Pauly's Soapbox


Searching for something on my site? Not found it? Try here:

Titanic label goes up for auction

Interesting to see what this goes for, a label for a parcel, that was intended for the Titanic, but didn't actually make it. Seems a bit tenuous to me.

We had relatives on the Titanic. Charles Valentine Clarke died, his wife Ada Maria survived the disaster.
:: Comment / reply

We have Russia and Belgium in the Eurovision sweepstake

Lover I got one for you too. I will pick which one is yours after I see some of the scores coming in...

Representing Belgium is Loïc Nottet:
Loïc Nottet is a young and complete artist who is already conscious of the universe he wishes to create. He participated in the total conception of this project. He composed the music, melody, collaborated the choreography, co-designed the look and visuals that will be used during the presentation in Vienna.

Russia has Polina Gagarina:
Polina Gagarina is one of the shining stars of the Russian show business, and she is not only famous as a singer but also as a songwriter and actress. In Vienna she will represent her country with the anthemic song A Million Voices.

Don't think we're winning a prize this year, but at least we didn't draw the UK.

:: Comment / reply

Did not feel the earthquake here

Kerry just told me about an earthquake in the early hours of this morning, heard nothing, felt nothing, but BBC has the details...

Centred on Sandwich and deep underground. Friend at work who lives in Deal felt it.

Kent Online has lots more, including comments from local people.
:: Comment / reply

More soup

Working from home today, wondered if I could make and eat soup from scratch in my lunch hour. And I could! Just leftover veg, herbs from the garden, pinch of chilli, it's all good. And now there are a couple of portions left over for weekend lunches.
:: Comment / reply

Raspbrewery update

Recommended / related
Updated my raspbrewery raspberry pi temperature monitoring code here. I had a bug, stopped it working if you didn't already have a load of temperature data logged. Stupid, I put something in to trim the log files, but didn't test it for people who didn't already have a log file. So no-one's every been able to use this I don't suppose, except me.

It's been disconnected for ages as I've not had a brew on, but I've wired it back up just to keep an eye on the beer fridge for now. Going to be some odd temperatures in there as I have been testing it in another room.


raspberry pi: cheap low powered computer
:: Comment / reply

Raspbrewery temperature monitor stopped working when I moved it back to the fridge

Hmm, we have new internets since I last tried this. The new router is in a different place in the house and maybe it's not reaching that distant corner of the basement quite so well. So I need a rethink. Might monitor temperature somewhere else until I figure it out.
:: 21 May :: Comment / reply

Destined not to go for a lunchtime walk

Stepped out the door today and it started to rain again. So no walk today for me.

Harry got a new badge at swimming last night. It's one that's well overdue, they just don't assess them very often. He had regressed a bit from his previous lesson though, suddenly could only do a few strokes before putting his feet down again. I think his session in the big pool on Sunday worried him a bit. Still, onward!
:: Comment / reply

Strange monsoonous weather today

Weather not so nice since the weekend. Was actually dark enough while I was working from home yesterday that I needed the lights on. Today there was a mega-downpour while I was here in the office too. Cleared up, a bit cold but sunny so I went for a walk, but it started up again. It's conspiring against me.

:: Comment / reply

A good active day for Harry

Harry got his badge 6 at gymnastics on Sunday, and he had an extra swimming lesson too. We have been after one-on-one lessons for ages for him as he wasn't getting much out of the group lessons, but typically now these lessons became available, he's picked up in the others. So we're going to keep both going in parallel. Extra money, but if we can get him swimming well it'll be worth it. He had a really good lesson, the instructor took him in the big pool and really taught him stuff. This doesn't happen when there are seven of them bashing into each other in the group lessons in the little pool. So, sure he's going to make great progress soon. He's got to be due a swimming badge soon, he can definitely do five metres alread, if not more.

A less good day for Tommy, as well as being a bit bored being dragged around to Harry's activities, he fell on his face at the swimming pool, there was actual blood! He bashed his lip and his nose bled a little, seems ok though.

Clare was out all day in London bridesmaid dress shopping.

Oh I made soup with the soup maker too for the first time. Jim has given it to me (after some prompting), I was sure he would not use it. I got some end of the day veg from the supermarket at a bargain price and made spicy sweet potato soup, with onion and leek. It's great! Definitely going to do more of these. I didn't follow a recipe, but did look up some guidelines. I got the "800g of veg to make 1.6kg of soup" from this website, and just blagged the rest. Great to chuck the ingredients in and just leave it. There was hot soup ready when we came back from swimming.
:: Comment / reply

Booze run to Calais good, despite eurotunnel

About an hour before our scheduled eurotunnel I was bragging on the twitter "this is ace, check in closes in half hour and I'm still in my house". Foolish. The channel tunnel is great in theory, particularly great having it just round the corner, but it makes it all the worse when it breaks down. There was an incident earlier in the day, an alarm went off on a freight train, and so there was a backlog. We were warned it would be 90 minutes as we pulled in, but this became two and a half hours by the time we'd got out of the car.

So we had lunch on the UK side instead of the French side, in Leon, it was OK. Nice that they mark up their vegan stuff clearly on the boards, saves me taking a chance. We were called to our gate, but ended up sitting in the car for ages, an hour or more I suppose.

Once we got to the other side everything's so easy. We went straight to the big wine shop and properly stocked up. I got thirty or so bottles this time, plus a few beers. Only one of the wines is gone already, but all the Mort Subite cherry beers are.

Spent some time in the Carrefour supermarket too, grazing really, though I like some of their own label stuff. Got some good dark chocolate with salt, and some crisps, and some olives and things too.

Didn't do any wine tasting that I thought we might. Two of the four of us had to drive. Well, I did really, I drove there, but we'd arranged that Jim would drive my car back if necessary. We had some spare time so we then went to the Three Brewers brew pub for a couple before heading back. They brew their own beer there, so I had a little sampler first of all, basically four large shots of beer to choose which one I liked, one wheat, one lagery, one bittery, and one brown. Then I followed it up with a pint of their amber bitter. While we were in there paramedics were called for one of the other patrons. Didn't quite see what was going on but it did not look good. Here's me in the Three Brewers:

If that worked I'll sort out my other photos in a bit...

No trouble on the way back, it was very quiet. There were only about four cars on our train, and we were the last. Odd to see the whole train behind us empty.
:: Comment / reply

Big Fun House

Pizza Express
Took the kids to Big Fun House in Canterbury yesterday just to try somewhere different. It's a soft play like Kidz Planet but newer and a bit nicer. It's in Chartham, just outside Canterbury.

Did a bit of shopping before that and had lunch in Pizza Express. Clare was lucky enough to find some extra free protein in her super food salad - a bug. She was over half way through it, and these things do happen, but it's pretty disgusting and offputting. We got that dish for free, and they've taken our details too. Not sure if they're planning to send us vouchers or just look us up on the social media and see if we're serial complainers, or the kind of people who take bugs with them!

Something similar happened to us before in the same Pizza Express a few years ago, there was quite a lot of dirt on the salad. Again they gave the same excuse, it was the supplier, they get the salad pre-washed.

Mine was fine, I had the Pianta again. The boys enjoyed theirs too, though it was busy and theirs was late coming out, though we'd asked for it first, so Tommy was kicking off a bit.

A lovely day, apart from the bug.
:: Comment / reply

Paul Clarke's blog - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. wed to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do javascript, nodejs, php, and ruby. I like Folkestone Gerald, pubs, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, and time travel...