valentines day: let’s have a legover cocktail

Legover cocktail to follow, sir?

So: we’ve moved servers and hosting – all terrifically exciting, but I apologise for the blog being offline for most of the day. But we chose Valentines Day because a) a good half of you will be doing busy roasting the broomstick to care and b) those without lovers will be too busy telling everyone how it’s all a commercial con and a waste of money. For the record, I absolutely agree with you, it is silly, but see we still exchanged cards: IMG_E556D541215C-1 IMG_1DB62D11FD97-1

I wrote Fat Tits on his envelope so he would feel special.

Now, because I’m hoping to get my wick dipped tonight, there’s no time for stories and shenanigans. I’m going straight to the recipe, people, buckle right up. Actually, I say a recipe, it’s not. Valentines Day is a time to indulge and let your hair, whether scalp or pubic, down. If I see another cheesecake baked into the shape of a heart I think I’ll combust. Remember: we don’t do twee here.


to make a legover cocktail, you’ll need:

  • champagne (you’re allowed (pfft) 125ml of champagne for 4.5 syns, so let’s say that’s two glasses)
  • strawberries
  • lime

Please, no prosecco. You’re not in a pink limousine being driven to an already regret-filled wedding. That said, don’t be using the good stuff either. Cheap and chatty is fine.

to make a legover cocktail, you should:

  • blend the strawberries and the juice of a lime as smooth as you can, taking care to ignore the ridiculous notion that you should syn a handful of strawberries just because you’ve introduced a blender to them
  • pour about an inch or so into a glass – any glass will do, hell, use a pint glass for all I care, but be careful not to take up too much of the room that the champagne needs
  • top up the glass with champagne and give that fucker a stir
  • serve to your loved one, offering to drink it out of their belly button like a cat at a puddle
  • boom goes the dynamite

Oh and as an added bonus, we made a tasteful rocket jelly with clouds, see:


Have a good one. Remember, if you’re getting any tonight, use protection. Or Frylight, that’ll keep Mags in prison rollies. Oh you can buy the knob tin here! It’s normally a lot more girthy but in my haste to get it out of the ‘tin’ I soaked it in boiling water and then poured the same boiling water over my fingers. So I certainly won’t be playing the rusty trombone tonight!

Don’t forget we’ve got lots more serious recipes right here – over 410!


christmas wishes and an apple kentucky mule

Apple Kentucky Mule is at the bottom, but first, some words from the Queen.

Christmas is over for another year. How was it for you? Are you now officially wider than you are tall? Are you so sick of Christmas that you could cheerfully and without delay punch Santa Claus right in the balls? You monster. Have a week of rest and make 2017 the year to change everything. Just like 2016, 2015, 2000, 1995…

I had a genuinely lovely Christmas – Paul and I woke around 9am, realised it was a god-awful time to be alive and went straight back to sleep, snoring and farting and grunting our way to 11am, at which time the world seemed a lot more welcoming. I dispatched him straight to the kitchen to make bacon sandwiches (cheese topped roll, tomato chutney, bacon with so much fat on it that Sharshina Bramwell would explode in a fit of hair lacquer and half-smoked Carltons that you know she keeps tucked behind her ear) whilst I dozed for a bit longer. We had our sandwiches and exchanged presents in front of a Crystal Maze repeat. We both (unusually) stuck to our agreed present limits but somehow I managed to justify buying a new bottle of Tom Ford Oud Wood “for the house”, the way that others may buy a new candle or a doormat. What-am-I-like. We then wrapped up* the quarter-tonne of presents we’d bought our nephew (honestly, I felt like Challenge Anneka when she used to turn up at the orphanage with a lorry of gifts) and then made our way over to our parents where we opened all of our gifts and immediately set about fattening ourselves up.

* I say we wrapped presents. What actually happened was Paul was on sellotape duty whilst I farted about doing all of the folding and wrapping and cutting. I hate wrapping presents. I do! If it was socially acceptable to hand over gifts in a Netto bag with their name scrawled haphazardly over the top in Sharpie I’d do exactly that. I was furious inside watching my nephew tearing away at my delicate wrapping – I missed most of the industrial zone wrapping that Kinetic Sand, you little stinker.

My parents had built a grotto in the garden for the benefit of my nephew – this being the first Christmas he’ll remember – and actually, despite my cynicism about these things, it was really lovely. Pine trees, twinkling lights, a heated gazebo, music playing – a fantastic effort. Even my cold, icy heart melted. Christmas last year felt slightly off because my nana wasn’t at the table proclaiming that ‘this’ll be my last Christmas’ and ‘I’m not going to make another year’ – you know, the cheery statements of the elderly. She had the last laugh though – two years ago she was bang on the money. Christmas isn’t the same without having to repeat what you say four times over until you’re bellowing like you’re caught in a house fire and she’s holding the phone. Christ, I remember one Christmas a couple of years ago when she slumped dramatically in her chair and we all looked aghast at each other thinking she’d died in the middle of eating her one sprout and chipolata (“that’ll do for me Christine, I’m not a big eater”). It was like Helen Daniels all over again, only Paul was too fat to play Hannah.

Turns out she’d just dozed off and, because she had one of those fabulous NHS hearing aids that was of equal use to her whether she was wearing it or had left it at home, couldn’t hear our plaintive cries to wake her. She was lucky – the way my dad with clearing up she was fortunate not be have been buried in the garden “to save time” before the cheeseboard came around.

One thing I can take away from yesterday is that my mother is turning into my nana, at least on the food front. As usual with Christmas, everyone buys enough food to last us through a nuclear winter, nevermind a British one. I can’t open a cupboard without eight hundred gaily-decorated packets of crackers and biscuits and crisps and oatcakes and pickles and nuts and Pringles and sweets and mints and Bombay mix and tinned olives and breadsticks and chocolates cascading down onto me like I’m in Fun House: Obesity Edition. Christmas dinner was the usual spread of gorgeous food all shovelled down with booze and er, in my case, Vimto. I was driving, and anyway, when do you ever get a chance to have Vimto? Mother’s gone to Farmfoods! I’d no sooner managed to see my plate through my pile of food then my mum started piping up with ‘have a bit more turkey’ or ‘have another tureen of veg, it’ll not get eaten’. I swear, for all her concerned protestations that Paul and I are looking fat, she was determined to have us break at least one wooden chair before we left.

Christmas pudding followed, accompanied by cream and more food-pushing (have a bit of tiramisu, have some profiteroles, have some more cream) and then, just as I was fully expecting to start leaking mashed potatoes from my ears and start coughing up barely digested sprouts, out comes the cheese platter. Now listen, Paul and I love a cheese-board. We do. We may have accidentally worked our way through a six-person cheeseboard from Marks and Spencers only the night before. But we have limits, and frankly, when I’ve eaten so much cheese that my poo is coming out the same colour, consistency and indeed smell as a Cheesestring, we need to rest. But no! Old Mother Cub (?) was cutting off a bit of this for us and a bit of that for us and try this relish and have some crackers. Most people like to finish a good meal with coffee and perhaps a cigar – my mother seems to think a meal isn’t complete without one of her guests being ambulanced to hospital with chest pains. I was as full as a fat man’s sock.

Final thought from the day? I look at my nephew now, all full of chatter and wonder, and think that I’d like a child for the house. Don’t get me wrong, I’d tire of any child after thirty minutes and sadly, it isn’t like you can pack them away in a cupboard anymore, but it would be fun to see Christmas and Easter and all that fun stuff through their eyes. Towards the end of the day he had managed to find and consume an entire family-sized bag of sugary sour worms and it was as all that sugar was kicking in that we bid our goodbyes. My sister, an excellent, patient mum who thankfully has managed to evade the temptation to change her name on FB to Deborah ‘Mammyofspecialone’ Surname, had that joy to deal wth. Mahaha! We get to be the fun uncles who swoop in with gifts, e-numbers and presents and then get to leave just as the Kinetic sand is being trod into the carpet and he’s doing a loud, continuous impression of a police car.

It really was a great day. We came home, watched Doctor Who (pap), Eastenders (rubbish) and then fell asleep during Corrie. We don’t watch the soaps during the year so god-knows why we inflict them upon ourselves at Christmas but see, that’s exactly why – because it’s Christmas. I hope you all had a lovely one!

