The Bobbins has lost its way. A little bit of Portugal no more – Não mais comida portuguesa

Sad to report that the Bobbins has lost its taste for Portuguese cuisine despite my being told new chef would maintain it on the menu.

Also on my last visit in the afternoon there were no hot dishes – just coffee and cakes. This is sad as it was a unique experience which seems to have lost its way.

Original post from March 2016

A friend had told me about this new restaurant  tucked away in Oakmount Mill on Wiseman Street near the “On the Embankment” canal redevelopment in Burnley.

Called The Bobbin (presumably a reference to the former cotton town’s industrial past) it comprises a restaurant area, decorated with cotton mill  artefacts, and a more relaxed sitting out area with settees – presumably for those patrons who just want a coffee or a glass of wine.P1030392

On its Facebook page (which has more photos) it describes itself as a cafe and mediterranean restaurant but the menu is portuguese influenced with various piri-piri dishes and sea-food. The chef and co-owner David O’Hara learned to cook portuguese food in the Algarve and his wife Beatriz is portuguese so it should be authentic!P1030390

The background music is Fado (plaintive, melancholic folk songs) with Mariza featuring heavily (although as a member of staff said “you can have too much of Mariza”. If you don’t know of her check her out below).

I chose a swordfish steak which was delicious and melted in my mouth and I accompanied it with a glass of white wine. Unfortunately they only had red portuguese wine but that may change.P1030389

They are also only open during the day: 1000 – 1700, but are thinking about opening in the evening.

It’s not a fast food service but worth the wait and the staff are friendly and want to know you have everything you need.

On Saturdays they serve the famous portuguese custard tart (pastel de nata) and they also prepare a Cataplana (Seafood stew) if you book it in advance for 4 people.

And if you want to hear some Fado here is Mariza singing “Ó gente da minha terra” (Oh people of my land).

FYI According to some sources “bobbins” is also old northern slang for something that’s rubbish (appropriated from cockney rhyming slang – bobbins of cotton i.e. rotten). This definitely does not apply in this case. Just the very opposite in fact.

If you really have to make new year resolutions..

Mike the Psych's Blog

here are some sensible ones from Dr Mark Porter who writes for the Times (with my own comments added):looking_in_mirror_1600_wht_5647

  1. Get a tape measure and measure your waist. This should be less than half your height to maintain good health. Body Mass Index (bmi) is so out-of-date as I’ve written before.
  2. Buy a blood pressure monitor as one in three of us develops high blood pressure which often requires lifelong treatment. Taking your BP at home may be more accurate than if taken in a stressful environment such as a hospital or GP’s surgery (the well-known white coat effect).
  3. Buy a petrol car next time as diesel has been proved to be dirtier fuel and unhealthy in built-up areas
  4. Learn what sepsis looks like. Blood poisoning or septicaemia as it was once called kills thousands of people a year. It typically starts with bacterial infections of the chest…

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Denmark’s first dementia village

Mike the Psych's Blog

Denmark has opened a village equipped with a music library, restaurants and shops reserved for dementia sufferers.

Svendborg Demensby on the island of Funen is the first of its kind in Denmark and is modelled on similar villages in Italy, Canada and the Netherlands.

The village of 125 homes was developed on the site of an old brewery which had already been used as a care centre for the elderly. The idea is to give residents the feel of living in a small town and is expected to give dementia sufferers a safer environment and a more fulfilling life in comparison with ordinary sheltered housing. It’s a pilot scheme with plans to open similar projects in Aalborg, Odense and Herning.

The Danish Alzheimer’s Association cautiously welcomed the initiative but voiced worries about the villagers being cut off from the outside world. “It concerns us when special dementia villages are being…

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Don’t buy Kinder eggs

Mike the Psych's Blog

p1ceu1nzkbumc2itd4-czh7lrblwouulhndll_qzbmve5cwdwmlxzvickigkhdbqhsn5-sgs129It turns out that the toys inside the Kinder chocolate eggs are made by child labour in Romania according to an investigation by the Sunnewspaper.

Families in this, one of the poorest of the EU countries are being paid as little as 20p an hour for making the toys at home.

Child exploitation is not new in Romania. It is probably as famous for sending gangs of child pickpockets to the UK as it is for being the home of Vlad the Impaler.

Apart from the child exploitation experts say there is also a risk of food poisoning if the toys have been assembled in unsanitary conditions.

