Monday, 30 May 2011

Gazpacho Soup FAIL

LOL! Covent Garden seem to have slightly lost the plot here, providing heating instructions for Gazpacho soup! I hope nobody follows them.

Blimey, even Delia knows that this soup should be CHILLED. That said, it was jolly pleasant. Could use a tad more garlic for my taste, but otherwise, it’s pretty close to how it should be, having eaten plenty of it in Spain.

Gazpacho Soup FAIL

Celebrity Shilling

imageWhat’s with this country nowadays that nobody has their own taste and opinion and they can’t even decide what to like unless some celebrity says so?

Case in point: I made a cake today (OK, only from a packet mix) and the instructions said to beat it with an electric mixer.

Well, I don’t have one and I don’t have a lot of strength and ability left in my wrists and hands now either, so after a few seconds of manual beating, my wrists were tired, my hands hurt and I wished I did have an electric beater.

So, off to Amazon / eBay to look for one … for next time.

And I’m met with an array of kitchen gadgets advertised as Delia’s cheats (although, I don’t see this a cheating: more of a *disability aid*), or marketed under the name of some so-called celebrity chef like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Antony Worrall Thompson, Marco Pierre White, James Martin, etc.

This, of course, is a win-win situation for the manufacturer who appears to get a celebrity endorsement and for the celebrity who’s paid to shill the said piece of junk. The only losers, of course, are we consumers, who inevitably pay more for the appliance than we would have if no name was attached to it.

But I think what riles me most about this situation is that, in order to market these items and shift enough of them off shelves to make a profit, these manufacturers seem to think that they need to treat us like idiots.

Do they honestly think that no *mere mortal members of the public* have ever been in a professional kitchen? (There’s enough *ordinary folk* being exploited to make cheap reality TV programs – including the cookery ones – to prove otherwise.) Because, as anyone who has ever been inside a professional kitchen (or is in possession of a bit of common sense) will know, the likelihood of any professional chef using a £20 plastic mixer in their busy professional kitchen is pretty close to the same as finding hen’s teeth or rocking horse poo!

There probably are people who believe that said celebrity actually uses the appliance in question. There are also probably not a few who actually believe (or at least hope) that the said item does possess the necessary qualities of robustness that is inferred by inferring professional use.

To me this seems deliberately misleading, dishonest and morally wrong.

What’s next, hookers advertising themselves by the name of the footballer they last shagged? Oh, sorry, that already happens, doesn’t it? Smile

One upon a time a decent brand name was enough. That’s what I want: a brand know for it’s quality, not merely for its associations with the latest in a long line of professional marketers. This has become impossible to buy, because reading the reviews, they’re full of stories like, “We just replaced the one we got as a wedding present 37 years ago …”, but “this last 9 months.”

That’s not just a decline in quality and standards, it’s taking in-built obsolescence and waste to a criminal level. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I thought we were supposed to be reducing waste, recycling, being green …

Today's Bargains

  • BNWOT Outdoor gear black / grey nylon canvass bag
  • Black canvas holdall / travel bag on wheels CABIN SIZE
Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Sunday, 29 May 2011

What is it like to have severe ME? Emily's story

"Severe ME is utterly devastating. It's time for proper research and proper care". That is the simple, but vitally important message that Emily is desperate for the world to hear. Beginning months ago, she has written a letter which she ho...pes will spread her message across the Internet and garner support for those severely affected by ME. Please help her achieve this.

(Permission to re-post)

Emily's Appeal

It has been said that the following is hard to read. But that is all we ask you to do: to read it, to forward/re-post it and to pledge your support for the many thousands of people like Emily who have to LIVE it.

"My name is Emily. I developed the neurological condition Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) when I was 6 years old. In April 2011 I turned 30. I still have ME.

ME coloured every aspect of my childhood; it painfully restricted my teens and it completely destroyed my twenties. Now, as I move into the next decade of my life, I am more crippled than ever by this horrific disease.

My doctors tell me that I have been pushed to the greatest extremes of suffering that illness can ever push a person. I have come very close to dying on more than one occasion. If you met me you may well think I was about to die now - it's like that every single day. After all these years I still struggle to understand how it's possible to feel so ill so relentlessly.

My reaction to small exertions and sensory stimulation is extreme. Voices wafting up from downstairs, a brief doctor's visit, a little light, all can leave me with surging pain, on the verge of vomiting, struggling with each breath and feeling I'll go mad with the suffering. Of course it can also be as bad as this for no particular reason - and often is. I cannot be washed, cannot raise my head, cannot have company, cannot be lifted from bed, cannot look out of the window, cannot be touched, cannot watch television or listen to music - the list is long.

ME has made my body an agonising prison.

My days and nights are filled with restless sleep interspersed with injections, needle changes (for a syringe driver), nappy changes (as well as experiencing transient paralysis and at times being blind and mute, I am doubly incontinent) and medicines/fluid being pumped into my stomach through a tube. My life could be better if I had a Hickman line (line which goes into a major vein and sits in the heart) for IV drugs and fluids, but such a thing would likely kill me. I'm on a huge cocktail of strong medications which help, yet still most days the suffering is incomprehensible. During the worst hours I may go without the extra morphine I need as I feel so ill that the thought of my mother coming near to administer it is intolerable - this despite pain levels so high that I hallucinate.

I live in constant fear of a crisis driving me into hospital; our hospitals have shown such lack of consideration for the special needs of patients like me that time spent in hospital is torture (eased only by the incredible kindness shown by some nurses and doctors) and invariably causes further deterioration.

Many days I feel utter despair.

But, unlike some sufferers, over the long years in which I've had severe ME (the illness began mildly and has taken a progressive course) I have at least had periods of respite from the absolute worst of it. During those periods I was still very ill, but it was possible to enjoy something of life. So in these dark days I know there is a real chance of better times ahead and that keeps me going.

My entire future, and the greatly improved health I so long for, however, currently hinges on luck alone. This is wrong. As I lie here, wishing and hoping and simply trying to survive, I (and the thousands like me - severe ME is not rare) should at least have the comfort of knowing that there are many, many well-funded scientists and doctors who are pulling out all the stops in the quest to find a treatment which may restore my health and that the NHS is doing all possible to care for me as I need to be cared for - but I don't. This wretched, ugly disease is made all the more so through the scandalous lack of research into its most severe form and the lack of necessary, appropriate support for those suffering from it. This is something that must change.

And that is why I tell my story; why I fight my painfully debilitated body to type this out on a smartphone one difficult sentence at a time and to make my appeal to governments, funders, medical experts and others:

Please put an end to the abandonment of people with severe ME and give us all real reason to hope."

By Emily Collingridge 2010-2011

You can support Emily and everyone with severe ME by joining the "Severe ME/CFS: A Guide to Living" Facebook group Both sufferers and non sufferers welcome! See also

Links of Interest (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Fluffy Friday


Or Flatulent Feline Friday as it’s known in these parts.

Young Balu snuggled up with my stuffed toy King Charles spaniel (who’s called Rufus, BTW), just before the near fatal farting incident the other day.

And he looks so cute and innocent, doesn’t he?

Sunday, 22 May 2011

After the rapture

I laughed so hard, now I need to go change my knickers!

Via: Richard Dawkins Foundation

Links of Interest (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Two snoozin’ kittehs




Quality’s not great, coz I had to grab these snapshots with my laptop’s webcam – moving the laptop very quietly and only slightly - because, if I’d have moved to get the camera they’d have thought it was food time (yet again) and would have gone to the kitchen at the speed of bullets leaving a gun.

And they have gone now, but they’d spent most of the evening curled up together like that by my right shoulder. Balu was even snoring!

Living ONE AWAY from Financial Crisis

This video may be about the situation in the US, but this is also the reality for many in the UK too and will apply to more and more people as benefit cuts hit.

It could apply to you too if you become ill, are involved in an accident, loose your job. It could be your parent or grandparent. Is this what we want?

Via: Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Links of Interest (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Links of Interest (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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