Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Saturday, 30 June 2012


Unusually, slept late today, not something I do very often but then I was later to bed than usual as I put out that blog late last night on The Real Cost of out of Control Capitalism! , so didn't get up till 10 AM!

Had some toast for brekkie and had intended to do little today with the start of the Tour De France, 3 weeks of great cycling.

After breakfast went to get showered and dressed thinking I would have a quick 30 minute walk before settling in front of the telly! Started to trim my beard and then decided to shave the whole lot off, all I need now is a lollipop and Theopopulos Kojak is reborn! 

Half way through the 'shave' the batteries ran out in my shaver/trimmer (another one to add to the 'Real Laws' over at Julia R Baretts Blog - When you start to trim your beard / hair, the batteries run out half way through leaving you looking like a demented halfwit who hasn't understood the term 'mohican cut')

But, as luck would have it I was looking for a battery on Thursday and found all the double AA's in the 'to be recharged box' and so had recharged 12 batteries over the course of the last two days, so sometimes shit does miss you!

So, having changed the three batteries, mind you I should also say here that my little trimmer has stood me in good stead over the years, having purchased it in Germany circa 1980, so some goods do have staying power, well done Mr Remington.... I finished the shave and cut.

It's now 1 Pm and the TDF starts in an hour, time to get a move on still to have a walk and visit the shops for a couple of bits, need some fresh ginger and chilli's for dinner later, doing a home made Chinese. Off, I set but not before having another debate on socks with the lovely Ishbel, remember the last one, The Great Sock Debate , where I was confused with my missing and or holed socks!

Well, after that I bought seven new pairs of socks but these were special socks, they have the day of the week on them Monday through Saturday, my thinking was if I ever for get what day of the week it is I can always pop my shoes off, have a quick look and bob's your uncle, I'll know whether it is depressing Monday or thank F**k it's Friday!  
Now, you'll also know by now that there is a fair division of labour in the 'casa stronach'.  Ishbel washes the laundry and folds and puts away anything that doesn't get ironed, including socks and shorts, etc. And I iron everything else, do the cooking, keep the kitchen clean and do the gardens.  Ishbel does everything else. So the conversation went like this;

Me: You know when you put my socks away?
Ishbel: (sighs - loudly) Yes
Me: You know they have the day of the week on each sock, yeah
Ishbel: Yeah, and don't start I put the pairs together for you...
Me: Yeah but, when you put them in the drawer why can't you put them together by days, in pairs like Monday and Tuesday next to Wednesday and Thursday and so on. It's not hard.
Ishbel: Get stuffed 

You see, that's when I know I'm right and the argument is won, when Ishbel reverts to the base insults that she has mastered over the last 36 odd years.

Having then won the argument I set of for my walk leaving her to some guy called Mr Grey (!) and saying that I'll only be 30 or 40 minutes.  Now as a reader of the Mr Fat Series  , you will know that I haven't posted for some time, in fact January 28th to be precise.  Don't know why but after 3 years of constant walking and getting down to 19 stone (266 lbs) and going in the right direction but then suddenly I just seemed to lose all focus and have only just, I hope got it back.  But then again I have put a stone (14 lbs)  since then!

I have been out for a walk every day this week and managed to do my target of 11000 steps, so hopefully I am back on track.

As I said, I only intended to 30 or 40 minutes and then come back and watch the cycling  but I ended up walking for an hour and a half and also spent 30 minutes on the gym equipment in the local park as well, which to be honest wasn't as painful as I thought it might be.  This stuff is only 5 minute walk from my front door and I have no idea why I haven't put it to good use before, but as they say better late then never! And even I can't keep be an idiot, surely?

But of course that put paid to the start of the TDF on the telly, but to be honest, while it really is the 'sporting' highlight of the year for me on telly, the first day is usually the time trial and I really enjoyed my own form of exercise. Rather than resting my butt cheeks on the sofa, again.

Talking of the TDF this is a 'sculpture' in a French motorway service station that Ishbel and I stopped at as we drove around France way back in 2004, paying tribute to the guys on the Pyrenees mountain stage... pretty cool.

And this is when they came to London in 2007

While you don't see as much at the actual event as on TV it is still a fantastic spectacle and Marie my eldest daughter love it.  In fact, back in the 90's, when Le Tour was last in the UK, Marie and I jumped in the car and went down to Ashford in Kent.  If memory serves, we didn't have a great view and they went past at such a speed it was all a bit of a blur and it was over, but it was still a great feeling to have been there, on a stage.

