Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Top afternoon transport/machinery smartness here in BS5!
The bin lorry just came down the street which is always secretly entertaining for a quick ten seconds of hydraulic noisy action as it lifts the bins up and over (36 going on 10).
Today however, one bin lorry was followed by a second and then a third! Maybe they thought they were buses as they always come in threes.
The crews were loud and noisy and larking about, and it was quite a caper. The third bin wagon caned it down the street (which is narrow) but seemed to pose no danger to VX52 and his colleagues parked on the road.
Somewhat dangerously I took a picture - the sort of people who normally photograph bin lorries probably only do so on day release from institutions.
You may have to click on the pic' to enlarge and confirm a bin lorry hat trick.
No complaints here about slack collections in BS5!
(D', I *know* you would have found this smart so don't be at me on the comments, bro'!)
Top smart. For no extra monthly charge my broadband provider has notched me up to between 7 and 8 meg' a second connection.
Blogging just like Neo now.
This picture is me avoiding a stray bullet that came down the street last week on account of an over excited special forces dude up at no.78. It was close!
Monday, 29 September 2008
Lamb great and cooked beautifully; as my Blog friend Scargosun said earlier on, get over the fear of cooking it and it will become a regular favourite. Spot on indeed and it was delicious. I concentrated and delivered; shame it was just me at the dinner table, but hey, next time.
As I ate that dinner the US Economy did not cook nearly as well and lost collosall billions in the few minutes I was eating. Amazing to watch it live!
America: look out of your back yard a bit more, get a Passport, learn some Geography and maybe the rest of the planet will give you a bit more time. And vote Democrat for once! Listen to Obama, he's got a bridge to sell you (great line about an hour ago!) This pic' is Obama delivering that line...
Well folks we are 23 minutes in and the first stage is complete!
Blog BS5 is following this recipe for the first attempt at Roast Lamb. I am following it but only scantly, which I know will make my friend Bag get a bit pointy.
Only one call to Blog BS5's Mum so far but that was for technical advice on courgettes fried in olive oil with a little garlic; kick that off 20 minutes before service was the advice, then they will be done nicely.
So, as per the recipe, I made a nice little rosemary and garlic and olive oil baste but I finely chopped a chilli too (minus seeds). Basted the lamb then put it in for 20 mins at 230. Also par boiled potatoes for those 20 minutes and have now added them to the lamb on a lower heat. The lamb is sat on some garlic cloves and I have quartered some onions and put those in too. There is a touch of red wine too.
Herein a picture at prep' time, and after 20 mins.
It smells FANTASTIC. If Dita VT or Erin O'Connor do happen to call, they will definitely want to stay, because it is looking and smelling good. And the lamb.
I have to get a gravy plan in my head now and get this going for the 12 minutes the lamb rests.
I am quite excited...it's roast lamb with broccoli, roasties, courgettes and sweetcorn plus gravy. Served at about 7.10 pm; bring a bottle and you are welcome to dinner!
You may recall a post on BlogBS5 last month about a new bridge over the river here in Bristol. It takes pedestrian traffic into the back of Temple Meads Station, crossing the Avon by way of a top-shiny cheese grater. It's a smart bit of kit and at night it is lit up which is pretty impressive. Looking through my phone, someone seems to have taken a picture of the bridge at night, and it turns out it was me after one or two glasses of pop (as my friend Bag would say). Anyhow, check this out; isn't it cool?
It's two in the morning and I am peckish. I did not cook the planned roast lamb earlier today because I forgot to buy rosemary and garlic (essential gear!) so I will do that tomorrow instead. I sort of spent the evening grazing and not really eating any sort of dinner at all.
Time for a quick 2am bacon sandwich and then back to bed!
Sunday, 28 September 2008
Today I am cooking roast lamb. I am a reasonably proficient cook but I am a bit scared of cooking sheep based products. It's just not as easy looking as a pig or a moo cow. It doesn't feel like intuitive cooking so it's off to Google recipes for me this morning.
