Saturday, December 15, 2007


Ambling around the internet I found RosieG on NUMU

Naive, Folksy, poorly recorded, yet surprisingly listenable.

With better production techniques, I think she could go places

Search out RosieG on NUMU

Now I have researched some more this young lady from Southend Girls High School was Number 1 on the NUMU Chart in November!

Happy listening check out her rendition of City Lights, which I like even better!

Wears Sarfend neway!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stop Press: I am now just plain ECSTATIC!

Signal! You don't even need to Jailbreak your iPT/iPhone!

Thanks to AlloySoft

As seen in my prior Blog I wanted an iTunes Remote: Signal! is it!!!

Apart from the fact that it cannot control the AirTunes selection, it is perfect

U just gotta try it!!!

I am now partially delighted with my iPod Touch!!!

No thanks to Apple!? Which saddens me....
(The way I could become fully delighted is for Apple to uncripple the iPod Touch and reveal the rumoured BlueTooth functionality in it, and have it work with my Apple iTunes on my Main Mac, it could be A REALLY COOL REMOTE CONTROL OVER ALL MY Music, and have it work with AirTunes)

Thanks are due to the writers of Jailbreak and AppTapp, and the now infamous Safari Tiff Exploit. Although I am experiencing slow downs since I hacked the iPod Touch. (More on that as I discover the cause)

Owners of an iPT still at version 1.1.1 will be able to uncripple their new toy using the following link from their website explained here:

There are some great apps out there waiting to be installed by AppTapp....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is Apple losing it's way?

A sad state of affairs, Apple losing its way!

The key differentiator that Apple was founded upon was; designing for the User, rather than for Profit. This notion was the prime reason for the development of hordes of loyal Apple Users. They are always willing to upgrade, invest, or spend more money on Apple products rather than other similar, cheaper, but designed for profit Technology. The resulting product were invariably what the consumer wanted, thus the premium paid was acceptable.

Let me tell you a story.

One day one of those fiercely loyal Apple consumers (FLAC) went to buy an iPod Touch, the new form of the iPod. He was in Indianapolis so that the dollar exchange rate benefit was too difficult to resist, he only purchased the 8Gb version as he really wanted the 160Gb Hard Disk enhanced version of the iPod Touch, sadly not yet a product. He had lugged his trusty old iBook across the Atlantic as it had his music and photos on it. He couldn't wait to synch . He first called at the home of one of his surrogate daughters, as sadly her mum had suffered through the initial stages of piratisation, by a presumably short sighted foot surgeon. He proudly dropped off a copy of the Sunday Times, actually on a Sunday!, and some nice Chocs to help take her mind off the impending wooden leg, and hopefully didn't infect the household with the deadly virus he was infected with. Anyway back to the less important topic of how Apple is losing its way!

He got back to the hotel room, and expectantly plugged the iPod Touch into his Apple iBook. The result was a VERY unApple message, apparently a 0xE8000025 error had occurred, he winced and waited for the BSOD, just to add the final touch of irony. Happily, Apple have not yet got totally lost! Anyway the iPod Touch could NOT synch with the iBook. Doh! One deflated FLAC!

Sadly, the fLAC unpacked his HP Windows Laptop and fired up iTunes on it and tried to Synch, it was a long shot, he thought, but NO the Apple iPod Touch synched just fine with a Windows machine!!! However there was no music on his work laptop, and no photos to speak of. The initial joy of the synch was thus very tainted.

Then he started to play with his new toy and slowly discovered just how crippled it was. He was sure that he had read that it was based on the Mac OSX Operating System and was capable of the same things that the iPhone could do, less of course, Phoning and Taking Photos He would clearly have purchased the iPhone in preference, but those mean AT&T folks had forced Apple to cripple that device, and tie it to a Heavy Contract. (Clearly Apple wouldn't have come up with that idea..... right!!???)

