Visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil and Argentina

Here are some tips from my trip to Iguazu Falls. You really don’t need to take an official tour, as the waterfalls are very easy to get to on your own. You can either walk or get a taxi or Uber to them, on both sides. It takes about half a day to visit the Brazil side and nearly a full day for the Argentine side(it’s a lot bigger and more developed). Try to visit the Brazil side first and then the Argentine side, both are very spectacular, but that is the best combination in my opinion.

Leek and Venison Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

1 x onion chopped
1 x leek sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
2 x carrots sliced
2 x celery sticks sliced
300g Waitrose New Zealand Venison Mince
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cornflower
approx half a pint of vegetable stock
some butter and oil for frying
6 x medium potatoes for the topping

Recipe

Had some frozen venison sitting in the freezer, so decided to make a venison shepherd’s pie. Takes about an hour to cook.

Boil the potatoes, carrots and celery for 20mins (or until the potatoes can be mashed).

Prepare the vegetables, while they are boiling, once prepared…

In a saucepan, put a bit of oil and some butter, then fry the onion and garlic.

Add the leeks and continue frying until they soften a bit (maybe 5mins).

Stir in the pepper and Herbes de Provence.

Turn the oven (to preheat it for later).

Add in the Venison mince and cook/stir into the mix until the meat is properly browned (another 5mins or so).

Gradually stir in the vegetable stock and bring to boil, keep stirring. You don’t want to add too much, you don’t want to make a soup.

Drain the potatoes, carrots and celery (check the potatoes are mashable).

Add the carrots and celery to the mix in the saucepan and cook for a couple more minutes.

Put the cornflower in a cup and add tablespoon of water and mix. Then add this to the mixture.

Simmer/stir the mix for another 5mins. This should thicken things up a bit.

Mash the potatoes with butter and milk.

Put the mix into a casserole dish and flatten the top, then layer the top with the mashed potato, crossing it with a fork.

Put it in the oven for 20 – 30mins until the top is crispy!

Serve!

Credit to where I got the idea from: https://www.thespruceeats.com/luxury-venison-shepherds-pie-recipe-435264

53 Days Running in a Row!

My old house mate Henry has taken up running and as usual he’s really going for it. Hadn’t seen him in a while and he tells me he’s running like 4 or 5 days a week! To me this was amazing! Why? Well, I’ve always liked running, with the pinnacle being winning the 100metres and the 4x100m relay at sports day as a kid. Also over the years have done Park Runs, various 5kms, 10k’s and half-marathons + have run the London Marathon back in 2011 and Stockholm Marathon in 2018, BUT have never trained more than 2 or 3 days a week, except one possible time when I think I ran for 4 days in a week, but that was as a test to absolutely force myself. Anyways…

Did the 2018 Prudential Ride 100 Surrey

After running the Stockholm Marathon and returning from a bit of travel around Scandinavia, next athletic ‘task’ was to train for the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey bike ride. Had a whole month and a half for that one. Done a lot of biking in my time, espec as a teenager with my bike expert friend Ben Hall, but have only biked over 50 miles in one day 3 times – twice for the London to Brighton bike ride and once this May, with my brother-in-law(Stephen) from Milton Keynes to Wimbledon(81miles). I don’t actually own a racing bike, my bike is a Boardman RaceMX hybrid, but that thing is a bit heavy for proper long-distance, so earlier this year I managed to borrow my nephew-in-law’s white Bianchi, which is rather a nice and much lighter bike. Thanks to this and inspite of Wimbledon tennis and the football World Cup being huge distractions, I completed the Prudential Ride 100 Surrey! 

The “different place for lunch every day, when working in London” Challenge of 2017

January 2017 – a new year and a new job, working in central London for the next month or two. On my first lunch break (I get a whole 40mins), sitting in Pret a Manger on Carnaby St, found myself struck by the number of places to eat in the area. Thus began my “Eat at a Different Lunch Place every day when working in London Challenge 2017“. There were/are no rules really, except no take-aways, you must sit in the place to eat! Also, I do try to keep the cost as cheap as possible, which has become to mean, less than ÂŁ10 – blame the location. Originally I aimed at 30 places, as that would be a month’s worth, but then I (surprisingly) got re-hired and decided to keep it going. Despite the walking distances and difficultly of find places increasing and a desperately strong desire to go back to previous establishments, I have persisted and been rewarded with a surprisingly good and varied cuisine for lunch. So, here is my 2017 lunch-challenge diary so far…

Notes: Yes, I’m still updating this list – as it comes from my phone and I’m still trying to workout/remember some of the places.
Also Yes, I will add quite a lot of these to Trip Advisor at some point – already a Level 4 contributor 🙂

Scafell Pike Round 2 – Lake District Trip Blog

This is a long blog write up of my trip to the Lake District in Feb 2017, it’s purely for amusement and to (erm) write something. Back in 2007 I attempted to climb Scafell Pike and got lost on the mountains(another long story), so I decided to re-visit the place this year with my friend Paul. He’s lived in the USA the past 17 years, so was well up for this trip to arguably the finest of English countryside.

Tues 14th Feb 2017

The plan for the morning: up at 8am, breakfast, pack car, 9am head to Wimbledon, go for 10km run, back by 10:30am, pick up Paul and head to Lancaster!

3 Month Marathon Plan Summary

In summary, here was my marathon training diary from 2011. I kind of only planned the big distances, mainly basing them around and wanting to be able to run a distance of approx 20miles one month before the actual marathon date. Running is different for everyone, my only tip really is do try to get the big distance 2-3 hour runs done – the 10,16 and 20milers – they are tough and somewhat daunting, but try to keep relaxed, take it easy and just do them. You’ll look back and find them well worth it on the day. Looking back now, it’s amazing what you can actually do.

London to Paris Bike Ride May 2016

My brother-in-law Stephen and I spent 8 days cycling from London to Paris – catching the Eurostar back. Starting at Wimbledon(London), we cycled to New Haven, caught the ferry to Dieppe and then followed the L’Avenue Verte cycle path to Paris. We wanted to take it easy, enjoy the ride and scenary, but make it a bit of an adventure too, so only booked accommodation the first and last nights. It turned out to be a very pleasant trip and despite leaving later than expected on Day 1 and one night in France where we spent about 2 hours desperately searching for somewhere to stay, I’d totally recommend what we did. The furthest distance we cycled in a day was a bit over 55miles.

First Time Buyer – Steps to Buying a House / Buying a House Procedure

After last year’s experience, I found there were some great guides/pages out there for house buying, but nothing that covered all the steps I encountered – I felt lost sometimes, waiting for stuff to happen or receiving stuff, so decided to write this up.

Please note: I was a first time buyer, did my own removals (didn’t have that much stuff) and my dad was a surveyor, so he did the surveying. Your experience might be quite different.

Biblical Wealth Secrets – VTA Publications – Scam

The other week I received this letter through the post – I was wondering if this was a scam, so Googled “VTA publications and Biblical Wealth Secret”, but could only find one reference and that was here at MoreMoneyReview.com. I signed up to MoreMoneyReview to read the comments and apparently this Biblical Wealth Secret thing is pretty much the same as another scheme called Streetwise or the Fortune Files. From the reading those, it seems to largely promises the world YET somewhat unsurprisingly delivers very little.

Anyways, I found the letter is rather amusingly and well written – FULL of lures to bring in vulnerable people! So I scanned it and OCR’d it, here it is for your reading and to help Google know more about VTA Publications 🙂