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This topic contains 1,224 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  Bluesqueakpip 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    winston @winston

    @janetteb   I saw on the news about your record breaking heat and it must be hard to get through it. How hard is it to do your baking in that kind of heat? My oven is used as storage from June to Sept. here during our summer and I bake all winter to help keep the kitchen warm. We are having an arctic chill  and it is -22C right now and expected to reach -30 overnight. My feet are cold, but I am Canadian so I like cold and snow.

    I started my Xmas baking early thank goodness as my oven has stopped working! Fixing it will have to wait for now and I have no idea how I am going to cook my turkey on Xmas but I am trying very hard not to panic.  I will admit to having a moment when the oven stopped, a moment of frustration and shouting “why now?” but now I will have to come up with a cunning plan to produce a turkey dinner for my family. Oh yeah, for the first time in a few years I am hosting Christmas this year.

    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond


    do you aye


    Whisht @whisht

    ah, @pedant my wording, my bad.

    “They’re not racist but… they’re uncomfortable”

    I can’t get back into my head and so can’t exactly remember what I was trying to get at.
    Whatever I was doing I was being too clever by half.

    Maybe I was trying to write a phrase with far too many things ‘between the lines’ (or ellipses).

    So, while I don’t think that the
    “country morphed practically overnight into a bunch of racist, far right, nationalist loons” (@bluesqueakpip being a tad hyperbolic for effect), I do think that some people, the people I spoke with in Northampton (and in Yorkshire) were xenophobic. They were definitely xenophobic toward the Poles and Lithusanians they mentioned coming into their towns.
    And sadly, xenophobia and racism is back on the rise in England.
    Its shameful.

    Bigotry in the forms of xenophobia and racism were always under the surface. I’d hoped that being under the surface they would slowly die through a lack of use over the generations.
    However that bigotry has been weaponised by the right wing and Tory party to maintain power. On the Left, there’s an admission they have a problem with antisemitism (probably linked to support of Palestinians).

    The Brexit campaigns tapped into that bigotry.
    It wasn’t the only thing being argued about (Blue mentions principled stances on political concerns).
    However, it was the loudest and the most damaging. I don’t remember ever hearing much of a coherent argument for principled reasons to leave the EU (a lot of empty phrases and lies).
    But there was a lot of xenophobia and racism.
    The aftermath campaigns also tapped into the bigotry again as Blue mentions (blaming supporters for being bigots).

    Anyway… all very sad. Far Right on the rise here too.

    merry xmas etc etc

    janetteB @janetteb

    @whisht You covered some of the things I have been mulling over since this conversation started. I can only speak for the left in South Australia where there are some black and white attitudes regarding Israel and Palestine which do lead people to be blinded to faults on one or other side. I suspect that is being exploited by the right to both destroy the credibility of the left, because bigotry and racism is not supposed to be tolerated in the left, and to promote racism in the right. One of hte problems also is the tendency to conflate critcism of a government with criticsm of the people. I don’t like the way the current right-wing government of Israel is acting, nor to many Israelies. I cannot express how much I hate the current way our own right-wing government is acting and don’t know too many Australians who do not share my despair. Sadly that did not play out last election..

    I have just watched the final Christmas Special and the point really came home, we live in the world without the Doctor, there is nobody to save us, or protect us from ourselves. We are in deep trouble, and sitting here at the table, sweltering despite the air-con thrumming away in the background, family member who used to be a “firey” checking the CFS feed. We have had two fires to the west of us but they are now contained, there are new fires popping up everywhere due to lightening strikes as the change comes in, and there is a huge fire burning east of us in the hills. The town which is the go to place for Christmas lights is currently on evacuate status, and I can’t even bear to think of the tragedy happening in N.S.W, and while all this is going on the pathetic louse who calls himself Prime Minister, (I refuse to grace him with that title) is off on holiday in Hawaii. He is sorry if that causes offence.

    Our country is burning and those who are supposed to be leaders have their heads in the sand, fingers in their ears, humming very loudly.

    As you say, all very sad, and getting sadder..



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Hi folks!

    Currently away, so a short post.