A whistleblower said “Customers would expect products which go inside children’s chocolates to be made in controlled conditions but so many of the toys are being made in peoples homes that effective quality control is impossible”.

Ferrero (the Italian chocolatier that makes…

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Anything you can do, I can do too

Mike the Psych's Blog

Violent offences and sex attacks, increased alcohol consumption and partner abuse, have all increased dramatically for women.

Gone are the days of ladylike behaviour. Increasingly women are copying the worst behaviours of men. They are just as likely as men to troll partners online; they are swearing more than men (who have cut down); and drinking more than ever before.

Teenage girls in the UK are twice more likely than boys to get drunk than almost anywhere else in Europe where it is the other way round. They are also more likely to be drink-driving than men from the age of 30 with a doubling of the number of women convicted for it since 1998.

figure_behind_bars_anim_500_wht_3524There are currently almost a hundred women in prison for violent behaviour, up a third, and over a hundred serving time for serious sexual offences, three times the number, compared to ten years ago.

One…

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Don’t leave a phone in your child’s bedroom

Mike the Psych's Blog

talking_with_your_followers_1600_wht_9116Just the presence of a smartphone or device is enough to disturb children’s sleep patterns as they anticipate the possibility of getting a message and can’t relax.

Using devices  at any point in the 90 minutes before bedtime more than doubles the risk of a poor night’s sleep. Even leaving it charging in the corner can have a detrimental effect, possibly because children are subconsciously engaged with them if they know they are within earshot.

Researchers ta Kings College London examined the digital behaviour of 125,000 children across four continents. It’s known from previous studies that around three-quarters of children and adolescents have at least one device in their bedroom at night.

Screen-based media may adversely affect sleep in different ways: psychologically stimulating the brain, delaying or interrupting sleep time, and affecting sleep cycles, physiology and alertness. They effect both the quality and the duration of sleep.

Sleep is undervalued but…

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Middle aged dads are evolution’s heroes

Mike the Psych's Blog

Forget your lean testosterone-driven  alpha male.

It’s the men with love handles, slightly overweight,who live longer, are better at passing on their genes – and are more attractive to the opposite sex! A recent study of women in Latvia confirmed that such men are more sexually attractive than lean men.

It’s a mystery why men remain fertile for so long after they have passed their reproductive and physical peaks.

41a1gp0xwpl-_ac_us160_Richard Bribiescas, anthropology professor at Yale University thinks he knows the answer. In his book “How Men Age” he sets out a theory about pudgy dads which suggests that the slow ebbing of male sex hormones after the late teens is the key to longevity not just for men but also for women.

Most men become slightly fatter after fatherhood and find it increasingly difficult to build muscles as their testosterone declines. this however prolongs their lives and strengthens their immune…

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Facebook is for losers

A while since I posted this but the evidence all suggests that using social media can make you feel inadequate by comparing yourself with artificially inflated/enhanced profiles & pictures or number of people who like you.

Mike the Psych's Blog

figure_bed_computer_1600_wht_14033Most people who use Facebook do so to add positive updates but generally people who use Facebook tend to be more frustrated, angry and lonely.

This might be because positive updates from their “friends” make them feel inadequate.

Now researchers at Ohio University have discovered that people in a bad mood turn to social network sites and look up people less attractive or less successful than themselves rather than those more attractive and more successful.

Given a choice of profiles to look at on a new social networking link called SocialLink participants who had been put in a negative state of mind – by being given poor feedback on a test – spent more time looking at the profiles of people who were less attractive and less successful.

The message is if you’re feeling bad look for someone who’s feeling even worse and regain your emotional superiority.

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It’s…

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Does “the terrible twos” actually exist?

s1030647_2I’ve never agreed with the idea of the “terrible twos” and now a former teacher, coach, and therapist has come out and said what many of us have long thought.

Tantrums are caused by lax parental discipline and unrealistic expectation rather than being an inevitable part of child development.

9781785831089newGillian Bridge, in her new book The Significance Delusion says this behaviour is peculiar to the UK and the USA where there is an acceptance that toddlers’  frustrations are worked out in “semi-feral behaviour labelled the terrible twos” which doesn’t exist in many other parts of the world.

She says visitors to the UK are often baffled by misbehaving toddlers and either had higher standards of behaviour for their own children or were more indulgent of childhood without having expectations about a child’s self-control. Some thought Brits expected too much of their youngsters.

