Happy Christmas

Originally uploaded by Jane Dallaway

Richard and I have spent the last couple of days with his folks in Margate. We’ve taken a couple of walks with the dog, watched 2 excited great-nephews open their own body weight in presents and munched our way through turkey, sausages, bacon, roast potatoes and plenty of vegetables. Lovely!

Final Cut December

Tonight is the December Final Cut screening at Komedia, and I’ve not had chance to blog about the last one I went to in October. As it starts in an hour and a half, I’ll just quickly say it’s an evening of short films. All sorts of short films: funny, serious, animated, local… I’m not sure if there are any rules.

We primarily went in October to see Dave’s Work Socks, but I enjoyed every minute of the whole evening. Go to it, it’s good.

Tonight is a Christmas special. With mince pies… but I’m going to miss it. 7:30 at Komedia, £4 on the door.

Pie Season


Mince pie season has kicked off for me, starting with a six pack from KaiOrganic in nearby Hove.

These are billed as “filled with naturally fruity mincemeat laced with cognac”. This is incorrect. It should say “absolutely packed” not just simply “filled”. The filling is not only generous, but very tasty. Quite rich, as you would expect for a mince pie. Working outwards we encounter the pastry, which is sweet and soft, rating around 2 or 3 on the Crumb Drop Scale. A light dusting of icing sugar gives the impression of a home made quality product.

The packaging is a reassuringly flimsily cardboard box with a large cellophane window, sealed with a silver label along one edge. Inside the pies are further sealed in two rows, each of three pies each. In our tests 2/3rds of the pies suffered significant damaged in transit. So take care.

Our rating: Buy! Plus, being organic, and having a short shelf-life, you have a great excuse to munch your way through the lot.

Ingredients: Mincemeat (raisins, sultanas, currants, sunflower oil, sugar, apple juice, oranges (juice and zest), lemons (juice and zest), dried apples, mixed spice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, flakes almonds, cognac, cinnamon), Self raising flow (wheat flower, raising agent* (calcium phosphates, sodium carbonate), sugar, margarine (sunflower oil, palm oil, coconut oil, carrot, juice, emulsifier: lecithin*, lemon juice, natural flavouring*), Unsalted butter, water*, icing sugar (sugar, corn flower). All organic except when indicated by *.
Allergens: Gluten, nuts, sesame.
Suitable for: vegetarians.
Suitable for home freezing.

Availability: available throughout Sussex.

The Crumb Drop Scale:

  • 5 – Pieces of pastry explode off the pie or pastry at high speed, making “ping” noises as they hits crockery. Someone comments: “you could’ve had an eye out with that”.
  • 4 – You look down at your shirt, or lap, in horror at the amount of crumbs.
  • 3 – Light flaking: may be difficult to contain in a strong breeze.
  • 2 – Very little crumb drop. Slight risk of small flakes adhering to the lip.
  • 1 – A solid pastry producing no crumbs at all. Consider returning the pie to the store.

Assisted Dying

Another serious issue! In this blog? Surely some mistake…. I’ll try to return to your regular programming of pictures of our friends drunk really soon. But first this…

In the UK active assisted suicide (a.k.a. assisted dying, a.k.a. euthanasia) is illegal.

“Since the 1961 Suicide Act, it is no longer a crime to commit suicide or attempt to do so. However, it remains unlawful, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, to ‘aid, abet, counsel or procure’ a suicide. And deliberately taking the life of another person constitutes murder, even if the person is dying and has asked to be killed. A patient’s refusal of treatment does not constitute suicide, which in law requires a ‘positive act’. Nor is it murder if, to relieve pain, a doctor administers a drug that as a side effect shortens the patient’s life—the ‘double-effect principle'” (The policeman’s dilemma, The Economist Oct 13, 2005).

I think some form of assisted suicide should be introduced. I realize the issues are tricky, but I suspect situations exist that trump the slippery-slope arguments. I don’t have any insights to add, I don’t have any experiences to draw on, but, as this is a blog, I do have a bunch of link for you 🙂

So if you’re interested, there’s plenty to digest. If it’s an option you like to have (but hopefully never have to use), then you’ll probably want to start support it now: it’s going to take a long time to be introduced here.