Oh! remember I said I was only going out for a short walk, well anything could have happened to me, could have been hit by a speeding disabled pensioner in their little electric buggy with the go fast stripes, there's a lot of them about, and they need to be fitted with bloody speed restrictors, or the pavement could have collapsed and I could have fallen into a gigantic hole in the ground, some of them are that bad in the area, but of course the council has no money to fix anything, or any other number of things could have befallen me.  But, did Ishbel try phoning me on my mobile to see if I had got lost, or worse, well yes she did, as I walked up the path, still smarting from losing the earlier argument no doubt or was it that Mr Gray was keeping her busy........ 

And so, after watching the rest of the prologue I set about making dinner.  decided on home made Chinese today and made:

Chicken with fresh chilli and ginger and sweet chilli sauce 
Chicken with Pineapple and cashew nuts 
Ginger Prawns in fish sauce 
Sticky Pork belly with a honey and soy sauce 
Noodles, Rice and a side salad of cucumber and carrot 

The rest of the evening has been listening to the radio, while watching young Andy Murray falling over at Wimbledon on the Centre Court as he plays Baghdatis

All in all - A good day Hope your has been just as good 

Tomorrow, the ironing awaits 

The Real Cost of out of Control Capitalism!

A couple of stories, just a couple but there are many more out there just as bad, that caught my eye.

From the UK, this one seems to suggest that the stringent budget cuts across the board is resulting in, "public spending cuts causing more road deaths?"  and of course it is also reported this week that Local Authorities, "will have 'no money' for main services by 2020"

And the third story to catch my eye is that Stockton in the USA, with a population of 300,000 is to be declared bankrupt, but to me that is not the story here, as it just surprises me that not more cities and towns are going bankrupt, and I'll explain that in a moment.  No the story is that since they laid off 20% of their Police Force, the crime rate has soared and continues to do so with gang members baiting the remaining officers with taunts asking how long before they lose their jobs!

A couple of weeks ago I commented on 'unemployment' again, and a good Twitter Friend, Ian Beckett who just happens to be a Local Labour Councillor in Harlow Essex, but please don't hold that against him, he is a nice guy; commented that as long as the local community pulled together and created local jobs, all would be well!  Bless him, nice, lovely guy but I'm sure he wears rose tinted spectacles.

It's a lovely thought mind you, if local communities could create enough jobs to put everyone into a placement where they could go out and earn a decent living, enough to be able to live and to pay for rent, mortgage, and living, without relying on state benefit's, but they can't, and they can't for a number of reasons. Not least by the fact that we have created generations of the same families who have never worked and don't want to work.

In fact I was having another conversation with an electrician in my office last week and the thought struck me as we chatted that there will always be a need, no matter how technologically advance we become, for certain skill sets such as:

Electricians and Plumbers, but do you know what I was hard pressed to think of any other jobs that could in fact be jobs for life! Carpenters, Brickies, Manufacturers, i.e. people who make and build stuff.  You'd think they would all be in demand, I think their time is running out too.

And this caught my attention earlier in the week as well, it was a photo of the old Bryant and May factory in London and the tag line was:
"The Bryant & May Match Factory, Bow, London. January 1920. Redeveloped into residential accommodation in the 1980’s the Bryant & May Match Factory was the site of the Match Girls Strike in 1888 that culminated in the establishment of the first British trade union for women. At its peak it’s said there were more than 3000 women and girls working at this site."

(More images of Britain from above, can be found here)

Of course during the 20's and including WWII factories like this one covered not only our country but most of the Western World and like the one above.  Whether they were making matches or cars and trucks, bricks for building or any number of thousands of people were employed on shifts work, twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, but even with these behemoths with their armies of workers spewing out their goods, there was never a time of 'Full Employment'.

Take a look these:

Dodge Assembly Line 1950's

Modern Assembly line

Now if we couldn't give, and guarantee full employment, when factories around the world were employing thousands of people around the clock with no robotics and mechanisation with computers running everything, what makes governments and for that matter local politicians believe that they can do so now.

