Rocket bonanza!


It's all go in the world of spaceflight at present.

Yesterday the Russians launched three satellites for their military global positioning system GLONASS (not be be confused with Glasnost which was far less sisnister). They used their venerable but still very cool looking Proton Launcher.

Strap-on heaven. The Proton.

Then the Chinese launched three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming in their Shenzhou VII spaceship as well. Zhai is due to do a space walk on Saturday.

We come in peace!

Although the Chinese have launched a one man capsule before this is their first three man effort and takes them into the top rank of space powers, although they are getting a lot of technical support from the Russians.

I knit rubbery suit for you!

Interestingly, they are not using the same spacesuits on the mission. Some are using Russian made suits whilst one poor astronaut (what is the Chinese term for an astronaut? Probably something which translates as "High flying peoples unity pioneer of the cosmos" or some such) is using a "homemade" suit. Obviously not happy with being given a Russian made suit he volunteered his wife to knit one at home for him in some sort of Sino Noah and Nelly scenario.

"Where is uvver broke?"

Rift off!

This time the Chinese crew have a selection of 81 different space meals rather than the 50 they had before. We were wondering how they got barbecued spare ribs and spring rolls into those little squeezy tubes spacemen eat from but the Chinese have taken it seriously so their heroic travellers have "food that tastes just like a stir fry from home". Plucking food out of the air with chopsticks could be tricky though!

Next month the Indians launch their moon probe so the Asian space race is well on the way. Why don't we feel comfortable about this?

The Indian Moon probe. Looks like it is made from old cornflake boxes and tin foil

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Giant processor needed

For the second time in three days selfish people have thrown themselves onto the railway track on Agent Triple P's line. Perhaps they are bankers in which case we can do without them anyway.

Possibly Mayor Boris may wish to consider a giant rotating blade set into a large hole somewhere conveniently located near the railway. The old Eurostar site at Waterloo springs to mind. People can then just jump into that and save us all a lot of delay and stress.

We saw a picture of a similar device which the Chinese (naturally) use to drop live ducklings into which are surplus to requirements at a factory farm. Sort of a combination of food processor and waste disposal unit. Whizz Whizz chop chop chop!

Ideal. Just need a big enough blade. Possibly something like this:

The Large Hadron Chopper ready for installation at Platform 20

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End of the World slightly delayed...

A really much better looking scientist than usual checks for leaks in the very long pipe thingy.

I see the new Large Hadron Collider (what is a large Hadron, anyway?) has conked out after springing a leak and will take months to repair. This means the end of the world/creation of a giant blackhole/opening of a Stargate/time portal generation will be put on hold.

At least we will get to see the final of Strictly Come Dancing now, after all.
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Time for Food

Lady Rosemary rubs some onion into the bottom of very large paella pan

I feel I must put in a link to Lady Rosemary's delightfully retro gastro-erotica (it's far too refined to be called a gastro-porn) site, Time for Food.

If your taste in food tends to the slower end of the range and you appreciate a good eighteenth century country house hits rural Italian melange then you will be in heaven.

Lady R's own photography makes you put on weight just by looking at it, as well!
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A new blog for Agent Triple P: Venus Observations

The title of this new venture in the blogosphere is down to HMS, with whom we had an enjoyable few days in Aquae Sulis recently. The lovely J having set upon creating a food blog, HMS felt that he might be persuded to contribute "vinous observations" (he has long talked like a nineteenth century scientist from an Arthur Conan Doyle novel).

Needless to say, Agent Triple P's mind instantly transliterated this phrase to Venus Observations and an image of a nicely curvy torso sprung into his mind (or perhaps that was something to do with the presence of the lovely J).

So on this new site we will place some of our favourite images of women in art, photography and sculpture. Some of them may even have clothes on, but we wouldn't count on it.
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Season of mists and mellow fruitfullness?

Autumn is Agent Triple P's favourite season by a long way.

Dreary winter, with its light-free mornings and evenings, is largely unbearable in England; not for us the proper winter of Eastern Canada or Scandinavia just endless grey days of lashing rain and artifical light.

Spring should be a time of promise and anticipation but often the weather disappoints and we find the undeniable rising in our sap tends to lead to ill-considered dalliances: driven by hormonal responses not sense.

Summer offers the greatest potential for disappointing weather and, in reality, hot weather when commuting to London is not pleasant.

So it is Autumn which we enjoy the most. It is not the sultry Indian Summer Autumn of Keats which engages us, however. We have always thought that his Ode to Autumn is really an ode to harvest time, that slightly blousy, drowsy overblown period that can sometimes arise in mid-September. His poem is full of heady, over-ripe imagery and does not, in fact, in it's late summer way, catch the essence of Autumn.

For me the first whiff of Autumns was in the air today when Triple P left his office at lunchtime for an enjoyable lunch in Westminster with a government contact. Although the sun was out, on the shady side of the street the air had an undeniable chill for the first time.

The most perfect Autumn days are those when it is cold and crispy but the sun is shining. A good day for a walk with a nice young lady and cold enough that you both need to retire to a warm fire in the late afternoon with a bottle of a Southern Rhone...

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Latium Restaurant, Berners Street London

Since Triple P has moved jobs he has been looking for a new favourite lunch-time restaurant and now he has found it.

Latium was suggested by someone who had been there for dinner and the implication seemed to be that it was a typical old style trattoria. When we took our splendid new PA along for lunch we was surprised by its modern interior (no straw covered chianti bottles here) and even more by the food.

