GTA IV Review

After what seems like forever, quite possibly the multi-format game of the year is here!

The hugely anticipated, new instalment in the ground-breaking Grand Theft Auto series has landed and is going to be the game to tear gamers away from Call of Duty 4.

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Bank Holidays

Historially, public holidays in Britain are called “Bank Holidays” as they are days when banks are officially closed and therefore (traditionally) other businesses would close as they could not operate.

Bank and Public Holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The expected dates of bank and public holidays in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are as follows:

2008 Bank Holidays

England and Wales 2008 Bank Holiday Dates
New Year’s Day (Bank Holiday) 1st January
Good Friday (Public Holiday) 21st March
Easter Monday (Bank Holiday) 24th March
Early May (Bank Holiday, First Monday in May) 5th May
Spring Bank Holiday (Last Monday in May) 26th May
Summer Bank Holiday (Last Monday in August) 25th August
Christmas Day (Public Holiday) 25th December
Boxing Day (Bank Holiday) 26th December
Scotland 2008 Bank Holiday Dates
New Year’s Day (Bank Holiday) 1st January
January 2nd 2nd January
Good Friday (Public Holiday) 21st March
Easter Monday (Bank Holiday) 24th March
Easter Monday is not an official holiday, but many companies still close.
Early May (Bank Holiday, First Monday in May) 5th May
Spring (Bank Holiday, Last Monday in May) 26th May
Summer Bank Holiday (Last Monday in August) 25th August
Summer Bank Holiday is not an official holiday but many banks still close.
St Andrew’s Day (30th November or if on a weekend, the following Monday) 1st December
Christmas Day Public Holiday 25th December
Boxing Day Bank Holiday 26th December
Northern Ireland 2008 Bank Holiday Dates
New Year’s Day Bank Holiday 1st January
St Patrick’s Day 17th March
Good Friday (Public Holiday) 21st March
Easter Monday (Bank Holiday) 24th March
Early May (Bank Holiday, First Monday in May) 5th May
Spring (Bank Holiday, Last Monday in May) 26th May
Battle of the Boyne (Orangemen’s Day) 14th July
Summer Bank Holiday (Last Monday in August) 25th August
Christmas Day (Public Holiday) 25th December
Boxing Day (Bank Holiday) 26th December

History of Bank Holidays

Since 1871, British Public Holidays where banks were shut have been known as Bank Holidays.

Good Friday and Christmas Day are not specified as Bank Holidays in England, Wales and Ireland because they were already recognised as common law holidays.

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NES Controller Engine Cover

I like to think I’ve been around long enough to have an opinion on both games consoles and cars, after all I remember standing in WH Smith copying down a list of poke codes out of CU Amiga and playing Ikari Warriors on the NES so much that my thumb bled.

I’ve seen video games where real world cars are faithfully recreated and I’ve even seen cars that have had games consoles painstakingly crafted into them but this is the first time I’ve seen an engine cover fashioned in the style of a NES controller…

NES controller engine cover

The guys obviously got the time and an inkling of talent to come up with this so what’s next?

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Shipwrecked 2008

With the rain hammering it down outside it’s nice to be able to dream of a far away place where the sun beats down on white sandy beaches, with blue seas lapping at the shore. Add a sprinkling of beautiful people and you’re not far off Channel 4’s Shipwrecked reality TV series which has just returned for the 3rd time under it’s “Battle of the Islands” guise.

Since getting the V+ box, I’ve found my TV viewing habits a lot more selective, so I (thankfully) miss most of what T4 has to offer however I’ve always enjoyed Shipwrecked (what’s not to like about tanned girls in bikinis?) so will be adding this outing of Shipwrecked to series record.

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Hacienda Iara Organic Dark 100%

With the nation going crazy for Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s Venezuelan Black range of 100% chocolate (cacao), I thought it was odd that one of the UK’s more mainstream chocolatiers didn’t have a similar product that was pure chocolate without all the added sugar and fats.

To my surprise, a recent browse through the Hotel Chocolat website found just the product I was looking for – Hacienda Iara Organic Dark 100%. Ok, the name is a bit long winded but if it’s like the other products in the Hotel Chocolat range, every vowel and consonant will be worth it.
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A long, long weekend

Frosties kidIt seems like we booked it ages ago but come Monday, I’ll be jetting off to sunny Dubai and then onto India for two weeks of doing absolutely naff all.

Well, that and sampling the cuisine, sitting out in the sun whilst blighty suffers from yet more snow/rain/floods/wind.

It’s going to be grrreat!

Venezuelan Black Chocolate Recipes

Since my earlier post on Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s chocolate exploits proved so popular I thought it would be appropriate to post up some of the recipes mentioned in the Channel 4 TV show including the much sought-after, Venezuelan Black Chocolate truffles!

All of these Venezuelan Black recipes are currently available on the Channel 4 website, however I’ve taken the liberty to post them here too should the link to the recipes page change.

Wondering where to buy Venezuelan Black Chocolate? Well Selfridges are the “official” stockist and they offer a mail order service but they’re out of stock as the time of writing this so some enterprising souls have listed bars of the lovely 100% cacao on eBay too.

…whichever you choose, the food you make is going to be chocolate heaven!

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Edoya Noodle Bar Review

On a busy Saturday afternoon in the middle of Peterborough city centre, where the order of the day is a greasy burger and people just a few doors down are queuing into the street to get a “French” sandwich and a cup of tea, I’m sitting with the girlfriend in a bustling Edoya hidden away down Wentworth Street.

I’ve blogged about this Japanese noodle bar and sushi restaurant before but this time I managed to tear myself away from the food just long enough to take a photo of my meal so that I can share it with all of you.

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