Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


About the lack of posts suddenly on my blog, I have not been very well of late.
There's a surprise...

I hope that I shall return bright and breezy soon.

I understand that some of you may have been trying to leave comments and have been unable to, I do not know why this is so but apologies if that has happened to you.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

They Don't Help Themselves...

Last week there was a promotion where if you purchased any vitamin in their own range they would give you for free a tube of effervescent re-energise tablets so as I needed some Vitamin C and Zinc tablets I thought I'd buy them there.

Today they had some kind of promotion where if you bought Vitamins you could have for free a little box containing 4 sachets of some kind supplement that you open and swallow(you do not need to put the contents into water)it has other ingredients and seems a good product. I did not need any more vitamins so tried to buy the product as normal.

The product had fastened to the shelve a price tag of 1p...I know, too good to be true but I thought, that's the price being displayed on all the areas where the product was displayed so I grabbed 5 boxes and waited to find out how much each box cost. If reasonable I might've still purchased them. Even if more than 1p.

Not only could they not find a price for the product on the computer where all prices are stored at the checkout, you could only have them for free if you bought other items and they would not sell them as a product in their own right.

So we have, what appears to be a new product that you not allowed to purchase. Someone in the promotions and sales seems to be failing in their work. I give up!

Update:I returned for my prescription today and guess what it is still not ready. We're back to their old ways again...I am almost out of my steroids and you cannot just stop suddenly, if I go out specially tomorrow I add to the cost by having to use a taxi and the effort it takes to go out.

They have now promised to deliver my drugs to my home between 3pm-5pm tomorrow, if they do not the Dr's surgery is closed over the weekend and I am not too sure where we go from there.

It's anecdotal but I was discussing this with another taxi driver on the way home and he was telling me of all the problems he had experienced similar to me and he has now cancelled his repeat prescription with Boots and gets it from somewhere else(he had gone without his tablets for two days)that's fine if you have access to transport and you can go wherever you wish but some of us are unable to do that.

As for the product I mentioned on promotion earlier in this entry...I found it on the shelf and they are normally available in boxes containing 20 sachets and they cost £5.99 a box. So they are approx 30p per sachet. So compared to some supplements quite expensive in reality.

And earlier today I have returned from my regular check up at the hospital and I do not think things are as good as they could've been. I have to go back earlier next month for my next check up. I have not had my tablets reduced this time and I have to have a more extensive blood test but instead of having it done at the Dr's surgery so the information is available for the Consultant I have to have it taken at the hospital and that means for a few days I will be worrying waiting for a possible phone call with news that I may not wish to hear. I got the impression things were not as good as they could've been.

And then when I came home I discovered a massive form I have to fill in.

It must be wonderful to be able to be financially independent.

If you have lots of savings, you probably could say no until the savings run out but it doesn't take long for that to happen.

If you are starting out after school or university and perhaps live with parents you can avoid joining the job market until you wish to because in effect parents give you free room and board.
And that keeps you from having to take help and all the conditions attached...Someone near me is in that situation I think. I'm envious.

Then some have no choice.

I thought I'd seek help from an advisor at the Citizen's Advice(an organisation in the UK that offer help on just about anything you can think of)who has always been such a help to me, but the earliest I can see her is in 15 days time!

That only goes to show how many people are seeking help and advice on so many problems and need to use a charity offering free advice. The recent economic situation has put a strain on the service.

What advice do I need? Hopefully, very little it's more just a check that I have not missed a tick here or a tick there. Or I have not misunderstood something. At least I hope that's all it is.

How am I? All the symptoms I have talked of previously still exist but also often breathless when doing small tasks and tired. Also, I find myself being very hot and sweaty. The only really good things today was that my blood pressure was good 126/89 and my weight was not much different but for a couple of lbs(but I am a couple of stone heavier than I should be and the cholesterol still needs to come down)and I have painful knee joints and cramps in my legs. I still have water retention, you don't want me to go into greater detail about that and where it is. Its not in the leg area that's for sure. And as for that hernia...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


No, not the singer...

I was thinking after an earlier comment on my entry about making bread...that I have never made and it's been years since I ate "Meatloaf!"

I went on the search and I am sure there must be thousands of recipes but you know what...I found the link below and it's quick, simple and anything goes...I think even I can manage this...basically just put into the loaf whatever you wish and it could be a great way of using up the leftovers we always seem to have.

I may give it a try at the weekend...

Turkey Meatloaf

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yorkshire Pudding...

How many of you reading this and living outside the UK have ever tried a Yorkshire Pudding? They are as part of the traditional Sunday Lunch associated with the British. You can eat them with your meat and two veg and gravy. You can keep them crunchy or pour gravy into them.