Eee Christ, I sat down this morning to write the fourth part of our Switzerland trip but we’re already at 1,200 words. Let’s leave it here for now and I’ll crack on with Switzerland over the next few days. In the meantime, here’s another – yeah that’s right, another – recipe for you guys. Not going to lie, this doesn’t exactly need cooking, but by god it’ll make the night go faster…

apple kentucky mule

to make an apple kentucky mule you will need:

  • handful of ice cubes
  • 35ml bourbon (4 syns)
  • juice of half a lime
  • 100ml apple juice (2.5 syns)
  • 100ml diet ginger beer

to make apple kentucky mule you should:

  • mix it all together
  • get hammered
  • nosh off your boss

Oh you filthy mare!

More drinks recipes? Of course!



slimming world bbq: zesty salmon burgers and a radish and pea salad

Goodness me, we’re still flogging this dead horse of Slimming World BBQ, are we? You have no idea how many times I’ve trundled the Weber out of the shed only for the skies to immediately blacken, the thunder start-up and the rain to come down so hard that I have to front-crawl past the recycling bins just to get back to the kitchen. Listen, when even God himself doesn’t want you to tearfully chew your way through the taste-explosion that is a Slimming World burger, you know it’s not a good idea.

Now, long time readers may remember I did an article way back in February of last year called james vs paul and it consisted of five things that annoyed him about me and five things that annoyed me about him. If you haven’t committed our various faults to memory – and if not, why not – you can find it here, together with a delicious recipe for chicken chow mein. Yeah, that’s right. Anyway, it’s due a sequel. You’ll be glad to know that we both still do every single thing that previously annoyed the other, but hey, fuck it, that’s marriage. Here’s five more – and, just like before, I’ve got right to reply on Paul’s critiques of me. Why? Because I have no gag reflex, and frankly if he wants to take advantage of that going forward, he has to let me reply…mahaha! Plus, I get the right to expand on my annoyances too. What a cad!

Paul’s five things that rile him about me:

  • there’s always coat hangers in our bed
    • aye, it’s a fair cop this one. See, I get ready for work about ten minutes after Paul, because bless, he has to get up and put the coffee on and turn the shower on for me. My reward for his wonderful kindness is to litter his side of the bed with coat-hangers from where I’m trying to decide what shirt to wear in the morning – the shirts then get put over the top of the door rather than hung up. I think Paul’s getting a complex that I’m trying to do him a mischief when every time he climbs into bed he gets prodded with the coat-hanger, but in my defence, they’re velvet
  • james never put liners in the tiny kitchen bin
    • meh. I can see Paul’s point, no-one wants smears of cat-food and whatnot on the inside of the bin. Fair enough. But Paul insists on buying a) tiny bins and b) massive bin liners. I wanted a lovely massive Brabantia bin but Paul knocked that idea on the head saying that we’d never empty it and we’d have what amounted to a vertical skip in the kitchen. Hmm. But then see he buys bin liners that you could drive a car through, meaning I’ve got to spend ten minutes flapping them out and trying to get them to sit in the tiny bin without just filling up the bloody container in the first place. It’s an ongoing, very middle-class problem, and it threatens to tear us apart at times
  • everything electrical is going to burst into flames unless it’s unplugged when not in use
    • again, I think this is unfair! I grew up on a diet of 999 and with parents who had a very casual attitude to fire safety and thus I think my fears are entirely reasonable. I’m a catastrophic thinker – if I leave a box of matches on the side, I’ll spend the day envisioning various ways that the cats will knock them to the floor, followed by them knocking on the gas-oven in fear, followed by spiders skittering around on the sulphur of the scattered matches, igniting and destroying my home. That sounds fair enough until you realise we don’t have a gas oven
  • socks, socks everywhere, as far as the eye can see
    • not fair: they’re not just my socks. For two tidy, professional men, we don’t half have a habit of leaving our socks scattered about in unusual places, and not just because they’re the wanksocks, we’re not 14 anymore. I don’t think I owned a pair of socks that didn’t crunch and crackle between the age of 12 and 19. But see in my haste to have my feet rubbed and squeezed (despite Paul’s entirely baseless remonstrations that it makes his hands smell like Roquefort), my socks will often just get discarded and forgotten until either Paul or the cleaner finds them
  • james’ genuine concern and worry whenever I hurt myself in a clumsy, hilarious manner
    • I may have reworded that a little. Paul is taking umbrage at the fact that when he hurts himself by a) tumbling over in that way only fat men can, b) burning his mouth because he’s so keen to eat he doesn’t let his food cool down or c) cuts himself on his edgy political analysis, I immediately respond by fussing over him and saying ‘what’s the matter’ eighteen times a second. Hmph. I think that shows only love and concern for my precious, gorgeous husband, frankly.

Hmm. Seems fair. Now it’s my turn. Because I’m the writer, I get to say what annoys me about Paul AND expand on it too. What annoys me about Paul?


  • he can’t hoover to save his life
    • let me explain, as that seems a trifle extreme – we’ve got one of those fancy-dan digital Dyson vacuums that sit on the wall charging up until it’s needed, then you have exactly six minutes to flounce around the house shrieking whilst it vacuums at full power. That in itself is a mere inconvenience. No, it only becomes a problem because Paul vacuums up every single fucking thing on the floor rather than picking up the bigger bits – whole pasta twists, cable ties, shoes, you name it Paul’s tried to suck it up into the tiny drum and then spent 5 minutes gawping and swearing at the vacuum whilst it chugs and splutters because the tube is blocked. I swear, I spend more time poking around in the drum with a chopstick trying to dislodge errant nonsense than I do breathing in and out. I half expect to walk into our utility room to find our full-sized tom cat squeezed into the tiny plastic drum of the vacuum, mewing pitifully through a mouthful of dust and ped-egged-foot-skin
  • he always wants his back scratched
    • doesn’t matter where we are, I can blink and when I open my eyes, his shirt will be hoisted up over his tits and his back will be looming towards me with his plaintive cries of ‘up a bit down a bit go mad NO NOT THAT HARD’ filling the air – if I had the money, I’d get a HappyCow machine installed

Actually, balls to the list, let me just show you a HappyCow machine and tell me it doesn’t fill your heart with joy!

Look at that happy cow! It’s a video, so click play to see those eyes light up with life and joy.

That reminds me, don’t forget we’ve got a meat sale on:

What can I say, I’m an opportunistic bugger.

  • he can’t handle Sky Digital
    • we’ve been together nine years and still whenever we’re recording and watching Jeremy Kyle The Today Show and recording The Man With The 10 Stone Testicles Panorama, he’ll attempt to turn the telly over onto a third channel and then act perplexed when the TV says no. He also can’t fast-forward through breaks – it’s like he has a tremor when he presses the button during Hotel Inspector and suddenly everything is 30x the speed and unpaused just as Alex Polizzi’s giant smile is filling the screen and she’s climbing back into her Audi
  • he maintains that his Smart car is a sensible choice despite massive evidence to the contrary
    • I go to this well a lot and I don’t care. Going to buy anything bigger than a Rubik’s cube? Paul will spend ten minutes assuring me it’ll fit despite me advising him that the rules of physics still apply even if his car is the colour of a baked bean. Of course, once we’ve bought the BBQ / new SONOS soundbar / sack of potatoes and made our way back to the car park, he’ll realise that, whilst it does fit – just – there’s no space for me, leaving me standing in the car park cursing his name whilst he races home in the car at its top speed of 32mph before returning to pick me up not even a little bit contrite. We’ve had many a terse conversation whilst making our way slowly and uncomfortably back home, I can assure you
  • he wakes me up by farting, but not in the way you might expect
    • we both find farting absolutely hilarious – there’s few things funnier to our juvenile minds than a good taint-stainer, plea for help from Sir Knobbly-Brown, misguided burp, creeping hisser, floorboard troubler or an extended moment of steam-pressing your knickers, so that doesn’t trouble me in the slightest. No, if I’m woken up by a loud fart, I’ll spend the day chuckling. It only becomes a problem because we tend to spoon when we’re asleep in the morning and Paul manages to turn whatever food he’s had the night before – no matter how fine the ingredients, no matter how dainty the amounts – into concentrated pure death. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been woken up in the morning by what smells like concentrated hate not so much filling my nostrils as filing them, peeling off skin and various bits of my olfactory system. It’s a bad job when you wake up gagging and reminiscing with longing for the smell of burning cows from the Foot and Mouth days. I grew up right next door to the farm that started it all and they said it could never happen again. Well it is – in Paul’s arse at 5.45am.

That reminds me, don’t forget we’ve got a meat sale on:

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Mahaha. Hey, listen, those are his faults. But for all of those minor things, he’s still the man who I’ve only spent 6 nights away from and who makes me laugh right from the get-go as soon as I come through the door. There’s no regrets here and there’s not many couples who can say that!

