Thursday 20 June 2024

No ID to vote, no worries! Get a free Voter Authority Certificate!

I don't like to talk politics on here but I was talking to someone the other day about the upcoming election and they said they are not voting as they have no photo ID. I informed them that they could apply for photo ID to vote called a ‘Voter Authority CertificateDon't let a lack of photo ID prevent you from exercising your right to vote. This upcoming general election is an important one. Even my brother who has never voted in his life is going to in this one!

A new law was brought in over the last couple of years that you need a photo ID to vote in any elections. For people like me who doesn't have a driving license or passport meant that I couldn't vote until I heard about the Voter Authority Certificate! I applied for one early last year which only took about 10 minutes online, the biggest chunk of my time was getting a passport style photo, just on my phone. It was easy and in less than a week I had the sheet of paper and the ability to vote!

Polling station

The deadline to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate to vote in the UK Parliamentary general election is 5pm on Wednesday 26th June!

Here is how you can apply for a free voter ID certificate!

Check eligibility:
Ensure you are registered to vote.
Confirm that you don't have any of the accepted forms of photo ID.

Prepare your required information:
You need your National Insurance number. If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you can provide other proofs of identity, such as birth certificate, bank statement, utility bill, etc.
You also need a recent, digital passport style photograph. The photo needs to be of your head and shoulders, with your face uncovered. It needs to be clear and in focus, in colour, against a plain, light coloured background, your true likeness and with no photoshop or filters, just like a normal passport photo.

Application Methods:

Online Application:
Visit the official Government website.
Complete the online form with your personal details and upload your photo.

Paper Application:
Download and print the application form from the government website.
Fill out the form and attach a recent, passport style photograph.
Send the completed form to your local electoral registration office. The address can be found on the Electoral Commission website.

In-person Application:
Visit your local electoral registration office.
Fill out the application form and provide the necessary documentation.
The staff can assist you with taking and uploading your photograph if needed.

The free voter ID doesn't have an expiry date but they are expected to last roughly 10 years as you will need to continue to look like the photograph. 

Are you ready to vote?

Wednesday 19 June 2024

Pizza Scrolls - Recipe!

Did you know that this week is National Picnic Week? National Picnic Week is an annual celebration that invites people to connect with nature, enjoy good food, and create lasting memories through the simple pleasure of picnicking.

Pizza scrolls

What better way to enhance your picnic experience than with a batch of these scrumptious pizza scrolls? They combine the classic flavours of pizza with the convenience of a hand held snack, making them an ideal addition to your picnic basket.

Pizza scrolls are versatile allowing you to customise them with your favourite toppings and fillings. Whether you prefer a traditional pepperoni and cheese combination or a veggie packed option these scrolls are sure to satisfy everyone's cravings. They're not just a treat for your taste buds but also a fun and interactive way to celebrate National Picnic Week!

Some pizza scrolls

Makes 12 scrolls

Ingredients:
220ml of warm water.
1 packet (7g) of fast action yeast.
400g of strong bread flour and a little extra for flouring your surfaces.
1 tablespoon of sugar.
1 teaspoon of salt.
A jar of tomato pizza sauce.
Grated mozzarella cheese.
Fresh basil leaves.

Equipment:
A measuring jug
A large mixing bowl
A rolling pin
A spoon
A knife
A 20 x 30cm baking tin lined with parchment

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan).

Add the yeast to the 220ml warm water in the measuring jug. Set to one side while you combine the bread flour, sugar and salt in the large mixing bowl.

Add the yeast/water to the dry ingredients and bring together with your hands to form a dough. Tip out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5 to10 minutes before returning to the bowl and leaving in a warm place to prove for at least 30 minutes.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back by pushing the air out of the dough with your fist and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, keeping the thickness around 5mm. 

Use the spoon to spread the pizza sauce evenly all over the dough before sprinkling with the cheese and three quarter of the basil, roughly torn. Roll It all up into a long sausage shape and cut into 12 portions.

Place the scrolls swirl side up in the baking tin, leaving a bit of space for expansion in between each one and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Allow to cool slightly before topping with the remaining fresh basil leaves and serving.

This recipe is from the Easy Peasy Baking campaign, launched by UK Flour Millers, making baking simple. You can find more Easy Peasy Baking recipes and information on the campaign over on the Fab Flour website.

Tuesday 18 June 2024

5 years living here!

Oh how time flies and the last 5 years really has! This time 5 years ago we were getting ready to move from Northumberland in the North East of England down to near Scunthorpe. I still don't know how to describe where we live. Sometimes people say it's Yorkshire, sometimes the midlands and sometimes it's just North Lincolnshire but if you are reading from say London do you know where North Lincolnshire is? It's not the most well known areas. For people who aren't around here I just say we live over the bridge from Hull. lol

The sky

Next week is 5 years since we moved here and I can honestly say things have changed for the better. All of my family have changed, relaxed and feel so much happier here than we ever did in Northumberland. Yes, we had some good times there but in 5 years things have just been better! 

When we moved here both Stu and I couldn't sleep because it was so quiet! There was no drunken fools walking home from town, there was no one fighting on the street and there certainly have never been any drugs raids in the houses around us. In fact if we see a police car now we get shocked and wonder what is going on. 

