Category Archives: Lifestyle

So, is this the beginning of the end  or just the end of a beginning?

Mum died on August 14th. She was 82, had dementia and a right leg shorter than her left leg by some three inches and ………  she’d picked up clostridium difficile from somewhere and that’s what killed her in the end. The end of an era.

Bro was booked to be away from his Western Australian home for a while, closest of the older cousins were in a similar quandary and allatsea was due to be, allatsea on the Dogger Bank.

The end result was that the funeral took place some six weeks after her death. It was in two parts, a short service at her local RC church and then a civil secular service at the crematorium. As these things go, both were poignant and heartfelt and, thankfully, well attended. She was a popular lady known, to many, as generous and kind-hearted. Her send-off was fitting. Hopefully.

Now all is quiet. The last of the visitors from afar have gone, memsahib allatsea is back at work. Allatsea will get of his lazy bottom at the end of the week and travel north to Newcastle for a two week spooling attendance. Crushingly boring usually, but fitting in this case and frankly, welcome. Life, as it is, will become ‘normal’ again, probably.

Over the last five years or so, with stresses put in place by the needs of our two oldies, a great desire for a state of play, notionally referred to as ‘normal’, has been expressed here at the Towers. The concept of a ‘normal’ life seemed as out of reach as it was hard to imagine. Now, with both oldies gone (UB in March and mum recently), the spectre of ‘Normality’ looms large and, sad to say, does not seem as utopian or as tangible as was expected.

Yet another lesson to learn it seems.

 

Wott? No children?

Can you ever truly come to terms with desperately wanting a child, but never having one? It’s not just a question for females.

It’s a simple question that is deceptively difficult to answer. It’s one my husband and I have asked ourselves, as we’ve struggled to start a family of our own.

And we are far from alone. It’s thought one in four women born in the 1970s will reach 45 without giving birth. For those born in the 1960s , as is the case with your blogger, that figure is already running at one in five. The vast majority are childless through circumstance, rather than choice.

Even so we hear very little from them.

Jessica Hepburn is 43 and has been trying to have a baby for nine years with her partner, Peter. “It’s like a bruise,” says Jessica about the emotional impact of failing to have a biological child, “whenever you press it, it hurts. I often wonder what our kids would have looked like – Peter’s hair, my eyes? I always imagined motherhood would be part of my life. Creating a child with the person you love – it’s a very natural, strong desire for me.”

It’s one Jody Day, who began trying for a baby with her husband when she was 29, also felt. “At the time, I dedicated everything to having a family. At no point did the idea that it wouldn’t happen, come to me.” Now aged 49, she says time has helped her cope with the grief of not conceiving. “People come to me and they say, can you get over childlessness? And I say, it’s not the flu – it’s a lifelong thing. I am happy now, but, not having children broke my heart. No doubt about it, it broke my heart.”

The stress of trying and failing to have a child led Jody into a bout of depression. “There was one day that I lay on the floor of my flat and thought, I will stand up when I can think of a compelling reason to do so. I kept asking myself ‘what is the point of my existence?’ I had to go very deep to find a reason to carry on.”

Jessica Hepburn has had 11 rounds of IVF

Jessica, whose infertility is unexplained, chose to undergo 11 rounds of gruelling IVF treatment, at a cost of £70,000. She has only recently paid off the debt.

She chose not to tell her friends and family everything she was going through, including a life threatening ectopic pregnancy and several miscarriages.

“I kept it absolutely away from my colleagues and I would go and have egg collection very early in the morning and be back at my desk by 10am. My ectopic pregnancy was discovered at three months and even though I was rushed to hospital, no one knew the full story. I also had a miscarriage at nine weeks and several biochemical pregnancies, which are very early miscarriages, and then of course a few unsuccessful rounds of IVF as well. Because we always felt so close, I couldn’t give up.”

Jessica says that along with the disappointment, she also felt ashamed about what was happening to her. “I think shame is a massive factor in not being able to have a child – feeling just so desperately that you want to be like everybody else, but somehow you’re not, and feeling ashamed that you can’t do what everybody else does. You’re hiding the fact that you’re disappointed that your life hasn’t worked out how you hoped.”

For women like Jessica, coping with a sense of loss can, albeit unwittingly, be made worse by the reaction of others – inviting the empathy while eschewing pity, there’s a difficult balance to strike and it has the potential to strain close relationships.

Jody Day founded Gateway Women for childless women

Jody Day’s marriage eventually broke down and by the time she had recovered from depression she realised her circle of friends – who’d got pregnant with ease – had moved in another direction. “My contemporaries were all having children. I think that’s when it started to get difficult. Because I realised that I had become a sort of social pariah as a single childless woman.

“And it was a dawning realisation that I just wasn’t getting invited anywhere anymore. Our lives had taken very different paths. It’s very hard to accept that. There’s so much unspoken stuff here. It’s a taboo to talk about it. And I think it’s really, really hard to admit.”

Embedded in the English language are a plethora of offensive labels: Barren, selfish, spinster, career woman (we never use career man).

After her divorce Jody dated other men, but by 43 she experienced early menopause. She says it was that biological change that helped her to come to terms with her childlessness, “I’ve done the journey of wanting to be a mother. I’ve come out the other side of it. I’m post-menopausal now and goddess oestrogen has left the building. I don’t crave a baby any more – that part of my life is over.”

  • The age of mothers has been rising since 1975 in England and Wales, according to the ONS
  • Possible factors mentioned by the ONS include: increasing importance of a career, instability of partnerships and labour market uncertainty
  • Fertility rate for women aged 40 or over has nearly trebled since 1991
  • The average age of a mother in England and Wales was 30.0 years old in 2013. In Scotland the latest figure was 29.7 and in Northern Ireland it was 30.1, both for 2012

Reaching this point has given Jody a sense of freedom, and the time to carve out a new identity. She has three masters degrees and is training to be a counsellor – specialising in adolescent and child psychology.

Yet she still meets people who struggle to know how to react to her situation. ”Often people get focused on the idea that we’ve chosen this in some way or that we just haven’t done the right thing – and get stuck for what to say.

“The very first time was when I was still married and still trying to conceive. I was at a cocktail party when a woman comes over to me and says, ‘so you know, if you don’t manage to get pregnant, would you consider adopting?’ And I was just taken aback and I replied ‘No… I… I don’t think so’. We were suddenly in this incredibly intimate conversation, without warning, and she looked at me and said ‘but then you obviously don’t really want children then’ and walked off. ”

In her chatroom, Jody says, women describe these all too frequent – and entirely inappropriate – reactions as “bingos”.

‘All the childless women I know feel very self-conscious about it,’ says Paula Coston

The suggestion that people who fail to have biological children should automatically choose adoption as a substitute is at best unthinking and at worst reckless. Experts often advise that parenting adopted children is a rewarding and sometimes challenging experience that potential adopters should think about carefully and commit to fully. The process is rigorous and emotionally challenging and is a unique path to parenthood in its own right.

Paula Coston, 59, had a high-flying career in publishing, when offices still resembled an episode of Mad Men. Her life brimmed with glamorous parties and exotic travel – but not the right man with whom to start a family. She’s now experiencing the isolation that Jody describes, a second time around.

“My friends are at that stage now where their children are about to have a child or certainly thinking about it and so I’m bracing myself for this new sort of wave of the experience to come over me really.”

Her life is busy with work, family and friends, but she worries that the difficult emotions she dealt with years ago may bubble up again. “I have a feeling that I will feel yet more distance from the people I know who are becoming grandparents. I will not only not be able to relate to them as parents but I will not be able to relate to them as grandparents either. I will be aware, I think, that there’s a bit more distance between me and that whole side of family life.”

As a single, childless, older woman, in some ways Paula gets a particularly raw deal – sidelined for failing to snag a partner, failing to have children and then daring to age.

Paula argues that, society as a whole, tends to neglect childless women (men get short thrift too) – and to its cost. “As a group we are increasingly cut off and underused,” says Paula. “Where are the mentoring schemes, how can we hand down our skills, why aren’t our opinions about children’s futures taken into consideration?

“We have great life experience and empathy that could really benefit others. I know I’d love to pass on my skills.”

Snips from an email trail

Snips from an email trail

23/11/2016
Morning all,
It’s a no go on both forecasts I’m afraid. So be it.
Bearing in mind that we’re now on the way back to spring tides it’s not looking hopeful for a while.
I understand that Client and Contractor are having a powwow at this very moment, what that can achieve other than either waiting out here until next spring or going home for tea we’ll have to see.
Brgds
Bosun Bill
And there’s more
Evening all,
The crane man is happy with the crane tests and will depart the vessel shortly.

