Archive for the New Stuff Category

When a McMuffin top will no longer do…

Posted in Americans, Food & Drink, New Stuff on September 6, 2010 by Johnnie

It’s “grow your winter layer” time of year and no one seems more keen to give you a better weather-resistant, wind-cheating midriff than old Burger King.   We’ve covered  American contempt for the concept of  pizza here before, but this vile object really should have anyone with tastebuds and a modicum of self-respect reaching for their sick bags. 

It’s allegedly a “homage” to New York.  A 9.5-inch bun, a slab of meat, “mozzarella”, pepperoni and a no-doubt “authentic” pesto and marinara sauce.  Would you keep those ingredients in the same fridge, never mind lump it all together?   Just look at it – all 2,500 calories of it.  I’m not sure Elvis himself would have got off his throne to fetch one.  Even for Scots, the idea of such calorific intake in one gluttonous sitting is worth serious consideration.  And training.   In any case, it’s a prohibitive $13 – £8.40 in real money. Continue reading

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England is (still) not Britain

Posted in Calcio, Disasters, New Stuff, Shopping, Star "Style" on September 3, 2010 by Johnnie

The arrogance of The English (formerly known as the England football team) and misguided opinion of their own importance continues to show it knows no boundaries or sense of perspective.  Not only have they launched a new and expensive football kit when their popularity is at an all-time low, and even their most stupidly die-hard fans are unlikely to want to buy it, they have returned to the preposterous idea that they are somehow “Britain” by once again manufacturing BLUE shorts.

It always struck me as being the height of imperial ignorance that The English wore blue, a colour which appears nowhere on their flag and has no other reason for appearing than its appearance on the British flag – which is, of course, courtesy of us Scots.  In a way it’s flattering that they’re so keen to include us but I, for one, really don’t wish to be involved.  Getting England to realise it’s not Britain is almost as hard as trying to convince America it’s not the World – but I’m sure we’ll carry on reminding them both. Continue reading

An AOR nightmare

Posted in Music, New Stuff, Radio on September 2, 2010 by Johnnie

What a horrible dream I just had.  It’s entirely implausible, but I’ll try to make it live for you.

I dreamed someone had invented a radio station based on Radio Fab FM, only they hadn’t realised Smashie and Nicey were a comedic send-up.  A bizarre, insular world of mullets and beer bellies dictated the rock playlist, with a stated policy of playing ‘real music’ by ‘real bands’ – like Spinal Tap and Bad News, no doubt.

The station’s bright young things were so ‘new’ and so ‘radical’ that they actually played The New Radicals, and even occasionally allowed themselves a sneaky Kings of Leon opus.  They then had triple plays consisting of John Mellencamp’s Jack And Diane, followed by Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s The Way It Is, rounded off by Mike and the Mechanics with The Living YearsContinue reading

Coals To Newcastle, balls to Christmas

Posted in Music, New Stuff, Shopping on August 27, 2010 by Johnnie

The starvation diet, the back-of-sofa coin-searching and the redemption of those saved-up bus change tickets now begins in earnest; the best Scots band ever Orange Juice release a 7-disc box set in November.  Full details are here, but the release does, regrettably, mean that several of my family will be receiving only Christmas cards this year. Continue reading

Afraid of the dark..?

Posted in Film, New Stuff on August 13, 2010 by Johnnie

I’m rather looking forward to the new Guillermo del Toro co-production, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, due out early next year.  Rather bizarrely, it’s a remake of the TV movie of the same name from 1973, something of a favourite of mine.  Del Toro has co-written the script too, and there’s a nice teaser trailer for the film, which stars Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, showing the expected, lush production values, spooky old house setting, and jumps and shocks aplenty to be all present and correct.  Interestingly too, it’s being first-time-directed by comic book artist Troy Nixey, who also provides the stunning artwork for the film poster.  In all, it looks like a delightful project, considering the source material is one of those films you tend to see accidentally, yet stays with you all your life. Continue reading

Weed ’em and reap

Posted in Food & Drink, New Stuff on August 9, 2010 by Johnnie

I wonder when the gardening bug will finally strike.  When am I going to start feeling like growing my own vegetables?  I’ve been waiting a while but so far, despite a fine family tradition and many presents of kitchen garden books, I’m no closer to taking it up.

Obviously I’m writing this to give myself some sort of kick.  The photos on this post are of my mother’s garden.  She’s a genius, you see.  She’s turned an old, hilly Devon farmhouse into an exquisite terrace garden right out of her native Tuscany, full of the most beautiful flora and the most mouthwatering vegetable patches you’ll ever see.  What’s more, you can eat your dinner out of them.  In the picture above, there are, amongst other things, beetroot (complete with their delicious tops), courgettes (complete with their delicious flowers), spinach, radicchio and two types of rocket.  There’s a complete meal in itself, as far as I’m concerned.  My mum also grows the most delicious potatoes I’ve ever tasted.  Boiled and dressed simply in olive oil and chives, they are heavenly.  So why haven’t I done anything like that myself? Continue reading

Of all the small things…

Posted in Disasters, Grave News, Music, New Stuff, Star "Style" on July 26, 2010 by Johnnie

Congratulations to Ireland’s musical pride and joy Jedward, who yesterday crashed into the UK Singles Chart at number 80 with their magnificent cover of Blink 182’s ‘All The Small Things’.   Continue reading