28 August 2011

The Book of Job

22 August 2011

Time for something different

I need a holiday. Mainly for sanity reasons before anger spills out onto people who probably deserve it. So for something different, I've decided to go on a bike ride for a week.
I'm not convinced this is a good idea, well OK in theory it's a great idea, but I have the feeling I'm going to come back highly damaged.

The plan, such as it is, is to bike from Derby up to Sheffield, with a number of side trips so I'm guessing it'll be 100+ miles, over 4-5 days. This is well beyond anything I've done before. If I'm being honest, I'm kinda worried at how my knees will stand up.

But on the plus side, there's a number of breweries and decent ale pubs that just co-incidently line my (vaguely) proposed route. Brilliant.
I'd like to thank Garry and CAMRA for their assistance in this. Since I'll have the evenings to recover in, I may even write up notes and photos and stuff as I imagine there will be internet webz around the place. Oh hang on, I won't have a laptop, ok you'll have to wait.

So any bikers out there? any recommendations for things I should take? Currently my repair kit consists of: spare inner, puncture repair kit, adjustable spanner, screwdriver, hex (allen) key. Oh and a knee brace :)


18 August 2011

Cooking with Bruce: Sushi salad

Origins of this one are, again, vague. But it works really well.

Mix: 2T rice vinegar, 3t caster sugar, 1/4t salt until dissolved, then leave.

Rinse 1c rice a few times (until clear) then leave damp for 30mins or so to soften the rice, although you can ignore this step and just cook the bugger if you're in a hurry.

Heat oven to 200C.
Mix: 4T miso paste (or sesame and oyster sauce, which works just as well), 2T sugar, 2T mirin, 1T peanut oil.
Chop: 250gm tofu/quorn; 2c pumpkin chopped 1-2cm squares; 1c courgette chopped 2cm; 2c mushrooms roughly chopped.
Mix the sauce through the chopped veges, then place in a roasting pan and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Place rice in saucepan, add 1.25c of water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 mins. Remove from heat (leave lid on). Add the rice vinegar mix. combine with the roast veges.

Serve with some pickled ginger, chopped spring onions and sesame seeds scattered over the top - with soy sauce and wasabi paste. Works well cold too.

Love, B

8 August 2011

Self-harm, it appears I'm good at it

I don't mean in a Richie Edwards kinda way, but this weekend has demonstrated I've got what it takes.

Initially I focussed on my fingers, so peripheral damage. I set out with good intentions to make a nice brekkie, using very tasty sourdough I'd had delivered the night before. The problem came when I started cutting the bread, that breadknife is possessed. It's bitten me before, and by the time I'd finished chopping, I had another two plasters on my fingers.
I'm not a quitter, and so when slicing the bagels for Sun brunch, I did the same. My fingers by this point resembled a cloth covered, blood stained, demon hand.

Saturday saw us head into town, and I wandered off to find some 8mm hex keys (allen keys), so I could dismantle parts of my bike. This proved difficult, Homebase had up to 6mm (which I had too), BnQ had 6mm, but suggest ScrewFit who had what I needed. That wander had taken around 80-90 minutes, and then I meandered home, another 90 mins as I was, by this point, down the far end of the industrial estate. My knee for some reason took this all very personally and got grumpy. I ignored this.

Fixed my bike, replaced the back tyre, so it no longer skids around corners as it was missing tread, replaced the inner tube (as I'd patched it a number of times already), and repaired the front brakes. So obviously I'd be going out riding on Sunday. All went well for the first 10miles, then on the way back the knee decided it really hated me. Especially on the hills I'd found. Yes hills, in Leicestershire. Not big ones, but enough that I was feeling them.

And that's why I spent the rest of the day lying on the couch looking grumpy. I'm in the usual denial mood, and will be walking home this evening, as there is nothing wrong with me.


Ow. I really shouldn't have stamped my foot then.

I did discover the village of East Leake is quite picturesque (in places) and found some orchards that sell to the public, so I sense a return trip shortly. I'm also thinking very seriously about a 5 day bike holiday in the UK somewhere, I desperately need a break from work before I start screaming, so figure a few days hard exercise maybe a good plan.