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If anyone knows the listener

Eddie Mair | 09:02 UK time, Thursday, 25 January 2007

who called in last night to the BBC Listener Log to say:

"A guest was telling everyone listening about the components of a bomb and this was a bad example as potential terrorists might use this information."

could you pass on their details to me? I want to take away their radio. And the foil on their head.


  1. At 09:08 AM on 25 Jan 2007, ian wrote:

    The listener is right. Either that or the law is an ass. In this country, it is now a criminal offence to possess information that may be useful to a terrorist. Presumably this includes the above. Or a train timetable. Or a map showing Heathrow airport.

  2. At 09:23 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Is this part of the Beeb's cutbacks? Confiscating radios and foil - for spare parts, would that be?

    This, surely, would be counterproductive, as they would then not have to pay the licence fee.

    Oh no, I forgot, you don't need a licence these days for a radio. Or, it would appear, to make bombs.

    Eddie, it wasn't me, by the way. I'm too busy sending you photos. :o)

  3. At 09:30 AM on 25 Jan 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    Morning Eddie,


    Thursday, January 25, 2007...

    ‘Some hae meat and canna eat,
    And some would eat that want it,
    But we hae meat, and we can eat,
    Sae let the Lord be thankit.’

    Robert Burns was born on 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway in Ayrshire.

  4. At 09:46 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Helen, Pitlochry. wrote:

    Big Sister,

    Since you've raised the topic of dogs recently. It seems to me that after a series of incidents in the UK in which babies and children have been mauled by dogs, it's hardly surprising there are now calls for a review of legislation, particularly as if affects so called "dangerous dogs". The image of slavering Rottweilers tearing a baby apart is guaranteed to horrify even the most ardent animal lover.

    I am as shocked as anyone when I see gruesome pictures of little children scarred for life. And though I have always adhered to the theory that most animals are nicer than most humans, even I have to admit that sometimes the only reasonable action is that truly dangerous dogs have to be put down.

    Such cases are mercifully rare, but they do serve to highlight the whole issue of dog ownership. And there can't be much doubt that for all but the rarest of cases, the owners are the problem, not the dogs. We are all familiar with the concept of the tattooed thug bolstering his toughness by dragging a poor pit bull round on a lead. And we can all shake our heads at people who, with no justification, feel they need guard dogs which they intentionally train to be as aggressive as possible.

    But what of the domestic pet? Can we all put hand on heart and say we're responsible and above reproach? First in the dock for me are parents who take on a dog because "it'll be good for the kids to play with".

    Dogs are not toys. They are sentient beings with sharp teeth and limited patience.

    For every family who realises having a pet can teach children respect, responsibility and commitment, there is another who thinks children are incapable of improving their behaviour yet expects the poor dog to behave impeccably in the face of provocation.

    Children who shriek around animals without warning, who pull tails, who insist on dragging a dog round under the forepaws as if it was a teddy bear, who tease it with food and otherwise harass it are simply not ready for a pet. Neither are their parents. A warning nip is the least a pestering kid can expect.

    Next up are the breed selectors, those who think dogs come with mechanical specifications like a new car and that choosing a Labrador, for example, guarantees a good temperament.

    Selecting a breed for its behaviour is like recruiting police by their height alone. It's a vague hint at suitability but nothing more. What counts is training, particularly in the first year.

    And finally we have the legislation, or lack of it, on dog ownership. Rottweilers are big dogs with big brains.

    They need talented, intelligent owners because merely being on guard and sitting or lying down on command isn't enough stimulation.

    They go stir crazy, just as any human would under the same circumstances.

    Yet we allow anyone who wants a yard guard dog to buy such a breed, often with disastrous results that say more about human stupidity than the inherent violence of the animal.

    The dog licence was abolished in 1987.

    High time it came back with a meaningful price tag in the hundreds (with exceptions for concessions) but let's get it right this time and make sure it is the owner we are vetting and licensing, not the dog.

  5. At 09:50 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Whisky-Joe: So it is! And Eddie didn't recyle the Cantie wi' Mair strapline.

    Beware the glass bottles with magic substances, Eddie - Drink more than one and you'll turn into a frog!

  6. At 10:04 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    A happy Burns Night to all the Froggers!

    And may all your hangovers be small ones...


  7. At 10:07 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Can anyone explain to me the story about the train protest last night? How would passengers going on with fake tickets make the company reverse their decision about cutting the service? Was it just a token gesture, or something else? I probably missed something as my reception wasn't great, but I was a bit confused.

  8. At 10:10 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Member of the Public wrote:

    Good day Mr Mair,

    Tony Blair - Missing in action.

    I think the Prime Minister's absence from the House yesterday was made even more inexcusable by the fact that this was the first setpiece Commons debate for around three years on a conflict that, by July, will have outlasted the First World War in terms of duration.

    If the accounts in my morning paper are anything to go by, few were surprised by Mr Blair's decision, given how his disregard for Parliamentary conventions has become a hallmark of his premiership.

    And, frankly, it was disingenuous for Margaret Beckett, the ineffectual Foreign Secretary, to suggest that Mr Blair would address MPs when Operation Sinbad was complete and security established in British-controlled Basra.

    For, if the Government has not realised, the crisis in Iraq is immediate and very real as the country descends into civil war, and British troops valiantly attempt to counter insurgent forces with patently inadequate equipment. This bleak backdrop I think is further complicated by both President Bush, and Mr Blair, looking for opportunities to salvage their own reputations before they leave office rather than seeking the wider objective of a long-term peace in the Middle East.

