Monday, 11 June 2012

101 Movie Mistakes

From quite an old magazine article, a fairly random mix of movie mistakes.... (compiled by Simon Rose for Yes! magazine).  I'll add some more up to date ones at some point, but how many of these have you spotted?

1   Superman IV - if this is meant to be Metropolis, in the US, howcome the front of the train says "Cockfosters"?

2   Se7en - Morgan Freeman's office door has its name scraped off, but you can see it later.

3   An American in Paris - although Gene Kelly sells two paintings, he arrives back with the 8 he set out with.

4   Cinema Paradiso - when the film is in 1954, the cinema shows 'And God Created Woman' - although it wasn't made until 1957.

5   Pretty Woman - Julia Roberts' croissant mysteriously turns into a pancake.

6   Gone with the Wind - as Scarlett runs to find Dr Meade, look out for an electric street lamp...

7   The Adventures of Robin Hood - as Errol Flynn leaps onto his horse his hands are tie behind his back, yet when he lands, they are tied in front of him!

8   Casablanca -  Ingrid Bergman recalls a dress she wore in Paris, but a flashback shows it as a suit.

9   Speed - Although Jeff Daniels is shot in the left leg, he limps on the right.

10  Dirty Harry - the bottle of wine a shopkeeper wraps turns out to be empty when it smashes.

11  Raiders of the Lost Ark - "Siam" is wrongly labelled as "Thailand" on a map (anachronism) - also, as Indie faces the cobra there's a glint of light off a pane of glass between them (that isn't there in the story).

12  Chariots of Fire - the American runners ' shirts have 50 stars on (the flag), when there were only 48 states at the time.

13  King Kong - Fay Wray's dress reveals a little more than expected when she gets out of the water.

14  Goodfellas - the two 747 jumbo jets at Idlewild weren't around for another five years yet...

15  Roxanne - Steve Martin tells the diners 20 nose jokes.... actually it's more like 25.

16  Star Wars - as the stormtroopers run into the control room, one very obviously bangs his head.

17  Spartacus - Kirk Douglas' vaccination scar on his arm is centuries before its time.

18  The Net - the phone Sandra Bullock uses to call her mother is clearly cut off (the receiver doesn't spring up)

19  Superman - if Superman is so invincible - howcome he has fillings?

20  A Hard Day's Night - in the film's opening scene, the Beatles' clothes somehow change between running to the train and being on it. *

21  Pulp Fiction - bullet-holes are seen in Samuel L Jackson's jacket before any shots are fired.

22  Top Gun - Tom Cruise seems to switch aircraft in mid-flight...

23  Yanks - despite the film being set in WWII, a more modern-looking power station is seen.

24  Ghost - although the couple have been getting messy with clay, both are spotless when making love immediately afterwards.

25  Back to the Future - the money that Marty uses in the cafe is 20 years ahead of its time.

26  Gremlins 2:  The New Batch - it's well known that gremlins hate bright lights - and yet it doesn't bother them in the television studio.

27  Die Hard 2 - passengers can contact the ground with phones, so why can't radio-less pilots do the same?  And how was Bruce Willis able to call his wife anyway?

28  Charge of the Light Brigade - the union flag flies upside-down consistently (the thin white band should be in the top right-hand corner).

29  From Russia with Love - despite the van Bond is in being damaged by hand grenades, it is pristine right after.

30  Jaws - if it is the 4 July, and therefore summer, why are there no leaves on the trees?

31  Love Story - the pair take a cab from the skating rink to the hospital and yet after she dies, Ryan O'Neal walks back in moments.

32  A Fistful of Dollars - The Man With No Name, if you look in the credits, is named Joe.

33  The Invisable Man - Claude Rains must be naked, because he's invisible.  So howcome he leaves footprints in the snow...?

34  Assault on Precinct 13 - most of the action happens in precinct 9....

35  The King and I - during the Puzzlement song, Yul Brynner's ear-ring keeps disappearing and swapping ears.

36  Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves - this is set in the 11th century, before the advent of gunpowder, telescopes and printing, and yet they all appear in this film.

