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The Great Quescape

Story location: Home / Blog / quail /
29/May/2008

Emma was away at a conference so I was at home looking after the animals. I'd been outside to check the quail and collect any eggs. Later in the evening I heard a noise outside and went to the door to see what it was. There was a 'Maglet' quail sitting by the back door.

I picked it up and went to see where it had come from. Another quail was sitting next to the large hutch, and two of the golden quail were in the far corner of the garden.

The door on the bottom floor of the 'double decker' rabbit hutch was open about an inch. The bolt is quite stiff and it looks like I hadn't locked it properly. The 'Maglet' must have gone to the back door to attract my attention and snitch on the others.



Flash Bang Wallop, not a picture

Story location: Home / Blog /
28/May/2008

In the early hours of this morning, a bright flash lit up the bedroom. I was half asleep and my first thought was who's taking a photo? our cameras are downstairs.

A couple of seconds later there was a long and loud rumble of thunder. It went on for ages. But strangely there was no rain. If there was a storm going on it must have been localised to some other part of Coventry.



Flooding

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
27/May/2008

I mentioned the weather yesterday. While we were up north, we missed the worst of the rain. Driving to work this morning, part of the London Road were flooded and we passed a few fields which had turned into ponds. We were definitely in the right part of the country for the Bank Holiday.

Update
Driving home tonight (by a different route) there were branches on the side of the Kenilworth road, which must have been blown down by the wind.



American Shoes

Story location: Home / Blog /
26/May/2008

We were in the Vans shop at the Cheshire Oaks, being slightly confused by shoe sizes. Normally, American shoe sizes are just British sizes +1, so we're used to a size 11 being a 'normal' size 10.

There were some shoes on the shelves labelled size 11, but with a sticker on saying 'UK8.5'. At first we thought they had been mis-labelled but then we realised they were women's sizes. To add to the confusion, they looked more like men's shoes. Ah well. I'm sure they do it deliberately to confuse us.



Hamster Racing

Story location: Home / Blog /
26/May/2008

You can tell it's a Bank Holiday, because the roads are busy and it's raining.

We were 'up North' yesterday, to attend a Hamster Show at Lymm, in Cheshire. We only came 2nd in the hamster racing this time.

hamster race track
The track used for the Hamster Racing

Old Cross in Lymm
The Old Cross, in the centre of Lymm.

This morning, we went to the Cheshire Oaks shopping centre, near Ellesmere Port. We got there shortly after opening time, and it was already busy. By the time we left there were lines of cars snaking through the car parks, looking for spaces. When we got to the motorway, there was a long queue of traffic on the opposite carriageway, trying to leave at the junction. They can't have been wanting to visit Ellesmere Port itself - the town isn't that interesting.



Wetherspoons Wine Festival

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
21/May/2008

The Wetherspoons pub chain is trying to break the world record for the most people at a wine tasting. They are having simultaneous wine tastings at all of their pubs throughout the country.

We went along for our free tasting (a tiny 50ml glass) and stayed to eat. The actual wine tasting was a bit disorganised. It was a while before we managed to get our tasters. For a world record attempt, it was very low key, almost to the point of being half-arsed. The free samples were only their ordinary house wines, rather than any of the 'festival' wines.

They don't seem to handle the wine festivals as well as the beer festivals.They don't promote them as well and the staff don't always seem aware of what's on offer.



Return to Aqua

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
19/May/2008

We went back to Aqua for a meal tonight. We were there as part of a conference organised at the University.

Everything seemed to go smoothly. When you are a group of over 50 people in a small restaurant, you appreciate that the service can sometimes be a bit slow, especially when they're still open as normal.

The food was excellent. When we arrived, there were bowls of olives on the tables. The first course arrived and consisted of plates of falafel and pizza. Subsequent courses had pasta, pizza and a bit plate of spiced chicken.

After the meal, most of us went down the road to the Whitefriars pub for a pint. A lot of the people with us were from other universities and they liked the old medieval building, and the range of beers on offer.



Recently watched films

Story location: Home / Blog / films /
18/May/2008

We've seen a few films recently which were highly regarded by either critics or the Oscars:

There Will be Blood
No Country for Old Men
Brokeback Mountain.

They all fell into the 'well photographed but rather slow' category.

There Will be Blood started off rather strangely. No dialogue for the first part of the film, with eerie music which reminded me of the 'moon monolith' sequence of 2001. The oil rig fire sequence was visually spectacular. The ending was a bit odd.

No Country for Old Men looked like it would be a more straightforward film, with a more of an actual story. It was well acted, with Tommy Lee Jones settling into a similar role to the one he played in "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada". The ending was somewhat unexpected.

Brokeback Mountain wasn't an easy film to watch. Not really because of the homosexuality, but due to the amount of mumbling which made it difficult to hear what people were saying.



Hamster and Quail update

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /
17/May/2008

A few weeks after Orna gave birth to her first litter, there was a second litter. This was only 3 babies. We have put Mr Orn and the boy babies in one cage and kept Orna with the girl babies.

We have also hatched some more quail, including some white ones. They started off yellow but when feathers appeared, they came out white. In the photos, they have the white feathers but their heads are still yellow.

 

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Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Story location: Home / Blog / films /
09/May/2008

I'm not a big fan of musicals, but we went to watch this anyway. It hasn't changed my views on musicals.

I didn't find the songs very memorable. Johnny Depp's singing sometimes sounded a bit like David Bowie. The actual story was ok - I think I'd have preferred it as a 'normal' film.

When I got home, I decided to check the Movies application on Facebook to see if any friends had reviewed it. I mis-spelt the name, missing out the final 'e'. The list of 'near matches' for the titles was bizarre to say the least.

Facebook Movies application fails to find a match for a mis-spelt sweeney todd



Free Range Quail

Story location: Home / Blog / quail /
07/May/2008

Not quite free range but we got the quail out for a run in the garden. It was really warm today so when we got home, we got the chairs out and sat outside. We had to keep an eye on the quail so they didn't try to escape. No-one tried to fly over the fence but Maggie tried to make a run for it and aimed for the small gap between the fence and ground.

They enjoy to peck at the dandelion leaves near their hutch. They like most leafy veg, so we gave them some of the spinach beet leaves too. Our salad veg isn't growing very well at the moment so they'll have to wait before they can sample those.



Vaisakhi

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /
04/May/2008

The Langar on offer consisted of bread dipped in a spiced batter and deep fried, and what looked like some kind of bhaji with onion, potato and spinach. There was also the sweet spiced tea available.

Walking around the stalls, we noticed some strange orange coloured food. We were told it was a kind of sweet so we bought a bag. It turned out to be a sweet spiced batter which had been deep fried. We watched it being cooked and it went into the oil a normal batter colour but came out a brilliant orange colour. I can't remember what it was called but I'll certainly look out for it again.

Sweet deep fried snack



Burghley Game and Country Show

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /
03/May/2008

The National Hamster Council had a Hamster Display at the show. This allowed members of the public to handle hamsters and discuss animal ownership and welfare. We went to help out, and had an interesting time talking to people in the display tent. We also managed to go out into the rest of the show to go around some of the stalls and events.

 

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Tesco Maths

Story location: Home / Blog /
01/May/2008

According to our local Tesco, 1 litre of milk which costs 74p, works out to be 12.4p per litre.

Tesco can't work out price per litre