Piers of the realm

As directed by Beth - the Observer had a lovely piece about Piers of the realm. Deal's pier even gets a mention, although only in passing.


an online pop-up book of Alice in Wonderland


Home bistro in Edinburgh

One of the things I dislike about being away from home pretty much all the time for work is eating alone. I have only eaten in the hotel in which I was staying twice in the last four and a half years - once due to a freak hurricane in Newcastle (took the roof off York's train station), and the other in a God-awful Golden Tulip hotel next to Amsterdam's version of the M25.

Luckily when the wife and I were in Edinburgh for her birthday in April we found the Home Bistro, icscotland review here. I've eaten here almost everyweek since, the upretentious food and relaxed atmosphere (none of the reviews have mentioned the slippers by the fire or the goldfish in it's bowl) make it ideal to eat alone, or with friends.

They just got a mention in the Easyjet magazine, which has led to a bit of a rush on at the weekends apparently - this place only has six tables, and they are getting a lot of pre-Festival Theatre business during the week, but I've yet to have a duff meal there.


just press space

Having left a comment over at stylus to join FunJunkie's Summer burn, then returned to funjunky to find a toy car stunt game.

Kaiser Chiefs- Oh, my God

New week - a new morning commute to Oxford Street listening to music I got over the weekend. Now these are instant reactions filtered through the tube system's additional noise (I might look into those noise cancelling headphones...anyone got a recommendation?)

Adem - Homesongs, this was very enjoyable to walk to the tube station and wait for the train

Grand National - pleasant but dull, like a Sunday afternoon with ironing to do

Bebel Gilberto - same as the old one, but in English

Kaiser Chiefs - 'Oh, My God' - the best indie-tastic single I've heard since freakin' out, Caroline, Yes (see what they did there?) is the weakest track, having just looked at their website I'm a bit disappointed to find I'm late to the party. Oh well.


Guitar update

After taking my Dad's advice and buying a drill press, I spent most of yesterday setting it up, leveling it and then drilling the holes for the bolt on neck (a la Cumpiano) - visible in these photos.

Unfortunately I spent a lot of today clearing room in the shed to put the drill press in as the builders are coming indoors this week to start the knock-through from the utility room (where I had set everything up)to the kitchen.

So whilst the neck block has holes for the bolts, (6mm, but with 8.5mm hole for adjustment) I did not get a chance to drill the holes in the neck for the barrels (10mm diameter exactly)to go in. If you are even vaguely thinking of doing the same, don't bother with B&Q, or specialist suppliers, screwfix will do it at a tiny fraction of the cost.

best 100 british albums according to the observer

Best 100 british albums.
1.Stone Roses
3.London Calling
4.Astral Weeks
5.Sgt Peppers
6.White Album
7.Sticky fingers
8.Exile on Main St
9.Blue Lines
10.Metal Box

Now as with previous lists, I normally say - I have 6 of the top ten, and think that children should be given a copy of the red and blue beatles albums when they are registered as citizens in the UK. Then someone else says - "I don't own a single one", or perhaps starts a discussion on common cultural reference points in popular music that could be given as MP3s along with the aforementioned red and blue Beatles albums (if the beatles ever let their music officially be released as MP3s that is...- after all you can't have a double album)

More interesting albums on the list for me were:

no.79 Penguin Eggs by nic jones - now i didn't expect this to be on a list like this at all. Traditional folk songs, deftly played with an almost banjo action on alternative tunings. I couldn't eat a whole one.

no.98 Rattlesnakes by Lloyd Cole And The Commotions - my callow youth in full (black turtle neck jumper and all), if only I'd seen sense and gone to university in scotland. I was only marvelling at the 'cheekbones like geometry' line the other day.

no.99 The Holy Bible by manic street preachers - as angry now as i was then - still try to sing along to Yes, faster and PCP, but somehow don't know the words - there are too many of them and I get too carried away to take any notice of the real ones.

Now available in the Full Fat Guardian version

Strawberry season begins

A small bowl of the first strawberries from our new, much smaller patch at the end of the garden - again from last weekend, this weekend we had a few raspberries as well.

