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  1. My brother's late father law did a fair bit of brewing and supping and knew his stuff - he was with you, reckoned Tiger was the epitome of an English brown bitter. For my money, these are cracking bests: https://www.harveys.org.uk/beer/sussex-best - normally I find southern bitters a bit too sweet, or perhaps just a bit too lacking in body. This however is lovely. https://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/?beer=harvest-pale - a pale bitter and has American hops, but still has a smashing balance with just enough sharpness.
  2. It's regulated as a food supplement and strength/ quality will vary from brand to brand. It can also interact with medicines so if you're on anything pharmaceutical chat over with your pharmacist. Although it's not a licensed herbal medicine, getting an appointment with a qualified herbalist might be a good bet. The science on it is a bit sketchy/ early days, but some people report it's helped them with anxiety and stress, and even as an alternative to anti-psychotics. Some ok studies support those claims. if it works for you, it works for you!
  3. Ey up Futtocks - you may have already heard it as I think you're a fan of his work, but there was a great Danny Baker show a few years back with Chas Hodges talking about his session musician years and with some live performance in the studio. It was a smashing listen.
  4. Wotcher. 1. Have a starting look here - see if you can refine to the specific location/ clinic. If you know the name of the surgeon who would do the operation then in theory you can look up stats related to their individual performance for their clinic (better than expected; as expected; worse than expected). NB - the stats calculation on those are highly waited in favour of not embarrassing particular consultants. There is a very high level of statistical confidence needed before a consultant will show up as having a higher-than-expected level of deaths 2. For most people in England there is a right to choose where you receive treatment - any urgency of need versus availability of first choice will need to be considered. Your GP should be able to help/ advise on this. It may be that as you've already been referred to one consultant, you cannot now reconsider that choice (even if you didn't at the time realise you were making a choice - though see next bit below) 3. Good luck! Despite the cliché, you don't have a right to a second opinion - though if you're really unhappy with what your consultant is suggesting and/ or their reputation in the field, you can request one and most consultants who give a damn will be happy for you to get an alternative view. They are likely to need to refer you on though, so again if time / urgency is an issue this may not be an avenue. As ever, prepare for your GP appointment and be clear what you want to get out of it. Ask awkward questions, especially if you see that there are different possible treatments for your diagnosis. Hope things work out and you are up and about soon.
  5. It's not a black and white answer, and the rules changed a few years ago - this may help: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dbs-filtering-guidance/dbs-filtering-guide
  6. Any ads for gambling companies, especially those fronted by celebs. Ads for spirits - if it's a dark spirit, film a night club scene in the US (New Orleans or New York, for choice). If it's a light spirit, do the same but in a Scandi country. Mix with beautiful people - while keeping an eye on acceptable ethnicity ratios (turn up the dial on mixed-race women! Go easy on the black men!) - and serve on repeat over ice. Any ad that takes a 70s/80s pop classic and restyles it with faux naive style breathy vocals and ukelele. Those POV holiday ads that feature a hot young woman dragging someone along by the hand to various bars, pools and hotel rooms. Creepy and cliched.
  7. Made some chilli paneer for me tea - hot and spicy, but not so hot it wasn't wolfable Very cold Polish lager at hand, purely precautionary and just to be on the safe side.
  8. Some good South Indian/ Sri Lankan dishes that are essentially dry beetroot curries (some use the greens as a spinach-like ingredient). Something like - wash, peel and slice the beets. Fine-chop a big onion, start frying it in veg oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and ground fenugreek, coriander, tumeric and hot pepper/ chili powder. Go big on the cumin seeds, coriander and mustard seeds. When the onion is browning, add the beetroot pieces (and greens if you have them), stir around a bit then cover, turn down the heat and leave for 10 or 15 mins to cook (it kind of steams in the water from the beetroot once it is going). Stir it every so often. The beets should have a "glazed" look when they're done. Bit of salt to taste, a bit more hot pepper if you like. Plain rice and yoghurt to go with. Tip - you can use the same recipie for cauliflower and their green bits as well.
  9. People in larger cars not been able to get visibility on a left turn without approaching from a less acute angle? Generally, driving and drivers (other than me, obvs) deserves a dedicated rant thread ;-)
  10. I'm just back from a week on Mrs Stevo's family's farm in Spain. They have a saying related to flies which translates as: "You can kill a fly, but a hundred of its relatives will come to the funeral".
  11. Was always a dish of this on the table at my grandma's for Sunday dinner. Top notch.
  12. Went to a whisky tasting evening a while back - enjoyable and got to try drops of stuff I'd unlikely ever be able to afford for myself. The interesting part was noting the change in taste and sensation and smell between very first sip of the night and the second. The taster bloke explained why this was; blowed if I can remember the tale. But the key take away was: first sip, swill it round your mouth, breath through it and let it sit around for a short time. It makes a difference to how you perceive what's to follow.
  13. Make yourself feel incredibly small and insignificant with this image from Hubble: http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/hubble-s-high-definition-panoramic-view-of-the-andromeda-galaxy/#.VLkTykeUcTo
  14. Entering tricky terrain here. A martini, the strength thereof and the frequency of their consumption is between a man and his conscience. But here's what life has given me so far: If making with vodka, get everything as cold as possible. Glasses and vermouth in the fridge; vodka in the freezer. Shake with ice - a twist of burnt lemon peel is acceptable, but olives and the rest are an affectation to be avoided in a vodka martina. If making with gin, chill (but do not freeze) the gin. Stir with fridge-cold vermouth, without the ice. An olive is acceptable in a gin martini. With vodka, go for a white vermouth. With gin, go for an extra dry vermouth. If you're trying to impress, then for me something like 1 part vermouth to 5 parts spirit is about right. If you're *really* trying to impress, then just wave the vermouth bottle in the general direction of the drinks mixer. TWO is the optimum number of martinis per person, per session. Hic.
  15. Hot and sour aubergine for tea tonight - aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes, loads of chilis and a load of garlic fried for ages in a good amount of mustard oil and spices. Not for the faint hearted (or the amorous). Served with yoghurt and cucumber, a home-made paratha and some cold beer.
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