April 27, 2010

Haggis Dog?

The other day I noticed that the coffee shop I live above has a sign advertising they now serve haggis hot dogs. It's basically a chili dog with haggis. Who came up with such a thing and more importantly who buys them? The things weren't cheap either, like £3.

April 24, 2010

SNP's campaign

Twelve days to go until election day. Even though I won't get to vote here, I did get to vote this week. I mailed my absentee ballot today for the primary election. I still have a problem with having to use a stamp with the Queen on it to be able to vote.

I like the Scottish National Party's campaign. Their strategy is to run as Scotland's local champions. It doesn't matter as much if you agree with all of their policies. If you think that Scotland needs someone to stand up for her and make sure her voices are heard, then they think you should vote for them. The SNP have set a goal of winning 20 seats. I don't think they will get there, but they will pick up a few more seats.

April 20, 2010

Midway Point of the Election

We’re now at the halfway point of the campaign with a little more than two weeks until election day. To be honest, I’m a little disappoint with the election so far. With only a month long campaign, I was expecting it to be more intense that it has been. That may be due to the fact that there really aren’t any ads on TV.

The Conservatives seem to have been the winners of week one of the campaign. Their argument that the proposed rise in NI tax would kill growth in jobs seems to have been resonating with voters, and they were able to bring big business leader aboard publicly. Their momentum was killed by the debate. While I don’t think there was a clear winner, Nick Clegg did come across well. Even if the Lib Dems didn’t actually win the debate, they won the debate of who won the debate.

What I don’t understand is how the Lib Dems are able to continue to avoid answering what they would do in the case of a hung parliament. Their position of avoiding answering it seems to be unsustainable. If I were running either the Tories’ or Labour’s campaign, I would use the second debate to either get them to answer the question or blast them for avoiding it. If they say they will support either a Tory or Labour government, their support will erode. They would become the junior version of one of those parties. If you want one of those parties in power, why would you vote for the Lib Dems? If they don’t answer, you criticise them for not being honest with the electorate. The debate is the perfect time to push the issue.

April 10, 2010

Grand National

I just watched the Grand National horse race on BBC. I believe it is the most important steeplechasing race in the country. While I'm not an expert on horseracing, British races seem kind of weird. They don't use starting gates, there are like forty horses entered, and the race is really long, over four miles. The funniest thing is that the horses keep running even when their riders fell off. For awhile, the horse running in second was riderless.

The BBC is also showing the Masters this weekend. I plan on watching some tonight. The time difference is kind of a pain though. A winner won't be decided until after midnight tomorrow.

April 6, 2010

The Race is on

Today Gordon Brown went to the palace to see the Queen and ask for Parliament to be dissolved. This means the countdown to the election starts now. May 6th will be the day. Stirling is one of the seats that the Tories will need to win if they are going to have enough seats to form a government. It should be an exciting 30 days as I have a front row seat to the campaigning.

April 4, 2010


Another of Brussels's classic street foods that every visitor must try is frites, known as frieten in Dutch. Belgians claim to have invented french fries so where else to have a few? Frites are thicker than American fries but not as thick as British chips. They are crispier than British chips. Normally you would have them with mayonnaise, but I hate mayonnaise so I got mine with ketchup instead. You can find frites served in cones at stands called Friteries or Frietkoten.

Belgian Waffles

One of the things every tourist has to try in Brussels is the waffles. There are two major kinds of waffles available.

The above waffle is a Brussels Waffle. It is characterized by its lighter texture and rectangular shape. I had mine topped with some sort of cream (it was like whipped cream but a little denser before it started to melt), melted chocolate, and powdered sugar. It was excellent but a little messy to eat.

This is a Liège Waffle. It is denser and sweeter than the Brussels Waffle and also has a more irregular shape. I believe it had some sort of caramelized sugar on it. I had melted Belgian chocolate on this one. I also made sure to buy this waffle from a stand that used plastic holders.

If you like this post, I also posted on Austrian street foods back in December: Langos and Käsekrainer.