Sunday, 26 February 2012

Silent Sunday #4

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Why can't all be like Iceland?

Grocery Home Deliveries.
There are Two or More Companies
Missing a Trick or Two.

A critique on what I think is wrong.

First of all we think that the following companies that deliver groceries in our area via an on line order are missing a revenue stream.  These are Asda, Tesco and Salisbury's. For a start, just want to say we don't use any of these for on line shopping. People who use them are very happy with the service. So it is not a moan about missing items, late deliveries etc, etc. 

So here is how we think that the above companies can possibly add, as we said before a new revenue stream to their business.

We shop at Asda and Iceland in the main. Now on the Iceland shop, you go in get your 'bits' and if over £25, you go to the till and say 'Can I have home delivery please'. A time slot is booked and your shopping, which you bagged, is taken to the back of shop. You go home and its delivered. So what's so special about that?
Well unlike on line home delivery shopping, you get to pick what products you want with your own hands. 'Give' them to the delivery driver for him to deliver for you. Can you remember years ago when shops had the delivery boy on a bike? It's like that but with a van.

So on the same day we go to Asda, do our other big shop, again we like that over on line shopping, because we can physically see and 'feel' what we want. We go to the checkout and we have to cart it home.

The missing trick for Asda and the others with an on line grocery ordering and delivery service. Is why can't we do the same thing? They have the vans, the staff etc. OK I know that the '' side of it is a separate company in effect. It would be lovely for them to provide the same service as Iceland. Yes have a minimum purchase price (£25, 40, 60) and yes I know you charge for the on line service for delivery. So unlike Iceland, who does free delivery, you can charge us £5 or whatever. It cost us £7 to bring it back in a taxi. It would be so nice for them to provide this service. Would help parents with children, the elderly but mainly people without transport of their own. 

The way we feel it is a way for these companies to provide a 'social' service at the same time making a profit on the deal. It would encourage people who use this service to spend more, be more loyal to your company. 

Well for all that was worth, that is our feelings.
Love to hear what you think?

Written by Phyllis and Gerry.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

It Works #1

Stuff That Works.
Tried and Tested.
Not Just Once, but Time and Time Again.

Rescue Me.
All Purpose Soothing Gel.

 This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers a head up on things, as the title says it works and does what it says on the label. 

This product we won about a year back now. The main ingredient is Natural Manuka Honey, it said on the label. As the cynical people we are, we thought, how can a honey from New Zealand do everything it pretended to say? So it then went in the cupboard in the bathroom possible never to be used.

A couple of weeks later Gerry got a small burn on his hand while cooking, so I would thought I would try it. He rubbed a small blob of the cream on his hand and as it says on the label, it was soothing. The thing we did notice a after two or three repeat applications over the next day or so, it did seem to 'heal' or seal the burn quite quickly. Never at that point took much notice of it at that time.

Over the course of the next few months we had occasion to use it a few times. From small cuts, chapped lips and grazes etc on Grace. Every time its soothed straight away and on repeat application it did 'heal' area very quickly. So became for us the product to use in such cases.

To sum up.

This to us is a brilliant product, it works and when this tube is all used will buy it again over anything else that we have ever used before.We really recommend it. It at first seems quite expensive at £12-£14 for a130g tube. Although, the tube is still going and it is a year or so now, so on reflection it is very good value. 

Upon writing this post, I thought I would 'Google' about the product as not read any review etc before. I was not surprised that the reviews I read echo our experiences of the product too.

There is no score etc as this works 100%.

Your can read more about this amazing product and other products they do HERE. We only tried the one product we are talking about but assume the rest of the range is of the same quality.

This is NOT a sponsored post.

Written by Phyllis.

Silent Sunday #3

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Review #1

Games and Stuff for the Little Ones.

Wooden Animal Dominoes.
Cost £1.99

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers,some ideas for value for money games and other things that our Grandaughter Grace loves. Hopefully your little ones might like them too.

This a great buy for the amount of play she has had out of it. We bought it not to play as dominoes to start of, just a nice little 'toy' with pictures on. She started off just using them as 'tiles' and lining them up, stacking them and matching the animals. 

Then we introduced our version of the game to her. It is in no way the proper adult rules. Just a simple stripped down version. There are 28 pieces and they are 'dealt' out to each player. Grace now does this, so she has learned to deal. Unlike adult dominoes the pictures are just placed face up, rather than up on edge. This is so it allows Grace to help me when its my turn, she always has suggestions. You then play as with normal until you run out or you can't go any more.

Its a great 'sharing' and talking game where you can chat to Grace about the play and she chats back with stuff. Great fun. 

Game in progress
This sort of value 'toy' is a great addition to the toy box. Hours of fun as we tend to have a couple of games then it is left for a while and then returned too. These dominoes were purchased from our local toy shop Kerrisons. They had two versions the farm animal plus a zoo animal set. 

 Written by Phyllis

Monday, 13 February 2012


Jack Valentine


As tomorrow is Valentines Day for us lovers etc out there. You might not have heard of the old Norfolk tradition of Jack Valentine. I do not know if anyone else around the UK or the world celebrates this little known tradition. In our families, in our own way, we always do.

We know him as Jack Valentine but known by other people as Old Father Valentine or Old Mother Valentine. So what is it all about? This mystic figure or figures are for the children, children of Father Christmas and Easter Bunny believing age. The mystical Valentine appears mysteriously outside the door of children, leaves a little gift, gives a load knock on the door and then disappears into thin air. Unlike Father Christmas or the Easter Bunny, there is no pictures of him that we know of. No one knows what he looks like. He gives a gift of love to all the little children on February 14th. By past experiences, I would guess he will visit Grace's house just after breakfast. So I hope you might celebrate this Norfolk tradition in your house this year. It is great to make up stories and get your little ones excited on his visit.

It is an old tradition, this extract from the BBC Norfolk website and that link has much more about this tradition.

"In the 1800s, Norfolk children would set out before dawn to sing rhymes in exchange for sweets, cakes and pennies.

One favourite local verse was:
Good morrow, Valentine,
God bless the baker,
You'll be the giver,
And I'll be the taker.

Once it was light, their requests could be turned down because they were said to be sunburnt."

So hopefully you might start this little tradition in your area this year. The gifts do not have to be expensive, sweets etc.  

Written by Phyllis.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

cooking tips #3

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 3
Perfect Roast Potatoes
  Crispy and fluffy every time.
This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........

  • Potatoes. Any type will work but the bigger the better. Not new potatoes though.
  • Salt 
  • Vegetable oil
  • Large saucepan
  • Deep sided roasting pan
  • Collender
Prepare and cook time 
  • 30 to 1 hour depends on amount of potatoes and size

 Lets Cook
First of all. Peel the potatoes all about the same size or cut in half to make same size and place in cold water until ready.

Peeled spuds, nearly all the same size in cold water.
Full the kettle up to maximum level and boil the water. Empty the cold water out and put the peeled potatoes into the saucepan. Sprinkle with some salt. While the kettle is boiling, Heat your oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6. Then get your roasting pan and pour about 1cm of vegetable oil in and place on the shelf just one down from the top shelf of the oven. When the water has boiled, pour over the potatoes so they are covered. Bring to boil on the hob and then simmer until they are 'parboiled'. In this case if the outside of the potatoes feel soft when you push a knife end in and feels harder nearer the inside. Once that is done, drain the potatoes into a collender. Let all the water drain out.

Potatoes, Parboiled and drained.

Return to the empty saucepan and place the lid on. Now gently shake holding the lid. Have a look and if the potatoes look 'rough' on the outside, then that is enough, if not shake a bit more. 

Potatoes shaken and ready for roasting.
Once happy. Take the now hot roasting pan out the oven and then with a tablespoon place the potatoes in the oil. Once done, spoon the oil over the potatoes to cover them.

Potatoes in with hot oil and oil spooned over.
 Then return to oven. Now keep an eye on them, when the they look like they are turning more yellow on the top. Take them out and with a spoon turn them over. Your should see on the underneath them looking a light brown. Then spoon over some of the oil on the turned potatoes.

Potatoes Half way. Turned over and spooned with oil, now back in oven.
 Again check after a little while and when they look light brown on both sides they are done. Remove from oil and on to a plate. You hopefully should have crispy and fluffy roast potatoes. No need for duck or goose fat.

All done ready to serve.
 Please comment. Would love your feedback.

Written by Gerry, version 2.0.Photos added

Sunday, 5 February 2012

cooking tips #2

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 2

Perfect Yorkshire Puddings
(Makes 6)
 You will get a rise every time.

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........

  • 50g plain flour sieved
  • 1 egg, room temperature (take them out of the fridge an hour our so before)
  • Whole milk, semi-skimmed works, but NOT skimmed.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt to season (optional)
  • Sieve
  • large bowl
  • Measuring Jug
  • Electric whisk, or strong wrists and a wooden spoon
  • 6 segment non-stick metal muffin type tin
  • Kitchen scales 
Big note if you want 12 Yorkshire puddings for a larger family, just DOUBLE all ingredients etc.

 Prepare and cook time 
  • 20 to 30 minutes 

Lets Cook

You can make the mix up before hand if you like or make it just before you want to use it. If you make it up a few hours early don't put it in the fridge, just give it a whisk before you use it.

Anyway lets start. First, in a bowl sieve the flour to you get to 50g or just over. Set to one side. now crack both egg in the measuring jug. (Quick tip if you crack the egg on the work surface rather then the edge of the jug, you will not get any shell in the mix). Pour in the milk to it reaches the 150ml level. Add some salt, a little the first time, as you make it more and more you can learn how much you need for your own taste. Pour in the flour and use a electric whisk to mix to a smooth sort of single cream texture. If not electric whisk the pour mixture in a another largish bowl then add flower and mix by hand.

