Thursday, 30 January 2014

France - Most Depressed Country in the World

According to an article I read online, the French are the most depressed people in the World.
The French are reportedly taking a lot of antidepressants, 21% of the population if you believe the reported figures. That's a lot of  depressed people.

Cathedral, Narbonne, France 

As with all of these stories, I doubt the 21% is an accurate figure. Obviously there could be more people who are depressed, but not taking any pills, or less people; they may have been prescribed pills but then felt they didn't need them.
Statistics never reveal the complete picture.

But, I guess it's true to say that there are a lot of French people who are depressed.
I wonder why?
As a Brit, I know that many British people would love to live in France, as a nation we love visiting France, and not just because it's close to us, but also for the food, the history and the country itself etc.

A Corbieres Vineyard
Vineyard in the Corbieres, France

I think I may know why the French are feeling depressed.
They do not, as is often the misconception, eat deliciously buttery croissants every day for breakfast. The majority of them eat a small pot of cold yoghurt, and nothing more.
So you see that's why I think they may be feeling blue. They're hungry.
They should treat themselves and tuck-in to a proper hearty breakfast; maybe a British style fry-up?
I'm certain that would help them feel less depressed.

Street sign
Road sign, Durban Corbieres, France

As I sit hunched over the table tapping away on the keyboard, slightly shivering, I am eating my breakfast.
What am I having?
A traditional full English breakfast? No, I am eating a bowl of Greek yoghurt, topped with sultanas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, banana, and lashings of maple syrup.
Despite leaving my breakfast bowl in front of the fire for a while before I began to eat it, it is seriously cold. The yoghurt is so cold it's numbing my teeth.
I am enjoying my breakfast, but it is not exactly making me feel happy.
Maybe I should take my own advice and eat a proper breakfast - a lovely full English.

Delicious. #blog #blogger #blogging © #food #breakfast #yoghurt #greekyoghurt #fruit #cherries #banana #sultanas #pumpkinseeds #sunflowerseeds
Breakfast, cold North of England

What do you like to eat for breakfast?
Something hearty, or healthy?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Melon - Honeydew

When Mr.R went food shopping a few weeks ago I asked him to get me lots of fruit.
He returned with lots of fruit.
Amongst which was a lovely honeydew melon.

Yum!  #blog #blogger #blogging © #food #fruit #melon #honeydew #honeydewmelon

I don't really like fruit. No, that's incorrect, I like fruit - it doesn't like me.
So why did I ask Mr.R to buy me lots of fruit? I don't know. I think I was feeling run-down, so adding some extra vitamins etc. to my diet seemed sensible.

Anyway, fruit usually doesn't get eaten in our house. Not by us anyway. As I said, I like fruit, it doesn't like me. By which I mean it gives me tummy ache, bad skin, and generally makes me crave sweet things even more than I was before I ate the fruit - the sweet thing. So that's why I usually do not eat much fruit.

This lot of fruit did get eaten, by us, mainly me.
I don't think I've ever eaten so much fruit in such a short space of time, about a week or so.

The only thing I hadn't eaten was the honeydew melon.
It sat on a kitchen worktop for ages, easily a couple of weeks.
Mr.R kept reminding me that it needed eating.
I kept intending to eat it, but forgot about it most days, or just didn't fancy it.

Anyway, about a week ago I finally remembered that there was a melon waiting in the kitchen to be scoffed.
As we'd had it so long I was expecting it to be past its best when I cut it open, but it wasn't. It was perfectly ripe, oozing with sweet juice.

As the honeydew melon was quite a large one, and there's only two of us, 3 if you include Barley the Lurcher, it obviously wasn't going to get eaten in one day.
So I chopped the melon in to cubes (ish) and chucked the diced pieces in to a tub, which I put in the fridge. Two tubs actually. As I said it was a large melon.

Gosh this is rather a long post about a single honeydew melon, all be it a large melon, isn't it?
I'm beginning to wish I'd taken more photos of the melon, just to help break up this wordy post.
Honeydew melon isn't even my favourite type of melon. God knows how much I'd write about my favourite variety of melon.
I do sometimes envy people who get straight to the point, use the minimum amount of words, instead of rambling on and on about who knows what.
This blog post hasn't even got a point. But then I don't think most blog posts have a point, or not an important one anyway.
I shall ramble on until my eyes can't take the strain of looking at the laptop screen any longer.