37  The Birds - despite the sunny day, the birds cast no shadows when they attack a group of children.

38  Bullitt - during the famous chase, the same cars keep re-appearing - one green VW Beetle seems to overtake them....!

39  Pocahontas - the union flag was not yet introduced when this film was set.

40  High Noon - when Gary Cooper throws away his sheriff's star at the end - another is seen behind him.

41  Hook - the Darlings live in London - so why is the Oxford skyline seen outside of Wendy's window?

42  The Usual Suspects - the airplane carrying smuggler Paul Bartel has two engines.... and then four!

43  It Happened One Night - the cabin clock reads 2.30 when Clark Gable leaves it, and still says 2.30 when he drives back.... broken clock?  Coincidence...?

44  Butch Cassidy... - during "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head", Katherine Ross keeps changing position on the bicycle

45  The Wrong Box - if this is set during Victorian times, why are there TV ariels on roofs?

46  Basic Instinct - during the famous leg-crossing scene, Sharon Stone's cigarette keeps disappearing and changing hands.

47  Vertigo - when James Stewart leaps from one rooftop to another and then is suspended, the shot suggests that he has jumped across an entire street!

48  Double Indemnity - Fred MacMurray is single, and yet wears a wedding ring...

49  North by Northwest - in the scene where Eva Marie Saint is supposed to shoot Cary Grant, a little boy covers his ears before the gun is fired (he is also looking the other way - so how does he know a gun has been pulled out...?)

50  Meet Me in St Louis - during the Trolley Song, someone clearly calls out, "Hi Judy!"

51  Fatal Attraction - at the sink scene says 4.45, and doesn't end until after 6.15!

52  Presumed Innocent - as Harrison Ford leaves the court, one of the reporters has no tape in his recorder!

53  The Sound of Music - in the market, an orange crate says, "Produce of Israel" - which wasn't established yet!

54  2001:  A Space Odyssey - Dave's suit is supposed to be airtight, yet his left glove comes away from it.

55  Terminator 2:  Judgement Day - although Linda Hamilton runs through the hospital barefoot, we hear shoes...

56  Misery - the curtain remains alight after James Caan puts it out.

57  The Silence of the Lambs - the young Clarice has brown eyes, but the adult one blue.

58  48 Hours - When Eddie Murphy is handcuffed they are momentarily free in the car.

59  Stagecoach - modern car tyre tracks are seen.

60  One Million Years BC - the wheel hasn't been invented yet, but according to Racquel Welch, false eyelashes and the bikini have...

61  The Shawshank Redemption - set in 1949, twist-off tops for beer bottles didn't yet exist.

62  Brief Encounter - the film is set in the Home Counties but a sign spotted clearly gives away the shoot location as Lancashire.

63  It's a Wonderful Life - although James Stewart throws away the wreath it returns back onto his arm when he enters the office.

64  What's Up, Doc? - the stolen VW Beetle has only 3 cans trailing off it in one moment and then lots the next.

65   The Searchers - John Wayne gives his niece a medal won fighting the Confederates, but the rebels didn't actually mint any.

66  Diamonds are Forever - as the Mustang enters the narrow alley, it enters on its right side, but emerge on its left wheels...

67  Lost Horizon - if the ledge with the precipitous drop is the only way into Shangri-La, how on earth did they get the grand piano in...?

68  Batman Returns - all the gravestones wobble...

69  Shining Through - Melanie Griffith escapes from Potsdam, running to Berlin.  Which is 15 miles away.

70  Die Hard - when missiles are fired at a police car, the windows shatter.... twice...

71   Children of a Lesser God - Marlee Matlin and William Hurt were lovers during the making of the film, and their sign language does not follow the script, but talks about their love life....*

72  Unforgiven - Richard Harris shoots pheasants from a train, but they weren't introduced in America until a year after the movie is set.

73  Batman - when the batmobile is driving on its own you can see someone steering it.

74  Scrooge - as Alistair Sim passes a mirror you can see the camera crew reflected in it.

75  Patriot Games - on the newspaper in Sean Bean's cell, the print surrounding Harrison Ford's picture refers not to his character, Jack Ryan, but about the air-sea rescue for Robert Maxwell.

76  Prince of Tides - despite there being over 12,000 taxis in NYC, the same one (number 6X24) appears on three different occasions.

