Saturday, 10 December 2011

Stepping Stone

I'm off to Bitterne this morning, got a few things to sort out.
I remember when Bitterne had a road going through it. It was one of the main arterial routes into Southampton, you took your life in your hands trying to cross the road, but i tell you what, it was always a bustling shopping centre. If you go there now and walk along the precinct, there are kids hanging about with nothing to do, except leave there chewing gum on benches and litter on the ground. Most of the time it is fairly empty, apart from a Wednesday when there is a market.
I must say, I did prefer it before the precinct, somehow, it seemed a more special place to go. It was to me, as a child, a stepping stone to the city of Southampton.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

SOUTHAMPTON HALL OF AVIATION

We have quite a unique history here in Southampton, the Spitfire was built here in Woolston.
Consequently we were a target for the Luftwaffe. The Southampton Hall of Aviation or as it is now known Solent Sky Museum Has a spitfire on display as well as many other aircraft and interesting historical references. Sadly the museum rely on donations to keep it going, the trouble is I don't think enough is made of it! It was all crammed into what I can only describe a s a warehouse. Now forgive me if I'm wrong but isn't it a little more important than a warehouse hidden away in a nondescript area of Southampton?
I think the aviation history of this city should be treated equally as important as something like the history of Titanic, In fact i also believe Southampton should combine the Solent Sky Museum with a museum about how Southampton survived the Blitz.
If you want to help keep this museum going, and not allow It to be lost forever you can help, just click on one of the links above.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

KEEMA CURRY NIGHT!

It's time for another curry.

KEEMA MATTAR  (Lamb Mince with Garden Peas).

Ingredients:
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Cardomoms
4 Cloves
2 Kashmiri dried red chilis
1 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to taste
Tsp of sugar

3 Large Tomatoes
5 Cloves Garlic
15g Ginger peeled weight

8 Curry Leaves
50cm Cinamon stick
1 Green chili whole but pierced

1 Onion
500g Lamb Mince

Half tsp Garam masala
Mug of Frozen garden peas


To Cook:

In a spice grinder, grind the red chillis, cloves, cardomoms, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
Set aside.
In a blender, Blend the garlic, Ginger and tomatoes with a splash of water.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan until hot, then add the curry leaves, cinamom and green chilli, sizzle for 10 seconds and add the onion. Cook until well browned.
Add the blended paste and cook with the onions for about five minutes on a moderate heast.
Now add the mince and all the ground spices and sugar along with the turmeric and salt.
Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for twenty minutes, adding a little water if the mixture becomes too dry.
Add the frozen peas and cook on low until the peas are cooked. Stir in th Garam Masala and serve.

Good with rice or Chapatis.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Days on the Shore

As a young boy, I would walk with my friends from Thornhill, down to Weston Shore and we'd spend hours mucking about on the beach, overturning stones as the tide went out to see what was underneath them, foraging around the Seaweed Hut, although it was quite battered and surrounded with barbed wire.
Even today, my wife and I, take our dog to Netley Victoria country park via Weston Shore and as we go past, I still think about those days, how I used to come out of the water with the odd bit of tar attached to my toes. It was never the cleanest stretch of water, but when you were kids, it didn't matter.
Back then my parents were not very well off and so a trip to Weston Shore was as good as Bournemouth.
Today, it still is, a very interesting place to go and just sit and watch the day go by.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The following is some information I found on Southampton city council archives.

Seaweed Hut, Weston Shore

Seaweed Hut, Weston Shore


 The Seaweed Hut was once a familiar site on Weston Shore. It dated back to at least 1783; it is shown on an Admiralty chart of that date. It was demolished by the Council in 1967 after falling into disrepair. The hut, which was built of dry seaweed around a wooden frame, was probably built by local fishermen. It was used to store fishing tackle and as a shelter. Legend connects it with smuggling in the 18th century.

It's Curry Night Again!

Lamb Keema with Spinach

1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed
10g ginger peeled weight

1 tsp each of coriander, cumin and turmeric.
Half tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste
Small tin chopped tomatoes

3 tblsps veg oil

400g minced lamb
200g frozen or fresh spinach

To Cook:

Heat the oil in a saucepan, on a moderate heat, add the onion, ginger and garlic
Fry until golden. Add the lamb and spices and brown the meat

Add the tinned tomatoes and salt to taste, stir  and cook on a simmer for twenty minutes.
Add a splash of water if the mixture starts to dry out.

Finally stir in the Spinach and cook until it has wilted down.

