Summer perfection: a good read and ice-cream

Crime fiction, thrillers and spy stories have tended to feature in my book reviews for RNIB.   Not the most literary or spiritually uplifting but great for relaxing in the sun (when it shows its face again).

My latest selection goes live on RNIB Connect radio from 1300 on Friday 9 July – just click

I’ve also been telling the international audience of the British Forces Broadcasting Service

about next Monday’s 1030 (London time) live on-line bake-in: the 9-minute microwave ginger cake.

This honey and ginger ice-cream is the perfect accompaniment for both the good book and the cake.   It grew from a Heston Blumenthal recipe: substituting honey for sugar to give more flavour and slightly changing the consistency.   Ideal for those who can’t eat eggs and very easy.   Keeping the pieces of ginger as a topping avoids overwhelming the subtle honey flavour.

My venerable and elderly ice-cream maker has an integral refrigeration unit.  But you could part-freeze the mix for an hour or so before whisking the semi-frozen mix to break up the ice crystals and returning to the freezer.


840g double or whipping cream.

360g whole milk.

200g honey (we use our own).

35g semi-skimmed milk powder.

3 teaspoons vanilla paste.

Pinch of salt.

2 handfuls crystallised ginger, chopped.


Simply place all the ingredients except the ginger in a pan and gently heat until all is dissolved and mixed.   Briefly bring to boiling point.

Chill for at least two hours (or overnight).

Churn and top with the chopped ginger before serving or placing in the freezer.

How’s that for simple?


Life after Service


Hear my radio interview with the British Forces Broadcasting Service  today: 1800 UK time and follow links to BFBSUK.

There are lots of us with stories about our adventures after leaving  the Navy, Army or Air Force.  If you want to see more of what I’ve been up to over the last 21 years, you can read my story at and catch up with the videos of the world tour at

Military life was great for learning specific skills.  In my case, managing projects, budgets and people.  Far more important was the motivation, determination, confidence and ambition to live life to the full and try to make a contribution to the country.  Working with other people from many different backgrounds, with so many different skills, characters   and motivations was ideal preparation for life in “Civvy Street”.  Perhaps this is our great strength as ex-military people : having breadth of vision and being willing to accept anyone like-minded, regardless of who or what they are.

If you miss tonight’s show, there are other opportunities :

25 February local Breakfast shows  0600-0700

Wednesday 27 February local Lunchtime shows 1300-1400

Thursday 28 February Worldwide show 1000-1100