Celebrate a time of great traditions

There was one of those infographics on Facebook a while back. It said, “Winter Solstice: get naked, drink mead and party like a Pagan, because a Christmas spent queuing at Argos is just rubbish.” Well it used a different word than “rubbish”, but you get the idea. Since when did Christmas become a marketing tool for the corporations? All those bland adverts selling us ready made luxuries for the Christmas table. It’s depressing, it truly is. When I was growing up my Nan made the Christmas pud. She put a silver sixpence into the bowl and we took it in … Continue reading Celebrate a time of great traditions

The spirit of Old Christmas lives on

When I was growing up my Nan made the Christmas pud. She put a silver sixpence into the bowl and we took it in turns to stir the mix. Whoever found the sixpence on Christmas Day would have good luck in the coming year Continue reading The spirit of Old Christmas lives on

Katrina’s chocolates are simply heavenly

It’s become something of a tradition. Every year around this time I encourage my readers to shop locally and to buy their presents from one of the many artists or crafts people who live and work in Whitstable. This year I’d like to introduce you to Katrina Louise Taylor. Some of you will already know her. Many of you will not. Katrina is an artist, but she is also a very talented chocolatier. Ah chocolate: that most heavenly of confections. Who doesn’t like chocolate? But Katrina’s chocolates are in another league altogether. She’s been featured on the BBC Good Food … Continue reading Katrina’s chocolates are simply heavenly

Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

I overheard one of my colleagues at work the other day. He was listening to a news report about the prospect of British jets bombing Isis targets in Syria. “Let’s bomb them,” he said. I often hear him saying such things. He’s not a right wing bigot or a racist, although he might be Islamophobic. Many people are Islamophobic these days. I said, “that’s exactly what they are saying about you right now.” He turned from his frame and looked at me sceptically. “So what would you do?” Unfortunately my answer was a lot less succinct than the three words … Continue reading Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

Left wing vs right wing

I’m getting very tired of the division of the world into “right wing” and “left wing”. It seems to me to be a false dichotomy. In fact if you listen to the average person, they usually hold a wide variety of views reaching right across the political spectrum. Often they are anti-immigration (a right wing position) but at the same time they are also quite likely to be sceptical of government propaganda and as vehemently opposed to British participation in foreign adventures in the Middle East as any member of the SWP. In fact it is entirely possible to hold … Continue reading Left wing vs right wing

Who do we trust?

A friend of mine asked me a question a while back, which has been niggling me ever since. I put up a post on Facebook, which I got from fair.org. “F.A.I.R.” stands for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting. It was about the reporting of Russian airstrikes in Syria by the mainstream media. What it showed was that there was a certain amount of false reporting going on. The news appeared to be different before and after the Russian intervention. On the 30th September the New York Times had reported airstrikes in Homs, but then added that it was a region of Syria not under the control of … Continue reading Who do we trust?

Airstrikes for Dummies

Last week David Cameron presented the case for airstrikes in Syria. He said: “Throughout Britain’s history we have been called on time and again to make the hardest of decisions in defence of our citizens and our country. Today one of the greatest threats we face to our security is the threat from Isil [Isis].” I took the report from the Guardian website. You will notice that they felt the need to explain who Isil are by adding an alternative name in brackets. This is just in case there might be some confusion. The group are also known as Daesh … Continue reading Airstrikes for Dummies