Thursday, 31 July 2014

La Maison Elyse, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, 2012

La Maison Elyse, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, 2012

Wrinkly label - I took the bottle out of the recycling bin to photograph it, and it had been raining

If you knew Mr.R you'd know he loves red wine. And since we resettled back in Blighty, I'm an enthusiastic drinker of vin rouge too.
For about a decade we lived in the South of France surrounded by grapes on the Worlds largest vineyard (slight exaggeration) vines as far as the eye could see, winemakers for neighbours, and everything else wine related, and despite having seriously good wine at reasonable prices available on our doorstep, literally, I rarely drank. Now we're back in the UK I drink red grape juice every day. The irony is not lost on me.

Anyway, this bottle of La Maison Elyse, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, 2012 was nice.
I could ramble on about the nose, mouth feel, palate etc, but to be honest we drink a lot, so I can't always remember what I thought about any particular wine, so I'll share what the producers say about this wine.

La Maison Elyse.  #blog #blogger #blogging © #wine #redwine #cabernet #sauvignon #shiraz #frenchwine
I just noticed it says Shiraz on the label, surely it should say Syrah?

The label on the bottle says -
This wine is rich and full with aromas of bramble, plum and forest fruit. On the pallet there are flavours of ripe black cherry fruit, with a finish that is long and smooth. This wine will go well with grilled red meat, cheddar cheese and meat topped pizzas. 

Have you tasted La Maison Elyse, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, 2012?
What did you think of it? Did you like it?
Or like me and Mr.R do you drink lots of different wines and find it difficult to remember what's what?

Lurcher - Rescue Dog Rescued Us

It's coming up to one year since we adopted Barley, our rescue dog.

I know I'm biased because he's ours, but he really is the loveliest dog. He is incredibly sweet natured, and very funny, but he also has a fiery side. He has the perfect mix of several different character traits, all of them loveable.

Barley has settled in really well, and it feels as though he has always been with us.
Neither me or Mr.R had ever thought about having a Lurcher in our family, simply because they just weren't on our radar, but since Barley has been with us, we wouldn't hesitate to adopt another Lurcher in the future - if only we had a large home.

If you're ever considering rescuing a dog, I highly recommend getting a Lurcher - they are lovely.

Barley on the beach

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

How to be Skinny

How to be Skinny, in only a few seconds.
It's really very simple.

Have a good look at your body.
Observe that it is actually covered in skin.
Repeat these words - Wow! I am skinny.

Congratulations! You are skinny.
And most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself, and love the skin you are in.
It is what's inside that's important, the rest is window dressing.


Fat. Thin. Love the skin you're in.
Do you love yourself? 
If not, why?
You can't expect others to love you, if you don't love yourself. 
Love! Love! Love! 

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Past is History...........

I like quotes.
I like all sorts of quotes, depending on my mood.
Quotes can be funny, uplifting, inspiring, thought provoking, or just simply a few words that change your mindset from negative to positive - if only temporarily.

I also enjoy reading quotes that have been attributed to someone incorrectly, but that's one of the good things about the internet - you can make things up for your own amusement.
Today, I like the quote below  -


The past is history, the future a mystery, the present is a gift.

Are you a quote lover?
What's your favourite quote?

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Brakspear Triple III

I had never enjoyed the taste of beer, well, not until our recent World travels. Now I love it!
As we spent two years travelling, I'm sure you can imagine it was thirsty work, so I often refreshed myself with a nice cold beer - or three.
Now we're back in Blighty I still enjoy the taste of beer, and so does Mr.R which is why he bought a bottle of Brakspear Triple III to try.
Brakspear Triple III
So, what did we think of this beer?
I only had a sip from Mr.R's glass, I didn't like it, not for any particular reason, I don't think it's a bad beer, in fact I'm sure it's very tasty, it just wasn't for me.
Mr.R said he really liked it. Here's what he wrote about it on his blog -
''The Brakspear Triple III is a mighty fine ale. It is a proper beer for a proper people. 
On the palate it is fruity, spicy and hoppy with a good depth of flavours which are aided by it coming in at ABV 6.7%. 
I give it 8/10.
ABV: 6.7%.
Hops: Target Malt: Pale, Black Crystal and Oats.
Breakspear Triple III
The labels on the front and back of this beer bottle say -
Thanks to two fermentations in the Brakspear 'Double Drop' system & another in bottle, this highly aromatic & satisfying strong beer delivers its rich flavour with subtlety & balance. 
Crystal, Black & Pale malts provide the backbone of this outstandingly rich beer. Golding, Styrian & Cascade hops are added in both the Copper & the Whirlpool with a further late addition of whole Cascade hops during fermentation, to impart a dry hop character to this complex beer. 
Brakspear Triple III
Mmm, reading the description made me want to drink it. Maybe I didn't taste enough of it when Mr.R opened the bottle?
Have you tried Brakspear Triple III?
What's your opinion of this beer?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Peas - Homegrown and Delicious!

