Sunday, 30 March 2014

Brown Lentil & Butternut Dopiaza

Dopiaza comes from the Persian meaning “having two onions”. It is a South-Indian (Hyderabadi) curry dish, prepared with a large amount of onion, both cooked in the curry and usually as a garnish. Onions are added at two stages during cooking, hence the name "two onions". Whilst it is possible to fry off some onions and add them as a garnish, this dish employs an alternative bit of trickery. Instead, we add roasted leeks at the end, which are in the onion family. The addition of a sour agent is a key part of dopiaza. Most often, raw mangoes are used but lemon juice or cranberries can be used as well. We use yoghurt. The dish usually contains a meat, so again by using brown lentils, we have gone beyond the traditional with this wholesome dopiaza.

1 small Butternut Squash
2 Large Leeks

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp methi (fenugreek) leaves 

Mix the spices together in a small bowl or dish, with the exception of the olive oil.

Chop the butternut squash into 1 inch pieces, keeping the (edible) skin on. Likewise, chop the Leeks into 1 inch pieces.

Mix the Squash and leeks in a roasting dish, and thoroughly cover in the olive oil.

Now mix the spices in with the vegetables and oil, and put in the oven at 180 degrees (Gas Mark 4) for 20 – 25 minutes, whilst getting on with the other prep. Turn occasionally.

2– 3 large onions
7 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled
6 Tbsp ghee
1 inch stick cinnamon
10 whole cardamom pods
10 whole cloves
1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
About 1 ¼ tsp salt

Coarsely chop ginger and garlic. Mix together.

Heat the ghee on high heat until very hot, and add cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. Wait for the cardamom pods to pop, and reduce heat to medium- high.

Add the onions and fry until caramelized brown, constantly turning. As this happens, add in the garlic and ginger, and finally the ground coriander.
2 cups presoaked brown lentils
5 cups water

Reduce the onions (5 minutes or more), adding drips of water to prevent sticking to the pan. Once a nice soupy consistency is formed, add the lentils and the rest of the water, stirring the mixture. Allow to simmer.

Remove the roasted leeks and butternut squash when browned off and caramelized. Set aside.

6 Tbsp plain thick yoghurt
¼ - ½ tsp cayenne powder
½ tsp garam masala

After an hour or so, the brown lentils will have softened, but they don’t usually disintegrate fully as with many other lentil varieties, and will retain some texture. This is quite normal. Adjust or lengthen the cooking time to get a texture and consistency you prefer.

When ready, add in the yoghurt, 1 Tbsp at a time, folding in to the mixture. Add the cayenne and garam masala. Allow to simmer on low heat for another 15 minutes.

Roasted butternut squash and leeks.
Add the roasted butternut squash and leeks, together with remaining spices and oil from the roasting dish, to the brown lentil curry. You can fold it in to the curry, place it on top like a garnish, or a bit of both as desired. Another option is to use it as a vegetable side.

Eat with steamed rice or flatbreads. Serves 4.

Anthony de Mello was an Indian Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who became widely known for his books on spirituality. An internationally acclaimed writer and public speaker, de Mello hosted many spiritual conferences and after his death got up the nose of the Catholic Church for not towing the line enough in his books. This is a quote from one of his books:

“The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.'

Said Diogenes, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king".” 

By South Utsire

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Edgar's Mission Farm Sanctuary

752 rescued battery hens feel sunshine for the first time... "If we could live happy and healthy lives without hurting others, why wouldn't we?"

by South Utsire

Lymph Dredger

150- 200 ml Greens/ Cabbage juice
1 Large Courgette (Zucchini)
2 Large Apples
1 Squeezed Lemon
Carrots - make up to 1 litre
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

By South Utsire

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Spring Equinox (Alban Eilir)

Day and night are of equal length all over the world. In the Northern Hemisphere we still celebrate it as the first day of spring. The days are getting longer and warmer now, and the nights shorter. This is the festival of balance: the balance of light and dark, the balance of the Sun’s active energy in the day and the Moon’s receptive energy at night, the balance of the inner world and outer world, the balance of the conscious Fire energy with the forces of the watery unconscious. Here at the Equinox, we can look at the work towards this balance within ourselves. This will bring change and healing as we move forwards into new understanding and new actions.

