Monthly Archives: March 2012
Inflation-busting increase of the day
So it has been announced today that Royal Mail postal prices are increasing from 30th April 2012.
Both first and second class stamps will go up 14p from April 30 to 60p and 50p respectively. That’s a 30% rise for first class and 39% hike for second. (Inflation was 3.4% last month according to the Consumer Prices index.)
With the number of letters posted every day down from 84million six years ago to 59million today, this is probably not the best idea they’ve ever had. As people increasingly turn to alternative carriers and electronic communications, surely Royal Mail must realise their future is, at best, doubtful.
Today’s announcement by Ofcom that the Royal Mail now has the freedom to set their own prices is surely the natural progression towards full competition and privatisation of postal services where customers will pay more and efficiencies will be sought in the interests of profit not services.
The end of a chapter
A chapter in my life finally ended yesterday when my ex-husband died at the relatively young age of 54. The love had long gone but it is still sad news. He was a strange and complicated man who was very difficult to get on with and there are sadly more bad memories of our time together than good. I don’t want to be regarded as hard or un-feeling but the debts I carry to this day as a result of his appalling behaviour will perhaps help people to understand my feelings are somehow weirdly detached rather than feeling upset.
This doesn’t alter the fact that he was too young to die. Sadly, his abuse of cigarettes, drink and goodness knows what else had contributed to his early demise and the indignity of dying a slow and probably painful death in a hospice is not something you would wish even on your worst enemy. I would therefore just like to dedicate this poem to Richard Colin Bernard Heywood:
“The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.
The present is our own,
So live love, toil with a will
Place no faith in ‘tomorrow,’
For the clock may then be still.” (Robert H Smith)
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
Just had to share with you my recipe for Thai Red Curry – it is so simple to make, takes no time at all, and is better than I can get from my local takeaway – give it a go!
Don’t be put off by the long ingredients list: everything is readily available from the supermarket and it is very quick to make. There’s enough here for 4 people but you can double up the quantities as it will keep in the fridge for up to a week and it’s fine to freeze too!
- vegetable oil or sunflower oil
- 400g tin coconut milk
- either chicken, prawn, beef, fish and vegetables of choice (I use aubergines, red peppers, mushrooms and beans); cut into bite-sized pieces so it all cooks quickly)
- 3 Shallots, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 long red chillies, de-seeded (but leave some in if you like it hot!)
- walnut-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- 1tbsp fish sauce (can be replaced with light soy sauce for vegetarians)
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
- lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
To make the paste, put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz really well until you have a smooth paste. Heat 1tbsp of oil in a large wok or frying pan, fry the paste for a few minutes until it becomes fragrant then add the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, then add the meat and vegetables of your choice and simmer; chicken, beef or pork will take 5-8 minutes; prawns and fish about 2-3 minutes; vegetables such as courgettes, peppers, baby corn, green beans, aubergines or carrot will take about 5 minutes; and spring onions, mange tout or spinach will only need a minute.
Serve with either rice or noodles and a few prawn crackers – if you have time, a few sweetcorn fritters are also rather scrummy!!!
I will survive!
Got to Dance
This is Street Dance Crew Diversity’s tribute to Michael Jackson which they performed live last night at the Got to Dance finals on Sky1 … it is quite simply incredible!
100 and not out!
When I started this blog in May 2011, I could not have imagined the time when I reached my 100th post and yet, unbelievably, the day is here!!!
I have to thank each and every one of you again who have read my ramblings and hope that I am still keeping you amused with my observations and nonsense. I love getting your feedback and will endeavour to maintain the standard – with a smidgeon under 5,000 hits since I started, the next landmark will be 200 posts or 10,000 hits, whichever is sooner!!!
Fancy a pint?
As a lager drinker for many years (a favourite uncle used to refer to me as “Lager Lil” from a very young age and I have been known to tell people that I was “weaned on lager”), I was intrigued by a headline on the BBC website today which reads:
Has Britain fallen out with lager?
Apparently, while it remains by far the most widely drunk variety of beer, sales of lager fell from £12.7bn in 2006 to £11.4bn in 2011, according to market researchers Mintel.
Despised by real ale lovers yet consumed in vast quantities by pubgoers, for decades, lager has long rivalled tea as the beverage that best defines modern Britain. And yet the nation’s attachment to the supposedly refreshing qualities of pilsner and export appear to be on the wane.
It could be the economic climate – we blame everything else on the economic climate – but with more people buying their drinks from the supermarket rather than the pub, couples in particular are more likely to choose drinks they can enjoy in the home together. At home it’s about sharing, opening a bottle together, and lager has never been marketed in that way.
For me however, there is nothing more enjoyable than a long, cold drink of lager at the end of the day – at home or in the pub, I really don’t mind! So athough depleted, for now lager looks capable of lasting another round.