Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

My Photo
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.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hospital Trip...

The treatment that has been keeping my condition controlled to some extent and stabilised may not be working and I may have to go back on a stronger dosage but that has dangers and if the treatment isn't working, is it worth increasing the dosage or continuing at all but the alternative scenario isn't great. It was said that we may have to have a big discussion...the treatment can be worse than the condition...

Not much point going into great detail as that may happen at a future time and I have mentioned my situation a few times in earlier blog entries.

Of course for now I have to remain hopeful and positive. I find it difficult to think that I am talking about myself. You feel as though you are talking about someone else.

I wonder if I should be looking into alternative medicines...

Well I did a search...not an extensive one and there must be lots of information out there(some that is more reliable than others)but you know from previous posts that I eat the best variety of food possible(that income allows)also for goodness and quality.

I was told that my condition was caused by my blood becoming thick and sticky and damaging the fine filters in my kidney that clean the blood. And that they are inflamed and that is why I am on steroids amongst other drugs.

I have been told that my diet has nothing to do with it but amongst the many books I have about what is good/bad in various types of food and for certain ailments I looked into alternative medicines for kidney disease and though I might not follow all ideas, the following seems like common sense and would be good even if you are fit and well.

Perhaps I have let things go by a little not eating some items as often as I once did and think that I may eat more of the following, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose...If it works...great, if not it may slow things down.

Common Diseases of the Kidney
Diabetes, lupus, hypertension, liver disease, brights disease, glomerulonephritis

Dietary Changes for Kidney Disease
Eat More:
Raw foods, garlic, potatoes, asparagus, parsley, watercress, celery, cucumbers, papaya, bananas, watermelon, pumpkin, sprouts, legumes, seeds, soybeans, spirulina, acidophilus, Lecithin

Eat Less:
Potassium, phosphates, beet greens, meat, spinach, rhubarb, swiss chard

Do Not Eat:
Chocolate, cocoa, eggs, dairy
Drink clean water (6-8 glass’s per day), eat smaller portions of meat, do small mild cleanses

Alternative Treatments for Kidney Disease
Nutrients for Kidney Disease
Calcium – helps body use all minerals in synergy
Magnesium – see calcium
L – Arginine – aids kidneys
L-Methionine – helps circulation within kidneys
Multi-enzyme complex – aids digestion
Potassium – stimulates kidney function
Vitamins for Kidney Disease
Vitamin A – helps healing process of urinary tract lining
Vitamin B complex – helps fluid metabolism
Vitamin C – boosts immunity and elevates urine acidity
Vitamin E – elevates immune system
Zinc – immunostimulant

Herbs for Kidney Disease
Buchu Tea
Dandelion Root (pu gong ying) – aids kidney excretion function of waste
Cranberry – acidifies urine and kills bacteria
Celery and Parsley – diuretic (decreases uric acid)
Hydrangea – natural diuretic – cleanses urinary tract
Uva Ursi – natural diuretic – cleanses urinary tract – germicidal
Marshmallow Tea – cleanses kidneys
Goldenrod tea, juniper berries, stinging nettle, parsley, red clover, watermelon seed tea are all good for kidney disease.

Kidney Disease Alternative Treatments

I Found Some Root Beer...

A few posts back we were discussing the availability of certain soft drinks and compared what is available in the USA and here. I'm sure some drinks will be exclusive to most countries and we only get to try them when on vacation.

This also set me thinking about the importance in American life culture of the Drug Store which usually had an area where the local teenagers met as a group or used to go or have a soda pop with their date.

I'm not sure that we in the UK ever had such a place...perhaps the nearest thing we had in the 50's and 60's was the milk bar or a coffee bar which is nothing like the coffee shops of today. It doesn't somehow sound the same or have the same mystique/romance.

They even feature in films like It's A Wonderful Life and Back To The Future...

We discussed Ginger Ale amongst other flavours. Many you have to buy at crazy prices on import.

It's pot luck if you'll find it and you probably have to be living in a large city or have access to a specialist store.

Well, today after coming out of the hospital and seeing my consultant I went into a supermarket and I found some Root Beer. It is probably based on a genuine recipe but produced in the UK.

Hopefully it is as close to the real stuff as possible. North Star asked who made it...Carters I think.

Root Beer

Now, all I have to do is find an excuse to try and pass judgement.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Of course it is a worry and concern to anyone who becomes ill or has family or friends that become ill and lose their lives.

