Underwater Interweb Tubes

Posted in Geeky Tech Stuff on April 30th, 2007 by Coffee

I was reading a random entry on Slashdot which was talking about a new submarine cable between SE Asia and the US and one of the posts there mentioned a Wired story/article on the topic of cabling by Neal Stephenson who’s written a whole heap of books that I really, really liked. So I just had to have a look.

The article is here (print version, which I find a lot easier to read), and it’s suberb! You’d think that this could/should be a really dry kind of topic, but the way he tells it all is great. So much history and politics that I haven’t really thought of before. It is quite a long piece, and a little old (not that it dates, I think), but I just had to keep reading. Must have been a fantastic fact finding trip!

If you do read it, let me know what you thought. Or maybe it’s just an interesting to a geek type of thing….

2007’s First Chilli

Posted in Plants and Gardens on April 29th, 2007 by Coffee

Woke up this morninga nd struggled down to get a coffee and noticed that the first flower had dropped off. Thought “bugger, the shaking didn’t work” as when they don’t pollenate the flowers just all drop off and get me in trouble for messy bits being all over the window sills. But then I looked more closely, and lo and behold, the first chilli of the year is starting to take shape!


It’s weird how they grow though. As soon as the flowers are pollenated the ring of petals sort of fall off to leave the long stamen-y thing of the flower attached to the little growing chilli. That normally falls off sometime a bit later. Sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes the petal ring gets a bit stuck and sticks around the growing chilli like a tu-tu and I have to go around pulling them off. Gardener’s work is never done…

Property Magnates – Finally!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on April 26th, 2007 by Coffee

Finally the process that started in June last year is finally over, and the block of land at Cust is finally all ours!

Now the hard work of working out just what to put on it and where and when and why etc. starts.

I figure that might take a bit longer even than this first bit!

First Flower’s Out!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on April 25th, 2007 by Coffee

Thought it would happen this week, and it has!

I’ve given it a good old shake, so I guess we’ll see if it’s the first chilli soon too.

New Phone

Posted in Geeky Tech Stuff on April 25th, 2007 by Coffee

For all of you that keep asking me “have you still got that old phone”, no I haven’t.  Finally. Got a new whizzy one that does far too much to take in at once.
But getting it has made me even more confused about the stupidity cell phone companies.  The only way I could get a new phone before November was to change networks and get my number transferred across.  If I’d wanted to stay with the same company and get a new phone I’d have had to have got a new number.

Dumb.  Really dumb.

One less customer for them, not that they’d notice or care.

My Favorite Local Wildlife

Posted in London on April 22nd, 2007 by Coffee

Sometime last year some stupid pillock decided it would be fun to throw some of the life-preservers that are dotted around the pond thing into the water. Good one. Really good fun, I’m sure.

But the birds that come and breed in there every year seem to love it! (I think it’s the same pair as last year, but who knows. They all look the same to me!) They’ve got a big steady base for their nest that floats casually around the pond giving them a different view all the time. Location, location and more locations!

They seem to build their nest out of just about anything too. I have no idea how they manage to drag some of the twigs they do across all the water, and dragging plastic bags up onto it has gotta suck when you’ve only got a little bill to help!

Everytime I walk that way I always have a wee chuckle. It’s the little things!


2 and a bit months on…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on April 22nd, 2007 by Coffee

They’re growing!  They’re growing well!


In fact, some of them have the start of flowers popping out.  I suspect the first actual flower will be sometime this week for the  Ring of Fires, and the others don’t look too far behind.  In the last couple of weeks they’ve all started to take on their own types of foliage and stalk angles.  I can almost tell them apart now by just looking, rather than reading the labels on the pots, but not quite.  Almost time I re-potted them up to their final pots, I think…  Maybe next weekend.

London Marathon 2007

Posted in London on April 22nd, 2007 by Coffee

First up: NO, neither of us ran it! Just have to make that clear after seemingly nearly causing various heart attacks around the world the last time we put up a blog entry about a run.

