Tweets on 2011-01-25

  • Ctte-tastic (@ Loxley House) [pic]: #
  • @turtlestack nooo, I like it! #
  • The Constitutional Support Officer (formerly known as a committee clerk) has snubbed me by forgetting only my name plate. #
  • Raising the issue of very low numbers of women – just one – on the board of our local LEP. #
  • Phoned garage back. The phrase "catastrophic fatal engine failure" featured. #
  • Apparently the water pump fell off, slack in the cam belt got caught up around the rest of the engine, and it pulled itself apart. #
  • RT @MadameNottm: @alexfoster Gosh! Alex, when you f*** something, it really *is* f***ed…. #
  • Putting some money on my bus pass, just in case. #

  • Old Market Square At Dusk. #
  • @kayray eek! #
  • Unfortunate accidental innuendo with live web chat. "My website is down. Can you help me get it up?" #
  • Not reassured by tech support's vague response: "Keanu: soon the server will be up
    Keanu: we have partially fixed the issue" #
  • Thank you, Keanu, that's great. I'll be partially paying the bills this month. #
  • Which website do you think I'm trying to fix, @10anta ? #
  • @10anta LiveChatting with tech support to try and ascertain problem. #
  • RT @libdemvoice: We are aware of the outage and are having a Chat with support with a view to returning normal service as soon as possible. #
  • @doctorvee just hoover the spider already #
  • @rfenwick hmm, @technicalfault looks like a keeper. #
  • RT @libdemvoice: We're back. Thanks for bearing with us. Our host suffered an outage this evening. #
  • @rfenwick on a par with the evil laugh I got #
  • @rfenwick I'm judging on just @technicalfault's mugshot, but seems fine to me. #
  • @moviemistakes "harder to come by" ? Oh dear. #
  • @JChris_J phone tax office, talk to them, make provisional payment, and they might let you off hook for £100 fine. #
  • RT @stephenbarker: So you want to be happy?: #
  • Registering to use National Savings & Investments website appears to need me to print a PDF and post it to them. Oh, dear. #

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Women in Nottingham

Two bits of good news and one bit of bad news about women in the upper echelons of influence in Nottingham. ((NB this blog post is not about the supposedly high ratio of women to men in Nottingham. My guess that this rumour came from over 100 years ago, when many young women moved to the city to work in the lace trade, giving the city the reputation of a good place to go if you were looking for a wife. Sex ratios kinda sort themselves out through the generations, however, and I don’t think it’s true any longer))

Firstly, as Alistair Campbell wrote when he visited here a few weeks ago, there are a large amount of women in positions of influence in the city and county:

Nottinghamshire’s great and good were out in force, including the chief constable, the city council’s chief executive, the head of the probation service, the governor of a sex offenders’ prison, the sheriff (yes the sheriff of Nottingham, surely the most famous sheriff title in the world), the high sheriff, the university’s pro-vice chancellor, a former chief nursing officer, the head of children’s services … and every single one of them was a woman. Also there was the country’s first female black High Court judge.

In addition the whole evening was put together by a woman, aforementioned High Sheriff Amanda Farr, and Mental Health Research UK founded by a woman, Clair Chilvers. The only exception to this phenomenal female domination was the Lord Lieutenant … and I warned him that on current trends he would end up being replaced by the first Lady Lieutenant.

Hooray! In my work as a councillor, I’ve met only a few of them, but it’s great to hear the rest are there. I hope it’s a sustainable cohort of women of influence.

Secondly the Council, local women and women’s groups, are launching a campaign to find 100 Women of Influence in time for International Women’s Day in March.

The details of that are here.

But the bad news is the composure of the board of the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, as listed in the papers of a council select committee meeting yesterday.