    Perhaps one explanation for Mr Blair's absence from the Commons could be that he was still awaiting his orders from The White House. But, given the Prime Minister's supposed desire to spread democracy around the world, it does seem perverse that he fights shy of democratic debate on his own door step.

  9. At 10:13 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    As it happens whisky-joe (3) I WILL be having haggis and neeps tonight. Not really a whisky drinker but may force one down. Do people who're not Scottish like haggis? Liz, who is sitting next to me today, says she likes the veggie stuff but can't abide the real thing...

  10. At 10:18 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Eddie (8);
    I'll second Liz on this one.


  11. At 10:19 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Belinda (6);
    It was an organised mass protest by a bunch of Bristol (?) based commuters at swinging cuts to the services offered by First Great Western.

    Incensed by having to pay fare increases above inflation for a much-degraded service they decided to have a days 'free' travel and made their protest by either not buying tickets or offering fake tickets to the collectors instead.

    I believe that FGW was already officially the worst performing franchise in Britains railways? The cuts made it even worse. the punters cried 'Enough'. Good luck to them.


  12. At 10:27 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Helen (Pitlochry):

    I couldn't agree with you more. In my humble opinion, dog ownership and car ownership both bring with them huge responsibilities, given that both are capable of inflicting serious injury, or even death, if not controlled properly.

    But we are talking dogs here. My own dog (who I love deeply) is completely unreliable around children. I acquired him when he was already 14 months old. Apparently, he had not been exposed to children during those months, and his response as a young adult dog appears to have been driven by being totally fazed by seeing small humans and not being able to make sense of it, leading to defensive aggression. Although, with very careful handling, I was able to get him used to the children closest to me, I have never trusted him with any children. He is, as you rightly point out, capable of inflicting serious injury through what for him would be a totally natural response to feeling threatened.

    I have never lost sight of the threat he poses, and behave accordingly. I never allow him in the presence of children unsupervised and unrestrained. I know there are those who would say that the restraint probably makes him more suspicious of children, but with his particular weakness I must always be cautious. After all, if he were to seriously misbehave, not only would I never forgive myself on behalf of the victim, but I would also lose my best mate.

    I have very strong views, like you, about responsible ownership. You don't have to be a dog-hater to understand that dogs need careful monitoring, and that it is up to the owner to ensure that others are not endangered by their pets.

  13. At 10:31 AM on 25 Jan 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Re: Burns Night.

    I much prefer William Topaz McGonagall and believe *he* is the one who should be revered as Scotland's national poet. So in his vein...

    Oh! Wonderful programme on the evening wireless,
    Presented by Eddie Mair, who is surely peerless,
    Alas! Delivery of the PM newsletter is sometimes a complete mess,
    But ne'ertheless it caters for the auld to the teen,
    And sometimes features Charlotte Green.

    But Woe! Where now is Caroline Quinn?
    Presenting on the sabbath, is this no a sin?
    Stay ye with Eddie, on weekdays listen,
    To his wit and wisdom given gladly,
    And his Friday chats with BH's Paddy.

  14. At 10:38 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Thanks Simon (10): So presumably the protest led to an increase in the train service but not a decrease in prices? I think pretty much all train and bus services perform dreadfully for what we pay them. I have an on-going problem with FIRST TRAVEL (capitalised for effect) who claim that there is a certain bus service in existence, but which only ever seems to turn up 50% of the time (and I took a systematic record of when it arrived and when it didn't every day for a month. I wrote a letter to the company and never heard a word back. The service hasn't improved either).

  15. At 10:40 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Chris, London. wrote:

    Hi Eddie,

    So, I was on the cross trainer this morning in the gym - one of maybe ten and this guy decides to get on the one next to me. Not only that, but just before he did so, he redirected one of the massive cooling fans in our direction. Well thanks a lot Jonny....so how do we creatively get our own back?

    After first checking that he was all earphoned up, I felt it safe to let my own source of wind loose on the poor fellow. Lovely noise. He couldn’t hear it was me so therefore in a court of law would have no proof, and seeing as he’d just launched into a rather zealous 30 minute hill programme, which between me and you I think was a little beyond him, he was trapped – unlike the recently liberated wind.

    What is wrong with these people, who stupidly and completely selfishly commandeer shared public places as their own.

    Long live the blog.

  16. At 10:40 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:


    Knowing you've mentioned Jose Cuervo elsewhere, may I suggest you decant some into an empty single malt bottle for tonight's meal so that you can delude yourself that you're a true Scot?*

    And if you need somewhere to decant the single malt, I know there are several froggers who'd be very happy to help out!

    *Not intending any offence. I live with a Scot who doesn't drink the amber liquid. He lives with a sassenach who does. Of course, you could always substitute for Drambuie, or Orkney Skullsplitter, Dark Island, Red McGregor or even Innis and Gunn (one of the few beers I love).

  17. At 10:49 AM on 25 Jan 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    Eddie and Liz (9-ish)

    I'll be having this tonight...

    Cock-a-leekie soup,

    Haggis warm reeking, rich wi' Champit Tatties,
    Bashed Neeps,

    Tyspy Laird (sherry trifle)

    Oh and whisky. Och aye the noo. :-)

  18. At 11:04 AM on 25 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Big Sis - many thanks for the plug for the Orkney Brewery - and can I just say we have a great distillery up here too? Well we have two distilleries, the famous one and the other one.