Image: The Star from The Labyrinth Tarot, by Luis Royo
Text: Sacred Celebrations: A Sourcebook, by Glennie Kindred

By South Utsire

Friday, 21 March 2014

Blood Transfusion

2 small beetroot
6 large carrots
4 sticks celery
4 wind- fallen apples
2 inch ginger root
Cauliflower greens

by South Utsire

Yellow Split Pea and Cauliflower Madras

1 tsp Anardana (Pomegranate Seed) powder
1 tsp Amchur (Mango) Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp almond powder
½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 small cauliflower
2-4 Tbsp Olive Oil

Mix the powders and Fenugreek seeds, and put aside. Chop the cauliflower into 1 inch florets, and mix with oil in a roasting dish, covering thoroughly. When covered in oil, add the seasoning and turn the cauliflower so its evenly covered. Put in the oven at 180 degrees (Gas Mark 4) for 20 – 25 minutes, whilst getting on with the other prep.

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
10 fenugreek seeds
4 cloves
2 hot dried red chillies

Put the spices in a small, cast iron frying pan, and stir over a medium heat until they are a shade darker and give off a roasted aroma. Leave to cool, then grind.

6 tbsp oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tsp grated root ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
2 hot fresh green chillies, finely chopped.

Pour the oil into a wide pan, and set it
over a medium high heat. When hot, fry
the onions until they turn brown at the
edges. Add the other ingredients and fry for a minute.

2 cups Yellow Split Peas, presoaked.
Add the split peas and thoroughly turn them in to the mixture. .

2 large tomatoes, finely chopped.
1 ½ tsp salt
400ml can of coconut milk, well stirred.
400 ml water

Stir in the tomatoes, ground roasted
spices, salt, water and coconut milk, and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the split peas start to disintegrate. Adjust consistency accordingly with water, or by removing lid and evaporating excess.

Roasted Cauliflower (from step 1)
Add the cauliflower to the Madras, by folding in, or placing on top of the curry for presentation, or a bit of both.

Serves 4
By South Utsire

Thursday, 20 March 2014


Lentil: Neutral thermal nature; mild flavour; diuretic; beneficial to the heart and circulation; stimulates the adrenal system; increases the vitality (“jing essence”) of the kidneys. Lentils cook more quickly than other beans. One of the first cultivated crops, lentils are grown and eaten all over the planet. India produces more than fifty varieties of different colours and sizes, cooked into their traditional “dahl”.

From the book Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford

1 ½ Tsp Ghee, or Olive oil
3 cloves Garlic, peeled & chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp turmeric
1 large dried red chilli, or ½ tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
1 cup red lentils
2 cups water

Other possible additions:
1 large Onion
Tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes
½ tsp Nutmeg
½ tsp ginger powder

Heat the ghee and fry the cumin seeds, garlic, fenugreek and salt until the garlic browns. Lower the temperature and add any other ingredients such as onion, tomato, and turmeric, frying for 2-3 minutes, keeping it all moving. Now add the lentils and baste them in the flavours for a minute or so, finally adding water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Keep on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding water if sticking to pan.

Use this versatile dahl as a mainstay of your diet, eating it with flatbreads, rice, or vegetables. 

By South Utsire

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Capercaillie: The Tree (2001)

From a Radio Galega (Galician) "directos da galega" Capercaillie concert in 2001.


Thig thu ma bhios gaoth ann...

Crathadh d'aodaich a ghaoil
Thig thu'n taobh-sa mu Shamhainn
Crathadh d'aodaich a ghaoil
Thig thu ma bhios gaoth ann
Crathadh d'aodaich a ghaoil
Thig thu'n taobh-sa mu Shamhainn
Crathadh d'aodaich a ghaoil
Thig thu ma bhios gaoth ann

Bith thu nad ruith air a' rathad
Bith thu nad ruith air a' rathad
Bith thu nad ruith air a' rathad
Sior chrathadh d'aodaich

English Translation:

You will come if there is a fair wind...

