Venezuelan Black Chocolate

Any TV addict out there will probably be suffering from an intense chocolate craving right about now thanks to one Wonky Willie and his slightly crazy mission to bring the ultimate cacao to the UK.

I’m not convinced that chocolate as an ingredient is right for most meals although anyone that’s watched an episode of the Channel 4 series Willies Wonky Chocolate Factory will testify, most of the show revolves around Willie Harcourt-Cooze adding helpings of his Venezuelan Black chocolate stuff into just about every meal of the day.

But is he just adding chocolate for the sake of adding chocolate? With a strap line of “From bean to bar”, the series shows the Harcourt-Coozes travelling from the UK to Venezuela, to their Hacienda farm.
Update!!  Chocolate Factory cookbook now available!

Since originally writing this article, I’ve discovered Willie’s released his own cookery book titled Willie’s Chocolate Factory Cookbook.  Combining biographical content with recipes and such, the book will battle for a place on both your coffee table and in the kitchen!  My personal favourite is the Chicken Mole recipe which reminds me of when the Hairy Bikers visited Mexico.  Lets hope Willie will put his name to more books and start a series on cooking with his chocolate.

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Automotive Photography

As a web developer, I never claim to be at the forefront of cutting edge website design but I know what I like and what (I think) works.

When one of my projects needed some nifty automotive photography, I knew it had to be something a bit special. The first thing I did was head over to iStockphoto and stock.xchng to see if anything met the bill, which as per usual didn’t because I wasn’t looking for American cars or garish hatchbacks with spoilers on spoilers.

So with all my freeloading sources exhausted, I got in touch with an automotive photographer I’ve used in the past up in Glasgow and gave him the brief.
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Peterborough University

Literally hot off the press is news that as part of the Government’s “New University Challenge” whereby 20 new University campuses are set to receive funding over the next six years.

Obviously nothing is set in stone, but Labour candidate for Peterborough Ed Murphy has been on the case and is campaigning hard for a Peterborough University campus fit for the 21st century!

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V-Maxx Suspension Website

Only a few months ago I was at the Autosport International show fondling a set of V-Maxx coilovers, deciding whether I should take the plunge and get them for the Fabia.

Sadly, their UK website was under construction whilst V-Maxx in Holland sorted out a new UK distributor for their range of sports suspension, lowering kits, lowering springs with uprated dampers / shock absorbers and height adjustable coilovers.

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Gastric Infection

Hardly the most interesting of blog posts, but it’s a welcome one for me as it hopefully signals the end of the past three weeks.

Since early Feb, I’ve been suffering from the most god-awful stomach acid and cramps which have left me pretty much knocked for six.  With zero energy or appetite, I was living off a selection of pills designed to control the acid in one form or another.

Unfortunately it now means I’m off the coffee and curry for a bit so my days are tired and tasteless.

Anyway, touch wood, fingers crossed, rabbits foot and lucky heather on standby, the pains have gone and I’m on the mend.

Let the blogging resume!

UPDATE (May 2008)

Turns out the stomach pains above were probably a precursor to what I’ve just experienced – a burst appendix which lead onto peritonitis.  From what I’ve since read up on peritonitis, it’s quite serious so quite glad I went under the knife and had everything sorted.  Big thanks to all at Peterborough District Hospital!

Peterborough Pizza Express Review

Pizza Express Peterborough ReviewSince I didn’t receive my invitation to the opening night of Peterborough’s newest premium pizza and pasta restaurant, I didn’t get the opportunity to rub shoulders with the restaurants President, Peter Boizot MBE. The only way I could shrug off that disappointment was to visit Pizza Express last Friday with mattysmash to sample the menu before heading into town for a few jars with some work colleagues.

It was quite early on a Friday night (6pm) but the restaurant was already quite busy with families so it was slightly noisier which was to be expected (parents – can you please teach your children to use their indoor voices when in Peterborough pizza restaurants?).

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Getting closer to that iPhone

I posted the other week about giving the iPhone some consideration as my next handset and now it seems O2 are doing the damnedest to make that dream become a reality by making their tariffs more realistic.

Leading gadget website Gizmodo suggest that the change has come about due to the poor sales of the iPhone in the UK.

Now all new and existing iPhone customers on O2 (because some naughty people unlock theirs) will be able to get an iPhone on a £35/month tariff and get 600 minutes and 500 texts each month. For those on the other tariffs, minutes and texts increase accordingly.

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