The ETD Waalhaven is 2200 tonight. I expect we’ll make slow progress into the weather for the first 20 hours or so but it’ll ease then so an ETA of daybreak on Wednesday is a safe enough estimate. I’ll update you as the voyage progresses. We’ll have no client rep until he joins us at location.
Brgds
Bosun Bill
And more;
Recipient one to moaning attendee,

I know what you mean old mucker. This could well turn out to be one of the great personal challenges of the year for you, of your life, perhaps but let’s not big it up overly. You’re a drama queen at the best of times. Dressing up your hissy fits as barely controlled anger…..you don’t fool this boy ;o)

Onwards, spoonful of cement and harden up, challenge accepted, all will be managed.

And the catalyst……….
Offshore Worthing, dodgy toofs (broken bridge), achey bits (god knows
what) and a sense of gloom all enveloping me one way or another and having told us we were going into Southampton tonight, now find we’re not. Gittbags to a man. Sort of.
Have made an appointment to see Mr Housepain for dental repairs at 1330 on Thursday, hope to goodness I can make it without grief one way or the other. All unwelcome and un-necessary stress.

Cheesed off with it to be honest.

Hurrumphh!

Moaning man.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Well Played, Lilian And Oliver!

Michael Cochrane (Oliver Sterling)

On Tuesday evening, Lilian took a phone call from Rob – he has seen an AmSide property – Hillside – on the website and it looks just what he’s looking for, so when can Lilian show him round? She is stunned – how did he know about the property, as it has only been on the website for about 10 minutes?

That’s the question she asks Justin the following day and he admits that he might have mentioned it to Rob. Lilian cannot believe that Rob would have the nerve to ask her, but Justin, who seems to have no idea of the depth of anti-Titchener feeling among the majority of inhabitants of Ambridge, doesn’t see what the problem is. Lilian says, somewhat incredulously, “You’re talking about the man who raped my niece and you want me to put a roof over his head?” Justin points out that Rob hasn’t been convicted of anything and he is lucky to escape without being struck.

Later on, Lilian is still in a bad mood and Justin apologises if he had been insensitive. Lilian refuses his offer of lunch and tells him “How do you think my family would feel – how would I feel – if I became his landlord?” Justin suggests that it could be a good thing for Helen, if Rob is free to start a new life, but “the decision has to be yours alone. As ever, I trust your impeccable judgement.” That’s not strictly accurate, as, when Justin was thinking of taking Rob on, Lilian advised against it and Justin ignored her advice.

Lilian mulls it over and, on Thursday, she tells Rob face to face that she has ‘other plans’ for Hillside. He retorts that he has found a better property on the Edgeley Road anyway and drives off. For her part, Lilian goes to The Bull, inviting Neil and Eddie to join her (“my treat”) to celebrate turning Rob down as a tenant. Eddie is all for it, but Neil says better not, as Susan will smell beer on his breath and bang on about the diet again. “But I wouldn’t say no to one of Wayne’s pork pies” he says, brightly. Well done, Lilian!

You do have to wonder about the blind spot that Justin has when it comes to Rob – he treats him as a normal, human being. The only other person who does that is Alan, and he has to, as that’s his job as vicar. On Friday evening, Justin invites Rob round to discuss an upcoming takeover – he wants Rob to help him with the research. Justin asks if he was disappointed at not getting Hillside? Not at all; in fact, Rob says Lilian has done him a favour, as he’s away from all the petty prejudice that he encounters in Ambridge.

Justin seems genuinely concerned, asking Rob if that bothers him much? “I barely notice it now” Rob tells him, to which Justin observes that it still cannot be very pleasant. “Water off a duck’s back,” Rob says, adding: “I shouldn’t have got tangled up with one of the oldest families in the district. I was never going to get a fair hearing, was I, so why bother fighting it?” Justin calls this attitude “very philosophical” and Rob replies that that’s the way he’s always been. “Even at school, I’d rather be right than popular” he says, inviting the comment that one out of two isn’t bad.

Justin describes this as “a refreshing approach” and expresses the hope that Rob stays that way. Is the man insane? The two talk of Charlie Thomas and his shortcomings and Justin says that Damara and BL are building for the future and what will be needed in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time. Rob isn’t averse to a bit of crawling and tells his boss “I don’t have divided loyalties – whatever the job, you can always count on me.”

