Back to porridge

Don’t know what it means? Well, it’s an old Irish expression meaning when all the good stuff is eaten it’s time to get a pot of stirabout going.

We’ve eaten all the good stuff. The Xmas meat scraps have been donated to the neighbourhood cats, there are only two mince pies left in the cake tin, and tomorrow I’ll have to go the the supermarket.

In the meantime, it’s porridge. How do you like yours? My partner is a Spartan porridge eater, just oats made with water, the thicker the better. No milk, no cream, no sugar. No thanks. I like mine made with water, not too thick, served with cream and maple syrup, or tart applesauce, stirred through. But oats are good in flapjacks, biscuits and smoothies, too. And wheaten bread. Here’s some I made earlier, not available in the supermarket.

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End of a Manic year…

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Is it possible that we will get to the end of 2016 without catastrophe? Retrospectives are everywhere, seemingly more so than usual, though I think that’s probably the Year of Mania effect. Russian ambassadors are being expelled from the US as a result of the alleged Clinton election hack furore. Putin is playing the moral high card of non-retaliation, for the moment. Syria still teeters on the brink, its war far from finished. Hopefully Syrian residents will be able to wake up intact in the coming days and weeks. And the rest of us, too. Yes, it could get that bad.

As if on cue, to show the state of mania in today’s world, one-time DJ Noel Edmonds has been on the radio, explaining that cats know they shouldn’t kill mice and birds, but that if we just say ‘that’s naughty and if you don’t do it you will get your reward in heaven’¬†our cats will understand and cease the slaughter of their little furred and feathered prey.

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Of course they will, and Donald Trump is a frisky lamb with a comb-over. But the real poser is, does Noel’s patient instruction work in the human world? Or, perhaps, why doesn’t it? Remember the immortal words of Yoda, my go-to philosopher: Patience, you must have.

Speaking of fake news, and who hasn’t been lately, I hope the brilliant press cartoonists will keep up the amazing standards they have exhibited in recent months. Don’t believe what the columnists are writing? Just look at the political cartoons and then you can work out your own, rational, response.

For the moment, mine is: A Happy and Peaceful New Year, May You Have.