Lessons in the "Lifestyle" Category

Go to work – on an ostrich egg!

News from the UK advises that Waitrose the supermarket chain has just started selling ostrich eggs. The eggs that can be 24 times bigger than a hen’s can weigh in at almost 2kg (4.4lb). For those hoping to “go to work on an ostrich egg” might think twice and save that particular treat for the weekend, as they can take an hour or two to boil.

You’ll also need a huge appetite to eat a whole one. Described as having a distinctive, light flavour and texture the ostrich eggs are ideal for cooking. They can be fried; hardboiled or scrambled. They also make very good omelettes - using a very large frying pan – just like chicken or duck eggs.

A spokesperson said: “They are very good for meringues because the white is much lighter than chickens’ eggs.” In fact one egg makes 100 meringues or 32 soufflés. Diners are advised that a simple tap of a spoon is unlikely to break the shell. A roasting spike or a domestic drill is more suitable! The reason is that the egg must withstand a 300lb (136kg) bird sitting on it.

Category: Lifestyle / Eggs / Ostrich Eggs

Modern women today

Modern women today see balancing their work and home lives as their biggest challenge in today’s world. They also see Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher as their greatest role models. Almost two out of five women now see themselves as feminists. Nearly three out of four women would rather have a man, than a woman, as their boss.

Nearly half of women (46%) think a couple should live together before they marry. This figure rises to more than three quarters (77%) among women aged 18-24, but falls to nearly one in four (27%) among women aged 55 and over.

These figures come from research compiled for Stella magazine by YouGov, a research agency, which interviewed more than 1,000 women of all ages and backgrounds on everything from family values to their eating habits, and from their views on plastic surgery to those on sex and shopping.

Health and weight are clearly major issues for the modern woman. Four in five (80%) say losing their health is their greatest concern, followed by putting on weight (52%) and losing their job (24%).

Category: Lifestyle / Survey / Women

Coffee and chocolate are the key to a long life

Coffee and chocolate are among the key foods and drinks needed to live a long and healthy life. Tea is another. These form part of a list of 20 “lifespan essential” foodstuffs that has been drawn up by Professor Gary Williamson from the department of food science at Leeds University in England.

Fruits and vegetables dominate the list. All are rich in naturally occurring chemicals, known as polyphenols, which have been linked to a variety of health benefits including protection against heart disease.

The 20 suggested lifespan essential foodstuffs on the list: apples, blackberries, black tea, blueberries, broccoli, cereal bran, cherries, cherry tomatoes, coffee, cranberries, dark chocolate, green tea, oranges, peaches, plums, raspberries, red grapes, red onions, spinach and last but not least strawberries.

Category: Lifestyle / Food / Science

The bacteria time bomb in your home

Most of us never give a second thought to how long we’ve had that chopping board, or that hairbrush or those pillows. But while they may all look clean and serviceable enough, these seemingly innocent household items can actually harbour potentially harmful bacteria if used too long, regardless of how often they’re cleaned. So with that in mind let’s look at how often you should consider spring cleaning those everyday household items – and when it’s time to throw them in the bin.

Wooden spoons should be replaced every five years. They are more porous than plastic or metal ones making them more susceptible to germs and bacteria. A nasty kitchen bacteria is E. coli that’s usually picked up from raw meat or children with poor cleaning habits!

Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months otherwise this could lead to heart disease, a stroke or arthritis. An average toothbrush contains 10m germs! Bath towels can be used indefinitely if washed at high temperatures without damage otherwise bacteria from your skin can be transferred to your towel and if you have a wound could lead to infection.

Category: Living / Bacteria / Household Bugs

‘Tis the season of Christmas markets!

‘Tis the season of the year to be jolly. Christmas is on its way. So why not get into the swing of Christmas and visit a traditional Christmas market? The magic of them will soon put you under their spell.

All over continental Europe you’ll find them. In recent years they have become more and more popular, probably because of the festive seasonal atmosphere they evoke. Their traditional wooden chalets are full of everything you’ll need to prepare for the perfect Christmas.

Christmas markets originate from what is Germany today. Here they are unique. They offer visitors the chance to buy many different forms of merchandise including wooden carvings, toys, candles, decorated mugs and Christmas decorations.

