beer is made by fat men, but wine is made by Gods
wine is poetry in a bottle
live to eat, don’t just eat to live
when your world falls apart
eat a tub of chocolate ice cream
ask not what you can do for your country
ask what’s for lunch
time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so
my wife cooks with wine
sometimes she even adds it to the food
when your world falls apart
drink Guinness and let the world fall out of your bottom
all major food groups, beer and bread
when did Mary Poppins say that the English can’t eat meat?
the fish and chop van has arrived!
Here in England the government, its bureaucrats, and unelected busybodies are never happier than when they are telling other people how to live their lives. Now the overweight and unhealthy-looking Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed an overweight and unhealthy-looking ‘restaurateur’ Henry Dimbleby to be the national ‘food czar’ with the task of getting Britons to eat healthier.
Dimbleby’s big ideas include a 6% salt tax to go along with the 18p per litre sugar tax we’re forced to pay. (a Big Mac would increase in price by 20p just because of all the salt in it) The same guy wants a meat tax, ‘in order to save the planet’, and aims to cut the consumption of dairy products by 20%. There is also likely to be a tax on saturated fats. (butter, lard, suet, cheese, ghee, and palm oil are all targets for new taxes)
Meanwhile the government here is spending £100 million on an anti-obesity campaign ~ they should look at their own waistlines first.
In another move the government here has banned fast food advertising from the television before nine-o-clock in the evening, when all good children should be fast asleep in bed.
And, the Prime Minister’s latest wife Carrie Johnson, (nee Carrie Symonds), wants to takle fish suffering, including protecting their mental well-being, by banning fishing.
The arrogant stupidity of some people appalls me.
Some say that all idiots went to Eton College and Oxford University. And that the experience warped their brains. All I know is that if you look at any really facile, incredibly stupid idea, then some Oxford University Graduates will be behind it.
can’t have salmon for dinner
the mental well-being of fish is at stake here
a good Yorkshire pudding should be deep and wide
Here in the North East of England some say that the measure of a woman is if she can make a good Yorkshire pudding. That says a lot about northern men.
The humble Yorkshire pudding is a thing of beauty that delights the senses. This comprehensive how-to recipe is from Delish magazine, they say it’s the only Yorkshire pudding recipe you need to know.
Delish Yorkshire Puddings
Now from food columnist Felicity Cloake we have how to cook perfect Yorkshire puddings.
Perfect Yorkshire Puddings
As an alternative to a Yorkshire pudding we also have classic Toad in the Hole; Yorkshire pudding with sausages. From Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy we have this recipe one of my favourite midweek meals.
Toad in the Hole
roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
a classic combination
I know of a place where the wild thyme grows
Thymus Vulgaris, garden thyme, is one of the four great medicinal and culinary herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme….. A herb is a plant where the leafy green and flowering parts are found useful in cooking and natural medicine. Whereas, a spice is produced from other parts of a plant; seeds, bark, roots, fruit…. Ergo ginger is a spice, whereas the ash tree is used both as a herb and a spice.
Trust me, thyme is most definitely a herb and an important ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Caribbean recipes. Thyme is also a basic ingredient in perfumery.
In medicine, thyme should be treated with caution because, like all herbs, it contains some very powerful and complex chemicals, especially thymol. Interestingly the antiseptic thymol is a major ingredient of Listerine mouthwash and most alcohol-free hand sanitisers.
Other major and powerful compounds found in the common or garden thyme are; borneol, carvavrol, eucalyptol, menthene, thymene, and tannin. The major effects of these compounds are; antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, and soporific. (Balsamic really means ‘elixir’)
Thyme tea, (usually made with dried leaves), is calming, helps most people to sleep, fights off coughs, reduces inflammations, and much reduces embarrassing night-time flatulence. As with most natural herb teas women of child-bearing age should take care as it increases blood flow to the uterus. Thyme in wine is good, and I use sprigs of thyme in both olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (makes a fabulous salad dressing) Thyme tea is a potent female aphrodisiac. Thyme and marijuana cookies should be treated with very great care indeed.
A sprig of thyme under the pillow is an aid to calm sleep, and a good bunch of thyme in your bath will help kill off very nasty things like toenail fungus, athletes foot, and the hookworm ancylostomiasis.
