Friday, May 11, 2007

Barcelona bound, fish suppers and how to keep Chinese food hot in the car on the way home

Another great thumping carbon footprint imprinted on the peatscape of Shetland last night, as I had to Berlingo young Martha into Lerwick so she could catch the boat to Barcelona.
Not that the NorthLink ferry goes directly to Spain, you understand. The voyage south to Aberdeen is just the first leg on the Brae High School trip to investigate the historical and cultural delights of the Catalan capital. And to spend a day or two at the Port Aventura theme park.
Huh! In my day, it was a week at a disused army camp in Abington, Lanarkshire. Kids today! Various Morton offspring have enjoyed school-sponsored jaunts to Japan, Texas, Italy, Amsterdam, France, Alton Towers and, err...Edinburgh.
Never mind, I'm off to the Islay Whisky Festival in a couple of weeks. In a vintage VW camper. It was meant to be a tent, but the rheumatism is kicking in...
While in Lerwick, I had a couple of mineral waters with BBC Radio Scotland boss and fellow blogger Jeff Zyciniski, who was on an official visit to BBC Radio Shetland. Much rejoicing in the Radio Scotland camp following yesterday's excellent RAJAR audience figures. Though individual presenters don't get to know how their own shows are performing until someone breaks down the numbers using various secret implements, probably including a sledgehammer. So all we on-air gobs on sticks stay in our usual state of rampant paranoia and jolly, confident fear...then we hire cars with louspeakers attached, like old-style political campaigners, and tour the streets, pleading in tinny voices with people to listen to our shows. Dammit, we have children to send to Barcelona!
(Actually, the TM show's figures are pretty good, and my contract's just been renewed, so I don't pull my usual trick of falling at Jeff's feet weeping).
No, we talk about this and that, Tony Blair's peculiar hair and how to keep Chinese takeaways hot when you have to carry them 35 miles home, as I was planning to do later in the evening.
"Put them in the engine compartment" said Jeff "like we used to do with fish suppers." I look at Jeff in a completely new light. He is my boss. I will try it.
Well, it may have worked with fish suppers (salt? vinegar? diesel?) but my honey-glazed crispy beef with egg fried rice tastes distinctly peculiar by the time I get home. Maybe it was was too near the exhaust pipe.
Not everyone actually gets to taste their carbon footprint, I guess. Better than monosodium glutamate.

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