The Anonymous Widower

Pan-Fried Fish with Lemon Hollandaise Sauce

This recipe is double-nicked, in that I got it from Fish Fanatics and they got it from the Seafish Industry.  I’ve just cooked it with the disaster-prone flour and it was definitely worth stealing. But as the real beneficiaries are the fishermen and their industry made up the recipe, does anybody really care?

The ingredients are as follows and the quantities serve two.

  • 2 sole or plaice fillets, defrosted and skinned. I actually used haddock, line-caught of course
  • 30g (1oz) plain flour
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 15ml spoon (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 30g (1oz) butter
  • 125ml hollandaise sauce
  • 1 15ml spoon (1 tesp) lemon juice
  • fresh chopped parsley, to garnish

The method is as follows.

  1. Dip the fish in seasoned flour.  Shake off any excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the butter.  Cook each fillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
  3. Add the hollandaise sauce and lemon juice.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  
  4. Garnish and serve with potatoes and green vegetables.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

Guilty About An Act of Kindness

In Waitrose I was looking for some lemon juice, when something fell over (Not my fault at all!  It was only a bag of seeds, that had a mind of my own!) So I apologised to a woman of about twenty-five or so standing next to me and said I was looking for the lemon juice and couldn’t see too well because I’d had a stroke. So if she saw it, would she tell me! The next thing I saw was that she’d asked a member of staff and then she had retrieved the lemon juice for me from another aisle.

I felt rather guilty about it all and did at least thank her.  But probably not profusely enough, as I now feel even more guilty about not doing my own searching.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Food | | 3 Comments

A Near Shopping Disaster

As I come home on the bus after shopping, I am very careful with certain items.

For example, I haven’t bought any gluten-free flour until now, as I’m frightened it might break in my bag. But I did today and it leaked.  But luckily, I only had a few items in a Waitrose plastic bag and the flour stayed there.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Food | | 1 Comment

How to turn a Nokia 6310i Into A Smarter Phone

People laugh at me because I don’t have a smart phone like an iPhone.  But then apparently Elton John doesn’t even have any mobile phone.

But then my Nokia 6310i can send and receive text messages, tweet and even send and receive normal phone calls to anybody with a number.  That last bit is really cool.  Or is it Koool?  Who cares anyway? The only thing it doesn’t have is an automatic reject of calls that are trying to cheat me out of money in various ways.  But no-one has a phone that does that!  Yet! But hopefully, it will come in the next 100 years or so.

I’ve had my 6310i eleven or twelve years now and even now, I find new features that I am starting to use.  I’ve known about it for some time, but now I’m using the to-do-list feature to make notes as I ride around London, often at the front on the top deck of a bus.  Try doing that in a car!

As the phone stores quite a few text messages, when I have information I might need on the move, I just text it to my phone using LiquidDrop.  I’ve just picked up my tickets for Barnsley and I’ve texted the itinerary to the phone for Saturday.  No hated piece of paper to take, but I suspect W H Smug, will try and load me up. Perhaps, I’ll buy my Saturday paper in M&S or on the way to St. Pancras.

So the 6310i is getting to be a smarter phone.  This is what everyone wants!  I once said, “Computers make good slaves, but very bad masters!” That applies to phones as well. And especially mobile ones.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Computing, Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Ian Walmsley Train Comfort Factor

Ian Walmsley is a respected rail industry professional and a regular contributor to Modern Railways.  In the last edition, he did a scientific analysis of passenger comfort in various classes of British train. Some typical Standard Class ratings he got were Eurostar – 77.6%, HSDT – 76.2% And a lot were much worse!

So I decided to apply his rules to the hybrid buses that take me to Wood Green and the City.

A 141 Bus to Wood Green

These are my rather crude results.

Noise Standstill – Estimated – 8 – 0.32

Noise Service Speed – Estimated – 8 – 8

Ride – Estimated – 6 – 6

Seat Comfort – 9 – 9

Seat Legroom – 8 – 0.64

Seat Window Alignment – 10 – 6

Seat Visibility Airline – 9 – 4.5

Seat Airline to Bay Ratio – 10 – 5

Seat Armrests – 0 – 0

Air Management – 9 – 7.2

Luggage Capacity – 7 – 3.5

Toilets – 0 – 0

Catering – 0 – 0

Vibration and Rattles – 8 – 4

Litter Bins – 0 – 0

Ambience – 9 – 6.3

So this gives a weighted score of 60.46.  Not bad considering it scored zero for armrests, toilets, catering and litter bins.  You could make a case for scoring somewhere about 7 for each of the last three, as they are generally available close to most bus stops.

