Sunday, 30 November 2008

Freud museum


The Freud museum have some great exhibitions plus you get to look around a historic house at the same time. Freud, who himself only lived there a year, had lovely furniture: painted cupboards (Austrian country style), his famous couch, covered with dark red Arabian carpets, many African sculptures and your basic Jewish middle-class Hampstead interior circa 1940. I love looking at people's houses. I just wish they still had the kitchen. There is also a family tree on the wall. I found it amusing that his wife was called Martha (mater, mother?)
On Thursday night the Freud museum held an opening for an exhibition around the theme Fathers and Sons. Almost everybody in attendance looked ancient and quite a few looked like Sigmund Freud himself. There was one guy, complete with glasses, white beard and domed forehead who was a total doppelganger. If he applied to a lookalike agency, he'd be inundated (although they perhaps have more call for Posh-Spice-a-likes). 
Introducing the show were various dignitaries from Austria, one of whom gave a speech in 'Cherman'. He had a translator, but it was easier to understand the German, where I got about 1 word in 5, more than I did from the translator. In the end he gave up, saying:

I wouldn't want to burn you anymore. 
The director of the Freud museum, another man with mad white sticking out hair (a style curiously popular with academics), gave a little speech:

We like the artists to focus on the fact that they are exhibiting in this historic house. Psychoanalysis had unfortunately in the last 40 to 50 years become very establishment. This exhibition shows a time when psychoanalysis was still revolutionary.
The exhibition focused on two people I knew little about: Hans Gross and his son, psychoanalyst Otto Gross.
Hans Gross was one of the creators of criminalistics, crime scene investigation. Alongside the progress he made in this field, he also had some pretty dodgy theories, about the link between the shape of skulls and criminality. (Precursor to the holocaust. As my friend Dvd says, (and calls Freud 'Fraud') things like the holocaust don't appear out of the blue. The ingredients are all there, in the zeitgeist, and all it takes it a little nudge for them to appear fully grown, in concrete form).
His son Otto Gross, was an anarchist, drug addict, goddess worshiper and free love adherent. He held 'Cult of Astarte' orgies in a barn in the Austrian countryside. He also was a founder of the Monte Virita commune in Switzerland. The  black and white photographs of this community look like any hippy festival, long haired naked people cavorting in the countryside, except that this is early 20th Century. 
He slept with Frieda Weekley (who went on to have a relationship with D.H. Lawrence) and her sister. Two other women that he slept with, influenced by him, committed suicide. (As this was when they became pregnant by him, clearly his goddess-worshipping tendencies escaped him at this point).
His father, Hans, then used his connections to have him committed to an asylum, in part to get custody of Otto's children. There was an international outcry and Otto was released.
Otto detested his father but needed him as a counter-point. When Hans Gross died, Otto died not long afterwards, directionless without someone to hate. 
The author Franz Kafka, a student of Hans Gross who, having met Otto Gross on a train, reputedly based his book The Trial on the Gross asylum case. 
The exhibition highlights a fascinating period of history, with everyone shagging everyone else. And of course the D.H.Lawrence obscenity trial for Lady Chatterley's lover heralded the start of 'Free love'. The 1960's started here. 

Cabbage and doubles

When I worked at the cafe this week I was confronted by a plentitude of beetroots and cabbage and not much else. Feeling utterly uninspired, I found a cabbage dish in Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian cookbook (highly recommend this book). This recipe was from an African country (a cuisine I know little about) but can't remember the name.

Cabbage dish:

I ground up garlic, red pepper, cayenne pepper in the robo-chef.
I sliced the cabbage up very finely.
Heat a deep frying pan with quite alot of oil. Fry red pepper mixture until dark. Then add the finely sliced cabbage, salt and later some water if it's sticking. Eventually it tastes a bit like seaweed. 

I also made 'Doubles' for the first time, also from the Madhur Jaffrey book. These are fried flat breads from Trinidad. I used self-raising flour to make them a bit puffier.

'Doubles' recipe:

1/2 kilo of White flour
Baking soda
Turmeric (which gives them a nice colour)
Salt
water
Mix it up, knead it until it's firm and not sticky.
Then leave it for half an hour. 
Divide into 16 little balls. Make into rounds.
Fry them. They will puff up.
You can do a stack now and then refry or reheat them later when they will puff up again.
They are extremely moreish. 
Nice with chickpea curry too.

Spice

As I mentioned before I went to a Asian supermarket the other day. Usually I stand there completely confused by the ingredients on sale. So this time, in a swotty mood, I wrote down the names (when there were names):
But it hasn't helped much. I'm googling these names and nothing is coming up. Then I came across this site Thai market herbs and spices that usefully gives both the English and Thai names. Also this site: Epicentre seems quite informative.

Praew- kaffir lime leaves
Chapli leaves- still don't know
Green peppercorns- fresh; are good in Thai soups.
Pickled; are great on cheese on toast and any cheesy dishes(one of my store cupboard faves)
Coconut tip- googling it, all I get is tips on how to use coconut, not coconut tip.
Mimosa-no culinary information
Chinese chive flower- yes! slightly garlicky tasting chives.
Pak kayang- I guess it's this
Kra cha- haven't managed to find this one.
Pandan leaves- nutty taste, can be marinated in coconut milk, good with rice and desserts.
Don kae- no idea.
Holy basil-not to be confused with Thai basil, or Thai lemon basil, or basil. Good stir-fried with noodles. A rather medicinal taste.
Galangal- is like a milder form of ginger with lime 
Lemon grass- this is well known. But I am still not sure that I'm using it properly. I try to buy fresh looking stalks, peel the outer leaves off, then chop, grind up the softer inner part. However it's still quite stringy. You can freeze it for 6 months.

I also bought some typically Morroccan spice ras-el-hanout from Tesco. It's divine. I could just eat it raw. 

