Thursday, May 31, 2007

To Be Honest Sir, You'd Be Better Off With A Burger

I know the customer is always right, but last week, after four huge days of hosting the Northern Ladies Seniors event, I got a bit shirty with a customer who asked for his fillet steak well done.

I approached the table and asked the party how they would like their steaks cooking.

"Well done," says the first one.

There is a pause.

"But this is Lishman's very best fillet steak," I say.

"Well done," says the second one, at which point I make the beefburger offer.

The third one says, "Actually I can't eat steak, it's too tough for me, can I have something else." And I lose the plot.

"There is nothing in the kitchen that is more tender than this steak, just nothing at all," I say, rather loudly, and with a wobble of emotion in my voice.

After the rest of the party sensibly decide to have their steaks no more burned than medium rare I return to the kitchen not in the best of tempers. I grab one of the steaks and begin cutting thin slivers from it.

"Here," I bark at Carol and Ann, proffering a piece of raw meat on the end of a knife. "Eat this."

Much to the credit of the girls, they eat the raw steak. In protests against the well done's of this world, when I have my steak for dinner, I "sear" it for about thirty seconds a side, then put it on a hot plate with hot sauce, I can't honestly say it was cooked at all, but it was tender and fantastic.

The thing is, the customer isn't always right. Fillet steak contains nothing but meat, it is one of the most underused muscles in a beasts body, so it remains extrememly tender, unlike neck and shin for example which do a lot of work and are therefore tough as old boots and require hours of gentle cooking. If you cook fillet to well done, you cook all that tenderness out of the meat and reduce it to a state not unlike the sole of an old leather boot.

If you want your steak well done, try rib eye, or perhaps rump, something with a bit of fat and gristle to it that may benefit slightly from the extended cooking. On the other hand have a beefburger, I'll gladly cook it well done and you won't have to pay fifteen quid for it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

...And More



I don't know why Emily (on the far right) always does this in photos, she says it's beacuse she is from da ghetto. The ghetto being Addingham.



Lucy on the right, this girl is smart, waste £80 a person hiring a Hummer or stretch limo, no, Lucy got all her mates to the ball in a double decker bus at three quid each. (Although, you could have charged a fiver, they would stil have got got good value and you'd have been quids in!)



I don't actually employ Nancy, damn it. Nance, if you want a job, just turn up wearing that catsuit......
More May Ball



Looking good Jess.....



...who is this bloke though ?



Ellie and friend on the way to the ball.



Ellie as Julie The Schoolie, last day of term.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.5
Answers & League


The Genius round.

1) Born in Poland, attended the flying university then studied Maths and Physics at the Sorbonne, jointly identified two chemical elements, won 2 Nobel prizes (1 jointly), died from a condition brought on by the research this person carried out. Who was this ? (1)

Marie Curie

2) Born into an influential family in florence, promised in marraige at the age of 12, jointly formed the New Sweet Style of poetry, wrote one of the great works of classic literature, died on a diplomatic misson to Venice. Who was this ? (1)

Dante Alighieri

3) Fictionalised versions of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Thomas Eddison and Leonardo De Vinci have all appeared in which family tv show ? (1)

The Simpsons

4) Put these geniuses in order frm tallest to shortest....Mozart, Orson Welles, Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Johann Sebastian Bach. (1)

Orson Weles 6'3"
JS Bach 5'7"
Churchill 5'6"
Mozart 5'4"
Voltaire 5'3"

5) Isaac Newton may have been a genius, but how did the great man rather foolishly almost blind himself ? (1)

Not once but twice, once but introducing on object into his eye socket to alter the shape of his eyeball to see how it would change his vision, and then by staring for a long period into the reflection of the sun in a mirror. Great man, no common sense.

6) What is this ?



Galileo's Pendulum Theory

7) What is this ?



Faraday's Law of Electromagnetic Induction

8) What educational feat links Ramunajan, Leonardo De Vinci, William blake, Thomas Edison and Edward Elgar ? And what word is used to describe people like this ? (2)

They were all self taught in the field they became famous for, or autodidacts.

9) A Serb, fluent in five languages, a drop out from both Graz and Prague universities, suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, was obsessed with the number 3, was ripped of by by a business partner which led both of them to research into different types of electrical power. Who was this ? (1)

Nikola Tesla

10)Ian dury thought that the geniuses may have had some assisstance. Who from and the song title please ? (2)

They must have had help from their Mums, in the song "There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards."

