Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Our baby cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and
when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.
(Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode
down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.
After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were
back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day.
No cell phones. Unthinkable.
We got cut and broke bones and broke teeth, and there were no law suits
from these accidents.
They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us.
Remember accidents?
We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned
to get over it.
We ate scones, bread and butter, and drank fizzy drinks but we were
never overweight... we were always outside playing.
We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one died
from this.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games at all,
99 channels on cable, DVDs, movies, surround sound, personal cell
Phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms . we had friends.
We went outside and found them.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or
rung the bell or just walked in and talked to them.
Imagine such a thing.
Without asking a parent!
By ourselves!
Out there in the cold cruel world!
Without a guardian.
How did we do it?
We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms and although
we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did
the worms live inside us forever.
School rugby had tryouts and not everyone made the team.
Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment.....
Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were
held back to repeat the same grade..... Horrors.
Tests were not adjusted for any reason.
Our actions were our own.
Consequences were expected.
No one to hide behind.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of.
They actually sided with the law, imagine that!
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem
solvers and inventors, ever.
The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how
to deal with it all.
And you're one of them.

I was sent this by email I have no idea who wrote it but it got me thinking how did we survive with all the rules and regulations (not a bad thing – well some of them lets say) nowadays I am surprised we got through all those years without the technology, gadgets and advice that is thrust upon us now.
When I was younger my Parents would tell me how lucky I was as in there day`……. I use to think that my Parents were so old fashioned and out of touch but now when I talk to my nieces and nephews I sometimes catch myself saying the same thing to them telling them how lucky they are to have mobiles phones, TV’s in their rooms and all the gadgets and gismos they cant live without because when I was there age…….. I am sure you have heard yourself say the same thing. Frightening to think that as we get older we come more like our parents/grandparents everyday!

Well I am off to make a mug of Ovaltine so ciao for now
Lisa xx

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tales from the locker room....

Hello people,

well its been a long week at work being the first one back after our time off up north, but hey it's the weekend so i can chill put for a bit hopefully!!!!!.

Today we might go to ikea in milton keynes (depending on how Claire feels as she is in delicate position, baby due on august 14th) to get something to brighten up our home.

Claire and i had a good evening last saturday with Neil as he came round bearing red wine, nobby's nuts and the life aquatic with steve zissou a superb film i had not seen before a brilliant parody of jaques cousteau also very funny i certainly recommend it if you have not seen it, after this had finished the next feature was Wallace & Grommit in The curse of the were rabbit but unfortunatly the red wine was beginning to take effect and i must have dozed off because far off in the distance i heard Neil say "Claire" in a soft voice which brought me out of my dozing feeling very embarassed and apologetic, apaert from that we had a fun night.

I watched arsenal versus real madrid on tuesday night, a great performance by Arsene's players winning 1-0 and by doing this they became the only English based club to beat madrid on thier own ground. Thierry Henry (Va Va Voom!!!....blogmaster) scored the winning goal, funny really cos' he will probably be playing for madrid next season, sorry lisa!!, let's hope they can do the same to them when they take them back to highburyand knock them out of the champions league even though i support Man City, i do like to see british teams doing well in europe, unfortunatly Chelsea did not fair as well on wednesday night, getting beat 2-1 at home to barcelona, in my opinion they were unlucky as they had one of their players sent off in the first half for missing the ball and running into an apponent, who went down like he had been shot, then rolled over loads of times while looking to see if the referee was watching, also every barcelona player was surrounding the referee trying to intimidate him, which they did, cos' when the dust settled he sent the chelsea man off. i would like to see these soft shite footballers play a game of rugby then they might have something to cry about, they also might learn something about sportsmanship and discipline on the field of play.

Football rant over, I can tell you that the Cricket season starts in earnest on the 22nd of April, so i am looking forward to that, and i may fill you in on all the ins and outs of cricket throughout the summer (bet you cant wait for that lol.) anyway thats all for now i'll see you soon,

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I got those dvd recordable blues...oh yeah...

Is it me or as we get more and more TV channels there seems to be less and less to watch. Or is it not the number of TV channels but the fact that you and me the great television watching public are just getting more discerning in our viewing habits. Even as recently as five years ago I can remember the schedules were packed and you could have a night by the box stuffed with visual delights.

A few months ago the aged video recorder under our telly died after a long and happy life, and to mark the passing of a much loved friend we dropped it in the bin and bought a new DVD recorder. In silky brushed aluminium and with enough features to keep the average airline pilot happy it sits there waiting to do its duty. But the poor thing has had little to do but flash the odd LED and tell the time. As I sit here I cannot remember the last time I needed to use it, or more to the point could be arsed. You see apart from the odd program, if I miss them I do not miss them if you get my drift.

Mind you I think are new friend the DVD recorder is getting its own back for being ignored. It has started to loose time or miss place it or perhaps it’s just become forgetful. When you do set the timer to start at a given time our dear friend decides to start twenty min’s late. Now I could live with this if it also stopped twenty minutes after the time it was supposed to. But no it still stops on time. So unless there is something I can do to change it I will have to send it back to whence it came and replace it with a more educated and better behaved machine.

