Category Archives: Personal Style

Flowers for Love

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

not every woman loves the same flower

nor wants the same flower from her love

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday ~ Homeless

booze, drugs, casual sex, and sleeping in the dirt

Shopping carts that run away from their store almost always come to a bad end.  Pity the poor homeless shopping cart with nowhere to go and no one to care. 

I believe that it’s morally wrong to take shopping carts away from their store.  I would also like to believe that it’s young guys who engage in this kind of unethical behaviour.  I hope I’m not wrong about that.  I would hate to think that any woman would allow a shopping cart to become a homeless derelict.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

These shots were taken with a Lumix

a great pocket and purse camera.

 

Food on Friday ~ Barbecue

A barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start.

It’s officially summer, (well according to most people), and that’s a time to cook food out of doors.  Barbecues, are more an excuse to have a social gathering than a way of cooking food, especially in America.  Menus and recipes should perhaps be chosen with that in mind.

You know what?  I’m terrible at barbecues.

Something traditionally American for an American barbecue; sticky bourbon ribs.  Except this time it’s from English girl Amanda Wren-Greenwood living in France, and her blog Chez la Rêve Français.  This is a 2 hour recipe, but I’m certain the results will be worth it.

Sticky Bourbon Ribs

Now, from another English girl Petra, and her blog Food Eat Love, we have; a perfect day for a smoking barbecue.  You know what?  All my attempts at a barbecue smoke too much….

A Perfect Day for a Smoking Barbecue

at Cooking Up The Pantry gives us a dish that will take some time, but it’s traditionally English and will wow! your guests; barbecued leg of lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary.  I love rosemary ~ the herb I mean.

Barbecued Leg of Lamb with Lots of Garlic and Rosemary

Here’s something we probably wouldn’t have at a barbecue in England; braised bbq beef sandwich.  This is from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes and it simply looks delicious.

Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich

I know that you like collections, so here’s a great collection from Country Living; 50+ grilling recipes for an epic summer cookout.  This collection includes this very interesting coffee and brown sugar coated skirt steak.  Hmmmmm.

Coffee and Brown Sugar Coated Skirt Steak

One of the ‘must haves’ at any barbecue is some great salads. Chungah at Damn Delicious has this light and delicious looking shrimp cobb salad with cilantro lime vinaigrette.  Shrimp, bacon bits, and avocado…  what’s not to like.

Shrimp Cobb Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Heather Christo always makes a great looking salads and appetisers.  For those of you who like collections she has 10 of the best amazing healthy huge salads, including this seared tuna with chilli and mango cilantro ginger vinaigrette.  Fabulous.

Seared Tuna with Chilli and Mango Cilantro Vinaigrette

And for something to drink at your BBQ, I give you the 10 best lip-smackingly food margarita recipes.  (Is lip-smakingly even a word?)

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there are also some great barbecue salads

in last week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

failure to communicate

Women are often very difficult to impress.

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my words are banal, she’s heard it all before

yet my words are very true, I really do care for her

I’m pouring my whole heart away, wish I could find more

memorable originality, honesty, sincere Shakespearian prose

to convince her that I’m not just some other lustful jerk in a bar

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

http://amzn.to/2r3SWWj

Food on Friday ~ Salads

Early Summer Salad Days

The sky is bright blue, the breeze is warm, and the sea is as calm as it gets.  Even here in England it’s warm enough to be thinking salads for lunch and dinner, rather than something hot, filling, and comforting.

For the busy independent lady there are a lot of upsides to making a salad for dinner; it’s a healthy option, salads are usually quick and easy, and you can have some for dinner and take some to work for lunch the following day(s).  The major downside is that you may have to go to the store more often to stock up on really fresh ingredients ~ however, if you learn to shop fast and efficiently, (like a cool guy goes to the store), than that’s not such a big issue.

These dishes are mostly vegetarian, vegan, and maybe gluten-free.

Talking about sunshine; from Averie Cooks California girl Averie Sunshine has this pink and purple potato salad. This looks so ‘pretty’, and isn’t is so much nicer to have a visually attractive dish?  A really good potato salad is such a versatile dish, and this one looks so much better than an average, run-of-the-mill potato salad.

Pink and Purple Potato Salad

Averie also has a pina colada fruit salad for us for dessert.  Personally, if I was making this I’d eschew the idea on using n0n-alcoholic pina colada mix and splash in some booze.

Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Next, from Cookie and Kate, (Cookie is the dog), we have this quinoa broccoli slaw with honey-mustard dressing.  This is vegetarian, but I have no idea if quinoa or almonds are gluten-free.  I think this dish would be great alongside Averie Sunshine’s pink and purple potato salad.

