Monthly Archives: February 2009

National Stop Snoring Week Is Coming

For the UK’s 15 million snorers, night time can involve disturbed sleep for the snorer and their bed partner, as well as causing unwanted physical and psychological side effects for adults and children alike.

With this in mind, The British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association (BSSAA) is raising awareness of the condition as National Stop Snoring week approaches on 20 to 25 April, 2009.

Marianne Davey, director of BSSAA, says: “Our research shows that snorers are more likely to suffer from excessive sleepiness during the day, become irritable and bad tempered, as well as depressed and anxious. We’ve found that snorers experience more health complaints and a poorer quality of life than non-snorers. Snorers will often experience social, psychological, employment and relationship difficulties as a result of their condition.

“And it’s not just adults who are suffering. We’ve found that children between the age of three and seven years often snore as their enlarged tonsils and adenoids restrict the airway making it difficult for them to breathe.

She adds: “Children who snore do not usually thrive or do well at school. Because their sleep is disturbed, they frequently display behavioural problems and can be wrongly diagnosed as having ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as the symptoms and consequences are very similar to those caused by snoring. However, treatment for snoring can resolve these problems and prevent children from turning into adult snorers.”

She concludes: “National Stop Snoring Week is the annual event promoting the general awareness that nobody needs to suffer continually as a result of snoring: it is a condition that can be treated.”

The BSSAA is providing an online questionnaire for snorers and their bed partners to help understand the true impact of snoring on peoples lives. To complete the questionnaire, please visit http://www.britishsnoring.co.uk/nssw2009

Britain’s Most Unfortunate Names

Choosing a babies name at birth is a difficult job but it is an important job because, whilst stating the obvious, you are stuck with your name for life !

The Baby Centre website has released some research about the more unfortunate names that babies are given.

Spare a thought then for Justin Case, Barb Dwyer and Anna Sasin.

These unfortunate names emerged in their study of the most bizarre names in Britain today.

Other unlucky people are also trying to lead normal lives despite being named Stan Still, Mary Christmas, Paige Turner, Chris Cross and Barry Cade. Also, you might be pleased that you are not called Sonny Day, Rose Bush, Pearl Button or Hazel Nutt, who also make the list of ‘The Most Unfortunate Names in Britain’.

There must be tremendous embarrassment every time they have to introduce themselves to anyone, especially to a crowd. Even their teachers must have had to hold back their smiles sometimes.

On the positive side, anyone wanting to become well-known would have an added advantage… No-one would forget a name such as Justin Case, would they?

TheBabyWebsite.com also uncovered some other crackers such as the brilliantly-named Tim Burr, a speed-freak named Max Power and a man called Doug Hole. Teresa Green, Terry Bull, Helen Back, Lee King, Jo King and Ray Gunn also cropped up on the list.

America is also a haven of weird and wonderful names including Anna Prentice, Annette Curtain, Bill Board and Carrie Oakey.

A string of people have brilliant names linked to their professions including Dr Leslie Doctor and Dr Thoulton Surgeon, a vet in Connecticut, Dr Payne, a plastic surgeon in Sandusky, Ohio, Les Plack, a dentist in San Francisco and Priti Manek, a doctor in Florida.

And one of the funniest, Dr Sumey in Fairmont is likely to invite more than his fair share of lawsuits from disgruntled patients.

One of my favourites though does not appear on the list, Robin Banks !

Tea Drinking Is Good For You.

A study carried out by the University of California has found that drinking at least three cups of tea a day may help prevent strokes. It is a well known fact that black tea and green tea contain anti-oxidants which protect cells in the body. Vegetables have similar cell protecting anti-oxidants especially brocoli.

I have long been a fan of drinking green tea. I thinks it’s really refreshing and a good way to start the day. I have been trying to cut down on my coffee intake and probably only drink about 2 cups of coffee a day and about 3 mugs of tea, so it looks like I am going to be ok !

