December 14, 2008

The Artful Dodger Is Not A Nice Person!!

Last week I fell victim to a pickpocket! I used to think of it as an almost whimsical, romantic, harmless crime a la Dickens etc. It was, at one stage, punishable by death (and right now I'd be leaning towards a reintroduction of the death penalty, or maybe just cutting off their hands would be more appropriate!) the irony being that a public execution [of a pickpocket] was an ideal opportunity for pickpockets to work what with there being quite a major distraction going on.

So there I am all smug 'cos I've done all my Christmas shopping already, I have to add that it's the first time in my life I've been this organised, but when you get paid on the 6th of the month it sort of makes you get on with it. We had the company piss up on Thursday night and as they'd very kindly paid for my train fare to London (and back) and and overnight stay on Thursday night, the man and I decided to meet up on Friday morning and head off to the Borough Market to get a few bits of food for Christmas. I'd never been there before and was looking forward to it.

On arrival we headed straight to the Monmouth Coffee stall, topped up the caffeine levels and bought some coffee beans that smelt as only I can only image heaven would smell if it was an odour.

I was in awe of all the food and sights and sounds and smells and noticed the signs saying 'high risk of pickpockets' but I thought I was ok, after all my purse was in my front pocket, where I (and everyone else!) could see it. How could anyone get it without me noticing?

I'll tell you shall I? Take a camera with you! When you take a photo you're not looking at your purse, in fact you're not looking at anything outside the viewfinder and both your hands are a long way away from your pocket - and there it was gone!!

It's not romantic, it's not funny and it's not even the fact that they lifted the £100 I'd got from the cashpoint (why did I not just get £50!) it's my debit card, my credit card, my driving license, my train ticket, my AA membership etc etc. It's such a pain and I'd really like to get my hands on the piece of scum who got up on Friday morning and decided to make some easy money robbing at the Borough market and shove what's left in my purse where it's going to hurt most. All I can hope for is that they suffered horrible painful injuries when they were run over by a London bus whilst crossing the road, when they were distracted momentarily whilst rummaging through my purse!!!

August 28, 2008

Don't Put Off Until Tomorrow...

Following on from my rather easy target of thirty something things to do in the next year (it's a vague number as I keep adding things as I think of them) I thought there was a touch of irony in the fact that Dave Freeman the man who co wrote the original '100 Things To Do Before You Die' Book has died at just 47.

Even though the success of his book and the birth of the whole 'things to do/see/visit/kill etc genre gave him the means and the freedom to do what he wanted he only managed to get about halfway through his list before he died, thus proving the old adage to be correct...

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today

... cos you never know, tomorrow may never come.

August 20, 2008

It's Not Mom's It's Mine!

We have a huge apple tree in out garden which produces many many more apples than we can ever eat/cook with/reach to pick. Most of them went to waste last year as we can't reach to pick any higher than the bottom few branches. The birds and the wasps also make short work of a lot of them while they're still on the tree, so we've never managed to get to too many of them.

We've done better this year than we did the last though and there's a litre of Apple and Sultana Vodka waiting in a cool dark cupboard, which should be ready to taste in about three weeks and one very nice apple cake has been cooked and eaten.

The Perfect Apple Cake Recipe.

8oz of cooking apples (although eating apples from your very own tree work just as well),8oz of sultanas,1/4 pint of milk,6oz of soft brown sugar,12oz of self raising flour,2tsp mixed spice (or just cinnamon is nice),6oz butter,1 medium egg,1oz demerara sugar.

Peel, core and chop the apples into bite sized chunks.

Mix the apples, sultanas and milk together and put to one side.

Cream the butter and the soft brown sugar together, mix in the egg.

Sieve the flour and the spice together into the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.

Add the apples, sultanas and milk to the butter and flour mixture and give it a good stir.

Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the top before cooking.

Put it in an 8" cake tin and cook in the oven (electric 160) for about 2 hours until cooked through. It may take a bit longer so towards the end of the cooking time out a knife or skewer in the centre and if it comes out clean it's cooked.

Cool and enjoy.

August 08, 2008

A Waste of 87 Minutes Of My Life!


Possibly the worst movie I've ever sat through.

August 01, 2008

Days When I Shouldn't Have Got Out Of Bed #1

So - Today!

