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Have some respect for your arteries!

First we had the deep fried Mars Bar, reportedly  invented in 1995 in the Haven Chip Bar (now the Carron), in Stonehaven near Aberdeen.  Originally a novelty item it has now become synonymous with Scotland’s notoriously unhealthy diet.   After an item on the Channel4 programme, the Big Breakfast, chip shops around the country started putting it on their menus.  One phone call to a local paper and in the space of just a few days a bit of fun between a chip shop owner and some local children in a Scottish fishing town, the dish was transformed into a global cultural and gastronomic phenomenon. The product is “not authorised or endorsed” by Mars Inc.

But like all phenomenons, there is always someone who wants to take the theme still further and today we read that an ex-pat Brit, Chris Sell from Rugby, Warwickshire, who has a  New York chip shop, has come up with this “tasty” treat to satisfy hungry Brits living in the Big Apple who love fish and chips and a traditional fry-up – a 1,200 calorie battered sandwich with a full English breakfast filling!


Now I don’t know about you, but the thought of anything deep fried makes me cringe!  On the rare occasions I do find myself having a fish and chip supper I always strip the fish of all the batter before eating but I do know people who love this type of fatty food – each to their own.

However, why ruin a perfectly good English breakfast by wrapping it in batter?  This type of heart attack on a plate needs to be consigned to the nearest dustbin – unless you’ve got a hangover of course when I’m sure it will hit the spot nicely!   And the next big decision you will need to make?  Will it be red or brown sauce with that?!?

Let the train take the strain?

In the last week I have spent upwards of 40 hours on various trains, travelling around the country as part of my latest consultancy assignment.

It started last Thursday when, with about half an hour’s notice, I had to make my way from my home in Glasgow to a hotel at East Midlands Airport for a briefing at 8.30am the following day.   After discovering there are now no flights at all from Glasgow Airport to East Midlands Airport (despite the fact that I have done this journey before!), I had no option but to go by train.  This was my journey:

18:00 Get dropped off at Mount Florida Station for train to Glasgow Central and pick up tickets
18:40 Take train from Glasgow Central to Warrington Bank Quay – running 12 minutes late for no apparent reason
21:20 Arrive at Warrington Bank Quay and take a taxi (in the rain) to Warrington Central
22:03 Take train from Warrington Central to Nottingham, although this train was in fact running 20 minutes late – no explanation given
01:00 Arrive at Nottingham and take taxi to hotel at East Midlands Airport
01:30 Check into my room at the hotel

Fortunately my journey home the following night was made easier when one of my colleagues very kindly took me to Warrington Bank Quay so all I had to do (after a 3 hour drive) was to take one train back to Glasgow before getting home at some time around 10.30pm – exhausted and none too pleased to have to take the very same journey again two days later as I needed to be back in Nottingham for 09:00 on Monday morning!

I took a different route on Sunday, leaving home at 4:00pm and arriving at the hotel at 11.30pm.  The same colleague took me to Warrington Bank Quay the following afternoon and I arrived back home in Glasgow for a brief sleep at around 10:30pm before setting off again the next day (Tuesday), this time to Elgin!

Setting my alarm for 5:15am, I then caught the 7:06am to Inverness and then another train to Elgin, arriving at 11:41.  After a day of meetings I then returned home, via Aberdeen on this leg of the journey, and was back in my flat at about 10:00pm – extremely tired and emotional!!!

I know you’re mostly sitting down while on the train but it is an extremely stressful and tiring experience as people who commute regularly using this mode of transport will probably concur.  It would be less stressful if the train companies could make more of an effort to run the services on time so that you’re not scared of missing the various connections that might mean you being stranded miles from your final destination in the dead of night.  If they could also make sure there are enough carriages for the amount of people using the service that would also be helpful, thus avoiding the dreadful congestion on board and making the journey so much more comfortable for everyone! 

Moan over – perhaps next time I should just take the car?????

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