Friday Links: Ulster says no

Happy Friday!

So here we’re all about whether Boris Johnson can get the new deal with the EU through Parliament with minus 40-ish minority govt, or whether he will keep his 100% failure to get the House of Commons to pass anything. Meanwhile the Turkish Army has been killing Kurds because Donald Trump thinks he knows about foreign policy and clearly he knows nothing. He is also trying to convince the world that Nancy Pelosi is the politician in the room that’s unhinged.

I’ve decided that this is the plan, politicians aren’t doing anything about climate change because they think that it’s a race between it and them as to who can destroy the planet for human and animal habitation….

You can see, I’m feeling really cheerful about life. However, it’s the weekend and at some point over the 48 hours there will be gin and this week I learnt some very strange and wonderful facts about Virginia opossums, please go and read this thread, I promise it’s worth it (it’s better than the ant facts, Ma!)

Here are this week’s links…

Queen reduced to furious frontwoman for grubby election stunt

Trump’s Worst Betrayal Yet

Five ways to fight the winter blues. I’m finding that it’s really biting right now, it’s dark in the morning and I hate it, but note the comments are much more helpful than the article.

How Macron discovered the soft power of the working class. Interesting..

Ivory Coast law could see chocolate industry ‘wipe out’ protected forests

Can a $1,300 baby bed make me a better mom? No but it’ll a solution designed for late capitalism parenting…

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Monday Miscellany: Birthday Boy

Happy Monday!

And Happy Birthday to my favourite brother!Last week was dominated by my feeling terrible with cold, it’s getting better but I’m mostly just really tired and want my bed! I did manage to accomplish things, I got a flu jab, I hoovered, I worked and I read three books!

I did make it to my brother’s to spend time with the family, four year olds are nuts and my sister in law is the queen of the roast dinner (and the caterpillar cake!)

This week, I’m still in quiet mode, I want loads of sleep and an easy week with minimal coughing!

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Sunday Music: Misheard lyrics

Today is my Aunt Jude’s birthday and tomorrow is my brother’s birthday, so this post is in their honour

Jude is a great Cliff Richard fan (I am not) but Ben’s mishearing of this song is my favourite. He was only four but the lyrics that Ben sang and therefore the name I always call this song were ‘Piss off Barney’

Listen to this song, you can’t unhear it…

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Friday Links: Running out of time

Happy Friday!

I still have a cold, I don’t have any energy and the world is pretty much on fire! Here are this week’s links

We have all been cornered into a no-deal Brexit that will harm millions

The big polluters’ masterstroke was to blame the climate crisis on you and me

A champion of the unplugged, earth-conscious life, Wendell Berry is still ahead of us

Boris Johnson’s Arcuri scandal is about public funds, not private life

Trump’s Syria decision reflects his stunning ignorance of the situation

Cancel Billionaires

The Final Demise of “Adults in the Room”

Downing Street’s tough-talking ‘memo’ is part of a dangerous game

As a GP, I know there is a huge void for patients where the NHS used to be

Residents of London ‘people’s estates’ hail council move against developer. About time too! The whole idea was ridiculous

The DUP’s support for Soldier F protests shows how extreme it is. I’ve been saying this for ages. The DUP are using Brexit to take Northern Ireland back to before the Good Friday Agreement, when they were in charge.

Flour power: meet the bread heads baking a better loaf. This is fascinating, however, the system needs to change.

Why it’s worth waiting for winter squash. Or why I won’t be eating my squash until at least November. Also (and this is mostly for Ma – the candy roasters and uchiki kuri are Cucurbita maxima (I think the mystery squash is too!), the butternuts are Cucurbita moschata)

Some autistic people find comfort in specific objects. What happens when they’re not available anymore? This just sounds exhausting…

What, and Why, Is a Whisky Pod? You can read this and then you can read Billy who is much more sensible and has had one



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What I Ate: Cooking and Budget Reset Week Four

Week Four or cold week as I’ve decided to name it. I needed to go into Ealing Broadway to pick up a library book and I didn’t want to go to West Ealing as well, so I went to the Tesco’s under the library. There was also a quick stop to Marks and Spencer’s for some cereal bars and I was done. The total was £12.81, so in four weeks, I’ve spent £54.50. Which is under the £60 that 4 weeks at £15 a week should have got me. I had an insanely full freezer and I’m working on using things I already have.