Mr.R has got all sorts of vegetables and herbs growing in pots in our tiny yarden, and we've already enjoyed eating some of the fruits of his labours - or should that be veg?

Peas! Hubby has green fingers.  #blog #blogger #blogging © #homegrown #growyourown #peas #vegetables

Recently we have eaten some delicious homegrown peas.
I don't think it's psychological, they really do taste sweeter when you have grown them yourself, or in my case Mr.R has grown them - with the help of the sun obviously.

Do you grow your own?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Abbot's Choice, Mature Cheddar Cheese

We love cheese, so we were very pleased to receive the delivery of a cheese hamper.
Better still, it was free - Mr.R won it in a competition.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

It's always nice to try cheese that you haven't had before, and there are a couple in this hamper that we hadn't tried, so we're looking forward to tasting them.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

Abbot's Choice. Mature Cheddar Cheese. Smooth.

So far our favourite cheese from the selection has been Abbot's Choice, Mature Cheddar Cheese, from Wensleydale Creamery.
It is quite strong, very creamy, and seriously delicious.
Mmm, just thinking about it is making my mouth water.

Are you a cheese lover?
What's your favourite type of cheese?

Monday, 7 July 2014

Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012 - Review

We thoroughly enjoyed this bottle of red wine, it was fruity, packed with cassis, damson, and spice flavours, full bodied, and seriously smooth.
In fact it was so very moorish, I wish we'd purchased more than just the one bottle.
Writing this blog post has got me salivating, longing for more of this super wine.

This delicious Portuguese red wine from Lisbon, uses Cabernet Sauvignon and Touriga Nacional grapes, from one of the best winemakers in Portugal, the family vineyard of José Neiva Correia.

Cheers!  #blog #blogger #blogging © #wine #redwine #Portuguesewine #TwoRavensWine #cabernetsauvignon #TourigaNacional

The official gumph about Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012 -

Vinification Method
Classic fermentation method with destemming and pre fermentative skin contact followed of the application of dry yeasts. and . Fermentation up to 30º C in the first 2/3, and lowering down to 20º C during the last 1/3. During the whole fermentative process, pumping over 2 times per day, using each time half of the volume contained in the vat. After the alcoholic fermentation, the cap is plunged for 30 days, and during that period, extraction of the gentle tannins is conducted, along with the malolactic fermentation and the natural stabilization of the wine. 

After bottling ages one month in bottle. 

Tasting Notes
This wine has a delicious full flavour of soft fruits such as raspberries and redcurrants. The wine is made from selected grapes and this is evident from the superb balance between is qualities of smoothness, ripe fruit and youthful freshness. 

Have you tasted Two Ravens, Cabernet Sauvignon, Touriga Nacional 2012?
What did you think of it?

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Oil Pulling

Today I tried oil pulling for the very first time. I used coconut oil.
I've known about the practice for ages, but as with many things I intend to do, I hadn't - until today.
I'm not sure I believe that oil pulling is of any particular benefit to the body, but as I do occasionally brush my teeth with coconut oil instead of regular toothpaste, and I've had good results from doing so, I thought I'd try oil pulling and see for myself if it really is as good as many people claim.

Coconut Oil

I'm pretty sure you already know, but if you don't here's a rough description of what oil pulling is, and its reported health benefits.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic ritual, that was reportedly first introduced to the modern World by Dr. F. Karach, MD. in 1992.
Dr.F.Karach, MD claimed that oil pulling could cure a variety of illnesses.
To do oil pulling, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, and swish (kavala graha) or hold (snigda gandoosha) the oil for 15-20 minutes.
You don't swish vigorously like you do when using mouthwash, you just gently swoosh the oil around your mouth, forcing it between your teeth etc. and then when your time is up you simply spit out the oil, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, and then brush, and floss your teeth as you usually would.
It is important that you don't swallow any of the oil while you're swooshing it around your mouth, as according to followers of this practice this will mean you're swallowing toxins.
Also another important thing to remember is never to spit out the oil into your sink or loo, as it may solidify and block your plumbing.

