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.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

What Is The Soundtrack Of Your Life?

I love music and there is very little I won't try and I am still discovering music being made today and from the past.

But are musical tastes governed by what we hear as we grow up in our formative years?

If so, well I am glad that I heard so many different genres and perhaps that is what is missing today, much of the official radio plays virtually the same type of music and unless you can access what is on the Internet or you are curious about music that is not around now, great amounts of music is being ignored or neglected.

Of course every decade has good and bad music but I have to say that if I was to choose a decade for pop music where virtually every song is perfect and I feel like singing along or I want to feel happy the 60's take some beating(that's personal to me)most of them still sound as good nearly 50 years on even though technology has probably improved over that time and now more than ever image has taken over with the pop video and the MTV generation.

Earth Hour...

I don't do controversial...

I said earlier most of the time I get on with just about anyone and I equally respect as much as I can other views and opinions.

I have never said that I do not accept that climate change is happening but I might argue or disagree what the reasons are for the rise in temperature.

I won't even necessarily disagree that the Human Race does not play it's part in how the Earth's future will turn out but I will say why do we think it is our right to believe that we will always inhabit the Earth. Other species have adapted or fallen by the wayside. And we will not be able to alter the way the Universe unfolds, look at the planets that have been destroyed and what other stars(suns)have done when they collapse. What about black holes?

Whether it happens next week or many years into the future, the sun that gives life will also take it away. If the Earth doesn't cease to be because of many possible natural disasters. Even, the world slowing down or stopping its turning will change things.

When I was growing up and until quite recently I was always being told by scientists and the media that we were heading for another ice age and it was going to get colder and we would all be iced over.

In the 1800's the climate was warmer than it is now and many areas of the south of the UK had their own vineyards(and back then we did not have motor cars or any industries to speak of)so we could not be blamed for the climate then.

So what's this Earth Hour...it's symbolic...You all switch off your lights for an hour at 20.30 local time. But many of those saying they will take part are all seemingly similar, many are young and what I once would have seen in the 60's as those who followed the flower power movement and they use terms like "Awesome!" People are posting images of themselves in daylight(what's that got to do with Earth Hour and others are taking photo's of buildings in darkness which are hard to see anyhow.

Seemingly, many companies or tourist attractions feel(maybe pressurised)into switching off the lights that illuminate their attractions, even Coca Cola are switching off their advertising hording in London for the hour.

But then, they are all going to be switched on again and everything will continue as before. I doubt anyone that lives near me are even thinking of Earth Hour and no lights will be turned off unless people are not at home anyhow. I don't see many sitting in the dark for an hour doing nothing. And if lights were turned out, people will still listen to the radio or watch the tv or use the computer.

Besides, when we go to bed the lights will be off for 6-8 hours so why do we need to switch them out for an hour? If I lived in a location where it is light most of the year and most of the 24 hour period, I would happily leave the lights off.

How long before the street lighting is turned off...there's already talk of some areas of the Motorway network having their lights turned off which worries some motoring organisations on the grounds of the safety of motorists. And yet in my own area they have been re-newing and replacing street lights even installing more than we had before. Why bother, if in time they are not going to be used or turned off?

Also, when someone comes on a tv and radio programme to talk about something and they say "All" or "Everyone" feels a certain way...no they don't, you should say many feel that way...but some of these sites are written not objectively but subjectively because of how they are written.

Who knows where all this will end?

To be fair here are some links to sites supporting the event...

Earth Hour Global

World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour Site

Update:I'm afraid the time came around and I only thought about it when it was mentioned on the radio news at 9pm and no I did not switch my lights out.

I also discovered much later that the Earth Hour project is the baby of the WWF(The World Wildlife Fund)

You'll Always Forget Something...Even If You Write A List...

I have some lovely cakes and to be honest I sometimes think why bother to bake when there are some high quality products out there already but there is something about doing it yourself. And I will sometime soon have a go at baking some scones or maybe some biscuits and yes...cakes.

I have flours, baking sundries and even some decorations to make them look nice but what did I forget to buy?

Some cutters to cut shapes out of pastry/batter so I will have to put this off for a few more days.

On the other hand some items are difficult to find...remarkably one that has all but beaten me is greaseproof paper. All the usual places either are not selling it(even though they sell cling film and foil)and the only supermarket in town is selling something they say is greaseproof paper but it is more like brown wrapping paper that resembles what you use to wrap a parcel in and send through the mail. What I want is that kind of greaseproof paper that resembles tracing paper. Who would've thought you could be beaten so easily?

Perhaps, I'll have another go at making some peppermint creams for the time being, they came out pretty good the last time I gave them a try. They tasted good, they looked good and I was able to have them coated in chocolate(all or half dipped) and yes, in any colour I chose to have them but green is quite a good colour. I don't mean those hard sugary peppermint creams...more like those fondant type.

Update:Greaseproof paper? A friend has suggested baking parchment...an excellent alternative and I'll see if I can find any but I know that the shops I have tried so far did not stock that either.

I mentioned that I forgot to buy some cutters for making shapes out of pastry etc...so I can make some scones or whatever...and I might have to delay making some...and then just as I have been recycling the metal trays that some bought roast potatoes come in and are cooked in the oven and they have been as good as proper and expensive ovenware.

I was looking at almost empty jar of coffee as I was on here and I realised that the plastic top of the jar is the right size and will do the job just as well and if not I have a glass top on another jar which is the same size.

Of course I may still want to have some fancy shaped cutters but for now...we are in business, if I make cheese scones. Otherwise I will have to wait until I get some fruit to put into the mixture and if I make some plain scones I need some jam.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Can Get On With Just About Anyone...

Now that's either because I am so easy going or by the law of averages I am not coming into contact with enough people to disprove the theory.

Anyhow, I had to deal with a utility company today by phone...I did not have to wait long on the phone and it was all quite straight forward. I appreciate the people in the call centre have procedures to follow and have to protect customer details under the Data Protection Act etc...especially if they realise and(I)admit that I am not the person named on the utility bill.

But on the grounds that I declared who I was and who the account belongs to, I am phoning in details and not trying to buy a service(and I can do so automatically without talking to someone)and that does not differentiate that I am the person named on the utility bill, sometimes some operators are easier to deal with than others. I found this person patronising and I was initially as patronising back(which is unusual for me)but because that is not my nature I could not keep it up and I found myself apologising for being so.

However, a few minutes later I decided...as I have phoned in the meter reading(and that was the original problem)the meter reader was so quick at disappearing that we could not catch him coming out of a neighbouring house(nor did he gives us enough time to get a key to open the garage where the meter is)I thought why not pay it and get it over with...to wait for the bill to drop on the doormat is only prolonging the agony of parting with the cash so I phoned back.

I spoke to a different person who was much more pleasant, chatty and polite...and as she appreciated I was paying a bill...who would be trying to do something "Funny" if they are paying money owed(whether the debt is their own or on behalf of someone else)so this customer services operator was easier to deal with and did not put up all kinds of barriers.

I'm not so happy with how much I had to part with but hopefully prices will come down(they say that they will)and the weather improves hopefully the heating will not be on as much.

Dr...Where Are You?

Well, it's hard luck if you require medical attention.

Mum had a couple of falls again over the last few days...my worry is that a sudden jerk or crash to the floor may dislodge the crushed vertebrae in her back. A recap for anyone reading this without prior knowledge...she fell downstairs just before Christmas. And spent some time in hospital. The bad news, she has damaged her back but the good news is that it could've been much, much worse and I have read stories since of others with the same injury that are frightening and where the consequences have been/could have been worse. So being fortunate I do not want the injury aggravated. However, as far as we can tell all is still ok.

Well, we almost decided to contact the local surgery and make an appointment to see our Dr but at the last minute we decided against it but when I popped over in the afternoon to put in a prescription and ask when our Dr is in this week...the surgery looked deserted and in darkness(I assume it was because staff were being trained)but the whole surgery was closed for 24 hours. So if we'd wanted to be seen it was not possible and I assume we would've had to try and find a relief Dr or just go to hospital.

People were turning up in their cars and then finding they'd had a wasted journey. I like others could not hand my forms in for a prescription so took a risk like many others and had to put them through the letterbox and hope that they are put up when the surgery re-opens. I know people were unhappy and thought that at least the reception area should still have been available for general enquires at least.

So I did some shopping...I did get some flowers for Mum last Thursday for Mother's Day and they still look good but we did not manage to get much for her Birthday and for Easter I don't think we'll bother much with Easter Eggs but I found some chocolates by a popular but rather exclusive and expensive confectioner in the UK called Thornton's so I treated Mum to a big box of those...I don't remember ever buying such a large box in my life!

