The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

My Highly Nuanced Take On Celia Walden’s UK Daily Telegraph Vomit Inducing Piece On Will, Kate & Hollywood

Celia Walden at the DT tells us all exactly what we want to know – how Hollywood awaits Will and Kate with bated breath and botoxed cheeks.

It really is a toss up as to who writes the the biggest amount of Polly Filla guff in the Daily Telegraph….Celia Walden or Bryony Gordon. Of course perhaps neither of them actually exist. Instead there might be an IT programme called “Breathless Brown Noser” originally developed at CNN towards the end of 2008 for items about the Obamas and Clintons.

The programme generates well worn adoration clichés by itself – all the operator has to do is insert specific “celebrity” names which then appear to imply that the “writer” is also a regular at these events while we, the ordinary public, are like the poor kids with our noses pressed against the window watching the gods and goddesses at play.

Maybe Celia and Bryony aren’t real people getting paid six figure salaries for scribbling crapola. Instead – given the massive downsizing tsunami accompanying the Telegraph’s transformation into the Daily Mail for Waitrose shoppers – it’s all being done by a seedy, sweaty tabloid hack on a supermarket shelfstackers wages.

The tragedy is that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge do appear to be a genuinely nice young couple, attractive and lively who have caught the imagination of millions across the globe.

In a world often overshadowed by grim economic forecasts and the threats of death cult fanatics they symbolise the portents of an alternative more optimistic future.

Of course they are not Ordinary People Like Us. Kate was once but she is now in a different world.

Of course the photos and TV clips are embellishments of artifice – but so is almost everything else we see in the media. It’s a World of Spin, folks where even Guardianistas like Polly(Tuscany villas) Toynbee pretend to be against the toffs.

But put it this way –who would you rather see your kids and grandkids take as role models for their future, the royal couple or the narcissistic posturing PR puffed nebbishes of Hollywood and the right hand sidebar of the Daily Mail?

They deserve better than airhead Walden and her Hello style ramblings. But, let’s face it, the once mighty Daily Telegraph has followed along the primrose path to perdition by converting itself into a gossip rag. Thank goodness I gave up wasting money on buying this dross and just peruse it online for free. Rumours of a DT paywall still float around. It would indeed give me a perverse feeling of delight to refuse to contribute to the household accounts of dimwits like Walden and Gordon.

posted by david in media,USA and have Comments Off on My Highly Nuanced Take On Celia Walden’s UK Daily Telegraph Vomit Inducing Piece On Will, Kate & Hollywood

Obama In The UK – He Came, He Saw, He Blundered….

Your President has come and gone. His State visit is over. Naturally the UK media went out of its way to be positive because
1. In 2008 they took their cue from your MSM and accepted the myth without expending any effort on shoe leather so it would be embarrassing to ‘fess up
2. He is a left wing politician and therefore our media and academic elite keep any criticism muted
3. Generally, like you Americans, though we find foreigners a little odd, we are polite to them

State visits are peculiar creatures because, unlike the day to day give, take and insult of raw international politics they are also heavy with symbolism – flags, banquets, parades and visits to the host nation’s icons.

When I was a callow youth I sneered at symbols as empty gewgaws designed to hypnotise the ignorant, like the cheap coloured beads offered to primitive tribal chieftains in the 19th century for a thousand square miles of arid landscape packed with enough mineral wealth to create a hundred western millionaires.

But as I grew through the stages of life and began to learn from experience rather than through text books I realised that symbols were emotional shorthand for a common cultural inheritance that stretches back to ancestors long unknown. It made me also realise that we as individuals can only be short term leaseholders of that inheritance which we must inevitably pass on to generations yet unborn.

So we treat them with respect.

And we treat the symbols of our friends with respect.

And before we venture into a friendly foreign land we do a little homework on those symbols – especially if we hold an office in our own country with its own symbolic constellation. Indeed most leaders of nations have diplomatic advisers and heads of protocol waiting on hand to guide them through what can be a an intimidating maze of expectations.

President Obama failed that test when he attended the banquet given in his honour by our Queen. He stumbled over the toast, did not even attempt to pretend he wasn’t using a cue card and had to be instructed in good manners by his hostess

Earlier that day he visited Westminster Abbey where England’s kings and queens have always been crowned and where, just a few weeks ago, millions throughout the world had witnessed the strange mixture of solemnity and joy that characterised the royal wedding. Here also lies the tomb of The Unknown Warrior, the First World War soldier who represents the sacrifice of all those other British service men and women who have no known resting place and on whose grave was placed Kate Middleton’s wedding posy after the pomp and ceremony of her marriage.