    One question to throw into the ring: if one side says they are ‘uncomfortable’ about current levels of immigration and the other side says ‘that’s because you’re racist’, how is it possible to discuss immigration?

    As @thane16 is saying dis-ease is a couple of steps away from anger. I’d also say it’s a couple of steps away from racism. But jump straight through the steps to ‘uncomfortable = you are racist’ and the conversation is now one of good vs evil with the ‘uncomfortable’ side cast as ‘evil’.

    No conversation is possible. The situation either resolves itself or continues. If it continues, it’s now more likely, not less, that people will get angry – because you’ve just added ‘insulted and not-listened-to’ to ‘uncomfortable’.

    And yet we are trying to stop the anger before it becomes anger, so we can deal with the racism in the longer term.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @bluesqueakpip et al
    As it was my anecdote, I think I do need to be explicit about what I mean (I’ve already failed in my writing once on this. I guess I’ll probably get it wrong twice but here goes!).

    [Alonsy perhaps…]

    Basically I have family living in Northampton and Yorkshire (also elsewhere).
    I was speaking to the Northampton friends-of-family and it was they who mentioned the ‘Poles’ and the ‘Lithuanians’. They probably didn’t use the word ‘uncomfortable’ about themselves, but it was one that I thought described their feelings.
    However. They didn’t worry about the new neighbours who were from London, Scotland, South East England, Yorkshire and elsewhere (who we know). Apparently there were quite a few people moving in from other parts of the Midlands.
    They also didn’t talk about the families from Poznan, Katowice, Warsaw etc. Simply ‘Poles’ as if they were all the same.
    That is the xenophobia (at least in my view) that I refer to. They are ‘other’ in not being native to Northampton, but lumped together (unlike the British migrants).

    So I guess I was trying to allude to how people don’t think of themselves as xenophobic, but if you’re lumping groups of ‘others’ together who ‘weren’t born here’ then (in my view) that’s what you are.

    I then mentioned how the spread of far right, populism, nativism, racism etc is on the rise.
    If that conflated with “all Leavers are racist” then apologies, it wasn’t my intent.

    My intent was to say that my knowledge is personal and limited! I’ve spoken with a few people in a particular town(s) and have read Guardian, BBC and right-wing dominated media (esp Telegraph headlines which are shocking), as well as pieces about rise in far right, populism, nativism etc. In my view, a lot of the ‘fuel’ for Leave narrative/ argument-for was xenophobic and keyed into xenophobia of large sections of society.

    I totally agree that we need to understand why people wanted to Leave, because (in my view) its highly likely that ‘Leaving’ will solve the problems that they thought it would.
    In order to do that we must be empathetic towards them as much as possible.

    Perhaps that’s where my initial “they aren’t racist but… uncomfortable” was trying (very badly) to get at.
    We need to understand people from their point of view, not demonise them. That does not mean we need to agree with them or give excuses for them. We must constantly challenge the assertions if they are xenophobic.
    But we aren’t going to learn or move toward the world we want (where there is no xenophobia or racism) without understanding people’s fears and countering them and offering a better alternative.



    Another question: if someone is using weasel words to downplay their motives, how is it possible to avoid the conclusion they aren’t being honest about their true motives? And in the absence of honesty how is it possible to have debate?

    And given the hatred they have unleashed, what can they possibly do to make amends.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @pedant

    Well, I realise that I’ve left an important part out.
    I guess I tried to use the anecdotal info along with the general, as “they” are not a homogeneous bloc.
    And yes, I mean “they” in every sense of Poles, Blacks, Muslims, ‘others’… Leavers.

    The group I was talking with were lumping all the Poles and Lithuanians together as ‘them’, but they were uncomfortable with their own feelings. At least one was, who knew he was being xenophobic, but at the same time had the feelings, but knew it was wrong. I genuinely think he was trying to navigate his own feelings, worries and thoughts of ‘what should be done’.

    Now he’s just one person (and the others were just 5-6 more) and all had varying shades of this.
    It didn’t mean we didn’t argue with them that they needed to think of the individuals and ‘what should be done’ in those terms, how arguments were false/ lies/ not as simple as put forth.

