First Victim

Posted in Food and Drink, Plants and Gardens on July 27th, 2009 by Coffee

Here it is.   The first home grown chilli eaten this season. One of the Jalapenos gave it’s goodness for the sake of last night’s yellow yoghurt gloop like we made a while ago.

May there be many more lining up soon…

The Greenway Trip

Posted in London on July 26th, 2009 by Coffee

Since getting the bikes a while ago we’ve been looking to do a decent length ride, but due to time or weather we didn’t get around to it.  Until yesterday.

On our various trips on the bikes to supermarkets, DIY stores, and clothes shops, we often pass the start of The Greenway, a long pedestrian and cycle path built over one of the main sewers apparently.  Read about it here to save me some typing… Transport for London link So that was the start of the trip. A nice long pretty much straight cruise across east London in almost perfect cycling conditions. Not too hot, not too windy.


We did find that a stretch of the Greenway was closed, presumably so they can get it properly sorted out for the Olympic games as it will be one of the main ways to get to the stadium in 2012. So we had to make a short detour around a couple of blocks, but then we got back up to the Greenway to find that apparently pretty much overnight a visitor viewing area looking over the Olympic Park had sprung up.  They even provided us with free water to help replace some of the sweat we’d lost biking into the slight headwind most of the way.


From there we finished the last stretch of the Greeenway and headed for a picnic in Victoria Park and a break to give our legs a brief rest.

After a quick cycle around the park, we joined a canal towpath that took us most of the way down towards Limehouse.


Here we encountered having to bike on roads for the first time on the whole trip. Most of them were empty back streets though, apart from about 2kms on a slightly busier one through Poplar. Then after visiting the ducks again, we were back to our home cycle trails.

Here’s a Google Earth path of the trip for those of you with access to that.

So all in all, I think the whole trip was about 25ks, but only 4 or 5 of that was on roads. It was quite enjoyable really.  Now we just have to workout what to do for the next one…

Kitchen Design

Posted in House on July 18th, 2009 by Coffee

Lately we’ve been struggling to work out what a bearable kitchen for us is. What size does it need to be so we can both be in there cooking at the same time and not end up driving knives in each other’s backs or standing on toes etc? What’s a decent layout for everything? Where will all Bec’s bowls go?

It’s all been a bit hard.

So last weekend we went to one of the local DIY stores with a bit of string carefully knotted into a few handy size lengths and a pen and paper and had a good look around and made a few notes. We also grabbed all the brochure/book thingees they had too.

That trip seemed to make Bec realise that yes, we can probably make do with a kitchen that’s slightly less than 20×20 meters!

Next stage was for us to work out where everything should go, and therefore what the final shape should be. Bring on Blender again for the 3D models and views! Once again it’s been fun putting the model together, and again we’ve learnt a bit about what we want and how things might work.

It’s just a pity my interior design skills haven’t got much better yet, but at least we can play around with the colours on the model before eventually committing to anything…




Of course what it finally ends up like is anyone’s guess at this stage…

Oh, and this time there was no cheating!  All the items in there are all my own work, which I’m quite chuffed about.

Chilli Census

Posted in Plants and Gardens on July 18th, 2009 by Coffee

As I’ve not mentioned them for a while you might have thought you’d escape any more chilli updates… But no. I thought it was about time for a census, so here’s the count as of today:

  • 11 Ring of fires on 2 plants (8+3)
  • 16 Jalapenos on 2 (7+9)
  • 5  Anaheim on 2 (3+2)
  • 3 Fresno on 1
  • 9 Prarie Fires on 1
  • 51 Cherry Bombs on 3 (21+12+18)

So if Bec can add, that equals 84 little bundles of yummy fun. If she can’t, it equals whatever the right total is of little bundle of yummy fun!

In fact, why don’t you have a look and see how they’re going too.  Here they are..

Ring of Fire


Prairie Fire






Actually, while we’re here, there’s a semi-interesting story about the sole remaining Fresno. The Fresnos really didn’t seem to like damp soil around their stems. The stalk of the other Fresno I kept just kind of rotted away and it fell over and died (sob!).