Saturday, 29 November 2008

ill

My teenager is ill. She's been in bed for 2 1/2 days. She's complaining that no one cares.

What do you mean? I ask.
Well only you, grandpa, grandma, my best friend and my ex-boyfriend care.

What do you expect... a card signed by the whole class ?

Yes. Laughs. Well I've texted loads of people to say I'm ill and they don't even care. They don't reply. I mean, just cos I hate everyone... .... she leaves this hanging.

How selfish of them. I commiserate, dryly.

Well this is not going to help my misanthropy is it? 
My teenager says she's going to do paintings of herself, Frida Kahlo style, who did endless self-portraits from a mirror above her bed during the long periods that she was sick. 

Frida Kahlo's bed
Frida Kahlo's bed. You can see the guards hand where she tried to stop me taking a picture.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Today 27th November 2008

Pluto enters Capricorn today until 2024. It is also a New Moon. Uranus goes forwards. All the planets, a rare thing, are going forward. 
A significant day. 
Capricorn and it's opposing sign Cancer rules property...perhaps we may see an end to the Sagittarian over-expansion, over-inflation and sheer greed involved in the property market in the last few years. Perhaps we may even see a fairer law regarding freehold and leasehold.
I suggest people look at their finances today. Check bank accounts, bills, debt schedules and make adjustments. Don't bury your head in the sand. 
With astrologer friends we have been discussing these transits in terms of the events in India. Both the 1947 and 1950 charts seem to connect.
More later...

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Dalston, Sunday morning.

turkish flat bread
making fresh turkish flat bread, Ekmek
Sunday morning, in the window of one of my favourite Turkish coffee shops, they were making fresh turkish flat bread, Ekmek. It was filled with cheese and spinach, served warm, for £1.50. 

Oatcakes

Homemade oatcakes
Today I finally found a use for the expensive Alfords oatmeal that's so smooth it sets like concrete. Oatcakes.
Remarkably easy.
Oatmeal. Baking soda. Warm water. Melted butter or vegetable oil. Salt. 
Mix together. Knead. Roll it out. 
I cut it into rounds approximately 4mm thick. 
Bake in the Aga roasting oven for half an hour. 
You could add cheese or black pepper in the mix for variety.
Very nice with butter.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

School trip

My teenager is going on her first school trip abroad in January. I have been given a form to fill out, firstly about my teenager and also about the exchange student I will get in return. Except my daughter had already filled it out and signed it with my signature.

Would you be willing to accept someone of the opposite sex? (only if he is cute apparently)

Will your exchange student have their own room? (yeah, what if they are total neeks?)

Religion? My daughter wrote "NO!!!"
Does your family currently practise this religion? "NO!!!"

Does your son/daughter have any special dietary requirements? "Vegetarian but eat fish. No meat, which means no chicken." (The French need this spelt out.)

Does he/she have any allergies to particular foods? "Anything green!"

Only a French school would have questions like:

Do you give permission for your son/daughter to:
Go out without adult supervision (Yes)
To smoke (No)
To drink alcohol with meals (Yes)

Would you be willing to accept in your home a child who smokes? (NO!!! I finally splutter)

Personality: Do you consider your son/daughter to be:-
She has answered already.
"calm" (yes) "open" (no) "enthusiastic" (no) "easy-going" (no) "young for his/her age" (no) "energetic" (yes) "shy" (yes) "mature" (yes)?

My daughter then wrote under: Any further details which are useful or which would assist in finding a partner for your son/daughter: "David Bowie obsessive and Morrissey. Individualist. Rebel." 
(Bowie is her latest thing. I've had to get out my David Bowie fanclub membership material from the early 70's).

"I just want a crap family like ours. You know. Crap but good." My teenager says.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Winter warmer

Pantry cupboard
Sugar, flour in my dining room.

Macaroni cheese is a school dinner favourite. Sometimes it just hits the spot at home too.
Cook your macaroni.
In a small pan on a low heat make a bechamel sauce. I melted butter, added some whole grain mustard, a little flour and lots of milk, stirring slowly. 
I then added 3 types of cheese, Taleggio, two types of cheddar. 
Put it all into an oven proof dish. Grate some cheese on top to brown. Bake for 15/20 minutes.
I drank it with a bottle of Gerwurtraminer I had left over from this summer's trip to France.
Yellow wine, cream coloured dinner, on the bed, watching I'm a celebrity.

Trip to Chinese supermarket...

different kinds of aubergine you can get in a Chinese supermarket

All the different kinds of aubergine you can get in a Chinese supermarket.

Great ravioli cheat. Buy wonton skins from a Chinese supermarket. Make up a filling. In this case I roasted sweet potato and garlic. Put a teaspoon in the middle of the skin. Fold over. Seal with water.
I deep fried them and served them with a ginger, lemon and peanut sauce

Ginger, lemon, peanut sauce
Thumb of fresh ginger, peeled, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp peanut butter

Mix ingredients and heat in small pan, add a scoop of peanut butter. Then strain, thereby removing ginger stringy bits, into container.

You could also boil the wonton and add them to soup.
Yesterday I also made Sweet Chestnut soup

Sweet Chestnut soup recipe


500g of sweet chestnuts, roasted, peeled
1 litre veg stock
300ml single cream
1 tsp cumin, ground
a pinch of nutmeg, ground
a drizzle of truffle oil

Roast chestnuts for 20 minutes. Careful not to overroast. Then, after peeling, boil them with vegetable stock, cream, cumin, nutmeg for some time.  Then whizz them with a hand blender. You get a nice creamy sweet soup. If you have it, a squirt of truffle oil would probably be good.

Chestnuts
This week I also made vegetarian laksa paste ( adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe)

Ingredients:
5 cm galangal root
4/5 cm fresh turmeric root
4 cm ginger
4 cloves garlic
 3 sticks fresh lemon grass, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin, ground
handful of fresh coriander leaves 
4 tbsps vegetable oil or groundnut oil
1 tsp Salt
1 400 ml can of Coconut milk
50g Baby sweet corn
50g Mangetout
2 Carrots, julienned
a handful of pea aubergines
500ml veg stock 
300g Medium firm tofu, cubed
1oog Rice noodles

To garnish
Half a red pepper, sliced thinly
Fresh Mint
Fresh coriander
Fresh lime segments

Blend all the ingredients together. If you are not vegetarian, add fish sauce or prawn paste. Salt to taste.
In the pan, add plenty of coconut milk, fresh mint leaves and various Asian vegetables. You could also add mangetout, baby sweet corn, julienned carrots, tofu cubes.
I added tiny little green aubergines (eggplant) that looked like peas. 
Cook rice noodles separately. Add at the end. Serve in bowls topped with strips of finely sliced red pepper and more coriander leaves. Add slices of lime for people to squeeze.
Fresh turmeric root
Fresh turmeric root

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

HIV gang

My teenager came up to me last night while I'm at my desk. Lurking next to me. She hovers. Eventually I turn.
I know you won't let me go anyway she sighs.
Where?
To this party. Saturday night. Everyone was going. But now they aren't. 
Why not?
Because the HIV gang are going. 
What? Who are they?
Well, it's a gang that go to parties with syringes full of HIV infected blood. They stick them into people and infect them. So now nobody is going to the party. Everyone at school is talking about it.
I look at her.
You are kidding.
No, really, mum, it happens. Everyone knows about it. She rolls her eyes.
I'm at my computer. I google HIV gangs. There was one case in Holland. I show this to my daughter.

She makes a wry expression:
I'm not really a party person. I prefer to stay home, read books and drink tea on a Saturday night, says my 14 year old airily.
Then, with certainty and perhaps the faintest glimmer of relief, she shrugs:
You wouldn't have let me go anyway.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Skeptics in the pub: Neil Arnold


Neil the Mod


A cast of a paw print
A cast of a paw print

Neil Arnold "Full-time monster hunter".
Hair cut in a Small Faces blond mullet, carrying a Beatles satchel, he started by thanking his understanding girlfriend.
For 20 years Arnold has been involved in Big Cat research, logging strange animal sightings from Kangaroos in Beckenham, the Winchmore Hill cheetah to the Beasts of Bodmin and Exmoor. 
He has two areas of interest: Big Cats using actual zoological research and folklore, for instance the 1961 wolf sighting on Clapham Common, Seals on Hampstead Heath, Mothman, the bear of Hackney Marshes and the Highgate Vampire.  
There have been Big Cat sightings in this country since the 1700's. In the 60's and 70's  it was easy to buy Big Cats. You could buy a cheetah from Harrods or a lynx from the local pet shop for £40. Cute when they are young, the cats grow, need more feeding and eventually are let into the wild by their owners.
Neil Arnold recounted the incident in Acton when a man went to a pub with his pet Puma. Things got out hand and the puma destroyed both the pub and the police car sent to control it.

The lynx is native to Britain, were hunted by the Tudors, and there is no evidence that it died out. In recent years they have been re-introduced into the Scottish Highlands. A lynx is not a leopard, it's like a large cat with a stubby tail.
Arnold said that there is no such thing as a Black Puma. Puma's are fawn coloured, they attack humans, are up to 5 feet long. The Puma is the largest of the lesser cats, they cannot roar, they scream.
There is no such thing either as the Black Panther, it is actually a black leopard. You can see the rosette pattern if you view them close-up. Two normal leopards can have 4 offspring, of which one can be black.
Legendary big cats such as the Surrey Puma tend to be spotted for about a decade.
There was a black cat shot in Greenwich in the 1980's.
The beast of Bluewater (a well known shopping centre near the Beckham's house 'Beckenham palace') was seen 40 years previously. Arnold believes that this sighting is a possibility. Big Cats have certain types of habitats, plenty of water, and can roam vast territories of 200 to 250 square miles. The area around Bluewater, Kent, has all these features. Arnold claims that there are 10 to 15 black leopards in Kent alone.
Neil Arnold has had several encounters himself; in 2000 in the Medway he was alerted to the presence of a leopard while in a field by the sound of the sheep who started 'coughing'.
Monster hunting has it's dangers: while tracking footprints in the snow of the Dartford Lynx in 2003, Arnold was shot at by a farmer. 
In 2001 a leopard was spotted around passing through back garden in Cricklewood, my area. My daughter and I were rather excited about this, especially as we had just moved in.
Eventually it turned out to be a lynx when it was caught, injured, in Barnes. It had been on the loose for about 3 or 4 weeks. Named Lara, it was housed at London Zoo for a while but has now moved to France.
Some sightings are less convincing: in 2005 in Sydenham, a man claimed that he had tussled with a leopard in his back garden. He had a scratch on his cheek to prove it. Arnold explains that lynxes would not just put one scratch, there would be four, spaced in a certain way. 
In 2007 a courier in Southwark, along with several other witnesses saw a puma crossing the road.
Sheep killings cannot be by dogs as large cats have tongues like sand paper. They like to peel off the flesh and take their kill up a tree. Dogs don't do that. Another way of telling if it is a big cat is by the prints. Cats leave paw prints as they can retract their claws, dogs can't. Dog prints are more symmetrical and don't leave scratch marks up trees.
There is no chance of lions being on the loose, they tend to go about in prides. 
The RSPCA denies the presence of big cats and have said that "vehicles are responsible for dead bodies". 
Last month (October '08) there were big cat sightings from the Isle of Sheppey which is very flat. Arnold set up a camera in an alleyway for a week. A week later a cat was seen twice in the alleyway. Just like any documenting of wild animals, it is time consuming and difficult to get evidence.
After the break, Arnold was bombarded with questions from the skeptical audience.
One man, who has spent a great deal of time in Kent believed that there are big cats on the loose. He said that although his belief was based on anecdotal evidence, he'd spoken to so many people that had seen big cats.
Others were less sure. Jack of Kent in particular used his own sand papery tongue. He machine-gunned Neil Arnold with questions:
 Are there no other conclusions for your evidence?
The evidence in the public domain is rubbish. Are you willing to put your more, ah, convincing evidence in the public domain
Neil balked: I don't want to publish all of my evidence. There are too many weirdos out there. Although I have given most of my footage to Sky News.
Jack rocked back on his heels, licked his lips in a cat-got-cream way and pounced, triumphantly dragging Neil down from the tree:

