Wednesday 16 May 2018

The banjo retro-fitted with a new Nechville arm rest and ready for re-stringing before I record my new banjo song

MIKEY is off to Stirling and Margaret has some stuff in Glasgow.

I come out the shower and find another bleedin’ tick…on the back of my upper arm this time. I manage to find the tick remover but after 10 minutes of messing around trying to reach the blighter using a mirror I decide to leave it ’til Margaret comes home.

Another round of re-engagement messages are sent out to my email lists and a few more GDPR compliance web tweaks. Almost there, I think.

In the kitchen I make a batch of black bean soup and while it’s bubbling away bag up a job lot of sausages for the freezer.

The wooden banjo arm rest I ordered on Monday arrives in the post…I’m allergic to the wee thin chrome one I already had on there so had to find a sweat band to protect my forearm – just a couple of minutes playing without would end up with a swollen red weal and day-long itch.

Its not so apparent how to fit the new armrest, but I need to undo a couple of the hooks round the tension hoop to get the old one off. I;ce got the whole thing in pieces before I realise that there’s no need to take anything off on the banjo side of things, the two crosshead screws on the back of the rest are long enough to let the flanges out to clamp onto the rim. Doh!

Anyway, job done and the thing not only protects my arm form the chrome, but is a million times more comfortable…shoulda done this ages ago!

I take a break and sit in the sun and try and get the words to the new banjo song in my head. I plan to re-record tomorrow with a couple of small lyric tweaks and a more consistent approach which will be aided by not having to read the lyrics.

There’s still a bit of wood to be chopped so I take advantage of the sunshine and make a wee dent in the pile.

Margaret gets home and manages to remove the tick before I get on and cover some chicken thighs with a rub ready for the smoker tomorrow. Then I make a batch of Alabama White BBQ sauce…easily the best choice for chicken.

I run through the banjo song a few more times, relying on memory for the lyrics.I fumble my way through and, despite a few stutters while wracking my brain, I kinda remember the words. Mostly.

Sun’s still shining so I cue up a podcast in my search for tips on recording the new song and take a walk up the lochside.

Back home, I split a few more logs then go inside, open a beer and make some tortillas for our chilli tacos. We prefer the corn tortillas, but there’s some flour-based dough in the freezer I decided to use up. It feels OK, but has become very ‘springy’ and the results are more like little pitta breads! Moral of the story – best to make fresh taco dough. Maybe it just needed knocked back and rested a few times. Who knows…but if it did, it’s not saving any time!

Although we end up with the oddest tacos we’ve ever seen, they do taste pretty good!


Tuesday 27 March 2018

Lunch at Yippon Sushi in George Street – good value and in my top two or three for sushi rolls.
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MARGARET drops me in Milngavie and I jump a train to Anniesland where I grab a roll and sausage and walk along to Gartnavel for my six-monthly eye hospital appointment.

My slot isn’t ’til 10.20am and I;m an hour or so early – but it means I get the routine eyesight check and dilating drops in good time.I’m also sent to have a scan done on the back of my eyes.

The girl who examines my eyes is quite happy with things, but wants to chat with the consultant – Dr Williams – about attempting to come off the steroids  I’ve been putting in my eyes every other day for the last 13 years.

We’ve tried coming off them many times in the past but as soon as I do the uveitis flares up in a few days. The consensus is to try again – especially as there’s no imminent touring. I’m slightly nervous about the support process as it’s broken down int he past but I’m assuredI;ll be seen if there’s any problems.

I’m done soon after 11am and wander along Great Western Road. It’s be a few hours ’til my vision’s back to normal and Margaret’ll pick me up in town mid-afternoon.

I stop at Lupe Pinto’s to pick up some masa harina – a special kind of ground corn maize that’s been treated with lime water and ash – that’s essential for making corn tortillas. I’ve been making soft flour tortillas  for our tacos recently, but the corn versions is healthier, lower carb and tastier.

The McDonald’s and surrounding shops are all closed as that section of Sauchiehall Street is closed following last week’s fire, so instead of redeeming my card for a free coffee I end up in Starbucks which is a nice – albeit pricier – change.

Betty was telling me about a new sushi place called Yippon Sushi in Glasgow and the review she showed me promised good food at a good price. By  using the ‘zoom text’ and my reading specs I can just about see my phone, so check to find out where it is and wander along to check it out.

I grab a box of prawn tempura rolls and some miso soup, find a table and….yes, it’s great, Fantastic, even. In my top three (or maybe even two) of sushi rolls…the top being a place in New York I like.

Margaret picks me up around 3pm and we stop at Chung Yong, Costsco and Tesco for shopping and fuel then hit Aldi for their value Nespresso-compatible code capsules which are half the price of Nespresso’s own…maybe not quite as good, but 98% there. The ristretto variation is best.

After putting away the shopping back home I get some work done in chasing some TV use of my music with MCPS, tackle a few other jobs then make a  batch of tortilla dough using the masa harina – it’s pulled pork tacos tomorrow, but we’re having chilli tonight so a good opportunity for a dummy run in case it doesn’t work out.

Making the dough is a lot quicker and easier than with flour…and when it comes to making the tacos, the resulting dough works well with the tortilla press which proved a disaster with the flour dough.

The test batch we have with our chilli works well…a million times better than shop bought and we both reckon their much nicer than the flour equivalent 🙂



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