Tag Archives: Recipe

Free Stuff – Gotta Love It

Free Cycling Jacket

A few weeks ago I subscribed to Mountain Bike Rider magazine.  I could pretend that it was for the pull-out route maps; the skills advice; the workshop articles… but to be honest, there are two reasons for me subscribing:

  1. 10% off the cover price.
  2. A FREE Altura Nevis cycling jacket.
I love free stuff, I do.

Smug Man in Free Altura Nevis Jacket.

The jacket’s last year’s model I believe, but it’s a cracking windstopper, and waterproof too.  The reflective bits on the front (as you can see here) and on the bumflap will be helpful and this used to retail at more than £50.  It cost me less than hat to subscribe to a magazine I was going to buy anyway, so I’m a winner! Hurrah for me.

Check Out My Cherries!

While I’m on a cheapo tip, look at these babies:


Virtually Free Cherry Tomatoes-In-Waiting

Regular readers will know about my £7-greenhouse-£25-base exploits.  Well, this propagator is full of seeds we dried out from actual cherry tomatoes, stolen from a salad.  They’re growing, actually growing and everything, which is cool.

They should be ready for transplanting outside before too long, then later in the summer we can have lots and lots of cherry tomatoes.  Salads; sauces; pizza; barbecues; soups… I’m going to be heartily sick of cherry toms by autumn but it’s pretty cool for the kids to witness.

Next year I think I should try to grow amusing-shaped vegetables. Any ideas what’s good to grow?

Guest Blogging – My Diabetes On Show

I Got A Guest Blogging Gig. How Did That Happen?

A few weeks ago I spotted a tweet about healthy eating.  It said something along the lines of “eat a bit less food and be more active, then you’ll lose weight“.  I ReTweeted it with a sarcy comment: “No sh*t Sherlock” and thought nothing more of it until the author thanked me for the ReTweet and pointed out that sometimes all we need is a reminder, a gentle kick up the backside to remind us to do the right thing.

Fair enough.  It’s very true that we often know what to do, we just need someone to gently prod us now and again to make us actually do it.

The author, a guy called John McGran, runs a blog on a US-based website all about healthy eating.  After a few direct messages about my diet and my diabetes, he asked me if I’d be interested in contributing regularly.

My Blog on DietToGo

How My First Guest Blog Effort Looks On Screen

I jumped at the chance.  A couple of iterations later and my blog went live.  I’m looking forward to writing about my diabetes on DietToGo and hopefully I’ll pick up some good feedback along the way.

Lessons Learned

Housekeeping.  While I was thinking about the contribution, I realised that my categories on this site were a bit messy.  As a result, I’ve added one for “Diabetes” and edited a few old posts to tidy things up a little.  Who knows… maybe this blog will start to show some focus, but I doubt it.

Listening.  John at the DietToGo site gave me some honest feedback on my first attempt at an article for his blog.  Writing for my own site is easy, I just ramble on about what’s on my mind, with a half-hearted attempt at some structure and an appropriate image.  When writing for someone else, it’s absolutely necessary to take feedback and apply it, so that a new audience (which is actually someone else’s audience) will appreciate your work.  I have to remind myself about this in my job as a Business to Business Marketing Manager: write for your audience, not yourself.

Now What?

I’ll be writing my Living With Diabetes blogs roughly every week, so I’m hoping that the discipline will force me to think in a more structured way about how I manage my condition.  I’m lucky enough to have my health but I want to keep it, so the routine can only be a good thing for me.

I also hope, and in many ways I hope more, that readers of John’s blog will learn something that might improve their own outlook in some small way.

It’d be nice to leave an unknown legacy of improvement just by throwing a few words onto a website…. how cool is the internet?

Just Thinking …

A very brief exchange reminded me of a few questions that I’ve pondered repeatedly in my life.  I wondered if you lot out there in internetland could help me.  Either that, or simply damn you, Pip.  The questions follow the theme of:

“How Effing Desperate And/Or Inspired Must Someone Have Been To Discover This Stuff?” :

Who discovered that cress was edible? And how hungry must that person have been?

Mung Beans?  I mean, MUNG Beans, for goodness’ sake?  I know there are hippies out there who like those things, but really? What are they for?

Apparently someone in South Korea published that sausages make great touchscreen stylii (styluses? whatever) for iPod Touches (what’s the plural for them while we’re on the subject?).  How, in the name of all things unholy did they find that out between canine snacks?

If you’re checking your google reader blog lists over the weekend, and maybe slightly less busy than I am right now, please solve these problems for me.

Too many questions for one day maybe, but help me out.  Thanks!

And, sorry.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Winter Soup

I watched something on telly last weekend with the kids, where some lady phoned in and asked how to make a nice winter soup.  For once, I paid attention as the bloke (I think it was that cyclist-hater from Yorkshire) gave his reply.

So, today I unwisely braved the supermarket panic-buying queues to pick up a few quid’s worth of veggies and I’ve spent some of my afternoon making soup!

You’ll need:

  1. One butternut squash
  2. About 4 or 5 carrots
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 2 large (or several small) onions
  5. A thumb-sized piece of ginger
  6. 2 pints vegetable stock, from cubes or already made (you decide)
  7. A knob of butter

Slice the onion, garlic and ginger (peeled of course) and soften this lot in the butter.  Add the softened onions, ginger and garlic to the vegetable stock and simmer.

Cut your squash and carrots into finger-sized chunks, drizzle olive oil over them and put these in the oven at 200 Celsius for around 45 minutes, until the edges are browning and they start to smell delicious.

Add the roasted veggies to the pan with the stock and onions etc.  Simmer the mixture for another 30 minutes on a low heat.

Blend it all together and Voila! You have your soup.  Just check the seasoning and enjoy!

If you allow yourself a couple of hours, you’ll have to time to relax and wash up afterwards.

This soup will freeze so I’d recommend saving a couple of emergency portions in tupperware for these cold winter days.


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