77  Henry V - at Agincourt one of the corpses, leaning on a couple of staves, grins as the camera passes him.

78  The Untouchables - in a warehouse raid, crates have Canada's maple leaf symbol on them - 30 years before it was introduced.

79  Bad Boys - the missing back seat in Will Smith's Porsche is noted, but, later, Tea Leoni sits in the back seat...

80  Lethal Weapon - as Riggs and companion jump from the ledge, the fake handcuffs separate and as the slow-motion begins, they have to hold hands to make it look right.

81  Rear Window - while Grace Kelly and James Stewart argue, his plaster-cast leaps from his left to his right leg, momentarily.

82  Dances with Wolves - although some native Americans were quite advanced at the time, Mary MacDonnell is clearly wearing mousse in her hair...

83  The Wizard of Oz - Dorothy's hair length changes constantly.

84  The Ten Commandments - someone in this biblical epic is wearing watch.  And he's playing a blind man.

85  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - Hitler, left-handed, signs his name with his right-hand.  And spells it wrong ("Adolph" instead of "Adolf").

86  Intolerance - just as the Persians are attacking Babylon, one of the crew can be seen, in jacket and tie...

87  Under Suspicion - although set in the 1950s, far more modern BT phoneboxes can be seen.

88  Four Weddings and a Funeral - Hugh Grant's alarm clock always seems to go off half an hour later than the time it appears to be set...

89  Blue Steel - although the opening credits closely feature a police revolver and its six loaded chambers, seven shots are fired at the shoot-out on Wall Street.

90  The Jewel of the Nile - when Michael Douglas swings and hits the rock face, it moves.

91  The Addams Family - after Lurch burns the wooden Indian with the flame from his mouth, it appears in perfect condition again.

92  The Thomas Crown Affair - although $2.6m is said to be stolen, when a secretary goes through the missing bills, it comes to $825,735.

93  Die Hard:  With a Vengeance - when Bruce Willis is blown out of the tunnel, he muddies his socks, but they're whiter than white only minutes later.

94  Genevieve - the scene changes very quickly between the Houses of Parliament and Lewisham - much further away in reality.

95  Sunset - as James Garner heads towards the sunset, he's going eastwards.... he should be going west...

96  A Weekend at Bernie's - as one of the unconscious hoods is dragged into a cupboard, he helpfully lifts his feet so that the doors can be closed.

97  The Bridge on the River Kwai - Alec Guinness' name is spelled wrong in the closing credits (with only one 'n').

98  Animal House - a girl necking in the car with Tim Matheson clearly has no bra on but it somehow reappears soon afterwards.

99  A Tale of Two Cities - a newspaper report mentions "a despatch from Reuters" - not only was Reuters not around during the French Revolution, but Mr Reuter himself was not yet born!

100 The Lord of the Flies - the boys use Piggy's glasses to start a fire from the sun's rays - however, Piggy is short-sighted.  And this is from the wrong book too....

101 The Terminator - the dazzle of the lights when the car crashes into the police station appear, despite their not being on.

* unable to substantiate this....

How to Bowl

This assumes you are right-handed - if not, just substitute 'right' for 'left' and vice versa... obviously!

Stand just over 4 steps back from the Black Line (Foul Line) and face square on to the pins.  Hold the ball at waist height.

Push the ball and right foot forward together.

Let the ball swing to your side in a pendulum movement.

As you go into the third step, the ball goes to the top of the backswing.

Keep shoulder square to the Foul/Black Line and slide on the left foot with the left knee bent.

Let the ball swing through naturally and release it at the bottom of the swing.  Follow through by continuing the swing of your arm until it points at the pins.

Choosing the Right Ball

Pick the heaviest ball you can comfortably handle, with finger holes and handspan as near to possible as your own.

The ball is held with the thumb and two middle fingers (which should fit snugly, but not too tightly).  Fully insert your thumb and stretch your two middle fingers of the finger holes.  The middle join of each finger should extend just over the rear edge of the holes.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Female Cancers

The information below is taken from a leaflet by the Cancer Research Campaign.  Always seek professional advice if you have concerns, even if you think you might be panicking.  It is best to be safe and they do not mind being troubled.

Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is by far the most common type of female cancer, affecting 1 in every 12 women - almost 30,000 a year.  Of these, almost 18,000 survive at least 5 years.