    Eddie, what do you mean you don't drink whisky? I am totally disillusioned, as surely all real Scots are born with an inbuilt passion for the stuff.

    I don't know about the haggis question. I love it and was born in England but have a lot of scots blood so maybe that's the bit of me that likes haggis. I dont understand what people have against it, maybe they just thingk too much about what's in it rather than just eating it for the taste.

    SSC - that was far too good to really work as a spoof McGonagall.

    MotP - I couldn't agree more about Tony Blair's disgraceful absence from the Commons yesterday and Maragaret Becket goes down in mye stimation (from a failry low starting point as well) every time she opens her mouth these days.Please tell me you made up the name Operation Sinbad and it's not what the government actually call it.

  19. At 11:09 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Helen (4),

    I was with you all the way until this bit:
    High time it came back with a meaningful price tag in the hundreds

    So the wealthy stupid can keep dogs but sensible folk without hundreds to lay out before acquiring their expensive new friends can't? I think a hefty payment is the wrong way to go -- knowing that the potential owner has considered all of the ramifications is much more important -- establishing a system of doing that would require the licence fee to merely cover its running costs.

    Eric (9),

    I'm "no a Scot" but I like real haggis -- can't see how anyone can be any more disturbed by it than, say, sausages.

    Don't really get all the fuss about Mr Burns though...

  20. At 11:12 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Burns Night for us as well! Haggis and Veggie Haggis are at the ready, a bottle of whisky is chilling in the back yard and I have my tartan tablecloth ironed. Mr Belinda (oops nearly wrote his real name then), in his kilt, does fantastic readings of Poems and stories, so he is the reader of "To a Haggis!", more Burns and other stories which will have a scottish/east coast canadian slant to them.

  21. At 11:24 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    I'm Scottish and I can't stand haggis! Sorry! Neeps and tatties, fine - and veggie haggis but not the real McCoy I'm afraid. One thing I miss from home (although not sure my waistline misses it), is a white pudding supper from the local chippie........sorry no direct link to Burns night except white pudding is similar to veggie haggis I guess?!

  22. At 11:25 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Appy: I agree with your point about the dog licence. I can vouch from personal experience that (responsible) dog ownership is anything but cheap, so a 'dog tax' is totally unnecessary. The vets/vet fees are already an effective deterrent ...

  23. At 11:27 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Gladys Friday wrote:

    Isn't POETS day tomorrow?

  24. At 11:31 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Chris (15): the world is full of the selfish and the unselfish. Both see the world totally differently.

    But it is also full of the communicative and the non-communicative.

    Your running "partner" would probably view his moving the fan as a generous act to aid all of your cooling. But he did so non-communicatively. You saw his act as one of selfishness - but you also did so silently.

    Rather than seeing a need to "get back", how about "opening up"? - "Sorry, mate - that's a bit cold for me, can we move it about a bit?"

    Re burns night and haggis. I love haggis and have only set foot in Scotland four times in my life. Advice welcomed on what to have it with.

  25. At 11:32 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Chris, London (15): I should think any trainer would be cross if you got on them!

  26. At 11:34 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Belinda (14);
    see the following

    Which explains what happened fairly well. FGW claim to have increased some train frequencies and admit to having cut too much capacity in the first place.

    They also indulge in the usual spin about 'We're spending £X million on...'. In this case a servicing facility and new upholstery for the trains. None of which increases capacity, the key point. And the vast numbers having to stand because of inadequate seating/carriages/trains don't get the benefit of the spanking new upholstery anyway....

    Incidentally, it's the same First Group who run Great Western Trains and your local buses. So you might not be too surprised at the low standards of service experienced by FGW train passengers.


  27. At 11:37 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    AA (18);
    Yep, that's really what they called it!


  28. At 11:44 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Member of the Public wrote:

    And so judges are being asked to stop sending criminals to prison because they are full – it sounds like a joke to me but, sadly, it's true. I think most of us will find this request both puzzling and worrying.

    If judges cannot jail criminals then what is to be done with them? The answer of course is that more pressure will be put on the non-custodial services but, as we already know, care in the community of any kind all too often means no care at all. Just as those who are sick are not receiving the attention they need, those who are criminal are unlikely to receive the supervision they need.

    And if our prisons are overcrowded because too many have been unnecessarily jailed we must ask why this mess has been allowed to develop.

    Note to Dr Reid: This country urgently needs a fair and consistent justice system: urging judges to stop jailing offenders will not achieve it.

  29. At 11:56 AM on 25 Jan 2007, Millicent Fritton wrote:

    I think haggis is one of those unfortunate dishes that can ruin a nation's reputation.

    Maybe that's why the Scots are so quick to subject the dish to culinary indignities like haggis hurling and haggis juggling.

  30. At 12:03 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Toby, Edinburgh wrote:

    Why not try Grant's Haggis at only a quid a tin?

  31. At 12:17 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Fifi wrote:

    I adore haggis, and indeed there is a lovely plump free-range one nestling in our fridge even as I frog.

    However, tonight we will be eating a risotto cooked for us by my ginger boyfriend (ie Max the red setter... do keep up at the back!) 's owner's son.

    GBOS is a trained chef, currently managing a bar in Nottingham. In an incident not unrelated to the consumption of certain beverages, he broke 2 bones in his ankle just before Christmas, and had to stay with his parents while he recovered.