First he searched in the box for pouch to protect his new toy, instead he found a polishing cloth, damn he thought "I'll soon lose that, especially as it is black!". He then searched in vain for the email application, or the weather app or the... heck quite a few of the apps he had been expecting were not present. The first inkling of an unusual Apple initial experience, when was the last time he had purchased a new Apple product and not been DELIGHTED!?. But at least the Contacts and Calendar Apps were present. The Contacts user interface was a typical Apple interface, designed for users, but the Calendar interface???...., he knew he had read that he could add calendar events but nothing he did would add one. So he resorted to Google, but WHAT!!! ...according to Steve the feature has been disabled due to a software bug. Then a little later he found that the software bug was to do with the Edit feature being "accidentally?" set to FALSE in a key line of code in the operating system. He thought, "Those pesky testers... bet Steve was livid!"

ITunes on the iPod Touch still doesn't want him to connect directly via the built in wireless, weird comments about going to the iTunes website but when he did, no clue as to what he should do to enable the iPod Touch. Hmm more and more like Microsoft every day....

A little more perusing and he found a site that could resolve the problem, literally 2 clicks later having entered the correct URL into the Safari Browser on the iPod Touch and he was happily adding Calendar events.. Admittedly the TIFF exploit crashed the Safari Browser in the process and rebooted the iPod Touch, but that was all to be expected... (See Next Blog)

So have Apple lost their way...???

There is a choice here: They haven't lost their way and they always did intend to launch the full suite of applications, but these bugs are actually real, just like the TIFF Security Vulnerability, just harder to find... and in an effort to protect their trusty iPod Touch customers from the nasty bugs that the iPhone customers will be experiencing they just had to delete all the dangerous though valuable applications.


AT&T and Microsofts money grabbing practises have rubbed off on Apple and they are now thinking "Damn the FLAC's we want to screw them for all the profit we can!"

Well all I can say Steve is Watch Out!, for racing up behind you is:
1) an as yet unfunded start-up
2) Google
3) Nintendo...
who will build a Linux based hand held device that will have the following features
High Def Touch Screen to die for
Blue Tooth , I'll come back to this!!!
MP3 Player
Gaming Capability
Surround Sound
Cool Browser
eMail App
The obvious Instant Messaging App
Capability of Running Multiple Open Source Apps
Oh and did I mention Blue Tooth, as this enables VOIP in the device!

(Hey folks at Nintendo are you listening this could be yours, that way I wouldn't need to be carrying around my DS, and my iPod Touch ! Imagine taking over from Apple as clearly they have given up delighting their Customers, come to think of it I was delighted with my new Wii and my DS...... AND THE DS DOES ALREADY HAVE WIFI.!!!!... hey you have already started I GET IT.... WAIT A MINUTE YOUR STOCK PRICE IS ALREADY SHOWING THE POWER OF DOING THAT)

And as of today I am no longer as fiercely loyal as I once was!!!!

I am feeling more like a Partially Loyal Apple Dupe. A PLAD?!

DOH! I gave away "his" identity!

Yes loyal reader it was me!!

The last six Tech Toys I have purchased recently were

Mac Mini- Delighted
DS - Delighted
iBook - OK (Was as expected but I did NOT get a free Leopard upgrade in the box as it was so close to the Leopard Launch date) SO really that was a "Just OK"
Wii - Delighted
Leopard - Underwhelmed
iPod Touch - Deflated, with a tinge of delight thanks to my JailBreak friends
(See next Blog)

Do you want Nintendo to take your delight the user slot?
Or is the impending Google announcement the true death knell?

Hmmm.... A Google-Nintendo Dream team, now that would be pretty neat!

So Steve:
Please get Apple back to what you did best; delighting your Customers!

Friday, August 31, 2007


Get yourself a NEW Mac for free, or at least what will feel like a New Mac.

Does your Mac feel lethargic and bloated, has it stopped responding to you in its normally sprightly way. Does it feel just plain OLD!

