Archive for March, 2015

Late lunch at Caffe Macchiato

March 30, 2015
spaghetti con polpette

spaghetti con polpette

Caffe Macchiato

Caffe Macchiato

Caffe Macchiato

Caffe Macchiato

Aldershot is infamous for its boarded-up shops, gambling joints, Pound shops, disgusting fast food outlets and tacky chain eateries.

To find somewhere worth eating, let alone worth making a trip to Aldershot for, is nothing short of a miracle.

Caffe Macchiato is one such place.

I had spaghetti con polpette, spaghetti with meatballs, onion and tomato sauce, It was excellent, generous portion size too, all freshly cooked from quality ingredients.

On a previous visit, pollo crema a fungi, breast of chicken cooked with wine, peppers, served with porcini mushrooms in a garlic and tomato sauce. That too was excellent.

I do not though recommend the coffee. They need to source better quality coffee from specialist coffee roasters, not source from a sister coffee bar, where they lack the expertise to roast coffee (though full marks for trying).

An idiot has posted a  very nasty review on TripAdvisor, claiming service without a smile, poor quality ingredients. This simply is not true.

Newspapers to read, Times, Independent, Daily Mail, art on the wall by Emilia, free wifi.

Since my last visit, a revamp, new chairs outside, different décor inside.

Occasional live music in the evening, with a set menu.

My only question: Why not No1 on TripAdvisor for places to eat in Aldershot?

The Emperor’s New Clothes

March 29, 2015

Every crisis is an opportunity to change the system. — Russell Brand

The Emperor’s New Clothes. a film by Russell Brand and Michael Winterbottom, will be screened on 21 April 2015.

Austerity is a myth, it is being used as an excuse for Shock Doctrine, to destroy the existing fabric of society, to punish the poor, to enrich the rich, to dismantle the welfare state, close public libraries.

Leaked the last few days, how the Tories intend to hit the poor even harder.

David Cameron tells us by 2020, we may get to see a consultant at weekends (don’t be ill at weekends until then). And yet he has had five years to bring this in, but oh no, was too busy selling off the NHS to Tory Party donors and tax dodgers. In the last week, £780 million of the NHS sold off. Strange how Dodgy Dave made no mention in his speech about protecting the NHS.

Crooked bankers, HSBC, money laundering for Mexican drug cartels, laundering for tax dodgers, but not a single banker in prison.

Former head of HMRC, charged with collecting tax, winded and dined by tax dodgers, let Vodafone off £7 billion tax over a sumptuous dinner, now advises HSBC on tax dodging.

Former head of HSBC, given a seat in the House of Lords by David Cameron,  made a government minster.

The financial crash, caused by greedy bankers, should have been used as an opportunity to change the system, to create a fairer system.

In Greece, they have had a revolution, it may happen in Spain too.

In UK, the choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum, between Tories and ToryLite, is being portrayed by the media as choice. It is not choice, it is more of the same, corrupt politicians out to line their own pockets and vying for the opportunity to act for Big Business.

Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair

March 28, 2015
Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair

Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair

Between 1938 and 1968 BBC broadcast on the radio classic Paul Temple series.

About half the original recordings are now lost, but the scripts remain.

BBC Radio 4 has been recreating the series, using vintage microphones and sound recordings from the period, to make as authentic as possible.

Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair was originally broadcast in 1946. It is being re-broadcast as a ten-part series.

Broadcasts are now held on-line for 30 days, which is an improvement upon 7 days, but there is absolutely no reason they cannot be held on-line indefinitely.

Two girls go missing, their bodies are found, both girls strangled, one body caught in a fisherman’s net off Whitstable, the other in Paul Temple’s garage.

The only clue: With the compliments of a Mr Gregory.

Who is Mr Gregory?

Paul Temple series was also broadcast in Germany, where they were known as street cleaners, Straßenfeger, as they cleaned everyone up from the streets as people stayed home glued to the radio.

Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair, not only had the original recording disappeared but also the scripts of Episodes 1, 2 and 6. This new production is made possible by the recent discovery by a colleague in Norwegian radio of a complete set of scripts in an old store cupboard in Oslo.

Radio Echoes has a number of Paul Temple classics available for download.

Vodafone hashtags get hijacked yet again

March 28, 2015

Vodafone do not seem to learn.

Please hijack their hashtags

and tell them what you think of their tax dodging.

Of course they could pay the billions of pounds in tax they owe.

Top Gear new presenter shock

March 28, 2015

Following the sudden departure of Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear, new shock as Russell Brand anounced as new presenter

Dance with the Enemy

March 27, 2015
Dance with the Enemy

Dance with the Enemy

Beautiful haunting music from singer-songwriter Jewelia.

Video is poor quality, not the usual high standard can usually expect from Jewelia.

The song  ‘Dance with the Enemy’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal  about a medieval knight who plays chess with Death, for his life.

lyrics

On an empty beach, where the sand is never asleep
The waves wrote and erased so many yesterdays
Barefoot and without a hat, for decades the Knight has been sat
Under a silent sky, with a Queen so salty and dry

Cradle me, oh restless sea
Dance with me the dance of the enemy

The pawns won’t be sacrificed, but one good deed won’t suffice
Rejoice the old memories, fresh milk and strawberries
He chased what has never been; he called someone whom he’s never seen
In this game of chess White can never win

Cradle me, oh restless sea
Dance with me the dance of the enemy

Dance with me, oh restless sea
Cradle me to sleep in the arms of the enemy

Botafumeiro

March 26, 2015

misa para los peregrinos

misa para los peregrinos

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting in Botafumeiro motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

Botafumeiro  is a censer that is swung at special services in Catedral de Santiago in Santiago de Compostela.

It is swung at the special Friday evening mass, and occasionally at other masses too.

I witnessed the occasion at Friday evening mass last week. It takes place at the end of the mass. The censor is lowered, filled with burning charcoal, then with eight men pulling on ropes, it swings into the transepts, almost to the ceiling.

It is quite dramatic when first seen, accompanied by loud organ music.

Each day at midday a special mass for pilgrims.

Saturday midday mass, the censer was swung, as it was at the mass following the midday mass on Sunday.

The clergy in attendance were robed in purple not green. Those pulling the ropes robed in claret.

Friday and Saturday, the censer was stopped. On the Sunday it was allowed to swing and slowly slowly come to a halt.

The description on Wikipedia, like most things on Wikipedia, false. No way was 40kg of charcoal and incense shovelled into the censer. Nor did the swinging censer fill the cathedral with smoke or produce large volumes of smoke. Botafumeiro is normally found suspended at the end of the rope, not kept in the cathedral library.

The Botafumeiro is suspended from a pulley mechanism in the dome in the centre of the cathedral, the entire mechanism flexes as it is swung.

Daffodils

March 25, 2015
daffodils

daffodils

Daffodils.

Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

March 24, 2015
Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

I arrived a week ago at Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela, late at night and tired. I took the airport bus which passed through the ugly part of town.

My return to the airport, pressed for time, I took a taxi.

A far more pleasant journey, through open countryside.

Why did I not change my flight, stay longer?

Airport bookshop had interesting best-sellers, books from Paulo Coelho and This Changes Everything / Esto Lo Cambio Todo from Naomi Klein.

best-sellers Paulo Coelho

best-sellers Paulo Coelho

This Changes Everything from Naomi Klein

This Changes Everything from Naomi Klein

Bodeguilla de San Roque

March 23, 2015
tasted as disgusting as it looks

tasted as disgusting as it looks

Bodeguilla de San Roque

Bodeguilla de San Roque

What was described as warm pork with peppers.

In reality thin slices of cold, poor quality ham, with rather disgusting green peppers, plus potatoes.

I ate the potatoes which were quite good, left the disgusting peppers and left about half of the ham.

Not ordered, but served before the main course, a plate of chips with a fried egg on top. This I waved away.