I bought a new lens for my camera. It arrived Wednesday. Despite the fact that I work from home I've been really good and resisted the urge to play with it instead of working until today. At around 3pm it got the better of me and the raindrops on the window looked to be the ideal opportunity to try out the macro function. So I stuck the lens on the camera and the camera on the tripod. Then I realised it wasn't quite high enough and picked the tripod up to extend the legs. Holding it high in the air above a concrete driveway I pulled the leg to it's full stretch and at the same time I watched the lens and camera fall from the top of the tripod and hit the ground with a resounding smash!!!

Hopefully our insurance will cover it but I'm still really pi*@$d off that I never even got to test the lens before I broke it. the glass is still intact but the mount is hanging off and as for the camera!! Suffice to say that Canon's (or any other brand for that matter) don't play well with concrete!


Luckily I have some very nice friends, one of which (Thanks Gillian) was willing to lend me her camera so I could take pics at the 'Balloons over Basingstoke' event tonight. So off I go to pick her camera up en route to Basingstoke and then I reverse out of a parking place into another car!!!!

Luckily it was (really) as much her fault as mine and as no damage was done to either car we just chalked it up to a bad day.


We got to Basingstoke and the wind got up and they decided not to fly the balloons tonight!

I need a drink.

June 01, 2008

The List!

I keep talking about 'The List' the hypothetical list of things that I'd like to do. I'm forever mentally adding things to the list then I forget all about them. So I thought I'd actually write it - THE List.

As we're already half way through the year and I can't think too far ahead on a good day I'm counting the start date as 1st June 2008 and the list is going to be made up of things I'd like to achieve/do/experience before 1st June 2009.

(Please note it's now July 2009 and I'm not even half way through so the next deadline in the end of July 2010).

I started off with grand ideas of a list of a 100 things, then when I started to struggle decided maybe 50 was enough but at the end (so far) I can only come up with 36 ideas. However as day to day life and conversations seem to be a wealth of inspiration I reserve the right to add things to the list as I go along, nothing too earth shattering or life changing just some little challenges and a bit of fun. Photographic evidence will be provided wherever possible.

So to start with...

Things To Do In The Next 12 Months.

1. Go up in a hot air balloon.
2. Go to 10 places in the UK that I’ve never been to before

1) Beer in Devon
2) Abbotsbury in Dorset.
3) Bath
4) Belfast
5) Paignton
6) Norfolk
7) Robertsbridge, East Sussex
8) Rye, East Sussex
9) Colchester
10) Northampton

3. leave the country
4. Write a Novel (even if I’m the only one who ever reads it)
5. Send a message in a bottle
6. Make an origami crane
7. learn to play at least one song on the guitar.
8. Bake a Cake
9. Make a t shirt (well a design for one anyway)
10. Make a time capsule and bury it in the garden
11. Give up something for lent
12. Go to the dogs
13. Buy/Blag (and drink of course) A Bottle of Krug champagne.
14. Drink a Vintage Wine
15. Go to the Theatre
16. Go Ice Skating
17. Watch a live Ice Hockey match
18. Ride a motorbike
19. Visit a museum
20. Visit a theme park
21. Do some voluntary work in the community
22. Order something in a restaurant that I’ve never eaten before Guinea Fowl
23. Plant a Tree
24. Make a loaf of bread, from scratch without the aid of a bread making machine
25. Go on a picnic
26. Fly A Kite
27. Visit (and spend the night if possible) a haunted house
28. Visit a zoo
29. Make something crafty, (No CD’s or photographs)
30. Raise money for a charity
31. Watch a movie with subtitles (something I usually avoid, too much concentration needed)
32. Go on a wildlife photography day
33. Celebrate St Davids Day (Including home made Welsh Cakes)
34. Cook a meal from another country
35. Put my name down to rent a beach hut in the UK (On the list for a Beech Hut in Beer in Devon, it's only a 15 year wait!)
36. Get my blog redesigned and make 'Big Fish Little Fish' all grown up.
37. Go to Church
38. Run a race for charity. (Race For Life)

May 30, 2008

Feed Me

Down in sleepy little South Warnborough (a village so small you don't have time to blink before you miss it) there is a fantastic little village shop. It's a real old traditional style village shop which sells all manner of long forgotten treats like Wagon Wheels. It has exotic Olive Oils in big containers on the shelf that they sell by the refillable bottle, they have fresh farm produce and the most delicious fresh cream gateaux and just in case that wasn't enough to tempt you on Friday nights the traditional cream tea and bacon and eggs cafe that takes up half the shop does a very nice side line in Fish and Chips.