Therefore on crucial evidence we just have to take your word for it?
Case closed. By this time, Neil Arnold looked as if his skin had been ripped off. 
Jack confessed: It just so happens that I'm a lawyer. Roars of laughter from the assembled skeptics.

Later, when chatting, Neil admitted that ... Looking for big cats is quite anoraky
You'd prefer it to be parkery, wouldn't you? I asked, noting his mod origins. 

Monday, 17 November 2008

Do chickpeas come from chickens?

Friday at the cafe. Chickpeas.
There were some cooked. There were some soaked. Yesterday's chef had already cooked a chickpea curry, which was in the fridge. That is what I had intended to cook.
So... chickpeas galore.

I converted the chickpea curry into my chickpea curry by adding coconut milk, turmeric, ginger and a bunch of other stuff. And I turned the rest of the chickpeas into falafel.
I've made this a few times and I've now perfected a fart-free recipe. 
This time, however, my falafel melted in the frying pan. 
There was a rush on. Lots of orders, many needing frying. They wouldn't fry because the frying pan and then the deep fryer (for I tried that too) were foaming horribly. The falafel were, well, just gone! Pouff! Disappeared into the ether.
Panic. 
The orders pile up. 
Presentation goes out of the window.
Wayne the man came in and said, add some cornflour, that'll hold 'em together. 
Phew, it worked.
They weren't very tasty though, even so.
I think the problem was that the chickpeas had been slightly cooked. They were still pretty hard, but not hard enough. It was a little like trying to fry mounds of hummus. 
Must try harder.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Scene

Got in, my teenager is sobbing uncontrollably in her bedroom. Her face is white, her dyed black hair is sticking up all over the place. She is dressed entirely in black with Dr. Martin style boots. She looks just like me at 17.
I ask her what is wrong. She refuses to answer. I can't stand this. If I'm unhappy, if I'm crying, I will say why. She won't. She glares at me. I can't cope. I can cope with the crying but not with the lack of communication.

"You don't understand" she wails. "Nobody understands"
I stand there helplessly. Her crying get louder. A feeling of panic rises within me. I have no one to talk to about this. No family, no partner. She scares me. Is her behaviour normal? People say it is. But I always feel guilty because she hasn't got a dad. In contrast, I used to talk to my mum. My mum didn't actually want me to talk to her, but I did, I insisted. I externalise everything.

"Is it school?" I ask. "Have you fallen out with someone? Did something get stolen?". 
In the past she has cried when she has done something wrong. She cries so much that by the time that she admits what she has done wrong, I forgive her, because I'm so relieved that it's not more serious.
In reaction to my questions, she screams: "Leave me alone. It's nothing. I'm always crying. I cry all day every day. Everybody hates me. I'm sick of people asking me what's wrong."
"Well when you are ready to talk come and see me" I leave. Go to the kitchen, clear up, start to make dinner.
A little later I pass her bedroom. 

"Come and sit next to me mum, while I do my homework" she says, calmer. I sit next to her. I touch her little hand, her long delicate fingers. 
I persuade her to come into the kitchen while I cook. I have a bottle of wine open. She pours herself a glass. I don't mind her having a little, from time to time, but she pours a full glass. 

"That's a lot" I say.

"Oh yeah" she giggles.
Why don't I do anything about it? Because I'm tired and worried. Because I'm scared of dealing with her temper. Because I don't really care that much if she has a glass of wine. In my head I hear the criticism of my family, you shouldn't allow her to do this, you've got to be stronger. 

"Christ you are going to end up an alcoholic on top of everything else" I mutter.

"On top of being mad you mean?" she taunts.
She sits in the rocking chair, tiny, pretty, her blood red lips stand out from her powdered face. 

"I can't stand it when you cry" I admit "even when you were a baby, I couldn't stand it."
We eat and chat. The atmosphere is nice. We talk about her stupid Biology teacher. We talk about Maths. We talk about whether Paul McCartney is dead. Then we talk about boyfriends. Mine. I had a really bad relationship from 2002-6. The guy wasn't very nice to me. I got very messed up by it. She got caught in the cross-fire. I still feel guilty. Another thing to feel guilty about. She hated him. But she hates them all. If she doesn't like them, she is so rude and hostile, the atmosphere is uncomfortable. Especially as the men I meet are not very mature, are not very interested in me, are not there, it turns out, for the long haul. 

"They are creepy" she says "some of them flirt with me. You shouldn't be interested in men that flirt with me. Why can't you get nice boyfriends like my friends' mums".
I feel helpless. Only one flirted, possibly, or maybe he was merely interested in the thoughts of a young person. What can I say? Of course they are going to look at her. She is young and beautiful. I feel such a failure.

"But what about the nice ones?" I say "You were horrible then too. By embarrassing me in front of them".
It's true. If she does, by some miracle, like them, it's no better. She puts me down. "Muuum, you are sooo stupid/not getting it/gullible/know nothing about music" she will interject at regular intervals. Not a good look. It makes me look old and unfashionable. 

"Why do you do that?" I ask."Why do you make it difficult for me even when you like them? It's not very nice."

"I'm not nice." she says "I don't care about other people".
I feel like crying.
"Go away" I say. "You will feel bad about this one day. When you are out every night and I'm in, growing old on my own, you will feel bad."
Tears prick my eyes.