    The parents' car promptly broke down.

    I have been a one-woman taxi service since then, while his Dad goes carefully to work on his motorbike!

    Tonight is a thankyou from GBOS, cooked at his Mum's and reheated and served to all of us here. And I can't wait!!!

    Even though I drove all of us to the supermarket yesterday so he could buy the ingredients.....

    The table is set, the kitchen tidied (a bit) and my tummy is rumbling already.

    I think to suggest haggis at this stage would be a tad tactless.



  32. At 12:28 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Jason (24), what sensible advice (although I did laugh at Chris' original post, thinking it surely could not be serious?)

    What to have with Haggis? -- see many posts above (translation: turnip and potatoes; whisky).

    Big Sis (22) Yep, with you there.

    SSCat (13) Hahaha - and makes more sense to me than the Burns bloke.

  33. At 12:30 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Rufus T. Firefly wrote:

    A haggis is a small three-legged animal native to the Highland glens and mountains. Similar in size to a Water vole. Indigenous to Scotland the wee globular beastie is considered a delicacy amongst the upper echelons of society. Beware though, haggis is only available in season

  34. At 12:30 PM on 25 Jan 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Simon, we send too many people to prison, & prison doesn't work anyway. Lets play around with that for a while?!

    Eddie, I love haggis, & celebrated Burns night in London with friends from more nothern parts. I decided it would make a good housewarming supper when I moved to sunny Leicestershire, but made an alternative to haggis. The following year, everyone wanted to do it again, and everyone ate the haggis. I'd told those that were squeamish how much better it was that the cheap sausages they didn't think twice about eating!

  35. At 12:34 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Dozy Parker wrote:

    The saying 'the real McCoy' relates to Captain Bill McCoy who smuggled whisky into the USA during prohibition.

  36. At 12:48 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Haggis wi meat or wi none, is a' fine wi me!
    Whisky an' tatties an' neeps as well.

    Appy, the Bard's simply the most under-rated poet and radical in the world, even hereabouts in his stomping grounds.

    And contemporary?

    I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
    Has broken nature's social union,
    An' justifies that ill opinion,
    Which makes thee startle
    At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
    An' fellow-mortal!
    Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
    On prospects drear!
    An' forward, tho' I canna see,
    I guess an' fear!

    or: (Twa Dogs, but not shrub & al Poodle)

    Still it's owre true that ye hae said,
    Sic game is now owre aften play'd;
    There's mony a creditable stock
    O' decent, honest, fawsont folk,
    Are riven out baith root an' branch,
    Some rascal's pridefu' greed to quench,
    Wha thinks to knit himsel the faster
    In favour wi' some gentle master,
    Wha, aiblins, thrang a parliamentin,
    For Britain's guid his saul indentin-
    Haith, lad, ye little ken about it:
    For Britain's guid! guid faith! I doubt it.
    Say rather, gaun as Premiers lead him:
    An' saying ay or no's they bid him:
    At operas an' plays parading,
    Mortgaging, gambling, masquerading:
    Or maybe, in a frolic daft,
    To Hague or Calais takes a waft,
    To mak a tour an' tak a whirl,
    To learn bon ton, an' see the worl'.
    There, at Vienna, or Versailles,
    He rives his father's auld entails;
    Or by Madrid he takes the rout,
    To thrum guitars an' fecht wi' nowt;
    Or down Italian vista startles,
    Whore-hunting amang groves o' myrtles:
    Then bowses drumlie German-water,
    To mak himsel look fair an' fatter,
    An' clear the consequential sorrows,
    Love-gifts of Carnival signoras.
    For Britain's guid! for her destruction!
    Wi' dissipation, feud, an' faction.

    Shades of Davos and Bilderberg?

  37. At 12:59 PM on 25 Jan 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Operation Sinbad and that's really what they call it. For goodness sake
    So now I have this vision of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, some top bods from the Defence Department and some politicians all sitting round a conference table being asked for suggestions for the campaign name 'as out of date and as patronising as you like lads'. I'm only surprised they didn't go the whole way and call it Operation Johnny Tea Towel head'. Where oh where do these people come from? And why are they in charge of so much?
    Honestly you couldn't make it up. could you?

  38. At 12:59 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Sparkles (34);
    Umm, you've left me all confused? What did I say about prisons and sentencing?

    I've looked back through the thread to see what I said;

    A Burns greeting
    Comment to Eddie about veggie haggis
    Info for Belinda about 'Worst' Group
    A comment about Op. Sinbad in Basra

    What did I say?


  39. At 01:03 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Prisoners: I believe that the US sometimes gives the option to young criminals to attend prison or enrol in the military for a period of time. Would such a measure work here?

    The situation is too acute for crime prevention measures which take several years to take affect (if any!), presumably there is not enough money in the budget to build multiple new prisons and yet it doesn't appear that prisoners unjustly spend too long in prison - if anything, it is more the opposite. What about the idea expressed last night on the programme that all foreign inmates are deported to their home country? Is that affordable? Would that cause a big enough dint in the figures? How do other countries cope with the same problem, as surely this isn't unqiue to the UK?

