PODCAST: A forgotten liberal hero

In June, Mark Pack addressed the Liberal History Group‘s summer meeting on the topic of Forgotten Heroes for a Governing Party. ¬†Further details of the event can be found here.

And who was Dr Pack’s choice? You will have to listen to find out.

PS don’t check the tags

Tweets on 2011-07-21

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Tweets on 2011-07-19

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Tweets on 2011-07-18

  • @Alexander_Ball "didnt' vote for him last time, won't vote for him next time." (but didn't they fly in then?) in reply to Alexander_Ball #
  • RT @willhowells: Website bank scam emails have got a bit tongue in cheek when the From emailing address is phishing@santander.co.uk #
  • Where 500g branflakes cost more than 750. (@ Sainsburys Arnold) [pic]: http://4sq.com/nMkXM1 #
  • Undertaking surprisingly epic search for Dime bars. #
  • @LeeBinding *grits teeth* kancel kerismass. in reply to LeeBinding #
  • Cats: prepared to steal cheese out of sandwich you're actually currently eating; not prepared to eat cheese if you put in their bowl. #
  • Blackbird on patio stealing blueberries from bush before standing in front of vine, head on one side, going "Hmm… grapes not quite ready" #
  • I was trying to alternate doing chores with doing fun things, but it all seems to have boiled down to #socmed #timewasting. To the hoover! #
  • (I haven't really gone to the hoover) #
  • PhoneSpell.org tells you if there are words in your phone number. For mine, it is coming up wit 79 – WOP CLOG. Which is… unfortunate. #
  • @StefJoynson um happy birthday, and sorry for lack of card #
  • @tipexxed I invited ya. You'll probably be deluged with invites. in reply to tipexxed #
  • @Alexander_Ball did you see my posts last year? http://bit.ly/paD7nj Unblogged finale was – starter started to stink and got chucked ! in reply to Alexander_Ball #
  • Undressing into the washing machine. Falling a long way short of the Levis ad. #
  • @Alexander_Ball are you starting from scratch or has someone given you something to start with? in reply to Alexander_Ball #
  • I need a) an early night and b) to make a packed lunch for tomorrow. But packed lunches need homemade cake! #dilemma #
  • *lightbulb* – there's a banana loaf in the freezer. *pretending to be actually organised* #
  • @floatyhev would prob go rubbery by tomorrow? But big fan of mugcake! http://bit.ly/oHBp5T in reply to floatyhev #
  • Got early night but still barely slept and woken by hungry kittens 45 mins before ghastly early alarm. Time for eggs for breakfast! #

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Tidying the house – an excuse bites the dust

Aargh! One of my key excuses for not tidying has bitten the dust.

People have been on at me to dejunk – “just throw it away!” It’s in boxes you’ve never looked in. Boxes that have moved house at least twice, unopened. You can’t possibly need when you haven’t needed it in all this time.

Ah, I have traditionally retorted. Amongst the junk are pearls! Things I will indubitably need again even if I have not needed them recently. For example – killer example – my GCSE, A Level and degree certificates!

Only of course, this week, I found them. I knew roughly where they were and I put my hand on them as soon as I started looking.

By my own logic, almost everything else can be thrown away. Oops.

My backup excuse is wastefulness. It would be terribly wasteful to just throw these things away! Starving Children in Africa! My junk could be useful to someone… if only I had time to sort it out properly… catalogue, sort and file… Save / Bin / Charity shop / Freecycle…


Re-assure me of this: it’s normal, right, to keep every edition of every magazine you subscribe to in varying states of pile from “neat” (magazines you no longer subscribe to, often because you didn’t get around to reading one before the next one arrived, sometimes still in their plastic wrappers) to chaotic (the Private Eyes that arrive 25 times a year for the last twenty years…). People don’t subscribe to magazines just to throw them away when they are read…? Do they?

Thank heavens I never got into a daily newspaper habit.


I’m excited about the idea of supperclubs, underground restaurants and the like – the idea that for one night only, or very few nights, you host a restaurant for paying strangers in your house. How cool is that?

I heard about it first, I think, somewhere on the internet, and then it was cemented in my mind by a feature on Woman’s Hour which led me to circling the block and being late for leafleting so I could listen to it all.

“That sounds cool,” I thought. “Maybe I could do that in my house, once I’ve tidied up a bit?”

Would it be scarier than Come Dine With Me? At least if you fail and massively suck, only a few people find out. And you can close the bedroom doors and not have anyone rifling through your things. Or even going in the massively dusty, cluttered rooms.

There was a list of supperclubs on a website somewhere that I perused. And there seemed to be none in Notts! Or at least one, but with a “we’re no longer hosting events for family reasons” caveat on their website. I later also found someone who hosts afternoon teas for six on Friday afternoons in the South Notts area. But apart from that, no-one at all in the whole East Mids! An opportunity, I thought.

So when my friend, the vegan blogger Cat of Stripes started talking about wanting to host a couple of pop-up restaurant nights, I put our house forward as a venue. We’ve set a date – the last weekend in November – and we’ll firm up all the rest of the details closer to the time.

(NB – if you’re a vegan (or even if you’re not) and you want to sample the Stripey Cat’s cooking – do please drop me a line and I will start a list of people to get back in touch with closer to the time when we actually start selling tickets. By all accounts, the price is going to be pretty bargainous.)

My discussion with Cat of Stripes led to me signing up to a group on Ning and starting to read MsMarmiteLover’s blog, something I hadn’t previously discovered. A few weeks later a plaintive email arrived begging us to consider buying the book, to which, after a few further weeks of hemming and hawing and counting pennies, I acquiesced when on the internet with my guard down ((read – drunk. Apparently even when blotto my fingers can type in my Visa card details without getting it out of my wallet))

And in the last few days I have been reading it. It’s a mix of recipes Kerstin Rodgers uses at her own events, prefaced by some really interesting tips and suggestions for hosting your own supperclubs. And she makes it sound such an awful lot of fun. There’s no glossing over the hard work or personal sacrifice – in her case, she’s emptied so much of her house to make room for chairs and tables that she’s moved sofas and TVs into what was supposed to be her boudoir – and of course you should spend several days cooking for each event.

Rodgers doesn’t seem to have the CHAOS problem we do at the moment. If she did, her first word of advice wouldn’t be “First of all, just do it. Go on, play restaurants. Take the plunge.”

But thinking about doing it might even be just one more prod to start the massive house cleansing we need.

But before we get there, we are Having People Over. Half with this crazy idea in mind, and with some pressure to have a Wake – a last hurrah for our former councillors and our former staff – I volunteered to host an Afternoon Tea, which will ultimately be for 10 people (six former councillors, three former staff – and enough leftovers to feed P when he gets home!) We’ll see how that goes. Baby-steps, as Fly Lady would say.