Turn off the heat and leave for five minutes.  Serve with boiled rice or Chapattis


HELLO CURRY LOVERS

Southampton has got some of the best curry houses around.
Here are three of my favourites

The Coriander Lounge  Below Bar in the city centre, this is a superb curry house, but it's always busy so you need to book!

Jewels Indian Restaurant  This is one of the finest Indian Restaurants I know. Jewel and his staff will make sure your visit is a memorable one, they even cater for people trying to lose a little weight.
The Restaurant is modern, fully air-conditioned and the food is superb!

Kuti's in Oxford Street, Southampton has been well established for many years and serves fine cuisine.
It is on two floors and is very popular. So check you can get a table before you leave home.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

SOUTHAMPTONS FLOATING BRIDGES

Not so many years ago, if you needed to get from Woolston to Southampton you had either to travel about 4 miles by road or cross the river Itchen by chain link ferry. As a young boy my dad would take me down to the slipway at Woolston and watch the Floating Bridge come in, drop it's landing platform and see the cars, pushbikes and people getting off. On one occasion i saw a young chap, who was obviously late, riding his bike for all his worth down the slipway, getting off and throwing his bike on the departing ferry, only to see it fall short and into the water. Although it only took four minutes to cross, as a young boy it was an exciting experience!
Now, sadly the days of the chainlink ferry are long gone and in it's place is the 'New Itchen Bridge'.
If you want to board one of the original Chainlink Ferries you can. It is now a restaurant called The Ferry Restaurant  The food is very good, it's only a small restaurant so you will probably need to book.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

COME ON YOU REDS

Another shining light in this great city is Southampton Football Club.
Under the guidance of Nicolas Cortese and  manager Nigel Adkins The Saints are currently riding high at the top of the Championship.
And to be fair, they fully deserve it, after watching them thump a resilient Brighton team 3-0 today.
Quite simply they are the best team by far, on the South Coast!

http://www.my-travel.me.uk/

Curry night 3

Prawn Curry with coconut

30g ginger cut into thin juliennes
1 medium onion
300g peeled cooked prawns
Salt to taste
4 tblsps veg oil
Half tsp Cumin seeds
6 Curry leaves
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
Quarter tsp chilli powder
1 green chilli sliced lengthways seeds removed
Half tsp turmeric
1 400g tin coconut milk
Small handful toasted Almond flakes

To Cook:
Heat oil in shallow pan
Add ginger, cumin seeds, Curry leaves
And fry for 15 secs
Add the onion and cook until soft
Add the rest of spices and chillies
Continue to cook on moderate heat for 5 minutes
Add coconut milk and prawns cook until prawns are done and add almond flakes
Serve with rice.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

SOUTHAMPTONS HISTORY

Just read a great article in the Southern Daily Echo about High Street and Bugle Street.
Really interesting, you will find it at: http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/heritage/9363832.Potted_history_of_city_s_major_streets/
Actually if you haven't visited old Southampton, you should make the effort.

Calling America.
Are there any people out there in America that are originally from Southampton UK?
Let me know and tell me about your memories.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Southampton to revive the Tram?

If its true, this is great news!
Apparently Southampton council is planning to restore an original city Tram that last saw service in the 1940's.
The plan is to run it from Old Southampton along the waterfront.

CURRY NIGHT 2

LAMB WITH SPINACH

400G Lean diced Lamb
200g spinach
1 onion chopped
6 garlic cloves 3 tomatoes
20g root ginger chopped
4 cloves
2 Black Cardomoms
5cm cinamom stick
5 tblsps Veg Oil
2 Bay Leaves
3 Green Chillies pierced
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1tblsp coriander
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Salt or to taste

To Cook

Fry the whole spices in oil for 30secs
Add onion and fry until golden 8-10 mins
Meanwhile blitz the toms, garlic and ginger with a little water in a blender until smooth
add the blended mixture to the pot along with all the powdered spices and salt
cook over moderate heat for ten minutes
add the lamb and saute over heat for five or six minutes
add enough water to cover meat bring to a boil and simmer with lid on for 60 mins or until lamb is tender.
using half a tblsp veg oil fry the green chillis for a minute drain with a slotted spoon and add to the curry with the Garam Masala, then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
by this time the sauce should be thick, if not cook uncovered over a high heat for a few minutes more.
Serve with Rice.

'til Dusk!

Want a great night out?
Try Goblets in. Southampton on 20th November.
Live music from Southamptons finest 'til Dusk.
It's a donation entrance fee.
'til Dusk are another reason to big up this city!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Southampton then and now

Just a very short Blog, to say that I met a book writer called Penny Legg at one of her signings. She has written a book about Southampton,Called "Southampton then & Now", which has got some amazing pictures in it.
So if your interested go out and buy it!