It is also back to church Sunday across the UK, so maybe there will be a surge in our congregation today (I can't see it happening but you never know).
I am thinking about two personalities today, Paul Newman who was cool and has checked out at 83, and Lewis Hamilton who can take the Singapore race, I reckon.
Saturday, 27 September 2008
It's 5am and I have been up a couple of hours; I planned to wake up to hear McCain Obama but snoozed through, waking up in time for the waffle of the immediate analysis afterwards. As a consequence of this early start I will probably fall asleep mid afternoon, so really I should go back to bed now.
A revelation this morning: Dita Von T is an American!
Well, I didn't know that! No wonder she reads BlogBS5 at such curious times.
Friday, 26 September 2008
Well, I had been planning on letting my beard grow for a bit longer but here I am seven days in with a respectable enough performance and it is itchier than sand in your shoes after a day on the beach.
I am going to have a decent shave and stroll back towards respectability. Enough of looking like a vagrant; Lord knows I am close enough to that status without advertising it via a scruffy lack of shaving.
I would have written this post early on this morning but I was called upon to storm a plane in Cologne, Germany; you might read about that later. We made it quick, ruthless and efficient but I was a bit of a spaz with the door and got slightly shouted at for a sub 4 second reaction time. I think my itchy beard distracted me.
STIll no news form J.Sainsbury even though they said I would hear about my interview this week, one way or the other.
Sunny and nearly hot in BS5 today which is odd for the end of September.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
I really enjoy The Restaurant, a TV show where ambitious couples are whittled down each week until just one is left to run a restaurant with Raymond Blanc. Each week some of the couples (deemed weakest) go into a relegation zone, and three of them have 'The Challenge' to see who exits, or as Raymond calls it in his funny French way, 'Zeee Chhhhhallooonj'.
Tonight's challenge saw three couples catering and serving in an Oxford College (Oriel, Trinity and a third which I have forgotten!) It was a fun challenge and the right couple got busted (pretty poor show they put on - well the front of house man anyway).
Now I have to say that without getting into all that comment on the validity of 500 years' tradition and High and Low table (fine by me), I have eaten a handful of times at an Oxford College (Lincoln) when my bro' studied there as a post graduate. The building was fine, the table, crockery, painting, glasses, cutlery and smell were all terrific and ditto the sense of occasion and history, however, the food was PAP! Total blandness and in the unimaginative tradition of the British public school system, though that left me alive and okay at the end of my schooling.
It's a good show and though this might invite stick, it is smart and fresh because it assumes some interest and spark (and dare I say, intelligence?) in the audience and does not assume everyone is as dense as concrete.
Actually I recall Lincoln College, Oxford 1995 mostly for a bit of a snog with a fine woman (called Venetia) about whom I was stupid as arse to do nothing more in the weeks that followed. Eejit!
Today I visited Cabot Circus, Bristol's new shopping centre in the middle of the city. It only opened today and is anchored by a Harvey Nicks and a fine House of Fraser. It has been under construction for three years, if not more so it was quite cool to see it. I am (a temporarily on the bench) retailer so it was fun to see all the new stuff and the frankly wanky merchandising in the uber trendy clothing and lifestyle retailers. Much seems to be aimed at the pink pound! As it was day 1 you could see Area Managers and head office bods all over the place; the Area Managers stuck out a mile as did their colleagues from various brands' marketing departments, resplendent in a lack of ties, daft specs and ridiculous barnets! Anyhow, I spent 90 minutes looking about and bought a shirt from TM Lewin. It is a fine bit of steel and glass this new centre.
What was much more exciting was the construction I stopped to look at one the way in! Here is a pic of a decent crane (stopped to watch it do its thing) and a very smart concrete pump! I suspect female readers may question the balance of excitement between construction machinery and a massive, smart new shopping centre with killer opening offers.
