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Spring Forward

Story location: Home / Blog /

Yesterday we remembered to put the clocks forwards one hour. Admittedly we had been up for a few hours before we remembered. Most of the things in the house now adjust the time automatically: computers, video recorder, mobile phone.

One thing which we forgot about was the central heating timer. Normally the heating comes on for an hour in the morning and it's just enough to make the house a comfortable temperature. We woke up this morning and the house felt colder than usual. I only realised what had happened when I checked the radiator and noticed it was still cold.

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Do I have any ID?

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /

While we were in Sainsburys this morning I spotted a bottle of whisky on the shelf which seemed to be too unbelievably cheap. At less than £10 it was much cheaper than any other malt whisky. I'd never heard of a brand called Glen Martin. It seems to be a blend of malt whiskies rather than a single malt. I've no idea whether it's a 'genuine' brand or something made for the supermarkets but it's good value and definitely worth the money.

When I got to the checkout to pay, I was asked for some proof of age. This is the first time I have ever been asked for ID when I've bought alcohol. When I was younger, underage drinking wasn't such a big worry and few places asked for proof of age. Now I'm quite definitely over 18 and quite definitely look over 21. I suppose I should be flattered that someone thought they needed to ask. And I should ignore the fact that the elderly lady at the checkout wasn't wearing her glasses.

A trip to Yorkshire

Story location: Home / Blog /

While Emma was at the Topcliffe Hamster Show, I decided to visit a few of the nearby English Heritage and National Trust sites.


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Google Street View

Story location: Home / Blog / coventry /

Last year I saw one of the Google Street View cars parked on the side of the road. The street view has finally been added to the UK maps. A lot of cities have been covered, including Coventry.

This evening I looked at a few locations, including our current address (the google car went down our road after we left for work but before the bins were emptied) and our old house (the spiky bush next to the front door has been dug up since we left).

The images have been stitched together from multiple photos, which has led to some strange 'artifacts' such as a man buried in the pavement near the Cathedral:

Google Street View: man buried in the pavement near Coventry Cathedral

In the garden

Story location: Home / Blog / house /

Since it's more or less the start of spring now, I've been spending some time getting the garden prepared for plating vegetables. In late autumn I planted some 'green manure' to try to improve the soil. For some reason it didn't grow very well, growing fairly sparsely rather than filling the plot with green. I decided I couldn't wait any longer and dug it into the soil.

The front room is full of small pots and trays where I have planted some seeds. So far some of the herbs and salad veg have started to sprout. Over Christmas I planted some broad beans in a trough in the garden. They failed to germinate and when I checked on them today, the seeds had rotted in the soil. I have planted some more - they should have been done during february so hopefully I haven't left it too late.

Also today I planted some tomatoes and chilli pepper seeds. These were part of a kit I bought from Woolworths during their closing down sale. The kit contained a wooden trough, some compost, and 3 packets of seeds (tomato, chilli, oregano) and cost just over £1. Even if only one plant germinates, it will have been worth it.

home grown leek

Last year I planted some leeks but they failed to grow very large. We decided to start eating them so I pulled one out of the ground today. Despite looking like a baby leek, it was actually the largest in the garden. Some are smaller than most spring onions. I can't comment on the taste because it was completely lost amongst the other flavours in the pasta sauce.

999 mpg

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Our car has an on-board fuel consumption monitor which can report fuel usage in real-time. We were driving along the motorway today, doing around 70mph down a slight hill. I lifted my foot off the accelerator to let the car coast down the hill. The fuel economy briefly peaked at 999mpg. If only it could be that efficient all the time.

Hamster Blocks

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /

Emma bought some wooden block chew toys for the hamsters. We took some photos of everyone posing behind their names.


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A few things I have learned this week

Story location: Home / Blog /

I have been using Skype to talk to Emma while she's away for the week. I started by using the USB microphone which came with Guitar Hero but earlier today I found out that my laptop has a built in microphone. I can't find a mention of it in the user manual. For some reason Dell have decided to keep quiet about it.

I saw the Diet Coke advert with Duffy riding her bike and singing. It is an awful pile of !"#*%. Her voice sounds terrible.

A cup of hot chocolate, thickened with cornflour, makes a quick and easy chocolate custard.

And talking of hot chocolate, I tried a chocolate peanut drink, by stirring a couple of spoons of peanut butter into a mug of cocoa. I couldn't really taste the peanuts properly, and since I only had crunchy peanut butter in the house, the lumps didn't fit with the rest of the drink.