Sunday, 31 July 2016


Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  1. Place egg yolk, lemon juice, water and mustard in a narrow, tall container. I used a Weck jar. Pour over olive oil, then let the contents settle for a moment.
  2. Using an immersion blender, process until the mayo starts to form. Once you start seeing mayo, gently move the blender up and down. Continue until all oil is emulsified. The texture will be thick.
  3. Season to taste with kosher salt and store in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

42 Douglas Adams quotes to live by

“You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”

The author of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy knew a thing or two about life, the universe and everything.

From potatoes to peer groups, Bach to bullies, here are some of Douglas Adams’s finest words of wisdom…

1. “A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.’”

2. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

3. “Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”

4. “The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.”

5 “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer.”

6. “It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.”

7. “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”

8. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

9. “The idea was fantastically, wildly improbable. But like most fantastically, wildly improbable ideas it was at least as worthy of consideration as a more mundane one to which the facts had been strenuously bent to fit.”

10. “I'd far rather be happy than right any day.”

11. “Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see.”

12. “Reality is frequently inaccurate.”

13. “What I need... is a strong drink and a peer group.”

14. “It is folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know, if they exist. They have their own Universes of their own eyes and ears.”

15. “There is no point in using the word 'impossible' to describe something that has clearly happened.”

16. “One is never alone with a rubber duck.”

17. “Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human. Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe.”

18. “Anything that thinks logically can be fooled by something else that thinks at least as logically as it does.”

19. “Let the past hold on to itself and let the present move forward into the future.”

20. “I don't accept the currently fashionable assertion that any view is automatically as worthy of respect as any equal and opposite view.”

21. “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.”

22. “The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks.”

23. “Life is wasted on the living.”

24. “There are some people you like immediately, some whom you think you might learn to like in the fullness of time, and some that you simply want to push away from you with a sharp stick.”

25. “I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day.”

26. “All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it's pretty damn complicated in the first place.”

27. “Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

28. “A life that is burdened with expectations is a heavy life. Its fruit is sorrow and disappointment.”

29. “If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat.”

30. “People who need to bully you are the easiest to push around.”

31. “We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.”

32. “Beauty doesn't have to be about anything. What's a vase about? What's a sunset or a flower about? What, for that matter, is Mozart's Twenty-third Piano Concerto about?”

33. “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

34. “Even a manically depressed robot is better to talk to than nobody.”

35. “My universe is my eyes and my ears. Anything else is hearsay.”

36. “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”

37. “A cup of tea would restore my normality.”

38. “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

39. “It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else's point of view without the proper training.”

40. “You live and learn. At any rate, you live.”

41. “Don't believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.”

42. “Don't Panic.”

Life, the universe and everything

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Green Fairy Islands of Wales

Green faeries Islands
Faerie Island
A form of Welsh popular belief as to the whereabouts of fairy-land corresponds with the Avalon of the Arthurian legends. The green meadows of the sea, called in the triads Gwerddonau Lion, are the Green fairy islands of Wales.
Many extraordinary superstitions survive with regard to these islands.  They were supposed to be the abode of the souls of certain Druids, who, not holy enough to enter the heaven of the Christians, were still not wicked enough to be condemned to the tortures of Annwn, and so were accorded a place in this romantic sort of purgatorial paradise. In the fifth century a voyage was made, by the British king Gavran, in search of these enchanted islands; with his family he sailed away into the unknown waters, and was never heard of more.
This voyage is commemorated in the triads as one of the Three Losses by Disappearance, the two others being Merlin’s and Madog’s. Merlin sailed away in a ship of glass ; Madog sailed in search of America and neither returned, but both disappeared for ever.

Green Fairy Islands and their Lush Meadows on the Sea

Mythical faerie Green Island - Green Fairy Islands
Mythical Green Island
There are sailors on that romantic coast who still talk of the green meadows of enchantment lying in the Irish channel to the west of Pembrokeshire. Sometimes they are visible to the eyes of mortals for a brief space, when suddenly they vanish.
There are traditions of sailors who, in the early part of the present century, actually went ashore on the fairy islands – not knowing that they were such, until they returned to their boats, when they were filled with awe at seeing the islands disappear from their sight, neither sinking in the sea,nor floating away upon the waters, but simply vanishing suddenly.

