Sunday, 6 September 2009

Degrees of matching cooking pots

Here’s a conundrum for you. The UK government is gradually making it virtually mandatory for you to have a degree qualification for your job. The latest vocation to being considered for professionalisation under the jack-boot of the degree-obsessed is that of a prison officer. Why is it then that those who lead us us and generate reams of legislation need no qualification whatsoever – not even so much as a City & Guilds qualification in political science?

Another observation - matching cooking pans; are they about cooking, or lifestyle bollocks? My mother had a chip pan which cooked the most delicious chips I’ve ever tasted; a saucepan of dubious provenance; a pressure cooker from the cretaceous epoch and 3 stewing pots which were as matched as Paris Hilton, Stephen Hawking and Lemmy from Motorhead and had been sourced from her mother.

Had a slight problem with the e-cigar. I had come to my last one, only for it to last 24 hours before packing up, leaving me with no supplies but 2 on order. Postal strikes and the usual delays resulted in me being bereft of ersatz smoking, hence I bought a couple of packets of fags to tide me over. Hay was not impressed and made me buy a nicotine inhaler from the chemist’s yesterday – what a waste of money.

The device is not an inhaler at all, but a very basic plastic cigarette holder that merely allows you to suck a dose of nicotine and menthol from sponge in a plastic tube into your mouth, rendering it totally useless as an alternative to smoking. A single cartridge is meant to last for 20 minutes of puffing, but mine lasted all of 5 minutes.

Added to that it cost me £5.99 for the ‘inhaler’ and 6 cartridges, being the supposed equivalent of 12 to 18 cigarettes. That makes it almost twice the cost of smoking cigs. I wouldn’t mind, but I’m certain these things are manufactured for substantially less than 50p. They are neither technologically sophisticated, nor made of expensive materials; you could construct one from a biro tube and a cut up sponge.

If the government really wanted people to give up smoking, these things would be handed out for fractionally more than they cost to make – if not free. It’s senseless midering us about the cost of smoking-related diseases on the National Health Service and then not facilitating quitting in a cost-effective manner. There again, any rational human knows that the taxes from smoking (£10bn in excise and VAT) cover the cost of smoking-related disease (£1.5bn) many times over.

I can’t wait for my proper e-cigar to be delivered.


  1. To be honest - and I know I have said this before - you are an intellegent and professional man - why not just stop smoking? A few days of longing and that's it.

    Richard x x x

  2. You're not getting a tiny bit irascible are you Chairman? Those well-honed powers of ridicule and sarcasm - which in the past have cut to shreds faceless bureaucracy and controlling mediocrity - being directed at the humble cooking pot! If a movement is started to buy a supply of e-cigars for you count me in as a subscriber.

  3. Richard: The urge simply isn't there.

    Alan: It's not the cooking pots themselves, but those who buy co-ordinated everything which get my goat.

  4. In my opinion anything matching that you are not going to wear is pretty dam pointless but then I am not a domestic goddess like Nigella.
    The comment about giving up smoking being a few days of longing made me laugh. I gave up about six years ago and sometimes I could still smoke. The craving went on for months and no amount of sucking on a bit of plastic was stopping me form being a psycotic bitch. ( Sorry to break the news to anyone trying to give up ). Women do look kind of odd with cigars though.

  5. The Brits have a great desire for everything New and Matching. If you cannot keep up with the Jones you are considered poor or lacking. I wouldn't be surprised if soon enough enough we are considered below the poverty line if we don't have a set of matching pans. I find a nice set of matching pans - whilst being visually appealing - pale in comparison to the provenance of a well-used pot...

  6. Sir, I wish to register my concern at the fact that your grand-mother was involved with the sourcing/saucing of both Stephen Hawking and Lemmy? (Groan)

    I have matching nothing in my home... Not even my husband's socks match when I have my way with the laundry.

    I am always reminded of that French and Saunders sketch, where the woman is head to toe Laura Ashley with matching wallpaper and soft furnishings, and she cannot make herself visible to her husband... It loses a lot in translation, but it is true, I swear.

  7. I'm with Richard, Just give up you miserable old Bugger....
    I thought the old ships motto would have been held in higher esteem in your household !

    Eat more spicy food, cooked in unmatching pots, I am sure the local Taj has a whole mismash of crap out the back....

    I think we have two matching things in our homes.. yes having just checked we do.. the mess in the Kitchen bears a similarity to the mess in the Bathroom... close enough to be a match anyway !

    Have Hay take the advice of the "Woman of no importance,
    Thought 1: It wouldn't be hard in the Caravan... Thought 2: Maybe the "woman of no importance" is Hay in disguise as I do think I noticed odd socks on my last visit.

  8. You can have all the matching cooking pots in the world and be a useless dick in the kitchen....

    As for the demand for degrees, it's a pet hate of mine. Blame the bloody Septics....

  9. Having "just stopped" smoking I know that it's hard to do but very, very worth while.

    Anyway - for some time until recently I was a trustee of a local health charity - we employed several people and our policy was only to take graduates.

    1. They had a certain discipline about completing tasks on time.

    2. They were used to writing reports/essays.


  10. Richard: But what was the staff turnover rate? Employ over-qualified people and they will soon be on the move to better paid jobs. Employ only graduates and you miss out on a wealth of experience - especially if a degree is not really required to do the job.

  11. Coordination? What I can't abide is 'theming'. My ex-mother-in-law had a shells-and-lighthouses theme in her house...gruesome it was. Now my mother has cottoned on to the fact that we keep chickens and I am awash with chicken pictures, chicken mugs, chicken cushion covers, chicken tea get the drift...

  12. Can't quit - don't want to. The former you're knackered, the latter you eventually will be. Maybe just bite the ersatz bullet, not the E cigar... With the loot saved you'll be able to buy some nice matching jumpers for you and Hay! ;)

  13. Would have thought you were made of sterner stuff CB, it would kill me to have to pay that greedy toss pot Gordon Brown and his parasites one penny more than I have to ( now as for alcohol that's a different matter entirely I just grin and bear it )