Now the idea of a local Chippy will no doubt make most people shrug and say "so what!" but round here it's a big deal. Planning permission for a Chippy in Odiham has been turned down several times because the powers that be are concerned that it might encourage the local youths to congregate around the chip shop at night and cause disruption in the village! Pathetic! So when the next village down the road opened a Friday night Chippy it was met much approval and I have to admit that Fish on a Friday has become a bit of a regular thing.

So if you owned a cafe come Chippy I ask you, would you have a rather large talking Penguin litter bin outside your shop? Yes, I did say talking! It freaked me out the first time it spoke as I walked past, and who wouldn't be a little jumpy if a large Plastic Penguin suddenly started to speak to you? If that's not enough it stands outside the Cafe/Chippy saying things like "I love it when you feed me trash"! Is the thought of eating trash what you'd want to be on people's minds as they walked into your cafe?

It doesn't seem to have affected business though, they are always busy and I have to say they do a mighty fine Fish and Chips. My only complaint, which is a really teeny one, is that their idea of a small portion and mine are two very different things. If you want a bumper bag of Fish and Chips give it a go. So far I've never managed to finish a whole 'small' portion we're getting very close to ordering one to share but then that just seems tight!

So if you ever feel the need for a chat with a Penguin you know where to go.

May 05, 2008

New Boots.

I've never quite understood the way shops, in particular sports shops and outdoor clothing shops size up their footwear. Not that I'm complaining, as someone who is one of the sizes that seems to cross over from Children's to adult sizes it saves me a fortune whenever I want to buy trainers or walking boots, like I did today. So I found a pair that I liked in the womens range in Blacks and the womens range went from size 5 upwards. So I'm a size 5 and they would have cost me £59.99 in the womens range. Then I see exactly the same pair in the children's range which went from a size 10 to a size 6 but only cost £24.99.

The shop assistant didn't look too pleased when having picked up the kids pair that was on display and asked him if they had it in a 5 I sat down and tried them on! They're a perfect fit and £35 cheaper than the adult version. Surely everyone who can fit into the upper end of the kids sizes would do the same? He tried to convince me that not so much care was taken in the manufacture of children's sizes are is in the adults versions but I've never found a problem with quality before and I've been buying kids trainers for a long time now. All in all a bargain!

May 04, 2008

Stress Relief?

Need bubble wrap? Try this :)

May 01, 2008

flickr Monthly Scavenger Hunt - May 2008

As I haven't tried one of these for ages, and I've never finished one yet I thought I'd have a go at the flickr scavenger hunt again this month.

Here's the list...

Official May 2008 Scavenger List

1. yellow swing
2. dust
3. garden tools
4. mountain
5. ice cold glass of milk
6. trail mix
7. garden gnome
8. headache
9. heavy fog
10. scared
11. fork
12. bird
13. fruity flavour
14. station
15. an unlikely duo
16. roadside stand
17. traditional
18. farmer
19. flattened
20. now, that was refreshing!!

I'll link them to the pics as I find them, there could be a few in the archives for this month! Although I'm not sure where I'm going to find a yellow swing!

April 16, 2008

Surreal Conversations With The Postman!

You just know it's going to be a difficult day when the Postman knocks on your door in the morning and interrupts your raging hangover by asking you if you know any Ghost Hunters!

April 03, 2008

How Today Feels

I was offered a fantastic new job today, it's been worth the wait. There are a few i's to dot and t's to cross still but I can't wait to start.

March 06, 2008

It's Been Fun But...

In February 2008 Polaroid ceased production of it's instant film in favour of digital technology, so when the film that's currently in it runs out our Polaroid will probably be relegated to the realms of decoration. So in tribute to the many Polaroid Instant cameras still out there...

March 04, 2008


Just thought I'd better say hello to 2008 as I'm a little lacking in inspiration this year!

So... Hello 2008, brb.