ONYX is your answer!


Tomatoes died of some sort of blight.
Peppers and such, eaten by Slugs
One courgette plant survived we have had 3 Courgettes of it!
(Not enough sun!)
Radishes still growing..
The perpetual Spinach is doing a fine job.

Just plain Wow!

The price is right!
The taste is even righter!
(I never said I was going to stay true to the English Language!)
Sainsbury stocks this wonderfull liquor; a brilliant malt blend that contains two of my favourite malts: The Macallan and Highland Park.

The exciting thing for me, is that in writing this blog I have discovered there are now three more Famous Grouse Blended Malts for me to track down.

Famous Grouse 12 Year Old Malt Blend
Famous Grouse 18 Year Old Malt Blend
and the new Famous Grouse Black

Yippee. Note to self: must persuade Gill to give me some more Whisky cupboard space, 3 is clealy not enough!! (OK So I am using 5, bUt she has sanctioned 3!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Let counselling in Guildford begin!

This month marks the actual start of Gill's new company Her website is live! Now all we need is loads of links to it!!!! Got get that GOOGLE PAGE RANK rising!

After 5 years of providing her service f.o.c. in order to gain her Masters, she had her first paying client on Monday, via a referral from an overbooked counselling friend

Go visit her site, and more importantly put a link to it on your site.

Her website

Friday, June 08, 2007


A wonderful Malt! I am now fighting the urge to open the 20 year old Brora that we purchased at the same time from the modern Clynellish distillery across the road from the now silent Brora distillery!

Have been distracted by holidays work trips and SketchUp

Great Holidays in Little Cayman with friends and a great trip to Barcelona to understand the future of Information Technology from Gartner followed by a wonderfull trip to Orkney with more friends.
Photos will be appearing or have appeared in Flickr under Adrius42.

My latest distractions are: Google Sketchup, which allows me both to create a 3D image of our home to place on Google Earth (in Progress) and to create 3D knots in cubes...

Additionally my up till now latent and recently emerging twitcher gene has driven me to Swarovski and my new scope.
I practised taking photos through the scope on Orkney simply holding the camera to the eyepiece and got surprisingly reasonable results!!

What a nice Puffin!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Demo Picture Post for Lesley

You can type words before the picture code
or even after the code, it will wrap around the picture.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Exercising does help weight loss!

I have of course known this but have been denying that it could be that effective. The accursed reality is that it is very effective! I got through the Easter Weekend... and lost weight in the process.

Drat! That means TBM was right all along!!!

The good news is that I have hit my target weight of 225lbs before the holiday, now I have set myself a new target 220! with just 4 days to go!!! Can I do it?


Vegetable Garden Planted with 4 rows of Perpetual Spinach, 1 row of Beetroot and the Courgette seeds are in their pots. Not sure it will be sunny enough for the Courgettes... We will see.


SWDNFT and HWWGTA flew off to see bade naked ladies in Dublin.... there's no accounting for taste!

Stop Press: SWDNFT does like the Guinness in Dublin, whereas she doesn't like the stuff served here.

So I did some Googling:
"Everybody knows that the Guinness in Ireland is better than anywhere else!
This is bullshit, an urban legend almost. When Guinness is brewed and ready for distribution, even the most acclaimed brewmasters cannot tell the difference between the "geography" of the product. Bear in mind that these guys can identify minute traces of chemicals in beverages and estimate their quantity... by taste alone.

The reason Guinness tastes better in Ireland, correctly pointed out by ryano, is the way the product is managed when it leaves the brewery or distributor. In Ireland, thousands of pints of Guinness are consumed every day, therefore the volume of Guinness coming though an Irish pub is much greater than an equivalent English pub. This means the kegs are changed more often and the lines are cleaned more often.

This equals fresher and better tasting Guinness.

