29 Apr 2010

Hestia says: Smile: It's all allergies and soily ball-bags today

No offence to any German readers, but this makes me chortle every time I watch it.

This clip has both parts of the episode where the bumbling RAF pilots are in the prison camp.

Hope it makes you smile.

Ali x

28 Apr 2010

In which Hestia remembers smoking....

poster from: www.motifake.com
I've never been a smoker.  Unless you count that one time in the Brownies when my father clocked me standing outside the Church Hall puffing away merrily on an Embassy Tip.  Just that one time, but it was the beginning and end of my foray into the cancer sticks.....

Ah, the 70s!  Those were the days when you could buy fags singly.  For about 10p each. Dressed in a Brownie uniform.

27 Apr 2010

In which Hestia's feral nature is exposed.....

I really should have been flying about the house like a white tornado over the past few days, knocking it into some reasonable shape for my OH's return from sea. The trick with this sort of cleaning is to make it look very tidy, but just untidy enough that it looks convincingly as though we've lived like that for the six weeks he isn't here.

Instead I opted to spend Sunday at my girlfriend's house as we had both (misguidedly) inflicted the punishment of 'No Telly, No Computers' on our only-child children and were well-suffering the 'play with me mum' consequences.  We decided to pool resources and spend the telly-free day together - eating home made waffles with bacon, strawberries, maple, syrup, greek yoghurt and butter.  All on the one plate. Divine.

26 Apr 2010

In which Hestia gets a bit of a Twitter shock.....

Twitter very kindly keeps a running tally of the number of tweets one has made.  Next month, I'll've been tweeting for a year (not as Hestia, it must be said).

I've made about 9,300 postings - most of them original (ie not RTs).

This led me, in an idle, anal moment, to work out how many keystrikes that is - assuming 140 characters per tweet.......1,302,000.


24 Apr 2010

Hestia's Manifesto

This poster is something else that @indiaknight tweeted about.  What can I say? The woman is a genius for sniffing out fablas things.

So far I've killed the telly - not intentional.  Now when I need my fix of murder, mayhem and gardening I have to take up residence in the LEGO strewn hell-hole that is Sonshine's playroom.

It gets worse.

There is something wrong with the Sky 'eye' there and when we need to change channel, Sonshine has to be dispatched to the  front room to aim the zapper at the Sky box and then listen for me shouting through (In manner of The Golden Shot): "up one, up one, up one....try TV guide....OK - Channel 275...275....ok, come back sweetie!".  It's not ideal and means that I spend most of my time watching BBC2.

This poster pretty much encapsulates what I'd write for my own manifesto - other than the Kazoo thing.

23 Apr 2010

In which Hestia gets all political.......

Candidates may still need to pound the pavements shaking hands and kissing babies to ingratiate themselves with their voters, but there is a new dimension to this UK Election: Twitter.

And I don’t just mean the Big Gun party leaders themselves hopping on the American President's bandwagon (follow him @barackobama), but there is a
whole new raft of information that we can get, via Twitter, that we have not experienced before.

The party leaders jump through the flaming hoops of a TV debate…and on Twitter, the people that you follow (ie the people whose opinions are of interest to you) who are watching the debate along with you, all start to chatter about the points being made.

22 Apr 2010

In which Hestia gets all Frenchified....

The Cookery Book
I don't know about you, but late at night, glass of wine in one hand and mouse twitching in the other hand - I've made some odd purchases.  Usually on Ebay.  Usually they arrive and I have no recollection of ever buying that empty jam jar or 1975 Jackie Annual.  Oh yes, I've bought both.

Surfing the intertubes at night now comes with a new hazard: following links through other people's tweets on Twitter.  This is what I dida couple of weeks ago and this is how, this morning, I come to be opening a Children's Cookery Book.

In French.

21 Apr 2010

BOOK REVIEW | Sophie Dahl - Voluptuous Delights

Given that Miss Dahl now has several stone fewer voluptuous delights than she had a few years ago, I was all set to pour middle-aged, blobby-woman scorn all over this book.

I saw it serialised in the magazine of the Mail on Sunday and thought that a few of the recipes looked a bit yummy....but no....this is a gorgeous gazelle-like supermodel and I will NOT be cooking/baking her stuff, thank you VERY much.

Then, in the local library (paying fines - what else?) I spotted the book.

19 Apr 2010

In which LEGO struts its stuff....

I found this quite a long time ago and it just shows what a bit of imagination, some animation software and some LEGO can do. From this little film, my son became obsessed with Goethe's poem. Result for 19th Century German poets everywhere!

Ali x

17 Apr 2010

Have yourself a laugh - Todd Carty, 'Dancing' on Ice

So, tonight my hopes of ever being Mrs Professor Brian Cox were cruelly dashed when I found out he was already MARRIED. In need of a laugh, I was browsing through my favourite youtubes and alighted upon this. Even if you've seen it before, watch it again - it will still make you laugh.

Just goes to show that you don't need to be good at something to have a good time doing it. I can't even remember who won that series, but I'll never forget Todd Carty doing this......enjoy.

