A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


As the title suggests, today was to be a Monday, and probably because it was a Monday, I decided that I wasn’t having any of it and didn’t really want to leave the house.  I just wanted some much needed 'us' time and to do sweet FA, well... apart from each other that is.  This was also a good chance for me to finally (I hope) rid myself of this dreaded jet lag that has kept following me around and attacked me when I least expected it.  So a day indoors it was to be.

Stage directions:
Camera slowly zooms in on two disenchanted and bored looking people sat at opposite ends of a sofa, staring into space and mindlessly twiddling their thumbs….

God save our gracious feet
Sporting my brand new super cute slippers with their heart shaped union jacks on them, to keep my feet warm (did I mention it was cold here?), I got to put my feet up on the sofa and catch up with the final 4 episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones. Meanwhile, the ever vigilant Andy was plying me with coffee and food whenever he felt I had neglected my eating (I do that from time to time). I felt I was well and truly being looked after, with half naked eunuchs wafting large feathered fans around while peeling grapes and pouring fine wines for me to imbibe in.

During the afternoon, I actually managed to grab a nap of a full forty winks duration and have a nice hot bath too (although not at the same time).  I mean having a bath is quite a big thing for me.  Where I live, you are lucky if the bathtub is large enough to fit a small child in it, but here, being as he is in the trade, Andy’s bath is not surprisingly big enough for 2 people.  So, (turn away now mother) we gave it a whirl and yes, it really does fit 2 people in it.  It also turns out that Andy likes the water way hotter than I can handle, so just for me he dropped the bath water temp down.  I like it when he is thoughtful like that (not that much of the water stayed in the tub anyway).  Oh and by the way, I am now the proud owner of that most sought after of luxury items, a Tesco special... wait for it... union jack shower cap.  And I am absolutely sure the picture of me wearing it is hideous.  It looks like it is made from half an inflatable beach ball (the shower cap not me). So yep, the sex kitten in me will obviously be shining through when I’m wearing this in the bathrooms of the UK.

Stage directions:
Can somebody please call out the fire brigade to pump away all this excess water please? And run all footage by the censors… we need to beat the 9 o’clock watershed…

While I have been here, I have been trying out some of the local fayre.  Food and drink wise there are many things here that a humble Australian wouldn’t normally come across…

I have successfully tried Guinness and after the fifth or sixth pint, it actually tastes quite nice, unlike the crap I have tried in Australia.  Mind you, this was draught Guinness, chilled and on tap, not the awful stuff that comes in a bottle or can (minus the widget).

Stage directions:
Who the hell mentioned the shores?
What shores?
Thanks very much, I'll have a pint :)

I have tried pork pies, yum by the way, but having said that, the ones I tried were only mini ones (do they really use minis (the cars) in the recipe?). Apparently the bigger ones could taste differently with a lot less pastry percentage wise, more meat on the inside and aspic jelly to fill the gaps between filling and casing, they quite possibly could do. The Jury remains out then, I'll have to keep you posted.

OMG… Cadbury makes chocolate coated popcorn!!! Yes you guessed it, these are also yum, but you can really only have about 10 of the popcorn kernels before you begin feeling sick. Well that’s what I thought anyway. And while on the subject of sweeties… I also tried Taverner’s coconut mushrooms. These are a delicious toasted coconut chewy sweet, shaped like a mushroom. Mmmmm, they are absolutely to die for with their all white liquorice allsort type stems and desiccated coconut covered chewy brown tops.
Ambrosia creamed milk puddings like their rice and Devon custard, umm, custard that comes in a tin??? The already tested creamed rice is thoroughly yummy and has an unmatched consistency of sheer luxury, but being lactose intolerant, I couldn’t eat too much without feeling ill. Great news for Andy though (the extra rice, not my being ill. Grrr). And the same goes for that new chocolate flavoured Philadelphia soft cheese (more pics in the album)… My diet is now doomed!! I hate you all and will now run off and comfort eat... no wait, Oh I don't know!!

And then there’s the much maligned and dreaded traditional Lancashire made Black pudding, well that is yet to be sampled and while I have been told this is nice, knowing what goes into making it (boiled pig’s blood? Really??), I'll have to reserve judgement and hope for a strong enough constitution to eat it. I will of course give you the verdict once I have tried it.

Stage directions:
Blank expressions from the whole crew now... What the hell is this all about? It was supposed to be a holiday thingy wasn't it??

Another desert item, Arctic Roll (see the pic with the custard), is simply ice cream wrapped in sponge cake similar to a Swiss roll, and that too is yet to be devoured.  I will let you know how that one goes… (probably quite rapidly).



Oooo and by the way, have you tried these beauties?

I have also done fish and chips at an awfully English ‘chippy’, On Rawtenstall’s high street, this chippy looks like it has been around for 300 or so years. I mean you had to duck to get in through the 5’ 6” door way (mmmm, is that why Andy is shrinking?).  I had what looked like a whole cod, cooked brilliantly by the wonderful Tony and subsequently laid to rest in what seemed to be half a sack of potatoes worth of chips.  Apparently this cod is a fish worth fighting for.  And testament to that are the number of fishing wars the British have had with the likes of Norway in trying to preserve stocks in the North Sea.

For the whole 'We did naff all this Monday' album, click here
Along with my ‘chippy supper’, I also had the pleasure of sampling a Holland’s steak and kidney pie.  This was a pie that you really could taste the kidney pieces in, not just a hint, but whole chunks of kidney. It was a little too salty for me but the flavour was like I remember steak and kidney pies as a kid.  


Holland’s pies, I am told, are made just around the corner from Rawtenstall in neighbouring Baxenden, Hyndburn. The company although being small factory wise (not much bigger than the Yatala pie drive through back home), are quite a big outfit on the quiet. Having one time sponsored the Blackpool illuminations and supplying over half of Lancashire’s chip shops with a full range of pies, pasties and puddings, they even supply the big supermarket chains too.

Damn the food portions (fish & chips, kebabs etc) here are large, not ridiculously so like in the USA but way larger than you would get in Australia.  Food on the whole is cheaper here than in Australia too, and you can have almost anything delivered to your home. I have never heard of a kebab delivery service to homes, let alone any meal under $30.  But I guess if you want to survive in an economy that is struggling, you will offer such services to help get your product shipped over that of your competitor. Add to that the fact that there are so many people living in such a small area (tiny delivery routes) and high enough numbers to make it pay, the delivery services over here are second to none.

Stage directions:
All this talk about food is making me HUNGRY dammit!!! Let’s call it a day and go eat… Who’s turn is it to pay?

So after all this, on my Monday of rest (really? All this writing is rest is it??), I am finally ready to go out and tackle the world again.

Yeah we’ll soon see about that won’t we...

Stage directions:
All lights go out and nothing but silence… Tumbleweeds can just about be seen rolling by unhindered.




STOP THE PRESS!!


At approximately a half past dinner time on Thursday 14th (unlucky for those that missed the 13th) of June, a full half pound of finest quality black pudding was ceremoniously unwrapped, heated to within an inch of it's life and served up midst a plateful of exceptionally good bacon butties and brown sauce.... Jodie finally got to sample it, and the verdict was:

"Yer umm, I was led to believe it would be an assault on the senses but it really was quite nice." 


If only she knew we Brits wouldn't touch it with a barge pole... hee hee.


Monday 11th JuneSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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