19 March 2006

Sunday morning coming down

If you want good political commentary with a dose of common-sense social analysis, you can go no farther than my favourite Tory, Jeremy Clarkson. Apart from a distressing over-dependence on similes a la Peter Reuhl and Rowan Atkinson, he writes appealing, funny pieces with loads of insights into English town and country life. So, many of the cultural references go straight past, but you kind of get the point: smart-arse pseudo-intellectuals looking for sea and tree changes (and, importantly, the cash to do it very well indeed) tend to have similar interests here also (kitchen appliances as an example). Given the cash, we'd be doing it too, let me be honest.

And then, at the end of the piece, you get a short and brutal assessment of whatever car he's testing that week. If he likes it he'll say why in detail: if not, he pulls no punches, to the extent that for a while Vauxhall (GM) wouldn't give him any cars to test. What he thinks about Mercedes, which are regarded here in Oz as some kind of new rare metal, is great: he loathes them. And he owns one.

So welcome to my Sunday: the Times of London puts up a new Clarkson column about mid-morning and by golly, I'm there.

Meanwhile, in the unreal world, Premiers Rann and Lennon are back with a big swing towards in SA and a smaller one away in Tassie. Will be interesting to see the analysis and spin - were the wins on local issues (both States are witnessing something of an economic recovery although what is driving each is open for debate) or Federal (IR? Trust?). If Federal, what is the implication for Federal Labor?

Update: predictable, eh?

In beer-related news, I've just brewed batch 8: Coopers Aussie Bitter. I spent a bit of time last night on brewing chat sites which left me quite depressed: all these things you need to do for the best results, like making (?) your own yeast, stuff to add, you should really boil it up on the stove and so on. My approach to date has been to try and get a consistent result from the standard kit and process, I figure until I can do that I shouldn't try to get clever.

Brewing update: Brew 8 is bubbling away merrily. That's the first batch since no. 2 that has made the tell-tale bubble work. The secret? Using the proper o-ring, not a cheaper supermarket version. Got a good seal.

And as it seems to offend some commenters, I pointedly won't discuss the morning's leaf clean up, during which we uncovered a small brown snake just at the back of the house. He's gone now - not sure where, which will make hanging out the washing and doing the pool later a bit interesting.

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