Thursday, 23 February 2012

Kit Kat Chunky- One man's opinion

I have a sweet tooth. I love chocolate. I particularly like a Kit Kat chunky. There's none of this namby pamby four slender fingers. Oh no, this is a brute of a chocolate bar. Akin to some form of confectioned building material.

Now imagine my equal joy and pain at four new flavours, of which only one will survive. When I initially saw this I decided it was important to try them all, even if I knew I wouldn't like some. I wanted it to be as scientific as possible.

Here's the order of enjoyment I thought they would fall into, prior to any consumption-


I decided that this would be the order I ate them in. Time for some scientific testing.

White Kit Kat chunky-

What a let down. I really had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately white chocolate brought nothing to the party. A standard chunky is more stimulating.

A dissappointing start.

Double Chocolate Kit Kat chunky-
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This should have been a no brainer. The standard chocolate is good, double it and you shouldn't go wrong. Unfortunately the addition of the dark chocolate added an unwelcome bitterness.

By no means as dissappointing as white, but also a bit 'blah'.

Orange Kit Kat chunky-
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The surprise package. I wasn't expecting anything from this, which is why it probably did so well. This is the perfect balance between fruit, chocolate, and wafer. It's a shame it's not one of your five a day.

Peanut Kit Kat chunky-

This was never going to be the winner for me. I don't like peanut butter. It's far too rich. Curiously if this had been whole peanuts we'd have got on splendidly. What was surprising was that they didn't over do it. It's easy to overload the peanut butter (see the peanut lion bar), however they got the ratio of butter to wafer just right.

So after consumption, here's my rankings-

1. Orange- the stand out bar.
2. White- despite it's poor showing I'd still have it over the next two.
=3. Peanut- As this surprised me it gets elevated to an equal third, rather than dead last.
=3. Double choc- There simply wasn't enough to get excited about here.

Fiendishly Nestle have decreed that only can survive. A crime against confection in my opinion.

Current running sees the Peanut Butter lead the race-

PeanutButter 47%
WhiteChoc 29%
Orange 16%
DoubleChoc 8%

You can see the current results here.

I think it's simply a case that not enough people have sampled the fruity majesty of the Orange chunky. I recommended you grab one whilst you still have the opportunity.

No doubt I'll be scouring pokey little newsagents looking for any slightly dubiously dated boxes once these are removed from circulation.

The writer of this blog is taking part in a ludicrously long charity walk for Asthma UK. If you're feeling generous you can kindly sponsor him here. Or buy him some Orange Kit Kat Chunky's for the walk.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

What Eastenders tells us about life in London

Dum, dum, dum-dum, dum-dum. Or something like that.

Life in London can be tough. More so in the tough streets of East London. Luckily many of us will never have to experience this. Should we wish to, we can watch the docu-soap, 'Eastenders'.

Through my university career, and early adulthood, I engaged in an almost daily ritual with my housemates of watching Eastenders. I've since kicked the habit, however it has taught me lasting lessons on what life is like in East London.

Fried Chicken- In most London Boroughs this is the staple diet for youngsters and drunks alike. The greasy carboard boxes litter parks, gardens, and roadsides without prejudice. I have enjoyed 'dirty chicken' myself, taking advantage of such phenomenal offers as '10 wings for £2.50'.

However Walford is the last bastion of the traditional fish 'n' chip shop. In an age when chippies are resorting to offering fried chicken, or closing, Beale's chip shop stands like a colossus providing deep fried spuds to the busy market traders.

The Queen Vic- Pubs in Britain are shutting at an alarming rate. In fact as many as 6 a day are being boarded up. Those that are surviving are those lucky enough to be in a heavy footfall area and have had to convert to pouncy wine bars, or gastro-pubs.

What does Walford say to this trend? Fuck you, that's what. The Queen Vic has remained the same shitty pub it's always been. The decor is wooden, the atmosphere threatening. Drunks are unconvincing and everyone tows the line regarding the no swearing rule.

Not only that but several elements of bar decoration have been used in murders.

Want a feed in the Queen Vic? No dice, bar snacks only. Service is usually poor as some melodrama is being played out by the bar staff.

If you see any type of event advertised, always attend. Karoke, Pub Quiz, or ad hoc event will undoubtedly lead to some confrontation, relevation, or suicide from the roof.

