Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Monday, 20 October 2014
Sunday, 19 October 2014
It's taken me a while to figure this out, which is why I'm sharing with you.
If you are a member of Essex libraries (and probably other library services) you can get free access to tons of magazines.
The first thing to do is go to the library website. For Essex it's here: http://www.essex.gov.uk/Libraries-Archives/Libraries/Pages/Essex-Libraries.aspx
Click on the magazines link, browse and log in - this is the bit where you need a library account. If your forgotten your password it's usually set as your six digit birthdate.
You then need a Zinio account which you create by clicking the Create Account button.
To read your magazines you'll need the Zinio app or you can read in the browser. Getting the app is easy on iPad and Android tablet but takes a bit more effort on a Kindle. You can view in browser on a laptop or desktop but a tablet is more magaziney.
On the Kindle you need to visit this url: http://imgs.zinio.com/faq/kindlefire.html#installation
Click to download and then you'll need to install it. To find the file you've downloaded you need to open a browser. On the left at the top of the screen there will be three horizontal bars. If you click on this you'll have the option to view downloads. Choose the zinio download and click it and choose install. Once installed you'll see it in the choices from your apps menu.
Once you have the app installed you can log in and access hundreds of magazines.
It's brilliant and it's free.
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Friday, 17 October 2014
Today was all about cryptography and required Pringles tubes. Pringles tubes we can do. Cryptography content was provided by the educational outreach chap from Bletchley Park, Tom, and an "old girl" in more than one sense. Mary used to go to Hannah's school but was also one of the amazing Bletchley Park team during the war.
My school days were never this exciting. Hannah says that not all of her school friends were as enthusiastic as she was but Hannah had a great time.
Hannah started by cracking codes but she also made an Enigma machine using paper and a Pringles tube, and she got to use a real Enigma machine.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the day though was listening to Mary talking about her recruitment from Oxford and the way she signed up to take part without having a clue what she was agreeing to. She even signed the Official Secrets Act before the nature of the work was disclosed to her.
I'd have liked school to be like this every day. It certainly beats cross country running across footpaths of Devon clay and History lessons with the bearded teacher with rancid body odour.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
I've previously set the privacy settings on these photos to be public. There's nothing I've uploaded that I'm not happy with anyone seeing.
Dave has recently started scanning photos from our pre-digital albums and I've been storing these on Flickr too.
There was some pictures of us at the beach from 20 years ago so I just checked with Dave that he was happy with the public privacy setting. He wasn't. In fact he wasn't happy with any photos I'd uploaded being publicly available.
I checked this statement. Even landscapes and pictures of buildings? Yes, even those.
These are our photos, they aren't mine or his. So I've felt that I've had to change the access to these photos; all of them.
I'm not happy. I think it's an overreaction. But I can't think of a way around it that keeps us both happy.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Sometimes everything works and I appear beautifully organised.
Today at 4:00pm Sainsbury called asking if they could deliver earlier than the booked 7-8pm slot.
My answer was that that was fine but I wouldn't be getting in until 5:15pm. Just as my caller was explaining that was OK, I stopped him to explain I'd be going out again at 5:45pm. He said he'd be outside at 5:15pm.
I got home at 5:00pm. Jacket potatoes were perfectly cooked having been put in the oven in the morning with the oven timer set to turn the oven off at 5:00pm. I heated up a filling, served it up on plates just as Hannah and Ethan walked in through the door at about 5:08pm.
The Sainsbury delivery driver rang the doorbell at 5:10pm. He said he was impressed at my organisation. He'd seen the children arrive two minutes earlier and now he could see them eating their dinner.
I put the shopping away, said goodbye to the delivery driver, got changed and walked Ethan to football practice which starts at 6:00pm.
I then walked home, cooked dinner, ate with Dave who arrived just before I served up.
I then left the house again to collect Ethan from football and brought him home so that he could shower and do his homework, due in tomorrow.
Next Wednesday though is a different story.
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
I like the Channel 4 series Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners. It teams people who tend towards Obsessive Compulsive Disorder behaviours with hoarders and people who either don't know how to, or can't be bothered to, clean their home.
These people are polar opposites and the premise for the show is that these two different people can enjoy a brief symbiotic relationship; the obsessive learns that letting go a little isn't disastrous and the hoarder learns that it is possible to de-clutter and clean house.
The pairings aren't always successful but often they are with both participants gaining from the experience.
It made me wonder whether there are other unusual bedfellows that might benefit from exposure to an opposite. The only one I could conjure was the mixture of an agoraphobic and claustrophobic. I wonder if there are others.
Monday, 13 October 2014
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Stuart recommended an app to help when choosing wine. I tested it over the weekend and am a fan.
The app is Vivano. It allows you to scan a wine bottle label and if it has details of the wine in its database then it'll tell you more than the label will.
You'll find out what should expect to pay for a bottle, whether it's deemed to be a good wine for that vineyard, region, country our indeed globally. You can add your own notes so that you remember where you bought the wine and you can see reviews by other people.
On Friday I scanned loads of bottles and came away with one white and one red bottle that were rated well at all levels. We've had the opportunity to try both bottles and, whilst I'm no expert, they were both excellent. So I recommend trying the app.
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Friday, 10 October 2014
- A loaf of brioche (400g)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 cup milk (I used skimmed)
- 1 cup cream (I've used double and whipping but I'm sure single is fine too)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Large handful of raisins (or sultanas)
- Marsala wine (or sherry or port or whisky or brandy)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC fan oven.
- Soak raisins in your chosen booze.
- Slice and butter the brioche (you don't need to use butter, olive or sunflower spread is fine)
- Grease a large baking dish using butter or margarine or spread suitable for baking
- Pop the buttered brioche into the baking dish starting at one end overlapping the pieces so that the tops of the slices stand a little proud.
- In a bowl mix eggs, cream, milk, sugar and vanilla.
- Scatter the raisins over the brioche slices and any excess booze can be tipped over the top too.
- Pour the egg and cream mixture over your brioche.
- Bake for 30 mins.