Mary Berry’s Apricot Frangipane Tart (or could it be a Quiche?)

But first a Random Rant.

What the hell has happened to the BBC news website? It’s my go-to primary source of news (If, on the other hand, I want non-news I wind myself up by reading about the latest shenanigans relating to Kim Kardashian on the Daily Mail Online).

The BBC website used to just tell you what was going on in reasonably impartial terms (not bad for a leftie organisation). But now they seem to have employed a 21 year old to redesign the site so that it feels like you are looking at….well I’m not sure. It’s like its designed for people who don’t read the news. GREAT BIG pictures. Sentences of no more than a few words. Lots of videos.

They say it’s because most people view the BBC site on phones and tablets. But people know better than to view lots of videos on the move because it uses up the battery and their network credit.

So what’s the real reason? Money. Austerity. Over here everyone who has a TV has to pay the BBC a license fee. It began a looooong time ago. Before commercial channels with advertising and of course well before cable or satellite subscriptions.

But now, in the brave new world of dog-eat-dog, the license fee is under threat. We have to pay it even if we don’t watch it. Even Sky hasn’t managed to pull that trick (although you know they wish they could).

So the BBC is trying to shrink into the background. You can imagine them sitting in their very expensive new offices in Manchester sweating it out.

‘What can we do?’

‘Can we make them forget?’

‘Forget what?’

‘The license fee.’


‘Well, let’s not increase the price. They’ll forget about it.’

‘Well how are we going to afford our inclusive diversity training weekends at Gleneagles?’

‘We’ll slash the online budget. We’ll create one website that works across any device. It’ll look crap because it will have much less content, but it’ll be super cheap to run.’

‘Excellent! Pour the champagne and give yourself a pay rise.’

So there we have it. A vanilla news website which seems oddly devoid of news. It’s got big pictures and large areas of white space. Groovy.

Still awake? Looking for some food? How about this. It came from BBC GoodFood. Now they aren’t messing around with websites. They do spend a bit too much time messing around with foods you’ll never try (like most recently wild garlic. Come on, wild garlic) but they also do really good things. For instance, Apricot Frangipane Tart.


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End of Year Review

As it is the season of goodwill to all men (and women obviously) I thought it an opportune time to list all the things that have really annoyed me this year. But before I do I wanted to share (there, that’s one of my pet hates, people who ‘share’. It’s not sharing fool, it’s showing, or telling, or asking, or phoning, or emailing) this year’s festive centrepiece…


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Tesco – taking ‘Every Little Helps’ to heart

So Tesco (the UK’s biggest retailer) just announced that it has been overstating its half-year profits by 25% (about £250m). It’s not clear how long this has been going on but the omens aren’t good.

Tesco is to the UK what Walmart is to the USA, minus the firearms. Thousands of stores, millions of customers. It takes nearly 30% of the UK market. It has so much food I get fat shopping there and have to go on diets all the time.

Now, Tesco’s ubiquitous marketing slogan is ‘Every little helps’. And it would appear that the company has been taking this message to heart.


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