Saturday 3 May 2008
links for 2008-05-03
Goji berries are the latest fad food (and taste foul in my opinion). You can import the berries to the EU (subject to phytosanitary certification) but don’t be tempted to try and bring in plants which are banned because they carry diseases and pests. Apparently, people have been ordering these things over the internet and have been somewhat disappointed when they have been intercepted and destroyed by PHSI at the airport.
Monday 5 May 2008
links for 2008-05-05
Excellent (and very long) article on elevators, sorry, LIFTS. I’m not sure that the door-close button is truly a dummy – experimentation is called for.
Tuesday 6 May 2008
links for 2008-05-06
A Skype client that works on Symbian phones (like my E51) – very useful, as Skype have said that they see “no demand” for a Symbian version of their software (grr).
Monday 12 May 2008
Time to catch up
A few things that I haven’t had/made time to remark upon here in the last week or so:
- my gorgeous wife had a birthday. The three of us went to London for the day and ambled around Covent Garden, Regent Street, Tate Britain and the South Bank. Tom was particularly impressed with the sculpture at the Tate, remarking that The Three Graces have bottoms “just like Mummy’s”, which is possibly the best compliment a girl could wish for.
- subsequently, my gorgeous wife went on holiday with her mum to Morocco, leaving son and husband to fend for themselves. Thanks to sitting in train stations with poorly-inked cardboard signs, we survived this ordeal and only went to the pub once.
- Hels and I completed the 20km JustWalk on Saturday in blistering (literally) heat. We were accompanied by our brother-in-law Kevin all the way round the circuit and were able to enjoy some lovely views and some splendid wild flowers. But it was bloomin’ hot and we had to work hard to keep hydrated and to avoid heat stroke. The sections of the walk in the open were particularly hard, especially the mile or so down the south-facing slope into Charlton which was on a chalk and flint track in a bit of a dip – no breeze, bright intense sun, no shade and lots of reflected light and heat from the surface. Thanks to some remarkably generous people, we have now passed our original sponsorship target of £500, for the Parkinson’s Disease Society but we still want to raise more money. What do you mean, you haven’t sponsored us yet? Go here and give now, please and thank you.
- Oh, and it’s my birthday today. I’m already enjoying my first present.
Sunday 18 May 2008
Anyone else having problems with the del.icio.us blog posting tool (the one built in to del.icio.us)? It hasn’t posted for a week, which means you’ve missed out on three or four exciting links. I’ve rebooted it, so hopefully it might work now.
Monday 19 May 2008
links for 2008-05-19
This is partly to test my del.icio.us blog publishing thingy and partly to let the world know that I endorse this company’s fine cross-Channel ferry service.
Tuesday 20 May 2008
links for 2008-05-20
Handy hints here that we are currently putting into practice, having had a vomiting two-year old in the house for most of the weekend. Normality seems to have been restored, but the smell lingers.
Poor lambs. USD4.00 per US gallon equates to 54 pence per litre. Current local prices are in the order of GBP1.11 to 1.14 per litre.
Thursday 22 May 2008
Last night saw a high powered meeting of the village elders here in Ruralville. The Ruralville village hall was converted at short notice and with remarkable speed into a centre for politicking and debate to rival anything that goes on in that other village, Westminster. Speakers passionately debated the matters of the day with argument meeting counter argument on the contentious issue of parking and yellow lines. Amusingly, there were attempts to press-gang attendees into becoming parish councillors, a dangerous path if ever I saw one. Thankfully, I seemed to escape by promising only to give the matter some consideration (a fine cop out, if ever I saw one).
Thereafter, everyone retired to the pub, where we were joined by Monty and our near-neighbour’s cat, Oscar. Oscar is only six months old and is similarly coloured to Monty. Monty seems to regard him as a mini-me. I suspect that he might receive some training and end up as Monty’s henchcat, sent out to deal with the marauding, food-stealing tabby and white that thinks he rules the neighbourhood. In any case, both seemed happy to wander into the pub to see where the hands that feed them had gone, but thought better of it once confronted with two dozing dogs under the table.
links for 2008-05-22
Far too many speed bumps are creeping into our residential streets. It is proposed to remove them all and replace them with eliptical, egg shaped wheels on every car. This would be like taking the bumps with you.
Sunday 25 May 2008
Hmm. Looks like the del.icio.us publishing thingy is borked again, after successfully publishing one link only. So it’s time to look for an alternative solution.
Thankfully, I see that Gordon has linked to this one. However, it requires WP2.5, so it looks like I must finally get around to that upgrade that I’ve been putting off for, well, forever. It would be helpful if I actually read anything – this plugin posts things to del.icio.us from your WP blog, not the other way around. Look, I was still in a meeting at 12.20am this morning (yes, you read that correctly), so I’m not firing on all cylinders this morning, ok?
Thursday 29 May 2008
links for 2008-05-29
We really need to explore some of the other bits of Limburg. We’ve driven through Valkenburg and have planned a stay there, but we haven’t made it to Thorn yet.
Friday 30 May 2008
Graybo’s Yummy Tarragon Chicken
Really, it’s yummy.
INGREDIENTS (serves two):
- 1 small tub (200ml) of crème fraîche, reduced fat if you must.
- 2 chicken breasts, roughly cubed. For goodness sake, get decent chicken, not cheap water-filled, factory-farmed rubbish.
- 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
- a little butter
- a little olive oil
- a good handful of tarragon, roughly chopped or torn, stems removed. You’ve got this growing outside the door, right?
- tagliatelli sufficient for two. Fresh stuff.
- black pepper
- a bottle of good red wine, maybe two
- open the wine. Have a glass for yourself and one for your dining partner.
- boil some water for doing the tag.
- in a large pan or, better still, a wok, melt a good dollop of butter over a medium to high heat.
- fry the leek until just beginning to soften. Remove from the pan and reserve.
- refill your glasses.
- add a little olive oil to the pan and get it hot.
- throw in the chicken and scoot around the pan until lightly browned.
- get the tag going (I assume you have decent fresh pasta, none of the dried stuff – if you have dried pasta, you should have started this a while ago).
- add the entire pot of crème fraîche to the chicken. Stir.
- return the leeks to the pan. Stir some more.
- mill in some black pepper (nice if you have one of those crusher-type mills, rather than a grinding-type). Stir it.
- throw in the tarragon. Yes, you guessed – stir.
- stir it all up some more.
- drain the pasta and get it on the plate.
- pour the chicken/tarragon/leek/crème fraîche mix over the top.
- blimey, those glasses look low. Top ‘em up.
- Eat. Drink. Relax. Candles. Good music. You know the deal.
Takes but ten minutes. Ideal for Friday night. We had it after a starter of fresh local asparagus with shaved parmesan, butter and apple balsamic vinegar. With gin. And tonic.