Despite all of this the bar is rammed four nights a week with punters forking over cash despite the national trend of people having less money, going out less, and the price of booze rising.

The Mitchell's- In towns and cities across the land there is one family that you don't fuck with. Where I grew up it was the Cole's. In Walford it's the Mitchell's.

There's the two brothers leading the line. One who lives in Brazil, because, erm, well that's not clear. The other is a sometimes alcoholic, crack head, who turns purple on demand and has a possible penchant for dogging.

They're backed up by an ever changing cast of headcase women all with their own issues, from a complete failure to be believable (Sharon), to a mother who is so diminutive that the genetics are mind boggling.

Throw in a weasely cousin (Billy) and a gay son and the picture is complete. Frightening isn't it.

The Canal- Looking for a dead body? Forget the morgue, in Walford they keep their dead safely tethered in the canal. You might also find a tramp, and moody electrical goods.

The Tube- Walford East tube station exists on the District and Hammersmith & City lines. Perhaps for this reason it is rarely used. Luckily as the residents of Walford exist in a mini-economy they have no need to commute like other Londoners.

Those that do maintain a job outside of Walford are quickly exposed as liars and eventually find themselves flogging burned CD's in the market.

Buses- Avoid buses in Walford. They are a portent of doom. Should one be seen the following is likely to happen-

It will crash.
It will hit someone.
Someone will collapse in front of it.
Someone will collapse on it.

Cosmopolitan London- London has a diverse and eclectic population. It is this diversity that makes London the city it is. It influences our culture and music. One can see the Jamaican routes of the 'patois' that middle class kids in Kent and Essex spout on a daily basis.

The demographics of East London (as per Wikipedia) read as follows-

White- 69%
Mixed- 3.5%
South Asian- 13.3%
Black- 10.6%
East Asian, or Other- 3.5%

In Walford they read-

White- 96%
Mixed- 1% (sometimes)
South Asian- 0%
Black- 1% (sometimes)
East Asian, or other- 2% (sometimes)

Night Life- Every one likes to unwind, and sometimes the moody local won't cut it. You need an after hours party.

In Walford there is only one choice, literally. It's gone under many names but I remember it fondly as E20.

E20 is quite probably the smallest night club in London, and I've been to the Cactus Pit. In fact the back office is arguably bigger than the bar.

Still if you want to wet your whistle it's insane lunch time opening means you can be trolleyed by the time someone reveals they're someone else's mother.

Careers- London is a prosperous city. This is more than apparent in Walford. Everyone has a job, and everyone works cushy hours.

The wages can't be bad either as everyone seems to have enough disposable income to piss it away in the Queen Vic.

What are these astounding careers, I hear you ask? Cast your eyes-

Mini-cab operative
Black cab operative
Old whore
Market Trader
Fish 'n' Chip server
Fish 'n' Chip fryer
Night club owner
Cafe staff
Street sweeper
Corner shop staff
Young scoundrel
Petty criminal
HIV sufferer
Smack head
Low rent gang boss

Leaving- Thinking of leaving after your visit? Well there are several ways out of Walford. Some may seem extreme but you'll be so enamoured with Walford that you'll jump at the chance to take them.

Emmigration: Generally speaking you'll want to head to Spain, Brazil, or France. It's best to have either committed unthinkable crimes, or burnt all your bridges beforehand.

Death: You'd be surprised how many people take this method. Whether you decide to top yourself, die in a fumble arson attempt, or become the victim of murder due to your engagement in a tangled love triangle, it's a sure fire way to go.

Fake death: Another popular one. This enables you to return after spending years in foreign climbs. Not only will all your previous crimes be exonerated you'll be welcomed back with gainful employment.

The writer of this blog is taking part in a ludicrously long charity walk for Asthma UK. If you're feeling generous you can kindly sponsor him here.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Cleaning- The enduring struggle

It's a given that at some point during your life journey you will have to clean something. Whether that's your clothes, house, or assorted crockery, the reponsibility will, at some point fall to you.
If you share a domestic space with anyone (wife, girlfriend, housemates, etc) the chances are that this reponsibility will lead to conflict.

Although I have experience of all of the above I'm going to draw from my current experience and use the time I've spent with the wife.


There are two ways to hoover, the man way and the woman way. The man way is more about speed than accuracy. It focuses on heavy footfall areas and large particles of crud. The woman way takes much longer and requires the movement of furniture and the use of various nozzle extensions.

