Monday, 28 May 2012

Hi everyone
I hope a few more of you are looking at my blog, now that Paul S has put a link straight into it from the school website home page.
Firstly, Mr Langton's recommended foodie tv programmes this week:
The Great British Menu on all week on BBC2 at 7.30.
Gok Cooks Chinese on Mondays Channel 4 at 8.30.
Jimmy and the giant supermarket  - anew series at 9pm on Tuesdays.
This Tuesday at 9.30 on BBC2 - Inside the Smithfield Market.
I listened to the Radio 4 Food Programme this week and it was all about breakfast,Some people never bother to have breakfast, for a number of reasons, but it is really the most important meal of the day, If you think about it, the very word tells you of its purpose in our daily 'menu' - it is to break the fast, because most of us have not eaten anything for at least 7 or 8 hours, since our last meal/snack/supper from the evening before. Our bodies need re-fuelling and a sensible breakfast will kick start our energy levels and get us going both physically and mentally.
Government statistics apparantly show that people who skip breakfast are 4,000% less productive during the day than people who do have something to eat!!
When I was a teenager, my favourite meal of the week was the 'Full English' that my Dad would cook after we all got back with him from our Saturday morning swim at the local pool. He was a Scout Leader so there were always quite a few boys who came along to swim too. My sister and I really looked forward to Saturdays!!
Dad, my sister and I were always hungry after all that exercise, and the breakfast was just great! A couple of cups of tea to follow and we were 'charged up' and ready for whatever the rest of the day would bring.
At our swimming baths, the lifeguards were older ladies, dressed in their ordinary clothes - a skirt and blouse,and shoes - , with an overall on top because they had to multi-task and serve in the upstairs cafe at the same time!
Whichever one of these ladies was on duty would sit at the edge of the pool on a chair, near to the diving boards at the deep end. I don't know if they could even swim!
Then, every so often they would disappear off to the cafe if they heard there was a customer waiting and there were no other staff on hand to serve them!!
It would be our Mr Parker's worst nightmare!!
I used to imagine a scenario where some bather would be in difficulty in the water, and someone else would send for the lifeguardlady, who, if she was up in the cafe might say, 'tell them to hang on a minute, will you, 'cos I'm just frying an egg!'
My Dad, who was a trained life-saving instructor had to help someone once who was struggling in the deep end. There was no lifeguard to be seen. Dad had finished his swim and was drying himself off at the side of the pool; he reached out to them with the long pole that is for scooping out test water, then pulled them into the side as they grabbed hold of it.
I hope you all find time for a good breakfast during the week and at the weekend.
I still go swimming several times a week, and on a Sunday I meet my Dad at the same pool - although it's a new pool these days in a bigger leisure centre - and go back to my parents' house for breakfast.
Unfortunately, in these healthy eating days, it's usually a healthy cereal, followed by brown toast and Mom's home-made marmalade!! Gone are the days of a Full English after swimming, although Mom did offer me a banana as an extra last Sunday!!
I often go away for weekends where we stay in good old fashioned 'Bed and Breakfast' accomodation.
You can always have a breakfast of your choice, and we always go for a 'Full English'. It's healthier these days usually, with grilled bacon and sausage, scrambled or poached egg, grilled tomatoes etc. Still scrummy!
When my kids were younger we took them to Disneyland Paris during a half term break. The older I get, the more queasy I feel on the scary rides. Not wanting to let the side down I decided on the first day that I wouldn't chicken out on any of them. We were staying in a local Novotel and I had had one huge breakfast that morning; these hotels offer a great big help yourself breakfast with so much food it is almost obscene! Cereals, fruit, juice, yoghurts, bread rolls, Full English, toast or Danish pastries to follow and plenty of good quality coffee.  Our plan, master minded by my money-conscious husband was that we should all have as much food as we could fill our stomachs with, and then we probably wouldn't need to buy any food in the Theme Park at their grossly elevated prices!
We got to Disneyland for opening time, got hold of some fast track tickets so that we could jump queues when things got busy, and set off for the kids' first choice of ride. It was called 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom -Backwards'.  You had to sit in liitle coal trucks and be sent hurtling round the track, in and out of the 'mines' at breakneck speed, with the added excitement and terror of the trucks being propelled  backwards rather than straight ahead. My husband, the crafty thing, announced that he wasn't going to go on any rides until his breakfast had 'gone down a bit', so of course muggins me had to go with the kids who were raring to start and pleading with me to accompany them. Well, needless to say, I was green by the time I staggered out of my coal truck some 5 minutes later! I dutifully went on every ride that day and was so relieved when the final one we chose before the Park closed was in the Warner Brothers Film Section, and it was called Aerosmith, after the pop group.  It sounded harmless enough, but as we were progressing slowly in the queue to where we would get into our 'vehicle' for the ride there started to appear some warning notices on the walls.
DO NOT GO ON THIS RIDE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR HAVE EVER SUFFERED WITH BACK OR NECK PROBLEMS.  AAaaaaaargh!  Panic set in. Too late to turn back.  We were helped into the travelling 'car' for 4 persons, and huge, thick, solid safety frames were locked over us by the staff. Not your run of the mill safety belt for this one, no way! Then we were off. To the blaring cacophany of Aerosmith heavy rock music, we were whizzed round and round and upside down and through dark tunnels decorated with guitars and musical notation.
I have never experienced terror like it - I decided I could hear someone screaming, and then realized it was me!  As we finally slowed down and emerged out of the tunnels into the bright evening sunshine, I realized that I was totally exhilarated  by the experience and, if the Park hadn't been due to shut in the following 5 minutes I might just have been persuaded to queue up for a second go (but don't tell my kids!) The adrenaline was coursing round my body, the endorphins had kicked in and I was, I suppose, high!
Back again the next day for 9 oclock, but this time, although I had still indulged in a huge breakfast I insisted that my husband's turn to take the children on the first ride of the day; I sat on a bench in the sun and read the newspaper!
Signing off now, as it's 11.30pm.  More recipes and interesting facts about spuds and chips in my next blog.
Mrs P

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