(I actually viewed a leaked video on YouTube in September, and my mouth just opened at how it picked up the harsh reality of the UK’s future. Was this video for real?
And thankfully no, the “leaked” video was not the Christmas ad!…)
Hmmm… Every year, John Lewis changes their style to fit whatever they’re campaigning for… In this one, I felt a little sympathy but a bit annoyed (?). I put a question mark there because I don’t know how I feel at the moment..
Well, it’s not a fun Christmas advert. It’s cut down to 1 minute and 30 seconds compared their very long ads in the past. The music is depressing as it has been in their previous Christmas ads… if they were trying to make this ultimately sad (as in make you cry), then it hasn’t ticked off many items on the sad list. Unfortunately the Foster Dad who was learning to skateboard did not break my heart at the end (shouldn’t that be the case when you watch a sad ad?) …
Follow up story needed with the Foster child. Did she get to skate with the Foster Dad at Christmas… that’s probably what I wanted to see at the end of this advert.
Better time next year John Lewis??
p.s. I’ve just realised the guy sang Blink 182’s song! Not a fan of the slow version!
My arms were crossed when I starting watching this. Don’t know why… was probably expecting the worst. Is this really Sainsbury’s Christmas advert? Christmas pudding?
Set in the probably 16th-17th Century (that’s 1500’s to 1600’s), a countess dressed like Queen Elizabeth I who seems to dislike Christmas pudding and wants a new dessert. The pastry chef is then set a task to create a new dessert. Does he succeed?
Not the greatest from Sainsbury’s. I think they could’ve glide a camera over the food at the end before the Sainsbury’s label came up.
Morrisons Farmer Christmas Advert 2022
OMG! Did Morrisons just listen to my thoughts? Seriously, I didn’t watch this before the Sainsbury’s one! Hah, at the end the camera just glides through the food on the table whilst Mr Farmer is talking, and before the Morrisons logo comes up.
Gammon seems to be a popular dish so far. I still have this gut feeling that the supermarkets liaise with each other to promote certain foods during Christmas.
Morrisons always comes up with good adverts … it’s like a docu-advert in 1 minute!
M&S – Fairy is back and is joined by her new sidekick Duckie 2022
Ok, skip all the talking and just look at the food! I love M&S when they do the food close-ups, it’s my favourite part of their adverts.
So much babbling in this advert 🙄 but I guess the food and drink makes up for the Fairy and sidekick Duckie. Maybe I should pop down to the local M&S and get one of those bottles of gin to drown the noise!
LIDL – The Story of Lidl Bear
Lidl is always up-to-date with the times of our modern lives… TikTok, fame, parties, early autobiographies, advertising with food… the lot.
Forget fame and go back home to celebrate Christmas with the people who love you!
I did giggle at the end of this advert, as it reminded me to not forget the people who were around you from the beginning.
Tesco – The Christmas Party#StandForJoy
Every year Tesco become more political with their Christmas adverts!!
They’ve listened to the Government, they’ve listened to the Public and now it’s time for them to act to help the Public with our cost of living and bring some sort of joy to Christmas… Will Tesco deliver their Christmas spirit with discounted food prices in store? We’ll see…
Did they also had to mention about Bin Day at the end of the ad? What the heck was that all about?! 🤷♀️
More adverts coming soon! I can’t wait to see the ALDI ads… they’ve released a 50 second clip, but it looks like there’s more to come!
Here we’re going to start off with Barbour, the men’s clothing store. I guess it’s hard to shop for men these days, so they might as well start off with the Christmas advertising. 😁
Gone are the days of The Snowman, and now we have Paddington Bear for the second year running re-introducing the world of Barbour jackets.
Paddington Bear wants to cheer up a grumpy neighbour, Mr Curry (he was missed out the Bear’s list in last year’s ad), with marmalade but is diverted to the Barbour shop of old unique jackets… Will this cheer up his grumpy neighbour? Watch and find out.
An old style advert transporting you back to the old days of the one door London buses, when people were probably nice to their neighbours and Paddington Bear who appears to be the nation’s favourite bear at the moment.
Very lighthearted. Simple and not over the top. I’ve watched it three times already. 😅
It’s finally Autumn. Working from home is now 2 days a week and the other days I go into the office. So before the Christmas adverts start, I’m sharing this post now!
On the days I go in, I really try my best to make my own food for lunch. It saves me some money, and gives me an excuse not to be lazy. Mrs Travels encouraged me to post some of my lunches (and I think some other food I make but have not posted) onto this blog, as I haven’t posted in a while.
Here’s some ideas which I had circling in my mind to make and try out. I’ve been watching a lot of food videos on YouTube for the past couple of years to get some ideas as well.
Macaroni and Vegetable Soup
I made this one day on the weekend, and thought this isn’t too bad! And it’s really filling. Hong Kongers often have macaroni soup for breakfast and lunch. So I made a slightly similar version.
Add a bowl of water to boil (for 1 serving)
Add one vegetable stock cube (any brand)
Add some pre-cut vegetables – then boil for 2-3 minutes (try and get discounted vegetables – it gives you an excuse to cook them on the day)
Add 2 handfuls of macaroni (add more if needed) – boil for 10 minutes
Cool down, then add to a container and refridgerate if making this the night before.
If you have no microwave to use at work, just reheat the soup in the morning, and add into a food flask. If you’re making this in the morning, add to your food flask straight away. Take some bread rolls or an extra sandwich!
Spaghetti with Japchaesauce
Have you watched the Korean show The Backpacker Chef 백패커? In episode 15, the chefs come up with Pasta Japchae, which I wanted to try making myself. I had a look online to see who else have made this in the past, and saw one post. I already had readymade japchae sauce, which you can buy in Asian or Korean supermarkets.
Cook some spaghetti (add more if you plan to eat some before you pack them).
Stir fry some halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and a couple of frankfurters in a frying pan (usually the Koreans would cook the ingredients separately, but I’m a lazy Geek, and this recipe is supposed to easy).
Then drain the spaghetti, place in a bowl, add the stir fried ingredients into the spaghetti and finally added the ready made Japchae sauce and additional sesame oil (I find the japchae sauce doesn’t have enough sesame oil in it).
Mixed it all together and finally pack it. There was space left in my container, so I made a Chinese style spring onion omelette. Nothing fancy.
When I had this the next day, I noticed that the spaghetti had soaked up the japchae sauce, and it tasted great! I bought some more spaghetti too.
Tinned Mackerel Stew & Rice
There was some tinned mackerel at home, which I was planning to make this in Hastings but that never happened, so the tinned mackerel came back to London. I actually found a recipe on YouTube, but only looked at the ingredients used, and used my own instinct to create my own version. .
One day I bought a pack of mushrooms in Tesco as it was on discount (33p). Thought they would come in handy for a work lunch.
So in this one pot stew, you can add any vegetables for this but here I just chose what I had:
Added olive oil to the pan, and fried all the mushrooms in one go (they shrink, so it was fine).
Added some chopped onions, and the last of my cherry tomatoes, and stirred it in.
After a couple of minutes, I added 2 tins of brined mackerel into the pan with the brine included (you can drain it if you want to).
Stir, then add some salt, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, a table of corn syrup (or add some sugar, but corn syrup is not too sweet), a cube of vegetable stock and half a cup of water (add a tiny bit more water if needed), white pepper (optional), a sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional) and some chilli powder (optional). Stir and turn down to a medium heat, and boil for 10 minutes.
Cool down for a few minutes before serving with some rice.
I scoffed my dinner down and happy that I made this with the thought of having this for lunch the next day!
Leftover stew and rice packed away… the stew can be heated the next morning, and added into a food flask, if you don’t want to stink up the work office kitchen!
Swedish Meatballs and Vegetable Soup
Have you gone into Icelands or Morrisons recently? In the frozen section, you’ll see bags of Swedish meatballs. It looks like they’re popular. Instead of eating them the Ikea or Swedish way, I tried using them to make a soup.
Add olive oil to the saucepan, then add in as many frozen meatballs as you want… and fry for a little bit
Add any chopped vegetables. Here I added an onion, carrots and spring onions. Fry with the meatballs for a minute
Add 2 cups of water, vegetable stock cube and tomatoe paste, (optional: Add a teaspoon of sugar if you like a sweeter taste) then boil for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with pasta and rice … and make sure to leave some for work!
And if all stews and soups and pastas fail, there’s the ultimate traditional egg fried rice with a veggie and meat side dish!
Boris Johnson is gone and now Liz Truss is the new PM. Blimey. Same Tories, but they’re shuffled in the wrong direction. I’m not looking forward for the next couple of years. May someone save us from this government. 😭
And I went back to Hastings after 3 years from when Master B was born, and Baby B at the time was only 4 years old. ^_^
It was very short break, and I think I can only handle Master B for a short of period of time. He’s started talking, but most of the time I can only understand him saying “Why?” and “Mummy”.
So the journey started off slowly. It rained heavily in London on the day we left, but thankfully it cleared up. Miss Pinky had to do some last minute shopping, so I was left with 2 energetic kids… I thought hurry up Miss Pinky before my energy disappered…
We finally left after 2pm on that Thursday afternoon, and walked all the way to London Bridge Station. The trains were either delayed or cancelled. Something happened along tracks. So we changed at Sevenoaks. But finally got to St Leonards Warrior Square (right next door to Hastings) just after 5pm, and made our way to the apartment we were staying at (booked on Booking.com).
Miss Pinky insisted we cooked food rather than buy takeaways, so we brought food (some not even used), then bought extra from the Co-op and SPAR (too much extra stuff, which we had to carry home)…
We all slept quite late but the early riser was Master B (let’s just hope he stops waking up early when he’s 5 years old… not long to go!). He was my alarm clock as well as the seagulls. Luckily Baby B slept through it all. Miss Pinky needed some sleep, so I babysat for an hour or so.
Time to head out, and I realised I left my purse in my jacket pocket (it was quite warm on the Friday), thankfully I had my phone to pay for the bus ride into Hastings Old Town (yes, you can pay with your debit card and credit card using Google Pay and even Samsung Pay).
We walked around, then looked for a place for lunch. We settled on a pub serving Jamaican style food. It was expensive according to Miss Pinky… cost of living has risen around the UK, so I wasn’t that shocked. My fish burger wasn’t fantastic but I ate the lot… the sauce was slightly on the bitter side. Oh well.
Time for clothes shopping in Primark (I didn’t buy anything), and some outdoor trampolining. Then back we went to the apartment. We didn’t even go to the arcades or anywhere else…
But in the evening, after doing some cooking, we went out and did a night stroll up to Hastings Pier. We couldn’t go to the arcade as Baby B wanted to go, as Master B wet himself – why didn’t Miss Pinky put a pull-up on him? Mistakes happen. Parenthood is tough!
Baby B was not impressed, but we “promised” to go the next day.
On the last day before we were to go back to London, Miss Pinky decided we should go back to London, but then Baby B made a fuss that “promises can’t be kept”. How did this young god-daughter of mine start talking like this? Shocked. I was a bit upset. Then Miss Pinky decided we should hide away her luggage somewhere after checkout, then head out. (I actually asked Baby B if she was able to keep her promises … I kind of pointed out her errors too 😛 – that’s Godmother Geek for you!).
We didn’t make it to the arcade, but we did go to the pier again, and spent some time on the rides. Everyone was happy in the end…
Finally on our way home after spending 2 nights and almost 3 days away from London. The best thing on this trip was that I made Master B cry a few times . I didn’t want him to think he could get away with things, and thinking I was the goody adult he could manipulate. Sorry to future parents and godparents – you can’t be nice to kids all the time!
It’s been 12 years since London hosted the Olympics. That’s when I first started Instagramming and remember at the time I still went to work, and everyone in the UK seemed to have avoided the areas, people didn’t commute into work, and the London was practically deserted at the time… well that’s what the media told us to do, and we did! 🤣🤣🤣
So a couple of months ago, I met up with Miss Money and her dog, Mint. The dog needed exercise because apparently she put on weight. Really? She seemed like a normal Yorkshire Terrier to me. Excited as always but so nervous with noise and people. She’s not even 1 years old in human years yet… understandable.
I wanted to get the Elizabeth Line from Liverpool Street Station but it looked like it wasn’t running on the day (or maybe it was… I should have asked), so I ended up going on the Central Line. It was so hot!
Once I finally reached Stratford, it became a cat and mouse game as I tried to find the two. I ended up standing in front of M&S…
We walked around for a while and taking small breaks in between. Thankfully I had breakfast otherwise I would’ve been hungry all day long.
When we got near to the stadium we we realised that there was some sort of an event going on to commemorate the 10 years since the Olympics… It was also my first time seeing the Olympic rings by the way. I had never thought of going to see it on purpose. 😅
As there wasn’t much to do, and it was getting crowded, we headed back to North Greenwich. I hadn’t realised that people like to oggle their eyes over dogs and try to play with them (when obviously the owner dislikes it). When I see dogs these days, I divert my eyes straight in front to avoid the owner having to pull their dogs. Mint attracts a lot of people… Oh well Miss Money. You might have to avoid crowds somehow!
Once we had reached to North Greenwich Station, it was another long walk via the Thames up to Greenwich… Mint has never walked that part before, but it was a good walk.
We ended up sitting near the Thames eating some Thai food from a stall in Greenwich Market and drinking bubble tea from Gong Cha. I haven’t had Thai food for a while. So happy that we ended up choosing this… I was so hungry that I didn’t even take a picture of my drink and food. 😅😅😅
That day, I ended up in traffic whilst going home. London Bridge was closed for roadworks… I also walked over 20,000 steps that day!
London’s Summer of 2022 was too hot! Shortly after the heatwave, I somehow ended up going to the Thamesmead Festival in Southmere Park. (Traffic was horrible on that day).
I also completed a computer game – Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series – part one (easy level… but it took me 10 hours to complete!). I want to play the second one, but might wait until I’m stressed to the point that I need to play a game.
Bye bye summer holidays! I’ll see you again next year!!
Recently went to Longdan Supermarket and bought a few groceries during the Platinum weekend. It was fairly quiet in the morning, I guess a lot of people are still trying to have a getaway weekend away from London, or possibly coming into London to see the Royals, politicians and the wotnots of the UK.
At the counter, I saw this cute South Korean package of delight. Something that I’ve wanted to try since watching a lot of Korean variety shows (and don’t forget Squid Game where they were making shapes with dalgona) where they showed how to make this confectionery from the past.
Dalgona 달고나 is basically known as honeycomb toffee in the Western world If you’ve had Nestle’s Toffee Crisp Honeycomb or Nestle’s Crunchie, you might find that the crispy part tastes similar to Dalgona.
Ingredients are: sugar, water, corn syrup and sodium bicarbonate. Just 4 ingredients!
Once I opened the packet, you could see some squared shape biscuit like objects. It would probably remind you of soft set caramel, or possibly some sort of pet treat. It is definitely a treat, but for human consumption rather than the likes of a pet.
Well, what does it taste like? It tastes very, very sweet! Have you tasted any sort of East Asian black sugar snacks, or black sugar bubble tea? If you have, you will taste that very same sort of black sugar taste after tasting the punch of the sweetness followed by a familar caramel-like taste, then sort of ending it with a darker note of the black sugar aftertaste.
Later on in the day, I wanted to see what it would taste like in some hot coffee… Hmmm… Doesn’t taste very sweet at all!
The price of this small bag is £1.75. Expensive but it was worth a try, and I would definitely buy this again as a once in a blue moon human treat.
It was my birthday just over 2 and a bit months ago. YAY! And it was the first time in two frigging years since I’ve been able to celebrate my birthday.
2 years older, 2 years of being drained working between the office and home (and only catching covid at the end of last year), 2 YEARS of not being able to blog as much as I had wanted to.
So it was decided with the Gang of Four that we would go and eat in a Korean BBQ restaurant. Reason one – Miss Money is on her keto diet. Reason two – I wanted to eat Korean food outside. And Reason three, (which I didn’t know until we almost finished eating), was that Mr Games and Mr Sensible never had Korean BBQ before).
