Bank Holiday Barbecue – Get the Grill On Guys!

Bank Holiday Barbecue

We’ve had some unusually fine weather this August, and it’s all a bit confusing.  But don’t worry, we’re set to revert to norm any time soon.  The bank holiday is here, and it’s bound to rain.  So … looks like it’s time to roll out the Bank Holiday Barbecue and invite some friends round.

If you don’t mind standing in the rain, or in the garage to eat your grub, then here’s three recipes that should suit every taste.

Bank Holiday Barbecue Recipes

You can serve them all on a flat bread with some tzatziki – easily available in the supermarket, or make your own – or in a pitta bread.  The vegetarians and vegans will love you for not force feeding them bits of Linda McCartney, and the carnivores will love all the dishes.

The recipes aren’t hard and fast – if you don’t eat pork, try chicken or lamb.  If you can’t get paneer, try halloumi.  Everything else is pretty easy to lay your hands on.

Prepare everything in advance, a good few hours before you want to grill, to give the marinades time to do their job.  You can even do it the night before, as long as you are storing everything safely in the fridge.

Pork Kebabs – serves 4

Bank Holiday Barbecue

  • Ingredients
  • 800g of pork (pork shin is good if you can get it) cut into 2cm pieces.
  • Marinade:
  • 100ml olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • Pinch of salt

Mix together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the pork and mix till all well coated.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours

When ready to grill, thread onto 8 skewers and grill for 10 minutes or until done.

Serve on a flatbread with tzatziki

Paneer Kebabs – Serves 4

Paneer is a light Indian cheese, available in Asian stores and many supermarkets.  It is quite bland on it’s own, but cooked with sauces or marinades it is delicious.  Make sure you reserve plenty for the actual vegetarians!

  • Ingredients
  • 500g (approx.) of paneer.  (that will work out at 2 average packs in UK supermarkets)
  • For the marinade
  • 240ml (1 cup) yoghurt
  • 120ml (½ cup) light olive oil (or sunflower will do)
  • Large handful of leaf coriander (cilantro) chopped finely
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground coriander (seed)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch flaked chilli (adjust according to taste)
  • ½ – 1 tsp salt (leave this out if using halloumi rather than paneer)

Mix together all the marinade ingredients.  (If you have a stick blender or small food processer, you can just put everything – coriander, stalks and all, everything, in and whizz till smooth)

Pour over the paneer in a bowl and carefully stir til every piece is coated with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably over-night.

When you are ready to grill, thread the paneer onto skewers and grill for 5-10 minutes till hot with browned edges.

Serve on flat bread with tzatziki or the left over marinade, which is delicious.

(Cook’s note: If you are catering for coriander/cilantro haters, I would use a mix of fresh parsley and fresh oregano to replace)

Vegetable Kebabs – serves 4

For the kebabs:

  • 2 red (bell) peppers
  • 2 large courgettes (zucchini)
  • 2 red onions
  • Button mushrooms – roughly 25 or 30

For the marinade:

  • You can use a bottle of ready-made marinade for this, but if you aren’t sure it’s vegan, or would prefer to make your own try this:
  • 240ml (1 cup) olive oil
  • 120ml (½ cup) tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Soya sauce to taste

Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.

Add all the vegetables and stir carefully to coat everything in marinade.  Cover bowl and refridgerate till needed.

When ready to grill, thread onto 8 sticks, alternating mushroom, pepper, onion, courgette

Grill until the courgette is tender but not soft.

Serve on a flat bread with vegan tzatziki and hummus.

Bank Holiday Barbecue

 

Here’s hoping for some breaks in the clouds this bank holiday.  Don’t forget the beer.  Enjoy your barbecue!

Not On The High Street Awards – Vote for DYP!

img-logo-awards

It’s time for the Not On The High Street Awards, and we’d love it if you could vote for Do You Punctuate.  DYP has been a partner at  Not On The High Street since 2012, and it’s one of our main outlets.

We are entering for the Partner of the Year category.  Click here to go directly to the voting page.  Our Partner Name is Do You Punctuate and our Store Front URL is http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/partners/doyoupunctuate/products

Thankyou!