Progress! Today I woke at 6 and strolled to the bathroom whereupon the bulb went with a little bit of exciting noise. I went back to bed but changed the bulb an hour later. This may not feel like progress but consider the bulb that went in the dining room 4 years ago (for real!) which remains un-replaced so far.
Onwards with a progressive day, I hope.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I am by no means a cook of competence or flair, but I can do okay and will certainly not starve to death.
Today I am going to try to make a lasagne, which looks easy but has a seemingly un-ending amount of prep' time. Laziness will be my main foe rather than any lack of merit. It looks reasonably logical and easy and I am only prompted to make it because I have two big old courgettes in the fridge and should slice them into some sort of recipe. Lasagne seemed to fit though none of the recipes viewed thus far actually mentions courgette at all, but there we are the idea is up and running now so I shall just slice them in, in-between layers..
I moved on from one recipe because it mentioned Bechemel, which I thought was a city in one of the Russian Caucuses.
There's only me to cook for so no real disaster if it all goes a bit Pete Tong because I will just eat it anyway.
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
I took this quiz that I read about in 'The Independent' on Monday. It doesn't matter if you are a chap or a woman; apparently it scores your 'gender typical' rating. I got a healthy 6!
Here it is copied and pasted in..I had to mess about lots with formatting for this, so take the test!
Note: Car chases, guns, spaceships, and James Bond do not feature. It seems biased towards a woman taking the quiz not a man (there's a clue in that somehow).
Here goes...WTF is Q 16 about, and what's with Q 18 anyhow?
Even if we use oversimplified categories from popular science, are you more a Man from Venus or less a Woman from Mars? Tick either A or B to indicate which of the following most closely reflects your preference:
A. Sex and the City
B. Top Gear
A. History documentary
B. Human interest documentary
A. Colour supplement
B. Foreign news section
A. Go shopping
B. Wash your car
B. Get a professional in
A. Jane Austen
B. H Rider Haggard
B. Packet of tissues
A. Chapped lips
B. Gin and tonic
A. I can spend hours shopping
B. I like to get in and out with a minimum of fuss
A. I need to find the exact right pattern and colour for my curtains
B. I prefer blinds
A. I like to cuddle after morning sex
B. I like to jump straight in the shower
A. I worry about getting my hair wet
B. I wear a hat
A. It takes me about five minutes to get ready in the morning
B. It takes me 45 minutes to get ready in the morning
A. I can find my keys in in less than five seconds
B. I have to hunt around to find my keys
A. I moisturise my whole body
B. I moisturise my face
A. If I found a dead mouse in my kitchen I'd dispose of it myself
B. I'd ask someone else to get rid of it
Scores: (I'm afraid you have to follow the link in bold to a scores page)
0-6 Men: You are a man's man, and not especially in touch with your feminine side. Be careful you don't slip into pitfalls like insensitivity and poor communication.
Women: You are in touch with your inner animus – you defy gender stereotypes and plough your own furrow. This does not necessarily mean you're a tomboy or a ladette, just a girl who dares to be different.
7-14 Men and women: You're in the middle ground of the gender spectrum so you can appreciate both masculine and feminine pursuits without getting hung up on what seems gender "appropriate" or whether your sexuality is being impugned.
15-20 Men: You're in touch with your femininity, but this should not be confused with being camp or girly. Appreciating feminine virtues can help you to empathise with the opposite sex – a very attractive quality.
Women: You appear to be made of sugar and spice and all things nice, but beware of "doll's house" syndrome.
Gordon just called me up to ask what I made of his speech this afternoon.
I told him I thought his (quite pretty) wife kicking it off was a pleasantly surprising move. I also told him that the whole che-bang was window dressing anyhow. 'Yeah, Gordon', I said, ' you may have put a leadership bid on hold , at least until the Glenrothes By-election, and you will probably be in power until the election anyway, but your Government will get such a monumental kicking at that point anyway, that you might as well plan for the speaking circuit now'.
Gordon seems decent enough to me but the poor chap just heads a Government that has been in too long and is old, tired, and out of steam.
Gordon thanked me for my analysis and then asked me just how the hell I got Dita Von T to subscribe to BlogBS5. Ahh, Gordon, some things a man must keep to himself.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Recently, I have been looking in at a pub in Bristol city centre called The Seven Stars; I go along with the chaps and it is all very happy. Yesterday I went along there with my bro' and a friend of his from his days in Shanghai. His pal Katie applied for University in the UK (to do a post grad') - and my bro' recommended Bristol as a good city - and indeed it is so. They had not met since China and we found ourselves in the SS just yesterday. This is Katie and me on the street as we went in. She was a very wispy young thing! The beer was outstandingly good and we had to have more than one.
My good Blog pal Sub' tagged me with this, so here are my happy, dutiful answers to a game of tag...
Here are the instructions: What you are supposed to do...and please don't spoil the fun...Copy/paste, type in your answers and tag four people in your lists! Don't forget to change my answers to the questions with that of your own.
(A) Four places I go over and over: The Rhubarb Tavern, Bristol Cathedral (went today), St Luke's Church, Sainsbury's.
(B) Four people who e-mail me regularly: Walshy, Bag, Barack Obama, and Spam email providers of medication for enlargement (pah! no need!)
(C) Four of my favourite places to eat: My house, Cas's house, Walshy's house, any restaurant with *really* good linen. Good linen makes a table IMHO.
(D) Four places you'd rather be: In the company of friends; location irrelevant (but at a push, Gloves South, a small part of Galway!)
(E) Four TV shows I could watch over and over: The West Wing, TNG, The Restaurant, Channel 4 News.
(F) Four people I think will respond: FFF, Scargosun....that's about it! Walshy might but he knows he doesn't really need to. That's only three, I know.
Enjoyed this - no tag for awhile of late!
During interview prep' for JS last week, I took a long look at their store in Beaconsfield, Bucks. In doing so, I happened upon some marketing/POS for 'feed your family for a fiver'. One such recipe was a sausage and veg' sort of a thing, and tonight I used this as a basis for sausages and roasted Mediterranean veg' in red wine. My brother Greg won't stray from a recipe (at all!!) and gets all anal about flair. He's like Mr Spock and has to have the recipe to the wire, whereas I take it as a foundation and then experiment and see what happens; that said he has more flair than I when everything has been plated up.
This picture is my dish; Sausage with Mediterranean veg' as I put it in the oven tonight. Also pictured is 'bowl and flowers'. The bowl is a favourite possession and the flowers were a steal at four pounds. There were loads! I have carnations all over the house. The bowl has chocs in it - an introductory offer on Roses, or as JS don't want you to consider, that's the supplier fucking with them and off loading early Christmas stock with JS bending over to support a good price. The last tin of Roses purchased here in BS5 lasted December 07 to May 08, so I predict (confidently) that this purchase will run into my 2008 Christmas tin some time in December.
Miles Davis (milestones) on You Tube as I type.
When I was at Ma and Pa's in the week, I took great delight in looking through a big old suitcase of photos that my brother had retrieved from the loft. He wanted to take some back to the far east. I bought some home too and will scan some in and make a collage too.
I like this one lots. It is my Dad on his last day at the Guardian where he was Exec' Editor for 16 years (pic' is about 1976). The other fella is Peter Preston who still writes for that paper now and again. We were all living in London at the time and I just about recall my mum and me collecting my Dad each morning from the train as I went off to play school (Pa worked nights, editing the paper as it changed during the evening and prepping' stuff for the next day).
I also found some pics of me aged about eight years old, next to my Ma. I would be about four feet ten tall, which is now a whole foot and a half ago!
So here it is, post 500 on Blog BS5! My Blog is about three weeks short of its first birthday and I certainly thought 365 days would come around before 500 posts, but then I do write a lot of old horse sometimes!