And, it can only get worse.  I did suggest that possible electricians and the like will always find employment, but even that is not the case, if we go back to Stockton, near the city dump where a mini  Skid Row has sprung up with tents and cardboard shelters. More than 400 people, a third of them children, sleep at the nearby Shelter for the Homeless.  Shelter Director John Reynolds said,
"I'm seeing people that shouldn't be here, people that had good jobs like electricians, nurses, retail managers, people with businesses, people who were living in four or five bedroom homes."
So all these people in Stockton and elsewhere in the US are living in Skid Row and having to go to 'Food Banks' something we thought we would never see in the UK, think again, apparently,
  • 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Our foodbank provides a minimum of 3 days emergency food and support to local people in crisis
 And it can only get worse!

Over 2 million people are unemployed in the UK today and while there has been a marginal decrease in the figures reported in June 2012 the long term prospects can only get worse.  See Unemployment tracker

1 in 4 of school leavers aged 16 and the same  for 21 year old graduates will probably never get a job
Technology is racing ahead, and why shouldn't it but the cost of technology advancement is jobs.  It is estimated that within the next fifteen years that the new 'print' technology will be able to manufacture whole buildings, so much for the building trade and the tens of thousands that it employs then; 
within a decade or two, it is likely many homes will have one of these printers in their home, downloading and printing off whatever is needed.
For instance, if you lose the battery cover for your phone, chances are someone else has done the same - and will have built you a plan.
Indeed, your mobile maker may well release these plans for their customers.
Or you may use a printer for cutlery, for toys, or simply anything that you need in your home which isn't electrical or perishable.
It may be a big change, but don't fear it, for as Yoda, might tell us: 'Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2160974/Clever-3D-printing-Yoda-helps-explain-latest-technology-innovation.html#ixzz1zEFu2qne

So, for those who have a home and a job, they'll have printer in it, but they wont need to go to the mall to buy anything, all they need to do is print it out.

And what of the have nots, the further generations, added to those previous generations that don't have a job and will never have one?  Will governments be raising enough in taxation to feed them at food banks or will me see more and more riots on our streets.  And of course if law enforcement and military are being laid off because governments and councils can't afford them, do we revert to creating cities and ghettoes  like that seen in 'futuristic movies, where the peasants and the feckless are walled in with gunships keeping them penned up and away from the 'chosen ones' who had money!

 It just seems to me that no government has any answers to these issues and whether or not they are actually thinking about them is debatable, but one thing is certain, it can only get worse!

If the unemployed figures keep rising then there is less revenue in taxes.  If taxes aren't being raised how can governments, councils and cities pay for the services they need, we are on a slope and someone somewhere keeps pouring oil onto it making it more slippery, year by year and yet not one politician from any political hue seems to be talking about it. It's as if their is a collective sense of 'omerta' in that if we don't talk about it in a serious fashion (if at all), it will go away. It wont and rebellion and riots are the likely outcome.

What do you think?

Friday, 22 June 2012

I'm Gonna Be Rich!!!!!!!!!!!

Haven't seen one of these in a while, must update my spam filters, or maybe I'm gonna be rich, who needs to borrow some of me when I get my hands on it ..........

My Dearest One,

I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart.With due respect trust and humanity, i appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter i feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business having gone through your remarkable profile, honestly i am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, i will really like to have a good relationship with you and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you, i decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation,My name is Miss. Hope Kipkalya Kones, 25yrs old female and I held from Kenya in East Africa. My father was the former Kenyan road Minister.

He and Assistant Minister of Home Affairs Lorna Laboso had been on board the Cessna 210, which was headed to Kericho and crashed in a remote area called Kajong'a, in western Kenya.

The plane crashed on the Tuesday 10th, June,2008. You can read more about the crash through the below site:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    After the burial of my father, my stepmother and uncle conspired and sold my father's property to an italian Expertrate which the shared the money among themselves and live nothing for me. 
One faithful morning, I opened my father's briefcase and found out the documents which he have deposited huge amount of money in one bank in Burkina Faso with my name as the next of kin.

I travelled to Burkina Faso to withdraw the money for a better life so that I can take care of myself and start a new life, on my arrival, the Bank Director whom I met in person told me that my father's instuction to the bank is that the money would only be release to me when I am married or present a trustee who will help me and invest the money overseas. 
I am in search of an honest and reliable person who will help me and stand as my trustee so that I will present him to the Bank for transfer of the money to his bank account overseas.

I have chosen to contact you after my prayers and I believe that you will not betray my trust. But rather take me as your own sister.