Mrs Obama, who had changed her outfit to a purple dress and blue coat, said: “It’s a pleasure to be here again”, to which her husband added: “She gets to come to all the fun places”, then “so nice to see you, how are you?”

He was there to lay a wreath on the Unknown Warrior’s grave. It is not a fun place. It is a place of dark and brooding majesty, a place where hard men are proud to shed tears of respect and remembrance for those who gave their blood and bone so that we may live outside war and terror.

He was then asked to sign the Abbey’s Visitors Book, a simple but meaningful act of symbolic recognition. He had to seek advice for the date and then got the year wrong.

But maybe the 2008 gaffe is understandable seeing that he already appears to be in full campaign mode. Perhaps he felt that Congressman Clyburn would be more impressed by a visit to a multi ethnic school in South London rather than meeting up with the brightest and best of Britain’s young scientists. After all we are contantly being told that Obama has a towering intellect – so what can he learn from a handful of test tube shakers….

Excused as “slips” these blunders appear to be manifestations of his real world view. That traditions and symbols and threads towards the past are the cobwebbed residue of meaningless images irrelevant to the vision of a socially engineered reconstruction of society where there is a place for everyone and everyone is in their place and woe betide any village Hampden who refuses to conform.

As for protocol – I guess the only protocol needed for any young politician on the make in Chicago at the turn of the century was to find the most suitable part of Mayor Daley’s posterior to kiss in order to get further up the ladder.

A sad day for both our lands.

posted by david in UK Politics,USA Politics and have Comments Off on Obama In The UK – He Came, He Saw, He Blundered….

Not The Royal Wedding Cake….

….but a cake for a recent wedding in Croydon. But I am sure it would have gone down well with William and Kate – and Pippa Middleton. It’s a cake with a difference. At the top is a single tier version of the traditional wedding cake for the bride, groom and nearest and dearest. Underneath are scores of richly decorated cupcakes for the guests. A neat idea and it went down well with everybody.

It was designed and made by Vicky who runs a very successful internet cake business, The Small Cake Shop. Originally based in Croydon it now operates from a country cottage in Somerset.

Orders are shipped for next day delivery in the UK. Regrettably no deliveries can be made outside the UK but Americans and others can order for family, friends and colleagues currently living in the UK.

Corporate orders are particularly welcome.

For further details go here

The cakes are delicious and I can vouch for that personally as Vicky is our daughter in law and always rustles plenty up when we visit. Indeed she rarely has to advertise because most of her business comes from repeat orders and recommendations. Nevertheless every small business can do with a boost so I am sure all inquiries will be welcome.

posted by david in Food & Drink and have Comments Off on Not The Royal Wedding Cake….

Make Prince William’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake For Yourself….

This was one of the two cakes commissioned by William and Kate for their wedding. The chocolate cake was William’s boyhood foody fetish.

Prince William has asked McVitie’s to create one of his favourite sweet treats that will provide an alternative to the official royal wedding cake by Fiona Cairns.

The confectionery delight is being created by the biscuit company at one of its UK plants to a recipe they have received from Buckingham Palace kitchen chefs.

As a young boy the Prince used to enjoy the cake, which is made from crushed rich tea biscuits and dark chocolate.

Please note – Rich Tea biscuits, NOT Digestives!

The royal family said that the dark chocolate to make it could come from anywhere, but the only acceptable biscuits were Rich Tea ones.

Paul Courtney, Cake Design and Development Head Chef told The Telegraph, “Rich Tea are perhaps not the most glamorous biscuits in the world, and now they are taking a starring role in the royal wedding. But they’re quite crisp compared to a digestive, and so they’ll contrast well with the softness of the chocolate.”

The Lovely Mrs P felt it was her patriotic duty to use the very same recipe to grace the table of our more humble abode here in West Sussex.

It was delicious.

It was more than delicious it was the nectar of the gods – and very very rich…

I wish I could provide you with a picture of our cake – but we ate it…every single crumb.

This is what you need

225g Rich Tea Biscuits

115g Salted Butter

3 rounded tablespoons of cocoa powder

55g of caster sugar (superfine sugar)

2 heaped tablespoons Golden Syrup

115g plain chocolate (zero milk) sweet chocolate, not cooking [semisweet]chocolate


Line 20cm cake tin

Roughly crush biscuits in plastic bag with rolling pin

Melt butter and add caster sugar, cocoa powder and Golden Syrup

Melt chocolate and add to mixture with crushed biscuits

Spoon mixture into tin and leave in fridge

Decorate with melted chocolate and/or icing sugar

Then eat – and enjoy……..

For additional info – watch this….

posted by david in Uncategorized and have Comments Off on Make Prince William’s Chocolate Biscuit Cake For Yourself….

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