Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Pythons, Bowling, Michael Douglas.

It seems we have a lot of people in Eastern Canada who like Pythons. A woman out walking the dog found one on her front lawn, not to mention all the reports which have been in the news lately. They figure this latest one was either an escaped pet or someone ‘threw it away’ in the local woods. These snakes would not survive a Canadian winter. This one is a ball Python which doesn’t grown more than 2 metres (that’s still a lot of snake) and are not very aggressive so less danger to humans. I wouldn’t want one any where near me thank you.

I hadn’t registered until today,  but of course, next week is the first week of September which means that the leagues start up. Not ours because of the holiday on the Monday, but it does mean it will not be so easy for us to play. It also turns out that we would be the only two anyway next week plus we are heading out on Friday, so we decided to miss out bowling for next week. So our next 5 pin bowling will be when we return from North Carolina.  One of the owners of Towne Bowl showed me some pix he had taken of our old bowling alley which is basically a heap of rubble right now. Took them long enough to start pulling it down. We haven’t been up that way ourselves lately, no reason to do so. Suppose we could have taken a trip to see what they were doing.

Apparently Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have decided to split up for a while, ostensibly to evaluate their marriageAPTOPIX 85th Academy Awards - Arrivals whilst they are apart. The report says that the health issues they have both been coping with have caused a lot of stress on their marriage –what happened to “in sickness and in health”? His throat cancer and her bi-polar disorder have placed great strains on them it is said. Seems a shame, I thought they were such a well matched couple and they seemed happy together. Mind you I think it would have put a bit of a strain on my marriage if my husband had announced in public that his throat cancer was caused by oral sex. His dad, Kirk Douglas, used to be one of my favourites once upon a time, historically of course!!! His son Michael looks very like him.

In England they used to have a fish and chip shop on every corner, nowadays its an Indian takeaway. Indian food is extremely popular. This recipe from BBC Good Food is a healthier version of a favourite.

Healthier chicken balti

By Angela Nilsen
Serves 4

A lighter version of the Indian takeaway classic from Angela Nilsen, this tomato-based curry is packed with extra spinach and peppersBraised Chicken Scallions
  • 450g skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1½ tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods, split
  • 1 small to medium green chilli
  • ½ tsp cumin seed
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2½ cm-piece ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 250ml organic passata
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded, cut into small chunks
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 85g baby spinach leaves
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • chapatis or basmati rice, to serve (optional)
  • Tip - How to make it healthier
    Angela makes her balti healthier by: Using sunflower oil instead of ghee; Frying in a non-stick wok to reduce the amount of fat for cooking; Using skinless chicken breasts; Stirring in lots of veg to provide 2 of your 5-a-day; Keeping salt to a minimum by using a quality organic passata that contained less salt, and using less for seasoning.


  1. Put the chicken in a medium bowl. Mix in the lime juice, paprika, chilli powder and a grinding of black pepper (step 1), then leave to marinate for at least 15 mins, preferably a bit longer.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large non-stick wok or sauté pan. Tip in the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, whole chilli and cumin seeds, and stir-fry briefly just to colour and release their fragrance (step 2). Stir in the onion, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins until the onion starts to turn brown. Add the remaining oil, then drop in the chicken and stir-fry for 2-3 mins or until it no longer looks raw. Mix the turmeric, cumin, ground coriander and garam masala together. Tip into the pan, lower the heat to medium and cook for 2 mins (step 3). Pour in the passata and 150ml water, then drop in the chunks of pepper. When starting to bubble, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 mins or until the chicken is tender.
  3. Stir in the tomato, simmer for 2-3 mins, then add the spinach and turn it over in the pan to just wilt. Season with a little salt. If you want to thin down the sauce, splash in a little more water. Remove the cinnamon stick, chilli and cardamom pods, if you wish, before serving. Scatter with fresh coriander and serve with warm chapatis or basmati rice, if you like.
Have a great day


  1. What is it about celebrity marriages that they rarely last? And splitting up is no way to cope.
    I wouldn't want to find a snake that big on my lawn.
    And congratulations - snakes, bowling, and Douglas. Bet that's the first time those three things were in a post title together!

  2. My father used to call celebrity marriages 'licensed prostitution'.

    Or anywhere else thank you very much. Horrid thing to happen.


  3. Pythons, hard to imagine them in Canada! Snakes are not my thing, I scream every time I see on in my garden, and they are just little garter snakes. Do you know about the game we heard when we were visiting Canada called "Washers"? Like horseshoes but enclosed in wooden frames? Are you having a good visit in North Carolina?

    1. I guess they aren't indigenous and because of our winters are unlikely to become so. However, we seem to be having a lot of trouble with them lately through the importation and releasing of pets and such.

      No, I have never heard of that game, what part of Canada were you in? Maybe it was particular to that area.

      Not in North Carolina yet, leave here on Sept. 6.

  4. They might survive if they find a warm house to crawl into? Sometimes a separation is the way to come back together, I hope so, for the children's sake!

    Have a truly wonderful trip!

    1. What a frightening thought one of those damned things in your home.

      I hope they find they can sort themselves out too.

      Thanks, another week yet before we go, but I am all geared up to go just the same.

  5. I don't like snakes at all. In Florida they have lots of problems with exotic snakes being released or escaping and then thriving in the climate. (One reason to nor move to the Everglades.)

    1. Yes Sharon, I have blogged in the past about the pythons in the Everglades. With no natural predators they are decimating the fauna of the area.