Printing problems

Urgh. I’ve just had one of those nasty Riso failures that gets you covered in ink.

The master roll got stuck. Subsequent attempts to unstick it led to the thin sheets tearing down the middle as the machine struggled to reattach them to the printing drum. The beast was making growling, grinding noises as she tried to reset.

Something remained, deep within the machine, that was tearing the master paper. This is a new machine, and I don’t know whether it’s possible to flip up the print table like you could on the GR range, so I found myself pulling out all the movable parts like drums, and discharge chambers so that I could see through and work out where the obstruction was.

Then, James Herriot-like, I had to get down on my hands and knees and insert my entire arm into the delicate parts to grab the offending bit.

Following that, also like James Herriot, I had to scrub my forearms with washing up liquid to get the muck off my elbows.

Poor girl. She’s sounding a lot more contented now. All in a Lib Dem’s day’s work.


Catholic adoptions – blimey!

Just heard that, give or take a month or twenty-one, the Government has faced down the Catholic leadership.  I didn’t believe they had the bottle, so kudos that they have.

Now on to Group.  Preliminary manifesto discussions tonight.  What fun.

Culinary firsts

It being Sunday, I’ve been cooking. We had Veggie Nite tonight – not for the fst time, but the first time for ages.

Today, I cut open my first avocado. I have eaten it before, but never started from scratch before. The stone in the middle is rather cute. Very smooth, with a finish like wood.

Then, I made my first guacamole, which came out rather spicier than I anticipated. I have never actually eaten guacamole before, so I didn’t know what to expect, and slavishly followed the recipe. Well, more or less. I had the wrong quantities, and kind of made it up a bit. Maybe there was too much raw garlic, giving it a heartburn-tastic kind of an edge.

Then I moved onto things in my Abel & Cole box for the first time, starting with the celery to go with the guacamole. This was much leafier and much limper than the celery I get from the co-op, but was rather nice. It certainly smelled fantastic while I was cleaning the mud off and stripping off the leaves.

Then, I cooked chard for the first time too: discarding the leaves, frying chopped cleaned chard stems with onion and and the rest of the can of tomatoes to make a version of Chard and Tomato Pie on the A&C website, which turned out more like quiche than pie in my book.

In making the quiche, I also had to try making the pastry with olive oil instead of butter for the first time, since we had nearly run out of butter, but had a full bottle of oil. It worked rather well – cooked off to a lovely crispy finish and went well with the veggie tart I was making.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, and it’s being marked in Nottingham with a large number of stalls and activities in Market Square.  As part of that, councillors were asked if they’d like to make readings, and I volunteered.

I spent last night googling for some suitable text that talked about gay victims of holocaust – like maybe an extract from “Bent” or something similar, but in the end plumped for this text from the  Holocaust Teacher Resource Center.  I abridged it slightly.

It was certainly contained information I didn’t know before.  The scariest part were these facts, that came towards the end of the reading:

After the war, homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution, and reparations were refused. Under the Allied Military Government of Germany, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps. The 1935 version of Paragraph 175 remained in effect in the Federal Republic (West Germany) until 1969, so that well after liberation, homosexuals continued to fear arrest and incarceration.

(Paragraph 175 was a Nazi law that banned lewd and lascivious behaviour between men)
On the way home, I bumped into a Labour team out canvassing the ward I live in (which is a Lab/Con marginal.)  This lot are a nice bunch of people, effective councillors, and we had a nice chat that stopped them working for several minutes!

Veg box

For some time, I’ve been vaguely wondering about getting a veg box each week as a sort of minimum “you must eat this much veg” pushy thing.

Then last week a co-incidence: Abel & Cole put a leaflet through my door saying “we’re on your street on Fridays” at roundabout the same time I read Duncan’s post extolling their virtues.

So, I signed up and selected a regular box, and for the first order got carried away and ordered a crate of organic beer as well, and some squash for P.

It arrived today, the boxes so well hidden by the delivery guy (Ron, according to the bumf) that we entirely overlooked them at first.

But I’ve unpacked the stuff now and put it away. This weeks box…

  • Chard  (??? what is that?)
  • Celery  (slightly disappointing – very leafy, not much eating bits)
  • 5 kiwi fruit
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 4 “Spartan” apples
  • 5 or so potatoes
  • 3 long, utterly filthy  parsnips

Straight away, I sampled one of the beers…

Then for my tea, as I was late home, I had a complete toast-fest, but topped it up with a kiwi fruit, an apple, and a banana (from a previous shop).

The box also had a flyer for – an idea of theirs that suggests having a box of fruit delivered to your office every week.  Something I might suggest in the office.  It is quite expensive – but the volunteers might like it…?

Baddies who cheat

Another day, another odd challenge in Zelda.

I survived my endeavours in the monkey dungeon, and came through with flying colours, with only a little help from a walkthrough on IGN.

After that there was another wolf level, more wandering around digging things up and killing funny spider bugs you can smell but not see. When you’re a wolf in Zelda, there’s a button for “sense” – you can see scents and you see little things that tell you where to dig and where to sniff. It’s very well thought out and good fun to play. Since then I’ve turned back into a person and acquired exciting new tools and weapons like the famous boomerang. I’ve also learnt sumo wrestling.

And then out of no-where another frustrating challenge that’s tricky on the wrists. A hobgoblin has kidnapped one of the extremely annoying children that infest the game, and for some reason, it’s up to me to rescue the blighter. There’s no button for “Oh, grief, he’s far too annoying. Let him die!”

And so on to the baddies who cheat. No matter how many henchmen you kill the baddy can just pull out his horn and holler for more help. No such backup for me! I have to chase the main baddy whil his henchmen try and knock me off my horse. All the while there’s “hurry, panic argh!” music in the background and increasingly atmospheric weather. Grr. No further attempts this evening. My hands hurt!

Catholic adoptions

I’ve been feeling vaguely uneasy about the Catholic / gay adoption issue that’s been raging around blogs and in the media for days.

There are loads of really good posts on the issue. Will Howells. Everyone’s favourite elephant (“Did Jade die in vain?) as well as his other daddy, who went at it twice three times. Jock Coats. Paul Walters.

Why don’t they have people like Alex Wilcock on the Today programme? He’s really helped me make my mind up on the issue.

The issue is ripe for ironic inversions. Turn the categories around, and you get nonsense – probably a sure sign that hypocrisy is involved.  “They can’t help it. They were born that way.  No-one chooses to be Catholic.”  Can you imagine what would happen if gay providers of services could choose not to work with Catholics?



It’s been snowing for a few hours – the road outside is covered. The foxes didn’t look chuffed.

After my chilly leafleting, I’ve got the major sniffles and I’ve been sneezing.

I think the heating is staying on tonight.