Caught early enough, it can be treated with a high level of success.  Breast screening, for example, can detect cancer long before it is perceptible.

You should become breast aware, and be familiar with the normal feel and appearance of your breasts.  Understand the changes that occur during your monthly cycle and anything that might need medical attention.  Most changes are harmless, but anything out of the norm should be discussed with a medical professional without delay.

Signs to be aware of:

  • Any changes in the outline or shape of your breasts.
  • Any discomfort or pain confined to one breast.
  • Any small lump in the breast or armpit.
  • Any dimples, dents or puckering of the skin, especially those that do not heal easily.
  • Any rash on the nipple.
  • Any discharge from the nipple, especially if not milky.
  • Any change in the nipple, such as being pulled inwards or pointing in a different direction.

Spotting the signs early can save your life - so check regularly.

Ovarian Cancer

About 5000 women in the UK are diagnosed every year - making it the second most common form of cancer in women.  Early detection is more difficult as early symptoms are mild, and sometimes non-existent.

Signs to be aware of:

  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Cervical Cancer
This is the most common cancer in the under-35 age group, and the third most common female cancer in the UK.  Over 4000 women are diagnosed each year.  Around 3 out of 5 survive for over five years.

The chances of survival increase significantly as a result of cervical smear tests, which can detect abnormalities - often in the pre-malignant stage.

Symptoms include any unusual pain, vaginal discharge, or abnormal bleeding.

Uterine Cancer
The fourth most common female cancer in the UK, cancer of the womb (or endometrial cancer) is diagnosed in almost 4000 women, mostly between the ages of 55-70.

Early diagnosis is frequent because symptoms appear soon after onset, so the survival prospects are bright - with 7 out of 10 women surviving over 5 years.

A high level of oestrogen is known to be a major risk factor and symptoms include abnormal bleeding.

You can reduce your risk of developing cancer... making simple lifestyle changes as recommended by the European Cancer Code.

It is suggested that a third of cancer deaths are linked to smoking, a third linked to diet (as in what you eat) and around 1 in 30 with excessive alcohol consumption.

You can help yourself by adopting these healthy goals:

  • Give up smoking - or at least cut down to as little as possible
  • Moderate your alcohol consumption
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat high fibre food and limit processed and fatty foods
  • Avoid being overweight and increase physical activity (ideally 30 minutes a day, broken up is fine)
  • Avoid excessive exposure to the sun, and avoid sunburn - especially to children
  • Have cervical smears regularly
  • Be breast aware.  If you are over 50, have a mammogram at regular intervals.

More cancers can be cured or detected early and improve survival chances, if... see your doctor if you notice a lump or sore that does not heal (including in the mouth), a mole which changes shape, size or colour, or any abnormal bleeding. see your doctor if you have persistent problems, such as a cough, hoarseness, a change in bowel or urinary habits, or unexplained weight loss.

Prevention, awareness and early detection - the keys to controlling cancer.

The UK is fortunate to have the most up to date and effective cancer treatments through the NHS.  This means that, with early detection, most forms of female cancer are capable of being treated successfully.

However, the survival rate would be far higher if women became more aware and took responsibility as to their personal risk factors and aiding early detection.  Sometimes only simple changes need to be made, and it is possible to get professional help with those changes.

The "five years" mentioned here refer to the 5-year survival rate, beyond which people are usually able to go back to leading normal lives, free from cancer, with no greater chance of developing it than anyone else of the same age and gender.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Healthy Eating and Diabetes

This is from the information currently provided by the NHS:

What is a healthy diet for diabetics?

Eat regularly - don't skip meals and try to eat small, regular meals at the same time each day, so that sugar levels are consistent. Try to eat kind of the same thing so there are no major dips in blood sugar.

Include starchy foods with each meal, as they help balance the insulin in your body to control glucose levels. These are things like bread, potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta, chapatti.

Choose high fibre or low GI foods, as fibre shows down digestion, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar. These are things like granary/wholemeal breads, biscuits and cereals, potatoes (esp jacket or boiled in skins), basmati rice, durum wheat pasta.

Aim for your 5 fruit and veg a day. They can be tinned as long as they are in natural juice. You could stew fruit and add sweetener. Green and root vegetables are particularly good.