With sails unfurled, my love
You will come this way about Halloween
With sails unfurled, my love
You will come if there is a fair wind
With sails unfurled, my love
You will come this way about Halloween
With sails unfurled, my love
You will come if there is a fair wind

You will make haste on the way
You will make haste on the way
You will make haste on the way
Under full sail

By South Utsire

Stamping Scene from Closely Watched Trains (1966)

Closely Watched Trains (Czech: Ostře sledované vlaky) is a 1966 Czechoslovak film directed by Jiří Menzel, and one of the best-known products of the Czechoslovak New Wave. It was released in the United Kingdom as Closely Observed Trains. It is a coming-of-age story about a young man working at a train station in German-occupied Czechoslovakia during World War II. The film is based on a 1965 novel by Bohumil Hrabal. It was produced by Barrandov Studios and filmed on location in Central Bohemia. Released outside Czechoslovakia during 1967, it won the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 40th Academy Awards in 1968. The stamping scene is regarded by many critics as one of the most erotic scenes in the history of European cinema.

By South Utsire

Daryl Hannah: Blade Runner (1982)

  By South Utsire

Bossa Nova Classics

Track Listing:

01 Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto- So Danco Samba 00:00
02 Elis Regina & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Aguas De Marco 03:38
03 Astrud Gilberto - The Girl From Ipanema 07:13
04 Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 - One note Samba / Spanish Flea 13:49
05 Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto - O Grande Amor 15:35
06 Gal Costa & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Chega De Saudade 21:02
07 Joao Gilberto - Wave 24:51
08 Astrud Gilberto - Berimbau 29:28
09 Stan Getz , ACJ & Joao Gilberto Para Machuchar Meu Coracao 31:53
10 Astrud Gilberto - All That Left Is To Say Goodbye 36:58
11 Antonio Carlos Jobim - Desafinado 40:10
12 Joao Gilberto - Corcovado 45:01
13 Bebel Gilberto - Bim Bom 49:34
14 Astrud Gilberto - How Insensitive 52:18
15 Antonio Carlos Jobim - Amor In Paz 55:07
16 Sergio mendes & Brasil '66 - Agua De Beber 58:41
17 Astrud Gilberto - Tristeza 1:01:10

By South Utsire

The Himalayas

In the summer of 1929, after spending several days in Kausani, in the Himalayas, when he wrote an introduction to the Gujarati original of his Gita translation and commentary, Gandhi shared with his readers – in Gujarati – ‘the thoughts that overpowered me again and again’ as he looked at ‘the row of snow- capped Himalayan heights glittering in the sunlight’ but for which ‘there would be no Ganga, Jamuna, Brahmputra, and Indus; if the Himalayas were not there… there would be no rainfall… and India would become a desert like the Sahara.’

The quiet days in the Himalayas constituted an exceptional break for one who lived and moved with multitudes and could almost never merely commune with nature. Added the reflecting Gandhi (translated from Gujarati):

If children were to see that sight, they would say to themselves that that was made of their favourite milk sweet, that they would like to run up to it, and sitting on top of it, go on eating that sweet. Anyone who is as crazy about the spinning wheel as I am would say that someone has … made a mountain of cotton like an inexhaustible stock of silk.

If a devout Parsi happened to come across this sight, he would bow dwn to the Sun- God and say: look at these mountains which resemble our priests, clad in milk- white puggrees just taken out of boxes and in gowns which are equally clean and freshly laundered and ironed, who look handsome as they stand motionless and still with folded hands, engrossed in having the darshan of the sun.’

A devout Hindu, looking at this glittering peaks which collect upon themselves water from distant dense clouds would say: “This is God Siva himself, the Ocean of Compassion … who by holding the waters of the waters of the Ganga within His own white matted hair  saves India from a deluge.”

Oh, reader! The true Himalayas exist within our hearts! True pilgrimage … consists in taking shelter in that cave and having darshan (sight) of Siva there.