"That's never going to happen" my 14 year old says " I will never go out. Nobody likes me."
She sees that I am upset:
"See. That's why we can't talk."
She goes to her bedroom.


Gynarchy

My continued research into the world of BDSM reveals new and delightful/horrifying words and concepts. 

Gynarchy- seems to be extreme separatist lesbianism mixed with ecology (not sure how yet). One forum talks about castrating males by injection. In fact the males would be called submales...I quote:

What would the position of submales be in a gynarchic society ?
A submale in a Gynarchic society will have no human rights at all. No human rights whatsoever. Every submale will be the private property of a female and she may use, or misuse, this property in any way she wants. No rights whatsoever for submales! Their status will be lower even than that of domestic animals! Every submale member of Gynarchy International should reflect very carefully on this !

Jeez it just gets weirder. Valerie Solanas is their patron saint, the one who shot Andy Warhol. I can't even begin to describe how mad the whole thing is. Read the link above. Surprisingly there seem to be quite a few men on the forum. Here's another quote...this one will really freak men out!


What's about fatherhood in gynarchic society ?
Concept of "fatherhood" has to be destroyed. Gynarchy never will recognize any male genitor right ! Do you really think a male should be useful in any way for procreation or children conception ? Gynarchy well knows that a male semen was necessary in a small party of the process of birth. But this semen is now a Womyn's property and only a Womyn have right to get it at a sperm's bank (or eventually directly at natural production if the Mother wants) and to use it for Her and her Children. To talk about "fatherhood" is a bit like to want to give a right about our health to the plants for giving us air, or to the earthworm for ploughing earth. But, naturally, a submale could be put in educational duties (but not only this milked for the semence, perhaps died many years before the birth !) especially the dirty duties during the first years of his owner's daughter (or son, if they are not euthanasied or put in educational structures for males). Male is for serve Womyn, even during the Daughter's education. Evidently, the Daughter, since her birth, has authority on all males that are serving the Mother for her education. If the male, by chance, was the provider of the semence that helped to her birth, the small or young Girl never could be sure of this and treat him differently as another serving submale. Male is for serving Womyn in all ways, even the semence milking (if he is a beautiful, strong and intelligent submale) and the educational and maternal duties. Submales, when Gynarchy everywhere practised, will be very proud to serve a young girl. A submale who submissively and efficiently served several babies or little girls will be well considered by the Sorority.

Another good link on female supremacists.
Males that have grown up in a minimum to two generations of Matriarchal family rule make the most ideal candidates for owning, as they have had an optimum amount of exposure to women in control.

Gynarchists practise 'forced feminisation' on men, or 'sissification'. 
On a lighter(?) note there are other specific types of domination: 'Financial Domination', funnily enough mostly done online. Some of it is the submale pretending to be a piggy bank or ATM. On a more serious level, the submale hands over all of his financial assets to the woman. Now this sounds absolutely outrageous to me. But, not so long ago, this is exactly what women had to do once they got married. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

40 years on


Watching 'In the heat of the night' with my teenager, the 1968 film starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. Interesting to see my teenager's reaction to a 40 year old film showing black adult men being called "boy". 
The film touches upon so many issues of race, class and country v. urban life. But the film is not black and white. Steiger and Poitier demonstrate ingrained prejudices and both of them develop understanding of themselves during the investigation. Gaining 5 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor, the dialogue and acting are superb. 
Poitier is a police officer from Philadelphia visiting his mother in Mississippi. A murder occurs in town and the white police force arrest him at the train station. Why? Because he's black. Confused by his classy suit and educated demeanor, they soon discover that not only have they got the wrong man but that he is an expert homicide detective. Reluctantly they accept his help. The film follows Poitier as he leads the investigation, despite enormous resistance from within the police and the townspeople. I remember being impressed with the seemingly sophisticated investigative techniques as a kid but looking at it now, it's not exactly CSI. For instance, he handles evidence with his hands and places samples in his handkerchief. 
I had to explain to my daughter that the black people picking cotton in the fields were not slaves, for slavery had been abolished a hundred years previously in 1865 (1833 in Britain). I had to explain that even in 1968, that black people were not allowed into white restaurants or hotels, that segregation existed. I had to explain why, unlike every other police officer, Sidney Poitier's character was called by his first name 'Virgil' rather than Mr. Tibbs, his surname. (1)  
There were many other things that needed explaining. This wikipedia link, a timeline of the American Civil Rights movement, makes sobering reading. Things that stood out for me, stuff I didn't know: 
Black people did not gain full voting rights in the United States until 1965. 
1968, the British white singer Petula Clark, during a TV show, 2 days before Martin Luther King's assassination, refused to delete the moment in which she touches black singer Harry Belafontes arm during a duet. 
Again in 1968(what a revolutionary year that was) on Startrek, William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols (Lieutenant Uhura)(2) performed the first interracial kiss on U.S. television (although the kiss was apparently forced by 'alien mind control').
The last entry in the wikipedia timeline is November 4th 2008 when Barack Obama is elected president.

(1) From wikipedia: 1963: April Mary Lucille Hamilton, Field Secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality, refuses to answer a judge in Alabama, until she is addressed by the honorific "Miss". It was the custom of the time to address white people by honorifics and people of color by their first names. Hamilton was jailed for contempt of court and refused to pay bail.  The case went to the Supreme Court, which ruled in 1964 that courts must address persons of color with the same courtesy extended to whites.

(2) Nichelle Nichols has many strange links which would intrigue the synchro-mystical crew. She played Lady Magdalene, a 'Madam' of a Nevada brothel. Her brother committed suicide as a member of the Heavens Gate cult.

More sweets...

Aero chocolate bars
On left, new Aero, on right, old Aero.

