22 January 2012

Disco Boots - Gentleshaw

A ray of winter sunlight and Catherine's sparkly boots turn my Volvo into a Disco*
We went to Gentleshaw for a bit of orienteering (3rd place) - Adrian, Philip, Catherine and me.  While the middle aged gents were wearing sensible orienteering shoes - Catherine (7) went for something a bit more showy.

*yes a bit of a weak off-roader joke - but its late

20 January 2012

And this time it is Gooseberry

I still have gooseberries left over from Summer

Rather similar to the Apple Cake made last week BUT more eggs and you put the berries on the top and they sink down during baking

It is a Waitrose recipe - click here

19 January 2012

To the Ricoh for a Cheese Injection

My first Kraft Company Conference - nice to see many old friends - interesting to sample new products

I had a good chat with Mr Colin Jackson (R) - I think I confused him with my references to the ARDF world championships

ahhh... now I know why my wristband says "62"

Spare seat on my table - so I got the have TWO goat's cheeses

Il menu: well chosen I thought

Colin Jackson - world champion and former world record holder for the 110m hurdles - talks to us about his experience at the Olympics

Colleagues (it was by now rather late)

18 January 2012

Another Night Race in Sutton Park

I won!

It was much quieter than last time.  I did meet some cyclists - and got an impressed "powerful headlamp!" comment - so I went up to "main beam" and got a "very, powerful headlamp" comment. Excellent.  Running through the holly woodland - like passing down the aisle of a back-green cathedral - plus the very spooky fluttering of hundreds of roosting birds - no vocalisations - just fluttering.

And this is 'Curry Goat' - note NOT Curried Goat.  Scrummy - especially with the rice and beans.  The chef works with me in Bournville Factory.

14 January 2012

Even better than Mom's Apple Pie

Apple and Almond Cake - recipe says "make this and you will never make apple pie again"
 I still have a fridge full of apples (neighbour's tree, neighbour won't eat them because they have not come from a supermarket) - getting a bit wrinkly so its time to start cooking with them

This is June's Apple Pie and Almond Recipe - my favourite

Apple and Almond Dessert Cake

by the way... apple sauce is TWO words.

12 January 2012

My favourite airport in the whole wide world

Those are prayer flags on the hillside

I flew into Paro in 2001 - then it was a AVRO RJ - with 4 hairdryers for engines - but at least if you lost one you still had 75% power.

Take of to the South (sharp left turn after the first ridge on the left and then a sharp right etc. etc.

Landing from the North

09 January 2012

The Builders are in... Noggings!

Time to lose that dreadful Artex ceiling and fix the 25 year old water damage (flat dormer roof)

A little wasp nest

Hidden deep within the rock wool was a bees nest - complete with honey and all - lovely smell
I am having proper insulation and, as the original builders missed out the noggings - those as well

05 January 2012

Three words I never thought I would hear in the same sentence

What is that?
Still no idea

Night Unicycle Orienteering

It Chris McS on a Unicycle at Shire Oak

A short practicality test - conclusion

Under seat mounted lamp - needs more work

Balancing without external visual references and with lights that move with head or hips - needs much more work

03 January 2012


Last night I was clearing my box room ready for redecorating - I picked up my copy of "How to be Topp!" - famously illustrated by Ronald Searle, while checking the publication date I noticed it was set in "Scotch Roman" and then sat on my bed and read the first chapter.  The first time I have seen or read this book in twenty years and certainly the first time I have come across a "Scotch Roman" typeface.

Today a tweet from Tim Harford led me to a site about font master Matthew Carter and Googling his most recent font (miller) revealed that it is based on Scotch Roman.

Returning to twitter I find a new tweet - Ronald Searle's death was announced this morning.


02 January 2012

Imelda Marcos? Moi? Non!

As the great lady probably did not say "you can never have too many shoes"

Tidying up today I find that I have 1 pair of standard shoes and 8 pairs of orienteering shoes, including 6 VJ's:

My VJs - from oldest to newest: bottom left to bottom right and then top left to top right
Strange that the uppers on the older shoes are barely worn - and ZERO holes whilst the the last orange pair went "fuzzy" after ~5 races and then shortly after began to perforate.  I only bought these because the ones on the top left got holes after a year of use.  I have not run in the green ones yet.  Also my feet seem to be getting smaller - from a 10.5, through 10 to 9.5 in the latest pair.

Three generations of VJ "Dobb" soles - oldest on the left, newest on the right

In the good old days it was the sole, not the uppers, that went first - either the Dobb-spikes working loose or a stud breaking off on a rock.  Perhaps the shoes were "lasting too long" - or was it a response the lighter shoes from competitors?  I suppose the environment in Scandinavia is rather different from brambly-midlands-grot.

Interesting to see the changes over the years:

  1. Cross/Triangular Studs to Concave Pentagons to Concave Quadrilaterals/Rhomboids
  2. Addition of "teeth" in the instep/outstep (perhaps for contouring grip) replaced with a single dobb and some small studs
  3. Two of the heel dobbs move from the middle to the front studs and then are joined by two more dobbs back on the middle studs.
  4. An extra dobb at the front (in the middle - caused me pain as it was right on a joint) and then two more front dobbs.
  5. Addition of two bands of mini studs/ridges - not at all sure what these would add in terms of grip - if the ground was so soft that they made contact it is probably almost liquid mud.
  6. The "toe" goes more pointy and the grip bars become broader and then the toe curls upwards and gets mini-studs instead of bars.

I wonder how scientific all this redesign has been?  Hopefully not marketing or visual appeal led.

What sort of compromises have been made?

grip on sand v grip on wet mud v grip on leaf litter
grip v binding in sticky mud/clay v self cleaning
grip v flex v protection v support
and so on...