As for myself on top of the items of food, I once again came across some very good books with many recipes I hope to try...yes, I'm still into smoothies, juices and cocktails but there was a hard backed book worth £10 for £3.50 in hard back with lots of information, recipes and images and I think I could manage every bread, dessert, cake, scone or biscuit featured, there is not one really difficult recipe amongst them. It is one of the best books I have ever seen. All it is called is Home Baking Cookbook.

I have a cupboard full of various flours, yeast and baking ingredients so I may give some of these recipes a go quite soon. If I need anything else it's just a few of the little fancy decorating items you sometimes put on top of cakes or biscuits...I'm saying mine will be any better than what is available in the shops or cheaper but there is something about saying "I made that!" and at least you know what went into them. You can perhaps reduce the salt and sugar content.

I will look for ideas on the Internet as I always have but there is something still easier and handy about being able to look in a book and have it opened in front of you for ease of checking information etc...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It Was Forty Years Ago...

What was?

The pop festival/concert Woodstock held in upstate New York USA. I suppose back in 1969 it meant such a lot because such events were rare. It was difficult to travel the world because of a lack of transport and the cost of traveling, also such events were not so readily available in the media and if memory serves me correctly many had to wait for a movie to be released to experience Woodstock.

There have been many stories about the performers(often from them themselves)about their excesses. I was around at the time but I don't remember much if anything about it or that it meant anything to me.

I heard yesterday that an attempt was made to recreate another Woodstock ten years ago and that did not come off, now if the money can be raised the original person behind this event says that he would like to do it again. But millions need to be raised.

If it came off, how much interest would there really be? Pop concerts and events raising money for various charities or causes are so common and the same groups turn up on nearly all of them.

In many cases they will appear for free but the extra publicity will result in an increase of sales of their music. That probably always happened but now with all the media outlets and the companies that take care of promotion it is an industry in itself. Is it right that they receive this extra income? Perhaps...as long as they don't lecture the public.

Who could or should appear? Should it be as many of the original line-up as possible or the groups of today? Or a mixture of the two?

There is much made of old rockers and some say that they should stop when they reach a certain age but why should they, if they are still capable of giving a decent performance and are still capable of sounding good? Many are still writing new material. Often they can show the "Youngsters" how to do it. And how many of today's performers will last as long or will they decide to call an end to their careers when they reach a certain age(and what age should that be?)

If it is held will it be as a celebration of an iconic event or another concert to raise money or awareness of some cause?

It will be a case of watch and see.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Using Your Loaf...


Dough That Has Risen

The Final Result
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My first attempts at baking a wholemeal loaf...it was easier than my first attempts at making home made bread last year. It tastes better perhaps than it looks and is acceptable in comparison to purchased bread but I am still learning and I hope as I do my skills will improve.

Update:I have attempted a white loaf...again(large this time)It's quite soft and easy to bake again...I could get into this...

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Too Many Sites...

Not enough time or money to afford to taste everything...

Long may I hope to always access the Internet and to savour one of my favourite past times of food but an article in a newspaper earlier today pointed it's readers in the direction of some food blogs and already there is so much wonderful food to be tasted and cooked. Some of the sites available are so good, they really deserve to read and be given publicity.

I give you some of the links here...if you decide to visit...enjoy!

Simply Recipes

The Crumbs And Dirty Dishes

101 Cookbooks

David Lebovitz

I had to pop out again later on and as I passed by a charity shop I don't usually go into to, I decided that I would and found a wonderful book in almost perfect condition, fully illustrated with images and lots of information with over 160 recipes for...smoothies and juices and the price? £1 Now that is a bargain.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Has Spring Sprung?

Or is that wishful thinking? The last few days have been "quite nice." Warm and sunny which is good.

Here in the UK this weekend(Sunday) we have Mother's Day when we are to remember our mothers if we are fortunate to still have them around(and you have a close relationship)though you can argue that you should not need a special day designated by business, that you celebrate and acknowledge your Mum at various times throughout the year and without being prompted.

Then again, so what if we need a special day in the calendar as long as the person who gives is genuine with their love and good wishes(and not just doing it for the sake of it)

I would like to arrange perhaps a trip out if we were well enough but pottering around at home and being in each other's company is enough...I may try and think of something nice that I can perhaps cook so we have a nice meal...I could possibly open some bubbly or wine(We never managed to drink what I purchased for Christmas)Possibly, I can think of a dessert to have afterwards. Maybe I can make a cocktail or a fancy smoothie.

