Category: ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Stir-up Sunday

A Christmas Pudding, sometimes cream or custard etc are added as a topping.

 

Stir-up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent.  The custom comes from when families & relatives gathered together and stir the ingredients of a traditional British Christmas pudding before the first Sunday in Advent as observed by Anglican churches.

There is a Collect (prayer)

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.’  

Also, It allows time for the pudding to mature properly for the month before the Christmas Day meal. By tradition, each member of a family or participant is encouraged to make a wish as they stir.

The pudding mixture is stirred from East to West in honour and remembrance of the three wise men who visited the baby Jesus with their gifts.

In some households, silver coins are added to the pudding mix. It is believed that finding a coin brings good luck.

I remember as a child in the 1960s, my mother would traditionally put & stir ‘silver’ sixpence coins known colloquially as a tanner into the mixture. Later when the UK went decimal ‘other’ silver coins were added.

It is believed that like Christmas trees and Christmas decorations, Christmas puddings were introduced to the UK in the 1800s, by Prince Albert, who was the husband and consort to Queen Victoria.

There can be some variations of ingredients, traditional puddings mainly contain dried fruits, raisins etc. The mixture and cake are held together by egg and suet &  sometimes moistened by treacle or molasses. It is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and or other spices. Measured alcohol is added, mainly brandy but dark beers or stout can be used.

Before the pudding is served during the Christmas meal, some households set light to the pudding as the alcohol content allows it to burn briefly as part of the serving tradition.

The pudding is usually aged for a month or more,[or even a year until the following Christmas Day; the high alcohol content of the pudding prevents it from spoiling during this time.

 

 

 

Beyond the Deepening Shadow – 100th Anniversary of Armistice

Beyond the Deepening Shadow – 100th Anniversary of Armistice

Tomorrow will see the 100th anniversary of Armistice which ended the war in the land, air, and water during the First World War.

As a symbol of remembrance, some 10,000 candles were lit at dusk (5 p.m.) at the moat of the Tower of London in the last few days and will be culminating tomorrow at the actual day of the anniversary: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Peter and I went to see the candles at the tower yesterday.  It was packed by people who were uncomplaining in an orderly but extremely long queue.

In the end, it was all worth it, the vista of the flickering thousands of lights was evocative and atmospheric.  It was amazing and wonderful to behold.

 

Jollibee UK

Jollibee Queue 27 Oct 2018, photo by JMorton

Jollibee UK

I had been so looking forward to Jollibee coming to the UK that I had cajoled the whole family to come with me and have some Chicken Joy and sweet spaghetti at this newly opened Filipino fast-food eatery.

So up we went.

From North London, we rode on a bus to Finchley and got the tube.  After two train transfers we finally got to Earl’s Court, where Jollibee has opened.  It used to be a Wagamama location.

It was easy to find Jollibee as very long queues of Filipinos from both sides can be found hindering doorways of nearby shops and restaurants/cafes.

We were gutted to find the long queues but to start with we were prepared to wait for a while.

To see how the restaurant looks more up close, I left the family to queue and have a look.  There were bouncers at the door, very unusual for a fast food restaurant.

Then I heard someone whose ticket was being called.

Hang on, ticket? What ticket?!!!

I asked the bouncer “What ticket?”

He said I need a ticket to get in.

A more helpful Filipino in front the queue elaborated that only ticket holders can get in.  When I asked where I can get the ticket, I was told that it was all gone as early as 8:30 in the morning.

This was dreadful.

Disappointment all around for my two grandchildren, their mother and father, my husband and most especially to me.

I did see the news that there were massive queues on the first day but did not expect that it would be the same a week post opening day.

Stacey, my daughter in law, had sent me a link that announces that Jollibee will stop the ticketing process and just serve on a first come first serve basis beginning today, 29 October.

Am I tempted to go back?

Of course I am but I will probably convince the whole family group to brave it out towards spring next year.

Hopefully, most Filipinos of London and UK have been sated with Chicken Joy by then!  🙂

Apparently, this London branch is only second in Europe.  A Milan branch was opened earlier this year.

Autumn is here!

Autumn leaf, photo by PH Morton

Autumn is here!

Yesterday was the last day of the summer. We have had a glorious one this year.

And today, it is the first day of autumn, which is heralded by a great pouring of cold rain, almost all day long.

