Fantastic food blog

11 February, 2010

World Foodie Guide

I love reading about and looking at pictures of food almost as much as I enjoy eating it, and so I’ve looked at and followed a number of food blogs over the course of the last year or two.

This one is truly outstanding, though. I only stumbled across it last week, but thus far I’ve been there for at least an hour each time I’ve been over for a visit.

It touches upon all sorts of food, but there’s an emphasis on Chinese/Asian. There are accounts of meals eaten, with mouth-watering photographs, and also suggestions about where to eat (and not to eat) in places like London, Hong Kong, Macau, Bejing, Tokyo and Kyoto. There’s a lot of stuff about dim sum (yum!), including recipes and suggestions about where to eat it in London. Next time I’m there I’ll definitely be taking a copy of the relevant posting with me.

Sadly the author stopped blogging last December, because doing it well had become all-consuming (so to speak). The blog is still there, though, for our reference and delectation, and I’d urge anybody with even the vaguest interest in food to go right over and take a look.


Yesterday’s thread

10 February, 2010

I’ve made yesterday’s thread private, because I found the sight of the nastiness on it so utterly depressing this morning.

Anyone who posted to it, who for any reason wants to re-read it, should drop me an email, and I’ll find a way to make it accessible to you.

I’ve never done this before with a thread on my blog. I hope it’s the first and last time.

The North Face — Brilliant!

8 February, 2010

Wow… anybody who hasn’t seen this should run out *immediately* to buy it, and then lock themselves into a room at home, banish everybody else, turn the heating up and the lights off and settle back to experience it.

Inevitably there’s a degree of poetic licence involved, but the photography is simply stunning–in a completely different league to that of the film version of Touching the Void, IMO (I found that film quite disappointing, after the book)–and the sense of mounting tension created by the film makers is something that I don’t remember ever experiencing before in front of a television screen, or at the cinema.

10/10! Many thanks indeed to Mary and HMP3 for giving me the DVD ♥


8 February, 2010

Piss-Puss lurks in wait for Piglet

Being a Border Terrier, Piglet naturally has friends and allies on the Borders, and on Friday morning she commandeered the car and drove me up there for a weekend of fun, food and friendship with her pals, Mango Terrier and Mango’s brother, Gazza.

We had a brilliant time! Gourmet food, wonderful walks, music, conversation and even an excellent fiLm to watch. (Those terriers certainly know how to choose them.)

On Saturday the terrorists took Master, Mistress and me for walkies to Lindisfarne, where we ogled the castle, admired Gertrude Jekyll’s walled garden and browsed around in the rock pools on the beach.

The castle is more impressive from a distance than it is in close-up. Not realising that until we were close-up I rather stupidly didn’t get a picture, so here’s one of the beach to be going on with.

Beach on the Holy Isle

After the garden we made our way towards the shore…

Mistress, Master and Mango

…where there were many limpets and sea anenomes and interesting seaweeds and wracks to be inspected, and I spotted a man collecting something in a bucket. They turned out to be winkles, which will now be bound for France and Spain since he has no market for them over here.

Winkles on the Holy Isle

Now that we’re home Piglet wishes we were back there, and has taken to the cat’s bed with her wee rat.

Piggle and her wee rat in Piss-Puss's bed

Piglet sends thanks and warm licks to Mango and Gazza, and their kind Master and Mistress, and so do I ♥ (Oh, and the sourdough starter sends a burp from the fridge.)


4 February, 2010

Chally route finished and submitted!

It’s the Haunted Crossing v.2. I hope the weather in the Cairngorms doesn’t prevent Ryvoan bothy and Chalamain Gap and Ben Macdui…

I hope to sleep in/on/at:

1. Gorton bothy
2. Ben Alder Cottage
3. Chalamain Gap (no sleeping: just passing along to Ryvoan)
4. Ryvoan bothy
5. Ben Macdui
6. Charr bothy

ZOMG… I’m already terrified!

The weather may prevent 3, 4 and 5 (and getting to 6 in extremis), but there will be no excuse for not visiting 1 and 2… *gulp*


Spaying Piglet…

2 February, 2010

I spoke to the vet about spaying this evening.

I’ve been looking into it since Piggly was a little baby (she’s now an adolescent of 14.5 months old) and I decided I wanted her to have a couple of seasons first, because apparently whipping a little puppy’s bits out before they’ve matured stunts the dog’s development (despite the advice from many vets to have them ‘done’ at 6 months, before they’ve had a first period). At the same time, though, there are what appear to be objective studies which demonstrate that piglets puppies who go unspayed are more prone to hormone-related diseases (including cancer) later in life.

I also took advice also from a friend of my bezzy online pal–a highly regarded breeder of terriers–and I reckon that now that Piglet’s had two seasons it’s time to have her spayed. Having spoken to the vet, I think I’m going to book her in for Monday 22nd February.

Still, despite feeling pretty sure that it’s all for the best, I can’t shake off a feeling of real unhappiness at the idea of it. I’ve tried to work out why, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Is it because I’ve not had puppies children of my own, and regret that? I don’t know, but that’s probably part of it. It could aso be because she’s such a truly lovely little dog in every way–pretty, loving, playful, michievous–and it seems a shame not to pass those Piggly genes on. That’s probably part of it too. I know I don’t like the idea of her being in pain after the operation, but in life, of course, it’s sometimes necessary to bear a little pain for a greater good.

I’m planning to ring the vet in the morning to make the appointment. Nothing is set in stone, though, so if anybody out there has strong views one way or the other then please let me know. I like to take everything into account before making decisions about important stuff like this.

*cries a bit*

*goes off to hug little Piglet*

Sainsbury’s this afternoon – Ugh!

1 February, 2010

I had to go into town, earlier, so as I was passing I dashed into Sainsbury’s to get a few bits and pieces. I have to be opportunistic about supermarket visits, since I can’t go in when I have Piglet with me, which is most of the time.

While I was there I noticed a smartly-dressed young man lurking at the head of an aisle, and wearing some sort of badge. As I was passing somebody asked him where the Marmite was, and he explained that he couldn’t help because he was only there in relation to some sort of in-store promotion.

When I passed again a couple of minutes later I saw him cross-examining a rather shabbily dressed elderly woman about what seemed to be her gas bill. She seemed to be trying to politely brush him off, but nonetheless she’d stopped. “Do you get a bill?” he was asking. She replied in some way, and he went on, “Well, how much do you pay?”

Well call me over-sensitive (it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been called that recently), but I think it’s really disgraceful that Sainsbury’s allow salespeople to stop and cross-examine vulnerable people in that way about utility bills, presumably in the hope of persuading them to swap providers. I don’t know whether it was a Sainsbury’s product that he was pushing, but if it was then ISTM to be even worse. A quick Google on ‘Sainsbury’s’ +’gas’ brought this page up. A coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe not.

I went to the Customer Services desk and complained. The woman there acknowledged my complaint and said she’d pass it on, but I’ve no idea whether anything was/will be done about it.

A number of years ago my own father swapped gas providers (NB: Sainsbury’s weren’t involved), but having done so he continued to receive bills from the old lot, and then demands, and then final demands and threatening phone-calls and eventually a Summons. He spent hours on the phone to the old provider trying to speak to a human being who would/could sort it out, but he got absolutely nowhere, and spent a lot of money in phone bills that he couldn’t afford. In the end I had to go to the local Magistrates’ Court on his behalf to have the case that the old provider had ludicrously brought against him dismissed.

It was clear when we got there that the provider was in chaos, and they threw in their hand. That was no compensation, though, for the trauma that Daddy had been through in worrying about the whole horrible, threatening mess, and heaven help the defenceless people who don’t have family members or friends who can go along and speak on their behalf. Daddy certainly couldn’t have done it for himself.

Treating potentially vulnerable people in this way is simply *wrong*, IMO. Allowing it to happen constitutes a smear on what’s meant to be our evolved and civilised society. After what happened to Daddy, I feel strongly that elderly people shouldn’t be exposed to ‘hard sell’ tactics by utilities providers, and certainly not when they’ve just nipped out to buy a jar of coffee and a loaf of bread (or whatever it was that the elderly woman was after, this afternoon).

I won’t be returning to Sainsbury’s. They’re probably not alone in this sort of thing, but thus far I’ve not observed it anywhere else.