So they have changed the wrappers on Aero's. Extremely disappointing. Which would you prefer? Rumour has it that drug abusers were using the tin foil wrapping to snort/prepare crack. Yeah right. As an anti-drugs offensive it's pretty pathetic. 

Whispa is back, due to popular demand. An 80's chocolate bar, it was discontinued in 2003. It has smaller bubbles than the Aero. Tasted side by side, the Aero still has my vote, especially the mint Aero with its green insides. But the Whispa is lighter than your normal chocolate bar, which can be just the ticket in certain circumstances. 
My mate Nathan and I did the pub quiz last week at the Prince of Wales, Highgate. It was great fun and I loved playing radio announcers with the mike. Plus I got free drinks and got quite giggly on my stool at the bar. Nathan and John did a sterling job with the questions. I did one round on my specialist subject: snacks. 
Here are some questions:

1) What product originated in a Cricklewood garage?
2) What sweet substance can cure Shingles, Oral and Genital herpes?
3) Which Milky Way style chocolate bar is named after a novel by Alexandre Dumas? 
4) Creme Eggs are the best selling confectionery item between New Year's Day and Easter. At the beginning of which decade was the Cadbury’s creme egg invented?
5) Frank Muir did the voice over for which Cadbury's brand in the 1970s and 80s?
6) What French bonbon made by nuns and sold in little decorative tins was Agatha Christie's favourite sweet?
7) Name all 8 original smarties colours. Which colour was replaced in 1989 and by what? Which is the most popular colour?
8) What organisation recently asked Ben & Jerry's to use breast milk rather than cows milk?
9) What animal inspired the shape of Curlywurlies? Which comedian did adverts for curly wurly in the 1970s dressed as a schoolboy?
10) Which failed Cadbury's chocolate bar took it's name from a South American civilisation?
For bonus points: messages on love hearts: as many as you can think of...

I was anxious when I asked the questions as it was very silent in the crowded pub. But, during the answers,  you know when you've set tough but intriguing questions when you hear roars coming from each table, showing that they have been debating intensely. One team came all the way from Canterbury to London for the quiz.

The lazy blogger in her lair


The eleventh day of the eleventh month. 

The number 11 and the letter K resonate for me. I know one man who has given all of his children names beginning with K.
From David K. Rankine's article on magick:
Some people ask why magick is spelt with a 'k' on the end. This is to distinguish it from magic, associated in the popular mind with illusionism and prestidigitation, stage magic. Magick is not about illusion, it is about creating real change, and the 'k' signifies this. K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet, i.e. the one beyond ten. Symbolically this is very powerful, as we work in base ten, and eleven represents the unseen, or hidden energies - the subtle energies of magick, eleven is considered to be the number of magick.

Another election

Another illuminating night at the Astrological Lodge, London. Tonight they held the election for the new President of the Lodge. Where else would you get candidates campaigning not so much by stating their policies but the connections between their natal charts and the charts of the lodge?
Candidate 1: tiny, shapely, wearing a Thatcherite power suit, expounded upon her ideas for the future. She sounded efficient, competent, modern, decisive. 
Candidate 2: A psychic and specialist in gambling astrology: he stared into the ether with pale blue eyes, like Mad-eye Moody, and riffed disconnectedly about Boris Johnson, the planet Mercury, micro-chips and how his chart MC shared the same degree as the ascendant of a particular Lodge chart. 
Naturally I voted for him.
He lost.
The parting secretary was lamented for her efficient Moon in Virgo skills. The exiting President and Vice-President congratulated each other how well they got on despite their opposing Saturns
A chart was drawn up for the moment of the start of the meeting.
One dark spiteful woman entertained us all by ranting from the podium about how inefficient she had been this year in producing the Astrological Quarterly Review but it was all down to Pluto transiting her Ascendant, therefore everybody she knows has died, and even she felt like killing herself and she couldn't possibly be expected to work under those circumstances could she?
Afterwards we retired to the pub. Now astrologers are total individualists, like a drink or several and a damn good gossip. I met M, a famous psychic who heals people by making channelled guttural sounds from her throat. She charges £100 an hour. It works. She has recently done jury duty for a famous trial that lasted several weeks. She was advised not to admit to the prosecutors that her profession was 'psychic'. 
One bookish astrologer recounted his days working in Diagon Alley at Watkins bookshop, correspondance with Francoise Hardy,  60's French chanteuse (now esteemed astrologer) and his Mayfair meeting with Bob Dylan.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Out there

I did know that adoptive mothers can eventually breast feed, after much patience. Weirdest thing I have learnt this week: transsexuals can breast feed (link). I found this out from a BDSM site where a slave who had never been pregnant wanted to lactate for her master. She wanted to be "like a good little cow", a "farmyard animal" and was seeking a breast pump such as they use on small animals for the purpose.
BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission/Sadism, Masochism)  site's like InformedConsent or SeekDiscipline are a window into a very strange world. The denizens are called 'Master', 'Sir', 'Lady' or 'Mistress'. Slaves are registered and referred to in most cases only by number. The number is sometimes tattooed upon their bodies, a clear acknowledgement of concentration camp victims and branding in slavery. Slaves frequently seek permission from their dom in order to post. 
The 'dom' (male) or 'dommes' (female) have names. The use of the term 'master' or 'mistress' is hotly disputed. Many say that it is an honorific title that should only be used for the dom/domme that owns you, otherwise it is impertinent.
If slaves are obedient and pleasing they are 'collared', sometimes in a publicly witnessed ceremony, and 'owned'. Similar to marriage in our vanilla world, but the commitment is much greater. 
People who like to do both are called 'switch'. There exist many distinctions in this finely tuned hierarchy; the difference between tops and dominants, subs and bottoms. 
A slave that is dropped by his/her master must suffer greatly, above and beyond the usual heartbreak. Thinking of my one session at Co-dependants Anonymous, surely the people who attend these are just Co-dependants with no one adequate to depend on. The BDSM world thoroughly explores issues of power, dependance and responsibility. There is perhaps something to be said for going with the flow. 
On SeekDispline there is one thread about a 21 year old female slave whose 40 year old master does not want children. He has asked her to get sterilised. The thread asks if this is ethical. Some posters think that it is not, as the master could disown the slave in a few months and she would have long term consequences. Other posters say that the whole point of being a slave is to obey the master. One person remarks that these things should be discussed prior to signing a slave contract.
Another thread talks about widening the anus for ease of access by the dominant by introducing incrementally larger butt plugs worn constantly, which are only taken out twice a day for obvious reasons. However at least two slaves witness that they have become permanently incontinent as a result. One of them has to wear nappies but regards this as a perfectly acceptable sacrifice for his mistress.
More information about the responsibilities of being a dom here at the wittily named Wipipedia! Other terms include the more extreme 'Owner/Property' and 'Taken in hand' all different levels of dominance and submission.

