Sunday, 27 July 2014


Stop the press, hold the front page, I am about to share with you a simple, perfect recipe for a vegetable curry that will satisfy your need for an unhealthy takeaway! The vegetables can be varied according to what you have in the fridge, but potatoes are essential.

1 Onion
1 Clove garlic
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
Olive oil for frying
Stock cube (chicken or veg)
400ml boiling water
2 medium potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
Small cauliflower
75g red split lentils


Jug to make stock
Large frying pan with lid (or large saucepan)
Sharp knife
Vegetable chopping board

First, prepare all vegetables, finely chop the onion and crush the garlic. Peel and chop potatoes into chunks of about 3 centimetres, a bit bigger for the sweet potatoes as they cook more quickly. Then break up cauliflower into small florets of similar size.  Chopping is the crucial stage, you do not want vegetables too small as they will break up during cooking. 

Wash the lentils in a sieve under a running tap. 

Make up stock with stock cube and boiling water.

Now we are ready to cook.  Heat oil in pan and fry onion and garlic, start to add spices and vegetable chunks until all are coated and lightly fried, then add stock and lentils, stir gently, then simmer with lid on for 25/30 mins, adjust liquid as necessary, according to how thick you want the gravy to be.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Resist the urge to stir unnecessarily, you want the vegetables to cook through but you want them to stay whole. 

To bump up the vegetable count, I added chopped mushrooms at the frying stage, and sprinkled half a cup of frozen peas on the top a few moments before serving.  I served it with home made chapatis (flour, oil, water and salt) and the general consensus was 'to die for'. 

I thought I would share it here, as I am involved in an exciting local cooking project and testing recipes.  Indian cookery is a new venture for me, so above may not be as authentic as it could be, but as it can be knocked up with what you have in the store cupboard and fridge, I simply had to pass it on! 

For anyone starting out on Indian cookery the main spices you need will be cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala and curry powder - once you have those, the world is your curried lobster!

Ps.  Make sure lentils are thoroughly cooked, they should turn to mush.

Friday, 25 July 2014

DEAR CRISTOBELL - the alternate advice column

From:  Iris Wotthefucksheupto

Dear Cristobell,

My husband has started to act most peculiar in the bedroom. During our err, intimate moments, he growls as if he were a lion. A sort of long drawn out grrr before he pounces on me. I am a sensitive woman and see this as display of machismo, so I try not laugh, although all my mates think it is hilarious. However, I do not wish to hurt his feelings but he has taken to sneaking up behind me and purring in my ear, at the most unexpected moments. There was a very unfortunate incident with the Sunday Roast. Can you advise:

Cristobell Reply:

You are indeed a sensitive woman Iris, apart from the mates bit. Whilst, I applaud your compassionate nature - laugh you must. Failure to do so could lead to all sorts, such as the Silverback chest hammering, or crotch grabbing accompanied by a grunt. It is not to be encouraged, you are a lady!

But I sense you are concerned he might eat you.  Perhaps he is turning into a werewolf?  Check the back of his hands - you are looking for extra hair, you should also take a close look at the top of his feet. Has he allowed his toenails to grow? Do his arms seem a little bit longer? Does he howl when there is a full moon? We already know he salivates at the sight of meat, or was it a vegetarian nut roast? A crucial question, a nut roast would rule out the whole need for a demon hunter and a silver bullet, always a big investment.

There are of course, alternate ways to handle the situation. You could join in the game, if he wants to be cat, you be a dog? Try barking at him ferociously and see if he jumps on the sideboard. I’m not into role playing myself, playfully tell a guy he looks cute with your lipstick on, and the next thing you know he’s dressed up in your basque and stockings. 

Once you have ruled out the whole demon thing, there is no need for further action, and who knows, grrrring might be fun!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Have The Six Hundred been arrested for Cybercrime?

The majority of the public will see the 660 headline and the 50,000 paedophiles living and working among us, and will vote for any government brave enough to root them out.  We will accept the figures without question and hug our children a little closer, clearly we are surrounded by perverts.
Lets take the word paedophilia out of the crime for a moment, and effectively, what we have seen is 660 people arrested for cyber crime,  I refer t them as The Six Hundred, as they do indeed now face a Valley of Death.  This is a case where innocent until proven guilty matters not a jot.  We don't know the details, we don't need to know the details, they're  yucky, paedophilia of whatever category is a capital offence right? 
But before we fire up the bonfires, shouldn't we have some sort of adult debate?  Following the case of missing Madeleine McCann has given me some insight into government and media tactics of using sensational headlines to make us 'look over here, not over there'. 
From the scant details available, only 39 of those arrested were registered sex offenders.  That means that 621 were not.  I want to know why not?  Are we to believe that these men have never, ever, been reported for abusing children in the real world?  If it follows that viewing child pornography leads to abuse then there must be real victims.  So why have the 621 men never been reported, and if they were, why was no action taken? 
What constitutes an indecent picture of a child?  If a mother posts a picture of her child in the bath, is she sharing underage images?  Ditto, ditsy teens sending 'selfies' to their friends via text.  Everyone appears to be too coy, to question what the images were of.  We have heard about the grotesque and the horror, but not about the majority, and I am assuming these weren't the majority as it would effectively mean children are being slaughtered on every street in Britain as we speak.
Lets take the hysteria out of the debate, and examine the crimes.  How is child pornography categorized?  There must be varying degrees.  Does it involve children in varying stages of undress, or does it involve children dressed up a la tiny pageant queen Jonbenet Ramsey?  Kiddie pageants have a huge paedophile following.  Paedophilia is like any other crime, it has different branches, different tastes, different crimes there has to be a distinction between the lonely outcast who's crime is seriously bad taste in porn, but has harmed no-one and the actions of prolific child abuser with access to thousands of kids. 
Unfortunately, due to the 'delicacy' of the subject, the public won't ask questions.  Paedophilia has become the new terrorism, the threat to our children that will lead even the most rational among us to shout encore when a politician suggests policing the internet.  No-one will question, or God forbid, defend the 600 for fear of being accused themselves.  We have a perfect 'Crucible' situation, paedophiles are this century's witches, the evil that lies at the heart of society. Effectively, they are being arrested for cyber crime, and from a freedom of speech and human rights perspective, that is a very dangerous path to go down. 
In recent years, paedophile rings have been uncovered through the bravery of the victims and the whistleblowers, NOT the internet.  In the case of Jimmy Savile, isn't it strange that the real reports made to the police about him were ignored for decades?  If he had taken time away from the actual abusing to download images he would have been picked up within seconds!
'The smallest minority on the earth is the individual.  Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities' - Ayn Rand