I find though that all this research about food and drink and what is good or bad for you a bit much to take in. There seems to be something said about this subject everyday and the whole question is very confusing. As long as you don’t over eat and make sure that you eat some fruit and vegetables and a balanced diet you should be ok. Everything in moderation is my moto.

If you want to read the full article about the research on tea drinking click here

Woman Finds £800M In Her Bank Account.

We all dream of winning the lottery and finding ourselves with millions of pounds in our current bank account. What would it be like to find yourself with no money worries apart from the problem of how to spend it all. Well imagine what a Swedish woman must have been thinking after she checked her bank account online and found that she was richer by £800 million !

The woman was expecting a refund from a previous credit card purchase but not of that amount ! A spokesman for her bank the Nordea said “We regret the incident. It happened due to a technical failure at a company where the customer paid with her bank card.” 

The incident left me wondering whether bank technical glitches like this are one of the reasons why the world economy is in such a mess. If the banks can make such a mess of such simple things as this how can they be expected to be trusted with more complex issues ! 

I’m not sure how I would react if I saw a large sum of money in my account like that. I’m not used to it. I would be tempted to go on a spending spree. My first purchase would be a Sunseeker power boat. One of those big ones that you see sometimes in glossy magazines. They appear to come with at least two attractive women with bikini’s as an added bonus !

Britain’s Best Bacon Sarnie

I love a good bacon sandwich. They are one of life’s simple pleasures. I know that they are not the healthiest food you can have but anything in moderation I think is fine.

Now though a roadside cafe is set to become a destination in itself after judges named it the best place in the UK to get a bacon sandwich.

Bob’s Big Bite in Stourbridge has been awarded the title of being home of ‘Britain’s best bacon sarnie’ by the AA.

Judges spent  30 days eating nothing but bacon sandwiches at 50 venues to find the nations best buttie.

Andy Taylor of the AA, said: “After personally visiting all venues, I saw that the competition was extremely tough, but we feel that the winners truly deserve their title. 

“Bob Hunt at Bob’s Big Bite says: “We are so thrilled to have won this award. We work hard to give our customers the best quality food and service and look forward to serving up many more great bacon sandwiches”

Bob’s Big Bite will now be given a commemorative plaque to show off their award.

I wish the AA had asked me to enter the competition because I make a great bacon sandwich. The AA don’t say what they think makes the best bacon sandwich but in my opinion the bacon needs to be fried in pan until it’s crispy around the edges but not over cooked. A good fresh bread bun must also be used and you have to have at least 3 rashes of bacon. Brown sauce is an optional extra.

If I had entered I think I would have won !

Eating Burgers Is Not A Punishment

I was looking at some news from last week when I read the details again about Damon Buffini, the millionaire chairman of private equity firm Permira. It was reported that he  gave partners in his firm a dressing down and ordered them to eat burgers – after one of them complained about the standard of food at a five star hotel. It appears that Mr Buffini thought that eating burgers was a punishment.  

This 5 star hotel charges £1,000 a night for a suite and has a Michelin star restaurant. Some of the partners at his firm have earned tens of millions of pounds during the boom years and sound like they gorge themselves on gourmet food and wine, probably making them fat in the process !

It amuses me that Mr Buffini thought that by giving them burgers he would be upsetting them. Burgers, in my opinion, can be delicious. I am not referring to the McDonald style of burgers but proper beef burgers made with high quality beef and with the correct amount of seasoning and spices. So, for all you people out there who don’t think that a burger can make a good meal here is my favourite recipe -

You can’t beat a homemade beef burger with home made oven chips. Here is the recipe. Trust me …. this makes a wonderful burger.

2 pounds good quality minced beef
2 medium red or white onions, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 to 2 handfuls fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 small pinch cumin seeds, crushed
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Mix all the ingredients together. Use the bread crumbs as required to bind and lighten the mixture. Divide into 4, then gently and lightly mold and pack into burger shapes. Place in the oven and roast for 25 minutes, which should leave the middle slightly pink and the outside nice and crispy. Serve with a griddled bun, a little salad, some gherkins, tomato salsa,and a bottle of Ketchup. Add the cheese if cheeseburger is required. Fantastic !

