Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Marine fly-tipping is a world-wide problem. Further legislation for boat registration is needed. Truro river and Fowey harbour. The Thames. Abandonment Procedures.

Captain Paul Thomas

Harbour masters all over the world are plagued with the problems of dealing with abandoned boats. Cornwall is no exception and Captain Paul Thomas, the harbour master of Fowey, has recently spoken out about his frustration and the prohibitive costs of removing abandoned boats from Fowey harbour. "Leaving a boat to rot is simply marine fly-tipping and we're not having it." he told the Plymouth Herald

Captain Mark Killingback

Last year the harbour master of Truro and Penryn, Captain Mark Killingback, told the West Briton of his difficulties in locating the registered owners of rotting boats, prior to carrying out costly abandonment procedures in his efforts to clear Truro river.  

“It’s when they stop paying us and we can’t find them that we look into abandonment. Money is tight and boats are not cheap to run. If they are not tended and the moorings break they may find themselves in the navigable channel.” 

This yacht opposite Trennick Row has been rotting away for years

I have a vested interest in the boat above as it is near my house, and in view of the recent publicity in the local and national press about abandoned boats in Fowey harbour I went to see the Moorings Officer of Truro and Penryn,  Paul Ferris,  who told me that he is now in contact with the owner who had been ill, hospitalised and gone away.  

Tracking down the owners of abandoned boats in this country is difficult as boats frequently change hands and not all boats are re-registered.  Further legislation for registration and re-registration is needed. People buy boats with good intentions, sometimes on a whim but subsequently regret their purchases - (This is a similar scenario what is going to happen next week, when pets will be given as Christmas presents).  The costs of mooring fees, maintenance and insurance often prove prohibitive, and Cornwall has suffered the recession more than most other parts of the country. 

Boats moored along the river Truro before 1999 are not subject to fees, in which case the owners are under no financial pressure and parts of the foreshore on both sides of the river belong to private owners, one of whom is Lord Falmouth. 

Residents and businesses on both sides of the river Truro on Malpas Road and in Newham are well used to boats in various stages of disrepair which have been eyesores for years. 

Not all is doom and gloom
 Cavatina is clearly much loved and cared for
Newham businesses and flats are in the background

This picturesque old French fishing boat, Durundal, has been stranded 
on the corner of Boscawen Park for years, 
but at last a new owner has started to paint it

Boats on Sunny Corner seem to be better tended

Boat for sale on the Malpas Road side

In 2009 Andrew Graham, waterway operations manager of the Thames, gave a good account to Get Surrey of abandonment procedures regarding the removal of a cabin cruiser, Canoo C, above Sunbury Reach.

Canoo C

“There is a strict process for dealing with sunken, stranded or abandoned boats. It starts with locating the registered owner of the boat, as they are responsible for removing it in the first instance..This avoids us spending taxpayers’ money unless absolutely necessary. If the owner either does not remove the boat within an agreed reasonable period, or does not contact us in reply to our notice to remove it, we will take enforcement action. If the owner cannot pay the costs, the boat will be sold to recover costs incurred and safeguard taxpayers expense. It is disappointing to see how some people drop all responsibility for their property and cause unnecessary disruption for others who use the waterway. The fact that irresponsible owners will still have to pay the costs of the operation or lose their boat sends out a strong message that disrespecting the laws of the River Thames will not be tolerated.”

Monday, 15 December 2014

Parsley Stuffing for your turkey by Laurie Burley

Here is my new friend Laurie's Parsley Stuffing, taken from Recipes from a Cornish Kitchen.
It won't take long to make.

Parsley Stuffing

The best stuffing for your turkey and a very old traditional Cornish recipe. I have used this recipe forever and it has been on my Blog since I started! I make no apologies for repeating it this year, for all my new likers! Mine is already made and tucked away in my freezer, all ready to defrost on Xmas eve night….. then pop it into the turkey neck cavity before roasting. The photo is a mini chicken version!!

In our family we just call this Stuffing, or even "stuff", but I had to give it a proper name. I have no idea of the origins of this delicious dressing but my Mother served it for as long as I can remember and it was my belief that it was my grandmother's recipe - she was born in 1885! I have never cooked a roast chicken without this stuffed into its neck - definitely NOT his bum. It is just as scrumptious when cold, to serve with cold meats. It also freezes perfectly. I will give you the basic recipe, that will probably stuff 2 everyday chickens but for my Xmas Turkey I use at least double the amount. It depends on the size.

12 oz white breadcrumbs, from a few days old, uncut loaf - no crusts
6 oz suet - Atora, light is good [but a hundred years ago it would have been the real thing]
2 oz chopped FRESH Parsley - this is a lot! [use finer stalks too]
2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper - plenty of both!
4 eggs to bind

Cube the bread and blitz in a food processor or blender. Put in a bowl along with everything else. Beat the eggs and mix together. It's as easy as that. I batch make and freeze little packets for use and take out the night before and leave in the fridge. Pack tightly in the neck cavity and hold with cocktail sticks, or at Xmas I sew it in. Watch out for the cotton!!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Mincemeat Christmas buns from Recipes from a Cornish Kitchen by Laurie Burley. Extraordinary stargazing Cornish pasties. Lidl.

Laurie Burley

I have just been lucky enough to meet a fellow blogger, Laurie Burley, who was my bridge partner yesterday. Her Recipes from a Cornish Kitchen would make a wonderful cookery book. 

Laurie was born and bred in Stithians where her father was the local butcher. She told me about her background and her blog:

"My first memory of baking was standing on a little stool and my mother teaching me how to make a fatless sponge. I did the same for my daughter! .My cakes are mostly fuss free, simple and basic, using the best ingredients. I source the recipes from very old cookbooks, friends and relatives, even old churches have old recipe leaflets. I have also been working my way through the Cornish Recipes book by Edith Martin written in 1929. Each recipe is baked and photographed, with a little potted history and taste notes!

I do not think I am good enough for a book, I am afraid - plus so many of my recipes are not for the health conscious either!!!!!!!! So much pastry and butter!  I am happy toddling along with my little Blog, setting the world straight as regards to Cornish baking and traditional cooking.

I have been married for almost 49 years and my husband loves traditional food. I have been a home maker for most of my life. I bake cakes, bread - in fact everything. Genealogy, bridge and baking are my passions. 

As a Cornish housewife who loves to bake, who takes pride in her heritage, I have inherited and collected a treasure trove of recipes that I would like to share. I will be interested in comments and if you also have recipes then I would be glad to try them out and post them!"

Laurie's Stargazing pasties with stuffed herrings -
 a variation of the famous Cornish Stargazy pie,

Laurie has recipes for many meat and fish dishes, including her unusual take on Cornish pasties above. 

Her latest post is suitably seasonal and a welcome change from traditional mince pies.

These are very simple and can use any basic sponge recipe, with a lovely big dob of mincemeat in the middle, baked, then iced and decorated with a festive motif! They look stunning on a plate during the build up to Christmas. Just as easy as mince pies too. I have been making them every few days as my husband loves them so much!

You need a 12 hole muffin tin and some Christmassy muffin cases - I found some little holly cutters in Truro Pannier Market.

This uses an all in one method, so place in a bowl: How easy is that???

6 oz SR flour
6 oz softened butter [definitely not marg]
4 oz any sugar - caster or soft light brown
1 teaspoon mixed spice - or any festive mix of your choice
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon milk
Green and red fondant icing -  (you can buy fondant icing blocks in any supermarket in the baking isle or make it yourself by buying fondant icing mix and just add food colouring [gel] but it is not worth it)
Icing sugar

Beat together until light and fluffy - you all know how! Spoon a large teaspoon of the mix into the bottom of the muffin cases, then a medium heaped teaspoon of mincemeat - I used Lidl’s Deluxe Rum and Raisin. Then place another teaspoon of mix over the mincemeat.  I carefully try to cover the fruit as best I can, but no real need to be too fussy.

Bake in a pre heated fan oven 170 C for 20 mins. Cool, then when they are cold:

Mix a small amount of icing and put a blob on each bun. Roll out a small amount of green fondant icing and cut the holly leaves, place then on the icing. Then take tiny pieces of the red fondant and make berries.

How easy is that???

Seal your fondant blocks in any airtight container and they will keep fresh over the festive period, to use again and again.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Snooker Fashion at the UK Championship 2014. World Snooker Dress rules. Designer wear by Paul Smith, Christian Louboutin and Givenchy. Casual dress rules WSA. Ronnie O'Sullivan, Judd Trump, Ken Doherty, Mark Allen, Alan McManus, Neil Robertson, Ali Carter, Ding Junhui, Shanelle Loraine. Betting odds on Masters 2015.

 UK Championship 2014

Ronnie  O'Sullivan beat Judd Trump 10-9 in a thrilling final, winning £150,000, plus £44,000 for a break of 147 and £4,000 for the highest break in the tournament. Trump won £70,000 as the runner-up. 

 "That is the hardest match I have ever played," he told BBC Sport 


Ronnie's black and burgundy suede 'Moogg' trainers by Paul Smith: £140.00

It is difficult for snooker players to be fashionable owing to strict dress rules, but Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump both managed to look stylish in a civilized very tactical shoot-out. 

The dress code is dependent on the tournament. World Snooker Ltd has sent me the rules:
 For the Masters the dress code is:
Afternoon sessions: lounge suits or black/dark tailored trousers, waistcoat and neck ties (no bow ties permitted) with any colour shirt. 
Evening sessions: Black or dark tailored trousers, waistcoat, bow tie with any colour shirt.

Ronnie looked gangsterish during the afternoon in his customary all black outfit,  with trendy Paul Smith trainers. He had fractured his left ankle before the championship and started off by wearing boots which were too uncomfortable. He got permission to wear the more comfortable trainers which were a talking point on Twitter, a) for being trainers and  b) for having white soles 

Judd Trump in Stars & Stripes cotton poplin shirt £ 230.00 by Givenchy

Judd wore an eye-catching Givenchy sheriff style shirt with stars on his collar and a smart crossover bow tie. He likes fast cars and shopping in Bond Street and Sloane Street. He is often called the Juddernaut, and once wore £845 Christian Louboutin Rollerboy Spike shoes in 2013 at the Betfair Masters tournament at Alexandra Palace, but found they were too slippy.

Most snooker players aren't too bothered about fashion but some go for natty bow ties or colourful backs on their waistcoats during the more casual rules for afternoon sessions. 

Plans are being mooted at the WSA to relax the casual dress rules next year, maybe even scrapping the waistcoats, although sponsors would have to put their logos on shirts or even T-shirts!

Ken Doherty 
Mark Allen
Alan McManus wore tartan trews in April 2014 
at the World Championship
Neil Robertson
Ali Carter
O'Sullivan with Ding Junhui 
after winning the 2007 Masters final at Wembley Arena

USA Billiards player Shanelle Loraine

Sky Bet is offering odds on the Masters 2015: quoting Ronnie O'Sullivan  at 7/4,  Neil Robertson at 7/1, and  Judd Trump at 15-2.

Snooker is thought to have been invented in India by British Army officers during the latter half of the 19th century.                                                                                                             

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Cambridge & Counties Bank update. Four Moneyfacts Stars award. New CEO Mike Kirsopp. Bursar of Trinity Hall Paul ffolkes Davis.

Cambridge & Counties Bank started trading in June 2012,  and is unusually owned 50/50% by Trinity Hall, a college of Cambridge University and the Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund

This October Cambridge & Counties Bank announced the departure of CEO Gary Wilkinson, who has been replaced by Mike Kirsopp, the former chief operating officer.  Bank Chairman and Bursar of Trinity Hall Paul ffolkes Davis said: "It has been a great story so far, and the bank has grown quickly and safely under Gary's care. The board and I offer him our grateful thanks, and good wishes for his future endeavours."

Paul ffolkes Davis 2012

Paul ffolkes Davis has lost weight
and now sports designer stubble 

Wearing his Bursar's cap, Paul ffolkes Davis in his Trinity Hall report for the academic year 2013-2014 announced that the bank:

"became profitable in August 2013 and in this calendar year expects to earn £3.8 million PBT. It has made over 530 loans both locally and nationally with a value of approximately £275 million and against a deposit book of over £320 million. Margins remain strong, the pipeline of approved deals continues to grow andthere are, as yet(!), no bad loans and very low levels of arrears. CCB has high customer recognition for its quick and personal service, some of the strongestcapital and liquidity ratios in the industry, is regulated by the PRA and FCA, and is about to join the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending scheme. This is one of the most successful small banks in the country. Sooner or later, the clearing banks will return tothis area of lending in a determined fashion, but, to date, there is still plenty of room for a small player. The quantum of Trinity Hall’s investment has been relatively modest and we have no otherinvestment with the transformative potential of CCB. So far, so very good."

(PBT = Profit before Tax)

Chief Executive Officer – Mike Kirsopp

Mike has spent over 30 years working in the Financial Services industry with much of this in the commercial lending sector. He was a Network Director of the Lloyds TSB Business Banking, and latterly, Commercial networks, and has also led the Change and Strategy functions in these businesses at various times.

He was Mid Corporate Real Estate Director of Bank of Scotland Corporate following the HBOS and Lloyds merger in 2008 until 2010 and, before joining Cambridge & Counties Bank in 2012, worked with several specialist property banks as they undertook strategic reviews of their business in response to prevailing market turbulence.

Since the launch of the Cambridge & Counties Bank in 2012, Mike has held the position of Chief Operating Officer, subsequently taking up the position of CEO in October 2014.

Moneyfacts awarded four stars to Cambridge & Counties Bank on 17 July, 2014, and the following is taken from their webpage.

Cambridge & Counties improves business account


Cambridge & Counties Bank has raised the rate on its popular 95 day notice business account to cement its position in the Moneyfacts best buys.

