General Musings

I’ve not been writing much on this ‘ere blog for a while. Why? Well I guess I’ve not done much exciting beery stuff of recent. Apart from have a pint of Marble 57 at Further North. That was dead nice, marmalade-y and tasty. And I don’t really like just writing about what I’m drinking. It’s a bit tedious.

Anyway, I’ve decided that I’m going to start doing some non-boozy writing on this blog. So I might have to change the strap line from “A Leeds Drinking Blog” to something new. Oh I do hope my readers don’t abandon me.

So, here’s some short (very short, probably, although I’m not sure I’ve not written them yet) bits and pieces that aren’t about beer.

1. Hungry City
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction recently. Learning stuff and that. It’s good. My most recent read has had the most profound effect though. It’s called Hungry City and it’s by Carolyn Steel. It’s amazing. It’s all about how food shapes the cities we live in, how these shapes are changing, and what effect this is having on the food producers (getting screwed), us (getting fat) and the supermarkets (getting really, really fucking rich). Within 50 pages I’ve decided to radically cut back on how much meat I eat (living with a vegetarian I don’t each much anyway, but I’m probably on about two or three meat dishes a week now, max) and to try and eat far more organic, fairly traded food (which is easier when your amazing street has a food co-op of sorts on it).

that final point brings me on the musing 2:

2.  Community Spirit
The street I live in in Meanwood, Leeds, is amazing. We have an annual street party (which happened this year in torrential rain thanks to the hard work – and massive tarpaulin – of a few people on the street), one of my neighbours (who may well read this) has been known to drop a couple of bottles of homebrew outside my door, we have a food co-op (of sorts), we actively socialise with each other fairly regularly. I love living here, and it’s a shame there aren’t more streets like it.

3. I Want To Ride My Bicycle
I don’t own a bicycle yet, but there is one in my front room about 3m from me. My neighbour is flogging it, and I want it. I may well close the transaction later this evening, all being well. I want a bike because my walk to work takes me 45 minutes, a bike ride will take a fraction of the time, and make me fitter. And I’ll drive less, which will be cheaper, and more fun, and more environmentally friendly.

4. Eels & Low
I’ve been listening to a lot of
Eels and a lot of Low recently. They’re two stunning bands. May I recommend ‘Old Shit/New Shit’ by Eels (it makes me want to dance around with my arms in the air) and ‘Starfire’ by Low (slow, ponderous, but somehow elegiac. I won’t try and describe them to you, just listen.

5. Politics
Anyone who follows my Twitter (@tomas311) will have noticed I was pretty pissed off with the result of the General Election. I really hate them Tories, and I suspect they’re going to do their level best to screw the North of England again. I know it’s hard times for the country, and I’m not clued up enough to know whether there are any real alternatives to their plans. All I know is that I don’t trust them, I think their ideologies are all wrong, and even a bit despicable. Maybe we could devolve the North?

6. Work
Politicians bang on about work, about how proud and empowered it makes people and about “doing the right thing” (ie working full time for some 50-60 years, saving up loads and retiring). I don’t like this attitude. Sure, some people do feel empowered by their work and love it (it probably helps if you’re on an MPs salary and making country-changing decisions day-to-day), but we’re really geared us a country to make work the be all and end all of what we do. It’s a bit sad, really.

7. Some Stories (I’m stopping now)
I went to see an amazing piece if theatre at Temple Works in Leeds, called Some Stories, read my review here, and look out for it coming back to Leeds (it might). Some Stories