Blending flour to your own specification…

A few days ago, I ordered some more flour. As I’d got the hang of the slightly problematic Shipton Mill type 701 strong white flour (or so I thought), I decided I’d go with that again, because it does make very nice, very light, bread even, as with my current loaf, with a hefty freight of oat bran. And then a loaf I was just about to put in the oven collapsed as I slashed it. Bugger, I thought – or something…

I’d talked to Shipton Mill about the apparently low gluten content of the 701, and they said Continue reading

Toxic tamping mat warning…

I’ve just bought a “rubber” tamper mat from The Espresso Shop. There is just one tiny snag – it’s not rubber, it’s some sort of bituminous compound.

I’ve worked with bitumen in the past – I was an estimator for a roofing company – and I have no doubt about what I have here. Bitumen is toxic and carcinogenic; not very, but you sure as hell don’t want it around food or drink, if only because of the stink. Which is a big problem, as it Continue reading

The big lie exposed… there are no jobs.

The Treasury has announced that the budget will cost 1.3million jobs.

The government said they want to get the disabled and the unemployed into work.

They are, of course, mendacious bastards who wouldn’t know truth or honesty if it bit them in the arse.

As I said yesterday, “plans” to get the disabled and the unemployed working are a crock – there are no jobs – and soon Continue reading

Plinky Prompts? No thanks…

“Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky Prompts,” says WordPress, and “Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a challenge — and you type in an answer. To keep it interesting, prompts are a mixed bag of fun commands (“Write a haiku about the last meal you ate”) to more thoughtful questions (“What is your favorite summer memory?”) ”

To which, based on those two naff suggestion, all I can find to say is, for pity’s sake, what the hell do you think we are – 12? Anyway, my favourite summer memory really isn’t suitable for a blog, thank you so much.

If a person becomes a blogger, it’s not unreasonable to expect that they actually have something to say, and some talent with which to say it. That it’s Continue reading

Problems with My Espresso Ltd – Update…

Got my money back – the refund appeared in my account this morning – and they went right down to the wire with it.

However, if you have similar problems, be aware that I’ve been told by Consumer Direct (the organisation that’s been inserted as a buffer between the public and Trading Standards) – and hey, you’ll just love this – you can Continue reading

The coalition – a force for evil?

If you’re chronically sick and disabled, unemployed, or a single parent, after the news of the past week or so, I think it’s a very fair question.

Yesterday we had Ian Duncan Smith going for the Stupid Bugger of  the Year award, by suggesting that the unemployed, living in social housing, be forced to move from areas of high unemployment to areas where there are plenty (ha!) of jobs.

His argument is that the middle classes routinely Continue reading

Pain – the problems and dangers of control…

For new readers, or old readers that might have missed it, a little background about pain as it affects me.

The most dominant pain is that resulting from being struck by lightning, in the hills of North Wales, in the summer of 1983. This damaged most of my joints, but those in my legs are affected more than others, and it quite literally fried my feet, internally – melting the fatty pads in the soles, so that all that’s between the bones of my feet is skin and a very thin layer of muscle, the effect being akin to walking on shingle. It also destroyed an expensive pair of walking boots. I have no doubt Continue reading

Problems with My Espresso Ltd…

A you may know from this post I cancelled my espresso machine order with My Espresso Ltd, because they screwed up.

First they said it had been despatched, then they said no, it hadn’t, but it would be that day, followed by oops, we don’t actually have any stock of this machine – despite, at no point, flagging the item as out of stock on their website.

So, seriously pissed off, I cancelled my order on June 16 (and subsequently ordered the same machine for less elsewhere), giving them 10 days to refund my money – £315.00 – or I would recover it through the courts. To date, they haven’t done so. And if you think going into threat mode so soon is Continue reading

The chronically sick and disabled – whither now?

Here comes the new boss,
Same as the old boss.

We will get screwed again… (with apologies to The Who)


Someone asked me what we can do, in the light of yesterday’s budget. Well, emigrate, would be my best suggestion. Not feasible for most of us, though, we can’t afford the medical bills.

Tempting though it might be, I don’t think lying on the floor, drumming your heels and screaming will help overmuch either.

As for introducing new DLA medical assessments by 2013, well, really, they couldn’t be any worse than those administered by Atos. If the assessments are honest, then I don’t have a problem. Which, in reality, probably means Continue reading

We’re all doomed! (copyright, the Daily Mail)…

Just one hour listening to an MP3 player can damage hearing‘ shrieks the Daily Mail.

Cobblers, say I.

Look, this happens every generation – I have little doubt it happened when the Victrola came along. We had it in the sixties, with transistor radios and their single ear-piece. By the eighties, the doom-mongers, having lingered in clubs with their forecasts of music-induced deafness during the seventies, had moved on to the Sony Walkman. Yep, we were all going to go deaf.

Remarkably, here we are, Continue reading