Saturday 29 April 2023

The Saturday List #404 - Ten things I used to love but now I can't be bothered with at all

 Your tastes change as you grow up. Things you used to hate, now you love and vice versa. When I was a kid I used to hate mushrooms, now I love them. Another example is Johnny Cash, wasn't at all keen as a teenager, then I actually listened and realised the man is a genius. But then there are things that went the other way. Things I used to love, but now I really can't be bothered with at all. What prompted this was a couple of weeks ago when Barnet played Wrexham in the Conference. I used to regularly go up to Underhill and considered Barnet to be my second team. When they moved to Underhill, I lost all interest in the club. I've been a few times, but I just feel no affinity with the club. It got me thinking, what other things did I used to love, but now I simply can't be bothered with at all. 

1. Wembley Stadium. Everyone dreams of seeing their favourite team or band at Wembley, don't they? Well actually no. The last gig I saw at Wembley was David Bowie on the Glass Spider tour. It was awful. I'd seen the Rolling Stones there on the Steel Wheels tour and they were awful as well. I vowed never to see another gig there. 

As to football, as a Manchester City fan I've seen more than my fair share of games there recently.

I hate it. Most recently went to the FA Cup semi. I got charged £10.50 for chicken and chips. I think I'd rather watch a game anywhere but Wembley. It is overpriced, soulless and dour. I used to go to all of the home England games, but I've more or less given up as it such a horrible place.

2. Fosters Lager. As my Dad was an Aussie, I considered it my patriotic duty to drink as much Fosters as possible. It used to give me really bad indigestion. In 1991 I went to China for two weeks. They didn't sell Fosters. All they had was a brew call Tsing Tao, that I'd never heard of. Initially I found it disgusting, but I persevered. It tasted very yeasty and hoppy. It didn't give me indigestion. When I returned, I was really looking forward to a Fosters. When I got home and had one, I found it tasted really synthetic and bland. I've not drunk it since.

3. The Labour Party. I was a member from 1985 until 2009. I believed that it was a force for good in the UK. And then Tony Blair became PM. As PM he lied to Parliament to start a war in Iraq. Most of the problems in the middle east are a direct result of that. No matter how I look at it, I can't square off the fact that what I thought was a party that stood for the right things was directly responsible for a situation where hundreds of thousands of people died. Although they are far from perfect, I joined the Lib Dems as they opposed that. I know many Labour party activists and councillors, who are lovely people, it's no reflection on them, but I do feel the party doesn't reflect its members or voters. I think the Conservatives are worse than Labour, especially in their current incarnation, but I really can't be bothered with the Labour party. Luckily for me, a year after I left, I got a letter stating I was banned from membership, as I'd stood as a Lib Dem candidate in the 2010 council elections. Although I'd sent a letter of resignation and not paid my subs, they'd not processed the resignation, so technically I'd broken the rule forbidding members from standing for another party. When I complained, I was told that if I denounced the Lib Dems I could rejoin. It all seemed rather petty to me. 

4. Vegetarian diets. I was a vegetarian from 1984 until 2000. A friend convinced me it was the right thing for the planet and the right thing for my health. By 2000, I was so run down and had a vitamin b deficiency, which meant that my immune system wasn't working properly. My doctor even gave me an HIV test. When the problem was eventually recognised, he advised me to go to a cafe and have a big liver and bacon fry up. I did that and as I walked back to my office, my fingers and toes started to tingle. I realised that this was because my body was receiving much needed nutrients that it had been starved of for sixteen years. I now eat meat three days a week and buyt organic where possible. I have three friends who have had similar experiences. I really do not believe that a vegetarian diet works for people of Anglo Saxon origin. I think we have evolved to live in a cold climate with meat as part of our diet.

5. BBC Radio London in the week. I used to love BBC Radio London's weekday schedule. Vanessa Feltz, Robert Elms, Jo Good, Eddie Nestor was the running order. Now only Eddie remains. He was great on drivetime, he's excellent at a dynamic rolling news type program. In Robert Elms slot, it just isn't that interesting, I still listen most of the time, but it is infuriating. The station is a mess. It is not doing its job of reflecting London's art and culture. Robert is still on at the weekends, as are Carrie and David Grant and Gary Crowley, which has kept me just about listening.

6. Cornish Pasties. I used to love a nice cornish pasty. I discovered them as a child and thought they were wonderful. When I was not eating meat, I'd have a cheese and onion pasty and look longingly at the meaty version, feeling I was missing out. When I started eating meat again, pasties were one of the treats I allowed myself. However in recent years, they no longer seem to use ingredients that taste of anything. No matter how tasty and tempting they look, you pay a fiver and get a mouth full of mush. It is quite upsetting. I no longer buy them. 

7. The Stranglers. Like most North London punks, they were one of my favourite bands. Albums such as No More Heroes are classics. But then Hugh Cornwell left. I saw them at the Roundhouse a few years back. I was horrified. Musically, they were great but without Cornwells laconic snarling, it just seemed wrong. I had a similar experience with The Undertones at a gig in Clapham.

8. Sadiq Khan. When Khan initially stood against Zac Goldsmith, I was horrified by the tone of Goldsmith's campaign. I wasn't a member of any party and supported Khan. I wish I hadn't bothered. His decision to grant planning permission for the NIMR development, without adequate parking, has created an ugly monstrosity on the edge of the green belt with a parking and traffic nightmare. His ULEZ policy massively affects musicians, many of whom couldn't earn money for two years during the pandemic and rely on old vans to move gear around. 

9. Chocolate. We all love chocolate, don't we? I have the unique distinction of having starred in TV adverts for both Cadburys and Galaxy chocolate in the 1960's. Cadburys sent me a large box of huge Dairy milk bars for my efforts. My mum gave them to the Church Xmas fete. I was gutted. At some point, Cadburys was taken over by a mega corporation. They changed the recipe and the chocolate now tastes like muck. I can't recall the last time I bought a bar. In truth I don't have a sweet tooth.

10. Heinz Beans. I starred in an Advert for Heinz Beans, which won an award! The cash I got bought my first guitar, when I was old enough to get my hands on the cash. I used to love baked beans, especially when I was in my veggie phase. Beans on toast, with a bit of cheese on top was a proper treat. but like Cadburys dairy milk, they changed the recipe. Now they are too sweet and have an aftertaste. The only ones that are vaguely edible, IMHO, are the M&S cheapo budget beans, with a spoonful of curry powder in. 

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