The Cereal Quest: Day 162 – Bank Holiday Madness

So as you may have established by not working today (unless you are the people that ‘keep the country going’) it is Bank Holiday Monday! Yay.  A day off work for reasons unknown, always a bonus.  Another thing that was quickly established today is that I only have one bowl left of Grape Nuts after the bowl I had today, on one hand sweet relief for my little stomach, on the other hand sad times for the strangely more-ish taste.  They really are becoming like a close friend, but the sort of friend that although you like, a lot of your friendship is based on sympathy as they don’t appear to be loved very much by others.

Today was the first day of the year I gave the people who live opposite our house free evening entertainment.  With the strange weather I had assumed our house had lost its ‘mozzie-magnatism’, I was wrong.  I have a fear of all things that fly, I do not know where this stems from but do know it is wimpish.  I do not like, flies, mozzies, wasps or bees, but I dislike mozzies more than bees as I get bitten so much.  There is just a lot of me to eat I suppose.  So when this time of year comes I can’t bear for them to be in my bedroom when I am trying to sleep.  So as I got in to bed tonight before writing this I heard a mozzie near my ear, then it flew off, this is where my neighbours can have great entertainment, that is if ‘great entertainment’ is watching a silhouette of me through curtains standing on the bed in my boxers trying to kill a mozzie with a piece of tissue.  I killed the little sucker (literal, not me trying to be cool) accuracy was high, thank you Grape Nuts.

The Cereal Quest: Day 161 – Grape Nuts Reminiscence

Today I was starting to find Grape Nuts strange, I ate my bowlful in double quick time this morning as I got up really late so was in a rush, the bowl was delightful taste wise as today I sprinkled a little bit of sugar on but after that, pretty instantly I went upstairs at pace to tend to a very upset stomach, these things work instantly, if you gave every member of Royal Mail staff these at the start of a shift things would be done quicker and we would get our post faster, a suggestion that as yet I have not passed on to them.  The thing I am finding strange is a lot of people talk about how great Grape Nuts ‘were’.  They reminisce and talk about them like they are a deceased love one.  No one says they have them any more, but everyone seems to claim they used to be great.  Why do these people not still eat them if they are so great?  Am I missing something?  I can only imagine it is not just the IBS sufferer who gets battered from the inside by these shards of roughage.  I will enquire more.

The Cereal Quest: Day 160 – Risky Wedding Day Start for Grape Nuts

Well today was going to be a big day.  Plans for this day have been in preparation for months on end and there were certainly nerves.  No, not my brothers wedding which coincidentally was today but of course the introduction of Grape Nuts in to my life.  Grape Nuts (for those who do not know) do not contain any grapes or indeed any nuts.  They are called Grape Nuts because originally they said they look like the seeds of a grape but are tough as a nut.  This is a good rough explanation but allow me to go further.  Grape Nuts taste similar to bran flakes, but they are broken in to tiny pip size pieces, when you have not tried them before you are taken back by how crunchy they are, I have read that they have taken out many a tooth during their long life so far.  They are also dangerously high in fibre, perhaps then a foolish day to start eating them when I was being best man at my brothers wedding, even more so when my brother was to force me, my other brother and the ushers to eat a foot long hot dog and chips at lunch time, before the ceremony and before our best mans speech.  So as I stood staring at what is the smallest box of cereal so far on the quest (although to be fair the bag inside is crammed full, something that I truly appreciate when you consider the likes of Froot Loops) I was nervous, really nervous but I do like a challenge so poured out the strange looking bowl of cereal, it looked like a bowl of chicken feed but that wasn’t going to stop me trying it.  After the initial crunch I allowed the milk to soak in more to help shake the fear of snapping a tooth before speaking to a room full of people about my brother.  It tasted a lot like bran flakes, I didn’t sugar sprinkle it today, I wanted to see what it was like ‘eau naturele’.  The perhaps predictable stomach issues did arrive, of course they did but they were conveniently timed and didn’t effect what was a lovely day, congratulations to Mike and Claire and I can honestly say that had I realised 2 of my brothers bosses were going to be amongst the guests I would have dropped the line about regularly faking illnesses to get time off from the best mans speech.  Honest.

The Cereal Quest: Day 159 – Bye Bye Mini Max

Well despite yesterdays problematic toilet visits I was still sad to pour my last bowl of Mini Max out today.  They had been gifted to me by a lovely lady from a lovely family, perhaps this made them taste better in my head but I would like to think that even if I had paid for them I would be as enthusiastic.  I love the way that when you put them in your mouth the milk comes flowing from them but comes out slightly sweetened, milk goes in to your bowl like normal but then says “tonight Matthew I am going to be sweeter”.  Beautiful stuff.  Talking of sweet things my wife made me smile today by saying “I like the smell of wine, it smells like grown ups.”. This is lovely as she is in fact a grown up herself.

Here are the vital statistics for Kellogg’s Mini Max:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 53.9
Pros – Taste great, look great, charming.
Cons – High wheat predictably can cause troubles.

The Cereal Quest: Day 158 – Taking IBS to the Mini Max

Well today was inevitable, you don’t eat plenty of wheat for a couple of days without inevitable self combustion and that is what I was greeted with instantly on my awaking this morning.  I’m lucky that at the end of my bed is an en suite bathroom including my dear friend, the toilet.  After the rude awakening what I needed more than anything else in the world was of course another bowl of lovely wheaty Kellogg’s Mini Max.  The thing is I really like them, they taste good and are probably one of the more image conscious cereals of the cereal world with there crunchy sugarry whisp of hair on top.  Despite what was a painful start to the day I genuinely enjoyed this bowl.  I foolishly figured that after that bout of agony first thing I was in the ‘safety zone’ for another IBS episode so as I stood confidently in the ‘basket’s only’ queue in Sainsbury’s imagine my surprise whilst staring at an offer for detergent when my stomach started cramping and the ticking time bomb that is my large intestine started throwing its weight around, I dropped the basket and waddled in to the Sainsbury’s toilet for a long time, a very long time, I didn’t need to look at my watch to figure that out, the man that kept coming in (perhaps he had been eating Mini Max too) and swearing angrily about how someone was still in the one and only cubicle told me that.  Oh Mini Max, I love your taste so why treat me like this?

The Cereal Quest: Day 157 – Double Mini Max

Today I had another busy day ahead at work, it was my last day at work before holiday so I took my Kellogg’s Mini Max with me, I had a bowl before I went out and loved them, they suck up milk but stay fairly crispy so when you bite in to them a stream of ice cold milk comes gushing out, similar to popular 90′s bubble gum ‘Bubbaloo’ but better.

As I brought the box in to work I could see my boss was delighted with my decision, little did he know they were a gift.  Mini Max is a strange choice for a favourite cereal in my opinion, but I think he likes them because he has a dog called Max and he was once mini. This is an assumption.  They gave me plenty of energy but made me incredibly clumsy.  I smacked my knee on the door frame walking out the door, tripped over the same bit of carpet twice, tripped up the stairs and hit mysef in the face with the edge of a heavy duty car mat.  Kellogg’s Mini Max must be to blame. After I had had them for lunch I was equally clumsy, just ask my kneecaps (and the pluralisation is intentional).

The Cereal Quest: Day 156 – Introducing Kellogg’s Mini Max

Yes, I know what you are thinking, it is probably our first oxymoron cereal.  I must start this cereal with a big thank you to Sally for kindly gifting me with it.  It is a cereal I had never had, one of my bosses as work harps on about these like they are the best thing since sliced bread, literally.  If you have never them they are like miniature bales of hay that have been part covered by drifting snow, you will see on the box that yet again Kellogg’s play the ‘delicious hot’ card:

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The snow topping is actually sugar, not snow.  It essentially saves you the time and usage of pouring your own sugar on to Shredded Wheat Bitesize.  It does taste differently to Shredded Wheat Bitesize and I think due to the rounded shape you will end up cutting your gums less.  So far so good for Kellogg’s Mini Max.

The Cereal Quest: Day 155 – Finally the End of Special K with Strawberries and Chocolate

A fond farewell it was not today.  It really does take something for a cereal to be too sweet, I am fine with adding sugar to cereal to taste so I am not afraid of a bit of sweetness but this cereal is beyond a joke, imagine you give a 7 year old £5 to go to the shops, imagine what they would bring back, that is how sweet the cereal is, it is unnecessary and a shame, cereal shouldn’t be a problem to eat in the morning, sadly this is.  Not only that but it has more calories and more fat than Kellogg’s Frosties, as a ‘healthy eating’ cereal it is pointless.  Rant over.

Here are the vital statistics for Kellogg’s Special K with Strawberries and Chocolate:

Cereal Cost: £2.69
Real Servings per Box: 5
Cost per Serving: 53.9
Pros – Good snack for a toddler.
Cons – Won’t help for dieting, taste ridiculously sweet, inedible in the morning.

The Cereal Quest: Day 154 – Fairly Frustrating

There I was thinking today would be the last bowl of Kellogg’s Special K with Strawberries and Chocolate, wrong.  Somehow I had grossly misjudged the situation.  Todays bowl was a nightmare, so many strawberries that I had to give a pot of them to my daughter, she loved them so that got me in her good books early doors.  Annoyingly I have another serving to eat tomorrow of these and looking through the walls of the see through packet it does not look appetising.  It is really red, there appears to be no dust, just lots of ‘bits’ of Special K and loads of bits of sweet strawberries.  Disappointing.

In other news Rio Ferdinand retired from International football today, the day after I retired, coincidence?  I think not.

The Cereal Quest: Day 153 – My Retirement

As I got up this morning I knew immediately something was wrong, something was badly wrong with my knee.  It didn’t work.  I found this particularly an issue when trying to walk down the stairs, an activity that traditionally is a bit knee centred.  I had no doubts one of the factors in the fact my knee had stopped working was football last night, I felt it go but at the time I was riding on a wave of delight having scored a header.  I hoped deep down that breakfast would prove to be a healing meal for me, as it turned out, it wasn’t.  It was delicious although I had to share some of the massive quantity of strawberries with my daughter it was just the tonic for waking me up today, although the knee pain had already done a good job of that.  I am getting down to the bottom of the box and only have one serving left, the strawberries appear to have been getting less frequent as the box went on.  We shall see tomorrow.  I drove to work contemplating what to do with my knee, it is getting worse and worse each time I play.  I did the only thing I thought was right for both me and the country.  I wrote a letter to Roy Hodgson, the England manager, the FA and Cesare Prandelli the manager of Italy, here is the letter to the FA.

“Dear Sir/Madam and Roy,

I am writing to say that it is with deep regret that I feel I must retire from the international game to focus on playing 5 a side on a Monday night.  My love for the game has not changed nor has my love for my countries (the Italian FA and Cesare Prandelli are also receiving this letter, but in Italian) but unfortunately I have had a re-occurrence of my on-going knee injury, caused partly by kneeling on one of my daughters solid plastic horses from her farm play set and partly by trying to accelerate at a speed that is simply beyond me to try and reach a header playing last night, to be honest it was mainly the plastic horse, it had me grounded on my lounge floor for a substantial amount of time for a fully grown adult.  I had heard that perhaps I was in Roy’s mind for a potential call up for the up coming autumn qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine but to allow him to try and find a similar player in time I am contacting you now.  I would of course be happy to take on a role in the coaching team which maybe like Gary Neville could couple it with the occasional bit of high pitched media work, you just let me know and I will get my wife to let me know if I am available or not.
 
I have tried everything to put back needing to retire from the International game, I have been varying my breakfast cereals to see which provided me with the ultimate performance, Honey Cheerios did well and I did score a good header last night after eating Special K with Strawberries and Chocolate but although they excelled my game they have yet to heal a possible knee ligament issue.  If you or Roy are aware of any better cereal options that may help strengthen my knee please let me know.
 
I thank you for your time and truly do appreciate the amount of caps I was perhaps going to get.
 
Best regards,
Phil Botto”

It is a sad day for me, and possibly an even sadder day for football.