The Shadow Board consists of:

  • Colin Walton, Chairman UK and Ireland, Bombardier (Chair)
  • Peter Varnsverry, Head of Manufacturing, Laing O’Rourke
  • Peregrine Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire
  • David Robinson, President, Speedo
  • Richard Horsley, Board Member, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce
  • Prof. John Coyne, Vice Chancellor, University of Derby (on behalf of the University of Derby, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University)
  • Cllr Jon Collins, Leader, Nottingham City Council
  • Cllr Kay Cutts, Leader, Nottinghamshire County Council
  • Cllr Harvey Jennings, Leader, Derby City Council
  • Cllr Andrew Lewer, Leader, Derbyshire County Council

Presumably they’re all qualified to be there and they are there as a result of the other work they do. But a quick cast down the list of names shows that only Kay Cutts from Notts County Council is female.

Given that we have just established that are a large number of women already successfully occupying senior roles in civic society in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire at least, it’s a shame that so few of them were translated into representation on the LEP.

Tweets on 2011-01-24

  • Just re-reading something I wrote about the Daily Mail last year. #
  • @Meryl_F it'll prob come back with your appetite 😦 #
  • @jamesmcgraw it's gotta be more than 14 by now, surely? #
  • I'm at Maplin – castle court (Castle Retail Park, Nottingham) #
  • I'm at Aldi (Castle Retail Park, Radford Boulevard, Nottingham) #
  • Sat nav wipes? You are taking the mickey! (@ Halfords) #
  • Gah, I knew car was in trouble but was hoping to eke it through to Monday when I could get it to garage. #
  • But car conked out and made serious horrid noises. Yet again it conked when I was facing uphill at traffic lights! Yay! #
  • We didn't really make a very nice noise today, attempting a quarter for patronal festival (@ Daybrook St Pauls) [pic]: #
  • Have borrowed P's car. After struggling to find the ignition, the lights and reverse, I'm now massively over revving at every junction. #
  • @tonytheaker Gah, I have no pros with hill starts normally – loads of practice where I live! #
  • Home from home. (@ Top Secret Lib Dem Print Cave) [pic]: #
  • @po8crg seen debate on pd blog on same subject? #
  • Going to a cat rodeo in a gay guy's apartment. #
  • @sueperkins 30 Rock, West Wing, etc? #
  • There's no reason for me to be this tired after the day I've had. And yet. And yet. #
  • Last night on the train home from London, I clocked at least five other people reading on Kindles. #kindle #
  • @kayray BBCR4's Americana had snip of Alec Baldwin NPR ad – "don't pledge, radio should die". #
  • @vickya63 one for Questions, Questions. #
  • Have been towed to garage. Not one of the 90% the AA can fix at roadside. #

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Tweets on 2011-01-23

  • I'm at St Pancras Station (STP) (St Pancras International Station, Pancras Rd, London) w/ 4 others #
  • The team is assembled. Disturbing amount of computer power arrayed around table. Arguing over who gets use of the sole electrical socket. #
  • @MadameNottm I knew it didn't look right. #
  • @ianvisits ask me that again on Feb 15th. erk #
  • Quick pint before heading home. (@ The Betjeman Arms (Geronimo) w/ @helenduffett) [pic]: #
  • @artesea blimey that was quick #
  • @sarabedford some of us had longer journeys! #
  • @HilaryAlexander try the Amt Espresso booth near the domestic platforms – much better! #
  • @radinden I find putting the knife into the toast before trying the butter is often enough to warm it sufficiently. #
  • @rfenwick I got one of those for Christmas but have yet not had an opportunity to use it. #
  • @rfenwick alternative response: is the internal thermometer for you or the bird? #
  • @rfenwick regrettably not been able to rewatch that many times, and now would not be a good time to start. #
  • @rfenwick I recalled the incident I was just not word perfect. #
  • @robinstaple nothing else affected #
  • @rfenwick I don't have a life. I have elections. #

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Pudding Club: Sussex Pond pudding

For the origins of Pudding Club, see here. For all the recipes in the series, click the tag.

