Monday, September 29, 2008

You Know You're Getting Old When...

You start listening to The Archers and all the old radio shows. Last year, I listened to an episode or two and before I knew it, I was hooked. Rather than listen to the daily 10 minute episode which means I have to have access to BBC Radio 4, I download the weekly compliation and either transfer it to my mobile to listen to in the car, or hoard them for my MP3 player for holidays. It's amazing how quickly you get caught up in the happenings of Ambridge and its residents. When I was over with my cousin in London a few months ago, I discovered that herself and the lovely fiance are both Archers fans too - so I'm not the only weirdo in the family.

If I'm in the car on a trip during the week, I stick on the Afternoon Play - the time absolutely flies by and there have been times when I've sat in the car waiting for it to end because it has been so good. Hubs, of course, would much rather flick, flick, flick through all the stations which results in the driver claiming ownership of the stereo (that would be me!). If we head up the North at the weekend, then the Jonathan Ross Show on BBC Radio 2 is the show of choice because he's so flippin' funny and the music is great.

Mind you, I still couldn't be paid enough to listen to RTE Radio 1 because most of the presenters (except Tubridy) drive me demented . It's a pity that my DAB radio doesn't work on the digital bands because RTE's catchment area only really covers Dublin & the North East... sooner they get this sorted the better!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In A Stew

This whole "R" word (and I don't mean "romance") is certainly hitting people with a vengeance. I was in the hairdressers this morning & two of the girls who work there were talking about where was cheapest for meat - Tesco, Dunnes or SuperValu... they had it down to a fine art! Tesco is 3 times normal points on a Thursday, Dunnes is 25% back all this weekend and SuperValu has better meat, but the shop layout is so rubbish that you just buy what you need to get out quickly!!

I've been doing a bit of cutting back myself in recent days as we're just back from holidays in La Belle France where the motto was "ah sure stick it on the Visa & we'll sort it out when we get home". Mother of Jaysus, I wonder how many pages the Visa bill will run to next week? Mind you, we did shop wisely - vodka is €11 for a litre and beer is 70c a can, so we certainly won't be sober for the next few months given the amount of booze we crammed into my trusty car outside Auchan, LeClerc & Carrefour... even an item like a chair cover was a bargain (€20 compared to €50) so I got value for my plastic cash.

And so it comes to food. On Tesco's Super Thursday I decided to buy just enough to make a rake of dinners for the freezer and no ready meals. Therefore last night's batch of "cooking with mince" produced some damn fine Chili con Carne - 5 meals for less than a tenner, and this evening, I have a very yummy beef casserole humming away on on the hob. I was never really into stews as to be honest, they weren't Mum's strong point so I ignored them. But the past few months has led to a rediscovery of granny cooking with a twist.
I will only eat turnip if it's been reduced to almost a puree and parsnips are vile creatures fit only for rabbits, so they never makes the pot. Tonight's culinary masterpiece contains leeks, carrots, onions, celery, spuds and some gorgeous rib steak which is dirt cheap at the mo. Add a load of stock & gravy, the red wine which I've just remembered to put in and you have a cracking meal for very little money. Fair enough it takes time, which I definitely don't have during the week, but this makes great freezer food if you can get your act together at the weekend. Add a pile of shredded & steamed Savoy cabbage and it's paradise on a plate.
Jesus, I'm starving.

Friday, September 26, 2008

And so it begins...

I talk enough on a daily basis, so perhaps it's now time to write it all down instead of babbling? Anyway, this won't be a hugely incisive or groundbreaking blog, just me waffling on about things that make me smile (or make me murderous...). I'll try not to mention work -because you never know if Big Brother is watching - so that narrows down my choice of topics by about 70% already!!
I suppose I'd better tell you a bit about myself. I'm not as old in my head as it says on my passport, which is why I behave like a 22 year old most of the time. I'm blind as a bat without my contacts and I despise wearing my specs. I love my holidays which tend to be spent in France because we love the country and all that goes with it. In fact, 7 days ago, we were there - packing to come home. I love flying, but the Hubs positively hates it and that's why I've never managed to get to South Africa, Asia & Oz... but I'm sure new drugs are being developed that will let me knock him out and wake him up on the other side of the world without me being arrested! I hate peppers as they are evil and have no place in a civilised world. The same goes for baked beans and neither item has ever entered my home.