Updates and blog news

I’ve spent an hour or so doing the necessary WordPress updates and mucked up the blog a little, I’m afraid.

Whenever I do that, I end up with a suspended account – so much so, I’m beginning to wonder whether the process of updating itself is enough to hog enough server time for my ISP to think I’m taking over my shared host.

I’ve also updated my blog theme to latest version. I should have known better. In doing so, I have, of course, lost all my nice customisations, including the pictures for the header that I rather liked, and the manual change to the theme that made my spam protection work.

But the biggest change is the Twitter integration, which I know many of you hated. Twitter has changed its authentication rules which meant an update to the Twitter program on the blog. I can’t get the new version to work, despite getting my host to upgrade to PHP5, apparently a pre-requisite. Every time I try and run the authentication routine, it tells me there is a syntax error on Line 19:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_OLD_FUNCTION or T_FUNCTION or T_VAR or '}' in /home/**********/public_html/wp-content/plugins/twitter-tools/twitteroauth.php on line 19

So until that is resolved, there won’t be any twitter posts on here or tweets about new blog posts.

Dried Basil

Quite by chance I came across the food blog of an old friend, started last year some time, and full of absolutely delicious looking things, most of which aren’t too difficult, but look really nice.

It’s here: Dried Basil and Other Heresies

I haven’t been cooking at all much lately. P’s been eating in the canteen at lunchtime at work, and I’m supposed to be subsisting off misery pouches, but instead am mostly eating too much butter and cheese, bagels and crackers and nothing of any real substance.

So having spent the weekend reading through the Dried Basil recipes, when it came to popping up to the supermarket to restock the fruit bowl, I found myself stocking up on the ingredients for half of the things that had been written about. Regrettably, my supermarket does not appear to sell the much-celebrated pre-prepped soffritto mix.

This evening we’ve had Adult Hot Chocolate, (and resolved to have less than a giant mugful each next time). Meanwhile, I’m marinating chicken pieces in a heady mix of marmalade, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and Angostura Bitters for Sticky Chicken tomorrow. I also have the ingredients for rillettes and pommes boulangères knocking about and shall give it a go when three hours of oven time opens up.

The manifesto is well worth a butchers too – I particularly like “Life’s too short for instant coffee” and will be shamelessly reusing that one.

Two web cartoons

Firstly Unshelved – they’re currently actively recruiting new followers.

The comic is a mix of daily library based antics, weekly book recommendations that are half just interesting, and half intended to be printed out and displayed in libraries.

It reminds me of my time working in a library as a teenager. I still don’t quite understand how, but somehow, while I was doing four A Levels, I still found time to work in a library every other Saturday and make full use of my borrowing privileges. How did I have time for so much reading as well as the school work?

The other cartoon is Adam and Andy, a very sweet innocent cartoon about two gay guys in a long term relationship.

A scary sweet and innocent cartoon that very often seems to be spying on us.

Take this. And this.

It’s almost like they know about my aversion to cleaning and all the cake wrappers in the footwell of the passenger seat of my car.

Solar panel report – 09

I think I neglected my planned annual New Year’s post about my solar panel performance. ((I say annual, I think I’ve only managed it twice before.))

For much of the last year, I’ve not been able to get screenshots off the computer gizmo that duplicates the controller in the airing cupboard.

Turns out, once the room was tidied up a bit and I could track the cables back, that the Cat 5 cable that comes out of the airing cupboard to the nerve centre had just dropped out of the back of the router.


But from the graph I can pull now, it looks like we got the best part of of 3,600 kWh in both 2008 and 2009.

And the good news seems to be that we’ve already had as much sun by mid-August than we had in the whole of the last two years.

August has been pretty crummy this year – or at least, has matched torrential downpours with short sharp bursts of sun. (Which makes getting the leaflets out fun)

But we did have some really good weeks in May and June that seemed to have a made an impact on the bottom line on the solar front.

And 3,600 kWh worth of gas would have been another £140 or so, if I’m doing the multiplication correctly based on Nottingham Energy Partnership’s energy cost comparison table.

