Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Inspirational wrapping

Make that boring pair of socks into a parcel that begs to be opened. Plenty of inspiration at here at Wrap Art (also damned useful if you run out of conventional wrapping paper and the shops have shut!)

The scientific guide to gift wrapping

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sprouts with bells on....

750g Brussels sprouts , trimmed
1 garlic clove , crushed
70g sliced chorizo , cut into strips
olive oil
3 tbsp flaked almonds , toasted until golden

Steam the sprouts until just tender, about 5 minutes. Fry the garlic and chorizo in 2 tbsp oil for a few minutes until crisp.
Stir through the sprouts then put in a warm dish and sprinkle with the almonds.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Damp hankie time

OK, so I'm supposed to be festitivating(?) the house, but it's lunchtime....I look for a quick festive fix, remember I've got 'Miracle on 34th Street' (the 1947 version....none of that modern/remake crap in MY christmas kitchen!) sitting on the hard think, the way you do, 'maybe I'll watch just a little bit of that now' while I eat my bacon buttie..........

And sometime later (ie however long it lasted plus, maybe, 30 seconds) and I find this pile of damp paper tissues on the floor by the kitchen idea how they got there!

EVEN LATER....I just couldn't let it lie.... 'Holiday Inn' with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, now comfortably under the belt. 'Scrooge' with Alastair Sim, no problem, just the odd sniff (OK....3 tissues!) But still sitting there.....(deep breath) waiting to be watched is......(another deep breath) 'It's a Wonderful life'.....wish me luck, I'm going in!

3 HOURS LATER....I'm officially now just a sucked-out husk, emotionally drained and only fit for a hot bath and a stiff drink. My advice?.....don't try this at home unless you've discussed your intentions with a qualified medical practitioner!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Memo to self....must buy a tripod

Out of the 76 photos I took tonight at the Sage (Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band...not bad but not as entertaining as The Ukulele Band of GB on Monday) there were only half a dozen that didn't look like they'd been taken by a dipsomaniac on a bad morning....this is one of the least shaky. You can just about make out the Tyne Bridge through the windows if you try very, VERY hard.

Ladies....the perfect excuse to overindulge

Found at ModernMechanix

Festive fun

Improve your mouse control (just in case you need an excuse!) by dragging Santa's sleigh around the track without hitting the sides....strangely addictive

Play Reindeer Racer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's a wonderful world

My current 'kitchen table laptop' desktop wallpaper (courtesy Vladstudio), which I'd assumed for months was imaginary.....but I was so wrong! Check out what you can find growing on the island of Socotra here at Dark Roasted Blend

Sew old

I wish they had scans of the actual patterns too, but never mind there's 600+ envelope illustrations to feast your eyes on (and some of the ones from the 60's/70's look embarrassingly familiar!) at VADS

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Print your own wrapping paper....

...assuming you've got a colour printer and some small-but-perfectly-formed 'things' to wrap of course.
A4 sized pdfs to download here
But I recommend a voyage of discovery round the whole site if you're short of (papercrafty) things to do over the holiday season....just make sure you've laid in supplies of glue before the shops close!

Simon's Sister's Dog

Made for the RSPCA.....and probably also true for christmas cats, gerbils and anacondas!

iPod fodder

"Audio drama lives! We are the Wireless Theatre Company and here you will discover an exciting new world of radio theatre. We produce a great selection of audio downloads - from full length radio plays to audio comedy sketch shows, poetry, short plays, stories, satire and even quirky audio guides! And the best news is that every single download is completely free."....UK based, and they've got Prunella Scales on the cast list!

Link to the Wireless Theatre Company homepage

Monday, December 15, 2008

It'll be a bit of culture at the Sage tonight....

....for Chris and I

Sometime later....fantastic concert, their rendition of 'I'm just a teenage dirtbag' brought me out in goosebumps! If you get the chance, go and see won't be sorry.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Scrambled legs

You try and work it out!

Found at Photoshop Disasters

A musical argument

"No cue cards, no teleprompters, and no second takes--legendary funnyman Sid Caesar pioneered live television sketch comedy with his 1950s sitcoms Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour. This classic sketch is "Argument to Beethoven's 5th," Sid Caesar and Nanette Fabray play a married couple in a argument with pantomimed action and the dialogue is classic music."

Found on Neatorama

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Some local pictures

And the story....... (click on the image to enlarge)

From "The Illustrated Police News", June 8th 1878.

"The Illustrated Police News , Law Courts and Weekly Record was founded in 1864. It was the first, and most long-lasting, Saturday penny newspaper that combined two hugely popular Victorian genres: the police newspaper and the illustrated journal.
Its founder, George Purkess, was a London publisher who already specialised in the publication of cheap "true stories" of crime, accidents and domestic disaster. The subject matter of his newspaper was very similar. It collated sensational or unusual stories, often drawn from the London Police Courts, but also reports of mishap from elsewhere in Britain and the world. While repeatedly emphasising the "true" nature of the stories, it was their entertainment and curiosity value that was crucial to the success of the News.".....
19th Century British Library Newspapers (it's a subscription service....and one of the fringe benefits of working at a UK university!)

On the same page there's stories of:
  • Cruelty to a sheep
  • A determined attempt to commit suicide
  • A dangerous lunatic
  • Two children drowned in a perambulator and
  • A bull and lion fight Daily Mail, eat your heart out!

PS....I wonder whether there's still any visual sign of the funeral in the brickwork of the Duke of Wellington, because it's still there.....I feel a lunchtime walk coming on!

RIP Oliver Postgate

.....and long live the soup dragon!

Glittering Fashions for the Festive Season

I had to find out how Windows MovieMaker worked this here's a seasonal edited highlight from the "Gaumont British News" clip I was playing with.

Seasonal gameplay

Enough said.....

Go play

And in the same vein

Attack of the Sprouts

BAD Santa!

I've a feeling this wouldn't get past the advertising standards people these days...

PS....LOVE those boots!

Friday, December 12, 2008

BetaMax Christmas

Watch grainy YouTube festive's Christmas like it used to be....pass me a mince pie.


Christmas Radio

Looking for wall-to-wall jingle bells? Check out Christmas Radio Stations 2008 for a nice long link-list to feed those festive cravings.

Popular Science

Read every issue of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics since the 1870's that's your holiday reading sorted then!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mental block

Apologies for recent silence....the situation might continue for a wee while longer. Another week before the end-of-term, currently coming home brain-dead and only fit for staring blankly at the kitchen wall accompanied by a stiff enough said.....later!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A warning to all young ladies.....

......on the dangers of novel reading. (Click the image to enlarge)

From "The Domestic World, a practical guide in all the daily difficulties of the higher branches of domestic and social economy" by the author of "Enquire Within" (that's as precise as it gets!) Published in the early 1870's........and my favourite 'Bathroom Reader' of the moment
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