Because less is sold in the equivalent English pub, the stout is lingering in the keg longer, becoming less fresh, giving it that distinctive bitter taste. The Guinness lines in the equivalent English pub would not be maintained as well as the Irish pub either. These factors, plus illiterate bar staff who don't know what they're doing, all contribute to the Guinness tasting bad in England sometimes."

I also found this...
in the past, the draught Guinness served in Ireland was not pasteurised while the British was. Today, both are - albeit briefly, by a method usually applied only to draught beers. Pasteurisation is intended to stabilise beer, though it can also flatten flavours.

So much for my unpasteurised Guinness "Urban Legend"

Buy now it is till available in bottles.... but wait horror of horrors Guinness are ending, or maybe already have ended their unpasteurised bottled Guinness.

Let's use the power of the market to reverse this decision.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I now have a FaceBook Badge!

Adrius FortyTwo's Facebook profile

Patchy Blogging... Aarghh!!!

I hate these sorts of bloggers and now I am one!

The garden has been taking my attention as well as giving me more aches and pains than are good for me!!! However I am pleased with the overall impact.

My key concern now is will I hit my target weight, I did not count on the temptations of Easter coming the week before we fly to Cayman!! I was 2.5lbs off the target before Easter hit!

I am feeling fitter though, the rowin' and bikin' seem to be helping....

Latest Culinary effort... a Rhubarb and Plum Cobbler
Warning the cleaning up will take longer than the prep!
900g Roughly chopped fruit into suitable oven proof dish (Rhubarb from the garden added 2 plums just becos' they came in the Green box this week)sprinkle with Muscovado sugar (110g) and 2 Tablespoons of Elderflower cordial and the juice of a Mandarin???!

Cobbler Topping
225g of Plain Flour
110g of Frozen Butter, cut into small cubes.
3 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
(I actually used 1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda and 2 teaspoons of the other stuff (Cream of Tartar), shame that the flour I used was self raising!! There are no signs on any of our flour containers! Didn't seem to matter too much (Phew!))
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
175ml of milk
Zest of small Orange
(I didn't have this, as Gill had already been zestfully creating nude citrus fruit and I wanted to avoid creating even more nude fruit that would not get used. Plus the Mandarin did not create good zest, thus the juice got used above!)

Flour, Salt, Baking Powder, Butter into the Food Processor blitz until well mixed
Add Milk blitz until sticky dough is created.
Spoon dough in little sticky balls over the top of the fruit.

Sprinkle with heaped teaspoon of Demerara sugar, or six roughly crushed brown sugar cubes

Oven Gas Mark (200C) Place dish on tray as it tends to boil over!

Serve warm with a good vanilla ice cream. Calories?: Don't ask!!!
Darn there goes my target weight and I can't even blame Gill!!!
The FftN and the FftS all seemed to enjoy it.... :-)

My latest weird cocktail involved blitzing a handfull of Mint M&M's, with an Ice Cube and a shot each of vodka and JD, (How was I supposed to know that Lent was yet too finish! Doh! Sorry Chris! At least you have the chocolate fountain to look forward to today!)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A friday night above an old butchers shop...

It was nearly all predictable, but none-the-less enjoyable.

I arrived late, the clear cause of the over cooked vegetables, but wait a minute that meant that NITRAM prepared me a meal! Yes, dear reader he did!, that was one of the surprises for me too! What was even more of a surprise was the fact that meal was very enjoyable, a Cajun Sweet and Spicy Chicken along with an oven baked Mashed Potato, with a cheesy crispy surface that went perfectly. (While the veg were a little stewed in their juices, (Yes I know, my fault!) they were not unpalatable)

And despite warnings to the contrary the butchers shop was clearly well on the way to being transformed into a small printers. It is however at that very dangerous 80% stage where it is near enough to operate but not yet complete. [[ Suggestions from elder siblings not being the most desired of feedback, I will resist making further comment ]]

Another surprise was the remodelling that NITRAM had initiated in the back yard!! This resulted in failed attempts to melt the house at the back, and eradicate the next door garden shed. Though he did burn down sections of the fence between them. The fireman had attended for more than a few minutes in battling the resulting blaze. The outcome of this faux pas has yet to fully unravel. Why didn't I have my camera, (Wonder if NITRAM will send me a photo...)