Scores & League

MR 12
Didier 11
Dr P 11
James Hill 9
Dominic L 7
Penny 5
Chez 5

League 6.5

1) Didier 53
2) MR 52
3) Dominic L 48
4) Tony G 42
5) Chez 42
6) Mr Moosehead 30
7) Squirt 28
8) Dr P 19
9) Penny Farthing 17
10) Alistair T 14
10) James Hill 14
12) Dr. P 8
13) Lyle 8
14) Stephanie 6

It's still tight at the top, MR has closed right up behind Didier, Dominic is also looking strong in 3rd. Well done folks, there will be another quiz sometime.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Some Catering Terms Explained

Summer Soup

"I say, what is the soup de jour ?"

"It is summer soup Madam."

That is, it is summa this, and summa that. There is almost nothing in the world of food that can't be turned into soup by an adventurous chef, leftover veg = cream of veg soup, leftover veg and two portions of steak pie filling = beef and vegetable broth, ok, so you might think twice about adding that half jar of pickled gherkins that have been loitering in the fridge for a while, but it will probably work, tell the customers it's a Bavarian speciality.

Seven Week Gravies

Back in the good old days when the Nazi Party Environmental Health allowed you to use stockpots all week you would just throw all the days meat and bone scraps in the top and let it bubble away, the end of week stock was always far better than the start of week stock. It's the same principle for gravy, after the first carvery of the week you would chuck all the little scraps of meat and fat and bone into the gravy, then the next day you boil it up again, sieve out the bits and serve it. These days of course the EHO doesn't let you do this, that's because they are a bunch of tossers who ought to be burned at the stake they are working very hard to make our food safe to eat.

Repeat this for a few days and the gravy will be pretty good, keep it going for weeks and the gravy will be so awesomely meaty, so much the very essence of roasted dead cow that the chefs will probably not allow it out of the kithen at all and will just just sit around dipping big hunks of bread into it. This will taste even better if eaten with a glass of chef tax wine, chef tax ?

Chef Tax

So, you were too cheap to pay the restaurant's drinks tariff and you have brought your own wine / champagne / port / whisky to have with your meal / anniversary / wedding function. Chef Tax is the difference between the amount of wine you brought to the restaurant and the amount of wine that you and your guests actually get to drink.

Mind you, if you think the chef's are thieving buggers, you ought to see the waiting staff. Think you can get around it by counting the bottles afterwards ? The waiters have already out thought you there, they went to Tesco earlier on and bought 6 bottles of Tesco cooking wine, then they decanted your Chateau L'expensive and poured the Vin de Cheapo back in, and when your guests were pissed then never even noticed.

Chef tax also applies to cakes, wedding, birthday etc. If you bring it and then get chef to cut it up, well, it's going to shrink a little. Thw worst incidence of chef tax that I saw was at my last job when my boss was seen sneaking out the kitchen door with an entire tier of the couple's wedding cake, he really liked fruit cake.

Obviously though, these are all things that I saw as a young chef, and you can be assured none of that malarky goes on in my kitchen, now, where's that bottle of Lafitte gone........

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Not Missing, Just Busy

Sorry I've not been around, I have been working around 100 hours a week for the last two weeks since Robyn left, but now lovely Hollie is here so things should return to (ab)normal fairly soon.

Meanwhile, a short story from the kitchen.....

Emily (to me) - "You'll have to teach me to make mashed potatoes, because I tried to make some for my mates and it went all wrong"

Me - "Why, what didyou do ?"

Emily - "Well I put them in a pan..."

Me - "Peeled ?"

Emily - "No"

Me - "That's ok, you can always rub the skins off afterwards"

Emily - "But they just went really brown and hard"

Me - "How long did you boil them for ?"

Emily - "Boil, what ? With water ? I didn't put any water in"

(At this point me and all the other staff fall about in fits of laughter)

Me - "Just explain again why I've employed you."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yorkshire v Worcestershire

Yorkshire won by an innings and 260 runs.

A sorry looking Worcs were hammered by an increasingly powerful looking Yorkshire side last week. Centuries came from Sayers and Rudolph, Craig White fell 3 short of his, and then in a rain affected match the bowlers ran rampant, Hoggard 5 and Rashid 5, Bresnan 4, gillespie 3, Worcs dissolved under the quicks in the 1st innings and then to a mix of speed and spin in the 2nd and were bowled out for 129 and 132.

Yorkshire go back to the top of the County table, bring on Surrey.



So Michael Vaughan is out of the 1st test, and Freddy has a dodgy ankle, all as normal in the England camp then.
Would You Like To Phone........A Lawyer ?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

May Ball

Friday night was the May Ball for most of my staff (for older readers - end of term disco, but in posh frocks). So whilst we struggled on serving two completely different menus to two different parties, most of my staff were out partying themselves. Thanks to Christine, Sara and Georgina for working Friday.



April in her ball gown.



Lucy A is new to the crew, that's her on the right.

Come on girls, I want some nice pics of Lucy L, Ellie, Emily and Jessica in your gowns.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Grudge

A few years ago I worked in industrial catering for a while, 18 months or so, it was mostly good fun, Phil the boss was a nice bloke, our kitchen was pretty much like the comedy Dinnerladies, we had a Twinkle in the shape of Sue, our Anita was Anna.

One afternoon Twinkle/Sue had been missing from the kitchen for well over an hour, Anita/Anna didn't know where she was. The company's safety man had asked me to check to check the fire extinguishers so I grabbed my check list and went around ticking them off. I opened the door to the paper store we shared with the art department down the corridor and there was Twinkle/Sue hiding away with one of the art girls quite happily having a natter.

I gave them both a bit of a bollocking, Twinkle/Sue was a bit quiet for an hour or so, but then she cheered up, back to her normal self, she knew she was out of order and said so and apologised, fine, no problem, we worked together happily for another 10 months until I left for another job.

The other girl though never spoke a word to me again, she never again came to eat at the staff canteen, even though she had done so two or three times a week previously, and se gave me the evil eye whenever we encountered each other. People can be very strange.
Ring Ring Bloody Ring

The phone rings, so just to be polite I answer it.

"Ah" says the voice at the other end. "I was just on my lunch hour so I thought I would call to arrange the catering for our golf day next week."

Now just hold on a minute, just wait, just think for a moment. You are on your lunch break, it is therefore lunchtime, and you are phoning a kitchen, to speak to the chef, at lunchtime.

Do you see where I'm going with this ?

Now obviously I want the work, it's just that at lunchtime, well, I tend to be cooking people's lunches.

Also, try not to wander off topic when we're talking about menu's. I'm sure some people find your anecdotes about golf courses you have played quite fascinating, others might be enthralled at your lengthy description of how you missed the exit on the M62 on your last visit, but to be honest, it isn't me.

Let's make a deal you and I, cut to the chase, just give me the menu, covers, time, settings and wine and I'll see you next week, in return, I promise not to make you wait half an hour for your lunch whilst I listen to another customer's life story or tales of mapreading ineptitude.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Yorkshire Soul's Rambling Quiz Series 6.5

The rules, please don't post answers in the comments.

Anyone may enter the quiz, send your answers to yorkshiresoul@gmail.com on/by Tues 15th May. Please put "Quiz 6.5" as the header, it makes it easier to find your answers amongst the plane crash bank scams and breast/penis enlargement adverts.


1) Born in Poland, attended the flying university then studied Maths and Physics at the Sorbonne, jointly identified two chemical elements, won 2 Nobel prizes (1 jointly), died from a condition brought on by the research this person carried out. Who was this ? (1)

2) Born into an influential family in florence, promised in marraige at the age of 12, jointly formed the New Sweet Style of poetry, wrote one of the great works of classic literature, died on a diplomatic misson to Venice. Who was this ? (1)

3) Fictionalised versions of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Thomas Eddison and Leonardo De Vinci have all appeared in which family tv show ? (1)

4) Put these geniuses in order frm tallest to shortest....Mozart, Orson Welles, Voltaire, Winston Churchill, Johann Sebastian Bach. (1)

5) Isaac Newton may have been a genius, but how did the great man rather foolishly almost blind himself ? (1)

6) What is this ?



7) What is this ?



8) What educational feat links Ramunajan, Leonardo De Vinci, William blake, Thomas Edison and Edward Elgar ? And what word is used to describe people like this ? (2)

9) A Serb, fluent in five languages, a drop out from both Graz and Prague universities, suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, was obsessed with the number 3, was ripped of by by a business partner which led both of them to research into different types of electrical power. Who was this ? (1)

10)Ian dury thought that the geniuses may have had some assisstance. Who from and the song title please ? (2)

Ok then, 12 points on offer, have fun.

Please don't put answers in the comments, play nicely.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Rough Boys From Hampshire



They've broken Michael Vaughan, he really is the unluckiest bloke in the world.

Hampshire held on for a draw against the Tykes. Younis Khan had a good match, a ton and a double ton plus 4-52 in Hants 2nd innings.