    None used weasel words. They used words like ‘them’ and seeing my/ my family member’s reaction (and maybe a reaction of others in the conversation) knew what they’d said and knew it was wrong.

    Sadly, I don’t think its up to the people who have helped use nativism/ xenophobia/ racism to help further their goals. Unfortunately its up to the rest of us to convince everyone else that those things are stupid. Literally, bigotry is people being ‘dumb’, as-in not thinking.

    Perhaps even more sadly, does it mean I wouldn’t want to punch Cummings/ Bannon if I ever saw them?
    No – I probably would get to a level of anger I’ve rarely been to, where I’ve frozen, then shaken then roared in frustration/anger. Maybe I’d even do what I’ve never done and actually punched someone.
    Would that achieve any positive results?
    Would I feel sorry for them if I finally in my life unleashed fury upon them?
    And I’m not proud of that.



    Not really the point I was getting at. History is littered with reasonable people appeasing the unreasonable. I cannot think of a single instance where it ended well. Pretending that they have a point just eggs them on. This applies to idiot Corbynites as well as racists.

    syzygy @thane16

    Thane here

    “Dis-ease” = uncomfortable. I then stated that when uncomfortable people come together they multiply into those who are angry & who, as Bonhoeffer stated (read the entire papers as its worth it) don’t separate fact/fiction. Arendt said it’s not the dedicated who are always the problem. The in-between groups are able to follow what other uncomfortable & some racist people do. Some of these people are also stupid.

    They have no self-engaged or formal education reading op. eds saying “we’re uncomfortable & we’re willing to do something. We’ll support laws so women don’t wear hijabs or burkas” (CM 16 September 2017).

    The uncomfortable become radicalised by conservatism.  Millions of dedicated social media followers sit with adrenaline pumping, ready to fight.  The angry talk with the foolish who birth into stupidity. Ignorance can stop through intense work. For some, it’s hard: 2-3 jobs or tired parents of 4.  Sure you call an ignorant or stupid or uncomfortable person racist, they’ll get angry & the talking stops.

    We have to BE better. We have to LISTEN. But I don’t know how to accept there’s stupid, ignorant people. So far they don’t change their opinions.

    Sorry, I didn’t wanna tag people in case of anger-management. OK, I was being silly about that: I can’t stand the concept. Anger is a necessity like fear.

    syzygy @thane16

    @bluesqueakpip @ Blenkinsopthebrave. You’d know Bernard Keane, Mr Blenk?

    A good book A Short History of Stupid is worth it.

    Also, as to good books, we know where this comes from & its relevance: “As goode almost kill a man as kill a goode booke; who kills a man, kills a reasonable creature [..] but he who destroys a good booke kills reason itself [ ].”





    The preferred spelling is R.A.C.I.S.T.

    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant @thane16
    Can I be clear(er)?

    In my anecdote, when the person made the comments about the strain on local services and it being the fault of “the Poles and Lithuanians”, my family member and myself both made the point that the person’s belief needed to extend to… my family member, two other people in the conversation and others they’d mentioned who had also moved to the town.
    It. Was. Challenged.

    IN fact we discussed the nuances that indeed, in London at least, Polish immigrants had caused more-than-expected strain on A&E as it was common for them to go to A&E as a first-port-of-call for health. They were not used to using a GP for healthcare (I can’t now remember why, but may be to do with provison, access, cost, trust).
    We actually had a nuanced conversation with the whole group. Some things people had heard/read were lies, some were true, some overblown. But within a few minutes we covered quite a lot off ground because we fusking listened to each other.

    What we didn’t do was simply shout “RACIST!” as if its some sort of game of “how many did you spot today?”.
    What we did was engage, listen, understand why they felt what they felt and challenged it in those terms. Did we change that person’s view? Maybe. A bit. It will need more people saying similar things to that person.

    Do I always challenge racists? No. In fact over xmas I’m likely to hear a family member say something racist and in the interests of not causing a scene, every other person within earshot will go silent, swallow and move on.
    Am I proud of that?