However, once again the media does seem to have difficulty deciding whether to inform or be alarmist.The newspapers tend to be full of headlines that could worry and speech radio presenters that do more than read the hourly bulletins over emphasize or ask questions in a way that comes across as scaremongering.

Lots of the news is peppered with speculation and stating the obvious like it could become a pandemic...it has the potential to become etc...Even a popular newspaper itself says that straightforward reporting of the flu outbreak does not sell newspapers so coverage and the way the story is reported though true is done in a certain way and that compared to many countries the treat to the UK population is perhaps smaller than some.

For now it is a case of trying to make the story more larger than it needs to be. That's not playing down the seriousness of the story and the need for the public to be informed.

Sadly, on a radio phone-in most who called in were more worried about having to cancel a holiday to Mexico and wondering about refunds and compensation of money already paid or that will be. I would have thought personal helath would be far more important and to be thankful that I was well.

The human race has always been threatened by viruses and diseases and always depended on the scientific community identifying and hopefully finding a cure for possible unidentified or mutated biological problems. Sometimes a scientist can be ready for whatever nature throws at us, sadly other times people have to suffer or die or be used to test the cure to see if it works.

Or Humans adapt and survive offering scientists a helping hand in finding a cure.

So now we have Swine Flu.It is said to have started in Mexico...but that is questionable especially with the ease of travel these days. It is much harder to contain such outbreaks. In recent years Asia has been seen as the place the threat would be from and birds were getting the blame. Already, America is even questioning whether it is right to attribute the current strain to pigs and thinks it should not be called Swine Flu any longer. Also, too many people because of it being associated pigs are worried about eating pork products. But it is highly unlikely anyone will catch anything and if there was a chance, if it is cooked properly any possibility of this would be killed off.

So your bacon sandwich should be safe. However, at the end of the day it comes down to personal choice.

All we can do for now is put ourselves in the hands of those who have been designated to look after us and advise us how to try and avoid catching it and look for a cure as many viruses and deceases could have wiped out the Human Race already and could in the future.

Without becoming obsessive about the situation all you can do is try and avoid events where there are large crowds, if you feel really unwell yourself don't go to work, use public transport or go into Dr's surgeries etc...where you can pass your germs onto others. Contact the appropriate medical services for advice, if they think you have it, they will come to you.

Wash your hands reasonably frequently and thoroughly as the germs(though they don't survive very long out of the body)can survive on door handles, worktops etc...and try to avoid sneezing on people. Use tissues and be careful again how you dispose of them.

Eat well. Drink plenty of liquids so you do not dehydrate. Take paracetamol or something similar to ease aches and pains. And get plenty of rest if possible. And hope for the best.

Update:Other programmes have happened on the radio and the question has been asked is the media being alarmist or scaremongering and overall most people think that is the case. I like the way some of the media talks about itself as though it is a third person or not part of the problem. And though it's not scientific people I have talked with about this story are unconcerned or think that it is being overplayed in the media.

I understand a helpline has been launched that you can phone for advice, a series of adverts will appear on the television(I assume the radio too)and next week every home in the UK will get a leaflet through the door.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The local housing stock in a large part of the North East of England has been sold or transferred to a kind of housing association and is no longer being maintained by the local council...in fact the local council and a number of others have been dissolved and become a unitary council run from one place.

When you paid your rent, you hand in a card...you pay your money and the card is returned to you with information of how much you have paid, any credit you have and they mark on the card when your next payment date will be. No receipts to be lost and all the details are on the rent card as well as the data being on a computer system.

So what has happened now the housing stock has been transferred?

You have a little cheap looking plastic wallet in which you have to keep a letter with a customer reference number, you need that at all times to make any payment and link it to your address. When you pay you are given a slip of paper(receipt)and you have to save these up. The receipts contain no information other than what you have paid on the day. No other information about balance or what is owed on the account. They cannot even work out when your next payment date will be.

If you want to know that you have to go another desk in the same building and someone has to work everything out with a calculator. And nothing is written down.

As I say...is this progress? I don't think so.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eat Well...and Have Homemade Fare!

Well, in recent years that is what we have been told. Government campaigns and nutritionists have been promoting worrying us about obesity and the less than healthy ingredients in many convenience foods.

When we all know it comes down everything in moderation and common sense whether you buy something prepared or put it together at home with a mixture of fresh or frozen items but at least at home you can say I know what is in the food. You can add or omit some ingredients and reduce how much salt goes into a recipe.

