# Sunday, January 24, 2010

_47127596_1ham4 If this article is to be believed then this could be the world’s expensive leg of lamb. It has gone on sale at Selfridges £1,800 for a leg. This is no ordinary ham, however, it weighs 7kg and comes with its own DNA certificate as proof of authenticity. The ham comes from one of just 50 carefully selected pigs that have been reared in Extremadura in western Spain. The pigs were fed a diet of acorns and roots to give the ham a distinctive flavour. After being slaughtered the ham was then salted and cured for three years before going on sale. According to the Selfridges fresh food buyer connoisseurs will appreciate the hams melt in the mouth texture.

posted on Sunday, January 24, 2010 10:04:13 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 23, 2010

It appears that divorce is now big business with companies offering divorce cakes and divorce parties. Now it seems Debenhams are cashing in on the market. They have launched a divorce guest list. Much the same as a wedding gift list it works in exactly the same way and not surprisingly contains many of the same items such as kitchen appliances, crockery and glasses. It takes into account that when a marriage breaks down one person leaves the marital home and has to start again with those essentials we tend to take for granted. With January being the peak time of year for divorce it will be interesting to see how much interest this idea generates.

posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:39:25 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article there has been a huge rise in the number of pets being abandoned over the Christmas period. UK animal charities are struggling to cope the number of unwanted animals on their books and many also have long waiting animals that need a place in the re-homing centre. Battersea Dogs and Cats home in particular have said they are unable to cope with the number of pets arriving and have had to create a waiting list for local authorities. Animals on the waiting list will have to be looked after by the local council whilst there wait for a place to become available at the home. The situation is unlikely to improve as this time of year usually sees a rise in more animals being abandoned as people find pets brought for Christmas are too expensive to keep. If you have space for a furry friend then it might be worth checking out those that need a new home at the Battersea website here.

posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010 10:36:59 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, January 22, 2010

According to this article women’s handbags are getting lighter. The average weight of a woman’s handbag is now 1.5kg, that’s down 57% from last year when the average weight was 3.5kg. The research carried out by Debenhams  in order to help them to design suitable bags. It seems the change is not down to the fact that we are carrying less in our handbags but more the fact  that popular gadgets such as mobile phones and PDAs are simply getting smaller and lighter.

posted on Friday, January 22, 2010 9:10:41 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article the BBC is considering not renewing the Met Office contract when it comes up for renewal in April. The  news comes after a series of inaccurate weather forecasts which included the “BBQ summer” that failed to materialise and the “mild winter” which has been one of the coldest in recent years. Personally I usually rely on the BBC’s weather forecasts and this winter have found them to be fairly inaccurate. On days when heavy snow has been forecast there has been none and vice versa. The BBC is currently in talks with a company called Metra, the national forecaster for New Zealand so it will be interesting to see whether the Met Office is replaced and if it is whether the forecasts are any more reliable. 

posted on Friday, January 22, 2010 9:03:28 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, January 21, 2010

I am a great fan of the morning run and usually try to fit one in around three or four times a week. It certainly make me feel not only fitter but also more alert and when I can’t run I have the opposite side effect of feeling rather slow and sluggish. I was interested then to read this article which suggests that running is not only good for your body but that it is also good for your mind. It seems that a regular jog actually leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain which boosts your memory. Although it it is not know exactly what causes this it is thought it may be linked to increased blood flow or higher levels of hormones that are released whilst exercising.

posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:53:40 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you watch a lot of TV then this article might encourage you to get out a bit more. It suggests that every hour spent TV increases the risk of dying from heart disease by almost a fifth. Researchers monitored 8,800 adults over a six year period to see what impact TV had on their long term health. The results found that each hour spent in front of the TV increased the risk of heart disease related death by 18%. During the follow up period there were 284 deaths, 87 due to cardiovascular, or heart and artery disease, and 125 from cancer. The scientists warned that any prolonged sedentary behaviour such as sitting at an office desk can have the same effect and that even those who are not overweight are still at risk.

posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010 9:16:29 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, January 20, 2010

If you need another excuse to go shopping then you might find this article interesting. It claims that the average woman burns off around 48,000 calories a year just by shopping. According to the article most women burn off around 385 calories walking around the shops every week. In fact this amounts to around 154 a miles a year, the same as walking from London to Nottingham. The figures are based on the assumption that the average woman covers 2.96 miles on a shopping trip and spends about 2.5 hours browsing in stores every week. So next time you don’t feel like heading down the gym you might be justified in hitting the shops instead.

posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 3:43:58 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article overweight people could be paid to slim down as part of a new scheme. Under the scheme people could earn up to £1,750 as an incentive to lose their extra weight. The scheme is privately run and the payments made by a private firm but it is hoped that it could soon be available on the NHS. In a trial run within the NHS in Kent patients earned up to £425 as an incentive from private form Weight Wins. In order to earn the reward patients had to meet weight loss targets. It appears that the pilot scheme was successful and one person who took part earned the maximum available payout after reaching the target of losing three stone in seven months and managing to keep the weight off over a six month period. The scheme has now been extended for private individuals whilst the success rate is evaluated further to see if it can be offered on the NHS.

posted on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 10:05:53 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A buffer zone has been put in place around a red squirrel reserve in Northumberland in a bid to protect the species. The reserve in Kielder Forest includes the Cumbrian woods of Kershope and Spaedadam. The buffer zone effectively cuts off the gap between the forest and the Solway Firth to try and slow the migration of grey squirrels to the Scottish border. Within the buffer zone Forestry Commission grants are available to support land managers in controlling grey squirrels by using humane traps. It is hoped that the zone will stop the spread of the pox virus which the grey squirrels carry and which is fatal to the endangered red squirrels.

posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 10:31:29 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Having suffered from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) for a number of years I read this article with some surprise. The article suggests that insoluble fibre can make the condition worse in many cases. Personally this was not what surprised me, it was more the fact that it has taken this long for this research to be reported. I first went to a doctor more than ten years ago for help with managing the condition. At this time I was prescribed a fibre supplement which made all of my symptoms much worse. Having felt disillusioned with the advice given by the doctor I have since relied on natural remedies and diet to manage the condition and still find that excessive insoluble fibre intake such as bran leaves me with severe symptoms. The article suggests what I have already discovered that for someone with an already irritable bowel insoluble fibre is likely to worsen symptoms and in fact it is best to stick to white breads and other products made from refined white flour. Sufferers are advised to stick to soluble fibre such as fruit and vegetables and steer clear of bran, wholemeal bread, brown pasta and cereal bars which are likely to irritate a sensitive bowel.

posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:11:43 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, January 18, 2010

According to this article many different types of animals exhibit heroic behaviour and it is not just limited to humans. The article suggests that dolphins, monkeys, fruit bats and ants will all rescue their fellow creatures when they are in danger. Dolphins have been know to rescue trapped and injured dolphin, often lifting them to surface to help them breathe. Monkeys will drive away attackers from vulnerable individuals such as females and infants and fruit bats will help other fruit bats that are in labour. Ants will offer help to other ants from the same colony if they are caught in traps although it appears this help does not extend to individual from outside their own colony. A group of scientists is now hoping to study and document this type of behaviour in more detail to try and determine whether the animal rescuers behaviour is indeed heroic.

posted on Monday, January 18, 2010 8:29:11 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

article-1242488-07D203C1000005DC-116_226x671

If you have put on a few extra pounds over Christmas then you might be interested in this new dress from Asda. It is designed to hide all of those lumps and bumps that you would rather you didn’t have. It works in a similar way to hold it in pants, having built in control panels in all the right places. At £28 for the dress and £16 for a skirt it claims it can take as much as inch and half off the waist. It certainly looks interesting but I feel the article would be better illustrated by using a model who has some lumps and bumps herself, that way it would be easier to see the effects of the garment.

posted on Monday, January 18, 2010 8:18:27 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, January 16, 2010

article-0-07CF8A67000005DC-442_634x303 If you have a bit of spare cash and fancy a home with a difference then you might be interested in this house boat. On sale for £1million it has a 577 square foot deck and includes a roof top pool. Inside it has three en-suite bedrooms, a dressing room, a modern open plan kitchen and dining area, reception room, study and utility room. The boat is moored at Cadogan Pier on the Thames near to London’s Albert Bridge so is well placed for central London.

posted on Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:29:45 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article you could soon be paying a bit more for your pint. Many of the country’s biggest brewers are likely to increase their prices in a move that will mean an increase of around 10p on popular beers. Guinness are putting up the recommend retail price to £3.03 per pint from February 1st. InBev who make Stella Artois, Becks and Budweiser are increasing the wholesale price of all its drinks by 4p a pint from the same date. Heineken UK have also announced a price rise and Carlsberg and Moulson Coors are yet to make an announcement.

posted on Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:24:17 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback