Shaken and stirred by the Bond diet

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From: Mrs Mary Alexander, Knab Road, Sheffield.

IN reply to James Bond’s letter (Yorkshire Post, February 11) concerning obesity, I would like to challenge his assertion that “freshly cooked nutritious food is expensive”.

It is the frozen, tinned, ready made or take-away foods which are expensive, especially when buying for a family.

I believe some of the television cookery programmes, especially the competitions, may have put some people off cooking, because they think it’s too complicated. It needn’t be. What could be simpler, or cheaper, than putting a few baking potatoes in the oven or microwave, and serving with cheese and/or baked beans and a bit of salad? It is also a balanced meal. Any number of cheap meals can be made from a basic batter (flour, eggs and milk): add sausage for toad-in-the-hole, fry pancakes, either sweet or savoury or add ring of apple or pineapple for fritters. Delicious, cheap and nourishing!

Stews, risottos and pasta dishes done at home cost far less than a takeaway or pub meal (500 grams of pasta is 99p at my local greengrocer’s – enough to feed five or six people).

Eggs are relatively cheap and simple to cook. Boil, poach, fry, make an omelette or a cheese pudding. I sympathise with parents who are hard-pressed for time, but the fact is it need not be harder to cook from scratch, and a lot nicer!

No one pays on rural buses

From: Martin Fletcher, Flanders Court, Thorpe Hesley, South Yorkshire.

I WAS interested in the article and the words of the MP Robert Goodwill (Yorkshire Post, February 15).

Yes, it is true that some rural routes get few passengers but even if they got a lot, most would use bus passes so no money changes hands either way.

I use my bus pass mainly in the summer when the weather is better. Even in fairly full buses, even at the weekend, at least 50 per cent of passengers are OAPs and in the week 90 per cent.

They take few bags because they cannot carry much as most are older female OAPs. That is why neither the buses or the shops get a lot of business so no one benefits. Due to high parking charges and rents in the markets, shops and stalls have closed. Blame the councils and planners.

In the worse months of the year, I do round trips between several supermarkets in one day. Easy parking, I get almost everything I want and little fuel spent. Why should I have the hassle of town centre high streets?

We do need rural bus routes running because a good proportion of the residents are old and without vehicles.

OAPs should note, come the elections, that it is the Lib Dems, the so called soft side of the coalition, who wish to means-test bus passes, winter fuel allowance and TV licensing. Not the wicked Tories.

Concerning the Lib Dems and Labour, it was them that voted against an amendment to the human rights laws that would have allowed us to send back a convicted double murderer and others of that ilk, to spend their jail time in their own countries, saving us money. Now we have a monster or two who we have to pay a couple of million pounds to keep here. Fortunately, I think Nick Clegg has shot his bolt and will be out in this constituency at the next election.

An encounter of interest

From: David Quarrie, Lynden Way, Holgate, York.

THE Governor of the Bank of England, the Canadian Mark Carney, gave a rare interview with Andrew Marr (Yorkshire Post, February 17).

For a change, Mr Marr listened to the replies to his questions without frequent interruptions. Mark Carney answered almost every question clearly, unambiguously, not like a politician, and what he said was so sensible and relevant.

It is a shame that so many of this country’s most senior posts are held by foreigners, but in this case I feel we have a top man in a top position.

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

I HAVE just been watching the Canadian Mark Carney, imported by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to run the Bank of England on the Andrew Marr Show. He has stated there is little hope of interest rates going up.

So what hope for couples wanting to save their money, or what disaster faces pensioners’ investments who have saved over the years? None?

So, all those who were told years ago by Tory governments to save, now face disaster under this present regime. No wonder the Scots want independence.

Recycling romance

From: Keith D Taylor, Dreaken Fold, West Ayton, Scarborough.

I REALLY did appreciate your story (Yorkshire Post, February 15) about Ken and Valerie Myers and in particular Ken’s dedication in sending the same Valentine card for 36 years back to 1979. I am not usually one for “oneupmanship” but couldn’t resist the temptation on this occasion.

I have a card which was first sent in February 1962, the year after our marriage and has been sent for 52 years! I also made sure that my wife Elspeth received it when we were on a horse racing holiday to Dubai in 2004 and subsequent years.

A tale of two funerals

From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.

REPORTS in your paper that a statue has been unveiled of Charles Dickens in Portsmouth against his wishes reminds me it was also his desire to be buried in Kent – a place he loved. It was also his wish that there should be no funeral pomp and no public announcements of the time or place of his burial.

These wishes were also denied, for he was buried at Westminster Abbey and thousands of people filed past his open grave.

All of Dickens’ wishes have been ignored which displays a great lack of respect for a man who wrote some of the finest books in the history of literature.