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inc. pasttimes, not puzzles or tricks

Champions or worst team for decades?

Just wondering what on earth is going on here?  Last week, I was reading the New Zealand press and various people in the team’s entourage and it was doom and gloom over this All Blacks side, the worst in history etc. etc.  This is from this evening:

all blacks

That’s rather an interesting thing – look at the British press on the same game, same two teams:…



SY+Lulworth+Outside+IIThe things this blog has been concerned about for days, so it should have been concerned about – but they’ve been about the diminution and degradation of the human spirit, about people losing their way.

From Femen in Rome to the Rotherham 1400 to Cameron to every other tacky thing, one can get tied up in it all, railing against it and that leaves no time for celebrating all that it is good in human ingenuity, in the way humans from all over can combine to achieve.…

The power mix in tennis

ivanovic coach

Horses for courses.

The problem is not Amélie Mauresmo in herself as a person, it’s just that she’s wrong for Murray in a number of ways. Part of this comment below is right, the other not:

That’s what you get for appointing a coach who hasn’t a clue. Murray does not listen to advice from anyone. Lendl got the best out of him by getting him to control his temper but then he started his antics again & Lendl left. Last night’s press conference was embarrassing. He doesn’t listen to his media advisor either. He was squirming in front of the camera !

Mauresmo is gay, meaning she’s tuned into women, how they tick, how to deal with them, how to encourage, how to put the brakes on. She understands women. She doesn’t have the background relationship to be able to handle a man, especially one as stubborn and difficult as this one.…

Computer assessment of my craft


Pictures will be forthcoming once the lacquering/painting begins.  Boat’s currently covered by tarpaulin skirt.

Situation at this time is I’ve had to make the major decision about pontoons. While I’ve been preparing these, it was still unresolved whether they go as two pontoons amidships or four – one at each corner. I’m now ready to put them in.…

Christmas wine – best buys under £15


This follows on from the previous post – Early thoughts on Christmas wines.

I was going to write a piece on Grenache and Riesling wines at the end of this year as promised at the beginning of 2014.

The reason for that not happening is quite simple – the limited amounts of straight Grenache wines available.  Most are blended with other grapes, and for Riesling, the fact that it has fallen even further out of favour and single bottles are almost impossible to source, the only way to buy Riesling of any quality is by the case from specialist importers, so a review of that would be meaningless to the vast majority of wine drinkers.

So I thought a survey of what is more generally available with Christmas in mind would be a more useful approach.…

Feeling seedy

rye loaf 2 and jam

Picture doesn’t do it justice.  Variant 1 last evening, the one which looked dry, turned out yummy.  This one, Variant 2,  is a little more bland to the taste and where the seeds went I don’t know.  They’re in there all right, 50g of them. Think I’ll try 80% rye next time, with less water and yeast and go back to adding the seeds later so they only go into the crust.

Suspect it will come back to 30% rye and seeds in the crust in future.…

In defence of flying kites in design

nautical motifThe nautical motif is everywhere

Sometimes it does take a long time for things to fall into place, particularly with a prototype.

The issue with this particular craft of mine is that it tries to combine two concepts – canal boat/houseboat/ark with yacht. There are common principles but also those militating against one another.

I’ve tried to take those readers interested along with me for that ride.

The notion of designing in a few possibilities for each aspect, e.g. mast positions, rig, is interpreted by my techie mate as jerry building. Presumably he never bothers with prototypes in IT, trying things out, testing them, keeping options open and then deciding on the best variants which blend optimally with the whole.…

The making of a monster

Subtitled “Loafing about on a Saturday”, “Frankenbread” or “Wolfsbane ain’t got nuffin on this loaf”.  I wish to be horribly wrong on this and have to eat my words.

Don’t know what I’ve created but it looks weird, it was banging around in the machine earlier, trying to get out, the top is contorted, in agony and the whole thing’s covered in seeds.  It’s a dirty loaf but the wine is ready.

Not long to go and I’ll post it here.  One day there’ll be a questionnaire at NO – which post series do you like least?  I’d imagine candidates would be the football, the sailing and possibly now the bread.

So there’ll be plenty more, he he.  Here it is now, da da ……

Domestic Saturday

loafing around saturday 1

There are some posts late afternoon and onwards – tied up in domestics just now - cooking the weekend chow, then bottled, washing, cleaning etc. [visitor tomorrow], also baking the bread.

Today is rye loaf day.  Have just been to the supermarket and their bakery and asked a lady in there about how to do rye loaf. I know anyway from Rossa but wanted to see what this one said.…

Early thoughts on Christmas wines

xmas fare 4

Christmas approaches, the season of Port, Sherry and desert wines.

Years ago Christmas signaled the bringing up from cellar of grandpas specially “saved” bottle of Port for our annual sampling, as nobody drank it at any other time of the year no one had a clue as to whether it was any good or not but we mumbled our approval drank it and awaited next year.…