Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Perfect Xmas.

I hope that you have had a wonderful Xmas this year. I was lucky enough to eat out this year dining on a 6 course meal at the Mussel Inn. I haven't been to the Mussel Inn since it was taken over in April and was a little worried about what it would be like, but I needn't have worried as the food and service were outstanding.

I had left it late to book but luckily Kim from the Mussel Inn called me to say that they did have 1 table of 4 left so my husband, Mum and Nan were booked; The Xmas meal was fabulous, we started with a petit four of salmon crostini followed by some starters, I went for the haddock and quails egg rissotto, my husband opted for the pork terrine and my Mum and Nan went for the celeriac and watercress soup with a goats cheese twist - none of us were disappointed with our choice :)

For the main we all went for the 3 bird roast whilst my Nan opted for the Fillet Steak, thankfully my Nan does not have a big appetite so we got to share the piece of perfectly cooked steak which is probably one of the best cuts of meat I have ever tasted. All the meat was locally sourced from award winning Moonstone meats in Wembury.

Before our dessert we had a fabulous vodka and lemon sorbet to clear the palette, it was gorgeous! My husband, Mum and Nan then tucked into a Xmas pudding with brandy sauce and I had a cheeseboard (by then I was stuffed so sneaked the cheeses into a napkin to take home for supper).

picture courtesy of the Mussel Inn.

I want to say a huge thank you to all the staff at the Mussel Inn for making our meal so perfect, at no stage were we rushed, the decor was warm and inviting, the service was just right and the food was gorgeous - what more could one ask for.

The Xmas day continued in a similar vein with an evening of good TV (Doctor Who and Eastenders!), some real ale, port and Stilton.

Despite recent financial challenges I felt very lucky to be able to enjoy such an indulgent day but my thoughts go out to those who have not had such a great Xmas either through illness, loneliness or bereavement and I hope that 2012 brings peace and goodwill to all of us.

Stay Healthy

Sam x

Friday, 23 December 2011

Occupy Plymouth?

I am really quite shocked at the venom being aimed at the Occupy movement in Plymouth but then after the international press crusade against the Occupy movement perhaps it is hardly surprising.  I personally admire the majority of protestors (there will always be a minority who are not actually fighting the true occupy cause) for getting off their backsides and trying to force change.

There isn't a day that passes without me hearing someone moan about the economic climate we live in, we are all aware of rising food, petrol and fuel prices, we can all witness the cuts being made to front-line services yet we can also witness the continued greed of those at the top e.g. South West Water have record profits yet bills continue to rise? Plymouth City Council leaders refusing to take pay cuts whilst cutting the pay for lower paid workers.

I think what the Occupy Plymouth facebook page shows is that the protesters aren't some kind of anarchists, they aren't all 'tree huggers and hippies' (Nothing wrong with tree huggers and hippies of course) as labelled by some, thy are simply people, like you and me, who are tired of living hand to mouth whilst watching those at the higher end of the pay scale cream of the rewards of our hard work.  

Perhaps there is a misconception that the Occupy movement is a waste of time, well check out the amazing results of Occupy Iceland. Check out this video too:

Focusing back on the Occupy Plymouth movement I have to mention the Kinterbury house building which the Occupy Plymouth movement was temporarily based in before the removal by bailiffs today; Kinterbury House has been derelict since 2008, the reason for its empty state was the greed of the owners who doubled the rent in 2008 forcing the then occupants out, one such occupant was the Plymouth Family Support Services - check out the blog I wrote about them at the time.

Anyway, the main point of this blog is to say a big thank you to all those representing the Occupy Movement for making a firm stand on behalf of people like myself who are sick of being ripped off by the wealthy. I do not describe myself as anti-capitalist and I have no problems with those at the top earning more money than me but I do want a fairer divide between those at the top and those at the bottom. In Plymouth we see a chief executive (Barry Keel) on over £200,000 per year (figures from taxpayers alliance) whilst one council worker I spoke to who already struggles to live on a wage of £12,000 is having his wages cut, hours increased and pension cut, he for one would surely agree with the Occupy Movement and it's beliefs?

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Incinerator is wrong and so is Plymouth City Council!

 image courtesy of thisisplymouth.

On December 22nd Plymouth City Council will decided whether or not to give the go ahead for the controversial Incinerator at Barne Barton. For many the idea of having an incinerator in the middle of a built up residential area is completely insane and I haven't spoken to one person who seems to think the incinerator is a good idea.

I understand that the issue of waste must be addressed but have to question why we are buying outdated German technology to deal with the issue (another council backhander perhaps?). I think the 'Incinerator is wrong' group sum it up perfectly with their tag-line "The wrong solution in the wrong place". Aside from the concerns about air pollutants one of the big concerns is the huge number of lorries that will need access to the site, these lorries will have to drive past local schools and houses.

I also have to question why the plans for the incinerator have changed so much during the planning application going from an almost attractive building, in the early stages, to an industrial monstrosity (see picture top). My other main question is that if the pollutants are so harmless then why do we need a 95 metre high chimney?

It seems Paul Winterton may have the answers with his anaerobic digestion plant at Langage Farm in Plymouth; Paul claims to have one of the best plants in the UK when it comes to waste to energy and he reckons he might be able to win some of the contracts from the proposed Barne Barton site. Whilst Paul offers a much greener alternative to  MVV Umwelt he also offers a solution to the traffic problems associated with the Barne Barton site; Langage sits on the edge of the city next to the A38, heavy vehciles and machinery can access the Langage Site with minimal disruption to local residents. Check out the Langage farm blog and the Wrap site which works towards a world without waste.

In my opinion it seems as if certain members of Plymouth City Council already see this as a done deal showing the usual arrogance and contempt they have for the people they are meant to be serving.  I am of course referring to some of our senior council members and executives, those that have refused to take a pay cut despite being advised to do so by the home secretary, those that put their own agenda before the people who pay their wages, those that can impose severe cuts to lower level front line public sector jobs hitting the people who can least afford it.

I hope that the people of Plymouth remember these facts when it comes to the local elections in 2012, think about which members of the cabinet felt it necessary to pay for an all expenses trip to the South African World Cup, which members backed the white elephant that is the Life Centre, those who felt it more important to save a football club than the city's airport, I could go on but I think the majority of Plymothians already know.

Roll on May 2012!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x