The perfect excuse

6 02 2015

According to the august aunty Beeb, too much running is bad for one. That’s good… my ankle was starting to hurt, and I needed a few days off the circuit, as it were.

The Vancouver Sun Run draws ever closer and my bloody FitBit sneers from my wrist if I dare to even consider watching a drama on TV.

My daily regimen consists of a sprightly walk at lunchtime – weather no matter (this is Vancouver – you’d be a bit limited if you were fussy about the rain). In the evenings I’d been alternating between the gym and a run, followed by walking the dog.

Once my ankle started to flare up (in sympathy with the hamstring and calf cramps that had preceded), I decided that perhaps this “mind over matter” thing had its limits. It wasn’t so much the low level pain. It was the blunt fact that I’m not getting any younger and am well and truly out of warranty now. I don’t think you can get the spare parts any more.

The last few days have seen me and devil-dog having über-long walks in the evening instead, rather than my run. This is much more gentle on my ankle, but I can still keep a decent pace, and it even seems to loosen up my ankle a bit. The added benefit is the hound drops straight asleep as soon as we return.

Anyway – all that just to say that the BBC concurs… too much exercise can be seriously bad for you. As bad as doing none at all! It can cause your body to reconfigure itself (and not just in the abs of steel way). Your very heart muscle can change in response to the extreme strain it’s being asked to work under, and that, dear reader, can be a very very bad thing indeed. So – as in many things, moderation is the key. Of course, sex and chocolate are exempt under royal decree, but it goes for pretty much everything else.

BBC News – Training very hard ‘as bad as no exercise at all’.

BBC: Ice-cream vans never used to be so hard to catch

Chocolate is good for your teeth?

3 04 2013

Chocolate toothpaste?

Not on April 1st?


Theodent – A Revolution In Oral Care.

OK – wait over

31 03 2013

Well done – your wait is over.

Here’s some snaps of the chocolate nests made from Shredded Wheat and melted chocolate, as per Aunty Beeb.

IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0238


Go on… you know you want to!

7 12 2012

This on from Brit Morin of Brit+Co (She’s a girl.)

How to Make a Chocolate iPhone.


Wickedly delightful

26 05 2012

I was very naughty today.

More than usual in fact, which is saying something!

I spent the day at a Scouty event, but the level of catering was a little higher than one usually expects at such things. Mid-morning snack was Danish pastries and my downfall: pains au chocolat.

As an ex-Brit, I have spent many lazy summers in France and have become more than a little partial to these Gallic temptations. I confess I ate more than one before the end of the day. OK – more than three. Or was it four? They weren’t served warm as they really should be, and the chocolate within was almost certainly not European, but temptation is temptation. I am weak. I succumbed to their patience – they sat there just waiting for my will-power to fail as it surely would.

Yet I don’t now feel the guilt I thought I would. Is it because they were French? Does that somehow excuse naughtiness? I shall sleep with a smile playing on my lips tonight…

English: A Pain au chocolat from a Belgian Bak...

Tawny & Ruby Are Friends – Mink Chocolate Bars

30 04 2012

Now come on: what could possibly be better than aged port and chocolate?

Well… how about chocolate with port?

Less washing of glasses. Fingers to lick. All good!

Check out the hand-crafted chocolate bars from Mink. Hand made in small batches in Vancouver. No additives to extend shelf-life, so you also have the perfect excuse to eat the whole bar in one sitting if you have no willpower. Not cheap at $6.25… but then, nothing of quality ever is.

Tawny & Ruby Are Friends – Chocolate Bars.


9 04 2012

No, this one ISN’T April Fool’s!

After the Kodak “print-a-kitten“, I discovered you really CAN print 3D in… chocolate.

No more is 3D printing limited to plastic bangles or prototyping of engineering samples. Now it can do useful things… in edible chocolate. Check out


Source – Time Magazine

To die for, dear, to die for…

28 01 2012

So I was out Bunburying last night after work. En route to a new-to-me drinking establishment, I diverted to a Vancouver emporium going by the name of The Candy Aisle. Now this little shop sells chemicals, dyes and lots of sugar all packaged up in gaily coloured packets to tempt and attract children… and pre-diabetic old farts pining for the treats they enjoyed when growing up in Blighty.

You see, alongside their selection of popular North American corn-syrup based sweets, the Candy Aisle sells British sugar-beet based sweets.

Wikipedia: Sugar Beet

Wikipedia: Sugar Beet

I’m not sure I have a discerning enough palette to REALLY tell the difference in the sources of the sugar, and it very well could be just “baby duck syndrome“, but I simply prefer British sweets. Especially chocolate. Hershey’s chocolate tastes like soap from Lush in my opinion (before you ask: I swore a lot as a child), though it seems to be quite popular in North America. There are a few shops around the Lower Mainland that sell sweets from the UK, but I prefer the Candy Aisle for one simple reason. Their staff can read.

