Archive for January, 2012



Since moving into the new house we’d been thinking about the pattering of tiny feet. Actually once the realisation hit us we were going to be parents, the panic set in.

As you can see, it’s got a big nose.

We’d had a scan 4 weeks previously just before Christmas and I can honestly say I didn’t realise that bundle of cells only 13mm long could have a heart beat, let alone one that could beat about 110+ beats a minute.

In march we’ll find out what we’re getting, well, we’ll attempt to anyway.

Still, with the beds in, the coop up and a greenhouse in potentia we’ll have a wide selection of veg to feed it and fresh eggs to boot.

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London Road (4.8%) Homebrew


Only about two weeks later and I pulled my first pint from the barrel.

Generally at this stage I find the beer virtually undrinkable, so was pleasantly surprised to find it was pretty damn amazing. So far I’ve drunk about four pints over the course of the week and undeniably it’s a good brew.

I look forward to moving into freshly hopped brews going forward, even if it’s a little more expensive (about 64p a pint)

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So we had a little trip to Egypt. Unsurprisingly it’s fairly cheap at the moment even though it’s peak season – that’s mainly due to the revolution that’s been going on. Tourism is 82% down on last year, which means in Luxor, a well known area that relies solely on tourism is really suffering.

I felt nothing but safe on my journey, though because we were the only tourists within miles, everyone wanted our business and to be honest, we were inundated with people trying to get us to ride horse and carriages and boats.


We did ride a boat on one day, very pleasant riding on the Nile on a warm windy day. We visited “banana island” which is one of five known, isn’t even an island but there bananas there and oddly baby crocodiles in a pen.


And the colours in the tombs, amazing!


We concluded our week long trip by doing some star gazing – the above is quite obviously the moon and the below is Jupiter with a few of its visible 4 moons. All taken on an iPhone, which isn’t usually used in stellar photography. Highly recommended if you’re in the area to look up the Space Observers – quite knowledgeable and a good evening in the desert!


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Homebrew Beer! Revisited…


I’ll admit all of my brews have been from kits. Today however following my return from Egypt I’d been crushed in on an Easyjet flight and twisted one of my vertebra and caught it on my pelvis, or some such. This meant I visited my osteopath in Westcliff.

Very close by is a brew shop. My last visit was 5 years ago, so high time I popped in.

My first move was to walk straight into his stock room. This used to be where he had his “beers of the world” selection of imports. No longer!

I did however walk out slightly poorer and proud owner of a couple of cans of malt extract, hops and yeast. Yes, no generic kit for me… One more step to proper brewing.


And adding hops… Look like a drug dealer…


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Capsicum baccatum, pepperdew piquante


A little while ago at pizza express if eaten one of their etna pizzas. It was very nice and had a mild, sweet chilli pepper on it. I found peppadew peppers in my local supermarket stuffed with cheese and the same sweet chilli flavour came through.

I set about wondering where I could get some seeds from, but it turns out its very difficult because they are apparently copyrighted. Not something I often come upon when growing fruit and veg.

It got me thinking and doing a bit of searching came across several people wanting to do the same thing.

A few searches on eBay and I’d found a supplier of “peppERdew” peppers. They claim to be so similar (could even come from the same plant… ) that you’d never tell the difference…

Whether they are actually from the same wild African shrub that’s been copyrighted or not, I couldn’t possibly say. All I can say is they’re similar!

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