Right, let’s get to the BBQ recipes before I well up like the big old pansy that I am.

Salmon burgers, eh? You know people say if it swims, it slims? Well pffft. Load of crap. I’ve been swallowing swimmers for years and I still chaff when I run. But we do need more fish recipes, so…

We found the recipe for the below from this blog and we’ve made it Slimming World friendly. I know, we’re heroes.

slimming world bbq

to make zesty salmon burgers you will need:

this is enough to make one – if you want more, just multiply the recipe

  • 1 wholemeal roll (HeB)
  • 15g panko (or use breadcrumbs, but panko is nicer) (4.5 syns for 25g, so we’ll say about 2.5 syns for 15g, just before I get angry letters and panko covered turds pushed through my letterbox from the more fervent of you)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 140g salmon fillet (skinless and boneless)
  • 4 slices picked gherkins

to make the sriracha mayonnaise:

  • 1 tbsp Morrisons NuMe mayonnaise (or use any low-fat mayo – just check the syns) (1 syn)
  • 1 tsp hoisin sauce (½ syn)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sriracha (if you can’t find sriracha, any ‘hot sauce’ will do – Cholula is a good alternative!)

to make zesty salmon burgers you should:

  • add all of the sriracha mayonnaise ingredients into a bowl and mix well – plonk in the fridge whilst you do the rest
  • next, add all of the burger ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, except for the bun and gherkins – if you haven’t got a food processor, chop everything up and mix by hand – extra body magic!
  • shape into a burger shape – it only needs to be about 1½cm thick to cook evenly
  • add onto the hot grill of the BBQ and cook for about four minutes a side, or until it’s how you like it
  • spread half of the mayonnaise mixture onto each half of the bun and lay on the pickled gherkins
  • add the burger on top, and enjoy!

Before you start up – remember:


This is panko. Dried, crunchy breadcrumbs.


This is not panko. This is pan k.o.


Right, here’s a side suggestion. Because we’re super jolly hockey-sticks and what-ho, we’ve grown so many wonderful things in our garden this year, including a tonne of radishes and peas. If you’re not keeping up with the Jones, feel free to buy these items in a shop. I present our radish and pea salad! It’s really basic, but full of crunch and taste and hell, that’s probably a lot of speed food. This makes enough for four.

slimming world bbq

to make radish and pea salad, you’ll need:

  • a big handful of radishes – there’s no need to be precise, use as many or as much as you need
  • a big handful of fresh peas in their pods – you don’t want giant peas but rather baby peas
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar – or apple vinegar, or raspberry vinegar, or vinegar-tits
  • four or five spring onions
  • a tablespoon of rapeseed or olive oil (6 syns)
  • a nice sprig of fresh mint, chopped finely
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of pepper

to make radish and pea salad, you should:

  • get a pan of boiling water, throw your peas (in their pods) into the water for a minute, then take them out and put them in iced water to stop them cooking through
  • the boring bit, sorry – julienne your radishes and pea pods – basically, cut the radishes into slices, and then the slices into matchsticks – this isn’t an exact science, so don’t sweat it – if there are big peas, pop them out into the serving bowl as you chop
  • you can use a mandoline slicer for your radishes, it’ll speed things up – and the one we use is only £7.99 – but BE CAREFUL, they’re dangerous bloody things if you don’t use the guard
  • very finely chop your mint and spring onions, including the green stalk
  • mix the oil and vinegar, pepper, salt and mint together – add maybe a pinch of sugar if you really want (neglible syns given this serves four)
  • put everything into a dish, mix with the ‘sauce’ and serve immediately

It’s a really easy salad but worth the time spent making it, trust me.

Finally, let’s go for a cocktail in the form of a Blue Hawaiian. I had a blue Hawaiian. This one is from Jamie Oliver, a man I rather enjoy despite his best efforts.

slimming world bbq

to make a blue hawaiian, you’ll need:

  • 35ml of decent white rum (3.5 syns)
  • 35ml blue curaçao (5.5 syns)
  • a couple of drops of coconut essence
  • 100ml pineapple juice (2.5 syns – Del Monte)

to make a blue hawaiian, you should:

  • get a cocktail shaker, throw everything in with a load of ice and shake it, shake it good
  • serve up on a load of crushed ice
  • serve it in a hollowed-out pineapple for that true access-day-visit-to-TGI-Fridays feel

Enjoy! I know it’s a lot of syns, but hey, it’s summer. If you can’t let your hair down and your boobs cool in this heat, when can you?

If you’re looking for more recipes for fish then you’re shit out of luck. There’s no many. But look, as a compromise, here’s a link to all of our beef and chicken recipes too.




slimming world bbq: chimichurri turkey skewers and an amazing loaded potato salad

Here for the next installment of our Slimming World BBQ series? Well don’t worry, we’ll get to it. But first, indulge me a little time to ramble on…

Today has been a day of getting shit done. I know, a profanity right off the bat, but there’s a good reason for that – I’ve noticed another telling off comment on one of my articles. Please understand: this is a coarse blog about the gay-to-gay lifestyle of two fat blokes with no airs nor graces. There will be swearing. There will be frank and numerous references to sex and knobs and bumholes and slutmanship because well, you write about what you know. There’s a reason this blog isn’t called james’n’paul’n’catz and decorated wth frou-frou hearts and whimsical tales of picnics and cricket and buying peppers in a market. It’s just not us. We’re both about as classy as two seagulls fighting over a discarded packet of chips in somewhere like…oooh, Chelmsford, and we’re quite happy with that. Most of the time I’ll let the little digs wash over me with good grace and a little fart but today I thought I’d reply because, as I said, we’re getting shit done:

slimming world bbq

Oh I’m a stinker, aren’t I? To be fair, I don’t actually think I swear that much anyway. I certainly don’t use the C-word on here because it’s not worth the terse phone call from my mother telling me off for using that word on the Internet. I know, it’s warm under the thumb, but hey, you don’t upset the Keeper of the Inheritance. Though for the record, that works both ways, as Keeper of the Care Home Decision…

So what have we managed to get done today? Well, I pressure washed everything we owned that was looking a little bit grubby: outdoor furniture, fence panels, the blood stains on the front of my car, the hair and scalp in the tyre-wells, the paving slabs and the gate. There’s something amazingly satisfying about watching a tiny jet of water blast away years of accumulated dirt and filth. If I didn’t think it would tear straight through his small intestine I’d have a crack at blasting Paul’s out-pipe. It’d be like pressure-washing a hot Malteser. It goes without saying that I blasted several choice swearwords into the path but Paul made me remove them – apparently it doesn’t do for folks who visit to be greeted by an increasingly-vile set of phrases culminating in mingetacular. Pffft.

When I was putting away the pressure washer into the let’s-tell-Paul-I’ll-use-it-all-the-time-but-then-never-use-it-again pile in our shed, I realised that one of our cats had disappeared under the various detritus on the shed floor and was mewing pitifully. After digging through and locating her and putting her outside the shed (to which point she immediately came back in through the cat-flap to get lost again) (I was all, alright love, you’re not on fucking Fun House here, I haven’t just tagged you back in), I realised it was time to clear out the shed. I know, this is truly riveting reading, but please, bear with me. See, I’ve mentioned before that we turned our giant outdoor shed into a Cat Hotel / stockpile room (hence the cat-flap on a shed, see – it gives them somewhere to go when it’s raining and they can sleep on the cat tree in there). Recently the shed has become a depository for remnants of abandoned hobbies (GPS units from geocaching, walking boots, an unused tent, lightshade made of human skin), stuff from the kitchen which we’re keeping in case we need it (Nutribullet box, ice-cream maker, pickled knees) and well, all sort of other shite. It was chaos, but after two hours and several trips to the tip (mainly because Paul insisted on taking his Smart car rather than my car, limiting us to taking two Rizla papers and a discarded screw at a time), we could see the carpet again.

Yeah, carpet, we can’t have the cats getting cold feet.

As an aside, the men at our nearest tip are a delight, and I’m not just saying that because they wear those fancy hi-vis boiler-suits and I want to be roughly groped behind the oil-disposal drums (though it would be fitting). It’s rare to find folks who seem happy in their job and who are keen to help, pointing us in the direction of the appropriate skip and masking their disapproval of the fact we couldn’t be arsed to separate our garden waste from our general waste. I know, we deserve to be bricked up in a tomb somewhere for killing the Earth, but honestly, Paul’s arse does more damage to the environment and I don’t run the risk of pricking my fingers when I handle that. It’s a far cry from the roughly-hewn grunters at our previous Newcastle tip. I honestly thought I was going to have my face slashed with a shard of a broken Pyrex dish for having the temerity to ask which bin to put hedge clippings in. I mean, I apologised for interrupting their blistering chatter about which bird (sorry: boord) they’d fuck out of the Daily Sport. Pfft.