It is a week since I last blogged and loads has been taking place. I have stayed in Buckinghamshire and Herefordshire and I have spent a morning in London interviewing with J Sainsbury. That was my first time in London this year and the first time in many, many visits when I really thought, 'I could not live here!' Did so for five years as a small chap but could not do so now; no one says hello like they do in sunny Bristol!
On one of the days since I last blogged I took this pic' and in fact I parked up and waited in anticipation and excitement to see just what sort of a tractor one would see on meeting a 'Danger Tractor'. Alas it did not come along in the five minutes I waited. Never mind.
I am off now to read the other Blogs I follow in Bristol, the North East and America!
Monday, 15 September 2008
I just got an email from a man in Milwaukee, WI (Wisconsin perhaps?)
There is another man called BlogBS5 somewhere in America and I quite often get Emails that make no sense because the other fella thinks I am the BlogBS5 he knows, not a fella from Bristol.
Anyhow, 'Kevin' who wrote to three of us was asking if anyone could swap shifts on Friday as he needs to be near something called Pabst where some friends of his are seeing some chap called Mason Jennings. I hit 'reply to all' and told them I had to be in London interviewing and that maybe I was not the chap they thought I was, and that swapping shifts was a bit tricky.
What a random event for my 499th post!
Sunday, 14 September 2008
This morning I am doing a speaky bit in Church. This will be the second time as I also did this on the weekend the Olympics opened.
In a 'leaving my homework to the last minute' style, I have not prepped this. At all! It's not for a lack of interest because I like doing churchy stuff and try to give it my best, it's just that I have been doing a ton of other stuff of late. I will have a think about it in the next hour and make brief notes and hope that I can wing it with a little thought, skill, good luck and ex contemporaneous blagging. I won't let myself down, that much I know.
I was looking for a pic for this post and the one I have chosen has little to do with the post but it's just smart!
Other news: I have an interview with J Sainsbury in London on Friday for a potential job. I was going to do some prep for that today but the blurb for my presentation didn't make the Saturday mail.
Saturday, 13 September 2008
Here I am back in BS5 after a really happy week spent at home. I got back on Friday for a mixed day: 3-6 was a 10 year celebration of a memorial garden at my church so it was all cream teas, washing up, shifting tables and chatting to nice older folk. Then it was a surprise do at the Rhubarb for Cas's 55th. His lovely daughter organised it and in a rare Rhubarb moment the pub was chocca with stunning women, some of whom I actually chatted to! I got in at 2 having executed some pretty shocking disco dancing and chatted like a mad thing.
Talking of stunning women, in my week at home I discovered who Dita Von Teese is. I thought she was some actress from the 1900s who would be brown bread by now, but it turns out she's this fabulously curvy attractive woman who is very much alive. And very easy indeed to look at too. And she's just like BS4 too. I will be in a right old dilemma if Erin O'Connor comes round for tea and then Dita VT also rings me for a date.
For the very few of you who are keen to know the result of my thrilling MPG calcs (see previous post) VX52 got home on a full tank (all 144lbs of it) and his MPG was only 1.4 miles lower than runing nearly empty. There goes my scientific credibility.
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Just yesterday I took my mother out in the car to assist in various errands. I had also stayed at Ma and Pa's and completed loads of jobs like clearing the garage out, cleaning cars and taking all the moss and mud and weeds out from the bricks on the drive (that took aaaaaages). My mother most kindly insisted that she should pay for a tank of diesel in VX52. Of course she had no need to do that, as carrying out tasks was my pleasure. Anyhow, when one's Ma insists that's it, so I happily accepted. Now I am not a particulalry tight chap (I hope) but I had not had the tank full up for about a year because I was only ever driving 12 miles to work and back so why haul about the extra weight when one lives near many a fuel station and is provided with a hire car on leaving Bristol during work? I worked it out ; a full tank of fuel weighs in at 114 pounds or a touch over eight stones. This is like having a whole extra person in the car, and I suppose half a tank would be half a person's weight. I am dangerously keen to see if heading for home full up can match the top smart 62 mpg I attained on the way out here with only a quarter of a tank full.
