Four beautiful things from the weekend


1. We walk further into West Wood that we’ve done before and come across high cliffs of rock with dangling ivy floating in the breeze; a dead tree snapped in half; a precarious overhang.

2. The garage at the end of the road (which, strangely, sells some of the best samosas I’ve ever eaten) has installed a slushie machine – two flavours: raspberry and strawberry. I text John to tell him and he replies: “we’ll look back on this as our diabetic summer.”


3. We sit on the balcony in the sun, waiting. I don’t hear the doorbell but the dog does and we all race to welcome John home.

4. There isn’t quite enough room but I join them on the sofa anyway and watch the film from underneath his arm.

3BT – the view, the smell, the silliness

1. We pick the wrong path around the Chevin and end up on a path just a bit too muddy, bumpy and hilly for the pushchair. We battle through though and are rewarded with a fantastic view of the hills to the north of Otley and the pools of Pool. We stop to catch our breath and take it all in.

2. The steeping rosemary fills the kitchen with its perfume.

3. The frequent silly text messages stop me missing him quite so much. One sleep down, two sleeps to go.

3BT – Punguins, returned, perfect timing

1. We have Penguin biscuits with our tea and I deadpan the joke on the back to John. As usual, he tries to solve the puzzle with logic: “it’s always a pun to do with it being black and white… living in the Antarctic… not being able to fly… about its flippers or beak…” On this occasion, for the first time in a long time, he’s right.

(Best Penguin wrapper joke ever: “Why do seagulls fly over the sea? Because if they flew over the bay, they’d be bagels.”)

2. My pink & purple cowl, which went missing in December, is found. I wear it home to celebrate.

3. A comment I made on Twitter generates a text message, which in turn makes a cup of tea and a muffin magically arrive in my hand. It’s the 2010 equivalent of the replicators from Star Trek.

3BT – racing, productive, post office, cheese, wowed by WoW

1. A few people have suggested we have a second bathroom installed on our lower ground floor – near the area which will be our office – but if we did, we’d have no reason to race up the stairs, pushing past each other, pulling back on jeans’ waistbands, when we both realise we need to wee at the same time.

2. I work hard all day – nothing from my to-do list and hardly any billable hours – but I tick off a range of things that have been nagging at me for weeks, perhaps months. For the first time in a while, I feel like I’m making progress on my life rather than just treading water.

3. The walk to the post office is delightful – until the very end, it feels like a walk through a country village and it’s just far enough to warm me up without being an over-exertion or taking all day.

4. We eat enchiladas for dinner, the second helping of a batch from earlier in the week. “Is there anything better than baked cheese?” I ask John as I chew on a perfectly browned piece. He replies: “Twice as much baked cheese.”

5. I have a fantastic evening’s play on World of Warcraft – I complete some quests that had been bugging me (because they’d been too hard before) and successfully sell some items at auction so I won’t have to worry about game-money for a while. The interface overlays my dreams though, so possibly played it a little too much…

An Eggscellent Idea

Knitted fried egg in a frying panKnitted fried egg in a frying pan

Earlier this afternoon, someone on our recycling blog Recycle This suggested using old frying pans to make fake food art.

I thought “hey! I’m THAT COOL too! I could do that!” so here is my knitted fried egg. John wanted to plastinate a real one but I thought knitting would be more fun. I used leftover white wool from knitting booties for John’s niece and the yellow wool is leftover after I knitted a stripey “bumble beeanie” hat for the man himself a few years ago. I used stuffing from an old cushion and the cardboard for the egg’s base is from a cereal pack.

The egg (which works as a really good frisbee because of the cardboard base) is just sitting in the pan at the moment but I’ll stick it in when I’ve got some velcro — and when I’ve knitted the accompanying sausages. Now, I just have to figure out how to do the beans…

(Click the close-up shot for a bigger version)

Southport is on the map

The Google map to be precise.

On the default screen when you go to maps.google.co.uk – the level of scaling to show pretty much all the UK in one screen, Southport is listed alongside Liverpool and Preston – but numerous cities around the country, like Sheffield, York and Bradford, are missing.


One zoom point further out, Liverpool and Preston disappears, leaving Southport and Manchester the only noted locations in the whole north-west.


I realise this is probably because Liverpool’s name tag would run into Manchester’s (and other cities would have similar text spacing issues) while Southport’s name tag can just sit right out in the sea but still, I prefer to think Southport’s tourist board have paid off Google for the exposure and/or it’s a shout-out to the countless former Sandgrounders like me out there who really should go back and visit the old place more often.