After clearing the shelves and vacuuming about half a tonne of dried rosemary out of the carpet (hang it in the shed he said…we’ll use it all the time he said…) we had a clear shed and a clear mind. This meant only one thing: time to restock. See, Slimming World and life in general can be expensive but if you buy the staples you use in bulk, you’ll save cold hard cash, and that’s good for everyone, not least because it means you can buy a few more raffle tickets in class and keep Queen Mags in Cheeky Vimtos and Cutter’s Choice. We buy food like beans, chopped tomatoes, passata, pasta and rice in massive bags and store it in the shed, meaning if we’re ever stuck we can throw something together in the blink of an eye. Off we went to B&Ms to replenish.

Now listen, I know B&Ms is like Mecca to some folk, but I just can’t bear it. It’s full of people who dawdle and who hold up a jar of Nescafe in one hand and a jar of Blue Mountain in the other, looking dead behind the eyes whilst their spittle pools around their feet. The aisles are littered with ladies who look like they could punch an articulated lorry to death. It’s awash with screaming children and bright lights and too many not-quite products to bear. We filled our trolley with dishwasher tablets, coal tar soap and oops-sorry-Mags a box of Lucky Charms and hurtled through the checkout. The charming lass behind the counter carried on a conversation with her co-worker the entire time and spoke only to spit the price out at us. Never again. I never learn, I always think ‘let’s save some money’ but then I end up stuck in an aisle with mirrors with the Playboy logo on them whilst Paul holds himself up crying next to the locked display of perfumes featuring classics such as I’ve Just Come by Mark Wright or Gonorrhoea by someone who came second in I’m a Celebrity in 2009.

Celebrity scents confuse me at the best of times – I’ve never in my entire life looked at someone famous and thought by Christ I wish I smelled like them – but even more so when it’s a non-entity from a reality show on ITV Be (Thankful You Can Turn It Over, presumably). I imagine that smells like pure shame.

The good news is the shed is all stocked up. The bad news, if you’re a picker at the Tesco in Kingston Park, I’ve just put an order in for 96 bottles of various mixers to fill up our mixer shelves. If you want, crack open a bottle of the diet ginger ale because that belongs to Paul and I know he’ll spare it. Touch my tonic with a hint of cucumber and I’ll turn your delivery truck over. Obviously I’m kidding, but seriously now. Paul did suggest we go and pick up the drinks ourselves but frankly, if we took his car, we’d only have enough for one of those tiny tins of Coke you used to steal buy from Woolworths. The jokes about his Smart car will never, ever end, you realise. Even he’s accepted that, answering me with a chuckle that says ‘oh my’ and eyes that say ‘fuck you’. Ah well.

The other thing I managed to get done today was to finally open and put to use the copy of Adobe Illustrator that I’ve been paying £30 a month for since January, when I downloaded it in order to design a new front cover for our book. Did I mention we have a book? We do! Yes, click here to have a read. If you’ve read it, leave a review and buy ten copies of your friends. The reason for my dip into Illustrator was to design a little advert I could put into these blog entries to sell our Musclefood boxes – it gets difficult trying to shoehorn in reference to meat, especially when the topics are stuff like online bullying or my nana dying. Some might call me tactless but at least I didn’t put a sponsored ad in the funeral readings. So, you might see something like this on a post, but I’ll keep them discreet and not hammer home the advertising:

advert - summer-01

By the way, that’s an absolutely stonking deal – it’s what is fuelling our current BBQ week and the meat is delicious. We do also have three other deals and you can view them by clicking on our special, updated Musclefood page – even if you’re not wanting the meat, pass it to a friend by sending them a link. Cheers, big-ears.

I really have ummed and aahed about adding adverts – I bet you’ve hardly noticed our current level of advertising because we only have one on a page as a rule, and they’re tiny. Advertising is what keeps the blog going so we do have to have it, but I’m loathe to become one of those blogs where you get ten ads on a page, a newsletter sign-up shaking away at you every few minutes and constant plugging of various products that you know the owner is only saying because they’re getting paid to do so. Everything we recommend is something that we genuinely use, I promise. We do try and strike a balance of user friendliness vs advertising and I reckon – based on feedback I’ve requested in our group – we’ve got it right. Please do tell us if that isn’t the case! We want you to come here for either:

  • the delicious food;
  • the attempts at funny chatter; or
  • the hope of seeing my genitals in a blurred reflection of a polished curry bowl.

We’ll take whatever we can!

Right, right, goodness me, we have to do the recipes, don’t we? Sometimes when I sit down I can think of nothing to type and other times, nothing will have happened but I’ll still be able to spin 1800 words out of it. If you’re not a fan of my verbosity, you can always scroll straight to the recipes. If you are a fan, do me a favour and recommend us in your slimming groups or to mates. Build us and watch us flower.

Tonight we have three recipes – one for marinated turkey chimichurri skewers, another for a genuinely delicious loaded potato salad that tastes like it would be full of syns and nastiness but is actually low in syns and keeps well for lunches the next day, and oh, a seabreeze. We’re really getting into the cocktails thing. I know, just when you thought we couldn’t get any gayer. Ah well. To the food…

slimming world bbq

to make slimming world bbq: turkey chimichurri skewers, you’ll need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced finely (hey guess what, I’m not going to recommend…ah fuck it, you know I am: here, use this!)
  • a big handful of parsley and a big handful of coriander

Listen, it’s always better to use fresh herbs. Buy a plant from the supermarket, stick it in water on your windowsill and it’ll grow all summer. But if you’re pushed for time, use dried

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • a pack of diced turkey – and what do you know, our Musclefood deal has the perfect pack in it – click here for that – you could also use a couple of diced up chicken breasts from the same box, we won’t tell
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper

Normally proper chimichurri is made with oil – so if you want to be a decadent bitch, get rid of the water and use four tablespoons of oil (24 syns) – this makes enough for eight skewers so that’s still only 6 syns per serving, assuming you have two skewers. If you use the above recipe, it’ll be 1.5 syns for two skewers.

to make slimming world bbq: turkey chimichurri skewers, you should:

  • dice the turkey or chicken if not already done
  • blend in a food processor all the other ingredients – taste with your fingers – you want to get it to a runny paste with some herbs left intact, not a perfectly blended mush
  • tip the turkey/chicken into a food bag and top with the chimichurri – really moosh it in with your fingers to get it pushed into the meat
  • leave for as long as you see fit, but, just like a lot of things, the longer the better
  • actually, that’s a lie, girth is more important, apologies if you’re a guy with a knob like one of those novelty giant pencils you buy in Scottish gift shops, but it’s true
  • when you’re ready to cook and the BBQ is up to temperature, thread the meat onto soaked wooden skewers or, better, metal skewers, together with whatever vegetables you have lying around in the house and place onto the grill
  • turn these a couple of times and for god’s sake, like everything else, make sure it’s all cooked before you eat it

You can also see in the picture there the hickory BBQ steaks and the drumsticks from our Musclefood deal. Just saying. They were delicious.

OK, now the potato salad. This was genuinely amazing, and well worth making! You can gussy it up however you want. This makes enough for four, though it was all Paul could do to stop me mashing my face into the bowl and eating the lot.

slimming world bbq

to make amazing loaded potato salad, you’ll need:

  • 1kg baby potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt, for the boiling water
  • 350g bacon medallions
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of darlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard (1½ syns)
  • 2 tbsp Morrison’s NuMe Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (2 syns) – or use any alternative reduced fat mayonnaise but check the syn values as they vary
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn, drained (obvs)
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach

to make amazing loaded potato salad, you should:

  • boil a big pan of water and throw in the potatoes, whole and with the skins on – cook until they’re done and they fall off when stabbed with a fork (about 15 minutes or so)
  • when done, drain and then rinse the potatoes under cold water to stop them from cooking. drain again and set aside
  • cook the bacon in a frying pan on a medium-high heat until crispy, then remove from the pan and onto a plate to cool
  • in the same pan add the chopped onion and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally
  • then, add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, then remove the pan from the heat
  • in a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper
  • cut the potatoes into chunks – either halves or quarters, depending how you like them and place into a large bowl
  • crumble the bacon into small pieces and add to the potatoes, along with the onion and garlic
  • then add the sweetcorn, spinach and mustard sauce and mix well to combine
  • serve!

Perfect, right? Now let’s end with a cocktail. We’re keeping it easy with these cocktails, nice and strong with the idea that you’re not going to down it in one. Frankly, if you’re that type of lady, we both know your BBQ is going to end with you with your knickers off face-down in the neighbours’ leylandii, you shameless hussy.

slimming world bbq

to make a slimming world bbq: seabreeze, you’ll need:

  • a chilled glass
  • 35ml of reasonable vodka – we used Absolut Grapevine, but that’s because we’re extravagant  (4 syns)
  • 50ml of cranberry juice (1.5 syns ish)
  • lots of ice
  • 50ml of grapefruit juice (1 syn)
  • slice of lime

to make a slimming world bbq: seabreeze, you should:

  • lots of ice in the glass
  • vodka in the bottom
  • then cranberry juice
  • then grapefruit juice
  • decorate with a lime

Drink lots and be merry, folks.


slimming world BBQ: perfect rainbow coleslaw, onion jam, hotdogs and frozen margaritas!

The next part of our series on what to put on a Slimming World BBQ is right here. For once, you’re not going to have to wade through all of my guff to get to it because well, time’s a factor. Paul and I have decided to have a day off together, partly because we had the idea that our garden furniture was going to arrive today. That didn’t happen, but ah well, could be worse, could be dead. We hopped into the car and shot off to see Ghostbusters and you know, it was great! Well-acted, fun, colourful – hit of all my buttons!

It’s a shame that Leslie Jones has been getting  shit thrown at her on Twitter as a result of being in the movie. She’s been called all sorts of vile things for simply putting herself forward and making people laugh. It’s depressing, and it’s not as though the world isn’t depressing enough as it is. It’s getting to the point where I could open my curtains in the morning and notice a mushroom cloud billowing towards me and I’d shrug and meh and go back to watching whatever atrocity is blazing across the TV.

That’s the problem with the Internet, it gives a voice to all those gimps with no self-confidence and no tact. I should know, I’ve made a healthy sideline from it. You see the most vile of comments left on the most innocuous of posts and articles – I’ve seen someone wish another woman a miscarriage because they disagreed over how much sweetener to put in a recipe, for goodness sake – and the answer to that one, by the way, is none at all. You have people who wouldn’t say boo to a goose blurting out vile rhetoric and for what? No other reason than to wound and upset. I genuinely don’t understand the mentality, and I love a sly dig every now and then – but I couldn’t take pleasure in actually breaking someone’s spirit.

We have a local paper up here called the Evening Chronicle, and it really is the go-to paper if you want to know who someone from Geordie Shore had up her snatch the previous day or perhaps a picture of a local councillor pointing furiously at some potholes with a face like he’s trying desperately not to shit himself on camera It’s entirely pointless but generally harmless, although they’re not averse to strumming up a bit of racial tension to get their comments counter overflowing. Anyway, they posted a story about some poor bugger who had climbed up an electricity pylon and was threatening to hurl himself onto the live wires. He was suicidal and as a result, the power folks had to turn off the juice. The story was full of comments like ‘shocking behaviour’ and ‘I hope he was charged’, which, whilst crass and insensitive, is harmless enough. We’re all guilty of a bit of black humour. However, topping off the comments was ‘So glad it didn’t hit my area i’f be raging if I’d missed the soaps!!’. For fucks sake. We’re not talking about someone nicking a bit of copper wire, we’re talking about someone being so fucked in the head that they think the best option is the pain of burning alive, and this claybrained footlicker is more concerned about missing Eastenders.

I despair. Not in a sanctimonious oh-aren’t-I-wonderful way but just as a human, how can you lack the compassion? Also, as an adult, how the fuck do you not know that it is I’d not i’f – and that’s after editing her comments. Urgh. Listen, I’m depressing myself now, so let’s just jump to the recipes. Bit of a hard segue to make though…so let’s chuck in a bit about our Musclefood deal first – so tasteful!

Before we get to the recipe, it would be churlish of me not to mention our LIMITED EDITION Musclefood deal – we’ve upgraded our freezer filler to add in some BBQ friendly products. Same price as before – £50 – but this comes with free delivery, 24 chicken breasts, 6 half a syn sausages, 2 fat steak burgers (1 syn), 2 fat rump steaks, 2 hickory bbq chicken steaks (syn free), 400g of spicy chicken drumsticks (syn free when skin removed), 400g of diced turkey, huge pack of bacon medallions, 12 giant meatballs (half a syn each) and 1 pack of seasoning (2 syns). It’s only for a couple of weeks whilst the weather is hot and I thought it would be a good change to add in some BBQ foods! Click here to order and use the code TCCSUMMER to get the deal!

We used the sausages in the above pack to make the hotdogs – you can buy syn-free sausages but they taste like someone stuffed an old sock full of shredded carpet and whatever’s been swept up off the floor at the Schwartz factory. I’ve tasted other people’s burps that I’ve enjoyed more than the Slimming World sausages, plus these Musclefood sausages don’t look like pickled willies when they’re cooked, so there’s that. Slimming World do a lot of tasty food don’t get me wrong, but I prefer a sausage I can eat rather than one I can shave with. Whack them in your healthy extra bun allowance and they are only half a syn. We haven’t used healthy extra buns in the picture but hell, it’s the summer and a hotdog isn’t the same in a wholemeal bun. The buns in the pictures are six syns each – Tesco finger buns – and well, I’ve always preferred a couple of fingers over a nice pair of baps. Boom boom.

No, the recipe is for onion jam and perfect coleslaw, two little additions for the side of the BBQ that will make everything taste that much better…

slimming world bbq

to make slimming world BBQ: onion jam and perfect rainbow coleslaw, you’ll need:

  • for the onion jam:
    • 250g of red onions
    • 50ml of balsamic vinegar
    • 75ml of apple / cider vinegar
    • a clove of garlic
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 tsp of sweetener if you want it syn free, but I use a teaspoon of honey which is technically a syn but meh…
  • for the coleslaw
    • a butternut squash
    • one large carrot
    • a bunch of spring onions
    • small white cabbage and a small purple cabbage
    • 200g (1 syn) of greek yoghurt, fat free
    • lots of black pepper
    • pinch of salt

to make slimming world BBQ: onion jam and perfect rainbow coleslaw, you should:

  • for the onion jam:
    • cut up your onions nice and small and uniform
    • finely mince your garlic using one of these so you’re not known as Stinky Fingers McGee (again)
    • throw everything into a pan on a low heat
    • cover and allow to simmer for ages – you want it to reduce slowly into a nice sticky sauce
    • easy!
  • for the perfect rainbow coleslaw
    • shred your cabbage nice and fine – whether you use a grater or, as we do, one of these fancy gadgets
    • don’t grate your carrot or butternut squash – use a potato peeler to cut small ribbons instead – you want nice chunks, not miles of the stuff
    • if you have leftover butternut squash, make my butternut squash macaroni and never look back
    • finely dice your onion
    • mix it all together with the yoghurt, pinch of salt and lots of pepper
    • the key is to make the different vegetables roughly the same size (bar the onion) so you get plenty of crunch and taste – it makes everything go a bit further
    • we were actually cheeky and grated one HEA of Parmesan into ours – gives it a bit extra kick but fine to leave out

That makes enough for four, so it’s 0.25 syns. If you want to syn that, shoot for the moon.

Now, the accompanying cocktail in our series on drinks that may use a few syns but last bloody ages and get you pissed is a frozen margarita. You’ll need a blender but this is amazing on a hot day, trust me. This makes enough for two BIG glasses – not going to lie and say we didn’t double the shots for our own version, but we like them strong. It puts hairs on your arse, this.

slimming world bbq

to make a tasty frozen margarita:

  • chuck a load of ice, 60ml of freshly squeezed lime juice, 50ml of tequila (6 syns)  and 25ml of triple sec (4 syns) into a blender. Blend like your life is on the line. Tip into chilled martini glasses and serve – it’s strong, but it’ll last for ages and tastes gorgeous – don’t be frightened to spend the syns!

Easy! Enjoy. If you want more recipes for sausages or snacks, hit the buttons below!




six slimming smoothies

Here for the six slimming smoothies? Of course you are. But first…

It’s too hot. It’s too hot for a long post so damn it, I’m going to post the recipe for the six smoothies and go lie down in our air-conditioned bedroom, wailing and calling for Paul to turn me away from the sun.

