Historic remains found in Notts

I see from the Nottinghamshire History Blog that iron-age remains have been found during roadworks for the widening of the A46.

There are helpful links to the Highways Agency’s Flickr account and press-release, with this Bronze Age skeleton found near the A46gruesome picture amongst them.

I am tempted to make a joke about dying in a traffic jam trying to leave Widmerpool, but I probably shouldn’t.

Tesco in this week’s Pod Delusion

I’ve a piece in this week’s Pod Delusion talking about Tesco and planning permission – slightly drawn from my experience of sitting on Nottingham’s planning committee when Tesco are trying to get a permission out of us.

You can find the recording here.

Cat gif

I am sitting here, immobilised by the kitten, barely able to reach the keyboard and trying not to laugh too loudly at the following:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Most of the time he gets fed up of sitting on laps and goes and sits somewhere else. When he does, I can get on with what I’m supposed to do. But I’m a little feart that for once he is out for the count. He certainly looks fast asleep.

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 boulang√®res 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: