I got in a pickle today!
Or should I say the pickle got in me really. These little green peculiar things have been a mystery to me only because I've never actually tasted one before. Yes I am that person that takes the gherkin out of my burger when I used to eat at McDonalds. Why though?
It always just looked a bit floppy and ........green. We have this big saying in our house that 'you cannot say you don't like a certain food if you've never tasted it'. Quite right as well, I must admit I've probably been saying that I don't like gherkins in my head and totally convinced myself of this dislike, until today.
They have always looked like something David Attenborough would talk about on the bottom of the sea but actually they are really tasty. At the grand and glorious age of 40 something I have now discovered gherkins. I suppose you could say better late than never. I'm a bit peeved now that I can't go for a Maccy D's and leave the slice of gherkin in, suppose I could have a burger without the bun.
This jar contains cute little cocktail gherkins and I only had the one as my tummy clashes with the malt vinegar but I am going to look for some in a different vinegar. I can't wait! This all came to light thanks to my niece who messaged me last night to say she liked them now, so I thought I'd join the club. We laughed as we chatted because I had to admit that I had always liked cucumber but never had gherkins, they are very similar really and of the same posse I believe. Yeah I know daft eh? It's like eating tomato sauce I suppose and not liking tomatoes.
So there we go, every day is a school day as I seem to say a lot. I can now snack on gherkins instead of chocolate.........well hang on lets not get too carried away. I did get drunk once and eat an entire jar of pickled onions, a big jar as well. The hangover was so wrong the next day but that's another story for another time.
Thanks for reading today and being here to share my experience of popping my gherkin cherry. I am no longer a gherkin virgin. If that's not put you off come back tomorrow as I will have a Verse for Thursday.
Take care for now.
The Christmas Menu is at Costa
Yes someone had to do it, someone had to try the Christmas drinks menu at Costa and in fact I'm still working my way through it. I look forward to it every year, it's my Christmas delight and it makes me feel naughty.
I tried the Billionaire's Latte and it was gorgeous, totally sinful and I gambled with the biscuit bits on the top (not at all gluten free). Don't even bother to count the calories after this, you may as well start fresh again tomorrow. This range also contains a Billionaires Hot Chocolate and Frostino.
There is a Black Forest Hot Chocolate containing cherry syrup and whipped cream with chocolate sprinkles. A Frostino available too.
The Gingerbread Latte returns with gingerbread syrup, whipped cream, berry crumb and Charlie the mini gingerbread man who we all seem to have no problem with murdering in a boiling hot drink. He just sinks into it and drowns, that's if you don't fetch him out and decapitate him first. Is there some sort of gingerbread man abuse helpline? It's just barbaric.
Mint Hot Chocolate is on the list as well as the Hot Spiced Apple Winter Warmer which sounds really nice when we all become a little sick of syrup and cream. That just never happens for me but I suppose for some they can have an alternative to the dairy overload.
I like a treat, think we all need one now and again so go and have one and go large too, no messing. If you're going to have a latte or hot chocolate then have one. We can all go back to skinny latte's in January!
I actually had a go at my own 'Make a Brew' latte made with a decaf Tassimo pod, a little warm milk, squirty cream and chocolate sprinkles. It didn't cost me much and I can have this whenever I feel like it as long as no one has tried to see if they can break the world record for how much squirty cream they can fit into their mouth, then I just have milky coffee. Grrrrrrr!!!!
It looked like this.......
Not bad eh? Just a bit of Bailey's in and I think we're sorted!! Won't get that in Costa.
Enjoy your drinks and remember to stay warm through this chilly winter. Let me know what you think of the new 2017 menu at Costa, is it good or is Starbucks better? - Oh heck I may have to go and work myself through their drinks too. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for reading today, please do come back tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday. For now though......
Children in Need
It's approaching that time again as this November marks the 37th year of Children in Need. I remember back in 1980 when it started as a little telethon, who knew it would still be going today in 2017 and raising money for some great charities.
I always watched it every year when I was younger but it would become even more poignant when my son came into our lives. I believe he came along for a reason (apart from the obvious one) and that was to understand and learn more about not just Autism but other families who live with a disability of some kind.
It is a time when watching the video clips of these children and families going through some really tough times that I feel we're very lucky and it gives me a sense of being grateful for what I have. It also makes me happy that there are charities out there who do wonderful things and who wouldn't be able to do those wonderful things without the funding they receive from Children in Need. I see some of this work first hand talking to families affected by Autism being supported by services which have been funded by your donations.
Yes there is controversy like everything else in life. Celebrities getting paid large amounts of money, or just wealthy celebs asking us all to give money but what the heck? I don't necessarily believe in getting paid for this but I suppose it's a personal thing, I'm really not sure who does receive what but all that matters that we don't boycott it for that reason because we take away help from the people who really need it.
There are a lot of celebrities who endorse many charities and some ask for fees some don't. What a celebrity or well known named person does is give the charity media attention. They grab the attention of folk, they do have to earn a living, some you may say wouldn't miss a few bob in their pocket but then it's again up to them. Before you think about the famous, think about the people who need help and support, your money also goes to organisations in the UK which I think is great.
There has also been problems about which charities have received money from Children in Need which is always going to be an issue, I would like to think, and maybe I'm a bit naive but I would like to think that most of the time CIN do try to source recipients the best they can do and strive to improve the way they do this in the future.
