Monday, May 18, 2009

Kilts we Wear

The Times of London reported on an unbelievable story coming out of Utah. A young high school lad was working on an art project and it required him to wear a kilt on occasion. A few key point need to be made first. He is ok with wearing the kilt as it was his idea and yes, he is Scottish. He probably got the ok from his teacher and there is no word that he got any guff from classmates. Myself, I would not give any guff to any man with balls to wear a kilt. Can I saw Black Watch? Apparently his principal doesn’t have any. Brains, that is. He told the lad not to wear the kilt because somebody could accuse him of cross dressing. To that I say bollocks. Somebody in administration apparently has some education and order the principal to apologize. He also needs to get an education on world culture and heritage. The lad’s family, McFarland, operates the Clan MacFarlane Heritage Center and Museum of Highland Life. This may be a good time for a class field trip. I think some need to get out more. No word yet if any of the girls tried to peek.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Take Pride

Well, after my little note about Guinness 250 I do have a beer that I can take pride in drinking: London Pride. The pub, known to have pipers from time to time, (OK, it's Piper's Pub) has London Pride, London Porter and ESB. Fine beers from London's independent brewer, Fullers. I am thrilled to have the Pride but I have to say that the Porter is my favorite beer when I am in London. Fuller's brews it as a seasonal in the UK so I can't say how long it will be on tap here. The phrase, so many beers, so little time aptly here. Now I do enjoy a Guinness but side by side I think the Porter is a better brew. So let's do an experiment. Try a pint of each, side by side, or one after another and see what you think. The Porter just has so much more to offer, I think. The body is there (a bit deeper) and the malt comes through in the mouth (it lingers on). It is a tad colder than I prefer but I can let it warm up. And it goes great with any football match. I just wish it came on cask.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

London Back Alleys

Anyone who knows London knows that it is a city for walking. We think of London as a big city but it really is a collection of villages and squares, each containing little nooks and crannies that most people don’t know about. One of my greatest joys when I visit is to walk the back alleys of “the town”. In my walks I have found Hen & Chicken Court (did Pepys live nearby?) and the Home of Sir Lawrence, just to name a few. A number of nice pubs can be found as well. Most people think of back Alleys as sinister places to avoid but they can yield wonderful finds. As for Back Alley, yes it does exist in London.

It was with delight that I found a website by Ivor Hoole entitled A Guide
to the alleys, courts, passages and yards of central London. These alleys have been here for centuries and they hold London’s history. Mr. Hoole writes eloquently about them and their history. His site should be required reading before any visit to London. He has taken the time to list over 400 alleys and yards and his passion for his work comes through. I have to say that it would be a pleasure to take a walk with Mr. Hoole. On your walks you will notice blue plaques on the front of homes. These show where famous people once lived. More information can be found at English Heritage and here is a map.