Armistice day

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The Larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and we're loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If he break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

John McCrae

Friday, 11 November 2011

CURRY NIGHT

Staying in tonight, how about a nice curry?
Try a Punjabi Chicken recipe, it's delicious!
You will need:
500g Chicken pieces bone in
15g ginger
8 cloves of garlic
4 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
2" piece of cinnamon
4 cloves
salt to taste
3-4 green chillies whole but pierced
1 large onion sliced
3 tomatoes
1 tbl spoon of ground coriander
1.5 tsps of ground cumin
half tsp turmeric
quarter tsp chili powder
handful of chopped coriander leaves

To Cook:
brown the onions well in 5 tablespoons of veg oil for about 8mins
meanwhile in a blender blitz the tomatoes, garlic and ginger with a little water until smooth
add the cardamoms, green chillies, cinnamon and cloves to the pot and cook for a further 2 mins.
remove skin from the chicken and add to the pot and brown for 5 mins.
add the blended ingredients powdered spices and salt  with half a  cup of water cook for a further 5 mins.
add enough warm water to come half way up the chicken and cook on a low heat for 20 mins or until the chicken is cooked turn off the heat and add the chopped coriander and serve.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

GODS HOUSE TOWER MUSEUM UPDATE!

I now know what has happened to the museum. Unfortunately it has closed and all the artefacts have been moved to the new Sea City Museum in the centre of Southampton.  If you want to know more about the museum click on the following link: Gods House Tower

So a brand new museum is built in the centre of Southampton with funds from who knows where and a museum that was housed in original old city walls is closed and mothballed!

Well done Southampton City Council again!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

SOUTHAMPTON

So, whats happened to The Gods House Museum? Can anyone tell me if it's still open. If it is then Southampton City Council are doing a great job advertising it, because i've not heard a thing about it for years! anybody know?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

SPITFIRE MEMORIAL

The Spitfire memorial looks like it will finally be built, providing funding is in place, it will give us all something else to be proud of in this great city. Over the next few years, the waterfront area, near the Royal Pier is also going to be redeveloped, lets hope the planners get it right!
Lets hope it is built in such a way, that it brings tourism to Southampton, because at the moment, though it pains me to say it, Portsmouth's Gun Wharf Quays is the place to go.
I remember when Ocean Village was first developed into a commercial venture, it failed!
The new development is better, but it could have been a little more interesting, ie: more retail units, more eateries and maybe even more features which would reflect Southampton's Maritime history, like a Titanic Museum, Oh.. the City planners have already built it, in the centre of town!?

Changing the subject slightly, Labour leader David Miliband has come out in suppport of the St Pauls Cathedral protesters, God help us if he ever leads this country!

http://www.my-travel.me.uk

Monday, 31 October 2011

ANIMALS!

So, they've done it again! apparently some mindless morons have vandalised a monument to the memory of Sailors lost at sea. The monument which is in Southampton's cemetery was badly damaged along with some gravestones. How would they feel if it was the gravestone of there family? If they are evil enough to do these wicked things, then they probably wouldn't care! The authorities need to get hold of these idiots and teach them a lesson, not to try and understand why they have carried out these acts, but simply  to make them realise it is wrong!
It is disgusting!!

http://www.my-travel.me.uk

Thursday, 20 October 2011

OLD SOUTHAMPTON

Lost for something to do?
You could do worse than take a tour of the old city walls of Southampton. There is a lot of history here, all along the walls there are plaques explaining what was going on at various periods in time, it really is interesting.
There is a site Below Bar that is being excavated and was used as ancient wine vaults. Opposite The De Vere Grand Harbour Hotel is probably the best preserved stretch of Southampton's old walls, did you know that Southampton water used to come right up to these walls?
In the near future I shall be adding a page on my website dedicated to Southampton, check it out now, it may give you some holiday ideas.
My-Travel 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

POMPEY SPY SCANDAL

So Mike Hancock has been duped by a beautiful young Russian girl, for five years!She has now admitted having a five year affair with the Portsmouth MP. And no doubt has been gleaning information from him.
Now how many times, no matter which political party it is, has scandal reared it's ugly head?
Just how many of these dodgy politicians are there treating there job like a free ride to whatever or wherever?
If we delved deeply enough there wouldn't be anybody left to run the country!

CUNARD COP OUT!

