Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Jo Brand - book review, and other stuff.

Hello. What a disappointment today. I was all ready for the BBC with my notes and I got a phone call saying the interview on the Jeremy Vine Show was off. Too much going on, couldn't fit me in. I got shunted into the sidings. Oh well, that's how it goes. In the meantime I have been communicating with someone from Channel 5 television, they want me on their magazine programme on Saturday morning. I am not able to go to London so they asked if I have Skype. I know I deleted it off this big computer, but it is still installed on the small laptop, and after testing it still works. They are going to let me know if they want to go ahead with that. 
In the meantime.....here is my breakfast. The bran flakes and moooozleee (can't spell that word), topper is swamped by the rice milk. I have some strawberries left from Saturday night shopping and they are still fine. There are some left to finish tomorrow. 
There you are, I do put some heating on sometime. Bugsy snuggled close to the gas fire in his suitcase bed, getting some warm rays on his back. I must check his age, he will be about 20 now.

I had to use some mushrooms up so here is tonight's dinner. Garlic mushrooms on a microwaved spud with a bit of salad. All yellow sticker except for the blob of cream cheese I put in the mushrooms. I just lurv garlic mushrooms, this is how I make it. Slice mushrooms into a smallish pan, add butter, margarine, or oil, or all of them if you like. Add garlic powder and vegetable granules, half a teaspoon of each. Add soft cheese, I use the Value 49p one. When almost done add a couple of spoons of plain yogurt. Sorry it looks a bit messy, I didn't take the photo until after I had dived into it.

I've just finished this book, I started it ages ago. Things got busy and I had to put it to one side. This is the story of how Jo started off in the entertainment industry, how she became famous, and how she managed to persuade someone to marry her and have some children. This is the second volume of her memoirs. Her take on life is really funny, and as I read I could hear the words come out of her mouth. She writes as she speaks and it was just like watching one of her stand up routines.

The book is divided up into lots of short chapters and the format is ideal to pick up if you only have 20 minutes to spare.I found one chapter particularly interesting, entitled Ladies and Gentlemen of the press. It's  what she has learnt about dealing with the media. Pity I hadn't read it before my little dabble into the world of minuscule celebrity. She says she thinks it doesn't even occur to a lot of people how obsessionally selective different papers are about what is 'the news' and how they present it. At least we have something in common, we have both been ripped apart by a Daily Mail journalist.

Jo talks about the comedy circuits, the stand up gigs, writing her material, finding a man and getting married and having children, her charity work and her telly work. It's a very entertaining book, she says it like it is, with some colourful language thrown in for good measure. Pity I didn't take it with me and get her to sign it when I met her.

I sent a link to my trucking story to Leicester Heavy Haulage, and had a nice email back from Paul Rodwell. The company is run by four brothers, who's father Brian, my boss, started it. Sadly Brian passed away in 2014. He was a smashing boss, I'll always be grateful to him for giving me a chance.

I'll just copy part of a recent comment here, which arrived on a previous post. It has cheered me up no end. She found the blog through the Daily Mail article and lives in the south of France, and is now following.

You give lots of important information about how to save money when shopping for meals. The thing that helped me the most is to adapt your meals to the bargains in the supermarkets. I bought carrots and potatoes at a very cheap price, and I include them in my meals this week. I never did that before, I used to make a list first, decide on a menu and then go shopping...now I go shopping first, get the bargains and then prepare my menu. 
Very valuable information, mainly for me, I'm a single mother with 3 children and it's difficult to make ends meet. Marce. 


Now haven't I been saying that all along. Don't menu plan then shop, do it the other way round. Buy the best you can afford at the lowest prices, then plan your meals around that. YAY, go Marce, and I hope you save lots of money doing it that way.

Thank you all for your comments, I love to read them. Crikey, look at the time. I must get off my backside and do my three miles. Thanks for popping in. Catch up soon.
Toodle pip.

34 comments:

  1. Do you think you might be invited to do I'm a celebrity get me out of here? You are much more of a celeb than the usual contestants and I think you would do very well in the bush tucker trials lol. I'm not ashamed to admit that I absolutely love it.

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    1. Thank you for your suggestion Wendy. I can't see me flying to the other side of the world to eat nasty bugs. No sireee. I'll go to Sherwood Forest and set up camp there, as long as I can take my veggie food with me.

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  2. Hello,

    What lovely pictures of your food. I am glad you are enjoying Jo Brand's book, don't worry about tv cancellations. They will call you soon as they know you are popular. Good luck with the Skype. I hope the weather is ok for you. V cold here down south. hugs, kitxxxx

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  3. Saw Jp Brand years ago. She used to work in mental health but got out. Stand up comedy. Now there's an idea! xx

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    1. Yes, go for it. I'll come to your gigs.

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  4. Lovely photo of Bugsy, he looks so content x

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  5. I started reading your blog on Monday and have visited for a read several times. I think you're fantastic :) Richard, Kent

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    1. Thank you Richard. I'm chuffed that you have found something of interest.

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  6. Love the picture of Bugsy! I've never had an animal that lived 20 years. He must be very content.

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  7. Hello from Canada. Started reading your blog on the weekend. Love it!!

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    1. Thank you Anon, welcome to Tightwad Towers.

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  8. I am currently catching up on your blog and reading the backlog. I had to stop and let you know how much I respect and admire you. Now days, common sense seems to have been left behind; especially with the younger generation. I was reading where you tore up an old sheet to make washing up cloths. It reminded me of the time my mother would mend the sheets. She married her second husband the year I left home and married. Her frugal ways carried over, and by the time she passed, after being married for 35 years, she helped her partner reach financial freedom.

