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June 12, 2007



I have not bought the Observer for the last four weeks and you know what? It feels good. All you do is just don't read the Review, Family or Sport sections of the Guardian on Saturday and get up a bit later on Sunday. You can spend the £1.80 on Ind Coope Long Life Lager, my latest "retro" affectation.

Rentoul must be pissed off ... after all he's done, and this is how Tony repays him.


Ind Coope Long Life Lager

Have you discovered an abandoned military buffer store deep beneath Camden or something?


This is kind of what's worrying me. Ozdiller Stores (note to stalkers - it's not particularly local to me, it's just on my way home) appears to be the only place in the world that still sells it. It's not bad; it's more of a light ale than a lager. I am kind of worried that Mr Ozdiller might have cornered the market in it in 1978 or something and thought "it is Long Life after all", but the rest of his produce is pretty good and fresh so I think they're still brewing it somewhere (possibly Turkey).

The only reference on Wikipedia is to Wrexham Lager (thanks guys, although this perhaps does explain a lot via my youthful tastebuds) and google just turns up a CAMRA page asserting that it was being brewed at the Marstons brewery in 1999 and had moved to the C-T plant in Leeds by 2004.

In case anyone else who's reading is currently rocking the "70s Dad" scene, I already have a good connection for McEwans' Export, thanks. Ind Coope Double Diamond is definitively a past tense lager though AFAICT.


It's the Strategic Beer Reserve, located in Woodhead Tunnel, Alex.

dave heasman

"Ind Coope Double Diamond is definitively a past tense lager"

A past tense pale ale, I think. Brewed to compete in the same niche as Whitbread's Brewmaster or Courage's John Courage. But worse. Unless they changed the formulation before dropping it. (I worked in the Romford Brewery in the summer holidays in the late 60s). Sorry for the hijack, it just struck a chord.

Whittam Smith is quite good in riposte this morning, suggesting that the government is uniquely inept in dealing with a more rapacious press, and putting it down to two differences they have from other organisations that have to deal with the media a lot - a) They lie, where mostly other organisations don't, and b) They as individuals are useless at managing anything because they've never done it before they suddenly find themselves in charge of the Army.
He doesn't actually use the words "whelk stall" but they're not far from the surface.


Good god, according to Wikipedia, Double Diamond is a present tense pale ale, and apparently quite popular in "English" pubs in North America.


Isn't this basically just about missing the seventies? The older I get, the better that decade looks. I know it was supposed to be a combination of the siege of Leningrad and Weimar Germany until deus ex Thatcherina, but I thought it was great at the time, the usual adolescent misery aside.


In the back of my mind I still think it's 1973 (I mean, why shouldn't it be 1973? What was wrong with 1973?). If pushed I'll go to 1974, but that's my final offer. Which is weird when you think how important punk was - not to mention the whole growing up thing - but 1973-4 has just stuck, in a way that later years never did. I think it's that "wow, this is it! this is what life's going to be like from now on, only more so!" feeling, which you don't get so much after life actually starts. Hey ho.


Double Diamond is a present tense pale ale, and apparently quite popular in "English" pubs in North America.

Why, when they could have beer? Seriously, this is the stuff they invented CAMRA to fight, no?

In the back of my mind I still think it's 1973 (I mean, why shouldn't it be 1973? What was wrong with 1973?).

I have the same feeling about 1996/7.

Chris Williams

Actually, the backlash against 1970s nostalgia (post-revisionism?) has already begun:


I thought things had moved onto 1980s nostalgia at least five years ago (and hey, we can celebrate the 10th anniversary of the re-release of Sgt. Pepper onto CD!)


20th even!


I have the same feeling about 1996/7.

Thanks for making me feel old.

I remember that 2nd of May. I came into work having had about three hours' sleep to meet my colleague who'd had none. Not much work was done. At one stage I downloaded the lyrics of Born Slippy nuxx, arranged the font and margins so that it covered the whole of a sheet of A4 and put it on the wall. It was a statement, I think.

nick s

John Courage is (or was) present in N. American pubs. And Newcastle Brown from kegs. And more Sammy Smiths that I've ever seen in the north-east. All very bizarre.


The "nuxx" bit was actually a filetype extension. We were the future. Or something.


OK, it gets stranger. The can I am currently drinking has a best before date of November 2007. So either I am the last generation to ever enjoy ICLLL, or it is still being brewed. The side of the can says "brewed in the UK by Carlsberg UK Ltd, Northampton", and the branding says "FULL HALF LITRE", so I'm guessing it was brewed no later than implementation of the metric directive. The can is made by Rexam plc but that is a false friend; it has no connection to the town of Wrexham. The customer helpline is 08457 585 685 which google lists as a general C-T customer service number. I'm going to ring it tomorrow.


How did you get on? Or did the beer kill you?

I have not bought the Observer for the last four weeks and you know what? It feels good.

I think I said on Aaro Watch that my partner happened to be over in the UK the week it relaunched, full of articles about how great it was. She couldn't find a single page devoted to foreign news - because there wasn't one. Which, given the Observer's traditions, is really dreadful.

I stopped buying it several years ago. Nothing to do with the editorial line - if I don't like the leaders or the columnists I don't have to read them. But it was just vast acres of paper with nothing worth reading in them and an enormously complacent and self-satisfied air about it. In some ways the worst thing was the Observer Sports Monthly - the way they'd go on for all the preceding weeks about how great it was going to be and then every month it'd be a glossy, empty pile of crap with a few lists in it.

There's nothing wrong with being well-off and living in North London but if you produce a newspaper which is entirely directed towards people who are well-off and living in North London then everybody else can tell.

The Observer. Complete waste of time and somebody else's money.

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