A "surprise"? for NITRAM was that his elder sibling has crap at Starcraft!! We stopped playing at 1:30am, when I finally beat him, once. Final Score was 4 to 1.

Saturday, Up early, NITRAM was only joking about not having coffee, PHEW!!!. The local newsagent took pleasure in staring back at me from behind the locked door of his shop at 6:30am. Needless to say I did not buy anything from him, nor will I, EVER!. Had a go at setting up the LAN, made a small amount of progress, but still much more to do. ((PVN: Applications/Utility/Directory Access is the obscure path to renaming the Apple SMB Workgroup name, if only I had found that while I was there!!))

A Very Hearty Brunch at the home of SWTBH and HotRCKM, before they were off to bowls, then back to Ye old Butchers shop to finally thrash NITRAM at Starcraft... DOH!!!

Arrived back in Guildford JUST in time to shower and shave and take Gill to watch the dancing in Guildford Cathedral. OK!, so it wasn't dancing it was singing... they danced a little, as did large sections of the audience! Very uplifting, the only reason we left early was my concern for the mutts.

OMG! Facebook said "link to the Blog!"

Not download the whole of the Blog!!

Bin too silent this month, have been exploring other technologies.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Procrastination is really hard work!!

What is it about procrastination that results in my doing more to avoid the thing I am procrastinating against, than doing it?

1) I built a shoe seat for the hall
2) I tidied up the TV room
3) I read emails
4) I responded to emails
(now you know I must really be procrastinating!)

But at least I have not sent off my expenses...
...but wait a minute I get money back when I do that!???

So please someone explain to me why!!!???

Did you know just how many drivers there are for procrastination?
- 'just so' procrastination
- procrastination based on fear of failure
- procrastination based on 'fear of success'
- approval-based procrastination
- discomfort-based procrastination
- worry-based procrastination
- autonomy-based procrastination
- crisis-based procrastination

So which one am I doing?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Keystrokes Missing...VISTA? No OAUE!

Courtesy of Brian Basset and Microsoft Corporation

Convinced that Vista was losing keystroke, I Googled "Vista Losing Keystrokes" and guess what the Bill goons had got to Google before me... there on the first page perfectly centred for my fading eyesight!! was:

Guide for Aging Computer Users: Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing
Around age 45 for most people, eyes start to lose the ability to adjust their ... Windows Vista: Ignore or slow down brief or repeated keystrokes (Filter ... - 27k - Cached - Similar pages

Bloody Cheek!!! Old Age User Error indeed!
Plus they also imply drug abuse!

I Vista'd! Therefore I ain't! WOW?

I really am starting wish I had Thunk instead!

Didn't realise that W.O.W stood for Why Oh Why?

For those interested in the journey I have started a blog of the saga here!

Both TREE and SWHAND are now more convinced than ever that I am losing it!!

Were it not for my amazingly short term memory loss, I am convinced that I would have remembered that I have lost it already!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Recycling Water is only a matter of time. NOT!

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is telling other Australian cities they too will need to recycle their urine, as he eliminates the planned plebiscite on the "Urine Recycling" decision for Queensland, apparently there is now no choice. The really amazing thing was that the plebiscite was going to cost $10M.

Someone really has to tell these antipodean folks, that it is in fact, NOT a question of time, in the sense of when in the future will it occur, as it plainly already has been since the formation of the water molecule. It is porbably also important to record here that less than 1% of the worlds water is readily accessible and fresh, ie not saline.

