Guessed where?

March 4, 2008

I’ll put you out of your misery, that is all 3 of you that answered. Here is a another shot of the same scene, showing a little more of the surrounds.

Bradford 009

Karl was pretty spot on mentioning the curries, I think he knew but didnt want to spoil it for everyone else.

It is of course a shot of Bradford taken from the window of my hotel room in the Hilton.

Prague indeed, the Bradford tourist board will no doubt be pleased!

Guess where?

February 29, 2008

A Tower, a Sunset and a Ferris wheel.


I’ve just got back from 2 days away on business, but where did I visit?

Teabag vignette

February 22, 2008

Teabags Vignette

Look at this bounty!

I arrived in work a few days ago and found this little lot on my desk.

What a good friend I have, she had been given a fancy bag load of teabags at the freshers fair and hadnt been interested in them.

I’ll mention no names, she knows who she is and I’ve already thanked her profusely.

All I will say is “Jade, why did you wait so long to bring them into work for me?”

Soup of the day.

February 6, 2008

Over the last few months I’ve really been getting into soup! I take it to work for my lunch most days, heat it up in the morning, stick it in the flask and its still piping hot at lunch time. I’ve mentioned previously that I like to play around with bought soups, adding my own twist by adding extra spices and ingredients.

I though I’d share this recipe with you for the totally home made soup I had for lunch today.

You will need.

500g Carrots
1 Med/Large Onion
2 tsp Dried Basil (fresh would be better)
1 inch of peeled fresh Ginger
1 Clove of Garlic
3/4 Pint of Water
3/4 Pint of Stock
2 Tbs Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Your prep should take about 10 minutes max. Peel and chop the Onions and Carrots, its going to go in the Blender at the end so neat chopping isnt needed. However, the size you chop the carrots will change the cooking time. Chop the Ginger finely, if you dont you may find long string of the Ginger fibres in the finished soup. Peel the Garlic, you can chop or mince this too, in my case I bash it and threw it in whole to be fished out at the end. You want a pint and a half of water/stock, a vegatable stock cube is fine. In this case I used half water and half Chick Pea stock, reserved and frozen from when I last boiled up a batch.

Now the Cooking.

Heat the Olive oil in a large pan and add the Sliced the Onions. Fry the Onions until translucent and just about to start coulouring. Add the Carrots, Basil, Garlic and Ginger and continue frying for a few minutes to soak up the juices.

Add the Water and stock that youre using and bring to the boil, now reduce the heat and simmer for 40mins or until carrots are tender.

I switched off the heat at this point and went to bed. You dont have to, it was 11pm so it worked for me, next time it may not be and I’ll skip this bit 🙂

If your serving the soup right away, blitz it in the Blender in small batches, seriously, you dont want hot soup flying up into your face. If youre doing this when its cold you can be a little more adventurous. Return it to the pan and taste it, you’ll want to correct the seasoning at this point, Salt and Pepper of course and maybe a tiny, tiny drop of pepper/chilli sauce.

I added more water at this stage, you will know how much is right for you when its the consistency you prefer. In my case this made 1500ml of soup, enough for 2 full flasks, so lunch for 2 days. I’m already tweaking the recipe as I sip the soup and write this up, maybe adding a Bayleaf or 2 and less basil in the next version? How about Coriander in place of the Ginger? That would be good. I’m pretty confident that it’s low calorie too, which is a nice bonus.

Carrot & Ginger Soup

Enjoy 🙂

Fave Foto Friday # 15 or Photostory #1

December 21, 2007

The building I work in is very close to the River Don and in particular a stretch of the Five Weirs Walk, between Carbrook Road and Weedon Street. So quite often during my lunch break I go for a walk along here. Its in a very heavily populated area with busy main roads between the City and the Motorway, it’s kind of closed in by the trees and is surprisingly peaceful.

During these walks, I’ve grown quite fond of the Heron’s, thats the real one and the stainless steel one. You can always be sure to see at least one of them 🙂

5Weirs 060

Here is another shot taken on December 28, 2006 almost a year ago. You can see how close to the river he is here, perched on high after catching a little fishy.

5Weirs 090

Then imagine my dissapointment when I captured this scene on June 28th 2007.

5Weirs 141

“Bloody thieving vandals,” I thought, “thats the last we’ll see of that!” No doubt its already perched above someones Koi carp pond, their latest garden statue.

Last Thursday, when I went out at lunchtime, I decided that although it was very cold I’d take a walk down along the river. That’s probably going to the last one for a while too, it was bloody freezing!

However, having gone down the path with my back to the remains of the statue, on the way back I was warmed to see this sight.

HeronBack 003

The bird had returned 🙂

HeronBack 005

I’ll probably never know if it was stolen and recovered or just sent away for cleaning and then repositioned. I do like his new perch, its almost as if at any moment, he might swoop down to the river to take a fish or to land in his old spot.

Welcome back Mr Heron 🙂

That’s Crackers.

December 20, 2007

These are Christmas Crackers.

Not just any Crackers, these are hand finished, hand decorated, up-market Crackers.

These are British Home Stores Crackers.

Up-market Crackers have posh gifts in them, not plasic tat, actual metal gifts.

Lets go around the table and see the gifts that popped out of these crackers….. Sharon gets a nice ballpoint pen, Paul finds a metal get-the-ring-apart-from-the-jointed-magic-trick thing, Jane discovers a set of nail clippers* and Denise a pack of mini playing cards.

All very nice I’m sure you’ll agree.

So can you imagine my surprise at the gift I found inside mine?

That's Crackers.

Thats right. A condom.** Can you see the bewilderment plastered across my face?

Hrrrmmmmph, so much for posh Cracker’s.

*beware, I got these last year and look what happened.

**Looking back I’m now wondering how long the Crackers were unattended at Sharons house? This would have been a perfect prank for a Husband/Son to play on the Wife/Mother 😉

Secret Santa 2007

December 19, 2007

Secret Santa 2007 002

My Secret Santa gift at work this year, a basket of Indian cookery items.

The ingredients were gathered by hand and made up into this exquisite gift basket.

I was totally thrilled by this gift! I think you’ll agree, it’s much more imaginative than the gift card I received last year.

My Secret Santa gave the game away when she saw how much I loved it, so I know who went to all this trouble for me. She got a big kiss on the cheek from me by way of thanks 🙂

Do you remember the first time……

December 18, 2007

I’m still in some pain this evening after my sensibilities were cruelly injured one of my team. I’ll try to explain how this came about, but if its too painful, I might need a break, OK?

I mean its not like he didn’t know what he was doing, I was sitting right there for gods sake!

The young gentleman in question turned to his neighbour and said, “Yeah, that Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD thing, its like this war that happened years ago, before I was born, there was this thing between VHS and something called Betamax”

Aaaargh! Before he was born!!*

To add insult to injury he then said, “Andy will remember it.” He turned to me, “won’t you Andy?”

If it hadn’t been for the winning grin he flashed me, that boy would have been history.

Oh, how we laughed afterwards!

*He’s like 25, so it’s actually true 😦

Fave Foto Friday # 14

December 14, 2007

In what must be a long awaited return to this feature…. 

Taj West End

I spotted this picture in my sidebar and just looking at the thumbnail, it grabbed me and brought a lump to my throat. After calling up the full picture, it really made me pause for thought. In fact, I came over a bit emotional and stuff, in fact I admit to a little tear in my eyes. 

Its me, Paul, Linda and Angie enjoying Sunday Brunch at the Taj West End, Bangalore.

Happy Days! 

Waiting to expire

November 6, 2007

A couple of years ago, I spent 4 months working in India, which was quite an experience as you can imagine. One of my favourite things was reading the Times of India every day and I still like to dip in and out via the wonderful Web.

One of the most endearing things about India is the use of language, the odd turn of phrase, things that you no longer hear in the UK. It’s almost as if somewhere around the 1940’s and Independence, India fixed its idea of what English is, whereas in the UK, English has continued to evolve. Not always for the better, I might add.

Hence, its not uncommon for news stories where people are waylaid and relieved of valuables, usually by miscreants and often in the wee hours. At work, you’d not be popular if you shifted someones timings meaning they had to drive their two-wheeler in rush hour with all the rash drivers.

Something that still makes me smile are the obituaries, not because people died, that’s sad obviously, but it happens. No, it’s the use of expiry and expired to denote death. Here’s an example…


Now picture yourself in a room with 20 Indian faces hanging on your every word as you train them to take calls about debit cards. Imagine the confusion in the room as you explain they will need to ask for the expiry date on the card.

A hand is raised, “Do you mean the card says when the customer will expire??”

You reply, “Almost right, it’s when the card expires.”

Another hand, “How can a card expire?”

More hands go up and more odd questions are asked. Dumbfounded you turn to your SME, he’s been here longer and should know what they are going on about. He’s laughing and then you remember how eager he was for you to deliver the bit about expiry dates.

Set up!

* I downloaded this picture several hours ago and only studied it closely as I was preparing this post. This admirable lady, was born on the same day as me. How spooky! I mean really, that’s spooky, I’m a bit freaked out by this coincidence.