Gough seems to have become quite the innovative captain, he isn't frightened of trying things out and he appears to be getting the team to play 'total cricket', the only men not to bowl a ball during the match were opening bat Joe Sayers and wicketkeeper Gerard Brophy (another South African).

On this drawn match Yorkshire slip to second in the table behind Warwickshire.
Rain At Last



To be honest though, at 7am it's more of a light drizzle, let's hope it turns into a decent soaking later in the day. The BBC forecast says we might have to wait until Monday or perhaps Thursday for more rain. Drought warning, turn off those hosepipes, stop washing the car / dog / children etc.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Very Secret Diary of Meriadoc Brandybuck

(I don't know what this is from, found on a newsboard)

DAY ONE

Got in trouble for setting off fireworks at party. Suspect Gandalf not actually all that annoyed and was merely excuse to get us young hobbit boys wet and lathered up. Became even more suspicious when “washing dishes” punishment followed by “polishing Gandalf’s staff” punishment and “massaging Gandalf’s feet” punishment and “nude leapfrog in the cabbage patch” punishment, I mean, who’s he trying to kid, really? Especially with the foot thing.

DAY TWO

V. promising start to day when discovered carrot that was just right shape. Even more promising when Pippin nabbed six cabbages, two bags potatoes, and three ears corn, although cannot help but think Pippin being slightly over-optimistic. I mean, could probably manage two ears corn, but not before breakfast.

All went downhill though when bumped into Frodo and faithful bit of rough trade, whoops, loyal manservant Sam, in cornfield. Pippin was prevented from extended cuddle with Frodo by Sam, who in v. surprising butch moment tossed Pippin down a cliff. In ensuing scuffle carrot was broken. Am v. sad.

DAY THREE

Cutting across country with Frodo, Sam and Pippin. Are being pursued by overdressed and v. crabby set of riders in outdated black ensembles. As told Gandalf “The Gray” earlier, monochromatic look is so out. Wonder if Frodo avoiding bad breakup or jealous exes? Have heard hobbit-swapping all the rage up in Hobbiton currently, although would not go in for that sort of thing myself.

DAY FIVE

Everything going from bad to worse. Stop-off in Bree resulted in pick-up of disaffected and unshaven human who is obviously pervy hobbit-fancier, not that anyone listens to me. Insisted we all share bed in his room instead of going back to own perfectly nice quarters, then hung about all night most likely hoping for mad hobbit foursome under the sheets. Didn’t happen, but did have to spend all night hanging on to Pippin’s belt to prevent him from climbing right over Sam and onto Frodo. Does Pippin have death wish, or what?

DAY SIX

Was woken up most unpleasantly as was being tickled by hobbit-fancying human. Told him to sod off and he said “That’s not what you said last night.” After moment of confusion realized he thought I was Pippin. Explained. Human slunk away, most embarrassed, after explaining, “I’m really meant to be King, you know.” Sure he is, and I’m the Elf Queen of Mirkwood.

DAY SEVEN

In Rivendell. Have been stuck sleeping right next to bathroom. Splashing noises all night long and strawberry soap suds making floors all slippery. Woke up last night only to discover Elrond had crawled into bed with me. Extricated himself with much embarrassment after realizing hobbit he was groping under bedsheets was not Pippin. Have decided to invest in name tag.

DAY NINE

Have fixed carrot with special elf glue. Go me!

DAY ELEVEN

Have agreed to go on Quest to keep eye on Pippin. Also curious to see what will happen with Frodo, as Aragorn most obviously fancies him. Sam will of course kill him if he tries anything.

Hope he tries something.

DAY FIFTEEN

Boromir teaching us how to swordfight. Typical human, most unsubtle, always dropping sword down trousers and asking us “little ones” to come and get it. Boromir had a go at ruffling Frodo’s hair today and Aragorn almost snicked off his head. Humans so amusing. Caught Pippin eyeing the elf doing his morning exercises today but managed to distract him with an eggplant. Do not know what will do when run out of vegetables.

DAY SIXTEEN

Boromir asked me to go for walk with him. Am not falling for old ‘Horn of Gondor’ trick. Am not. Am not. Oh, bloody hell. Just this once.

DAY NINETEEN

Am in bad mood. Boromir called me “Pippin” at most inopportune time. Pointed out to him that I am Merry and that we have been conducting meaningful relationship for three weeks, but he just laughed and patted my head. Realize he actually cannot tell me apart from Pippin either. Am doomed to be Indistinguishable Backup Hobbit forever, even in matters of romance. Am considering dramatic haircut, perhaps mohawk of some sort.

DAY TWENTY

Got mohawk but no one can see it as is v. dark in Mines of Moria. Is difficult to keep eye on Pippin properly. Woke up to discover Legolas sneaking under covers with me. Told him was not Pippin. Legolas said, “Not much difference really, eh?” In ensuing scuffle broke my carrot again. Gave to Gandalf to fix. Gandalf said, “Fool of a Took! I have better things to do than mend your vegetables.” Did not correct Gandalf, as am afraid of pointy hat.

DAY TWENTY-TWO

Gandalf fell into shadow. Took carrot with him. Am most miffed. Did best to comfort Pippin, but Pippin far more cheered by Legolas’ nude rendition of Silmarillion: The Musical. Could not watch myself – far too many high kicks.

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT

In Lothlorien. Was visited by no less than fifty elves and a woodchuck last night, all convinced was Pippin. Pippin of course nowhere to be found, probably off with Boromir. Something must be done. Woodchuck awfully persistent. Perhaps….no, certainly not.

DAY THIRTY

Kidnapped by orcs. All according to plan. Have told Pippin will have to shag our way out of captivity. Pippin seeming pleased. Wait till he realizes I meant he will have to shag me to get out of captivity. In addition, orcs have given me brand new carrot as reward for my having painted large yellow target marks on Boromir while he was not looking. All in all a v. good day.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Album Review : The Wildhearts - The Wildhearts*****



The Wildhearts this time around are Ginger and CJ with Scott Sorry and Ritch Battersby, and on the evidence of this album it is the best line-up since the original one.

Although The Wildhearts had a chart single or two from the last album (...Must Be Destroyed), I think it's fair to say that a lot of the band's fan (myself included) thought that album was just a touch too light, too much powerpop and not enough rock. For those wanting rock then, this self titled album is full of it, it rocks, it riffs, it pounds, and it's full of glorious melodies to boot.

The ten track album kicks off with pounding drums, noisy guitars and growled vocals on Rooting For The Bad Guy, a nine minute epic. For me, it's actually a little too long, they could have trimmed a little of the gubbins in the middle, but it's still good.

The Sweetest Song is firmly in old school Wildhearts territory, fierce vocals and rattling guitar followed by a melodic chorus and a series of powerpop na na na's to sing along to.

CJ and Ginger had previously stated their intention to take this album back to the older heavier sounding Wildhearts, and they have certainly done that, they have also managed to retain the more melodic and poppy elements that have infused their output in the past few years, it is a really good blend of the two Wildhearts styles.

Lyrically, Ginger has moved into the realm of politics on This Revolution Will Be Televised and The New Flash, serious Wildhearts, here's a new departure. On other songs though he treads more familiar lyrical turf, but with more vehemence and vitriol, the misogynistic lyrics for The Sweetest Song and Destroy All Monsters make for unpleasant reading.

I really don't think there's a weak song on this album, some are heavier (Destroy All Monsters), some are more poppy (She's All That), but they are all really good. This eponymously titled album is the album that Endless Nameless should have been, great songs, wonderful melodies, big hooks and riffs, its classic Wildhearts. This is a great album from one of the most underrated British bands, on the strength of this, The Wildhearts deserve a second chance at big success.
Gig Review - The Wildhearts, Sign, GU Medicine @ Leeds Rio's 02/05/07*****

Here we go again, tickets say doors 7pm, obviously this is Rio's whether in Bradford or Leeds so the doors remain firmly shut until well after the advertised time. This new Rio's is in an arcade though, so in winter when you have to queue because of a lack of organisation by the organisers, at least you won't be standing out in the rain, hurrah.

We troop off to the Templars, where in 2 minutes flat I have been offered a fight by a septegenarian drinker who has taken objection to my 'Wildhearts fucked my radio' t-shirt, he explains that if he was twenty years younger he would have chinned me for wearing it, and that if his daughter were present, she would have chinned me as well. Splendid, two threats of violence and they come from a seventy year old and a woman. I decline both offers and thank the aged thug for his calm and pleasent manner.

Finally inside Rio, which is in the old Heaven & Hell nightclub, is much nicer than the old Bradford venue. It doesn't smell, the toilets are actually quite alright, they have more than two barstaff working, indeed I count 8, the carpet is identifiably a carpet and not just a strange, black, sticky coating (there are rumours that the 'carpet' at Bradford Rio growled at the builders who were trying to take it up).