As autumn progresses there will be a lot of falling leaves from various shades of orange, brown and red.

UK parks, gardens, roads, and open spaces will be garland with these beautiful leaves that would be gloriously aesthetic at first but would soon enough turn into a slippery sorry mess.

Autumn though has a charm of its own.  It is harvest time.  Time to bring in the harvest from the garden.

 

Public Toilets Near Cutty Sark

Toilet break at Cutty Sark, photo by PH Morton

Toilets at Major Tourist Attraction

 

Public Toilets Near Cutty Sark

I was looking through our photos taken when we recently visited Greenwich, South East London, around the tourists-famous Catty Sark Tea Clipper museum and noticed this black edifice, which reminiscent of a Doctor Who’s TARDIS.  It seemed bigger on the inside.

Anyway, it cost £0.50p to use it.

A tip:  if you are going with a nearest and dearest, you could go in together.  If a small family, it could comfortably hold about six altogether.

The only thing is that you should all be so close as the toilet does not flush each time you use it.  It is only after you exit that it flushes and self-clean.  And you can only stay for a maximum of 20 minutes, which is more than enough time before it automatically open.

🙂 That does not mean you are trapped inside the toilet for 20 minutes, you can press the open button anytime, but the usage time is for 20 minutes only.

The toilet above is directly across the road from the Cutty Sark.

If you do not have a fifty pence or a chance, the nearest free toilets are inside the Royal Naval College which is about 300 yards across the road.  Or you could always stop for a beer at the Gipsy Moth and use their beautifully maintained loos.

 

Royal Airforce Museum (RAF Museum) – Hendon

Museum

Royal Airforce Museum (RAF Museum) – Hendon

RAF Museum, photo by PH Morton

We were pleasantly surprised how much the RAF Museum had changed from a year ago when we last visited.  Actually, when we went last year, they were already busy with the renovation.

The very helpful guide had said to be sure to come back because it would be so different, with more exhibitions and things to do.  Also, a new museum restaurant will be opening as well.

As it is now the last few days before the start of the new school year here in the UK, today, with our grandson, Nathan, we went and had a fantastic time with all the amazing array of beautiful warplanes, which western democracy had much to thank for.

The renovation was partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, a very well deserved funding I say.

This renovation also coincided with the 100-Years Anniversary of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Photo by PH Morton

This is, therefore, the ideal time to visit the museum.  A perfect time for the whole family, young and adult will sure to have something to find interesting.

There are so many things that you can get involved in, plenty of interactive activities to be experienced

Like the majority of museums in the UK, the entry is free.

Of course, there are some ‘rides’ and activities that would cost between £3 to £10 per person.  The simulator machine is £3 per person, there was also a chance to board and learn more about a Spitfire for the princely sum of £10, it is well worth it as there was an assistant that would talk you everything about its history.

Peter and Nathan went to the 4D cinema.  The ticket for this is £5 per person.  Our nine-year-old Nathan really enjoyed it.  He said it feels like flying.

Photo by PH Morton

Because of its excellent and large number of exhibits, which is distributed in six hangers, it is much lauded by visitors from all over the world.

There is nothing like being up close and personal with a Vulcan Bomber.  It is quite an experience!

In fact, there was a coach full of visitors disembarking in the carpark when we were there.

The whole family could easily spend the whole day at the museum

Photo by PH Morton

There are a couple of coffee shops for a quick break.

The was also a restaurant, which serves hot food.  I have to say that they make a good Chilli Con Carne.  Our Nathan had loved, I thought he would find it too spicy but he loved it so much, he wanted his own child portion after he had fish goujons with rice as at around 3:45, the restaurant had run out of chips.

Child portion starts at £5 and adult chili portion was £8.50.

If you do not want to eat in the restaurant, there were specific rooms, next to play areas, where you can enjoy your pack lunch.

If the children needed a break and rather overwhelmed with the display, there is a play area outside, with aesthetically pleasing slides in the shapes of a helicopter, Spitfire, a castle and many more.

There are also plenty of toilets, very clean, dotted all and clearly sign-posted all over the place.

There is also a gift shop located at Hanger 1.  The items are reasonably priced.

We really had a great time at the RAF Museum and as a lottery buyer, I support this project 110%.  Well done!

By the way as a recommendation, the Vulcan Bomber is really something to behold, I would have liked it to be exhibited on its own with a gallery, where you can walk and admire it from all angles and corners.