What is a "portion" of fruit/veg?

Some examples:

Very large fruit (eg melon, pineapple) = 1 slice
Large fruit (eg grapefruit, mango) = Half the fruit
Medium fruit (eg apple, banana) = whole fruit
Small fruit (eg satsuma, plums) = 2 fruits
Very small fruit (eg grapes, berries) = a handful
Dried fruit (eg raisins, prunes) = 1tbsp
Cooked/canned fruit in juice = 2tbsp
Fruit juice = 1 glass a day*
Cooked vegetables = 2tbsp
Mixed salad = 1 dessert bowl
Vegetable sticks/crudites = a handful
Beans (eg kidney beans) = 3tbsp a day

* unsweetened juice increases blood sugar glucose levels, so drink with a meal

Alternatives to Sugar

Obviously sugary foods need to be reduced as much as possible, but try to use an alternative where possible.


Saturated fats tend to be of animal origin (eg meat and dairy products). A high intake of these increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

Unsaturated fats are a more healthy alternative and may be either poly-unsaturated (eg oily fish and corn or sunflower oils) or mono-unsaturated (eg olive, rapeseed or peanut oils) - which are even better.

Remember that all oils are high in fat/calories, so:

Avoid frying - instead, grill, steam, bake, poach, bake or microwave
Use less
Opt for low-fat versions of dairy and meats - trim visible fats and remove skin
Limit products that have hidden fats - eg crisps, biscuits, pastry, nuts, salad dressings
Oily fish (eg herring, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, trout, salmon) should be eaten at least twice a week.


Drinking is fine, in moderation. Try to have only with a meal and avoid sweet sherry, sweet wine, liqueurs and low-sugar high-alcohol beers.


Try using herbs and spices in place of salt. Go for low-salt options and don't add to your food. Look out for hidden salts - especially in tinned or processed foods.

Diabetic Foods

These over-priced alternatives offer no special health benefits.

Labelling Guidance

Quantities of labelled nutritional advice should fall between the following guidelines (these range from 'a little' to 'a lot':

Sugar = 2g-10g
Fat = 3g-20g
Saturated Fat = 1g-5g
Salt = 0.3g-1.5g
Fibre = 0.5g-3g

Exercise and Weight

Remember that apart from the normal health and weight loss benefits, exercise can help reduce blood glucose levels. Try to increase your activity by:

Taking the stairs instead of the lift
Walking instead of using the bus/car for short journeys
The official recommendation is to aim for at least 30min, 5 days a week.
Losing weight will help:
Improve blood glucose levels
Lower high BP
Lower cholesterol
Reduce joint and lower back pain
Improve breathing and sleep patterns
Improve self-esteem

Suggested Meal Plan

Cereal or porridge
Toast with low-fat spread

Sugar-free drink

Lean meat/fish/beans/cheese/egg
Fresh fruit or diet yoghurt

Sugar-free drink

Lean meat/fish/chicken/beans/lentils
Vegetables or salad (large servings)
Sugar-free milk pudding/tinned fruit in juice/fresh or sugar-free stewed fruit/diet dessert

Sugar-free drink

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

This is when the pressure of the blood in your arteries is greater than 140mmHg systolic (top number) or more than 90mmHg diastolic (bottom number) over a period of time. It usually shows no symptoms, but if left untreated, can leat to stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney disease.

Reducing Blood Pressure
It's our friends diet and exercise again, but here's some more help:

cut down on salt and fat (especially saturated fats)
eat lots of fruit and vegetables
keep alcohol limits to no more than 4 units a day (for men) or 3 units (for women)
make sure you are within your BMI
be active

Smoking alone doesn't cause hypertension, but it does damage your arteries and therefore increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke (as well as other problems, such as lung cancer - which is terminal in 90% of patients).

Tablets can help to lower blood pressure and thus help reduce the risks for heart attacks and strokes. You are aiming to lower your BP to less than 140/85. If you are diabetic, this is set even lower, at 130/80. Try to take the medication at the same time each day, so that they become part of your routine. It is a long-term treatment, so do not stop taking them unless your GP advises you to do so, and ensure that your BP is checked regularly (ideally, monthly). If you believe you are suffering from side effects, let your GP know, as there are different types of BP tablet and they can therefore be changed.

