Missed the boat


Just when “substantial meals” are no longer required, I’ve got around to making Scotch eggs.

The hand fracture is doing well and I’m starting on the exercises to re-build strength – how am I going to grapple ingredients to the chopping board with limp wrists and weak digits?

I’m back on RNIB Connect radio (Read On programme) this week (Friday at 1300 – available on-line and via Alexa) with more book reviews.  This time I’m talking about Len Deighton, one of my all-time favourites since the 1970s and I must have re-read his books at least every 5 years.      My weekly book rate is at least three detective/thriller/Scandinavian noir books – just light reading for relaxation – but there’s the occasional classic thrown in for when I’m feeling more intelligent.  The joy of audio books is that I can read them anywhere (cooking, swimming, trying to sleep) and they bring the writing alive – it is amazing to discover Trollope’s humour (Anthony rather than Joanna).

A note for diaries: World Baking Day on 17 May and another Exclusive for Visually Impaired People live on-line bake-in.  We have had people from all over the world signing up – it’s free and fun.  This time I’ll be featuring hot water pastry in some dead simple pork pies.    Get your ticket here:


(Don’t worry about signing –up – it’s a way to avoid any of us getting trolled)

Meanwhile, these Scotch eggs are quick and easy, perfect for a picnic now that we can all roam a little further and the weather is better:

2 eggs.

350g sausage meat.


Spray oil.

Prick the ends of the eggs and cook in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Remove and place in cold water.

When cool enough to handle, remove the shells and pat dry.

Season/flavour the sausage meat as you prefer: pepper, garlic powder, chopped herbs, chilli – all, none or whatever tantalises your taste buds.

Divide the sausage meat in half and press out as thin as possible without it breaking up.     Wrap the meat around each egg, pinching together the joins.

Roll the covered egg in the breadcrumbs and spray with oil.

Place on an oiled baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes, turning half way, at 180C, Gas 4, 350F.

Serve with the chutney of your choice – ours is apple, date and walnut.





Can blind people work?

What do you think: Time to employ more visually impaired people as we can do most things but don’t get a fair chance at jobs.

The large range of jobs held by visually impaired people are described in an RNIB report.  Although the report is based on the small sample of people supported by RNIB over several years, it does suggest that:

  • People with sight limitation work across all job sectors.
  • According to the LFS, around 113,000 people of working age in the UK self-report that they are “long-term disabled with a seeing difficulty”.   (RNIB 2014 figures suggest that about 84,000 working age people in the UK are registered as blind or partially sighted.  Hence there are some people whose sightloss will not justify registration and others who elect not to register.)
  • Compared with the general population, people with visual impairments are more likely to be unemployed and to have not worked for longer.

Years ago I led the European Blind Union project to promote visually impaired people at work on their website – the range was huge: from running their own businesses to making coffins!  We can cook (see the American Master Chef winner), run Government Departments and much more in-between.

Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

Access to Work

Did you know? There’s funding available that can make work possible for disabled people.

I’ve just reviewed an RNIB report (Blind and partially sighted people of working age) that, amongst other things, says that blind and partially sighted people are less likely to work than other people with health conditions/disabilities and that getting to grips with adaptive technology can make all the difference.
They are absolutely right: having started with screen magnification, I soon needed a binder for all the 36 Bold documents that were too thick for a stapler. Now my screen reader means I’m paper-less but can still type e-mails and documents, use the internet and read text (although Facebook, Linked in and Twitter are all proving a step too far at the moment and pdf documents often don’t work with a screen reader).
All of this is thanks to Government Access To Work (ATW) support which funded the software and training. It also means that I have support workers to read the post and keep me and the PowerPoint slides in synch at training sessions.
ATW assistance is there for people with health conditions/disabilities who work (jobs or self-employment) and more. It means that employers don’t have to bear all the costs of special equipment or extra help – so there’s no excuse!

Bouquet of the week.

Disability Floristry Art

Disability Floristry Art

Hats off to the Royal Sussex County hospital in Brighton: although it’s not the easiest place to get around, they do have an excellent phone service where you can talk to a real human being rather than one of those awful automatic option systems which never quite match what you need.
And secondly to friend Sue who introduced me to fresh broad beans and helper Karen who thought I was mad to double de-pod them. Delicious!

Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk

Helping disabled people to work since 2000