Would you like fries with your chips?

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Over the years, I have made many friends online, from different countries.  My sister refers to them as my ‘virtual friends’ but they are all quite real and some of them I even exchange Christmas and birthday cards with and we all chat on Facebook!   Mostly, these friends live in the USA – a place I have never visited

One of the things I find most entertaining and interesting about these friends from over the pond are the discussions we have about FOOD

This weekend we were discussing fish & chips, a traditional British dish

It all started when my American friend posted up some ‘things’ on a plate that turned out to be hash browns – they looked like little chips to me, and in a way, they were – small fried potatoes.  Not what I thought a hash brown looked like and not much like our chips either

So I posted up a photo of some chips, along with a portion of fish.  This was followed by her version of the same, except the chips were hidden under the fish and she had COLESLAW and TARTARE sauce with them…..SHUDDER!!!

Here, it is vinegar and/or ketchup.  Up North, you might get curry sauce or gravy with your chips (also WRONG) – but never coleslaw or tartare sauce!!!!  Well, ok, maybe tartare sauce if you are having fish-fingers but not with fish and chips, surely?!!

In America there is also something called ‘steak and chop sauce’ – made by ‘London Pubs’ and advertised as ‘a ‘traditional British sauce’.  On further investigation this turns out to be Daddies Sauce, or Brown Sauce.  A must with fried eggs (for some!).  But NEVER with steak or chops!!!

Anyway, it just delights me to find out these little differences in the accompaniments to the same food

It’s Sunday – I should be having a traditional roast beef dinner.  But we are having pasta instead

I’m so cosmopolitan

Mumsy hair

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I have a dilemma

Well, I don’t really.  But I am wondering how much longer I can keep dyeing my hair pink and get away with it

I mean, I’m in my fifties now, I should be thinking about going grey, shouldn’t I?

I’ve been grey for years actually.  It is just hidden under a pink fringe and a dark brown crown.   But it is very time-consuming to keep it this way, I have to re-dye it every two weeks when the roots start to show.   Otherwise I look as if I am wearing a bizarre sort of wig

Half of me thinks it would make life a lot easier to go natural.  But then, how would the spiky look fit in with the grey?  Would I need to change the style as well?

I have an abject fear of MUMSY LOOKING HAIR

NAN LOOKING HAIR would be even worse

Maybe I should just wear a hat

Animal Abduction!

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Last night was one of those nights again.  Around midnight, we were disturbed by our dog stirring at the sound of a cat wailing.  This went on for a bit and we were just dozing off again when the neighbour’s dog started barking.  They must keep this dog in a kennel as it was clearly outside and it went on and on and on and on

I can only assume the owner lives alone and works nights and is therefore not at home when this is going on as there is never any attempt to shut the dog up  

It is difficult to know which house the dog belongs to because of the layout of our little estate and I was on the point of getting up and walking round the block to try to establish which garden it was coming from, when another neighbour yelled for the dog to shut up.  This seemed to have some effect as the dog went quiet

At the same time as all this was going on, as if it wasn’t noisy enough, we could hear the sound of some engineering work being carried out on the nearby railway.  Well, I assume that is what it was.  Could have been an alien spaceship landing

In fact, maybe that IS what it was

And that’s why the dog was barking

And stopped so suddenly!

OMG!  Maybe I SHOULD find out where the dog lived and tell the owners that their pooch has, in fact, been 

ABDUCTED BY ALIENS

Life Laundry

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That’s the title of a book I have.  Somewhere (I think it was a TV series too)

It is all about organising your life.  Or something.  I can’t be more specific because I mislaid it soon after I bought it so never actually got round to reading it

I vaguely recall it said something about sorting out stuff though, like drawers and shelves, as well as managing time more effectively and generally being a very organised individual who never has to look for a book they once bought again, because it would be on the shelf where books like that belong

Trouble is, as I said, I lost it

It WAS under the bed.  I remember seeing it there once when I was looking for something else.  But then we decorated the bedroom and under-the-bed got all organised so I can’t find anything that used to be under there now

My underwear drawer is the same.  It spread out to invade my scarf drawer and my pyjama drawer.  And sometimes under the bed

Now, I have too much underwear.  I don’t wear most of it, I just bought it because, well because I could.  Like the book.  I should sort out my underwear

I found a whole rack of clothes I forgot I had recently, in a wardrobe in my son’s room.  And before you say anything, no, he wasn’t borrowing them – I needed somewhere to put some stuff and he had a space.  That was about two years ago.  Need to organise that really

I could go on, the list of things I need to sort out is endless

I never will though  

Life really is too short for laundering

Instead I shall wake up each day knowing it will be interesting and varied.  I will start new projects and never finish them.   I will buy things I don’t need and put them ‘ somewhere’ and then forget about them

One day I will dig that book out and read it


Learning Curves

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I’ve just upgraded my blog and changed to a new PREMIUM theme, which looked as if it had a bit more flexibility than the previous one, although I was rather fond of that

Trouble is, I’m absolutely useless at all this stuff and I’m really lost now!  

