I guess most of you have spotted some glaring errors if you followed my previous contributions.
I can only apologise and suggest I'll do a bit more homework before my next culinary article.
So what has kept me distracted while in jail - apart from Pam's list of things to be done :)
Some of you may be aware that, since retiring, I have gone back to an earlier period and I'm building a model railway. We have restricted space and insufficient headroom in the loft but I'm allowed to use a spare room which was used as our son's 'playroom' among other things over the years. Up to now the base has been built, track mounted and wired then additional wiring done to separate out the points control from the track control. Various buildings, greenery and back drops have been made - several with Ian's help. There's still one section to prepare to the same state but I'm having a bit of 'fun' with the track in that area resulting in a slightly blue tinge to the atmosphere from time to time !
As David Harris says , the model will never be finished (he has one which has been longer in development) but I've included a couple of pictures to keep you all excited about it :) Eagle eyes may pick out a few trains located around and about AND a model of an OK double decker which you may remember passing through CLS on a route from Bishop Auckland to Newcastle.
A suggestion from the Apple App Store.
Set yourself a daily challenge.
Make the most of your down time by learning something new.
Finished at last a short book on birds with "human" names. The front page has a gilded letter "b". It's taken me ages and could be better - but sometime you just have to call it a day.
Like many people during lockdown, I have been catching up on outstanding tasks. Two weeks ago, I started an Airfix Kit which I have had for some time. In fact I bought it before our son, Stuart, was born and he is 34; and I hadn't even opened the bag of parts! Anyway, the pictures show the completed model.
After the highly encouraging reports of everyone's success with my tips on how to fry an egg and burn toast, I thought you might find it helpful if I share yet another of my not insignificant skills.
However, first an apology to anyone who looked at and tired the process from newsheet 3a before the corrections were issued. As a reminder, I was going into the technicalities of burning toast - too long to repeat here - when a typo slipped in. You may now be aware that the bread should have been under the grill for up to 5 minutes not 50. For those who did not spot this problem, the positive outcome is that the smoke detector has had a live conditions test and the battery has been replaced. In addition, the smell of smoke has likely been usurped by the smell of new paint. This can be countered if you light a few scented candles but for goodness sake keep the fire extinguisher handy. Consequently, I'm a shade nervous about adding new challenges to your culinary skills, even if you have sobered up.
Anyway, here on the west edge of the West Pennine Moors the sun is shining and there is probably a need for a trip to the hairdresser which you can't do during lockdown. It's perfectly acceptable to tackle this at home and, like cooking, is straightforward if you get the preparation right - remember Poor Preparation Prevents Perfect Performance. This process can be followed by ladies and gents, may be done without assistance and, with care, should not require any first aid. Tools and equipment required include scissors - the ones used for cooking are OK but involve another, as yet not described, task of washing up and sanitisation - comb, hair drier and vacuum cleaner. For the best outcome a mirror is helpful, but not essential, as will be towels. The most important item is strong drink to steady the nerves. The highly effective types, like cask strength malt whisky, will probably be available in the darker reaches of a man cave and at this point a large measure should be poured and tested to be sure it still works. If there is any evidence of hand trembling or similar, the test measure was not large enough - try again, repeating until you are satisfied with the outcome. You may now need to to sit down, before you fall, with a mirror in front of you. It is quite useful if you are still able to focus but if not try another swig of malt until the image in the mirror appears as some youthful version of you. A quick trial on the fringe area of your hair (the bit at the front) may be of benefit as most errors here can be covered up by a comb forward. Best to reassure yourself with another shot of malt. Next try the sides as again comb over can cover up - don't forget to reward yourself with a swift slurp or two of malt. The top of the head may a bit more tricky so I suggest it helpful to steady your nerves some more whisky as this is a point of no return with comb-overs no longer an option. Trim a centimetre or two from each grasped handful with no need to use a tape measure to check exact lengths -close enough is good enough. Take a congratulatory mouthful of scotch. Repeat these steps until you are happy with the result or look like Yul Brynner and have no more malt available as consolation. The good news here is you can decide to leave the bit at the back to grow enough to make a ponytail and then you'll look trendy AND in a few weeks you won't be able to tell.
Well I hope you find this tip as helpful as the last.
Once again sober up and stay well
This is courtesy of my sister-in-law. Feel free to print off the image - or the attached file - and play with your fellow isolationists to make the news more bearable.
It's so busy being on lockdown it's untrue!
One of the things I've been doing with my extended family is a version of "Ready, Steady, Cook" using Viber and a newly created website :D
The rules we've set are:
I made roasted vegetables en croute, John did a lentil, courgette and sweet potato daal. Both were very tasty. The dishes made by the others also looked fab.
This week we have as our ingredients: Potato, Eggs, Butternut squash, Tuna, Lemon.
It's been gread fun and has stimulated lively badinage in the group!
We have relatives young and old contributing from England (N.E. and S.E, no one's inbetween), Ireland, Scotland, Portugal and New Zealand. ... It's not just Covid-19 that can be worldwide!
I thought it time to add a little from far flung posts of Argus. If anyone noted my comment to Margaret's post some days ago then I'm sure they must be itching to know how to burn toast and fry an egg which is sort of stuff we do in this distant wilderness! Anyway, regardless, I'm happy to share my not insignificant experience in these matters.
To start , I want to remind you that the 5Ps rule applies here - Poor Preparation Prevents Perfect Performance. So let's look at the preparation (noting that this exercise may be more pertinent to Tenors and Bass). We need to be sure that all the necessary materials, other resources, tools and equipment are available as well as relevant PPE and safety instructions.