Going back to Thursday, it wasn’t a good day for Rob. As well as getting blown out of renting Hillside, he receives an unexpected visit from Oliver. Rob is very affable, inviting him in and Oliver is icily formal, refusing offers of drinks and seats. Rob apologises for missing the first meet of the season, but he will definitely be at the next meet. “That’s what I’ve come to see you about” Oliver tells him.

We learn a bit later that Rob has been thrown out of the Hunt and he tells Oliver bitterly “I didn’t think that you’d been taken in by Helen’s slanderous allegations” and “If the foul things she claimed in court were true, why haven’t I been arrested and charged? It’s because the police know I’m innocent.” Oliver replies that it’s nothing to do with Helen; it’s Hunt business. Specifically, the fact that Oliver knows that Rob lied about the incident with the Hunt saboteur. It is revealed that Shula has grassed Rob up and he is furious, saying “Shula is Helen’s cousin – she’s doing this to get at me.” Still maintaining his dignity, Oliver says “I trust Shula implicitly.” “More fool you!” Rob rants “The whole family is two-faced!” Oliver calmly lays Rob’s subscription cheque on the table and says he’d better leave, as Rob shouts “There are better Hunts in the county who’ll be delighted to have me join, so you and Shula and all the rest can just go to hell!” This was the day before Rob told Justin that he barely notices the prejudice he encounters, incidentally. Well done Oliver – pity you didn’t have your horsewhip with you, but I commend your restraint.

Toby returns from Brighton on Sunday and begins unloading boxes at Rickyard Cottage. It turns out that he has brought back a still and is going to distil his own gin. Is that strictly legal? Toby thinks it is, telling Pip that he doesn’t need a licence if he’s not selling it. If that’s true, why aren’t we all doing it? He tells Pip that they are “Two pioneers, laying down foundations for a massive business” and she, while still angry because he went off to Brighton and only told her just before he left, nevertheless reluctantly agreed to act as his guinea pig gin taster. I’d watch it Pip – knowing Toby, he’ll distil the sort of alcohol that kills you, rather than makes you happy. It’s a pity that bullshit is not a valuable, marketable commodity – if it were, then Toby would be the richest man in Borsetshire, or possibly the world.

I understand that whisky has to be aged for at least three years, but Toby’s gin is ready for tasting on Thursday. It’s revolting – he appears to have added herbs etc by the shovel load and Pip takes one gulp and that’s it. She makes various derogatory comments, and a suddenly-earnest Toby says that he’ll start another batch tonight and tweak the recipe. “I need the money, Pip I’ve got to make this work.” Well, good luck with that, say I.

Elizabeth is worried because Freddie doesn’t appear to be making any friends at college and she asks Johnny to keep an eye out for him and talk to him. The two lads travel home on the bus together on Wednesday and Freddie says that his classmates tend to keep themselves to themselves. He is regarded as posh (a couple refer to him as ‘Downton’) and living at Lower Loxley doesn’t help – if he invites people back, they might think he’s showing off, and if he doesn’t, then he’s standoffish. Johnny recalls his first few days at college, when people mocked him for his northern accent. “I’m sorry, I can’t understand a word you’re saying” Freddie replies, perplexedly. OK, I admit that last bit was a total fabrication, but it would have been good. In an effort to cheer Freddie up, Johnny invites him home to share pizza and beer with him and Tom. I’m not entirely convinced that that is what Elizabeth meant when she asked Johnny to keep an eye on her son.

At Home Farm, Adam is being pursued by Brian, moaning about the state of the autumn crops and how they mustn’t let Justin see how bad they are. Adam unloads his woes on David, telling him that things at Home Farm are pretty grim – Kate is bemoaning the lack of people signing up for the panto, Lilian is miserable (this was when she was a bit arsey with Justin) and Brian is the worst of the lot. “The main trouble with Brian is – well – he’s Brian” Adam tells David and apologises for Brian’s rudeness earlier in the week (Brian interrupted their conversation on Monday to drag Adam off to inspect the bad crops). “I wish he had more faith in me” Adam says. David tries to be positive, saying how good the no-till and herbal leys are and Adam mustn’t let Brian wear him down. “I’m not sure how much more I can take” is Adam’s despondent answer.

On the subject of the panto, we learn that Alice thinks it won’t happen and she and Kate are resigned to having a talent contest instead. One person who won’t be in any panto is Susan, who is extremely annoyed when Kate approached her, saying that she had just the part for Susan – that of Esmeralda. Susan was quite pleased, until she saw the description of her character, which read “a gossipy old crone.” Tact and finesse were never Kate’s strong suits, but her judgement was spot on in this case.

