How to make the perfect Angel Delight

You want something delicious and light … a dessert that won’t make you feel like you’ve gobbled down a pile of bricks. Angel Delight.

What’s your flavour? Quite a few to choose from so choose wisely. Choosing a flavour can be just as stressful as choosing an outfit for your best friends wedding. Take a deep breath, relax and let your senses guide you.

 

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How do you make the perfect Angel Delight? Here are 10 easy steps to make the delightful dessert:

  1. Grab a bowl and pour in some milk. Make sure you use cold milk straight out the fridge. Pull out a thermometer and make sure the white stuff is below 8 degrees Centigrade. You don’t want your delightful dessert having cheesy off flavours so use cold fresh milk!

  2. Rip open the sachet of Birds Angel Delight making sure you don’t spill a drop of the mix. The powdered mix is like gold dust so handle with care.

  3. Carefully pour the powdered mix it onto the milk … pouring too fast may well produce puffs of Angel Delight smoke and inhaling will make you sneeze uncontrollably. Snot and Angel Delight is a No No!

  4. Beat it! Pull out that whisk and beat it. Show that mixture no mercy and beat it into submission until it’s as light as an empty Corn Flake box.

  5. After the beating you’ve dished out to the mixture, place it in the fridge and allow it to recover.

  6. Serve. If you have the the proper Angel Delight serving dish then spoon it into one of these. If not then get your hands on some other serving vessel. The retrohen team recommend a nice bone china bowl. Don’t spoil the dessert in the final stretch by serving in a coffee stained mug!

  7. Spoon dive. Clean spoon required (free from clumps of sugar or dried on coffee stains). Enter at a 45 degree angle and glide into your mouth.

  8. Enjoy. Feel the lightness of your creation on your tongue. Keep going … keep that spoon dive going at a constant easy pace until the bowl is empty.

  9. Don’t lick the bowl! It may be tempting but remember you’re not a dog. Angel Delight is classy so show some respect. If you do end up licking the bowl then Angel Delight is really not your thing … sell your house and go live in a Kennel instead!

  10. Self praise. If you’ve made it this far then give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve done it! Making the perfect Angel Delight takes strength and skill. Go on … boast about your achievement to your friends. You’ve done it … Jolly well done to you!

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Battle of the Lyrics – a short tribute to Old School Hip-Hop

YOU’RE UP! It’s your time to shine. Take a deep breath and let the lyrics flow from the depths within you. The first flow of lyrics comes out of your mouth smooth … just how you’d planned … no need to rush. The crowd start nodding their heads in approval. The second flow of lyrics flying off your tongue are hard and dirty. You planned it that way … start off smooth then hit it hard and dirty. The crowd start to cheer whilst bobbing their heads to the lyrics you are flinging back at your opponent. Someone in the crowd starts Beatboxing. Spurred on by the deep bass beatbox, the third flow of  lyrics comes spewing out your mouth. You feel droplets of sweat running down your back as you relentlessly fired out harder and dirtier lyrics. The lyrics are personal … his mum gets mentioned and his lack of lyrical skills are highlighted during your assault. The crowd laugh, the beatbox continues and your opponent is rooted to the concrete speechless and bewildered. The Freestyle Battle. The battle is only for the brave. Your opponent paid the price for slack, loose lyrics. His delivery was poor, his lyrics were the same ones he’d used previously and now he’s standing there rooted to the spot, sweating … looking like a beaten down punk.

You heard that a guy from Def Jam Records was in the crowd. You hoped you impressed. Freestyle battling on the street is good but that ain’t gonna put food on the table. You’re young and hungry … you want to be snapped up by one of the big record labels. You go home and fling Critical Beatdown on the turntable. You inhale Kool Keith’s lyrics whilst kicking back with a fat one rolled up. The track ‘Ego Trippin’ comes pounding out the speakers … your favourite track. You bob your head whist continuing to inhale Kool Keith’s tight flow.