I've never really been one for buying flowers but you know what...I purchased some for Valentine's Day as a gesture and they were such good value and looked so nice...I thought I'll do it again and I brought some in with me after my hospital trip today for Mother's Day. And rather than wait until Sunday and waste some of the time they will be in bloom we have popped them in a vase and have them on show now!

I have been surprised with the help of some special feed supplied with the flowers how long they can last.

So we'll see what happens...

As I have mentioned being at the hospital...I saw yet another Dr...and I was told that the damage long term use of the drugs that I am on can cause(I already know that...diabetes, cancer and bone thinning amongst other things)so they are trying to reduce their use again...but its a long job and very hit and miss...the only good thing is that they are attempting to so I have had the steroids reduced by 2.5mg and unless something unexpected happens I have been allowed an extra couple of weeks between hospital appointments so instead of returning in 4 weeks I will be going back in 6 weeks. So that's at the end of April. It seems ages away but it will come around all too soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Isn't It Awful!!!

I have nothing to say!

I could court controversy and talk about world politics, the state of the world, give my opinions(I think I am pretty tolerant of most things)and if you don't bother me, I'll not bother you. But I am sure that I could offend. It would not be intentional.

After all...if you are writing to a world audience, culture is different...religion is different, laws are different, even what we see as being acceptable regarding what we eat can be seen as different...so it is understandable perhaps why my blog is mainly personal and about what I do daily...of course that does mean that some times nothing much happens...but considering how often all that happens is bad news, some times it can be better not having anything to say.

I may have to consider putting up questions and links to sites that I think deserve more publicity to fill in the gaps.

I keep tinkering with the settings of my new place Tumblr but as yet I have still have not posted...I can tell you though that I have kept a connection to here by calling it Gildersleeve's Ramblings...

Blogging is probably the natural progression of having a Pen Friend...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chicken And Broccoli Bake!

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Well, it was going to be a variation on the usual Sunday evening meal and I wondered if I could find something a little different or that I had not attempted before. The search on the Internet came up with a recipe that I still adapted in my own way but really once you have the basics off you can do anything and even when and if you find a recipe anywhere it's probably an adaptation of someone else's.

I changed the ingredients around...adding some and avoiding others.

It is pointless giving exact measurements, it's something that you feel as you cook the dish...

It came out reasonably good.

So if you'd like to try it...here we go...

Half a can of chicken soup(I used mushroom and chicken soup)at the bottom of a foil tray or a casserole dish would do...

Boil some potatoes and when they are cooked slice them...

Boil some broccoli(I also added some cauliflower)

Put the cooked vegetables into the soup in the dish...

I cooked some chicken in a frying pan...when cooked enough add that to the soup...I also browned off some diced onion and added that too...

Then take the sliced potatoes and cover the vegetables and chicken...

Cover that with the remaining half of the soup and then sprinkle grated cheese on top of that.

Put it in the oven preheated at 180 degrees for approx thirty minutes...any longer it may become too dry but you can check and decide if it needs that little bit longer...the cheese tends to seal the dish so any possible liquid seeping out is soon stopped.

Take out and serve.

The photo isn't the best in the world but it gives you an idea what it looks like...there was enough for two people(possibly three)it also depends if you wish to do anything else and perhaps if you plan to have anything to follow.


I've joined a site that's a bit like Twitter but similar to my blog so posts can be a little longer but having signed up I'm not sure what to do with it or if I have anything that exciting to post or how to use it. But it seems to offer more than Twitter. You can add a feed to Twitter if you are using that too...

I'll have to look into it more and see what it all entails...then I may find it of use. Or not!

I won't post a link/feed to my page as there is nothing there yet...but here's the website in case you wish to sign up or read other blogs etc...it is free...type it into your search engine...

I can link to Tumblr and Twitter. I understand that I can text or leave messages via a mobile phone(something for later perhaps?)but will me saying that I am in the supermarket and what I am possibly buying really be interesting? Offering a running commentary on what I am doing at various points during the day...probably not...you may be asking the same of what I write here...


Saturday, March 14, 2009


It's amazing what has been taxed over the years in the UK...and possibly around the world.

You can understand the paying of taxes on income(even if you dislike doing so)but over the years(and we're talking centuries)various Governments have taxed, the amount of daylight that entered your home via windows(I thought that natural light was free)that was known as the Window Tax(surprise, surprise)this resulted in some property owners taking out windows or boarding them up. They had a tax on wigs(those long wigs like you see in historic films of the Cavaliers etc...so is it any wonder that they charge taxes on food, clothing and just about anything that you can think of etc...

In this part of the world that is known as VAT(Value Added Tax)somewhere like the USA that would be a sales tax.

Some of the strangest taxes today that exist are as an example, if you make phone calls when your bill comes in, you'll find VAT added to the cost of the calls you make so you are taxed on talking(so much for free speech)

So if they'll tax on essentials, is it any surprise that they will tax you on luxuries and things that could be seen as harmful to one's health. Such a tax can be seen as a deterrent but in reality often it an excuse or an admission of defeat so whilst saying "Don't do it!" they can still raise money at the same time. You pay tax on your energy bills and now they are trying to raise more on the grounds of climate change and go on about every one's carbon footprint they are looking for other ways to raise even more money.

They've taxed smoking and alcoholic drink...there has been talk of taxing what is classed as junk food and sweets on the grounds that we are all going to become obese and the other day a Scottish Dr tried to press for the introduction of a Chocolate Tax.

That tax was already tried many years ago and abolished.

Thankfully, this idea was dismissed for now...I'm not sure that is much left that is not taxed in some way or that demands are not being made regarding products on the grounds that because the public cannot decide for themselves what is good for them they should no longer be advertised so the rest of us have to pay more or do without!

I'm not saying that some people do struggle with the misuse of certain substances but that has always happened and many things(even healthy eating if done to excess can be harmful...)moderation and common sense is the watch word...speaking of which the government's top medical adviser is suggesting that there should be an increase in the price of alchohol so no drinks could be sold for less than 50 pence per unit of alcohol they contain.

It is said that most bottles of wine could not be sold for less than £4.50 under the new proposals.

And so it's like a tax(I assume the tax will be added on top of the added increase taking it still higher...)

Plans To Increase The Price Of Alcohol

Update:It would appear that the idea of raising the price of booze and therefore affecting the responsible drinkers amongst us has been rejected if what Government ministers have said over the past few hours is to be believed. It could of course be that if people stopped buying booze because of the increase in price they realise that also means a drop in the revenue raised tax wise.

It's ironic another example of items that are taxed heavily are cars...

We are being told not to use cars as much and the economic downturn has meant fewer cars are being purchased and therefore car plants are struggling and many have laid off workers or reduced their working hours and pay...and now Government's would love to see the public buying them again. It may be that after the economy turns around people may see cars as a necessity but not a luxury and buy very basic models, but equally if you are being told not to use them as much, you could ask why buy one just to have it sit on a drive or in a garage.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


A free advertising paper came through the door the other day and in the middle is a big pull out promoting healthy eating and exercising especially regarding keeping children and teenagers healthy and to stop them becoming obese.

Amongst the information in this latest promotion is something that I have never heard of...a recipe for a Stovie. In all but the fact that it has no meat whatsoever...in reality it is a casserole or similar to a thick soup.

Further investigation on here suggests that a Stovie is a Scottish Dish and is anything that you can put together and most do contain meat and vegetables...all seem very acceptable and during a cold Winter's night or perhaps if you were holding perhaps an event such a Bonfire Night 5th November it would warm you up.

I could give you recipes here but it's probably easier to direct via a link to a site with many ideas...

However, I will give you the vegetarian version in case you prefer not to eat meat.

I could dress this recipe up but I'm going to keep it simple...

Vegetarian Stovies...

This will be enough for two people but you can adapt the measurements for more or less people.

Two reasonably large Potatoes
One Carrot
One Parsnip
One large Onion
A portion of Turnip

All peeled and thinly sliced.

Pepper added if you so wish.

A vegetable stock cube with one pint of water.

Brown the vegetables over a low heat in a pan and then add the stock.

Cover and simmer...add more water as and when to avoid it sticking(simmer for approx thirty minutes)

And serve up with crusty bread.

Simple but tasty.


Scottish Recipes

These Days Things Do Not Need to Have Fallen Off The Back Of A Lorry...

If I repeat myself forgive me but you've seen my mention in the previous entry about a shop selling lots of chocolate at very cheap prices...You never really know what will be on sale from one week to the next and often the same product once it is sold is never seen again. Apart from the price, sometimes the language used on the product is not English and often the best before date is very close. And yet not necessarily that close. Today I found ten small packets of KP Salted Peanuts for £1. So I won't eat too many in one go...but the Best Before date is six weeks away.

