Tuesday, 28 April 2015

What do you see?

This was something spotted in a local wood.
Let us know what you see in it!

Omega 3

Recently I have been reading about the importance of Omega 3 oils in the vegan diet.
Flax seeds aka Linseeds are a very good source.
I copied a flax seed mix I found at Lidl by grinding a mix of linseeds, chia seeds (another good source of omega 3), goji berries, and pumpkin seeds (available at health food stores or larger supermarkets), keeping it in an airtight container to put on top of porridge. The mix shouldn't be heated so cook your porridge separately first before adding it.
The flax seeds, like sesame seeds, are best ground as they will pass through your digestive tract whole, otherwise, and just end up in the sewer.
I am not sure about the chia seeds but I suspect grinding them would also help them be assimilated.

Normal vegetable oil is cheap in most supermarkets and is usually composed of 100% rapeseed oil, also known as canola oil.
This oil is also high in Omega 3 oils and if eaten without heating will be beneficial like the flax seeds. Some people recommend eating it direct off the spoon but if this is a bit gross it can be mixed with peanut butter.

Another way to get the milled Flax seed is from Linwoods, which is available in health food stores and at larger supermarkets. There are lots of types of Linwoods.

I like to eat porridge for breakfast most days, I find the cheap plain scottish porridge oats are good, just put them in a bowl with some raisins and a bit sugar and soya milk then 2 minutes on high in the microwave.
Then put the extra toppings and a bit more soya milk on after its cooked.

Holiday Caravan Food

When on holiday in a caravan only the most keen cook would want to spend much time in the kitchen. Even doing the carrot-chop meditation.
Therefore I devised a menu of simple fare.

Cafe of Galloway Menu

Baked Beans on Toast

Lentil Soup and Toast

Stir Fry with Brown Rice and Marigold Brand Braised Tofu

Aloo Sag with Brown Rice (from ready-meal packs)

Chilli Beans (tinned) with Brown Rice

Baked Beans and Baked Potato

See Chef for Specials or snacks

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Flowering shrub, Leazes Park

I spotted this near the lake in Leazes Park a few days ago.

Bird Cage Walk, Nuns Moor Park

Bird Cage Walk, Nuns Moor Park

Lock on Old Gate

An old lock on an old gate, with lichen on it.

Spring Blossom at Newcastle General Hospital

Spring Blossom at Newcastle General Hospital, on one of the street trees on the pedestrian path.

Newcastle General Hospital

Some of the mid-20th Century buildings still standing on the Newcastle General Hospital site, which can be seen from the pedestrian access path off Gainsborough Grove.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Recycling Garden Tools

I needed to find a home for some old broken garden tools, as part of an exchange I was doing with Arthur's Hill Time Exchange. The kind which are very sturdy with no plastic parts, good quality ironmongery which are from the early to mid 20th Century or even older, made in Sheffield or some other Northern foundry.
There used to be a project called Tool Aid which was based in Newcastle West End, sadly they are no longer collecting tools for refurbishing, but another charity called Conservation Foundation now does this, Tool Aid gave me the info.

If you have old garden tools you wish to declutter, you can take them to one of the drop off points
listed here

Vegan food update

Recently I had a lot of problems with soft tissue in my mouth, and spent some time in the emergency care department at the Newcastle Dental Hospital. I will not go into details to avoid grossing readers out, but I would like to point out that if you are eligible for NHS treatment and you have an emergency dental issue, you can go there as near to 8AM as you can and you may get treatment, providing you get past the "gatekeepers" .
However I have been restricted to soft foods for a while and eating is not very pleasant.
I finished this years' Frugal Lent, and got a big home delivery on Easter wekeend.
I am trying to have regular protein intake as well as some Omega 3 foods each day

Thank you for shopping with mySupermarket!
Your savings today :£8.55
Cl*bcard points: 92
We sent your basket to T*sco on March 28, 2015.
The delivery slot you have booked is between 3pm and 4pm on 4/4/15.
NOTE: Due to pricing policies at T*sco, the price at T*sco may appear different (£81.91). For more information, click here and refer to the 'Why is my total price sometimes different from the total on the store websites?' FAQ.

