Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A bad penny....

Sometimes, someone reappears, and reminds you all over again what damage they wreaked in a former period of time.

Thus it is with 'Baroness' Julia Cumberlege.

She was asked by a previous Tory Government to produce a report on Maternity services, her committee sounded the death knell for General Practice Maternity care. All up and down the country small GP maternity units closed, despite any cogent arguments that they were dangerous. It was a sad day for General Practice when this happened.

Now, like a bad penny, she has re-emerged with her latest wheeze - personal budgets for maternity care. This is clearly designed to be an adjunct to the Health and Social Care Act of 2012, which is about the fragmentation of Maternity Services, to enable further sell-offs to the private sector.

This is, frankly, another bad idea which has been dressed up in the clothes of 'freedom of choice' for expectant mothers. Cue much 'personal midwives and continuity of care' bullshit. It is simply a tool to advance the privatisation agenda, as the personal budgets will quickly need co-payments to make them affordable.

Another nail in the coffin of the NHS by a Conservative Party placewoman. She is known to dislike the NHS, so who better to produce this kind of garbage.

It makes me so depressed......


It's February, so for a few weeks the Seville oranges are available to make marmalade. I've always enjoyed making marmalade. I don't save money doing it, it doesn't really save any time. For me it is therapy!

The fruit

This year's first batch is four fruit marmalade - oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit, and here is a picture of the fruit ready to be cut, squeezed, peeled, de-pithed and generally prepared. It is hard work, but it is rather pleasant to have your hands smelling of citrus!

Here is the boiling pan, with a muslin bag containing all the pith and pips. The finely shredded skin is on the surface.

Boiling the fruit.

Hours and hours later, and boiling the mixture frenetically gives you your marmalade, which needs to be poured into jars and sealed (and labelled - I'll get around to that later!)

14 jars of heaven!

However, what it is all about is the flavour, and the freshness, and the enjoyment of making something that is properly home-made. The marmalade is a little runny (despite using the pectin from the fruit, jam sugar, and a sachet of extra pectin), so any suggestions in letting me know how to get my marmalade more solid would be gratefully received.