Monday, 14 July 2014

PAEDOS IN THE PANTRY - In Support of Stephen Fry

I am a care leaver and a campaigner for victims of child abuse.  I thought I had better establish my credentials before the accusations of paedophile supporter start flying into my mailbox.  The truth is I agree wholeheartedly with Stephen Fry and I applaud him for his bravery in standing up and calling a spade a spade.  He may not thank me for this, but he's the little boy with the guts to say 'the Emperor's got no clothes'.

Rooting out elderly men who groped their underage secretaries 40 years ago, does nothing whatsoever to assist the genuine victims of child abuse.  Too many of the complaints are scant, trivial and unsubstantiated, yet lives are being ruined because we appear to be in the middle of a witch hunt against society's new enemy.  The Paedophile. 

Will we learn anything new from it?  Not really, perhaps don't give the keys of a high security hospital to a narcissistic psychopath. But in most societies that's a given.  Removing the lonely oddbod who looks up girls in knickers in his lonely bedsit, won't save any lives, the chances are, he's terrified of kids*.  Making a psychological evaluation of those with power of vulnerable people (its not just kids) would be far more effective and would save thousands more lives. 

During one Government purge against the new enemy, 140 kids were taken into care, and 39 men committed suicide (Operation Ore).  That wasn't justice, that was barbarity. Kids in care by the way are the most likely to be abused, so how goes it for that 140? Most of those accused were acquitted, but their lives were ruined.  Have we ever seen figures of how many children were actually saved?

For whatever reasons the authorities have created a storm about paedophiles in our midst that simply isn't true.  I feel as though we are entering an era of 'reds under the beds', but now it seems to  be paedos in the pantries. 

It is completely false to claim that our children are in constant danger from strangers in parks and on the internet. The majority of children, probably 99%, are abused within their own homes and by people who know them.  Stranger danger is so rare, most of us can count on one hand and name the poor mites who were snatched. 

If this new band of paedophile hunters genuinely cared about child abuse, they would focus their resources on the abuse that is happening every day within thousands of homes up and down the land, not on inappropriate hanky panky from 40 years ago.  If the frontline resources dealing with such tragic cases as Baby P, had anything like the funding given to this new moral crusade how many thousands of real children could be saved?  Ones for whom we do have facts, figures and statistics. 

This is not about finding those abusing children, it is about feathers in caps. Macho men trying to prove how much testosterone is running through their manly biceps as they smash in the heads of the sexual deviants and show the world what good, clean family values they have.  And of course the audience applauds because everyone one wants to string up a paedophile don't they? As the loudhailer yells 'will those who don't, please form an orderly line for the ducking stool'. 

I actually feel for the men who are the victims of this latest police purge. Mostly because they cannot speak out, and people cannot be seen to support them.  Paedophilia is the most heinous crime any person can be accused of, ergo they are scuppered before they can even begin their defence. For many, the offences they are accused of are so trivial and banal, that the sane among us would dismiss them in an instant. Unfortunately, when a crusade is underway, sanity flies out the window. 

My views on paedophiles has changed considerably over the years, mostly because I have taken the time and trouble to study the subject.  Unfortunately, open discussion about the issue always begins and ends with hysteria.  Those trying to point out the sheer fruitless, and maybe sinister, reasons behind investigating crimes that happened decades ago, will always be shot down and accused of supporting paedophilia.  It always ends the discussion, which is probably intentional.  Its one of those, 'you are either with us, or against us' issues that make otherwise normal people's boil, to the point where they become totally irrational. 

Stephen Fry will no doubt come under heavy fire, but I say bravo to him, those who pointed out the madness of the USA's McCarthy trials were similarly vilified and history proved them dead right. 

* I once had care of an elderly disabled man with learning difficulties who had a penchant for school girls in mini skirts, he would probably tick many of 'r u a paedo' boxes, he hung around parks, and he googled kids in knickers.  But he was a gentle and harmless soul, and crucifying him would be reminiscent of the hanging of Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. What a cruel world this is, if this is what society wants.