Though you may wonder why I am so soon revealing myself to you without knowing you, well I will say that my mind convinc ed me that you may be the true person to help me. Moreso, I will like to disclose much to you if you can help me to relocate to your country because my stepmother have threaten to assinate me.

The amount is( $9.8 USD )Million United State Dollars, and I have confirmed from the bank in Burkina Faso on my arrival, You will also help me to place the money in a more profitable business venture in your Country. However, you will help by recommending a nice University in your country so that I can complete my studies.

It is my intention to compensate you with 40% of the total money for your services and the balance shall be my capital in your establishment. As soon as I receive your positive response showing your interest I will put things into action immediately.

In the light of the above, I shall appreciate an urgent message indicating your ability and willingness to handle this transaction sincerely.

Awaiting your urgent and positive response. Please do keep this only to your self for now untill the bank will transfer the fund.

I beg you not to disclose it till i come over because I am affraid of my wicked stepmother who has threatened to kill me and have the money alone ,I thank God Today that am out from my country (KENYA) but now In (Burkina Faso) where my father deposited these money with my name as the next of Kin.

I have the documents for the claims.
Yours Sincerely Hope Kipkalya Kones.
my private email 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Shame of the Irish Catholic Church: Update


The Huff Post reports that;

Last Sunday Pope Benedict XVI, told 75,000 Catholics in a pre recorded video message, that the issue of child abuse by priests was " mystery"

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI told Irish Catholics on Sunday it is a mystery why priests and other church officials abused children entrusted in their care, undermining faith in the church "in an appalling way."
The real mystery in all of this is why the hierarchy of this Church still fails to come out and admit that it covered up and contributed to years of child abuse by it's paedophile members, with the additional mystery of why so many people continue to support such a corrupt entity?

My original post on this is here

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Shame of the Irish Catholic Church

Cardinal Sean Brady, as priest was tasked to investigate allegations of child abuse.

He investigated and reported to his Bishop bosses, who took no action, neither did he!

In the words of one victim on the priest who raped him, "He was a disease that the Catholic Church kept moving around from Parish to Parish, spreading that disease as he went from one part of Ireland to another."

John Brady, as a priest chose to take no further action after his reports were submitted yet as Cardinal Sean Brady he believes he has done nothing wrong!

 Shocking BBC This World report, watch it here if you can you will probably be sickened as I was, Men of the Cloth, Men of God, right, I think not........


The Huff Post reports that;

Last Sunday Pope Benedict XVI, told 75,000 Catholics in a pre recorded video message, that the issue of child abuse by priests was " mystery"

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI told Irish Catholics on Sunday it is a mystery why priests and other church officials abused children entrusted in their care, undermining faith in the church "in an appalling way."
The real mystery in all of this is why the hierarchy of this Church still fails to come out and admit that it covered up and contributed to years of child abuse by it's paedophile members, with the additional mystery of why so many people continue to support such a corrupt entity?

Friday, 15 June 2012

Private Policing in the UK, is it New?

I saw a re-tweet this morning from a twitter friend @EmmaGeraln pointing me in the direction of an article in the (on-line) The Telegraph Newspaper, with the headline:-

Security guards to form 'private police force' in city centre
You can read the full article here, the article goes on to report that,

Up to 100 officers could be employed by Securitas to patrol the streets of Manchester in a pioneering deal with local businesses. 
They will wear stab-proof vests, cameras to gather evidence and have radios on their utility belts, just like constables. 
The security guards will visit shops up to eight times a day and respond within 90 seconds if staff sound a panic alarm.
It is hoped that one team will patrol shopping areas during the daytime while another will keep an eye on bars and restaurants at night.
And although those in the “retail support unit” will not have the power of arrest, eventually they could be allowed to give out on-the-stop fines for offences such as littering.

A member of the Police Federation is quoted as saying,
Ian Hanson, chairman of the Greater Manchester branch of the Police Federation, said of the new security patrol scheme: “This is the sort of function that teams of police officers have performed for years until the cutbacks. 
“This is creeping privatisation and the public need to wake up to it before it's too late. Police officers need to be out there detaining people rather than withdrawing from the front line because of government cuts. 
"We have been warning for some time that policing is being sold off to the highest bidder. The public and the retailers are being forced into this because GMP quite simply hasn't got the resources to do what we used to do routinely.”
Well, I have news for Emma and Ian Hanson, this has been going on for years and not just as a result of the swingeing cuts currently being imposed on Police bodies up and down the country by our esteemed and current government.