Ok and now I was going to let a week go buy without talking about anything to do with computers. But I have come across a fantastic site on the web that backs up everything I have been saying over the last few weeks about Spy ware Add ware and all sorts of other little programs that get in to your computer and fry the guts. And coincidently a major weekly PC magazine has also just written about it in a recent edition so it can’t be all bad. The site is all about Spyware, Badware, popup,s and under’s and many other problems associated with surfing the super highway in the 21st century.

The aim is simple to identify and name programs that have Spyware etc hidden inside. And also to set up an information exchange to publicise products and programs that help to identify and keep you safe. It is backed by some big names including Google and you can sign up for news letters that give you up to date info. You can read more and sign up at


Matt x

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

How many ways can you die in one hour?

Hello all
Well there I was troddling off to the hospital today for my pre op visit to the anesthetist (Mr Ravi Shankar....yes, really...but not the sitar playing one!) and I thought i was going to be told all the ins and outs for my procedure. For the whole hour he played this game where he tried to find as many ways as possible for me to die whilst under his influence. First of all he told me I could possibly get brain damage because of my heart -------(something i couldn't pronounce), then he told me i may be paralyzed because of the epidural in my spine, he then told me that he expected my heart to fail whilst under and that was pretty normal for a person my size...I then said to him "Oh well at least I won't die"...to which he happily replied "Oh you may do, but thats a very very small possibility"...whatever happened to bedside manner!...I thanked him for being so honest with me and left the hospital feeling a bit deflated. It's just a matter of waiting now. I was under the impression when i went that I was having the op at South Wing Bedford and after 3 days in Intensive Care I was going to be transported back to the safe haven of The Manor in Biddenham but The Anesthetist seems to have different ideas on this and wants me to stay on the ward in the public hospital as I could have a heart attack 4 days after the surgery...Oh Good God!...I want compensation if thats the case, if i'm going to miss out on my private bathroom and my flat screen tv in luxurious private surroundings...to be continued...

I can't think of anything else to write today...too fed up...
Neil x

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What does a digeridoo do?

Wow what a week its been at lovely trip to Ikea, my brother putting a blind up for me in the Kitchen (for some reason when I phone to ask to borrow a drill my Dad and brothers recoil in horror and offer there services – could it be memories they have of my DIY skills with a drill and an electric cable, I have no idea but that was years ago and I have watched a few DIY programmes since!

Who can forget the Winter Olympics that has been a delight to watch in the afternoon with the Curling, Snowboarding, Ice Hockey the list is endless, I was fascinated by the Skeleton the thought of hurtling head first on something that resembles a tea tray and 85+ miles an hour sounded thrilling

Neil of course has mentioned the Brits I have to say I thought it was brilliant the performances were all excellent and of course I had tears in my eyes when Prince performed it took me back years too.

On Friday the hi-light of the week was a trip to the coast – We had decided on Hunstanton as a colleague had recommended it to Steve, so we set off in convoy on a crisp cold Friday morning from Bedford. Steve, Claire and Edward in one car and Neil and I following behind. Edward had brought an array of bucket, spades, football, cricket set and boules for the beach.

We stopped on the way for Petrol and then set off, as some of you may know I have managed to mislay the front to my Car CD Player, I have hunted high and low but still its managed to evade detection. So Neil warbled a few tunes to keep us going and interspersed with text messages from Claire in front made sure that the journey was good, I have to commend Steve on his driving especially when a car decided to overtake with hardly any space and Steve had to swerve to miss being hit, I think I may have done a Starsky and Hutch spin and pursued the car.

Anyway we arrive at the Old part of Hunstanton and find we cant park anywhere near the beach, so decide to head back to Hunstanton find a place to park as by now we are all needing to use the loo.

We park up and look over the road to see a massive Tescos, so do we use dodgy beach toilets or do we go for clean Tesco toilets not much of a decision really we headed to Tescos.

Once out we all make out way to the beach, lucky for us the rain that had been predicted did not materialise, and when the sun did come out it was a nice day. Claire was very organised and had brought a waterproof rug so that we could sit on the beach. The sea seemed miles away and we decided to walk down and look for shells. Edward wanted to play every game that was brought down to the beach and we had a brilliant time playing cricket, boules, and kicking the football about.
Neil walked down towards the beach alone, I think he just wanted to be by himself for a few minutes and I think when he turned I could see he had a tear in his eye (he assures me it was the wind, but I beg to differ xx). By now we had worked up an appetite, and you cannot go to the coast and not have Fish and Chips, we found a good place that served Fish and Chips and we all agreed that they were the best fish and chips we had tasted. We left the chip shop and walked slowly along the sea front all full to the brim.
We managed to collect some shells and some unusual stones and after a while decided that we should head off home. I have to thank Steve for the scenic route on the way home, I use the word scenic loosely, getting lost is more like it but apparently women get lost, men take scenic routes!

We arrived back in Bedford safe and sound and decided that the evening needed to be finished off in the pub, where else but the Welllington, My brother was in Bedford that night so I told him to come down and try the ales that are served, he arrived with a friend in tow and was told to try `Elsie Mo` is that a beer asked my brother.

What a night we had the place was heaving, full of young men and the beer was flowing Neil and Steve could hardly pronounce Elsie Mo by the end of the night, a huge discussion took place about moving onto the Pad but I think it was decided by all that the KFC was calling some of them and my brother and friend had a Pizza at home with their name on it.

After falling out the pub door there was manly hugs and we all went our separate ways.

Funny thing was on Saturday afternoon I receive a text from Neil saying what a good night he had but he has a vague memory of kissing my brother (on the check) not 10 minutes later I had a similar text from my brother!

Anyway thanks for reading

Lisa xx

Monday, February 20, 2006

When did YOU last see a nun with bollocks?...

hi all

I was going to write all about our seaside family outing on Friday but I believe that will be in Lisas blog tomorrow so I shall leave that alone...spent a great night in the pub on Friday night....oh, Lisa is going to tell you about that as well...well what does that leave me?

BAFTAS ...had a great night watching Stephen Fry present the show in all its glory from the Odeon Leicester Square...and deservedly so 'Brokeback Mountain' came out on top...ermm so to speak!...it was also lovely to see tandhy newton win her award for 'Crash' which really was my fave film of last year. It was a really great night and I'm so glad that George 'I'm a smug bastard, me' Clooney didn't get anything to add to his trophy cabinet! tee hee...

So happy today, managed to down load an album that I have been searching for since the early 80's 'Tenement Steps' by The Motors...it is still such a good album, I had one of those thoughts about whether I should play it as I might be disappointed, but no, its terrifically way ahead of its time and very odd (just like me really!)...hmm what shall i search for next

3121 is here on 12/3

Oh what about the Brits the other night....forgot to mention them, what an amazing bloody show...it was a class act from as soon as Chris Evans walked on stage...Kaiser Chiefs played well, Coldplay were excellent, Kanye West was sick (hip street talk!) and I nearly choked on my hairball when Chris Evans turned to the camera and said...''and now...Prince''...OH MY GOD, I screamed and grabbed the phone to tell lisa and she was screaming down the other end...totally unnannounced. There he was looking magnificent and very much in control....tears fell as I saw Wendy and Lisa in the band and also Sheila E on drums...it took me back to the times of the great concerts when he performed with the same team, I was there in those heady days and was very proud of that fact. 12 minutes seemed like an hour as he strutted from song to song, and as if by magic he was gone...he left a smoking void on the stage and a crowd of stars screaming for more...I don't think i shall ever recover....
Peace and Out
Neil x

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Steves World Of Wonders...

Last sunday we went to visit Muncaster Castle at Ravensglass in Cumbria, Dominating the River Esk, Muncaster has been of strategic importance since Roman times, and has been home to the Penningtons since 1208.
The pele tower stands on Roman foundations and was extended through the ages into the Castle of today.

In 1862 the fashionable architect Anthony Salvin was engaged by the fourth Lord Muncaster to rebuild the house. Salvin took the courtyard, built by the first Lord Muncaster, and converted it into the present drawing room. The pele tower at the SW end was matched by Salvin with the NW tower. He did a good job, with towers, battlements and mullioned and transomed windows.

In 1208 the land was granted to the Pennington family, and it is still their home, probably only due to the magical 'Luck of Muncaster', a glass drinking bowl belonging to Henry VI. He gave it to the family in 1464 declaring that as long as it remained intact, Penningtons would live and thrive at Muncaster.

A tour of the house may be made with audio commentary, narrated by Patrick Gordon-Duff-Pennington, the present owner, describing what can be seen in the Great Hall, the Library, the Dining Room, the Drawing Room and the Bedrooms.

At this point i started to take some photographs when a very solemn looking lady came up to me and said "is that a camera", i said "durgh, course it is" to which she replied "You cant take pictures in here!!" "never mind" i said "i have all the shots i need" and marched off to the next room in which was another lady sat next to a roaring fire we were listening away to the audio commentary when the lady by the fire asked Edward yes!! Edward to put another log on the fire Claire just looked at the woman and said "i don't think so, he is only six after all" we then went to a room that housed the biggest collection of toy soldiers i have ever seen they were all hand made by a russian gentleman who lived locally the attention to detail was fantastic.

Spring and early summer bring a riot of colour to the 77 acres of woodland gardens where the rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas are at their best. Summer flowering herbaceous plants and autumn fruiting trees and shrubs will provide colour throughout the seasons. The Terrace Walk, described by John Ruskin as 'The Gateway to Paradise', offers spectacular views of the Eskdale Valley and the Lakeland fells, with their constantly changing moods. A specimen of Nothofagus obliqua is the tallest example in Britain.

Edward decided to be the leader of our trek along the Terrace Walk and led us along tree lined paths which were quite slippery as it was a very wet day as we walked on we saw Herons landing in the trees an awesome sight, then as we went on edward had actually led us into an area which was out of bounds at the moment due to some fallen trees blocking the footpaths next we found orselves at the Meadow Vole Maze where you can imagine being a meadow vole, just two and a half inches tall, living in meadowland, where danger lurks at every turn. In the Meadow Vole Maze the secret world of wildlife makes a wild experience. You may meet Max Meadowvole, who will help you get home safely. As soon as we entered the maze Edward went rigid with fear and started saying "I want to go home!" but there was a problem the ony exit was to complete the maze and answer wildlife questions along the way we answered them all correctly and Edward got a lolipop as a prize which cheered him up no end.

we finished our visit by looking around the Owl sanctuary but here again Edward was a little scared (i think the maze experience finished him off) so just a quick look at all the owls and then it was off back to Barber Green for some well earned tucker.
hope you found this interesting and see you soon

Thursday, February 16, 2006

na na...na na na na...techno techno techno tech no!