I hate the hot weather. I really do. I can’t be done with it. I’m sweating like Josef Fritzl on Through the Keyhole / a nun picking cucumbers / a cat burying a shit on a concrete floor. Yes, that’s tasteful enough to put in. You should have heard the three I didn’t put in. I’ve always been envious of those folk who can seemingly bask in sunlight and thoroughly enjoy it. You have no idea how much I want to take my shirt off and eat ice-cream in the centre of town, but I genuinely think it would cause a riot. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the type of bloke who goes topless the very second the ice warning dings off in his car, it must be a nice feeling. Perhaps I should get a copperplate-writing tattoo on my neck and turn my shoulders red. It ruins every aspect of anything enjoyable – good hearty stews get pushed to one side and replaced with salad, more salad, salad with a bit of salad on the side and salad-salad. I can’t face toiling in the kitchen for hours – even by proxy, given Paul is the one who does the cooking – so meals tend to get repetitive. Sex becomes a chore with everything sticking to each other like pulling warm bacon rashers apart. The roads become full of stupidly big cars trundling along at 25 miles an hour with a big plastic shitheap being towed behind them. I know it’s terribly fashionable to hate on caravans but look, they’re bloody ugly things and almost (unless YOU’RE a driver, you’re fine) always pulled by the type of people you know read the Daily Express, furiously circling the word immigrants in thick red pen with spittle on their lips. The men who are more nose-hair than bellend.

Pub gardens become full of braying donkeys taaaalking like thaaas and coughing at people for having the temerity to light up a fag. Beaches become awash with badly parked Dacia Dusters, dog poo and poorly buried Poundland BBQs with a half-life longer than Tellerium-128 just waiting to slice your foot open. You can’t open the windows because all of the neighbours are cutting their grass to the exact millimetre meaning the air is so thick with pollen I’ve only got to sniff daintily at it to make everything inside my face swell-up and turn me into John Merrick’s fun-house reflection. Birds singing from 3am in the morning until 2.58am the next day means only one thing – endless half-chewed birds being dragged through the cat-flap and deposited somewhere where I’m absolutely guaranteed to stand during the night when I get up for a piss. You’ve never known revulsion until you’ve felt half a sparrow crunch under your toes in a twilit bathroom.

But you know what really fills me with unbridled fury? When people say ‘OH BUT YOU’LL MISS THE HEAT WHEN WINTER COMES’. No! No I absolutely fucking won’t. I have never turned around in December and said ‘well yes Marie, this Christmas vista is quite charming but it could only be improved with the top of my head being sweaty, extensive chub-rub on my legs and sinuses like cocktail sticks’. I bloody love the winter! If I’m cold, I can put a jacket on. Well no, I’m Geordie, so I might deign to put a thin t-shirt on if the ends of my fingers turn black. There’s nothing you can do when you’re too hot except gripe, moan and whinge about it, even when you say you’re not going to do a long post. But god it felt good getting all that off my chest.

Let’s get to the six slimming smoothies, shall we?

BEFORE WE BEGIN – and partly because I’m feeling all bolshie from my moan about the heat – it’s up to YOU whether you decide to syn these smoothies. I don’t. Slimming World’s argument is that you should syn fruit if it is blended but there are no syns if you eat it raw. Ostensibly this is due to ‘changing the filling factor of the food’ or creating a situation where you might over-eat calories. Fine. That rule applies if you want to make orange juice – you couldn’t sit and eat eight oranges but you could easily neck the juice of eight oranges in one go. I keep reading from people in SW groups who say that blending releases the natural sugars, as though the strawberry is a spirit level bubble filled with syrup. Pfft. Perhaps that’s true. I don’t know. All I know is this: none of these smoothies use any more fruit than you could cheerfully and comfortably eat in a fruit salad. If it makes you feel better, don’t blend the fruit in a Nutribullet or similar, push it all in your mouth with your sausage-fingers and frantically chew it up before spitting it into a glass. Technically, according to SW, that makes it syn-free. PFFFFT. I’ve covered my thoughts on this tweaking nonsense before, too.

Anyway, because I’m a kind, loving blogger, I’ll give you the syns option IF you think you need them. These smoothies are lovely for a quick breakfast and full of health and wonder. Plus, they make a pretty range of colours! Let’s get started.

six slimming smoothies

All of these smoothies have the same basic ingredients – half a small banana (2 syns), a few tablespoons of fat-free yoghurt and some ice. They make a delicious, thick smoothie. If you want it a little runnier, add almond milk (100ml is 1 syn, usually) or milk from your allowance. Adjust to taste. I’ve been very generous with the amount of fruit too below, so chances are the smoothies will come out lower syns anyway. Plus, you know, it’s fruit. There’s absolutely no bollocksy way that a HiFi bar is a better option at 6 syns. Bah! Remember: it is YOUR choice to make, not mine! Why not have the odd smoothie and see if it troubles your weight loss?

We blend all of our smoothies in a Nutribullet – they have a range on Amazon you can find right here!

So, left to right, the six slimming smoothies are:

strawberry, cherry and raspberry – a handful of strawberries – (50g is 0.75 syn), a handful of raspberries (50g is 0.5 syn) and a handful of cherries (50g is 1.5 syns) = syn total including the banana is about 4.5 syns

peach, carrot and apricot – one apricot (50g is 0.75 syns), one peach (50g is also 0.75 syns) and one carrot (free) = syn value overall including the banana is 3.5 syns

mango and pineapple – 50g of mango is 1.5 syns, 50g of pineapple is 1 syn = syn value overall including the banana is 4.5 syns

spinach, mint and choc chips – 25g of dark chocolate chips (we used Dr Oetker which are 6 syns, so 1.5 syns a serving), 80g of uncooked spinach, 40g of mint leaves = syn total overall including banana  is 3.5 syns

blueberry – pretty obvious, chuck in a whack of blueberries (75g blended is 1 syn) = syn value including the banana is 3 syns

beetroot and blackberry – 0.5 syn for 50g of blackberries and I threw a tiny wee pre-cooked beetroot in there. Tell you what mind, don’t be alarmed when you go to the netty later and it looks as though you’re bleeding. You’re not. Promise. Syn value including the bloody banana is 2.5 syns.

Enjoy! I reckon these are a much easier way of getting fruit in at breakfast.

If you want more breakfast ideas, click on the icon below.


Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to try and peel myself away from this leather chair without it sounding like a rhino queefing.


cherry cola float

OK, so fair enough, our photography skills let us down on this one and our cherry coke float doesn’t look great, but look, it’s a decent idea for a low syn pudding! Plus, won’t you feel like a classy sort getting your knickerbocker glasses out? We’re the gift that keeps on giving.

I’m feeling a little rough this monring. I was out last night and my plan of having a single gin and tonic and then coming home for a delicious meal and warm conversation became sinking several pints over a few hours and pretty much pushing my face into chips and nachos. Yes: chips and machos. I can almost hear the air whistling through Mags’ teeth as she sucks a breath in disapprovingly. Sorry, but life is for living, after all.

We had drinks in the Tyneside Cinema bar in Newcastle and it was all very lovely and to-do, although there was a distressing amount of people taking up all the tables when we arrived. Due to my imposing bulk and unwelcome face I was given the task of spotting a table becoming free which of course, I attended to with aplomb. A couple had no sooner dabbed at their lips with their hankies before I started subtly (as subtly as someone of my frame can do) leaning into their table. She gave me a waspish look and said YES WE’RE LEAVING NOW like I’d sat down on her lap. Well, I’m sorry, don’t sit at a table designed for six people just to eat your peanuts. The night was merry, although my unique talent of being unable to go somewhere without attracting an odd character didn’t fail me – I nipped to the gents to undrink my lager when some cloud-haired-buffoon who was dressed as the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who leered at me in the queue for the ONE urinal (really!) and said ‘AAAH YES MY MAN, US CHAPS OF A CERTAIN AGE FIND THEMSELVES FOREVER IN THE TOILET DON’T WE!’ like I was his age and has a prostate like a ruddy cauliflower! The cheek. I can hold my water for ages! I presumed it wasn’t some sort of clumsy come-on so just smiled politely, did a ‘Oh you’ shake of the head (the one on my neck) and disappeared into a trap instead.

I hope I become like him when I’m old, booming away in toilets about my need to piss.

Anyway come on, let’s get this cherry cola float out of the way. Have you noticed we’re making a bit more effort to post regularly? You should! 

