Halloumi bake with roasted veg. 

I love cooking. I love cooking once I know what I’m doing. I love cooking with a glass of wine at the ready and some great music or radio programme playing. In a pathetic attempt to garner more eyeballs to my site I thought I’d share the occasional recipe via the blog. 

I’m getting ready to go on my hols and as much as I enjoy being elsewhere I love being at home. Cooking, drinking wine and listening to great stuff. But needs must so in celebration of great holidays I’m having a Mediterranean scran tonight. I’m a vegetarian for the most part and this is tasty as you can get : baked halloumi with roasted veg.

Ingredients, but you can use what you like really. Tomatoes, new potatoes, courgette, shallots, rosemary, thyme, chilli flakes and halloumi. There’s barely any cooking involved.

Chop the spuds in to smallish chunks and parboil them for 10 minutes or so and in the meantime heat the oven to gas mark 6 or 7. Cut the toms in half, I like the small vine ones, slice the courgette and the shallots, put them in a roasting tray with olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary and thyme. When the spuds are done add them, fling everything together and part in the middle, like Moses and the Red Sea. Cut your halloumi in half, place the pieces on a big piece of kitchen foil, pour a bit of olive oil over them and sprinkle chilli flakes. Then do the foil up in to a parcel and place it in the roasting tin where you did your Old Testament miracle.

Bung in the oven for 30 minutes or so, stirring half way through. Eat. Go on holiday and relax.

Music by Lambchop https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/22-a-million/id1141107722

Recipe stolen from Nigel Slater but messed about with.

When I was recording my Cold War EPs (see here) I wrote a lot of songs, many I never finished, considered not good enough or thought inappropriate in some way. I was going through the CW hard drive and found them and on listening back one or two aren’t bad. This one is ok I think.

The Cold War seems to me now to have been a continuation of the 2nd World War and our parents and grand parents must have been knackered having to deal with a constant hum of war and threats of war. A lot of messed up people were stalking the earth. Us kids just got on with things as far as I remember but I can also recall dark nights of fear, my infant brain scared out of its wits, as I lay in bed convinced the bomb was going to be dropped any time soon. I used to plan hiding spaces but as a family I don’t think we practised the Protect and Survive instructions for turning the airing cupboard in to a bomb shelter.

So here’s a song about growing up a cold war child. I admire songwriters who can invest their stuff with humour and wit, I alas seem not to have the gift so it’s quite bleak. I think it’s a bit too personal to have found a place on the EPs but I hope some of you like it.

I’ve been working on some songs, old and new, which are loosely connected by being about England or English places. Of course the subject of England is a hot one at the moment and if you’re like me, you’ll despair of the direction we are heading in. Politically, there are some signs of progressive policies around the margins but I can’t honestly say I see things improving for the foreseeable future. I’ve certainly been encouraged by the number of younger people taking an interest and I can only hope that my generation, I’m talking 40 and up, the ones currently in charge of everything don’t make a complete mess of things.

I’m not a patriot. I’ve always been relatively happy to be English, after all most people are something, but it doesn’t define me, I don’t think we are better by any measurement. I’d betray my country before I betrayed my loved ones that’s for sure. Most of the songs are not however, political with a big flashing capital P. I’m hoping to finish them all by the end of the year and then decide how to make them available for your pleasure.

Here’s one of them. The lyrics were mainly the work of Shaun Belcher a poet and artist and are concerned with the degradation of the beautiful English countryside. I recorded it in my living room to test a new microphone and it’s not turned out too bad.

I’ve been intending to change web server for quite a while now, but it’s a bit of a slog to do so. When my site went down with a 503 error notice it became time for me to do so.

I’m hosting this one at WordPress itself as i like using the software and understand it and I’m hoping it will prove stable Strong and stable ha ha! Time will of course tell.

I’m at a crossroads in many areas of my life (cue violins) but I’m hoping to reengage with the dwindling but lovely band of people who enjoy my music and I intend to make more music too. I’m looking at ways to make my experience of playing, recording, writing and all the rest of it more satisfying both for you and me. I’m not by nature or psychology great at the travelling circus part of the business of show but hope I can make myself step out more often than I do and hope too it will be good for any audience I have. I am determined to do more with my website that is for certain and have plans in my head for making this corner of cyberspace at least worth a visit.

After all, we live in interesting times.

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