Will the U-turn on the “Pasty Tax” lead to a tax on all food?

And no, constant reader, that’s not as absurd an idea as you might think – read on.

There is a degree of anger on Twitter that people are perceived to be obsessing about the “pasty tax” when there are more important issues at stake and – to a degree, at least – they do have a valid point.

However, to view this as such a one-dimensional issue is probably a mistake.

For a start, forget the bloody pasties! This was a tax on all Continue reading

Pressure-cooker problems, and emergency computer power…

Last year I bought myself a new electric cooker, one with solid plates, and for one very good reason, they’re very easy to keep clean. For spoonies, that matters – a lot.

A lot of people, however, dislike solid plates as they’re slow to respond to the controls, being made of cast iron, which is slow to heat up, and slow to cool down. However, in normal cooking it is a simple matter to adjust your technique to suit these characteristics, turning Continue reading

Bread-making – getting the right-sized loaf tin…

Since, with warmer weather, some people get an urge to make bread, it seemed like a good idea to post this. By the way, as long as your kitchen isn’t frigid, winter is no bar to bread-making. Yeast requires no special conditions – if you’re comfortable, it will be too.

As I’ve said before, most tins sold as loaf tins, here in the UK, are seriously Continue reading

More #spoonie kitchen stuff…

Mostly, but not only, about knives, and cutting stuff…

I omitted several fairly essential subjects last time, not least that of knives, arguably the most vital of kitchen tools, of which I mentioned just one.

You don’t need a lot of knives, hell, to be fair you can get by with just 2 (chef’s and bread), but it does make life easier if, where there’s a task-specific knife, you use it. The 8” chefs’ knife, mentioned previously, is a pretty universal tool, one I used to use for almost all veg and meat prep (the Santoku knife, below, has now taken over for veg), slicing cheese, chopping herbs. I have a 4” utility knife, but I can’t tell you the last time I used it. The big knife gets used for everything, from the brutal – portioning a rabbit – to the delicate – Continue reading

The Arrowe Park Hospital Neglect ends now…

This is the text of my latest email to APH:-

Let me explain this as simply as possible. The crux of my complaint is that Dr. Newall has done absolutely nothing for me, in terms of treating my condition, which is potentially life-threatening, in 4 months.

I have read two research papers on the subject of aortic valve calcification and stenosis, and heart failure, and which take into account my symptom set (none of which is improved Continue reading

Arrowe Park Hospital – further down the pan…

This is their reply to my protest that taking two bloody months to resolve my complaint is ludicrous:-

Thank you for your email.  I have spoken with the Lead Nurse for the Division of Medicine and he has read your recent email.  As your complaint is fairly complex it was decided to give a period of 45 days for investigations.  As I gave you a date of 35 working days  we will of course aim to complete investigations by the 13.07.12.

I apolgise for any inconvenience caused.


And they can’t even be arsed to hit the spellcheck button, a major discourtesy in my book.** Nor can they count Continue reading

Has blogging changed me?

A Canadian blogger called timethief, based on Vancouver Island, with whom WordPress users might be familiar from the support forums, posed a question earlier this week on her blog – Has blogging changed you?

This, for what it’s worth, is my response – somewhat tweaked, I wrote the original late at night when I was tired, so this reflects rather more accurately what was going through my mind. Or trying to. You can read the original, should you wish (it’s about 300 words shorter), along with the rest of her blog, here .

If you’re a novice blogger timethief’s blog is a mine of information. We approach blogging advice from different directions, timethief from the nuts and bolts angle, me from what I know best, the writing angle.

You can find most of my posts on the subject here  but try using the search box to search for “blogging” “language” and “writing” should bring up more. Try with and without the quotes.

So, has blogging changed me? I’ve been thinking about that since the email thudded into my Inbox a few days ago, and the answer, now as then, is Continue reading

A kitchen tip for #spoonies…

If, like me, you like fresh herbs, but never have them when you want them, and popping out to the shops really isn’t an option, there is a solution. It also works for some vegetables too.

About 10 years ago, growing my own basil, I ended up with a glut, as you do, and there’s only so much pesto one can make before terminal ennui sets in and/or you run out of jars. I knew that freezing it would result in a bag of green mush, so I looked around for a better way.

I have a technique for freezing veggies, like the Continue reading

Arrowe Park Hospital fiasco rumbles on…

Thank you for your reply, but I’m deeply perturbed to see that it’s going to take 2 months to resolve this fiasco – what happened to 35 days (as per your original email)?

Arguably the main reason for my complaint is that my condition is treatable (manageable, not curable), and yet it has not been. It would take roughly Continue reading

A question eternally asked, and eternally unanswerable.

The question, of course, is “Why me?”

I have to say that this is one question it’s never occurred to me to ask. One might as well ask, with equal validity, “why not me?”.  It simply doesn’t matter. Shit, as our transatlantic cousins are wont to observe, happens.

I might as well ask why I’m shorter than average. Worrying about why I’m not tall (it’s Continue reading