I have a blog roll and I can’t remember how to add people.  The font is boring. The pages are boring.  It all looks very untidy.

I’ve just accidentally subscribed to my own blog and I’ve lost my nice photo of the web that I had previously and it’s not on this laptop so I have to fiddle around to get it back.  Even then, there’s no guarantee it will pop up where I want it to!  Sigh…..

So, if the sight of my blog offends your eyes, bear with me, it offends me too!

My technical staff are working on the problem to resolve the issue as soon as possible and normal service WILL be resumed shortly

I hope!

I’m also still learning how to use a Mac which, although I love, is very different from a PC in a lot of ways and I’m always getting stuck (although I have just discovered how to save an image onto the Mac!)

All this is , without a doubt, the most difficult thing I have ever done

And I’m doing it all for FUN????!!!

 

Open letter to the Highways Agency

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Dear Mr Highwayman

Please take note of the following points and act accordingly:

1. When you set up a contraflow system, give me plenty of warning you are about to divert a lane so that I have time to pull into the correct lane in order to get off the motorway at my usual junction

2. At the NEXT junction, bearing in mind I just missed my usual exit place due to lack of road signage, don’t stick up a BIG sign saying WORK ACCESS right next to the exit. This will confuse me

3. At least give me some idea where to get off now, I don’t want to go North but that’s what the next exit says

3. Don’t fill the whole road up with an array of cones, misleading signs and trucks. It’s not an obstacle course, it’s a motorway

Oh, and going back to the time I was returning from my holiday late at night the other week:

4. Don’t decide to close a slip road that I want to get off at and omit to tell me the junction beforehand so I have to go MILES and MILES out of my way to get back to where I wanted to be

And finally:

5. Hurry up and finish these bloody road works! I am developing cone-phobia and an intense hatred of signs

yours sincerely

Mrs Angry from Essex

There.

I think that should sort it

My little adventure

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While Blackberry were imploding, I was at a conference that was spread over two days, in the Kings Cross area of London.   I went with my work colleagues and two of us stayed over

I thought I was pretty cool about getting round London. Until this time, that is

I have been to Camden loads of times but I haven’t actually been anywhere except Camden Lock/Market etc – the usual tourist bits really.  Our hotel was on Camden Road so I thought it would be easy to find. What I didn’t know was how long Camden Road is.  And we were staying at the Kentish Town end

So, the first surprise was how far our hotel was from the conference venue.  We had decided to go by bus – and that was the second shock

I haven’t been on a bus in years, apart from in Italy earlier this year. It seems times have changed in London and you can no longer hand over any cash!  The bus drivers have all been to the school of obnoxious, unhelpful bastards (the same one that medical receptionists go to) and we had to try to work out how to get a bus and how to get to where we needed to be

Half hour later, having caught the right bus with the help of a local Scottish man, we still hadn’t found our hotel, despite walking almost the whole length of Camden Road (having got off at the wrong end, obviously!).  I was on the point of calling a cab to take me to the nearest Hilton when we saw it

It was the sort of hotel builders stay in when they work away from home

I know that because there were lots of builders staying there who were clearly working away from home

So, we checked in and flumped on our bed in our tiny, weeny little cupboard of a room, having put the card in the slot to turn on the electric

Five minutes later the electric went and we were plunged into the last few minutes before sunset – I phoned the reception, he was very nice, came straight over to us and moved us into another little cupboard on the ground floor (which meant we had to keep the windows closed for fear of being mugged in our sleep)

Time was getting on so we headed out (on the bus again, by now we had mastered that challenge) for something to eat, into Camden, where we had a table booked at a ‘mediterranean restaurant’ with a ‘lively atmosphere’ and ‘regular live music and rave nights’ – more on that in a minute

We stopped off at The World’s End, a lovely pub that anyone who knows that area will be familiar with

There, we met a Welshman who asked us to mind his bag while he went to the loo.  We debated whether it might be a bomb but it didn’t tick so we kept an eye on it for him.  When he came back, he told us his life story, about how he had been a professional boxer and was now a law graduate, trying to get his first bit of work but with a criminal record for GBH he acquired three months ago after a club brawl.  Bless him 

We left Taffy and his Welsh bomb and went to find our restaurant, on foot.  Shops and restaurants fell away with each new road turning and we eventually stumbled on what can only be described as A DIVE.  This was my third surprise.  There are other bits of Camden apart from the nice market and the lock and the bit where all the cool self-harming Goths go

This was our restaurant.  In some tacky little backstreet you wouldn’t want to walk down alone.  The place was totally empty – it didn’t even LOOK like a restaurant. It looked like a ‘spit and sawdust’ pub.  An empty one.  However, as we were just in time for happy hour, we had a half price cocktail, kept quiet about the booking and disappeared off to have a bite to eat in a Turkish restaurant up the road as soon as we had finished our drinks

