Sunday, 22 February 2009

Yep I'm still here

Well it's been a while bloggy friends.

But I'm still alive, just coping with the changes of life as it rolls along it's merry way.

I do feel the need to be blogging again, especially as I have some big things going on that I just can't share with 'real world' people at present...

But a brief update from November...

Christmas - yey
Work Christmas Do - double yey!
New Year - OK
40th Birthday - yey, boo, thinking about this, mortality beckons
Work - good!
Life - "interesting"

Will update more soon

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gnocchi to warm your cockles


It was up to me to cook dinner tonight. WB was due in later from work, and I was tired from a long day, with a few hours worth of driving on the M25. So I decided to cook up something quick, warming and spicy which I'm happy to share here. It'll serve two people and you can be eating it 20 minutes from starting cooking!

You'll need a bag of Gnocchi, 150g of Chorizo, an onion, garlic, can of chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, Mozzarella and herbs.

Chop the onion and soften in some olive oil. When it's soft (about 5-10 mins) add the finely chopped garlic and heat a while longer. Don't let the garlic burn or it will become bitter.

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and a good squirt of puree. Fling in some dried herbs - me, I use Oregano and Herbs de Provence. Simmer this over a low heat for about 15 minutes.

While this is simmering, chop the chorizo into smallish cubes and fry it in a separate pan just to brown it. Once it's brown take it off the heat, put it aside and add the small amount of chorizo flavoured oil to the tomato sauce.

Boil the kettle and then fill a pot with boiling water. Heat until it's keeping a rolling boil and then add the gnocchi. When it floats it's done (usually about 3 minutes)

Heat your grill to as hot as it goes.

Drain the gnocchi and serve up on two plates. Spoon the tomato sauce over the gnocchi and then scatter the chorizo on top of the sauce. Add thin slices of Mozzarella on top and finally place under a hot grill for the cheese to melt.

Finish with a good twist of fresh black pepper and then...

...get your laughing gear around it!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Congratulations America

I'm really, really pleased for my friends over the pond. Last night truly was a momentous event and I sincerely hope that everything goes well.

As Stephen Fry said on his Twitter

"The rest of the world is so pleased and happy for you America. I'm (almost) dancing with relief "

and also

"The world so wants to love America and now they can again"

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Election? What Election?

Someone told me that there's an election going on over the pond. Blimey, I don't know how I missed it folks!

Anyway, here's my take on this.

Both Obama and McCain seem OK people, well for politicians anyway (I naturally distrust these type of people, separated from the real world, after the power above all else... I mean look at Blair, Mandleson etc) anyway I digress.

I hope that the Democrats win. Having a black president would be a long awaited watershed in American history. Sure, both sides have policies that I don't agree with but, and the biggest but is this.

Under the Bush regime, we've had two things that I just can't believe.

1) Iraq. I know I can't add much more than millions of others, but from my British point of view I'll say this. None of my friends swallow the line that it was anything other than Bush wanting to hit out at someone, Iraq fitted the bill and oh, yeah, don't mention the oil. Sadam Hussein and Bin laden were enemies for goodness sake! Sure, Hussein was a nasty dictator and got his come-uppance, but it had nothing to do with those planes. And somehow a large number of people in the US, actually believe the spin put on this.

And worse than that, Tony Blair also took us into this oil grab, he followed blindly, putting the lives of British troops in the firing line. And he said that there were WMD's and he'd prove it. He never did, and yet somehow he was never hauled up for it... An he was a self proclaimed christian?

2) Guantanamo. "No imprisonment without trial". The setting up of this base, the imprisonment of these people without due process. It is wrong, very wrong. If you are defending your way of life, democracy, freedom, then you can't remove that ideal from other groups, no matter how wrong they are. Look I'm not denying that many of these inmates are guilty of crimes and should be punished, but that does not give any country the right to hold them indefinitely without a fair and proper judicial process. I've seen a small glimmer of hope though that this election gives some hope as according to this Times online article "Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, has pledged to close down the facility and opposes the military tribunals."

These two facts themselves are the main reason why there is now so much distrust and anger towards the current US regime. And the UK has followed suit just enough to be partially tarred with the same brush.

And that's why I'm hoping that Obama will win and give the Republicans a very clear message about how out of touch and wrong Bush has been. A change is long overdue I reckon!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Remember Remember the 5th of November

I'm a Sussex boy at heart, and every year in the run up to November the 5th I begin to miss the noise, the smell of oil soaked torches, the bangers, fireworks, chanting and general anarchy that is Sussex Bonfire - particularly the grand-daddy of them all - dear old Lewes.

It's not "Halloween". It's not even "Guy Fawkes Day", no, Bonfire is more than that.

OK it has it's roots in the burning of protestant martyrs (hence the No Popery links) but it's not really about any religion or faith being protested at.

If you want to know what it's really about then google the phrase "Won't be druv"

It's about Sussex people sticking two fingers up at petty bureaucracy, at political correctness at anyone who tries to pull the world over their eyes. And I wish it was far more common than it is.

It's anarchic, lively, merry and dangerous.

And if you are ever in the vicinity of Lewes then find a friend who lives there, go and stay with them for the night, bring plenty of alka seltzer and enjoy the best party night of your life!

Oh I wish I could be there this year.

Still unconvinced?

Watch this clip (sorry about the lack of sound though)

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
should ever be forgot...

A working Sunday

So yesterday I had a 'work' day.

You see, in my job I am called upon to give speeches to raise funds for a charity. Some of these talks take place in church. I get to save the Vicar from having to find something to say and try and persuade people to help out. It's actually quite enjoyable, after you get over the feeling of "What am I doing here, and why are these people actually listening to me... I'm not a priest... when is that bolt of lightning going to descend from up top and strike me down dead?"

But yesterday all I could think of was how COLD the church was. It's heating had broken down and so everyone there was in coats and scarves. I soon joined them.

I was really glad that I hadn't drunk too much coffee before setting out - it goes right through a cold body.

Anyway. The talk went well. I drummed up a lot of support. Then after the service I had a chat and coffee in the church hall. And there it was. Soft crumbly exterior, juice interior, hand made. The perfect apple pie! On sale at the cake stall. I had to have it. And I thought that in buying it, for charity, well, it could not be refused back at home or critiscised for having quite a few calories. I mean, buying it was practically a good deed!

My halo was fully bright as I ate it that evening, following a great roast pork dinner.

Good day overall.

Friday, 15 August 2008

39 years eh!

Every which way I look at it it's weird. 39, Thirty-nine, it just doesn't ever seem to lose it's power.

In 5 months I will be 40.

Does the goatee have to go? Is the small belly going to remain, or grow to santa size?

OK so I have one of those hairs coming out half way down my nose, but it's just one. I mean I've yet to get the thick, dark, luxuriant ear-hole growth. Nope, they're still clean.

Is this what a peri-midlife crisis is all about?

I'm still me though. I still walk in crowds and see 'the adults' and then me. I still don't want to wear a collared shirt with no tie in the evenings cos that's relaxed casual.

And I'm not giving up on The Simpsons or South Park, ever!