Today was planting day!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on February 26th, 2009 by Coffee

After starting so late last year I was determined that this year I’d make sure the chilli plants get the best possible start, so we actually manage to get some decent chillis to eat this time (and there’s time to try again if these ones don’t hatch).

So in they go.  I’m trying something a bit different this year, with some seeds in pots, and some in the tray. We’ll see if it makes any difference to speed of germination or ease of transplanting a bit later…


This year’s varieties are:

  • Fresno
  • Anaheim
  • Jalapeño
  • Prairie Fire
  • Ring of Fire
  • Cherry Bomb
  • Pimentos de Padron

I have no idea where they’re all going to go when/if  they sprout, but a couple of people have already put in orders for plants….

Joker or Saint?

Posted in London on February 21st, 2009 by Coffee

We haven’t really posted that much about what we have been doing lately.  We seem to have posted more about what we haven’t been doing! So here is a little something. Not sure its that interesting though!

A few weeks ago we went to a club rugby game (actually it was the Saturday just before the snow arrived – you know the snowfall that shut London down for the day).  Any thought of posting anything non-snow related just didn’t seem right at the time.

Through Bec’s boss we got tickets to a club rugby game: Saints v Harlequins at Twickenham.  So the pair of us and a few of Bec’s work-mates met up for an afternoon out together.  It was played at the Harlequins’ rugby ground just around the corner from the big Twickenham ground, (so on that scale the ground was just a little one).  And because it was a bit smaller, it had a really great atmosphere. And it was packed!

The ground did sort of bring home how big a pastime rugby is in New Zealand compared to the UK though. These teams are in the premier league of UK rugby, and the stands are still only fairly teeny.  Not quite on the  Lancaster Park or Carrisbroke scale. And that’s before taking into account the small difference of a few 10s of millions of potential seat warmers between the countries!

It was also a little odd watching the game and not really having any idea who we wanted to win, as normally there’s at least some reason to lean towards supporting one team or the other, but not this time. We’ll have to assume the best team won on the day!


Weather? Freeeeeezing!  Bloody ffreeezzzing! (It did dump huge amounts of snow just after that, remember?!.  The Harlequins were the winners – that was apparently a bit of a no brainer to those in the know.  But it was a fun day out, with a few pints of Guinness to warm all the boys up…. but Bec says drinking Guinness (the only time she really ever drinks it is at a rugby game), is like having a meal – you don’t need that much before you are full!

Oh and did we mention it was bloody cold, even with jackets, gloves and hats and scarfs on?!?!

Home Made Tortillas…

Posted in Food and Drink on February 20th, 2009 by Coffee

Something a bit different for tea the other night.  Filled wraps for dinner. Actually, filled wraps are quite usual here, but using home “baked” tortillas instead of the store bought ones (which we didn’t have) was new.


They were pretty easy to make, and tasted pretty yummy too. Not bad for just flour, water and salt, with a bit of time and muscle power.  I haven’t really got the knack of making them round yet though. But who needs perfectly round anyway!

Now I’ll always be wondering whether to use home made or purchased ones whenever we need any…

One Week On…

Posted in Rants And Rambles, Uncategorized on February 18th, 2009 by Coffee

As Jo thought, I seem to have given up smoking. At least I haven’t had a cigarette now for (checks clock) just over a full week.

So that’s the hard work done then, I think. Actually, while I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, it hasn’t been as hard as I’ve thought it might be either. Probably helped by the fact that I’ve been smoking the lowest nicotine content cigarettes for ages now, so the drop isn’t as bad as it could have been.

I can’t tell you if I’ve done it the easy or hard way by not using any NRT patches, gum etc., but replacing nicotine with nicotine somehow doesn’t seem like it’s going to help in the long run, so cold turkey it was. And so far I seem to have managed to avoid replacing it with anything else either, like food or gum etc.

Why, and why now?  I have no idea really.  I just seemed to get the right amount of information on what you need to do to quit, and what you’re going to have to deal with when quitting.  I recommend Alan Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking to anyone.  Even if you don’t stop when you’ve read it a lot of what’s in there just rattles around in your brain building up a bit of momentum for when you are randomly ready to give stopping a go.

I guess a constant prod comes over time from others at work quitting or attempting to quit.  Somehow someone who actually smokes quitting seems to have a lot bigger impact than someone who doesn’t telling you you should stop. Not that we talk about it much.  Those of us that are quitting/just quit at work seem to just be doing it in our own way, and talking about it seems just to make things harder, as we’re used to talking outside over a cigarette. Not really the best support network you could have!

Sites like this one are quite good to read too, as they help to understand what’s gong on: But there’s a really fine line between helpful advice and too much doom and gloom that might just put you off even trying.  Some sites really go too far down the scary track!

Worst part so far has been having to limit coffee a bit.  Instead of going for a walk to have a smoke at work, going to get a coffee is another decent reason to stretch your legs. But apparently as your nicotine intake drops, you need about half the caffeine that you previously did to get the same caffeine hit. And I’d believe that from my experience over the last week. So I guess getting glasses of water might just have to do for some trips.

So, now that the almost-kinda-not-really-hard-work is done and the first week over, now I just have to keep up the slightly easier work for the next few weeks, then the really easy bit for the rest of forever…

Hopefully I’ve not been too cranky for Bec, but she can fill you in on her side of things if she feels the need.

Up to 106…

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16th, 2009 by Coffee

People getting confused? This is fun!
Is it:

  1. The number of hours I’ve stayed awake in the name of scientific research?
  2. The length of time we’ve been married?
  3. The number of hours since the temperature last dipped below freezing?
  4. The time since I had my last cigarette?
  5. How long I’ve had my arm in plaster after falling on some ice?
  6. All of the above?
  7. None of the above?

60 Hours

Posted in Uncategorized on February 14th, 2009 by Coffee

And still counting.

Jo, at least you know now which direction in time we’re going!

48 Hours.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 13th, 2009 by Coffee

And counting.


Posted in London on February 2nd, 2009 by Coffee

This time when the weather peoples said there was snow on the way, it actually arrived! And boy did it!  Walking around this morning it was about 6 inches deep all over the place. And more still forecast for the rest of the day. A good day to work at home, rather than face transport chaos.


It’s the wrong type of snow for “snowperson” making though, but we did give it a small go.  It’s all too light and fluffy. I sound like Transport for London now…


Great for walking around in though.  We might even have to go for another walk a bit later!

YAY! I like snow!