    If you’d like, if it happens this xmas I can post the incident here and you can shout “Racist!” together and then “Snap!” as that’s a fun family game people play at xmas.

    Oh and by the way, I also disagree with @bluesqueakpip ‘s assertions with Brexit.
    Because its not just “they’re all stupid. They’re all racists. They’re all principled.”
    If you’re saying “they” then check yourself. At least that’s what I’d like to think I do, because as soon as you say “they” you’re on a slippery slope.

    I’m not replying to much more of my own anecdote.



    As I am sure you are aware, Wellingborough is about 8 miles up the A45 from Northampton. It is where my brother lives, with his wife.

    His Polish wife. (It only took her 21 years to get British citizenship from first application.)

    She puts a huge strain on the education system…by being a teacher.

    Some her her friends put a huge strain on the health service….by being nurses, and doctors, pharmacists and care assistance.

    Many put a huge strain on the logistics industry by delivering Amazon’s packages.

    Other put a huge strain on farming by getting the crops in.

    Some people have skin in the game in a manner that is not remotely metaphorical.

    Whisht @whisht

    I can’t edit the end of my post so just to make clear(er)(er) I wasn’t saying that Blue used “they” arguments (at least if she did, I wasn’t referring to it).

    I disagree with her arguments about Brexit for a number of separate reasons.
    I was trying to reply to her previous answer to me, but her comments were written in a way that I needed to read them a few times to be sure I understood where she was arguing from (that’s not a slight on her writing – definitely my ability to read and argue).
    It also meant I had to think about my own reasoning and question my own assumptions and prejudices.

    time passes.

    If I don’t reply that doesn’t mean I agree.

    Likewise if I don’t reply to something, that doesn’t mean “oh, I don’t mind you calling me an enabler of racism. No, that’s fine, you go right ahead. What me? no, why would I think ‘Fuck you’? Oh you just meant I was stupid? nah, that’s fine too”

    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – my parents were economic migrants.
    My dad caught the thick end of abuse.

    Fuck off.

    You called me an enabler of racism.

    Fuck off.

    I’ll listen to music and reply to that but fuck off.

    Merry xmas

    syzygy @thane16


    I’m really sorry if it sounded like I thought all uncomfortable feelings are racist. Above, in my post, I was trying to simplify things but I probably wasn’t using the right words. And you’re right, it’s not a game.

    when uncomfortable people come together they multiply into those who are angry & …don’t separate fact/fiction.

    Yes I was wrong there. I should’ve said that some uncomfortable people multiply into angry people and that some of those who mix with others say “I want to do something” like banning the burka etc.  I should’ve said this correctly: not all uncomfortable people become radicalised into conservatism which becomes xenophobia. But quite a few do?

    Thank you Whisht.



    Whatevs. Yesterday the Premier League used the anti-racism protocol for the first time at Spurs-Chelsea (incorrectly – they lacked the balls to take the teams off, as the protocol requires) and Stormzy got monstered by major media who changes “Yes, 100%” (meaning yes, definitely) to “Stormzy says Britain os 100% racist”).

    I am sure this entirely unrelated to how “uncomfortable” all those Good Germans feel.

    I have reciprocated your Twitter unfollow, on the principle that is we are going to be childish we might as well go all-in.

    syzygy @thane16

    I think we need to try, all of us, to be better people. This is a frustrating issue, not the least of which is that persons are debating on the same side, I think it’s the manner of communication as well as non-specific vocabulary. The latter tends to sharpen the viewpoints & possibly render division almost non-existent? I think it’s a matter of a better explanation, imo.


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Gosh, I go on holiday and come back to six mentions.

    There is one thing on which we agree absolutely.

    But within a few minutes we covered quite a lot off ground because we fusking listened to each other.

    Yes. A thousand times yes. We need to f*ck*ng listen to each other. Not shut conversations down. Don’t assume one side is virtuous and the other evil, because that way madness lies.

    I doubt you and I are going to agree about Brexit; I suspect we could both shoot down different arguments from each of the respective sides. But I think I decided to put my head above the parapet because I was sick to death of feeling that I had to keep my mouth shut about a perfectly legal vote in a perfectly legal referendum. Because too many people who didn’t vote my way were entirely prepared to tell me why I voted the way I did.