Prior to my current position I was the Contracted Security and Safety Manager in London Docklands, from Shadwell to Gallions Reach (North Woolwich) on the North of the river Thames and Rotherhithe on the Southbank of the river.

We employed, directly around 200 security officers.  These were broken down to, Isle of Dogs and Shadwell, Rotherhithe and Royal Docks.  Each area had about 50 uniformed officers employed on static sites, dedicated patrol vehicles and foot patrol officers with the vehicle patrol officers and the foot patrol officers patrolling the streets in London Docklands 24 hours a day 365 days a year and in direct radio contact back to dedicated control rooms.  We also employed a 30 strong dedicated road safety unit, responding to any incidents on roads within these areas, again 24/7 and because we had the river and of course various docks within the area we had a marine safety unit too.

The Metropolitan Police obviously had stations in these areas, Limehouse, Isle of Dogs, Shadwell, (Leman Street) and North Woolwich, but we were the dedicated patrolling service from the late 80's to when I took over management of it in the early 90's and it was still there when I left in 98!

Police services in the UK have suffered through mismanagement, by their own Chief Constables and by Government for years, it has been a job for life for most, but policing has changed over the years, but the culture of policing has never been quick, if at all able, to keep up with these changes....

An example of this was in another recent post be me where I wrote,
instead of looking at more practical ways to make savings, Essex Police along with a bunch of other forces are spending around £32 million quid on a computer system that, as far as I can tell isn't self propelled, doesn't have a built in arsenal to injure, maim or kill the lawbreakers on our streets, and unlike the 'real' Robocop, probably has no sense of humour either!

Apparently, according to Essex Chief Constable, Jim Barker-McCardle, ".....this will significantly improve the lives of people in the communities we serve." We will be better able to investigate crime , support victims and reduce threat and harm to vulnerable people."
(that post can be read here)

So, there we have a bunch of Police authorities around the country spending all that money to replace bobbies with a computer because it will,
be better able to investigate crime , support victims and reduce threat and harm to vulnerable people.
And is it any wonder that there are not enough Police Men and Women on our streets getting to know the scroats and criminals on their patch, and then we wonder why we have  pot factories springing up and burglaries taking place, with seeming impunity.... not really hard to see then why private security companies are getting in on the act, is it.

I am with you though Emma, I don't want to see Private Companies taking over the policing of our towns and cities, but if successive governments and Chief Constables are incapable of managing this much needed public service, what choice do we have?  Maybe, the government, with the introduction of American style Police Commissioners ( I'm sorry but I keep thinking Commissioner Gordon from Batman and we all know what a bit of tit he is /was - when I here that phrase) that they also want to see the proliferation of Private Policing Security firms that they have in America too, and by that being introduced, they can then cut back even more, on proper and effective 'real' police forces!

One can only hope that checks on staff are stringent, but from what little I know of the SIA, who 'police' that I do not have a lot of confidence in them either as it is primarily ' a revenue raising service' on charges levied against 'security' companies.....

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Super Heroes, Sporting Heroes and ME!

Just received a face time call from my eldest daughter Marie mother to Charlie and Holly the 6 year old terror twins.

At school today, they were given three questions to answer and give reasons why...

The questions were;

Who is your Sporting Hero;  Who is your Super Hero and finally; Who is your Family Hero;

Apparently Holly is being more than a little reticent in telling Mom and Dad who her choices were, at 6 years of age, reticence is something she is not usually so familiar with, as she normally never shuts up, but we love her to bits all the same and sometimes just that little bit more when she finally gets put to bed, but even then she normally battles with and wins against Mr Sandman for an hour or so....

Charlie's heroes, he told his Mom were and in no particular order that I know of, were:

Sporting Hero;  Mr Wayne Rooney, of Manchester United.  I've no idea when it comes to footballers, as you know I am not a big football fan, so I bow to Charlie's superior knowledge in this!

Super Hero;   Captain America, It was always going to be this with Charlie.  Even if he had been given a list with no Captain America on it it would still be Captain America, he just loves that guy... He like other Super Heroes too BUT Captain America is the dude as far as Charlie Kennedy is concerned and so that's fine with me.