The Himalayas hold so much frozen water that they have been called The Third Pole, but the region’s warming climate is causing glaciers to recede at a rate faster than anywhere else in the world, and in some regions of Tibet by three feet (.9 meters) per year, according to a report in May 2007 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The quickening melting and evaporation is raising serious concerns in scientific and diplomatic communities, in and outside China, about Tibet’s historic capacity to store more freshwater than any other place on earth, except the North and South Poles. Tibet’s water resources, they say, have become an increasingly crucial strategic political and cultural element that the Chinese are intent on managing and controlling.

Floods, droughts, wildfires, windstorms, water contamination and illnesses plague the 1.3 billion people who live in the watersheds directly supplied by glacial melt from the Hindu Kush-Himalaya (HKH) region. The waterways of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan are endangered, and scientists are gaining a better understanding of just how fast climate change is taking its toll on the region.

As the Himalayan glaciers disappear, ten major Asian river systems–the Amu Darya, Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, Yangtse, Yellow, and Tarim–are threatened. Twenty percent of the world’s population faces a future of catastrophe, according to a report released by University College, Chinadialogue, and King’s College of London in May 2010. Extreme glacial melt, seismic activity and extreme weather events are already affecting the region’s rivers, lakes, wetlands and coasts. The devastation is a warning sign of what’s to come.

By South Utsire

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Soil Conservation

I remember my final year exam during my degree module Global Environmental Resources. I sat in the icy crypt of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (also known as Paddy’s Wigwam, on account of its shape and catholic flavour), and expectantly turned the page. There was the most succinct question I ever faced in my academic career, plus I was quite chuffed because I could answer it…

“Which is more important, the OIL crisis, or the SOIL crisis? Discuss.”

It put me in mind of those urban myths about Philosophy papers which ask “Is there a God?” to wit, one wag just as briefly answered “No.” Well, I felt I should answer mine with one simple fact:

“As a global average, it takes 1mm of soil 10 years to accumulate.”

Whilst I could have rested my case there, I didn’t, but I think you get the point.  

The soils in the farm on the left are depleted and mismanagement of the land (from industrial chemical agriculture) is contributing to erosion. The soils in the farm on the right are well-managed, with healthy trees and plants securing and fortifying the soil. This farm is an organic farm using no chemicals. As a result, soil health is excellent and plant diversity and yields are higher.

The following documentaries are about soil degradation, issues and strategies which play a part in loss of soil quantity and quality, and its conservation. The first: A Cry For Mercy (Fjallkonan hropar a vaegd) explores the impacts of sheep farming in Iceland, parts of which in the Middle Ages, were lush and fertile agricultural lands instead of the contemporary Moonscape; and the second documentary Green Gold is about Dr John D. Liu's  journey in regenerating the productivity of soil in several different countries.

Earth turns to Gold in the hands of the Wise- Rumi
Seek not to feed the plants, but to feed the soil- Bill Mollison

By South Utsire

Marijata: This Is Marijata (1970)

Marijata was a Ghanaian band, with the three members:
Kofi "Electric" Addison - Guitar
Bob Fischian - Organ
Nat Osmanu - Guitar 

This track is taken from their 1970 album This Is Marijata, released on Gapophone Records. This video has been brought to you by Voodoo Funk, the most discerning purveyor of Afrobeat music on the internet.

By South Utsire

Rumi Recipe: Chana Masaledar

In the back of his translation of the famous Persian poet Rumi, Selected Poems, Professor Coleman Barks has very kindly included some mouth watering recipes. What a brilliant combination! Inspired poetical wisdom, with a side of gastronomic delectation: food for body and mind. What a shame other books don’t have this pairing. Imagine Hitler’s Mein Kampf with a few vegetarian titbits, or Muammar Gaddafi’s The Green Book sharing his opinions on kalamari soup. I have reproduced the recipe here, but have added a few changes or possibilities if you are short of ingredients or wish for variety.

Rumi often speaks of the relationship between teacher and student as that between the cook and the chickpea in the pot. “You think I’m torturing you. I am giving you the flavour, so you can mix with rice and spices, and be the lovely vitality of a human being.” Here is a recipe for chickpeas from Kashmir.

