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Monthly Archives: December 2019

Reflections 2019 w49

The quest for backpacking food continues…

And I have found a new candidate – Pork floss. Although one much prefers the Chinese name of Rousong. Basically it is pork shoulder cooked in soy sauce and sugar until it shreds into a coarse wool texture, somewhere along the process it is also dried. This makes a shelf stable meat product I think has possibilities.

I cannot tell you how many hours of watching youtube videos it took to come across this little gem.

One quick facebook message later and I know my local Chinese supermarket has it in stock, this time next week one will have tried it.

Also found this week are a snack called veggie straws, a mixture of kale (no surprise there), tomato and spinach in potatoes starch tubes. They taste like a french fries knockoff (an english crisp snack) with way lower salt content.

Common on the trail is baby food – the pureed fruit in tubes. This makes sense as it is a useful way to get fruit on the hike. Just one problem – they taste like pureed fruit, watered down pureed fruit, so watered down one can ‘taste’ the water. Not an option.       I side with all babies that pull their face when having these pouches.

 

On a side note..Who has peanut butter and cheese on wraps??? Nasty, just nasty.

I cannot understand the hiking mantra of food is energy, so who cares what combo it is mixed in.

Ramen bomb seems common, for those that don’t know – Instant noodles and instant mash combined together with tuna, sausage or cheese, even a combo of all.

One is so glad one is a Trangia camper; even if it make meal planning more…Civilised.

 

Reflections 2019 w48

Another post a day late.  One did not feel like writing yesterday, my back has been , quite frankly, annoying the hell out of me.

Playing with the kids on Saturday pulled a muscle in my lower back which has irritated one of my disc bulges that I was just getting over again. Who would have thought hitting children with balloons, their game rules not mine, could cause such pain.

Therefore my insomnia has a new play pal for my attention, a constant distraction from sleep. I now have a lot of naps 1/2 an hour after pain medication.

Also, my mind is trying to work overtime on foodstuffs for a walking holiday next year. This may sound insignificant to most people, and to myself pre-breakdown it would also have been, but not now.

Now I have major depression and high to severe anxiety; this I know all too well. So in order to walk Hadrian’s wall next year one has to take several attacks into account. Overcoming these has taken the form of routines or patterns of familiarity. Food wise one has to have my entire menu for 14 days sorted bagged and labelled, so that eating is a routine and not something one can skip.

Not just labelled into meals…Breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner.

But by the day. Including teabags to be had, when to have them etc. It is the only way I will not become overwhelmed by simple decisions. Normal tea or Green tea can become an hour of indecision, not able to do anything else whilst my brain buffers the information.

But, another concept that is going to be new for me, is keeping the food weight down. No cooking fresh chicken on this trip. And with being in the UK, there is no real supply of dehydrated meat that I would want to trust, except the very expensive stuff, which would also be too much for one to have in a week, the usual time to consume once opened.

With that being said, one has researched online, and I have to admit there has been a few surprises. Mainly in the dehydrating meals wise. My dehydrator is a simple one, it has no temperature control, and although it does say it can do meat – I do not trust it for that. Therefore the cooked meals are going to be out for home dehydrating, and have you seen the cost for the camp meals already done? Wow, I would need a small loan just to eat, and a blood flush to get rid of the salt concentrating in my veins from eating them for a fortnight.

To be honest, like most people who carry a Trangia cook set, boiling water and then soaking for ten minutes to eat a warm meal, is just not that appealing. It is why they are called a cook set. We can cook with them, and I have had some nice meals in a tent before…Wild boar, Pheasant, Ostrich, Kangaroo, Bison, Venison and fillet steak.

Just because one is in a tent does not mean one cannot eat like a king.

Spoilt and over the top.

Admittedly one was working unto 70hrs a week when those meals were ate, and getting a discount for the meats due to the job one was in.

So this time around one is going to have to work out meals based around dehydrated veg, I cannot imagine meals without veg, tinned fish/meat and a new thing one has found called TVP, a soy product, I will not call it a meat alternative, because I have yet to taste a meat alternative that is either…An alternative to meat, or, just better to to call it vegetarian/vegan. My brain is not left feeling conned when the taste just does not match up to what they say it tastes like. Sometimes one wonders if the person has even ate the foodstuff being copied.

I started the idea of the walk in October, I started the meal research in November, now  one is looking for recipes to try to create from dehydrated veg in December.

When is the walk you may ask?

Next August, I just hope one can get things sorted by then.

Starting a new habit or routine, even a new thing to become familiar, takes time. These meals I have yet to create have got to become all of the above, so I do not have to think about them to do them.

It may be even harder to do if some of the ingredients have got to have a gradual introduction to my food chain. It took me 12months to introduce courgettes into my diet, to the point I can eat a whole one in my meal today.

Luckily the veg to be prepped are all staples in my current diet, but will they work dehydrated???

Reflections 2019 w47

Friday the 13th and we had a bad day, a known serial liar was (because of first past the post) elected prime minister.

This is the thing I do not understand; how do people think that this system serves the country?