I seem to have had many people who have trouble with there printers. And I myself have had my fair share. Now I will go through a few little tricks to keep them working better. And although most of these tips will be common sense and apply to all the software is only for Epson printers. My own personnel printer is made by Epson I have always used them so I am biased. And most people who seem to complain about there printer use another make.

And that brings me very neatly to me first tip and that is “buy an Epson”. Now I am not talking about big pro printers or Laser colour printers that cost over £500 but the sort of thing that most of us have at home to print letters kid’s home work and pictures etc. There are lots of different makes out there but in my opinion the Epson range is good value. The trouble is that when you buy a package PC they usually put in another make of printer as part of the deal and it is usually nasty as a result. So whether you need a photo printer or the cheapest printer for letters in my opinion based on what I see buy an Epson when the other dies. With a well thought out software packages included and inks that are amongst the cheapest on the market it’s all good news.

Ok then tip two do not buy an all in one printer, fax, and copier. They are more complicated and go wrong more often and the individual parts tend to be of a lesser quality than if you bought them separately. Yes it might cost you more but you can’t get away from the old adage you get what you pay for. Buy separates you will not regret it.

Tip three think about where you are going to put the printer. Sounds stupid I know but bear with me. This is a machine that has a liquid ink in it and putting it on a shelf above a radiator for instance is asking for trouble. The same goes for any very hot central heated room. Most printers produce shit prints or no prints because they dry up in the ink head. The warmer the room the quicker it will dry simple really. In fact the whole Pc will benefit from a cooler environment.

Tip Four use it regularly because ink jet printer dry out over time they need to be used. Most people recommend at least every other day as a minimum and preferably every day for best results. And not just to print a quick letter you need a full colour photo printed at photo quality. I have a photo saved on my machine that has a good range of colours and some total black areas. I print this if I am doing nothing else at least every third day. I know I can hear you saying what a waste of ink and paper but it is cheaper and uses less ink that cleaning the ink heads when they block (which they will) with the built in head cleaning utility.

Tips five do not believe the hype that after market inks will damage or ruin you printer. Companies that make printers sell them at a loss and they make there money on ink sales. I have never put a drop of original Epson ink in my R800 since it was new and its fine. The big manufactures will tell you that the colours are not going to be as good or they will fade. They are scaring you I buy all mine from
Great company, great products and service, even if you need stuff for non Epson printers. They do a fantastic range of special head cleaning cartridges that can rescue even the worst printers just in case it all goes wrong and dries up like menopausal fanny (sorry)

Lastly tip six and this is only for Epson printers. The ink monitoring and head cleaning software that come with these printers is good but not great. I have been using a little program for a year or so that give more control and allows you to separate cleaning of the colour and black cartridges. It will also allow you to “hot swap” cartridges so you can refill and reset the counters if necessary. The ink monitor is also much more accurate than the supplied one which will tell you that you need to change cartridges when you still have 20% ink left.
The link to download it is above. Have fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The IKEA Experience...

What a fucking awesome day!!!!...beautiful weather, beautiful company and beautiful meatballs...YES...I had my IKEA meatballs...and when Lisa tasted my balls she really wanted them!

You guessed it we went off to IKEA as promised...the new store at Milton Keynes is a very fabby place and much more nicely nicely laid out than the others that i have frequented. We elevated on the escalator and turning away from the restaurant we made our way around the yellow brick pre planned herding course that they send you on to view all the rooms that they have decorated for your delight. We fondled bits and pieces, oohed and aaahed in all the right places and had a dream fest of visioning ourselves sprawled on the so so comfy sofas and beds.

We nearly bought a kitchen but decided we didnt have anywhere to put it so we left it alone...it was very beautiful though, crisp and modern like every good swede should be. We moved around into the 'market hall' and Lisa nearly 'came' with excitement at the array of kitchen utensils, rugs, prints, fluffy things and bits of objet d'art...I must admit I was taken in again as well by the clever marketing of the pile it high sell it cheap mentality...it was just so much fucking fun!!!....then it was my turn to be treated, we went to the restaurant and I queued up nicely for my plate of meatballs with the cream sauce, lingonberry jam and new potatoes...it was heaven in a little 2 inch ball...I only wanted to do a couple of things in case my surgery goes wrong and this was one of them!...the other is to come on Friday when we are off to the sea...Matt has already asked me if I am taking the bucket, but Lisa has already been asked!!! (sorry sweetheart...you can call me a nasty name if you like!)

After IKEA Lisa tried to drag me into the biggest ASDA I have ever seen but my feet wouldn't take it so we drove back to Bedford , popped into Dunelm Mills (very dissappointing after IKEA)..and then off to Choices video so Lisa could extend her shopping habit with some previously viewed DVDs...that was it , but it made me happy...and I know Lisa enjoyed it!
Neil x

PS. I have re-edited lisas blog from yesterday so the recipe reads better for all you foodies!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

tips from the babe!