    Crime prevention: Would it work at all if former prisoners were 'charged' for their time in jail, rather like a student loan? It just seems rather strange to me that a person can commit a crime and then get tax-free free accommodation and food plus training for a large period of their life and yet are thought to have 'paid their debt to society'. Is there any way of regaining this money, without the criminals going back to their original habits to pay off their debt (given that many crimes are money-related)? Why should the prison service be funded by taxes paid by law-abiding citizens to take care of the people who performed the crimes against them in the first place? The entire thing seems upside down.

    I'm not advocating any of these measures, just to be clear, I haven't a clue what to do but I am beginning to wonder whether crime measures should be taken back to the drawing board and a completely new line of thinking needs to be created.

  40. At 01:03 PM on 25 Jan 2007, The Reverend Green wrote:

    Having had a brief read through the somewhat fractious contributions today, I would respectfully suggest that any forms of belligerence, antagonism and infighting be hereby and forever banished from this otherwise wholesome forum.

    To those who criticize, I suppose you have the right but I question the value or need of such interjections. To those who rise (or in my opinion 'fall') to the challenge and argue in riposte, don't bother.

    This forum is enjoyable due to the entente cordial, the camaraderie and much more...Let us not sully it with confrontation.

    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion"

    and before you are tempted to jump in and argue with dissenters, remember... "Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute"

    A genuine good day to you all.

  41. At 01:07 PM on 25 Jan 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    I predict a riot.

  42. At 01:24 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Apologies Reverend (37): Most of the ire came from me about this issue. I apologise for making the frog an uncomfortable place for some, but I do not apologise for my sentiments.

    A good day to you too, sir.

  43. At 01:25 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    In honour of Burns' Night, here's a parody of a non-Burns song (just 'cos I haven't had time to finish a Burns one) for oor ain Lord Mair:

    Ye headlines and ye straplines
    Oh, where hae ye been?
    They hae taen the Earl of Mair
    And cued him on a green.

    He has a raw talent
    And he's always on the ba
    And bonnie Eddie Mair
    He's the flower amang them a.

    for one version of the original, see


  44. At 01:28 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    For Reverend Green:
    The State of the Resolution!


  45. At 01:33 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Rufus (33), don't be silly: everybody knows a haggis has four legs -- shorter on one side of the body than the other so that it can run around the mountainside in comfort. Which side depends upon it's particular breed, and upon which mountains that breed evolved.

    Ed (36), yeh, I had boyfriend from Ayrshire who used to blether on like that. I'm not saying the sentiments aren't fine, but it takes me so long to fathom it out. Like Shakespeare. Language has evolved -- can we not have it in a more up to date manner?

    I'm going to get shot aren't I?

  46. At 01:52 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Chrissie the Trekkie wrote:

    Dear Member of the Public (28)

    We have gotten ourselves into this prison overcrowding mess by clamouring for custodial sentances for everything that

    outrages us.
    Maybe we should have reintroduced conscription instead? The prospect of being injured or killed in the middle east

    would surely be enough to keep our over-active 17-25 year old males on the straight and narrow?!!?
    Then again, did the death penalty deter murderers? A topic for debate.

    Never tried haggis. Maybe I should?

    PS - How come I got the flood control block message when I haven't posted yet today?????

  47. At 01:56 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Whisht wrote:

    Are veggie sausages also made from the swept up detritus of vegetable skins, eyes of potatoes, bruised bits and bits that were scraped off the the blades of the chip-cutter...?

    Burns night huh? If anyone is feeling lonely tonight and requiring 'relief' then I hear the Scots influenced "Nips and Titties" is a fantastic peruse....


  48. At 02:09 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Susan Orty-Boyden wrote:

    Chris @ (15)

    Get a load of paper hole punchings and put them in his gym bag!!!

  49. At 02:10 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Perky wrote:

    The current haggis situation in my house is as follows:

    My daughter (born in Yorkshire) wants to have Haggis tonight, because it's Burn's night and no other day of the year will do as far as Haggis consumption is concerned.

    My son (born in the USA) wants to wait until his Dad comes back at the weekend because he knows that it's one of our favourite family celebrations.

    Both kids believe that the Haggis is a Scottish creature that's incredibly difficult to catch unless you can persuade it to run round in an anti-clockwise direction, whereby the strain on the shortest of its three legs will result in it rolling to the bottom of the hill and into a handy hessian bag.

    My husband (born in Lancashire) will be eating in a hotel in Guildford, although he could watch our celebration via webcam, but I feel this is cruel.

    My Mum (born in Glasgow of Ayrshire stock) is usually our guest recitalist of the evening, but has deserted us to go to a friend's wedding.

    I forgot to buy a haggis in time. I did this last year too and we ended up with a vegetarian one which was pilloried by all.

    So, I think we'll be having a belated Burns night at the weekend, but I'll be raising a glass of malt to all fellow Burners tonight.

  50. At 02:18 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Richard Gosling wrote:

    English born and bred - but married to a Dundonian and living in Aberdeen. I love haggis, and will be wearing my kilt to a Burns Night and Ceilidh (Scottish dancing do) tomorrow night. No point hitting the uisce beatha big style tonight if I'm coming to work tomorrow...

    In these parts, haggis is available as an alternative to haddock/cod at most chippies (deep fried in batter of course!).

  51. At 02:31 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Member of the Public wrote:

    Dear Chrissie the Trekkie (45)

    Every time I shake my head and declare the ongoing chaos in the Home Office couldn’t possibly get any worse, a little voice of reason pipes up in my ear: “Oh yes it can!”

