In salting and pickling beef (Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery)

“I’m going to pickle some beef.”

He looked at her incredulously. “Pickled beef?”

“Yes. In salting and pickling beef and other scrumptious delights, I’m going to make my fortune. It’s my new business idea.”

“Are you going Bodmin?” he asked, eyeing her quizzically.

It was his turn to be on the receiving end of an incredulous look. “No. Why would I go to Bodmin when I can nip round the corner to Morrison’s and get all the ingredients?”

She shook her head, gave him another incredulous look for good measure, and with a loud huff, stuck her nose into her ‘new’ Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery book.

He chuckled to himself – God forbid she should see him laughing at her! She was always having hair-brained ideas about how she was going to make her fortune. But, pickled beef? Who ate pickled beef in this day and age?


“I’m just nipping to the supermarket, dear. Can I get you anything?” she called.

“No, I’m good, thanks,” he called back. “Take care on the roads.”

“I always do,” she responded. It was a fairly standard call and response between them; neither of them probably even heard the other.


“Beef, salt, spices; beef, salt, spices; beef, salt, spices.” She repeated the mantra as she got into his car; taking his old battered jalopy as it was blocking her shiny new car in the driveway.

She could understand why he was always telling her to take care on the roads. Since they’d moved to their new home in the country, he was constantly worrying about her driving down twisty, windy lanes. Truth be told, she was a far better driver than he. “It’s not you, it’s the other drivers on the road,” he’d say.

She smiled to herself as she thought about how kind and caring he was and, as her mind wandered, she forgot her mantra. In fact, she pretty much forgot how to drive – coming to a tight bend in the road, she slammed the brakes on, skidding off the road as she did so. She just about missed the post belonging to the gate leading into a field full of cows. The gate had, fortuitously for her, been left open. Not so fortunate for the nearest calf, which took the full force of the car’s sideswipe and lay to rest just beside the passenger door as she came to a halt.

“Oh my!” She uttered, which was a bit of an understatement. “Oh my!”

She looked around to see if there was anybody around who could help her. A nearby cow stared at her and mooed forlornly, but there were no humans around. She got out of the car and opened the rear passenger side door. Looking around once more, she heaved the calf – with great difficulty – into the back seat of the car and made her way home. Once there, and, miraculously, without being seen, she secreted the calf in the shed in the garden.

She let herself quietly into the house and went straight to the bathroom to clean herself up. As she came out, he asked, “did you get all you needed, my love?”

“Drat! No. I’ve forgotten a few bits and pieces. I’ll have to nip back out. Won’t be long.”

“Take care on the roads,” he called.

“I always do,” she responded.

She got back into his car and drove, carefully, to the supermarket, repeating her mantra, “salt, spices, car wash; salt, spices, car wash; salt, spices, car wash.”


(The phrase, “going Bodmin” refers to the Cornwall County Asylum opened in Westheath Avenue, Bodmin in 1815, much of which is still in existence, although it has now been turned into housing. The phrase, “gone” or “going Bodmin”, relates to this and actually means, “going mad” or “simple”.)Urban Dictionary


A Place to Change

locked door, accessibility

aka Everybody deserves their dignity

I do not have a physical disability. My sister is in a wheelchair, as is my partner’s sister, and whilst the issue I’m addressing in this blog does not affect them directly, nobody knows what the future holds.

First, a disclaimer. This blog is not written in my professional capacity. All opinions are personal.

I’m a social media officer for a mobility equipment provider, and monitor the internet for relevant ‘mentions’. This has brought to me an awareness of the need for Changing Places facilities.

What are Changing Places?

Changing Places are accessible toilets. Not the general kind of toilet you find here, there and everywhere that only complies with Doc M regulations. Changing Places are truly accessible toilets, with changing benches for larger children and adults and hoists.

Think about these two scenarios for a moment.

Scenario 1

You are the parent of a baby who’s done a pee or a poo in their nappy. You go to a baby changing public toilet and you have a little bench that pulls down so you can lay baby on it. What would you do if there was no little bench? Lay baby of the public toilet floor and do it? Pretty disgusting, huh?

Scenario 2

You are the parent/carer of an older child or adult, in a wheelchair, who’s done a pee or a poo in their nappy/incontinence pants. You go to a public toilet and there’s no bench. What do you do? We’ve already determined that it’s disgusting to put anybody on a public toilet floor. Even if there was no other option than to do this, how do you get them out of their wheelchair?

Basically, whilst there are little over 1,000 Changing Places facilities, it’s inhumane that there are not more, particularly within healthcare company premises; hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and the like.

Campaigns for Changing Places

I’ve been reading blog after blog of parents and carers who are campaigning for more Changing Places facilities. This blog itself has been brought about by me being reduced to tears reading some of these today.

Take a look for yourself

Hadley’s Heroes
A Wheelie Great Adventure
Ordinary Hopes
Mum on a Mission

Some of these parents and carers are the service users of the company I work for and the company’s service centres do not have these facilities, despite many of the service users visiting the premises. I’m making it my mission to get a Changing Places facility into all of our service centres.

What can I do?

Good question and one that I am asking myself every day. I’ve been linking to the blogs in my weekly social media report to raise awareness. If I can get at least one loo in one service centre, I’ll be a happy bunny!

You could…
• read the blogs linked above to see what those directly affected are going through
• sign petitions. Here are 21 on to get you started
• download the campaign leaflet from the Changing Places website
• share this blog!

If you don’t have time to check out all of the posts in all of the blogs, as it’s close to the festive season, I recommend these:

A Modern Christmas Carol
It shouldn’t happen to an Elf. You can also follow Alfie the Elf on Twitter.

And just in case none of this has tugged at your heart strings, I leave you with this. Merry Christmas!

Six in 10 (actually ‘seven’) #poetry

As I set this task… I’d better reblog it! 🙂

Graeme Sandford

Six Poems Weitten in 10 Minutes (actually ‘seven’)
Quick Haiku
When the clock it ticks

And the count is running down

What can I write here?

Man From Devizes Limerick
There was a young man from Devizes

Who wore hats in different sizes

Some were too big

One had a thingummy-jig

But most covered his nose and his eyeses.
Sensible Poem
I feel the warmth

Of a Summer Day;

And hear the cry of a babe

I smell the coffee upon the hearth

And touch your hand

Even though you’ve gone away;

I remember the looks

And smile at your picture

Captured by me in the fall;

I taste the scent of Bergamot cloves

That you tended so lovingly

In the hall.

Where are you now

My love

Where are you now

My love.
Silly Rhymes Poem
It bites

And fights

With dogs

And logs

It’s a mad cat


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She is…

I think he likes me 🙂

Graeme Sandford

She is the ying

To my tong;

She is the Big Bang

To my Ning Nang Nong;

She is the wotsit

To my doodah;

She is my pasty

And my future;

She is the Cornish cream

That finishes off my scone;

She is with me

So that we are not alone;

She is the ‘never say rabbit’ to my ‘In a boat’;

She keeps me afloat.

She is…

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