How long before Cunard pull out of Southampton all together?
We have been very convenient  for many many years, now, for the sake of earning bigger bucks they intend to drop the name 'Southampton' from the stern of there vessels.
What a cop out, it feels like we have just been dropped without a care!
Let's hope they don't leave this great city we need Cunard and they need us!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

TUDOR HOUSE MUSEUM

We finally made it to Southampton Tudor House Museum on Sunday.
The house has been closed for a long time due to refurbishment work and I have to say they have made a very good job of it. When you go in, the first room you enter is the Banquet Hall where you get a ten minute audio introduction with special effects, (hope you're not frightened of ghosts).
After this, you are led through to the gardens and the rest of the house, via the very new Cafe.
The gardens are enclosed by some of the original old walls of Southampton, there is even a sea view. The rest of the house is full of interesting relics from the past. The best way to find out more is to visit, it's well worth the entrance fee!
Tudor House is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
In the coming weeks I shall be adding places of interest in Southampton to my website at My-Travel

Thursday, 13 October 2011

LEPE OF FAITH

Took a drive to Calshot Spit and Lepe on Sunday, wow! It was beautiful, the sun was out and the wind was blowing, ideal conditions for the boating enthusiasts.
We walked along the beach at Calshot all the way down to Calshot activities centre where we had a cuppa and a plate of chips (yum). The views were fantastic, could have stayed there all day.
Instead we drove another two miles along the coast to Lepe. We parked right on the front and luckily enough someone very kindly gave us there parking ticket otherwise it would have cost us £5!
Anyway had a nice walk along the front which took a bit longer coming back ads the wind had gotten a lot stronger.
It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and only 30mins from Southampton.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Fox is on the run

It wont be long now, Dr Fox will be out of work.
There is no doubt, something dodgy is going on, you just wouldn't take your mate to work.
And what's all this about Mr Merrity having business cards stating that he is an advisor to Dr Fox.
Get him out now Mr Cameron or do you know more than your letting on?

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

VERMIN!

That's all you can call them, Vermin!
In the local paper today was a story that disgusted me. Some utterly mindless thugs had daubed a Swastika on the cenotaph in Southampton and also spread excrement on it. It's time that something was done about this sort of thing, too many times in this country we have been subjected to this type of sick behaviour.
It is time to bring back real punishment so that when somebody does something illegal they get the sort of punishment that makes them think seriously about ever doing wrong again. Too many times they are let off with small fines or community service that is spread over a period to suit them or so as not to jeopardise there jobs.
Well I'm sorry, but if they do wrong then they should suffer the consequences of there actions!
Not so long ago two guys were handed four year sentences for inciting riots via Facebook, thankfully the riots didn't happen, but the intent was there, so to my mind the punishment fitted the crime!
Hooray! a judge that was not afraid to ruffle some feathers.
I think that I speak for a lot of people in this country, If you want to live here, then abide by our laws and show some respect for others.

Monday, 3 October 2011

COYR

Come on you reds!
One bright piece of Southampton is the football clubs, in fact it's positively beaming at the moment.
If you want a really good afternoon out with plenty of atmosphere then look no further than St Mary's Stadium.
Saints are currently top of The Championship and playing some super football, it's not so long ago that the club was staring into the abyss. A board that was more business than football did not really understand the passion of the game and whilst i agree you have to make sensible decisions to make sure the clubs books are balanced, you also have to take the odd risk!
Speculate to Accumulate!
The turning point for me was during our last season in the Premier league.
We were playing fairly good football, but somehow we managed to turn almost certain victories into last minute defeats. What we needed was an injection of new players, only one or two would have been enough, but no, our then Chairman Rupert Lowe would not take the risk for the sake of 'the Business'!
The rest is history, we now have a much brighter future and more solid foundation to build on.
Thank you Markus Leibherr.

Monday, 26 September 2011

WHINGING AGAIN

Here I go, whinging again. Now some time ago (about a year) there was an antisocial family living near my place of work in Southampton. They had made their neighbours lives hell, including dumping excrement in their garden, threats of violence etc. Eventually these people were evicted, but because of our laws they had to be re-housed! Fair enough you might think, they were re-housed in Millbrook, and hey ho they started all over again! More anti-social behaviour, with one of the children being arrested for theft. Once again they were evicted, these people deserve nothing because they do not respect anything or anyone.
So what happens? They are given £2,500 to help them on there way, oh and by the way, they will be re-housed, because our law says they must!