    Multiply me by 17.4 million voters. We were told we could make a choice about whether to stay in the EU or not. We were told that the result of the vote would be enacted. We believed it, because the UK is a democracy.

    And then, when we found we were actually in the majority, suddenly we’d voted the ‘wrong’ way. And were told ‘why’ we’d voted the wrong way, even when it wasn’t the reason at all.

    Can you understand – not only that I’m somewhat p*ss*d off, but that that very reaction by people who had lost a vote acted to increase my concerns about what our membership of an essentially bureaucratic, appointee-led system was doing to the UK’s tradition of liberal democracy?

    As @thane16 says – it’s a very frustrating issue. 😉

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I don’t remember ever hearing much of a coherent argument for principled reasons to leave the EU (a lot of empty phrases and lies).

    I would say that this was possibly because the ‘principled reasons’ weren’t your primary goods, so you may have dismissed them as empty phrases – not realising that they were deeply important to a lot of people.

    Essentially, the coherent argument was
    1. We don’t like the direction the EU is travelling in. (Ever closer union)
    2. We don’t believe that we in the UK have enough influence to change that direction.
    3. So we’re going to change our direction, ourselves. By leaving.

    That’s the basics. Phrases like ‘sovereignty’ got used a lot, often attacked by smart-alecs who demanded Leavers define sovereignty. Apparently it didn’t occur to them that they themselves wouldn’t even be able to define ‘chair’ on request. Words are slippery things. 😉

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Syzygy the elder,

    Have  been reading about the appalling conspiracy theories regarding the fires emanating from the Murdoch press and the dark corners of the web. Frankly, it takes my breath away. You mentioned, on another thread, the example of someone who was hounded and pilloried because of the false accusation of being an arsonist.

    This seems to me way worse than what it was like in Australian political culture when I left in 2013, when there was the occasional crazy but, by and large, things seemed pretty normal. Has it really changed to that extent?

    What I find amazing (and horribly frightening) is that this “dark web” is focused on an environmental catastrophe. Not “politics” as such, but an environmental catastrophe.  This all sounds very different from the Australia I grew up in. I am hoping that you are going to tell me that I am wrong.

    syzygy @thane16


    You’re probably not wrong. The ‘web’ is a multifaceted place which brings all sorts of things. That’s the positive. The negative is that the ‘web’ is multifaceted place which brings all sorts of things.

    The different webs are generally ‘acceptable.’ There’s where all  our ‘stuff’ is kept -credit details, logins. The other web is plain vile. I’m sure you can imagine the worst things -sex slavery etc. Should never write ‘etc’ after the word ‘slavery’ as if it’s just another concept.

    The other unhinged area is conspiracy theories and environmental fallings- down. The character ‘O’ is a good description of someone collecting information & then trying to live off grid where the wackos can’t get you. He was describing how governments outsource technology but have no real clue to whom they’re outsourcing. People are looking at water, or the lack of it, & how to sell it to the highest bidder.

    That, & people still paying top dollar to be on land right near the water, but the land eroding as we blink at our 5 buck coffee (coffee’s cheap in Sydney: big demand but not here. It’s watery, bland, & tasteless. Just so you don’t miss Brisbane too much).  🙁

    For the next generation after Thane’s it’s going to be a really difficult -& very different -world.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave  I don’t think the online craziness represents the thinking of most Australians. Thousands turned out to protest against the Government on Friday in every capital city at very short notice and there was a sense of strong community sympathy at least here in Adelaide.

    I also suspect that the “dark web” is obsessed with driving climate catastrophe because there is a lot of funding going that way from the fossil fuel industry and perhaps the governments of certain countries which stand to gain from Global Warming, at least in the short term.

    @thane16 Our children do not look to the future with optimism which I find heartbreaking. They do not expect to ever own a house of their own and are not at all confident about job prospects either. And this current government is just making it all so much worse..



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @missrori     I understand that your special circumstances present particular challenges. But I do relate to the statement “to keep the peace, I just don’t talk to her about much anymore“!