Fairies attending Mortal Markets

The fairies inhabiting these islands are said to have regularly attended the markets at Milford Haven and Laugharne. They made their purchases without speaking, laid down their money and departed, always leaving the exact sum required, which they seemed to know, without asking the price of anything. Sometimes they were invisible, but they were often seen, by sharp-eyed persons. There was always one special butcher at Milford Haven upon whom the fairies bestowed their patronage, instead of distributing their favours indiscriminately.
The fairies inhabiting these islands are said to have regularly attended the markets at Milford. They made their purchases without speaking, laid down their money and departed, always leaving the exact sum required, which they seemed to know, without asking the price of anything. Sometimes they were invisible, but they were often seen, by sharp-eyed persons. There was always one special butcher at Milford Haven upon whom the fairies bestowed their patronage, instead of distributing their favours indiscriminately.

Half-Visible Green Fairy Islands

The Milford Haven folk could see the green fairy islands distinctly, lying out a short distance from land: and the general belief was that they were densely peopled with fairies. It was also said that the latter went to and fro between the islands and the shore through a subterranean gallery under the bottom of the sea. That isolated cape which forms the county of Pembroke was looked upon as a land of mystery by the rest of Wales long after it had been settled by the Flemings in 1113.
A secret veil was supposed to cover this sea-girt promontory; the inhabitants talked in an unintelligible jargon that was neither English, nor French, nor Welsh; and out of its misty darkness came fables of wondrous sort, and accounts of miracles marvellous beyond belief. Mythology and Christianity spoke together from this strange country, and one could not tell at which to be most amazed, the pagan or the priest.
Source: British Goblins: Welsh folk-lore, fairy mythology, legends and traditions.
Author: Wirt Sikes Published: 1880

Monday, 25 July 2016

Chickpea and lentil curry

chickpea n lentil curry
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
3 onion, chopped
2-3 clove of garlic, chopped
100g red lentils
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tsps tumeric
2 tsps cumin seeds
2 tsps crushed chillies
2 tsps curry powder
4cm cube root ginger
500ml veg stock
fry the onion, garlic and ginger and soften.
When the onions are soft and translucent, add the spices and stir well.
Next add the tinned tomatoes, stock, chickpeas and lentils.
Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked.


Top 5 Dystopian Novels??

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Maybe because I’m a woman myself, but The Handmaid’s Tale takes top spot on my list, a constant reminder that women around the world have a long way to go to equality. If you were forced to read this in school and hated it, it’s time for a reread, it really is wonderful.

1984 – George Orwell

It was always going to be in there somewhere wasn’t it? Winston’s hell is the archetypal dystopia that still resonates loudly, even today. As the world still searches for the political ideal, Orwell shows that the balance is always precarious.

Blind Faith – Ben Elton

A homage to 1984, but written with the Internet and social media in mind, Blind Faith is an astute dystopian look at where today’s society is heading. Written in almost perfect Orwell style, Blind Faith shows how underrated Elton is as the social commentator of our day.

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

A recent addition to my read pile, Bradbury’s hell for the enlightened is a novel that will stay with me forever. Anyone who has been mocked for their intelligence and love for books is likely to feel this theme down to their bones, as Bradbury’s masterpiece runs scarily close to where society seems to be heading.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

After failing with Doors of Perception, Brave New World sat on my unread shelf a long while before I finally picked it up, in the end I was glad I had. A dark and worrying tale that draws frightening parallels to our own society.

Notable mention…

Swastika Night – Murray Constantine/ Katharine Burdekin

Yes I know, this makes six but I’m including it not because I think it deserves a place at the top but because I think it paved the way for many dystopian novels we all love. First published by the Left Book Club, the group that would go on to help the British Labour Party gain huge popularity, Swastika Night imagines a society where Hitler wins the war and what might follow (written in 1938, before WWII broke out). Now it didn’t make my list because I simply don’t think it’s relevant today, but as Orwell had almost certainly read the novel, and mentions clubs similar to the Left Book Club in many of his contemporary works, I feel it deserves a mention and for fans of the genre it’s an interesting historical piece.
You may agree with my top five, you may not, but I’m sticking with them and hope the list makes interesting reading to fans of the genre.