This information was taken from the Blood Pressure Association in London, published 2005.

About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy fat that gets into the blood, and is known as a lipid. Your liver produces most of the cholesterol your body needs, but it also comes from fatty foods like butter, cheese and animal fats.

The body needs cholesterol for a multiple of functions, including making hormones. Your body produces two types of cholesterol:

The proper name for this is LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) - if there is too much of this, it will stick to your arteries. When this happens, the blood cannot flow through properly and less will get through to your brain and other vital organs. This leads to heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and other signs of heart disease.

The proper name for this is HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) - this flows through the blood and tries to mop up excess LDLs. What it doesn't mop up is what sticks to your arteries, so the object is to limit your LDLs and encourage more HDL.

Naturally a blood test can determine your levels (measure in millimoles per litre, or, mmol/l). You can get them done in some pharmacies, but one done through your GP will be more thorough.

The British Heart Foundation recommends a target of 5mmol/l or less, and keeping your LDL level under 3mmol/l. HDL should be more than 1mmol/l. So:

Below 5.0mmol/l = Target (for most people)
5.0 - 6.4mmol/l = Mildly high
6.5 - 7.8mmol/l = Moderately high
7.9mmol/l or more = Very high

Other negative factors to that may raise your risk level:


What Can You Do?
Diet and exercise, obviously, as they can help to lower cholesterol. You already know the bad guys - butter, red meat, pastry, cakes, biscuits, sweets, crisps, cream, ghee, full-fat cheese, lard, suet, dripping, coconut cream, palm oil, chips, etc.

Some food manufacturers now make foods that help to lower your LDL. But you could also avoid fried foods, trim the skin and visible fat from meat, drink alternatives to full-fat milk, choose low-fat foods where possible (but check the ingredients), choose foods high in fibre (like oatmeal, wheatmeal and wholegrains) - when choosing cereals, pasta or bread, choose oily fish (like tuna, herring, kippers, mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines, trout) twice a week. Try to eat at least 2 servings or fruit and 3 of vegetables daily.

Think about cooking differently, and consider grilling, microwaving, steaming or boiling before frying. If you need to fry something, try using non-stick as much as possible. try not to use fry sprays on these as they burn at a lower heat - but you can buy a spray bottle and fill that with unsaturated oils (such as olive oil).

As far as exercise, try to increase what you are doing, and aim for at least 30 minutes a day. This can be broken up into manageable chunks. Maybe walk a bit more, cycle, walk for one bus stop, get off the lift one floor earlier, etc.

It is important to say that if you are unfit to start with, to gradually build the exercise up - anything is better than nothing. Too vigorously or too much can be dangerous. All responsible people will tell you to seek advice from your GP first, and I'm not going to say any different.

If your GP thinks you are at high risk of heart disease, they will put you on medication called statins (although you should still watch your diet).

Life Health Calendar


Dental Check-up Cavitites and Gum Inflamation 1 Each 6 months
Eye Exam Vision 5 Annually
Vitamin D Deficiency 18 Bi-Annual
Blood Pressure Hypertension 18 Annually
Clinical Skin Screening Skin Cancer 20 Annually
Blood Lipids Cholesterol and Triglycerides 20 Every 5 years
Fasting Glucose Diabetes 20 Every 3 years
Clinical Breast Exam Breast Cancer 20 Annually
PAP Smear Cervical Cancer 21 Annually
HPV Human Papillomavirus 30 Every 3 years
TSH (Blood Test) Thyroid Disease 35 Every 5 years
C-Reactive Protein Heart Disease 40 Every 5 years
Mammogram Breast Cancer 40 Annually
EKG Heart Disease 40 Annually
Colonoscopy Colo-Rectal Cancer 50 Every 5 years
PSA (Blood Test) Prostate Cancer 50 Annually
Digital Rectal Exam Prostate Cancer 50 Annually
Dexa Scan Bone Density 50 Bi-Annual
Vitamin B12 Deficiency 65 Every 3 years

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Coming Attractions...