You see, although it’s starting to become more normal in Canada, the UK and the EEC have printed “Best Before” dates on their foodstuffs for decades. This simple concept allows the consumer to determine, before they open the package, that the contents have an above average likelihood of being good (or at least safe – for some given value of safe) to eat. Of course, the proprietor of the shop can then also periodically check their stock, and discard items that are no longer “best before”, and therefore, by extension likely to be “worse after”. Unfortunately, most of the shops I’ve tried that sell UK sweets rely on the strength of hankering for Old World treats to over-ride the fear of botulism, salmonella, E. coli and the like, and leave the items on display until they’re either bought by the truly desperate, or presumably grow enough lifeforms to evolve the ability to move, and escape of their own volition.

The Candy Aisle however employs people who can read, and their shelves are stocked only with items within the manufacturer’s concept of best before. Obviously this is not the same as those employed by the dental profession, who probably can’t conceive of the concept of any such highly sugared item being best at all. But enough. I’m sure you’re itching to know what I purchased. Don’t deny it – there’s no other reason you’d have ploughed through all that twaddle if you weren’t just a bit interested.

To be honest, it wasn’t a simple matter. Many items were picked up, replaced, considered, apologised to, and ultimately left for another customer. There was an unfortunate incident with a packet of Twiglets, but the police thankfully weren’t called in the end.

What I eventually left with was a bar of Caramac. The last time I’d had one, it was made by Mackintosh’s (Established in Halifax, Yorkshire, where all good things come from).

Wikipedia: Caramac

Wikipedia: Caramac

Mackintosh’s had been acquired and become Rowntree Mackintosh (Rowntree’s made fruit-based sweets, epitomised by “Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles“. Yes… I’d bought some of those too.)

Wikipedia: Rowntree's Fruit Pastilles

Wikipedia: Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles

As is the way of big business though, they too had been acquired, and were now owned by Nestlé of Switzerland. I also indulged in some Jacob’s Club biscuits. Orange flavoured. Mmmmm. Jacobs, like Cadbury, are now part of Kraft… but that is half owned by Nestlé. Are you following?!

Jacobs Club Biscuit

The Great British Diet: Jacobs Club

Some other bits and bobs along the way (I was like an ex-pat in a candy store!), but the pièce de résistance… a bag of Jelly Babies!

Bassetts: proper ones! And guess who owns Bassetts? Cadburys, who are owned by Kraft, who are owned by Nestlé, and so the world turns. Anyway, pre-diabetic or not, I opened them this morning and selected my favourite… the black one! I let it sit on my tongue while its dusting of castor sugar dissolved, and the blackcurrant flavour seeped into my taste buds.

Wikipedia: Jelly Babies

Wikipedia: Jelly Babies

And that was it. The realisation of why I love British sweets, and loathe North American ones. The flavours are right!

Black sweets taste of blackcurrant… not liquorice!

Green ones taste of lime… not some poor facsimile of apple or worse… spearmint.

And THERE ARE NO BLUE ONES! I shudder every time I see blue sweets and drinks being fed to the youth of Canada. It’s just not right! Even things named blue, like blueberries are NOT blue. Ink is blue. Grapes and raspberries are not blue.

Oh – and Nestlé also own Jenny Craig.

Just sayin’…

That’s just not right…

31 12 2011

Good morning honoured reader. Of course, if you weren’t hanging on your inbox for this posting and are reading it later, or for that matter are currently in a timezone other than Pacific Standard, please replace with afternoon/evening/night as appropriate.

If this isn’t your first sampling of my postings, you’ll be well aware of the massive research I undertake before posting each nugget of irrelevance. (Yes… that was sarcasm. If it IS your first visit… you’ll get used to it). While looking for information about Aero chocolate bars (which I was devastated to learn is not available in France – thanks Laura, I’ll add one more item in the “cons” column for the French) I came across a variant of Kit-Kit from Japan. It’s green. Not NICE green. We’re talking anti-freeze green.

Chocablog: Matcha Green Tea Kit-Kat

Chocablog: Matcha Green Tea Kit-Kat

KitKat Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Review.

I was interested while travelling in Japan to learn that they’re not big on sweets and the like. They’re well known for their odd tastes in dessert too. But even so… this was a bit of a shock.

Personally, I don’t see it catching on elsewhere… even in cosmopolitan Vancouver!

Nope – it’s not a giant Aero

30 12 2011

Someone™ once told me that when asked why he made several attempts to conquer Everest in the early 1920’s, George Mallory retorted “Because it’s there!” Of course, he then died trying, but that’s a different story. They did find him in the end. 1999 I believe. They’re still debating whether he beat Sir Edmund Hillary by 30 years. i.e. were his boots pointing up or down?

Anyway, “because it’s there” is a damned fine answer. Applies to many things, I reckon. Art in particular. I like to pay my readers the complement of a return visit, and more than often I find way more interesting things on their blogs than mine. I encourage you to make the journeys I did and check them out more thoroughly for yourself. This photo caught my eye for instance, on the ArtStormer blog. It looked like nothing so much as a sculpture carved out of a giant Aero.


Kang Duck Bong art

“Resolution” PVC Pipe Sculptures by Kang Duck Bong « ArtStormer.

Follow the link above for the full article including some other super cool sculptures made from PVC piping.

For those now craving chocolate, check out the chocoblog for a quick fix:

Chocoblog: Aero 70%

Chocoblog: Aero 70%


And now you’re all sugared up and full of anti-oxidants, consider… what really IS stopping you from following your dream?