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Archive for September, 2010

There’s Tuna – then there’s Tuna?

Asda Tuna ChunksI was doing the maths this morning… 56 years old, at least one tin of tuna fish a week… I must’ve started eating Tuna sandwiches around, lets say to make life easy, 6 years old. That’s 50*52 as a minimum – 2,600 tins of tuna… Goodness!

Anyway, that’s the background. I’ve never been one for Sunday lunches and so for as far back as I can remember, I’ve settled for tuna fish sandwiches on a Sunday. Over the last few years Maureen’s been buying “Chicken of the Sea” from Costco – a light coloured and rather pleasant tuna in spring water. They’ve been out of stock for a few weeks and so I’ve been experimenting. Over in Spain I discovered I like the tuna in jars in Sunflower oil and sure enough when we came back to the UK I tried it here – not as nice as the stuff over there but then the weather might be having an impact on that. Somehow sitting eating a sandwich in cold, rainy Britain isn’t the same as sitting up in the mountains with the sun blasting on you.

Anyway we just happened to pop into ASDA looking for a cheap video player and I headed off to the food section in search of Tuna. I’ve NO idea of pricing on this stuff but what caught my eye this weekend were the price DIFFERENCES.  Asda Tuna Chunks in Sunflower oil – 49p  and at the other extreme, John West Tuna Steak in Sunflower oil, a whopping £1.69

I decided to put them to a side-by-side test:

The John West tin was in fact SMALLER by some way than the Asda version – but on opening there was very little spare oil in the former… so I squeezed out what little was there – and put the tuna in a bowl. The Asda tin on the other hand had lots of oil in it and by the time it was squeezed out there was no more tuna in the tin than in the John West variety despite the bigger can size.

With two bowls in front of me the differences were subtle – the two had exactly the same look once bashed slightly with a fork but the John West product was ever so slightly darker.  On tasting I felt the two were similar but the John West product had a SLIGHTLY stronger flavour – I could have been influenced by the colour.

So I passed the two bowls to my only other resident expert…. her response was immediate – she knew which one she preferred… to be honest I thought the difference was so slight as to be irrelevant but then I’ve been eating the stuff for so long now my tuna taste buds are probably shot.

So which one did Maureen pick as the better product? The £1.69 John West product? No – the Asda 49p Tuna!

Sparkly New Car?

Peter Scargill's sparkly new paint job

Smashing new paint job on the car.. it’s almost like getting a brand new car. I’ve been staring at a rather awful scratch on the car for months now having managed to get too near to the stone wall at the cottage earlier this year… well, it’s gone. I’m overjoyed to say, the Merc looks like new! Hexham Motor Company did the job and they even cleaned up the wheels in the process – smashing job.

Strange Caterpillar

strange caterpillar

I’ve seen some strange creatures in my time but nothing like this caterpillar, which I just happened to notice while wandering into the house for a cup of coffee this afternoon.  Around 50mm long, he looks for all the world like a truncated snake – certainly the head and “false” eyes give that impression. 

And that’s in sunny WARK, not some strange country! According to Melanie-Jane at our office – this is an ELEPHANT HAWK MOTH CATERPILLAR – looks about right from the photos on Google!

closeup caterpillar

Deed a holiday in Northumberland – then check out Hollyberry Cottage Holiday rental in Bellingham


If you’ve not seen this it is BRILLIANT – TORN for the DEAF…