Family Hero; Couldn't believe this when Marie told me as one would have expected a six year old to say his dad, sorry Peter, but I am sure that you are just as much his hero as I apparently am.  Yes folks, my 6 year old grandson, Master Charlie Kennedy, told his teacher and his classmates that his Family Hero was his GRANDDAD..... Now how cool is that

But before I get to carried away, apparently the reason I am his hero, at the moment is because:

a) I was a soldier - yes I was, and

b) (as he told his teachers and classmates) he lost a finger (long story)

So, I won out over dad because I was a soldier and because I have a digit less than his dad and probably because, when I go, which he tells me he hopes, will be a long time away, I have promised him that he can have the very cheap, but very reliable Timex watch that I am always wearing and that when you press the winder, the face lights up, and he, Charlie, just loves that watch. So, for my Hero Charlie it shall be his, but hopefully not for a very long time, and I hope he will still want it to remember his old nine fingered granddad by.....


Book Review: The Eldridge Conspiracy by Stephen Ames Berry

Look Inside US
Look Inside UK
Ames Berry clearly wanted to catch his reader by the throat and shake them about a bit from the outset in this novel, as the villain of the piece looked at
" a freckled teenage girl in soft repose, was now a wailing, writhing horror of ochre scales and suppurating sores, it's tentacles battering the lid." 
It worked, the opening sequence introduced us to Doctor Schmidla another 'recovered' Nazi from the 2nd World War by the American government.  Unlike other Nazi's though, where they were, it seems, integrated into a life for good and betterment, Schmidla's purpose, on behalf of the United States Government was to actively seek out (with the aid of the CIA and FBI), experiment on and ultimately murder a select group of US Citizens!

It is difficult to review this book to much without giving away the plot line but if you are old enough, and if you're not check out the Wikipedia page here , you will remember the movie The Philadelphia Experiment, where the US Government attempted to make a US Battleship invisible, during WW2.  The attempt failed!

This book takes us to the present (or at least to the 80's when this book is set and doesn't suffer any for that) and to the fact that while the attempt to make the ship invisible failed, it did do something to the crew.  Whatever it did wasn't manifest in the survivors but in their children and even more so in their grandchildren.... Think X Men II

There are twists and turns everywhere in this book with a plausibility borne from the recent hash of super hero movies, but the real hero is a father who lost a baby daughter only to find that the mad Doctor arranged for her kidnapping (presumed death) over twenty years before..... and he finds a friend in the closing paragraphs wasn't the friend you'd want to have

There are some graphic horror scenes described, particularly when one bad-ass gets his comeuppance at the hands, or rather the mind, of one of the pursued 'Potentials' and I liked what she did with him, even if she herself didn't.

The book is well written and the characters feel real.  All of us by now, have seen far too many shows telling us that Governments are not always the protectors that we would want or believe them to be and  Ames Berry plays on this and turns it into a horrific story suggesting that the people in power for years have been killing citizens for a perceived threat, whether it was real or not and as with his futuristic space borne books he has left the door open in another reality for a come back and I for one , hope there is a sequel....

Editing for Kindle /iPad: 4 out of 5
Reading Enjoyment: 4 out of 5 based on a couple of formatting errors and no page numbers
Page length on kindle /iPad: 279 estimated although the page numbers are not shown on either iPad or Kindle - Come on Mr Ames Berry show the Bl**dy numbers
Plot: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Atlantic Cod in Butter and Lemon

A quick fish recipe for you, for two:

1 Large Cod Fillet

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2  a Red Chilli de-seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 a Yellow Pepper, thinly sliced

50 grams unsalted butter

Juice of half a lemon

Salt and Pepper

Add the butter, lemon juice, chilli and pepper to a good sized pan.  Soften the chilli and pepper.

Cut the lemon after squeezing, into quarters or slices and add to the pan

Cut the cod fillet in two and add to the pan and spoon some of the liquor over the fish cover and steam for 10 minutes occasionally spooning the liquor over the fish. Season with salt and ground white pepper.

Serve with vegetables of choice and for us it was Asparagus, green beans and crushed new potatoes with spring onion.


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Fish and Prawn Curry

Couldn't decide what to do for dinner today.  Looked in the Fridge, nothing there that I fancied.  looked in the freezer found a bag of fish bits for a fish pie.  Decided on a quick curry;

Half of one yellow pepper finely chopped

Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger finely sliced and chopped

One red chilli

Handful of baby plumb tomatoes chopped

Handful of Fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped

One stalk of lemon grass finely chopped and grated

Four spring onions, roughly chopped

Tablespoon of coriander seed, crushed

Tablespoon of cumin powder

Tablespoon of chopped Basil

One clove garlic, grated

Tablespoon of fish sauce

If you have it One Lime leaf

Alternatively, you can use a good quality curry paste that can be found in most supermarkets

Add all of the above to a hot pan with two tablespoons of good vegetable oil and stir to mix and until pepper and ginger are softened.