Of course homemade can only be as good as what you choose to cook, how often and how much. That is obvious. How inventive or imaginative your variety of meals are again is maybe governed by your income as much as anything. If you can afford it, always buy the best.

So what happens? We have two newspaper articles/surveys appearing in the media or have been picked up the newspapers and tv and radio stations as filler stories for the news bulletins. One has been commissioned by a television station that broadcasts programmes about food.

These two articles are doing all they can to say that home made food is as bad for you as convenience food and that all we "The British" can rustle up from memory are ten meals. Only a few of the featured ten are on my list but I would probably agree that that ten meals are correct but for many that could be because of the easiness.

I would add however, that once you have basic ingredients such as vegetables, meat and/or fish, various meats and eggs everything becomes a case of how you vary them and I suspect you can actually make more than ten. Also, are we taking into account a meal of one, two or three courses?

Lets take chicken as an example. It's only one meat but you can fry it, roast it, boil it, put in a casserole, a pie, with chips ,with rice and add a sauce of some kind, with a salad or in a sandwich. Then it depends whether you have it traditionally as in a Sunday lunch with vegetables and gravy. And which vegetables you serve it with. You have a variety of meals just using chicken.

How many different ways can you serve potatoes?

We often have a small breakfast(sometimes we don't bother)as lunch may become a kind of brunch. This can be either very light combining perhaps soup followed by healthy sandwiches or it could be a quick snack. Then in the evening our main meal.

And during the day we may have fruit juice, fruit or something of a treat.

The Favourite Meals Of The British

The Dangers Of Home Made Food

When the British diet was criticised years ago, I believe what was really meant is that we stuck to basic ingredients, whereas on the continent say, it was(and I am generalising)lots of rich ingredients.

But having a more diverse population influencing what is eaten, all the books and tv programmes etc...we are also more adventurous(or have been)a lack of exercise and calories play their part but could it be that the diverse menu has helped encourage the obesity problem?

I suggest the porton sizes may play a part too but there is a survey/report issued recently and you've guessed it...staying slim and not being overweight helps the environment and your carbon footprint.

They never miss a trick!

One reason given...you will use public transport more because you'll be unfit(as said by Dr discussing this on UAN)I'm not saying that this Dr agreed with the report just made comments on it.

I thought(unless you can walk or cycle everywhere which is not practicle for most people)that they wanted you to use public transport rather than your own car.

Remember that programme on the World Service that gives a carbon rating at the end...today they were in a restauarant and discussing this and making people feel guilty depending on what they choose to eat. The person invited on made a case that we were fitter and healthier in the 1970's and also made a claim that eating meat and all that entails regarding the farm rearing to plate adds 18% to the carbon problem and again he was sighting the problem of gas that is produced and once again he singled out beef.

Then again...he said we would be healthier with a diet of more vegetables but then found a way to bring that into the problems of global warming.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kiss Me Quick...

It's not about what you think...but Kiss founder member Gene Simmonds...

I'll admit that I know very little of him or the band Kiss. I am sure if I looked on the web there are masses of information.

I have a double album of Kiss tracks and four solo albums of the members of the group that I believe I played once...they were very good but for various reasons my hi-fi system was dismantled and not put together again and I don't have a turntable anymore.

The few albums that remain are in the loft and hopefully they haven't become warped.

I think the other things that I knew about the group(I'm not sure that they are true)was that they wore elaborate costumes, make up, sometimes spat blood , that Gene once was going out with Cher and that he has a large tongue!

From a few recent interviews I have caught, he seems very interesting, intellegent, approachable and has a very dry sense of humour. I have also discovered that he does much more than write or perform music.

Last weekend he was a guest on a British Radio programme called My Planet Rocks(On Planet Radio)this series interviews artists usually form the heavier side of the music business. And asks for a selection of tracks that are special or have influenced them in some way. I suppose it is a modern version of Desert Island Discs in some way.

I don't know why it should be so but some of the choices of previous guests have been a revelation or a surprise. What I appreciate is that most of the guests have a very broad appreciation of music and are not blinkered to the wider music scene, because many radio stations and record labels are governed by targeting a particular consumer group some of this music is not heard any more or rarely so unfortunately lots of music is neglected or ignored.

I am sure that I have talked of this before.

So what was in Gene's choice of music?

