english tea
While the Americans (and other nationalities of the world) may relish waking up to the aroma of coffee, there is no doubt that the British prefer sipping a hot cup of tea in the morning (and mayhap other parts of the day). I love coffee, I am not denying that, but there are times when I simply need tea as my drink for the day. One of my favorites is the English Breakfast Tea, which I can drink at any time of the day. What is this tea anyway?

The English Breakfast Tea is usually a blend of different black teas. The blend may consist of teas coming from areas such as India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi and China. The fact is that the English Breakfast Tea was first invented in Edinburgh, Scotland by a man named Drysdale, a well known tea master. His idea was to market the blend under the label Breakfast. The rest is history.

This kind of tea is a perfect accompaniment to the traditional English breakfast and goes well with milk and sugar. If you want a more technical description of this tea, here is Mr. Breakfast’s take:

It is a robust, full-bodied beverage with light floral undertones (sometimes referred to as “coppery”). When blended with milk, it produces a comforting aroma eerily similar to warm toast and honey. And as we know, the olfactory receptors in our noses are responsible for 80% of what we perceive as flavor.

Indeed, English breakfast tea can give you a warm fuzzy feeling just as you brush away the cobwebs of sleep in the early morning. Why not have a cup today?

Photo courtesy of Scott Feldstein

bollywood burner
Curry may originally be an Indian dish but there is no doubt that London offers some of the best variants of curry. This could largely be due to the fact that London is a melting pot of cultures and there is a large number of people from South Asia in the city. So, anyway, could the curry in London be better than what other countries have to offer?

I would not dare answer that question but I do know that a restaurant in London is serving what it hopes to be the world’s hottest curry. AFP reports:

A London restaurant was serving up Thursday what it hopes will be confirmed as the world’s hottest curry, with even the chef admitting it is “too extreme” to keep on the menu.

Vivek Singh at The Cinnamon Club grabbed some of the hottest chilli peppers known to man to create the Bollywood Burner, a lamb-based dish with a fierce kick.

The curry is so hot that diners are asked to sign a disclaimer confirming they are aware of the risks involved before daring to eat it.
The Bollywood Burner is being submitted to Guinness World Records for verification of its status as the planet’s hottest curry. The verdict should be announced within three weeks.

I wonder what risks are involved if you eat a dish that is too hot to handle? I don’t really know. What I do know is that although I love curry and could eat it several times a week, I am not too strong in the spicy department. I probably would not be trying the Bollywood Burner anytime soon.

Among the things you could get in order to manage your finances more easily, a calling card is one of the less popular ones. And it’s surprising that it’s so, considering the numerous benefits a good, high-quality calling card can offer you. At the end of the month, when you no longer have to pay a hefty phone bill since you’ve already taken care of that thanks to your calling cards, you’ll be thanking yourself – and you’ll likely keep using the card for quite a while ahead.

One of the best things about calling cars are free calls – those come with various extra conditions outlined about them, but in most cases you should be able to score some completely free calls to predetermined destinations, allowing you to manage your budget a lot more flexibly and efficiently. Calling cards don’t have to be limited to travelers and businessmen – even if you make phone calls just occasionally, you should still be able to net some good savings from the whole ordeal.

Just remember that free calls aren’t everything to look for in a calling card – there are various other factors that can define a good deal, like convenience of recharges (this is especially good if the card can actually be recharged instead of having to be replaced), usability, coverage, as well as accumulating bonuses (which is becoming a very popular feature among calling card providers lately).

Having a great tan continues to be very popular despite numerous studies that show how harmful sunbathing can be for your skin. This is especially true during summer when you can see everyone sporting beautiful dark skin, both on and off the beach. Perhaps, the answer to this is simply that people value beauty more than their health. Or perhaps, better options play a role in the seemingly off hand way people dismiss the risks of getting a tan.

