I done a soup

14 Jun

I posted a picture of a soup what I done on Instagram and Twitter, and the recipe was requested.

Disappointing image of a soup
Slightly more representative picture of the HIGH FISH CONTENT of the soup

So here’s the recipe.

What you will need!

1. A pint of full fat milk 🥛

2. A medium onion (reasonably well chopped) 🧅 (garlic powder optional)

3. Fish pie mix, approx 400g. Or, a mix of salmon, cod and smoked haddock. 🐟

4. A handful of prawns! 🦐

5. A glass of dry white wine 🥂

6. Knob of butter x 2! 🧈 🧈

7. Instant mashed potato, approx 40g 🥔

8. A half glass of high quality h2o 🚰

9. Salt, pepper (to taste) and parsley either dried (a few shakes) or fresh (handful, roughly chopped)

10. Half a tin of ho ho ho Green Giant sweetcorn or another brand.

How to do a soup

Firstly, add the butter and onions into a frying pan, and cook softly for about 3 minutes on a low heat. When the onions appear to have soaked up the butter, add half the wine to the pan and continue to saute for another 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile! In a saucepan, add half a pint of full fat milk, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and add the parsley and the fishes (inc. prawns). Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or at least until the fish is fully poached. Take off the heat, and leave for a few minutes to allow the fish oils to infuse with the milk.

Next: grab a sieve and a jug, separate out the fish, and add the fish to the frying pan mixture of wine butter and onion. At this point, you’re as well adding the rest of the wine if you haven’t drunk it.

Return the milk to the saucepan, add the potato powder bit by bit l, continuously stirring, until you get a thickest mashed potato. Then, add the water, and thin it back to soupy goodness. Make it as thick or thin as you like! Go nuts.

Once you’ve reached your desired consistency, add the sweetcorn and a bit more parsley, cook for two minutes, then add the fish mix into the saucepan.

Cook for a further five minutes.

Congratulations 👏 👏 👏 👏 you done a soup

Super close up of the half eaten beast


About last night…

22 Jun

Well. That was weird.


The ambulance arrived about an hour after it was called – it had been dispatched to the correct road, but the wrong building. In the interim, I had been chatting to a First Aider from the St John’s Ambulance, alongside an event steward, who did their best to calm me down.I arrived at hospital, waited in A&E for about twenty minutes, when I was then “triaged” (where a nurse asks some questions to determine the seriousness of the condition, and to see whether a doctor is necessary or whether a practitioner nurse can help, or indeed whether the condition can be remedied at home.)

This triage determined I should see a doctor, so I waited, alone, in a room at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, for two hours.Eventually, a doctor came, we discussed the events that had led up to this meeting, and it was decided then that I should go home, albeit with a GP referral and a further consultation then. I got home at just before 3am this morning, with having spent seven hours or so in the care of health volunteers or professionals.


Friday, 21 June 2019. The longest day, so I’m told. The eqninox. The day where the sun rises at the earliest time of the year and sets at the latest time of the year. Aside from that, an ordinary day for me. I woke up at about five in the morning, groaned, got out of bed, went to the kitchen, had a small handful of valerian root extract pills (they help me sleep), and back to bed, with Rick and Morty on Netflix as background noise to get me to sleep.

Next thing I know, it’s one in the afternoon.I checked the news and various websites that I check, then had a bath. The DAB trial multiplex in Glasgow, radiotoday.co.uk reported, had been boosted! I realise this will mean little to 99% of you but, in layman’s terms, it means I can now get a load more stations. With this in mind, I rescanned my bathroom DAB radio and had a bath. It was a day off work for me anyway, and I had little to do.

Having bathed (and dried, it’s important that you dry yourself properly), I considered my options for the day. My power bank had recently become faulty – its at that annoying stage where the USB port is loose, and as a result, my phone/tablet/radios/vape thinger would only charge on the go if I held the cable in at such an angle that all the smaller wires in the cable were in alignment – and even then that only seemed to work for 20 seconds.