Jet - Do You Want To Be My Girl?
The Beatles - She Loves You
Hot Hot Heat?
Vanhalen - Running With The Devil
Gene Simmonds - A***hole
Kiss - God Gave Rock N Roll To You
The Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock And Roll
Pilot - Magic
The Easy Beats - Friday On My Mind

There are few surprises amongst the list but other artists and programmes have revealed possibly greater surprises such as music from the 40's and 50's from the Big Band era and artists such as Les Paul and Mary Ford. But it is as much what some artists say between the music.

Though some are more articulate than others in what they say.

Another series called My Music on another British Radio Station "Gold" where an artist picks favourite tracks can be equally surprising but over the weeks that series does throw up certain artists or songs are chosen time and time again, Elvis Presley's early work is quite frequent and the song Alright Now by Free.

These programmes are both interesting and helping me discover more about the performers and music that I am not familiar with.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Ok anything to do with food is personal. Ask anyone who has eaten Marmite, you love or hate it...that is the product's biggest selling point and has given it publicity and an advertising campaign that has lasted years.

I have always liked soup and but it was never(as far as I remember)something we ate a lot of. We probably had it the most when we were on holiday.

When having an evening meal in a reasonable formal setting.

Later due to medical reasons I avoided soup because of water retention but over recent years I have been able to eat it on a fairly regular bases. And if only eating a small bowlful(approx half a can)it isn't much anyhow.

I like most varieties and most manufactures are fine...Heinz and Baxters being the most readily available(other than a supermarket's own brand)

Therefore when I saw some fancy and rather upmarket soup on special offer I thought I would buy four cartons and I'd enjoy them(That we both would)

Now again I hasten to add that you may already like this product and someone must be buying it. Their website says it is the Nation's favourite fresh soup. To be fair I have given a link to their website and would say give them a go yourself. I may give some others a try as the website information suggests that there are some soups with less or no milk or cream in them and the problem may be that some supermarkets stock only a limited range of what is available.

I tried some of the range made by The New Covent Garden Food Company, the Chicken Soup variety...I ate it but disliked it, Mum ate some but left most of hers.

I tried a cauliflower and cheese variety today(fresh from a carton but the supermarket's own brand)after a couple of spoonfuls I poured it down the sink(I know Mum would not have enjoyed it, it reminded me of the chicken soup)and I guess in the end it is something about this use of lots of milk and/or cream that doesn't work for me. It contains too much for my taste buds.

I still have two to try Butternut Squash and Potato and Leek but I am not hopeful because they contain milk and/or cream which is a pity.

The recipe book the site refers to looks interesting as does some of their other products.

Unfortunately some of the website is not working correctly as I write and so some links are not connecting.

There is also a Facebook Site you can look at without having to sign up. Already I can see that there is a much larger range available so I will have a look and see what else I can find.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Your TV And Radio Programmes...

Now come with carbon footprint information...

Oh dear...

There is a programme on the BBC World Service that talks of environmental matters and a lot of it is very interesting. I have said before within reason I have no problems with trying save the Earth's resources(after all it is all we have got)It is finite. But equally you can become too precious.

Another programme on the same station and also broadcast on BBC Radio 4 has been looking at what the Oceans could offer mankind in the way of food and medicine but it has been made it clear the problems will be trying to use this precious resource properly and not just for profit and not to exhaust what is available and if used to do it responsibly so as little damage is caused as possible.

So the programme One Planet at the end of each programme tells us(the listener)how much travelling the team has done, studio time and taking into account other things that are not defined. The last programme the presenter said had created/used 415kilo grams and for the first three programmes the running total is 1.91 Kilo's.

I cannot help it but I am afraid my eyes glaze over when I hear this...

American Ginger Ale...

I've never really drank a lot of "soft" drinks but I do sometimes(perhaps because of having an interest in cocktails)now drink cola, lemonade or a variety of similar drinks. So the other night I did not feel like opening a large bottle of pop as once opened you tend to have to use it quickly to avoid it going flat.

And I have taken to buying some very small bottles or cans(which though more expensive)you drink less and being smaller in reality you save money because you are not left with a bottle of flat liquid and/or you have some left to use another day.

So I found amongst my store of fruit juice, pop and booze some small cans of American Ginger Ale.

So I thought, I'll give them a go...

I don't know how genuinely close it is to the same Ginger Ale as available in America and I am unsure if the particular brand I have tastes the same as another but...I love it!