 

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Flick through the record collection … JVC Force … you consider it but tonights not the night to do damage. BDP … maybe but KRS One is maybe a bit too full on right now. Ice T … not quite right for tonight but this cold rapper is living proof that rhyme certainly pays. Public Enemy … Chuck is cool but tonight it’s a no to Yo Bum Rush the Show. Just-Ice is a strong contender … Kool and Deadly is raw and dirty … maybe that’s what’s needed to get in shape for the next freestyle battle. Flick through some more … Run DMC, EPMD, LL Cool J, Doug E Fresh, Stetsasonic, Steady B, NWA, Mantronix … yes Mantronix! No rhymes just beats for tonight as King of the Beats pounds out of the speakers. It’s a good choice … the right choice … a break and much needed rest from the lyric slinging.

 

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The sun slowly goes down. You stare out the window blurry eyed and consider what tomorrow will bring. Who’s up next in the freestyle battle? Will you get that call from the record company? Today was a good day … you won the crowd and kept things tight … but tomorrow is another day and things can flip … one day untouchable but the next day verbally slapped down in the freestyle concrete jungle. Still you know the battle must go on … the stakes are high. You feel your eyes shutting. Mantronix is no longer pounding out the speakers. All is silent. A smile appears on your face as you mentally rewind to the earlier battle. It was a good day.

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Retro Reflect

What does retro mean to us? It’s a question I’ve been considering for the past few weeks. To many of us it could mean spotting a Ford Granada cruising down the street … having recollections of when you were once the proud owner of one of those 4 Star leaded petrol guzzling beasts. It could mean putting on an old record (maybe an LP … 33rpm), sliding it onto the turntable, then hearing the crackle of needle connecting with vinyl  before the first song rumbles out of the speakers. It could even mean sliding into a pair of Flairs or Bell Bottom Jeans.

Whilst considering retro (the Why, What and How’s) the thought suddenly struck me … retro is all around us! We are surrounded by retro … we can’t avoid it. Retro is like like a ghost … we may think it was killed off many, many years ago but the retro spirit still floats around in our homes, shops and on us! There’s no escaping the spirit of retro.

This spirit was evident to me a few weeks ago. It all started on the high street when my partner and I went into a shoe shop. As I strolled around breathing in the the fresh aroma of leather and rubber, I saw a cluster of retro ghosts displayed immaculately on the shelves … Adidas Samba, Adidas Gazelle, Puma Roma and ghostly brands such as Diadora, Gola and Dunlop. I stood rooted to floor and starred. ‘Didn’t we bury these lot back in 1984?’ Credit due … for training shoes that were resurrected from back in the 80s, they looked pretty stylish.

 

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On another occasion, I noticed a ghostly retro spirit parked in the car park about 6 cars away from my modern motor. This particular ghostly spirit sat proudly between the parking lines. Again I was rooted to the ground as I starred at the Ford Cortina. ‘Didn’t we lay the Cortina to rest back in about 1985?’  Just at that moment the owner of the ghostly Cortina approached. I smiled at him and said ‘Nice car man’. The owner was a slim guy who looked like he had just been let loose from 6th Form. ‘Thanks man’ was his reply before he jumped in, slammed the door and started up his retro motor.

Whilst on the subject of cars, the Fiat 500 comes to mind … Funky, Chic, Sexy and Uncomplicated … retro-ness engulfed in coolness. Again the thought came to me … ‘I’m sure this vehicle was put to rest back in the mid 1970s?’ I did a quick piece of research and my suspicions proved to be correct … it was put to rest in the mechanical graveyard in 1975 but sightings of the resurrected ghostly spirit began in 2007!

 

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I recently went into a local electrical/domestic appliance shop and I honestly felt I was being whisked into the 1960’s. Toasters, Fridge Freezers, Kettles, Cookers, Washing machines … all with retro designs!

