Nigella Lawson vs. real women

Nigella Lawson vs. real women

See how many of them you think are true……

1. Nigella’s Way
Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice-cream drips.
The Real Woman’s Way
Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Goodness sake. You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway.

2. Nigella’s Way
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
The Real Woman’s Way
Buy Smash and keep it in the cupboard for up to a year.

3. Nigella’s Way
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking tin, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won’t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
The Real Woman’s Way
Tesco sell cakes. They even do decorated versions.

4. Nigella’s Way
If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it’s still cooking, drop in a potato slice.
The Real Woman’s Way
If you over salt a dish while you are cooking, that’s tough!  Please recite with me the Real Woman’s motto: ‘I made it and you will eat it and I don’t care how bad it tastes.’

5. Nigella’s Way
Wrap celery in aluminium foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks
The Real Woman’s Way
It could keep forever. Who eats it?

6. Nigella’s Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
The Real Woman’s Way
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and drop it in 8 ounces of vodka: Drink the vodka. You might still have the headache, but you won’t care

7. Nigella’s Way
If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
The Real Woman’s Way
Why do I have a man?

8. Nigella’s Way
Freeze leftover wine into ice cubes for future use in casseroles
The Real Woman’s Way
Left over wine???? Helllloooo

Well, most of them sound spot on to me.   ‘Specially the last one!

New Bank HR Policy

Managers are increasingly looking to be creative with respect to innovative ideas for improving a firms finanncial position during the Depression.   For example:

‘As many of our competitors continue to lay-off staff in order to get their costs down, we are pleased to announce that there will be no compulsory redundancies in the foreseeable future. We are, however, introducing a new staffing policy.

With immediate effect, we are reducing our mandated employee retirement age to 36. Although many staff might at first be concerned to learn that they will not actually be able to draw any pension until they reach 55 (and we will not be in a position to continue to make pension contributions for staff who have left the firm), please be advised that we have taken this action in your best long-term interests. Recent research has revealed that our industry is among the most stressful, and our new compulsory early retirement policy will probably mean that you will actually live longer. And life is not that bad on welfare. As you are aware, work / life balance has become a main priority for the firm and, as many of our over-36s have been working like dogs over the last few years, most could do with a break anyway.

We are also pleased to announce that, despite recent speculation, we have not imposed an across-the-board hiring freeze. We have, however, tightened up our hiring policy. The executive committee has decided that, during these difficult times for our industry, we will need experienced staff to pull us through. In future, therefore, we will not be hiring any new staff under the age of 34. There will be no more hiring kids in nappies.

It is also opportune to confirm that we will be moving to our new eco-friendly headquarters next month, as we have acquired that large field just outside New Jersey. Although we don’t plan any construction work there, at least our surroundings will be green.

Finally, it is only proper to update back and middle office staff on our intentions for year-end bonus payments. The good news is that most of you will be getting a bonus comparable to that you received last year. The bad news is that last year, of course, most of you got no bonus anyway. There will be no bonuses for front office staff either, as we closed all our front office businesses a few weeks back’.

Don’t laugh – too much of this is likely founded in truth….

The Office Party

From the Here is the City website, a note from ‘The Management’ re the possibility of a Christmas party:

‘As you are already aware, due to the fact that investors are upset with us over the firm’s stock price (and the government is pretty miffed as it had to bail us out), earlier this year we decided to cancel our annual staff Christmas bash.

Many of you have, however, expressed anger at this decision, especially as some of our rivals have covertly arranged parties out of the public eye. And this year has been a difficult one to say the least – cheap food in the canteen is no more, cabs home are a thing of the past, and that lovely luxury toilet paper we have used for years has been replaced by something more akin to sandpaper. Not to mention that the chats we all used to enjoy around the water coolers are no more – as there are no longer any water coolers. And the tea and biccies in the meeting rooms have also been canned, along with the fruit trolley. The bar outside the canteen has also been mothballed.

We do appreciate that a year-end up, and an opportunity to make inappropriate comments to females colleagues, is the only fun many of our male staff are likely get this Christmas. And, as many of you have correctly pointed out, being totally tanked up and violently sick at the bank’s expense has become something of a tradition, and freezing your socks off late at night, whilst being ignored by countless black cabs as you attempt to get a ride home, is good for morale. Furthermore, isn’t it only appropriate to raise our glasses in honour of the thousands of our colleagues who never came back to their desks this year, after having received a telephone call from an anonymous staffer in HR asking them to go up to one of the executive meeting rooms for a brief chat ?