Speaking of vape thinger – I was running low on vape juice, which necessitated a trip to Poundland for some supplies. I tend to get the “menthol chill” and the “morello cherry” flavours and mix the two; the result being tasty cherry menthol vapour! It’s like a Halls soother that you can inhale.Most importantly, I needed to eat. Checking my watch again, it was just gone 2pm. This meant I could go to Platform and get the “Fiver Friday” deal. Platform is a street food event, which is open every Friday to Sunday, in the old Arches nightclub underneath Glasgow Central station. Between 12 and 3 on a Friday, you can get any main and a soft drink for £5 – so I went for a kebab. (On my other site, shawarmapolice.com, I did a review…) So I did.


Then, there was the small matter of what else to do with my day. My route was taking me towards Stockwell Street Argos – I had some Nectar points to use, so I figured I’d go there for my power bank, save a tenner in the process. Around the corner was a beer festival.

The Glasgow Real Ale Festival has been going now for 6 years, which is impressive considering it started from pretty much nothing. It had been asked in the years running up to the festival why Glasgow was the only city of its size didn’t have one, when the neighbouring town of Paisley had successfully run one for two decades. The will wasn’t there, it seemed. Any time I mentioned the possibility it was deemed an impossible dream – the powers that be wouldn’t allow it, I was told. There aren’t any suitable venues, I was told. Seven years ago, something changed. Suddenly, a very suitable venue was found – the perfect size (I’m not sure of the exact figures, but the Briggait can hold, at a guess, somewhere between 500 to a thousand people) – it’s a 10 minute walk from the main station, and the powers that be didn’t mind at all – if anything, they were happy for Glasgow to have another attraction, pulling in the punters.

For the first three years of GRAF (do you see?) I volunteered at the festival. In the first and third years, I was given reception duty (welcoming, taking entry fees, and preparing festival packs which included festival beer glasses and programmes – see above), and in the second year I was placed behind a bar. All good events – however having enjoyed my time Bar-side, and having done a good job, I wanted to return in the 3rd festival. I wasn’t allowed. Stewart (in head of staffing at that festival) confirmed this but said that it wasn’t his decision. The coward who was has yet to make him-or-herself known.

As a result, I stopped volunteering – but I still went. I still enjoyed it – it was a bit of a laugh, and featured beers that you don’t get in Glasgow at all. The same happened this year – absolutely zero interest in getting mugged off as a volunteer, but as I had a day off, I fancied a beer or 12.


Having bought a phone bank, bought some vape juices, and eaten brunch, it was time to hit the beer festival. The plan was to go in, find people that I knew (I had gone in on my own), sit down, have a few, then go home when my budget had been depleted. I deliberately brought in £26 – £6 for the entry fee and £20 for beer – in order that I didn’t get completely smashed.

It’s an easy job, is front desk – be friendly, be courteous, and make sure you hand out the correct change. Can’t go wrong.

Ken*, who was on front desk as I entered, may not have got the memo. “Hello Ke..”, I said as I prepared to hand over money.

*name changed to protect the guilty.

“CAMRA member?” came the abrupt res… Well, it wasn’t really a response, more an interruption that completely ignored the fact that I was trying to act in a human manner.

“Err… I *am*, but I can’t prove it”, I reply.

To those who are reading this who don’t know, the CAMpaign for Real Ale, abbreviated to CAMRA, are the UKs leading consumer movement for beer quality. CAMRA offer discounts to their beer festivals for members.

“Are you a CAMRA member???” – it was the same question, only this time voiced slightly more aggressively. It was unclear if poor old Ken (not his real name) had heard me, or if he was uneasy with an answer which wasn’t straight forward.

“YES!”, I exasperatedly replied, having just fucking said this, “…but I can’t prove that I am”. Having recently moved, and my renewal being around the time of my moving, I suspect that my membership card is at my old address.

“Oh. I’ll have to charge you full price, then. Sorry. £6 please. ”

Well, this is fine. I look through my pocket, get a pound together out of silvers and coppers, and say “there you go, that’s one…”, and return to my pocket to dig out the remaining five.


Durr? DURR?

“SIX pounds”

Unbelievable. I think he might actually be deaf. Or stupid. But certainly very rude.

“Yes,” I reply, barely concealing my rage at this point. “Six pounds. I’ve given you one. Here’s the other five” – and I hand over a fiver.

No thank you. No response.

“Do you need any more money?” I enquire.

The question wasn’t answered. “Over there” I’m pointed towards a guy called Tom who gave me an entry wristband, and a beer glass.