I’ve even gobbled up some retro food recently … Rum Babas. Let me explain. I first came across Rum Babas back in 1987 during my time at Baking College. I loved them …   sponge soaked in Rum … delightful! When I’d finished my Baking course in 1989, Rum Babas disappeared out of sight and out of the supermarkets. I forgot about them … nice whilst they lasted but good things always have a knack of coming to an end. Whilst recently in my local supermarket I spotted them … they had been dead for 28 years and now they reappear in the chilled cabinet with the posh cakes! Of course I bought some and they taste even better than they did in 1989. Rum Babas are now a regular in my shopping basket. I do ask myself the question of ‘How many Rum Babas do I need to gobble up before I fail the breathalyser test?’ Best grab an Uber to be on the safe side I guess.

While digesting all the retro-ness I’ve recently come across, I looked at myself in the mirror. I pinched my cheeks to check that I was still in the land of the living and not a ghost … luckily I think I’m still very much alive. As I continued to look at myself, I dwelled on the Afro I’ve been sporting for the last 5 years. Then I dwelled on  the Sideburns I have been sporting for the last 3 years. The conclusion … I am Retro!

Retro is all around us. It blends in with all the latest up to date clothing, household appliances and our everyday lives. Let’s face it … we live in a retro age! We like retro and retro likes us. The retro ghosts are alive and kicking but there’s no need to be afraid. Embrace the retro and ride the waves of retroness.

 

 

 

I am …

Marmite. Love me or hate me, I am what I am. I’m short and chubby not tall. I’m dark but not handsome. I am what I am. I’m real not fake … what you see is what you get. I’m not sweet … no mention of that ‘butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’ rubbish when I’m the subject matter.

 

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Out & About

At a social gathering you’ll find me leaning against the bar, clocking others whilst in my own world. A few minglers may come over have a chat with me and then swiftly disappear with a look of ‘Never again!’ on their screwed up faces. Others may come over and spend the whole evening admiring me, taking in every word that flows from the depths of my chubby tummy. They like me. They adore me. They don’t want to leave me … even when they  dash off for a call of nature they come back wanting more. They are addicted.

 

Lovers & Haters

I have many lovers and I have as many haters. ‘Focus on the lovers’ I tell myself. I comfort the lovers and they always come back for more. Lovers always leave feeling comforted, reassured and happy. I see myself as the counsellor with attitude … I don’t tell my lovers what they want to hear, I tell them what they need to hear hard and straight to the point … I have no time for nonsense. My lovers always come back for more.

My haters are losers. They have a real dislike of me. I hear rumours of them recalling their first encounter with me … ‘Disgusting, Vile, Poison, Moody and Arrogant’ are some of the descriptors used in an attempt to ruin my reputation. The haters fail in their attempt and I just keep focused on the lovers … my lovers.

Future Plans

I’m not going to change my personality! I am what I am. I like who I am. I’m number #1 so why try harder? I’m old school … I tell it as it is … I have attitude … if you don’t like me then you can take a running jump! I’m real … I won’t tell you that everything is fine to your face then disrespect and gossip about you when your back is turned … I’ll tell you as it is … to your face! I am what I am … Marmite.

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Make That Call – BT on call

IT’S your birthday. You jump with excitement as you hear the sound of the letterbox slamming. Dash downstairs to scoop up the scattered mail on the hallway floor. Rip open the envelopes at relentless speed and read the messages in your birthday cards. You instantly recognise the writing on the envelope of this particular card … Aunt Suzy. You grin with delight as you rip open the envelope to reveal not only a birthday card but also a rather generous cheque received from your favourite Auntie.

How do you thank Aunt Suzy? Flowers? Chocolates? After a few minutes of deliberation the answer is clear. No need to splash out on flowers or chocolates … it’s good to talk and Aunt Suzy would love to hear your voice. The answer is to give Aunt Suzy a call and show your appreciation. The phonebox is only a short stroll down the street.

