Christmas day arrived in the antidairyfairy’s house, we all managed to get through the day and thanks to my good friend Georgie the day was not as painful as it could have been. Georgie invited the four of us to her house for Christmas lunch and provided a splendid spread and lovely company and we all thank her for this. It was so strange going out to someone else’s home for lunch as for the past ** years I have always been the one hosting the Christmas dinner, it felt really wierd to get up on Christmas day and to leisurely open the pressies and then take one’s time to get ready. It was strange but for this year it was good, normality will hopefully resume next year.
On Boxing day we headed down to Brighton via Hornchurch where we stopped off at my sister-in-law’s for scrumptious bacon butties. We arrived in Brighton mid afternoon and booked into the Hotel du Vin, dumped the baggage (no, not me) and then set off for a brisk walk along the prom which was lovely.
Now, the Hotel du Vin is a super hotel,nice ambience, very comfy, good bar, the rooms are very chic and the restaurant was good UNLESS you are dairy intollerant. For my husband, myself and Sam it was easy to choose off the menu, for Ella it was a nightmare. The staff did try and be helpful by checking with the Chef to see if dishes contained dairy products and had to do so several times, only to come back each time to say ‘no sorry, that contains dairy too’. What should have been a really lovely evening was marred by this as Ella had to make do with a dinner she did not particularly want and to rub her nose in it even more, she had to sit and watch us three eat a dinner of choice. It really is not good enough that restaurants do not take into account that there are people out there who cannot eat dairy or gluten, although I have to say I do think it is easier for coeliacs than it is for lactose intolerants.
Why does everything have to be cooked in butter/cream/dairy produce. Ok so it makes it nice and rich but to have everything on a menu containing dairy is a disaster in my book. Surely with allergies now becoming more and more common it is only common sense to offer unadulterated food as an option for anyone with an allergy. Ella asked for red cabbage – nope no good it was cooked in butter. WHY, I cook it all the time at home and there is no need for it to have butter in it. We have to take some of the blame because we did not check the menu before booking the restaurant but really, there should have been options for people such as Ella. Take the desserts, there was not one dessert on the menu that Ella could eat apart from a sorbet which becomes very boring if that is all that is ever offered. It really isn’t that hard to cook a dessert without dairy or gluten or here is a really radical idea, why don’t they stock soya ice cream – very daring I know and guess what, it even comes in chocolate,raspberry and other flavours – and offer this alongside dairy ice cream. If only a minority request it then buy a few tubs and shove it in the freezer and at least it is there if required. Just think you would send someone, who cannot usually have ice cream, home happy and they would probably dine in your restaurant again, whereas if Ella is with us we won’t be dining there again!
Spent the next day wandering through The Lanes and along by the sea and generally had a lovely time. Went to Browns for dinner which, as always, was good. We first visited Browns at least 35 years ago and have never had a bad meal there so it is like an old friend.
We are now home and peddling water until NYE. I always find this such an anti climax with all the stress of feeling that one has to go out but as usual we have succumbed and will be putting our gladrags on and celebrating.
Anyway to all those out there who have visited this post I wish you a happy and healthy 2007 and hopefully a wealthy one as well.
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Well, have just realised that only really have 4 shopping days left ooo er, think I had better get my head out of the clouds and my a**se in gear, to say it hasn’t been going well on the shopping front would be the understatement of the year but hey ho, I am getting to the state of if we aint got it now we aint getting it. Have pushed and shoved with the best of them in various locations but global shopping has killed off the joy of present buying for me – everywhere you go is the same!
Think that one of the Solicitors whom I freelance for had the right idea, she gathered up her brood and flew off to Thailand for a month and won’t be back until all the festivities have finished. Mind you, she wasn’t going to miss Christmas, she had packed for herself, her husband, her four children (the youngest is 9 months) and then packed the Christmas Tree etc., etc – she even packed crackers minus the bangs (just so she wouldn’t get arrested as a terrorist). Looking at the hassle that she had doing that I think Christmas at home wins.
It is my birthday on Saturday and so for all those other capricorns out there I wish you a very happy birthday. I had to chuckle at an article I read last weekend regarding people who have birthdays on or around Christmas. It was saying that we really miss out because it is a great opportunity for “oh we thought we would buy you one large present for your birthday and Christmas” which is so true. As a child this happened to me most years, apart of course from my parents who did their best to make my birthday special. I am really lucky with my own family as my lovely husband and children go out of their way to make my day special and for this I thank them. I recall having a conversation with my father-in-law one year when he raised this issue and said he thought he would buy one large present. I was so fed up that I asked him if it would be ok if I just bought one large present for him at Christmas and that it would also be for his birthday in May – mmmm he wasn’t too keen on that and has never raised it since.
SO if you know anyone with a birthday at this time of year (other than me) try and light up their day and make them feel special, it will make you feel good too.
Merry Christmas to all.
To set the scene, my daughter is a hard working post graduate student studying for an MA at the RCA, London. She is funding herself and get’s no help with grants etc. She is trying not to get into debt so is very economic with going out on jollies as she knows she cannot afford to do it very often. Last week it was her best friend’s birthday so it was planned that they go out to a club in Clapham for the evening with other friends. Ella had not been out for ages so was really looking forward to it.
They went to a club called Inferno in Clapham and whilst in there some scumbag dipped her bag and lifted a purse out of it which contained her wallet with £40 cash, her driving licence, her bank card and various other personal things. Her bag was over her shoulder and across her body but it was such a crush in this club that she did not feel it happen and did not realise until she went to buy a drink. To say it ruined what should have been a great night would be an understatement.
There are so many mean spirited, selfish scumbags out there who just don’t care about anyone but themselves and it sickens me.
My job as a legal secretary (criminal) has meant I have seen how low people go and I am so sick of how the victim is the one who is penalised. I have worked on cases of paedophiles, rapists, fraudsters, petty thieves, the lot and in all the time I have been doing this work I cannot think of any one of them who showed the slightest bit of remorse, in fact it is just the opposite, they have contempt for our ‘criminal justice system’ and laugh at it. Asbos are laughable, they do not work. I have been telling my husband this for years and he wouldn’t believe me but hey, didn’t they say in the news last week that Asbos are not working – they should ask the staff in Solicitors’ offices around the country, they have known this for years!
I hope the b***ard that took her money etc., get’s his come uppance but I’m sure he won’t.
Ella has now had to pay for a new phone and insurance on a new phone (one of the economies she had to make to fund her MA), she has decided she has to have insurance as this could happen again and again or she will be in fear of taking anything out with her. I could not let her be on her own in London (or anywhere) without a phone, I know too much. This is so unfair, she had managed to get herself 2 days work during her Christmas break so that she could afford to buy pressies for friends and family, now this money will have to go to replacing the above.
I am so angry, when is something going to be done to protect those of us who don’t break the law or take the attitude that “I want it so I’ll take it”, so much for Tony Blair’s dictat of we should be lenient to criminals. I wonder how he would feel if it happened to one of his kids.
I know of a Crown Court Judge who was of the ‘you have to give them the benefit of a second chance’ ilk until his son was mugged. Seems that after that he held an entirely different perspective on criminals. How bad is that, that we have to wait for something to touch these Judges/Mps/do gooders for them to actually realise that there is no criminal justice system in this country any more!
I have in my possession an application pack to become a Magistrate, I have thought long and hard about applying and would really like to but I fear that I would not be accepted as, in my husband’s words, they don’t want Attilla the hun on the bench.
I was doing really well in trying to get over my feelings at this time of year but things like this just knock me back and my prevailing feeling at the moment is that I would love to get hold of the perpetrator and …………. I will leave that to your imagination but it wouldn’t be pretty.
I think I had better go and have a camomile tea or something to calm me down.
As mentioned in a previous post www.dairyfree.co.uk have some lovely recipes, especially chocolate ones for all antidairyfairies out there.
I tried the chocolate and walnut slice, it is so easy to make and the results are very moreish, they remind me of brownies in the way that the cake sticks to the top of your mouth and the walnuts just add to the flavour.
This slice would be lovely with chocolate custard or ice cream (dairy free of course).
Will definitely be trying more of their recipes.
Well Christmas conjours up many feelings and this year it would appear to be rage. I bit the bullet on Monday and raced up the M1 to Milton Keynes and got parked by 9:30am. I walked round and round the shops like a lost soul, I couldn’t find anything that I wanted and when I did eventually find something, yep you’ve guessed it they didn’t have it in the size or it was sold out. GRRRRRR.
I then started looking around at the scrum surrounding me and realised that nobody looked happy, I was in amongst a crowd of Glums. Everyone I speak to feels the same and says that they just can’t get into the Christmas thing. It would appear that Christmas shopping has become one big chore which is such a shame because it should be a time for happiness and giving. The only sign of giving I saw was when a woman had become so frustrated that she was ‘giving’ her all to a shop assistant.
My personal view is that retailers have shot themself in the foot, they start Christmas in August and then wonder why no-one is bothered and sales are low. Everyone knows that if they leave their shopping to a week and a half before Christmas then prices are slashed and you can actually buy shopping at a reasonable price. How many times have I been out to buy that ‘special’ outfit for a Christmas do only to find that even before I have worn it the price has been slashed to below half the price I paid, now that is what I call annoying and so I have contempt for all retailers who bemoan their lot. If they started selling things at the beginning of December and priced them reasonably then I am sure they would have a sell out on their hands.
I know the above makes me sound like I should be shouting ‘bah humbug’ at everyone and I so very nearly bought the hat – yes, they are actually now selling black hats with bah humbug written on them. Christmas for myself and my family is particularly painful as on the 12th of this month it will be the first anniversary of my lovely mum’s passing and I do so miss her. I am trying to move on and get into the Christmas spirit but am finding it exceedingly hard, but I am trying.
As a family we have had 3 very hard years in that various difficult and painful things have occurred so my Christmas wish for my family would be that things start looking up, blow the pressies I just want health and happiness for my family and friends.
Back to the trip to Milton Keynes, I left there at 3pm having bought two books, two bottles of shampoo and some shower gel, not quite the result I wanted. No doubt I will have to brave the shops again and try harder this time.
So to all who read this, I hope you have a better time than I did, happy shopping.