Sunday 6th February 2011

I need to change the layout of this blog but don’t know how.  All these little boxes and headings on the screen look like an aircraft cockpit and mean absolutely nothing to me. Everyone says WordPress is easy.  It probably is if you understand ‘PC-speak’, but for me, it just makes what I think should be simple, SO, so difficult.  Why can’t they make it easier?  Grrr.  I need help!  Ok; let’s go:

Rosie by name …

And by nature.  It was “Such fun” making my Radio debut on Rosie Wilby’s show last Tuesday.  She’s an excellent interviewer/presenter, and I had a jolly good time with Rosie, Sophia Blackwell and Suzi Ruffell, and we were ALL very lucky to have David McAlmont and Guy Davies sing/play for us.  It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  (I was going to say the hairs on my legs, but that’s not an image you’d want in your head.)  Oops; did I write that out loud?

Ok.  Want to know what a foodie who hasn’t got any money buys on a day out in London?  The only two shops I visited were some huge organic place near Mary Portas’ office (where everything was a third more expensive than I pay at home), where I got these wraps, as Sainsbury’s has suddenly stopped doing their organic ones (they were the only ones on the market that didn’t have a hundred chemicals in them), and Selfridges.  I went to the Lower Ground Floor and found this excellent champagne glass in a Muji concession-bit I passed en-route to the toilet, then went straight back up into the Food Hall and bought this tube of No5 paste.  That was it.  How many women could go to the West End and shop/spend so little?  Years of practise being a pauper (and living in one room with nowhere to put anything), has made it oh, so easy for me!  Let’s talk some more about food …

End of ‘Service’

So, Michel Roux’s Service is over. Let’s hope he does another one next year.  Don’t you just love his Dad and his Uncle too?  I’m old enough to remember a TV Series they did in the 80s called Take Six Cooks.  Anyone else remember it?  I’ve still got it on video!  It was so lovely at the end to see Ashley win one of the scholarships. They ought to screen this series in schools to show children that there’s more out there than a life on Benefits if you didn’t achieve much but are prepared to WORK for it.  Those trainees were mostly from poorer backgrounds, but every single one of them has ended up on a proper career path after having stuck it out and compled their training.  I think that’s one of the things which made this show so endearing: the fact that they blossomed from a group of teenagers with ‘Attitude’ to responsible, sensible young adults. Thank you so much to the BBC for telling us all what they’re doing at the end too, as so many programmes leave you guessing – which is infuriating!

Overlapping nicely is the latest series of Donald Trump’s The Apprentice USA. If you’re quick you can catch Eps 1/2 on iPlayer until tomorrow night, then Eps 3/4 are on BBC1 12.20am Tuesday (Monday going into Tuesday!).   I’ll be blogging about that for a bit now!  (Haven’t even got time to start on Mary Portas and Great Fat Gypsy Weddings or we’ll be here all day!)  I’ll just say one thing though: isn’t it lucky it hasn’t rained on any of those brides?  Trying to even get out of the car’s been a struggle for some of them; think how awful it must be to have to also try and keep all that material off the floor if it’s wet? Can’t imagine how they could do it …

Returning to my visit to ‘Nursey’ last week: what I didn’t tell you (was too traumatised after my ‘ladies’ appt/hygienist attack), was that at the end, she suddenly announced that she wanted to weigh me.  I won’t lie: I wasn’t expecting it.  I wanted to tell her to please not bother, but didn’t dare so stepped up …

It wasn’t good news.  Unlike some, I’m ok on the eating/drinking front up to Christmas; it’s what happens next that does for me …  I have a Birthday early January, so figure it’s not worth cutting back until after that (fair enough?), but after the misery of New Year’s Eve (see blog 2nd Jan), and the realisation that I’m now not only another year older, but even worse off in every way than I was the year before, I end up sitting alone in my room night after night, eating and drinking on a loop right the way through January.

(I know it’s hard to tell us apart, but it’s Bridget Jones in this picture, not me.  I’m just setting the scene.)  This year has been no exception (only worse!), so having to suddenly stand on a set of scales was really not a part of the plan!  The long and short of it is that I am on the wagon as of 4th Feb.  I’m back to healthy eating and am going to try not to have a drink (oh God!) until I can get back into my ‘thin’ jeans.

It’s not made any easier by the fact that I can’t go and cook what I want when I want.  As you’ll know, my life’s heading along a straight path … in the wrong direction, and I’m currently living at home with my dad.  I want to tell you all about how trying it is (my father has quite a lot of unpleasant and irritating habits), but I won’t, as I’m Positive Thinking, so keep reminding myself that I’m lucky to have a roof over my head and shouldn’t complain about it (even though I want to).  Ooh, don’t get me started …


Someone’s already told me it’s yesterday’s news, but I’ve found it relatively easy to get up and running with, so am sticking with it for now.  It lets you send things to places – or something.  What it means to me is that I can send things I’ve recorded onto my iTunes to people without having to record it onto a CD and then give/post it to them.  Take a look at it.  They explain it better than I can!

This Week’s ‘Handy’ Hints

Don’t spend 14 hours doing your blog: then go home and watch 2 hours or TV before getting into bed and reading for an hour.  You’ll wake up the next morning feeling as if you’ve got a hangover (except that you haven’t, because you haven’t had a drink for 2 days), and especially don’t then sit there for another 7 hours next morning finishing off your blog before you eat some beans on toast, as you’ll just feel dizzy and unwell (especially if you’re on a healthy eating kick and are eating wholemeal toast … )  If you’re following me on Twitter this will make sense.  If not, it probably won’t!

