A Finely Flavoured Friday Open Thread

I’ve got the Great British Bake-Off playing on the catch-up TV widget. Officially it is my sweet significant other who is watching it but, hmmm I’m hungry.

I’ll confess I got interested in it when #Bingate erupted in the last week or two. For foreigners and Martians, this involved some old woman doing something with a young man’s ice cream in her freezer compartment (these are not euphemisms, by the way) and he ended up throwing his own baked Alaska in the bin and getting thrown off the contest.

Then, just a week later, the older woman responsible suddenly had to withdraw from the contest on medical reasons after “falling and hitting her head on a hard floor in a restaurant” causing neurological damage that temporarily disabled her sense of taste and smell, according to the BBC. Yeah right. Do those people think we have never seen Midsomer Murders?   One of the other contestants brained her with a jellyspoon, it’s a given.

Anyway, it is officially the most British scandal in the history of Britain.

Talking of which, a lot of my attention is being taken up by the Scottish independence referendum. As an expat Scot in England, it’s kind of freaky that my family could be foreigners by this time next week. (Shut up, constitutional law geeks). I’ve been keeping my counsel, as I don’t have a vote and I don’t really feel comfortable opining when I don’t have to live with the consequences. Broadly, my head says no and my heart says yes, but the honest truth is I won’t be devastated with either result next week.

What’s on your radar peeps?



  1. Marduk says

    Kath Kidston, cupcakes, strictly, fake eyelashes, bake off. All came along in the wake of a tipping point being reached where its the SAHM mother is now the odd one. Hopefully this chintzy moment will pass, its 90s “new lad” for the ladies, ironic harking back but under the radar, somewhat unironic too. A friend recently told me that her fantasy was to be a housewife, she even implied there was an erotic dimension to it. But her husband would never go along with it, and why should he. Which is funny because when I met her she had a shaved head and played in a lesbian punk band.

    In times of transition you know the grass was never really greener but you can’t help the backward glance.

    I hope Scotland leaves, I’m in such despair, any kind of roll of the dice is worth it to shake things up a bit.

  2. says

    Because they don’t live here.

    I gathered as much. But seeing as expats often retain their voting rights (UK for 15 years I think) and a referendum on independence is in some ways more of a national referendum rather than a reginal one I found it strange that expat scots didn’t have the right to vote. Then on the other one has the problem of what the exact definition of an expat scot is.

  3. says

    I guess it is just a case of someone (or more likely, a committee!) having had to decide where to draw the line, and setting it at currently resident. I don’t really have a problem with it. I’m not sure it’s any worse or better than drawing the line at “moved away less than 5 years ago, or whatever else.

    Roll on Thursday either way.

  4. David S says

    @Tamen (2)

    “Expats can’t vote? Why?”

    I think that the problem would be trying to define who actually is an “expat”. There are some people, like Ally, who consider themselves to be Scots, but live south of the border, and there are others, like J.K. Rowling, who live in Scotland, but probably aren’t considered Scottish by their neighbours. Deciding who is a true Scotsman would be a complete nightmare.

    I suppose you could do it by place of birth, but that would be a bit silly, because people for whom the decision was of no real consequence would get a vote, and vice versa. Current residence seems to be the best criterion to use.

  5. StillGjenganger says

    For e.g. the UK there is a register, so you can decide who is British or not. For Scotland there is not, it is all one country. Imagine it was not Scotland, but Vermont. How would you determine who counted as a Vermonter, without going by residence?

  6. Adiabat says

    The funniest part about #bingate was that everyone was calling for him to be reinstated on the show and that she quit because of the public outrage, and so on, even though the whole thing was recorded back in June.

    It’s seems that after 50 years people still haven’t quite figured out how TV works.

  7. mildlymagnificent says

    This came up in the gamer thread. Response is better here.


    But I know much less of this than you. Can you tell me what the relevant principles of feminism are?

    Well, I’m not going to give a potted history of feminist thought, because that would be silly.

    The relevant principles are few, and pretty simple into the bargain. That women and men alike should be able to conduct their lives with dignity and freedom. That dignity and those freedoms should be, for all practical purposes, the same for both men and women. That all jobs, education, personal interests, financial independence, domestic life and roles should be open to everyone according to their talents and inclinations and not constrained by arbitrary limits according to any individual’s gender.

    All the “issues” that we normally discuss when we talk about feminism link, one way or another, back to one or more of those ideas.

    The biggest problem with these ideas is that it’s usually easy to see how they affect individuals in a household – who cooks meals or folds laundry or looks after children. It’s another thing entirely to see how deep those arbitrary limits go in society at large. Government ministers might wax eloquent about “care in the community” for people with mental illness or about “ensuring the elderly can continue living in their own homes for as long as possible” and all sorts of other grand sounding proposals. When you look at implementing them however, it’s obvious that the work involved has traditionally been done, more or less invisibly, and for free, by women who were restricted to “household duties”. Increasing the workload without taking account of who’s to do it and who’s going to benefit or suffer from it are difficult questions in practice if you’ve accepted that women are free to do other things and often prefer paid work to unpaid drudgery.

  8. StillGjenganger says

    @Mildly 13
    Thanks for taking the trouble to answer.
    No disagreement with what you said, and if one is looking for ‘the basic principle of feminism’ this is a good candidate for it, and what I said is not. But then you are not contradicting what I said, you are simply talking about something else. I was never trying to give a comprehensive picture of what feminism ‘really’ is, just to point out some things within feminism that were relevant to the discussion at hand (what a feminist like Sarkeesian would be bringing to a debate about misogyny in some particular area). I still think that what I said would be basic stuff that no feminist would disagree with. I would be interested to hear whether you think that is correct, or what basic feminism would say that actually contradicts what I said. But one way or the other this is going to be short – we are busy at home and I have been neglecting my work a bit lately.

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