 

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Fling on your jacket, head out the door and stride down the street.

Luckily you can see that the phonebox is vacant from a distance and you quicken your stride to make sure no one beats you to it in the final straight. You get there, swing open the door and pull out a note with Aunt Suzy’s phone number from your back pocket. You hear the healthy dialling tone when you lift up the receiver and begin dialling those digits.


It’s ringing and after a few more rings you hear the ‘Hello’ from Aunt Suzy. Before you have a chance to respond to Aunt Suzy’s greeting, an annoying series of beeps belts into your ear. You had totally forgot about getting your coins ready to slot into the phonebox to make the call. You frantically twist and shake with one hand down the front pocket of your trousers trying to dig out the loose coins. You manage to dig out a couple 10p coins and frantically slide one into the pay slot.

‘Hello it’s me … How are you?’

‘Hello my lovely. I can’t grumble. How are you? Are you having a nice day? Happy birthday my love.’

‘Thank you Aunt Suzy … I’m having a great day thanks … and thank you for the card and cheque.’

‘You’re welcome my love. How you getting on with Sandra? She’s a lovely girl.’

‘Ohh you mean Sonia? We broke up a last year … things just weren’t working out.’

‘That’s a shame my love … Sandra was such a nice girl … I could tell she came from a decent home and was brought up with good manners. Not to worry, there’s plenty more fish in the sea. What you having for dinner? We’re having a nice piece of Rump Steak from Marks … Jeff loves a nice piece of steak with not too much fat on it. He’s out cutting the grass at the moment so he’ll be ready for a good feed afterwards. Any chance you can get back with Sandra?’

‘Sonia! No Aunt Suzy … No chance!

‘That’s a real shame. I had a friend at school called Sandra … she was such a good friend … always had a stream of snot coming out her nose … it was lucky that I always carried a hankie.’

Those annoying beeps kick in and you abruptly end the call. You trudge off with your heart beating twice as fast than when you first stepped into the tall red box. You giggle to yourself as you think about the randomness of Aunt Suzy. Just a quick simple call as made her day and provided her with enough gossip to last for the next 5 days!

It’s good to talk. Sometimes we don’t get to talk as much as we’d like. Sometimes we just need to listen. Whatever the occasion don’t hesitate … just make that call.

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Flexible Friend

BEING weighed down by the amount of cash in your wallet? Maybe your purse is looking rather fat and feeling rather weighty due to the large wad of cash.

Carrying lots of hard cash around can be like going for a tedious workout at the gym … it’s painful and sweaty. I’ve seen guys with their trousers almost down to their knees due to the weight of their wallet. I’ve also seen women with lopsided shoulders caused by the weight of cash in their handbags.

What’s needed is some weight relief. We need to kick bulky wallets and falling down trousers into touch! We don’t want to see women looking like The Leaning Tower of Pisa! The answer to the weighty cash problem is the Access card!

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Leave the cash in the bank or under your mattress and slip an Access Card in your wallet or purse. You’ll feel the difference straight away … less stress on the heart, your trousers will stick to your waist and you’ll be walking as straight as a freshly trained Soldier! The benefits are swift.

The Access Card makes things so easy. Need to fill up on some 4 Star Leaded Fuel? Pull out the Access Card and pay easily and swiftly. Drive off chuffed that you didn’t need to fight through a wad of notes to pay.

Seen a nice chunky bit of bling in the Jewellers that you can’t resist? Flick out the Access Card and snap it up! Walk away with a Cheshire Cat smile knowing that the battle of the purse bulge did not occur.

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The Access Card will change your life forever. No more making sure you have a Cheque Book and a Guarantee Card before you head to the shops. Simplicity is the name of the game and the Access card is all about keeping your life simple.

The Access card is your no nonsense, space saving, lightweight, reliable, flexible friend. It’s a friend for life not just for Christmas. Embrace and enjoy the Access Card … Your Flexible Friend.