Ali x

13 Apr 2010

In which Hestia has been into the greenhouse

I've got a pretty big garden. And Willie is slooooowly concreting it to hell when I'm not looking.

His latest attempt to batter the garden into some recognisable shape is the 'covered bbq area'. This was mooted to me as a great way to enjoy a garden bbq without our food getting wet.

Now, I've known Willie since we were 16 and he's never been motivated by a dry char-coal steak in his life. I suspected foul play.

And I was right.

10 Apr 2010

Mock the Weak?

I like a joke as much as the next household goddess, but this really ramped up the anger factor for me.

But then I reflected on my own behaviour.

I have laughed my head off at Frankie Boyle on Mock the Week in the past, but I do find some of his jokes very near the knuckle. I have not spent much time thinking about how people who have direct experience of the things comics joke about must feel.

When Jimmy Carr joked about our Paralympics team being fantastic because it would be full of injured ex-servicemen, there was uproar. But if you check out the team, there WERE ex-servicemen competing. I'm in no way defending the joke - I was appalled.

But he was factually correct. Is that what made his joke so shocking - that it was factually correct? Did we not want to look at the fact that our lovely sons and daughters are out there getting blown to bits for no good reason?

Frankie Boyle is a comedic loose cannon. I can well understand how people find him offensive - certainly at points - as long as the joke is not aimed at you or your loved ones.

What makes something funny and what makes something offensive?

Is it the intent? Is it intent that makes all the difference to EVERYTHING in life?

Boyle's intention was not to make anyone deliberately feel bad. He even concedes in the articles published that it was the 'worst moment of his career' so no one would deliberately do that.

His facts were wrong. His intention was to make people laugh. Is it BETTER that Boyle's facts were wrong and he thus provoked laughter? Would it have been more offensive to poke fun at Downs Syndrome children/parents with correct facts.

The truth of this instance is that there would have been NO humour if he had used facts. What made it funny to the theatre was, perhaps, the knowledge that he WAS wrong? I don't know. I wasn't there.

Do we have to leave something of our moral compass outside the theatre when we voluntarily pay money (or tune in on TV) to see comics? Are they, by their very nature, people whose work SHOULD cause offence - somewhere? Can we voluntarily put ourselves in a position and then claim to be outraged when the humour goes against us?

I have loads of questions, but there are no easy answers and while I truly sympathise with these lovely parents who was hurt and mortified I can't help but wonder if they had laughed once at something cruel that he said about someone else that night.....?

Maybe we should stop pointing the finger at people like Jimmy Carr and Frankie Boyle and point it at ourselves. Why do THEY think WE will find it funny? Is it because we DO find it funny? Does 'anything go' when it comes to humour?

Man, it's a moral minefield!

I'm sticking to Eddie Izzard and his ilk :-)

9 Apr 2010

Clunk Click.....

A wonderful example of the power to motivate people to take action through the power of love, not fear. Great little video. Found it via someone else's blog, but lost the link ;-(

7 Apr 2010

In which we bake.....

Like a woman marooned, I have lost count of how many days into the Easter holidays we are now.  Not enough to see school bouncing towards me on the horizon like a big orange RNLI boat to rescue me anyways.

Although I am suffering (details perhaps in another post, not this one because this one involves food)  I decided to take a good friend's advice and do a spot of baking with my sonshine.

'You can choose any cake-like thing from any of my cookery books,' says I airily, hoping for something tasty from Nigella, Sophie or Delia to snack upon whilst having a cup of afternoon tea.  Instead his beady gaze alights on the P4/5 Cookery book - created by his classmates just before Easter and purchased by proud mothers everywhere -  and the Chocolate Marshmallow Cake.

100 g butter
300g  Rich Tea Biscuits (1 packet)
100 g marshmallows
25 g cocoa powder (just used hot chocolate powder)
50 g plain chocolate
50g white chocolate

Melt butter, marshmallows and cocoa powder in a pot.  Batter the biscuits to bits in plastic bag then add to mixture.  Tip mixture into a loaf tin lined with cling film.  refrigerate for about 2 hours and then turn out.  Melt the chocolate separately over pans of boiling water (don't let water touch chocolate!)  Create lovely swirly patterns of white and dark chocolate by artistic use of toothpick.

Lick bowl - obviously.....

Sadly for us, the white chocolate just melted into a huge blob of white mush (to be fair, it was probably about the same age as Kevin, but treated with a lot less respect) so our covering was purely dark chocolate.

There is not one redeeming calorific feature in this cake, other than the fact it makes a small boy VERY happy for an hour or so.

2 Apr 2010

In which I contemplate the feeding of children.....

Day 1 of the Easter holidays in the Hestia household….

I have caved in and phoned round for a little friend to come and play with my son.

This is not without some trepidation on my part as it means, at some stage over the day, that I will need to Feed Him.

This nervousness around feeding children dates back to the first small boy that came round to play after school.

Let’s call him T.

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