Sunday, 30 November 2008

May contain Nuts....

Oooh! I'm into the blog - however briefly. I had to jump through hoops to get here (following an idea by My Bear, to give credit where credit's due). It'll probably be temporary. Sigh :(

Had a friend visit the other day. Who promptly told me how I make tea is wrong, in great detail, and how "crap" my teapot is. In great detail. And my tea was "crap" anyways. Now there's one thing you don't tell an Englishman , it's how to make tea, and a Yorkshireman to boot. Being a Yorkshireman, he was bloomin' lucky that I didn't charge him for his cuppa.

Or charge him admission to Wheelie's.

Instead, I ran over his foot. Slowly. Twelve and a half stone of a Wheelie poised on his pinkies shut him up nicely. I must remember that technique. I wonder if it works on door to door salesmen, or annoying little old ladies who insist on carrying yorkshire terriers in scotch pattern bags-on-wheels?

Or worse, people who say "Does he take sugar?" (no, sweeteners, top pocket, one please..)

To be fair to the chap, he had made me feel much better about myself. While I listened to him, wide eyed, I was thinking of the number of times that I've been called 'slightly potty', or even better, 'eccentric' (bless 'em).

I don't mind being called 'eccentric'. In fact it's a badge of honour. Took me awhile to get there.

The wet-ware between my ears has undergone some extensive rewiring over the last few years, and is a source of amazement and endless amusement to even little 'ol me. I've earned it, I've worked for it, and by golly, it's the only one I've got, even if it does try to kill me now and again.

I count myself lucky. In the battle between brain and bod I've won so far, and I'm well proud of it, even if the little bugger tries to embarrass me occasionally. I'm
Waaaaaayy past embarrassment.

Having the brain of a stroke survivor has left me with a mind like a mischevious puppy. And like a puppy, you have to let it do puppy things now and again, like chase it's tail, dig up the yard, or bark at nothing in particular, otherwise it's likely to chew up the nearest slipper or furniture. Or worse, bonking the hoover. Not the sort of thing you want your brain doing unexpectedly.

Hence I became cheerfully eccentric. I like that :)

At least I don't go on a rant about other peoples Teapots.

Catchya laters!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Yay! Got my main machine up and running, and no data loss. Son O'mine and I had to fit a new motherboard - but the one I bought is a better board, so it feels like a new machine.

Now what else can I buy? :)

Having been without my main beast for a couple of months, and depending on an old but cranky one, shared with at least four other people, has really made me appreciate this one, and how much I'd tailored the software on it to suit me. Because the family get to use it now and again, (they're big Unreal game players) I have it set up in such a way that there's an area set aside for family use, and my private setup that only I can access. Man, have I missed it.

Privacy is very important to me. I'm the oldest lad of a big family, s'perhaps that's why. Personally, I don't know why. It amazes me that I blog every time I do it :) A bit of me leaking out I guess.

When you're a private person, everything about stroke hits you hard. One, is the bodily functions stuff. I hang around the uk Stroke Association website sometimes. But no-one likes to get into detail. But detail is what we have to deal with day to day. Perhaps it's peculiar British thing.

In hospital, it was sorta divided into male and female, but it was was a bit too open-plan for me. They pull a curtain around, but it felt like an advert every time they did that. To be honest, in retrospect, there was a lady who'd been in some time, who wobbled round, and held my hand in the difficult times, and promptly disappeared. I don't know her name, she never said. But if she ever reads this. Thank you. Thank you very much.

I'm tired, and Little Bear wants her dad, so I'll post more tommorow, if that's ok. xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


Cracking up I am. Found myself apologising to El'Stupido the Cat when we ran out of Tuna. Actually, she doesn't think she's a cat. She thinks, as my Bear put it, that she's 'one of the girls'.

She's not called Stupid of course. That's what Bear calls her ("Hey, Stupid !!") When its cold, wet, windy and freezing and Sniff the Cat is sat on the windowsill late at night warming herself from the warm draft from the open window. And Sniff speaks English. Cat style. Either that or my strokes have sent me Cat-o-pathic.

Why call a cat 'Sniff' ? Ah. That's the nickname of my stalker. Who hates cats. It's a man-thing joke. If you've ever had or have a cat, and you're a lady with a partner, ask him :) It's not for good reason female cats are called 'Queens'. :)


I've come across so many stroke survivors who when hit with the disability stroke brings, think it's the end of the road. I've really thought about this, and when I'm feeling a bit better, I intend doing a few posts on life after stroke.

I apologise to those who have been waiting for some posts about sex and stroke, but I've had a lot of opposition from both atheist and religious friends who think it's wrong I should talk on the net about sex. I'm a bit disappointed to be be opposed to be honest, mostly because everything in stroke has to be tackled one way or another, and I don't think gender, sexual orientation, or the price of fish has much to do with it. I have no intention of being explicit.

Friday, 7 November 2008


Sky News today.

'The solo pilot of a light aircraft who lost his sight in mid air as he flew from Scotland, to Essex, Southern England, was guided to safety by a Royal Air Force jet. It is thought he had a Stroke'

Let me see if I've understood this correctly. You're alone, flying an aircraft, survive a stroke, but become blind. You radio for assistance, and are able to follow instructions, and land safely.


There's not much I'd say is Inspirational nowadays, but I'm well impressed.

I mean - Wow. I'm not easily impressed, but that is a classic example of what guts and determination can do. Just shows what you can do if you put your mind to it. Nice one.

BBC News

Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Not too well, so I thought I'd share a recipe.

Potato & Pumpkin Soup.

I like this one - simple and fairly quick, but most of all cheap, and autumn season veg.

