Category: REVIEW & RECOMMENDATION

Review of products, films, books, etc

Halloween Zippos Circus

Russian Trapeze artist, photo by PH Morton

As it was half term this week, we took our  8-year old grandson Nathan out for the day.

We conspired with his parents to keep our trip to the circus a total surprise.  We thought we should give him maximum excitement for the day.  We all imagined the glorious look on his young face as he finds out we are going to the circus.  Yehey a treat!

I did not take into consideration that I may have passed down my gene of coulrophobia to my grandson, afterall my son, his dad, has got it too.  LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

Russian Trapeze artist, photo by PH Morton

Halloween Zippos Circus

There we were, about to cross the busy Prince Charles Drive into the circus when Nathan, suddenly threw a wobble.  “I am not going to the circus, I hate circus, I hate clowns!!!”  “I want to go golfing!  You said we are going to play golf.”

Whose idea was it to keep the circus trip a surprise?!!!  I was like calculating how much we spent buying ring side tickets at £27.50 each for Peter and I and £21.50 for Nathan.  Aw oh! Aw oh! (Tip No 1, circus in not everyone’s cup of tea, don’t keep it a surprise LOL)

I said to Nathan, I am scared of clowns as well so he has to come to the circus to protect me.  For good measure I told him I’ll buy him anything.

Peter, bless him,  said there are no clowns in this circus because it will be a Halloween special.

Despite trepidation, Nathan was persuaded to go in.  We arrived an hour early thinking there will be a long queue.  We were actually one of the first to arrive.  Thank goodness, we got our tickets online. (Tip No 2: Book online for hustle free time; save queueing)

We got into the circus tent entrance where there is a catering van like in fairs selling hotdogs, popcorn, candy floss, tea and slushy. (Tip No 3:  Bring your own snacks and drinks, food prices at the tent is horrendously expensive at £5 for a bucket of popcorn or candy floss.  Hotdogs are £4.50 each.)

Finally the circus.

We got to our ring-side seat.  The warm up was fun, even our nervous Nathan started to liven up.  Giving me instruction to applause, then Booo and then say WOW.

The ringmaster of Zippos circus is Norman Barrett, MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)  He invited us to sing a birthday song for the circus.  Apparently he will lead a show next year to celebrate the 250 years anniversary of the invention of modern circus.

The acts were incredible and some are death-defying that Nathan confessed that he found them disturbing.

He was really concerned with a lovely Russian lady did the trapeze, hanging on her foot on a swing suspended high up is both amazing and disconcerting.  So much so that Nathan said started to cover his eyes and saying “she is going to die”  Peter and I gave Nathan a hug telling him that the lady practiced the act so many times she’s an expert on it.  As I was saying this she put a noose on her neck and then started twirling round and round.  That scared me.  Nathan and I both said almost at the same time “Disturbing!” 🙂

The circus was a two-hour show from entertainers around the world.  There were a troupe from Havana, Cuba, a juggling American, horsemen from Kazakhstan, Knife throwers, Lucius Troupe in their phenomenally dangerous motorbike stunt inside the Globe of Steel.  Smoke blowing with a difference was also quite spectacular.

Though it was fantastic human feat, Juma, African contortionist, was just too excruciating to watch in the entirety of his act. OMG!  You have to see what he does to understand what I am saying. Ouchhhh

For Nathan and I, the highlight of the show were the budgies.  They were just too cute to be true.  Their showmanship was beyond amazing.  Peter said for him, the best part was Lucius Troupe in the Globe of Death also known as the Wall of Death.

With the entertainment provided, I would say they are worth the money we paid to see their act. But having said that, Nathan said he doesn’t want to see another circus for a long time.  LOL

By the way, not a single clown was on the show! 🙂

 

 

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

Biko, photo by PH Morton

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

My sister-in-law, Alma is a very capable woman.  A good example of a decent human being.  She is friendly, she is caring, she can’t do enough to be helpful to anyone.

She is well like by everyone.

Her abilities go on and on.  What I like most about her is her cooking.  She can really cook up a storm.

Her biko is to die for.  Peter, my English hubby, who do not usually eat anything made of rice love’s Alma’s biko.