Our cherry coke float is below – it looked so much better in real-life but we were drunk when we made it and I didn’t focus the camera very well. Ooops. We got the idea from another blog (found right here) and hers looks a lot better than mine! Haha. Ah well. Listen we can’t all be winners! Paul seemed bemused at the idea of a coke float but it was a regular dessert in our house when I was young. Mind, Paul’s idea of a luxury dessert back in the day was one of those no-name choc-ices where the chocolate was all cracked and the ‘ice cream’ tasted like that oasis stuff you stick dried flowers into.

 cherry coke float



Photo credit: thecraftedsparrow

Of course, to make it Slimming World friendly, you’ll need to make a couple of changes.

to make a cherry coke float, you’ll need:

  • some diet cherry coke
  • low-fat ice-cream – we used 100ml of Asda’s Good For You Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt for each float, which comes in at 4 syns)
  • a good squirt of squirty cream (1.5 syns for 15g of Asda’s light aerosol cream)
  • a normal cherry for the top

to make a cherry coke float, you should:

  • seriously?
  • ok, put coke in glass, add scoop of ice-cream, add squirty cream and top with a cherry
  • pass it through your lips, into your stomach, out yer bum

Job done!

Looking for stripey straws? Easy. Right here.

Looking for fancy Kilner jar glasses? Even easier. Right here.


easy mint chocolate chip smoothie

Right, before we even get started, I’ll need to put up the banner:


Today’s recipe is a major tweak session. Listen, I know, I know it’s not the Slimming World way, but this is something I disagree with them on. All of the ingredients used are syn free AND very good for you, and the only synned item is some dark chocolate, but what’s life without a little risk, eh? I’ve made my feelings quite clear on tweaking before and I’m not going to change for anyone! HARRUMPH. But before we get to that, here’s a little ramble…

The reason for the title of the post being ‘Good Morning Australia’ is because we’ve discovered a new app on our iPad – Wakie! Essentially it’s an alarm clock but one that actually connects you to the person who wants waking up. For example, some bronzed god in Australia may want waking up because he has to go to work at 11am, and I’m sitting in the UK available to make the call, and the app will connect the two of us. It doesn’t cost anything, it’s just like making a phone call, and we LOVE it. At first we were shy – lots of ‘So what’s the weather like where you are’ and ‘what you getting up for’, but now we wake people up by telling them jokes, or my most favourite, using the soundboard of Roy Walker’s catchphrases that we found on the internet from the old Radio 1 days. Imagine that – you’re fast asleep in New Zealand, your phone goes, you blearily answer it and you get ‘GOOD MORNING CONTESTANT’ blaring at you, followed by ‘IT’S A GOOD GUESS, BUT IT’S NOT RIGHT’. Haha! It works the other way too, we had a wake-up call from someone in America this morning, who told us a joke and then farted down the phone. She sounds like just our type of girl to be honest. It’s completely anonymous so there’s never a way of finding out who you spoke to, but it’s just great fun. Perhaps you should download it – you’ll know if you get through to us because it’ll be a litany of blue jokes, shrieks of laughter and ten seconds of Paul trying to press the hang up button and missing because he hasn’t got his glasses on and there’s four iPads in his field of vision.

Anyway, the good news is we’ve had no altercations with anyone today and it’s been an altogether pleasant day, even though all we’ve done is our grocery shopping and beetled about in the car. Are we the only couple who go out in the car just for a drive? I mean, I know the price of fuel means arranging a small mortgage beforehand, but there’s nothing better than just heading out on a sunny day, not knowing where you are going to end up. I think I get that from growing up with my parents, who would take us out on a drive to nowhere and always reply to the question of ‘where are we going’ with ‘there and back to see how far it is’. Helpful. To be fair to them, my sister and I were proper nightmares in the back of the car. Not as bad as Paul, mind you. He kicked his sister so hard in the side of her head for turning off his 911 CD that she spent a car journey from Glencoe to Aberdeen with ringing ears. To be fair, I’d have ringing ears if I had to listen to Paul’s music choices for more than ten minutes – I spend less time changing gears than I do pressing the ‘Skip Track’ button on my steering wheel to try and get past his Tracy Chapman nonsense. It’s no wonder the clutch in the Micra is fucked.


Actually, my parents once thought it would be a great idea to transport my sister, me, a tent and two week’s worth of camping impedimenta in a scalding hot Ford Escort to the bottom of France (from Newcastle). It wasn’t, and I think my sister and I started fighting from the second my dad started backing the car down the lane from our house. Bearing in mind that we were quite fractious siblings at the best of times (though we’re close now) this was a recipe for disaster. Anyway, clearly sick of remonstrating with us and smacking our arses, our parents threatened to leave us by the side of a road in the middle of rural France at some backwater petrol station. Of course, being kids, we were full of bravado, and we knew they wouldn’t dare. But they did – they bundled us out of the car at the petrol station and proceeded to drive to the exit ramp. Now, let me clarify, I believe their intention was to give us a little fright and stop a moment or two down the ramp and pick us back up. Only they hadn’t factored in the massive lorry that pulled out behind them, clearly with Paris’ entire shipment of Gauloises in the back and no time to wait for my parents to teach us a lesson in good behaviour. Being a one lane exit ramp they had no other alternative than to carry on down onto the motorway and leave us stranded, bawling. Oops. They came back around from the other side around fifteen minutes later after they’d driven like they had a bomb up their arse to the next junction and turned around and we were completely silent for the next couple of hours. So I suppose the threat worked. Anyway, don’t judge, they are great parents.

So today’s recipe is…gasp…wait for it…get Mag’s number dialled ready to press…A SMOOTHIE. Quick! Get the amyl nitrates and bring her around!

This makes four decent sized smoothies, so give a couple to the kids or just enjoy two!

mint chocolate chip smoothies

to make mint chocolate chip smoothie, you’ll need:

25g of dark chocolate chips (we used Dr Oetker which are 6 syns, so 1.5 syns a serving), 80g of uncooked spinach, 40g of mint leaves, four frozen bananas, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and 750ml of almond milk (either use it as part of your HEA – you’re allowed 875ml of Blue Diamond almond milk, and you can use it in coffee – or syn it as 3 syns, or less than a syn per smoothie). You’ll also need a blender or some way of making it mush together, and we chucked in some ice for shits and giggles.

to make mint chocolate chip smoothie, you should:

  • only thing to do is to prepare the bananas by freezing them – top tip, slice them first and lay all the slices out flat on a chopping board, and then freeze like that – that way you’re not having to cut up a frozen banana
  • blend the whole lot into a nice green blend
  • serve in a normal glass like a level-headed, reasonable person, or pop it in a fucking milk bottle
  • enjoy!

Two caveats – you DON’T need to be a complete bellend and serve these smoothies up in milk bottles like some vexing bearded hipster, but I’ll say this somewhat begrudgingly, they do look rather nice. We bought ours from Lakeland on Amazon – they’re pretty, but expensive. Click here for a link and there are cheaper alternatives!

Also, it might not sound especially nice, but this tasted delicious, like a mint milkshake. You can’t taste the spinach but it adds a lovely green and the health benefits are obvious. We had ours at noon and I’m not hungry yet so I’m going to say this can be used for a breakfast. Yes: technically it’s a tweak. But look at it this way. The banana is syn free. The spinach is a speed food. Mint makes your breath fresh and hot men will kiss you. Dark chocolate is good for the ticker and if you’re feeling particularly virtuous, just leave it out. You’re not drinking a bathtub of this stuff, you’re using it as a meal or a snack. Enjoy it, please!


7777 week day five: cottage pie

It’s going to have to be a quick post tonight because we’re having computer problems and like pick-a-name-of-a-celebrity-famous-in-the-Eighties we’re having to format the hard drive. And reinstall Windows, of course. So that’s a fun evening.

We decided, after we got out of bed at an unseemly hour this afternoon that we would have a ‘trip out in the car’. That’s a sign we’re both getting old, not least because the three places we considered were a) a garden centre b) an outlet shopping centre and c) a castle. I fear we’re rapidly becoming one of those couples who drive to the seaside and then sit inside the car eating egg sandwiches before driving home again, the bitter resentment of each other thick in the air. I don’t understand that – there was an old couple yesterday who had driven to the same beach we were geocaching at, only to park their Nissan Incontinent facing away from the beach and then proceeded to eat their sandwiches. Surely you’d want something interesting to look at – I can’t imagine the ‘Pick Up Dog Shit’ posters were that enthralling. Perhaps they were enjoying the spectacle of two fat blokes bustling around in the undergrowth looking for a lunchbox with an ASDA smart-price notepad and an IKEA pencil in it. Who knows. Frankly, a trip out to the beach isn’t a success for me unless I’m still picking sand out from under my helmet four days later.