The Cons got 43.6% of the vote which got them 365 seats, but if labour 32.2% had formed a coalition with Lib dems 11.6% alone ( I know that would have not happened, but it is hypothetical to prove a point), they would have had a greater %age of the votes, 43.8% of the votes. But this would have only gotten 214 seats – less than 60% of the Cons, despite getting more votes.

It gets even worse for some parties…

The Brexit party got 0 seats for 2% of the votes (642,303)

Beaten by the Green party 1 seat for 2.7 % of the vote (865,697)

Both dwarfed by Other parties getting 3 seats for 2% of the vote (700,886)

Now, if you believe the prime minister to be an honest guy, the new boundary system will make sure, and I quote, that every vote counts the same.

Under that guise his huge majority becomes a minority government again.

Somehow one does not think this countries career politicians are going to be even close to having proportional representation. It’s our club v your club, we will do it our way, and act like a bunch of frat members whilst doing it.

Time and time again it is mentioned that a proportional representative government won’t get anything done – because coalition governments don’t. The difference is one party will not use another party to get their way, knowing they can blame them for anything unpopular in five years time when they hope that they are not needed.

 

Now to those that believe that Great Britain is full of politicians who can get things done, why is working together for the benefit of the country so impossible to do? It would remain the same for MP’s voting on proposals bought up.

 

On a personal note, I am going to try and order my walking trailer spares from Europe to get here before the end of January, because i’m buggered if I am going to pay the extra in duty like I do for goods from America.

And if we do get that ‘wonderful’ trade deal from the US, I’m going vegetarian, or more likely a great fish eater if the price drops by half to compensate for the fish our fishermen cannot get to Europe.

I am sure not paying out for medical insurance to risk salmonella from chlorinated chicken.

To those in Europe that read my blogs…Not all English People think you are out to rule us and take our jobs whilst being here illegally on benefits. Nor do we all want to listen in to your conversation, or complain when we do not understand what you are saying to one another in a non English language. But then not all of us have a passport and travel to your country expecting you to talk english either.

No, some of us will just ask about the food you are eating, especially if it looks delicious.

Or maybe that is just me.

Reflections 2019 w46

Four more days to find out what the hell is going on.

Is this the decline of the UK?

Or are we already there, we just do not realise it is over.

Sounds like a marriage that is ending in divorce. And we are the one that thinks everything is ok.

 

But there are voices that sound from the past…Blame the immigrants/other religion, blame the sick, blame the unemployed, blame the disabled…Say we need more power to get things done for the best of the country, blame those in government that oppose ones will. Change the government system to stay in power, it’s best for the country.

The use of language and tactics of a universally hated moustached person to sway public opinion, whilst championing a course of ‘democracy’.

Using propaganda via media to sway opinion, the truth need not apply, repeat it often enough  it sounds authentic. A tactic the above fella used.

Fake is real – real is dismissed.

Knowledge is mistrusted, eyed suspiciously, because a charismatic non-expert says it’s the worst case scenario. If one feels it enough it will work out better than a plan based on facts. Facts are fiction – fiction is whatever you can get away with.

You cannot hold a discussion when the other person is plugging their ears with their fingers whilst going lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala.

So now we rely on those that feel disenfranchised, disconnected, apathetic and disgusted to get out and be counted.

What is the point of democracy if 1/3 of the country do not take part?

So why not change to a dictatorship?

You only need just over a third of the population to back it, to bring it about. Then what are those that stayed at home going to do…Complain? Rebel?

Not likely if they cannot even put a cross on a piece of paper with a pencil.

And yet those are the very people that can alter the political spectrum by taking part.

 

We are going to need a Christmas miracle to not end up in the history books as the country that threw democracy out with the bath water.

 

I do not think even a cup of tea will help with that one.

Reflections 2019 w 45

Well, the plan for the leaf collecting went out of the window, we have had that much rain i would have had a swamp on the back of my car after just the one trip.

On the plus side my initial findings with the thermal battery in the greenhouse looks promising.

For those that have not heard of thermal batteries – they are just a way to collect some of the warmth the sun provides and then releases it over night time. Basically a hot water bottle…A BIG hot water bottle.

I have used an old garden wheelie bin for my storage. Simply filled with water. It took about a week before any change was to be seen on the min/max temperature, Mainly the min temp has been the focus, as one cannot theorise as to how intense the sun has been, the time available, nor the temperature variation of the outside. But one has been able to do a simple test…

What was the minimum temperature inside the greenhouse when the outside froze.

Without the thermal bank it has dropped to 2degC, with a high of 26degc.  With the thermal bank running for a week the max temp was reduced, as is expected because it partially goes to warming the water, down to around the 18-19degC. However, the Min temperature inside as the outside has froze did not drop any lower than 6degC.

This may not sound that brilliant, or that useful, and for the main part it is not. I am not likely to be growing tomatoes in it over winter. However I plan to grow winter salads, the varieties that grow outdoors over winter, indoors. My theory being that they should benefit from the extra warmth and protection, giving me a higher yield.

Well that the hypothesis anyhow…

Time will tell.