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Bicycle Science

Some friends of mine once flew home to New Zealand from America on a flight that skipped Christmas day.

Having had several of my MBA assignments due on January 10th I seem to have spent every day but Christmas day, for quite a while, slaving over a hot computer. I slept like a log on the 11th, returned library books, took the girls out to a restaurant, read a newspaper again, even watched TV one night, then it started all over again: the next semester. I feel as if I have missed out on something, but I’m not sure what. Time for smelling the roses perhaps.

Except that I did manage to squeeze in a read of Ian Rankin’s Exit Music. I think it was his best Inspector Rebus story yet. I’ve lined up John Banville, writing as Benjamin Black, as the prospective next supplier of my occasional need for a crime fix. The action will switch from Edinburgh to Dublin.

No doubt there are a few gems in the pile of weekend newspapers I have set aside, but this review of a pretentious, overpriced little restaurant at the Dorchester by AA Gill cheered me up immensely.

Every time I see yards of ink given over to the vain, self-obsessed maunderings of several absurdly prominent journalists intent on documenting their private lives in public, sharing more information than anyone else could possibly want to know, I want to shout imprecations at the editor. It’s an abuse of the press.

This week Gill had a go at one of the chief offenders, India Knight-Heffalump of the Sunday Times. YES! I shouted inwardly. Then I laughed. It was beyond delicious! Too good to quote from in fact. You’ll just have to read it.

Of course, it didn’t have anything to with the Dorchester, but then his style is always to get whatever’s bothering him off his chest first and then write about the restaurant.

Where was Mr.Gill this morning? I tried to catch the news headlines on the television and found that instead of news there was an orgy of self-congratulation in progress, celebrating 25 years of “Breakfast TV”, with TV celebrities laughing and grinning inanely.

I don’t think it’s just me getting older! Some things really are worse than 25 years ago.

I watched a Channel 4 program last night called Eat to Save Your Life, or as much of it as I could stomach. The biomedical bits were gruesome for some but what revolted me most of all was the confirmation of every suspicion I’ve had about the food industry and its relentless, stealthy, adulteration of food over the last 30 years. Breakfast cereals with double the sugar and all the rest.

How I would like to see those responsible suffer poetically for their crimes, like Robert Morley in Theatre of Blood, fed his own poodles. They deserve much, much worse.

In the UK the debasement of the humble sausage, e.g., has long reached the point that you’d have to be pretty desperate to eat anything other than the premium varieties, with 80% meat, sold to those who fancy sausages with “Chili and Coriander” and the like. Regular sausages are filled with mechanically recovered meat (“MRM”) spiced up with extra salt and filled with

flavoured pink fat

– as the Guardian revealed some years ago. No wonder the public is scared witless by the prospect of “Frankenfoods,” and little suspects that they’ve been eating far worse all along.


One Response to “Bicycle Science”

  1. secret wombat says:

    The Gill article cracked me up. I aspire to that sort of prose; problem is, if I get anywhere near it, I end up feeling bad and tempering it. Not that RT is a vehicle for Gill-esque missives.

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