Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Pissy beer tax...

Like most other places in the UK, the weather has been really nice over the last few days. I've been out tidying the garden and having spent 2 hours removing things from the compost heap that shouldn't have been there in the first place, like fag packets (we don't smoke?), I was ready for a drink.

We are mostly self sufficient in the alcohol department, which is just as well, given Cameron's proposed 'Unit Tax'.
The Moon Faced Shiny One has decided that a 40p minimum price per unit charge shall be levied across his Kingdom, as he feels that 'buying a can of lager for as little as 20p' is causing the mass displays of kebab eating  and problem chip throwing seen in town centres after nightfall. He has promised that he will be 'coming down hard' on cheap alcohol in order to address this issue.
Not having ventured out after dark since 1997, I wasn't aware of this problem, but I can sympathise-slip on a chip and you'll know about it.

The thing that grabbed my attention about this Whitehall village press release was the '20p for a can of lager' bit. Sniffing a bargain, I set about finding out more.

Searching on  My Supermarket I was excited to come across four x 440ml cans priced at a very affordable 81p. I was just about to hire a van so I could stock up the outhouse before Old Moony whacked on the frogskins, when I noticed that the alcohol content is 2%-the same as semi-skimmed milk.

Now I like a drink, but despite decades of practice, I wouldn't say that I am particularly good at it. After half a bottle of wine, or the equivalent, it would be fair to say that I am fairly well squiffed up.

But 2%? Even I can take 2%. Is this what all the fuss is about?

Home brew-proper bloody beer!
To get drunk enough on 2% beer to even consider buying a kebab, I reckon I would have to neck around 12 cans in about 15 minutes. A feat that I haven't achieved since the time I had a panic attack after being accidentally locked in the Micra for three hours.

Before we started home brewing we used to buy this 'value' stuff to fill the slug pubs in the garden. I've seen a slug drink a whole pot and still be sober enough to not drown, climb back out again and give it the finger. And there was certainly never any evidence of kebabs.

Is this what Babby-Chops is blathering on about ? Blaming this pissy faux alcohol for public displays of skullyosis? If anyone gets so bladdered on this stuff that they indulge in any sort of antisocial behaviour (other than chronic flatulence) they need to get a medical.

Are the youth of today so lily-livered that this stuff makes them sufficiently steampigged to drop their chips?
Such a precious cargo.

The 'powers that be' state that they want to avoid penalising the pubs that actually serve the revellers. So it's not the generous trays of jelly shots, speed drinking contests, 'Happy Hours' and 3 for 1 offers that's the problem.
No, it's the 'preloading' on stuff that's weaker than kitten wee.

What a load of  tommyrot. Off for a drink!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Storm Buffs, 'PEP' Driving, Hand Relief and Pigs Ears.

Well, we've finally got through all the cabbage, but on Wednesday Dave went on a Haggis Spree (15p each) and so now we have seven in the freezer. Not many people seem to like haggis. No one wants one, in fact, when you offer someone an out-of-date haggis, they look at you like you've asked them whether they want a suck on your grandmother's piss-slippers.
If someone was kind enough to offer me an out of date haggis I would be cock-a-hoop.

Yesterday, I received some free coffee and a free book on houseplants. I also got an e-mail telling me that I had won a Storm Buff.
I didn't know what it was either, but it looks like something you wear when holding up the local petrol station. They retail at an eye-watering £27.20, which strikes me as quite pricey for what is basically a large legwarmer. That's the good thing about doing competitions-you win items that you would never dream of buying yourself. Well, I think that's a good thing.
Anyway, Dave will find it useful when collecting voles.

Talking of head wear, we went into Haverfordwest yesterday and Dave drove, uneconomically in my opinion.
I've been reading about how to drive in a manner that uses less petrol and have picked up a few tips, which I generously shared with Dave, all the way there and all the way back.

In my opinion, he kept accelerating too much, which resulted in the need to decelerate, which strikes me as poor economy. It's like running a bath that's too hot, then adding some cold, then adding more hot and more cold-and so it goes on. Pissing money down the drain.