    And guess what – that little voice of reason is invariably right.

    Whether it is losing 1,000 foreign offenders last year who should have been deported at the end of their sentences, allowing convicted killers to stroll out of open jails, or the latest scandal of losing hundreds of British criminals who have committed offences abroad but haven’t been tracked since they came back to the UK, the beleaguered department stumbles from bad to worse doesn't it?

    It also doesn’t seem to matter whether successive “hard men” – David Blunkett, Charles Clarke or John Reid - are in charge, the department seems institutionally incapable of operating with even the minimum of efficiency.If the entire department was abolished, could the public be any less safe?

    And isn’t it odd that if you get parking ticket, forget to buy a TV licence or are a couple of weeks late with your car tax, the authorities will have no problems tracking you down and will pursue you without pity to the ends of the earth.

    But rape a child, murder an innocent member of the public or enter the country illegally, or escape fron an 'open' prison and they will have no idea of where you are and show little interest in finding out.

    It clearly shows what their priorities are. Is there any wonder contempt for the criminal justice system is at an all time high?

  52. At 02:52 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Chrissie: PS - How come I got the flood control block message when I haven't posted yet today?????

    A pre-emptive strike by the moderating team. They know a troublemaker when they see one. ;-)

  53. At 02:58 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:


    Perhaps the name of the operation is a case of wishful thinking.

    After all, Sinbad the Sailor engaged in seven different adventures, bringing him into contact with foreign lands and strange creatures, which allowed him to show his intelligence and courage. Each journey involved Sinbad in a crisis as he came up against a dangerous creature or an evil tyrant. Using his ingenuity, he contrived a solution. He relied upon diplomacy and his personal strength, taking matters into his own hands, risking devastating consequences which, luckily, briought with them great rewards.

    At this point, the differences really emerge, for Sinbad is notable for not needing to call on the power of destiny or on God. After every story, Sinbad managed to return safely to Baghdad before beginning his next venture.

    Now, who should be cast as Sinbad?

  54. At 03:08 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Belinda (39, your Ms Angry posting),

    Were prisoners who were released generally be in a position to obtain, and hold down, a good job, so that they *could* pay back a "Prison loan". We all know the reasons why prisoners when released are frequently not in this position, let alone finding someone to employ them.

    Now I have someone work under me (not in my current job), who had had a custodian sentence; I think it was some kind of cannabis conviction. It was fairly brave of my then employer to take him on. He proved to be reliable and fairly hard working. In his case, his "redemption" was a girlfriend, and then a child.

    (and Chris the Trekkie).

    So much of the crime, and hence custodial sentences is drug related. I've no answer to the problem; whether legalising the lot would help? Prohibition of alcohol in the US did not work.

    I've never taken an illegal drug (I used to have migrane attacks with severe visual disruptions, and the last thing I wanted to do was to take hallucinogens (sp?)), but struggle to understand why so many teenagers etc take cannibis, "E" (as I cannot spell the name) etc, which (some say) is the first step to the seriously hard drugs.

  55. At 03:09 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Jean Allison wrote:

    As Burns has become a worldwide brand, so it has become easier to buy haggis in far-flung places, but a few years ago it was all but impossible to find in Washington DC. I had to visit a shop called The British Connection in Alexandria, Virginia, which had just received a consignment of haggi.

    Behind the teashop - complete with hairy knitted tea cosies - was a windowless room, like a speakeasy. Inside were contraband ex-pat cravings: Marmite, Bird's Custard Powder and microwaveable spotted dick. The haggis was hidden in the freezer. "Are you sure you want two?" said the lady, wrinkling her nose. "No-one really eats much. Wouldn't touch it myself." She she was English.

  56. At 03:13 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    A quick wave to Whisht there - I was on the lilypad earlier today, btw, so there are a few frog droppings there for you.

  57. At 03:14 PM on 25 Jan 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Silver-Fox (41):

    I predict a rota.

  58. At 03:18 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Wow Perky! I've long thought you were a bloke! I'm getting serious "I am female" vibes from the last posting, unless you are in a same sex mariage and had help having children.

    I wonder how many other people I've got signifcantly wrong???

  59. At 03:29 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Fyfe Robertson (Jnr) wrote:

    The most difficult part of the ancient art of haggis hunting is actually locating the beast and then chasing it in the right direction.

    The haggis has evolved to be just a bit faster than the fittest man and more sure footed than a mountain goat. It runs along the hillside using it’s two long legs and the one short leg to maximum advantage.

    Once it slips through the hunting line it can be gone into the gorse in a flash. The hunters must keep behind and on the uphill side so that the haggis is gradually driven down to lower ground. This can take over three hours, but once the critter is down on the glen floor the advantage swings quickly in favor of the hunters – because of its uneven legs the haggis can only run in circles when on flat ground.

    As soon as the hunters see a haggis circling in this fashion they surround it, and bring up the cask for celebratory refreshment. Within about twenty minutes the haggis can be found lying flat out through dizziness and exhaustion. Soon after that the men are usually found lying flat out around the haggis, with an empty cask rolling amongst them!

  60. At 03:37 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Member of the Public,

    re Is there any wonder contempt for the criminal justice system is at an all time high?

    Is it? Contempt from whom? If you are talking speciicfally about your own feelings, fair enough. Otherwise, to whom do you refer and on what evidence is this assertion based?

  61. At 04:02 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Appy (59);
    Well done for challenging an unsupported assertion!

    Any regular frogger who read the first 'Brow' thread will know that this is a pet hate of mine. You're not supposed to challenge these statements, just swallow them whole and believe them. So, again, congrats for asking for the demonstrable proof.

    MotP; let's have it please!


  62. At 04:23 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Hi Aperitif (58), I'm a girl as well by the way :)

    And ref your comment on M o P's statement (Is there any wonder contempt for the criminal justice system is at an all time high?) - can't do italics! Perhaps a generalisation but I think - personally speaking- fairly close to the mark. I think there is a lot of distrust and frustration with the criminal justice system and I tend to agree with his/her words. Perhaps we are victims of media manipulation to a certain extent - i.e. we only ever hear the bad stuff that goes on - but the catalogue of errors that have ocurred recently seems to be never ending. And it is certainly true that any minor misdeamor which requires a fine to be paid, such as a parking ticket, there is no escape from. I also agree with the point Belinda raised - which was discussed last night - re sending foreign prisoners home to be imprisoned in their own country. Surely this would go a long way to ease the overcrowding issue. And another valid point she raised related to the question of almost rewarding crime by providing free board and lodgings. Is it not the case that some people are habitual re-offenders because they simply cannot fend for themselves in the outside world and almost crave the "security" that prison brings. I too have no answers but I think the feelings of frustration and anger are very real and justified.

  63. At 04:58 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Gillian wrote:

    To fellow non-Scots partaking of Haggis.....don't forget that turnip is really swede!(And I'm not refering to our Swedish frogger!)

  64. At 05:14 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Rufus (33), lest anyone think from your post that a water vole would make a tasty Burns - or any other - Night meal, may I point out that voles are much smaller than any haggis I've seen or tasted.

    And I do like haggis, and the veggie variety, too - which I first tasted in Belfast. Must be MacSw**ns's, though, to be sure of the best taste and texture

    Other haggis manufacturers are available

  65. At 05:43 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Fyfe (59): Any suggestions for hunting the huggis?

    And do you sport a lovely beard like Dad? For the less initiated (i.e. younger) froggers, I add the following:

  66. At 06:34 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Richard Porter wrote:

    Burns Night

    As I'll be out this evening I had my haggis, neeps and tatties for lunch. The dram will come later.

    I'm only 50% Scottish, but born and brought up in south-east England. I just like haggis. Down here it's difficult to get any other time of the year.

  67. At 07:36 PM on 25 Jan 2007, madmary wrote:

    I like Haggis, only had it once though. I'm not having it tonight as I'm watching what I eat since Christmas.

    As for the Criminal Justice System, well there is no such thing. A system implies a coherent set of entities working in conjunction and cohesion.

    There is no such thing, just bodies charged with administering justice or parts of justice in a particular way.

    The law by and large works fine in this country. The stories that are published are not examples of how the rest of the cases work. They are hard cases which can never be erradicated no matter how much tinkering. If anything is wrong is the constant tinkering with our laws by this government responding to these hard cases. This never makes good law.

    For the record the man you received a suspended sentence in Mould DID receive a custodial sentence which was suspended.

    Oh and I was rather impressed by Eddie's show of legal knowledge in the programme tonight. I can't actually remember what he was on about but I remember being very impressed. Must be that course he was on.


  68. At 10:40 PM on 25 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    MadMary (67) was he really suspended in mould? Is that instead of prison....?

  69. At 10:40 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Stewart M wrote:

    Fyfe (59). As the haggis has two long and two shirt legs a quicker way to catch it is force it to turn around. It then can't stand and rolls down to the bottom of the hill.

    And Turnips to me have always been the big things. i.e Swedes. My dad calls them (swedes) Bagey. This, I belive is from the norse for turnip.

    It is probably a very local northumbrian usage of a word dating back centuries.

  70. At 10:54 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Perky wrote:

    Aperitif (58) What gave it away? Don't tell me, it was the husband! Girly I am, although I obviously have a masculine writing style. This is bad news for the lingerie website I wrote some copy for this morning...or perhaps not.

  71. At 11:39 PM on 25 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Perky (68), it was probaly just the name "Perky" - I dunno why, but it sounds like an American bloke to me. It may have been some of the jokes you posted a while ago. Hope you aren't disturbed by this -- and I'm sure the lingerie people love your prose.

    Female* Fiona (62), I really wasn't addressing the issue of the criminal justice system and understand your concerns about it. Like Si (61) I just cannot bear 'unsupported assertions' or the assunption by some that their opinion is that of the reasonable majority. (This is why I rarely read newspapers, but don't let me wander off on that tangent...)

    *Does my lack of surprise here disturb you? Hope not.

    A, x.

  72. At 12:17 AM on 26 Jan 2007, RJD wrote:

    Appy, (Cough)
    (RJD gently takes Appy to one side and whispers "I think you may be confusing Perky with Piper")

  73. At 02:41 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Appy (45),

    Noo, you'll no get shot, but if you give it enough reading (of course it helps to be among native speakers from time to time) the words make the right sounds in your head when you read them, and it's very musical. And full of spirit, humour and empathy.

    God(s) (generic) preserve us from sterilised uniform language.


  74. At 09:35 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Appy (as that seems to be the trendy nom du jour): I am female and a disgraced member of the shot-putting team of the former East Germany. I am unable to use my real name in public for fear of reprisals.

    Eva Kananbal

    (Oh, blast...)

  75. At 10:16 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    Gillian (63): It wouldn't be the first time that someone has called me a turnip.

  76. At 10:29 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    Well my haggis last night was magnificent. Whisky purists might be disappointed that my glass was poured from a miniature bottle I found at the back of a cupboard. Packed quite a punch though. Maybe it was Ajax.

  77. At 11:11 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Laird Mair: Glad the wee beastie didn't fail to please.

    Whatever was in the bottle in your cupboard (you did check the label first, I assume?), I hope you're recovering nicely with a big coffee today. Funny, though, that your huggis appears to have had a similar effect on Aperitif ....

    Do you know a good source for haggis? The only one I've ever eaten tasted like sausages.

  78. At 11:41 AM on 26 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Morning Eric (76), so long as you've made it to the studio it can't have been too bad.

    RJD (72), um, I do remember being surprised that Piper was a bloke as that sounded like a girly name to me. Do you think I've transferred the confusion? Apologies to both Perky and Piper if that's what happened... *hangs head in shame and looks at the floor*...

    Jason/Eva (74) keep taking the medication.

    Ed (73), Oh alright I give in! I admit, there are some bits I love, for example:

    "Something in ilk a part 'o thee,
    To praise, to love, I find,
    But dear as is thy form to me,
    Still dearer is thy mind."

    Sent to me in a home-painted Valentine's Day card by aforementioned Ayrshire boyfriend many moons ago.

  79. At 12:18 PM on 26 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    (76) Sounds like well-matured BabyBio to me.........

  80. At 12:28 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Belinda wrote:

    I'm glad that you had a great haggis Eddie!

    Our night was fantastic - and I am still slightly suffering through the results. We dined by candlelight, Mr Belinda did his gorgeous stories and poem readings although I was slightly more taken with his bare legs protruded from the kilt (I won't mention his Sporran), I read out "Ode to the Kidney Stone", we ate the various haggis/haggises/haggi/haggississippi and drank about 3/4 of the whisky between us, and then sang Auld Lang Syne rather loudly. I can't remember anything after that but I think the Bay City Rollers and Stan Rogers were involved.

  81. At 12:36 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Appy: Hi there! You slept well, I trust? And I love what your Ayshire lad wrote to you - Why did you let him go?

  82. At 12:52 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Hello Apertif (71) I totally agree with you - you are right to object to unsupported assertions and I take on board your points. I do have very real concerns about this and a great many other areas of the way this country is being run. But yes I appreciate that one has to be able to see all sides of the story before passing judgment. And I am the same - avoid reading newspapers (or at least the "news" part of the newspaper) as much as possible. My SO is guilty of that and then can rant endlessly about things he has read! It drives me nuts!

    Fiona x *

    * No, not surprised - relieved that you got it right :0)

  83. At 11:24 PM on 26 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Gossipmistress (79) ROFL!!!! Hahaha.

    Big Sis (81) We just grew apart -- I was only 19 when I met him and we had a few happy years together. Still have a coffee and a catch up now and then.

    Fiona (82) My Dad does that - reads something, decides that it's in the paper so it must be what everyone thinks and rants about it as if it's unadulterated truth. Wearing innit? He knows it winds me up so he does it all the more. Is it a bloke thing, d'you think? (not all blokes obviously...)

  84. At 01:08 PM on 27 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Appy (60, 71, 83) I also thought Perky was male (sorry Perky!) until some time last week and was really surprised! I also had no clue what sex Vyle was for quite a while.

    I think the assumptions we (I!) make are quite interesting and the Frog is a completely new ballgame for making oneself understood without the luxury of body language, background/context and the nuances of speech!

    On a different point, also entirely agree re Newpapers etc making assumptions about the way the nation feels GGrrrr!!

    GMx (female!)

  85. At 03:26 PM on 28 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    GM, I so-o agree with your second paragraph, I feel that one of you clever folk out there should be doing a study/paper on it. The New Phenomenon of Making Friends by Frog.

    Actually, having thought about that a bit more, it's not really a great deal different (just a bit more immediate) from the pleasure of being awarded a penfriend at school about 40odd years ago. Here you are, this one's for you, off you go and get to know them by writing copious amounts about your daily life - but often in a foreign language of course, which was a snag. Well, the language thing cramped my style but I tried my best.

  86. At 09:29 PM on 28 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:


  87. At 05:45 PM on 29 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Well Gossipmistress, I tried to push through a comment asking what "sex vyle" is and whether it hurts -- now that you know -- but it seems to have been moderated. I can't think why...

  88. At 12:02 AM on 30 Jan 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Why can Gossipmistress get "sex Vyle" through when I can't???

  89. At 12:03 AM on 30 Jan 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    Val (85) I think there is some difference from the penfriend situation -

    Our posts can be read by absolutely anyone and you can be getting into a 'conversation' with completely new froggers almost daily.

    Also, is there not a tendency to hold back on personal things because of the very public nature of it? So people will never get to know the real 'you' or 'me' unless we meet. And we can choose how much to reveal, or not, and, depending on what mood we're in, whether to take part in fun or serious debate. (and also to use bad grammar and too many commas....!)

    Oops I'd better stop before I give you a headache! GMx

  90. At 10:25 AM on 30 Jan 2007, Valery P wrote:

    GM - yes of course, it's by no means a perfect analogy, I was just musing as I typed. It's unique, I guess.

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