Other posts about my solar panel:

Jellies and blancmanges

Today’s Food Programme is talking about jellies, and how they should be revived.

Not sugar free sachet powder jelly (although when I’m being good dietwise, I often use these a free sweet). And not the wobbly superconcentrate blocks of coloured jellies.

More the homemade jellies set with gelatin or vegan seaweed based setting agents.

I’ve had a few goes at interesting things like this – and you can find the recipe for a strawberry / rosé wine jelly here.

I have also made a blancmange from scratch, but it seems that I haven’t ever written that up here.

There’s a picture of the bunny blancmange shortly before it fell apart:

Tonight's pudding club - homemade spicy blancmange (blackberry coulis not pictured)

And the recipe for this is over at Nibblous.

LibDemVoice.org at Conference

Once again, Lib Dem Voice have a varied and exciting programme at the Lib Dem federal conference planned for Liverpool next month.

Some of our events are still taking form; others are now so well established they are almost traditional.

And don’t worry if you are unable to join us in person at conference – we will be making recordings of the events and making them available right here on the blog, so that you can get the conference feel coming in your ears wherever you are in the nation.

For your delight and delectation, here are some details.

Blog of the Year Awards

Join LDV and online friends for a walk down the yellow carpet to award the 2010 BOTYs. For more information see this post right here.

Saturday, 18th September 2010
22.00 – 00.00
Hilton, Grace Suite 1

This event on Flock Together | This event on Facebook

LibDemVoice.org Fringe: Fairer? For Whom?

Former Lib Dem MPs Dr Evan Harris and Susan Kramer join Left Foot Forward’s editor, Will Straw, to discuss what Coalition means for the party’s fairness agenda. Chaired by Lib Dem Voice co-editor, Stephen Tall.

Sunday, 19th September 2010
13.00 – 14.00
ACC Liverpool, Hall 1B

As this event is in the Secure Zone, you will need a conference photo-pass to attend.

Liberal Drinks / Tweetup

A friendly chat and a drink during Conference season but outside of the conference secure zone, so all welcome.

We’ve had Liberal Drinks at Lib Dem Conference before, but this is the first time we’ve branded it a “tweetup”

Tuesday 21st September
7.30pm – 10.30pm
Baltic Fleet, 33 Wapping, Liverpool, L1 8DQ

This event on Flock Together | This event on Facebook

Lessons for future campaigning from the 2010 election

Mark Pack takes the chair to explore the party’s general election campaign. With Hilary Stephenson, Duncan Hames MP and Paul Holmes.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2010
13.00 – 14.00
Jurys Inn, Suite 9

This event on Flock Together | This event on Facebook

Tweets on 2010-08-20

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Tweets on 2010-08-19

  • Kicking off planning ctte with chair of Civic Soc getting her copy of Cllr Arnold's book autographed. #
  • Well, as of now, Sutton Passeys is a conservation area! #
  • Sitting in carwash listening to radio. Which means I've forgotten to unscrew aerial. #
  • @doctorvee I think one finger is more universally rude – only the brits seem to see two fingers as an insult. in reply to doctorvee #
  • @CllrIainRoberts it's the same thing that got in way of me watching Sherlock – over 7 days since last episode aired. 😦 in reply to CllrIainRoberts #
  • ZOMG!! There will be METAL DETECTORS at #ldconf this year!! #
  • (I knew those goth leather straps would be useful sometime) #
  • Srsly, I found the goth straps while I was tidying, left over from a halloween costume, and I've been itching to put them back on ever since #
  • Blimey, this neck strap is a bit tight. #
  • *sigh* I think I must have thrown the guyliner and manscara away. #
  • @kayray do you have skips over there? Or are they dumpsters or something? in reply to kayray #

  • I liked a YouTube video — "Dragostea Din Tei" Live http://youtu.be/QoI0AUAcBJ8?a #
  • Getting the wanderlust again. #
  • @helenduffett Liverpool. Then Wales. Then Madeira. Then head down for elections. But I wanna go to Bxl, Paris, Berlin, Vilnius, Krakow… in reply to helenduffett #

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Tweets on 2010-08-18

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