Your basket includes 53 items:
1x Tesco Everyday Value Pasta Penne Quills (500g) £0.30
1x Alpro Soya Yogurt - Plain (500g) £1.35
1x Clipper Organic Everyday Tea Bags (80) £2.60
1x Tesco Butter Beans in Water (400g) £0.55
1x McCain Lightly Spiced Wedges (750g) £1.00
1x Lockwoods Mushy Peas Pots (2 per pack - 160g) £0.75
2x Tesco Meat Free Cauliflower Cheese Grills (4 per pack - 397g) £3.00
6x Tesco UHT Soya Milk Alternative - Sweetened (1L) £5.10
1x Vitalite Dairy Free Spread (500g) £1.00
1x Highland Spring Sparkling Natural Spring Water (6x500ml) £1.50
1x Tesco Original Loose Leaf Tea (250g) £1.20
1x Alpro Soya UHT - Chocolate (3x250ml) £1.29
1x Alpro Soya UHT - Strawberry (3x250ml) £1.29
1x Tesco Everyday Value Broken Grapefruit Segments in Light Syrup (538g) £0.34
1x Tesco Ruby Red Grapefruit Segments in Juice (538g) £0.65
1x Tesco Peach Slices in Juice (410g) £0.75
1x Tesco Broccoli Loose (Approx 380g) £0.53
1x Ecover Washing Up Liquid Lemon & Aloe Vera (1L) £2.40
1x Tesco Everyday Value Broken Mandarins in Light Syrup (312g) £0.35
1x Tesco Wholemeal Pitta (6) £0.50
1x Tesco Greener Living Recycled Toilet Tissue - 240 Sheets per Roll (4) £1.75
1x Oatly UHT Healthy Oat Drink - Chocolate (1L) £1.39
1x Oatly Healthy Oat Dairy Free Alternative to Cream (250ml) £0.75
1x Smash Instant Mash Potato (280g) £1.95
1x Ecover Triple Action Ocean Waves Toilet Cleaner (750ml) £1.69
1x Billington's Fairtrade Natural Light Brown Soft Unrefined Cane Sugar (500g) £1.39
3x East End Chick Peas in Brine (400g) £1.17
1x Tesco Everyday Value Sweetcorn (907g) £0.99
1x Tesco Mixed Vegetables with Red Peppers (1Kg) £1.75
1x Humdinger Dairy Free White Chocolate Buttons (25g) £0.40
1x Kingsmill 50/50 Wraps (6) £1.30
2x Santa Maria Mexican Preservative Free Plain Flour Tortillas (8) £2.00
1x Tesco Whole Foods Flame Raisins (500g) £2.50
1x Tesco Whole Foods Pecans Nuts (250g) £3.80
1x Warburtons Soft Brown Sandwich Thins (6) £1.20
1x Tesco Carrots (1Kg) £0.60
1x Tesco White Linen Tealights (27) £1.75
1x Parioli Smooth Passata (680g) £1.50
6x Tesco Everyday Value UHT Soya - Sweetened (1L) £3.90
2x Tesco Arrabbiata Sauce (375g) £2.50
1x Alpro Soya UHT - Vanilla (3x250ml) £1.29
1x Tesco Easy Cook Brown Rice (2Kg) £2.50
1x Alpro Soya Yogurt - Strawberry & Rhubarb (500g) £1.35
1x Nakd Yummy Mix Fruit & Nut Bars (4x35g) £2.75
1x Udi's Gluten Free Blueberry Breakfast Bars (5x40g) £3.00
1x Whole Earth 3 Nut Butter (227g) £3.19
1x Tesco Caramelised Onion Houmous (182g) £0.90
1x Tesco Broad Bean, Asparagus & Mint Houmous (182g) £0.90
1x Tesco Meat Free Green Thai Vegetable Bakes (2 per pack - 287g) £1.50
1x Tesco Meat Free Spanish Tortilla (260g) £1.50
1x Tesco Baby Broad Beans (650g) £1.00
1x Ragu Chunky Bolognese Pasta Sauce (650g) £1.80
1x Ragu Chunky Sauce Bolognese Pasta with Chilli (650g) £1.80

Estimated Total Order*:
Some items from your T*sco basket are missing:
1x Ecover Non Biological Laundry Liquid - 17 Washes (1.5L) £5.00
(temporarily out of stock)
1x Tesco High Juice Pink Grapefruit Squash with No Added Sugar (1L) £1.49
(temporarily out of stock)
1x Tesco Sliced Leeks (700g) £1.00
(temporarily out of stock)
1x Tesco Small Tangy Apples (6 per pack - 520g) £0.79
(temporarily out of stock)


Its a few weeks now since we experienced a partial solar eclipse. I was in Leazes Park at the time and I did see it, it was very strange. Jeff took some photos from Wallsend and even though there are loads of photos of it on the internet I thought it would be good to record what it looked like from our part of the country.
I was surprised at the amount of people walking in Leazes Park at the time who seemed to totally ignore it, maybe they were hurrying late to work.

Supernatural Cafe

In the 1980s I used to visit my Auntie and we would go on the X5 bus to Newcastle, and have lunch at the Supernatural Cafe. It was really good fun and then years later I used to go there with Jeff, the food was cheap and like a veggie version of works canteen, but there were very few vegetarian eateries to choose from.
Eventually it closed, but recently we learn a New Venture is taking the lease and there is even a story on it in the Evening Chronicle here

superfast broadband

I have been preoccupied with various matters recently, one of which was a migration of my broadband to superfast. I did spend a while looking into the various deals and speeds but eventually I decided to go for a deal with the company who already provides my phone line, as it worked out cheaper than what I was paying, to pay 2 separate companies 2 separate monthly bills. Over the years I had a lot of problems with my phone line and broadband, I was convinced my telephone line had a problem on it.
I have now got a new socket installed by the openreach engineer which allows the phone line and internet to plug in to 2 dedicated sockets. The engineer agreed with me that the old LJU socket was "corroded". The picture was taken before the socket was taken out and tossed in the bin.
Note the lack of a "test" socket. A few times over past years I had been frustrated in discussions with telecoms enginnners, I insisting there was no test socket, and they insisting I just hadn't been able to find one!

West End Dunnock

This is a male Dunnock (perching on a bush in a nearby garden) which arrives every year and establishes a territory by singing very loudly. He looks a bit like a sparrow but he is very loud with a large range of songs, and stays on his own, unlike sparrows, which flock together in groups. He does have a female companion sometimes. He likes to begin singing around dawn.
The most common local birds are blackbird, magpie, pigeon, crow, robin, blue tit, but various finches including bullfinches can be seen around parks and gardens.
Recently I was in Leazes Park and I saw a magpie balancing on the edge of a rubbish bin, and in the process of removing a Subway sandwich wrapper. Once he got the wrapper out he threw it on the ground to peck the leftover food.

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