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

I know you guys love recipe collections, and this week we have a collection from Cookie and Kate, 20 epic salad recipes ~ including this cool Thai mango salad with peanut dressing.

Thai Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing

From English girl Petra at Food Eat Love we have this most excellent and truly amazing Tasmanian olive leaf tea jelly tricolore salad.  This recipe isn’t vegan because we use mozzarella cheese, but I guess you could substitute that for a vegan cheese.

Tasmanian Olive Leaf Tea Jelly Tricolore Salad

Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has spring green tossed with beets, avocado, tomato, blood oranges to give us roasted beet salad with blood orange balsamic vinaigrette.

Roasted Beet Salad with Blood Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

From Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is, we have this dead easy and very tasty marinated mozzarella melon salad.  Remember, if you want to make a vegan dish there are plenty of vegan ‘cheeses’ to choose from.

Marinated Mozzarella melon Salad

Finally for this week, from Heather Christo, how about this gorgeous nectarine panzella salad.  You can make this in less than a half-hour, it’s vegan and gluten free.  What’s not to like.

Nectarine Panzella Salad

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Thank you to all the great cooks featured

in this week’s Food on Friday.

jack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

Why walk 5 miles a day, every day?

When it comes to walking, it’s all good.

In case you hadn’t heard, there is a health and fitness trend that says walking 10,000 paces a day is good for your body, mind, and soul.  For me, ten-thousand paces equates to about 5 miles on level ground, and will usually take me the best part of two hours to accomplish.  Which begs the question; is it really worth my while to devote two hours a day, every day, just walking to somewhere, or even to nowhere and back again?

Well, actually, yes it is, and these are the reasons why.

Let’s start with something scientific and anatomical ~ blood flow in the legs.  The circulation in our feet and legs only works because we use our calf muscles, and because of non-return valves in the veins.  If we sit still, we have bugger-all blood flow in our feet and legs ~ which is why there’s a risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis during long flights.  If you sit at a desk for 8 hours a day, you are in danger of developing poor circulation, which is nasty.

So if you want to have healthy circulation, one of the things you can do is just get out of your chair, and walk.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty.  She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.  ~  Ellen DeGeneres

Walking more, whether it’s to go somewhere, or for leisure, or part of your health and fitness programme is an easy way to be more active without all that unpleasant sweating, huffing, and puffing that comes with some other forms of exercise.   A brisk walk is classed as moderate-intensity activity, and does count towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise.  Walking is a form of exercise that’s easy to fit into your daily routine, for example instead of taking the elevator up a couple of floors, take the stairs.

If you’re not used to taking much exercise, then don’t start off by trying to walk 5 miles.  The Mayo Clinic recommends that you add 1,000 steps a week to your baseline average.  This means you are going to need a pedometer, and the first thing you should do is measure how many steps you take in an average day.  Very Well says that if you are an average American you will most likely be walking 5,000 steps in an entire day, (HA! I don’t believe a word of that, I’m certain the average Californian walks about 2,500 steps a day.)

The respected Mayo Clinic is very keen on walking as a form of exercise and even has a 12-week walking schedule based on work done by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

The benefits of walking include improving your blood pressure, energy, happiness, mental health, skin tone, sleep, stamina, strength, stress levels ~ as well as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, joint problems, obesity, a stroke, and nasty diseases in general.  On top of that you are going to look and feel a hell of a lot better.  The key to walking for health and fitness is to build walking into your daily schedule.

These days I am keen on meditation and mindfulness, but I find it difficult to meditate in the traditional fashion.  So, I meditate during yoga, and I also practice a form of walking meditation.  I have never been taught, nor led through yoga meditation or walking meditation, these are mindfulness practices which just came naturally to me.

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.  ~  Friedrich Nietzsche

All of us should also do some strength exercises, at least twice a week, particularly as we get older.  Personally I like to do some yoga, but I also add an isometric workout into my daily walk.   This two-for the price of one routine means that I make the most use of the couple of hours I spend in the fresh air and sunshine, (we sometimes get sunshine in England).

You don’t have to believe me that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good idea.  Just google 10,000 steps and you will come across loads of articles by people such as the well-respected Dr Mercola who say that walking 10,000 steps a day is a basic requirement for good health and fitness.

In life a couple of things now scare me; having a stroke and developing dementia.  If I can improve my chances of avoiding these life-destroying conditions, then a couple of hours walking every day seems a small price to pay.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Frittata

Real Men don’t eat quiche.