So don't chuck ya Pudsey Bear away just yet, I challenge you to just watch or listen to one story of one child or family that need support and tell me you can't pop a pound in a bucket. Imagine that family was your family - no one is ever immune from tragedy or sadness, at some point in our lives there just might be a time when you need a helping hand and it may be that you may need to lean on a CIN funded project.
Tune in on this coming Friday 17th November on BBC1 first at 7pm to see the end of the Rickshaw Challenge, just that sets me of crying so I have no hope then at 7.30pm for start of the main programme or just pop a bit of loose change into a collection near you. Thank you.
Thanks for reading today, I'll be back tomorrow with A Verse for Thursday but until then.......
Take care now.
I recently caught sight of the new Nescafe advert which I thought was really good. It involved a nice chap narrowing down his huge friends list down and re connecting with some close ones over a lovely brew of Nescafe Gold Blend.
I thought this was true of most peoples lives really, some of us consider to have lots of friends even counting the three hundred or so on Facebook but when it comes down to it who do we actually have a cuppa and a really sit down with? I'm not at all knocking friends on social media which we haven't met, sometimes we can have really good pals from afar and there are a good few I would love to ask to go for a brew. Maybe we don't do it enough.
I was asked who I would like to re connect with to which I replied that sometimes we all need to re connect with ourselves but for me it would have to be over a decaf coffee as I've given up the caffeine. Hey presto a jar of Nescafe Gold Blend Decaf appeared as if by magic and I have to say it's a good brew. I have to be honest I haven't bought Nescafe for a while really as I've probably been watching a lot of 'Eat Well For Less'. This is the programme where they swap expensive products for cheaper products, usually a supermarkets own brand to try and save money. On most items there is no difference in quality so the savings can be quite staggering and you're going to swap if it means a substantial saving allowing you to sun yourself in Florida on your next holiday.
I've always found Nescafe quite a lot more pricey than other brands but due to quality and Nescafe being a lead brand in the coffee world some people wouldn't pay any less. For me, I am happy with my Tassimo Decaf Pods but I would consider keeping a small jar of this coffee just for a change. Let me know what you think anyway, have you tried it? Which is your fav coffee?
Here is the link to that Nescafe advert: For the moments that matter -
It certainly caught my attention and made me feel a little emotional, made me think too and there are only few adverts that come along now and again that do that so take a look, see what you think.
I am actually finishing a brew of Nescafe Gold Blend Decaf while writing this post and whether it's the coffee or the writing, which I love to do, I haven't felt so relaxed or day - until now. Cheers!!
Thanks for reading today, please come back tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday, until then.....
Yes today is National Stress Awareness Day and we've all felt stressed at some point haven't we? It may be family life, work, or sometimes we don't even know why but we can feel our hearts starting beating faster and overcome with anxiety.
Life takes it's toll in many different ways and sometimes it's hard to know how to control stress. We may drink a bit more alcohol, our behaviour may change, become more irritable and in a lot of cases not able to control our feelings at all. That's naturally how our alarm bells ring and then it's knowing that something needs to be done, we need to eventually recognise those signs and ask for help.
Not easy though is it? Some of us carry on and on until we can't cope anymore, it's like our own defences shout out ' I have had enough, no more'. I know I've been there like so many. Some people thrive on stress, it's the way they live their lives and without it they would be lost. It can be the kind of adrenaline rush a few of us need to get by but for others it can be debilitating.
I was watching television this morning and I watched a GP talk about how he could no longer cope with the job. After 25 years of being a GP and working 14-15 hour days it was taking a toll on family life and he realised he just wasn't able to carry on doing his job properly. I really felt for this guy as you don't realise when you go and pour out your problems to the doctor that they are having problems too. Of course they are, it's a highly stressful job with a lot of pressure. So many people are under pressure, in fact the number of people taking time off work for stress and anxiety is hitting an all time high.
It shouldn't be just today that we tackle this problem, we should be spending more time considering stress because if it isn't dealt with it can lead to mental health problems. This is an everyday issue and one which needs to be addressed. The charity 'MIND" are asking employers to create a 'stress awareness space' in the workplace. This could be somewhere where colleagues could share feelings and get advice and tips from others about how to deal with problems and relieve stress.
This doesn't have to just take place in the workplace it can be anywhere, reach out and ask that friend to go for a brew, express how you feel and let that stress go free. Great friends will be there and they'll listen. I know that when we hold an Autism Group parents/carers get talking to each other and feel so much better for just sharing their experiences. they may not get an immediate solution but they feel better for just knowing they are not alone and there is someone else feeling the stresses and strains that they feel.
Please talk to someone, there are people out there who will help and be there in times of stress.
MIND the mental health charity can be found online at www.mind.org.uk
there is so much advice there and someone available if you don't feel you can talk to anyone within your immediate circle of family or friends.
We all have our own ways of coping with stress, mine can be a drink of tea, popping on headphones and listening to my favourite tunes. I also like a walk too, this really clears my head and settles me. Meditation is good for some and just taking time out to do break away from a situation can be enough. Hobbies are good to relax, I go to Rock Choir and sing my stresses away, we have a laugh as well which is great therapy.
Whatever it is, find that time, find that environment that is stress free and hold onto it for a while. It's no failure to feel stressed, it's part of life don't feel bad or make yourself poorly, seek that help.
Thanks for reading today, please feel free to come back tomorrow for my Verse for Thursday.
Till then, take care of yourselves.
What to Buy Wednesday
From May 2020 I will be writing a poem about something I may have purchased or would like to purchase.