With all this in mind, we have had a rethink. A quick calculation has revealed that, for the cost of rather less than 50 risk management staff, we can push the boat out again this year, after all. So, go find your dancing shoes, we’re gonna drink and party like there’ll be no 2009!’


LE JOG 2008

Spare a thought for our friends taking part in this years LE JOG (The Lands End to John O Groats reliability trial, to non rallyists).   We met them last eve on their first rest halt since starting at 0800 that morning at Lands End and while they had 2 hours to feverishly plot the nights routes, they would be denied any sleep until arriving in Runcorn at about 4.00 am.    And it went down to – 10deg c last night.

This 1925 Derby Bentley – is absolutely splendid.   The crew are insane.

Their route took them from Magor services in South Wales through the hills and valleys with a range of rally trials from hillclimbs, navigation sections and regularities (at constant average speeds).

Rallying is hard work but immense fun, although I still cannot understand who would want to do this in an open car.   Especially an open car that is over 80 years old….

Good luck to them all – the rally finishes on Tuesday morning at John O Groats and between now and then the crews will only have one proper nights sleep.     Brrrr…time to put another log on the fire methinks.

Happy Birthday Britney

Who would have thought she’d be back from the brink after last years head shaving and going a bit mad nonsense?   It certainly wasn’t pretty to witness…and although I did not see her X factor performance or Simon Cowell meeting her and subsequently suggesting she was in awe of him (Simon, you need to spend a little time out of your own ego) I did like the lyrics to her last hit, Piece of Me.   Someone has a sense of humour:

I’m Miss American Dream since I was 17
Don’t matter if I step on the scene
Or sneak away to the Philippines
They’re still gonna put pictures of my derriere in the magazine
You want a piece of me?
You want a piece of me…

I’m Miss bad media karma
Another day another drama
Guess I can’t see the harm
In working and being a mama
And with a kid on my arm
I’m still an exceptional earner
And you want a piece of me

So happy birthday Miss Spears.   And welcome back.

Driving Tips

From Shipmate, too good not to share these useful driving tips…

Save the expense of buying a Caterham by sitting in the bath wearing a helmet while a friend fires pieces of mud and rubber at your head and you pretend to get all indignant when a normal car overtakes you.

TVR drivers, save the expense of a trackday by simply getting up early, finding a local road, accelerating as hard as possible down the straights, crawl round the corners and go home at 11am due to mechanical failure.

Rich people, don’t bother learning to drive. Just buy a GT3 RS, a brightly coloured race suit and always drive in Novice sessions. No one will pass you so your ego will be intact.

Internet forum posters, save the expense of going to the Nuerburgring for the weekend by staying at home with your mum and then on Tuesday posting that you managed an 8:15 bridge-to-gantry time in your Clio, but there is more to come if the traffic and weather conditions allow.

Lotus Elise drivers, after crashing maintain the internet illusion that you are a great driver by claiming that there was diesel on the road, after all no one else knows there wasn’t and you don’t have to mention the biker that came through the same corner with his knee down at stupid speeds whilst you were waiting for the recovery truck.

Experience all the joys of Sat Nav without the expense. Simply buy a map and get your passenger to say ‘go left’ slightly after your junction and then announce ‘Please do a U-Turn’ in a really smug voice even though they know you are on a motorway.

Drivers with 9 points, when stopped for speeding simply tell the officer you just glorified terr*rism in a heated pub debate, that way he will have to arrest you under the Prevention Of Terrorism Act and you will avoid getting banned from driving.

Internet forum posters, pretend you are a great driver by heel and toeing to the Spar and back for milk.

Save the expense of Sat Nav by simply buying a map and giving it to your passenger, then ask them to continually give you directions to Droitwich even though you keep shouting ‘I am in flipping France and I am looking for the Eiffel Tower, you piece of sht’

Enjoy the Porsche Boxster ownership experience for less money by simply buying one with a blown engine and just parking it on your drive. You can still impress your neighbours with your Porsche while you are Zymolling it but you’ll have saved a fortune on running costs and no-one buys a Boxster to actually drive it anyway. You will also have the key to pose with in pubs.

Trackday heroes, when posting up trackday videos always leave out the laps where you get overtaken. Everyone will then think you are really good.

If you must wear a race suit on a touristenfahren at the ‘Ring, have your name embroidered on to it. It will save all those embarrassing “Who’s the wonker in the race suit?” remarks as everyone will already know who the wonker is.

Anyone have any other winners?