Thyme of any variety is easy to grow, it prefers a well-drained gravelly soil in full sun. Collect your thyme in spring and early summer. Bees love thyme as the flowers are nectar-rich ~ real thyme honey has all of the properties you can find in the plant.
if you have a scrap of space, grow herbs
All I want is to live a normal life
the beach at Cancun
As we gradually come out of lockdown, some normal things I haven’t been able to do for months have become possible ~ like getting my hair cut, or even booking a vacation.
One of the good things about having been in self-isolation for over a year is that I haven’t spent much money, so now I am almost out of lockdown I can afford to take my friend to anywhere we would like to go.
Should be fun.
this might be the route to normality
you get nothing without hard work
hanging out in bars is self-destructive
It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown. Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover. And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts. Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.
This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.
The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s). And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted. (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)
My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;
- stay away from alcohol
- have a good daily exercise routine
- eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
- get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
- cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
- look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
- study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers
It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.
none of this crap
who could like that guy?
here in England it’s day 353 of complete lockdown
some ways I’ve been able to stay fairly sane
stay away from booze, especially hard liquor, alcohol never helps anything
get plenty of rest during the day and 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night
if you need to, try herbal sleep aids
otherwise avoid street drugs and powerful medication
eat in a healthy and nutritious way
take high-quality and appropriate food supplements
stay active, go outside, fresh air and exercise are important
anger and resentment against the unfairness is futile
even if you can’t meet anyone for a conversation
stay connected by phone and the internet
take enforced self-isolation one day at a time
personally, I found that prayer helps
remember, there is nothing whatsoever you can do except obey the stupid lockdown laws, regulations, and guidelines
first of all stop dicking around
Not so long ago I was miserable, irritable, and utterly ineffective. I didn’t ever leave the garret, except to buy booze, I never spoke to anyone, and I didn’t do anything interesting. Every day was the same as the day before. I was sick in body, mind, and spirit. From time to time I had dark suicidal thoughts. Even though my life was a mess, it was a mess with an efficient daily routine behind it. I was very good at doing nothing except wasting the time I had on this earth.
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~ Peter Drucker
There are lots of ways and a myriad of techniques that I could have used to turn my life around, but before everything else I had to have the strong and unshakable desire to change myself and make my life better. No Fairy Godmother was going to appear and make everything all right. I wasn’t suddenly going to find an attractive woman who would give me the magical motivation to improve myself and my life. Nothing good happens in life unless we make it so.
You can start to read lots of books, sign up for lots of expensive courses, and find tons of stuff on the internet that will say; ‘change your life around by following this advice’ ~ and they are all utterly useless unless first you have the willingness and determination to change. Changing your life for the better takes every hour of every day of the rest of your life. Being a better person needs willpower, and if you don’t have any willpower then create an unbreakable routine towards becoming the very best version of yourself you can possibly be. If you can’t do that, then fake it to make it.
First of all I had to decide what I didn’t want. What were the very worst things in my life. What was I doing that was negative and self-destructive? Think about it ~ what are the very worst things in your life? What do you want the least? What is killing you? For me that began with agoraphobia and booze. I had to stop drinking, and I had to get out of the garret, physically, mentally, and emotionally I had to get out of this place.
None of this was easy, but this blog is some small evidence of how far I’ve come since those dark days.
If I can become a better person, then you can too.
you don’t need a gym to exercise effectively
you don’t need a silver fork to enjoy good food
Here in England we have been in lockdown for just about a year, and trust me there’s not much fun in that. There is also a regrettable tendency to eat the wrong things at the wrong times; which isn’t healthy. One of the few things we can enjoy is good, healthy food, hopefully some of these recipes will cheer us up.
First this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest we have this Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special. Looks deliciously easy.
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special
From Karina at Cafe Delites we have this wonderful Jambalaya; chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice in a Creole saute from New Orleans. Fabulous.
Jessica at How Sweet Eats says this dish; Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet is the perfect weeknight dinner. I aver that this would be a perfect, healthy meal at any time of the week.
Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet
Holly at Spend with Pennies says this Shrimp Lo Mein can be ready in just 30 minutes. I’d take a little longer, just to enjoy cooking this good-looking dish.
Shrimp Lo Mein
If you get weary of shrimp, yet want to stay with the theme, From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a recipe for Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce. I’d want some crispy garlic bread to go along with this dish.
Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce
Our big collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 82 Shrimp Recipes That’ll Make Meatless Mondays Your Favorite Day Of The Week. From this list how about a Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta?
Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta
maybe Marmaduke is waiting for the shrimp-boats to come in