The ineptitude of British drivers (and cyclists)

I’m not saying I’m the best driver in the world, but when you see the state of some drivers on the road you do wonder how they managed to pass their driving tests. The prime example was the other night, me and my wife went shopping as we’re having a little get together on tonight and got blocked in, nearly crashed and almost ran over a cyclist.

First we went to our local Booths, as my wife likes us to eat mainly organic stuff and Booths has a good choice. I parked up and went to the ticket machine, the place was near enough empty, so imagine my surprise when I turn around and see my wife nearly run over as she got out the car by a middle-aged woman in a huge 4×4. If I was to know what was coming I would of cut my losses but after Booths we headed to Sainsbury’s to get some alcohol.

On our way to Sainsbury’s we encountered the usual drivers, the ones that pull out straight in front of you without warning even though you are in a white VW Polo that has its lights on by default and those who just can’t find the energy to indicate before abruptly turning a corner.

We parked up and got some alcohol before returning to the car. I put it in reverse only to find some random guy had decided to park his car right behind and wasn’t even looking. I bashed the horn and he looked at me as if I was stupid (that really pisses me off). On leaving the car park some guy jumped the red light and nearly side swiped us, luckily there was an empty lane next to ours so I was able to avoid a crash.

Then to top it all off I had to follow a guy on his bike cycling down the middle of the road on our way home. He pulled into the right hand lane of the roundabout, so you would think that he was going right, wrong. We followed him round the roundabout until he decided he was turning off without indicating and nearly got splattered across our bonnet, luckily our car is only a week old so the brakes are good.

By this time I was so frustrated, I parked up, got the shopping in and had a beer, I think I deserved it!

Frustration Sign

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Helping my wife with her new venture

We’re quite lucky that we can spend our days doing whatever we like now that I’ve made my money and got out of the rat race. I like to learn new thing and like the hands on approach so spend many a day in my workshop building and restoring random projects from furniture to motorbikes.

My wife on the other hand like to be in the kitchen and is a great cook. She loves making jam and always gives jar of it away to her friends and family, and sells it at the local fates. She’s decided that she wants to take it to the next level and has got herself a market stall in the local town, thing is she needs a bit of a guiding hand to make things look more professional, so I’ve decided to help.

We’ve already found a supplier for the glass jars, fabric covers and ties, and now just need some labels printed. Luckily I know a place through a friend called Data Label who specialise in all sorts of labels from barcodes to car window stickers, so have requested a quote for some custom printed labels.

Once we get the quote back and finish the design for our printed Labels from datalabel we can get an ideal of the finished product and work out how much each jar costs to make and how much we will charge.

I’ll probably get roped in to help once everything is up and running, but you know me I love talking to people, as long as it isn’t about how badly Leeds United are doing.

Jam, Yummy!

Jam, Yummy!

Picture: Matti Mattila

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My new favourite drink – the Old Fashioned

I like my bourbon and usually drink it on the rock or with a little dash of coke, but recently I’ve been watching a lot of Mad Men on Netflix and came across my new favourite drink the Old Fashioned.

This drink takes a normal bourbon and gives it a sweet injection with sugar, orange peel and a maraschino cherry, and it’s fast becoming my favourite drink (especially at home).

Here is the recipe if you fancy trying it yourself:

  • 50ml bourbon
  • 1tsp sugar syrup (alternatively you can use normal sugar)
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 2-3 drops of angostura bitters
  • Ice cubes as necessary
  • slice of orange peel (optional)

Preparation

  1. Take the orange peel and squeeze it through your fingers to release the scent, rub the peel around the inside of the tumbler and place into the glass.
  2. Add the sugar syrup (or sugar), cherry and bitters along with some ice and stir for approximately 10 seconds.
  3. Add the bourbon and stir for another 10 seconds.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Old Fashioned

Picture: Sam Howzit

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Middlesbrough vs Leeds – can I bear to watch?

small-football.jpgOh to be a Leeds supporter! It’s funny, one of my friends said the other day that he now knows what it feels like to be a Leeds supporter (he’s a Manchester United supporter), but in all honesty its not funny at all. Leeds really need to start putting together a decent run if they are going to get into the play-offs this season.

Things were looking up a couple of weeks ago after the 5-1 drubbing of Huddersfield and 2-1 win over Yeovil after being behind, but this went back to normal last week with a poor display against Brighton. We all know that Leeds are capable of beating any team in the league, but their inconsistency is a real problem.

We play Middlesbrough in the early kick off today, which I’ll be watching (through my hands probably) and anything less than a win could prove to be a massive problem for getting into the play-offs.

Leeds actually have a good recent record against Middlesbrough in Teesside and have won three out of the last four meetings, although they have not kept a clean sheet in their last 10 games. Hopefully that will change as Jack Butland is expected to make his debut for the club after joining on loan from Stoke this week; Cameron Stewart is also available after missing last week’s defeat to Brighton.

I’m predicting a Leeds win, obviously, but will be watching with baited breathe.

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My famous chicken noodle soup recipe

Yep, that’s right I do the odd bit of cooking once and a while, and one of my wife’s favourites is my chicken noodle soup. We are having some friends round for dinner at the weekend and my wife asked if I would make the soup for the starter, so I decided to share it on here too.

Ingredients (serves 6-8):

  • Chicken breast 500g
  • 3 carrots
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 hot chillies
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • ½ pack of medium noodles
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chilli powder to taste

Cooking

Start by chopping up all of the carrots, celery, onion and chillies whilst gently heating a pan with a tablespoon of oil in it. Put all the vegetables in and let it simmer for around 10 minutes until it softens.

While you’re waiting chop the chicken breast into cubes approximately 1 inch big, once the veg is softened put the chicken breast in and stir quite frequently so that the breast gets nicely seared.

Add approximately 1 litre of boiling water into a suitable jug and add the chicken stock cube, stir until it is fully dissolved.

Pour the chicken stock into the pan and leave to simmer away for approximately 5-8 minutes. Add the noodles to the pan and cook as per the instructions (usually around 4 minutes), you may need to add some more water to the pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste and if it needs a bit of an extra kick add some chilli powder.

Serve immediately or divide up into plastic containers and freeze.

Easy!

Hopefully my friends will like it, I might not put as many chillies in the soup this time as I don’t know how spicy they like it; FYI me and my wife like it hot ;-)

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GTA spoof gives you a taste of the West Country

You know me, anything for a laugh (and to have a bit of a skive), so when my wife tweeted me this funny Grand Theft Auto Cornwall video spoof I just had to share it.

Made by Cornish comedian Colin Leggo, this spoof video combines actual game footage with some West Country voiceovers. Whether it’s Michael searching for pasties, Trevor talking about parking tickets or Franklin buying ice cream, this video will crack you up.

Check it out below:

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