I also learnt a new term: SS BBW. BBW is the acronym for Big Beautiful Woman. SS means Super Size Big Beautiful Woman. I've also seen references to 'thick' women. Apparently this doesn't mean that they are stupid, 'thick' is used in opposition to 'thin'. 'Thick' means large thighs, arse, but small waist, a fashion pioneered by J-Lo. Is it not strange that women's bodies change with fashion? One blog suggests that bottoms are getting larger due to the amount of hormones in food.  A 'thick' white woman is a rarity. This website 'assmatrix' examines 'thickness'. Men are never subjected to this kind of pickiness about their physiques. Women really are just a sum of their parts.

Friday, 7 November 2008

November Menu

Making fresh pizza, oiled pizza base
Made a good soup today: Thai spinach. Boil spinach, add coconut milk, ginger, garlic and lemon or lime juice. Whizz it up till it's smooth. I also added cumin. I would have put lemon grass and fresh coriander but I didn't have any.
It was bloody delicious.
I also made fresh pizza with roasted vegetables (aubergine, courgette, red pepper, red onions, roasted garlic) with capers and pickled green peppercorns. 
This is a good recipe for the base from Pogo's vegan café:
2 teaspoons of fresh yeast in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of warm water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Leave it for 10 minutes until it froths. Then add 2 cups of flour. Mix. Then add 1 more cup of flour with some salt. Make a ball. Knead ball on floured surface for 5 minutes. Leave the ball in a covered oiled basin for one hour. Then press dough into baking tin, add toppings. 
Easy and effective. 
If the yeast doesn't froth, you need to buy fresher yeast. 

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Uranus wins over Saturn

On Guy Fawkes day, Obama wins. Let the fireworks commence. And let's hope he makes it through his presidency safely.
The Americans do have an unnerving habit of killing their presidents. How many assassinated? 4 out of 44? and that's not counting the attempt on Reagan. 
I do hope also that he's not another Blair...full of promise, short on innovative policy. 
However, just the fact that he is half African-American means that his win is revolutionary.

Looking at which states voted which way is like a replay of the American civil war. The South and the mid-West voted Republican/Confederate and the East and West coasts voted Democrat/Yankee.

Does anybody else find it disturbing that the Republicans are represented by the colour red and the Democrats, blue? In Britain, the Right are blue and the Left are red. Perhaps the Democrats are linked to blue because the Yankee soldiers wore blue while the Confederates wore grey or butternut. According to this wikipedia link, this assignment of colours, blue for Democrats, red for Republicans, was only recent, in 2000, although I remember Nancy Reagan wearing 'Reagan red' in the '80's.
 
This wikipedia link explains the association of red and Left-wing politics:
 
It has been associated with left-wing politics since the French Revolution. The red flag became a symbol of communism as a result of its use by the Paris Commune of 1871. The flags of several communist states, including China, Vietnam, and the former Soviet Union, have red backgrounds.

There is still debate about whether Obama is actually American which is an obligation to be eligible to run for the presidency. See here for the proof. Strange that for the first time both candidates were not born on the mainland of the USA (McCain was born in Panama, on an army base). But the way that Obama's 'Americanness' is continually disputed seems related to his race. Does white America not see black Americans as properly American?

Sunday, 2 November 2008

XXY and El bano del papa


Double bill of South American cinema at the Rio, Dalston.

XXY is an Argentinian film I have wanted to see for some time. It's a serious look at the story of an intersex child whose parents have to make a decision whether s/he should have surgery to "normalize" him/her. S/he is now 15, the age when you become interested in sex. S/he has made the decision to stop taking feminising hormones. It's a crux point. There is a distressing scene in which several young men hurl the youngster to the ground and forcibly rip off his/her pants to "have a look". The humiliation is heart-breaking to watch. The parents visit an adult man who was brought up as a girl, who is now happily married with adopted children. They decide to accept their child for what s/he is: "perfect".
I had a friend who was a true hermaphrodite. He had a man's name, clothes, voice and body except for breasts and a feminine walk. Unlike all those porn sites you see with pre-op transsexuals claiming to be hermaphrodites, he had a tiny penis not much larger than a clitoris. He spent most Saturday's at Berketex in Oxford Circus trying on bridesmaid's dresses. 
Once he visited my house. Showing him around, he peeked into my daughter's bedroom, which at that time, was pure Barbie/princess pink, complete with Sleeping beauty style dressing table and muslin draped bed. His big Irish builder's face crumpled.
"I wanted a room like that" he choked "You would have thought that my parents could have given me a room like that!".
My daughter and I looked on open-mouthed. His parents were devout Catholics from a tiny Gaelic speaking village in Eire. It's not unreasonable that they would have struggled to deal with the situation. 
El bano del papa is a Uruguayan film about the visit of Pope Jean Paul II to a small town. The inhabitants are incredibly poor, not even having enough to eat. They are excited about the visit which they hope will provide an opportunity to make money from selling food and other services. The press 'big up' the Pope's visit suggesting that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims will turn up. The villagers get themselves into debt. This film is an indictment of the press, the corruption of Uruguayan officialdom and finally the sheer insensitivity of the Pope to true poverty. 
It is like a visit from the Queen; walls are repainted and new carpet is laid. One wag suggested that the Queen must think everywhere smells like new paint.

