Tables and food

November 22, 2009

Ok, a little bit of a rant today, which I suspect some of you might disagree with.

Yesterday Hannah and I were out shopping and decided to have lunch in the food area of the shopping mall we were in. We duly queued up, got our food and then had the problem of looking for somewhere to sit and eat.

About half the tables were taken by people just sitting there waiting for someone else who was still in the queue to get food. This really bugs me. I always feel that you should not be allowed to get a table unless you have actually got your food. Ok, so there may be exceptions such as the disabled, the elderly and the like. But most of these were just adults either with or with out children.

We had to wander around for a good few minutes before we spotted someone who looked like they were getting ready to leave. And by the time we got there, another woman arrived just in front of us but had quite sat down. She again had someone in the queue getting the food, so I just put the tray on the table and sat down. She didn’t look to impressed but I’d staked my claim, and I wasn’t going to give it up.

 

I suspect that some of you reading this are in that group who grab a table as soon as you arrive. If you are, then I’ve got my eye out for you. If I see you, I’ll be straight over with my tray and sit at the table with you!

Even Hannah said it wasn’t fair that people could just get a table before they had bought their food, whilst we had to wait for a table. So there you go. Rant over.

Thirteen

November 21, 2009

It’s about 10pm, Thursday 21st November 1996. The phone rings:

Hello?”

Mr Steadman?”

Yes”

It’s the hospital, your wife….”

I don’t recall the rest of the conversation, but within seconds I was out the door heading to the hospital. Probably the happiest moment in my life was about to happen. My daughter was about to be born

The day had started with me taking my wife in to the maternity ward to be induced. That was 8am. By 9pm, there was no sign of anything happening I was told by the nurses that as visiting had finished at 8, I really should go home. An hour later and I got the phone call to tell me she had gone in to labour. At 11.54pm, I became the father of a little baby girl.

Today she was 13. A teenager. For the last six and a half years she’s lived with her mum, 160 miles away, and I’ve had to watch her group at a distance. Yes I’ve had her for the holidays, but it’s not the same as being with her every day.

She’s not perfect, in fact she far from perfect. But I wouldn’t change her for anything.

It only seems like yesterday that I got that phone call, where did those years go?

Wilt thou be my Dearie?

November 20, 2009

Ok, it’s poets day again, and as a follow up to the one from two weeks ago here’s a second from Robert Burns.

Wilt thou be my Dearie?
When Sorrow wring thy gentle heart,
O wilt thou let me cheer thee!
By the treasure of my soul,
That’s the love I bear thee:
I swear and vow that only thou
Shall ever be my Dearie!
Only thou, I swear and vow,
Shall ever be my Dearie!
Lassie, say thou lo’es me;

Or, if thou wilt na be my ain,
O say na thou’lt refuse me!
If it winna, canna be,
Thou for thine may choose me,
Let me, lassie, quickly die,
Still trusting that thou lo’es me!
Lassie, let me quickly die,
Still trusting that thou lo’es me!

I love this poem because I can relate to it.

Blog post fail

November 20, 2009

Well it looks like I failed the challenge. By the time I went to bed last night I has still not written the day’s blog post, and was completely void of ideas. Which is annoying because today’s post was already to go but I didn’t want to post it as it’s a poem for POETS day; and I know what I want to write about tomorrow but that can only be done tomorrow.

So I’ve failed

But I’ll try to carry on posting daily until the end of the month. After all, I’ve got you lovely readers to think about!

Apple update

November 18, 2009

To bring you up to date with the iTunes saga

I received an email stating that my password had been reset, but it still showed my Apple ID as being wrong. So I immediately emailed back informing them of this. The reply came back quickly stating that I could change the Apple ID once I had logged in.

So I logged in and found out that not only had the Apple ID changed, but also my date of birth had been altered, and the security question and answer had been changed to random letters. To me this seemed fishy, and I had the distinct feeling that my account had been hacked.

I quickly changed everything back to what it should be and changed the password to something different from what I had set it originally. I wasn’t going to take any chances.

I then emailed Apple again stating that these details had been changed and my suspicions about the account being hacked. I’m pleased to say that so far I have had no reply from them. Shows they really care doesn’t it?

Luckily no purchases had been made in the time when I didn’t have control of the account.