In an all male household the first is perfectly acceptable and only needs to take place fortnightly as a rule of thumb (even this can be deemed as excessive). In dual sex domestic households this won't cut it.

I have found that hoovering is, at a minimum, a weekly activity that requires all furniture to be moved and skirting boards to be alienated from any dust. I disagree with this approach, and thus we enter conflict.

Resolution- Grab the boy and fuck off to the man den to watch old vhs tapes of Thundercats.
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Until meeting my wife this was a completely foreign concept to me. I can live with dust. So much so that for most of my second year at university my television had my name written on the screen in dust.

My wife believes that dusting needs to happen weekly (and she'd like to dust more if she could). Again there are two types of dusting. My way, this involves waving the duster in the general direction of dust and under no circumstances moving anything.

My wife's way is to move everything from a surface, dust the surface, and dust all of the moved objects. Then returning the objects in completely different positions. This is a source of constant annoyance to me as usually I can't find anything afterwards.

Resolution- Grab the boy and fuck off to the man den to watch an old vhs tape of Mask the movie.
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Washing up-
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Luckily I'm at work most of the time so I'm only exposed to one washing up round. When I wash up I can only find two taps, hot and cold. Somehow my wife manages to locate the 'volcanic' tap.

Like hoovering the male washing up method focuses on speed and draining. We all know that drying up is a ball ache, and the draining board is as good a place as any to store crockery and cutlery. Not so in a female world.

Usually for one dinners worth of washing up my wife goes through 2 bowls of volcanicly heated water. Everything is sparkling and clean. Somehow when I wash up there is always some errant bean juice crusted onto something. Woe betide any man busted for the crime of crusty bean juice.

Resolution- Grab the boy and fuck off upstairs to play with his cars and garage.
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Until I moved in with my wife I never realised a bathroom needs cleaning. I mean everything takes care of itself surely? Occassionally there might be an accident after having a dodgy pint that results in dinner being parked on the floor, but otherwise everything goes down the drain.

Not so.

Apparently surfaces need cleaning with special wipes and bleach needs to go down the thunderbox. I've never trusted bleach. I think it's to do with the urban myth of bleach splashing up your arse whilst you're lighting a bum cigar that always put me off.

Anyway this is another unnecessary regular event, weekly at minimum.

Resolution- Grab the boy and fuck off to the man den to watch old vhs tapes of He-Man.
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The garden-

The domain of man. Here the tables are turned (for the most part). You call the shots. If it's sunny I'm out like a shot, pasty torso crisping pink in the midday sun as I push the mower back and forward. Sometimes even going as far a getting the hedge trimmer out and fucking up the neighbours bush. Overcast? No need to do the lawn today, it needs to 'repair' itself. I haven't mown the law since September. Why? It's not good for the lawn when it's cold or damp.

There's probably some truth in that, do I actually know this? Do I balls.

The extent of my wife's involvement in the garden is turning the flower bed and planting nice flowers.

Resolution- None. In the garden I am king.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Darts- the sport of Kings

There are not many sports where the participants weigh double that of the average person. Where the warm up routinue is enough pints to fell a rhino. Where tattoos and gaudy gold are regulation uniforms. Where hot women parade around gargantuan men and love it. Where the crowd scream for you because you can throw a small metal spike.

Welcome to the world of darts.

If this is something you feel like you need to be a part of, here's what you'll need to do-

Get fat

You don't need to start fat, but you do need to pile the pounds on. If we look to the past not all of the top darts players started chunky-

This works the other way round as well. Who can forget the case of Andy 'The Viking' Fordham-

Get pissed

If you play darts, you generally have to practise in the pub. Therefore you will drink.
drunk darts

Get ink

Any dartsmith worth his salt has got ink. Usually shonky.

Get moody gold

The more gold you wear the greater your standing in the world of darts.

Get a nickname

Phil 'The Power' Taylor
Simon 'The Wizard' Whitlock
Martin 'Wolfie' Adams
Adrian 'Jackpot' Lewis

What's in common? The nickname doesn't have to have anything to do with you as a person. My nickname? 'The Shotgun'.

Get good

Unfortunately there is only one way to make any money or fame from darts and that's to get good. It's surprisingly difficult to throw a small object in the same place over and over again.

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