Well, the Elf went home, the weather warms, and all good brewing seasons must come to an end. We managed to squeeze in a final batch. This time it was a porter, although my nephew Sean points out, strictly, they should always be a porter. At 6.8%, it packed a punch, fermented on coffee and barrel-matured on cocoa with a touch of cinnamon and ginger. After 10 days of fermentation and a month in the barrel we cracked it last night (anzapfenned it as we say in our household).Continue reading
Our family is full of amateur linguists. Dotted round we have fluent Italian, German, French, Dutch, and Japanese speakers. Some family members dabble in Chinese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. A few even claim English proficiency. Many of us enjoy Duolingo, with Luis van Ahn’s great Guatemalan back story. Some of us even pay for it.Continue reading
“Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes” is a documentary film by Sir Nicholas Stadlen, former judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He captured the personal experiences of the last remaining trialists and their defence lawyers, sharing the human stories and the legal arguments used in the Rivonia Trial. A wide team of people organised a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for participants to understand the complexities of the times and to engage with Sir Nicholas Stadlen, who had much to share that did not make the final cut. Then we had a ‘second in a lifetime’ event…Continue reading
Since September, our lovely niece, my German goddaughter, has been stuck with Aunty and Uncle here in London. As she is a fan of Harry Potter and cooped up in the spare room ‘under the stairs’ (well, more accurately ‘beside’ them), she was rapidly dubbed our ‘house elf’ by those of us of the Scooby Doo era. Upon learning that she was untutored in the ways of beer (and German?!, have my in-laws some peculiar form of non-home-schooling???), naturally I resolved to educate her. Digging deep down at the back of our fifth floor garden shed (sic) I pulled out the old beer-making kit which had tutored my own children in the ways of fermentation and spoilage. Thus, in a spirit of cooped-up covid-19 entrepreneurship, a new business has been born…Continue reading
Magicians say you should never reveal the secrets of what goes on behind the scenes, but I can share some cheer with a tale about last month’s recording of three Christmas lighting up ceremonies for the City.Continue reading
It was a dark and stormy afternoon…
I’ve always enjoyed Edward Bulwer-Lytton‘s works (honest). Interestingly, while he did provoke opprobrium for the phrase “it was a dark and stormy night“, he equally garnered admiration, leading to a lovely Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for “the funniest opening sentences from the worst novels never written”. How can one express the delight (?) of reading winners such as, “Dawn Esterbrooke looked lovingly upon the gifts which her lifelong childhood friends brought to her wedding shower, but inside her guts churned like an overripe peach in a blender because only two hours earlier she had left a motel with her best friend’s homosexual father.”
by Steve Garman of Pensacola, Florida.
Well, the cat, or snail (see below), rather ‘puffin’, is truly out of the bag (pipe). As I mentioned in my Shrieval Chain Presentation, Puffin On Pipes:
“imagine your entire family have no idea of your favourite animal, the puffin. Just because you’ve never gone soppy and bought a gaudy plastic tourist souvenir on a puffin island tour – as part of the puffarazzi – doesn’t mean you haven’t spent 60 years trying to justify smelting a small puffin statue.”
My brother Sheriff, Chris Hayward CC, and I were delighted to agree to extend our Shrieval year by 12 months till September 2021 in order to “ensure continuity of leadership”. Equally, this will give us more time, in turbulent times, to deliver our shrieval theme of “Primacy Of The Rule Of Law”. We very much look forward to working with all of the Old Bailey team over the next 17 months. And now no one is, as Pádraig Belton put it, “Sans Sheriff”.
Somewhere in the alternate Corona Universe quite close to home-working…Continue reading