Friday, 27 March 2009

This Weekends Recommended Reading

Blogs. Just like buses, ya wait for ages and then three come along at once. Two of them by the same dude.

First up I'd like to introduce Hubert Hubert an Air Rifle hunter from the bit of england between 'darn sarf' and 'oop north'. Lets call it the 'mid-lands'. The writes a blog he calls Rabbit Stew. Self described as

.... because of a nagging sense that the stranglehold that the all-conquering giant alien supermarkets have on both the farmers that produce the meat and the Joe Publics that buy the meat is a fundamentally crazy, rude, unfriendly - and moreover, somehow, and this is where it gets a little less rational, I fear - yucky state of affairs: it just feels queasily, weirdly wrong to buy lamb chops from Tesco's. So, I don't really seem to do it any more. What I seem to do is go out and try to shoot rabbits instead (except I'm not very good at it, get very few, and have become, as a result, much more of a damn veggie than I'd have thought likely at the outset when I proudly purchased my manly, German, hell-bent-on-meat-eating air rifle). I seem to find myself thinking more and more of a little shack on the edge of a wood somewhere where I can dwell hermit-like with my Weihrauch, pot rabbits, pick mushrooms, grow a giant beard and, unbelievably, wash even less than I do now.

Nicely written and for such a new blog quite a few posts too. Welcome to the blog roll Hubert.

Best make your self a cup of something hot and a sandwich before you start on this one. For, dear reader, this is some blog. 

Alcoholism, Divorce, Penury, AIDS, Third world debt, Kleptocracy, Corruption, Land mines, and the fun doesn't end there. This blog contains all sorts of insights into the human condition, from the  grotesque to the inspirational. A really genuinely unique voice, and frankly the reason I've achieved so little this afternoon. 

Here's how it starts:

I am sitting in a 20-foot container, a reasonably well-appointed container admittedly but a container nevertheless. The kind of container in which people stuff cars, or building materials, illegal immigrants, whatever, or wash up on the southern coast of UK loaded with BMW motorcycles, that sort of container. It is one of a few that sitting on their little wooden blocks plugged into a generator together form the residential half of the industrial site that I am running........

......I came here nearly 14 years ago for a six-month humanitarian demining contract. Apart from occasional interludes in places like Gabon, Nigeria and Uganda to name a few, I have been here ever since. I have been shot at and stabbed in this country, I survived a plane crash here, got married and divorced here, have been formally expelled from the country and then very grudgingly and still precariously allowed to stay, been arrested three times and detained many times, went through a week long court case facing ten years for trumped up charges before being acquitted. I am raising a son here, have had seven varied and interesting jobs here, have a farm down south on which I intend to run sheep and have just finished building a house in the southern suburbs to replace the one I lost after the divorce. As much as the immigration services want me to leave, I want to stay.

I really can't do justice to his writing in a few short exerts, READ IT yourself. I promise you won't regret the time you spend on it. 

The last of this weekends blogs is also written by Hippo. 
Cooking In The Frontline is a recipe blog of stunning (and mouth watering) simplicity. 

.........I had better teach myself to cook. Easier said than done when in a war zone. It is all very well getting the best cook books but all of them assume that the local delicatessen or well stocked supermarket is but a short drive away. So I stopped lugging the books around in my back-pack and started to look at the ingredients that were available around me. I then figured out the best way to turn, what were sometimes collectively quite an odd assortment, into a dish that would not only sustain me, but was a delight to eat. Well I wasn't always successful, my rats in Satay sauce were, quite frankly, gut churning but I was desperate at the time.

To my surprise, however, I found that cooking in the front line, so to speak, was an enjoyable experience. It took my mind off the horrors around me and the discomfort we all suffered. It brought me close to a surprising variety of people and I am sure that on more than one occasion, instead of being ambushed, the smell of cooking wafting through the bush encouraged my would be assailants to appear sheepishly out of the gloom, weapons pointing safely towards the ground, politely asking if there was any going spare.

Sure he's no Hank, (but who of us is?) the great beauty of his writing is his knack of reveling just how easy it is to knock up terrific grub even in seemingly adverse circumstances. Think of him as an older, wiser, wittier Jamie Oliver, based in Angola. 
Off for a spot of fishing. 
Don't stay up too late reading will you