Nowadays, you actually do not have to increase your risk for getting skin cancer just to get a tan. A kind of tanning lotion, called sunless tanning lotions or self-tanners, now offer a safer alternative to sunbathing. By using this kind of tanning lotion, you can get the skin tone you want without even having to sunbathe. This means that you can sport a great tan year-round as well. With such tanning lotions you do not just avoid increasing your risk for skin cancer, but if you stay out of the sun, you actually end up lowering your risk!

Even tanning lotions that still require you to get a good dose of the sun now offer safer options. The best tanning lotions now contain skin moisturizing ingredients and anti-oxidants, which may not protect you from UV rays, but at least takes care of other skin issues. With healthier options these days, people do not really have to choose health over beauty, but get to have their cake and eat it too. Perhaps, that is why tans continue to be popular, After all who wouldn’t want to sport a great tan sans the cancer?

Not everyone appreciates paintings and other similar works of art. I think this is especially true when it comes to those types of art that are abstract or a bit on the unique side. I think I am one of those people. However, I found a site which features the British culture through paintings and pictures and I have to say that I really liked what they have to offer.

The web site is called Art.com and it actually has a lot of pictures and paintings featuring various subjects. They do have a section dedicated especially to the British culture. I wish I could post some of the pictures here but they are for sale and copyrighted so you will have to go check out the site for yourself. In order to go straight to the British culture gallery, click this: British Culture Gallery.

Just to prepare you, what can you expect to see? There are various representations of the different aspects of British culture. There are pictures with the Union Jack, of course. Then there are the traditional hunting scenes. You can even see The Rolling Stones, Stonehenge, the London skyline, and more.

How about the pricing? It is surprisingly affordable (you know how expensive works of art can get)! There are paintings for as low as $6.99 and the most expensive one is only $69.99. For these prices – plus shipping – I think that the works of art offered in the web site are worth it.

Calling cards, usually similar to credit cards or bank ATM cards in shape and size, come in two variations. Standard phone cards have a fixed load limit that you have to consume. After you have consumed the load in your standard phone card, you can no longer make a phone call. You have to purchase another card. Some phone cards also come in re-loadable versions. You no longer have to buy another card even when you have already consumed the available load. You just simply have to go to the nearest reloading outlet and replenish your consumed load. It is even advisable to replenish your load even if you have not yet fully consumed it. In that way, you can make a call anytime you need to. Different cards usually have different payment modes and regulations. Originally, phone cards are used in public payphone booths. However, with the advancement of technology, phone cards can now be used in mobile phones.

All phone cards have magnetic stripes. These magnetic chips serve as the information database of the phone card. The chip contains the available balance of your card. Some phone cards also use the optical storage feature where the phone card owner can see the amount or balance left in the account on top of the card. Some phone cards require the user to call a toll-free hotline number first to activate the account before making any regular calls or before using the card.

Not everyone knows who Guy Watson is but for those who are into organic food, he is considered a guru. Guy Watson is the founder of Riverford Organic Vegetables, which is based in South Devon. He began his activities way back in 1985, when organic food was not that much of a hit yet. What he did was put his produce in boxes and delivered them to shops and homes. From those humble beginnings, Guy Watson has gone a long way.

So what is his philosophy with regard to food? In an interview with the Times Online, he shares:

Eat good quality food, prepared with love and grown not too far away.
People have got so far removed from their food and how it is grown. They have lost confidence in their own judgment and are easy prey to advertising promoting processed, sugar, salt and fat laden crap. Add to this the progressive loss of kitchen skills over the last two generations and we are in trouble.

And his views on traditional British cuisine?

I regret the obsession with the exotic and abandonment of culinary traditions that dominated the 40 years following food rationing. Things are getting better now.

Behind closed doors we have a growing army of fantastic home cooks. We have some of the world’s best, most knowledgeable and cosmopolitan cooks feeding their families wonderful meals day in day out. I suspect most of them seldom watch a cookery programme because they are too busy cooking.

Indeed, if we want to preserve and promote our traditions, we should follow Guy Watson’s example.