Apple fail

November 17, 2009

Yesterday I had trouble logging on to the itunes store. I kept being told that my Apple Id or password was incorrect. I tried on two seperate machines and both refused to accept ,y details. I tried to recover my password from the Apple iforgot website, and that failed to work. I also noticed that the hose share feature on itunes was refusing to connect my two pc’s  because the machines were not authorised. So I contacted Apple to ask for assistance.

The email reply I got back is less than helpful

Dear Paul,

Hey there! How are you doing today? I hope everything is going well.

My name is Jeremiah, I understand that you’re having trouble signing in to the iTunes Store with your Apple ID account "michele-matthew8@xxx.xxx.xxx".

Being an iTunes Store Customer myself, I can understand how this situation might make you feel. I will be more than happy to help you resolve this issue to your satisfaction.

1) Make sure you’re using the latest version of iTunes. It can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple website:

http://www.apple.com/itunes/download

2) Open iTunes.

3) From the Store pull-down menu at the top, choose Sign In.

4) On the dialog that appears, make sure the radio button next to the Apple logo is selected.

5) Enter your iTunes Store account name and password and then click Sign In.

If you no longer have the password for your account, you can simply reset it via Apple’s iForgot website at:

http://iforgot.apple.com

If you still can’t access your account, I can reset the password for you. Before I can do this, however, Apple requires that you provide:

– the billing address listed on the account

…as well as one of the following:

– the last four digits of the credit card used for your iTunes Store account

– the order number of your most recent purchase

– or the name of any item you’ve purchased using this account

Upon receiving your response, Apple will verify your information, reset your password, and send you an email with your new password.

Thanks for being a part of the iTunes family Paul. It has truly been a pleasure assisting you. If there is anything more that I can help you with, let me know, and I will do all that I can.

Sincerely,

Jeremiah

iTunes Store Customer Support

Basically it told me to do what I had told them I had already done. Nice of them to read my email! The interesting thing is that the Apple Id quoted is different to mine!

So today I managed to actually got onto the iforgot website and it told me my Apple ID doesn’t exist!! Now I was really concerned in case my account had been hacked, so I emailed this back:

Hi

I had previously followed those instructions but still could not log in. I have finally managed to access the iforgot website but that told me that my Apple Id does not exist.

Also in your email, the Apple Id you quote "Michele-matthew8@xxx.xxx.xxx" is neither mine nor the one I filled in when contacting you originally.

My Apple Id is paul@xxx.xx.xx My billing address is 41 XXXXXXXXXXX And I recently purchase the album Bad Attitude by Meat Loaf

Could you please look into this as I am now concerned that my account may have been compromised.

Many thanks

And very quickly I got a reply

Dear Paul,

Jeremiah here again from iTunes Store Customer Support. I hope you are having an awesome day so far. Thank you for taking the time to contact iTunes Store Customer Support. We know that your time is valuable.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble signing in to the iTunes Store with your Apple ID account "paul@xxx.xx.xx” , somehow the screen name was changed to ”michele-matthew8@xxx.xxx.xxx”.

I can reset the password for you. Before I can do this, however, Apple requires that you provide this information in your reply:

– the billing address listed on the account

…as well as one of the following:

– the last four digits of the credit card used for your iTunes Store account

– or the order number of your most recent purchase

– or the name of any item you’ve purchased using this account

I await your reply with the necessary information so that I can assist you further. Thank you for being a member of our iTunes Store community. Have a great day Paul!

Can’t he read?? In my reply I gave all the details about my account that he’d asked for, but he asks for them again!!!!!!!!!

Another email has gone off with the necessary details again!.

I’ll post an update as and when I get one.

Kitchen time

November 16, 2009

I decided that as I was off work today, it would be a good idea to make my Christmas puddings. Yes, I do make my own! And I thought I’d share the basic recipe with you all. Note: My puddings are actually a variation on this – you didn’t expect me to share my secrets do you?

