Holy camembert and bacon butties, the boys from Oz are back

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(photo: https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/season-9/episode-1)

Jeepers, watched episode 1 of Masterchef Oz season 9, and holy camembert and bacon butties, are those contestants talented or what. Last contestant up with only an hour to produce a signature dish was Callan Smith. Only 18 years old and you’d swear he shared DNA with Heston Blumenthal. And as for the judges, well they had their aprons blown off with his talent.

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(photo: https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/show-news/meet-the-season-9-hopefuls)

At 18 there was little chance of me frying an egg. Look at this dish. Looks so simple but it isn’t.

Japenese Inspired Salmon with wasabi caviar

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(photo: https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/japanese-inspired-salmon-tartare)

Callan isn’t the only genius foodie to watch, there were a-plenty.  But he just caught my eye, great personality and a pretty nice guy, who evidently can cook.

Lots to watch, only another 61 episodes. Hubster and I will be watching them all.

Will we be inspired to cook and create wondrous food? Short answer . . . NO

 

Stories We Could TellStories We Could Tell by Tony Parsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

great book, easy to read, satisfied with the ending.
Bearing in mind the entire story unfolds over one single night, namely the night Elvis died, you would expect this story to be Elvis through and through. Well it isn’t. Which is good. Instead you follow a group of young music journalists, not much older than very early twenties, cock sure of what they are doing and where they are going, only to find 12 hours later that everything has changed, mostly for the good. Pretty much a coming-of-age book.
Based in London, jumping from clubs, to squats, to punch-ups and much more, you can’t help but recognise a little of yourself in this book. How you felt the world was at your feet and that you knew everything, only to discover at some point you know nothing at all and, that as you get older life will send you who knows where when you least expect it.

View all my reviews

Best advice when looking for a job, screw the advice

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Having done a spot of job hunting of recent, and having had no reason to put together a CV for well over 20 years, I set about seeking advice hoping to get it right first time.

Well. To be frank. All the advice given, Googled or otherwise gained was mostly a load of old rubbish. And why? Because all the advice given is by currently employed people with no reason or intention of keeping a CV up to date, probably ever. And to be completely blunt, my advice to them is to MOVE AWAY FROM THE ADVICE COUNTER SO FAST YOU LEAVE A DUST STORM THAT REMAINS PERFECTLY CLEAR IN OUTER SPACE AND BEYOND.

Take the advice regarding ageism – there’s a lot out there. I’m early fifties, and the advice given is: you don’t have to add your age, you don’t have to add the years worked at any given job, and you don’t need to add when you graduated from school/university/college. Oh really? Well have you attempted to complete an online application lately? Because practically every job you apply for these days requires mandatory data input of namely birthday/age, years at job etc etc. IF YOU DON’T ADD IT IN, YOU CAN’T GET PAST THAT SCREEN, AS IN, YOU ARE STUCK AND APPLICATION STATUS = FAILED. Do I hear a suggestion to lie perhaps?

My next favourite – note the sarcasm – is, do not exceed 2 pages. Bullet form key points of each job held. Oh really? Two agencies I used came back to me with, you need to expand big time if you want to get an interview, forget the bullets, give the employer detail and, if you exceed 2 pages so be it. MAKE YOUR MINDS UP PLEASE.

But the thing that really gets my goat going is the request for a lengthy personal statement to include examples of how you can fulfil the duties of this position, and how you would fulfil the personal specifications for said job – they even suggest adding an extra page if need be, meaning, you’d better tell us a lot about yourself or don’t bother applying.  And while yes, I raise my hand and agree a personal statement is valid, the reason my goat gets going is that after compiling anything from the requested 500 to 3000 words, you barely get a reply or feedback or anything that gives any reason to believe your hours of work for this literary piece was even read. HAVE A LITTLE RESPECT. HOW ABOUT YOU TELL ME WHY I’M NOT SUITABLE THEN? YOU DO KNOW I PUT MY HEART INTO THAT PIECE OF WORK, DON’T YOU?

Yes I’m having a bit of rant. Yes I am now employed. And yes I’d love to hear what advice you’ve been given, or have given, which you consider to be good, bad or just plain STOOPID

 

 

 

 

“Mr Bolt, you may have inspired us to have a go at the old 100m”

Hubster and I have been glued to the London IAAF, mostly drawn by the great Usain Bolt, but also because we really, really love watching it.

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(picture borrowed from: http://uk.businessinsider.com/usain-bolt-final-race-2017-8?r=US&IR=T)

Hubster in particular really, really gets involved, to the point his body reacts to every jump, fling, run, leap, splat, throw and dash he sees. I swear he has his own seated athletics championship as his head nods faster and faster as each and every athlete begins and partakes, only for his legs and arms to start flinching and reacting, until the ultimate final moment when his whole body practically levitates inches off the safety of the couch, gliding him over the finish line, landing him in the sand pit, navigating him over the hurdles and, of course, launching him over the pole vault.

Me, well I sit there anticipating a hasty retreat should he decide the old hammer throw is something to partake in.

Anyway, as to the 100m dash. So, I said to the hubster, how about we have a go at that 100m dash? How fast do you reckon you could do it? And how big is our garden?

Hubster feels he could do it, albeit a little slower than the Master Bolt himself. I tend to agree for he is a bit of a runner. Won prizes too. The best ever being a Pyrex casserole dish that who knows how many subsequent meals it served.

rob 1961Hubster taking hold of his casserole dish

The garden though he feels is probably only about 10m in length. When I was sharing the distance with a colleague, she remarked the turn would greatly reduce our time.  You will no doubt agree this could add valuable seconds to the dash.

Me, well I think I’ll have trouble with not only the turn, but also getting out of any blocks we may use.  Or if no blocks, then purely moving quickly will be the problem. My feet are bordering on the flat side.

Ah, I said, then. How about we take this 100m dash of the property and do it on the field behind our house?  Hubster had a nervous laugh. I presume as the field, while very, very large, is surrounded with lights and houses. Perhaps he could be persuaded to think the lights and potential spectators would provide a feel of being in a stadium? Hmm, I’m not convinced, he gets a little embarrassed dancing with me in the kitchen.

To run or not to run then. We will see, we will see. Rest assured if we do, you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

ONE THING TO BE GRATEFUL FOR ON #WOMENS DAY

A tribute to Women’s day by the very, very clever and witty Niki Malherbe

Niki Malherbe

Cautionary: KINDLY IGNORE THIS POST IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC OR PRIOR SPECIALIST MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE. I gave up biology in Standard 7.

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At the risk of revealing anything too private about my life (though it must be said that the concept of menopause, at this stage, is entirely mysterious and reserved for a select few whom I seldom meet or have heard much about) or my husband’s penis, I thought it necessary to impart the discussion I had with my gynecologist last week. It reinforced my belief that unless we talk to people and are excited to explore ideas about life, there doesn’t seem much point in it– though even more urgent for me is clearly the need to write about it.

Before I assumed the indescribably humiliating and mortifying position of undergoing a routine check- up with my Dr. when he nonchalantly says, ‘OK let’s take a look’ and…

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Jedland video

Writing a sequel is always fun, especially when you have a character like Jed P Horton.

With that in mind, and to help me as well, I’ve put together a short video of a reading from the beginning of Jedland, along with some happy snappies to set the scene of Jed’s journey

Hope you enjoy

5 things I’ve re-learnt since arriving back in the UK

  1. It may be Spring, however . . .  that doesn’t mean it is warm, dry or bright
  2. People are very polite – I can’t get used to cars and walkers pausing to let you pass. And make a call and they always end with a “take care of yourself” or “nice talking to you.”
  3. No matter how long ago it was you may have left the UK, there is still a record of you via your NI number
  4. If you have no car insurance you will struggle to get it, and when you do you will pay the premium of a 17 year old – seriously costly
  5. Funniest one yet – always having to remember to take your shoes off when you enter a house, even when you are house hunting – note to self: don’t wear threadbare or even worse socks with holes – not that I do!