Another pheasant valley funday

Ahem, with apologies to the Monkees, ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’, for the title of this post – sorry, just could not resist.

Courtesy of Mr FM, who regular readers may know is currently enjoying a somewhat weapons centric holiday in  the USA, I was able to take his peg on a driven day this Saturday.

The day started well, if cold, with a little fog and quite still and after our very hasty lunch break the wind piped up and the sky became a little less threatening, although we were to be denied sunshine.

The birds were scarce and stayed low, with the best drive at the end with the beaters coming through a thick woodland delivering a dozen or more to our guns.

Overall tally was a little over 30 – some landed the wrong side of a canal and it was too late too dark and frankly too hard to get them.

But we did have a good day.   The countryside was spectacular and we covered a variety of different terrain and the state of the Land Rover proof that we’d been through proper mud.   My tally was 4 I think, 3 pheasant and one partridge and I brought 2 brace home for the freezer.

Nephews and nieces were invited to assist as I breasted the birds, with all but one and my two gore hungry kids running screaming from the garage as they saw the knife, to the relative safety of murdering monsters on their Nintendo DS’.   As our US cousins would say; Go figure?

Deeper and deeper in debt

Boris Johnson in the Torygraph today rails against our dear leader, long since named ‘Tax and Waste Brown’ by otber bloggers, after the pre Budget announcements aimed to rescue our economy at a stroke.

What muppets.   As good old Boris says, you got us into this mess Gordy, with your NuLab policies.   And like a  broke and desperate gambler who has already lost the family siliver you are now putting the house on the next spin of the roulette wheel.    Our national debt will  increase to over 8% by 2010 – levels not seen since Harold Wilson.   It is madness.

I’ve been whingeing on about the level of government spend for as long as I’ve been blogging, but there is a statistic at the bottom of Boris’ article that really brought it home to me….read on:
We now know that to fund this fiscal stimulus, taxes are going up on incomes over £40,000; we know there are going to be huge increases in national insurance that will hit employees, employers and the self-employed. How on earth is that supposed to boost job creation?

Might it not have been better, if you were going to splurge £20 billion in tax cuts, to spend it on cutting National Insurance and helping business to keep people in work?

There is nothing wrong in principle with a fiscal stimulus. What makes the remedy so desperate is that Gordon Brown managed to squander such eye-watering sums when times were good.

It now emerges that of all the jobs created since 1997, two thirds have been in the public sector. No wonder the country is broke. The more Gordon Brown swanks and preens and claims he is the man to fix things, the more he recalls the firefighters in that American movie called Backdraft, who tried to claim credit for heroically (and abortively) attending an inferno that they had ignited.

So much for fiscal prudence.   Spin, spin and yet more spin.    And all those civil servants on sweet final salary pensions.   They’d better hope there is some money left.

The Rally of the Tests 2008

Well it’s not all doom and gloom – one needs a distraction after all – and this years Rally of the Tests was a cracker.

Starting in Bournemouth and winding our way down to Exeter, Taunton, up to Malvern and then further up to Stoke on Trent before heading west to North Wales for the finish in Llandudno, it was 4 days of frenetic fun.

Big Mike and I have done the event twice before together and he’s done it several more times.    Each time the real challenge is to finish without breaking down….it’s not called a Reliability Trial for nothing.

In 2005 in my BGT we managed to brake hard enough to shift the engine forward so the fan could try and corkscrew it’s way through the radiatior.   This was in the Derbyshire Dales and we had to be towed back to the control in Buxton, where we (well, the rally mechanics to be more accurate) stripped the radiator out, fixed it and off we went again.    We’d lost a lot of time, so our result was not tip top.   But we finished.

In 2007 in Mike’s BGT on a particularly rough stage in a Scottish forest we managed to crush the fuel line on a rock and have a puncture at the same time.   We got to watch all the other rally cars pass from a nice wet spot at the side of the road.   Car fixed again by rally mechanic Andy with a jury repair that probably is best explained over beer….   We lost a bit of time there too….and I still needed to get two new tyres as we had another puncture on the way home…   But we finished.

This year, with the fuel lines now running safely out of rocks way inside the car we were going very well, until I started to have gear selection problems.   Eventually this worsened to the point we had to  stop and have rally mechanic Peter rebuild the clutch master cylinder….the problem?   The clutch return spring had disintegrated….Grrr..   We lost some time, but made it to the special stage at the army camp that night which was a cracker, the headlights giving out just as we completed the last section..

But we finished and we’ll be back for ’09.