Vote

Books For the Beach: Got Your Holiday Reading Sorted?

Holiday Reading

What’s your holiday reading?  What sort of book do you like for the beach?  Raunchy ? Romantic and escapist? Murder and mystery? Funny? Or something a bit more highbrow and cultured?

We asked around our friends and customers for some recommendations.  They’ve given us romantic family sagas, cyber-sex, scifi-mystery mashup, crime thrillers and easy reads.  Try them and let us know what you think.

The Raunchy

Strong Signal (Cyberlove, #1) and Fast Connection (Cyberlove#2) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Louise says: “First two in a series, they’re pretty good.” 

From the blurb of Fast Connection: “Nicky has just left the military. All eight years in the military had changed Dominic. He is not the same Dominic, now being more mature and responsible. Forced by circumstance he moves in his parents’ basement and works at his father’s bagel shop. He spends his days trying to figure out what to do with his life, what career to pursue next. He also tries to figure out how to deal with his bisexuality.”

The Romantic

The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende

Bea says: “I like something not too deathly serious, but with a meat to it.  Would have been perfect for the beach, had I actually been to the beach.”

From the blurb: Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to reconcile her own troubled past, meets the older woman and her grandson, Seth, at Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, and learn about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.

Holiday Reading

The Mystery SiFi Mashup

 

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Janet says: “The rivers of London series is funny, a bit dark, and sifi’y”

From the blurb: “My name is Peter Grant…. One night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable…”

The Thriller

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of A Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Cal says: “Lovely easy to read book.  Perfect holiday reading.”

From the blurb: “Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not . . . Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which – remarkably – he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.”

Holiday Reading

Escapist

Summer at Shell Cottage by Lucy Diamond

Nina says: “If you want something light and funny try Lucy Diamond”

From the blurb: “A seaside holiday at Shell Cottage in Devon has always been the perfect escape for the Tarrant family. Beach fun, barbecues and warm summer evenings with a cocktail or two – who could ask for more? But this year, everything has changed. Following her husband’s recent death, Olivia is struggling to pick up the pieces. Then she makes a shocking discovery that turns her world upside down.”

The Detective

The Complaints by Ian Rankin

Barbara says: “I love everything Ian Rankin writes.  This one’s a real page turner.”

From the blurb: “There’s a cop called Jamie Breck, and he’s dirty. Problem is, no one can prove it. But as Fox takes on the job, he learns that there’s more to Breck than anyone thinks. This knowledge will prove dangerous, especially when murder intervenes.”

Holiday Reading

 

Victorian Vulgarities and What You Can Do With Them

Victorian vulgarities

Victorian vulgarities and what you can do with them.

Bloody Hell!

If George Bernard Shaw felt needed extra publicity he could have done worse than to swear.  Whether he did it for the publicity or not we’ll never know.  But audiences were horrified (and delighted) when Eliza Doolittle cried out “Not Bloody Likely”.  Pygmalion (or My Fair Lady as it became on the screen) is all about language of course.  There’s Henry Higgins, an eminent member of the respectable class.  And Eliza, as low as low can get.  And Henry has to prove that he can pass her off as a lady.

“Walk! Not bloody likely.  I am going in a taxi.”

There, in one exclamation, we have Higgins’ problem.  You can take the flower girl out of the East End.  But you can’t take the East End out of the flower girl.

Victorian Vulgarities

When the play was first performed in 1914, the audience reportedly went very quiet.  And then roared with laughter for a full minute.  A few “Decency” campaigns protested over it.  (We hate to think what they’d think of us)  But nothing really came of it.  Bloody was a bad word, but not a very bad word.

Common as Muck

And it’s been this way for most of it’s history.  During the 1700s, it was even acceptable in children’s literature. It had a spell in the first half of the 19th century, when it was a bit unspeakable.  But mostly, it’s just been seen as coarse rather than truly bad.  Something associated with the lower classes.   The lower classes of course lacking in wherewithal to speak “properly”.

In 1888, the Oxford English Dictionary listed bloody as “constantly in the mouths of the lowest classes, but by respectable people considered a ‘horrid word’…”   The same edition did not include other horrid words also in common use such as bugger, fuck or cunt.

Expand Your Vocabulary

If like us, you’re from the lower classes, you may need your vocabulary expanding.  So we have done our research.  We can now present you with our quick guide to Victorian vulgarities.  And be warned, they are very rude!

And should you wish to share this around, you madam, you sir, are a muffin walloper! *

Victorian vulgarities

 

* A gossip

**We have been enjoying reading  “Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr; The Strange World of Victorian Slang by Patrick Chapman and 1811 Dictionary of Vulgar Tongue by Francis Grose.  All available on a well known internet shopping site, the latter being £0.00 !

 

Our Love of Typography and Vulgar Language

DYP Postcards

You may think that we just slap a load of cheek on a card and that’s it.  But there’s a method and a passion behind what we do.  Typography, design and a love of linguistics is what makes us tick.

Founder, owner, and head-honcho Bec has a longstanding interest in print.  Typography has been her thing for a long time. DYP started out as a Letterpress printing studio, using mainly vintage wood type. The artwork created for all our products is based on a 1940s wooden type from Germany.  And Bec’s more than a bit nerdy about paper.  Oh yes, it has to be the right paper, not just any old card stock!

Typography Typography typography

Our cards and prints are inspired by the centuries-old craft of letterpress printing.  We love the beautify qualities of that traditional print.

typographySo, you may focus on the cheeky message, but we’ve spent hours selecting the right paper, and the right printer.  We’ve designed unique and individual fonts.  We’ve spent time getting the layout just right.  We’ve chosen the colours carefully.  Add luxury, traditional crafts, and a hefty dose of rude and what you get is DYP.  We love what we do!

 

 

 

 

Profane or Obscene? It’s all Swearing to us!

Swearing

The Etymology of Swearing

A little while ago we wrote about the Science of Swearing.  But we’re also interested in the etymology of swearing – that’s the origins of the words.  One thing we’re really interested in is the way the meanings and use change over time.  It’s all very studious round here you know.  Even during the summer holidays!

In our earlier article we said that swear words in every language fell into one of three categories. They are either about body functions or sex, or connected to religion.  But it’s not quite that simple.  At least, not historically.  There’s profanities (swearing or oaths) and there’s obscenities.  What’s the difference?

Profane? Obscene? It’s all Swearing.

Well, to be profane, is to be unholy.  So, a profanity is “taking the Lord’s name in vain”.  Jeez, Oh Lord! Hell!, Jesus Christ! For Gods sake!  All profanities.  And very very sinful they are too!  Then there’s the obscenities.  That’s the bodily functions stuff – bloody, shit etc.  And the sex – don’t forget the sex! – and genitalia.  And OMG (profanity) is there a shitload (obscenity) of that!   By the turn of the 20th Century, the two started to be pretty much lumped together as “swearing”.

Swearing

What does it all mean?

The meanings of swear words get blurred when they get used as swearwords.  “Fuck” is an obvious example.   As an expletive, it really doesn’t mean “have sexual intercourse”.  We might sometimes use it in it’s literal sense, but mostly it’s the taboo that counts.  It emphasises bad.  Or sometimes good.  Or even indifference (“I don’t give a fuck”).  It also gets bunged in (sorry …) to sentences to mean whatever the (fuck) we want it to.  It’s original meaning is completely lost, once it’s used as a swear word. The important thing is that it’s an expletive.

The same goes for lots of obscenities.  When we call someone a cunt, we don’t actually mean they are a vagina.  Nor is “bugger the bills” a demand to have anal sex with your debts, however tempting that may be….

The Lost Words

What’s a real shame, is just how narrow our swearing vocabulary has got.   Lost in the annuls of time are chinkstopper, plugtail, fartleberries, lobcock, and huffle.  We’ll bring you more of that, if you can take it, next week.  Though top marks to you if you not only already know their meanings, but get them into everyday speech!

swearing swearingswearing

Exam Results days are nearly here!

Clever Sausage

 

Exam results days are drawing near.  Are you quietly confident, or biting your nails?  Our own exam days are long behind us. But we’ve got our fingers and well everything crossed for everyone we know who’s going to be opening that brown envelope!

So, whatever the exam results, we know it’s been a long slog.  And you deserve a a big fat squidgy hug for that!

A Level Results: 18th August

GCSE Results: 25th August

Exam results Exam results

 

Exam results

Camping? If you must, read our camping tips first.

Camping tips

Camping Tips

Looking for camping tips?  We can think of a million reasons why not to go camping, and most of them bite.   There’s midges.  And cold nights.  And having to walk half a mile for a pee.  And everything takes twice as much effort in a tent as it does in a house.  That’s why we live in houses.   And it will rain.  And midges.

And yet thousands of you will be planning a trip right now.  So we consulted our resident expert for some top camping tips to make the most of it.  Just don’t forget the custard.

Top Tips from our Camping Expert

  1. Red wine should be drunk at room temperature. A cold damp British field is not room temperature.  Cold red wine = miserable campers.  Take white wine, or beer, or spirits.
  2. Those cheap tents they call “festival tents”?  Just don’t.  There’s a reason they’re cheap.  You need a proper tent.  For proper British camping weather.   Check the reviews.
  3. Want creepy men come over to “help you pitch your tent” ?  Don’t bother to even look at the tent’s instructions.  Otherwise practice pitching your tent before the trip.
  4. Arrive at your site during daylight so you can pitch your tent properly. That way it won’t leak or blow away.   Also, you don’t want to wake up and find you have pitched across the main thoroughfare to the bogs.
  5. Take a emergency tent repair kit: solvent glue for emergency waterproofing of tent seams; gaffa/duct tape for mending everything; spare guy lines and pegs; a needle and thread.
  6. A tidy tent is a happy tent! Look, if the weather gets bad, and your tent leaks or blows down, you’re gonna thank me for this.  If your belongings are strewn across your tent, they’re gonna get wet.  If they’re packed in your rucksack, they’re not.
  7. Never have a lit flame in your tent.  Yeah yeah, everyone does it … I’m being a kill-joy.  But if you’ve ever seen the burn scars on someone who’s been in a tent fire … just don’t.  (It takes seconds for a tent to completely burn down, you won’t have time to put out a fire)
  8. Don’t skimp on your sleeping bag.  Even summer nights get really cold in the UK.  If you’ve only got a thin one, one of those cheap fleece throws inside your sleeping bag works well.  Also, an aluminium water bottle makes a half decent hot-water-bottle if needs must.  But make sure the lid is watertight.
  9. You need something between you and the ground. If you’re tough/young a thin insulating mat will do the trick.  But an airbed will be more comfortable.  And put an insulating mat on top of it.  That way, you’ll be comfortable and warm
  10. Lots of thin layers are warmer than one thick.  Leggings or woolly tights under trousers are super-warm for evenings.  And waterproof footwear.  You’re not gonna care about sexy or trendy when you’ve got trenchfoot.
  11. Wet-wipes. Take loads.  The cheap kind you get in discount stores.  Use them for mopping up spills, wiping your hands, cleaning muddy groundsheets, etc.  And plastic bags – sandwich bags, bin bags, carrier bags.  Don’t ask why – you’ll see.
  12. That rustling you hear in the night? It’s a hedgehog going for your sliced brown.  Pack as much of your food as you can in airtight plastic boxes.
  13. Freeze some of your food and pack it frozen (milk, a premade chilli or curry, butter, cheese, meat etc). It keeps your cool box cold for longer.
  14. Put your matches in an airtight plastic box. You can’t light a stove with damp matches. A cig lighter is crap for lighting stoves btw.
  15. Have enough fuel for your stove. Whatever your stove needs, that’ll be the one kind of fuel the campsite shop doesn’t have.
  16. Put your phone sim in your prehistoric Nokia from like 2010. The battery will last all week.  And jeez, everyone can wait till you get back to hear about your trip.  No, really, they can.
  17. Remember your torch. Take spare batteries.  (See  no 15)
  18. Insect repellent. Lots of it.  All the time, but especially in the late afternoon, early evening.
  19. Earwigs do NOT get in your ears and bore into your brain. Get a grip.
  20. A wet camper is a miserable camper. Custard is cheering.  Take custard.