Having said that, when it comes to tactlessness, Susan can be right up there with the best of them. The saga of the Carter family photograph grinds on, as does the moaning of Neil about his enforced diet (Neil had mushrooms on toast for Sunday lunch and carrot batons as a snack at the village bonfire), but at least Susan has finally chosen a photographer.

Even better, she tells Emma that, as she (Emma) recommended the firm, she will get a ‘finder’s fee’. Emma is delighted, as she is always short of money. And this is where Susan’s lack of tact is given free rein, as she wonders in front of Emma whether Ed will want to be in the photograph? After all, it will be very prim and proper and “Your father and I will be very dressed up.” The temperature falls a few degrees as Emma replies “Ed won’t mind.”

This is where Susan should keep her skate-mouth-sized gob firmly closed, but she cannot help herself, suggesting that perhaps Emma could use the finder’s fee to pay for Ed to have “A real good grooming session first, at a proper salon.” “Why?” asks Emma sharply and Susan makes things worse when she goes on “So he won’t feel out of place,” adding: “As long as he gets his hair cut properly and his nails tidied up.” The atmosphere is positively glacial now as Emma retorts that Ed can look very smart and there are about 100 better things that they can spend the money on. “It’s a really stupid idea” Emma tells her mother, who sighs and says “OK – I got exactly the same reaction from your dad when I suggested getting his nose hair layered.”

Never mind, Susan, if you ensure that Ed is positioned on the edge of the family group, he can always be cropped off, or Photoshopped out.

Meanwhile if anyone knows a good dental malpractice lawyer……. please get in touch.

Britons buying six weeks of supplies for single day shops are shut

25-03-16

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THE UK is buying in six weeks’ worth of groceries to get them through Easter Sunday when all supermarkets are closed. 

Supermarkets are expecting record business as families fill at least two trolleys to fend off the grim spectre of starvation over the coming three days.

Stephen Malley of Harrogate said: “The supermarkets are closed on Sunday. Not just reduced hours. Fully closed.

“And Monday’s a bank holiday too. It’s going to be like The Road, where only the ruthless survive and the living envy the dead.

“Better get another six three-litre bottles of milk. I don’t want to be without a cup of tea when it happens.”

An Atlantic low came through today and at last got rid of the persisitent and irritating Northerlies that have dogged activities outside in ‘brookers. Hooray, damp and breezy it may well be but preferable none the less.

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Mummy allatsea has been brighter of late and very nearly coherent at times. Wether that’s due to a lack of access to wine or  an ample supply I have no idea, frightened to investigate for fear of disappointment. Drunkynunky has been losing weight noticeably and has been to the doctors. ‘Eat more’ he was told and reports, does nunky that he has indeed made efforts to comply as directed. However, two cuppa soups a bit of toast and some cornflakes can’t be described as sufficient. It’s worrying. His larder cupboards, fridge and freezer are well stocked with good stuff (we at the Towers make it so) but the old lad doesn’t seem interested.

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Following a down at mouth start to the week things have bucked up. Rotterdam next week for some ship and boaty stuff followed by offshore attendances on Thialf in April and May. Good, bring it on, I miss that sort of thing. Feel at home there to some extent. Strange but true.

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Friday friends coming over from Canterbury and staying overnight at the Towers, Saturday, Planet Thanet’s beer festival to visit and drink vast quantities of Porter and Stout. Yum Tum. Sunday, clay stuff at Greenfields followed by an afternoon on the harbour wall or similar and on Monday (or ‘Munndee’ in Thanet parlance) mummy allatsea round for tea and gin. It’s a social whirl and no mistake.

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Happy Easter to you.

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Just remember, Ashford in Kent, according to Premier Foods, is ‘Home to the Cuppasoup!!

There are madmen out there. Even in the quietest, nicest of places. Seemingly the proportion in a given community or geographical area is pretty uniform. So whether you’re in Kensington or Tower Hamlets, Margate or Truro, you’ve got the same chance of being exposed to the actions of a ‘madman’. They say.

