Archive for May 11th, 2008

Audio version: West London Man (1) – With the first hot weekend of summer

And so… with the first hot weekend of summer… West London Man (WLM) has been to Sainsburys Homebase, purchased some charcoal, and a new barbecue. He has been to Macken Brothers in Chiswick for choice cuts of meat and sausages and he has petrol or firelighters. West London Man is also mildly inebriated and about to commit the first of many social atrocities of the coming summer.

Ordinarily, West London Man does not cook. He is a City professional or in Telly… somewhere. He eats sushi by day and M&S prepared meals by night – or eats out. It is possible that West London Man drives an Audi, BMW or Mercedes… anything is possible…. but not saloons, of course…. and he may well have paid more for a model with no roof… for better road visibility… of him.

It is curious how men who do not know how to cook, never cook at home, suddenly find themselves possessed of chef skills when the first hot summer sun appears. The barbecue is set up. West London wife / girlfriend looks on with mounting horror / amusement / disdain / love / adoration (*) as WLM puts a butcher’s apron on. WLM would never, of course, be so crass as to have one of those comedy aprons with an image of a woman in black underwear and stockings printed on it. He may well be crass enough, over the age of 16, to wear cut off trousers and be wearing a pink or pale blue polo shirt – but he does not wear comedy barbecue aprons. Barbecues are serious matters…. pour hommes.

(*) It depends on how long WLM and Mrs WLM have been married / going out.

He has injected his tiger prawns with Chili dip sauce purchased from a West London supermarket. He has marinaded his steaks in yet another sauce purchased from a supermarket and his sausages are made from very rare pigs and a herb mix designed to appeal to the West London palate by cunning ‘traditional’ butchers.

WLM is now ready to begin. With the panache of a conductor at The Proms – he ignites the coals, pouring petrol onto the charcoal. There is clapping from the assembled men who, like our ancestors when they first saw fire, marvelled. WHOOOOSH….. the barbecue is on fire… there is no escort of Chinese athletes in London this time. The light of cullinary freedom is lit. The music is .. Also sprach Zarathustra… The next thing WLM has to do is…. prepare the Pimms – another popular summer barbecue drink, conjuring up images of the Far East of Somerset Maugham.

Of course, West London Man is driven…
he works in the City (or is something in Telly) and this particular one hasn’t got any idea at all about cooking. He cannot wait. On go the steaks, the prawns, the sausages… into the flames of Hades. The baked potatoes, salad and other additions to the meal have been prepared by Mrs West London Man or have been bought in from M&S… and, where necessary, heated up.

Unfortunately… WLM does not realise that one has to wait until the coals are very hot and the flames have subsided before cooking. Before you know it, City professionals etc etc… are eating sausages with the appearance of having survived a nuclear attack on the outside but are raw inside and the steaks have shrivelled to half the size. But all is well… this is man food. This is how our ancestors did it – before Delia came along.

West London Man and his guests were not able to concentrate on work fully the next day – the frequency of trips to the lavatory higher than for the usual Columbian ‘comfort’ breaks.

Tomorrow night, I am going to Kensington Place to write a review for LawandMore. I’m glad they know to cook there.


I have decided that West London Man will be doing The Season – Chelsea, Wimbledon, Lords, Glyndebourne, Ascot, Henley … he will be there… and I shall report on how he handles himself. See: Comments below for a foretaste.


And if you survived my rant… then go and read this… excellent stuff:

Seriously, you’re having a fucking laugh

Buona notte….. we shall meet again… on the field of the cloth of gold…. possibly. Cry God for Harry etc etc … unless you are a Dawkins fan…..

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I happened to find myself, quite by chance, sitting in the garden at The Swan last night, talking to some good friends. As the wine flowed we started talking about Boris, advancing the proposition that he could well be the next prime minister of Britain – a view, amusingly, raised in The News of The World today. We moved on to say that recent political history seems to suggest that charismatic leaders tend to be followed by dull, and once the bloodlust of the electorate and the fourth estate is sated with charismatic leaders being put to the sword every eight to ten years or so, the boot goes in to the dull leaders who follow until they too are hounded from office. One of our number, a former political editor of a leading tabloid and Editor of a leading political journal, smiled benignly and enjoyed his wine. So… the question is, will Gordon survive his revolting backbenchers, will Cameron realise that he may not be able to control Boris and out do him on the charisma stakes….?

So… how has the Judiciary fared in irritating the tabloids this week?

Pretty well, as it happens. The News of The World expresses outrage at the activities of several judges. Earlier in the week The Daily Mail noted that Judge Nash branded three women robbers “over-the-hill slappers” in an astonishing courtroom attack as he sentenced them… and today we have Carole Mallone from NOTW ranting “HOW much longer are our batty, silly, out-of-touch judges going to be allowed to get away with decisions that, at worst, cost lives and, at best, make the law look a bigger ass than it already does?”

Given that a lot of people do not admit to reading NOTW, and to save your blushes, I quote from Ms Mallone’s excellent coverage: “Last week Judge Martin Picton allowed roofer Lee Jones—who’d repeatedly punched a policeman in the face—to suspend the conditions of his curfew to go on a Spanish golfing holiday. Then there was Judge Graham Cottle who listened to some cock-and-bull story from heroin dealer Andy Morgan (whose friend actually DIED after taking drugs supplied by him) about how his electronic tag didn’t look fashionable with his surf shorts then decided that because Morgan had actually got a job (selling surf boards) he should be allowed to take it off. Now we have Judge Robert Atherton who allowed paedophile Jon Dixon to walk free after he admitted attempting to rape an 11-year-old girl in her school lunch break, because, said the judge, the girl had “welcomed sexual activity”.

There is only so much one can take, so moving on…

And the bloggers? What have they been up to?

I cover the latest posts to quite a few blogs every couple of days or so in Insitelaw Newswire – so I am free to comment on Sundays on the more bizarre offerings. Let us pray… and, indeed, kick off with Geeklawyer’s latest competition (You may win a bottle of Whisky). Geeklawyer has found an example of artificial intelligence – ironically in connection with the rail sector. While I reported on this the other evening (infra) the coverage on geeklawyer’s site is rather more thorough. Inevitably, when I read that Geeklawyer was taking my niece, Sativa Charon, to the Natural History museum today, I had to investigate further.

John Bolch of Family Lore has a visitor.

Freed from the shackles of having to confine myself to reporting on the law in this place (because I have the other place for that) I would like to draw your attention to three or four non-legal blogs I enjoy reading. I’ll say nothing, save that they are all worth reading and may well become part of your own regular reading. In no particular order ; Ms R: A woman of experience | Knitting with only one needle | Nourishing Obscurity | Guido Fawkes. Well… I will say this – they are all amusing and, at times, controversial.

It is good to see that European politicians are still working in our interests….

PORKY Euro MP Tom Wise raises a glass to another rewarding day in Brussels—one spent shamelessly DODGING work and SCAMMING a fortune in expenses.

As he leaned on the bar guzzling beer Wise bragged to a News of the World investigator how he milks the taxpayer for THOUSANDS every week in dodgy allowances and travel claims. Full outraged story

I’m off to trough at a bit of scoff…. back later….

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