My extensive research has led me to believe that it's more economical to drive with the minimum of pedal use.
I've even thought up a catchphrase- "Pedals Equals Petrol"- PEP for short. This week I'll be pioneering PEP driving. Mainly downhill and at about 3mph.

Another tip for reducing fuel consumption is to wear a balaclava to reduce 'drag'.  This applies to all cars, not only 'soft tops', as the internal air disturbance caused by bodily protuberances, such as ears, causes a 30% increase in fuel consumption, even in a Micra.

No pigs in my car-too much ear drag.
Sport Relief.

I know it's all for good causes and the celebrities really push themselves beyond what anyone would expect-David Walliams, Eddie Izzard, John Bishop and all the others are exceptionally good eggs, but, and I will probably get a bit of flack for this:

It really gets on my tits.

The endless trailers with Fearne Cotton and her dismal skinny legs, dressed as a horse or cow or something and Slebs doing things they don't normally do. The Slebs are clearly enjoying themselves (except those doing 'endurance' stuff), but what about us poor buggers?

It's not just Sport's Relief that I have a problem with, it's all the 'Reliefs'-Comic, Children (don't get me started on Pudsey Bear...), Gastric, Hand-anything that unites the country in an unnatural state of charity induced giddiness.
Mile runs, ribbon badges, fancy dress for Morrisons staff, street collecting dressed as a prostitute. Or perhaps that just was a prostitute.
It's all so tired and forced and 'gung-ho'. It's a frenzy of earnest attempts to raise money........and it makes me want to do a big, stinking, haggis honk.
There have got to be better ways of raising money. Personally, I find being forced at gunpoint to set up a standing order a far more attractive proposition.

Finally, pig's ears.
The dogs enjoy chewing on the waxy, hairy goodness of a pigs ear, so sometimes we buy some.
Recently, I have noticed that pet food manufacturers are calling random pieces of hide 'pigs ears', when they clearly are not. The 'ears' are all uniform in size and shape, have no ear hairs, and lack the waxy spirals of a real ear.
Fake pig's ears. It's just wrong and I'm starting a group to oppose it-Campaign for Real Ears for Dogs-CRED.
In fact, I'm doing a charity run in aid of it later today and Bill Oddie has agreed to support me, dressed as a gherkin.
If you want to pledge some money, my e-mail address is right at the bottom of the page. Don't pledge without meaning it though, because I will find you.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Liver, depressing tripe associations and whisking with Jamie.

You either love it, hate it, or have more important things to think about.
I like it, which is just as well, as Dave went shopping again last night and bought home roughly 1.5 kilos.

Look at what you could've won.
As you can see, he also bought some kidneys, diced pork and a loaf of bread. The whole lot cost him about £1.20-the cost of the loaf of bread in the picture, had he come over stupid in Morrisons and paid the asking price.

I find liver useful for adding to mince-based dishes like bolognese, cottage pie or chilli. Nowadays, mince seems to have very little flavour, and I find that by adding some finely chopped liver, it injects some much needed meaty 'oomph' into the dish.
A few years ago, because I really didn't like him and he had invited himself to dinner, I gave a whiny liver-hating aquaintance some spaghetti bolognese containing a 50/50 mix of beef mince and minced ox liver. I expected him to explode in a volcano-like spume of liver laced vomit and collapse in a heap of wretchedness.
Rather disappointingly, he ate the lot and asked if there was any more.

That's the thing with liver. People who have never tasted it claim to hate it.
I find people who say that they dislike a certain food, despite never even having tried it, deeply irritating.
I know that I don't like raw oysters because I tried one, coughed it out of my nose and threw up on the sheepskin rug. However, I needed to try one otherwise I was unqualified to claim not to like them.
Without having ever tried an oyster, all I could say was that I didn't like the look of them, which makes me sound like a chicken-assed wuss.

Liver has many PR problems, starting with the fact that it looks and feels fairly repellent. It's true, but I can't say that I find the feel of non-organ meat particularly pleasant. Raw chicken, with it's translucent sliminess and faint smell of bleach is particularly disagreeable.
Secondly, liver is deeply unfashionable, unless you're talking about calves liver, and if you can afford  calves liver you may as well ditch the whole 'offal for tea' thing and get yourself a steak.
Finally, liver conjures up negative associations such as poverty, chewy tubes, TB, mind numbing misery and The Goodies.

Tripe has similar problems, in that it brings to mind the image of a cold Wigan bedsit, circa 1946, with grey washing dripping on a clothes horse, ten grubby, bed-wetting chidlers hugging each other like lab monkeys and Mam sticking her head in the gas oven. Only the gas has been cut off.
But perhaps that's just me.

I must admit that I have never tried tripe, as, at the risk of sounding like a chicken-assed wuss, I don't like the look of it.
Perhaps I should host a tripe and liver night for my legions of friends. I'll try tripe if they try liver-like swinging, with offal.

Anyway 1.5kg is quite lot to deal with, so the dogs have had some (we'll be paying the price later), I've frozen some, made a stir fry out of some and made some liver pate out of the rest.
Liver pate is quick and easy to make, and when you consider the prices of the little tubs you get in supermarkets, you save a lot of money by making your own. Here's how I make mine:

Fry onion and garlic in lots of butter, until soft.
Add flavourings. I used dried sage, cloves, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Add the chopped liver and fry until cooked.
Blend, taste and eat.

Yet again, it may look like jobby, but it doesn't taste like jobby.
Dave was called upon to do some whisking on Sunday. Whenever he whisks, he channels everyone's favourite Mockney Sparra'-Jamie Oliver-for added 'whiskery' strength.
Once he has 'made contact', Jamie manifests himself in Dave's face, forcing it into Oliveresque contortions. Here he is in full flow.

Notice that the wrist is just a blur. Pukka.
Pounding the batter. Easy Tiger.
Shortly after this was taken Jamie's ectoplasm was expelled down the toilet.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Sky schmucks, cabbage, germy chocolate and Dirty-Man Barlow.

One of our biggest extravagances has been Sky TV. We have been paying around £48 a month for years and as our HD 'offer' has just expired, it's gone up to £53.
I've never really been bothered by Sky or HD but Dave has always been a stalwart fan, due to his addiction to football and the hours of men gassing punditry that goes with it. When he phoned Sky up to query the price increase, he was unimpressed with the tone of the Sky rep, so we decided to cancel the subscription.
After the call, he told me that most of what we watch is available free of charge anyway!
Had I known that, it would have been 'the rock out of here' many moons ago.

To be fair though, another factor in deciding to ditch Sky is that our new laptop does 'live streaming' really well, making watching TV on the laptop a viable proposition, which it really wasn't on the old laptop, unless you were blessed with the patience of a Zen Buddhist monk.

The only thing that I would miss would be the Sky+ recording facilities, such as 'series link', which you can keep if you pay Roop £10.25 a month.

Despite his kind offer, we decided that we would like to be rid of the Leathery One once and for all, so we have taken the plunge and bought a Personal Video Recorder. In theory, this will enable us view Freesat in HD with the same recording functions as Sky provide, without paying anyone, anything, ever again.
The Big Sky Switch Off is due on 12th April, so I'll let you know how we get on.

Not being the most technically minded duo, I suspect we'll hit a snag shortly after opening the box. This will result in much shouting, effing and jeffing, pinching, screaming like a monkey, biting and general huffery, such is our way whenever we try to do something that we can't do.
It'll be 'trying to lay laminate flooring', all over again.
The PVR isn't cheap but sometimes you have to speculate to accumulate and the Murdoch Monkey has been on our back long enough.

Dave was in Morrisons unaccompanied last week and bought 4 white cabbages for a total of 28p. I'm struggling a bit with them, to be honest. Each cabbage contains so much, well, cabbage. It's so tightly packed and you don't realise how much cabbage each cabbage contains.
I would normally make wine with a large amount of fruit or veg, but I don't think cabbage wine would be particularly pleasant (I'm still scarred by the swede wine experience), and Dave wouldn't be able to drink it due to his 'gastric distress issues'. It would turn him into a walking bio-hazard and I know that the neighbours wouldn't take kindly to being evacuated again.
We've given one to Jimmy Nextdoor and I've just spotted him in the garden with it, doing headers. Hopefully he'll give some to the guinea pigs once he comes round.

