Monthly Archives: September 2011

Courgette Cake–because Twitter demanded it

DSCF5144When I mentioned on Twitter that I was about to bake a Courgette Cake, the responses ranged from “NOOOOOO!” to “Interesting!” Seems like everyone wanted to see the recipe, however. This is it.

DSCF5145It’s a rich old cake, and you can keep it for up to three weeks in the fridge, or freezing it works damn well an’all. These ingredients make enough for a nine inch square tin, so halve them if you’re using a loaf tin like I did for the pics.

3 eggs
9 fl. oz. sunflower oil
12oz. caster sugar
2 grated courgettes
4 oz oats
7 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
6 oz. sultanas
6 oz mixed seeds (or chopped walnuts or summat)

DSCF5167I hope your cake tin is non-stick? If not, line it with greasproof paper or expect severe sticking to the tin. Mix all the ingredients together, shove the resultant gloop in your tin, and bake at 180 degrees for an hour, or until a sharp knife or skewer comes out clean after you poke it in. Let it cool a bit before turning it out.

DSCF5169I like it with butter on, bit like Soreen, but I’ll bet it would work with cream or custard.

‘S’ is for…

Perhaps because this was such an open theme, I had a huge number of entries. So many, in fact, that it would have taken me forever to produce a blog like the last “Pubs” one. I’ve taken the cowards way out, therefore, and produced a video. But hold! This is a video with a difference. There will be (if I remember) a magnificent*** prize to the person who identifies correctly what most of these pictures are meant to be showing that begins with ‘S’. Remember, the ‘pause’ function may assist you here.

***prize will not be magnificent. It will be cheap and cheerful. If it exists at all.

Crabby women

I hate them.110-520x408

Pint of mild and a bag of scratchings

Starting to catch up with blog posts now that several guest-bloggers have helped me out for a few weeks, bless their little cotton socks. They’re listed somewhere over on the right, and you should give them your approbation. Go on, approbe them. Approbe them hard.

01lilac_dreamer-Two of my favorite things. G and the Arden ArmsSo, who was first down the pub? Quickest off the mark was @lilac_dreamer, who tells us that her pic shows “Two of my favourite things. “G” and the Arden Arms”. Now I’m sure that the Arden Arms must be very lovely, but you must admit in the pic it looks a bit like the back of a public lav. One thing IS lovely though, and that is the mysterious “G”, with his mischievous smirk.

02dbrereton-Alpine Beer Garden, the French don't do pubs, but they do do mountain bars


Closely following @lilac_dreamer (and who wouldn’t want to do that?) was @dbrereton, who shows us an Alpine Beer Garden in a pic which you should definitely click to see the large version. “The French don’t do pubs, but they do do mountain bars” he says. Heh heh heh – you said doo-doo!


02dbrereton-I X-RAYED the Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, and found Guinness from Ghana deep inside02dbrereton-Right, beat the rush this is 'Born and Bred'  Sunday night period fodder about village Dr, James Bowlam, Richard Wilson. Assheton Arms DownhamBut wait – @dbrereton is made of stern stuff, for he cocks his snook at my doo-doo comment, and returns with two more pics. On the left is proof that he X-RAYED the Masons Arms, Strawberry Bank, and found Guinness from Ghana deep inside. On the right is… well, I’ll let himself talk again: “Right, beat the rush this is ‘Born and Bred’  Sunday night period fodder about a village doctor starring James Bolam, and Richard Wilson”. Tis in fact the Assheton Arms in Downham, in the lovely Ribble Valley.


03mrsashboroscat-My favourite…well…thingy (tech term)…from my favourite pub. The best bit of Nottingham in the pit n pendulum gothrock pub. It has reproduction torture devices on the walls and it's all dungeon-y 03mrsashboroscat-Went to a pub last night that looked a little rough on the outside…then we saw the inside Here’s @mrsashboroscat now – “My favourite…well…thingy (tech term)…from my favourite pub. The best bit of Nottingham in the Pit n Pendulum gothrock pub. It has reproduction torture devices on the walls and it’s all dungeon-y”. Just what *every* pub should have, a dungeony atmos. But she’s not finished – “Went to a pub last night that looked a little rough on the outside…then we saw the inside”. Oh no! Posters! AAAAAAAAAGH!


04womble61-Artwork by @silvergirl56 's brother George


Now this, on your right, really is a work of art. I’ve amped the size up a bit so you can properly appreciate the feeling in this picture, but you can still see the full sized pic by clicking on it of course. It’s by @silvergirl56 ‘s brother George, and was submitted by my old friend @womble61. Love it.

05johnrands_tmtl-me channeling Bernard Black on the last day of UK indoor smoking. Dewdrop in Peacehaven is old fashioned.Still closes on Sunday, not redecorated since you needed a ration book&all pics monochromeMoody @johnrands_tmtl pic of himself “channelling Bernard Black on the last day of UK indoor smoking. Dewdrop in Peacehaven is old fashioned.Still closes on Sunday, not redecorated since you needed a ration book & all pics are monochrome”. Seems odd that it’s down South somehow.


06missmandymoo78-a memory from my holiday snaps, one of the many reasons why I love Cornwall06missmandymoo78-A pub on a beach in the UK Well I never

Two shots here from @missmandymoo78. Firstly a memory from her holiday snaps, and one of the many reasons why she loves Cornwall. Not sure about the tacky placcy snake myself. I’m a stick-in-the-mudder who enjoys a little more tradition. Her second pic is “A pub on a beach in the UK! Well I never”. Looks a bit chilly, actually.