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    1. Welcome Lorraine. The old style ways of saving money are always the best.

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  9. I have devoured your blog over a week now. I've learned so much! Found you via Reddit Frugal. I just wanted to say hello from Oregon USA.

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    1. Hello SRK, I hope you picked up a few money saving tips from me. Good to have you on board.

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  10. good for you!
    a very interesting post!

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  11. Mornin' Ilona. Just popping in for a quick peep before I go to work. I am showing ladies how to get the most from a beer can this morning... No I am not talking about drinking the stuff. We are crafting with beer cans today. I have my prize winning back back (1st prize at Stokesley Show last year), a lovely round bag, some beaded widgets and some jewellery to show them today. Not ashamed to say that I ask friends to keep the empty cans for me.

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    1. Hello Cherie. I will look on your blog to see what you do with the beer cans.

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    2. What a lovely bunch of ladies they turned out to be. I will upload a couple of photos tomorrow. I have had a hectic day and am in need of a snooze

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  12. I like watching Jo Brand. I like her straight talking and the way she says it how it is.
    Carolx

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  13. How delightful that you heard from a single Mom who's budget is forever helped by your advice! We don't live as frugally as you do but I do tend to shop first/scan the ads and then plan what to eat based on what we have. I love your upbeat, positive approach to life and your enthusiasm for your hobbies and pets.

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  14. I don't menu plan either as I find it costs too much. I make a list of things we absolutely need and have run out of and other than that, I shop for the bargains/offers and menu plan around what I've bought.

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  15. Isn't adapting meals to the produce available what all good chefs do, Ilona? I remember seeing various chefs visiting markets (particularly fish markets and veggie markets) and they would buy what was available at the right price and (obviously) in season. We tend to do the opposite - think of a recipe and buy the ingredients regardless of whether they are available at a reasonable price or are in season. It's common sense to buy the ingredients and then think up the meals.
    My goodness, Ilona, lots of new readers after your recent media 'exposure'! But if people can learn what you would think of as "the bl**ding obvious" in how-to-be-frugal, then that's a very good thing!
    Love the picky of your moggy! I love ginger toms (all ginger cats are toms, I believe?)
    Margaret P

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    1. Most ginger toms are boys, but there are a few girl gingers, I know as I have Lily a ginger girl puddy. Linda xx

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    2. Not always Margaret.

      We bought a ginger cat convinced 'he' was a boy and took 'him' to be neutered at six months of age, when we went to pick 'him' up we were informed that they had spayed 'her'. Luckily we had simply called her Ginger so the name stayed. We now have another cat also called Ginger (we adopted him and he came ready named) but he is most definitely a boy :-)

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    3. This is wonderful news - I shall have great pleasure in informing the person who told me that not "all gingers are male", someone who tends to think she knows it all (and I don't mean me, har, har!)
      Margaret P

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  16. Hi Ilona, love your picture of Bugsy. We lost our old cat last year at the age of 19 and a half, he had had pancreatitis 2 years previously and was very poorly at the time (On a drip for three days) . He never really got over it, but had a good life til the end.
    I love the charm of old cats, I just want to cosset them just like you are doing with Bugsy.

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  17. Bugsy 20 years old! Brilliant and still a good looking boy. I thought my 3 were doing well at 2 @ 16 and 1 @ 14!!

    Glad to see people are paying attention to your financial commonsense!

    Linda xx

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  18. If you have helped one person then all the negative hassle has been worth it. Tuned in yesterday and was disappointed that they didn't fit you in, but will definitely try and remember next week. It is our month end (we get paid mid month) and I am under budget on my groceries. I'm going to try and keep going and put what I am saving away for the summer. I have forgotten how rewarding it feels.

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  19. What a lovely, cosy photo of Bugsy in his bed in front of the fire.

    I've never had a cat live to twenty the oldest one was my first ever puss Bluey. He was bought for my first birthday present and he stayed with me until after I was married. He died when he was 19, I was heartbroken but proud that I had him for so long and nearly always in good health.

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  20. the Jo Brand book looks a good one, I read lots of 'celebrity' books, some better than others, based on your review, I've just gone on Amazon and bought it, used copy of course, just 1p :-) Bugsy looks very content

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  21. Well done Ilona, really enjoy reading your stuff; 'entertaining, educating and informative'-thought about freelancing for the BBC?! I haunt the local library; free books to read while they stay open... Keep up the good work and keep sending your news. Amanda

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  22. Busy looks blissful all curled up. My two cats have had a job sticking to me as I've been under the weather and in bed for most of the last two days. I'm another happy convert to your way of shopping. I shop mostly at Aldi which leaves the other US chains here in the dust as far as prices go. They don't do yellow stickers here generally, so the low prices at Aldi help keep fixed income food budgets possible for those of us who no longer work. I live in a large metro area and while there are no allotments such as those found in England, my neighborhood does have a popular produce stand that I visit often. Thanks for all you do and all the best to you.

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  23. I menu plan vaguely from the supermarket catalogues (not sure if they have them in the UK - I'm Australian -supermarkets advertising all their special offers for the week) - if there's a half price special or two that I can plan around I will do that and make a list. 5 kids and 2 adults means a list is needed for me, I completely understand why you don't use one for a 1-person household. BUT I am always flexible and always check my markdowns (reduced stickers), buy them if I know I'll use them, and adapt my plan around them.

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