Category Archives: Carol Ann Taylor

Retired No One Told Me! …Weekly roundup… The Pink Ape, Limestone Karst and Obesity…

Retired No On Told Me! Weekly Roundup

Welcome to my weekly roundup which I hope you are enjoying so get your favourite cuppa, sit down put your feet up and enjoy.

This week we are starting with a fruit which many of you are not familiar with the Pomelo fruit…much larger than the grapefruit but very similar just without the bitterness and one which makes a lovely salad.

Pomelo Salad

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/fruity-fridays-pomelo/

Next, we have The Charade which is a tale of mystery and intrigue the plot of which is being published chapter by chapter. Co-written with the lovely Steph ( SC Richmond) who you may be familiar with …Can I ask that you all say a little prayer for her as things are tough for her at the moment and she could do with some TLC.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/01/the-charade-chapter-21/

Moving on I have taken you for a trip around some of my favourite London Markets.

London Markets

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/london-the-markets-covent-garden-and-more/

After my favourite markets what could be more fitting than some street food…The Best of British…Pie, Mash and Liquor….Stewed eels anyone ???

eel-563941_1280

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/the-best-of-british-pie-mash-and-liquor/

Then it is a little tale about my experience of eating my first Salt Water Taffy and experience which I do not particularly want to repeat it was nothing to write home about but write about it I did..very unremarkable.

Salt Water Taffy( 3)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/salt-water-taffy-by-carol-ann-taylor/

It was then the turn of the USA and my trawl through some countries which we are all familiar with and their place on an obesity chart… I couldn’t help myself … I had a little rant…I really am not a fan of greedy manufacturers and governments and I think I may well have expressed my displeasure just a tad…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/healthy-eatingno-more-dietsobesity-around-the-world-the-us/

After all that exertion I took you on a long tail boat ride to a lovely Sea Gypsy Village in Thailand. the beautiful village of Koh Panyee.

houses on stilts Koh Panyee

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/travel-thailand-the-beautiful-sea-gypsy-village-of-koh-panyee/

It was then over to my weekly cookery column over at Sally’s and this week it was my favourite Lamb dishes…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-lucious-lamb/

Finally, it was another story from my archives The Pink Ape one of my favourites little stories and one I really enjoyed writing…I do hope you enjoy it also please let me know what you think…

The Pink Ape

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/the-pink-ape-by-carol-ann-taylor/

That’s all for now until tomorrow when it is Fruity Fridays…Will it be another exotic fruit or will it be a familiar favourite????

If you enjoyed this post then please reblog  or share on your social media x

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time x

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The Pink Ape by Carol Ann Taylor.

The Pink Ape

While attending a writers retreat we were sometimes given prompts and 25 minutes to write:  This story comes from one such prompt we were asked to pick three pieces of paper just like a lucky dip and the 3 words were our prompts… Mine was Uruguay, Retired Prostitute and Gracious. These were my first prompts for the second I received “Who is that colourful character.” which was another prompt to be written on the return from our trip which was to Koh Panyee a village floating on the water, supported on bamboo stilts.

For my colourful character, I chose a fictional Pink ape and decided I would merge the two stories into one as he seemed to take a life all of his own…

The Pink Ape.

Prompt: Uruguay, Retired Prostitute and gracious.

 

Greta was en-route from Uruguay after a particularly arduous, fruitless trek through the forest lands bordering the Uruguay River on yet another frustrating excursion. No Pink Ape anywhere to be seen.

Ever since Greta had read an article in a wildlife magazine about Jungle Jim and his search for the Pink Ape she had fantasized that she would be the first to find him. Jungle Jim’s father had spotted and nearly captured The Pink Ape in the early 50’s and it was on one such expedition that his father had disappeared without a trace.

As soon as Jungle Jim finished his schooling he packed his rucksack and started his search, hoping to find his father and the Pink Ape.

Since reading this Greta had contacted Jungle Jim and had been funding his trips ever since.

It was now becoming an expensive pastime or indeed Greta was in her own words becoming obsessed; intent on being the first person to find a Pink Ape.

Jungle Jim though appeared to be on a mission, which involved relieving her of her hard-earned cash as fast as he could. Time after time she found herself on another wild goose chase.

Greta gracious to the last could not get angry with Jim but her ever-decreasing bank balance was plummeting downwards at great speed.

Bump! The plane landed. Walking across the hot, melting tarmac, the sun blazing down she saw Jungle Jim waiting.

“Greta, I have another great lead, this one’s a dead cert.”

“Come on Jim, no more, I have no funds left for another trip.”

“This one’s kosher, a definite sighting.”

Greta sighed….A Pink Ape.