They might not look much, but they tasted great.

Roof update

So the roof is well and truly fixed (note en-suite shower's velux window)- I meant to put this picture up last week, but I was in Deal, London and then Edinburgh.

The only thing is that we still do not have a schedule of works from the builder (a mere 12 weeks after starting) and things are starting to get a little strained as far as agreeing what is and isn't included in the price (a few windows and doors would be nice). More mundane updates after our meeting with the builder and our architect tomorrow.

Deal - a world away

In this week's Time Out there's a section on being bored with Brighton and places on the South Coast to go and visit instead. There's a section on North Kent, and another on South Kent, but nothing on East Kent - which is pretty much Sandwich, Dover and my home town Deal.

There's a good reason for that - there is nothing much for city types to do in Deal.

Admire the hipster crowds walking along the coast, and promenading along the pier.


Razorlight Olympics! spectrum style - do not use a laptop keyboard for this one

a review on stylus pointed me to the razorlight website for an accurate(ish) repro of the spectrum's daley thompson decathalon game - Razorlight Olympics!



a more natural extension of flash usage - [ mytinygarden.com ]


Google Search: hit in the testicles ice hockey

Down to number 9 in the Google hit parade: Google Search: hit in the testicles ice hockey. Just tell me it's not a theme, I hope it's not a theme.


Virus-proof your PC in 20 minutes, for free, by Paul Boutin

Some essential Spring cleaning (getting abit late with mid summer almost here, but hey) via boing boing, A Simple Plan to Virus-proof your PC in 20 minutes, for free. Amusingly I found that windowsupdate page wouldn't load using Firefox (0.8) - upgrading to 0.9 is on my list of things to do this weekend on my home machine, having done it on my work machine yesterday and forgotten to keep a copy of my bookmarks.


The Polyphonic Spree - The Quest For The Rest, another flash odyssey

much like the fantastic czech adventure I blogged last year, this Quest For The Rest features some lovely little touches.

Charlotte Hatherley releases single called Kim Wilde

Go to Charlotte Hatherley's website and download her new single.

If you like that sort of thing.


FunJunkie! - The Summer Burn CD Swap 2003!

Via 50 quid bloke, I've just signed up for The Summer Burn CD Swap 2004!, you enter your address and receive two addresses to send CDs of music you've burnt to. You get two in the post as well - I'm already busy compiling mental lists instead of working....

Amusing places close to you

via Boing boing - put your postcode in and find Amusing places close to you.


Portrait Illustration Maker

Portrait Illustration Maker
my first attempt,
which my sister thought made me look like Mark Radcliffe (I don't).

My second attempt

I might get my teeth fixed to match!


Tick, tick, tick, tick

Transit of Venus 2004 - live webcast from Australia.

Found via the wondrous newsmap aggregator. I'll be watching those business TV channels you get in hotels next for nasdaq details...maybe not.


Bow Man

Bow Man - bow and arrows not slings and arrows.


shower head with built in generator for lightbulb

So my socks are still a bit damp and all the windows are open to try and dry things out, but at least we have electricity again - just have to move a few more things out ofthe damp and ito the dry.

Whilst waiting for the roofer's professional opinion I found these rather clever shower heads with hydro electric powered light bulbs - "bathing you and your shower in a safe and often entertaining light." Nice, but a bit cheesy.

It was a dark and stormy morning

Early start this morning - for all the wrong reasons. After fantastic bank holiday weather the rain came down in the early hours of this morning.

Drip, drip, drip I turned over on to my good ear to block it out.

Then realised what had happened. 5.30 in the morning and our bedroom ceiling was dripping with water. And it wasn't apple tango.

My wife had just got back from her weekend in Netherlands playing in Ealing Symphony Orchestra, better site here, and was exhausted. The drips of water were hitting the duvet just below her head.
My beautiful ceilings.

I've spoken with our insurance people, who say it'll be a matter for the builders insurance. I've spoken to the builders , who say they'll put everything right and offered an apology.

In the meantime there's a lot of clearing up to do, and we'll be sleeping in the back bedroom - the mattress got soaked.