Hanging washing on the line

A few days after moving here I wrote this blog post about how it felt like a whole new world and in some ways it still does. I still can't get used to all the green, grass, fields and flowers. I thought by now my body would have got used to it all but I am suffering with hay fever for another year it seems. That is the only negative I have about living here but I wouldn't change it. I love having a garden even if I am having a battle with weeds at the moment. There is nothing better than hanging washing out on the line!

When we first moved here I thought I would miss being in walking distance to the main high street but living where we do we have the best of both worlds. Scunthorpe is a short bus ride away and Hull not much further and with the £2 bus fares even if I did drive I still wouldn't drive to Hull with the bridge toll and parking costs. Yes, sometimes I miss being able to nip to McDonalds or Costa but in the long run it has saved us money! I rely on online shopping for the groceries and random things but that's fine. We do have a little Tesco and Co-op locally so it's not like we go without. Now when we go to town it feels like more of a treat than an every day thing.

I have seen the biggest changes in the girls. Yes, in 5 years they would have changed but I think if we had stayed in Northumberland Becky would be plodding along unhappily doing goodness knows what and Ellie, I don't know. There might have been a mental breakdown or two. I'd like to say I was exaggerating but she was not in a good place mentally when we left Northumberland. 

My girls 2019

When we left Northumberland Ellie was suffering with social anxiety but now she is a totally different girl. I wouldn't say she is fully confident in everything but she has came out of her shell! She sailed through school doing well in her GCSE's and is almost finished her first year of Electrical Engineering in college.

Becky works full time, night shift in a care home. She loves her job and the residents. She said it's a job she could see herself staying in for life. It's close to home, the hours suit her and the money is good! Soon after moving here Becky came out to us as bisexual and over the last 5 years she has had a few girlfriends. She has been seeing her currant girlfriend for about a year now and is happy. She said if we still lived in Northumberland she would not have came out to us or anyone. Things were different there.

We live in a small town which has a village feel to it. Everyone knows everyone and I feel like we are getting there with the locals. We have had some moments when we have felt like outsiders but I just name drop my dad as he has lived here for almost 15 years and all is good. hehehe We have not had a good relationship with one of our neighbours, from the day we moved in she has hated us and I don't even know why? Well I have a fair idea, before we got this house a lot of local people were after it and I think she knew someone who wanted it. I just laugh at her now because everything she has done against us has backfired on her. Oops. In Northumberland if we had an argument with a neighbour I would worry about our windows being smashed or house set on fire. (It happened, our neighbours house was set on fire when we were in bed asleep) but here the worst that happens is she complains to everyone who will listen and refuses to take parcels in for us. lol

The girls blackberry picking with my dad

The best thing about living here is having my dad up the road! We see him a couple of times a week, he's a busy man but I still speak to him most nights on the phone. The girls have a great relationship with him and his partner. He is so proud of them both. Some people look down on carers but he thinks Becky is amazing for being one and he has really taken Ellie under his wing when it comes to her being an electrical engineer. He has had her doing wiring and has been buying her tools.

I think we moved at the best ever time! We moved here at the end of June and by early 2020 the world was in lockdown because of Coronavirus. I think if we were in Northumberland when that happened we would have fallen apart as a family. In the job Stu had in Northumberland he would have still been working during the lockdowns but here he had a few months at home as he wasn't an essential worker.

I have said this is my forever home! If the landlord ever wants to sell I will beg, borrow and steal to keep it! I couldn't imagine living anywhere else! 

Monday 17 June 2024

Our weekly meal plan! 17th - 23rd June! #MealPlanningMonday

Our weekly meal plan

Last weeks meal plan went really well, we ate everything but did swap a couple of the days around. My family have always said they don't like sweet and sour sauce but will eat it in the chicken balls from Iceland and it turns out when they don't know it's sweet and sour sauce. lol We had sweet & sour pork meatballs with rice and I said it was just a stir fry sauce and they accepted it and ate every morsel. I then told them what they had eaten and they didn't believe me until I showed them the recipe. They have said they only like my sweet & sour sauce. 

Our Gousto box was so late being delivered on Saturday, it didn't arrive until gone half past seven in the evening but we weren't going to miss out on the Sticky Honey Mustard Posh Dogs With Chips, I just followed the recipe card that we got last time we had them to make the honey mustard sauce, used some sausages out of the freezer and got Stu to get some buns on his way home. The Gousto sausages have gone into the freezer and I am sure my family will use the Ciabatta buns during the week.

I don't have much on this week apart from watching the football. I always say I am not a football fan but as soon as the Euro's or World Cup happens I am there, watching every match. I have said to the girls that we might go strawberry picking but that really depends on the weather. We're forecast more rain this week but I suppose it's good for the growing strawberries.

On the menu this week we have:

Monday - Stu's night to cook and he is making us a fry up! Bacon, hash browns, eggs, black pudding, mushrooms and baked beans.
Tuesday - Gousto meal - Thai-Style Coconut Chicken With Sweet Potato Fries. I think this week this is the meal I am most excited about. I love anything with coconut and hopefully this will be a meal that I make again and again.
Wednesday - Gousto meal - Sesame Pork & Mushroom Udon Noodle Stir-Fry.
Thursday - Gousto meal - Sausage & Pepper Chilli s Con Carne Pasta Bake.
Friday - Scampi, chips and peas.
Saturday - Gousto meal - Smoky Beef, Pineapple & Red Onion Tacos.
Sunday - Some sort of casserole cooked in the slow cooker.

What are you eating this week?