Not to be outdone by Jimmy Nextdoor, Dave managed 5 before the nosebleed. 
I've been reading about 79 year old Coronation Street actor Bill Roache and his 'insatiable appetite for sex' this morning. To be honest, it's made me feel a bit queasy. He claims that he had/has no control over his sex drive and that he has slept with over a thousand women. I really wish he'd kept that saucy nugget to himself. You have to wonder why he has shared this with Piers Morgan, and therefore the world, as it makes him look like a bit of a slapper/slimy, lady-loving-lizard/walking STD case study.
Whichever one you choose, it's not a good look.
Maybe he did it for the money...or to promote his 'one man show'.

Two wins this week. Some organic 'Beauty Oil', presumably for oiling your beauties, whatever that means, and some bacteria stuffed chocolate.

Ohso.........full of germs.
The chocolate bar blurb claims that it 'loves your tummy', which has put me right off.
I hate the word 'tummy' and would ban anyone over the age of 4 from using it. It just sounds so infantile and when adults use it, it makes me want to throw a cabbage at them.
What's wrong with stomach, abdomen, chittlin' channel, tripeage, gut, bileballoon, firkin or at a push, gastric gourd?
'Tummy' is there with 'poorly' and 'choccy' in my 'Words that should never be used by Adults' list of verbal violations.
This chocolate retails at just under £4 for 94.5g, so it's pricey stuff.
Dave has had a bar and after much deliberation, proclaimed it to be 'nice'. They sell it at Harvey Nichol's and apparently, each bar has 'around a billion' bacteria in it.
That's almost as many as Dirty-Man Barlow's pants.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Public toilet deception, self cleaning towels and clippers.

I came across an advert for a new deodorant yesterday, 'Garnier Clean Sensation', which has an interesting tagline claiming that it can make you 'feel like you can wear your top twice'.
Regular readers will know that I think that far too much washing goes on these days, and so I welcome this brave act of marketing, but it still made me smile ruefully.
It may make you feel like you can wear you top twice....but will you openly wear your top twice?

When I was employed, most of my colleagues wore a different top to work each day. The really odd ones wore different trousers too. I kept a chart.
Upon being questioned, most of them admitted that they hang up the item having worn it once, to wear another day. The following day they put on a different top to give the impression of changing their clothes daily.
It's fiendishly clever when you think about it, but you need two tops to make it work.

Nowadays there's a lot of social pressure to 'act' clean.
You may look and smell fine, but in order to avoid being perceived as a grubby bugger, some people feel compelled to engage in costly and gratuitous acts of cleanliness.

I'm not against being clean and certainly not advocating schlepping around the place smelling like a doubly incontinent fish gutter. Some people really need a shower and clean clothes every day, or even more often. If you need it, fine. 'Embarrassing Bodies' will be happy to tell your story.
It's the 'show' cleaning that gets on my nerves.

Dave's Best Pants.
This facade is nowhere more apparent than in public toilets. When I'm in the cubicle of a public toilet, I hear people happily 'flush and go', providing that there is no one milling around outside. As soon as I exit the cubicle, anyone that exits after me washes their hands.

What I'm hypothesising, and it's very controversial, is that most people don't wash their hands after a having a wee in a public toilet unless someone is watching them.
Even in M&S.
And the bigger the audience, the bigger the wash.
On occasion, when there has been a particularly large queue of onlookers, I've seen exiters put on a complex display of  'show' cleaning involving a full strip wash, winnit check and a light gusset dusting of Ajax.

I haven't tested this theory on Tom Tits, as it's a fairly rare event to spot one in public. I may spend a few hours this weekend in the Tesco khazi waiting for someone to grow a tail and noting whether they wash their hands, although they might do a runner, leaving me looking like I did the smell should anyone arrive before I make my escape....
It's a fraught business conducting scientific research in a public toilet, and tricky to explain, if challenged. Just ask Chuck Berry.