The widow of one of the world’s richest men and now it was all but gone on her quest. Greta, however, was not one to give up.

Imagine the headline…..Widow of John. D. Rockingchair finds elusive “Pink Ape”

The ringing of her phone interrupted her thoughts “Hello”…she listened…sighed….” How much? Where?”

One must do what one must to find the Pink Ape, she thought.

To be continued:

The Pink Ape ( Part Two)

Prompt: Who is that colourful character.

 

Shelving her quest for a while Greta decided to join a group of friends on a Writers Retreat for some much-needed relaxation and writing.

Annie the host had organized trips out and other innovative ways of stretching their imaginations. It worked. The little band of scribes wrote, the words flowing from their pens.

The writers had a workshop on the beach,  watched slides, picked words from an envelope, closed their eyes and stabbed their fingers to somewhere randomly on a map. All of this inspired the writers to write and write they did with abandon.

One day Greta and her writer friends were going to Koh Panyee a village floating on the sea, the houses supported on bamboo stilts, another inspirational trip.

The day began with yoga and breakfast, Greta’s was a Thai omelette and a fruit platter,  soon it was time to go.

A slightly overcast day, grey and black clouds chasing each other across the sky as the writers set off on another adventure, a trip to get their thoughts flowing, exciting, so much fun. Into the bus, they clambered chattering away like magpies.

Soon they arrived at Sarasin Bridge, through the checkpoint, leaving the island of Phuket behind. Our tour guide Toon told tales of lovers who jumped into those waters many years ago. A story of forbidden love ending tragically is the bridges most legendary love story.

Just as in that other famous tale of forbidden love, Romeo & Juliet, the lovers made their way to Sarasin Bridge and with a loincloth, they tethered themselves to each other, one last emotional clinch and they jumped. When their bodies were finally recovered, it is said that they were still locked in their deathly embrace.

Arriving at the port the writers alighted from the bus, trooped across the dusty road, a quick wee and some impromptu hat shopping. Time to go, some climbing awkwardly, particularly Greta, onto the boat, ready for the journey, away they chugged, spray refreshing on their faces; towards their destination.

Calm and peaceful they passed imposing limestone karst rising majestically out of the emerald green sea; on the opposite banks, a total contrast, and Mango swamps eerie but beautiful. Greta shivered involuntarily imagining snakes and who knows what else lurking within. Maybe even a Pink Ape.

Suddenly the village appeared, brightly coloured shacks mixing with others, weathered and worn. Wandering through little Soi’s delighting at the beautiful pearls fashioned into necklaces, bracelets and earrings, dried fish, spicy, sweet mixes, wooden carvings of elephants. Those frogs that made a croaking sound when you ran the stick down its back, beautiful batik lovingly fashioned, much to see and delight at.

Amongst it all daily life meandered slowly alongside, men mending fishing nets, old ladies asleep in the doorways of their house or chattering in little groups, small boys laughing and swimming in the murky water below us, while Greta just imagined what dangers lurked in those same waters.

What was that? A quick movement had caught her eye, was that a flash of pink?

Greta turned. Nothing!

The air hot, humid; Greta’s need for water and sustenance was now a must, Greta made her way over uneven boards to a small restaurant to join her fellow writers. Plate after plate of delicious food was carried out to their table by a smiling Thai lady.

Tummy’s full of curried crab, prawns, fried rice and morning-glory, fingers smelling of that curry, but, Oh, What fun to eat.

Sadly, the time had come to leave this village floating on bamboo poles; rain which had threatened to fall all day finally came down. Moving inside the restaurant to escape the downpour the gang of scribe’s… people watched and dreamed of what they would write. Suddenly a small child unable to get his way erupted…what a tantrum, his mother tried to reason with him, that didn’t work and then exasperated she smacked him…Did he stop? Oh No!

He was in full flight.

Along came daddy, picked him up and cuddled him. Mum’s face was a picture and one which those of us with children could relate too…Oh Yes!

The rain had eased, into the boat they climbed, tired, ready for the journey home. Skillfully navigating the receding waters, the long tail boat moved swiftly with its now familiar chugging sound, they were homeward bound.

How busy this channel was now, lots of boats backwards and forwards, happy tourists, waving at all and sundry.

The tide now low, exposed the roots of the mangroves, creepy and beautiful.

Settling back, totally relaxed… A flash of pink caught Greta’s eye.

Sitting, waving from a gnarled branch was Jungle Jim the ever elusive Pink Ape draped around his neck!

The End.

I hope you enjoyed my tale about the Pink Ape if so please consider reblogging or sharing.