Sometime this week I'll be making falafel, so I will put the recipe up for that. Writing it here means I'm saying it out loud so I'll be less likely to forget!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Another Recipe - Rich Chocolate Sorbet

WARNING - this sorbet is extremely chocolatey! One person who tried this had only had fruit sorbets before so was expecting something a bit weird but to be honest, the final results reminded me a lot of Haagen Daaz Belgian Chocolate, so try it!

I don't think you really need an ice cream maker but it would probably be better as it needs to be stirred for a long time I think. I bought my ice cream maker for about £20 from and it works just great.

Any questions, let me know.


2 1/4 cups (555ml) water
1 cup (200g) sugar
3/4 cup (75g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I just used Green & Black's cocoa)
Pinch of salt
6oz (175g) bitter chocolate (I used Tesco Finest 72% swiss chocolate)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

You could also add as options:

espresso (instant is fine)
coffee liqueur (such as tia maria or kahlua)

Put 1 1/2 cup of the water, the sugar and the cocoa powder together in a pan and bring to the boil.

Grate or cut the chocolate into small pieces, to aid melting

Take off the boil and add the grated/cut chocolate. Once it has melted in, put in the remaining ingrediants.

Chill the mixture for an hour or so before using in the ice cream maker. Normally 25 mins is adequate for my machine but I let this go on for an hour. It's just to get some air into it really. I think you can just mix frequently if you don't have an ice cream maker but it's probably quite laborious....

In the ice cream maker it will not get to a consistency adequate for sorbet so it will need to be frozen for a few hours. If it is too thick for the ice cream maker you can water it down a bit with cold water.

Sorry no pictures this time, I didn't think - but next time I will take pictures of the process.

NB when the mixture is hot, it makes a gorgeous, gorgeous thick, warm chocolate sauce - OMG...!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Quick Curry

Okay, everyone who cooks curry thinks they know how to cook it best. I'm not going to profess to that myself, but here is MY version of a quick, easy, healthy curry that doesnt look or taste like it is.

Read through first and my advice is to do as much prep as possible beforehand so that the ingredients are too hand and you're not rushing to chop or whizz up something whilst keeping another eye on the frying pan!


1tbsp mustard seeds
1tbsp cumin seeds
chillies (I normally use 3 green ones which is mild-medium... in this recipe I've used 1 each of red, yellow and green)
1/2 tin coconut milk (optional, this just makes it creamier and of course tastes coconutty!)
1/2 tin tomatoes
1tsp garam masala
1tsp turmeric
1tsp tamarind concentrate
4tbsp oil
1 medium onion
1tbsp garlic paste
1tbsp ginger paste (you can get a jar of this combined, just put in 2 tbsp)
4 dried curry leaves
500g meat or white fish, or veg of your choice (eg. potato, mushrooms, peppers in good size chunks)


First of all, heat up a frying pan or heavy-bottomed pan with a bit of the oil. When hot add the mustard seeds and cumin.

Chop up the chillies nice and small - remove the seeds if you don't want it too spicy. Remember that the red chillies are the hottest. IMPORTANT if using your bare hands please wear rubber gloves or wash your hands THOROUGHLY afterwards!!!
When the mustard seeds start to pop, or when the aromas are released, add the chillies
While that's happening, you're going to use the blender.... add the tomatoes and coconut milk

Add the garam masala:

And the turmeric:

I've used a tsp of tamarind concentrate; if you've got a block of it either use as per instructions or use a walnut-sized piece. I've never used the block stuff before though...

When it's ready, add the spice and chilli mix you've just been warming up:

Now whizz it up until it looks like this:
Have a little taste.... it tastes GORGEOUS!
Right, here's why you need to prep everything beforehand because you need to take the chopped up onion:
...and whizz it up until it looks like this:

Stick it in the pan (same pan will do, why wash up another, right?) and add the garlic and ginger paste(s). Mix it up and cook it for a few minutes until it starts to dry out a bit.

Now add the rest of the sauce:

Mix that together well and heat up. This is your basic sauce. There's enough for 2 generous portions here, or 3 fairly small ones. Add around 4 dried curry leaves (1-2 fresh).

Then put that aside (or I put it in a slow-cooker) and cook up your meat or veg. If you've got a slow-cooker and a couple of hours or more to wait for it, it's actually a lot better, either way, do seal the meat. If you're having veg just cook it through first, if you're having meat cook it through (i do it on a high-ish heat and keep it on the move).