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon f whole cumin seeds
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
a piece of fresh ginger, about ½ inch square, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
24 oz can of chickpeas (2 x 240g dry weight tins)
salt according to taste
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (can substitute 2 x teaspoons of mango powder)

3 tomatoes quartered
1 medium onion
4 green chillies, or a green pepper sliced

An alternative is to swap the green chillies of the garnish, with that of the cayenne in the sauce. This will permit you to mix the cayenne into the garnish with fingers, thus providing a more even spread of heat, and dispersing the chillies into the sauce by cooking.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. When hot, put in the whole cumin seeds. As soon as they begin to darken, after a few seconds, put in the chopped onion. Stir and fry for 7 minutes. Turn heat to low and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and coriander. Mix and add the garlic and ginger, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste. Open the chickpeas and drain out most of the liquid, leaving a couple of tablespoons. Pour this and the chickpeas into the skillet. Add salt, cayenne and lemon juice (or mango powder). Mix well, cover, and let the flavours combine for 10 minutes. Stir gently every now and then, taking care not to break the chickpeas. Serve with basmati rice in a bowl lined with quartered tomatoes, raw onion slivers, and green chillies or slices of green pepper.

“Lovers find secret places
inside this violent world
where they make transactions
with beauty.”


By South Utsire

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Pentangle: House Carpenter (1970)

The original group formed in 1967. John Renbourn and Bert Jansch were already popular musicians on the British folk scene, with several solo albums each and a duet LP, Bert and John. Their use of complex inter-dependent guitar parts, referred to as "folk baroque", had become a distinctive characteristic of their music. They also shared a house in St John's Wood, London. Jacqui McShee had begun as an (unpaid) "floor singer" in several of the London folk clubs, and then, by 1965, ran a folk club at the Red Lion in Sutton, Surrey, establishing a friendship with Jansch and Renbourn when they played there.

Although nominally a 'folk' group, the members shared catholic tastes and influences. McShee had a grounding in traditional music, Cox and Thompson a love of jazz, Renbourn a growing interest in early music, and Jansch a taste for blues and contemporaries such as Bob Dylan.

By South Utsire

Slut On My Hand

By South Utsire

Endgame & The Weather Underground

These two documentaries discuss the theme of violent resistance. I don’t know whether Derrick Jensen has ever been arrested, or had the courage of his convictions when it comes to planting bombs and throwing missiles (I doubt it somehow), but as a TV and Film guest, and author of multiple deep green books on saving Mother Earth, he looks quite comfortable doing his mudslinging to me. Despite his criticism of mainstream environmental groups, he is establishment, and he is packaging a type of quixotic radicalism designed to appeal to alienated kids; a “market” for his books.  

I have many reservations about attacking “civilisation” as opposed to the (more accurate) terms “corporatism” or “capitalism” which indicates Jensen would rather throw the baby out with the bathwater, and we all revert to Luddite squalour living in tipis, despite the fact that as a world population we have already surpassed the carrying capacity of the natural environment to sustain that hand to mouth mode of life.

(i)                  We are technological apes;
(ii)                Technology (as an outgrowth of lumpen mechanistic science) is the handmaiden of capitalism, and will necessarily undergo paradigmatic change in a post scarcity culture.
(iii)               Not all “civilisation” is “bad”.
(iv)              Enlightened technology could be used for the betterment of humankind and the planet (See the upcoming John Liu documentary on soil depletion and terraforming)

Don’t get me wrong- I agree with much of Jensen’s critique of “civilisation” as he calls it, but he sounds to me like so many Deep Greeners- bleating on about tearing up the existing social relations, and (unless I’ve missed something) short on how to be the change (permaculture, design, education, extensification, going off grid, promoting diversity, non cooperation with authority structures and the failing money economy). I expect he is an advocate of depopulation to resolve the ecological crisis which brings a number of undesirable ethical problems.

Human society should be small scale (after E.F Schumacher, Colin Ward, etc etc), community based, diverse, resilient, low tech, but appropriate use of technology is a defining feature of our species. This wholesale “anti- civilisation” theme is a characteristic of the Deep Green movement, which Murray Bookchin identified and took to task throughout the course of his lifetime. Probably we will return to it, but suffice to say anyone who has to work the land will agree the use of some technology is a necessity, unless we want to live in abject drudgery in enslavement to a bucolic ideal. People who write “revolutionary books” should realise that.

