Thursday, April 30, 2009

Visit to a Meat Processing Factory

On Monday I went to Cork where I spent time being shown round a meat processing factory ie a place where they slaughter cattle and prepare the beef that is packaged up and delivered to your supermarket. I'm about to begin some work for a meat company.

I must admit, I declined the invitation to look at the slaughterhouse, but I did find the visit to the factory really interesting and very reassuring. The conditions were very hygienic, very automated and the meat was of the highest quality.

If you're into food and cooking, I think its really important to understand different cuts of meat - which part of the animal they're from and what characterises them. The more the know, the more you can appreciate it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

View From My Hotel Room Window

You can just about see the KL Tower and 1 of the Petronas Towers from my room on the 30th floor. Key activities in KL are shopping and eating. Have successfully managed to eat loads, but don't fancy wandering round the huge malls.

Went to visit the National Museum today. Highlight was the first ever Proton car - built in 1985. So hot and humid that its not much fun wandering around. I can see now why the air conditioned malls are so popular.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Kuala Lumpur

Arrived in KL earlier today where I'll be for the next few days. Saw Frost/Nixon on the flight over which I really enjoyed. Another great performance from Michael Sheen. He's amazing. Staying at Le Meridien which is a very nice hotel. Been for a swim in the outdoor pool and got myself in 'the zone' for my workshops.

In the hotel there's a dinner being held on behalf of the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Was advised by the staff to hang around the reception to catch a glimpse. Decided not to.

Didn't sleep much on the flight, so need to get some kip.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

House Update

Just back from a few days in Italy to check out the progress on the house. Well, finally its all coming together. The electricty and water supplies are connected and the walls have been plastered. The doors and windows have been made and are waiting to be installed. The builder is about to lay all the floors with the terracotta tiles which arrived last Friday. The only thing we're waiting for is the kitchen which is due to be ready by the end of April.

So fingers crossed, we should able to stay at the end of May. Is costing a fortune but will look fantastic.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Congratulations To Margo and Michael

Went to the fabulous wedding yesterday of Margo and Michael. Sun was shining in central London, they were both so happy and it was great to see lots of friends again from Added Value. Really, really enjoyed it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What's the Best Goal You've Ever Witnessed Live?

We were discussing this last night. Mine has to be Charlie George's first goal in Derby's 4-1 victory against Real Madrid in the European Cup at the Baseball Ground in 1975. A first time shot with his left foot from an Archie Gemmill cross. I was sitting in the front row of the stand just above the post where the goal went in. I think I had the best view of it in the whole ground. Whenever I'm feeling a bit depressed I replay this moment in my head.

George went on to score a hat-trick - including 2 penalties. One of them from a classic Francis Lee dive in the box.

Click here to view it.

The Damned United

Last night I saw the Damned United, which I'd been looking forward to seeing for some time. I lived near the Baseball Ground and supported Derby from a very young age so can remember this period very clearly. The La Gondola restaurant - which my grandad owned was also nearby and often the players used to come to visit. Happy days. Even today the Clough legend lives on, especially now that young Nigel is the manager.

I really enjoyed the film and hearing the Derby fans chanting as the credits rolled did bring a tear to my eye. I can understand why the book upset the Clough family, but the film was a very affectionate portrayal. There were inaccuracies, but the central characters were brilliant - particularly Clough, Longson and Revie. However, I didn't think Timothy Spall was particularly convincing as Peter Taylor. You forget how grim and miserable the 70s were and this comes across really well.

Some of the real life footage was excellent too, especially the Derby team scoring goals and seeing the 'real' Clough appear at the end was a nice touch too. It was a less than flattering portrayal of Leeds. But they always were a dirty team weren't they.