The above photo was from Alma’s kitchen.  Doesn’t it look so delicious?  And it was so yummy.

Click here for the recipe!

Biko a a favourite of mine.  It reminds me of happy childhood and young adulthood in the Philippines. It reminds me of my loving family, cheerful, always ready for a laugh and adventure.

I remember my mother going to market and coming home with biko, which we would share and enjoy.

I remember my grandfather coming home with ‘pasalubong’ of biko, amongst others, when he goes out.

Biko is a symbol of halcyon days for me!

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Sinangag, Photo by JMorton

Sinangag Breakfast , Photo by JMorton

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Filipino fried rice called sinangag is the easiest fried rice recipe to do.

It is so tasty because of the addition of fragrant garlic.  It gets even tastier if the oil you fry it in was from the oil you fried your meat of dried fish in as it absorbed all the tasty residue of the meat or fish.

Fried rice are better cooked from left-over rice or at least rice that has been cooked a day or night before.  A day old rice has a a better texture as it had ‘dried’ up as it sits on the fridge.  A fried rice from a freshly boiled rice tend to yield a rather soggy mess.

Sinangag cannot be simpler.  It can just be from left-over rice, onion and garlic.  This is because it is often eaten with separately cooked friend eggs, salted eggs, hot-dog sausages or the best there is – tuyo or danggit.  (See above photo.)  All washed down with a hot strong milky coffee.

Ingredients:

2 cups leftover rice, even out the clumps

4-6 garlic, peeled and chopped or minced finely

1/2 onion, chopped finely

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure:

Heat the oil using a wok or a large frying pan over medium to high heat.

Fry the garlic, then quickly add the onion.  Stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the rice.  Fry vigorously until the grains absorbed all the oil giving off a fragrant breakfasty aroma. 🙂

Serve immediately with any of your favourite meaty or fishy breakfast.

Enjoy!

 

Agar.io – Cell Control

The cell, photo by JMorton

Agar.io – Cell Control

My grandson, Nathan, recommended that I play this.  He said, it was quite good and it is free to play.

🙂  When he said the magic word, free, I was convinced.

I have to say that it is so addictive.  Not only that, it can bring out the worst in you.

By serendipity, we had just blog the movie by Steve McQueen ‘The Blob’.  The Agar.io is actually has the same premise as The Blob. As it eats, it grows bigger and more ferocious.

And therefore, the game is a survival of the fittest.  You have to be able to dodge the ‘enemy cells’ to survive.  As you eat those scattered little circle, you grow in size and stamina.

It is a multiplayer game.  You don’t really know who the others were.  There are those who are veterans and they prey on newbies.

As you progress in the game, you are allowed to give your own cell a name and even for some ‘won’ money you can buy different ‘skins’, design to your cell.

You can play as a lone star, or as part of a team.

Again, it is highly addictive and can be stressful as you lose your cell and had to start again and again.

über & Out in London

über & Out in London

To tell the truth I am not sure how I feel about the suspension of Uber in London.

They have been really useful to me, especially during the past few days, when I have to visit Peter at the Royal Free Hospital on a daily basis.

The mobile apps is easy and convenient to use.

But I found that for every 6 rides one always leaves something to be desired.

I have contacted Uber via Facebook messenger a couple of times already regarding refunds of unauthorised payments.

This was in just a week.

The first instance was on my way to the hospital.  It happened Friday, last week. Below is my message via Facebook.

It was most unfair that I had to pay £5.00 for a trip your driver had cancelled.  I was waiting for the driver in the drizzling rain outside my house.  It was your system that arranged the meeting point.  Therefore, I should be compensated rather than penalised for something, which was beyond my control.  If you check your records, you will find that I am one of your more consistent costumer and treating me like this is unacceptable.

Uber did give me a credit for £5.00 (returning the £5.00 they took automatically from my card).