So who's got it right then?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Unions will never learn

OK, I know I'm moving away from my main theme here but, is it me or do other people think the same?
The world is in financial meltdown, thousands of peoples jobs are at risk here in the Uk because the
economy is struggling and yet, despite all of this, our wonderful Unions have decided to bring this country to a standstill!
WELL DONE!! That's really going to help things, in fact it is so shortsighted, I can't believe it!
Does anybody really think that this action is going to help?
It may be a short term fix for a few money grabbing egotistical Union bosses but in the long term it will  do more harm than good, please listen to common sense and ride this storm until things get better.
Don't let some power mad little idiots ruin this country!

Friday, 16 September 2011

SOUTHAMPTON OR LIVERPOOL?

Well can Southampton afford to share the cruising business with Liverpool?
It does seem a little unfair that we should get it all, after all that part of the country probably needs a little financial lift. We do quite well down here in Southampton, and lets face it, the Cruise industry has grown massively over the last decade. Where we have gone wrong is exactly what I have spoken about previously, we do not promote this city enough!
So come on lets give Liverpool some of the business and maybe work a little harder at bringing Southampton into the spotlight, with maybe just a little more imagination when it comes to the redevelopment of  the waterfront area.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

OUCH!!

Well, not much to write about this week, except Ham and Cheese!
On monday morning this week, I thought when i get home from work, I shall write my next blog.
Then it all went wrong for me, I decided to make some sandwiches to take to work. I opened the fridge door and bent to grab the Ham and Cheese from the bottom shelf and, Bang!!  My back went into spasm.
So that was that, I then spent the rest of the week horizontal and on pain killers.
I am still in some discomfort but fully intend to enjoy myself at the local curry house tonight, hopefully the odd glass of beer will numb the pain!
So as soon as I am fit and well I shall resume my bigging up of Southampton and hopefully getting some sort of feedback.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

THE QE2 MILE

The city council have done something positive at last! They have placed one of the anchors from the QE2 on the pavement in front of Holy Rood Church, Below Bar, Southampton.
It's all part of The QE2 Mile, which starts, I believe, from the park opposite the Cenotaph and leads all the way down to Southampton Water. Great idea!
I only know this, as there was a report on BBC'S South Today this evening, well done BBC.
In fact, even better, the anchor is directly opposite one of the best curry houses in the city 'The Coriander Lounge' you just have to go there, if you haven't already.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

SOUTHAMPTON AND SUPERMARINE

Did you know that the Spitfire was built here in Southampton at the Supermarine Factory in Woolston?
In fact the first test flights took off from Southampton Airport. Unfortunately production was moved after the factory was bombed by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Some of my family worked there, they were moved to another factory in Newbury, where it was thought to be safer.
If you want to learn more about the Spitfire why not visit Southampton Hall of Aviation in Albert Road South, Southampton, Hampshire SO1 1FR.
You might also be unaware that the famous Bouncing Bomb used by the Dambusters was tested in Southampton water.
Now then, where can you find all this information? Are there memorials to such events prominently displayed along Southampton Water? No!
Typical of Southampton Council, showing no pride in our cities history.
If you go to the shores of  the northern French coast, you will find several memorials depicting great events, which in turn brings a feeling of pride to the local area.
Come on Southampton show you care.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Old City Walls

If you've lived in Southampton all your life, have you ever toured the old city walls,
or looked round the art gallery, or any of the museums? If you have, but not in a long while, then perhaps you should think about doing it, because a lot has been done to bring Southampton's history to life.
All along Southampton's old city walls, you will find information about life in the city, hundreds of years ago. Why not visit the newly refurbished Tudor House Museum, well worth it!
Try the Duke of Wellington Pub  Positioned in Southampton's historic Bugle Street, the Duke of Wellington Pub has been a silent witness to many of the city's most famous events. The dark timbered building was originally built upon Norman vaults and cellars in 1220 and was first leased out to a Benedict Ace, one of the city's earliest mayors.

Monday, 29 August 2011

COME ON SOUTHAMPTON!

Well, I've lived in Southampton all my life and I love the city, but, we do not, do enough to promote it!
Portsmouth, though it pains me to mention it, has gone from a tired looking city on the surface of this great country to a shining light on the South Coast attracting thousands of tourists every year.
Now correct me if i'm wrong, but do we not have the largest cruise liner hub in the country and some of the best restaurants you will find, certainly better than our neighbours down the M27. We also have a lot of history to look at here.
So why is it that our local authorities choose not to promote this great city?
Do they not realize that to bring more tourism and more money into the city, you have to spend a little?
Have they not heard the term, Speculate to accumulate?