Category: Homelife Stuff


Well… This week sees another Comic Relief. For the last one, Niclas told a few jokes on YouTube and raised over £200, getting in his local rag at the same time! This time round, it’s a family affair with both brothers writing and starring in their own Red Nose Laughter Show.

You can see their brilliant show by clicking on their cheeky faces below. If they make you laugh, don’t forget to donate to Comic Relief using the link below the video. Or go to my.rednoseday.com/sponsor/niclasandieuan

Enjoy!

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Well now, it’s been a while since we posted but that’s not to say we haven’t been busy! December was fairly mental, Christmas was very relaxed and New Year came and went with a small but
perfectly formed house party.

Today marks the opening day of Monty’s Alehouse, a unique micro brewery specialising in traditional, hoppy English bitters and the odd cider. Santa bought me a brewing kit and I started on the first brew today. I’ll be making this:

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So here’s a quick guide (because no doubt the quality of my ale will spur you onto making your own…!)

You need a brewing kit, fermenting bucket and lid, spoon, siphon tube, thermometer, steriliser and ageing barrel (or 40 pint bottles and caps). Santa seems to do his brewing kit shopping in Wilkinsons… 😉

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So first step is to sterilise everything (EVERYTHING! Including thermometer, malt tins and tin opener!) I used 4 teaspoons of steriliser and 5 litres of warm water in the fermentation bucket. Make sure you wear gloves and ensure everything is dipped in the solutions. Put the lid on the bucket and swirl it round so the lid gets done too. Good to do this in a utility room, to stop the missus moaning (!)
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Put the sterilised tins of malt in a sink of warm water to make the malt more fluid. Do this for ten minutes while you rinse evening with cold water thoroughly. Lots of cold water!
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So, the fun bit. Open up the tins and poor them into the bucket. Boil a kettle and fill the malt tins with boiling water, leaving for a minute, then poor them into the bucket. This should get nearly all the malt into the bucket. Then put the bucket in the sink (you need a big sink!) and stir the malt so it’s well mixed with the water.
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Top up the bucket with cold water to the 17 litre mark or there abouts. Use the thermometer to check the temperature. It needs to be between 20 and 25 degrees. Use either boiling water or cold water then to top up to 23 litres making sure the temperature stays at this level.
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Give the wort a really good stir to get lots of air in it, then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Don’t stir this in. Snap the bucket lid on.
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Finally, find a warm place for the bucket. Everyone uses the airing cupboard! It needs to be a fairly constant temperature and free from cold spells. Put the bucket here and open up the lid a tad so gasses can escape.
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And that’s it! 6 days or so in the airing cupboard, then it will be time to siphon into the barrel or bottles. So we’ll catch up next week and tell you how this goes!

Today is a sad day. Mr Les Want, singer, dancer, raconteur, philanderer, and my father, passed away.

Ever since he’d had to stop singing professionally due to ill health, he’d never recaptured the spirit that had kept him almost permanently in showbusiness for 66 years. A release perhaps and certainly not entirely unexpected, but boy does it stab you in the heart when it happens.

Dad meant a lot to different people. The brother that ran off at 14 to join the theatre, the husband who couldn’t resist a leggy blonde out of wedlock, the Dad who wasn’t quite the Dad he should be. Or the ‘turn’, singing and dancing his way around the world and nearly, very nearly, ‘making it’.

It’s been therapeutic to dig out some old photos and I have a feeling Beki (my Sister) and I will make his funeral more of a celebration of his achievements than a register of his failings. So here are some funny and lovely photos of him. Please people stay close to your folks. They may be distant and complete ratbags but they made you. I love you Dad, silly old sod.

Les Want in The Ken Tones

The Ken Tones in the 1950s – Dad second from the right

Les Want

In his heyday!

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In the late 70s – you can see where I get my sense of fashion from.

Les and John Want

A professional shot. Check my cords and collar!

Les Want live in Great Yarmouth!