Egg, plain flour, milk all mixed.
When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6. Now pour into the muffin type tin a little oil in each compartment, just a enough to coat. give the tin a little swirl so that each compartment is coated.

Oil in, ready to go in oven.

 Put the tray on the top shelf of the oven and this important leave until the oil is smoking hot. Give the Yorkshire mix a quick mix. Take the very hot tray out and pour equal amounts of the mix into each compartment, about third to half way up. 

Hot oil, and mixture put in, be quick, then back in oven.
 Now return back to oven straight away. Leave for a minimum of 20 minutes, yes that's right do not open the door. If you got a glass oven front, watch them rise. Take out when they look right and serve.

All done, crispy outside, fluffy inside. Cheaper, better than shop bought. ENJOY.
 Please comment. Would love your feedback.

Written by Gerry, version 2.0.

cooking tips #1

Cooking Tips
(Cheap and Easy)
Number 1

Slow Roast Pork Shoulder
 Try this and say goodbye to tough pork forever.

This is an occasional blog post to hopefully give you readers, simple, tested cooking ideas. I am not trying to teach you to suck eggs. Most of these posts will not be full recipes but just to show you how to do the basics right. I have tried different techniques by TV and Book Chefs that promised the perfect so and so, sadly most of them do not work. Below I will show the ones that worked. All these tips have been used a minimum of 10 times with constant results. I hope you find these useful. So here goes........

Ingredients and hints on buying.
  • Rolled Pork Shoulder (2 to 3kg) its a cheap cut, we pay £5 from local butchers for a 2kg one and that feeds 4 or two meals (cold pork and chips with leftovers). Check when buying and ask the butcher to score the skin. You can do it yourself but you need a very sharp knife, most are pre-scored anyway. If frozen then defrost fully before cooking. Slow roasting works great for cheap cuts of meat. If buying from a Supermarket please ignore the cooking instructions on the supermarket packet it came in. Try this and say goodbye to tough pork forever.
  • Roasting Tin big enough for pork and water.
  • Baking Foil (Wilkinsons is quite cheap and good quality)
  • Meat Thermometer (optional, but good to have) see below
Prepare and Cooking time
  • Four and half hours tops
Lets cook.

Pre-heat the oven at 150C, 300F, Gas 2. Place joint in roasting tin. Now measure out 600ml (just over a pint) of tap water. Pour in the base of roasting tin. Cover joint with baking foil (shiny side up). Place in centre of oven and cook for three, yes three hours. Now after that remove from oven and take off foil. Check with meat thermometer that the temperature inside is 77C or 170F. If you don't have one then get a sharp knife, like a steak knife and push through the side of the joint and if there is little resistance then it is nearly done. Now pour out the remaining water in to a heat proof bowl. If you have a separator the non fat part can be used as a base for gravy. Anyway now turn up the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6 and put back in for another hour and a half or until it is very tender (no resistance to the knife test) and the skin is very crisp, yes that's your crackling.. At this point you could sort out the other parts for your dinner, its up to you how you want to serve it with. When its cooked take out and like all meats let it rest for a minimum 15 minutes before carving.

That is it, simple. Trust me it is. A little note, did you notice there is no salt used on the skin. With this you don't need it. The crackling is crisp and tastes salt free, lovely.

Written by Gerry, version 1.0. Photos soon when I cook it next.

Silent Sunday #1

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 4 February 2012

First Post

The First Post.
A Brief History of Time Waisted (or not)

There will be two people writing this blog. Me and the husband. We will place a note on the bottom of a post of who wrote it, so you know who to have a go at.

Best give a bit of in site of our history. As they say write what you know about first. We all have slightly tangled lives.


A brief history of me.

Well I (Phyllis) have been married three times. Divorced first husband, second husband sadly passed away. Now with my third husband. I have one now really grown up son from my first marriage. Who I do not see as he is working away. My second husband sadly passed away, and from that marriage have a lovely daughter (now all grown up) but gladly lives locally. So get to see her a lot when her job permits.

A brief history of him.

The husband (Gerry) is also on his third marriage, in his case divorced two times before. Now stuck with me. He has three children and one grandchild. The daughter and grandchild from his first marriage, and yes its his grandchild but she is mine also. Then two sons from the second marriage. They both in their late teens and sadly never hardly see them as they are in their late teens (you know what they are like, if you got teen boys).


A brief history of us.

Well after all that we met and married in 2008. All our passed lives then interconnected to produce this one. Sadly both of our parents have passed on. So its just us and the children of varying ages and the grandchild, of which who know us on twitter is Grace.


Post Script

This is version 1.5 of about us. As just learning how to work this blogger properly this time. Not going to rush in without a thought like last time. So most posts are going to be a work in progress until at least April 2012. Just getting the bones together, before I can put some meat on and then hopefully the skin.

Also this blog will NEVER be sponsored, by any company to promote their products with freebies etc. If anyone want us to review anything than that's fine. You must realise that any review might be good, indifferent, or bad. It is in your hands. So if you want to take a chance and get a real review. Well we are here......... 

Written by Phyllis and Gerry