Personal and undiluted views
Celtic

157 days ago

Dad: your attitude to the Welsh & Scots is schizophrenic!

So says daughter Olaf who has repudiated her father’s DNA and is now identifying wholly as Welsh.  She is perplexed that I laugh at the Welsh and its certifiable political class, predict that Independence in the short term would be an economic disaster for Wales as well as Scotland yet support the cause, as a Welsh resident, most strongly.  Our starting point here is that my daughter is a teenager, lives in Islington and is a bit of a lefty. As such, she, by definition, does not really believe in jokes and many of my comments about cottage burners are said in jest and, thus, she does not understand them.

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594 days ago

Photo Article: Hop-tu-naa at the Welsh Hovel

I was going to cave to that ghastly American imported idea and buy a pumpkin and make pumpkin pie. I bought the molasses and cream and was ready, all I then needed was a pumpkin…

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2099 days ago

Come on Fiji – I am 100% behind you

I am not sure that I could place Fiji on a map of the world. I know sweet FA about the Country. But that does not really matter. Fiji is playing England at rugby tonight.

And thus like folks across Wales, Scotland and God’s chosen country of Ireland for tonight “I am a Fijian”. There are only two teams I support in this World Cup. 

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2658 days ago

Come on Wales, Reflections on Ireland – Paul you are too calculating show Celtic loyalty!

My new Welsh friend Paul emails me before the Ireland match to say that he is rooting for Italy as part of some diabolical calculation allowing his beloved sheep-shaggers to win the Six nations Championship. Hmmmmm.

Despite a catalogue of errors Ireland utterly routed Italy yesterday. It was an emotional Dublin send off for Brian O’Driscoll, the greatest ever Ireland player. My father and I watched and as BOD was interviewed post match, the emotion poured over in Shipston-on-Stour as I am sure it did in every outpost of the diaspora. The way the points stack up, barring some utter freak, if Ireland can manage to defeat the hit or miss Froggies in Paris, the Championship is ours. Surely God wishes to reward his loyal servant BOD thus?

And now to Wales vs. England. For me there are no diabolical calculations. Indeed shame on you Paul for thinking that way. Paul says that he is so excited about today’s game that he cannot sleep. I would suggest that he tries counting sheep. But I guess that might make him even more excited. I digress.

I can put aside the fact that the mother of my daughter (Big Nose) will be sitting at home munching nuts nervously as she roots for Wales. I am beyond that for I also know that my daughter will be dressed in a Welsh jersey or National dress, belting out the National Anthem, passionately roaring on the men in red.

This is a simple matter. The Old Enemy are playing. Thus naturally my mind is wired to support the other side. I do not feel this way about soccer – in Ireland’s absence I will cheer for England in the World Cup for as long as its campaign lasts which will not be very long. I gather that England are 33-1 to win the World Cup. For those who do not understand betting that means that if you wager £10 on England you will lose £10.

No, this is just a rugby thing. I think of the swagger 

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2788 days ago

Preparing for Hop-tu-Naa at Real Man Pizza – part 3: The flag goes up

Taking a brief break from the kitchen where the Manx crab and turnip creamed soup is taking shape and before Reda and I turn our attention to Soddag Valloo (dumb cake) there are a few minutes to raise the Isle of Man flag inside Real Man Pizza in Clerkenwell.

Hop-tu-naa may be the Celtic New Year but it is a uniquely isle of man celebration. And so the flag goes up.

As of tomorrow it will be joined by a few other items. If you are Manx and in London on Wednesday & Thursday and wish to celebrate with us remember that we offer a 20% discount to any customer paying their bill in Manx bank notes.

The full Hop-tu-naa menu is almost ready and you can view what is on offer here.

 

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2797 days ago

It’s Hop-tu-Naa in Clerkenwell but Halloween here in Bristol: the two pumpkin recipe weekend

Up in London I will be celebrating Hop-tu-Naa on October 30th and 31st at Real Man Pizza. I am working on the exact pizza to celebrate the Celtic New Year – that is a job for next week. More details of the menu here

But back in Bristol it is a weekend to brush off my two pumpkin recipes. I cannot remember when this became part of my annual ritual but it now is. All went well. Normally this is a kid’s thing but the Mrs. Has never cooked pumpkin before and so, having done it ever year for longer than I can remember, she got to be the kid this time. Take two medium sized pumpkins…

Take the “hat off” and remove all the pips and the stringy orange stuff and throw it away. This being Bristol I made sure they were thrown away in the correct bin (brown – organic matter) to avoid a Halloween fine from the eco-fascist City Council. Then scrape out as much of the “flesh” as you can with a spoon. Make sure that you do not pierce the outer skin but try to get enough flesh out so that you can see your fingers move through the wall. And you get a pumpkin ready to be a lantern…hey presto.

So we now have two lanterns ready for use next weekend.

You will now have a mound of flesh. Separate into two halves.

Half One – a Creamy pumpkin soup.

Chop two onions finely and stock in a pan with a large knob of butter and cook until soft but not brown (say 5 minutes). Add in the pumpkin flesh

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