The Anonymous Widower

Homes for Bugs

When I go to Waitrose at the Barbican, I walk through Bunhill Fields from the bus stop, where I get off a 21, 76 or 141 bus.

Just inside the entrance I saw this strange object.

A Home for Bugs

It is actually a home for invetebrates and was the winning entry in a competition organised by the City of London.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Electric Cars are Coming

Well at least in the car park halfway between my house and Dalston Junction station, there is a charging station.

Pod Point in Bentley Road Car Park, Dalston

It’s called a Pod Point and it looks from the web site that the company has some interesting ideas.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

A Real Honeymoon from Hell

This is documented in The Times today.  A couple called Svanström had to endure.

  • The blizzard of the century in Munich
  • A monsoon in Bali
  • Bushfires in Perth
  • Floods in Queensland
  • The EArthquake in Christchurch
  • The earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

C and I had a dreadful honeymoon and we suvived.  according to the report, these Swedes are still getting along well.

    April 6, 2011 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , | Leave a comment

    An Offer From a Financial Advisor I Couldn’t Refuse

    My finacial advisor came round last night.  They are not your normal one, as they turned up in Lycra in all the gear, as they’d come from the City by bicycle.

    I said that I’d like to get back on a bike again after my stroke and would they help.  He said he could do better than that, as he had a tandem!

    April 6, 2011 Posted by | Finance, Transport/Travel | | Leave a comment

    Do Sickly Children Make Successful Adults?

    I ask this question because of a post on the UK-Coeliac list from a mother, who was worried that her coeliac child might have problems because of days off sick during his GCSEs.

    I was always off sick at school, but I got to Grammar School and obtained good O and A levels, went to a good university and by all accounts I have been very successful since. I often wish that I’d been diagnosed with coeliac disease, when my parents and GP, were looking into my childhood health problems, but you can’t change the past.

    Was it because of my many days off school, that my father took me to his printing works so often and my mother taught me household skills from cooking to making clothes?  Or was it because I was the boy and was favoured by my parents and especially my grandmother, who lived with us?

    I also became very reliant on my own company and this served me well, when I was programming, as that can be a very lonely experience.

    Now is that self-reliance is my strongest defence against the trials of my life?

    April 6, 2011 Posted by | Health, World | , , | 1 Comment

    Beef and Bean Casserole

    I don’t have many cookery books as with the Internet and the ability to search for a recipe for what you have available, but I do have one;One-pot Cooking (“Australian Women’s Weekly”)

    The great advantage is that all the recipes are cooked in one pot and hence there is less washing up.

    Many of the recipes are gluten-free too. This one might not be to everyone’s taste, as it contains a lot of red meat.  But then I generally only eat beef about one a month and it’s usually good lean steak.

    Yesterday, I was looking for something to cook for supper with my son and his friend and when I got the book it fell open at this recipe for beef and bean casserole.

    The ingredients are as follows and are enough for more.

    • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1 Kg of braising steak, cut into 2 cm. pieces. I was lazy and got Armed, the butcher, in the Waitrose at Upper Street to do this for me.
    • 2 medium brown onions (300 g.) chopped finely.  Again I was lazy and used the ready chopped ones from Waitrose.
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
    • ¼ cup (70 g.) tomato paste
    • a large tin (400 g) of chopped tomatoes
    • 500 ml beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 2 medium potatoes (400 g), chopped coarsely
    • a large tin (400 g) of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
    • ¼ cup coarsely  chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    The method was as follows.

    1. Heat oil in aarge saucepan and then cook the beef in batches until browned. My big saucepan allowed it to be done in one and after browning I put the meat aside on a plate.
    2. Add onion and garlic to pan, cook, stirring, until onion softens.
    3. Add spices, cook, stirring until fragrant. Add paste; cook, stirring for one minute.
    4. Return beef to pan with undrained tomatoes, stock and bay leaves.  Bring to the boil  and then simmer covered for one hour.
    5. Add potato to the pan and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until the potato is tender.
    6. Remove the bay leaves.
    7. Add beans to pan and stir until heated through.
    8. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped coriander and parsley.

    My guests both liked it, although some of the potatoes could have done with a bit more cooking.  Next time, I’ll think I’ll par-boil them first.

    April 6, 2011 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

    This Thief Almost Won a Darwin Award

    This stupid thief almost won a Darwin Award.  I suppose he’ll do something similar in the next few months to finish the job.

    April 6, 2011 Posted by | News | | 1 Comment