The course for the marathon runs around the main roads about 500m from our place, so if we’re around town when it’s on we go and have a look and add our small bit of encouragement to the clapping and yahoo-ing that goes on hopefully motivating the nuts who decide it’s a fun thing to do on a Sunday to go a bit further.

We had a bit of a disaster though. For some reason Bec thought that the race started at 10am, so even though we got up well before 8 this morning we were just pottering around doing stuff… Then we finally turned the TV on only to realise that the women’s race was just going past our place, and the guys were getting close. PANIC!! But we managed to get out there in time for the leaders of the guys race to come through.

You won’t see any photos of them here, though, as Bec had a bit of a nightmare and pushed the self-timer button with her nose and missed them. She seems to do that quite a lot. You don’t get a second chance to get a photo though. They’re off! Not sure I could run that fast for 200m, let alone for a marathon!


Once the really serious guys have gone through in little clumps, you just get wave after wave of people coming past, all with various looks of pain and concentration on their faces. Sitting on the wall watching them all stream past actully made us feel a bit dizzy and ill, like travel sickness. I think I can understand how animals like Wilderbeasts avoid being attacked by predators when they all just stream along together!


But good on everyone that did it. I hope you all finished, and may your pain tomorrow all have been worth it!

Another side of Egypt…

Posted in Travel on April 22nd, 2007 by Coffee

After last year’s history tour of Egypt, our holiday there last weekish was a lot more sedate. As we’d pretty much had our fill of pyramids, and tombs we decided that sitting on our butts on a nice warm beach sounded pretty appealing.

We just about didn’t make it though! When we turned up at the airport we were told that they’d overbooked the flight, and we’d be pretty lucky to get on. Would we like £450 each instead and maybe be able to catch a flight tomorrow. As we were on a pretty tight schedule to meet up with our friends in Cairo before heading out to the beach we weren’t happy! Luckily we managed to get the last 2 seats and get there as planned in the end. Phew!

A night in Cairo to catch up with and pick up the guys there, and then an extremely early flight from there to Sharm el Sheik. What does one say about a beach holiday?! It’s pretty much sun, sleep, beach, food, drink, snorkelling (where we saw some pretty colourful fish) and then more sun.


We did it eat some pretty good places though, Indian at Tandoori, pizza/seafood at Pomodoro, Japanese at Little Budha (the waitress was scary). Oh yeah and then the not so good fish restaurant at the hotel, we were the 2nd group in the restaurant and watched everyone else being served before us, it took an hour to get our food, only to be told that it had not been a long time waiting. I think we all knew what a long time was. Apparently there was a problem in the kitchen that we could not be told about – bad luck there goes your tip buddy!

I’d have to say other than that the resort we stayed in could not be faulted, so if you’re thinking of going, look up the Hilton Fayrouz, it’s made up of a lot of bungalows and has it’s on private beach.


The staff are very helpful and the cleaners make a different pattern or scupture out of your bed linen each day. We had a lot of great laughs and I nearly forgot we did actually do something other than just lazing…… We all went quad biking in the desert for about 3 hours, which was great fun, and the head scarfs are a great idea to keep not only the sun but the sand out of your face.


Then back to Cairo for the last 3 days, to do a bit of shopping – you can pick up some great bargains there on nic-nac type things. The rest of the time was just spent lazing round the pool. Next year maybe we’ll head to Dahab and perhaps learn how to dive!

The toy making continues….

Posted in Sewing on April 20th, 2007 by Bec

Whlist we were away the web server fell over so that means a couple of not backed up entries were lost, and that included Maurice the camel and Dolly the dragon. I have no idea what we wrote about them in the old post. But here they are. I remember we had to redo the camels head as we sewed it on a bit wrong and it did not resemble the true form of a camel, however, after a bit of unpicking and an operation it was fixed!


Dolly the dragon followed shortly afterwards and I do not recall any sewing mishaps on that one. She’s the brightest colour of the toys so far, I think she’ll be heading to our neice in NZ (that’s if Mike will ever let me give any of them away).