Food glorious food!

Avocado prawns for three.

Avocado prawns for three.

We all enjoy cooking in our household and we all certainly enjoy eating.

My 17-year-old daughter is particularly talented in the kitchen and serves up wonderful dishes from recipes that she’s filched from the Internet and adapted to her own tastes.

Princess Perfect's perfect pizza.

Princess Perfect’s perfect pizza.

She has been experimenting with pizzas recently and we have had the pleasure of munching on a delicious tuna pizza and last week she presented us with a chicken pizza. Not a crumb of either of them remained.

On Monday I took charge of the cuisine and concocted a dish of avocado prawns. See photo and salivate.

And talking of food.

Last night I treated myself to a night out with the lads.

Two American chums of mine, Phil the Thrill, and Joeman (we once all worked together on The International Herald Tribune) and I congregated at L’Escale Bangkok, a tiny Thai restaurant near to Trocadero.

There's no mystery about Poulet Mystére - it's delicious.

There’s no mystery about Poulet Mystère – it’s delicious.

I’ve been there several times before with Phil, who is a regular. Once again, the food was delicious especially the Poulet Mystère.

We also had dumplings and nems and rice and noodles, all washed down with copious amounts of Brouilly.

Food glorious food!

Musical Monday: Eurythmics

Andy Fraser, Free bassist, dies aged 62

Andy FraserIt’s not all right now.

Andy Fraser, who co-wrote Free’s 1970 hit All Right Now, died at his home in California on Monday. He had been battling Aids and cancer in recent years.

Free is one of my all-time favourite bands. The group formed in 1968 and disbanded in 1973. In that time they produced six great albums.

Fraser (3rd July 1952 – 16th march 2015) co-wrote most of Free’s songs with the lead singer Paul Rodgers. The other members of the original group were Simon Kirke on drums and lead guitarist Paul Kossoff, who died woefully young at 25 from drug-related illness in 1976.

An official statement said: “Andrew McLan Fraser passed away on Monday at his home in California. He leaves behind his daughters Hannah and Jasmine Fraser, and their mother Ri, his sister Gail, brothers Gavin and Alex, and many friends and associates in the industry.”

Fraser was a founding member of Free at the age of just 15. As well as his work with Free, he had success with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Sharks.

In the 1980s he was diagnosed with HIV and a form of cancer called Kaposi’s Sarcoma and he battled with suicidal thoughts which, he wrote on his website, were only alleviated when he came out as gay.

Andy Fraser, far left, on the cover of Free's Fire and Water, my favourite album. The LP has the all-time great track All Right Now as well as Mr Big, Fire and Water and Heavy Load.

Andy Fraser, far left, on the cover of Free’s Fire and Water, my favourite album. The LP has the track All Right Now as well as Mr Big, Fire and Water and Heavy Load.

The BBC Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris tweeted: “More sad news. Too many are passing.”

All Right Now was Free’s biggest hit, peaking at number two in the UK singles chart and number four in the US.

Simon Kirke said the song was written “after a bad gig in Durham”.

He said: “It was obvious that we needed a rocker to close our shows. All of a sudden the inspiration struck Fraser and he started bopping around singing All Right Now. He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes.”

Handbags at dawn?

HandbagsSyria is in turmoil, Iraq is a mess, Afghanistan messier, the Islamic State continues to spread its message of terror by hacking off heads of Westerners and homosexuals and anyone else who’s upset them for whatever reason, Putin is flexing his nuclear muscles, and the South Pacific island of Vanuata has been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Pam.

Meanwhile, over here in the West, we’re up in arms about the utterings of the fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana, and should or should not the TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson be fired for allegedly having a bit of a “fracas” with his producer.

We certainly know where our priorities lie.

Domenico Dolce and Stephano Gabbana, who were a couple for more than two decades, said in an interview: “We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one.”

They also criticised IVF and surrogate parents: “No chemical offspring and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed.”

“You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that’s how it should be,” Dolce says. “I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue.”

So they managed in a few words to piss off married gays and parents with children conceived by IVF. And gay parents with IVF children. What twats.

Neither this family nor their clothing looks synthetic.

Neither this family nor their clothing look synthetic.

Sir Elton John, who has two children with husband David Furnish, hit back angrily: “How dare you refer to my beautiful children as ‘synthetic’. And shame on you for wagging your judgmental little fingers at IVF – a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children.”

People are entitled to have opinions about gay marriage, but to label children “synthetic” and “chemical” is abhorrent. Children are children, full stop, whether induced, brought into the world by caesarean section, kept alive by drugs and medication, whatever.

So bravo Elton for those apposite words. From the photos I’ve seen, your boys look very loved and happy.

As for Clarkson, I really don’t care. One way or another he will come out of this with more money than before. Good luck to him.

So two public spats that aren’t really important in the scheme of things but catch our attention.

And Elton urges people to boycott D&G’s clothing. I certainly will from now on.

Musical Monday: Steppenwolf

Sir Terry Pratchett RIP

Terry PratchettMy 21-year-old son Brainbox and I are big fans of Terry Pratchett, who died aged 66 yesterday. I introduced my son to the wonderful Discworld of Pratchett when he was quite young, and he loved it and still does.

When I heard of Pratchett’s death I emailed my son to inform him of the sad news. He replied: “RIP. Great writer. First time I feel weird learning about a famous person’s death …”

Yes, I know what he means.

Musical Monday: Steve Miller Band