In more traditional cultures in Asia and Europe children are expected to learn quickly about hierarchies and the fact that adults had more rights than children because they had more knowledge, wisdom and experience. (Perhaps a lesson to be remembered as children get older and parents want to be their best friends on social media).

In Britain however toddlers are routinely taken to places where they are unlikely to behave well such as a pub or the cinema. “We take our children to an awful lot of places and get them to fit in with adult arenas which we wouldn’t have thought appropriate years ago” Bridge told the Times.

To make maters worse parents often ignore the ensuing meltdown or try to discipline them when their behaviour shouldn’t be unexpected in such environments.

She says this is apparent at the nursery gates where “harassed Mums and Dads … vainly attempt to restrain their struggling, squawking tinies or hopelessly give up on the attempt“. She says people view this almost as a rite of passage.

She added that parents are inconsistent and often didn’t behave to the standard they expected of their children.

Another so-called expert and super-many Jo Frost says these are the 5 areas where parents make mistakes.

Sleep – ensuring both parents and children get enough – and on a regular routine.

Food – establishing good eating habits and appropriate nutrition

Play – teaching children to socialise by playing and sharing

Screen time – no more than 30 minutes a day for toddlers

Manners – set a good example by behaving as you would like your children to behave.

I would include in that not smoking, getting drunk, or swearing in front of them – or is that too blindingly obvious?

I got rhythm…

changing_the_clock_1600_clr_11186and so have you. It’s called circadian rhythm, the body clock that tells us when to eat sleep and wake up every 24 hours.

Unless we mess it up with long-haul travel which gives us jet lag or adopt an “always on” life style fuelled by drugs of various degrees of legality.

Canadian researchers announced last week that women’s body clocks were approximately two hours ahead of men’s, something I recently posted about.

Now Peta Bee, writing the Body + Soul section of the Times (one of my favourite weekend reads I have to say), suggests that we should pay more attention to what our body clock is telling us and optimise certain actives to enhance our health and well-being.

So here’s what she’s suggesting (you don’t have to agree with it all, I don’t but I’m just sharing the main points. Check it out for yourself for more information)

  1. Wake up at 7.22 am as that time minimises the level of the stress hormone cortisol
  2. Don’t drink coffee in the morning but wait until 3.00pm. Drinking caffeine in the morning interferes with the production of the stress hormone cortisol making you more reliant on caffeine. You’d think it would be a good thing to reduce your level of cortisol – see 1 above – and what would Italians think of that idea as they grab a quick double espresso on their ay to work.
  3. Go for a walk before breakfast or do yoga. Apparently heart attacks and strokes peak at 9.00 am due to our blood clotting mechanism kicking in to protect us. Doesn’t explain what to do when you have to get the kids ready for school  apart from getting up even earlier – but see 1 above – not too early!
  4. Eat breakfast at 8.00am as this is the time your blood sugar levels stabilise. Again most of us are getting ready for the commute to school or the office, if not already en route. Eating breakfast in the car or on the train is not a good thing.
  5. Do your most important tasks at 11.00am. Your body temperature has risen and you probably have increased mental alertness and better working memory at this time.
  6. Leave your weightlifting until lunchtime. Your testosterone levels gradually drop during the day and your muscle strength is probably at its best around midday. Of course you could also be sensible and get out for something to eat (not at your desk).
  7. Save your bike ride until 5.00pm. Between 3.00 and 6.00pm is the best tie for endurance workouts and your long function is 18% more efficient at 5.00pm. So maybe the French know something after all with their quaint “cinq à sept” custom (look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about – but not on a Canadian website, too PC)
  8. Have your glass of plonk at 6.30. Apparently alcohol has less of a negative effect on your cognitive ability at this time of day rather than later when it can disrupt your sleep patterns ie zonking out with no REM stage. Not recommended after a workout (see 6 and 7 above) as it affects muscle protein synthesised. Obviously recommended if you are engaged in cinq à sept (see 7 above).
  9. Eat dinner at 7.00pm, having got back from your assignation with a healthy appetite no doubt, as your body is less efficient at processing and storing glucose later in the evening.
  10. Avoid carbs before bedtime. A load of hormones are released before dawn which causes your liver to dump glucose in your bloodstream increasing risk of diabetes.
  11. Go to bed before 11.00pm. In fact anytime between 9.00 and 11.00 pm when your body temperature starts to drop and your brain is preparing you for sleep.

So that’s your day planned out.