Showing posts from May, 2011

White Chocolate Cheesecake

As with many British Bank Holidays, it rained. So, with time on my hands the family asked me to make a cheesecake. I've not made one before, mostly because I don't like cheesecake. (yes, I hear the thoughts... "how can you not like cheesecake?"... but it's a consistency thing for me) Anyway, I made a white chocolate cheesecake today and when I served it up to my tea time diners, it went down a treat, so after a few tweet requests for the recipe, here it is: You will need; 675g of you favourite soft cheese. (I used Philly) 140g of white chocolate. Don't skimp on the quality 156g minimum of Oreo Cookies (that's the size of a regular tube pack, but if you have more than 1 pack, bulk it up to about 180g) 160g of sugar 60g of soft butter 60g dried cranberries or substitute cranberries for whatever you like 3 Eggs 1 teaspoon of grated Orange zest, but if you don't want too much orange sent, halve it Ingredients at the ready? Lets bake. Preheat your oven to

Where your UK passport fee goes

The answer! Finally. Seems to be now on the website as follows: What the fee covers IPS does not make a profit. Passport fees cover the costs of providing passport services in the UK. Part of the fee is called 'the consular premium'. This covers the costs of providing consular help to British nationals who find themselves in difficulty while overseas. Consulates and embassies If you're interested in how the cost of a UK passport compares with that of passports around the world, check the comparison table from IPS . International passport fee comparison table from IPS The IPS link takes you to this PDF, which is continently.. bearing in mind IPS are saying it is a comparison table, laid out in every country's own currency... so for your info £77.50 as of 26th May 2011 is 89.15 EUR and 126.39 USD. So we have one of the most expensive passports in the EU but still cheaper than a US one it seems. My next question, who has ever used a British Consulate, other than for banque

Soft Top Waterproofing - Perfect Result!

So, when I first got this new car I didn't go with the dealers autoglym whatever deal. Instead I took it to Jonny at Pure Detail. He left me clear instructions which I passed on to the dealer, not to touch the car body work. So, when I picked it up it was still covered in the plastic and delivery stickers, as well as a load of dust and muck. Perfect. :) Anyway, at his place he told me he had a waterproofing bit of kit that we were going to try on the roof as part of the detail. Its been on now for 4 months and is still exactly the same. In fact, I was at the dealers just yesterday and the sale guy commented on how brand new the roof was looking. Because, essentially, it is. Nothing has got thru to lay on it. This was the video we did after it was first done and really I should get another at 6 months and again in a year. The product is from GTechniq which seems to have been borne from the sailing world but it works an absolute treat. Water is like mercury w

Passport Update

So, a quick little update. A day after I left a message to call me back RE Passport and its costs, I got a phone call from the IPS. To be totally fair they called me back within 24hrs which is good enough. The chap that called back was probably a phone operative. When I asked him where the money for a passport went, he told me that it went into the making of the passport and some when to the embassy. This made me think he is making this up, so I asked for more information. Which Embassy? Can I get a discount for less pages because of the other family passports in the house, I'm the only one with any stamps on the page? If I have to pay for more pages, why don't people get discounted for less? He didn't have any answers so I asked to be referred to somewhere I could find this information. He hung up. To be continued... Oh, and whilst I remember, £20 for a driving license update.... another sting!

The Great UK Passport rip off?

I often thought that the statistic of passport ownership in the US was an interesting one. I though things like "Unlike us in the UK, maybe they don't have the requirement to travel to other countries when there is such diversity right there in their own country"... (I also laughed when I heard things like World Series but that's another story) According to a 2008 State data report , about 28 percent of the U.S. population has a passport, with 85.5 million U.S. passports in circulation as of February 2008. It's $165 for a passport book and card according to The Bureau of Consular Affairs. Now compare this to Britain and a Q&A on about Identity Cards sited 80% of the UK population own a passport (in 2009). The Office for National Statistics estimated the UK population to be 61,792,000 therefore there are around 49,433,600 passports out to UK Nationals. Which brings me to my gripe. Today, whilst choosing somewhere hot and, well hot for a family vaca