There it is, in the slow cooker.

Cook up some basmati, or any rice you like; just an idea, I've added some soya beans for a bit of veg.

Serve up and enjoy!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Ten Minute Chocolate Cake!

Into a large coffee cup add 4tbsp each of self-raising flour and sugar, and 2tbsp and cocoa powder. Mix well.

Add one egg.

Mix well.

Add 3tbsp each of milk and oil.

Mix well.

Add a few drops of vanilla extract, maybe some chocolate chips and a few drops of your favourite tipple (optional)!

Put on high in the microwave for 3 minutes (this one is 850w I think).

Et voila!

Turn onto a plate.

Share (if you must) and enjoy!

Let me know how yours works out!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Still on Hiatus

I'm going to start updating soon, although god knows, with Twitter and Facebook and MySpace and MSN Space there is not really a shortage of me somewhere in cyberspace. I reckon on a blog you can be a lot more self-indulgent; no 140 character limit, hidden Notes on Facebook and the plate of spaghetti that is MySpace...pfff.

Well I'm studying for another year yet so updating will not be a-plenty just yet. No news to tell right now, life is just rather boringly ticking along and with it bringing age and the encumbrances that come with that - aches and pains becoming permanent, brain fuzziness and increasing dogmaticism setting in... all that stuff that you only thought happened to miserable old cunts. Bitterness and hatred for mankind await just down the road.

Anyway, on that cheery note - I have been diagnosed as being depressed, big surprise there.

University was meant to be the door to realising a direction; a future and finding myself. All I found was disappointment, disillusionment and apathy. I naively thought that spending time with people half my age would spark up my life and inject me with enthusiasm. I thought that our shared passion for learning and their youthful outlook would spring-clean and renew my spirit!

It didn't.

No-one liked me because I was too different. Too fat, too old, too outspoken, too honest, too individual. And I didn't like them because they were too full of themselves and only strove to be cookie-cutter versions of the rest of the alcoholic sheep - totally void of any personality. There were a few exceptions and fewer that clearly did not care that I was different. These were the few people who didn't ignore me when they saw me coming and these were the people who made it barely bareable (thank you).

Oh! But I didn't include the lecturers in that!

They were just as bad (some worse). I can count on a chicken's foot the lecturers that I have any respect for. How can I respect a lecturer, at university level, teaching English literature, who does not research the work that he expects us to learn inside out?! This "someone", who does not know the meaning of the word "tallow" or exactly what colour "lilac" is (he thought it was pink, and ironically, he was wearing a lilac-coloured shirt at the time). I tell no lie, it got to a stage where the man would look straight to me if he was unsure about something. Maybe he just thought I was a know-it-all, I don't know. I do know he wasn't.

There were two linguist/language lecturers (a married couple) who constantly preached about not allowing language or dialect or accent to negatively define people. They stress upon embracing and rejoicing in our linguistic differences.

Except when you step outside of theory. I know they didn't like me. I was inquisitive and, occasionally, contrary if something did not make sense to me.

After my very first lecture I told one of them that I was not pleased at her lumping the word "fat" together with lazy and ugly. She'd broken her own rule and she certainly did not appreciate my telling her that "fat" does not mean the same thing as "lazy" or "ugly". Someone may be all three, or possess one or two of those qualities, but, with her a linguist, a PhD no less, did I have to point out that her choice of words only perpetuates negative stereotypes about fat people?

I guess that's why they accused me of plagarism a few months later. Not that they had any proof of that (er, because I fucking didn't). They didn't even have my essay. They'd lost it.

That is just the tip of the iceburg my friends. And now I have to go back and repeat six modules because of this depression, so I have another year with these people.

No wonder I'm fucking depressed.

They might read this, yes. I probably should be worried but my disdain and lack of respect for them forces me to say all this, regardless.

The biggest lesson I learned at university was this:

The way to succeed is not by using your brain and applying it to your studies, but by using your pretty little lips and applying them to some big academic arsehole.

Thursday, 6 November 2008


Urgh - sounds disgusting.

No, wait, that's afterbirth.

Anyway, I've forgotten the password to my old Planet Claire page, so, here's the new one.

So there.

I will be writing soon, but I have studies to contend with, so you will have to come back later.