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time x

 

The Charade – Chapter 21

The plot thickens…Carl is not so brave as we first thought or so clever…

S C Richmond

Chapter 21

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Carl stood in the darkened room, she was getting feisty, a month ago she wouldn’t have said boo to him and now she was standing her ground. He liked that, it was more of a challenge. He was looking forward to what she had to say to him when she came round. He hadn’t found the necklace in her room, he had looked but to no avail, this job wasn’t going to be as easy as he had initially thought. He watched her as she slept, the rhythm of her shallow breathing calmed him and he found her strangely attractive.

Meanwhile less than a mile away from Carl’s rented room, Mr Joseph Peasbody was pacing around his hallway, worried half to death about where the girl had disappeared to, he had promised Robert he would keep her safe and now he had lost her. He was confused she…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – A veritable feast of Chicken

Chicken…Who has said… Oh no! Not chicken again ???? Try these and you will want to eat chicken for every meal…simple to do but delicious to eat 🙂 Enjoy!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Carol Cooks! Chicken…

Welcome back to my cookery column I do hope that you enjoyed getting to know me better last week and although I have sung in public I will not be singing any chicken songs today…lol

No… I will be sharing with you some of my favourite chicken recipes most of which can also be made with Pork or Beef…

Chicken is the preferred meat of many people as it is a white meat and depending on how it is cooked low in calories… It is the sauces, the skin and the method of cooking which bumps up its calories and can take it into the unhealthy zone…

They all fight and hover here to see who I am going to bequeath my crispy chicken skin to…lol

I will start by giving you my recipe for chicken stock as I always make my own and freeze in ice…

View original post 1,805 more words

The Charade – Chapter 20

The plot thickens…

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S C Richmond

Chapter 20

By Carol Taylor

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The girl was angry, angrier than she had been for a long time… Carl’s eyes had given him away she had seen the real him. Instead of being scared though she was angry it seemed like everyone she knew was keeping things from her or trying to get something from her…Why?

Lost in her thoughts she realised she was standing in front of the door where she was staying and a kind looking man was smiling at her.

“Did you have nice walk? The weather is lovely isn’t it? Come in, Come in you must be hungry.” She followed the man into the dining room where there was a lovely table set with a beautiful white cloth and some very pretty flowers. “Sit down my dear …I will ring Jenny to bring in breakfast…”

Within a few minutes a smiling girl appeared carrying a beautiful…

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Travel Thailand… Street Food and Markets…

street food and markets

The one thing which I hope will not change for a very long time is the street food stalls and the markets.

As a child, I remember the thriving markets my mum used to take me to and now they are all gone disappeared…Yes, cities like London, York and others still have thriving Markets with organic produce and speciality goods but proper local markets seem to have all but disappeared.

It is different here wherever I have lived or visited in Asia there is a market or two…every single day no matter where you live. We can drive from one town to another through local villages and there are markets, not just the odd one but many they are the heart and soul of Asia to me..wonderful street food and beautiful fresh produce…They range from a small group of 10 stalls just selling meat or vegetables to huge markets selling everything.

Small local market

They keep the soul of the place going there are real communities which care not just an estate of houses where no one even sees their neighbours and shop online… A place where there are real friendships and community…Where people share and I have been overwhelmed with that…people I don’t know …people who do not speak a word of English who come to my gate with Mangoes, bananas, little delicacies for us to try and we, in turn, share our produce and when I cook I give them a little plate to try, a jar of pickles… A real community…

bangkok floating market

There are floating markets where you are hauled over to the floating boat to check the wares with a boat hook ..beautiful handmade goods, wonderful fresh fruit and freshly cooked food… If you haven’t experienced the wonders of a floating market then you haven’t lived.

floating market thailand-502480_1280

The vibrant fruit and vegetable market where I  shop open as early as 3 am in the morning...

I normally arrive around 6 am -7 am …they are still bustling with people and shops buying their fresh wares…People on their way to work or coming home from work getting their breakfast…All freshly cooked to order…

Tessabaan fresh vegetables and lady

The markets are generally held right in the middle of a community or on the outskirts… You can buy anything …One stop shopping..food, clothes, household items, bedding, electrical goods, a puppy or a kitten… Fresh fish, dried fish, still alive and wriggling fish, frogs which here in the North are a staple, rats…yes rats…tasty I am told by the stall holders and they feed on rice they say, so clean not like the sewer rats …But they have them here in the city where I live..where do they come from I wonder…I will not be enquiring or be eating…This I draw the line at…A big black line..nada, No, I am not even going there…

Bugs and insects, so many varieties all piled high,

Crispy Fried Insects

Deep fried and crispy, ant eggs, soy eggs, 100-year-old eggs the list is endless… If you would like to create an authentic Thai recipe in your own kitchen then here is the authentic recipe for ANT EGG salad…I hope you enjoy!