07exnavygirl-I 'borrowed' this glass from a pub many years ago Just rubbed arnica cream into Moria's head after she picked a fight with the bathroom. She has also just taken pic



I love listening to @exnavygirl – “I ‘borrowed’ this glass from a pub many years ago. Just rubbed arnica cream into Moria’s head after she picked a fight with the bathroom. She has also just taken pic”. Proper detail there; just what I like. Also – thief! You glass thief! You lovely, unique, fascinating glass thief!

08acumbrianvet-By The Nine Divines, it's #SUNDAYPICS time again and so here is my submission. The finest inn in all of bruma


Ah, here’s @acumbrianvet now – is that arnica cream I smell? “By The Nine Divines, it’s #SUNDAYPICS time again and so here is my submission. The finest inn in all of Bruma”. Ah Oblivion; one of the best games ever. Personally, as a Nord, Bruma was one of my favourite places to go.


09ericafairs-Through door & upstairs at the pub, one of 2 Folk Clubs in the village09ericafairs-One of our 2 village pubs. Gone bonkers with the window boxes“One of our two village pubs” reports @ericafairs, “Gone bonkers with the window boxes.Through the door & upstairs at the pub, one of two Folk Clubs in the village” *puts finger in ear and sings* “On the 14th of May at the dawn of the day….”

10mizzlizwhizz-Didn't go in. No one to go with (dog doesn't count) but the flowers were v pretty10mizzlizwhizz-2Didn't go in. No one to go with (dog doesn't count) but the flowers were v prettyHere’s another dual entry (no don’t. Stop it) – these lovely pics are from @mizzlizwhizz, who says she “Didn’t go in. No one to go with (dog doesn’t count) but the flowers were v pretty”. Being on my own never stopped me going into a pub, but then I’m not a gorgeous woman.


11girlthing63-Pub directions


Now this one’s a bit odd from @girlthing63 – highly confusing pub directions on what appears to be a big metal sign. Why would you… OH! It’s the Tan Hill Inn on the Pennine Way, and a bit famous. I get it now – good pic. Click here if you have no idea what I’m talking about.


12IainLJ-Went for a few drinks with some friends last night, and we had to sample some of these jagerbombsHere’s young master @IainLJ now – “Went for a few drinks with some friends last night, and we had to sample some of these Jägerbombs”. Now, I didn’t look closely enough at Iain’s pic at first, and failed to see the shot glass inside, but there it is, see? I was suffering from Jägerbomb Ignorance. If you too suffer from some of the issues covered in this paragraph, possibly by being an old fart such as I, you can find out more by clicking here.


13sjnewton-Two of my favourite London Pubs Black FriarAnother “double diamond” of photos now (see what I did there?) as @sjnewton shows us two of his favourite London Pubs. 13sjnewton-Two of my favourite London Pubs Crosse KeysOn the left is The Black Friar, While on your right you will see The Crosse Keys. It being thirty years since I lived in The Smoke, I have no idea in which part of London you can find these delightful establishments.



14greythorne-The Picture House, Stafford. Nice to see Wetherspoons doing a sympathetic conversion14greythorne-first, the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon Recommended for beer and rooms.Here’s @greythorne – “first, the Black Boy Inn in Caernarfon. Recommended for beer and rooms” – aha, two of my favourite things. Her next pic looks like it was taken while lying on the floor, presumably drunk. “The Picture House, Stafford. Nice to see Weatherspoons doing a sympathetic conversion”. Oh, I see. OK then.

15superblouse-There's an old Welsh law that states that every pub must have artwork containing at least one miner“There’s an old Welsh law” our teacher @superblouse informs us “that states that every pub must have artwork containing at least one miner”. Yes, Miss. Want an apple?

16cymraescoch-A sort of home grown shed in my dad's garden type of pub


We’ll stay in the bonny land of Wales with @cymraescoch, who shows us a real man’s shed. In fact “A sort of home grown shed-in-my-dad’s-garden type of pub”. Peint o gwrw a bag o scratchings cysylltwch.

17hallmork-first pub on the Wombats #SUNDAYPICS pub crawl



Ms. Irene @hallmork said of this pic that it was the “first pub on the Wombats #SUNDAYPICS pub crawl”, yet I saw no others through the day. Must have been a REALLY good pub! Also, nice dog.




19b_wildered-Taken just before World Cup when hopes were high19b_wildered-Cherry Tree in Kettering. Next door to the superb Red Rose curry houseTwo from @b_wildered now, “The Cherry Tree in Kettering, next door to the superb Red Rose curry house” – @little_mavis knows Kettering well. She’s probably been drunk there. The second pic was “Taken just before World Cup when hopes were high” Ah memories.

20bottyb-My first is The Adam and Eve pub, which I believe is Norwich's oldest dating from 124920bottyb-My second is of the landlady's cat in the Mustard Pot. Love pubs that have critters.


@bottyb’s here, everybody! “My first is The Adam and Eve pub, which I believe is Norwich’s oldest dating from 1249”. Blimey, that’s nearly one o’clock. But there’s no shutting this woman up – “My second is of the landlady’s cat in the Mustard Pot. Love pubs that have critters”.

21johnrisby-The old Weatherspoons in Longsight (former Edwin Chadwick), now an Indian restaurant. Film scan, 2002.



The old Weatherspoons in Longsight (former Edwin Chadwick), now an Indian restaurant, from @johnrisby. Film scan, 2002, apparently. Worth looking at the big picture with this one.

22markbigsw-off the booze at the moment so will this do


23scyrene-I spend much of my social life in the pub nowadays. Here's a shot from a few months agoGet your sympathy sounds all ready for @markbigsw (left), who is “off the booze at the moment” and asks “will this do?”. Poor soul. All together – “Awwwwwwwww ha ha ha ha!”