I must admit that I'm against using public toilets for doing a solid, unless you have eaten at the establishment, in which case it's their fault and they must deal with the fallout.
It's never a satisfactory experience though, and best avoided by not eating out, which is an overly extravagant pursuit usually resulting in disappointment and self loathing.

One of the most extreme cases of stupid cleaning that I have ever come across was an acquaintance's insistence on washing their towels as soon as they had been used. If that's not a sign of not being wired up right, I really don't know what is.
The whole point of towels is to dry off a clean bit of you. They shouldn't ever need washing at all, like self cleaning ovens. If you use a towel and make it dirty, you need to look at your washing technique as something's going wrong somewhere.

Anyway enough cleaning talk, I'll move onto my handy tip for today.

Having left our Bedlington terrier's coat to grow over the winter, the time had come for his Spring Trim. As grooming prices start at around £25 for a dog of Monty's size, we've always done him ourselves, although we weren't looking forward to it this time as the clippers had been playing up and his coat looked like something off a Highland cow.
Anyway, it all went surprisingly well, thanks to giving the clippers a squirt of WD40 and a vigorous going over with an old toothbrush. The same treatment has also got my cuckoo clock going again and fixed Jimmy Nextdoor's clutch, so it's worth a try.

Next week we're doing Concord and Dave's hair.

We sell his pelt to the locals. They use it in spells. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Celebrations, extinctions and Cottage pie.

Well, it's British Pie week and in order to show my support, I have set today aside for some intensive pie eating.
While eating my breakfast pie, a slightly challenging combination of kippers, black pudding and chocolate sugar puffs, I wondered who was responsible for inventing these 'occasions'. I need to contact them and offer my services, as it sounds like my dream job.

British Pie week, National Chip week, British Sausage week, Take your Dog to Work day, Take your Kid to Court day, Take your Pants to the Tip day, Christian Aid week, Help a Heathen day, Mother's day, Father's day, DNA Test day (to ensure that you're buying gifts for the right people), No Smoking day, Keep Drinking Allday, National Incontinence week, Tripe Action! day, Prolapse Awareness day, National ADHD minute. They just keep coming, and each one has it's own coloured ribbon badge, Fun Run, nominated celebrity frontman and rubber wristband.

Just so it's 'out there', I'm available and happy to offer my services as the face of Tripe Action! day.

As if I wasn't busy enough with Pie week, yesterday was International Women's Day. To show my support for the Sistah-hood I felt compelled to light candles, think seriously about having a bath, stick some false nails on my forehead, drink 6 pints of Lambrini and eat chocolate with fellow Coven members including the obligatory gay man, Billy Carpet, who kept us entertained for what seemed like days, with his tales of Gok Wan and eating disorders.

Meh, I'd rather have a pie week any day...

But I am looking forward to International Men's day on November 19th. I have started planning my celebrations already, and don't want to give too much away, suffice to say that it involves some furtive public transport based banjo strumming, lots of scratching and deriving an almost primal pleasure in the  copious production of sweaty monkey tails. I'd give it 5 minutes if I were you, mate...

Anyway, that's a long way in the future, let's not skip over yesterday's Mega Solar Storm, which was predicted to wipe us all out, well, mess up some people's Sat Navs. Not ever venturing further than 15 miles from home, I have no need for Sat Nav, although it may become handy as my memory starts failing. Anyway, we didn't really experience anything unusual here other than Jimmy Nextdoor reporting that his guinea pigs were a bit 'low' due to the disturbance in the Earth's magnetic fields.

Having not been wiped out yesterday, I was around today to receive a parcel which contained 4 bottles of 'dessert sauce'. Nothing else, just the sauce. I have no idea where they came from. The postmark said 'Peterborough', but you know what I mean. Source of sauce unknown.
Perhaps they're from an ill informed secret admirer (for future reference, I don't have a sweet tooth and avoid really sugary stuff due to blood sugar 'issues'...), but to whoever sent them, a big 'Thankyou'.
Dave has taken them to work, where they can be put to good use as pig lubricants.