I cannot think why I have never had it before or if I have why I don't remember doing so and again why do we discover or try something late in life.

Well, I must remember to put it on my shopping list for tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The People's Chart...

BBC Radio 2 are spending best part of the Easter Monday afternoon featuring a chart of the most played songs/tunes of the last 75 years under the pretext that it is not just airplay on a radio station but what you may hear at a public event, perhaps whilst in an elevator, walking around the supermarket whilst buying your shopping and so on. It's all been worked out by compiling information from an organisation that collects royalty payments on behalf of performers etc...

Like all such charts that depend on statistics this one is flawed more than most.

Because it does not allow for the fact that some music will appear because it is has been around longer than music that is younger so naturally it will have an advantage being played or heard more but equally a lot of today's music will be played more possibly because tastes change and/or as there are many new ways to hear music instantly in any situation and more people can access it by choice or they have it forced on them that will increase how often something is played. Also, many radio stations as an example have such restricted formats they virtually make some music off limits and unknown. So they could be said to be influencing the population's opinion and taste. And I bet if the information took in more than just the UK the results would be as different again.

They keep saying how we will be surprised at what is included in the chart and yet so far nothing has really surprised me regarding what has been included or omitted. I'm not much of a lover of the format the programme has taken as I prefer to hear a song in it's entirety but it has been mainly a programme of little bits lasting in many cases a few seconds.

I'll hopefully put up the list of what was in the chart as a link or a list within this post.

It may not come as a surprise that I guessed two of what would be in the top three...
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and A Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procal Harum which was the winner and it gave the BBC an excuse to even make it into a news story on their teatime news programme PM.

The People's Chart In Full

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Saturday

Good Friday was not a bad one...but very quiet.

I managed to be mentioned by one of the presenters/DJ's On Pirate BBC Essex, who also gave an air check to some of my friends.

Weather wise, the day has been dull, cold and wet but it stayed fine long enough for our gardener to tidy the front and back gardens and get them into some kind of shape. That done, when we have some new flowers put into the tubs and baskets all will be well. He had not finished too long before the rain returned.

The evening meal that I cooked was nice enough but seemed to be lacking in taste...Plaice fillets, peas and chips followed by a small apple pie and ice cream or custard. So for the foreseeable future I may return to salmon fillets and haddock in a kind of batter when I have fish in future.

Must do better on Easter Sunday...the plan is roast lamb, roast potatoes with a selection of vegetables(I must try and remember to open a jar of luxury mint sauce with rosemary and garlic)it's been in the cupboard since before Christmas and keep forgetting about it)followed by some kind of luxury dessert(not sure what)but that may just turn into fruit salad or ice cream and perhaps a cocktail of some kind later in the evening. Sounds rather decadent doesn't it?

What will I conjure up today? Only something very simple I am afraid...possibly ham and eggs or similar fare. I like breakfast but when you are not going out daily to do a lot of work that uses up your energy and you are not burning off calories, if you eat too much that will just add weight so if you looked at how much I eat, I eat enough but not massive portions. As I love my food my biggest problem is not being able to eat all that I have to choose from which is a nice problem to work through.

When there are only two of you, sometimes you'd think I was buying for a family but I would rather have more in the house and being able to choose from a variety of foods than have less in the home and not have much to choose from. And if something(say sliced meat)has 10 slices and I can only eat 6 slices, I would still rather enjoy the 6 slices I eat than say because I cannot use the remaining 4 I will not buy it. If you enjoy something I say why deni yourself?

I plan to do as little as possible over Easter(nothing new there then)any work can wait until next week.

I hope to just listen to some music, plays, documentaries on the radio and mess around on the computer or just doze away the next few days. I slept so soundly last night it has taken ages to wake up and when I did, I thought it was Sunday...nice to know that isn't and I have not lost a day.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Easter...

Well, there is little on the radio or tv to suggest celebrating the real reason that we have Easter. Every year it seems to be that way but more so...

This Easter for anyone who wants to hear radio and music as it used to be tune into BBC Radio Essex from 6am Good Friday until Easter Monday at 6pm with all the old pirate radio dj's that are still alive, if you live in the area that Radio Essex broadcasts to you can hear it on Medium wave but it's available across the world via a live stream or the last event was two years ago(is it really that long since the last one?)

If the BBC had any sense they would've cleared the decks and carried this event as a special event for the Easter Weekend on BBC Radio 2 so it could be heard in good quality sound across the UK but no, once again they are virtually carrying the same programmes or nothing special and yet the last Pirate Radio events pulled in listeners from all over the world.

