Saturday, 24 November 2012


Corny title I know but it kind of follows on from my MI5 one and it all happened in the same week. Besides I love a good pun which was also integral to the evening spent at Asda house with my lovely sister, some other fab bloggers, those nice Asda Pie makers, the Pork farm chefs, and folk from Joules brewery to celebrate the new Asda Pie range including the truly Delicious Steak & Joules ale Pie, at less than £3!

Not knowing what to expect other than the brief that we were going to talk & eat  "pie" it soon became clear on arrival at Asda house that we were going to learn how they made their pies, there would be plenty of pie talk, beer talk and then we would have to make pies ourselves followed by eating of said pies with more beer. We were suitable impressed by the professional pie makers and the imparting of top tips to make your pie truly scrumptious.We were eyes wide at the kitchen facilities at Asda house. We eyed up suspiciously the range of prepared vegetables and other luscious ingredients on a nearby work station.

 "Chorizo" I whispered to my sister as were told to man our station and create our own pie in half an hour. Her elbows were out and she dived on the said sausage, chicken thighs and a sweet pepper. We gathered some more ingredients and started to create a Spanish masterpiece. When one of the chefs placed a bottle of red by elbows that went in too. "So what's your pie called?" he enquired and quick as flash we replied " em-pie-nada" (  oh how we larfed) A slab of puff pastry,  a quick lesson in pie glue ( flour and water mix to you or I ) and we were done.

 It was at this point that to the good brewing folk cracked open their jugs and we were treated to sample of 3 ales,Joules Pale Ale, the Slumbering Monk and Blonde. The Slumbering monk was by far the winner for us along with the fact that on a Friday the local taverns put on home made sausage rolls for their punters. Hospitality at its best.

The ensuing pie smells wafting around the kitchen had us all drooling til the moment of truth when they all came out of the oven. we had a fish pie, a tricolore vegetable pie, a trio of cheese pie, a creamy salmon pie and our very own Spanish pie.

A it is such a rare occasion in my life to win anything ever to have been judged top pie makers of the night is now up there with my one time win at egg rolling aged 30 several and winning a Muppet poster when I was  aged 9 for an art project. Not content to just win the evening we decided to inflict the recipe on our family the following weekend and even the pickiest of eaters came back for seconds  We expect to see em-pie-nada making an entrance onto Asda shelves anytime soon, please do tell if you see it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

3 funerals and a wedding

Tara's The Gallery theme this week is the 80's. Do I really want to go back there? For Tara I will do anything!

The 80's started  looking something like this.

And ended looking like this.
If I had told my young 13 year old self what the decade had to hold I'm not sure what I would have made of it. So what did the 80's hold  for me.  

Rebellious teen, a stint abroad, 3 funerals and a wedding.
The hair, big hair and even bigger hair
Coloured hair from red to blonde and back again.
Make up tons of the stuff and red red lips
Fashion faux pas
Shoulder pads and high waisted trousers
Killer heels
Cigarettes, French and strong
Coffee the same
Drinking drunk and drunker still
Vomitting and puking stories to fill the next decade
Sexy sex and sexing it up
Working and studying hard
Partying and partying hardier still
Friendships came and go 
Some still standing
Responsibility to irresponsible
Child to adult in 10 years
a voyage of self discovery

If there was ever a period of life I would NEVER go back to is the 80's!
At post 16 point I was gonna RULE THE WORLD! I was off on my gap year and university was all lined up for when I got back. I had my career mapped out and knew where I was going.  It was  see the world and be young free and single for ever! This was exciting time people. And then it started to go wrong. The biggest life changing factor that cast its shadow over the rest of the 80's for me was death. I lost two grandparents that I was really close to in the space of 9 months and the following year in '87 I lost my mother. I was a baby really and floundering terribly.  The 6 month fling I was in the middle of turned into marriage because he became my rock to cling to. I dropped out of uni because I couldn't cope with all this dying business though my mother managed to get me into another course where up on she died on my first day.  Married the following year and staggering my way through the rest of the booze filled decade I made to 90's.

Ever the wiser after the event there are so many things that I would love to the change about this decade.

Monday, 12 November 2012

GCHQ -Apprenticeships in British Intelligence



If I said GCHQ what do you think of? British Intelligence, MI5 or MI6 maybe? This immediately conjures up all sorts of images from James Bond to Spooks to international travel and espionage. It also makes me think of hi-tech hubs with the power to tap into everything. You may be aware of the current recruitment campaign that GCHQ are running in some of the Sunday papers but were you aware that they run apprenticeships too? Well neither was I.


How does this sound for a brief? Working with GCHQ, MI5 (Security Service) and MI6 (Secret Intelligence Service) - this is a Higher Apprenticeship like no other. You’ll be earning a salary and gaining a unique insight into a world that you won’t find on any university course. Not only that, but with GCHQ you’ll be learning about – and working with - some of the best and most cutting edge technology. And because their work is constantly evolving, it’s always challenging – giving you plenty of development opportunities to explore.


Here you’ll make a real contribution to the mission of the Intelligence services to tackle cyber threats, terrorism, counter espionage and organised crime. You’ll be supported throughout this two year programme, with a combination of university delivered education, specific technical training and work based placements and projects. Based in Cheltenham for the first year, the two year Higher Apprenticeship programme will consist of university delivered education, specific technical training and work based placements. There may be some opportunities in London for the second year of the placement. After successful completion of your apprenticeship, you’ll gain a Foundation Degree and a level 4 Diploma in IT Professional Competence. And then? Why not use the technical skills you’ve gained in a career in British Intelligence?


I have to say these internships sound like no other I have seen. Even He-man pricked up his ears and actually took an interest in what I had to say about the opportunity. Can you image how fanstatic this would look on your CV?! If this is the future of apprenticeships then university education will be under serious threat.


If you are interested then register here and you have until the closing date 30/11/12 to apply.



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