed beaches and gurning children when we get back.

Ha ha! Leeds beat Crystal Palace, but we´re still flat bottom of the Championship, and even better, the uber big headed Australian cricket team have fallen flat on their faces in the ODI series finals. Does Mr. Buchanan think his team have been tested enough now ? Not only did we win, but Australia were soundly thrashed in the second final, losing to a medium England total by nearly a hundred runs. At least there has been something to smile about on this winter´s tour.

Right, see you all soon then, I´m off for a chilled beer by the pool.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Winter's Coming....

...I'm sodding off to Lanzarote then, see you all in a week.
Walking Yorkshire : Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks is a National Trust property close to Pateley Bridge in North Yorkshire. It is within the Nidderdale Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Brimham Rocks formations sprawl over 400 acres, so you could easily spend half a day, or longer, here with the children playing and exploring, do supervise though, there are one or two hidden falls and cliffs.

The weird formations are made from millstone grit, a sedimentary rock laid down roughly 320 million years ago, the odd shapes and formations have been brought about as a duel result of glacial erosion and weathering.

Many of the stone shapes suggest other things and have been given folk lore names over the years, the Dancing Bear, Druid's Desk, Blacksmith and Anvil, some are rather more obvious than others.

After wandering around the rocks area for a while I struck out West, there are numerous footpaths around the rocks, I took a woodland path out to High Wood Farm (203647), where I saw this cute little chap.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking ? Mmmmm, rare breed pork chops.

Snowdrops blooming next to Fell Beck. I walked on through the woods and came out onto the road above the hamlet of Fell Beck (199663) and then followed the road NW out on to Pateley Moor. There is a tourist feature marked on my map, South Oaks Pottery, but it seems to be closed / converted into a vast private home.

Looking across Kingstone Farm to a smoke plume on Skell Gill Bank. This is normal winter burning off, a controlled burn of old heather to make space for new growth, with the ground so wet there is no danger of uncontrolled fire, unlike the blaze on Ilkley Moor last summer which got down into the peat layer.

I thought I'd walk out to watch the burning, but when I got there the flames had died down, so I walked on, and when I looked back a couple of miles later it was burning again, pah. The moor just in front of the burn area is called Burnt Heath.

Red Grouse on Pateley Moor, the moor was alive with grouse, pheasant and rabbits. Grouse often managed to startle me when I'd striding across the moor, they wait until you are almost atop them before they burst into the air with a rapid drumming of wings.

A quick fly by from the RAF, great, I got a picture of one at last, usually the Tornado's are dots in the distance by the time I have got the camera out.

Standing stone looking out across Bishop's Moor. (174675). I pressed on along the road north to the junction at Bonfire Hill (199706) where I took the road east to meet the Ripon Rowel Walk at Skelding Grange (216697) and followed the walk as far as Eavestone Lake where I came back to the road again.

Inquisitive sheep on the Ripon Rowel, it's compulsory to take pictures of sheep you know.

I had pottered on parts of the walk and now I realised that I would have to press on if I was going to get back to the NT car park before they locked my car in for the night, so I fairly yomped back along the road, pausing only to snap this lovely sky scene.

If you are inspired to come and visit my beautiful county because of the stuff I write and the pictures I post, please do, however......

I was changing out of my boots in the car park when a scutter car pulled in, you've seen the type, small car with blacked out windows, huge exhaust and spinning wheel trim thingies. The car sits there for a few minutes, then two of the windows open and the scutter occupants eject a heap of litter out into the car park, then the car pulls away leaving their pile of debris behind them.

Take nothing but photographs and memories, leave nothing but footprints, if you're a scumbag, please stay away from the places I love.

This walk can be found on OS 298 : Nidderdale, as always, wear proper boots and kit, there were some boggy sections and two fords that would be dangerous after rain. The walk was 23k done in about 6 hours.
Wine Review - Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel '04****

This is one for the Big Red Boys, very direct and filling the mouth with heaps of bright, ripe fruits, jammy blackberry and dark plum flavours with an underlying hint of spice. It is a big wine at 14.5% abv, and this carries and lifts the big flavour rather than drowning it.

If you like big reds just for drinking, then this is perfect, it has very little in the way of tannins and so is smooth on the palette. It is so smooth that I might almost be tempted to match it with desserts, baked apples, pears in red wine. I had it with satay chicken and it only just coped with that.

This was bought from Wine Rack in their 40% off promotion, the shelf price for a bottle of Lodi is around £12.

Ravenswood Depertment of Zinformation

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Danger! Highly Trained Guard Snakes

In a frankly laughable effort to keep people out of the compound at Norwood Edge Transmitting Station, BT have put up these signs. I wonder what brainstorming session came up with that one ? And even if there were poisonous snakes inside the compound, those gaps in the fencing would easily allow them access outside the compound as well.
Swinsty Reflections


Part of a broken down digger in a field.