So lets explore the perceptual reality here; the issue is not whether a human unit, will in their lifetime consume a water molecule that has ever passed through the digestive tract of another human unit or any of the many animal units on this greeny blue planet. Let us assume that can be reasonably established as a high probability.

I posit that the underlying driver is not actually the "Everyone Else's Waste Water" factor commonly known as the EEWW! factor.

It is more likely to be that well known saying, translated by the Russian Linguistic Program as "Invisible Idiots" or in the original..."Out of sight, out of mind!"

Even if the water has been treated, the human units need the water to pass (oops!, sorry) conceptually out of sight, for them to get out of their minds that they have just passed it! In short, they do not like the idea of drinking their own urine!!! This is a very positive and natural survival instinct, as the urine is a waste product that contains compounds and elements that should not be reintroduced back into their bodies, while their systems can cope with a little short term urine recycling, not to be confused with the term "taking the piss", however that is another thing entirely! (Imagine what the Russian Linguistic Program would have made of that phrase) But I digresss... the simple matter is: long term urine drinking is bad for human units... and they naturally avoid doing it. Apart,of course, from the special case of the "Magic Mushrooms". So, apart from the sublime? benefits of magic mushrooms, how to make it good for the human units??

Any one of you read DUNE? if you have you will understand that the question is not so much a matter of time, but of distance. The Fremen stillsuit brought the recycling distance down to a matter of feet!
There are species on this greeny blue planet that have a more intimate means of recyling their own waste, take for example terrestrial crabs, or the macaque monkeys. It is clearly efficient survival capability when resources are in short supply, to hang onto as much of them as possible.

So here is a proposal!
Let City A, in addition to the rainfall they manage to capture, receive top up water from City B, and City B receive their water from City C, and City C from A, whereas City A feeds the water it does not need along with some "super refreshed water molecules" from their water treatment plants, (OK "Recycled if you like!") to City C, who,, etc....

Sort of like what the folks in Windsor Castle have been doing to Londoners via the Thames, for as long as I can remember! Amazing how the royalty always prefer to be upwind and upstream of the plebs! Of course Slough did not exist back then, it was all verdant countryside with just cows and sheep urinating into the river! And Reading was far enough up the Thames not to be visible, back to those "Invisble Idiots", and of course the academics chose to stay even further up the river in Oxford.

In a funny sort of way this is similar to my last blog the trick seems to be, for the unit in question to get resources from outside the unit if possible, and the closer to the unit centre the more efficient, in this instance the resource was H20, the prior example involved cellular energy. Feels like a principle of nature don't you think? More proof needed?, well the Danes have a different approach, than drinking the urine in the recyling process, greener in many ways more than one! For urine contains nutrients that are good for plants!! They eat their urine!, it's all just a question of perspective. Which this Taiwanese toilet restaurant tests to perfection.

Before you think that I do not understand just how serious this situation is I have read this Special Report

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Energy Crisis was "solved" in 1930!

The question was;
Is it Cause or Effect?

Unfortunately a leading scientist, the famous Hans Krebs (right), denounced the Warburg Hypothesis, and the older Otto Warburg (left) never did manage to have his idea taken seriously. Interestingly Hans was Otto's assistant at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (now renamed the Max Planck Institute) until 1930, which is the time when Otto was developing his ground breaking concept. Later in his life Hans would continue to denounce the hypothesis. (I wonder was there a falling out?) Otto's idea was simple; The source of energy is the Cause! I am of course referring to Cancer. Otto was proposing that the fact that cancer cells switch to glycolosis from their normal energy source provided by the mitochondria was a defining property of the cancer cell. Had this idea been accepted back in the 1930's, perhaps we would already have the cure! As the key trick, lies in the fact that another function of the Mitochondria is to trigger an abnormal cells self destruction (an activity known as Apoptosis).

A recent article in New Scientist 20th January has highlighted that a very simple compound, namely dichloroethanoic acid (aka Dichloroacetate (DCA)) has the potential of switching a cells energy source back to the Mitochondria, resulting in the other Mitochondrial function of apoptosis operating.