I was speaking to a contact in Ghana yesterday, a 28 year old teacher, very erudite and charming. She said to me, by way of opening our conversation ‘Wassup’. I’m not sure if it was interrogative or otherwise. Possibly a statement of intent.? She then wanted to know how old I was and if I was single. Hmm. I’m after business opportunities in the Gold Coast and I end up talking to an opportunistic match seeker. So much for using Skype in the early hours. Especially after several bottles of Masterbrew at the Aqua followed by a glass or three of London Porter (absolutley lishhh). Lesson learned, be clear headed and a bit more cynical when seeking openings in the marine services sector within West African oil nations.

Talking of ‘clear headed’ or rather the lack of such a beast, mummy was round last night for dindins, it was her 81st birthday and eldest son was trying to be a nice sunny wunny for once. All went well until it came time to drive her home. She wanted to stop at the local grog shop to load up with wine. Not good, mummy is a non-recovering alcoholic who is in denial. It does not a pretty site make. We’ve been through these situations before. I say tosh along the lines of ‘choose between having a family and the bottle’. Last night she chose the bottle, clearly and emphatically so. Not nice. So be it then mummy, chosse you bed and lay in it. Night night.

Night night to drunky mummy and Georgina Tuffour, whoever you are.

Nigerian New President Of Prostitutes’ Association Vows To Sleep With Ronaldo, Wizkid Before She Retires

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The president-elect of the National Association of Nigerian Prostitutes, NANP, Jessica Elvis, has vowed to sleep with Cristiano Ronaldo, Wizkid before she retires.

Elvis, whose real name is Oluchi made this disclosure known during an exclusive chat with Daily Post.

She was until her election as the new president of NANP, the longest serving secretary, between 2002 to 2015.

During the interview, she spoke on her victory at the Saturday’s poll, plans for the association and why she would like to make love to Real Madrid and Portuguese soccer star, C Ronaldo as well as Nigerian music sensation, Dayo Balogun, otherwise known as Wizkid before she retires.

Here is in part an excerpt of the chat below:

You have been the Secretary General of this association since 2002, what do you think the last leader failed to do?

See, I don’t want to rubbish anybody. My joy is that I have won and I am here to work for those who elected me.
Your predecessor, Madam Efoyo claimed you didn’t win the election, how would you react to that?

If she says I didn’t win, let her call the police to come and arrest me na. All I can say is that I won the election and there is no doubt about that.

Why the choice for prostitution while there are other jobs out there?

Point of correction, we are not prostitutes.

Who are you then?

We are friends of the society. Call us peacemakers. National Association of Nigerian Peacemakers.

Do you regret choosing this part of profession?

Why should I regret what puts food on my table; built me houses in Lagos and Abuja and even trained my daughter in school? I have no reason whatsoever to regret.

When do you plan to retire?

Maybe when I make love to C Ronaldo (laughter)

Do you mean the Portuguese footballer?
(Excitedly) Yes! He is my crush. I love him so much that his pictures even turn me on (laughter). I use to tease my colleagues that I must sleep with him and Wiz Kid before I retire.

Have you met Wiz Kid one on one?

We have met on several occasions but he doesn’t know me. I even have a picture I took with him during a show in Eko Hotel, but he doesn’t know what I do.

So, how do you intend to sleep with him?

God go do am when the time comes.

Talking about God, do you go to church?

Of course, I am a firm believer of Jesus Christ. I don’t miss church activities. Sometimes, I would declare fasting and prayer for business to come. Whenever I’m fasting, I don’t go out or ‘do’ that day.

For a change

 From our friends in luvvydarlingland.

Police are investigating after ‘Allo ‘Allo star Vicki Michelle was injured during a fight on allatsea’s spin-off show.

Allatsea’s ‘Bit On The Carpet’  had to be taken off air 10 minutes early after a fight broke out between American reality TV personality Farrah Abraham and former contestant Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace.

Michelle, 64, had to be taken to hospital after apparently becoming caught in the crossfire when champagne glasses were thrown.

A source on the allatsea show said: “There was dart-throwing and ball-throwing and  op-throwing. Security had to rush in. Vicki went to hospital to get checked out, but she’s OK.”

Michelle later tweeted: “Been checked over … going home now. B****y hurt! But thank you for worrying, I’m OK … I think!”

A spokesman for the security company  said: ” We’re not really bovvered about this kakk but seemingly they received a report at 10.55pm on the evening of Tuesday September 22 regarding an incident which is alleged to have occurred in the Dog and Hammer pub in Maragate on Mud. The incident occurred a short time before the call.

