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Cheshire Game and Country Fair

Story location: Home / Blog / Hamsters /
28/Aug/2011

This was our second year taking the Hamster Club to the Tabley Showground in Cheshire. It was quite cold in the tent and the Hamster Club tent would suddenly become very popular and fill with people every time it rained.

Winter-Whites all in a row
Every colour of Winter White. These furry spheres were part of the 'display' to demonstrate the different types of hamster which are kept by members of the club. They spent most of the day lined up asleep but whenever someone got a camera out to take a picture, they would wake up and move. I think this was my third attempt to take their photo. The colours are (from left to right): Pearl, Normal, Sapphire-Pearl, Sapphire.

Giant Muffin
A giant chocolate muffin which we bought from one of the bakery stands. It was so big it was decorated with smaller cakes.



Flat Peaches

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
22/Aug/2011

We first noticed these flat peaches a couple of months ago in one of the grocers or small supermarkets in Coventry which specialised in foreign foods. Shortly afterwards we started seeing them everywhere, including in Tescos.

peach peach

They seem to have come from nowhere and become ubiquitous very rapidly. We bought a pack last year and were dismayed to find they went mouldy very quickly but I did manage to salvage one to eat. It was quite juicy but slightly bland. I think I will stick to normal peaches or nectarines.



Herbal Teas

Story location: Home / food_and_drink /
21/Aug/2011

I am quite an avid tea drinker and usually have 3-4 cups per day when I'm in work. I tend to drink mostly green tea but occasionally have a cup of a herbal tea such as rooibos. We have several herbs in the garden which are suitable for tea-style drinks so I thought I'd give them a go.

  • Mint Tea. I don't know what type of mint we have because it was bought as a 'growing herb' from the supermarket. A couple of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water makes a fairly refreshing drink.

  • Lemon Balm. This is pretty much the same as Lemon Verbena. 5 or 6 leaves in a cup makes a decent drink. Since Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family I also tried it with a mint leaf added to the pot.

  • Hyssop Tea. I followed a recipe I read on another website and tried it plain and also with lemon juice and honey. I wasn't impressed and won't be trying it again. It wasn't as bad as the Cornsilk Tea I tried last year.



Starling Number Six

Story location: Home / Blog / tv /
15/Aug/2011

I was watching the third episode of the BBC series The Code and the presenter, Marcus du Sautoy, was watching the movement of a flock of starlings. All of a sudden the birds formed the shape of a number 6. The event went completely unnoticed by the presenter but from the screen grab below it looks like he had his eyes closed at the time.

Starlings making a number 6

The event occurred at 12m23s into the programme.



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Tesco Vegetable Drink

Story location: Home / Blog / food_and_drink /
14/Aug/2011

We were in Tesco yesterday and we bought a selection of bottled drinks, including their own brand active electro-lite sports drink. It tastes ok but we were surprised when we read the ingredients. Among the list of 'fruit and vegetable extracts' it lists Radish and Sweet Potato. I'm not sure why these are in the drink, I can't taste radish, but it must be there for a reason.

This afternoon I made a fruit smoothie which, as far as I can tell, didn't contain any vegetables at all. We had some melon which had gone very soft and over-ripe so I liquidized it along with some of the wild strawberries from the garden and a kiwi fruit. The strawberries were straight from the freezer so the smoothie was nice and cold when I drank it.