Truck Driving Man

A recent episode of Man Made Home in which, whilst searching out recyclable lorry windows, Kevin McCloud unearthed pooh in a bag, got me thinking. Where exactly do all those truck, lorry and other long distance transients pooh and why if in times of need, in a bag?  Sad but true, truck drivers are not alone in cable laying expertise.

On a recent shopping expedition, at the entrance of a restaurant that I know has toilets, a toddler’s parent was allowing it to defecate into a plastic bag. Done in plain sight, I admit to being surprised. Alas, I was alone. Diners casually munched, workers dutifully worked, parents picked up a useful insight into parenting, perhaps. Due to my unfortunate timing, I witnessed said parent leave the child’s deposit in its bag, right where it was made.

What is to be taken from this? Toilets are obviously seen as a necessary evil. I can attest to my fear of having to use a public toilet for prolonged affairs, where I live. Parents are obviously disillusioned with toilet inadequacies. I would have presumed that the point of pooh in a bag was the ease of ridding oneself of an unwanted deposit . Unfortunately, pavement poohing bag squelchers are not alone. Footpath peeing toddlers are more numerous. In situations like this I often wonder have I taken this all out of context? Could I seamlessly transplant this casual bowel behaviour to any street of the world? You tell me……

International Bacon Day (IBD)

International Bacon Day (IBD).  Wow, finally a festival to truly celebrate.  Thank goodness for porcine goodness and the love of my wife, for finding truly awe-inspiring ways to fill in spare time. It began like this. Wake up early. Sensory level overload. The week has consisted of waiting for the perfectly smoked pork to be ready for eating. Celia has this great method of curing and smoking pork to make perfect bacon. Why? Well you try to buy bacon where we live and you will be disappointed. In fact I would be surprised if we ever have to buy bacon again. Buying pigs is more likely. Breakfast. Homemade crumpets, homemade bacon, flat whites. Can it get any better? Sometimes it really does pay  to take time to weigh up what you have.  Regardless, first celebratory IBD, and I’m well happy.

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Pulled Pork and Homemade BBQ Sauce

It’s everywhere.  From burger joints, tapas bars and high-end restaurants to my lowly Chinese kitchen.  Pulled Pork!  It is a delight to eat and certainly easy to make, utilising cheaper cuts of pork, like the shoulder.  Finding a recipe to suit your tastes, budget and skill can easily be found on the internet.  If you are anything like me, you browse a load of different recipes and then make up your own recipe, a bit of a conglomeration of all of them!  I have made it a couple of times now, and each time I change it a bit, depending on what I have on hand etc.  Soft, melt-in-your-mouth meat and tangy homemade BBQ sauce on a homemade English Muffin, what more could a girl want.  Pulled pork burgers, or tortillas, or sandwiches or whatever as long as there is pulled pork!

English Muffins

The lack of bread options in China can be frustrating.  I miss that mouth-watering, yeasty smell of hot bread straight out of the oven.  Butter slowly melting as you bite into a nice slice of fresh bread.  Yum.  So anyway, I decided that enough was enough and a couple of months ago, embarked upon my oven-less bread baking.  Thanks to google, I discovered that English Muffins are made on the stove-top, perfect for my oven-less Chinese kitchen.  I used this English Muffin recipe and went to work.  Baking heaven!  A kneading workout! They rose beautifully and after a few minutes in the frying pan were ready to taste. Splitting them burned my fingers in my rush to get them opened and buttered, but it was well worth it.

Rubbish in any Language

Rubbish heap, rubbish mound, small pile of rubbish, seen em all.  Rubbish truck, I saw you twice this year.  Burning rubbish pile, I smell you most days.  Opportunist rubbish collector, I see you all the time.  Why then is there so much rubbish out there?  In the photo we see a rubbish collection area at the end of a street, on a bridge over a city canal.  Rubbish is deposited at any unused junction of a street, bridge, new road or communal point as decided upon as mutually acceptable.  I have seen used: unfinished roads, lay-bys, nooks, crannies, middle of roads, sides of roads and perhaps the most seen, the side street next to our school.  It was never a road ‘road’ apparently.  It’s gravel on some bitumen with small gardens on one-side and textile shops on the other.  There is the worst smelling public toilet to boot that conveniently wafts with the prevailing wind.  Rubbish levels range from piles of plastic filled bags to concrete to grass clippings and occasionally you get the big digger around to scoop it all up and it’s trucked away.  Rubbish, but why?  There is no collective recycle-reuse-reinvent mind set.  There weren’t even rubbish bins up until 18 months ago.  Hence the common use of the ‘end of the street’ for rubbish dumping.