The problem is that the capitalistic system of Invention-Patent-Reward will not work with a compound already known to exist and thus not patentable. Yet the clinical trials do need to occur as this is after all an acid, and earlier trials have shown that DCA is corrosive and destroys the tissue of mucous membrane and upper respiratory tract.

Any one care to invent a new disease eradication model other than the standard selfish/greed based model we use today?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gnephngh! (or some such gnarley expletive)

He just can't be!! Can he?? But then again I did shave 30 years off my mental age... and TMO before you comment, NO that does not result in either an imaginary number nor a negative one!!

If you have thus far avoided this accursed time eraser, congratulations.... NOW...RUN, RUN as fast as you can! Don't look back...

Especially if you are competitive, and like the idea of practising to get your mental age lower. OK Brain age isn't the same as Mental Age.... but you get my point.

Any how, back to the Gnephngh! .... My youngest just sent me a multimedia message to my mobile phone that I had to pick up at an O2 web site!!

Facts you need to know:
He has been consistently older than his actual age,
You cannot get lower than 20,
So he wins!!! >:-(
I am a sore loser especially when I can't even play being 1,000's of miles from the accursed device.
(And NO there was not one at the Airport !!!)

My gallantry (I erased their scores and their real names to protect both their pride and their identity) got me to thinking about HWA (Her Without Acronym) and in a flash it came to me! SWDNFT, so now she has one! I'll give her about 10 minutes to guess it, she's that bright!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Official Name Change!

WFBOJ will henceforth be known as WFT, after the terror she causes TMTDUB! Given her tiny legs, it is really quite amusing watching her run rings round TMTDUB. His barks are very easy to translate: "Respect Your Elders!" and "If I ever catch you!". Her yaps clearly mean "Fat Chance!" As a quick squint at the TMTDUB photo, it will be seen that he has less of a chance to catch her than she realises...cataracts can really mess up one's aim.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Galatte du Roi, Twelfth Night, or What You Will

Today is the day that the decorations come down!
SWHAND reliably informed me that we need to take them down on the Saturday which is after all the 12th day as they don't need to be down until the 12th night. Unfortunately she was WRONG! Happily our Xmas tree is fake. So I vote we can take it and the lights down late! Otherwise they need to stay up all year!
Ever since the unfortunate accident with the Xmas Tree and a saw, I haven't been allowed to have a real one. Just as well really as I don't have the requisite baby elephant to dispose of it! The human units have some quaint customs related to the end of the Christmas Period: from chasing and killing Wrens, Lewd behaviour on the Feast of Fools, to the rather more gruesome custom of the Celtic Queens who had their new consort kill her old one on the 12th Night. (Some let them last 7 years others just the one! But that's pagans for you!) Incidentally, anyone know where in the bible the three kings arrive? The closest I can get is three gifts delivered by an unspecified number of Zoroastrian sorcerers, wise in the ways of astrology. I have found at least 6 names for them...

Wonder if the Gremlins will strike during the dismantling phase? Watch this space...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Well the Lambs Legs were not wasted!

It was great to move on from Turkey, with what I consider to be the second best English meal that ever existed, (yes it even beats that traditional 14th Century English dish Loseyns (pronounced Lasan)). In this case, I refer of course to Shepherds' Pie, and as a reminder to those that misuse the term; if one uses left over beef rather than lamb it is called "Cottage Pie".

I can remember as a child the pleasure of anticipation that came from helping my Nan mince the left over lamb from the Sunday roast. For me at the time, Shepherds' Pie and it's beef variant were the only reason to submit to eating a roast Dinner.

HWWGTA's profligate purchase of Lamb's Legs created the opportunity to partake of this magnificent meal, last night.

It also gives reason for the existence of that most sublime of all condiments, if that indeed is what it is, namely Worcestershire Sauce (Pronounced "Woos-Tah" Sauce) which is the only way to make a Shepherds' Pie complete!