Feeling very local now, we easily got the right bus back to our hotel and went to bed 

At four a.m. my son (26) phoned to say his front door key had broken and did I know where the spare one was? I had a vague idea and told him and then couldn’t sleep for wondering if he’d woken up KD rummaging around for it in the garden

We had another fiasco with the buses the following morning but got to the venue on time.  The highlight of the day was when one of the speakers forgot they still had their radio mike on and went for a wee.  Very entertaining for everyone in the room

And then, it was time to come home

We witnessed a nasty fight on the street amongst some youths and reflected on how we dare not intervene because it was London and they all have knives – where we live, we still bang their heads together and tell their mums!!

I had to stand all the way on the tube because some inconsiderate bastard had once more thrown themselves on the tracks during the rush hour and I was ready to drop when I got home

The conference was brilliant, very interesting, and I’m glad I went.  I do love London and this was a very different experience from my usual jaunts up there.  I would like to venture forth into other parts of London I am not familiar with now

But I was oh, so glad to be home!!

Not the N of the World

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I just can’t get organised since I returned from the holiday.  I haven’t blogged here, I’m way behind with reading the blogs I follow and I have all sorts of other tasks and online activities to catch up on

It’s always the same when I have been away.  I am not the world’s most organised person and structure does not come easily to me – I have to work VERY hard at it.  That’s why I find lists so useful – but I haven’t even managed to write a LIST this week, I’ve just sort of lurched from one thing to another and it’s all very disorganised.  Sadly, the Virgo in me loves order and structure so, as you can imagine, I’m totally confused now!

When I say the Virgo in me, I must stress I am not a great follower of the stars (apart from Russell Brand who I adore but that’s a different story and another type of star) but there really does seem to be something in the characteristics associated with different birth signs.  Virgoans are supposed to be very organised.  In my HEAD I am.  In reality, it never seems to work like that because I am cursed with a butterfly brain.  Well, I say cursed. If I wasn’t a Virgo I probably wouldn’t worry.  But you see my inner conflict?  Half of me wants to be all over the place but the other half is having kittens over it…..sigh

On another note, the N has disappeared on our keyboard.  Well, it’s still there, but the actual N has rubbed off the key.  This happens with every keyboard we get.  We don’t know why.  I don’t think our N gets over used.  Maybe it does.  I don’t know.  Anyway, it’s gone again.  Good job we know where the N should be on the keyboard.  Well, of course we do.  It’s the only key without a letter on it.

I’m off to write a ew list ow……

 

 

(Oh..and here’s a photo of a chair)

Send in the shirt police!!

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The holiday continues and, since we are having a lazy day by the pool and just hanging around near the hotel today I thought it was a good opportunity to update my blog

We had a very good day yesterday down at the beach, 9km of golden sands and unspoilt beach, amazingly quiet and beautiful and very hot

The whole place is very quiet actually and, after a mammoth trek along the beach (well, it was for me anyway) we decided to stop and have a drink before we got the courtesy car back up into our hotel in the hills

Here, we were able to spot the Brits abroad.  You can tell them a mile off.  They will be the ones at the bar with their shirts off (men) and their pasty white flab spilling out of their bikinis (women), men with cans of lager and women usually with small children and a buggy.  Oh, and smoking

Now, call me old fashioned but I believe that swimwear should be confined to the beach or pool.  If you go to a bar or a restaurant, it is only polite to cover up all that flesh.  Isn’t it?

Looking around, everyone else makes an effort to cover up, even if it is just a beach robe.  But not the Brits.  We have to let it all hang out.  Everywhere.  Maybe it’s ok in Benidorm but it just looks so, well, chav……

Obviously, I’m not one of these Brits.  I am far too considerate to put someone off their chips by subjecting them to all my wobbly bits.  And it’s just good MANNERS to cover up, I think

There ought to be SHIRT POLICE

Checking in!

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Well, I haven’t been able to keep up my post a day for the last couple of days because I am on holiday

However, the hotel has wi-fi AND free internet, except we can’t work out where the @ is on the keyboard and the wi-fi is a bit erratic so I won’t be posting daily.  Oh, plus I am having a rather nice time without the internet, as it happens!

More on my holiday when I return I think, with photos.

For now, I’ll just say I am using my brand new APPLE MAC AIR netbook to send this.

This is probably my most expensive spontaneous purchase to date, I bought it at the airport.  I was going to get an iPad2 but when I saw this, I just melted and HAD to have it.

Thank goodness for credit cards, that’s all I can say

I had a moment of regret when I realised I could have paid for my next holiday with what this cost me but it was short-lived as this is, without a doubt, the most marvellous gadget I have yet bought

So, I may blog again while I’m here.

There is certainly lot’s to blog about…..