The economic downturn has seen certain sites become popular...did they exist before people started losing their jobs and had to watch the pennies or is it a new trend? I think that I would use such sites but for two reasons...because you are buying in bulk I could not use everything up in time so I gain little, I know no one I can share the cost with and share the stock with should I order and if you have too much of something you get tired of it.

It does make me wonder if what is being sold in this shop could be being sourced from one of these websites.

Approved Foods

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I'm Not A Chocoholic...Honest!

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and from what I am about to say but the truth is much as I love confectionery. I am able to go for ages without buying any. Sure, it's better for your health not to but you'd have eat some stock or have a medical condition to really be affected.

I often avoid it as when I shop it is not on my mind(It's the same with alchohol)unless I am having a specific run on such items(usually it is prompted by events like Christmas, Birthdays etc...)and when I have some in the house I often forget about it.

However, as I passed through the local newsagents they had an offer of 5 new Mars produced chocolate bars for £1(I think they are in 3 flavours)Can I remember them? Caramel, Orange and Cinnamon and Milk Chocolate.

Also some Cadbury's children's chocolate bars 20 for £1. These were different in that they have some magical popping candy inside(so I am told on the wrapper)

So I came home with a bumper stash of chocolate. I wonder how long they will last?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I'm Sure That They'll Care...Not!

Some posts ago I mentioned that Walker's crisps had brought out some new flavours of crisps and the idea is that the public votes for one flavour and it will be manufactured as one of their range of products.

Well, I have eaten most if not all of the range and I am not impressed by any of them(it's only a personal opinion)and I am sure that many others are enjoying them. But you know what else? I have decided after eating Walker's for many years...I don't like the texture of the crisps either. Walkers crisps seem rough and hard in comparison. I have been spoilt by the smoother and tastier crisps available from another manufacturer and marketed as Pringles.

I eat less of them in one go, so they last longer, for me they taste and feel nicer in the mouth. And I don't know whether you get more for your money but it feels that way.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Mixed Blessings...

Not important really and we've all done it...but I was carefully sliding a dinner plate off the draining board in the kitchen and nothing was piled up precariously but I forgot that two side plates were under the dinner plate and hidden and as I took the plate away, those side plates crashed to the floor and broke. I have in recent months had similar accidents that I can blame on stupidity but this time...not so. So I guess I'll be looking for some general daily tableware later in the week(bowls and side plates mainly)

These were not particularly expensive but good for the job. So I have odd numbers left now...three blue plates and five in cream. I have not seen them on sale since I purchased my set.

Update:I managed to get out briefly today and find some plates almost like those that I smashed(they may be slightly more fashionable as they are more rectangular with the corners rounded off)so I purchased four in a cream colour and whilst I was at it I also purchased four cereal bowls(to help replace some of those that have been broken previously)but there were only two that matched that colour on the shelf and I could not wait for new stock arriving so I chose another two in a sort of light coffee colour, as there are only the two of us and we tend to grab whatever is close to hand I'm not bothered about that. I may make do with what I have or if I see some later buy a couple of spares.

It doesn't really matter unless when you entertain and you have enough of everything that matches. I was expecting to pay £8 but at the checkout but was only charged around £5 so I saved £3 or could've bought a few more items.

Things have a habit of happening in three's so they say...

That's one accident...

Last weekend, it was the middle of the night and I reached over to switch on the bedside lamp and it disintegrated in a flash of light...I thought the bulb had blown, it turned out the socket the light bulb and shade fastened into had dried out and become brittle so that was what was broken.

I suppose I could've purchased a new socket and connected up the cable but it looked a little complicated so I decided to look for a new lamp today. Nothing terrifically expensive. The choice in town wasn't great and those available might've been a bit fashionable but I could see problems getting replacement lamp shades.

I ended up at the supermarket again and managed to get one reasonably fashionable and "Normal" looking lamp for under £4...at those kind of prices you can't be robbed. Buying a socket and/or a shade is probably more expensive than buying the complete lamp.

So what will be the next item to break? Or should I include stabbing my thumb with the prongs on a sharp kitchen knife?

Oh an after thought, if you stopped in the street by the police and found to have a penknife on your person you can be arrested and taken away.