Happy Valentines Day

I hope that you were like me and the lovely postie delivered a sack load of cards, chocolates and flowers outside the door (then came back 5 mins later to deliver them round the village!) Ok I did get one thought at first that Neil had sent me one but was amazed he went ultra cheap and sent me a text instead. Savings his money for meatballs at Ikea tomorrow I think. Well on this most romantic day of the year I thought I would give you something to try some love spells – let me know if they work so I can try them later, of course if you just forgot to send me a card I accept late ones too!

Here are simple effective love spells: -
· White Candle Spell - This is a very easy magic spell of love. All you need to do is that firstly take a white candle. Shop for a thick one (ooer..she likes 'em thick!) that provides you with ample space for inscribing. To begin with, make a platform, where the candle can be kept. Then beautify the candle with your favourite things. Look out for white rose bushes and get some rose thorns. Once you've collected the rose thorns, now get ready for carving these words on the candle " All my love come to me". You have to repeat the process two more times. Then place the candle in the centre of platform and concentrate on it. While watching the candle, visualise your sweetie pie. Keep looking at the candle, till the candle gets completely burnt. Then collect the left out wax and keep it safely and then just wait and watch to see its miraculous effects. Trust me this simple love spell will fill your life with true love.
· Wash Away Love Spell - This spell will enable you to remove the negative feelings from your heart. But to ensure its success, you got to be optimistic. All you need to do is to keep yourself mentally prepared to receiving love. It's a very simple do it yourself love spell. All you are required to do is to place your hands in the running water and wash them properly with a soft soap. While washing your hands, just keep thinking that you won’t keep yourself blocked to love.
· Love Mantra - Love mantra is a real cool one. Take a plain sheet of paper and write the sentence X loves Y. I mean, you have to write the names of persons like Tom loves Rosina. Now we have to write the whole sentence in the reverse order and not to forget we have to go letter by letter. So the sentence would become like this: Anisor sevol mot. Now take a fresh piece of paper and write the same reverse order sentence that we had just written, but this time it has to be written without giving any space in between like this anisorsevolmot. Keep this paper with you and at least seven times a day you have to loudly call out the letters of this sentence individually like A N I S O R and so on. When you get the love of your life, you can throw away this paper in a lake.(indobase.com)

I just want to recommend this gorgeous pudding I am not a lover of cheesecake but this one is truly moreish not for dieters though sorry but lovers of bourbon or whiskey will love it.

American Baked Cheesecake
by James Martin
A cheesecake to die for - studded with bourbon-soaked sultanas and served with wonderfully sticky fried bananas
Servings: 10
Level of difficulty: Intermediate
Preparation Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking Time: 55 minutes

3 tbsp sultanas
bourbon or whisky
oil, for greasing
25 cm sponge disc (cut from a large ready-made sponge flan case)
200g caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp
4 tbsp cornflour
850g full-fat soft cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
finely grated zest and juice of 2 Lemons
3 eggs, lightly beaten
350ml double cream
10 small bananas
25g Butter
2 tbsp Sugar
caramel sauce or maple syrup, to serve
small mint sprigs, to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

2. Put the sultanas in a small bowl and cover with bourbon. Leave to soak for 15-20 minutes.

3. Lightly grease a 25cm spring-form cake tin.

4. Place the sponge disc in the base of the tin. Sprinkle with a little bourbon, if you like.

5. Drain the sultanas and combine in a bowl with the 200g of sugar and the cornflour.

6. Put the cream cheese in another bowl. Add the vanilla essence, then beat in the lemon zest and juice, the eggs and cream.

7. Stir the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture.

8. Carefully pour over the sponge base in the cake tin.

9. Pour 2-3mm of warm water into a baking tray, and sit the cake tin in the tray. (This will help create steam during cooking.) Bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden.

10. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and set completely before removing from the tin.

11. Just before serving, peel the bananas. Melt the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sizzle the bananas, turning, until brown and slightly caramelised.

12. Serve the cheesecake in wedges with the bananas, a drizzle of caramel sauce and a mint sprig to decorate

Lisa x

For Valentines Day...

For Valentines Day

When valentines are obsolete
And love laced letters come no more
Will nights be half again as sweet
As those that made our passions soar?
What will survive the hour glass
A piece of silver string perhaps
To hang upon some ancient tree
Initialed once by lovers who
Held each others heads in laps
Much the same as you and me.

Life will change on passing feet
But love that time defying thing
Will always make the heart to beat
And cause the harshest voice to sing..
To my valentine and yours a happy day and night
and may the light of love shine often on all of us.
- RM 2/10/99. First published 2/14/99 (copyright Rod McKuen)

please visit http://www.mckuen.com for more from one of my ultimate heroes...
Neil x

Monday, February 13, 2006

The year of living dangerously...

hi all

Be afraid....be very afraid, for this year really is the year of the beast as prophesised in Revelations and by Nostradamus himself...we get to June this year and what do we have?...06/06/06...666 the number of the beast...how fucking scary is that....I can see it now, it will rain toads, people will get decapitated by glass panes in fast moving vehicles, little girls will be walking the streets with their heads turning 360 degrees and their will be people all over the place being mauled by teams of rottweillers....hmmm, perhaps i have been watching too many films lately...what do you think?

