Tag Archives: vegan

Etiquette and Editors and Lifestyle Changes

I’m never quite sure about how to treat editors. I treat them politely, but it’s difficult knowing exactly how to do that. I was brought up not to use first names until I knew someone, but the simple use of Mr or Mrs or Miss or any other simple title is now a politically charged minefield with the capacity for causing great offence, so I try to avoid it.

Talking of that, did you know that the Post office had a set of stamps in 2002 that included a rabbit and the words “a new baby”. I have nightmares about using them on a parcel that goes to someone who, for one reason or another, finds it upsetting. It’s a great stamp for someone who just had a healthy baby but there are are a number of circumstances where it could cause offence.

Anyway, back to editors. Apart from the problem of how to address them, there is the problem of how to reply after they have either accepted or rejected something. I’ve seen mixed advice on this, including several opinions that editors have enough to do without extra emails.

I took that advice to start with, as I don’t want to cause extra work, but after a while it began to seem rude.

Several editors, including one who turned me down this week, go out of their way to tell you that they can’t, or won’t, offer help or advice on your work. Others do offer some comment, which is always a happy extra. I’m happy that they don’t comment (as it isn’t their purpose). I’m not so happy with the ones who make a big thing out of not commenting, as it seems slightly aggressive and negative. Which leaves us with the ones that do comment – it seems rude not to thank them. so I now do that. In general, the most helpful comments seem to come from people who are turning my work down.

That just leaves the question of whether writing anything but a submission looks like an attempt to suck up to an editor. I don’t have a clue about that one, and would be interested to hear from any editors or ex-editors out there who have a view.

I’ll stop there as I am planning a drive North and a pub lunch. They were things that I used to do without thinking eighteen months ago. Now, I’ve had to book, which means I need plans and timings, and I have had to read the website. We can now have a party of any size we like, don’t need to wear masks and don’t need to use track and trace. I have looked at the menu on line and see that they do vegan Fishless Fish and Chips with Crispy Quorn fish style fillets.

Why oh why oh why, as I so often find myself asking, do the producers of vegan food have to align it with meat? Why not just advertise battered slabs of tasteless crap served with chips and peas. Vegans are hardy souls, I’m sure they could take it on the chin with a description of what they are about to be given. Mentioning fish three times in a vegan menu description doesn’t make the Quorn sound better, it just makes me think of succulent flakes of fresh fish in crisp golden batter.

Stone on the Floor

 

 

Word, words, words…

I’ve just been doing my online grocery shop. We didn’t have a delivery lasy week as we were trying to use up some of the stuff we still have. You can soon build up a surplus if you order the minimum amount each week. We have, for instance, five peppers, which is more than enough for the coming week. That’s what happens when you order automatically each week and don’t plan your menus properly.

I noticed something new on the ASDA site today – plant-based coleslaw. Now, I know I’m not well up on modern terminology, but plant-based coleslaw”? It’s made, as I recall, from cabbage and carrots and mayonnaise. There are probably more complicated versions, but when I can be bothered to make it, that’s how I do it. Cabbage and carrot make up 95% of the recipe. I use spring onions, apples and sultanas depending on what is to hand. They, last time I looked, were all plants or from plants. You could eat it with bacon and there would still be enough plants in there to justify the description “plant-based”.

As with so many modern expressions, they are using it to cover something else up. In this case, I presume they have taken the eggs out but calling it “vegan” doesn’t portray a particularly cheery image. And “we are happy to use small foreign children as slave labour but don’t want to be cruel to British chickens” doesn’t quite have the right tone either.

So, as ever, we bend the language to the point of being inaccurate, and almost meaningless, in the pursuit of marketing. And marketing, as we all know, is not much different to lying, apart from a better defined career path. If you lie outside the marketing industry you may well become Prime Minister, as we have seen recently, but there are no guarantees.

For the featured photo I have used a picture of plant-based wheat.

Scone Chronicles XXVIII

Cafe Nero, Springfields Outlet Centre, Lincolnshire. A scone-free report.

We hadn’t expected much from the day as we had an electrician coming round to give us a quote and British Gas would only tell us it was between 8.00 and 1.00. Fortunately he texted ahead and arrived just after 9.00. The news was not good – we need to declutter a lot more before they can start ripping floorboards up to rewire.

That left us at a loose end by 10.00 so we set off to look for adventure, This is “adventure” as we now define it, rather than how we used to define it. Standing on one leg to put my trousers on is dangerous enough for me, so we set off to seek lunch and relaxation.

In the car we discussed our spending. Julia is feeling guilty about the amount she spends on herself – which is basically gym membership and hair appointments. She worked it out as £3,000 a year. She really is a bear of very little brain – cute but rubbish at mental arithmetic. The true cost of this spending was, as I pointed out, just £600 a year. Having saved us £2,400 I felt quite good about things. This also diverted attention from my eBay habit, which has been getting out of hand recently.

At Springfields we had a look round The Works and confirmed that the stock situation is woeful, before deciding to have a coffee. Considering our earlier conversation, this ironic as coffee is one of the hidden costs of modern life.

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Two Coffees

Cafe Nero seemed rather empty, to say it was lunch time.

The coffee – the cheapest they had, was just under £5 for the two of us. If we do that once a week it will cost us £250 in a year, which is a lot of haircuts.

We didn’t have anything to eat. The staff were neither good nor bad. They let dogs in. The one that came in whined a lot then dog and master went to sit outside. Fair enough – better than tying it up outside. Chairs are comfortable. Snacks looked well presented but we were saving our appetites so didn’t have anything.

They now have a vegan range, which seems to be the new fashion. You may be expecting some sarcastic comment about vegans, evolutionary dead ends and modern fashions, but you will be disappointed. I like vegans.

Though I couldn’t eat a whole one.

Cafe Nero Vegan Menu

Cafe Nero Vegan Menu

The sound you hear when viewing the vegan menu is that of a bandwagon being jumped on. Once Gregg’s went for the vegan sausage roll, everyone followed.

All in all, nothing to rave about and nothing to complain about. It’s a more leisurely atmosphere than Costa Coffee further down the centre, and I enjoyed the break.