Originally uploaded by viralbus

Der, hvor jeg kommer fra i Jylland, køber man sin kagemand hos bageren, da den da skal være lavet af wienerbrødsdej.

Jeg overvejede lidt at bage en sådan wienerbrødskagemand til Léon, da han fyldte fem år i dag, men jeg opgav på forhånd. Dels er wienerbrødsdej jo ikke den letteste dej at lave, men jeg vidste heller ikke, hvad man skulle putte indeni for at opnå en autentisk jysk kagemand – remonce?

I stedet besluttede jeg mig for at bage en fynsk brunsvigerkagemand.

Jeg brugte en almindelig brunsvigeropskrift fra Karolines Køkken, men det virkede ikke helt, da det meste af snasket gled ned under bagningen, eftersom der naturligvis ikke var nogen form rundt om figuren, så kagemanden blev desværre lidt tør.

Hvis nogen kan foreslå en bedre opskrift før Annas fødselsdag den 19. december, er jeg lutter øren!

bookmark_borderLending to people who can’t prove they can repay it

Sold on Open Day
Originally uploaded by Thomas Guest

I was reading an article in MoneyWeek when one sentence leapt out at me:

[The Financial Services Authority (FSA) report into the mortgage market that lays out plans to outlaw self-certification mortgages] is a shocking report. Not because it wants to ban self-cert – clearly it is ludicrous to lend money to people who can’t prove they can repay it […]

It might sound obvious to the author of the article that people should be able to prove their ability to pay, but isn’t it ludicrous to think you can prove this?

A typical mortgage will have to be repaid over a long time, e.g., 25 years. There are only two ways in which you can prove your ability to pay: Either you have the money already (but then you wouldn’t need the mortgage in the first place), or you have a guaranteed income in a job you cannot lose.

Until fairly recently, there were many jobs that practically were for life, but these days real job security is the exception, not the rule.

In other words, the only thing people can prove is their current income, not their future earnings.

Giving mortgages only to people that currently have a job but not to those who are self-employed or who have just started up a company seems ludicrous. Anybody with a job can be out of it tomorrow, while self-employed people will typically be more in control of their own destiny.

bookmark_borderBlack, white and pink

Originally uploaded by Shockadelic

Anna recently told a wee girl of Pakistani descent that came into our garden to play: “Look, black girl, there’s my pink mummy!”

Another day, we were watching Stark Trek (DS9), and she referred to Keiko holding her daughter as “that white mummy”.

So she seems to have split the human skin colours into three groups: black (Africans and South Asians), pink (Europeans) and white (East Asians).

To some extent it’s closer to reality than the traditional black/white/yellow – I wonder why Europeans started seeing themselves as white?

bookmark_borderEd and Yvette?

Cabinet meeting
Originally uploaded by Downing Street

Given my last blog posting, I can’t hardly complain about the outcome of Labour’s leadership election.

Now it’ll be interesting to see who Ed Miliband will pick as shadow chancellor.

There are rumours that he wants to give this post to his brother to ensure he doesn’t turn his back on the party, but I think it’d be hard to do what you want to do if the person who nearly won the leadership is your right-hand man – Blair and Brown tried this formula and failed.

Ed Balls would be a possibility, of course, but he hasn’t so far shown many signs that he can distance himself from the errors of the Brown era.

So who would be the best shadow chancellor?

I think the most obvious person is Yvette Cooper. She knows the brief, and Ed Balls would find it hard to undermine her, given that he’s her husband. Also, she didn’t run for the leadership election, so there are no bruises.

bookmark_borderMultilingual blogging

Som en del af la Journée européenne des langues, today is the Day of Multilingual Blogging.

Para la mayoría de los bloggers no es difícil, ?????? ??? ??? ????? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ??????, och alla läsare förstår genast att det inte er vanligt, kiam ili skribas en nekutima lingvo.

Men hvis jeg havde blogget på spansk eller tysk, hätten alle wohl gedacht che sia completamente normale.

???, co jsem mohl d?lat? ?? ?????? ????: !??? ??? ??????? ???? ????????? ??? ???? ??????

Problem solved!

bookmark_borderEd or Ed?

Of course I cannot vote in the Labour leadership election, but I thought it would be interesting to try out Vote Match’s Labour Leadership 2010 Vote Match before tomorrow’s announcement of the new leader.

The results are on the right – basically it’s a draw between Diane Abbott and Ed Miliband, while I seem to be quite distant from both David Miliband and especially Ed Balls.

Most people seem to agree that Ms Abbott cannot realistically win this election, so it looks like I should support Ed Miliband.

However, I don’t really agree with any of the candidates – the people I agree with are found amongst the Liberal Democrats and occasionally the Scottish Nationalists, and these are the parties that I want to prosper.

It would therefore perhaps be better to support Ed Balls, from the perspective that he will take the Labour Party further away from my viewpoints.

In the end, I guess it comes down to what the future might bring once the CoLD Coalition is out of office again. A LibLab coalition will probably never happen under the leadership of Ed Balls.

bookmark_borderThe Annabridgetic sound shift

1979 Pink Car
Originally uploaded by Tobyotter

Anna has started pronouncing some phonemes strangely in English.

For car, instead of RP /k??/, Scottish English /k?r/ or Danish English /ka?/, she says /k??/.

For water, instead of RP /?w??t?/, Scottish English /?w?t?r/ or Danish English /?w??t?/, she says /wo?ta?/.

There are some other occasionally oddities (e.g., /?ba?bi/ for ‘baby’), but this shift of the low back vowels seems to be the most systematic change.

What’s causing it? Is it because she hears so many different accents and languages around her that she thinks it’s OK to play around with her own accent? Or is it a bad attempt at copying the English accents she hears in her favourite TV programme, Tweenies?