The Year of Words: Day 343 - Last Monkee standing.

Now I know it's a living language and change is constant, but really could we try to maintain some standards boys and girls.

Bad enough that the American z makes it as a primary spelling in the Oxford English Dictionary, Worse than this is their helpful alternative British English spelling with (the correct) s. Obviously my real concern is that someone in the UK may actually use such a clumsy, lazy and unimaginative word. A Frankenword for me.

However, the archaic offering makes up for it with a much underused and poetic word for evening.

An Acreage rum baba

For those following the Bakerage output, I'm pleased to report that the trial run on an Acreage rum baba was a great big boozy success.

A couple of things I'd do differently next time, but judging bu the rate at which the Mem;Sahib demolished most of it, we can count this as a success.

Yeast work tick - choix pastry next on the list of things to tackle.

Today will probably see the icing applied to the Christmas cake. I have a mental picture of what I want to achieve, just a case of whether I can execute it. We shall see over the weekend.

I've just heard news of a mass casualty event in the United States. Later they explained this was the roof on an Amazon warehouse that had collapsed following stormy weather. Hopefully the injuries and casualties are limited.

United States of America

However, it did make me realise how the US (and those who watch it) have normalised gun violence in that country.

Had I heard of a mass casualty event in France, Germany or Australia, I would have assumed a train, plane or industrial accident.

I'm afraid to say as soon as I heard the words associated with the United States I jumped to the assumption that it would be another mass shooting.

Thankfully I was wrong this time, but what a sad state of affairs when high school shootings are the default assumption.

The last of the Saturnalian preparations at the Acreage today. The tree and understated decorations went up on Advent. I'm still old-fashioned enough to write Christmas cards to close friends and family and enjoy the calming aspect of that process. They've all written posted and en route or arrived.

Christmas cake for 2021

Thanks to Lois Caplin's recipe, I've have two excellent Christmas puddings made, steamed and part ready since June.

That recipe was in exchange for my Christmas cake recipe. The cake was made at the end of September and has been fed thrice since so is nicely moist and boozy..

It's usual for it to convert at least one 'I don't like fruit cake' proclaimers. We'll see how things turn out this year, all I can say is it smells lovely.

Today was time to marzipan and ice this year's cake. which has now been done. Nothing complex but it's seasonal enough. The task now is to keep it away from the house mouse (also known as the Mem'Sahib) who can launch pre-emptive strikes on comestibles with very little warning. However, regardless of that particular challenge, that's all the preparations for Saturnalia 2021 done.

Lastly today, I listened as is my wont to Absolute 80s Saturday morning show with Frank Skinner. I found myself in complete agreement with his comments about the death of former Monkees member Michael Nesmith.

Hey, hey, we're the Monkees

Being of a certain age, my Saturday mornings and school holidays were punctuated by the presence of The Monkees tv show. Ridiculed at the time for being an artificial and contrived confection (which was entirely true), their music was never as cool to like as the Beatles or The Rollings Stones.

Of course, the fact that all boy bands are now contrived confections could just mean they were ahead of their time. I'm unashamedly a fan and always have been. What's more, I can't be alone as this uncool, contrived band outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967. That's the height of Beetlemania, in the middle of the Sgt Pepper album and at the zenith of the Stones first wave of success.

It's also a sad reminder that only one of those young personalities so full of life and energy remain and he's just about to turn 80.

I agree with Frank Skinner - I'm not sure why Michael Nesmith's death was such a marker, but it was.

Perhaps the quietest and most reserved of the four, Nesmith was also responsible for the idea (Poptracks) that led to the creation of MTV. Not surprising coming from an inventive family (his mother was the inventor of Tippex).

For those who, like me remember those tv shows of the seventies, I'll leave you with a memory of the Monkees with more than usual contribution from Mr Nesmith.

The Monkees - You just may be the one (1966)


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