“Apparently someone is  currently making inquiries to establish the exact circumstances of what happened and will release further details when appropriate.”

The trio were panellists on the show presented by Dick Hymensnapper, but it soon became clear there was no love lost between Abraham and Horgan-Wallace.

The exchange began when Clark asked Horgan-Wallace: “Do you miss Farrah being in the house?”

“No, I don’t. She was just horrible,” the former Big Brother 7 star responded. “She never took accountability for anything she did because she’s a silly little girl.

“It’s just pathetic. She’s just nasty. There’s one thing standing up for yourself and being a strong woman. There’s another thing being a nasty horrible b****. You’ve got your cheque, get on your plane and f*** off. No one likes you here.”

Abraham hit back by slow-clapping Horgan-Wallace and saying: “Well done. Good job.”

An allatsea spokesman said: ” Bit On Carpet was interrupted his evening due to an incident on the rug.”

Hymen tweeted: “Apologies, we had to cut transmission due to reasons out of our control. Thanks to our loyal audience and viewers.”

Horgan-Wallace tweeted: “Thanx for the concerned tweets I’m fine at home There seems to be a lot of misconstrued stories I will set the record straight I’m tired now.”

Like anyone gives a fig any way?

Making bacon the happy way

Saturday in Westbrook.

The North wind’s a blowing albeit with a bit of East in it too.  This has brought the para-surfers out in force,  Westbrook beach with the wind from the NE seems to being them en-masse. Margate Roads is nowhere near as busy as it’s been of late, perhaps they’ve scooted off to find a quieter anchorage to watch the footy in? The lack of sun and paltry 15 degree temperature has, thankfully, kept the lard-arsed and the numpties away. Purgatory it be when the sun’s strong and the beach muppets come from afar, blocking the roads and waddling whale-like about the place;  all tattoos, rolls of ugly  white fat  and plenty of mean tood. All very ghastly. All very Britain-moderne.

Allatsea has been busy rekindling the urge to go all ‘Good Life’, sort of, these last few months. Home curing ham and bacon to be more precise.

The dry cure methods, although reputed to be the THE way to do it for the best results, have never really delivered for the Towers. The results have been, er, ….OK ish at best. All edible and no-one died of food poisoning or indeed, even reported having a dose of the squits or similar, but they certainly were nearer to a  description of  ‘disappointing’ rather than ‘back of the net’. So with that in mind the ‘wet cure’ approach has been put into use. There are a zillion and one  recipes out there in tinterwebby land  if you google ’ home cure bacon’ (or similar), and that’s just for the ingredients and ratios of the brine, let alone timings and temperatures and drying routines and storage protocols and shelf life and  so on, it can be all very intimidating and doubt causing from the word go.

The following works well…..so far anyway.

The Brine.

For each litre of water add 100g of table salt, 2-3 grammes of saltpetre (get it from Amazon and have accurate scales because in higher doses it doesn’t do you any good), 50 grammes of dark brown sugar, 10-15 grammes of peppercorns, assorted whole spices and whatever else takes your fancy. Mix together enthusiastically and cool to around 4-8 degrees centigrade. You’ll need a litre of brine for every kilogramme of pork .

Meat and Method

Place the pork (any joint can be used but the Towers uses, so far,  loin or belly and to now the largest weight done in one go is 3kg) into a food grade plastic tub (ceramic/glass pots will do too but don’t use metal) and cover with brine and make sure the meat is completely covered by the brine. If necessary ballast the pork down with a non metal lump weight on the top.

Put the whole lot in the fridge or somewhere nice and cool and leave for 36 hours. It won’t hurt to leave it longer (up to a week in our experience) but it will taste significantly saltier especially if you use a brine ratio which has more salt in it than the 10% by mass identified here. Then remove the meat from the brine (discard the brine), wipe the joint with a paper towel or whatever to dry it and then hang it (use a meat hook or clean untreated string) somewhere  cool and well ventilated but away from smells as the meat will take a taint easily, for around 36 hours. It’s ready to eat now but will improve with putting in the fridge and leaving for another week. When it’s stored in the fridge the drying out process does continue. This is in our humble opinion, improves the product. Smoking would also add to the curing process and give a different taste but to date we haven’t attempted smoking. It’s on the cards though. Have been trawling Amazon and  EBay and a decent bit of kit can be had for around £150. Of course if you’re in the slightest bit practical you can make your own. This, naturally,  is far beyond the abilities of yours truly.