Age of Aquarius

Jay-Z in front of Obama
As the U.S. election approaches, astrologers are in a frenzy of prediction. This is a particularly important election not just because of the players involved, the unique economic situation but because these things are so accurately mirrored in the heavens. As above...so below.
Tomorrow we see the first of four Saturn/Uranus oppositions. The moon will be void of course. Neptune will be stationed for 2 days. On November the 27th Pluto goes into Capricorn finally where it will stay until 2025.
These are significant politically (or in astrological parlance in a 'mundane' way) because they involve the outer planets which affect generations.
The two candidates charts have only recently been verified. John McCain's on June 13th and Barack Obama's on October 13th (not their birth dates, merely when their birth certificates were put into the public domain). Hillary Clinton's time of birth has never been confirmed.
Therefore astrologers have only recently been able to properly consider the data and thus make predictions.
It still is a hard election to call. The 10th house of career, authority, public status is what needs to be looked at. Pluto is nearing conjunction of McCains' North Node (a fated point of destiny in the chart) in the 10th.
Pluto (power) on the other hand is opposing Obama's Venus in Cancer in the 5th house. No wonder everybody is "in love" with him. The U.S.A. is a Cancerian country (July 4th) but has it's moon in Aquarius and resonates with that energy. Obama has Aquarius rising. McCain has moon in Aquarius. There have been more Aquarian presidents than any other sign (Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan to mention a few).
Aquarius is how America likes to be seen by others; humanitarian, futuristic and innovative. Cancer however is it's true nature, conservative, obsessed with food, indirect, nostalgic for the past, maternal, home-loving. (Cancer rules breasts hence the American beauty ideal of large breasts!)
Sarah Palin is extremely Aquarian, with at least four planets including her Sun and Moon in that sign.
Anyway most astrologers call it for Obama. I'm not so sure.
Either way there is going to be a huge reaction across the world. Anger if McCain gets it. Joy if Obama gets in. There will also be accusations of vote fraud, underhand tactics (Neptune stationed), delays about the result.
If Obama does get in, will he actually serve as President? Many astrologers believe that something will occur to prevent him taking office. They see danger.
I will spend tomorrow night at the Astrological Lodge in London where a constellation of astrologers will be considering the tertiary progressions of Obama and McCain's charts.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

The last female candidate

I talked before about how strange I found it that when a credible woman candidate stood for president, suddenly, out of nowhere, comes this charismatic black candidate who opposes her.
I'm still not over it.
Here's a link with Geraldine Ferraro talking about this: 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/us_elections_2008/7703660.stm
Frankly, reading between the lines, she is not very happy about how things have gone either. She's backing Obama because she has to. I like how she doesn't slag off Palin, and sympathises that she wasn't properly used by McCain's team. 
Post election: this article nails it, in my opinion.

Dia de los muertos


At the café this week as it was Day of the Dead, so celebrated in Mexico, I cooked my chilli sin carne. Soak Black beans. Fry onions, garlic, add chopped tomatoes. Add dark chocolate and the beans. Finally add a teaspoon or so of chipotle (a smoked chilli pepper) paste if you have it. I got some from my trip to Mexico last year, visiting the mole and chipotle factory in Xico
I spent some days in this tiny mountain village, near Jalapa (where Jalapeno peppers come from). I'd just seen the movie 'Apocalypto' directed by Mel Gibson, which recounts the moment when the Spanish arrived, leading to the downfall of the Mayan culture. 
In Xico, everyone looked so Mayan; long aquiline profiles, hooded eyes, small, stocky stature.
"They look straight out of 'Apocalypto'!" I exclaimed
 "Not surprising. Many of these people were extras as it was filmed in the area" said a local.
This festival was to celebrate El Virgen, the Virgin Mary. The streets were covered with colourful sand paintings, along which the processions lumbered. A heavy float containing a statue of the virgin in her rather gaudy finery was carried, preceded by women swinging incense. By the second day everybody was pissed and dancing trance like folk dances in the street. The atmosphere and music in the thin bright air was mesmerising. In the afternoon it rained and I watched as the whole village recreated the sand 'carpets' in minutes, using large wooden stencils and coloured pots of sand. 



Back in London, in the café, I tried to make corn tortillas but they failed. I had the wrong cornmeal and the dough was more like polenta.

One of the gorgeous staff turned up saying they were itchy because they had been having threesomes all weekend. Suffering from a similar problem, (but no threesomes!) I just happened to have a tube of cream for thrush. It was placed for general staff use on the spice shelf.  Like Barking Batteria, the samba group I sometimes play with, there is a sexual openness that is refreshing. Flirtation abounds. One particularly Venusian worker has already cut a swathe through half the staff, leaving them love-lorn and mooching amongst the pots and pans; whispers and cuddles as they brush past each other on the way to the oven; glances and coquettish quips across the mango soya shakes. 
'Barking' has told me, only mildly joking, that I will not be considered a core member until I have had at least a threesome with members of the band and caught some kind of STD or crabs. It sounds easier to join the Hells Angel's where I believe, you only have to bite the head off a live chicken and wear your leathers after they have been pissed on by the rest of the gang.
Food and sex are intimately connected are they not? There is no more guaranteed method to seduce a woman than taking her out for a meal. Vice versa, they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. My particular favourite aphrodisiac is sushi; light, clean and revitalising. The fetish scene, for instance, has 'munches', non-sexual gatherings where people who are interested in BDSM can meet, eat and chat.