Food: Coldpress Raspberry, Pear & Apple Smoothie – Not meant to be green…

Until the other day Coldpress smoothies had been one of the more successful random juices that I’ve bought as part of the juice experiment – specifically the Coldpress Raspberry, Pear & Apple Smoothie.

It is 65% Apple Juice, 20% Pear Puree and 15% Raspberry Puree, they are also not pasteurised in the traditional sense (i.e. using heat) instead they use a process called High Pressure Processing (HPP), which is a cold pasteurization technique.

coldpress smoothie

It was all very tasty at first and I was cheerfully drinking the stuff for several weeks working on the assumption that it was healthier than ‘normal’ juice.

Then I opened a bottle to find the inside of the lid covered in mould and the juice completely off – I rashly tried some and nearly threw up. I didn’t bother complaining to the manufacturer as nothing they could say would repair that kind of broken trust, I am going to call the juice experiment over – from here on out it is back to the major brands who can cope with proper pasteurisation techniques and longer term I’m getting a proper juicer.

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Food: Black Forest Trifle is essential?!

In these times of austerity most supermarkets have expanded their own brand ranges to lure shoppers into spending less but buying more.

However some of these basic essentials are a little odd, specifically Waitrose who have a Black Forest Trifle in their essential range.

black forest trifle

I hadn’t ever considered a Black Forest Trifle existing, let alone being essential.

It was however on sale, which is why I bought it and it was pretty good – in a custardy sort of way. But now I really want to see what other weird stuff is considered essential! What an excuse to go shopping!

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Nails: The Nightmare Before Christmas – “That’s twice this month you’ve slipped deadly nightshade into my tea and run off. “

I’m still waiting for work to confirm what their plan is, I suspect that they actually don’t have one and are just reacting in spasms & twitches – much like a fish who has swallowed the hook only to realise that this might be a dumb idea.

In the meantime I am twisting the lyrics to all sorts of things to fit my mood, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ has lots of wonderful opportunities for this, for example “Kidnap the Sandy Claws, beat him with a stick, lock him up for ninety years, see what makes him tick” sounds a wonderful thing to do to my CEO.

nightmare before christmas nails

(Photo from Pinterest)

There are lots of Nightmare inspired nails lurking on the internet, although not *that* many which feature Jack looking like he has been repeatedly hit with the aforementioned stick…

nightmare before christmas nails - cross eyed

(Photo from Pinterest)

Poor old Jack.

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Film: Assassins – “the moral of the story is this: everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy, and everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend, and if you’re warm and happy no matter where you are you should just keep your big mouth shut”

‘Assassins’ was released in the mid 1990 when Sylvester Stallone was in his difficult period and involved in some rather iffy films – for example ‘Daylight’ and ‘Stop! Or my Mom will shoot’. ‘Demolition Man’ was also in this time frame but is in a different league altogether.

I think I may have watched it before but not in the last 7 years, making it an obvious target to watch prior to moving house.

Things do not go well, I’m not even 15 minutes in and we’ve experienced one finger typing, crude instant messenger, $200,000 being decent money for a contract kill and an ancient printer… oh dear this film hasn’t aged well. Antonia Banderas doesn’t look right as a human, he makes a better Puss In Boots.

assassins

Stallone has stole a taxi and is cruising around hoping to get Banderas as a fare… the odds of that working are pretty minimal and then the dvd player crashed.

I will never know if Stallone gets lucky or if this film stops being so horribly dated, instead I take the hint and put the film in the charity shop pile.

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Book: Lee Carroll’s ‘Black Swan Rising’ – “Time rushes by, love rushes by, life rushes by, but the Red Shoes go on”

This book does not come from a single mind, Lee Carroll is a pseudonym for Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slonimsky.

Slonimsky is a poet and a hedge fund manager, a combination that potentially sounds like a hallmark of a total w***er – it seems that the world’s economic issues and the role of bankers & speculative funds in this have left its mark on my view of the world.

‘Black Swan Rising’ is the first in a trilogy, I read it when it came out and remembered it being very descriptive and painting beautiful visuals, so I had high hopes when I went to reread it.

black swan rising

My memory wasn’t entirely accurate, the book is descriptively pretty but far bleaker than I remembered. The economic downturn is the driver and mood setter for the books events, fundamentally no one is happy and there is a scene which could be a trigger for some people.

Plotwise, Garet James lives in New York and designs jewellery for a living – her father owns an art gallery and neither of them seem to have recovered from the death of her mother several years previously.

Garet and her father are enjoying the Western World’s economic downturn as much as every other ordinary person, so she jumps at the chance to open a vintage silver box in return for a large sum of money despite the shopkeeper offering the money seeming a bit odd. It helps that the box bears the same swan symbol as is on her mother’s ring.

Naturally opening the box means that bad and weird things happen – goodness knows how Garet has missed hearing about Pandora’s box or having even a passing awareness of the plot of ‘Hellraiser’.

beach lsd mannequin wendy's

(Nothing to do with the book, I just needed a laugh after reading it)

The supernatural elements of the book – excluding Will the vampire, were interesting and done rather well, but Garet was very dull and two-dimensional.

Failing to care about the main character does make me wondering why I am reading the book and the descriptions weren’t pretty enough to make up for this void.

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Curious: Mint and Dark Chocolate lip balm – Accidental flavours

I shouldn’t assume that just because I’ve bought a certain product before that it hasn’t changed – or has alternate flavours that I was unaware of.

Case in point being Palmer’s lip balm, I’ve used it for a couple of years now and have been happy with it. So when I unexpectedly ran out recently I went into the nearest stockist and grab a pack without actually looking at it.

Which is how I ended up with a dark chocolate and mint lip balm despite my detesting mint chocolate.

lip balm

It’s been a couple of weeks now and I am still not used to the taste – and it really does taste! However it isn’t a gross taste and it’s almost as good at moisturising as the non-flavoured version.

I’m still not going to eat mint chocolate though.

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Curious: A not so subtle Christmas hint

We have not given any particular thought to my Husband’s sister’s children and Christmas presents. Partly as it is nearly October and secondly because I have no interest in Nel* or anything to do with her – Husband has many virtues but not necessarily the organising and buying of presents.

Bearing in mind that we give and get nothing in return – not even a thank you card.

We also have next to no contact with them apart from Nel forcefully and artificially inserting herself into anytime that we visit Husbands’s parents; to the degree that it feels like she is terrified of Husband having anytime with them and thus breaking her monopoly on them.

manure

(Photo from The Guardian)

Anyway, a random email from Husband’s mother arrived a day or so ago, Nel has no ideas what the children would like or need so wants “money in an envelope”.

In December the children will be 10 months old and four & a half years. My views on her suggestion can be best summed up by my going onto the Oxfam website and being delighted that I can buy manure for some impoverished farmer and get a card saying this has been done.

However I am aware that this could potentially not be met with a warm reception so am leaving the decision up to Husband – who I am rather hoping fails to organise something as that might be funnier than manure… Although less of a statement!

*This may not be her real name but it far politer than what I normally call her.

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