Have you ever google searched your birthdate on the net...I did that very thing today and it was fascinating...I searched on 070863 (as written) and some great stuff came up...it was the day that the great train robbery started when the train left its original destination. It's also a code number for the drug Nitrostat, its a serial number for a book about Art Deco Limages, its a number of a train carriage owned by South Devon railways, its a catalogue number for the read along tape version of 'The adventures of Tom Sawyer', there was also all this stuff in chinese but I couldn't quite get to grips with that!...let me know what you find out if you do a search

Still been enjoying the Winter Olympics and I must say that the Snowboarding has been the most radical stuff yet...dude!...both the mens and womens competitions were magnificent and yours truly has been learning all about 'goofy backside 900's' etc...oh the joy of it all!

Sat and watched an amazing piece of animation today called 'Howl's moving castle'...not a great title methinks but it was translated from the japanese original. It really is a stunning piece of work, great story, great soundtrack and one for all the family. It was made by the same guy who did 'Spirited Away' (showered with lots of oscars and things)...please watch, you will love me for it!

Apparently Lisa is writing an amazing blog as we speak which will probably be the highlight of her blogging career so far....can't wait till tommorow then!...
Neil x

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Les olympiad d'hiver...or something in that vain...

yes folks the Winter Olympics are here and yours truly has spent an enjoyable couple of days watching freestyle womens moguling and mens luge...sounds rather exotic doesn't it...but what about our team, WHAT team i hear you all cry...it's a very sad day when all we can send as a team is a pair of ice skaters...its all down to government funding of course, or lack of it...I think Blair has a lot to learn from other countries about how much money to invest in sports training for youngsters. May I wish our skating pair all the luck in the world, and I for one will really be enjoying the next couple of weeks...

Big news on the west end theatre front, two great shows coming in September time...'Wicked', a great musical based on the life of the evil witch of Oz before Dorothy kills her...and the second one is the multi award winning broadway production of 'Spamalot' the Monty Python musical written by Eric Idle. The Python musical broke records on Broadway for charging for the most expensive tickets ever, I really hope that it doesn't do the same here as prices have already started creeping over the 50 pound mark. I remember that about 10 years ago I could normally afford to go to the west end about once a month to see a great slice of musical theatre but unfortunately its becoming cost prohibitive and now the theatres really only cater for tourists who are quite willing to pay the prices that they charge. Bring back the theatre for the masses and not just the bourgeoisie...thats what i say!

I really do need a couple of spare hacks...whoops sorry, I mean bloggers who are willing to send me a blog once a week on any subject that they want...just so there is something for people to read every day if they pop by...i hate people being dissapointed...please help me out...email me a blog at piddy77@ntlworld.com
Neil x

Thursday, February 09, 2006

...may the breath of a thousand camels...

I was going to spend this week finishing off my little bit about the home PC and keeping it and you safe but that will have to wait until another time as I feel the need to speak about something else today.

As a non believer in religion I like to think that my natural scepticism is given in equal measure to all faiths regardless of whom or what they follow. But I also am fully behind the idea that an individual has the right to think and believe what he or she likes as long as they do not try and force it down the throat of people who are not interested. My view for instance on the way that the Catholic faith fucks people up has been well documented in these very pages. Individual faiths aside does anyone hold the view like me that religion is responsible for more trouble in the world than anything else. Just consider it for a second, Northern Ireland religion, The current problems in the middle east religion, even the second world war was about a master race stamping all over the other inferior religious groups. So if religion is causing so much grief then why do so many people follow there chosen religious path? And how come if you read many religious teachings and texts they preach about peace and tolerance yet in practice they cause so much harm?

I think it’s to do with the human condition, when you have a religion that people follow any religion, there have to be people who administer and control and say what is acceptable and what is not. Every religion has its local head to lead the people and set an example be they a Vicar, Bishop, Rabi, priest, or whatever they may be called. The trouble is that when in a position of power it is very difficult not to let it go to your head. Some have said that these types of jobs only appeal to people who like to have control over others,( look at politicians I have always thought there is something fundamentally wrong with people who want to control and have power over others ) think about David Koresh and the Branch Davidians at Waco in Texas utterly loopy.

And when you are in the position of being looked up to by people who revere you and need you, you have to be of pretty morally fantastic stuff. As these also tend to be the needier and easily led in the world (like Sun readers). And as a result you will get cut off from reality by the very fact of your popularity. Because all of a sudden you need staff to manage your time, and keep you safe. Which inevitably means keeping you apart from the poor twits who put you there? So in this position you need to be a very special kind of person and they are few and far between (if not non existent) because they are all just like you and me human with all the inbuilt faults and flaws. I am sorry to tell you this but competitiveness; selfishness, greed, envy, and a few more besides are all basic instincts that drive everybody who reads this.

In fact it’s what makes the free world turn. Don’t believe me then why do we want a new car, or bigger house, or play the lottery, or worry if my bum looks big in this. All religion does is pander to our base needs and insecurities about the future. The key to life is being happy and content with your self. If you can do that then all the other mumbo jumbo becomes irrelevant. As I have said before” organised religion is about crowd control”.
matt x

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Is a lap dog some sort of perverted pet pleasuring?

hi all...just a quick note from me today...have now found out date of surgery for the big op...March 4th, three weeks on Saturday. It came as a bit of a shock when my consultant phoned me last night to tell me...it's all a bit too real now...so I basically have three weeks to get my affairs in order for the big trip to hospitalland...a land where poorly people get shoved in one end and hopefully come out of the other end with big scars and a smile on the face!