Great for pig work.
In a bid to be well informed on grocery 'deals', I always check the offers on the various supermarket websites before I venture into the Metropolis, Haverfordwest.
While looking at the Tesco website this morning, I came across a range of 'ready meals' courtesy of that talented mother and daughter team, The Hairy Bikers.

The one that really caught my eye was 'Si's Mam's Cottage Pie', which weighs 800g and is currently on offer at £4.80.
What the punters don't know is that 'Si's Mam' (Dave's Nan-Mam), is sadly suffering from dementia and her version of Cottage pie currently involves a tin of custard and some chewed up bog roll..... bet the marketing men don't want that one to get out.

Incidentally, I was in Aldi and noticed that they do a whopping 1.6kg of 'Family Feeder' Cottage pie for under £3, if that's what you fancy.
It was from their Gunther's Gruntmutha's range....and as it doesn't have bog roll in it and is about a quarter of the price, it appears to be better value than poor Si's Mam's...

Monday, 5 March 2012

African peanut lentils, glamour veg, John Peel and The Scotch.

I got another prize at 8.45am today - The Big Crisp Win. Almost 2kg of the tasty beggars, courtesy of Mackies of Scotland. As a result of their generosity (I received vouchers for their ice cream too), I have officially become Scottish today.
Aye, whit's fur ye'll no go past ye.
A hae nae thochtie and need tae practice ma Scots.

Don't worry, I won't do the rest of the blog in Scottish as some people may find it a bit offensive. Rest assured though that my extensive research reveals that all of The Scotch Mons speak like that, all of the time, even the crabbits and stookies.

Moving on before I get a Glasgae Kiss....I find that vegetables are very expensive these days, especially the likes of peppers. I made an African peanut and lentil stew on Saturday, which we were having with salmon and rice. Normally I would buy peppers, frozen spinach, tomatoes and even possibly fresh coriander, specifically to put in this cheap dish, thereby adding around £4.00 to the outlay (obviously I wouldn't use all of the vegetables in the one meal, but I would buy them nonetheless).

Being on more of a budget these days, I used the veg that I had in instead. Bendy, brown parsnips with hairy roots and dowdy, floppy, old cabbage. I was surprised at how good it tasted and it was none the worse for the lack of the glamour veg. Here is an overview of how to make it. Like all my recipes, it's not a precise science. Just adapt it to suit your preferences.

About 200g of red lentils.
About 2 tablespoons of oil.
Onion, plus garlic and ginger if you fancy it.
Chilli, cumin, turmeric and coriander.
A stock cube.
Some chopped vegetables. I used parsnips, celery, canned sweetcorn and cabbage.
Peanut butter.

Fry your onions, and garlic and ginger if using, for about 5 minutes. Add the spices, I used 2 heaped teaspoons of cumin and 1 heaped teaspoon each of coriander and turmeric, plus chilli (any type-powder, flakes or fresh) to taste. Fry gently for about 10 minutes. Add the lentils, remaining vegetables, water and the stock cube and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 30 minutes, adding more water if required.
When it's ready to serve, add the sliced cabbage and as much peanut butter as you like.
Try it to check that it doesn't taste like a jobby.

It may look like jobby, but it doesn't taste like jobby.

I hear that the BBC are naming a wing of their refurbished Broadcasting House after Scouse drawler, John Peel, or.... 'Peely' to his disciples. I have never understood his popularity and, almost eight years after his death, find the persistent hoards of dedicated followers, quite frankly, BLOODY IRRITATING.

The air of gushing reverence with which some talk of him really gets on my howfin Bubbly Jock. And don't get me started on the sycophantic fawning's and whining's of the likes of Jo Whiley and Andy Kershaw....gets right up my Bingle Hole.
It'll be the 'John Peel Memorial 2012 Sid James' next...

There were much better Radio 1 luminaries than JP. Whats wrong with the naming bits of the newly refurbished Broadcasting House after them?
The Tommy Vance Rrrock garden, the Whispering Bob Harris library, the Bruno Brookes car park attendant's kiosk and the Jimmy Saville smokers awning are just a few of my ideas to get them started.

