Showing posts from October, 2013

The Grand Final!

This isn't a normal blog entry, just an opportunity for me to share with you what I am going to be doing next week. This is the official press release for the Grand Final of this year's sausage competition, and I'm delighted to say I've been invited along to be one of the panel of judges for the day: Which of these bangers will I like best...? You can expect a full write up next week, that is for sure, in the meantime, but take a look at the list below. Which would you like best? And which do you think I will like best? Also look out for next week's edition of Chat magazine as there will be a rare interview in it with my wife, Claire. Find out what it's really like to be married to the Sausage Man! Normal service shall be resumed shortly...! THE SAUSAGE ‘OSCARS’ COME TO BIRMINGHAM! - BRITISH SAUSAGE WEEK COMES TO TOWN TO DISCOVER THE REGION’S FINEST SIZZLERS- What:             British Sausage Week 2013 (cook off to award West Midlands regio

Nando's is coming to town!

It's very important during all this sausage related excitement that I don't allow myself to become a "one trick pony". Therefore in my quest to write an exciting new book based on the world of culinary delights (primarily the so-called "unhealthy ones"), I feel it is vital I cover a wide range of food related topics. In our country we have a thriving range of burger chains, pizza chains, kebab shops, chicken joints and countless more. Yet all we ever hear are constant warnings and advice telling us to avoid these things, that Britain is getting too fat, and that we should all be grazing on salad and vegetables. Every time I open a newspaper it is the same old advice, re-packaged over and over again. Recommendations to only eat processed meat such as sausages, salami etc, once a week and then you are only allowed one slice. Any more than that and you're almost certainly to die a grisly death by the end of the month. A search of books on the subject ge

Call My Sausage

To fill in the long gap for all you sausage fans out there eagerly awaiting the launch of British Sausage Week on November 1st, I thought we might while away the long hours of waiting with a little fun quiz. This is a kind of sausage version of “Call My Bluff” or if you prefer, a “True or False” of sausage facts. In my tireless capacity as Official VIP Taster for Love Pork I feel it is only my duty to entertain you with endless articles on the subject, hence here I present to you 10 facts about sausages! However – only four of them are true! The other six I have made up! Using your skill and judgement, can you identify which are true and which are false? To help you I have given my opinion on each "FACT" below. No googling please, let’s make this a fair playing field. So, without further ado, here we go: 1) The world record for the longest sausage ever made is held by J J Tranfield who made it on behalf of Asda in Sheffield in October 2000. It measured a who

Sleep Aponea

I have thought long and hard for a long time about whether to go public about this, and have decided the time has come to do so. In the end my hand was forced, as I'm simply not well enough to work nights at the pub at present and after covering it up for several weeks it was clear after last Sunday/ Monday that I could not continue as I am any longer. Effectively I was so exhausted after working on Sunday night that I had to spend the vast majority of Monday in bed and I have just had the worst week with this condition that I have ever had. And I have not been able to hide it as effectively as before as not only was Claire on a week holiday from work, but Lynda spent the whole week here too as they were working on a cake for a wedding that we attended today, so they witnessed me in a bad way first hand, all week. If you've been following me closely, you will see that I made mention in my book Fortysomething Father that I have a condition called Sleep Aponea which I men


I haven't worn Pyjamas for many a year. I am not entirely sure why, or when, I decided to stop wearing them, but in my mind I have had for many years the perception that pyjamas are either for kids or old people, and not for people in the middle like me. Either I am becoming an old person, which to be fair, we are all edging towards grimly and inevitably, or my earlier perceptions were wrong and wearing pyjamas is actually OK. Whichever it is, during these colder and darker autumn evenings, suddenly the idea of wearing proper pyjamas rather than just a normal t-shirt and boxers has started to appeal again. I rather urgently needed to get some new trousers for the rapidly growing Jamie. So, with Lynda and Claire taking over the kitchen for the day to work on a wedding cake for which the deadline is just four days away, I decided to take myself off to Oxford for the morning on the bus to obtain the required trousers and investigate the world of modern pyjamas. Back in the day,