This plant kind of did the same thing. The stalk started to kind of turn black and rot away and the plant fell over, but then it seemed to decide to make a bit more of an effort, and started to turn 90 degrees and grow upwards again with a stalk that’s like a zig-zag kind of thing (if you get what I mean, and I’m sure that you do even without the picture that would be really useful here). And where the  stalk has been lying on the soil it’s just got a lot thicker and seems to have sprouted more roots.  Weird.  But anyway, I’m glad it made it…

I did say it was only semi-interesting!  On with the show…



and the Cherry Bombs


It’s all mine

Posted in Uncategorized on July 18th, 2009 by Bec

mine, mine, mine

The last post talked about the new toy purchased for the household.  And that perhaps Mike might get to use it.  I doubt it!  This is just to confirm that it’s all mine, as he kept encouraging me to use it. So I did! I do let him use it ocassionally though (I guess more like when I’m not home or if he needs a recipe for cooking – if it is going to save me from cooking then it’s well worth it).

mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine mine, mine, mine, mine,  mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine

NB:  if you have seen the movie ‘Finding Nemo’, then you will remember the seagull ‘mine’ sound – that’s the sound I am attempting to make above.

New toy

Posted in Geeky Tech Stuff on July 15th, 2009 by Coffee

It’s been quite a while since I bought myself a new toy.  There’s really been nothing that we’d needed, or has appealed enough to make me think I’d really must have one.  But there have been a few tech related recurring issues lurking around.  Such as someone else trying to muscle in and take over the laptop when she gets home from work!To solve that issue, and a few more, I’ve been thinking of getting a “netbook” for a while, and finally one has come along that I’ve liked the looks, specs and reviews enough to actually shell out the cash: a Toshiba NB200. It arrived about a week ago. YAY!


First day with a PC that comes with Windows preloaded I always find quite painful. Firstly applying all the updates that are required to Windows and all the other software, and the reboots required when doing that.  Then there’s getting rid of all the rubbish that gets installed that I don’t want. Then there’s installing all the stuff that I do want. Then cleaning up all the Start menu items (especially important as the screen’s a bit shorter).

My list of what gets instantly put on an XP system now is:

  • Firefox (with Adblock Plus, Flashblock, and NoScript extensions) for browsing
  • Skype for instant messaging and voip
  • 7-Zip for dealing with archives
  • ImgBurn for CD related stuff (though this PC doesn’t come with a CD drive)
  • VLC for media watching/listening
  • Notepad++ for text and web page editing

So far it’s pretty much been a joy to use.  Took a little to get used to the smaller resolution screen, but it’s more than fine for browsing etc. I’m still getting used to the keyboard and the placement of some keys, but no doubt that will come in time… Assuming I get to use it! Bec seems to think it’s all hers. I guess if it leaves me in peace on the laptop at night it just might be worth it… And it’s going to be much easier to cart around places than a full laptop when we just want to browse and check emails (the battery lasts longer too!).

Not something you see every day…

Posted in London on July 5th, 2009 by Coffee

On Saturday we wandered down to one of the local pubs in the hope that they were going to play the SA/Lions game on TV, and to have some lunch.  They decided to play the women’s Wimbledon final instead (which we could have watched at home if we’d wanted, unlike the rugby which was only on Sky, AND they didn’t even bother to have the sound up…)

So there we were sitting outside in the sun instead enjoying another absolutely beautiful day when 2 biplanes came skimming just over the roof of the pub with a wing-walker standing on each of them. All conversation in the pub pretty much stopped until people processed what they’d just seen.  “Somewhat surprised” sounds a fair assessment of the mood!

It turns out that it was the London City Airport Funday 2009, and when we walked down to the docks after finishing lunch we were able to watch some helicopter and plane aerobatic displays etc from across the water.

All a bit of a bonus on an otherwise quiet Saturday, but another reminder that it’s possibly always a good idea to take a camera with you wherever you go as you never know what you’ll see!

And then when we finally got home in the early evening we noticed that there was a big problem with the building aerial. I.e. it wasn’t working. Apparently, according to the concierge,  no one who fixes aerials works the weekend so that means no TV again until at least Monday – how were we expected to watch the Wimbledon men’s final on Sunday afternoon? And were we going to have to talk to each other all weekend?! ARRGGHHH!

Thank you the BBC for streaming the match! It’s been a while since we’ve had to plug the laptop into the TV, but it was a bit of a lifesaver today!