Everything dies baby that’s a fact

But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.

Bruce Springsteen wrote and sang that.

Several things have brought this lyric to mind of late.

 It could apply to the careers of discredited New Labour politicians, Middle East peace envoy, pull the other one!

 Banks and city bonuses, resurrected almost before they were cold.

 The Lisbon treaty or was it a constitution?

Either way Lisbon died in the jaws of a Celtic tiger and was resurrected by the tears of a wasted leprechaun who had squandered his crock of gold and ended up chasing after the next rainbow.

Don’t tell me we live in a democracy, unless you call having a yes no choice and knowing that you will be asked again and again until you get it right, democratic. I call it disgraceful when I can be bothered to engage with it at all. Then I am told that apathy is the real enemy of democracy. Well I tell you this, when I don’t vote it will be down to anything but apathy. When we vote we unwittingly legitimise a corrupt system, therefore we are left with no choice but to register our unwillingness to be complicit in this charade by our abstinence.

What all the evidence tells us is that all the important decisions are made in advance and then justified afterwards. (See Iraq inquiry for details).

Some deeper than usual thinking has been prompted by the convergence of the extended winter break and some additional reading matter supplied or recommended by friends and family.

I was approaching half way through The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins and feeling that he could have said everything necessary to make his point in a book half the size, (perhaps if you aspire to be taken seriously size really does matter) when a friend recommended The Road and everything did die including my will to go on.

Then just when it couldn’t possibly get any darker a star appeared in the east, well three stars to be precise and not exactly in the east either, that was a bit of artistic licence. From here in Sussex the stars would have appeared in the north, directing the way to Bray via Heston Blumenthal’s fabulous Fat Duck Cook Book.

Now I am no fanatical foodie and not even a passable cook. Combine this with several food intolerances and an irrational fear of posh restaurants and you begin to see just how unlikely a present my wife gave me in the form of The Fat Duck Cookbook.

I can only explain the delight and satisfaction this gift has given me by the following.

The first time I saw Mr Blumenthal on the BBC I knew nothing of his background and reputation and certainly had no desire to visit a three star restaurant.

All that immediately changed.

Blumenthal has qualities that are rare and beautiful wherever they are found.

They transcend the narrow confines of the possessor’s specialist subject to inspire those who connect with him from whatever distance.

 And the moral of this tale, it’s an ill rant that blows no one any good.

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