Sunday, 9 September 2018
The glitter ball is back, shinier and sparklier than ever. Well, maybe not but it's definitely back. The Joe McFaddens and Debbie McGees are forgotten as fifteen new celebrities sign their names on the dotted line and give up their normal routines for ones filled with Tangos, Foxtrots and Rumbas as they shimmy and sashay their way through til Christmas. The sequins are sparkling and the hair is bouncy and that's just the men. We have many weeks ahead of pretty dresses, high heels and wiggling hips and I for one cannot wait. Welcome to Strictly Come Dancing 2018. As ever, I will be watching each week and passing my personal, non-professional opinion on the latest batch of wannabe champions as they compete for that shiny trophy.
So what's new and what's not. Well, first of all, the hosts are the same as always. Wooden Tess Daly and Madcap Claudia Winkleman return to run the proceedings and tell really bad jokes. Also, no changes to the judges line up this year with Nasty Craig, Nice Darcy, Sassy Shirley and OTT Bruno.
There has been a small change to the professional dancers, however. Brendan Cole has not been asked to return this year (possibly due to his feud with Shirley last year but that is pure speculation). Three new dancers have joined the show, two of them are just backups to help out in the Pro Dances and when extra dancers are required such as Blackpool or Musical Weeks. They are Luba Mushtuk and Johannes Radebe. But we have a new dancer who will get partnered with a lucky celeb and he is the gorgeous Graziano Di Prima. He is definitely an Italian Stallion.
So who are the latest celebrities (and in some cases, I use the term loosely) who have exchanged their sneakers for stilettos and their tracksuits for tuxedos? Here they are in all their splendour and who they have been partnered with.
HUGE fan of Red Dwarf, I will be backing Danny to win. He has been partnered with Amy Dowden.
So there they are, just as Craig Revel-Horwood noted, like lambs to the slaughter. Now they are all paired up, they head off to the dance studio for two weeks and Strictly will be back then for the celebs to wow us all with their first dance. Safe from elimination in the first week, they have nothing to lose.
Until then, start dancing!
All images except my signature courtesy of BBC
Tuesday, 28 August 2018
- 1 onion
- 1 red pepper
- 150ml chicken stock
- 1 aubergine
- 1 courgette
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes with garlic
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150g dried wholemeal pasta, cooked in advance
- 200g mozzarella cheese, grated
- Peel and chop the onion, deseed and chop the pepper, place in a pan with the stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Trim and dice the aubergine and courgette, add to the pan with the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the boiled pasta and 110g mozzarella cheese. Pile into a shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place under a preheated hot grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve sprinkled with black pepper.
Tuesday, 24 July 2018
I was approached by the company Firmoo, an online eyewear site and asked if I would review their products.
I was happy to so they sent me a code which I could redeem on the website from a large selection of glasses. The pair I could select had to be from the Bloggers Collection but they have many more frames available than just these.
The ordering process is extremely simple. You choose your frame first and they have a marvellous app to check what the frame looks like if you upload a photograph of yourself to your account so this gives you a good idea what the frames may look like on you.
Once you've chosen your frames, you then input your prescription. Any optician should provide your prescription for you following a sight test. You will also need your PD measurement. I asked my optician to include it on my prescription as it isn't included as standard. However, the website at Firmoo does show you how to take it if you trust a friend or relative to do this.
Once you've input your prescription (you can also upload it to the website so you know Firmoo have the correct figures), you then need to select what type of lenses you require. These can be tinted, photochromic (change from light to dark), polarized to reduce glare, blue light blocking or just plain clear. Then you can choose on lens thickness, depending on your prescription and how thick your lenses are. Finally, you can choose a coating, so if you want anti-reflective, water resistant or fingerprint-resistant then here is the place to do it.
Once you've checked out, you get regular email updates on the status of your order so you know exactly what's going on with it. Mine took just 10 days from ordering to receiving, bearing in mind they are an American company I thought this was an excellent timescale for delivery.
The glasses come in a hard sturdy case, complete with cleaning cloth and also I received a small repair kit as well, always handy if you have a screw loose ;)
Overall I was extremely pleased with the service and would recommend this company to anyone looking for stylish affordable eyewear.
Monday, 23 July 2018
500g lean pork cut into strips
1 tin of water chestnuts
1 tin of bamboo shoots
8 spring onions, each cut into 3 pieces
200ml boiling vegetable stock
4 level tablespoons of teriyaki sauce
Fry the pork in batches until all is cooked through.
Stir fry the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts for 3 minutes then add the spring onion for a remaining 1 minute.
Return the pork to the pan and add the stock and bubble until reduced by half. Stir in the teriyaki sauce and heat through.