Add one 400 Ml can of good quality coconut milk  and heat through  .

Once the curry sauce begins to gently simmer, add the defrosted fish and prawns stir once, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.  (if you stir too much or leave to long the fish will break up and all you will get is a mushy curry sauce and not a nice chunky fish curry).

Serve and enjoy

A Labour Lefties Definition of Slavery

Slavery, the definition of that for many people is;

Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave. (See Wikipedia for full article, here)

But in the view and opinion of Dr Eoin Clarke, Founder of labour Left and Editor of the Red Book and The Green Benches , Slavery is actually citizens of the United Kingdom VOLUNTEERING to provide their time and energy at the many public events being held this year 2012.  Although I would have thought that with his Phd, he must have needed to do quite a bit of research to receive that, one of the highest academic honours, and of course DIAMOND JUBILEE, has almost become a staple of the daily lexicon over recent weeks, so one would have thought that Dr Clarke would have known and edited the blog by Labour MP Grahame Morris, that this is actually the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and not her Silver one as mentioned in his Blog'

This month represents the beginning of a bonanza of summer events across Britain that will excite and unify millions of people, whilst at the same time many will be forced to look on in dread. Either way the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, England playing in Euro 2012 and the London Olympics will propel the notion of our ‘national pride’ to the top of the media agenda. Whether people feel British, English, European or perhaps have more affinity with their region, home town, local community or even street is a matter of personal identity.
And this is what he stated this morning in a tweet in regard to Slavery;

Tweet 1:

I am unsurprised to discover that unemployed & unpaid slaves were bussed in to work for the Queen's Jubilee. That's how we roll in Tory UK.
Tweet 2:
I wonder how folk will react when we use bus loads of unpaid slaves (including many disabled) 2 work unpaid during our glorious UK Olympics?

For the record, again, I am a Republican and would gladly see an end to the Royal family, their extended family and the thousands of hangers on who lead a privlidged life but I bare no ill will to the people who are celebrating 'Their' Queens time as Monarch of our little set of islands and I hope that they all had a great time, even if the weather wan't perfect for them over the last few days.

And again, for the record. I think that the public funding of the Olympics is a national scandal, considering the state our economy is in and listening to all the horror stories about how much they Olympics are charging for tickets, the problems that are going to be created for Londoners and in other parts where events are taking place, is all a high price to pay, but:

No matter where and when this event, and others like them, take part in the world, to compare those, who unlike me, want to take part and help and assist, by VOLUNTEERING their services, to then compare them to people who have no choice, who were torn from family and country, chained, starved, brutalised, tortured and worked to death; is a bit of a stretch, even for a labour leftie.....

And for the record, again, I am not a member of any Political Party, just in case you were wondering..... And being Scottish I would still prefer the United Kingdom to be United and not broken up .... Proud to be a Scott Brit....

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Sunday Dinner

Couple of quick recipes for you, but not much in the way of ingredient measurements

Braised Pork Chops:

Depending on how hungry you are and on how big the chops are, so this was for Ishbel and me:

4 small to medium pork chops, Ishbel likes the fat off I don't mind

2 or 3 small onions sliced

About a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger

A handful of fresh chopped coriander ( cilantro )

nob of butter and Olive oil

A glass or two of red wine

Chicken Stock

Take an nice deep pan and add the nob of butter and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil melt down.

Add the pork chops on a medium to high heat and brown on both sides.

Once the chops are nicely browned add the onion, ginger and coriander and cook on a medium heat until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown too.

Once the onions have softened add a glass or two of good red wine and turn the heat up a little.  Once the wine starts to bubble add chicken stock and reduce the heat.

You can cook this on the hob on a very very low heat or in the oven at say 140 to 160 for an hour to an hour and a half.  Keep an eye on it and if need be add some more chicken stock as it will be reducing as it braises the chops.

Once ready served with veg of choice and mashed potatoes,  Today's mash had a table spoon (or was it two) of Southern Comfort.