1. Locate the kitchen - this may be an exhausting process but you may have stumbled on it by accident during the 'which-room-do-I-visit-today' phase of isolation. You may be able to recognise it as there could be a cooker ( an electrical or gas powered device with maybe a few circular heating elements of some nature on the upper horizontal surface at working height) and/or a fridge (an important device which keeps wine and beer cool).
2.Toasting may be carried out in the grill section of the cooker described above or there could be an independent device standing somewhere on the worktops , usually having two bread slice sized apertures with a cage- like structure inside each and having a flex of about 3 feet with a plug on the end of that for connecting to the power outlets.
At this point go to the fridge and take a glass of wine or a beer as you are most likely worn out physically or mentally by these steps.
3. This step may be even more taxing than the last two but it is essential then to locate a pan ( typically a circular steel /aluminium or similar metal device some one and a half inches deep, 10 inches or so in diameter, having a handle of similar length and no lid). Maybe this is lurking behind a door of the cooker (mentioned in step 1) or in some other cupboard in the kitchen. (Good luck with the hunt). If you were lucky, then you know the whereabouts of the main equipment needed - have another beer or wine!
4. Now for the required materials which will involve even more detective work.
4.1 For the toast you will require bread - you know what that is but where it is will be something of a secret - have a beer or some wine as it'll be some time before you locate from the myriad optional places available.
4.2 For the fried egg you will need an egg - could be in the fridge or anywhere else for that matter and some oil or (preferably) some dripping neither of which will be tripped over readily.
More beer or wine is necessary.
5. To show willing don the relevant PPE as shown in the picture below, then have more beer and retreat for a well deserved snooze since the exertions up to now far exceed the proscribed amount of exercise for one day.
I'll send the next set of details when I'm sober.
As I am trying to organise my day and evenings & thought I would share this small idea with all of you.
I put a concert together from u tube of Beethoven, Elgar & Glinka & watched it on the TV.
Neil & I had a meal first & I had changed into some better clothes (you have to be careful not to slob around all the time). We even gave ourselves a 20 minute interval! Wine was included too.
This Saturday would have been Harrogate Choral Concert - so I have selected the pieces we were singing on youtube & we will be watching them. Neil will have to put up with my warbling as I am worried my voice will deteriorate by not singing for a long time.
We have decided to do this every weekend plus a movie once a week & we will add opera onto the list. Berlin Philharmonic & New York Met Opera are doing live (recorded live) streamings you can access on smart equipment.
I think a structured time table is key to help our sanity.
Keep well & strong.
Anyone can face time or ring me.
Suggestions from Sharon
1. Watch a program on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
2. Read a new book. Half of the fun of reading a new book is finding it. eReaders are a great resource for browsing scores of contemporary titles, as well as free classics, such as Tales of the Brothers Grimm.
3. Reread an old book.
4. Watch YouTube animal videos.
5. Exercise (It’s free and it’s good for you).
6. Turn to Pinterest for D.I.Y. and inspired upcycling ideas.
7. Play your favourite music and get up and dance. Tom Cruise did it in Risky Business.
8. Write reviews for your Amazon purchases. It’s oddly addictive to do and helps your fellow buyers.
9. Write a poem. Turn to the internet for how to write haikus, limericks, ballads and more.
10. Draw, if you are artistically inclined.
11. Take some photographs around the house or of the world outside your window using either a stand-alone camera, or the one built into your phone.
12. Skype or Face Time with someone you don’t normally see.
13.Start an Instagram or Twitter for your pet.
14. Try out a new cocktail recipe with ingredients around the house.
15. Bake some biscuits.
16. Create your own nut butter, be it almond, peanut, or walnut. Get creative!
17. Create your own pesto with a fresh green (basil, spinach, rocket, etc.), olive oil, your nut of choice, fresh parmesan, and salt and pepper.
18. Make a collage with magazines and newspapers sitting around the house. Frame and hang it for cheap, D.I.Y. wall art.
19. If you know an instrument, play it.
20. Go window shopping online. It’s like window shopping at the mall, but the multiple checkout steps are a deterrent for actually buying anything.
21. Make a sock puppet with an old sock and odds and ends around the house.
22. Brew and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Take time to savour the beverage, and pick out flavour notes.
23. Run diagnostic, clean up, and maintenance tasks on your computer, such as running an antivirus software and making sure your computer is completely up to date.
24. Collect clothing and nonperishable food items you no longer want for donation. This idea is double duty: You are giving to those in need and de-cluttering your home. (Probably best to wait a while before actually doing anything with them).
25. Take online quizzes on websites like Buzzfeed.com.
26. Explore your phone or tablet’s app store and make use of free apps.
27. Create a blog on a website such as blogger.com or wordpress.com.
28. Organize a cluttered area of your house, such as your wardrobe or your junk drawers. It’s cathartic and sometimes fun going through your belongings and paring down to only those that you need and use.
29. Learn how to get the most out of your phone. If you have internet access there are zillions of videos. Just google your phone model.
30. Start (if you haven't already) a diary. These are momentous times we are going through. Hopefully we can look back on them and learn something.
This is a solid list to get you started. Entertaining yourself sometimes takes loads of creativity. Next time you are bored, take a look around your space and find something you haven’t used for a while, or something that needs to be organized and get to work. And with a plethora of free and cheap entertainment options on the internet, there is no end to the ways to entertain yourself at home.
Post your suggestions/responses in the comments