Saturday, 27 May 2017

When the Revolution comes...

...and I take my seat as the head of Government I recognise that I will need some assistance to run this once great country and bring it back to greatness.  So I propose the following people for my cabinet (some are fictional, some are historic, but this is my fantasy cabinet).

Chancellor of the Exchequer

Up until a few months ago, my go-to person would have been Richard Branson, without a doubt, but having seen how he is trying to bring down Brexit he is now off my radar, so I would choose Ebeneezer Scrooge (I did say fantasy cabinet).  He is not afraid of offending people with his decisions, if people owe money they pay or get out.  Simple.

If he didn't want this job, then I would choose him for Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (if you don't work, you don't get a pension).

Secretary of State for Education

Miss Trunchbull.  If children don't learn discipline at school how are they going to survive in the workplace? And with my proposed clamp down on the current benefits culture, what are they going to live on?

Secretary of State for International Trade, and President of the Board of Trade

Again, this is a job that I would have earmarked for Richard Branson, but now I think it would have to be James Dyson.

Secretary of State for Transport

You knew this one was coming - Jeremy Clarkson or Richard Hammond or James May.  They understand that reducing speed limits on motorways is ridiculous, as are bus lanes, cycle lanes and closing the entire motorway for hours to recover a single item of debris.  They know that the new Smart Motorways are just going to bean excuse to mint money.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Why is this even a post?

Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration

Any law enforcement office who has appeared on Nothing To Declare or Border Security.  They seem to care about their country, if they don't want you in, you don't get in.

I am still working on the rest of my Cabinet, so check back.

Who would be in yours?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

I treated myself to a Gousto Food Box.

I decided to try a Gousto Food Box, at the time there was £25 off my first order so it only cost me £15, the offers are changing all time so this may no longer be available.

If you sign up with this link - here - then I get £15 towards my next order!  But before all you lovely people rush off to sign up and give me free food, read my review to see if Gousto is for you.

Now, I can understand what Gousto are trying to do, get more people cooking fresh in their own homes but I feel that the target audience are the sort of people who have the big flashy kitchens with loads of space, loads of utensils and equipment, but no food.  People who survive on meals out and takeaways.

I ordered a box of four meals for two people, which in my case would make eight meals for one person.  I chose my meals and delivery date, paid, sat back and waited.

Nearer to my delivery date I received a text giving me an hour slot for my box to be delivered which was really handy and meant that I did not have to stay in all day - there is nowhere really safe that parcels can be left if I am not in.

The ingredients arrived in a large cardboard box with any chilled items wrapped in a plastic bag and insulated with natural sheep wool, this can be recycled in many ways, I will be using it as a mulch on one of my vegetable beds.  There were also a couple of ice blocks to keep the temperature down.

To create my four chosen meals I received:

I also received recipe cards and a wooden spoon.

The only ingredient that was not provided was vegetable oil, I assume that this is because it is expected that everyone keeps this in, however I do not.

According to Gousto, these four meals have stopped me from creating 2kg of food waste.  2kg??  I don't think I create that much food waste in a month, let alone a week.

I have, however, doubled my non-food waste as most things are in their own individual wrapper(s).

Once cooked the meals seem, to me at least, a bit scant until the pasta or rice is added bulking it out and adding carbs.  The Sunny Sweetcorn Noodles was essentially Noodle Soup and didn't fill me as a main meal, both nights I had this I ended up making myself some toast later in the evening.

I wasn't able to make the Katsu Curry completely as per the recipe as I simply did not have the counter space in my small kitchen requiring as it did two chopping surfaces (one for veg one for raw chicken), three plates to breadcrumb the chicken fillets, a pan for the pasta and two wide bottom frying pans for the sauce and the chicken.

I will try one more delivery to see if meals without pasta or rice are more substantial, but then I will be going back to doing my own thing.

Have you tried Gousto?  How did you get on?

Friday, 5 May 2017

Am I a dinosaur?

I don't mean am I a big scaly thing with huge teeth and tiny arms (the answer to that is yes) but in my ideas.

I am a child of the Seventies.  I grew up without the aid of Health and Safety and yet, I am still here.  

I spent my formative years digging in the dirt, damming streams, running round builder's yards and scrap yards.  I left the house every morning clean, I returned every evening I wasn't at school looking like I had been shoved up a chimney.  I had to come in the back door and strip down to my underwear in the kitchen before I was marched up to the bath.

We built dens in the park with the long grass, we didn't demand that dog poo be picked up, we knew to avoid it.  If you wanted to be evil, you would pick up a lump of poo in a load of grass (generally a whole handful of grass to a tiny speck of poo) and chase someone with it. 

We didn't have to deal with syringes back then as drugs were not a major issue anywhere apart from the seediest areas, any druggies straying out of these areas would have been run out of town by an angry mob of mums and dads and none of them would have dared gone to the Police about their 'Human Rights'.

And even if used syringes HAD been a problem, our parents would have told us to leave them alone, so we would have done.

And even though we didn't have watches or iphones, we always knew when it was time to be in.

Television too was different.  I grew up with On The Buses, The Rag Trade, Love Thy Neighbour, Benny Hill and Jim Davison.  It didn't offend me then, and it doesn't offend me now.

Yes, I used to wonder how Stan and Jack always managed to get women (Reg Varney looked like my Grandad and Bob Grant, eww, even as young as I was),  It was all so harmless and generally it was the underdog who came out on top.  There was no bad language and how many women did Benny Hill catch?  They always managed to evade him, okay in hindsight there may have been a reason for that but then, it was funny.

So when Ashes To Ashes came along in 2008, I somehow missed Life On Mars, I had to watch. Real men coppers like Gene Hunt and Ray Carling, reminiscent of Jack Regan and George Carter, were too much of a draw.

Real Men.  With a capital M.

Brut wearing, whiskey drinking, V8 driving.  This was the man I needed.

Unfortunately these days it is more likely to be the women swigging single malt and revving the V8 whilst the men are sipping soft drinks and driving Priuses.

But some of us dinosaurs want these real men, so if you know a Gene Hunt looking for a hard drinking, hard gambling lady love, send him my way.