Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Top 5 Canadian Beers

One of the fun things about moving to Toronto is exploring a whole new craft beer scene.

I say "Canadian beers", but beer distribution is pretty regionalised, and all but one of the following five are from Ontario. That said, Ontario has a diverse and delicious array of beers on offer.

The emphasis on styles is very different from the UK. Maybe it's something to do with the climate. Compared to the UK, summers here are boiling hot, and winters freezing cold. It does not favour subtle beers. An aggressively hopped IPA, like an oddly refreshing smack across the face with a plank of wood; or a potent and tar-black imperial stout, maybe flavoured with chocolate or coffee; may be just what the doctor ordered.

I sometimes miss an English bitter or Scottish 80 shilling. There's a reasonable selection of imported British beers, but even the big shops don't carry Black Sheep or Caledonian 80. The local brews are tasty though; all of the following are firm favourites and regular denizens of my fridge.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019


British politics is a steaming heap of rubbish. Every time I look, the pile is higher and smellier. It's leaking some kind of fluid. There are things moving around in there. It's making disturbing organic noises. Why would I want to poke it with a stick?

Metaphorically speaking, this is why I haven't written much on this blog lately. I've followed British politics for a long time. If anything I do so more closely now, because it has the fascination of all truly awful disasters. But I just haven't had it in me to write about it. I salute commentators like @IanDunt, @ChrisGrey, and @SteveBullock who have the fortitude to cover it week in and week out; and I have the highest respect for people like Professor Tanja Bueltmann, who has suffered relentless personal abuse for championing the rights of EU immigrants to the UK.

That said, an election is upon us, and I have words to say about it. The hard part is using words, not just incoherent wails of despair; but here we go.

Image source: Getty Images via BBC

Thursday, 13 June 2019

In Which I Select The Least Awful Conservative Leadership Candidate

The British Conservative Party is having the leadership contest for which it has long yearned.

Inspired by John Scalzi's posts on the 2016 and 2012 US Republican candidates, I am ranking the contenders from most to least terrible.

Rogues' gallery. Image source: BBC

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Jumping The Queue And Other Lies

Theresa May, who brought us the hostile environment, the "citizens of nowhere" speech, and the Windrush deportations, has struck again. This time, trying to sell her embattled Brexit deal to the public, she has said it will stop EU citizens from "jumping the queue" ahead of "engineers from Sydney or software developers from Delhi".

This is offensive nonsense. There is no queue; EU citizens have exercised a right of free movement guaranteed by international treaty. But it's revealing of the aims and likely outcome of Brexit.

Theresa May. Source: The Independent/Reuters

What does May mean by this phrase? Of course, some of it is tribal signalling, almost beneath the level of spoken language. "Britain good, Europe bad" is the crude subtext. For this purpose, she might as well be flinging her own feces at a European flag. But there's something more interesting going on here.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Monday, 15 October 2018

What Is This I Cannot Even

Reading the news seemed a harmless habit, even virtuous; but that was before the world went wrong.

I miss the old days, when we could be concerned about a stained blue dress or a guy eating a bacon sandwich. Paying attention to current affairs is becoming too much to stomach.

Blogging here has been light for a while, and nonexistent for a month. That's partly because I'm still settling into my new life in Toronto. Maybe some of it is blog fatigue, after four years of posting on a weekly basis. But mostly it's just... how do you react to absolute and total madness?