Some people actually put a filling of vegetables and gravy inside of them having turned them upside down so you can you use the hollow inside. Some people have them after their meals as a dessert and put something sweet inside. You can make small ones or large one's.

There is Toad in the hole, that's a Yorkshire Pudding that contains sausages baked into the pudding.

They are easy to make but always welcome...so I attach a link to a recent story that appeared in the media as to how to make a perfect Yorkshire. Go on give it a go! But do take care as you are using hot oil/fat and very hot baking trays. There is much conversation as to what is a perfect Yorkshire Pudding and who makes the best. There is friendly rivalry between those who live in the County of Yorkshire and especially people living in the South of the England.

In the UK we can cheat and when there is only one or persons in the house hold it makes sense not to do your own but buy them ready done(either flat and they cook in the oven and rise or already the right shape and just warmed up for three or four minutes on a baking tray and the remainder put in the freezer until the next time.

A few manufacturer's offer them and most are pretty well OK and they are inexpensive and save lots of time and effort but I tend to stick with the following company Aunt Bessies.

Chemists divine formula for perfect Yorkshire pud

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mutton Dressed As Lamb...

I was looking for some mince whilst shopping last week and came across in the value range of the supermarket a prepacked item containing Lamb and Mutton combined.

I thought to myself have I ever eaten Mutton? Why have I never seen it for sale on the shelves of the supermarket or in the local Butcher's for that matter. I don't think it's me not being observant.

A little bit of investigation and thinking about it, it seems that our own HRH Prince Charles has been promoting Mutton and trying to make it popular again with a campaign that has been going on for at least 5 years. It might just be starting to get somewhere. I understand from reading or hearing something only a few days ago that it is one of his or perhaps his favourite meat.

If you go back in the history of the British people for centuries it was a staple part of the diet of the population perhaps because it was cheap or maybe it was readily available. That perhaps would be unfair as I am sure it was eaten by the Royal Family too. I don't know why but I always think of Henry VIII when I talk of Mutton which may be a wrong thing to do.

It was also an important source of protein during the World Wars when meat was scarce and was rationed. But there were some inventive dishes and the experts say that we were much healthier then.

Even I can remember hearing of Mutton Chops to be eaten and even it being used as an expression regarding how someone looks. Which brings me to the expression "Mutton dressed as Lamb!" which is basically saying that you are trying to serve a poorer meat up as it's better quality equivalent.

On a BBC radio programme today that talks of food someone said that mutton has a problem shaking off this kind of image with people and if they tried it and it was more readily available, it could become popular again and be enjoyed.
It's not unlike comparing Beef against Veal.

When I did a search on the Internet for recipes using Mutton and it's taken some doing, practically all recipes that come up are offering Mutton only as mince and as ingredient in recipes for curries.

It is said to be very tasty, lean and sweet. I think but I cannot be sure that I have seen Mutton included in some popular brands of soup. I'll have to pay attention next time and see if I can see any of it in the list of ingredients.

I understand that some high class restaurants are starting to put Mutton on their menu and it is going down well with customers so perhaps it's only a matter of time.

As for eating meat have been eating Pork, Chicken, Turkey and Fish but recently found that I can enjoy eating Lamb again(I have some neck fillet and lamb chops in the freezer)but last night I was short of some items so I ate a Lamb burger from the Bird's Eye Range and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I can and will make my own but I think Bird's Eye is a highly reputable company and usually offers good value for money and I reckon my meal of roasted vegetables, mashed potato and Lamb burger came in for approx £1 per person which I think is not bad value for a main meal.

Then again Rabbit is starting to be sold again so maybe we are starting to return to more traditional, wholesome food. Whether I see myself eating Rabbit...I have yet to decide but then again I have not eaten Game. I do draw the line though at not eating offal etc...

Butcher presents mutton to prince

Friday, November 07, 2008

I WasThinking About My Town's Retail Area

We're in a credit crises, a recession, an economic crunch call it what you will...nationally and across the world, we are constantly told by the press and media. So who is going to invest in our shopping centre at present when money is tight?

To be honest it has gone quiet with little or no news regarding who might consider taking up any retail units or changes to/demolishing of existing buildings that have outlived their purpose, been allowed to fall into disrepute.

What set me thinking of this was finding out that(and I have mentioned this before)that the main spare empty unit once occupied by Sommerfield Supermarket is to be taken up by another retailer like two others we already have on town virtually next door to their new store.

