Monday, 30 November 2009

Tokyo Sonata

At the weekend we watched Tokyo Sonata, a film about a Japanese family. The trigger event is that the father, Ryuhei Sasak is made redundant, for reasons which are not made quite clear.
His struggles to come to terms with the loss of his high status job and the role it confers, cause a knock on effect in his family.
As he comes to terms with the event and re-adjusts, his family and he all go through a process of change, in which they all run away from their appointed roles.

Quick and Easy Beef Style Jalfrezi

Jeff and I cooked this delicious dish at the weekend using ingredients mostly purchased at Newgate Street Co-op.
It takes about an hour to cook, with about 10 minutes actual preparation time.

This is my own recipe but feel free to copy it and try it yourself!

Quick and Easy Beef Style Jalfrezi

You will need:

1. 3 leeks:
2. 1 tablespoon frozen petit pois ;
3. 1 carrot;
4. 1 pack Grassington's Beef style Veggie "meatballs";
5. 1 jar Co-op Jalfrezi sauce;
6. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.

* Fry the leeks and carrots in the oil in a large saucepan until they are starting to go a little crispy, then add the frozen veggie balls.
* Continue to cook on a medium heat until the balls have softened and look done, about 15 minutes should be enough.
* Then add the frozen peas and sauce and cook for the time it says on the jar... another 15 or 20 minutes. Cover the pan at this point.
* Stir occasionally to make sure the sauce does not stick, reducing heat if necessary, and adding a little water if required.
* Serve with rice or nan bread.

A little salad goes very well with this meal, we had sliced tomatoes, sliced chinese leaf, and sliced cucumber in a light french dressing.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Moss and Lichen

Jeff saw these beautiful mosses and lichens in September on Bute's rocky coast.

Meditation retreat

I recently spent some time at Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey
It was a challenge to get up at before 6 am and go to meditate for what seemed like a fairly long period. Before dawn until full daylight. On returning home I found getting up in the mornings much easier.

reading material

At the moment I am reading "Spiral"

by Koji Suzuki

which is the sequel to "Ring", a very creepy Japanese film.

Finish off damp repair

Today was the last day of the damp repair.
It got postponed again because the person who was scheduled to do the work was off sick.

Our other joiner, who usually works in South Sheilds, has given me some information about the cause of the damp. As before its due to a lack of complete damp proof course.

The repair he has done using a water repellent plaster. "dry- or dri XXXXX" whatever-it-is may not stop the rising damp traveling up the wall permanently, and in a few years may need a proper dsmp proof course installing. The door which was there before post war renovations to the building meant the damp proof course was not installed at that point. If the switch trips and fails, affecting the fridge, it will have been due to water traveling up the wall and rusting the switch plate.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I am really into the Wallander series at the moment, but it is difficult to get them at the library as they are popular. I have just finished "The Pyramid" which Mankell wrote in response to demands from readers who wished to learn about Wallander's life before the first book in the series.
I am also reading "Roar of the Tigress" Volume 2", by Rev. Master Kennnet which is about Zen Buddhism.


Jeff and I went to Newcastle Empire cinema on Tuesday to see Up, which is a Disney story about various issues, including adventure, dogs, getting old, attachments to your possessions and memories, and letting go of attachments to find release, friendship, the natural environment and threats to it, and probably various other matters.

Jeff still has not shaved his beard off and it suits him more and more.
Later we went to Nudo on Low Friar Street, I had a Aloe Vera drink and some shredded tofu salad, then some spicy Edame and a mousse. Please visit there for latest news from Herbwormwood