I've said this before...what happens now if you want to use a penknife(or a Swiss Army Knife)for every day tasks or if you are camping or whatever. I have thought of buying one myself(even though I have yet to do so)though when I worked in a jewellers store we were given one to do watch repairs and simple jewellery repairs etc...and we always kept our own knife on our person to avoid them going missing as much as anything. I assume I could no longer carry that these days. If you can at least if you buy one you could get it home from where you've purchased it.

Yet tonight on TV a presenter was shown at a fruit stall in London cutting a kiwi fruit in half using a pen knife. A perfectly sane reason for using a penknife. How many people used to have a knife to cut a piece of cheese, cut an apple, tomato or a chunk of bread when having perhaps a Ploughman's Lunch, has this all stopped now or would anyone caught doing so be likely to be in trouble with the law? We seem to have gone too far because of the few. If you are intent on harming someone this is not going to stop it happening.

If you were carrying a big kitchen knife or one of a combat type with a serrated edge a ban or control of what you are doing makes sense but a pen knife?
A guide to knife laws in the UK

Having read this article the situation is clearer than it has been reported on tv and radio news and it would appear to mainly affect children and teenagers and common sense on the sides of the police and anyone that has a knife on their person.

Meat And Two Veg...

Well, not necessarily but traditionally British meals have been seen as being a combination of such. There are many recipes but really unless you are doing something really unusual and fancy whether you cook fish or meat, have gravy , a sauce or not, a variety of vegetables or are perhaps a vegetarian...once you have the basics off regarding how long you should cook something for, cooking is really simple.

I decided that it was time to attempt eating some lamb that was in the freezer and I wanted to use it up so it was not thrown out and equally it to be tender and easy to eat. I looked up all kinds of recipes but in the end just "Did my own thing!"

So last night I had this time a ready made casserole sauce, roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and turnip.

How easy was it to make a tasty meal?

I cubed and took some of the grizzle out of neck fillet, shallow fried it in olive oil until it was browned. Stuck the pieces into the casserole mix...put it in the oven for an hour.

Put the potatoes into the oven for approx half that time...

Approx 8 minutes before taking everything out of the oven, simmered the vegetables on the stove...

Served everything up and it was superb.

It has been an age since when having a casserole or mince that I have had Dumplings...to some extent this could be because anything containing fat is seen as not a good diet choice but I found today in the freezer shop in town Dumplings by Aunt Bessie's and they are lower tan most in fat content and they arre using vegetable suet. So I bought a packet to use later and if I can learn how to(and get the ingredients)I'll have a go at making some in the future but when they are so easy to buy and done for you, that is an easy option.

The more that I watch the following...Bake! Some of these recipes are worth a look at and are so easy...the series offers more than just someone in the studio cooking.

And although I have proper kitchenware...I have recently been using the metal trays that some prepared meals have been packaged in from the supermarket and they have been as good as any bought glassware so I am also doing my own recycling.

Blood Pressure Up...

Did I mention that my blood pressure was up the last time I visited the hospital...well hold on a minute. My reading was near as normal(I think)or has been that and acceptable with my own consultant. But this replacement Dr seems to think otherwise.

I had a word with the nurse who took my bloods at the Dr'sa surgery today and she kind of agreed that if my reading was as I say when at the hospital it's reasonably controlled and in the "Normal" range so she took my Blood Pressure whilst taking bloods today.

Unfortunately...today it was on the high side...now there could be a reason...I had not taken my blood pressure tablets...Why?

Well, I did something last night I have never ever done before. I was supposed to be getting my vitamins out but instead I started getting my prescription drugs out and I took my BP tablets before going to bed and had taken them before realising what I had done.

So I thought having taken another dose in the same 24 period...I would not take them today but the nurse said even though I had made an error I should still have taken them today so I took them when I got home. If the reading was taken now maybe it would be lower. Of course if she has added that reading to my notes and the Dr at the hospital sees it, he may decide to look into things?

I was also told that the old fashioned way of taking readings which had mercury thermometer as part of the apparatus was more accurate than the new electronic types of machines that are use in the National Health Service.

So assuming I am not called in early because the bloods are wrong, I will when I get my next bloods taken in a fortnight again before seeing the Dr at the Hospital again ask for my Blood Pressure to be taken again and see if it has improved. I hope it has....Of course in isolation blood pressure readings mean very little as you could have a bad reading now...in an hour it could be perfect. It is a snapshot of the time that it is taken, it really needs to be taken over a period of time.