One thing that i HAVE to tell you all...but promise it doesn't go any further lol!...Lisa turned round yesterday and told me she had never been to IKEA...I had to turn away shame faced as my best friend and lover told me the horrendous truth that she placed before me...how can anyone not have visited the iconoclastic structure that is IKEA..the haven of everything design, economical and Swedish...THE home of the meatball...it's the place where meatballs go to die...meatball heaven!...oh and those tins of little ginger biscuits that they sell at yule...oh God the shame...

Next week we are all on our hols, me, lisa and Dr sensual...Dr and family are going up north till Thursday but on Friday we are all going to the seaside, just so i can get a glimpse of the sea once more before i go (to hospital). So that will be the Sensual couple and child, Lisa and myself running windswept over the dunes in our search for the golden cornetto!...can't wait....Oh and I'm also taking Lisa into the new IKEA at Milton Keynes !!!

Its Matt time tommorow...beware the beast has arisen!
Neil x

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Random thoughts of Lisa...

Well where does the time go it only seems like five minutes ago when I was writing out my last blog and what a kafuffle that caused.

The programme last week caused lots of chat in the office the next day most of which was astonishment that anyone would want to breast feed an eight year old. I am not sure who had the greater need the mother or daughter but it certainly was not easy to watch.

I had a great night on Friday night it was a last minute thing but ended up having a girly night or WOO WOO night as it became with the girls from work. We all took some food and alcohol round to the house and then had a night of girly chats and lots of laughs. It was just nice to sit around drink alcohol and eat and put the world to rights lol. Suffice to say that we can’t all remember what we said the next morning but we are planning another night next month.

I am off next week (so is Neil) so hoping to get to IKEA in Milton Keynes and have a look round maybe I might drag Neil along too. Nothing planned for the week apart from maybe doing a spot of decorating I have the sudden urge to change the colours in my little home, I am thinking neutral natural colours any ideas please feel free to let me know. I am going from girly colours to a more sophisticated look, I think when you hit a certain age having a princess sparkly bedroom is not cool! (its certainly not a shaggable atmosphere!!!...blogmaster)

Neil gave me a copy of the new Richard Ashcroft album the other week and I love it if you get a chance to listen to it check it out its fab. And in reply to the `Artic Monkeys` I spent Thursday night trying to buy tickets for their gig at Cambridge Corn Exchange for my brother they sold out within 15 minutes of going on sale! My brother was gutted. Still they are playing at Brixton Academy so he might be lucky.

Anyway random ramblings over for this week – enjoy the rest of the week and ttfn Lisa xx

Friday, February 03, 2006

High Jinks at Jinx High....

well it's here...Friday...oh Friday, a word that conjures up visions of funtimes, drunkedness, rowdy behaviour, the 'fuck work' ethic and a triumphant sense of freedom!...but its just another day I hear you cry, yes but a day that leads to two days off i reply...well thats if you're not one of these workaholic people that are around.

Lisa has been glued to the tv this week in hope of one after another gratuitous penis shots as she mentioned in her blog the other day...frankly I thought they were a tad boring, you've seen one you've seen them all...and as for the 'biggest penis in the world'..I've had better lol. Good old reliable Channel 4, programmes that you can salaciously talk about!

Have been talking with a cancer survivor this week who told me all about a new form of Chemotherapy that he was put on after his operation, its called Xeloda and its an oral pill rather than the IV drip that you have to go and have...the great thing about this is that you can take it at home without stressful hospital trips. Okay you still get hand/foot syndrome where the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet go red raw and painful. You also get the nausea and the shits but its all in the comfort of your own home..I think that's really important. Will have to remember to talk to consultant about this...apparently you can't take it until 3 months after the operation but i have a feeling i may have heard this wrong. If anybody has further info please let me know.

Some great music coming out from the Underground this week...have been listening to albums by Mew (amazing Danish band), The Czars (an amazing cover versions album), Artic Monkeys (can't really see what all the fuss is about but it's okay), The Crimea (just great), Belle and Sebastian (a wonderfully coherent pop album) and lastly Nine Horses (David Sylvians temporary band - vert arty farty but graciously sublime)...get out there and download things you have never heard of, open your minds, you really don't know what you are missing!

With that I will leave you for the weekend but if i get inspired I may jot a few notelets down...not sure whether we can expect a blog from Steve tommorow as he is off to Manchester to meet Bernard Mannings son...I'll let him explain!!....ta ta

Neil x

Thursday, February 02, 2006

a blog from the birthday boy!...

Happy birthday matt!

Last week I spoke about Spy ware and what it can do to your system. To day I think I will talk a little about Anti virus and why it and a Firewall should be your best friend. The world is full of sad bastards and lets face it they would like nothing more than to fuck you up. These sad people think that it is funny to ruin your day and any work you might be attempting to do. There are many viruses released each day and any one can give your Pc an attack of the shits. Its not even a question of being unlucky enough to visit the wrong site or download something infected. Just being on the web is often enough to catch one especially if you are using broadband.