Pudding club restarted in the new year, and I made a steamed pudding. I had planned to try and make my own Christmas pudding this year, and for much of the time I had all the right ingredients but no pudding basin. I toyed with the idea of re-using the plastic ones that supermarket Christmas puddings come in, but in the end, as with so many things Christmas this year, I prevaricated for too long and put it off till next year.

But with the idea in my mind that steamed puddings might be something I would like to tackle, I was thrilled to see a variety of pudding basins in Lakeland remaindered to sell. I plumped for a rather nice Mason & Cash affair with robins and snowflakes painted on it, at least partly because I couldn’t find the 2l metal with a sealing lid which I didn’t see until after I’d passed through the tills.

So to christen the basin, I decided to make a Sussex Pond pudding, following this BBC recipe, for once, almost entirely to the letter.

The one exception was the size of the basin. The recipe calls for a 1.5 litre basin; in the shop they told me the Mason & Cash affair was 600ml. When I measured it for myself, filled to the brim, it was more like 800. But it was definitely smaller than the recipe called for.

And yet, I made it to the measurements, and it all fit in perfectly.

Here’s the ingredients going in:

Sussex Pond pudding

A good thick layer of suet pastry, butter and dark sugar at the base, then skewered ((the recipe suggests using a larding needle or skewer. I wonder how many more people have skewers than larding needles)) lemons on top, then the rest of the butter and sugar.

Into the basin, covered with a foil and parchment lid with a pleat in it, and tied up with string. I was dead chuffed with how this looked when it was completed as so often my craft attempts look far from good when done.

Then steamed. I used my stock pot and a smaller pudding pot to hold the basin off the bottom. I then steamed for four hours, with a view to allowing the pudding to cool completely, transport it to our friends, and then boil again for about forty minutes to warm before serving.

Sussex Pond pudding

At this point it was a little nerve-wracking. The pudding was sealed in its basin and I had no idea whether it would turn out, whether it was properly cooked and how it would taste when it turned out.

It turned out just fine.

Sussex Pond pudding

Then the question was clearly how would it taste? And would the lemons actually be edible, after all that cooking?

What happens is the lemon juice leaks out of the skewer holes, muddles with the melted butter and sugar and forms a dense syrup. With the pith from the lemons still there, this certainly ends up a very adult taste, sweet, lemony but with also a fairly strong marmalady bitterness as an edge to the flavour.

Sussex Pond pudding

The lemons were not edible.

Some of us had it with custard; others with cream. Our toddler friends preferred the custard to the pudding.

Back again II

This blog has now moved host and is hopefully with a more attentive provider who knows more about how WordPress works.

In doing so, we identified a 300 MB error log that the previous host hadn’t mentioned I should look at. Unfortunately a log of that size is simply very difficult to open, so the only thing we’ve done with it is delete it. If it starts to get large again we’ll have a look to see whether it’s anything important.

I’ve been very impressed at how easy it was to transfer hosts, once I’d divulged my cPanel login details to my new host. There was a “copy everything” tool that works on two website backends running cPanel, and one cPanel can switch everything automatically behind the scenes from one host to the next with just a single script running in the background. Then DNS needed restarting, and voila, the site is moved.

Since we’re now relocated, I have turned everything back on, so the automatic reposting of things I write for (should there be anything; at the moment I am allocating my time to uploading other people’s posts and struggling a little to write about politics) and my daily tweet post should keep things ticking over when I’m I’m too busy and disorganised to post.

It is controversial and I know not everyone likes it. However, I have had comments – mostly in person – from people who are not on twitter and like keeping up with my twitter witterings. It does strike me that those that like it least are the ones that have an opportunity to read them already because they are twitter members.

I’ve been looking for a plugin that allows readers to select which version of the site they like – sans, or avec tweets. I have found plugins that automatically exclude entire categories based on the host’s settings, but nothing that allows the readers to make their own choice, or set up a feed for one or the other.

Unless you know different, as they say?