The other side of the coin (and the page) is represented by @scyrene who smugly announces “I spend much of my social life in the pub nowadays. Here’s a shot from a few months ago” – that looks particularly refreshing on a warm sunny day like today. Like that beer at the end of “Ice Cold in Alex” that John Mills fingers.

“Beer, sunshine, spit-roast lamb, Morris men, THAT’S a pub!” Thus spake @oldmotherriley, and who would gainsay that, with the possible exception of the driver of that white van trying to get past. Speaking as an ex-Morris Man myself (and that’s a whole other story), I say let White Van Man sit there and fume, for I am busy singing…24oldmotherriley-Beer, sunshine, spit-roast lamb, Morris men, THAT'S a pub
“Some like a girl who is pretty in the face
and some like a girl who is slender in the waist
But give me a girl who will wriggle and will twist
At the bottom of the belly lies the cuckoo’s nest”


25rosamundi-view of the Angel at Henley



Over on your right now is a GORGEOUS view of Henley, and standing proud in the centre is The Angel pub. You can thank @rosamundi for this evocative photograph of Englishness.


26och23-we went for Sunday lunch at the Boars in Spooner Row. Food was fab

Now who’s this, stuffing their faces? Why tis the most becoming family of @och23, who reports “We went for Sunday lunch at the Boars in Spooner Row. Food was fab”. Now, I’ve zoomed in on the big version of this pic, and I can tell you that fish, chips and peas was £14. FOURTEEN QUID!!! Sweet Baby G! I therefore conclude that @och23 must be right rich or our local pub is really cheap.


27lilianlouvaine-Post-work grub at a pub just up the roadCo-incidentally, here is some fish, chips and peas – “Post-work grub at a pub just up the road” for @lilianlouvaine. That batter looks crispy, but why have the plonked the fish on top of the chips? How are you supposed to drench them with salt and vinegar with the fish in the way? Perhaps the landlord can’t afford decent-sized plates.

28scullyscully-2This is Toyah's Bar - the pub in our cellar28scullyscully-This is Toyah's Bar - the pub in our cellar




These two photos (left) are of “Toyah’s Bar – the pub in our cellar”. Yes, you heard. @scullyscully has a pub in her cellar. She truly IS the perfect woman.


29hollylightly-2A cute pub I found while working in Torquay, very pretty inside and out29hollylightly-A cute pub I found while working in Torquay, very pretty inside and outAnd this pair of pics on the right is of the pub in @hollylightly’s cellar…. oh. Sorry. Wishful thinking there. This is “A cute pub I found while working in Torquay, very pretty inside and out”. Just like you, ducky.

30nyncompoop-My favourite pub in whitstable. I think it's the name




I think we can all see why this is @nyncompoop’s “favourite pub in Whitstable. I think it’s the name”. Of course it’s the name. Very seafaring, and we all know of Levenshulme’s historical connections with the sea and those who go down to it in boats. 30nyncompoop-And here is a handful of the levy tweeters in the pubSpeaking of Levy, the photograph to the right of The Smack is of “a handful of the Levy tweeters in the pub”. Let’s just check what’s on the table – beer, crisps and fags. Yeah, that sounds like Levy.

31germgirl-The Haven House in Mudeford, Dorset. I love this place



Over to the left now with your steely gaze, and you’ll espy what to me looks like a deliciously spooky place. Tis “The Haven House in Mudeford, Dorset. I love this place” continues the similarly deliciously spooky @germgirl.


32vanishedhippo-You can't beat a good bar in a good #pub32vanishedhippo-2You can't beat a good bar in a good #pubThat @vanishedhippo presents us with another double-whammy of pics now. Sadly, I can’t think of an amusingly original way to present them after so many pairs already, so I’ll just pile them up on the left there. @vanishedhippo himself tells us that “You can’t beat a good bar in a good pub”. The pub sign seems to indicate that the pub is called The Three What-the-fuck-are-they, and I can’t tell you how much fish and chips is there, cos the blackboard on the right is the wine list.


33pixki-all loo's need good wall paper in #pubs well you have to wait sometimes Aaaaaargh! Whatisit whatisit? It was sent by @pixki, who luckily is full of information. “All loos need good wall paper in pubs, since you have to wait sometimes”. a) men never wait – we’ll widdle up the wall if we have to, and b) who could do a wee being watched by Dolly Parton? Oh alright, alright – except for the large number of my followers known as Team Perv, who could do a wee watched by Dolly Parton? 33pixki-if only all pubs had views like this ... Inn on the Lake - Ullswater strictly not a pub but meh@pixki hasn’t finished with us, thankfully, and redeems herself with a lovely picture of which she says “If only all pubs had views like this … the Inn on the Lake – Ullswater. Strictly not a pub but meh” It’s a peaceful photo. How many of you want to sneak up behind and shout “BOO!”? Yes, me an’all.

34rasskell-after at least 12hrs in the #pub you too could look as handsome as me




This sober looking chap is @rasskell, who says “After at least 12hrs in the pub you too could look as handsome as me”. That’s the way to do it!



35kirtle-No pubs round here to go to, so I made a trifle insteaNEXT! Come in, come in,  sit down. Now, what can I do for you?
”Well, Dr. Wombat, I can never manage to post a picture that actually matches the #SUNDAYPICS theme”
Hmm, I see. This week’s theme – it was ‘Pubs’, yes?
”It was, Doctor, yes”
And what did you post a picture of?
”Trifle, Doctor. I posted trifle”
Hmmm, I see. Well then, just slip off ALL your clothes so that I can examine you…. that’s the way… *looks in ears*
Can you tell what’s wrong?
Yes, Ms @kirtle, you see there are no pubs round where you live, so you are a trifle obsessed.