Christmas Pudding

serves: 8

Prep Time: 40 mins

Cook Time: 3hrs

  • 110g raisins
  • 110g sultanas
  • 300g currants
  • 100ml stout
  • 4tbsp brandy
  • 110g whole candied fruit, finely diced
  • 50g blanched almonds, finely chopped
  • 50g undyed glace cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tspn ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g dark muscovado sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp treacle
  • 185g self raising flour
  • 55ml milk

 

  • 2 pt pudding basin
  • Baking parchment
  • String
  1. Place the dried fruits in a small saucepan with the stout and brandy, bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 10-15mins or until all the liquor has been absorbed, stirring occaisionally
  2. Transfer to mixing bowl and leave to cool for 20-30mins
  3. Stir in the peel, almonds, cherries and spices
  4. Blend the butter and sugar together for several minutes in a food mixer, add the eggs, one by one, then the treacle, flour and finally the milk
  5. Stir into the dried fruit mixture
  6. Generously butter the pudding basin, butter a square of baking parchment and line the bottom of the basin with it, buttered side up
  7. Spoon the mixture into the basin and smooth the surface
  8. Cut a double sheet of baking parchment measuring 30cm square, make a pleat in the centre. butter the underside and place over the top of the pudding
  9. Tie the paper in place with a string below the top of the pudding
  10. Put in a saucepan with boiling water that comes two thirds of the way up the sides, cover and simmer gently for 2hrs 45mins. Top up water level now and again, if necessary
  11. Remove basin from the saucepan and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes before running a knife around the outside of the pudding and then turning on to a plate

To freeze

The pudding can be frozen for up to 3 months. Leave the cooked pudding to cool, then remove the baking parchment on top and replace with fresh parchment. Place the pudding, still in the basin, in a freezer bag and freeze. Defrost at room temperature for 6-8 hours (or overnight in a fridge). Reheat as above, for 1 hour

 

So there’s the instructions. My puddings are made slightly different to that though. Mainly because I take after my mother in the kitchen! Her cooking exploits are legendary! She has on more than one occasion turn two pages in a recipe book and carried on, without even noticing! On another occasion she misread 1 tablespoon of water for one cup of water and wonder why the cake took ages to cook! This could explain why , when the recipe said “softened butter” I ended up with melted butter (or was it facebook distracting me?) or why when I was half way through he recipe I suddenly realised the blender was still buried at the back of the cupboard! In fact the 40mins prep time end up nearer 2 hours!

But I got there in the end. There all cooked – I made 4 small puddings and 2 medium sized puddings – and ready to be eaten.

And here’s the finished product

HPIM0211

Google me…

November 16, 2009

Ok, another silly item today due to the dreaded lack of inspiration.

Instructions: Go to Google and type in your first name and the phrase. Copy and paste the first sentence/phrase you get that makes sense.

Q: Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul needs music”

Q: Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul looks like he’s in a coffin in the cover shot”

Q: Type in "[your name] says" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul says hello"

Q: Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul wants your uterus"

Q: Type in "[your name] does" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul does what he wants and the ladies love it"

Q: Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul hates handles"

Q: Type in "[your name] asks" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul asks Philemon to forgive Onesimus”

Q: Type in "[your name] goes" in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul goes back to his Burnley roots"

Q: Type in "[your name] likes " in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul likes to chug"

Q: Type in "[your name] eats " in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul eats peas with his meat"

Q: Type in "[your name] wears " in Google search.
A: Google says: "Paul wears half a ball to hide his baldy head”

Q: Type in "[your name] was arrested for" in Google Search.
A: Google says: "Paul was for murder"

 

[I’m sure normality will resume tomorrow!]

Friends

November 14, 2009

As some of you will know, I’ve been through a pretty rough patch lately. And I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster with a few ups and lots of downs. The deaths of three friends and family in less than 48 hours has that effect. But the funerals are all over now, and I think I’m over the worst of it.

And I would like to say thank you to all my friends that have supported over those last three weeks. Quiet a few of them offered to listen to me if I wanted to talk, and some of them certainly got their ear bent on ,ore than one occasion. The conversations I’ve had, whether it was face to face, by email or instant messaging, has been invaluable. Some of them had problems of their own, but they were still prepared to listen to me. Of course, I returned the favour and was more than happy to listen to them talk about what was troubling them.

We don’t always let people see how we are feeling, or how a situation is affecting us. We put on the brave face and carrying on as normal. But inside we are going to pieces. It’s at times like these that we need good friends. Sometimes just talking about a problem helps you get through it. Other times just knowing that someone is there is all that is needed.

So if you’re one of those who offered me a shoulder then thanks. And if you’re one of the unfortunate ones who had to put up with me babbling on then double thank you. And to the friend who offered a shoulder and ice-cream: I’ll come round for the ice-cream later!

The Road Not Taken

November 13, 2009

Poet’s day again, and continuing this theme that seems to have developed:

Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost