Archives for September 2015

Highnam Court

After Saturday's run, the grounds of Highnam Court remained open for a few hours for runners/spectators to enjoy at a more leisurely pace.

Aisling had visited the Holy Innocents Church while we were running, and liked it so much she dragged the rest of us in for a look too.  Pretty much every bit of the interior is beautifully decorated, and I failed to take photos of any of it.

Then we walked though the gardens, roughly following the first half of the running route.

There are a lot of carved wooden animal/bird sculptures dotted around the place.  I'd been pointing them out... continue reading »

Great Highnam Court Run

On Saturday I took part in the inaugural Great Highnam Court Run - my first proper 10k!

When I signed up back in June, I questioned how I'd ever be able to run that far.  Or why I'd entered a race at all when I hadn't even been parkrunning regularly.  Main reasons were:

it's local - somewhere I've driven past daily for many years it wasn't too expensive, and all finishers got a medal the venue isn't usually open to the public it'd give me a target to work towards

Also, a little bit of peer pressure.  When I told friends I was considering it, Jem... continue reading »

Blenheim Palace

This is Blenheim Palace.  We visited right at the start of August, to watch the summer jousting tournament.

There was a falconry display...

...and the actual jousting, which was very scripted and not quite as exciting as we'd hoped.  I think it was aimed more at kids (with the 'bad' black knight eventually, predictably, getting his comeuppance).  But enjoyable nonetheless - certainly something you don't get to see every day.

Watching all that took up quite a bit of time, and we spent another few hours wandering around the rest of the grounds.  Including a trip on the little train to the 'pleasure... continue reading »

Whites Level at Afan

It's been several years since I last went mountain biking at Afan, which is a bit silly because when I do go I really enjoy it.

Yesterday morning I met up with some friends at a rather damp Glyncorrwg.  As we got ready, I watched a serious of brightly coloured dots slowly weaving their way up the hillside, and soon it was our turn.  Climbs at Afan are an absolute pig, but at least all the up is at the start so you get it out of the way!  No shame in having to get off and push, either...

Once we eventually... continue reading »

poor neglected pi

Here's a list of things I am currently doing with a Raspberry Pi:


Yup, that'd be nothing :(

The A+ is still happily running the dice clock, but other than routine system updates nothing's changed since I wrote that code at the start of the year.

The original model B has been all but relegated to paperweight.  I'm not even sure when I last booted it, so the operating system must be quite out of date by now.  It's not compatible with HATs, and I still haven't had any genius ideas for it.  Sorry little pi.

I was rather hoping that by now I... continue reading »

not quite ripe

Seems it's not quite peak blackberry season just yet.

Last night's raid on some local hedgerows was a bit disappointing on the blackberry front - found enough for a crumble or cake, but it needs another week or so before everything is nicely ripe and pickable.  However, we also picked enough sloes for a large batch of gin :)

national fitness day

According to the internet, today is National Fitness Day.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I will be having a rest day and doing nothing more strenuous than walking the boyfriend's dog.

Ooh, rebellious...  But I suspect I am not in the target demographic for this particular occasion, as being active is a well established part of my routine.  I get twitchy if I go too long without doing exercise, and consider it a waste of a nice sunny day to stay inside all the time.

Currently I'm running twice a week, in preparation for my first 10k later this month.  When I signed... continue reading »

php is annoying

Instead of writing a meaningful post, this evening I have been fiddling with some of the code that runs this site.

Top tips, because apparently I'm rusty and forget:

Don't indent the closing line of PHP heredoc.  No matter how ugly it makes your code look.  Because if you leave any whitespace in there the whole thing breaks. CSS may cascade, but 'rules for classes' take priority over 'rules for just the element'

Anyway, I'd love to be able to brag about the tiny changes I've made to my comment form, but unfortunately when I put the code live the whole website broke.  White... continue reading »

ss Great Britain

On a theme of "things I didn't get round to posting at the time and now it's several months later", here's my favourite photo from our birthday visit to ss Great Britain.

Taken from underneath (obviously!) in the dry dock.  The 'ceiling' is covered in a layer of water, so from ground level you can pretend the boat is floating, and from below you can pretend you're underwater.  It's a nice effect.

If you're a small nervous child what you can also do at this point is start screaming about how you don't want to go into the water because you might... continue reading »

Pittville animals

Today was lovely and sunny.  We went for a little wander around Pittville Park in Cheltenham.

Most of my previous visits to Pittville have been for parkrun, but there's more to the park than three laps of the lake!

For example, the aviary.  Slightly confusingly named as it houses animals as well as birds, but there we go.

My favourites were the chipmunks because they're tiny and cute and pretty.  They're also really fast, which makes it difficult to take their photo - especially when you've got your camera shoved up against the bars.

This one was chilling out quite happily though.

The rabbits and... continue reading »

FIFA rankings

I'm listening to England vs San Marino on the radio, and the commentary just reminded me of something that's amused me this week.

FIFA rankings.  Everyone knows the formula behind them is perhaps not as accurate as it could be, but generally we just ignore that and take it with a large pinch of salt.

Not so much this week.  Why?  Wales are ranked higher than England. Personally, I think this is great.  Wales have improved so much over the last few years, and England, quite frankly, have not.  But why accept facts when you can whinge and complain instead...

My football allegiance... continue reading »

desk declutter

Hopefully I will be moving house in the not to distant future.  In theory this means I'm on a mission to de-clutter so I don't end up moving the same boxes of junk that were untouched last time I moved (3.5 years ago).

In reality, it's slow progress.  Several bags of clothes have gone to the charity shop, yet my wardrobe looks just as full. 

Today, I gave my desk a quick tidy.  Again, it doesn't look much different.  bah.

Whenever I tidy my 'office' I'm always amazed at how much excess stationery I find.  It's usually the same stuff, so either I... continue reading »


Yours eyes are not deceiving you, this is indeed a third blog post in as many days.

Regular readers (hi mum) will know that this is basically unheard of.  I've been blogging (on this domain and previous ones) for years and years, but recently things have got a bit neglected, to say the least.

Excuses for lack of updates include:

having a million hobbies and not much spare time posting stuff on Twitter or Instagram instead taking far too long to sort through photos, and then no longer feeling it's relevant to write about them generally falling out of the habit being a bit lazy no-one reads it... continue reading »

Farewell, Discworld

I started reading Discworld in 2011. Yes, very late to the party!  The first book I read was Equal Rites, simply because that was the earliest one my brother had that I could borrow.  I was soon hooked, and have read the whole lot at least twice since then.

I don't remember why I never got round to reading any Pratchett earlier - possibly it was slightly daunting to be faced with a series of 37 books.  But I'm glad I did, because he was a very talented man.  I'm very much in favour of books where I don't figure out... continue reading »

Scrumpty trail

In celebration of hosting some world cup rugby matches, and because sculpture trails seem to be the in thing at the moment, Gloucester currently has a Scrumpty trail of 20 statues dotted around the city centre - plus mini versions in shop windows.

Some of the Scrumpties (I note with disgust that the official website pluralises with an apostrophe - "Scrumpty's" - yuck!) are rugby themed, some are local themed, some seem to have no obvious link to anything but are very pretty, and one is actually a bit terrifying.

Predictably, I took a lot of photos:

The map suggests the Monkty (on... continue reading »