Posts Tagged ‘guardian’

Party Conference Music: Primal Scream or Dandy Warhols?

5 October 2011

Staithes rocks

A rapid-response piece for the Guardian about Primal Scream’s outrage over being played at Conservative party conference:

“But whoever initially misidentified the music must have a tin ear. Bohemian Like You sounds like a Rolling Stones megamix with an emphasis on One Hit (To The Body) off Dirty Work, while Rocks sounds like a Stones megamix with an emphasis on Little T&A off Tattoo You.”

I am also compiling a Big List of all music played at all party conferences, politicians’ Desert Island Discs, etc. This will help.

Autumn Asparagus: Are ‘Reverse Season’ Spears the Same?

12 September 2011

autumn asparagus

English asparagus is back for a new autumn season; I test the spears and tips for the Guardian.

I have happy memories of every spear and tip I ate between St George’s Day and Midsummer’s Night, but as the ancient folk maxim has it: “Never eat asparagus while watching Strictly Come Dancing.” And contemplating eating asparagus in September, it struck me: the elation I feel when the vegetable appears is bound up with the way it heralds summer. Pondering the changing of the seasons at this time of year is likely to throw you into a panic over Christmas arrangements.

So I put Santa out of my mind and the spears onto a plate.

The Guardian Crossword Blog

18 August 2011

Guardian crossword

I’ve started a blog about the fun of doing cryptic crosswords at the Guardian. The first post is now live:

“Others suggest [that] those of us hooked on crosswords might want to justify the time passed by pointing to the large vocabulary we’ve amassed – or, perhaps, to our pleonasm, to our Brobdingnagian prolixity. Well, boo-poo to that. (I admit I enjoyed learning the word ‘pleach’ from last Tuesday’s Times, but it may be many years until I get to use it in a sentence near a hedge.)”

It’ll be a mixture of the week’s best and funniest clues, tips for n00bs and features on awesome stuff like when crosswords feature in programmes like Rubicon and The Hour.

Eating Asparagus Every Day (2)

13 June 2011

Day 64 and the end of the English asparagus season approaches, bitterly early. I have been eating the recommendations of Guardian readers and I offer my findings in a new piece headlined Tears For Spears.

“[P]eople ask coyly about the, um, after-smell. I’ll spare excess detail [but] I welcome it as a reminder of a glorious meal. Everyone’s smells, incidentally, but not everyone can smell it. It’s better to avoid picturing the medical research that led to that finding.”

The experiment is enough to give Comment Is Free users a good name.

  • If you too love either asparagus or repetition, you can watch the slideshow of the 2011 season above.
  • Recipes are either provided or linked to under the Flickr images.

Eating Asparagus Every Day (1)

11 May 2011
Sunday 10 April: Asparagus against sky

I eat English asparagus every day in season. I have asked readers of the Guardian to help by suggesting recipes.

“I was able to avoid this punitive pricing, having heard that a pick-your-own 20 minutes from my home was planning a one-off ‘early Sunday’. Thrilling, certainly, and less than half the price of the supermarkets, but also tense. Word was sure to have spread – would the early crop be abundant enough? There were already nine other cars queueing 20 minutes before opening and the mood was edgier than a crack den in a power cut.

“Once the gate had opened and we were picking, one pensioner made the mistake of switching rows halfway. If it had been one of those farms that offers pickers miniature serrated scythes, he’d have perished among the remaining stumps.”

Update [13 Jun]: The results are in.