Daily Archives: December 6, 2009

Rat in mi kitchen

The Z-list celebrity Gino D’Acampo (who he?) has won the TV reality show ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here.’ Moments after winning, he was arrested by the Australian authorities and charged with animal cruelty for allegedly killing and cooking a rat during his time on the programme.

He has claimed that the strict rice and beans diet while being ‘in exile’ forced him to catch and kill the rat, so he and his fellow contestants could have some meat with their food.

The reaction in the British press appears to be one of indignation. Puns on the word rat are being bounced around, and no doubt this will only increase Gino’s marketability… he is a TV chef after all. Though, I’d never even heard of him before this event, so as far as I am concerned he is just a TV chef who cooks rats.

There is a lot of surprise being expressed online on the blogs and in the media. How could cruelty to a rat be an offence when people like Rentokil are paid to round up and kill vermin?

Yet, the one thing many people are not asking is when did killing animals for fun become prime-time TV? These celebrities were not suffering. They were not lost in the outback starving to death and in desperate need of this rat. They just calculated that by killing and cooking a rat, it would get a few more column inches. It would serve to increase their own popularity by creating additional controversy.

They calculated correctly, but I hope their plan backfires in the long run.

This TV show uses the ‘Bush-tucker trials’ as tests, to see how far the celebrities can go to earn food or other rewards. These trials often involve being forced to eat insects or other live animals, or being covered in live animals. Since when did this abuse become entertainment?

I predict that in five or ten years, TV critics will cast an eye back on ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ and shake their heads at what we once considered entertainment for a weekend evening, rather like looking back at old footage of the Black & White Minstrel show today.

I just got a new niece today!

Last night, at about 12.23am, my sister gave birth to a little girl at Frimley Park Hospital – Elsie May Symes. It’s the same hospital I was born at, though when I was born it was much smaller and on a site down the road from the present location.

Congratulations to both Jamie and Caroline and I’m really pleased to hear that the labour and birth all went well. I haven’t heard the full story from my sister yet, but I did hear that there was a fear of complications so she was rushed into theatre. Fortunately it was all OK though.

Elsie weighs 3.4kg, which is a pretty good birth weight and it’s all especially pleasing because she is about two and half weeks early.

Dad Jamie will be pleased at the early birth though. He had pledged to not touch a drop of alcohol in the last couple of weeks of Caroline’s pregnancy, so he could always be on standby for the big event… which would mean a few football games without a pint. And the danger with that pledge was also that if the baby was a few days late then he would have an entire Christmas without a single glass of advocaat!

Fortunately the baby chose to be born earlier and mother and baby are both well. Now dad has an excuse to crack open some Champagne today!

Aftermath of the second Ealing Tweetup

On Friday night we had the second Ealing Tweetup, at the Rose & Crown pub.

We managed to block together a few tables and a good crowd came along to talk together in person, rather than just on Twitter. It was a really good evening and a chance to catch up with some people from the Tweetup last May as well as find some new friends.

There was quite a political flavour in the air this time as Lib Dem councillor and Ealing parliamentary candidate Jon Ball came along for a pint as well as Julian Bell, Labour leader of Ealing council and researcher for Ealing MP, Virendra Sharma.

Regardless of the fact we managed to end up with Labour and Lib Dem politicians, we all had a good time. Possibly that was because we never had any Tories joining the party 😉

Each time I’ve arranged this now, I’ve just kind of put it together almost randomly. When I’ve tried to get a consensus on date and venue I have struggled because there are so many people who might be interested in joining, so I’ve just personally decided on the pub and date and hoped that people would come along. I think it might be a good idea to try deciding a date well in advance for the next one though, so we can get more organised and can even try promoting it further with some ads at the local stations or something.

How about a Sunday afternoon this time? Sunday March 28th… one week before Easter. How does that sound to everyone? We can continue to use the same venue as they have space, and a garden in case the weather is nice that day… plus they do nice Sunday lunches so that might be an additional attraction 🙂