Tuesday 10 December 2013

A tree is for life, not just for Christmas!

While glancing at the credits at the end of Masterchef on TV one evening recently, the words ‘sustainable fish list’ caught my eye, causing me to rush to Google. This latest fad is seemingly the aquatic equivalent of advising us to ‘drink responsibly’ and is designed to make the consumer feel guilty buying perfectly legal everyday things in a bid to save a planet that they are unable to manage. On the BBC website, an extensive list of endangered fish includes just about everything that can swim underwater. Cod, haddock, salmon, prawns, tinned tuna, they are all up there on the no-no scale, turning our every seafood meal into an ecological disaster. And woe-betide us if we dare to push the boat out with halibut, sole or monkfish. We might as well break into the Sea-life Centre and machine-gun all the dolphins! Towards the end of the list, though, we do get a little respite in the fact that we could, should we wish, eat Gurnard or squid as a sustainable substitute. Excuse me, what’s poor old Bernard the Gurnard done to get itself on the hit-list? Isn’t the thing unfortunate enough to look like something from a Ridley Scott movie, without us chasing it around the high seas just so we can brag about how ‘cuisinely responsible’ we are being. And as for squid, well thanks. Why don’t I just eat my dog’s rubber bone and be done with? What a load of pollocks?
And then there is all the political nonsense with the damn Xmas tree. How dare we chop down a poor defenceless tree minding its own business in a forest in Scotland? You villainous axe murderer, you! You should have bought one in B&Q for three hundred quid, made of plastic by slaves in a third world country earning sixpence a year, and then keep it until the end of eternity in the attic. Where’s the economic advantage in that?! Surely a fresh one every year creates far more jobs, as well as doing wonders for the vacuum cleaner industry?  A tree is not for life, it’s just for Christmas!
Isn’t it quite amazing the things you discover when you are not looking for them? A crumpled business card turned up in an old coat pocket for a contact I have been trying to track for ages. Then I accidentally learn that Wendy and I are both self-confessed oenophiles  - the scientific name for wine-lovers, apparently. Lastly, but much more to my horror, that no words in the English language rhyme with month, orange, silver or purple. This I found out while writing up some verse recently – 200 verses to be precise, all about a small lamb called Daisy Death-Wish. Despite being a writer for nearly 4 years, the English language still never ceases to amaze me, unless of course it is written by Americans who can’t spell!
And while on that subject, I recently bought a new laptop running Microsoft Windows 8. And it is crap. Nothing works like it did before, everything is American - and I can’t even get my emails anymore! The reason for the latter is that I now have extra built-in security to protect myself from acts of terrorism, whether I want it or not. It’s no longer satisfactory to be myself and let other people send me mail. No, Norton-Macafee-FortNoks will all need to read my mail first and send it via the FBI in case it contains coded messages that might endanger the US military! Except that they won’t understand my English spelling when they skeptically analize my humor! Incidentally, the American language even has a variation of the English word mediæval which I find quite amusing, as while the British were busying themselves during that period with marauding and beating peasants, Americans were still living in tree-houses!

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