I heard JP's son, Tom, on Radio 4 the other day and was unsurprised to hear that he now has his own show on Radio 6, cleverly using the surname 'Ravenscroft' in order to throw the thicker accusers of nepotism, whatever that means, off the scent.
His Da may be pan breid, but that disnae mean he gets given a braw job by the BBC. Bah, ahm pure scunnurt.

Gosh, I think I'm getting quite good at this. Scottish/English translator required anyone?

We went to Morrisons today as they currently have half price puff pastry at £1.40 per kg. I always make my own shortcrust, but have never tried making The Puff as it looks like a bit of a stooshie. We went to pay at the Self Service checkout and the machine had an issue with every item that we put through it. The attendant had to provide us with full customer support throughout.  Despite putting in the correct money, the machine gave us 50p change, about 10% of our total bill. Nice that they do compensation these days....
Mony a mickle maks a muckle.


Friday, 2 March 2012

Dog-nurses, vegetarians, donkeys and otters.

Dave finished off the last of the chicken curry on Wednesday, five days after the 'use by' date.
The hospital's just rang. He's off the drip now and they say that now he's made it through the night, he'll pull through...
Nurse checking Dave's temperature.
Seriously though, food seems benign, but can be dangerous. Take my twenties. I was a vegetarian, but instead of eating vegetables and pulses, I chose to eat the two tastiest birds at the disco-carbohydrates and fat. I reasoned that as I'd given up meat and fish, it was only fair that I have some sort of enjoyment. After a couple of takeaways during the working week, a typical Saturday diet would go like this:

Breakfast-fried eggs on toast and overpriced fungus-bacon.

Lunch- two bags of chip shop chips. One wasn't enough. I knew that they were fried in the same oil as the fish and battered sausages but I reasoned, correctly as it turns out, that chips are not animals. I also had a tub of curry sauce and/or mushy peas, and half a bottle of wine, all consumed in the car.

After a sleep (not in the car)...

Dinner-a huge bowl of pasta with a cheesy sauce and garlic bread.

I would then watch Gladiators while eating a large bag of crisps and drinking the other half of the bottle of wine..and and maybe some cider. I would marvel at the athleticism of the contestants, while slumped on the sofa like a flabby Wolf that had just whelped a record breaking litter.

As a result of my lifestyle choices I was so unfit at just 28, that I couldn't walk 50 yards without being convinced that I'd had some sort of stroke. That, and the fact that my arse doubled up as a beanbag made me start running.
I've been running regularly for 16 years now. It's the perfect cheap way to get fit. No gyms or travel costs, just some trainers. No annoying women yakking on about HRT, chocolate and annoying men yakking on about Viagra, cars and women...

Despite spending the last 16 years pounding pavements, on some days I feel like I'm running with a donkey strapped to my back. It's just so hard, what with all the hee-hawing and everything.

Me, doing a Usain, with the monkey donkey.
Most things you can do and do again, and you gradually get better at it. I used to play the drums and I went from not having a clue, to being okay, fairly rapidly. I achieved this through practise (and sheer terror as the gigs had been booked.)

Running doesn't seem to be the same. The 16 years of practise doesn't seem to have made much difference. I think it's only fair that by now I should be an elite athlete, capable of running 6 day Ultra marathons across the Sahara at the drop of a hat, as well as being a sure fire bet to beat Radcliffe in the  Sid James.
On the other hand, I've never given birth to a dead otter while on a run, and neither has the donkey...perhaps I'm just not pushing myself hard enough?

Nowadays  at least there's no chance of succumbing to an impromptu takeaway. There's absolutely no point as it will be long dead by the time you get it home. If it wasn't for the Internet we wouldn't have any shoes and would have to use hedgehogs.

The only downside is the petrol costs involved when we do venture out, but Dave reckons he's almost there with his urine powered road canoe, so fingers crossed that he gets well soon....
Sometimes, it's a two donkey day...