So, melon, honeydew melon. Yes, I had one, I'd finally remembered to eat it, or prepare it for eating anyway, after it had sat neglected in the kitchen for far longer than I thought it would when I'd asked Mr.R to buy the fruit.
Hmm, I'm not sure it was sitting neglected. I mean, how much attention and care does a honeydew melon require? None, I would of thought. It's been cared for, given attention, as it has grown to its final edible stage.

Messy. But yummy.  #blog #blogger #blogging © #food #fruit #melon #honeydew #honeydewmelon #seeds #melonseeds #honeydewmelonseeds

If you're still awake at this point - wow! You may need to think about getting out more.
If not, then you're asleep, so you're not reading this, so...........

In a serious effort, and believe me it is an effort of some magnitude, to get this post finished, I am determined to stop rambling.
If you knew me you would know how my mind wanders, and how it is chock-a-block full of noise.
No, that's not correct, knowing me would not give you a complete picture of my loony mind, you would have to be me to know exactly what's going on in my head.

Ha! I am clearly not doing well with my aim of putting a stop to my nonsensical rambling.
Focus! Focus!
Did I eat the melon?
Well, after all this blah blah blah, no I have yet to eat the melon.
It is, as I type, still in two tubs in the fridge.

I did nibble the odd sliver as I chopped the melon, you know the thin bits you can scrape off of the skin - if you're an anal melon chopper like myself.
Ooh, that doesn't sound pleasant. An anal melon chopper.
That conjures up an image of someone chopping a melon with their anus.
Oh crap! Oops, pun not intended.
I think the vision of a melon being chopped up by an anus says a lot more about me than it does about the melon. And how would you even chop a melon using your anus?
I don't think it's something I need to think about.
Oh dear!

Ironically I started this blog post because I thought it would be a short one. I mean what is there to say about a honeydew melon, not much, or so I thought.
I thought I'd write a couple of words, add the melon photos, and voila!
In fact I only wrote about the melon because I was going through the camera roll on my iPhone trying to sort out the images, saw the honeydew melon shots, and thought it would be quicker to post about them, than it would have been to continue with another blog post that I started yesterday, which if you think this is long - you'd be wrong. The other blog post is a lot longer.
Oh well, my intention was good. Must try harder to keep it short, and to the point.
Ha! Who am I kidding? I've always rambled on, both verbally and with the written word, ever since I started talking and writing, I very much doubt I'll ever change.

Look on the bright side, I think I've finally managed to control and no doubt better still stop my rambling, at least on this blog post anyway.
I think this is most definitely the time to say cheerio for now. The end.

As I do not want to be reminded of the anal melon chopping images, I am not going to read through this blog post to correct my spelling, grammar etc.
If my mistakes offend you, it is possible that you are a grammar nazi (I do not like that expression, but it seems to be what it's called, so I'm using it), and you probably need to put things in perspective, and you definitely need to get out more.

Honeydew. #blog #blogger #blogging © #seeds #sinkstrainer #round

Honeydew melon.
Do you like melon? What's your favourite?

Friday, 17 January 2014

This Time Last Year We Were in Malta

This time last year we were in Malta.

Point Shopping centre


I seriously wish we were there now.

Birzebbuga, Malta


We'd been travelling for ages, about a year and a half I think, when Mr.R suggested visiting Malta.
My heart sunk when he said it.
Not sure why, but I didn't want to go to Malta.
I'd never been to Malta and I didn't think I'd ever visit, which may be slightly strange as my granddad was Maltese.
My feelings about going to Malta were not particularly about the country itself, I think it may just have been that I'd had enough of travelling and wanted to STOP!

Mdina, Malta


Anyway, as is pretty usual for me; I pretty much always go with what Mr.R suggests, I eventually agreed to go to Malta. And I am so happy I did.
I love Malta.
In fact I love it so much that if it was possible I would be there right now. Mr.R feels the same, he'd happily live there.
Malta is a gorgeous country, with beautiful people.
And better still they love the English, and that's not something that happens often - or ever.

Sliema, Malta

Valletta, Malta

Initially we only intended to spend about 1 or 2 weeks in Malta, but once we were there we loved it so much that we didn't want to leave, so we kept extending our stay. I think we ended up spending about 7 weeks there. I wish we'd never left.


Anyway, as we are currently living in the North of England, and it's Winter, and we get woken up early every morning by our rescue dog, Barley the Lurcher, it's not surprising that we've been longing for warmer and more enjoyable days.
Neither me or Mr.R like feeling cold, we love the sun, and as far as we're concerned the weather can't be too hot.
So every morning, when we are woken by the cold wet nose of Barley, it's usually not more than about 5 minutes before I say, 'this time last tear we were in Malta'.
I don't know why I say this, every morning, as it never makes me feel any better about spending Winter in the cold North in Blighty.