Fuel prices are lower now than 6 weeks back but this still came in at £74, or $140 if you are reading in America.
Life is fast and exciting.
Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
It's early, it's raining, it's a bit nippy and I am off for a run!
My blog dashboard poppped up with all sorts of exciting widgets this morning. I am going to try some before the CERN thingy is switched on tomorrow and we all end up on Alpha Centauri. This does look like the internal bits of the Death Star.
Monday, 8 September 2008
It's Monday morning and I am doing my bit for church today (did lots yesterday, including a reading at 5 minutes' notice because the person pencilled in didn't come along) .
Today I am helping in the church garden in readiness for afternoon tea on Friday in that space. I am worried about digging up something untoward! Our little church garden is more prone to vandalism that becoming overgrown and that's a shame. This is the bit of kit I am using, and I will go at it unsupervised. Considering my Dad won't let me use his lawn mower, I think this may go some way to proving to him that I could be let loose with it.
As you may have seen from a previous post, my friend Helen came to stay over the weekend and set a world record for chatting! It was good to see her though.
On a more curious note, we seem to have started a campaign for our local pub to acquire a goat. Not sure how that happened; drink was involved (and Cas).
Friday, 5 September 2008
This evening my friend Helen is coming over for dinner (which I am cooking) and to stay over too. This will involve wine and chatter and a catch up, and a balance of chatter 95% to 5% her way!
Knowing that Helen is coming over, I have had to swing into action with a House-cleaning and spare room Operation, codenamed 'Don't think like a bloke' - plenty of housekeeping and dusting here, and then a review of suitability for an actual, proper girl! Yes BS5, you really should move that balled up pair of socks from July, and the newspaper article you meant to read back in May.
My house is actually pretty tidy most of the time but like that bloke on Masterchef always says at the end of round 1 'Right guys, now you need to step it up a a gear!'
Dinner no problem, dusting and hoovering more of a chore!
Off for a run through the rain now to think about it.
Thursday, 4 September 2008
Yesterday I went on a jolly little outing to Weston Super Mare, a pleasant little spot some half an hour from Bristol, and probably the largest, nearest beach. It's a smart place and recently hit the headlines when its Pier burned down in about two hours in not entirely un-suspicious circumstances if you ask me.
This particular jolly was a church affair so it was me, one other chap and lots of church women, somewhat senior to me. The train was a fiver for a return ticket, so that was good, and all day long the rain held off (mostly). We walked about 4 miles which is not bad considering ages ranged from 36-81. Plenty of sea air and the obligatory lunch of fish and chips.
Here are some pics of the Pier and the sand.
And the wildlife. Wow!
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
This evening I am going to watch this move, an Italian film with subtitles. I think it looks really promising and I am looking forward to it.
Pictures of the day's frolics at WSM to follow separately.
UPDATE: Wow - sicko ending to *that* movie - hoooo-wah, that was nuts! Stylish, but nuts.
This morning I have downloaded a Beta of 'Google Chrome' which is a multi window browser that loads up a small screen for each of your most frequent web visits. It is a Beta so it might be wobbly but it looks smart!
I am also off on the train for a windy seaside trip to Weston Super Mare with the women from church - I wonder if any of them has Chrome as their Beta search engine?
Try it here if you like.
Weston report to follow later, plus burned down Pier pics.
Monday, 1 September 2008
September has started as sunnily as you like! (This is not a snap of BS5, tho'!)
Out for a run this morning and le soleil brille as I think the French have it.
Oh - definitely not an image of BS5 as I can't seem to make a connection to upload a pic', but can post text.
September has started as sunnily as you like! (This is not a snap of BS5, tho'!)
Out for a run this morning and le soleil brille as I think the French have it.
Oh - definitely not an image of BS5 as I can't seem to make a connection to upload a pic', but can post text.