(The observant amongst you will note that I have tried to be balanced by referring to the dish as English, providing a Scottish recipe, and a Welsh image.)

Finally I did try and consider the punctuation but Google gave me all variants and I could not decide which was correct... your inputs will be gratefully received.
This was my order of preference.
Shepherds' Pie
Shepherd's Pie
Shepherds Pie

Monday, January 01, 2007

That Was The Not So Green Year That Was!

It was the year I discovered just how big "our" Carbon Footprint was. You can calculate yours here. I just could not lie about the fact that I had burned 26 weekends flying the Atlantic.

It was also the year that we spoiled ourselves as well as the planet and had six different vacations, if you don't count the long weekend in the North clebrating SGM's 80th!:

Marrakesh with a medium sized negative carbon impact, but GREAT memories, as much from the smells as from the colours and images that we shared with the PoSDO (looks like we have lost the Marrakesh Photos to technology!!).

Orkney with a small sized negative carbon impact, and this time GREAT repeat memories, from the wildlife, the sea scenery and the amazing hospitality of Jackie and Stewart at Rickla the greatest B&B on the face of the planet.

Birmingham Canals with a smallish sized negative carbon impact, as we drove to Birmingham to pick up the Canal Boat. Brilliant slow down holiday that the whole of the FftS enjoyed. If left to my own devices I would buy one tomorrow.

Cornwall, Lerryn
, a small negative carbon impact with the drive down, and a visit to the Eden Project to remind ourselves what being Green really means.

Indy & Chicago on one of my trips to Indy I took Gill and we spent the weekend in Chicago. Unfortunately a large sized negative Carbon Impact.

and finally....
Moscow and St Petersburg Brilliant Memories! that we shared with TGSWAES and her husband (TREE).
Another large sized negative Carbon Impact which could have been larger had we not taken the train to St Petersburg.

It was also the year that we got delivery of a Toyota Hybrid vehicle a small and virtually insignificant reduced negative impact in comparison to our Carbon driven travels.

In addition it was the year that we installed a very large rain water collection tank, in order to reduce our reliance on tap water for gardening.

And finally it was the year that two special folks from the FftN became a special year older!

Having read this blog, it feels a little wrong, it was great reliving the memories but in the cold light of a blog, could also feel like showing off.... when it was in reality a cathartic way of dealing with the juxtaposition of my Green Guilt and Great Memories. (That I know I would do again in an instant!!) Wonder how long I will leave this up? It also explains how I burnt up all my back log of vacations!!! Nearly didn't have enough for Christmas!!!

unHappy New Year

We arrived home, in the first few hours of this New Year to find, despite the missing script for the murderer (or was that "ess")... the house tidy, no wine stains on the carpet (that I have yet found), and the washing up done! So why "unHappy " I hear you ask! Well, I was just showing HWWGTA the prior blog at 2:30 am and suddenly he clicked and nearly guessed his acronym, so very nearly that the one formerly known as SWWMD, now clearly known as SWHAND! said "surely that counts!". How little, does she know! I told him that he was close... what more does she want!

We had had a brilliant evening at the home of TVBNL, who regaled us with a wondrous recitation of the poem of the Magna Carta by Marriott Edgar. Given it has 19 stanzas, that is no mean achievement! He followed this up with a mean display of fireworks that lasted into the new year. He had the luck of the irish as the weather created a starry moonlit night for the fireworks despite raining like cats and dogs hours before and again as I type this blog. (I just love the English language, the word "mean" can mean so many things!)

TVBNLSSL, TSOAFGF and our very kind Teetotal driver (who did the desserts) had laid on a spread fit for a whole bevy of Kings. I have to admit to being very struck with the Lemon Possett which apparently is far simpler to make than its sublime taste and texture would suggest!

Happy New Year to my reader!