So, what are the reported health benefits of oil pulling?
Practitioners of oil pulling claim it not only improves your oral health, but your overall health too. They say it whitens teeth, strengthens teeth, prevents cavities, cures gingivitis and improves gum health, freshens your breath, relieves jaw pain, relieves headaches, migraines, cures insomnia, cures sinus problems, cures hangovers, and improves skin complaints including acne, eczema, and psoriasis, and some people have claimed that it also cures diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Wow! Is oil pulling a miracle cure?

Coconut Oil

Oil pulling reportedly 'pulls' out toxins and bacteria which helps detoxify your body thus making you healthier.
I like the idea that the simple act of swooshing oil around my mouth may benefit my health in numerous ways, but I always think that when something sounds too good to be true - it usually is. And the benefits of oil pulling do sound a bit too good to be true.

I mean, while I realise that the mouth is a dark dirty place where bad things lurk, which can spread throughout the body causing serious trouble and health problems, I also think that the human body is a truly amazing thing, that does a pretty decent job of looking after itself, as in detoxifying itself to maintain optimum health.
Well, it does, if you're eating a balanced diet, exercising, and generally looking after your body.

Coconut Oil

As is often the way with so-called 'alternative' therapies, oil pulling is not something that mainstream medicine thinks highly of. They say that oil pulling has not had sufficient in depth studies to prove its health claims, and that it is not as effective at improving oral health as traditional chemical mouthwash.
I don't know what I think about what they think.
I mean, if oil pulling with a small amount of oil could do all of the positive things practitioners claim, then that would most definitely have a detrimental effect on the dental industry, which is obviously worth a lot of money.
Also I believe that a lot of professional 'healthcare' workers don't want us to use simple, cheap, at-home techniques to cure our health problems. They want us to keep them in a job, they want us to poison our bodies with all of the pills they so readily hand out. After all, the NHS is all about making money by treating sick people, and not about curing sick people.

Coconut Oil

But I have digressed slightly. I am slightly obsessed with the awful truth about big pharma etc. but that's a topic for another blog post.
So, back on track, this morning I tried oil pulling for the very first time.
Well, mainly because I've had excellent result when I've brushed my teeth with oil; much whiter teeth, and an improvement in gum health, plus I like the feeling of super shiny teeth that oil brushing gives me, and it's natural, not full of crappy chemicals and worse still - fluoride, like most standard toothpastes are.
So, I thought I'd see if I noticed any of the reported health benefits that oil pulling is said to give.

Typical me though, I couldn't remember exactly what I was supposed to do, other than swoosh with oil, so instead of searching Google just to make sure I was oil pulling correctly, I simply shoved some coconut oil in my mouth and began to swoosh.
I did remember that when you first start oil pulling a tablespoon may be too much, and that 10-15 minutes may be too long. So I used about half a dessert spoon of coconut oil, and only swooshed for 5 minutes.
I didn't find the process horrible, in fact I quite liked it because I love coconut oil, I could happily eat it by the spoonful. But I had to remind myself not to swallow any of the oil as I swooshed it around my mouth, and I realised I was holding my breath quite often too, which wasn't good because as soon as I realised I wasn't breathing I inhaled deeply and wanted to swallow. Oh dear! That sounds wrong. Ha!
Anyway, after 5 minutes I spat out the oil, and that was that.
It was only after I'd had my first cup of tea of the day, that I Googled oil pulling and read about rinsing your mouth with warm salt water, and brushing your teeth as usual.
It is now 4 hours since I did my first oil pulling, and I still haven't rinsed with warm salt water or brushed my teeth as usual. I'm certain that moment has long gone.
See, I'm very slack at doing all of the things I read about and then intend to try.

So, will I continue oil pulling?
I'm not sure.
I know once is hardly enough time to know if it does have any health benefits, but just by writing about it, it's got me thinking that it's probably all nonsense. Swooshing oil around your mouth will pull out toxins etc. Hmm, I'm not sure.
Or maybe I am sure, but I'm just too lazy to bother oil pulling every morning. I think the best way to start my day is with a nice hot cup of green tea, and not with a mouthful of oil.
If I did all of the many many things, that I know are good for me, every single day, I don't think I'd have any time left to do anything else, you know, like live my life.
My willpower is not that strong.

Coconut Oil

Having said all that, I may try oil pulling again, and it may even be tomorrow morning, and it may even become a daily occurrence, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

Have you tried oil pulling?
What's your opinion on this Ayurveda practice?