Emotional support

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Beans ‘n’ rice

My own variation on this nutritious combination, maybe a bit hot for some people’s breakfast preference but I like it.

Half a pouch of pingable wholegrain rice (the other half was mixed into Star’s breakfast), a tin of baked beans, a big gloop of Encona West Indian Extra Hot Chilli Sauce, a handful of grated cheese and a dash of cider because the mix was a bit dry in the pan. Served on hash browns, topped with a fried tomato.

There’s more to Sunday breakfasts than the traditional bacon and egg with all the trimmings… And if I keep telling myself that I will get to believe it.

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Targetted advertising 3

The boots I’ve been wearing for work have been starting to show signs of failure around the heels, my own fault for kicking them off when the laces get knotted too tightly and won’t undo. They’ve been the comfiest pair of boots that I’ve ever owned but, unfortunately, the trader I bought them from on Sandbach market has retired so I had a look on-line for a new pair while I was having my breakfast yesterday morning.

I searched for the brand name and couldn’t find an identical product but I did find a pair from the same manufacturer, at a reasonable price, that appear to be a suitable replacement.

That was yesterday morning. I’ve just logged on to The Guardian‘s website to check for election updates before turning in for the night and been presented with…

WTF? Sorry, but the cynic in me does not believe in coincidence. I’ve just shelled out multiple beer tokens for a pair of boots, if they’re as good as the pair I’m wearing now I ain’t going to be looking for any other footwear in the near future. Limited resources mean that I only maintain a pair of slippers for around the house, my boots for work, a worn out pair of trainers for slobbing about in, an old of pair sandals for unbearably hot weather and a smart(ish) pair of black leather shoes for funerals and the like when less formal footwear is not acceptable.

Really, targeting advertising by aiming it at people who have just bought whatever it is you’re selling is not going to work. Women, especially those who are heavily into retail therapy, possibly “need” multiple pairs of shoes, but blokes have more sense.

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It’s a wrap

I am quite partial to the chilled veggie wraps sold by Aldi so I thought I’d try making my own using their tortilla wraps. The result was, to say the least, disappointing. My first attempt was treated as if I was making a filled Staffordshire oatcake.


Far too much filling and without the cheese to glue it all together it squidged everywhere.

OK, take two. Me thinking about just making an ordinary butty.


Still too much filling, dribbled out from each side.

Think third world – Spread the filling as thinly as possible.


But I now know that paying upwards of a quid and a half for a ready made wrap is a fucking rip off… And anyway, they don’t do my cider and mustard dishes as fillings on their wraps so there’s really no competition.

Sorry, Krauts, you really are good, but keep trying because you’ve a fair way to go before getting near perfection.

I, on the other hand, have just discovered it. Beans cooked in cider and mustard with a hint of chilli served at room temperature in a tortilla wrap.

Heavenly, but not for sale.



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Thatcher’s balls

There are still those who reckon “That Bloody Woman” needed castrating.

One tin of baked beans, one tin of kidney beans (drained), one generous handful each of frozen sweetcorn and small chopped mixed vegetables. Two packets of Quorn Swedish Style Meatballs, half a jar of Colman’s English Mustard, two pints of Thatcher’s Gold Cider and a sprinkling of gravy granules.

Apart from the highlighted items all ingredients are Aldi’s own brand.

Being gently warmed by the slow cooker, could be ready for teatime.


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Targeted advertising 2

My WordPress blogs are on a free plan, supported by adverts placed by the service provider. That’s fair enough, the adverts are not intrusive (unlike those on Facebook) so I have no objection to them and if I did there is the option to go ad-free for a fee.

I found these two “targeted” adverts amusing though. The first appeared on a post about a track cleaning train over on my toy train blog.

I’ll not be paying that much per sleeper thank you, not when I can get two yards of track for the same price.

Now for some really crap advertising, on Fleabay this time.

Honestly, you could not make it up!

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Targeted advertising?

I have never visited the TSB website, nor used one of their “apps”, which presumably means I’m in the second category.

Yes, I’m over 18 and I live in the UK. Is that targeted advertising?

Pretty much how a blind man, wearing a hood over his eyes, in a darkened room, at night, with his fingers in his ears, finds his target… Using a scatter gun.

Dead accurate targeting if you ask me, then again I’m well known for being cynical. And, no, I’ll not be visiting the piggy bank’s website as a result of their advertising.

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A winter warmer that really cuts the mustard

It was line cleaning day in the Midland yesterday. This involves some wastage of the draughts so I asked if I could have the Thatcher’s cider for cooking with.

Several years ago I had a delicious meal in the Bull’s Head at Smallwood which was made from pork and mustard in cider.

As I no longer eat meat I’ve substituted Quorn pieces for the pork, done in the slow cooker with a lot of mushrooms, half a bag of mixed frozen veg, a couple of handfuls of chopped onions and four sweet potatoes. The stock is two and a half pints of cider with gravy granules and an ounce of Coleman’s English mustard powder stirred in.

A proper winter warmer.

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Sprouts, again

I made a sprout and sweetcorn curry on Sunday, it’s been festering in the fridge since then and is about ready for eating now. There seem to be only two capacities for my slow cooker, too much and far too much, so the batch has been split with half for dinner and/or tea today, plus some made into spicy bean-burgers for a late breakfast, and the rest for the freezer.

There lies the problem, I really need to sort my freezer out, there are enough unlabelled bricks of frozen curry and chilli in there to go into competition with Sandbach’s (already overcrowded) take-away and restaurant market… I could probably dine on the stuff, at least twice a day, for a month and still have some left over for a rainy day.

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Two eBay purchases

While searching eBay for a suitable boat to use on Lago Cumbre (see my “Playing Trains” blog) I strayed, as one does, and found myself looking for old die-cast cars like the ones I used to own when I was a child.

Having changed the search pattern from boats to cars I refined it to look for a specific model. Not an exact copy of the one on the book cover, but one that was one of my favourites at the time.

I read Travels With Charley when I was still at school and ever since then I have wanted two things, a dog and a camper van. I have had dogs for a good number of years now but still dream of life on the road, maybe not crossing America though, I’d happily settle for just touring England, Scotland and Wales… While I was on eBay I bought a copy of the book so I can reread it.

Anyhow, back to the model, I’d be tempted to repaint the pick-up truck in black to match the one on the book cover.

1:55 scale Ford F350 pick-up with demountable camper body.

The scale means it’s unsuitable for use on my model railways so I will create a diorama for it to be displayed on.

Perhaps including a model of the author and his travelling companion.

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