Archive for the ‘Musings on Life in General’ Category

Secret Santa and the Christmas Market

December 24, 2014 27 comments

Secret Santa has been! We do that every year at the work Christmas Party, and here is what I got.


That’s a massive bar o’ chocolate and a “talking” Chewbacca. He makes Chewie noises when you squeeze him! The little tag is my work avatar, Christmas-ified as a present tag.

I also went to the Christmas Market in the village hall. As well as sausages, bread and such I also bought this, ideal for keeping my tootsies warm.



And also this – a dinky chocolate-coated one-man Christmas cake in a little box.


I don’t really like Christmas cake all that much 🙂 but I couldn’t resist the cuteness of the little cake, so I also bought a pot of Cornish clotted cream to mask the taste.



Merry Christmas, everyone!


December 16, 2014 21 comments

I was one of the lucky recipients of one of Evil Squirrel’s holiday pictures, drawn by his own paws! I’m impressed that it has already arrived, all the way from the US of A, and this being Christmas time as well with all the postal delays that implies.

I got Odyssey – “The Nest’s patron saint of lost causes“. And what a cool picture it is!


Odyssey, by Evil Squirrel

Thanks, Evil Squirrel, and happy December holiday of your choice to you too :-).

Shopping Around the World September

September 26, 2014 27 comments

Here is my contribution to Bacon and Fozzie’s monthly “Shopping Around the World” feature. It was supposed to be Wednesday but that’s my flash fiction day, and I was busy yesterday.

This month is all about fruit and vegetables! I Googled what “fruit and vegetables” are, so I’m ready to go. Here are the results from the Cornwall, UK jury!

I don’t buy apples, but I’ve looked up the prices. There are so many different types of apple. Who knew? You can get a pack of 7 “Goodness” apples for £1.35 (US$2.19, €1.73). They must be the cheap brand. Good old Granny Smiths are £1.75 (US$2.84, €2.24) for 5.

I like strawberries! I went to pick my own last month and got quite a few for £1.65 (US$2.68, €2.11). In the shop, they’re £2.00 (US$3.25, €2.56) for 300g.

I don’t buy (or eat) carrots, but I’ve looked up the prices. £0.80 (US$1.30, €1.02) for a kg. Yucky little orange things.

Green Beans
beans? That’s obviously a typo. Everyone knows beans are orange and come in tomato sauce. That’s food 101, that is.

Heinz Beans

There you go. £0.42 (US$0.68, €0.54) for a 150g can.

I’ve heard of this. It’s that tasteless green leafy stuff, right? £0.49 (US$0.80, €0.63) each. If I were you, I’d spend your 49p on a can of beans, and have change left over.

Random fruit if your choice
I’m going to go for Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut bar. It’s got “fruit” in the title, so that counts. I don’t like nuts and I hate raisins, but fortunately it’s mostly chocolate. That’s £1.40 ($US2.28, €1.79) for a 120g bar. Here’s a photo.

Fruit And Nut bar

Mmm, Fruit and… HEY!

It was me.
Who said that?
Me. I ate your chocolate bar. It was me.
We’ll have words later.

Random vegetable of your choice
Potato. I like to bake potatoes. Then I add a ton of butter and chuck chilli all over it, so not quite as healthy as it might be. £2.00 (US$3.25, €2.56) for 2.5kg.

See you all again next month for more Shopping Around the World mayhem!

Goodbye Summer

August 22, 2014 36 comments

Remind me. Here in the Northern Hemisphere it is summer, isn’t it?

Where, then, did it go? Here’s a couple of snaps I took before and after my commute to work a couple of days ago, as proof of the most un-Summer-like temperature.

Here’s the temperature my car reckons it was before my morning commute. I’m inclined to believe it, it was pretty cold. The temperature’s at the top in the middle!


Here’s the time when I arrived at work (top right).


And here’s the temperature. It hasn’t warmed up much 😦


Brr. Please may we have our summer back?

Home, James

August 19, 2014 43 comments

I was reading today how driverless cars are cleared to be on the roads of the UK next year. Yeeks!

The article spoke about the possibility of having a car with no controls, or a car with controls so that the driver can jump in if there’s an emergency. Surely if you’re constantly watching out for problems you might as well be driving?

It also mentioned lorry convoys, where the driver in the first lorry drives and the other lorries follow along behind. Again, these other lorries would have drivers “in case of emergency”, but the article suggested that in the mean time they could perhaps read a book or have lunch.

If they’re reading a book over a nice bit of lunch, how can they take control in an emergency? Many drivers don’t manage to avoid trouble when they’re concentrating, let alone having a nap.


Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2013 27 comments

It’s nearly Christmas! Woohoo!

I’ve switched on the snow on my blog, so it must be nearly here.

Join with me, if you will, in appreciating the most awesome Christmas rhyme of all time…

“‘Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
except… the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation.”

…taken from the most awesome Christmas film of all time!

Die Hard

Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.

Well, it’s set at Christmas time anyway. So tuck yourself up on the sofa with drinks and snacks and enjoy an evening of mayhem with Bruce!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone 🙂


[Copyright note: Die Hard theatrical poster taken from Wikipedia, in which it strongly implies “fair use” when using the whole image to describe the film (copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, the publisher of the film or the graphic artist).]

Who Put the Black in Black Friday?

December 1, 2013 42 comments

That title sounds like the start of a silly song.

“Who put the ‘Black’ in Black Friday?
Grab stuff before it’s all gone. (dum dum dum dum dum)
Don’t be a snivelling cry-baby,
Crash through the queues and be strong!”

The first I really heard about Black Friday was a couple of years ago via Amazon UK’s Black Friday deals. For a while that’s all we had, but this year one of the “Big Four” supermarkets decided to bring Black Friday to the UK! Yes, it has made its way across “The Pond” and reached our happy shore.

Read more…