Yesterday, Thursday, the same thing happened again.  This time was on my way home from Royal Free Hospital.  I was waiting for the driver in front of the Hospital, which is the normal meeting point.  Unbeknown to me the driver was waiting at the back of the hospital, for whatever reason.  Again it was the Uber system that arrange the meeting point by pinpointing where the location of my mobile phone was.  The driver called me and I told him that I was in front of the hospital, the main entrance/exit of the hospital, where they pick up their passengers.  The driver did not say much but said , he knew where I was.   A couple of second after the call, Uber sent me a message that the driver had cancelled and I had to pay £5.00.  I was so annoyed.  But I still used Uber with a different driver to get home.  I logged in to Facebook to complain asap.

Apparently they are going to refund my money but it would that 3-5 working days.

I am not really sure why UBER licence had not been renewed in London but I think they need to polished their system and monitor their drivers more.

Apparently they have until the end of September to run their business in London.

This is not really a good news for us non-driving people who relies on public transport and taxi cabs.

Apparently the black taxi cab is the safest to use as they drivers are rigorously checked and they had to pass the ‘knowledge’, which is the knowing how to navigate the complicated routes of London in least possible time.

Some Uber drivers are often unsure where the destinations were!

They why not use the black cab, I hear you say?  Well for the one and only reason, they are just too expensive, it is not reasonably affordable!  🙂

Rice Cooker – Kitchen Hero

Rice cooker, photo by JMorton

Rice Cooker – Kitchen Hero

I am fairly new to using a rice cooker. For 30 years here in London, I have been cooking rice, boiled in normal sauce pan.  Sometimes, it cooks okey, sometimes it ends in disaster; pretty hit and miss and more on the miss.  But I have never thought of getting a rice cooker.  I supposed since living in London, I have not been eating rice like the way I ate it in the Philippines, which is almost 3 times a day, every day.

Here, I would cook rice, perhaps once every 3 months, if that.  And my family here, do not really eat rice, only in curries or chili con carne.

It was watching Korean dramas that I got to notice the rice cooker.  They have one in almost every drama or every household.

I ordered one in Argos.  I chose the Breville model as it was on sale as well as it has just a good review.  It is sizeable enough that you can cook rice for a large family.

I am so glad now that I bought a rice cooker.  The rice is cooked perfect everytime and with such minimal effort.  It automatically cook it and stay heating the rice afterwards, if so wish.  No more burning rice, no more watery rice, no more half-cook rice.

Same amount of rice to same amount of water, that easy.

I can even cook rice late at night and be ready for fried rice in the morning.

34452 Mask – Clicks Global Research

43352 Mask, photo by JMorton

34452 Mask – Clicks Global Research

Ok, I have joined Clicks Global Research with the intention of getting products to review on my website.

This 34452 Mask is the very first product that I have received.  I got it just now 9 September 2017.

I have to start it immediately as I have to complete questionnaire no 1.

I hope this mask will make my ageing skin brighter!

….

Day 1

I have just applied the mask at 12:21pm after I have cleanse my face thoroughly with Simple foaming cleanser followed by Nivea gentle Exfoliating scrub.

I applied the mask generously as now I am beginning to feel a little tightening to my face and a little itching between my nose and lips.

It is 12:31, I rinsed off the mask with warm water.  I don’t see much difference, except I feel refreshed and I can still feel a nice tingling to my face.  Nice.

Day 2

Noticed that my face was itchy and had a two or three pimples overnight but surprisingly my skin is brighter.

Apply another coat of the mask.

Yeah, my face is brighter and thank goodness, the pimples did not bother to stay.  They just vanished as quickly as they appeared.

Hotdogs – Philippines Favourite Sausage

Hotdogs, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Hotdogs – Philippines Favourite Sausage

I have to say of all sausages, I love the Philippine hotdog of all. I love its bright matt red colour as it promises a sure succulent delight, extra juicy, especially smothered in tangy spicy banana ketchup.

I have tasted a lot of sausages.  British supermarkets stock quite a variety from around the world.  There are the Brits’ very own Cumberland, Gloucester, Lincolnshire, Pork & Leek, Pork and apple, black pudding,etc.  There are other Europeans ones such as chipolatas, chorizo, saveloy, Vienna sausage, Toulouse, Lyon, Bierwurst, salami, kabanos, just to mention a few.

If you happen to go to the Philippines and find street food vender, why not dry a freshly grilled or lightly fried hotdog.  They are delicious!

 

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