We needed competition to the new large supermarket that dominates the town. And many shoppers say are not as cheap price wise as their competitors(and a TV campaign quoting an independent website that compares prices)I would've even suggested that the existing freezer shop could've taken the space and offered a wider range of products to the town.

I might've accepted(and I am sure many on low incomes or feeling the credit crunch...oh how I hate these short cut expressions to describe the situation)one of the new breed of food outlets that sell high quality(but unknown brands)or well known brands at lower prices by saving on fancy in store displays or buying in bulk but such outlets are out of town and you need to use public transport, taxi's or a car which adds extra cost to the shopping trip.

I found out by chance that two such stores have opened in the last week or two close by(3 1/2 and 7 miles away, it's been reported that between them they managed to attract 13,000 customers on their opening day)Initially that made me a little angry but then I thought just maybe they have good reasons for avoiding my town.

By taking up these new locations they are probably paying less in rent or lease payments(its been said that our landlord charges higher than usual rates(that could be anecdotal)There are no spare retail units to move into as existing businesses need them if/when the development resumes again. Also, their plan is probably to stop people travelling into my town to use the large supermarket rather than stop us who live here travelling out of town. Stop them before they see the choice or variety of product in the large supermarket.

The other day when I ventured into the older part of town it was absolutely dead. We are talking of a handful of shoppers using each store.

But no the local free sheet has news from our local MP saying everything is on track and we'll see things moving again early 2009. There is talk of new buildings being offered for community projects such as a decent town library etc...but at the end of the article my eyes did spot mention of a supermarket. I'm not sure where that will fit into the plans and who is considering coming here but we'll see.

My town has invested in a new memorial for Remembrance Day which is this weekend to commemorate those who fell in the two great World Wars and the conflicts since.

Our town has managed(even if it looked quite sparse)with a flag pole outside one of the many churches we have in town and part of the town centre is closed to traffic during the service, we do not have a town square but a car park faces onto the church so townsfolk and troops etc...have to stand there and across the road, however, we now have this monument which will be used for the first time this weekend.

I give credit to the Newton News where this image appears but hopefully in the next few hours, I will be posting my own photo here...I have not decided as yet whether I like it(that's a personal opinion)but it is different and striking.

Update:I have some photos. It was dark. Unfortunately, the digital viewfinder was so dark, every attempt resulted in one of the stone pillars missing off the image. You could not tell until you looked at the image you had taken.

My taxi driver asked what I thought. I was diplomatic in my answer but afterwards he told me what he felt. We agreed that we probably would've preferred a traditional cenotaph.

What can I say? From two directions it cannot be seen. From another it just looks like three plain pieces of stone. It only looks anything once you get up close and read the inscriptions that are chiseled into the stone. I wonder how many of the townsfolk are impressed and how many feel that they have to say that they are?

I wonder how many expressed a view or were asked? I suspect that there is someone that can say that if I had looked information was out there and I could have passed an opinion but I missed it. The first I knew I was seeing that the decision had been made as to which artist had been commissioned and what the design would be. And where it was going to placed.

In case it is not clear...the first inscription on the left pillar is in white writing, the middle one is in gold writing and the right pillar is inscribed but not filled in. An article in the town's free sheet says that some wanted a traditional monument but most are happy with what has been erected.

I think I able understand why it is facing in the direction it is but I found it looked more impressive with the church behind it rather than having a shopping arcade and a public house in your line of vision.

I have managed to salvage some of the images I took and tidy them up a little using some computer software so I have added them below. Ask me at a later date and I may change my mind and it could grow on me.

Posted by Picasa

I have been told that it was featured on the local TV news earlier today as it was being consecrated for tomorrow's Remembrance service but I missed the report.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My First Loaf Of Bread...

I finally got around to making my very first loaf of bread.

I think that I can do better but for a first attempt and with little or no equipment than the most basic possible...it appears to be OK.

The first image is before it was put in the oven.

And this is the finished item.

I'll know how well I have done when I get chance to try it out later today(which may be sooner than later)as I am almost out of bread and probably will not get to the shops before tomorrow afternoon.

And in case you wish to try it yourself here's the website I decided to take the recipe from but there are loads of places offering various bread recipes.

Update:It maybe seems a very bland term but how does it taste? I asked Mum and she said "Nice!" and that's probably what I'd say too. It's as good as any I have purchased from a baker's in any high street shop. Perhaps next time I'll make a smaller one, use a loaf tin(which I have purchased)and see what difference adding butter or margerine might make. But it's so easy...

Domestic Goddess In Training

I have found two other sites worth looking at...

The Knead For Bread Blog

Cooking Bread