Could it be….?

April 6, 2010

I can’t say it’s been the easiest weekend ever.

We are all so connected these days. It means being able to instantly see anything that happens anywhere else in the world. And this is not always a blessing.

Apple launched the iPad this weekend. I know this because I have seen video’s of people getting them from Apple stores.

It was tough watching from this side of the pond – we may be connected but I can’t buy one. Now, you don’t have to be American to buy one. Stephen Fry has one. Jonathan Ross announced on Twitter that he has one.

You just have to be in America to get one – and that’s the rub.

But maybe not for much longer. It’s only a rumour but April 23rd looks like it could be the date for the UK.



iPhone update

April 5, 2010

I dropped my iPhone last month and smashed the screen. It still worked fine but I had to look through the smashed glass when using.

At first, it seemed like the perfect excuse to replace it when the new 4th gen one comes out in the summer – it’s not that long after all. However, it was proving a pain using it on a day to day basis and all of a sudden June/July seemed a long way away.

If I replace it now, I could get a 3GS for approx £200 but would have to commit to at least an 18 month contract. That would scupper any plans for the new one in the summer.

A quick Facebook pole about whether to replace now or not, and a couple of people suggested that I could get my smashed machine repaired and then sell it on eBay in the summer. I would probably get most of my money back. Never thought of that!!!

So a quick trip to the Apple Store in Meadowhall and a refurbished 1st Gen iPhone was mine for £140.

Who’d have thought a new one would look so retro already.

Look – no scratches…

So back to normal. Which is great.

There has been a couple of little bonuses to. The old phone had a dodgy headphone port which sometimes cut out when running – not anymore.

And the loudspeaker is miles better. When they released the 2nd Gen iPhone – the 3G one – they upgraded the loudspeaker, making it much more useable as a speaker phone and when calls/texts come in. I have always noticed this with my phone as Nikki has a 3G one and it is just louder.

Well – I reckon they have used a new spec loudspeaker in refurbishing the 1st gen one I bought.

I actually hear it now when the phone is ringing!!! Who’d have thought?


Carnivores on tour…

April 4, 2010

Having spent so long abstaining from meat, I was always going to make an event of returning to the fold. Whilst in Cheltenham this weekend, we decided to eat out to celebrate Easter Sunday and went to The Storyteller Restaurant & Wine Room

What a great place!!!

The food was very good without being pretentious, they had loads of wine to choose from at good prices (more of which later) and they are very children friendly – all of which adds up to thoroughly enjoyable time!

Irrespective of where we went, I was always going to have a steak with a bottle of red….

Steak red wine

It’s not hard to get it right but all too often you can eat out and they get it wrong. Steak please… “And how would you like that cooked sir?” It is such a minefield. I like mine rare but I don’t want it cold. Technically, it is medium rare where the steak is pink and bloody in the middle whilst being juicy and warm – but so few places get it right. Talking it over with the waiter, I ordered it rare and it came just as I wanted. Brill!!!

The wine room is an area just by the bar where they have a large selection of wines available at pretty reasonable restaurant prices. The normal rule of thumb for wine mark up in a restaurant is to times by 3!! If you can buy it wholesale for a fiver – it will be on sale in a restaurant for £15. They have to make a margin after all. (And I have never had an issue with this BTW). As we were ordering wine at the beginning of the meal, I noticed a Sauvignon Blanc on the card in front of me but it was from Australia. My favourite white tipple is New Zealand Savignon Blanc (I will save that story for another day) so I asked if they had a NZ SB and they mentioned a couple – one of which was Cloudy Bay!

Now, Cloudy Bay is still the best Sauvignon Blanc from NZ but it’s reputation means that it is very expensive. Last time I bought some from Majestic Wine, it was £19 a bottle so to pay £29 in a restaurant – well I was quite pleased with that. It’s still nearly 30 quid for a bottle of white, I know – but you wont get better. And I am sure there are other places who will charge you over £50 it – correct me if I’m wrong!

We then had a nice bottle of Australian Red to go with the steak. And sod it, we thought we’d have a pudding too.

Pecan Pie Mississippi Mud Pie

I had the Mississippi Mud Pie. Nikki wanted the Pecan Pie. When I ordered it, I asked the waiter if he had ever seen “When Harry met Sally”?!??! He didn’t get my odd film reference. He was too young of course. Am I am getting old?

Overall, a good meal and a great night out.

And I am glad to be back into the meat eating fold!!!


I don’t like Easter Eggs…

April 4, 2010

but I LOVE Easter Sausages & Bacon…

On your marks, get set…..

Sausages Bacon


Sausages Bacon


I know what I’m having for breakfast…

April 4, 2010

What about you?

For those of you who don’t know, I have not been eating meat during Lent. But today is Easter Sunday so Lent has come to an end for another year. And now I am eating meat again, today at least, I am going to do it properly.

Fenton’s butchers in Tickhill are the source for a couple of my favourites. Tomato sausages on the left and Pork & Black Pudding on the right. The perfect combination for a cooked breakfast.

Not eating meat for 6 weeks has proved quite hard, but not for the reasons I expected. I am a bit of a foodie so what I eat forms an important part of my day. Not having meat as an ingredient hasn’t proved that difficult when you can put a bit of thought and planning into what you eat. We have been eating fish and seafood, so when we take the time to buy it and cook it, we have been eating very well. Moules Marinere & Salmon cooked in different sauce’s have been highlights but so too has been a Vegetable Chilli that Nikki came up with and we have eaten more than once.

The hard part has been when you don’t get time to prepare. Sometimes, you can’t get to the market for some fresh fish or you don’t have the time during the day to make a chilli. Being able to pop to the butchers and grab a couple of fresh chicken breasts or half a dozen decent sausages is a luxury that you very quickly get used to when living in Tickhill. And makes a quick last minute supper very acceptable. Without that, too many evenings this last month or so have been “pasta with pesta” – and it was starting to get boring.

We have also missed a good old fashioned Roast Dinner. Lily-Anne was at Brownies on Monday evening and they were talking about Easter camp next week. She can’t go because we are away ourselves, but she was most disappointed when they were discussing the menu for the camp and said they will be having Roast Chicken. “Daddy, when is Lent over?” she asked, more bothered that she can’t have a roast than she can’t go on camp. That’s my girl!!!!

I know – we’re very spoilt but it’s true.


And in Butter news…

April 2, 2010

It turns out that the Buttercross in Tickhill has nothing to do with the Christian cross or crossroads…

I quote Kelly Day-Tennant (renowned Tickhill Historian)….

“It was built in 1777 in an attempt to revive the weekly market, All the Buttercross ( also known as Butter Cross), means is a type of market cross associated with trade. The stepped base of the monument were used by early traders to display their goods on market day, usually milk, cheeses and of course butter :)”

You learn something new every day.


Hard at work

April 2, 2010

It is Friday afterall. And when we go to Rothwells, it makes it Good Friday….


I’ve just noticed that 3 of my last four posts have been about food. Stew says it is starting to turn into a food diary. Me, thinking about food…. never!!!!