Another summer, another tour.

Les Want

What he lived for – singing for his supper.

Les Want in Some Like It Hot

Nearly made it – in the West End with Some Like It Hot.

Les Want with his children, John and Beki

Me and my sister with our Dad.

I’ve made it through my first 6 weeks at Lyons Seafoods. It’s been hectic, fun, amazing and scary all in equal measure! The world of prawns is an interesting one, compared to making pasties from beef available 5 miles up the road (another plug for Ginsters local sourcing there…) juggling the needs of punters with a fish farmed (responsibly, obviously) as far away as Thailand and Mexico is fairly bonkers. We seem to do it though and very good prawns they are too!

But enough of all this marketing malarkey. I have spent an honestly tiring couple of weeks in Europe checking out what the world has to offer in fish. From the massive hypermarkets of France to the amazing Fish Expo in Brussels. My eye has been opened, although some of the randomness of the Chinese Pavilion really wasn’t my cup of tea (or kettle of fish for that matter).

This all coincided with my starting to use Instagram regularly. This is the social media tool invented 18 months ago which Facebook recently bought for a billion dollars. Whoop, lucky them. The question critics ask is why after years of advancement in terms of digital photography does everyone suddenly want to get their photos to look like they were taken on a naff Kodak Disc camera from the 80s?

I quite like it. I can see why Facebook invested, it ties brilliantly into their Timeline feature and their goal to become the storage destination for everyone’s personal media. I took a load of photos with it whilst recently travelling about…

Up in the clouds…

The really rather busy road from our salmon factory in the Scottish Borders…

L’Arc de Triomphe…

The Eiffel Tower by day…

…and by night…

…and finally Le Grand Place in Brussels…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of fun. So download it and you too can make yourself look like your Dad in 1978. My travels, for now, are over. I really must spend some time in the office and do stuff!

Our very good friends Nicky and Jonathan got married this past weekend in (sort of) sunny Cornwall. The great and the good (and some ex-Ginsters rejects) gathered for a wonderful ceremony and bags of fun in the evening.

It was great to see so many of Nicky & JC’s friends and family, all seemed very content and all had understood Nicky’s very strict instructions off of the invite! Our table was certainly the loudest, probably something to do with Diane and Emma, the former being very rude when the letter-shaped sweets came round… The less said…

Lots of boogie wonderland in the evening, Nicky’s Dad strutted his stuff covered in glow sticks for most of the evening. His future as a dancer in the Happy Mondays revival is assured.

Thanks guys for the invite and such a wonderful day. Enjoy your honeymoon! Not remotely jealous, obviously.

Check out some of the photos in our Flickr account on the right.

Never to be accused of doing things by halves, I’ve upped sticks and moved to a town we don’t know for a job which could have been a step too far.

However… First things first. I left Ginsters on Thursday 15th March after over four years of inventing pasties and sandwiches, opening hot pasty outlets and generally annoying all the girls in finance. It was a wonderful day made all the more special by the kind words off the boss and all the little things Anna and Becs did to say goodbye. Anna even made a fish cake for me…

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Lots of lovely presents too, I FINALLY got my hands on a sausage & mash pasty, a variety I’d been banging on about for three years nearly and had been told on all occasions it definitely wasn’t the future (even though it is). Thanks for Graham and the boys for this…

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So thanks everyone at Ginsters who contributed to the leaving day and prezzies. I’ll miss the fun and laughter we had, although I suspect much more work will get done now I’ve gone! Here’s the Brand Team I leave behind…

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And onto pastures new. Samantha and I have moved to Trowbridge in sunny Wiltshire (think White Horses and posh ham). I got a great new job at Lyons Seafoods, who source and cook the very best prawns in the UK. Pasties to prawns, oh yes. The first week went very well, in at the deep end with a major client meeting on day four.