It would also be interesting to borrow a noise meter and get correct values for that.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Barnsley is Now Booked

My trip to Barnsley in Scargillshire is now booked.  I was on the Ipswich Town call centre for perhaps thirty seconds, before they said the ticket would be in the post tonight and then it took me perhaps a minute to book the train from St. Pancras on London Midland.

Why can’t more companies make purchases so quick and stress-free?

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

A Good Cleaning

The big Chinese rug in my living room, was one that C and myself bought in Hong Kong in probably 1985.  I remember we imported it personally and I drove the horse box to the docks at Felixstowe to collect it.

In all the years we had it, it had never been cleaned.

Until now.

Cleaning A Carpet

The only real problem was that a basset hound, we used to own, had christened the carpet. But in the end, it came up fairly well.

The Finished Carpet

Obviously it needs to dry off completely.  But I think Michael from The Beautiful Cleaning Company did a very good job. And the price was less than I’d budgeted for!

February 7, 2011 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

What Do We Do With the Olympic Stadium?

The row about what to do with the Olympic Stadium in Stratford after the Olympics rumbles on apace.

The original plan to turn it into a smaller 25,000 seat stadium might be a wonderful legacy for athletics, but would it be the best use of it after the Olympics. There are perhaps a couple of meetings a year that could fill such a stadium, unless the World or European Championships are held in London. And knowing London and Londoners like I do, 25,000 seats would probably be too small. So we might have a white elephant that would require lots of continuing funding.

To have a dual-use stadium as West Ham propose may not be a good idea.  Fans don’t like watching football over an athletics track and I can understand why.  I watched Ipswich play in the old Olympic Stadium in Moscow and the view was atrocious.  Especially, as I had forgotten my binoculars.  I also went to Stamford Bridge, when it still had the dog track in place and that wasn’t good either.  So I can understand the views of fans and Harry Redknapp, when they say football and athletics don’t mix.

But there is a more fundamental problem and that is that football (and cricket and rugby for that matter) rely heavily on providing a lot of corporate entertainment with boxes, restaurants and fast food bars. Athletics crowds are different, probably more knowledgeable and have different and conflicting needs.  They also stay longer making a whole day of the trip. 

There is probably only one mixed use stadium that works and that is the Stade de France in Paris. In some ways this illustrates the problems, in that the French stage football, rugby and athletics, whereas, in England, rugby has Twickenham and football has Wembley.

The question has also to be asked if athletics wants a spiritual home like football, rugby and cricket.

It probably does, but a 75,000 seater stadium would be a white elephant, costly to fund.

It could also be argued that it has a spiritual home at Crystal Palace, which has been the scene of some great days of athletics.  But it needs to be knocked down and rebuilt, preferably to a size of 30,000 seats that could be temporarily expanded to stage World or European Championships. One of the other problems of the stadium, was that it didn’t have good transport links direct from North and East London.  But this has been partly solved by the new East London Line.

In fact, it would be good for South London if the whole Crystal Palace site was properly developed as a sport and leisure park, to compliment Stratford. Very little has been done since the original palace burned down before the Second World War. And if Crystal Palace is properly redeveloped, why not do the same at Alexandra Palace?  The famous race course is still there.

What we need is a proper strategy for London, that is properly thought through.  In fact this is the main problem with the Olympic stadium in that it was built to a cost for a limited life, rather as part of a whole strategy.

I have just Karen Brady, the West Ham, Vice Chairman, on BBC Breakfast and she put a convincing case for their mixed-use plans, which would include cricket. So is this just one part of a strategy, which should include plans for North, South and West London as well.

And then there is the elephant in the room; Chelski. Arsenal have a 60,000 seat stadium and Tottenham will have one, whether they move to Stratford or not. They wouldn’t be able to develop at Stamford Bridge, but what about a new stadium, where HS2 connects to Heathrow at Old Oak Common?

So the problem is a lot bigger than just what you do with Stratford.

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment