Easter in Alnwick

My backlog of unprocessed memory cards goes back until just before Easter, when we took a slightly-too-early break to Northumberland. Amongst the shots of that holiday were this one, of a lifejacket station on Alnwick beach.

Halloween Chili

For the last 15 years, I have hosted a Halloween gathering. The format has changed ever so slightly over the years, but two ingredients have remained constant: horror movies, and chili.

Gurdwara Sahib, Leamington

The Leamington and Warwick Sikh temple is an imposing building, made all the more so by being in the middle of a retail and business park; surrounded by supermarkets, office buildings and a bowling alley, the architecture looks that much more impressive, and it dominates the horizon beyond my office window.

Lessons From A One-Year Old

Today was Arthur’s first birthday. We had a little party for him and discovered he has tonsillitis. Unsurprisingly, I’ve learnt a lot of things this year. Here are the two most important lessons The Boy has taught me

Apple-Smoked Barbecued Pulled Pork Shoulder

My birthday present from The Wife this year was a Curing and Smoking course at Seasoned Cookery School in Derbyshire. The rather wonderfully-named Turan T Turan took us through the processes of curing, brining, air-drying, hot-smoking and cold-smoking, and I left with various paraphernalia for food-smoking at home. Although I’ve done less with it than I hoped, I’m determined to nail smoked salmon by Christmas, and I have a couple of stupid ideas I’d like to try out. I also managed a passable slow-smoked pork shoulder on my barbecue.

Procrastination, Paralysis and Stagnation; on getting stuck in a rut

In three weeks time, The Boy will be a year old, which is - frankly - bonkers. In that time, I have taken literally hundreds of pictures of him, lovingly curated into a growing set of Arthur, Daily books; got just-under-halfway through a stalled alphabet project; and posted here only twice (neither time in 2014). I have been on courses to learn how to cure and smoke food, brew beer, and butcher meat and done very little with any of the knowledge I gleaned, apart from make myself feel bad about that fact.