My eldest lass had a variation of this at a friends house, and deduced it had "Simple, it had Potatoes and Pumpkin and Cream and some other stuff". So I did what all IT literate cooks do, and Googled :)

And found that most recipes are spicey. Thats great, if thats what you want, but I wanted simple and cheap, and besides, Daughter said hers wasn't spicey.

So here we go. Note the hints'n'tips.

Equal amounts of Pumpkin and Potato, chopped as fine as you like. I'll get back to that later.

Good couple of pinch's of ground black pepper.

You might have to compromise on that - I found I had 2lb (about a kilo) left over pumkin from Samhain, which would have meant two Klicks of veg. That's a lot. 4-and-a-bit pounds of soup, and an already packed freezer? No ta. I reduced the potatos to 1lb. (One pound)500g, half a klick)

2 Garlic cloves, and 1 medium red onion, finely chopped.

As much butter as you like, or if you are very health conscious, as much as can cope with. Don't use Ghee. (clarified butter) it's a killer either way.

Two table spoons of Olive Oil.

Add the Olive oil to a thick bottomed pan, and half the butter. Neat little trick. if like me you've ever cooked with butter and managed to burn it - add a spoonful of olive oil. If you don't want to drown the taste of the butter use extra-virgin, rather than blended olive oil.

Allow the butter to melt in the olive oil, until it sizzles a little. Throw in the ground black pepper.

I've found that the flavour of all ground spices, including something as common as pepper, improves if its cooked in any oils or fats for about half a minute. Hard to describe - it kind of ups the flavour a bit, yet 'rounds' it and takes away any bitterness or powdery taste. But hey - it works.

Throw in the chopped onion and garlic and cook on a low heat until the onion is the nearest thing red onion gets to transparent. Watch that garlic though. It can brown at the edges and become caramalised, and very quickly burn. Actually, if you like a sweet edge, feel free to let the edges turn a slight brown. However, This recipe doesn't call for a strong garlic flavour.

Add your chopped Pumpkin and Potato. Stir well. Turn the heat down low. Put a lid on the pan.

What? No water or stock? This works well with stews, hotpots or curries too. But mainly with anything where veg is the main base of the meal. Keep the heat low, and the lid on. Veg has a natural high water content. In this case, the pumpkin. What you'll be doing here is the same as what you'll have done to the onion and garlic. Leeching out the natural water content and flavour from the veg into the oil's and fats. Trust your nose, and nip into the kitchen and give it a stir every 5 mins. After about 15 mins a lot of juices will out and try to boil. If it does, pull it off the heat, let it cool.

Add stock. By this time, you'll find the pumpkin and Tats have produced a lot of liquid. I wacked the heat up to a rapid boil, then used enough water to be half-way up the pan, and added a veg cube and chicken cube, and stirred well. Then wacked the heat down again, and cooked for another five mins.

By this time you might have stirred around with a spoon and felt something sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don't be afraid to scrape around a bit. If you come up with a lot of brown bits, Hmmm, maybe you left it a bit too long between stirs. But don't worry. If there aren't too many, your fine. If it sticks a bit, add a teeny bit of boiling water before adding your stock (or cubes) scrape like crazy, and congrats.

The stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan often adds the greatest flavour, as long as it doesn't burn.

I prefer not to use times. When the potatos are soft, the pumpkin has dissolved and the liquid thick, the choice is yours. Stir in the remaining butter, stir in as much cream as you like, Mash, liquidise. or seive if you wish.

Warm gently, and serve.


Sunday, 2 November 2008

If no posts appear here for a few days, it's because I've hit some severe limitations as a result of a bad reaction to the cocktail of medication I take.

I take ten different types, and now and again some of them don't get on together. Bad batch, I guess.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

In a land far, far, away....

A long time ago, I was a club player.

I suspect it's a peculiar British institution, the equivalent of a wandering minstrel. Dunno what the state-side equivalent is. In the brief time I spent in New York and Paris (France), the only thing I can compare it to is the people who provide entertainment in bars.

In GB, we have those of course, but we also have something called 'Working Mens Clubs' which are mainly trade union affiliated. Did a lot of those. If you want an idea what they can be like, Try and get hold of a film called "The Full Monty" It's fair old now, but accurate for it's time, and great fun.

My time was well before then :) So I was totally surprised to be contacted by seven people, out of the blue, who remembered me! Well shocked I can tell you. T'ween you and me, I'm well chuffed. (Pleased). The major thing is that most of them remembered other guys I used to knock around with. Hmm. who 'let the cat out'

I told one of them I'm a stroke survivor, and they said "well, sit down then, Yousaf Islam does". (I believe that's the chap who used to be "Cat Stevens" ) As it happens, I'm a big fan of his - along with Bowie and Ferry and a few relatively unknown folk singers :)

I've not touched a guitar for yonks. My Bear does - she one of those people who can spend two minutes with ANY instrument and play anything - but has never made a cent from it. Y'know the thing - out of tune? No problem. Left hand? Right hand? Upside down? Piano, Synth keyboard, It's an incredible gift. NO probs! Yet she's partly deaf. Incredible.

I'm a bit tempted. But with Bears help - I dunno. I dunno what to think. It'd be darn difficult.


Errrr... The S-thing and stroke post promised. I'm holding off a bit so I can get it right. I've gotta do it, but I've hit a lot of opposition from either older single people, Christian fundamentalists, and I was hit by a hacker/hackers not long after my original post. Sigh :(.

Thing about blogging is that you have to take the risk of being available to the wider world community, and just now and again, you have to tread carefully. So I'm treading carefully .