36flossietp-Somehow, this seems the epitome of a northern pub. And the name is of course irrelevant



By the pointy penis of Lucifer, I adore this pic. My beloved @flossietp sums it up – “Somehow, this seems the epitome of a northern pub. And the name is of course irrelevant”. Sod it, I’m going to make it BIG. [insert your own joke here]





37davidtims-The Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds. It claims to be the smallest pub in BritainAnd following a BIG pub, here’s a small one. The smallest, in fact, according to @davidtims – “The Nutshell pub in Bury St Edmunds. It claims to be the smallest pub in Britain”. Are there actually any seats inside? Or even a bar? We need to be told these things.

38mallrat_uk-currently in the 'Little Mesters' pub


That @mallrat_uk posted a pic of the pub she was in – the ‘Little Mesters’ pub. Looks OK. The most interesting thing in the photo though is the bloke with the Mohican and the chav tattoo. I’ll hazard a guess that his name is Cyril.

39lindacoggs-almost exactly 1 yr ago Nairn Highland Games drinks tent




Look! It’s @lindacoggs being punched by a baby! “Almost exactly 1 year ago in the Nairn Highland Games drinks tent”. Get that baby a Laphroaig!

40snowgirl1972-a Benny & hot & the hotel bar from this weekend. A tasty local speciality, Benedictine40snowgirl1972-And a shot of the 'pub' itselThis, apparently, is “a Benny & hot & the hotel bar from this weekend”. Does that make any sense to anyone? @snowgirl1972 continues “A tasty local speciality, Benedictine” and all is explained. She also sent us a shot of the ‘pub’ itself. Is that @thorn_waite buying a drink, or maybe a bag of scratchings?42thorn_waite-Last night's pub (ceiling)



Ah no, cos here he is, lying on his back, taking pictures of the ceiling – “Last night’s pub (ceiling)”. See?


41matt_cochr-This was taken during a recording session (Quiet pub sound effects)



@matt_cochr shows us a dark place. “This was taken during a recording session (Quiet pub sound effects)” he says. You do have a fascinating job, sir.


43hastillonlyme-seems a lot of Pompey Pubs look the same 43hastillonlyme-2seems a lot of Pompey Pubs look the same The Talbot and The Fawcett Inn (or the “To Let”), about which @hastillonlyme observes “seems a lot of Pompey Pubs look the same”


44justinecaul-hildren's TV is shocked by news the Tombliboos have gone solo with a new project In The Pub Garden


@justinecaul here, impersonating Derek Jacobi and saying “children’s TV is shocked by news that the Tombliboos have gone solo with a new project In The Pub Garden”, Actually, that just made me snigger.


45lauriepinkAha, I know these people! They are deeply in love and fascinated by each other, as you can clearly see. Modern love, courtesy of @lauriepink, who has photographed @ed_moose and @puddled_pudding.

46binarydad-This is my favourite. Despite being derelict. Great character@binarydad now – “This is my favourite. Despite being derelict. Great character”. No, he’s not describing himself, but the pub. See what I did there?


47fraggle_red23-this was from a few weeks ago when our local had a beer festival



And to your right, @fraggle_red23 shows us, well, I’ll let her speak – “this was from a few weeks ago when our local had a beer festival”. Beer Festival! Win!

48jamerz3294-My fave pub of all time. Me and Brit BFF @womabt37 in Manchester, behind pub, in front of graves =)


Oh look – it’s a picture of me! You jammy gits. My American chum @jamerz3294 says this was “My fave pub of all time. Me and Brit BFF @wombat37 in Manchester, behind pub, in front of graves”. Not sure about being a BFF mind. I hope it’s something nice, and doesn’t stand for Big Fecking Fartbreath.


Oh a threesome! I’ve not had one of those for ages. Shall I be brazen and spread it across the page? You bet I will!49starlitwolf-2diff Pubs, 3 diff days 49starlitwolf-3diff Pubs, 3 diff days 49starlitwolf-diff Pubs, 3 diff days

It’s from @starlitwolf – “two different Pubs, 3 different days”. Muddy boots welcome too. The pic on the left is the Ladies loo, apparently. Posh.


50jaxbourne-being served at the longest Champagne bar in Europe! Next mission in life ....the longest in the worldWho’s this wazzock dressed like a Parker fan at a Thunderbirds convention? Not @jaxbourne: she’s this side of the camera. “Being served at the longest Champagne bar in Europe! Next mission in life ….the longest in the world”. Does the length of the bar affect the taste of the booze, I wonder?

52little_mavis-Almost forgot #sundaypics From my canal holiday (pre-Wombat) whole thing planned around pubs (occasionally thwarted) Im the short one in the middle




Tis my beloved! @little_mavis says “Almost forgot #sundaypics. From my canal holiday (pre-Wombat) whole thing planned around pubs (occasionally thwarted). I’m the short one in the middle”. I see the pub was closed :¬(

51sarahpez-A bit late but I've actually been to the pub

51sarahpez-This was the other one I meant to post b


This is an odd pub from @sarahpez, who says “A bit late but I’ve actually been to the pub”. No really? Fascinating collection of banistery stuff there. How was the ale?


53sarahtregear-this is me and @EnglishKirsty and the wife at the pub today in sunny rural Co.Waterford



Here’s a gorgeous photo from @sarahtregear – “this is me and @EnglishKirsty and the wife at the pub today in sunny rural Co.Waterford”. Happy smiles from happy people – I love it. There’s a photo from the same day that @englishkirsty posted, which I’ll save till the end for reasons of… well, you’ll see. Actually, I think I’ll keep @waywardlou#s till the end too. In the meantime, I challenge you to pronounce the name of that pub.

56cha0tic-Oops Nearly forgot my #sundaypics


Bit of an impressive arty pic from @cha0tic, who says “Oops. Nearly forgot my #sundaypics”. Wouldn’t mind a poster of this on my wall. Which reminds me, I ought to complete the “Buy Prints” tab of this blog so that you can, if you like, buy prints (as long as the owner of the pic agrees you can).

57tinaconroy-Here's something for #sundaypics; from The Anchor pub in Newcastle, Northern Ireland when we went in June



On with the motley – @tinaconroy has posted a poem; “Here’s something for #sundaypics; from The Anchor pub in Newcastle, Northern Ireland, when we went in June”. I like the way it tells you where the poem ends.

98wombat37-seven wells in derby98wombat37


Here’s my two – the Seven Wells in Derby, and Sinclairs in the middle of Manchester. Two very nice, but different pubs.




I’ve enjoyed this blog a lot, in particular my final two photographs, for they involve SNOGGING. The first is from @waywardlou, who says “I don’t have many pics with obvious bits of pubs in it. But here’s a picture of me in a bar”. The second is courtesy of @englishkirsty who reports simply “me @sarahtregear & her wife outside An Cruiscin Lan Pub”. In the words of Victor Hugo –

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said”.

54englishkirsty-me @sarahtregear & her wife outside An Cruiscin Lan Pub55waywardlou-I don't have many pics with obvious bits of pubs in it. But here's a picture of me in a bar








I’m just going for a lie down….


A few photos from my day at Chester Zoo with daughter Ellie.


Chester Zoo 23.09.11 003

Chester Zoo 23.09.11 043

Chester Zoo 23.09.11 032

Chester Zoo 23.09.11 056DSCF4905DSCF4957DSCF4978DSCF5012DSCF5035DSCF5046DSCF5052DSCF5054DSCF5058DSCF5064DSCF5081

Best. Sandwich. Ever.

No really, it is, I promise. Don’t run away giggling at how idiotic it sounds. Leave your snook uncocked, and just try it once, for me. If you’re not impressed, feel free to comment and tell me what your idea of a good sandwich is. If you are impressed, you can thank me later. Yes, it’s the famous

Bacon & Banana Butty

Dscf4858To make it properly, you really should use a nommy granary or wholemeal bread, but I suppose any old cheap white stuff would do at a pinch. Cut yourself a couple of sturdy slices. Remember, they’ll need to support two fillings when you pick it up.

Dscf4859Find yourself a banana. The market is a good place to start – they have good ones at Iddons in Bury Market. Spread your nana over one piece of bread, using whatever method takes your fancy. In my long experience of observing the banana habits of humans, women will slice the banana neatly, in pleasant rows reminiscent of carefully planted flowers, while stalwart, handsome men will squish it on. I squish it on.

Dscf4866Fry your preferably streaky bacon (non-stick pan, no fat remember, this is a healthy sandwich***) to a pleasing crispness. Floppy bacon tends not to work so well. I have no idea why. Lay the rashers over the nana and top with your second slice. As an option, you may enjoy lightly frying your bread in the greasy stuff that came off the bacon. Or possibly not. Divide and enjoy with one of those cups of tea that’s at exactly the right temperature. You’re welcome.

*** not a healthy sandwich really.


Camouflage (a.k.a. Hiding)

*ducks out from behind tree, does a forward roll and springs into a squat position making gunfingers*
Shh, it’s Secret Agent Doodle here, with the Camouflage #sundaypics blog. The brief was to disguise yourself or simply hide all stealth-like around your house/local environment or wherever you saw fit. Such as me, here, hiding out in the wardrobe…
Thanks for all your hiding efforts. Here’s what you got up to, in no particular order…
@AlexBrightsmith “had fun with paints for half an hour and now smell of tomato plants”. You can just see her commando hand peeking out from the shrubbery (top left), looking a bit like a bunch of carrots!, and a better look (top right). Just visible through Predator-like greenovision is @xkylet, lurking in the shrubbery, swiftly followed by @beanobundle’s “leafy flying beastie from Sweden” It’s there somewhere!…
And here’s our youngest hider, who’s gone for the buried approach, @EnglishKirsty’s “E when he was small, at the beach”. Our glorius leader @wombat37’s cunning plan is foiled by cat investigator CleverGirlBuffy, the @pixki hidey hole of choice is behind a jerk chicken & hot wing feast, and @ElsieAssap’s little hider peeps out from behind a wall…
Excellent work from Diesel the doberman, @Bawdy_zombie catching him in the act of being naughty hiding in the bed. Beneath that are some camouflaged shoes (or people?) from @matt_cochr and, to the right, @CymraesCoch also take the bed approach, hiding ‘neath the sheets…
This next batch shall be entitled ‘Cunning Disguises’; first up is dinosaur/dragon @loumigo, then lil’ @MannyMunkeh dresses as a bucket to fool us all. Below that, @jofilm states that you can “bearly see me” (groan), alongside @sherbertpip68 doing an excellent Papa Smurf impression. Finally, @stinkweazl uses her bag as a swift disguise out on a walk…

@starlitwolf’s other half is apparently out there somewhere in this crater on Ilkley Moor. He’s doing a damn fine job! Beneath that, @jamerz3294 excellently camouflages himself in front of a fire truck and, to the right of that, a fabulous artistic effort from @Em_and_Lola, who is hiding out behind a lit up beach kaftan…

@fraggle_red23 disguises herself as a thistle, @Superblouse conceals herself in some super blouses, @FBishWife hides under her hair on the big wheel at blustery Southend and, completing the set, @EnglishKirsty posts this pic of a couple of cheeky little  camouflage experts…

@starlitwolf hides behind the water lion in “the tiny town of Tong”. Now that place just has to be worth a visit for having such an excellent name. On the right, @greythorne has been out and about and has stumbled across this little camouflaged fencepost geocache. Finally, @Alliterative posts this shot of @AvenSarah inadvertently hiding out amongst the stick insects…

Next up is @AvenSarah’s littl’ un, hiding out in a buggy. There’s also a whale in the background getting in on the action by cunningly removing all its skin and internal organs. @dbrereton pixelates himself in a mirrorball, and @cha0tic shows us how to do stage camouflage with some black tat and gaffer – particularly useful if you’re a box. @heidivodka captures @nattars failing badly to camouflage himself in a bright orange outfit and… *drum roll*… here’s my favourite… Yura_Toole trying his damnest to hide out in an undersized wheely bin. Top work…

And now for the pet selection. @LilianLouvaine’s “idiot boy cat” has hidden his face well, but forgotten about the other end. Below that, @sherbertpip68’s Max is staking out in a bush and @JudgeTread’s dog goes undercover. Lastly, @MrsAshborosCat made the mistake of falling asleep and is pinned down/catouflaged by multiple cats…

“Chomsky and Bakunin are masters of disguise” says @richlieu_uk. Below that is one well hidden dawg, although in putting this together last night whilst half asleep I appear to have sleep-deleted the original so can’t remember whose it is! On the right is @pumperninkel’s first ever #sundaypics submission, as Liberty goes incognito with a great piece of camouflaging…

Finally, here’s a camouflaged cow in the field next to @EnglishKirsty, @ericafairs’ Nev hiding out in a bookcase, and @MrsAshborosCat’s Pow being all sneaky…

That’s all, folks. Thanks for your contributions.

Over and out.


Celebration Treasure!



Treasure from the back back of a cupboard, discovered today! Who would have thought when it was bought thirty years ago that it would last longer than the marriage? Probably just about all of us I suppose.

Wonder what it tastes like? Do you dare me?




Wombat’s 10 most memorable computer game characters (& 5 honourable mentions)

You know what makes a memorable character in a computer game? The clues in the word – character. When you get the feeling that you’ve been in the company of real people, you’ve found a real character. One with depth. That, and of course a healthy gobbet of humour or a disregard for clothing. Here are just some of the people I’ve met over two decades of romping about in virtual worlds. Let me know if I’ve missed your favourite.
Go for the eyes Boo, GO FOR THE EYES!! RaArrGHGHH!!!
minscMinsc is a shining baldy beacon of light in the dark and filthy world of Baldur’s Gate. An enormous beacon, in fact, attacking evil with an extreme fervour that occasionally causes those around him to suspect his sanity. The berserker ranger’s constant companion is Boo, who Minsc says is “a miniature giant space hamster” and those who value their eyes would do well not to argue.

Would you be interested in these panties? They look about your size.
georgeAcross four point-and-click Broken Sword games, George and his on/off girlfriend, Nico, investigate Templars, Mayan gods, Glastonbury dragons and dodgy doings in the Vatican. Good natured and honest, nosey as hell, George always tries to see the best in people. And gets the shitty end of the stick for it most of the time. I loved telling him where to go, but loved more Nico’s way of breathing “Oh Georgie”.

If I were indeed hostile, you would be bleeding.
Screenshot20110905171216301Ah, Sten! Apparently not many Dragon Age players bothered with Sten, since at first he’s very reluctant to talk about anything. Persevere though, and the Qunari giant is one of the most most rewarding companions ever. Witness his touching interactions with your dog, his embarrassment at being caught picking flowers by Leliana, his use of biscuits stolen from a nearby child to buy a boat ride. He’s really tough too, even if you dress him in a silly hat. Recognise his quote, above?
Cake, and grief counselling, will be available at the conclusion of the test.
gladosPossibly the most lovable evil Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System ever. The honey-voiced AI that guides you through Aperture Science’s Testing Centre in Portal is always witty, and always promising of lovely cake. Ah nice, you think, as she cheers you on. Then she makes you incinerate your beloved Companion Cube, and you begin to suspect that all might not be right, and you begin to rebel. Her insults become funnier and, let’s admit it, more psychotic until you face off with her in a breathless final battle that still makes you giggle.

I’m just a humble P.I. trying to save the world as we know it.
texTex Murphy, seedy post-apocalyptic future P.I. starring in five adventures (and six radio plays) with a catchy theme tune, and a wardrobe full of fedoras, raincoats and sneakers. Voiceover heaven as Tex wisecracks about whatever you’re telling him to do before his innate clumsiness has him falling over a credenza, whatever one of those is. At such times, Tex was not above destroying the fourth wall – “Ah, to be a fictional detective. Everything would be so much simpler then”.
Boogle, can you be an axe?
torins11Cartoony fun with Torin & Boogle in Torin’s Passage, as the titular hero tries to rescue his family from an evil sorceress. Packed with humour and invention (at one point Torin bangs his head on the Game Menu), the game’s puzzles are often only soluble by using Boogle’s shape-shifting abilities. Highlights for me were the talking grass, that helped Torin cross a slippery slope (“Negatory! Nuh-oh! Yes, there!”) , and a sequence where our heroes fall from such a height that they have to pause in their screaming to take a breath. Just one question – what actually is Boogle?
You know, if I could click you, you wouldn’t know a moment’s peace.
morteMorte is a floating, talking skull with a snarky attitude. While he lacks a body, he can still fight, biting with his sharp fangs and stinging the enemy with sarcastic taunts. The fact that he has no internal organs help to protect him from many ‘normal’ attacks, but also raises the question- where does he keep his inventory? The game? Planescape Torment, one of the better games based on D&D. It also featured a sexy woman with a tail. What could possibly be finer?

Nordom: Attention; Morte. I have a question. Do you have a destiny? A purpose?
Morte: Is Annah still wearing clothes?
Nordom: Affirmatory.
Morte: Then the answer is yes.

All she wants to talk about is white sausage.
486222-gabeages_superGabriel Knight – New Orleans author and bookstore owner who finds his destiny as a Schattenjäger, or “Shadow Hunter”. Most notably voiced by Tim Curry, Gabriel’s louche drawl won many a heart among players, but rarely the heart of Grace Nakamura, his hot, sometime assistant. Gabriel is a rogue, a rapscallion and a womanizer, not unlike The Wombat, but is selfish and self-involved. Grace often manages to puncture his self-importance with amusing barbs. The team work was what made them attractive. Well, that and Tim Curry’s liquid voice.

And now we have a dog. And Alistair is still the stupidest member of the party.
275px-Morrigan_profileI know, I know, two characters from Dragon Age, but how could I leave out Morrigan? The shape-shifting swamp-witch who forgot to wear a vest and is deliciously voiced by Claudia Black, while not exactly evil, is hardly anyone’s idea of a good girl. She manipulates you to kill her mother for her, and seduces you (if you’re a bloke, that is) into impregnating her for her own nefarious (and unexplained) purposes. I’m afraid in order to get on with the game, I had to dress her in a long blue dress, cos otherwise…. well, you know.
Tombs with piped in music. How classy.
garrettGarrett. Master of stealth, archery and pickpocketing, and yet so much more than just a nefarious Thief, offering cynical asides and wry observations as he cases potential jobs. Also (and how cool is this?) he has a glass eye that he can take out and roll around corners to see what’s lurking. I adored the tension of sneaking around dark places with Garrett, trying not to be noticed at all. One of the scariest locations EVER in a game is The Cradle, an abandoned orphanage/insane asylum. Sweet Baby G, but that shook me more than somewhat. A new Thief game is under development, so YAY! (ssshhhh!)
Honourable mentions
… or “Characters that were in my top ten until I thought of someone better”
vaultboyNothing says pizzaz like a winning smile. Vault-Boy’s a bit of a cheat for this list, since he’s not really a game character. He is the Fallout series mascot, who appears everywhere, from your stats screen, to your Pip-Boy and your Bobblehead collection. Nothing says Fallout like Vault-Boy.
hk47Conclusion: I’m going to pull your head off, because I don’t like your head. Star Wars game Knights Of The Old Republic is arguably the best Star Wars prequel to date. Among its many charms is the characterisation, exemplified by the brilliantly twisted HK-47, an assassin droid who speaks like C3PO but dryly expresses sociopathic sentiments, including a distain for organic life perfectly summed up by his repeated use of the word “meatbag”.
dalbozYour sword is blowing glue. Wait, let me try that again. I’ll bet not many of you remember Zork: Grand Inquisitor? Dalboz the Dungeon Master himself was imprisoned in a lantern and proceeds to act as narrator and guide. He calls you “AFGNCAAP”, a satirical, politically-correct acronym for “Ageless, Faceless, Gender-Neutral, Culturally-Ambiguous Adventure Person”, a reference to the habit of many early adventure games of giving the player’s character no identity, name, or background.
dreamfall 2007-07-01 14-15-11-49My beak is a finely tuned instrument of love. The Longest Journey and Dreamfall are beautiful games, and we all fell in love with Zoe Castillo, but the character that sticks in my mind is the sidekick Crow, who is a… well, crow (although – spoiler – he does turn out not to be an actual crow). I think you’ll have figured out by now that I like sidekicks who crack wise, and Crow is yet another of those. An example of Crow’s wisdom –

So we get help from someone wiser and more clued in than us. Beards are a good indication. It signifies age and wisdom, and also, sometimes, poor hygiene. I think those things are actually connected.

HBpC78co_Pxgen_r_1100xAThe figures…nothing but shadows…they won’t let me go back. An extremely personal choice – Nigel Danvers, the ghost-hunting wazzock from Jonathan Boakes’ superbly spooky games, most notably “The Lost Crown”. I became a huge fan of Danverspeak – Nigel spoke haltingly, like a character from a Thirties film when talkies had only just begun. Perfect for the feel of the game.

So there you go, earthlings – who have I left out (yes, yes, apart from Guybrush Threepwood, but he was too obvious)? Who would be in your top ten? I’d love you to tell me. I hope you do.

Totems – an object that defines you

Hello. It’s @waywardlou here again, this time to natter along to all your pictures. Wow. Just wow. Thanks for all your entries for this week’s #SundayPics. Might I just add, that I have *so* much respect for @wombat37 right now? This is a little bit hard, and rather time consuming. Also, while writing this I have had to come to terms with the fact I’m not as witty as I thought I was. I shall divide the counselling bill equally between you and send it off henceforth. Seriously though, I’ve had a lot of fun, and I hope you did too.



I’m going to start with this one, because, well…because it’s my favourite.  This is from the very lovely @carolthescot who has made a crossword puzzle out of her favourite hobbies. That’s dedication to #SundayPics right there, that is. 




Actually, a few of you shared with us your defining interests…

Right: @binarydad’s totem. Showing off a love of trains and Master Binary.

Below: @lettyP1: “Love Dr Who, have done since I was a child” Below centre: picture by @sjnewton Below right: @IainLJ: ”From buying my 1st vinyl at aged approx 4 it’s safe 2 say my #totem is music”







Above right: @tipyourhat’s mis/well spent youth, centre: @davidwaldock (beam me up); Above left: @FBishWife: Known for her love of food, and her awe inspiring appetite. I think a #sundaypics dinner party is in order. *invites self round for dinner*

I’m not sure I’d let @Keithy73 (below left) cook though. I’d put @emmaloopy and @thorne_waite in charge of refreshments:-

thorne_waite2keithy73 emmyloopy




Rather usefully, @crofty can help out on with the cooking, AND provide the entertainment:




And so we are agreed. Next Sunday, at your house it is. I’ll bring a tiramisu.



Some of your interests were more esoteric than others…

Here’s @vanishedhippo’s totem. It’s a…erm…well, it’s obvious really, it’s a…. What the hell is it?


“words, words, words”

Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

_aaronkelly1_aaronkelly2Nicely put there by @_aaronkelly (see his pics on the right).


Being a rather smart and wordy lot, it’s no surprise that so many of you are passionate about books and plays, and perhaps draw a little bit of inspiration from those words, be it written, or performed. Like this –>






@missmandymoo78, @basicallygeek and @macjude book journal.



@em_and_lola’s rather fine little library on alternative remedies, @susiewoosie’s beloved kindle, and @mannymunkeh indulging in highbrow pursuits.

Darling, you look FABULOUS

Well, we knew it in our hearts and now it is confirmed. You’re a rather attractive bunch aren’t you? Here are a few of you sharing your signature look….




Right: @bottyb

Left:  @elsieassap






Right: @och23

Left: @CorinnThom


‘SHOES!!! I mean *cough* those are rather lovely aren’t they?  On the topic of lovely, have a look at this:



“I always wear it. Gift from Mama 4 us both surviving long enuf 2 reach my adulthood LOL […] she said ‘You’re an adult now. We made it! Together we did it! I love you’ Then gave me the necklace.” @starlitwolf

In unrelated news, I think I’ve got something in my eye.  Actually, a few of you have some very beautiful jewellery, each item with it’s own little story.


vpolicharxkylet_pict@vpolichar (left): “Grandma wore it every day; now I do. Didn’t realize she was Buddhist ’til she died & we saw her books.”

@xkylet (right): “My grandfather bought this in Singapore when he was doing national service”



philhallsleontia2001@philhalls (left): “Mine is my watch I bought as a treat when I passed my ambulance technician course”

@leontia2001(right): “My fave ‘necklace’ made by my 6 yr old – a little battered, but my heart still beats for love, always.”



gibbonarms@gibbonarms’ submission was also high scoring in sentimental value. A cap badge belonging to his grandfather. “I keep it prominently displayed. It reminds me of him and makes me try to be more like him.”


More lovely jewellery….





@wannabestarbuck’s Ax of protection (left), a gift from her beloved @B0atG1rl and decision ring


@ivan_jelical’s ‘kissing kippers’ (right)


But back to the topic of how very attractive you all are….


SkydiveMacca@tonihill79 always carries one of these about and gets given oodles of them as gifts. Pucker up Toni!

@SkydiveMacca tells me he is never seen without these sunglasses. Mysterious.

And our very own @wombat37 shared his totem with us. His trusty hat. Proving all good things improve with age.





Some of your totems not only carry great meaning for you, but are also part of you. Literally.

sarahtredegar@sarahtregear: “A Phoenix rising…. I had tattooed somewhere discrete after my divorce as a new beginning” What a lovely tattoo and a lovely idea.




“my secret tattoo … I love the idea of having magic constantly whispered in my ear”

Use that force for good tattoo Pixy.



Favourite things – Things that are just….you.






Above (clockwise): @MrsAshborosCat, @richlieu_uk, @johnrands_tmtl, @hyperbolicgoat, @emmyloopy, and @englishkirsty

alliterativeRight: @alliterative’s selection of defining objects. It’s a bit obvious when you think about it, but a few objects is more telling than one. Maybe I should have asked for a selection from you all.

So thanks to those of you who provided more than one totem, and completely satisfied my nosiness!



@sarahtregear (left): “this is my other totem. He rocks my world everyday.”





You, in metaphor.

Rather cleverly, you lot have done a rather good job of sending pictures that sum up your personalities and aspirations. In your own words….


@beanobundle: “The little chest has 3 drawers for my past/present/future. Or for my conscious/subconscious/dreams. Depends on the weather though.”scullyscully


@scullyscully: “Fizzy when fresh, flat when tired, & best when served chilled. This #totem represents me quite well.”




@Thom_Waite: “I’m a part time dad but a full time graphic designer. So this wins.”

OldMotherRiley@oldmotherriley: “My surname means Living By Oaks, could be why I’m drawn to this, on my favourite dog walk”





@judgetread – because he’s ‘always getting lost!’

@misssteffnee: “The totem of my life is a toybox: Bright, diverse and a bit too full.”




@cloudofutopia: “My totem – A desire to escape everything and travel.”


Thank you for sharing your totems with us.  And thanks for waiting so patiently for the blog.

Hugs and kisses,


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