Pigs heads…and trotters…My father used to love a bowl of Pigs Trotters… So we were not so very different back then…

Pigs & Chickens

Stalls piled high with Pork, Beef, Fish…

It is a virtual treasure trove of new discoveries for me …I think every single market I have visited holds more new delights and things I haven’t seen or tasted before…Some I recognise…Much I don’t… Much of what is sold is localised from one area to another so always a surprise or a find…I love it!

Do I have a favourite…No!

There are so many and they are so varied that I would be hard-pressed to do so…

I am quite used to seeing stall holders fast asleep on their stall, under their stall, I suppose with having such long trading hours you have to catch a nap when you can…Some even live and sleep behind their stalls ..you will see evidence of this..clothes drying, a telly, sleeping children and babies for some it is a fact and a way of life…

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A way to earn a living, some more successful than others…some only sitting on the pavement surrounded by a few wares to sell…All the produce..generally very fresh, picked that morning…

I suspect many people here live from day to day…hand to mouth… depending on what they sell…

Some quite young but many very old… their only income..here there is no cushion, no social handouts, if you have nothing to eat …That, is exactly what it means … Nothing to eat!

When we say we have nothing to eat… What we mean is ..nothing we fancy ..we want to buy more food to put in our fridges, our store cupboard…

It is a whole different world and one which many have not seen or experienced…But hey…it is out there and we don’t know how lucky we are…

Thank you for reading and I do hope you enjoy these glimpses that I give you of my travels if you do please share on your favourite social media channels…Thank you…

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you still want to find out more…

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  I look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time xxx

Travel Malaysia…Penang.

Retired No One Told Me! Travel Malaysia

This weekend I am taking you to Penang, Malaysia …

My first trip was a whistle-stop visit as I had to fulfil the terms of my first visa application but I loved my short stopover in Penang and will certainly be returning to explore Penang at leisure.

The capital Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage City.

“The islands’ capital” and Malaysia’s second largest city behind Kuala Lumpa.

With such a multicultural population as expected, it is a foodies heaven, there is a wonderfully eclectic variety of culinary delights ready for you to sample and I did I sampled as much as I could in the short time I was there…

I chose to visit The Penang road which is famous for its Teochew Chendul stall, there is always a perpetual queue of locals as well as excited tourists it dates back to 1936 when it founder Tan Teik Fuang began selling these frozen desserts on Penang Road.

My favoured mode of transport is one of these… A rickshaw…

penang-1298828_1280 rickshaw

My driver was a chatty little man who spoke quite good English and pointed out all the things he thought I would like to see a most enjoyable ride.

I was in foodies heaven that is after delighting at the beautiful architecture which consists of both new and old and they marry together delightfully.

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I much prefer using local transport rather than a taxi so off we set to get my cendol…At first, the bright neon green of the jelly noodles put me off slightly… If you read my 5 questions over at Sally’s and the greengage jam and gravy saga you will know why…lol

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Chendul also is known as Cendol and is a mixture of shaved ice, coconut milk, palm sugar, red beans and green jelly noodles made from Pandam once I knew this I put any reservations I had to one side.

Each bowl is made to order and what makes this dish..this delicious dessert so very special is that it is not overwhelmingly sweet but has just a touch a very light touch of sweetness and many go back for a second bowl… I was very tempted as having tried it I was a convert but I was saving myself for my visit to the night market and looking forward to sampling an Oyster omelette and I couldn’t leave without also having my favourite Nasi Lemak.

Nasi lemak food-658715_1280

Served on a banana leaf as is most of the food here..it comprises of rice, meat, nuts and a spicy sambal always slightly different and you can choose your preferred meat but always delicious.

The Oyster omelette is made with an egg and rice flour batter which creates a balance between crispness and fluffiness. The briny Oysters are mixed with green onions, chilli and garlic and then fried in the batter and served with a hot chilli dip…Foodie Heaven once again and another dish for which Penang is famous for.

This bustling and vibrant night market which is situated in the New Lane Hawker Centre, Lorong Baru George Town and opens @ 4 pm every day.

During my stay, I stayed at The Banana Boutique which is a lovely little boutique hotel with friendly staff. It is also fairly close to all the amenities that I wanted to visit.

All in all a lovely short stay but next time I will go in search of the beautiful beaches which I am told are well worth a visit surrounded by palm trees and some of the most stunning beaches and only about a 30 minute trip to the North from George Town.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you have please share with your favourite social media…Thank you.

Retired no one told me! penang

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you still want to find out more…

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  I look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time xxx