The basics…
The 95 Day Notice Business Savings Account Issue 4 now pays 1.80% yearly, a market-leading rate for its term, on a minimum investment of £10,000.

The finer details…
The account must be opened and operated by post.

Further additions are welcome either via a nominated current account or cheque.

Early access to funds is not allowed, with 95 days' notice always having to be served.

Why we like it…
As well as carrying a market-leading rate, the increase has been backdated to 26 June 2014 for customers that have already opened this account.

Four Moneyfacts Stars have been awarded.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Laundry symbols' quiz. Procter and Gamble/P&G. Supersavvyme. Washing, ironing, drying, dry cleaning, bleach and solvent hieroglyphs. Agitation!

Hang to dry
  Is this an envelope?

Tumble dry - low heatWoolen wash Tumble dry - high heatDrip dry recommendedHot iron Dry flatNot safe to use chlorine bleach   Tells professional cleaners which solvents to use.

Before you read Proctor and Gamble's guide to the myriad and mystifying symbols on the labels inside clothes which would baffle even a Mastermind,   see if you can get any of the above right!

Proctor and Gamble make Ariel, Dreft, Bold, Daz and many other household products.

Symbols have got more sophisticated, so there is even more to learn nowadays, as boxes have additional lines under them, diagonal and horizontal stripes in others or dots.....

Just look at the Google Images page of washing symbols, it is terrifying.

Ariel grandly states "They may appear confusing but care instructions are actually quite easy
to understand.  Each label should tell you what the fabric is made from, and include up to five symbols which let you know how to care for it".

Procter and Gamble or P&G have been going for 175 years, and the company was founded in Cincinnati after William Procter and James Gamble married sisters. 

Here are their guides:
Laundry symbols unlocked by P&G's Supersavvy me
Stumped by the hieroglyphics on your laundry care labels? 
Here’s how to crack the code.
Washtub with a number inside
The number in the tub tells you the maximum washing temperature for the item.
30 degree wash
Washtub with a hand inside
Means hand wash only.
Hand wash only.
Empty washtub
With no dashes beneath - means the item can handle a cotton wash and maximum agitation.
Cotton wash
With a single dash beneath - means the item needs a synthetic wash, with medium agitation
Synthetic wash
With two dashes beneath - means the item needs a woollen wash, with minimum agitation
Woolen wash
Washtub with a cross through it
Means you can’t wash this item – try dry cleaning instead.
You can’t wash this item
Can be tumble-dried
Can be tumble-dried
Can be tumble-dried on low heat
Tumble dry - low heat
Can be tumble-dried on high heat
Tumble dry - high heat
Do not tumble dry
Do not tumble dry
Drip dry recommended
Drip dry recommended
Hang to dry
Hang to dry
Dry flat
Dry flat
Something you can iron
The dots inside the symbol show what heat setting you can use, from one dot for low heat, to three dots for high heat.
Cool heat
Warm iron
Hot iron
Do not iron
Do not iron
Bleach and solvents
Safe to use chlorine bleach (or not)
Safe to use chlorine bleach
Not safe to use chlorine bleach
Dry cleaning
Tells professional cleaners which solvents to use.
Tells professional cleaners which solvents to use.
Do not dry clean
Do not dry clean

The guide for P&G's Ariel users is more detailed than its Supersavvyme guide above; Ariel costs more, so can an inference be drawn about readers' intelligence? 

Guide Washing

Handwash only. Rinse normally and dry with care.
40 deg - no line
Machine wash at the indicated maximum temperature in degrees Celsius. Remember, you can save energy by washing at lower temperatures when you use Ariel Excel Gel. The lines underneath the symbol indicate the type of programme to use:
No line Cotton programme (max agitation)
40 deg - one line
The lines underneath the symbol indicate the type of programme to use:
One line Synthetic programme
(moderate agitation)
40 deg - 2 line
The lines underneath the symbol indicate the type of programme to use:
Two lines Wool programme (minimal agitation)
do not wash
Do not wash.
Can be tumble-dried. Dots in the middle indicate the maximum temperature:
No dot No temperature restriction
One dot Low-temperature dry (maximum 60°)
Two dots Normal dry
Do not tumble-dry.
Leave to air-dry and iron as soon as dry.
hang up dry
Hang up to dry.
Dry flat
Dry flat.



Iron at the following temperature:
One dot Cold iron (110°) for acrylic, nylon and acetate
Two dots Hot iron (150°) for polyester and wool
Three dots Very hot iron (200°) for cotton and linen
Do not tumble-dry
Do not iron.
Dry clean only
Dry clean only. For specialist dry cleaning, a letter indicates the type of clean required. P is the most common, indicating that the usual solvents are needed. Your dry cleaner will be able to interpret any others that appear.
Do not dry clean
Do not dry clean.