There’s an image, I hope no-one was eating mackerel.

Anyway, we decided to go to the Royal Quays Outlet Centre purely because there’s a Le Creuset outlet there and I wanted a salt-pig. Listen, I know my rock-and-roll lifestyle is getting too much, but please try to keep up. This meant a trip through the Tyne Tunnel where I immediately managed to cock everything up by missing the tiny basket for the toll as I drove through, leading to 50p rolling under the car. Now, I’m an exceptionally tight person, but even I didn’t think to get out of the car and retrieve it – I just made Paul find another one amongst the detritus in our ashtray and we were on our way. However, the driver of the car behind was almost out of his car and on the hunt for the pound coin no sooner had I pulled away. I was aghast – I mean, I’m stingy, but for goodness sake, he hurtled out of his car door like Usain Bolt looking for my 50p. I slowed down because I was trying to sync my phone with the radio and he hurtled past us at the entrance, pretty much cutting us up, so we spent the tunnel journey mouthing mean words at him – Paul mouthing TIGHT and me mouthing BASTARD in perfect unison. I hope he felt thoroughly ashamed – he was driving a BMW though so I very much doubt he had any sense of shame. Or pity. Or driving ability. Nobber.

However, catastrophe struck when we got to Royal Quays – the Le Creuset shop has gone! Where else will I buy my beautiful but overpriced kitchen ornaments now? The ladies on the checkout, who clearly saw our shaved heads and dirty shoes and assumed we were there to rob the place (though you’d be pretty hard-pushed to make a quick getaway with a bloody cast-iron casserole pot jammed down your boxers), always treated us with incredible disdain. But the deals were good so we kept going back. Alas, it is no more. We checked the information board and Paul suggested that we could get something nice from Collectibles. Well really. I’d sooner shit in my hands and start clapping than trawl through the tat in there. Not saying you can’t get nice stuff, but when your window display is a pyramid of Nicer Dicer boxes then we’re not going to get along. We left in a huff, didn’t even bother going to Cotton Traders to pick up a marquee-sized flannel shirt. Our wardrobe is almost exclusively flannel shirts in varying pairs of colours – it looks like a test-card when you slide the door across. Anyway, crikey, I said I wasn’t going to waffle…


sausage spicy eggs

Sausage egg bhurji

Because we er…slept in until past noon, we had to cobble together a breakfast pretty fast, so we actually took one of our recipes and jazzed it up a little. That’s right! We’re at full jazz!

Full jazz? But that’s impossible! They’re on instruments!

Yeah. Egg bhurji! It’s delicous. Scrambled eggs but with spice and flavour. Click here for the recipe (it’ll open in a new window) but note the addition before. We had four leftover sausages from when we made that coffin of meat on Monday, so when the onions (S), peppers (S) and peas were softening, we threw the sausagemeat in with them and cooked it through before adding the eggs. Served on a couple of slices of wholemeal toast, it was a delicious start to the day, although the resulting flatulence was terrifying. I didn’t dare put the indicator on when I was going through the Tyne Tunnel lest the car blew up – it would have been like that shite Sylvester Stallone disaster movie, Daylight.


CONFESSION TIME. Because we were so lazy and didn’t get out of bed until after 12, we didn’t bother with lunch – the breakfast served as our lunch. Isn’t that awful? I did have half a Twirl in the car and it was delicious.



Peaches and mint

It’s really quite hard to make facetious comments about bloody water day in day out, so let’s skip to the good bit:

  • peaches – good for the eyes, which is important to us because we’ll need you to keep reading; and
  • mint – perfect if you’re the type of person who uses your breath as a weapon.

Actually, let me drive this point home – these ‘detox waters’ are a load of unscientific nonsense BUT, if you like flavoured waters and you’re often buying bottles of that Volvic ‘A Touch of Fruit’ stuff, make some of this instead and save the syns. ‘A touch of fruit’ doesn’t mean they’ve wafted a strawberry over your bottled water, it’ll just be a load of fragrance and sugar to make it taste sweet. Make your own and never look back.


giant dog walking

I wish that this picture better conveyed the sheer size of this dog. I felt like I was walking a cow, albeit a cow that sounded like a steam engine as it chugged along. I’ve often mentioned that Paul and I like to help out at a local animal shelter and when we went today, we were given this gorgeous dog – Bear, a Caucasian Shepherd dog – only 11 months old and weighing in at over 8 stone. He’ll continue to grow until he’s three years old and he was already up to Paul’s waist.

He was utterly, utterly gorgeous – soft as clarts, hairier than the hairiest of my two arse cheeks and incredibly strong. He was on his fourth walk of the day, the poor bugger. Some silly bugger bought him and then dumped him when they realised they’d need to fit a rolling garage door rather than a dog-flap. We were walked by him for over four miles and he kept stopping to have his ears scratched and to look adorable. I can’t deny – we were on the verge of hiring a transit van and taking him home, although he’d probably consider both of our cats as nothing more than mere fortune cookies at the end of a big meal. I was dreading him having a shit – I only had a Morrisons carrier bag that they’d hastily given me, whereas going on the size of him I think I’d have been better off with the cover from a king size duvet.

Listen, I’ve said this before and I don’t care – if you have a spare afternoon, go to your local cat and dog shelter and volunteer to walk the dogs or stroke the cats. They’ll love it and you get free exercise and the chance to see beauties like this one.

The irony of twochubbycubs finally pulling a Bear isn’t lost to us, by the way.


Cottage pie with a swede and carrot top and roasted green vegetables


to make cottage pie you will need:

  • for the vegetables – 20 brussel sprouts (halved and peeled) (S) and a head of broccoli (S), together with a couple of squirts of frylight, balsamic vinegar and salt
  • for the top: peeled and chopped swede (S) and three large peeled and chopped carrots (S)
  • for the mince: 500g of extra lean beef mince (P), one small stalk of celery (S), one red onion (S), two carrots (S), tin of chopped tomatoes (S), one garlic clove (S), beef stock cube

to make cottage pie you should:

  • mix the sprouts and chopped head of broccoli up in a good few glugs of balsamic vinegar, salt and frylight, and pop in the oven on the bottom shelf on 180 degrees
  • get your chopped swede and carrot boiling away in water. Once soft, rice the buggers or mash them hard. Ricers are brilliant, they make buttery smooth mash with no effort. We use this ricer, it’s never failed us and is reduced to £13 from £22
  • meanwhile, prepare your mince, which is nothing more than sweating down your finely chopped onion, carrot and celery in a bit of salt and a dab of oil, then putting in the mince and browning it off, then adding the chopped tomatoes and a stock cube, and letting it bubble down
  • when the mince is thick and the mash is ready, put the mince in the bottom of a pyrex dish and top with the mash, and then, if you’re feeling like a truly luxurious dirty girl, you can spread your cheese over the top, so when it comes out of the oven after thirty minutes on 180 degrees, you can peel off the top like a great big scab.

Mmm! Bet you’re hungry now. Actually, it was delicious. And gosh, it was a SW recipe which we tinkered with, and I didn’t even need to sieve my dinner before serving like I normally do with SW recipes! GOSH.

Just look at that. I said quick post and I’ve typed 1715 words and that’s without a lunch bit. This is why the book might take a while…!



a thick, meaty guide to Options on Slimming World

We’re out and about tonight so no real post, but I made this for you guys and girls – it’s a guide to Options.


My good friend Phillipa, knowing my kitchen is awash with volcanic red Le Creuset and other expensive frippery, decided I needed a cup with a handle made from a cock with a skidder down the side of it. I’m not going to lie, I totally love it, and it’ll sit proudly on my windowsill so ole Vinegartits over the road can get her gusset damp over it! Options aren’t a bad option on Slimming World, especially if you’re like us and you find yourself craving chocolate last thing at night and it’s a toss-up between getting a McFlurry or having some angry sex.

There was also a penis cake, but that’s an entry all on it’s own. I had to bring it home because I’m not convinced I could have got away with putting it next to my desk at work and offering it out. I mean if I can’t do that with my own penis I can hardly see a cake version winning. Another friend of mine once made a cake where it was basically a vagina with a baby coming out. Who on Earth thinks that’s a good idea? I felt so guilty cutting through the baby’s head that I could barely go back for thirds. Man I miss baking.

…long entry tomorrow, fnar fnar, starring…cake!