I had already checked the menu online and was ready to order. As there were four of us, we decided to have two lots of Set Menu 1, which costs £66 and serves 2 people (that’s £33 per person). There’s a choice of 2 starters – Korean fried chicken or Mandoo (Korean dumplings). We chose the chicken. And then you have a choice of 4 different bbq dishes – meat or veg from the main menu.
The fried chicken came out first. Miss Money and I chose the kimchi mayo, and I think the other one was soy teriyaki. These were ok, but I prefer the bigger pieces of fried chicken from Cheemc.
Japchae was also one of the starters. This tasted ok. I didn’t want to eat too much as there was a lot coming our way!
As you can see, the side dishes of kimchi, spring onions, meat for the grill and rice coming out… Our table was practically full of amazing dishes.
😅😅😅 So. Much. Food!! And such a tiny grill…
We grilled and ate, grilled and ate. There were times when we thought the food we were cooking were undercooked. The meat was flavourful and marinated well. I think we just burnt the first grill though as obviously there wasn’t enough fat from the meat or no cooking oil at hand.
Our grill was only changed twice the whole time we sat there. What they should have done is provided some cooking oil so that we wouldn’t burn the grills the whole time we were there… Oh well. Nevermind!
We had a small amount of everything left, so we just poured everything in. I don’t think the staff were that impressed, but we needed to finish the remaining food items. 🙃
We were finally stuffed… Finished with all the amazing food… And then came out the fruits. Mr Sensible and I finished our plate, but for some reason Mr Games and Miss Money wouldn’t touch their plate of fruit… They are so weird! I’m sure on a keto diet that you’re allowed to eat some fruits right? Mr Games has a funny palate so I understand that sometimes he doesn’t want to eat certain things.
At the end of the food show, it was time for the cinnamon shot. It’s non-alcoholic, but it’s so sweet! Koreans like sweet stuff. I like cinnamon, but wasn’t sure of this drink… methinks it could have been diuted a bit more for the likes of four people.
Total cost came to around £148 including drinks, so that’s £37 per person. I think it was a very well-deserved meal and having not spent anything for my last two birthdays.
Korean food is becoming so popular these days that it might topple over Japanese and Chinese food in the UK… I doubt that! 😅
My geeky rating: 4.5/5
Address: Central Piazza St Giles, 4 St Giles High St, London WC2H 8AB
Been bit on the quiet front recently. It’s been non-stop at work as the offices and staff are almost back to normal. Almost normal. Still working from home people? Most of us have become hybrid workers. I for one am now a hybrid worker. ^_^
Cup noodles! Ummmm. The last time I had a cup noodle was last year at some point and the last time I blogged about a cup noodle was when I was in HK. LOL.
When I went into New Long Fung Supermarket a few months ago, I explored the noodle section as I ran out of instant noodles at the time… and then in the corner of my eye, I spotted these cup noodle treasures! Woohoo! Katsu Curry, Pork Tonkotsu and Beef Sukiyaki. (I also have chicken teriyaki, which I forgot about).
Here I’m eating from non-preference to preference, I tried out the Beef Sukiyaki first. Tastes artificial and sweet to the very end.
Tasted sweet at first, then it felt watered down sweetness with a touch of beef as the aftertaste
The Tonkotsu flavour became a my dinner before bed. Tastes very watered down of the packaged version. Can taste the pork flavour, but it really tastes bland. 😦
Last of all was the Curry flavour. I bought two pots in case I liked it… Artificial taste again. It doesn’t taste like the one I had in HK. It tasted like watery curried flavoured noodles.
Costs £1.35 or more (depending on where you get them) – Unfortunately, I wouldn’t buy these again but instead buy those original Nissin cup noodles or Korean cup noodle. (Dreading to eat the second curry cup noodle and the chicken teriyaki flavour). 😭
The nice part is the design of the cups – likely taken from the famous 18th-19th Centuru artist, Hokusai-san…
I have a smile on my face. Why? Because I have not blogged about books in a very long time. In this post, I will explain why I have two fairly new e-readers and the purpose of each. To be honest I explored a whole lot before picking these two. I’ve been sluggish with reading, and have been listening to audiobooks for a year or so during this boring pandemic… but made the switch to reading more via e-readers since using a phone made my eyes swirl.
Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation is the newest Kindle e-reader at a semi-affordable price of £139. It has a screen size of 6.8 inches, no buttons on the sides, 8GB storage and is slightly heavy. I bought this back in October 2021, and so far I have enjoyed reading from it. The first book I read on it was Swing Time by Zadie Smith. I actually have the paperback, which I bought it in July when I was waiting for Mrs Hen at London Bridge Station, but somehow I felt I couldn’t finish the book… Once I had the Kindle, I felt I could read a lot more faster, and finished the book in a few weeks.
After my first book after a long time of not actually reading fiction, I quit my Audible subscription, and went for Kindle Unlimited which was on a promo last year… Well I’m glad I did, because there’s a lot of books I can borrow! And even manga too!!
Manga quality is not too bad, some words are hard to ready because of the lightness of the font. However, you can zoom into the panel to get a better look of the writing.
You can change the way the page looks… have just recently added the time on top of the pages… I always lose track of time when reading.
If you don’t like people knowing which book you’re reading, you can switch to the Kindle screen covers when it goes on sleep mode… I chose this option, as I didn’t want people to know what I was reading.
However, there is only so much that I can borrow via Kindle Unlimited (and also find free e-books elsewhere)… certain books I wanted to read on the Kindle aren’t available on Kindle Unlimited but are available on Overdrive, which is an app that’s usable on the Kobo e-readers!
So, after a few months of contemplation, I bought my second e-reader (my third or was it my fourth really – I have a really old e-reader somewhere). This is the Kobo Libra 2, which costs £159.99.
Why did I buy it? It has 32GB of storage, there’s button on the sides, it has a 7 inch screen, I can borrow library books (that’s why I joined Lewisham Libraries, as Southwark Libraries don’t use Overdrive), and I can read a lot of manga! A lot of reviewers out there have said to get the Kobo Forma for reading manga, but to be honest, Kobo Libra 2 is also good. I don’t need an oversized 8 inch e-reader, I needed one that was weight-friendly for my small hands.
The quality of the manga is pretty good, and the pages look very paper-like compared to the screen on the Kindle Paperwhite.
With the Kobo, I like the fact that I can choose what goes on the header and footer. I chose how much time to read (supposed to be per chapter… but depending on the book, it will give me the half-way time for the entire book). And the footer, I chose how many pages I read / left in the book to read. Handy!!
Like the Kindle Paperwhite, you can choose to remove the book cover, but Kobo doesn’t show any default images.
Well, if you’re in two minds like me – get both (only if you can afford it … I’m still paying for the Kobo using Amazon Prime’s 5 x 1 monthly installments). If you can’t buy both, then the best thing to do is ask yourself, which one is more appropriate…
Overall: I would say go for the Kobo Libra 2 – you can borrow library books, and if you can find free epub books on the Internet, then you don’t need to change the file extension for Kindle.
Books I’ve read on the Kindle so far:
Swing Time by Zadie Smith (puzzled with this book, but enjoyed reading a complex book after many years)
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan (fairly sweet book)
The Expatriates by Janice YK Lee (I was really disappointed with the ending for this book… I wish there was an alternative ending for one of the mothers)
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – currently in my reading section… the Agatha Raisin series took over!
Sweetness and Lightening Manga – Volume 1 (watched the animé, thought I might as well read the manga! And the first 8 volumes are free on Kindle Unlimited)
Books I’ve read on the Kobo so far:
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton (read in 5 days!)
Agatha Raisin and the Viscious Vet
Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardner
Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley (currently on chapter 2 … the Agatha Raisin series is quite addictive!)
Absolute Boyfriend Manga – Volume 1 … Reading this because it’s a short series of 6 volumes
If you’ve been stuck in a rut with reading or haven’t read in a long time, give an e-reader a go… I have a long list of books I want to read at the moment, and have downloaded a lot of manga for this manga-deprived geek! It’s paper-free friendly, and takes up less space in your home and in your bag!