The Web Of Fear

In 1979 I was attending our annual Primary School fete. You know the sort of thing. Lots of games with half egg shells upside down in sand, which you paid your money and lifted up to see whether or not there was a sweet underneath. A bottle stall where you bought a raffle ticket and if it ended with a "5" or a "0" you won the corresponding item off the stall. Which you hoped might be a big bottle of coke, or if Dad was with you, he hoped it might be the star prize of a bottle of scotch. But instead it would normally end up being a tin of Smedley's Peas that had been sat in some Granny's cupboard since 1966. Sorry Dad, it's not the Scotch. Shall we take these home for Mum? On this particular occasion, I happened to be browsing the various stalls full of old tat when I happened to noticed on the bookstall a Doctor Who book. Now I was already a Doctor Who fan, watching it avidly at a time when Tom Baker was at the height of his powers. I was aware t

Dear Walkers

It has been some time since I wrote one of my letters to crisp manufacturers and feel that a new one is long overdue. So without further delay, I have today crafted this masterpiece to my friends at Walkers, a copy of which I trust you will enjoy. Consumer Services Department FREEPOST LE4 918 Leicester LE4 5ZY Tuesday 8th October 2013 Subject: Meaty Multipacks Dear Walkers, It has been some time since I have had an opportunity to write to you regarding my exciting adventures in the world of crisps. Unfortunately I had to resign my position with the CTBBOFOC (Campaign to bring back old flavours of crisps) due to a clash of interests with an exciting new role I have taken on in the food industry. More of that later. However, I am assured by my erstwhile colleague, Gerald Mincen, that he will be able to handle things in my absence. You will recall, or possibly not recall as it was a long time ago, from previous correspondence that I was most upset when the Beef 'n'

Discovering The CaddyFins

On Friday evening I did something I have not done for a very long time and went out specifically to see a band. In my pre-parenthood years this was something I did a lot - memories of The Offspring at Wembley spring to mind and many moons before that one of Bruce Springsteen's 3 hour epics at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Amongst many others. So I had been hearing lots of good reports about this new local band "The CaddyFins" so I thought it was high time I went to see what all the fuss was about, and hence I found myself in the Ex-Serviceman's Club in Bicester last Friday to enjoy and review the gig. The Ex-Serviceman's Club is a long standing and well known local venue and I have in fact performed there myself on a number of occasions so knew what to expect. It has improved considerably I feel of late, including an impressive new frontage which faces on to the Bicester's brand new town centre development, opposite the new Sports Direct store. It hasn&

The Lady

Mum came over today for lunch, as she does every few weeks on a Thursday. We pick up Jamie from nursery and head off to our old favourite Nash's. The faces may have changed there, but the food is refreshingly the same, and you still cannot buy a bacon bap anywhere else in Bicester that comes close in terms of quality or quantity! In fact today, I had the legendary monster, which is a sausage and bacon combo - there's a picture of me tucking into one on my facebook page, but in case you missed it, here's a copy for your enjoyment. With a particularly apt T-shirt logo to go with the image! I have been bombarded of late with sausage related queries, so many in fact that I feel I may need to write a "Dear Sausage Man" style entry very soon. Those of you familiar with my past letters - both of which featured in my previous books will know the sort of thing to expect. But today, I must move on with the exciting news of what happened when we got into Sains

The Difficult Third Album

The Difficult Third Album is a phrase that was heavily used, overused some might say, in the music magazines that I used to read back in the 1980's, such as NME, Sounds and Record Mirror. I am not sure how many of these still exist, if indeed any, they are the sorts of publications that one grows out of. Anyway, this oft cited cliché was levelled at album reviews on the generally accepted wisdom that a band would burst onto the scene with their first somewhat raw but exciting new first album, follow it up with a more polished second album which would probably be a big success and establish them. Then it would be a case of - what next? More of the same, or try and re-invent themselves? This was normally the point where a band would either hit it big and be around for decades to come or crash and burn. The best example I can think of for a brilliant third album would be Parklife by Blur where they went from just another indie band of the early 1990's to being absolutely huge!