Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter

Wishing you and your family a happy, sunny Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quotation of the day

"The days should be enjoyed, not endured."

Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester

Monday, March 25, 2013


"My darling, I have some news for you: you are now a WOAL!" announced my husband.
"A vole?" I replied, thinking he'd developed some sort of Sam Weller speech impediment.
No, he definitely meant WOAL. His new club allows members' WOALs to have afternoon tea with up to three guests.
What is a WOAL?
A wife or other applicable lady. I don't like the sound of it!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cartoon of the day

Non-euro area residents' deposits in Cyprus are E20.9bn (31% of total deposits) and an estimated two-thirds are Russian accounts. Cyprus' GDP is E17.9bn.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Jerusalem slays The Beast

President Obama's armour plated Cadillac, known as The Beast, ground to a halt in Jerusalem yesterday, not because of terrorism, nor traffic jams, nor, as far as we know, an act of God. This specimen of first class engineering by General Motors sputtered to a halt because some bright spark had filled it with diesel!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nightmare of the day

Last night I dreamed that I was part of a team of four spies visiting a foreign inteliigence HQ. We were given badges at the entrance. However, there was no badge with my name on, only one with the name Diana. Diana was one of our chief spies and I took the badge reluctantly as I was worried I'd be an assassination target carrying her ID. After we entered the building, the lights went off. I couldn't see where the others had gone. I had to feel my way around and there was very little air so I could hardly breathe. At one point I was cocooned in a tunnel of soft material at a 45 degree angle, pushed in from all sides, barely able to move forward and desperate for oxygen. At last there was a blast of fresh air and a flash of light. I was in a bedroom which had a staircase going up from it. I saw a dead body on the bed and a man running up the stairs ahead. I ran upstairs behind him and the light went out again. In the dark at the top of the stairs there was an illuminated sign: "Unit for causing Psychological Breakdown". I wept and then woke up (not weeping!).
Memo to self: don't eat mozzarella late at night!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bad joke of the day

A man asked his solicitor what his fees were.
 "Fifty pounds for three questions," was the reply.
"Isn't that rather expensive?" said the man.
"What's your third question?" replied the solicitor.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


There's an article in today's Times about St Paul's Episcopal Church in Wilmington which has held an inter-church beer brewing competition. Contestants included The Three Dunkel Weisse Men, The HeBrews and the Bible Imbibers. The Hopostles, made by St Mary's Catholic Church, won.

Sporting hero of the week

Nick Compton, grandson of the late and great Denis Compton, scored his maiden century for England against New Zealand, aged 29. It is perhaps mean to compare him to his grandfather. Denis Compton first played for England when he was 20 and when he was 29, in 1947, he scored 18 centuries for England. Come on Nick: another 17 centuries this year please!

Friday, March 08, 2013


"Well you see, Norm, it's like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When the herd is hunted, it's the slowest and weakest at the back which are killed first. This natural selection is good for the whole herd as its overall speed and health improves. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive alcohol kills brain cells, but, naturally, it kills the slowest and weakest first. In this way, regular consumption of beer kills the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster, more efficient machine. And that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a couple of beers."

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Photo of the day

This photo by Gary Cox won third prize in a competition by the Mammal Society.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013


So. Farewell then 
Hugo Chavez
Venezualan hood.

You said you were
the Axis of Good.

Others protested

That you were
on the Axis of Evil,

While the Economist said

Your axis was
neither good nor evil,

Just diesel.

With apologies to E.J.Thribb.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Birthday cake

I made a lemon and blueberry cake for a birthday party on Saturday. The ground almonds made it beautifully moist. Here's the recipe (from Ottolenghi):

280g unsalted butter
65g plain flour
280g ground almonds
280g caster sugar
5 eggs
Grated zest of 2 lemons
100ml lemon juice
120g blueberries

Icing: 50ml lemon juice & 150g icing sugat

Preheat oven to 170C. Butter cake tin.
Mix flour & ground almonds and set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until white and fluffy.
Beat eggs and gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture, adding some of the flour mixture if it starts to separate.
Gently fold in the flour and almond mixture, followed by the lemon zest, juice and blueberries, making sure the blueberries stay whole.
Pour into the cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.
Cool completely on a rack.
to make the glaze, whisk together the icing sugar and lemon juice and drizzle it over the cake.