Pirate BBC Radio Essex

And how good is this?

The DJ that read out my e-mail has sent an e-mail acknowledging it and thanking me for writing in and added a few more words so it is a bit more personal. How many would do that?

These DJ's really are held in the public's affection, some of it is because of our memories of the time and what Pirate Radio on the high seas meant to us but also because they have a genuine love of radio and the music, because they are genuinely "Nice" guys, they still are young at heart and have a sense of fun about them which is missing in much of today's radio commercial or at the BBC. And a lot of this is sadly due to the regulations that are now enforced by broadcasting regulators and the Management that runs them.

I was around at the time but sadly so young my memories are not as strong as they could be, it was difficult to hear the stations in the North East of England and many of the best were heard in the southern half of the UK and when they were closed down, most of the DJ's continued their careers in the South. So I know of their reputation but I have missed decades of being entertained by them.

It is only thanks to events such as these and the fact that some are being allowed on national radio in what is the Twilight Years" many realise what talent and quality has been allowed to let go. They were as important or famous as the groups and artists and the music they played.

Remember that half price Jack Daniels I was hoping to buy...the offer was up and none were available so I missed my chance...the moral is if you see a bargain, don't think twice!

It wasn't a bad shopping trip today, I have some lovely food in that I plan to cook for Easter...

I think I will cook the little lamb joint I have and for once hopefully I can have lamb in thin slices which is what I have wanted for ages...rather than in a kind of steak version. Just have to decide what vegetables to cook alongside it and what dessert to follow it with...I knew it wouldn't be long before my mind strayed to food again...

Oh and once again I purchased a bouquet of flowers guarenteed for 14 days it says...I have never really been one to buy cut flowers but they are such good value and they last so long(often longer than the lable says)I have kind of got into the habit of having one bunch in the lounge. The last two bunches have lasted at least three weeks.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I'm Feeling Adventurous...

I am not sure if I have ever tasted a souffle in my life...or is it something once tasted you never forget?

I have heard tales of souffles that have been spoilt because an oven door is opened too often or a
noise makes them drop. I don't know how true these tales are. Are souffles like anything else?

Pancakes depending on their thickness have different names...crepe susette's are all but very thin pancakes after all...

It's funny, I have a selection of recipe books that probably have enough recipes and details so I am able to make numerous dishes and meals to last a lifetime(well my lifetime)and once you know the basics, you can make just about anything without looking at a book.

Remarkably, I have never ever used a ramekin to serve anything in and none of my books have recipes to make a souffle.

Well, I looked them up on the internet and I think I can manage to get away making one. Friends have offered advice for which I am always grateful and I have received encouragement too. Some of my friends have never tasted souffle and others have failed so if I do I won't feel quite so bad. It would appear getting as much air into the mixture is the most important thing of all and to serve them up as quickly as possible after baking. So the mixture needs folding and a metal table or desert spoon is said to be the best kitchen utensil to use.

My biggest decision will be whether to make a savory or sweet souffle.

When will I try?

Perhaps over Easter when I am trying to think of doing something a little special.

Some Recipes

I won't make everything(its not always cheaper or easier)tonight instead of toast I had some English Muffins in the cupboard, we split one, toasted it, Mum had honey on her half and I had marmalade and I had forgotten how nice these are...I'll have them again. Perhaps with something savory on top or perhaps jam...Lovely!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Just A Normal Day...

A day to stock up on those items that I have let decrease or have not purchased before(just in case I decide to do some baking)

Bargain of the day?

I stood looking at all the different hair products at various prices for washing hair in a leading high street chemists chain and thought this is just crazy.

I saw and asked the opinion of someone working there that knows most things about what they sell and bought a shampoo and conditioner in a big bottle manufactured under the shop's own brand and it says it's gentle enough to be used daily.

How much did cost? 58p. That's good enough for me.

Some of what I purchased are healthy, some are treats that will be eaten sparingly. Some I am still unable to find in the supermarket on town. We still need to use the internet or live in a large city to obtain things that the media tempts us with.

Therefore, I need to look around a larger one...I may consider making some muffins but nearly all the recipes I have say that I have to add cornmeal. There are substitute ingredients but they seem to be unavailable too, I am thinking as some other books and websites do not include cornmeal I may see if I can just...miss it out altogether.