What you’ll notice is loads of fruit which I tore through (a real sign that I wasn’t feeling great!). Because I knew that all cooking this week would be of the reheat or eat cold kind, because I lack energy in autumn and that goes double when I have a cold. I made a big batch of chili, roasted a big pan of vegetatbles (peppers, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and capers), baked a loaf of bread and I cooked some chicken drumsticks and some salmon with pesto. I did all of that before I shopped, which gives you an indication of why I need to think about my eating and shopping habits. Finally in the food prep stakes, I cooked all of the baking potatoes I didn’t use last week (I threw them in the slow cooker, which is so much easier than heating up the oven but you don’t get the nice crispy skins!).

So let’s talk about what I ate.


  • Thursday – mushrooms on toast
  • Friday – chilli and a baked potato
  • Saturday – chilli
  • Sunday – roasted vegetable pizza
  • Monday – chilli
  • Tuesday – leftover pizza and chicken legs
  • Wednesday – salmon and stir fry


  • Thursday – tomato risotto and kale. Snacks. A yoghurt, an apple, grapes, a cereal bar
  • Friday – soup and roasted veg. Snacks. A yoghurt, an apple, grapes, a cereal bar
  • Saturday – toast . Snacks clementines
  • Sunday – n/a
  • Monday – courgette pasta. Snacks. A yoghurt, an apple, a pear, clementines, a nectarine, a cereal bar
  • Tuesday – courgette pasta. Snacks. A yoghurt, an apple, a pear, clementines, a nectarine, a cereal bar
  • Wednesday – baked potato and chili. Snacks. A yoghurt, an apple, a pear, clementines, a nectarine, a cereal barBreakfasts
  • Thursday – Breakfast sandwich and raw vegetables
  • Friday – toast and a poached egg
  • Saturday – toast and a poached egg
  • Sunday – Saute (potatoes, onion, peppers and kale) and a poached egg
  • Monday – n/a
  • Tuesday – Breakfast sandwich and raw vegetables
  • Wednesday – Breakfast sandwich and raw vegetables

Food next week is likely to be a bit more scattered. I’m not working from home at all this week and I’m away over the weekend, so I have about 4 hours on Saturday to shop and food prep, we’ll see what I manage to get done!


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Allotment Adventures: First Frost

Last week, we had our first frost of the autumn, so it was time to take in all the squash and pull up all the tomato plantsIt’s a lot.

We have lots of clear beds and lots to do.

We won’t be home over the weekend, so Ma is going to come over on Wednesday and do some weeding, but we have seven clear beds and we planted all of the bulbs and plants that I was given by a colleague.

We have a plan, we have loads of infrastructure work to do but now it’s just a matter of doing it!

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Friday Night Cocktail: Aperol Spritz

It’s the return of the Friday Night Cocktail, however, it seemed better to put this out earlier in the week, so that if you decide it looks good, you can make sure you have everything you need before Friday!

I’ve done aperol spritzes twice before, here and here, but that was back in 2012 and 2013 and curiously, although I drink them in the summer, I seem only to make them at home in the autumn and winter, probably because the colour of them cheers me up! Over the last year it’s felt that Aperol Spritzes are everywhere but I think might be because I have a colleague, the lovely Charlotte my quiz team buddy, who’s very keen on them, so I pretty much end up drinking them every time I go out for a work event!On Saturday night, I wanted a drink before dinner because I was feeling miserable and full of cold.* and the joy of making drinks at home is that you can adapt them to make them a little bit different or more suitable to your needs. I’ve always preferred to add some orange juice to a spritz but right now this is how I’m making them, which is a longer drink and very refreshing and soothing when you have a bit of a sore throat.

Fill a large wine glass (this is a 500ml glass) with ice. Pour in 1.5 oz of aperol2.5 oz prosecco, the juice of half a clementine and then top up with Marks and Spencer’s Lemon, Lime and Mint Soda. Garnish with the other half of the clementine.

*Yes another buggering one! And so soon after having a stomach bug! Truly autumn loves to kick me when I’m down, can we all say comprised immune system?

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