Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"TO PRESERVE ONE'S HEALTH BY TOO STRICT A REGIME IS IN ITSELF A TEDIOUS MALADY" Duc de la Rochefoucauld - my view on diets and dieting in a nutshell!


Mark Gimenez is a former Dallas attorney who has just written his first book, The Colour of Law. As you might expect, given his background, it is a legal thriller very much in the John Grisham mould, and it’s a terrific debut. It opens with a bang and keeps up a cracking pace throughout.
The hero is one A.Scott Fenney, a young,
good-looking, and extremely successful lawyer who is partner in one of the top firms in Dallas. Married, with a nine year old daughter on whom he dotes, he is living the good life with a mansion in one of Dallas’s most exclusive (all white) suburbs, drives a Ferrari, and is on trajectory to become president of the State Bar of Texas.
Everything goes horribly wrong when a Federal Judge appoints him as the pro-bono defender of a heroin addicted prostitute who is accused of murder; the victim is the son of a local Senator who is about to run for the US Presidency. Against the wishes of his senior partner, and Senator McCall, Fenney does not refuse to take on the case, even though he actually believes that Shawanda did kill Clark McCall. He discovers that Shawanda has a nine year old daughter of her own who has been left alone whilst her mother is in jail awaiting her trial. Fenney decides to take the little girl, Pajamae, home to live with his own daughter for the duration of proceedings. This act has enormous repercussions, but the two little girls become firm friends; their belief in Fenney’s ability to clear Pajamae’s mother from the crime of which she is accused influences his actions, even though his whole life starts to unravel very rapidly as a result, and he loses just about all the trappings of success which he has worked so hard to achieve.

Gimenez is at his best when he is describing the Dallas law scene, and the methods lawyers use to shore up powerful and wealthy clients. Some aspects of the plot were very unlikely, but none-the-less it had several intriguing twists and turns, and kept me turning the pages even though the final denouement was signalled early on in the book. Gimenez is obviously a huge fan of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, and refers to it many times and he makes several clumsy attempts to parallel his story with Lee’s seminal work. After Shawanda’s trial for murder is resolved, there is an epilogue telling what subsequently happened to the various characters, and this was schmaltzy and improbable to say the least.

Despite these failings, the book is a more than creditable first novel in this genre, and I suspect we will see further legal thrillers from Mark Gimenez before long.

Rated: 3*


As I may have mentioned previously, the DH* is a Scot (frae Aberdeen to be precise), and ever since he was a wee boy (boys are never small or young in Scotland, they are always wee – don’t ask me why, I’m from Africa) he has worn the kilt, at school, on high days, holidays and to all black-tie events. And with the kilt goes all the other paraphernalia, sporran, skean dhu, kilt pin…… you get the picture. Now he may have a problem.

The “wee pretendy parliament”, as Billy Connelly has dubbed the Scottish Legislature, has taken leave of its senses and passed legislation requiring sporran wearers to have a licence for the fur on their sporrans. I kid you not.

There will be a £5000 fine and six months in prison if you fall foul of the law and the sporran will be seized if no licence is produced when police demand to see it. Jings! What’s going to happen when HM the Queen is up in Scotland, all “her” Scottish regiments who provide guards of honour wear kilts and sporrans – will there be mass arrests? Will Taggart be after Sean Connery and David Steel ?

There is a good Scots word for this new regulation: ‘daft’.

Oh yes, and those who like fishing may have a problem too; the same piece of legislation covers fishing flies if they have been tied with scraps of hair or fur. Honest to god you couldn’t make this up.

What the f***k do these loonies at Holyrood think they are doing – surely there are more important things for them to consider.

*I think I should mention that this picture is NOT of my DH.


Making salad the other evening I had a sudden craving for blue cheese dressing. It is wonderful stuff, and a million times better than anything you can buy in a bottle. With a few croutons thrown in, it elevates the ubiquitous Iceberg lettuce into something rather special, so next time you have the tail end of some blue cheese lurking in your fridge, give it a go.


50g blue cheese, crumbled
2½ tablespoons salad oil (I use sunflower)
2½ tablespoons mayonnaise
1 large clove garlic (or 2 if you like your dressing garlicky)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1 carton (140ml) sour cream

Crush the garlic through a garlic press into a bowl, and mash it together with the salt. Add the mustard powder, vinegar and lemon juice and mix well together with the oil and the blue cheese. In another bowl mix the mayonnaise and sour cream together then stir them into the cheese dressing mixture. Whisk everything together until the dressing has a creamy consistency.


Anonymous said...

Ooh that was a wee treat - fine pair of legs.

I can understand the reasons behind the activity of the sporran polis, concern over endangered species etc, but how the heckity are they going to certificate the sporrans which have been handed down through families over many generations?
The usual half-cocked nonsense and driving of carts before horses. Harrrumph.

No3 is twenty-one this summer and we were going to present him with a kilt and the usual bits and pieces.
Along with all that paraphernalia he'll need to get an extra wee bit of paper to keep in a safe place - probably his sporran.

Teuchter said...


Sorry. The above was brought to you from Teuchter Towers.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Taxing the sporran? We really mustn't let that happen or pictures like the one you posted will become an endangered species!

herschelian said...

Teuchter/Kitchen Table: I googled for a picture of a sporran (being too lazy to photograph one of the ones in this house) and when I found this photo with the legs I just couldn't resist it!

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