I’d had a bit to drink. By myself. The plan was to meet other people, and other people were there, but I had three problems – 1) the initial rudeness had put me in a bad mood, 2) I had a bad back, and was in quite a bit of pain, and 3) – I was at a beer festival. The three hours or so with limited human interaction, ironically in a room full of people, and I was getting very irate. A bunch of bad emotions were going through my head – anger, because of rude Ken (not his real name), loneliness (I was at a beer festival by myself), jealousy (I resented the fact that I was lonely and in a bad mood when everyone else was having a good time with company), but despite all this, I managed to keep it all together. However, towards the later end of the evening, I got increasingly angry, anxious, lonely and depressed and turned to Twitter.

I went outside for a vape.

Gary* (*no, not his real name) came to talk. I erupted. “I’ve had enough. I can’t go on. This is a complete waste of time. Bye.”

I am remarkably grateful to the emergency services. I am happy that this story has a happy ending.

As mentioned at the top, I have a GP referral as a result. I will keep you informed with developments.

The bit I want to end on, however, is loneliness. I’ve been lonely as far as I can remember. That’s the killer, figaritively and literally. If you see someone like me, *try*to engage. Don’t ignore it. Don’t think that the GP has a magic wand – they don’t. They are a part – a very important part – of the solution. They are not the solution.

Annual Review 2017

13 Dec


If you’re not familiar with these posts, let me explain. A few years ago, I used to post annual updates on what is the anniversary of my “deathday”; the day in which a suicide attempt failed (27 February 2011, in case you want to mark it in your calendars for God-only-knows-why). I wish I could say that they were as humorous as the kebab blog, sadly not – they were fairly miserable self appraisals of how far (or not) I had moved on in the interim 12 months (ish). I think I’ve deleted them, and I can’t be bothered searching the archives, but you’re not missing much, content fans.

This, however, I hope will be much brighter, for you see: 2017 was, without a shadow of a doubt, the BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE! Spoiler alert: When it comes to the minutiae, you may struggle to see how this could be the case, but I’ll try my best to explain.

Now, when it comes to an Annual Review, a lot of people like to start in January. Not me. I’m a rule-breaker. Let’s go back to December 2016, which was for a lot of people, a pretty awful end to an awful year, in which the death of David Bowie served as a starting gun for a chain reaction of famous people dying, which would only be bought to an end by the similarly untimely deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher.

On the 7th of December, 2017, I was at work. So far, so ordinary. It was fairly hectic, if memory serves. I ended up taking a phone call from a guy who was upset that his clients had booted him off a job he was doing, and this was deemed to be my fault somehow. Literally, he kept punctuating his angry barbs with “William” – not just my name, but my Sunday name. The name my mum calls me when I’ve done fucked up bad! “I’m off the job, William. How does that make you feel, William?” he said, without giving me pause for reply, nor himself a pause for breath. “This is YOUR fault, William. Why would you DO something like this?” The poor guy was clearly upset. Just so we’re clear, it wasn’t in any way shape or form my fault, but that’s not important. What had actually happened is that his clients had contacted the company I worked for, and accepted the deal on the table, without any prompting from me or anyone else in the office. Still, the barrage continued, and I was going to let him get his frustrations out. “How would you feel if you were out of a job, WILLIAM?” he said, menacingly. I smiled. Because I knew what was coming.

On the 8th of December, 2017, at precisely 15.04, I am called into an entirely expected meeting, albeit one that was overdue by a few hours (and four minutes). This was my, potentially, penultimate weekly review meeting. I had been working for this particular company for 11 months at this point, and as with most new jobs, there was a probationary period that needed to be successfully negotiated before I was confirmed in post. At this point, I had not successfully negotiated this probationary period. The purpose of the weekly review meeting, as you might well imagine, was to review my performance week-on-week, and if I was deemed by the company to have done well enough, i.e. perform to the standards they expected, I get to keep my job; if I was deemed by the company not to have done this, then I did not.

It was a brief meeting. Usually, my manager and someone else, either his manager or someone else on that pay grade would sit down, with a device to play a recording of one of that weeks phone calls, randomly chosen I was told, along side some notes of how I could have done better. Unfortunately, the randomly chosen call, which seemed to take my manager a while to randomly select each week (I sat next to him) seemed to be my worst, similar to the chap I mentioned earlier. “You didn’t control the call”, they would say. “You should have done this! That could have been quicker. I’d have cut in there…” and so on. But not this week. The account manager was smiling. Grinning, almost. “Well, as you know, you had four weeks to pass your probation”, she said, three weeks to the day of giving me this warning, “and it’s time we parted company”. I sat there, listening to this. I would say I was shocked – and I was by the timing, and the nonchalant manner in which is was announced. I didn’t say anything. “I take it you’ve been applying for other jobs?” she said, presumably rhetorically on account that it was December the 8th, not exactly peak hiring season, unless she thought I’d make a good Father Christmas at the local shopping centre. “Err, no, no I haven’t. I’ve been focusing on passing my probation.” was my less than cheery reply. “You’ll need to collect your belongings and give me your pass”, she said. “I’ll get them, you stay here” my immediate manager said. I handed over my pass and awaited my bag and coat, wondering why I wasn’t being allowed to say farewell to my colleagues. The account manager gave me a tenner at this junction. “That’s your Christmas party deposit back”, she said, still grinning. “Safe journey home” she said, as she escorted me to the front door.

Back in October 2015, the future looked bright. Where I had worked prior to this, I had a fairly decent job but zero chance of progression. When I was offered a job where I could work towards a professional qualification, I jumped at the chance. There was also a personnel change that caused me to leave – the best manager I ever had, a guy called Alex, was moved to manage another team, and he was replaced with the worst manager I’ve ever had. Changing jobs at this point was a no-brainer.

However, with greater reward comes greater responsibility – and greater focus on the work I did. I found myself the subject of a ridiculous amount of scrutiny, and criticism. Some of that criticism was merited – I had moved from a call centre environment to a call centre masquerading as a real office, and with it, it seemed like my every move was being monitored and scrutinised. It was hell, frankly. I worked in a team where the phone would not stop ringing yet I was expected to perform a number of daily tasks *and* answer the never-ending stream of phone calls, and would regularly be pulled into meetings when inevitably one of these two conflicting targets were not met. I would point out that my colleagues faced the same pressures as I did, and that they too could not meet these impossible demands. “That’s not your problem”, I was told. When I pointed out that my colleagues were allowed to have time off from taking phone calls to get their daily tasks done (I wasn’t, for the avoidance of doubt), again, not my problem. They would deal with this, as managers.

Luckily, it wasn’t long before it became abundantly clear that they were looking for me to leave of my own accord. From May onwards, four months into the job, and seven before I was asked to leave, I was regularly pulled into meetings to discuss my performance and / or quality; again, some criticism was merited – but at the end of each meeting, I would be asked “are you sure this job is right for you?”. On one occasion, my behaviour was called into question – that I muttered under my breath. We all do it to some extent or another – it’s called thinking out loud, and it’s a great stress reliever. I was told to not do this; fair enough. I promised I would be conscious of the fact I do it, and like any habit, I would try to reign it in. “Oh, it’s your personality, is it?” I was asked, before an awkward pause. “Are you sure this job’s right for you?”

I should also mention at this point, remember I said I left my previous job in part due to the manager who replaced Alex? Well, he also left my old company, and joined my new one. As my manager.

I did start this post by saying that 2017 was the best year of my life, and I’m sorry for being distracted by venting about a previous job, but it was important to set the context, as 2016 was easily the worst year of my life. To be honest, the bar was set fairly low. But it’s not all a relative thing – 2017 has genuinely been a great year for me. After a period of unemployment, I hit the reset button, and have gone back to doing what I did a few years back, essentially banking admin. I work nights now, three days a week – whilst nights are tough, the extended weekend more than makes up for it, and it pays slightly more than the last place I worked at, so it’s win-win.

What’s really been good about 2017, most importantly, is that I’ve started to enjoy life again. In 2011 I tried to end my own life because I had hit rock bottom, and I felt that there was no way out. The interim years had their highs and lows as well, but I was basically treading water. This last year I have been fortunate enough to have been able to live life as I want to; more or less – been on a few city breaks (ostensibly to review kebabs but actually just because I like getting out and about), have started going to gigs again (Public Service Broadcasting and Saint Etienne the highlights, Star Shaped was brilliant even though I acquired a stalker at that particular gig), have felt more confident this year than I can remember for a long time (even though my waistline has returned to it’s pre-2014 glory days), and even met a wonderful girl (though sadly it wasn’t to be).