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We obviously also have a new house, in a big estate on the outskirts of Trowbridge. Our footballers wives pad, complete with cream carpets and pillars by the front door. We’re pleased to be back near civilisation with decent shops on the doorstep and the clubs and bars of Bath and Brizzle only a short train ride away. Looking forward to seeing all our friends and family a bit more often. Of course, this means I might have to clean the BBQ which I’ve been putting off for over a year!

Oh how I’ve come to love rugby. Having spent ten years in the Welsh Valleys I had become a passionate follower of Wales, particularly in the 6 Nations. Having worked in a Cardiff casino for ages, during the period when the Millennium Stadium was brand new and then Wembley was being refurbished, I spent many a happy Saturday afternoon with some of the other 50,000 odd fans in the city that didn’t get a ticket.

Rugby in Wales is infectious. More belief and passion than any English football or rugby fan could show. I remember the classic Welsh win over England at Wembley, Neil Jenkins’ genius kicking. We hosted the World Cup in ’99 and I remember the Japanese team coming in for a punt, thinking how much smaller they were than the Welsh scrum. Then the last big day I remember before moving to Cornwall, another Wales win over England in Cardiff. Saw that in a social club in Canton of all places, but the atmosphere was electric.

Great fun and I was happy to move to a place with a brilliant local team (the Cornish All Blacks) and spend the odd Saturday shouting abuse at various referees and opposing players. England is definitely my team but I’m sorry to admit that I love a Welsh win over them, if only for the memories of piling onto St Mary’s Street after one too many SAs and singing random Max Boyce songs.

Fab win boys, congrats to Sam on taking the Triple Crown back to the Valleys. Roll on the Grand Slam!

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So, I turned 38. A kind of ‘meh’ age, not quite mid 30s but not close enough to the big 4-0. So nothing really planned.

That was before, of course, Mrs Want got involved.

I’d decided to adapt the standard work policy of buying everyone cakes by taking in one of the homemade lemon meringue pies from the weekend. Just enough for my team and those lovely chefs who usually get forgotten. Top stuff and a lovely card and prezzie off Anna too. Even Andy told me to go home at a reasonable hour.

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But then, well. I’d already had a fab present off the missus in the morning, Fozzie bear, obviously the best act in The Muppet Show. He’s even wearing a neck tie! Wacca wacca wacca!

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Dinner, though was wonderful. A fantastic cranberry mozzarella chicken with Palma ham. My fine lady excelled herself and made me a very happy chappy.

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Thanks also to all my wonderful Facebook friends who left me messages. You’re all brilliant, some of you leaving coded messages referring to slightly wilder birthdays from back in the day!

Hi all, John, Niclas and Ieuan here – been showing the boys our new website and we’ve even done a little video…

We have finally found a house to live in. Trowbridge is calling! Will move up there in late March – whoop! Boys have already decided on their rooms, we just need to do the boring stuff with the agency!

Have bought new ‘company’ car as well, don’t get an actual car this time so have invested in a very tidy 8 year old Nissan for now. Just bought mats for it and already planning ICE upgrades!

Oh – and look out for more videos on a dedicated page on here – Niclas and Ieuan have several on Youtube we’ll share and no doubt they’ll add new ones as time progresses! We’ve added lots of photos to our stream too, click on the links on the right to see them.

So, my time at Ginsters comes to an end. 4 years of inventing new pasties and sandwiches, attempting not to get bigger than a 34 inch waist, and living in a Cornwall that people think is wall to wall with sun but is actually bleak, rainsodden and windswept. All ending in March.

Some might say that a move from Cornwall to Trowbridge is a novel one when most people go the other way, but my new job at Lyons Seafood is a bobby dazzler, looking at exciting new fish products for you and your families to devour. At least I’ll have a greater chance of getting back into my skinny jeans.

Now to find a house, lots of mortgage/rental fun to be had and moving to an area we don’t know. But life’s challenges and changes make it exciting. And it will move Samantha closer to Bristol Harvey Nicks, which is nice.