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It’s getting a bit chilly now isn’t it? The darker nights are here and it’s time to get the winter clothing sorted out. It may also be an idea to get some hot water bottles and blankets too. Rumour has it that we are in for a bad winter.
A rise in energy bills has been announced and this is becoming a sure sign that winter is approaching. Fat cat energy companies and their share holders will be rubbing their hands with glee as they rake in the millions of pounds profit at our expense.
There was a brave (or stupid) effort by British Gas to have a question and answer session on the social media site Twitter. I have to say it wasn’t a success at all. People are angry and who can blame them. Many people in this country will be choosing between heating their homes and filling there stomachs.
There is no point in trying to switch to another company as they will be announcing rises too. We are in that place where we have no choice but to accept the price rise or freeze. It’s all very wrong. No company should be allowed to get away with doing this.
No matter what the energy companies say, there is nothing that justifies the increase in energy prices. They can put out all the figures they want but it still wont justify what they are doing.
Setting higher prices when people are suffering hardship only goes to show the extent of pure greed the energy companies have for profit. As usual the consumer will suffer while the execs will enjoy bonuses.
This event will probably happen every year, unless the powers that be develop a backbone and tackle the energy companies. If they don’t then it will cost the United Kingdom dearly.
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Sunday the 16th June is Father’s Day here in the UK. This post is dedicated to my Dad who passed away on the 9th December 2009.
If my Dad was still alive today, I would be writing out a Father’s Day card for him to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. The card would have special words inside to express my love for him. The beautifully printed words on the card would mean nothing to him His dementia would not allow him the concentration to read them and retain them in his memory. But the hand written words such as Happy Father’s Day and I love you Dad would stay with him. He would also remember the little kisses that would be scrawled on the bottom of the card. However, the funny little sayings and jokes he would not remember.
Next Sunday i would be calling him to speak to him on the phone. He would tease me by telling me he had a huge box of chocolates and a huge bag of jelly babies. Then he would announce that he was enjoying a blackcurrant jelly baby at that precise moment. I would be telling him no to be so cruel and I would chuckle and my Dad would chuckle. We would share laughter and jokes and I would find out how his day was going. The phone call would end with my Dad telling me he would leave the crumbs of chocolate in the packet for me and I could have some half eaten jelly babies too the next time I came to visit. More laughter at the end of our conversation.
I know my Dad enjoyed his Father’s Day and the memories will always be with me. Father’s Day is not a sad day for our family thanks to my Dad and his sense of humour. Next Sunday will be a day of smiles, remembrance, love and admiration. Happy Father’s Day Dad, I love you and miss you, xxxxx.
. This LINK leads to a poem I wrote for my Dad
Happy Father’s Day to Dad’s everywhere, may your memories with your loved ones be great!
Isabella Beeton was a successful Victorian writer her writing career began after her marriage to wealthy publisher Samuel Beeton at the age of 20. It wasn’t long before Isabella became involved in her husband’s publishing company. She was an editor and she wrote articles on cooking and household management. Isabella began writing a monthly supplement to the ‘English Woman’s Domestic Magazine and in 1861 The Book of Household Management was published. The book gave advice on every aspect of running a Victorian household. From there Mrs Beeton went on to write numerous books such as, Cookery In All It’s Branches, Mrs Beeton’s Family Cookery, Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery, Mrs Beeton’s All About Cookery, Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book and Mrs Beeton’s Cookery.
As a proud owner of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book, I have to confess that the only pages I had read until recently have been the recipes. I don’t have a huge household to run so I didn’t think that the advice on Victorian life would be of any use to me. However, I began to read through the tips and advice that Mrs Beeton gave to the Victorian housewives of her time and I found that although the advice was aimed at a different generation some of that advice may still be of use in the 21st Century.
I have selected some of Mrs Beeton’s ‘Kitchen Maxims to share with you and you can judge for yourself if they are relevant in today’s world.
‘There is no work like early work.’
‘A good manager looks ahead.’
‘Clear as you go, muddle makes more muddle’
‘Dirty saucepans filled with hot water begin to clean themselves.’
‘One egg well beaten is worth two unbeaten.’
‘A stew boiled is a stew spoiled.’
‘Salt brings out flavours.’
‘Pour nothing but water down the sink.’
Mrs Beeton was a firm believer in testing food. Yes, even in those days there were tests to ensure that only the best quality goods were used in the kitchens of Victorian households. According to Mrs Beeton many food products of the time were ‘adulterated’ and it was desirable to test them. I wonder how many of the tests hold true in today’s world. Here are some tests for you to try. Let me know how you got on with them.
Ground Coffee: – Pick up some of the coffee in the palm of your hand and press firmly. If it sticks together in a ball or clumps, it contains some ‘adulterating’ substance. Pure coffee falls apart when you open your hand.
Mushrooms: – When cooking mushrooms, for safety’s sake place a clean sixpence, (it would be a 5p today I would imagine), in the vessel on which they are being cooked. If the silver shows the least discolouration, the mushrooms will be unfit for use. NB: I would not recommend doing this unless you have completely sterilized the 5p.
Tinned Fruit: – When using tinned fruit, always plunge into the contents of the tin a bright steel knife. Let it remain a few moments and if there is the smallest degree of copper present, it will be found on the blade.
Tinned Meat: – A sure and simple method of testing all tinned foods is to press the bottom of the tin with the thumb. If it makes a noise like a machine oil can when it is pressed, the tin is not air-tight and the contents therefore are unfit for use.
Mrs Beeton also predicted the value of labour saving equipment, in her book she said ‘One day the dream of every labour saving housewife may be realised.’ ‘Then we shall see a house with kitchen and scullery combined and the walls white-tiled with the floor of rubber composition, soft to the fee and easy to keep clean.’ This shows a forward thinking lady.
Mrs Beeton died in February 1865 but her books are still going strong today, and many of the tips and advice that she gave still have some relevance in the 21st century. Her books are not only informative but they give a good insight to life inside the households in the Victorian era.