You know when you cook a frozen pizza and the edge is burned and the middle’s still frozen? Not any more.  Never mind all that “Cook from Frozen” rubbish they write on the box; plan ahead and get it out of the freezer at least an hour before you need it: sorted.  The same goes for those microwave frozen ones.  I don’t eat a lot of pizza (even though I’d like to!), but always have one in the freezer for emergencies, and always use this method.

I saw Jamie Oliver do something clever last week too. “Crackin’ tip here mates; so listen-up.  Now, if you like your pizza well-crispy, then whack it in a red-hot frying pan and dry-cook that base ’til it’s monster crisp, then slam it under the grill and get some hot love goin’ on the top.  Look at that: what a feast.  Pukka.” (Close your eyes and you’d never know it wasn’t him, would you?)

It’s good to use a plain margherita and load it up with things you actually want (and know where they’ve come from) too!  I don’t trust any toppings on a shop-bought pizza … I barely trust a margherita, but until I live by myself again and can make my own (without my dad coming in and sticking his fingers in it), needs must!

This Week’s ‘Fabulous Food ’ of the Week

I’m starting you off with Two for the Price of One (as it’s a new feature), just to get the ball rolling!  The first is from Waitrose.  It’s cheap; low-fat/calorie and very yummy. They’re thin, crispy sheets that – when you first bite into one – you don’t think actually taste of anything, but they’ve got a really subtle flavour that makes them good for eating on their own, or with a dip etc.  An unopened packet looks dead good casually displayed on your kitchen table/worktop too (not that I could do that or my dad would have covered it in jam after five minutes – don’t ask)!

The second, I don’t have a picture of, but if you can get hold of FRESH ‘Rose Harissa’ from a Deli, it’s to die for.  Don’t worry about the ‘Rose’ bit if you’ve never had it before: you can’t taste the roses!  It’s a sort-of smoky/spicy chilli stuff that’s perfect for adding to almost anything savoury: pasta, sauces, stews, yogurt (to make a dressing/dip), plain houmous (pick your own spelling!) to jazz it up, or to simply dip good bread into and eat with a glass of wine. Pure bliss.  More next week …

Quote of the Week

I’d got already one lined-up, but heard this last night so couldn’t not use it.  I caught it quite by chance on that programme Million Pound Drop on C4.  Two young women (who were presumably going on to a nightclub after), had to choose from multiple choice answers to this question: “What did Mick Hucknall apologise for in an interview in the Guardian in December 2010?” Their top answer?  “His music.”  You couldn’t make it up!

Any Other Business (A new feature I’ve just this second come up with!)

Does anyone around Swindon know how to use WordPress really well and would be prepared to come in and explain what most of it means and teach me to use it better? Just send me an email and I’ll get straight back to you.

If you liked Thirtysomething and Ally McBeal, you’ll love Brothers & Sisters.  It’s Series 5 on TV now, but they’re all out on DVD or online, and are just SO lovely that you’ll want to go and live with them!   A wonderful blend of drama/humour.

Been watching Episodes on BBC2 Monday nights?  Amusing satire poking fun at both UK and US comedy!

Been watching Nurse Jackie on BBC1 Saturday nights?  Gently draws you in and grips you.  Funny/dramatic and only half an hour an Ep, so not too taxing!  Series 2 is on now, but Series 1 is out on DVD.

Valentine’s Day’s coming up apparently.  (Means nothing to me … )  It’s probably too late to get a Valentine’s Card now (they’re already selling Halloween stuff in my local Tesco), but not yet too late to get your Valentine a lovely book with two gorgeous love stories in it (one new one, and the other – a reawakening), as well as romance, excitement (and some sex too)!  Just get back to the home page and click to grab yourself a copy of “Just Good Friends?” It’ll make you go “Aah.”

If you want to hear more of this random rubbish – like what coffee I’m mostly drinking this week (Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Mexican), then click on the link to follow me on Twitter (janereynolds8) where I waste  … oops, spend quite a bit of time.  Just seen this: “If you see an Arsenal supporter walking a dog today, get them to call 0800 4-0 4-1 4-2 4-3 4-4 for free advice on how to hold on to a lead.” If you like a giggle, there’s a lot to amuse you on Twitter!


Ha.  This is a perfect example of how WordPress doesn’t work.  I wanted a photo of the coffee, so looked online.  They didn’t have one, but for some strange reason, had this (above).  I copied it, but forsomereasoncompletelyknownonlytoitself, it would only print half of it.  After 20 minutes trying to fix it, in desperation I’ve somehow managed to paste it in, but now it won’t wrap-around.  THIS is why I need help.  DRIVES ME POTTY.

And it’s not WYSIWYG, and and it decides for itself where it wants to put spaces, and it puts speech marks the wrong way round sometimes – like it has today: twice (have you spotted where?), for no apparent reason.  Why?  AAARRRRGGGGGHHH!  Oops; I’m building up to a rant, so better stop while I can!

What?  I’ve promised you a video of duck for the last two weeks?  You remembered?  Ok. Hang on.  Right: enjoy! Half an hour later … nope; it won’t upload.  Keeps telling me there’s an HTTP error. Haven’t a clue what it means, but I OFFICIALLY HATE WORDPRESS AS IT DOESN’T EVEN TELL YOU WHAT THAT’S SUPPOSED TO MEAN!  I’ll try to get it sorted out for next week.  Bye, bye, bye.

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