Visitors can enjoy roast chestnuts and grilled bratwurst sausages or munch some gingerbread biscuits (Lebkuchen), marzipan figures and other such sweets. One can even try some German hot mulled wine (Glühwein).

Category: Lifestyle / Christmas / Christmas Markets

A traditional Christmas in England

Pre-Christmas - The English like to celebrate Christmas well ahead of the actual day. Before the kids break up from school toddlers might visit Santa’s grotto in a local department store. Children at primary and secondary schools might hold Christmas bazaars. Kids at secondary schools normally have to go to church for the annual carol service. Adults meanwhile celebrate with the Christmas office party! That’s always good festive fun!

There are Christmas lights in the main parts of most towns and these days some people like to decorate the front of their houses with Christmas lights. Meanwhile many retailers in England have been flogging Christmas goodies since October! The advent calendar is also a must for kids to open daily in December. Christmas markets are now very popular.

Category: England / Traditional Christmas / Christmas

Social networking in today’s world

Hands up those of you who like to chat online? How many of you use Facebook? Probably quite a few of you, as in today’s world we can’t seem to live without it. So what is a social network? It is a way of communicating with other people.

Why do we use them? Because we like to communicate with other people, especially our family and our friends. It is a good way to keep in touch. There are many different forms of social networking. Probably the most popular today are Facebook, Skype, MySpace, Twitter, Google chat and ICQ. All are different...

Category: Lifestyle / Social Networking / Chat

Mystery of the real Robinson Crusoe solved

After nearly 300 years the mystery of the whereabouts of a campsite of a marooned Scottish sailor who is said to have inspired the fictional castaway Robinson Crusoe has now been solved. Archaeologists have finally found the campsite of Alexander Selkirk whose real life experiences stuck on a desert island inspired Daniel Defoe to create his imaginary experiences in the famous masterpiece novel Robinson Crusoe.

In 1704 Selkirk became marooned on a small tropical Argentinean island in the Pacific Ocean 470 miles west of Chile for more than four years. He was finally rescued in 1709. The island that used to be known as Aguas Buenas was renamed Robinson Crusoe Island after the character created by Defoe in his 18th Century classic.

During an archaeological dig on the island archaeologists discovered evidence of an early European occupant. They uncovered compelling evidence including the discovery of a pair of navigational dividers, which could only have belonged to a ship’s master or navigator, which historical evidence suggests Selkirk must have been.

Category: Lifestyle / Mystery / Desert Island

My friend's sister is a pole dancer!

My friend's sister is a pole dancer. Really! I must admit I was a tad surprised when he told me. He even sent me a link of her on YouTube. (See below) It's not what you think! I met her once years ago. She's not the sort of girl you'd expect to do pole dancing.

Ange70x took it up as a hobby about 2 years ago. By day she works in an office. By night she's usually found at home practising her new found love of pole dancing, going to lessons once a week. Apparently it's great exercise not to mention a fantastic laugh.

At 39 she's no spring chicken. I played some of my adult female students her video clip. They were fascinated by her ability to do all the different dance positions admitting they couldn't do half of them. You see - it's not so easy. It got me thinking. Let's create an English lesson about it...

Category: Lifestyle / Dancing / Pole Dancing

Mind your manners guys on your first date

Going on a date tonight? Be it your first or fifth date most people would want to make a good impression. Wouldn’t you?

A recent survey published in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said clicking your fingers at a waiter on a first date is faux pas. It was voted the rudest, attention-grabbing gesture - beating even drowning a dish in salt before even tasting it or getting drunk at the table. Other inappropriate acts which will insure the first date is the only date were licking the plate clean, burping & picking teeth with fingers.

The poll of 3,000 people was conducted by internet market research company www.onepoll.com. “There are basic rules of etiquette which should be adhered to when eating out – and they’re not hard to remember,” a spokesman said adding, “The majority of respondents only expect basic good manners from their dining companions – so burping, coughing, breaking wind and obscenities are definitely off the menu.” These are the manners of a pig.

Category: Lifestyle / Etiquette / Dating