    Camping Tips

    Keep your matches in an airtight box

 

 

It’s International Friendship Day !

Today is International Day of Friendship.  We know you guys love to insult your mates, because we’ve seen the cards you’ve ordered!  But today is a day to appreciate friends.  And not just ones that have been with you for ever.  New ones too.

So what’s all this International Day thing all about then?  Not another excuse to sell cards to you.  Oh no, it’s far more profound than that.  (Well, that as well : ) )

Friendship Day goes way back to the 1920s, when, yeah, you guessed it, it was promoted by the Greetings Card Association of the USA!  But hang on …

World Wide Friendship

The idea of making it a worldwide thing came from a certain Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho of Paraguay.  In 1958 he and some mates set up the “World Friendship Crusade” to promote friendship amongst everyone, regardless of race, colour or religion.

The World Friendship Crusade lobbied the UN for a more than 50 years.  How’s that for stamina? Finally in 2011 the UN General Council recognised the 30th July as International Friendship Day.

Peace and Unity

The UN says that promoting “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.”  See, it’s not all about cards!

The idea of the day is to hold events and activities that bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together in friendship.  Now we know you won’t have had time to organise anything like that – it being – erm – today, but you could invite your neighbour in for coffee, chat to the person sat next to you on the train, smile at a passerby.  Go on, make a new friend today.

And don’t forget your old friends too.  We love a curse, we love throwing around profundities, but we do it with love.  We love our friends!

Friendship Friendship Friendship

Cool things for teenagers to do in the hols

teenagers

Do your teenagers need cool things to do in the hols?  Or do you need you teenagers to do something in the hols?  If you don’t know the difference, ask your teenagers!

Mumsnet had a little discussion about holiday activities for teenagers a while back.  They came up with a bunch of ideas.  The kind parents everywhere would probably suggest, with the purist of intentions.  A raft of teenagers signed up to Mumsnet so they could wade in:

“Right, guys you might want to listen closely, all this rubbish about yeay lets go on a treasure hunt is pure bullshit, no offence parents.  Swimming?? Seriously??”

“I’m 15 and these ideas suck, sorry J”

“The important point I think parents should know is that most probably your teen already has activities planned.  So let them have some freedom and let them decide for themselves how to spend their holidays.”

That’s us told then!

Of course, teenagers are people.  Some might like treasure hunts and swimming.  Some would rather chill with friends and, importantly, away from parents.  And of course, there’s a difference between a 17 year old and a 13 year old.

For teenagers who come asking for ideas

If a teenager is needing something to do  here’s some thoughts.  Let them reject them out of hand, ridicule, adapt or embrace at their leisure:

  • A photography project: “the stupid things my family did this summer”
  • A blog “the boring things my family wanted me to do this summer”
  • A playlist “all the music my mum hates”  “favourite music”  “stuff I’m not supposed to listen to”
  • A wardrobe revamp – clear out, adapt, swap with friends, recycle, repurpose your clothes

For teens who are fed up of you wanting them to do stuff

If a teenager just wants to be left alone here’s a thing:

“A few years ago, I took three teenagers camping: one son, one niece, one friend of niece.  I went for walks, read my book, had leisurely pub lunches, painted, cooked.  They slept, festered, flirted with other young people on the campsite, festered some more, slept some more, played with their phones til the batteries went flat.  I could have forced them to join my activities, but they’d have been grumpy and I’d have been cross.  As it was, we all had a bloody fantastic time.”

For teens who just want you to butt out

Lets face it, what teenagers mostly want is autonomy and adult-free time.   Give them a summer budget.  Set some mutually agreed ground rules (curfew, how far you can go, communication etc).  Get them to plan some activities.  Hand over the dosh.*

 

*Obviously some teenagers are more vulnerable than others.  Some may need more guidance than others.  Be sensible.  Be a parent!

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