2018 will be even better. Onwards and upwards!

Wetherspoons do pizza now*…

17 Feb

…And I tell thee, it’s not bad at all.

Hi! I’m Will, Twitter’s @willmill82, and I’m here to, well, lose the writer’s block that has blighted me since I lost my job back in December. This may not be the most refined review you’ll ever read, but it’s important that I do this. I need to force myself to put stuff on paper (or interweb in this instance), in order to get the neurones firing. I shalln’t bore you with the details today, a further post on that will follow as and when.

So walking home on Tuesday night, I saw this: a photo inviting me to go in and sample what could be a game changer:

Now, pizzas in pubs aren’t new exactly; the fancy bars about town do them, alongside fancy beers from overseas what are sold in bottles with labels written in languages that bamboozle the monoglot, this we know. What we didn’t know was, given the popularity of pizzas in fancy bars, why didn’t Wetherspoons sell them?

I asked a friend of mine who used to work at Spoons this some time ago, who explained the difficulty laid with the fact that many outlets would need to acquire an oven, and even then, be assuming that the cooking would be from frozen, they would not be able to get them to your table within x minutes, unlike the curry, chips, sandwiches etc.

Well, now they do sell pizzas. Sort of. To be accurate, some Wetherspoons do, but most don’t. This is a trial, I’m told, that had been going on since October or thereabouts, that no-one seems to have noticed. If one did a cursory Google (or Bing) for Wetherspoons pizza, you’ll note that this addition to the menu has made the Exeter local press, but made little impact elsewhere. If you search Twitter, you’ll see a picture of a man looking horrified at a pizza that he got at Heathrow a couple of years back; however, airport Spoons are a law onto themselves.

But now that they’ve got their arse in gear, what’s it like? How much is it? How long’s the wait? Do they do my favourite toppings? Is it microwaved?

Let’s find out.

In price terms, it was ok. In the Crystal Palace, Glasgow, my pizza came to a reasonable £7.29, given they are going after the Pizza Express / Ask! / Gourmet Pizza market.

Not bad that – a 12-inch pizza plus a real ale for less than a tenner in Glasgow city centre. It is worth pointing out that I was dining alone, however; many restaurants/bars in the area offer two for one pizzas as a permanent promotion, so may well work out cheaper for couples and groups. It is only a trial, though – should it be successful, I suppose they could always offer an inclusive drink as they do with their steaks and pastas, or possibly a 2 for £10 deal?

The menu is a little basic at the pub I visited – I’m told other Wetherspoons offer a choose your own option. I’d have welcomed black olives and anchovies myself, but the menu is perfunctory in that you’ve got a couple of vegetarian options, two meaty ones, and they can always expand the range.

So, the pizza then. Behold! It doesn’t show all that well in the photo (beware cheap android phones with cheap android cameras, kids), but it was very good. The base was nice and thin, but not too crisp. The sauce was top notch, a rich tomato that didn’t overpower the toppings, just enough mozzarella, as well as chopped up ham, pepperoni, chicken, and garnished with rocket, chargrilled chillis (hot ones, it turns out), and chilli oil.

More importantly, the pizza was served on a plate. A rarity these days, one expects these to be delivered on a bit of wood, or a street sign, or in a bucket, or on a painting – Spoons are old fashioned, and this is to be welcomed. It came with a pizza wheel as opposed to a knife and fork, which is sensible, though one wonders how many of those will get nicked before they revert to normal cutlery or just slice it in the kitchen.

One thing it didn’t come with was a napkin – looking round it looked like other diners had them, so maybe it was just me. Maybe I didn’t look like a napkin guy. Trust me, I need as much help as I can get, especially after having shovelled eight slices of cheese, tomato and dead things into my face.

Notwithstanding, a welcome addition to the menu – hopefully, the trial will pass and more Spoons will sell pizzas. Unfortunately, I have no idea what Wetherspoons are selling what so it is a lottery – am happy to update this post with further information as it’s received – if your local Wetherspoons is doing the trial, why not tweet me or hashtag it #wetherspoonspizza ?

In summary:

Food: 8/10

Price (for one): 9/10

Wait: 15 minutes (moderately busy Friday, not long at all)


27 Jan

Not said much in a while, but I probably should. Hello everyone! Happy 2016! Will post an update in a bit.

Recipe: Pulled Brisket Chilli Con Carne

22 Nov

Hello all.

As those who know me in real life will testify, I am a big fan of Lidl’s weekend deals – every weekend, and often bank holidays too, Lidl will sell a few items at half their usual price. It isn’t unusual to see me disappear at lunchtime on a Saturday if I’m working to return with a bag full of pork chops that have cost less than a fiver, which then keep me fed for a week.

This weekend, Lidl’s are selling dark chocolate at 17p a block, so I thought I would give chocolate chilli con carne a go. However, my mate Alan reminded me last night that they are also selling slow cooked brisket at half price, £1.99 for 500 grams, so I figured I’d use that instead of beef mince. The result, if I do say so myself, was pretty good: sweet, spicy, and earthy. This recipe makes approximately 6 servings, and cost about £3.50 to make.

You will need:

1 Lidl’s BBQ Beef Brisket (£1.99)
1 Bar Lidl’s Dark Chocolate (17p)
1 Sachet Lidl’s Chilli con Carne flavour mix (28p)
1 Large Onion (approx 21p)
1 Tin Tomatoes (with Chillies) (45p)
1 Tin Red Kidney Beans (21p)
4 Cloves of Garlic (approx 15p)
One Cup Hot Water
1 Jar Lidl’s Hot Salsa (69p, I got it when half price several weekends ago so 34p for me :-))
25g lard or oil (pennies)
1 Chilli (I used a Scotch Bonnet, approx 15p)

Salt and pepper to taste, I added two tsp of cumin from the cupboard.

To start, get the brisket and microwave as per instructions (takes about 10 minutes, including the obligatory allow to stand halfway through). Whilst this is cooking, finely chop the onion and garlic and leave to one side.

Once the beef has cooked, carefully open the bag, then transfer the brisket to a large bowl. Inside the microwave bag, juice will remain, half of which will need to go into the bowl, the other half into your cooking pot. At this point, add the lard/oil and place on a medium heat, adding in the onions and garlic. Leave to soften – should take about ten minutes.

Using a couple of forks, shred the brisket by pulling the beef. It doesn’t matter if you get some lumpy bits and some stringy bits – just separate the beef as best you can.

Once the beef has been shredded and the onions softened, it’s time to add them together. Pour the beef into the onion mix, and continue cooking on a low heat. At this point, take your bar of chocolate, split into cubes, and add half the bar to the pot. Your beef brisket will also have come with a sachet of BBQ sauce – if you want a smokier flavour, add this as well at this stage. The chocolate will melt fairly quickly, but thicken the chilli, so add the hot water bit by bit until the chilli is runny again.

Next, add the spices – so your chilli (finely chopped), spice mix, salt, pepper and cumin go in. Again, this should rethicken the sauce. If there is excess liquid, leave on a low heat until evaporated.

Once the chilli is at a desirable consistency, add the kidney beans, salsa, and tomatoes. Stir throughly, and cook until the fat starts to bubble to the top. Remove from heat.

As for serving – I like to eat chilli neat, from a bowl, with a spoon – however feel free to serve with rice, nachos, sour cream.


Other supermarkets are available.

Will’s Low Fat Curry Recipe!

26 Oct

Yeah, I got bored and made a home cooking video again.

Tried to make it a bit more professional that the usual ones – a plan that lasted exactly twenty seconds.



Problem is, loads of people on a diet often skip things like curries because they are fattening. Fact is, though, it is possible to make a very tasty curry indeed without using a drop of added fat. This recipe contains no butter, no ghee, and no oil – instead, I rely on the spices to bring out the flavour.

For this recipe, you will need;


1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, squeezed

Mix in a bowl with your meat till well coated, leave in fridge overnight.

(Main recipe)

400g of curryable stuff (i used chicken but other stuff works)
3 onions
3 cloves of garlic or equivalent
1 ginger root, chopped or equivalent
1 stock cube (chicken or veg)
750ml water
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 teaspoons of cumin powder
4 teaspoons of fenugreek powder (or equivalent)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (or 2 if you like a challenge)
1 tsp of mustard
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Lots of coriander!

A nice, hearty, spice filled dish, and virtually fat free.

Please forgive the shoddy camera work, and lack of effort that went into this production – trust me, it’s better than my earlier ones!


I could have been a Yes…

13 Sep

Hello world.

On Thursday 18th September, Scotland’s electorate will vote on whether or not Scotland should be an independent country. I’m voting No. This has not always been my view.

As a man who considers his nationality to be a) English, b) European, and quite distantly c) British, who finds himself living and working in Scotland, this referendum is something that I’ve welcomed for a long time, purely for selfish reasons. I figured that the prospect of Scotland leaving the UK would bring about a real conversation about devolved government in my native land, something which has been largely ignored until now. I also believe that a well run, independent Scotland can, in the long term, be a successful small proud nation, as wealthy as it’s southern neighbour, if not more so.

So why am I voting no?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you, from the world of South Park, the underpants Gnomes!


For those of you not familiar with this episode, the Underpants Gnomes are creatures that sneak out in the middle of the night and steal your undies. Tweek, the caffeine addled character who, due to his coffee intake was unable to sleep, warned the South Park kids that this was happening and, though Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan were initially reticent to believe him, they stayed up one night, caught the Gnomes, and pressed them for information as to why, exactly, they were stealing underwear. The answer: Profit.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which anyone can edit, this episode was a parody of the dotcom boom in the late 90s/early 00s, which ended in failure for a great many ventures. A stark reminder of this is the Million Dollar Homepage – (temporarily offline as I write, however I have linked to the Wayback Machine’s archived version from June) – a good percentage of the links are now dead, and in turn, a great deal of those dead links belong to dead companies. If I were to ask you to name a top online bookseller, you’d say Amazon. Like ’em or not, they’re the number one online bookstore (well, everything store now). If I’d have asked you in 1998, you’d probably have replied with bol.com. Who? Exactly.

But what exactly does this have to do with the independence debate? Well, both the dotcom losers and ultimately the Underpants Gnomes were let down by a lack of a plan. Crucially, they both had a vision, and both had high hopes of success, but there wasn’t a plan in place to achieve that. See the above photo? See the massive question mark? That’s the problem here. The independence movement has a big, massive question mark in place of a credible plan for the future, and it’s kinda difficult to see past it.

To be fair to the Yes campaign, they may have a plan, it’s just that they’re either not making clear what it is, or they’re just not telling anyone. A quick flick through of the Q&A section of the White Paper (the Scottish Government’s blueprint for the future, available at scotreferendum.com) seems to be a curious mix of the SNP’s track record in devolved government (Q.217, for instance, doesn’t answer how an independent Scotland could avoid poverty arising, but it does mention an existing council tax freeze), some “don’t knows” (Q.119 – What will happen to Network Rail in Scotland – A. The Scottish Government “expects” to become a member), some things which I would expect to be outwith their control (Q.92 – Who would be responsible for financial stability – A. the Bank of England), a few “no changes here” (Q.108+109, weights measures and time zones), but mostly, the white paper is full of “everything will be fine, don’t worry” (Q.42 Credit Rating – iScotland expects a top one, apparently).

As an economic migrant in Scotland, all I want to know is, with confidence, am I going to be at least as well off as I am now? The answer to that is unclear. As I said earlier, a Scotland with a plan, I have every confidence in. A Scotland who expects that x will be the case, and will negotiate with the UK government on y, I have no confidence in. Which leaves me to one, inescapable conclusion: Come up with a plan, that is entirely within Scotland’s hands to deliver, and that has a good chance of success, and I’ll vote yes.

My criteria are as follows:

1) Currency. I don’t give a damn what currency we use, but it must be backed by a central bank that Scotland controls. I am not interested in the slighted by Sterlingisation (keeping the pound against the wishes of the rest of the UK), because that’s not independence, it’s utter lunacy.

2) EU Membership. This is a must. I have no appetite for leaving the EU, as it’s where most of iScotland’s revenue will ultimately come from. I’m not talking about leaving then re-entering, but continuous membership of the EU, on the same terms or better, than the UKs.

3) Cost of living: I need a guarantee that the cost of living will be the same, or lower, than it is now, complete with figures, and how those figures were reached at.

OK Scottish Government? You have until 7am on Thursday.

Project Fear

26 May



I’m confused. I thought that it was the Better Together campaign that was the negative one with all the scare stories? Show’s what I know, I guess…

Woman ‘seeking horse for sex acts on Craigslist’ arrested

27 Apr

I do rather like the last line.