Two interesting differences between Singapore and the UK

  1. We saw a five-or six-year old Caucasian kid running alone through a hawker centre, presumably off to buy something, and no parent running and shouting after her.
  2. Several groups of locals stopped to openly shoot photos and videos of Anne running around in a water fountain (essentially a splash park) at Clarke Quay, and no one seemed concerned they might be accused of being a paedo.
Clarke Quay fountain

Eh, what time is it?

Amid the haze of Anne’s jet lag (read: up at midnight, demanding milk! grapes! movie Elsa! water! something to eat! crisps! story Anna! Hello Kitty Cat book!, kicking me in the head while watching ‘movie Elsa’), a couple of things where I do agree extreme action is needed:

  • This PUA is pretty scummy and shouldn’t be allowed to peddle his abusive shite anywhere. Sure, some people need to learn to appear more self-confident to get dates, but to actually promote debasing someone in order to get laid? Someone sort this fucker out.
  • When religious extremists start murdering regular people for simply being there, it needs to become really uncomfortable to be a part of these crazies. In some sense, I do agree that if they want to go to Syria or wherever to fight with the crazies, they are sending a clear signal that they don’t want to be a part of sane society any longer, so they should be stopped from returning and bringing the psycho with them.

I found a good recipe for ramen miso

Ramen miso

As Neil has been unimpressed by what Wagamama has to offer here in Swindon, I’ve been hoping to stumble upon an easy recipe for soupy ramen. Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen.

For some reason, I tend to find many recipes unnecessarily complex in their reading. For this soup, I pan-fried sliced shiitake mushrooms, finely-chopped garlic, and sliced ginger in vegetable oil, then turned off the heat once the mushrooms had softened. I sliced firm tofu into one-cm cubes, dissolved approximately half a cup of brown miso paste — i.e. what I had left in the jar, the recipe actually calls for white miso — in a cup of hot (but not boiling) water, straight in the slow cooker bowl. That step took me a wee while. Once mixed, I added more hot water (the recipe says seven cups, I guessed), threw in the mushrooms (garlic and ginger), tofu, and a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce. I cooked it for six hours (my slow cooker doesn’t have low or high settings). I defrosted some chopped spinach when I was about ready to eat, added it to the cooker, stirred it around then added a dash of sesame oil. I cooked some ramen noodles and ladled the soup over, stopping to pick out the ginger.

One rule for me

Maybe I’m being extremely thick here — I don’t really understand the objection to dealing with the West Lothian question and further Scottish devolution at the same time.

(Except if you’re a Labour politician. That I get.)

For the general population of Scotland — if independence is so important to the 45 percent of those who voted — empathy with the English people’s desire to have full control of their local affairs should come naturally. Of course it works well, politically, for the Conservatives, but why is it being declared as reneging on the promise?

Unless the Scots have no interest in fairness and social justice for others…?

Will there be trouble

When supporters of the Yes camp say people need to vote the right way next time, as well as saying those who voted No were bribed, intimidated, or led on by false promises, it leads me to think they have nothing but contempt for their fellow voters who happen to disagree. Not a promising sign.

(Refusing to pay their TV licence fee is also pretty stupid. And I’m not sure if they’ve noticed, but newspapers have been suffering for a long time anyway — I doubt most of those 45-percenters buy any papers. Numpties.)

Alex Salmond will go out a hero, deserved or otherwise. People will continue to talk about and press for political change, which is a good thing. At least something good’s come out of this long and nasty campaign.

Please make sure you register to vote and actually go out and do it at your local and national elections. There’s no point bitching about things being bad because of corrupt politicians if you say you’re so disenchanted you won’t vote — you’re being a hypocrite.

And I would not want to be out on the street in Glasgow tonight. Yeesh.

Thursday’s a-coming

Being outside of Scotland, Neil and I have been pretty shielded from most of the Scottish referendum propaganda, but we do hear reports from his mum about how it’s being discussed so much she’s utterly sick of it. It says so much that Neil does not get a vote, but a more impressionable 16-year old does.

If a majority of voters does vote to break away from the UK, it will not be seamless and they won’t suddenly live in a utopia where everything they liked about the UK remains and everything they didn’t like is replaced with something better. A small nation becoming independent faces a hard road ahead. I have no doubt Scotland could ultimately be economically successful as an independent country, but I doubt there is sufficient awareness of the cost — cost to the short- and medium-term stability of the region, and cost to the economic and civic freedoms Scottish residents currently enjoy.

Many of the things the Independence camp are touting as ‘Scotland’s too’ (the pound, the NHS, the defence forces, the BBC) come about because they are part of the union. If they choose to leave said union, it stands to reason that those things will exit the country, and Scotland will need to set them up themselves. Threatening to punish businesses for warning about the costs of uncertainty and nationalising the oil industry doesn’t really lend itself to that vision of utopia.

Please vote for independence if you live in Scotland and believe you will be able to shoulder the burden and responsibility, helping your community to do the same. Please do not encourage people to vote for independence if you do not live there — and therefore will not have to deal with the consequences.