Rhubarb, Apple and Raisin Pie 

Don't suppose you need me to tell you how to make one of these, and I am lousy at pastry, even when I buy the damned stuff I end up getting holes in it or breaking it up, go figure, but there you go....

So, today I took

five stalks of rhubarb stripped of outer skin

Two large braeburns

Large cupful of California raisins

Two Tablespoons of cognac

Four tablespoons of Demera Sugar

Some grated nutmeg

Cup of water

Combine all the ingredients in a pan and reduce down until the fruit is soft, remove from heat and leave to cool.

While the fruit is softening line a pastry dish 

 Add the cooled fruit to the dish

Cover the fruit with some more pastry and brush with melted butter

Place in a preheated oven at 180, best not to use the fan, and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes

Remove from Oven and allow to cool, sprinkle with icing sugar, slice and serve, with fresh cream, custard or ice cream.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Mrs Pearce, aged 83 has a Complaint

While out for a walk on Saturday 2nd June I was walking along Deveron Gardens in South Ockendon when I bumped into Mrs Pearce. She is 83 and walks slowly with the aid of a walking stick.  I stopped to talk to her and she then started talking, complaining, and she had a right to, about cars parked on the pavements, forcing her into the road or onto what could be slippery grass verges.

Now Deveron Gardens is a street made up, primarily of single story small homes for the elderly , as you will see from the video below, two vehicles were parked right across the full width of the pavement.  This is not unusual and it even gets worse on Sundays and at other times when the Belhus Park Independent Evangelical Church has a meeting on - go figure that one for Christian community spirit - when they roll up to services and block the pavements in their posh cars!

So this is what Mrs Pearce had to say and she would like Thurrock Council to take a more proactive approach in dealing with offenders who block the pavements with their inconsiderate parking.

What say you Councillor Smith, Portfolio holder for Highways and Councillors Kiely and Johnson, ward councillors, what can you do for Mrs Pearce and the rest of us who are forced into the roads or on to slippery grass verges because of these people?

I shall send a link to this post to Cllrs, Smith, Kiely and Johnson and let you know, what if any response there is. buit should you want to email any of these councillors there addresses are:

Now what did I do!!!!!!!!

I just can't win sometimes......

Missy Stronach went for her Saturday morning bathe, yes I do believe she bathes on other days too as sometimes when I face time her from the office and maybe it is getting close to lunchtime she is still in her goonie (dressing gown for the more discerning of you) or wrapped in a couple of towels, yes I know lunch time but what can one do or say .....

Anyway as she went for her morning bathe I went for my morning walk.  While out walking I was thinking of what I could do for Saturday Lunch which invariably turns out to be a late one and into an early dinner, but there you go.

I had a plan and had a look round the shops as I wanted some nice chicken thighs on the bone and with skin, some asparagus and some good seedless oranges but alas couldn't find anything decent in any of the shops or the market.

On the way home I bumped into 83 year old Mrs Pearce who was, quite rightly going off on one at the cars parked on pavements in the area, so I shall do a blog on that later.

I then bumped into 76 year old Alan who gave me a graphic description of his knee and thigh problems including the fact that he had just had the kneecap on his left leg 'washed out' don't know what was wrong but it sounded painful  but the thing is that both Alan and Mrs Pearce are still highly active and are out and about in the village and trying to keep busy, in fact Alan had just been to the motor factors and bought some brake pads for his large 4 x 4 that HE was just going to change......

Anyway, got home and Missy was out of the bath, I had been out two hours, and was 'putting her face on' I really don't like to see her without it, reminds me of a George Romero zombie, but who am I to judge (I will suffer for this later no doubt) and there we were then sitting at the kitchen table and I say,

Me "Think we might pop to the supermarket"

Ishbel, "Why" (We really don't purchase much from supermarkets)

Me, " Iwas thinking of getting some chicken thighs and doing a spicy marinade for them and then to serve them up with some griddled asparagus (no bloody ketchup Jules) with orange quarters sprinkled with brown/demera sugar and grilled, with maybe a broad bean and bacon salad"

Ishbel, smiling, "That sounds wonderful"

Me, "in fact I think I've changed my mind, how about fish fingers beans and chips"

WHaaaaaaaat was that look for, honestly I have no idea.


 So this is what I eventually made for Missy Stronach:

Chicken thighs marinaded in Sweet Chilli sauce cooked in the oven for 40 minutes with a side of char grilled orange with brown sugar melted on top

Char grilled Asparagus

Long Grain Rice and Peas