Not all frittata are called frittata, sometimes they’re called a quiche, and in this part of the world they may be called a ham and egg pie.  The thing is a good frittata is an extremely versatile dish.  One can make it for lunch, or a light dinner, and then have it for breakfast, lunch at work, or dinner with a salad the following day.

This is an interesting, quick, and easy recipe from Averie at Averie Cooks ~ kale and tomato frittata.  You can make this in 10 minutes, or if you’re like my friend in Southern California ~ a half-hour.

Kale and Tomato Frittata

This is a fabulous recipe from Heather Christo ~ frittata with shitiake mushrooms and goat’s cheese.  Some say they’re not a fan of goat’s cheese, without ever actually having tried it.  Trust me, this is a great combination.

Frittata with Shitiake Mushrooms and Goat’s Cheese

Heather has another fabulous-looking frittata, which was first featured in the Eggs post of Food on Friday ~ chive and brie frittata.

Chive and Brie Frittata

From Jessica Merchant at How Sweet It Is we have a spiralized sweet potato, kale, and bacon quiche, which looks a fabulous dish.  This recipe may also be better than a normal frittata to take to work for lunch because of the pasty base.

Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale, and Bacon Quiche

From Amanda Wren-Grimwood at Chez Le Rêve Français we have this wonderful seasonal vegetable frittata ~ and I think that’s brave for an English Lady living in France!

Seasonal Vegetable Frittata

I know that my friend in Southern California like butternut squash, (don’t ask me why), so just to please her I have found this recipe from English Lady Petra at Food Eat Love ~ butternut squash frittata.  I guess I could make it for my friend in SoCal…

Butternut Squash Frittata

In this part of England the nearest thing we usually get to a frittata, or a quiche for that matter, is a ham and egg pie, (sometimes and egg and bacon pie).  Savoury pie isn’t something I’ve often seen in my travels around the USA, but you guys should really try this old-fashioned egg and bacon pie.  What a great recipe for a picnic, or as something to take to the office for lunch.

Old Fashioned Egg and Bacon Pie

Finally for this week’s Food on Friday we have another one of those recipe compilations.  This one from All Recipes UK has 62 different frittata for you, including this dead easy onion frittata from Maria Antoniette.

Onion Frittata

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I’m afraid my friend Marmaduke

only likes his eggs soft boiled.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

get yourself free

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you reach the end of day

just wishing you could fly away

from people, places and possessions

but as happens with all commitments

you can find yourself caught in such a trap

you get so used to it you can’t find your way back

just assert yourself and hope they won’t all desert you

you know when you are not yourself every day just hurts

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Don’t Eat Meat

Take Good Care Of Yourself.

It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all.  Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.  ~  Julia Child

Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.  Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases.  (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)

Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…

There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well.  Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.

At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.

Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks.  Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish.  In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.

We are what we eat.  Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.  ~  Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.

It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health.  I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight.  It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.

Health is the natural condition.  When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance.  The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’.  ~  Jostein Gaarder

Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things.  When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates.  Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.

Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.

I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon.  Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too.  Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Senior Adventures

There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still a fire inside.

As we grow older, we are justified in taking far more risks, embarking on far more adventures, pursuing far more dangerous dreams, than is someone in their more youthful years.

It’s not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.  ~  Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I read an article in my news feed about a 101 years old great-grandfather who has just taken up skydiving.  You may think that sounds crazy, but what has Verdun Hayes got to lose?  The veteran of D Day has already lived a long life, and if he kills himself doing something dangerous, by how may days, months, or years has he cut his life short?  Not that many I’d bet.

Contrast this with a man in his twenties, who has just started a family ~ just the kind of man we would expect to go skydiving.  If he kills himself, not only has he cut his life short by maybe 50 years, he’s also orphaned his children and widowed his wife.  Maybe that young father should be careful, risk averse, not very adventurous.

I would argue that as we grow older we have much less to lose than we had when we were young, so why not gamble more, take more risks, become more adventurous in our senior years?

A twenty-three years long study in Ohio determined that people who saw growing older as something positive lived a whopping seven and a half years longer than those who didn’t.  ~  Victoria Moran

Later this year I’m flying out to California, picking up a Mustang convertible, meeting up with ‘the girl who rides shotgun’, then driving across California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming to witness a total eclipse of the sun on Monday August 21st.  I think that’s a pretty crazy adventure, but what have I got to lose?  Not a lot.

Taking risks with your wealth, health, and happiness, (not to mention taking risks with your life), is not really for the young.  As we grow older we can afford to gamble more because we have much less to lose.

Don’t waste your life by working another 10 years slaving away in that 40 hours a week job.  Have fun instead, add adventure to your senior years, you have nothing to lose except your unhappiness.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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