The Weathermen Underground is a fascinating portrayal of the radical revolutionary group in the 60’s- 70’s which used violent means to advance their left wing program. The whole documentary is an allegorical repost to the violent resistance sentiment of Derrick Jensen and others who believe that smashing up a few windows downtown is the answer. Two quotes from the Weathermen documentary:

We believe that The Weathermen actions are anarchistic, opportunistic, individualistic, chauvinistic, its custeristic, and that’s the bad part about it. It’s custeristic in that its leaders take people into situations where the people can be massacred. And they call that revolution? Aint nothin’ but child’s play- it’s folly.

Illinois Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton condemning the Weathermen’s Days of Rage demonstrations.

I think what has to be stared at is that they brought themselves (they were not brought- they brought themselves) to that point. To the point where they were ready to be mass murderers. This is mass murder we are talking about. They came to this conclusion, which is the conclusion that was come to by all the great killers; whether Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao: that they have a grand project for the transformation and purification of the world. And in the face of that project, ordinary life is dispensable. They joined that tradition.

Todd Gitlin: American sociologist, political writer, novelist, and cultural commentator.

I don’t want to be too hard on Jensen. I share his anger and despondency at this time. But I just don’t think killing, maiming, and "destroying civilisation" is the way to go. I will leave the last words to MLK, since he was ungraciously lampooned in the Endgame documentary:

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, 
but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

By South Utsire

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Organic Beer Review: William Roscoe

William Roscoe
Liverpool Organic Brewery
Bottle Conditioned Real Ale suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians
This ale has an interesting floral nose. There is ever such a slight scent of pear drops or acetone folded tightly within the bouquet. Unless the brewer was diabetic and fell into the vat… or was sucking a pear drop at the time. That aside, it is a very pleasant, almost sublime introduction to this expertly blended ale. The blurb reads A light floral ale made with pure organic pale ale malt and the classic English hop Fuggles. And it is this pale ale- meets- Fuggles dynamic which generates kaleidoscopes of endless interest. The musty study bookshelf is sprung and creaks invitingly open to reveal a hidden corridor, a current of heuristic flavour behind the array. Deeper down there is also a fruity pipe tobacco aroma at play. Named after the Renaissance anti- slavery campaigner and poet, perhaps the ghost of Roscoe himself walks by and nods in approval in a puff of thoughtful smoke. I can easily imagine I am in one of those Liverpool ‘old man’ boozers that, tiled and unashamedly Victorian, haunts recesses of raw, forlorn and rainswept streets glowing cheerfully with dim & eager lanterns, beckoning you in to ruin or folly, for ‘just one more.’ And there I could put the pain of the conspiratorial world to rights. And after this meditation and the inevitably unwelcome discipline of the “Last Orders” bell, I could rise lightly like inspiration’s smoke and meander freely outside. There, I would exhale into the moist receptive night my heartfelt thoughts, wrapped in fruits of pipe tobacco and swirling in pear drops. And stumble home. 

Marks /10
9.5 (lack of certification, and sediment is a problem)

By South Utsire

Organic Beer Review: 24 Carat Gold

24 Carat Gold
Liverpool Organic Brewery
Bottle Conditioned Real Ale suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians
Of all the light ales in this series of reviews, this is certainly the most affable. And digestible. The Golden Hops are superbly tempered to give a velvety smooth product, topped by sweet orange blossom cascading before your eyes lolling in abundant corpuscles of carefree snowflakes. The gas content is just about right- not too overpowering- we’re talking purring tug boat, not a Titanic engine. All in all, this is the perfect golden light ale with only a modest bite back. Like the mists of the Mersey rolling in on a sunny spring day, as you sit in the Pumphouse of the Albert Dock, gently sipping a shimmering pint of contemplation. There is balance, nostalgia, optimism. In the distance a buoy rings out, clanging without care.

Marks /10
8.95 (sadly too much sediment, not organic, no certifications)

By South Utsire