Men In Suits in Shops

Thursday 31/3/2005

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Diary and Notes

(Continued from yesterday)


Not only is my phone still not working but I have been reduced to wishing people dead.

It should be a simple affair to type some details into my phone so that it can send photos I have taken to my email account - but things are never that simple.

Firstly I had to take back the phone with the really useless camera I was whineing on about yesterday - and of course buy a new one. This entailed me having to have one of those unfortunate encounters with a strata of society I don't much encounter and don't like meeting at the best of times: Shopworkers in suits.

I have no problem with shopworkers generally, nor people in suits, but shopworkers in suits are a dangerous bunch of hungry predator types, still at the bottom of the salesperson food chain, desperate to work their way up by pressure selling, hitting targets and pretending they know what they're talking about when they've probably only had a half hour induction and seen a video about customer services, which concentrated mostly on how to get people to buy things they don't really need.

Now I suppose I shouldn't be too harsh on these people, I was one myself once - a hard nosed estate agent in Manchester, always closing the deal, always mindful of the competition - but when I go into one of these shops dressed as I often am, in a manner that would allow me to blend in at a hobo convention (when the washing machines were broken) I don't usually get the care and attention I feel I should deserve (they always seem quite happy to take my money). As such, I have taken to dressing up when I go to but electrical goods and making myself look like somebody important, I find this often helps.

So I was looking smart and buying a new phone - every salesman's dream. I explained exactly what I wanted; to be able to take photos and send them to my email address so that I could put the pictures on a website - yes sir, no problem sir, here's the phone for you.

So now I have a new phone with a VGA camera (I know there are better phone cameras but this should be just about good enough) but does it work?


Not even the phone part of the phone.

Oh the camera works fine, but I of course can't send any photos anywhere because they've registered my account wrong and I can't even phone the shop to complain. My phone is a non-phone, a dead phone, it serves no purpose apart from making me look 'cool' because I now have a trendy new phone. As a fashion accessory it's great, I almost feel I should get it out in public and say, "Hey doll, can I text you sometime." but I wont be able to text anyone because it doesn't work.

Somebody will pay with blood...

More tomorrow.

P.S. the photo above was taken with my new phone and eventually transfered on 4/4/2005 - it's a little grainy as my hands shake a lot and I was in an hurry, the later pictures look much better.


And concerning today's dinner, I said last week I would be making a steak and kidney pudding but I couldn't find any kidneys so made a steak and mushroom (with Murphy's Irish stout) instead. It was superb and I don't think the photo does it justice. You can't get the scale of the thing either, so I should point out it was not a small pudding by any standards of the word small.

There is a story about Winston Churchil being visited by the American amabassador at the start of the second world war (in an attempt to convince the American's to join in) - Churchill was sitting in his bath at the time, drinking a bottle of port, smoking a cigar and eating a giant steak & kidney pudding with a spoon (all at once of course). I would have said more abou the joys of suet puddings and steak pudding in particular, but my rant got in the way - sorry.

Cake Blog

  • Chocolate Fudge Cake


  • Steak and Kidney Pudding
  • Roast Potatoes
  • Carrots


    1kg Stewing Steak
    2 Onions
    1 Carrot
    1 Stick Celery
    Vegetable Oil
    1 Can Murphy's Irish Stout
    500ml Beef Stock
    2Tbsp English Mustard
    500g Mushrooms
    1 Bunch Fresh Parsley
    Salt and Pepper
    300g Self Raising Flour
    150g Vegetable Suet
    Very Cold Water


  • Filling: Cut the steak into cubes (about 1.5cm). Dice the carrot, onion and celery (the usual suspects), brown the beef with a little oil in the pan, then add the chopped vegetables and sweat these until soft. Pour over the stout and allow the bubbles to recede then add the mustard and stock. Simmer with the lid off for 5 mins then cover partly (to allow some steam to escape) and leave to stew gently for two hours. When the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened considerably add the mushrooms and chopped parsley and season well (peppery is good).
  • Pastry: Mix the suet, flour and a little salt then add (a tablespoon at a time) the water. Mix gently with each spoon until a dough ball forms. Lay on a floured surface and roll out to about 1cm thick. Grease a glass bowl and mould 2/3 of the pastry in the bowl and trim the edges. Fill with the meat, then make a lid with the rest of the pastry and crimp the edges. Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the top and wrap very tightly in foil.
  • Place in a big saucepan and pour in water (but not up to the top of the bowl). Put the lid on and simmer for 2 hours, checking the water level every now and again to make sure it doesn't boil dry.

    *All quantities are very approximate and for about 6 hungry people