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Hold it!!!

I would dread it! My body would tremble at the thought of heading into the grey chilly cubicle. I would try to hold out until the bell at 3.30pm … hold my breath and clench my buttocks. Time check … 2pm … only an hour and a half to hold on. Can I make it? No … Yes … maybe … 

Keep clenching, take slow deep breaths … in out … don’t think about it … think about Jackanory … think about the making it home and finding relief in the smallest room in the house.

It’s no good, I give into the sensation and my hand shoots up requesting permission to head to the Cubicle of Pain.

I enter the cubicle of pain like a boy heading into the headmasters office for 6 of the best. I enter and my enemy is there innocently hanging from the dispenser roll. I shake as I hesitantly lock the door behind me and drop my trousers before carefully placing my bum on the chilly black toilet seat.

Business completed … arrrhhh relief. I shiver as I know this is when the innocent looking enemy bursts into life and inflicts punishment that will torment me for hours. I reel off a strip and my hand shakes like I’m receiving an electric shock from having just shaken hands with The Joker. I wipe … I cringe as the feeling of sandpaper runs on my bum. One strip is not enough and I reel off another strip … more pain … sandpaper (coarse grade) inflicting more pain on my chilly innocent bum.

I exit the cubicle of pain walking like I’ve been shot in the bum. I get back to my desk and sit down gingerly. I can hear my torturer on the roll giggling away in the distance. 

Where was the Andrex dog to save my bum? 

Dr Izal you are wicked! You showed no remorse and the pain from your torture session lasted for hours. Dr Izal … you should be struck off from the National Association of Toilet Paper Suppliers. You should be banned from all school toilets! Dr Izal your surgery should should be shut down and replaced with the Soft, Long and very Strong toilet paper practice. Dr Izal I’m glad I’ll never ever step foot in your cubicle of pain again!

The Master Baker

Shortcrust pastry baked to perfection. The Sponge is incredibly light and golden. You’ll begin salivating once the aroma of the cakes baking in the oven drifts up your nostrils. The baked items are are then decorated superbly … the Jam, super fruity … the fondant, super smooth. The fruit fillings, delicious! This farmhouse kitchen is hidden away in a small village in the beautiful English countryside. The farmhouse kitchen packed with the finest ingredients to make perfect confectionary items. 

The bakers of these fine items of confectionery is a bit of a mystery …  No one has ever seen them. How many master bakers are hard at work in the farmhouse kitchen? Where did they learn their trade? Is it a family business? Will they ever show their dazzling baking skills on the Great British Bake Off? So many questions but still a mystery.

The aroma of the perfectly baked confectionery engulfs the village. The village locals take a sneaky peek through windows of the farmhouse kitchen whilst ‘passing by’. Many of the sneaky peekers see no one but a few of them describe seeing a man through the steamy kitchen Windows. Some describe him as being in his 60s kitted out in bakers uniform. Others say they saw him haunched over the worktop whilst expertly rolling out pastry. A couple other locals say they caught a glimpse of him carefully pouring fondant over some cutely cut sponge pieces. It seems like we are dealing with a gent whom is highly skilled.


What type of delights come out from this farmhouse kitchen? Scrumptious French Fancies, … Bakewell Tarts that you’ll be dreaming about … Apple Pies that’ll make you rub your tummy … Jam Tarts that you’ll be munching on during your final feast … his Manor House Cake is splendid for when special guests are expected (The Queen, President, Prime Minister, Mother in-law to be). 

Baker extraordinaire … he’s the undisputed champion who’s always on top form. His performance is consistent. He works hard to delight us with his fine confectionery and he never fails to delight. This Baker extraordinaire makes exceedingly good cakes. 