    I love my parents dearly, but they live in a part of Canada where the politics are so different from those of mine that I end up avoiding a lot of topics. It’s frustrating sometimes, particularly in regard to the climate, which is such a critical issue. Not that they are deniers, but they definitely don’t share my belief that we can and must wean ourselves from fossil fuels. My step dad, now retired, worked in the oil patch, and they have thoroughly partaken of the Alberta Kool-Aid in this regard. When my mom bemoans the increasingly challenging weather, floods, and forest fires that impact them, and refuses to connect the dots to pipelines and bitumen and so on, it’s maddening. I bite my tongue most of the time, because getting into this with an 80-year-old won’t serve any purpose. The 80-year-olds aren’t the ones we need to convince, anyway!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Just like to direct people to the following reports by the IPCC (these are both links to pdfs): A pdf Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C: a summary for teachers and Summary for policy makers.

    The teacher one is far more readable if you don’t have a science background.

    Me, I find them optimistic – in the sense that there are indeed things we can do and there is (just) time to do it.


    getting into this with an 80-year-old won’t serve any purpose.

    It will not. I only have to go back to my 2010 chemistry textbook that I was using for teaching to find global warming taught as something ‘most’ scientists thought was happening. Go back to the 1970’s and there was a substantial minority arguing for global cooling. Most reasonably technically aware eighty year olds will be able to give you a long, long list of things ‘scientists’ were confident about in their lifetime – and which turned out to be embarrassingly wrong.

    This thought may help you grit your teeth the next time your beloved mom looks at you funny when you suggest that we need to use less fossil fuels. 😀

    Craig @craig

    I was doing some tidying up this week and came across this, which is a script I wrote when I was young and dumb and first trying to break into the film biz (which kinda worked out, but only for 7 years or so). It was part of my MA in Film and Video Production (instead of a thesis we got to write a story! That’s a good course.).

    So I scanned it and I’m now putting it out there for your amusement. I did sell it but it was finished around the same time as “Lock Stock” and “Reservoir Dogs” came out so no one was interested after that.

    It’s a Glaswegian gangster/gang movie and I’m afraid my youth shows through – there’s the young gang member who is kinda good and, yes, there’s a tart with a heart. I apologise – but I grew up on Jimmy Cagney movies and that was what I was aspiring to.

    Anyway, if you have a couple of hours to sit back and read my rude, crude and violent story I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    As this is in the pub… Cheers!

    winston @winston

    I just saw the sad news that Terry Jones , comedian, author, historian and director to name just a few of his talents has passed away today. He was 77 and had a long battle with dementia.

    Terry of course was a member of Monty Python and quite a few of my best memories as a teen involve a dark, smoke filled  basement and a collection of their albums. Later we watched the show than the movies in other smoke filled rooms even having Monty Python themed costume parties. Terry was a happy part of my youth.

    Later we watched his history shows in less smokey rooms with far less giggles but with a sense of spending time with an old friend. He was a funny, smart and talented man and I am so grateful for the many hours he had me laughing.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    A lovely reflection on Terry Jones. I couldn’t agree more. It is hard to think of many people who could bring so much laughter to so many people, and at the same time give us wonderfully insightful books on English cultural history like “Chaucer’s Knight” (which I remember very fondly, and deeply regret losing my copy of many years ago).


    janetteB @janetteb

    @winston excellent words. I also loved the history docos he did, The Crusades and The Barbarians being two of my favourites. Also enjoyed reading his kid’s books to our boys. (I will try and find Chaucer’s Knight as I have not read that but suspect I would greatly enjoy doing so.) A hugely talented man and someone that was just inherently likable.. Very saddened by the news.




    syzygy @thane16

    Hi to all the clevers around about! I’m on this new & improved diet & when I look up “rye” bread it says rye is made from rye grain, & the thicker or darker part of the wheat grain. But I thought rye is a totally different grain -from wheat, like soy or corn?

    Does anyone know about rye bread? I’m trying to have a varied diet & eating a lot less carbs & more protein. I can still eat grains, but much less: once a day, for instance.

    We’ve always had healthy food & I was never allowed to be “fussy.” But Mum always cooked so I should learn. My mates couldn’t believe I couldn’t make hot chocolate when I was 14 but then we didn’t have it in the house – just warm milk & honey.

    Syzygy the young one.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @thane16 Syzygy the younger

    There seem to be several types of bread described as rye bread. Bread made entirely with whole grain rye flour results in pumpernickel – very dense and moist in texture and almost black in colour, but if the rye is mixed with other grains the result  can still be described as rye bread so long as the predominant ingredient is rye, though to a varying degree it will be lighter in texture and colour.  In my experience they all go best with butter and/or cheese.

    Rob @rob

    Hi all

    Anyone watching Picard?

    Have watched the first 3 episodes and am quietly impressed

    I have a couple of issues with how the Federation has come to being an insular institution but am loving the return of JLP

    Also Craig I’ll download and start reading tonight,  thanks for sharing

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Hi @rob

    Yes, I have been watching and singing its praises over on the TV shows thread. I think it is brilliant. And I very much like the darker iteration of Starfleet, which captures the darker times we live in. I used to fondly refer to NG back in the 90s as “Californians in outer space”, but this new show reflects a world shaped by Brexit and Trump. Yet Picard himself retains his moral core, and the conflict between Picard’s ethical principles and Starfleet’s questionable agenda is the stuff of great drama, in my opinion. I cannot wait for the remaining episodes!




    janetteB @janetteb

    I just typed a reply to the discussion about Picard but realised it would better suit the TV thread so I am cutting and pasting my comment there. Instead will just say hi as I have not been posting for a while. R.L seems to take up ever more of my time annoyingly. We have only just caught up with the new series of Who and I am so far behind on the discussion here I don’t feel I will ever catch up.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Real Life…yes, it can be problematic. In a way, this site is my escape from it. But no, you can catch up. And my experience is that this site actually helps with coping with real life.


    Craig @craig

    Sad to hear that the great Max von Sydow passed away. A true legend. It’s hard to think of an actor who created so many different iconic characters or was in so many iconic films and TV programmes. Even people who’ve never seen “The Seventh Seal” know his chess game with Death. People who’ve never seen “The Exorcist” know “The power of Christ compels you”. And, of course, there is Ming – which he played with just the right amount of camp. What a pitch-perfect, wide range he had.

    Nightingale @nightingale

    Yes, this made me very sad. He’s one of my favourite actors. I especially loved him in Bergman’s Winter Light and Hour of the Wolf. He had a good innings and a looooong career, but he could never outstay his welcome.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    @craig and @nightingale

    He was an actor of astonishing range and rare unpretentiousness and he never, to my knowledge, phoned it in. Even when he was doing something like voice work for The Elder Scrolls there was something compelling in his performance.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Brilliant actor. I have memories of so many great performances, He had an ability to slide from Bergman to Hollywood and back while never compromising the integrity of his performance. He also was one of the few actors who could radiate power and emotion through stillness. Not many actors could hypnotize the audience while barely moving. He could.

    Could share a million clips, but I always enjoy his ability to channel Woody Allen dialogue in “Hannah and Her Sisters”


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    That’s a great scene. I’ve always loved it. And a great performance. It’s an interesting one because we’re seeing a pretty arrogant, self-obsessed character and yet by the end of it he’s captured our sympathy and the insecurity behind the intellectual bravado is exposed. It’s great writing, great direction and great acting.

    Craig @craig

    By the great comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz.

    Max von Sydow

    Whisht @whisht

    ah – I thought I’d come to the Pub to say a shout out then realise I forgot to mention Sydow!
    I will make amends to him and another on the Music thread.

    All I wanted to say is that I know that everyone will be having to deal in different ways with the Covid-19 pandemic. Some here will be at risk more than others, but we all can help through hygiene (wash your hands whenever you can with soap eg when entering a building/ home etc) and self-isolation if feeling even slightly ill (when that’s the advice relevant to your specific situation – ie for some of us here it might be go straight to emergency services).

    This situation will be affecting us acutely for the next year, so just wanted to say take care everyone, take care of others locally, and hope everyone stays safe.

    sorry – too many words.
    Don’t wash your hands of others.
    Wash your hands for others.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Thank you for that thought.