First on stage are South Yorkshire lads GU Medicine, and they kick up a right old noise playing down and dirty metal with Lee Medicine's whisky and fags vocals grwling along. They sound a little like The Wildhearts at their very heaviest, I thought they were tremendous, with big powerful riffs and good songs, a good start to the evening.

Next up are Icelander's Sign, and in keeping with tonights theme of four piece hard rock bands, they are a four piece hard rock band. Sign come across like a harder, better version of Him, complete with a stunningly good looking frontman. Singer and guitarist Zolberg, skinny and face painted with little dangly nipple piercings, fairly writhes and gyrates with his instrument, he's got star quality and sex appeal in spades.

Sign are tight and well practised, and they only make one mistake in their set, playing Skid Row's Youth Gone Wild, why a mistake, well, as such a well known and well written rock song it did show that Sign could just tighten up their own songwriting a little. This is the first time I have seen or heard of Sign and they were very good.

(In joke for Emily, regarding your question the other night - Arnarr G, the guitarist of this band, or the singer)

And so to the current version of The Wildhearts, which sees Ginger and CJ joined by Scott Sorry on bass and Ritch Battersby on drums. I've got to say that this is the best line up of the band for years, they sound like they have been playing together for ever.

Tonight is a Wildhearts greatest hits package, or considering the band's career, the greatest hits that should have been but never were. I didn't take notes obviously, I was through the best part of a gallon of beer and bouncing around like a very bouncy thing indeed. Every song is a winner, Vanilla Radio, I Want To Go (Where The People Go), OCD, Caffiene Bomb, the best rock songwriter of his generation and his band perform a faultless set of heavy, melodic rock.

Ginger rabbits on in between tracks, moaning about how long the days seem now that he's clean of drugs and booze, waffling on about W.A.S.P. (who played the opening gig at this venue last week), asking the crowd whether they prefer this Rio or the old one (this one!), it's all good fun stuff.

They play two or three tracks from the new album, and in good humour Ginger berates those who claim not to have bought it. The slightly overlong Rooting For The Bad Guy and The Sweetest Song get an airing.

It's another great Wildhearts gig, the time seems to fly past, everyone has a great time (except for the bloke next to me, you with the glasses and power metal perm, look mate, if you don't like getting jostled at the front, piss off to the back alright ? It's the front of a rock crowd, people are not going to stand still just so you can take pictures on your mobile phone), the band play a great selection from their back catalogue and ably demonstrate that whether it's on cd or live, they are still Britain's best hard rock band.



G.U. Medicine MySpace



Sign MySpace



The Wildhearts MySpace

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Too Much Of A Good Thing



We're basking in the sun, but here at the golf club at least, we are praying for rain. As the sun beats down, and the tabloid press gets some mileage out of global warming headlines, we have only had one period of decent rain in the last six weeks.

The River Wharfe here at Ilkley is about as low as I can ever remember it, you can walk from bank to bank in parts and the water will hardly cover your shoes.

It isn't just golfers and their employees who are worried about this, farmers would be delighted with this amount of warmth at this time of year, if it had brought some rain with it. Everything looks green at the moment, but fields and fairways are drying out, grass and crops won't grow for ever without rain.

So whilst I'm enjoying the sun, you will understand if I do a little rain dance this evening.
Bye Bye Robyn

Thursday is chefling Robn's last day working for me, she is leaving to become a mental health nurse. My last three staff to leave have all gone into mental health work, I'm positive that this is just a coincidence, aaargh! The bananas.

My mental state aside, I'm going to really miss Robyn, she has been a real pleasure to work with, always happy and bubbly, a really good worker, always willing, she has become a good chef and I had no qualms about leaving her to run the business when I have been away on holiday.

Good luck with everything Robyn, I think the highest praise I can offer is that I really don't want you to leave, have a great time at Uni.
New Music

Back To Black - Amy Winehouse. A stunning voice, and she swears like a fishwife, bluesy / jazzy / soulful.

Favourite Worst Nightmare - Arctic Monkeys. Not wildly impressed with the Sheffield lads second outing, seems to be lacking some of the verve of their debut.

The Best Damn Thing - Avril Lavigne. More poppy than pop punk, and lyrically she seems stuck in a teenage rut.

The Blackening - Machine Head. A couple of songs are a little over long, but it is a solid album.

The Wildhearts - The Wildhearts. In the rollercoaster that is the Wildhearts 14 year career, this is most definately a high point, the big riffs are back and Ginger is still Britain's best songwriter.