There are some simple things that you can do in the way of security though. The first an most simple is to turn off the preview Payne on your email program. You know the thing that automatically opens the email highlighted. This will give you a chance to look at the place the email has come from, if you do not recognise the sender or are not expecting something from them then my advice is to delete it without opening. This is because the simple fact of opening the email is sometimes enough to set the little bastards loose in you system. It might be that the infection is interested in your surfing habits for market research. These are used by people to target you for mail shots or junk. You know the stuff “Three weeks in Birmingham and a new credit card with 1000000% interest.

At the very least you should also have the Microsoft Firewall turned on its free and better than nothing, actually that’s unfair it is getting better all the time. If you are using a Notebook (Laptop) to surf and its wireless you will be using some king of router to send the signal around the house. The better ones come with a built in fire wall and there is lots of evidence to say that these so called “hardware” firewalls are the best option. If your in the market they cost a few extra quid and are well worth it.

Most people though will go out to a shop like PC World and spend lots on a package that contains both fire wall and some kind of Anti virus. There are many out there and some can be very expensive but you do not need to spend a fortune. There are so great products out in the world that will cost a fraction of high street products prices and will give you great protection. I have tried lots and the best I have found for many different reasons is AVG There is a free version but they also do a free 30 day trial of there combined Anti virus and Firewall. When the trial is up you can buy the licence for about £20.00 for two years of updates and protection. Now I think that’s not bad. Just follow the links on the site.


See you next week.
Matt x (yes I am THE birthday boy!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

lisa at last!!!......

Well its all over for another year what is I hear you shout – CBB of course well you either loved it or hated it. I have to say personally I did not watch it all but what I did see was probably the best one for sheer unbelievable antics lol. Here’s to BB7 later in the year auditions start from this weekend………………………

Did anyone see the first of three programmes on this week on Channel 4 the first on Monday called `The Perfect Penis Neil and I were in stitches it was the most bizarre programme I have seen for a while.

(as taken from Channel 4 Website)

The Perfect Penis
The first of three programmes this week studying all things penile. The penis is the organ most central to a man's sense of self, and the quest for penile perfection has driven some men to extraordinary lengths. This programme meets the Russian surgeons who chopped off a man's penis and re-grew it on his arm, the man whose penis has real pulling power, and the man for whom too big is just not big enough. Programmes continue tomorrow and Wednesday night.
The World's Biggest Penis
No doubt about it, society celebrates the big penis. Seen as a sign of adequacy, virility and manliness, those lucky enough to be well endowed are heralded by both sexes and all sexualities. As women have always maintained, and men have always thought, size matters, but not in the way that most of us imagine. Sometimes having a Big Johnson is a bigger problem than you'd guess. Meet the men, including the man claiming to have the World's biggest penis, who reveal there is a bittersweet side to nature's gift, and who lift the veil on a taboo subject and to show the reality of what it's like to have what all men dream of.

I the Penis, hereby request a raise in salary for thefollowing reasons:1. I do physical labour.2. I work at great depths.3. I plunge head first into everything I do.4. I do not get weekends or public holidays off.5. I work in a damp environment.6. I work in a dark area that has poor ventilation.7. I work in high temperatures.8. My work exposes me to diseases._______________________________Dear Penis,After assessing your request, and considering thearguments you have raised, the management denies yourrequest for the following reasons:1. You do not work 8 hours straight.2. You WORK IN SHORT SPURTS AND fall asleep after EACHbrief work period.3. You do not always follow the orders of themanagement team.4. You do not stay in your designated area, and areoften seen visiting other locations.5. You do not take initiative - you need to bepressured and stimulated in order to start working.
6. You leave the workplace rather messy at the end ofyour shift.7. You don’t always observe necessary safetyregulations, such as wearing the correct protectiveclothing.8. You will retire LONG before you are 65.9. You are unable to work double shifts.10. You sometimes leave your designated work areabefore you have completed the assigned task.11. And if that were not all, you have constantly beenseen entering and exiting the workplace carrying twosuspicious-looking bags.Sincerely, The Management

On Channel 4 tonight at 9pm before Desperate Housewives there is a programme called `Extraordinary Breastfeeding`

Everyone knows that breast is best, but for how long? The World Health Organisation recommends that all children are breastfed until at least two years. In Britain we think that's downright weird. But this forthright, revealing and heart-warming film meets a group of women who believe in continuing to breastfeed for as long as their children want.
© Channel 4
Veronika is still breastfeeding her seven-year-old daughter, while her eldest has asked if she can be breastfed as a present for her tenth birthday. Dolores is breastfeeding her son, who is nearly four. Dolores and her husband are about to adopt a little girl from China and her greatest wish is to breastfeed her adopted daughter. Thirty-eight-year-old Sophie is tandem-feeding two-year-old twins Zac and Molly on demand, and is feeling the strain. And Kirsty, who works for an organisation that helps teach young mums how to breastfeed, is breastfeeding her daughter at nearly two and is very concerned that new laws could prevent breastfeeding in public places.

Why would you still want to breast-feed a seven-year-old? Asking friends and colleagues when they stopped breast-feeding most of them were of the opinion that as soon as they could they stopped. One even commented that as soon as her daughter got teeth!

But fair play to Channel 4 for showing programmes that make you laugh with shock or horror and have people talking about them for days lol

Anyway enjoy and ttfn
Lisa xx