Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This one's so basic that you probably know it already. However, it is one of those things (like breathing) that I find myself having to learn, and re-learn, then re-re-learn again.

You need to talk to someone about something. You've spent time thinking about it. You're sure you need to talk with them. But it's not something you're looking forward to saying to them.

If possible, find an opportunity to talk to them one-to-one, face-to-face. Firstly, this is the best way. Secondly, you're going to make sure that this is something you really need to tell them!

Second-best, 'phone them.

Third-best, a hand-written note, requesting a one-to-one meet.

Don't email, memo or fax them.

And definitely, DEFINITELY, never, ever, EVER tell someone else about it so that the person gets to hear about what you think second- or third-hand. Trust me, it will end in tears.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Grill it, don't incinerate it

Grilling meat is an easy way of saving calories. However many people associate grilled food with dry, tough and tasteless food.

There are two ways of ensuring that grilled food tastes great:

1. Preheat the grill for at least ten minutes.

2. Time the cooking of the meat.

I find that boneless/skinless chicken breasts require about 10 minutes, and sirloin steak as little as 6 minutes (turning the meat over half-way through the cooking time).

If these times leave the meat too rare for you, put it back under the grill for a minute at a time until you find the 'done-ness' that suits you. Record the total grilling time, and use that in the future.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Aide memoires

The human brain is a strange thing. You'd think that something with over a 100 billion neurons would be capable of remembering a few important items that you are meant to take with you on your journey. Or even one.

And, of course, it can. And it does. However, my brain (and I suspect I'm not alone here) tends to wait until I have not only embarked on a journey, but have travelled a significant distance before moving it from the 'stored' to the '!!@£*?!' area of my consciousness.

I'm sure there are all sorts of very clever ways of becoming more conscious of the 'stored' area. However, the lazy way is to put the thing you need to take with you somewhere where you can't avoid noticing it before leaving your house.

Alternatively, put it in the bag you will take with you, or the vehicle that you're going to use.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Fast food #1

Using an electric kettle, boil enough water to three-quarters fill a small pan. Pour the boiled water into the pan, place the pan on a gas/electric hob and bring the water to a steady, rolling boil.

For a soft yolk and firm white, gently lower a large egg into the water and leave for 4 minutes 30 seconds. Remove from water and decapititate the egg. If it is too runny for your tastes, put the top back on for 30 seconds, and next time increase the cooking time by 15 seconds.

A large boiled egg provides less than 100 calories, but supplies your body with 8g protein and 7g fat, along with significant quantities of vitamins B12, B2, D and A.