Owner chef Maurizio Morelli is from Lazio and imports many of his ingredients direct from Rome. He specialises in ravioli which are as to the tinned stuff we had to endure when we were small as a Saturn V is to a November 5th rocket.

On our last visit we had the taleggio and walnut ravioli which was perilously close to the best tasting thing we have ever eaten. We followed this with delicious filetto di manzo and a cannelini bean sauce. Utterly gorgeous. And all for £24.50 for a set menu! The wine list is excellent, although there were a few problems with wines that had run out. But we settled for a Vernaccia di Oristano from Sardinia which was delicious. How come a restaurant such as this can serve a stunning wine like this for £20 a bottle when for a lot more money you get paint stripper at Pizza Express? People who really know what they are doing, is the answer!

We could find only one fault with the place (they even have a completely gorgeous Italian waitress some days) and that is that they indulge in that irritating habit of keeping your wine and water somewhere else so you can't see how much you have drunk. Put it on our table! We sometimes need to make a tactical decision as to when to order another bottle!

During one of our visits two men from one of the London restaurant review organisations were ther talking to the chef. We overheard them saying that they would give them 5/5 for the food and that they should have a crack at a Michelin star. We couldn't agree more.

Needless to say we will be returning on a regular basis!
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Miss September: Sophie Howard

Nice skirt!

Former Catholic schoolgirl (they're the worst, in my not inconsiderable experience) Sophie was a member of the Salvation Army from the age of 10 until 16. She then left the SA and became a stripper. As you do.

Dirty girls need to spend a lot of time in the bath

She was at University studying English when her mother (?) sent a picture of her in a pvc catsuit to Loaded magazine and she has not stopped working since.

My favourite shot!

Now 25, the girl from Southport (where?) models regularly for the more downmarket end of the Lads Mag market.

Soapy again

She seems to pose regularly with other busty beauties in those rather coy little shoots the weeklies turn out.

Sophie and Saki obviously both need a wash

She always looks very wholesome and strangely unsexy, which seems to be a characteristic of The Sun/Daily Star (in her case) school of photography.

A few years ago she was diagnosed with Lupus Erythematosus and now does a lot of charity work for the Lupus society. Everyone seems to agree that she is a lovely girl.

She was voted No 1 in Loaded's Most Beautiful Breast poll. Fair enough!

She is not really my type but I am sure Agent DVD will enjoy her!

Clean at last!

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Drag-a-bags! Ban them now!

It's bad enough struggling through the London Underground system during the rush hour wiithout those two major annoyances: women who always get taken by surprise by the appearance of ticket machines at the exits and people with drag-a-bags.

This morning I was going up the escalator at Oxford Circus behind a mid-thirties woman and we just got to the ticket barrier and she had to stop dead to root around in her handbag for her ticket. It's a tube station! When you get to the top of the escalator it's going to be the ticket barrier next! I know you are a woman but please try to think ahead! Have you never been on the Underground before? Are you from Scunthorpe? Or New Zealand? Or Burkinu Faso? All underground stations have ticket machines. Be prepared!

Far worse, however, for the critical rhythm of daily commuting, are the drag-a-bag pullers. They pull their effete looking trolley bags along and then stop dead before every set of stairs or escalators to push the handle in so they can pick it up. Then, even worse, at the top of the stairs they stop again to pull the handle out! They are a menace! Mayor Boris should ban them on the underground. Firstly, nothing looks worse than a man with one of these. Are you really so weedy you can't carry a shoulder bag? Secondly, you shouldn't be taking luggage on the Underground anyway. Take a blooming taxi! Stop being so mean!

In reality drag-a-bags are for air hostesses and air hostesses only. Agent Triple P once saw 17 young ladies dragging their bags across the concourse at Hong Kong airport, looking very dinky. A whole Cathay Pacific 747s worth of them. Rubbery!
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Scary Swedish MP trying to get sexy adverts banned

Girls have always been used in advertising: Mucha's absinthe girl would be banned by the EU

Eva-Britt Svensson, a Swedish MP, and vice-chairman of the EU Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, is trying to get the EU to ban advertisements that promote women as sex objects. Worryingly she has already got her report, which wants all gender sterotyping banned, adopted by the European parliament.

Given the huge numbers of advertisements for beauty products, fashion, drinks, cars and just about everything else that rely on scantily clad women this could impact hugely and negatively on our visual experience. Oddly many of the adverts that use these images are aimed at other women and they don't seem too bothered.

Keira would be banned

In fact the use of these images in the UK is positively restrained compared to places like Italy and Spain where naked women advertise shower gel on daytime TV.

"Stereotyping in advertising is one of several factors that have a big influence on efforts to make society gender equal" says, the far from sex-symbol like, Svensson. In fact, if we were to be cruel we might suggest that Ms Svensson is a touch jealous of women who are sex symbols and cavort around in advertisements.

MEP Svennson. We suspect there is no man in her life. Unlikely to pull Lindsay Lohan even.

The fact of the matter is that women are sex symbols to men, always have been and always will be (and men are to women, shock horror!). Furthermore there can't be gender equality because the genders aren't equal! Women have babies. Men don't. Women leave their jobs at crucial times to have babies which is why they don't do so well at the workplace, on the whole. But if they didn't there would be no more people. Except probably Ms Svensson would prefer all that nasty reproduction business was done in a nice clean (possibly Swedish) laboratory.

Good luck Svensson. Personally we would back Hollywood, perfume companies and the fashion world in winning out against you and your nonsensical ideas.

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