Eric Wimp is Bananaman

HUMBLE ERIC. He may look like an ordinary schoolboy but looks can be deceiving. Eric … he has a high pitched voice that may conjure up the word ‘wimp’ in your mind … you would not be wrong as Eric’s surname is Wimp! We can find Eric Wimp at 29 Acacia Road. The world needs Eric. When Eric gobbles down a Banana he’s transformed into to a muscle bulging, toothy, cloak wearing superhero. Humble Eric is transformed into Bananaman.

 

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Batman … far to serious and spends far too much time in his man cave … not really up for a giggle either. Superman … he’s far too busy chasing Lois and turns into a useless mess once a chunk of Kryptonite goes flying his way. Now when it comes to Bananaman, we’re onto a winner. Watch him unconventionally claw his way through the sky whilst dashing to a crime scene. His arrival at a crime scene is not usually subtle … smashing though a wall or roof is typical of the arrival of our fruity superhero. Once at the crime scene, Bananaman would stand bold, display his toothy smile and track down the villains using his Banana power or one of his Banana gadgets. Villains would try to outwit, out-muscle and out-trick Bananaman and fail. One particular villain, The Weatherman, thought he had the better of Bananaman when he zapped him with his ice gun, but he did not account for Bananaman’s electronic thermal underwear! Ice melted and Bananaman saves the world.

 

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The fact is that Bananaman is not the sharpest knife in the cutlery draw. He keeps things uncomplicated and gets the job done. His disguises are … well … non existent … his report would would read ‘must try harder’ when it comes to disguises. The thing with Bananaman is that he makes crimefighting fun. Many of us when shrivel up like Slug dosed with Salt if we had to fight notorious criminals. Bananaman takes his responsibility as a superhero seriously but has lots of fun along the way and always has THAT huge smile on his face.

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So who you gonna call when the villains are causing havoc? 999? Batman? Superman? Reading this blog hopefully will make you see sense. There’s only one person to call … Eric. As long as Eric has a Banana nearby, his response time is immediate. Who else gets guarantees results? Who else has a huge grin on his face whilst out dealing with villains? Bananaman. You know it makes sense.

Routemaster 

JUMP on … jump off.  The Number 12 bus … final destination … Dulwich, East London. He was swift. If you’re quick you’ll catch him. Even as he pulled away from the bus stop you had a good chance of catching him. Health and Safety equals non existent when it comes to the No. 12. The No.12 is retro. The No.12 is one of many Routemasters.

You always had a chance of jumping on the Routemaster. If you saw him pulling away from the bus stop, you would leg it and jump on. Catching the Routemaster was actually good training for the Long Jump. As you spot your target slowly pulling away from the bus stop, you burst into a sprint … as you approach the rear platform (entry/exit platform) of the bus you leap forward making sure you grab hold of the safety pole. Your momentum spins you around (180 degrees) as you keep hold of the safety pole. Success! You climb the stairs, take a seat on the top deck and enjoy the ride.

Want to get off? Getting off requires a bit more skill and judgement … especially if the Routemaster was still in motion. Instructions for getting off a Routemaster travelling at 17 mph:

1. Stand on the rear entry/exit platform with one hand on the safety pole.

2. Ensure that’s you have enough clearance (enough runway space for landing).

3. Leap off as if you’re about to break into a sprint.

4. Once you’ve landed safely, your heels will be in close proximity to the back of your neck due to your momentum. This is perfectly normal.

5. Once your momentum has died down, stride normally to your destination.

The Routemasters were fun. I miss the days of the Hop, Skip and Jump when catching them. I smile when I recall almost landing flat on my face whilst perfecting the art of jumping off. The Routemasters made you into an elite athlete (Long Jump, Triple Jump, 100 metre sprint).

The gradual decommissioning of the Routemaster means the my fitness levels have dropped. The gradual decommissioning has meant that I’ve got to splash out on a gym membership. Retro style fitness does not begin at the gym, it begins with a Hop, Skip, Jump and ends with a perfectly timed leap of faith.