    Although potentially in the at-risk category I am, I hope, keeping things in perspective and taking all reasonable precautions. The worry-meter did waver up a notch when No.1 brother, who is a retired paediatrician, phoned to enquire delicately, and in a roundabout way, whether I had stockpiled provisions – answer, yes, though in the event of a long-term lockdown I might get a little sick of dishes based on pasta, pulses and contents of the freezer. But my milk is delivered by people who can also supply fresh, organic produce and a fairly wide range of basics, and I bake my own bread. My only concern would be if I ran out of booze 😮

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    My only concern would be if I ran out of booze

    As I type this, Mrs Blenkinsop is out at the local grocers with an eye to edible provisions. But I think I will have to head out later to the wine store. I will make sure I empty out the boot of the car prior to heading out…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    With reference to my previous post, I was actually reading my copy of Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary this morning (as one does…) and came across this:

    ABSTAINER, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @blenkinsopthebrave, @whisht and @mudlark

    Alas, I’m already in self-isolation – I managed to develop a cough yesterday (complete with headache and a bit of a temperature). As Mudlark says, I think I may be very bored of the contents of my cupboards by next week.

    I doubt it’s the Dreaded Lurgy Itself, but as you say Whisht, one way I can help is by not going out and giving other people my germs.

    nerys @nerys

    Wonderful words of thoughtfulness, @whisht. And @bluesqueakpip, I hope you are feeling better soon (with no worries other than dealing with a pesky cold).

    Strangely, I have had a cough for five weeks now, along with enhanced postnasal drip (which is an ongoing scourge, for me). I have no fever, no body aches, none of the other symptoms associated with the dreaded uppercase disease (as one of my fellow pit band members calls it). Just a slightly irritated throat, post-nasal drip, a feeling like there’s a wad of phlegm that must be cleared from the back of my throat, and, when I blow my nose, my ears make a (usually futile) attempt to clear. Oh, and this sensation largely vanishes when I am outside in the fresh air. Which leads me to believe this is environmental. I hope. Especially since one of my jobs is as a cashier. *sigh*

    This has impacted my travel plans. In February I booked flights to visit my family in Indiana in April. My parents are seniors (Dad early 90s, Mom late 80s). I just don’t want to take the risk of exposing them to this, especially since seniors and people with pre-existing health conditions are most vulnerable to this virus. Plus, in Nova Scotia, it’s now required that anyone traveling out of the country must self-isolate for two weeks after returning home. So, for many reasons, it’s just not worth it.

    The good news is that, based on what I have read on the airline website, I won’t be penalized financially. I won’t be refunded the money I paid for my ticket, but I can redeem the value of my cancelled flights toward flights later on. So, hopefully once things have calmed down, I can rebook.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Let me agree with all your wise words. And my sympathies for the irritations you are experiencing. We live out on Vancouver Island, and had planned on attending a friend’s wedding in Seattle next month. Well, that won’t happen, of course. And back in Toronto, we have family members of a similar age to ours with worrying symptoms. Hopefully, the situation will pass, and you try and focus on the immediate, but it is hard to not think of those close to you (or anyone, actually) who seems to be in a precarious situation.

    Take care, everyone.


    winston @winston

    I live a few hours north of Toronto and just today a few cases in our area were announced. While OH and I are at the risk age we are still OK an hope to stay that way, but who nose. The panic buying in the city has spread out and there were 10 times the people and traffic going to our town to buy stuff. There was no bread ,toilet paper , potatoes or milk in any of our three grocery stores. We live out of town in a region that gets a good big winter where you never know what to expect so we are always prepared. Like @mudlark I bake my own bread so no worries there and I still have 50 lbs of potatoes from the garden so we won’t starve but I do think I am done with town for awhile. We are making maple syrup now so that keeps us busy and sticky and just on the edge of a sugar coma.

    Now we will hunker down and keep an eye on some even older neighbours. To everyone of you stay safe and take care of yourselves and to quote Douglas Adams “Don’t Panic!”

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