Anyway, as I sat here this afternoon watching Poirot, with Barley, well, Barley is actually snoozing in front of the fire, rather than paying much attention to David Suchet, I began to feel rather gloomy, which wasn't helped by the fact that here it's gets dark so early.
So to cheer myself up I thought I'd have a look at our travel photos, and as I'm always mentioning Malta it seemed obvious to look at our Malta photos first.
Just looking at them, and the beautiful blue sea shimmering in the sunshine, and remembering how much we enjoyed our visit to Malta really lifted my spirits.

Valletta, Malta

Mdina, Malta

So, as I said at the start of the post, this time last year we were in Malta.
At this time we don't have any plans to do any travelling, not that we ever really plan things, but I do have itchy feet, I feel the need to run away again.
So who knows, maybe we'll find some gold at the end of a rainbow, and be able to bugger off from frozen Britain for a while.
This time last year we were in Malta. I wonder where we will be this time next year?


Where are you now?
Where do you wish you were?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Rock Cake - Recipe

I don't know why, but yesterday evening 'Rock Cakes' came in to my mind.
I hadn't read about them, seen them on TV, or experienced any other associations, so I figured it must have been a sign. A sign telling me - I should eat rock cakes.

So, today after lunch, which I cooked (very unusual for me because I don't like being in the kitchen) I decided to make some rock cakes.
I haven't eaten a rock cake for ages, probably a couple of decades.
I refreshed my memory with a suitable recipe. But then as usual I ignored it.
Here's the basic recipe I didn't follow.


6oz self-raising flour
4oz butter
3oz caster sugar (I used demerara sugar, and just 1oz as I don't think they needed 3oz). 
1 splash milk (I used a couple of teaspoons of Greek yoghurt). 
1 egg
2oz raisins, or sultanas, or any fruit you fancy (I used sultanas, apricots, prunes, and cherries).
Cinnamon. This wasn't mentioned on the recipe, but I like it so I added a generous teaspoon. 


Put oven on to 200c, Gas Mark 6, and grease a large baking tray (I used greaseproof paper).
Sieve flour into a bowl.
Add butter and rub with fingertips until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Stir in the sugar, and the fruit if you're using any.
Then add 1 egg, and stir in.
Next add enough milk to make a stiff dough. A splash may be all you need.
Put 12 heaps of the mixture on to the  baking tray, and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the rock cakes are golden brown and cooked through.

As I said I don't like being in the kitchen, cooking is not something I particularly enjoy. But Mr.R had gone for a siesta, and my craving for rocks cakes couldn't wait. So I braved the kitchen, and surprisingly I really enjoyed myself.
Admittedly baking rock cakes is not difficult, they're one of the easiest and quickest things to cook, but usually even something so simple would feel like a chore to me.

I only took two photos of the rock cakes, before and after, and not my usual photos of every stage of the baking because I didn't want to waste time faffing about. I was eager to get them mixed and cooked, so strong was my craving.

Before. Rock Cakes. #blog #blogger #blogging © #food #RockCakes #cakes

The preparation of the rock cakes took about 15 minutes, which was the same as the cooking time.
So after half an hour, I had 12 rocks cakes baked and ready to eat.

After. Rock Cakes.  #blog #blogger #blogging © #food #RockCakes #cakes

I honestly intended to wait for Mr.R to get up from his afternoon nap before I tasted the rock cakes, but they looked so good I couldn't resist.
And they tasted even better than they looked. Perfect with a nice hot cuppa.

What's your favourite quick and easy sweet treat?

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year 2014!

I know I am a bit late with the New Year wishes, but it's only 2 weeks late, and for me that's pretty good.
I am in the habit of - 'I'll do it tomorrow.......' which explains why I am only now, on the 14th of January, wishing you all a Happy New year!

Anyway, late or too late?
I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, and Peaceful New Year. May your lives be full of love and laughter.

2. 0. 1. 4. Better late than never? Happy New Year 2014! #blog #blogger #blogging © #HappyNewYear #HappyNewYear2014 #fingers #blackandwhite
I don't have any appropriate New Year photos, so a quick 2014 salute it is. 

I don't believe in New years resolutions, so I'm not making any.
Did you make any? What are they?