I purchased something today that I have not done in years...fresh cream...double to be exact and it also has some vanilla added. Well, you have to have some luxuries once in a while...so we had it with apple pie as our desert after our meal tonight and we had some in our coffee! It was delicious. Just in case that seems indulgent, we had fish, broccoli and mashed potato as the main course.

Considering all the fruit and vegetables, herbs, garlic, porridge etc...that I eat this cannot make much difference to my cholesterol levels. The condition I have and the strong medication has kept my levels high for some time and as I reduce my tablets, it is hoped that will improve anyhow.

I also bought a few things to improve any scones or cakes I may make such glacé cherries and the like. Some Cocoa powder but I found some manufactured by Green and Black's that had the best cocoa beans, was free trade and organic. And similar items.

I can laugh now, I decided to have another luxurious desert the night before using my smoothie maker, ice cubes, ice cream, Irish cream whiskey. I took the machine apart as it was stained inside(that could not be removed but at least I cleaned it)

After that I managed to forget to attach the tap so all the contents I emptied into the machine came straight out of the bottom of the smoothie maker all over the Kitchen worktop.

So I lost the whiskey. What a waste.

I found after reattaching the tap, whatever I put into the machine still went everywhere and again I lost another measure of whiskey, the tap would not close. I started to think that I had assembled the parts wrongly. Eventually, it turned out the fault was within the tap.

After some time I was back in business and it was worth the trouble. And it will not happen again. Don't you love machines. So much for technology.

Today, I found a bottle of the same whiskey(double the size)in the supermarket and priced less than the smaller bottles, so I bought it to enjoy later. A small amount goes a long way. I won't be opening it for quite some time. There was a big saving on Jack Daniels too so I may get one of those next time if the offer is still on. I must sound like a drinker but I can go weeks, months and years without having alcohol pass my lips.

Now that's not to say that the bottle of drink is cheap(there is talk of the Government increasing the price of booze because of the few that mishandle it so a price hike is seen as a possible deterrent)The special offer was £7 that's quite a lot in comparison with other items you can buy such as a CD. But to get a bottle double in size and £2 cheaper than the smaller size is very welcome.

I sometimes have to hide the taste of alcohol as many are too strong though I don't mind the feeling it can sometimes give. And I am finding that I am starting to get used to some that I might've avoided in the past. Alcohol usually justs gives me a pleasant sleepy feeling.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Today's The Day...

It's April 1st...April Fool's Day. Where pranks are played by people on each other and yet as each year passes these seem to be less frequent and fewer people are fooled.

Yet we've had some genuine stories in the news that could well have been April Fool jokes...if they were not so serious.

We've had and probably will over the next few days some demonstrations and protests where people from across the UK and the world have travelled into London to make their views known about politicians, bankers, business, climate change(just about anything you can think of)some are genuine in their beliefs and peaceful...some are out to cause trouble and confront the police, break windows, destroy property etc...and are using the present economic situation as an excuse.

I hate to judge but many of those present all seem to have a certain look about them, many seem to be of a certain age and you cannot help but stereotype who you see. Many have a woolly view of the world. One person speaking today simply wanted everyone to watch less television. Even if you could turn back the clock to simpler times it will take years.

I happened to be talking to a person in a call centre of a utility company earlier today(I won't say which)I don't want to get anyone into trouble but we started to talk of things away from the paying of bills and I just know that he was younger than me.

Somehow we talked of climate change and without prompting he said that he could see that the climate was changing, that the Earth goes through cycles but one day none of it will be here and whatever we do will have no effect. Like me, it was only a few years ago the scientific opinion was we were heading for an ice age. That by the time it all goes wrong none of us will be here and probably neither will our grand children.

Also, he has heard(and he's in the business to know)that they are looking into opening up the coalmines again and burning fossil fuel...now what will that do for the carbon footprint that they keep going on about.

The media is as much to blame for colouring the opinion of the public...if you say something often enough, it will be believed.

Also, today quite a number councils around the country dissolved and were taken over by a kind of central body. Many people were not consulted, it just happened and yet many of us felt things were ticking over reasonably well.

We were asked our opinions previously and in some cases allowed to vote and the result always came out against the idea and no politician could be under any doubt that we wanted things left as they were but they just keep coming back and altering things slightly until they get what they want. And they kept telling us that we are wrong. Time will tell. Other parts of the country will have to face this re-organisation of councils later in the year.