Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have always disliked blog sites that don't update regularly. I have always tried to write something everyday but of late I have failed and for that I apologise. I'm not sure why it is but whatever the reason it just hasn't happened.
I suspect that it's a question of the right kind of stimulation combined with a resistance to mention stuff too close to home that might upset others. I'm not sure.
France was an adventure with many things new and different and maybe England is just more familiar and so more difficult to write about, again I'm not sure.
Bear with me the muse may return but if it doesn't I'll hang up my pen and give you the courtesy of letting you know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

An authentic trip to India

Are you one of the thousands that fancy a trip to India but can't afford one, then here's the answer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Not for the squeamish

I find this one of the funniest programmes on television. It's a bit off the wall inasmuch as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant get their (miserable) friend Karl Pilkington to complete a bucket list by visiting countries and 'enjoying' unusual experiences.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mince Pies

The trouble with mince pies is they're so bloody yummy.
Each year we sample all the different pies from all our local stores. It's an excuse to eat pies in the interest of research but also an opportunity to find the right pastry and mincemeat combination.
Over the years Tesco deep filled mince pies have been our favourite and as yet we have to sample them. Harrogate is a bit too posh for a Tesco (although planning permission has now been granted) so they're not easy to find but my mother reminded me that there is a Tesco mini mart at a petrol station near her.
Anyway we are working our way through the various stores and I'll report back.
For our foreign friends (and those from Lancashire) I should point out that a mince pie is a sweet confection and not stuffed with meat.
Talking about mince pies reminds me of a time when we lived in France when I'd stock up with the little blighters during each autumn drive to the UK.
Early one December I mentioned to Jan that I'd eaten them all and that we had none left for Christmas, but not to worry I'd found a £25 return trip to Stansted and I'd pop over and fill a suitcase.
'Bugger that,' said Jan, 'I'll go myself and do a little shopping at the same time.'
She came back with umpteen boxes. Not the cheapest pies we'd ever eaten but boy did they taste good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I mentioned a slap up meal in the last post (actually there were two) and I've been dreaming about it (them) ever since. So much so that Jan made one of them for lunch yesterday.
After nearly nine years in France we had to move to England to eat a delicious Tartiflette.
What a great dish. Glyn our host, who does most of the cooking Chez Glyn, produced the most mouth watering dish imaginable and, with friends visiting from France soon, we've decided to add it to the menus. Basically it's a one pot meal with potatoes, smoked ham/bacon and cheese.
Glyn's was particularly nice and I can imagine a few corrective interviews until Jan gets it just right, but I'm sure it will be well worth the wait.
Here's the recipe with some good pictures.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black eyed peas anyone?

That was an interesting and very enjoyable weekend.
We had been invited to stay with friends, our next door neighbours when we were in France, over in Lancashire. It's a part of England that neither of us know and started with a trip to Another Place, the Antony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach, just north of Liverpool.
For the avoidance of doubt, the sculpture is the one on the right above.
Over 100 life size cast iron figures are spread over three kilometres of beach and a kilometre out to sea. Some are submerged at high tide but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get Jan to stay still long enough to see how high the water came.
After that we drove up to Southport home to some of Liverpool's players and an attractive town in its own right.
Later that evening we went to a fireworks display at Bolton School where we met the headmistress and tried black eyed peas and vinegar for the first and possibly the last time. All this followed by a slap up meal back at our hosts home.
How cool is all that?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Something for nothing

In this day and age it's not often that you get something for nothing but today we did.
It all started last week when a couple of guys turned up at the door offering to fit cavity wall insulation to the house for free. Your immediate reaction is 'go away' but they promised that there was no catch, it would be paid by the government and it would be completed the next week within a couple of hours.
As it happened they were doing the same work on the house opposite and because I reckoned that he is a canny kind of guy (see how northern/scottish I've become) we decided to have it done as well.
Frankly the house is always pretty warm but I thought that an extra layer of insulation (even if there was one already fitted) would do no harm. They arrived as promised this morning and finished the job on time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wish you were here

Grief, we're still recovering.
We normally live a quiet life, building model planes, knitting and stuff like that, but we had friends to stay last week and the action packed days that followed really changed the routine. Mind you, it changed in a very nice way.
Amongst the fun was a visit to Harrogate to see Question of Sport live in the HIC on Friday, dinner at The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill on Saturday and Eggs Benedict at Fountains Abbey for Sunday brunch. All this intermingled with days out treats for a seven years old.
As if all that wasn't enough we were entertained day and night by my good friend AJ who also had my mother in stitches over dinner on Sunday night. Excellent.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where's me cardy?

It never fails to amaze me at how little people (OK, young women) wear on a night out.
There I was, at 11.00 pm last Saturday, sitting in a car in my ski jacket and woolly hat looking for my skis waiting for the car to warm up (looking like a prat -Ed). There she was sitting on the step outside a shop in a short skirt and skimpy top.
I realise that women have this extra layer of subcutaneous fat that will help protect them from the cold but this was ridiculous.
I first noticed this strange behaviour several decades ago in Newcastle. There was snow on the ground, it was very cold and we'd just left Tuxedo Junction (OK, we were young and that's what you did in those days) and there they were, lots of young women, pouring out of the club wearing so little it wasn't true. It was crazy and not much appears to have changed over the years. Strange.