Leeds United – The Damned United !

I’m a Leeds United fan ! Always have been and always will be. These are dark times for all Leeds fans though. League One is not the place for Leeds, despite what other supporters may think. The reason I say that is because of the fantastic supporters. At the moment Leeds lie 8th in League One but it has just been announced by the Football League that Leeds have the largest away following of all the 72 League clubs. Many Premier League clubs would love to have the away support that Leeds have. On average Leeds take 2,480 supporters to away games.

Anyone who goes to football matches will know that the atmosphere at a football game is much better if there is a big away following. That’s why Leeds should be playing amongst the best teams. Unfortunately the football that Leeds play does not merit being in a higher division and that is just a big shame in my view.

Even Henry Winter the Daily Telegraph football writer has good things to say about Leeds United. Just as the new film about Brian Clough and his 44 days at Leeds United is released as a movie he says he hopes that Leeds don’t become “The Doomed United”. This is in reference to the title of the new Brian Clough movie called “The Damned United” !

The Daily Telgraph article is well worth a read and you can read it here

Help ! How Do I Open A Tin Of Spam ?

 Spam

Spam. I actually like it ! I am not talking about internet spam that is the scourge of all our lives but I am talking about the meat. It comes in a tin and it is a great credit crunch meal. It tastes great fried or grilled until it is nice and brown and crispy. Tomato sauce is a good addition as well.

I only have one problem with Spam and that is every time I try to open a tin of it I can’t ! You see the problem is, despite the very clear instructions, that I always end up pulling off the metal tag on the top of the tin which means then that it is virtually impossible to open.

I have just wrestled with a tin of Spam for 20 minutes to try and get it open. The metal tag with which you are supposed to open the tin with snapped off and I had to eventually get a big knife to it to saw the tin open. I was lucky that I didn’t slice my hand off. A normal tin opener wouldn’t work on the tin so I had to resort to brute force to get it open.

Eventually I managed to get the top off the tin but getting the actual meat out was another problem. I had to prise it out with a knife. Maybe it’s just a man thing in that we like things to be simple but products with too much packaging is a pet hate of mine. Many times I have had to get a sharp knife to thick plastic which completley encases something. Everytime I do it I risk losing a lot of blood !

If anybody else has problems opening a tin of spam I would love to know and if anybody knows of a good way of opening the tin I can’t wait to hear from you.

Dine Out For 2p, But Only If You Have No Shame !

Customers of a London restaurant can pay what they think the food is worth ! That’s right, a London restaurant owner has scrapped all the prices on his menu and said that his customers can choose anything on the menu and afterwards pay the amount that they think the meal is worth.

As a result of this brave offer takings would you believe have doubled and the place is full every night. I love unusual ways of promoting a business and getting publicity. This sort of promotion spreads like wildfire, but it’s such a simple idea. It seems that so far most people have been paying slightly less for their meals than they would normally pay but some have paid far more. The main point is though that more people have been eating there and takings are well up.

Nobody yet, apparently, has taken advantage, although one person went into the restaurant and paid 2 pence for a glass of water and it is probably just as well that the restaurant is not in a student area. I think if I was put in that situation I would pay a fair and reasonable price for my meal but at the same time I would want to save some money. I probably would, however, go more often.

Read the full article about this story here

Tough On Crime, Tougher On Grime !

It seems that every step we take and every move we make in our towns and cities is watched by CCTV cameras. We are one of the most watched nations in the world. All in the name of crime prevention we are told.

However, it seems the police are getting some of their own medicine as a CCTV camera is about to be installed at a police station in Brighton to catch officers who refuse to wash up ! It seems that the tidier officers have complained about others leaving the canteen untidy, spilled food not being cleaned up and other general mess.

Not surprisingly officers are up in arms about the new covert camera and are worried  about what else it may catch them doing. Police authorities say that the new camera is already owned by them and that no extra money is being spent and that they don’t want the police canteen looking like a pig stye !