Happy 100th Anniversary to the RAF!

 

Global Granary Drama Recommendation

For more than three years we have solidly watched and followed dramas and films from South Korea (KDramas), Japan (Dorama), China (CDrama) Taiwan (TwDrama) and Thailand (Lakorn).  Oh yes and the Philippines.

We loved the dramas, otherwise, we would not have watched so many.  But there are dramas that just go straight to your heart and into your head.

Some are not the best-made dramas, in terms of script, acting and cinematography but they have something that makes one watch them again and again and over and over and yet reeling for more.  When there is a lull in the dramaland, this list of drama is sure to be the one to go to.

Here is that list of dramas that we have seen more than once:

  • A Love So Beautiful ( yep this drama merited being watched, in raw form and subbed, over and over. Our number one, without a doubt.  The drama formula was just spot on.
  • Heartstrings (Yong Hwa and Park Shin Hye.  Just love them and the songs are just the best that you want to listen to them over and over)
  • Cheese on The Trap 
  • I Have A Lover
  • From Me To You (This Japanese film is just so beautiful with the most adorable team-up of Mikako Tabe and Haruma Miura)
  • Love 020 (I prefer the Cdrama to the film as the drama was better developed with the most gorgeous leads of YANG YANG and Zheng Shuang.
  • Coffee Prince
  • She Was Pretty
  • Rich Man, Poor Woman (Japanese Version)  I love, love, love this drama as well as the film later on.  Just love the Satomi Ishihara & Shun Oguri.
  • Love ‘Til The End of Summer (The ending is so cerebral, for want of a better word, that you want to see it again in case you miss anything that would allude to the ending.  Also to find Hu Yi Tian in this drama)
  • My Sunshine ( both love the drama and film, although the drama is just ahead in my estimation)
  • Princess Agents (Woah the fighting scene in the between the leads in the bedroom was rather erotic, beautifully choreographed)
  • The Tornado (Whirlwind) Girl (We love the season 1 with YangYang.  The drama has got heart, so much feeling, you can really get lost into the drama)
  • Legend of YunXi ( I have been watching mostly Chinese dramas lately, can’t get enough of them.  This does not mean they are all good but for some reason, I can’t settle to watch any KDrama at the moment, anyway The Legend of YunXi is the one I love watching.  The formula was just right)
  • Lie To Me (2011) KDrama classic about a woman pretended to be married to an unsuspecting chaebol.

Chicken Adobo a la London

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I was happy how this recipe turned out. It was really good. Perfect for parties, bring it out in the garden for an additional summer barbecue fare.

Chicken Adobo a la London

Ingredients

2 lbs chicken pieces of thighs and legs
3 pieces dried bay leaves, I used those fresh from my garden
3 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp vinegar
3 -6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup water
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp Demerara Sugar
1 tsp whole peppercorn
Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a little container,  mix together the soy sauce and garlic.
  2. In a separate large glass container, a lidded Pyrex glass, arrange the chicken pieces and then pour over them the soy sauce mix to marinate for at least three hours or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
  4. Fry the marinated chicken pieces and garlic slivers in the oil.  Cook the  the chicken until golden brown on all sides.  Be careful with the frying as bazookas of hot oil and liquid sometimes will shoot out. 🙂 Ouch
  5. I transferred the cook chicken pieces into a casserole pan and then poured into it the remaining marinade, also adding the cup of water and vinegar. (My mother had told me never to stir the adobo before the vinegary sauce has started to boil. – No idea why!)
  6. Add the bay leaves and whole peppercorn, put the lid on the casserole and simmer for half an hour or until chicken is cooked.
  7. Sprinkle in the sugar.
  8. Check that the sauce is to your liking.  Add more vinegar if not rightly sour, add soy sauce if it is still bland and if preferred season with a dash of salt.
  9. Serve Immediately with freshly boiled rice.

Optional!  To make the Chicken Adobo that little bit more special:

From Step 8, continue cooking a little longer.

  • Minced a couple of garlic cloves
  • Heat a little oil and saute the garlic.
  • Take out the chicken pieces from the casserole, leaving the sauce to simmer until it reduces.
  • Fry the chicken pieces in the garlic until they start to sizzle.
  • Arrange neatly in a serving platter and pour sauce over the pieces.
  • Serve and enjoy!
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