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Preview: Reach Out and Touch the Screen

Reach Out and Touch the Screen

waffle and daub

Updated: 2014-10-07T04:56:13.606+01:00




Dartmoor is a landscape that makes sense in grey, windy conditions.Dartmoor with a mother in a wheelchair in grey, windy conditions makes less sense.Ah well the hotel was fabulous as ever and the staff are so friendly and accommodating that despite the vagaries of the British summer we manage to have a good time and hopefully it gave the folks a bit of a break, which is after all the main point

Shoe-shaped and Bristol Fashion


Spending a weekend in Bristol with the lovely C, en route to Dartmoor has become an annual event. It may have started as a break in the long drive south of a Friday night, but just because this year I’m adopting the more environmentally responsible option of train travel, is no reason to mess with tradition.Obviously something in the universal planning scheme of things screwed up somewhere as

Hair today


Eldest adopted niece will shortly be turning 18. Where does the time go? I can date the time when I first properly got to know her as it was her last year before starting high school.The reason I know this is because of the following (by now apocryphal) tale:Over that year or so I’d become increasingly good friends with her parents (and now count my blessings regularly to consider them some of



Sometimes it's easy to forget about the hidden treasures that exist on your doorstep; or in this case, my office doorstep.

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout


I suppose it took me a while to get used to the fact that the title of this book is a bit misleading. Olive is little more than a bit-player in many of the stories that make up the chapters of this book.Whether it’s a film or a book or whatever, our expectations going in often play a large part in determining how we receive a piece of art. Go to see a film with high expectations and you’re often

Wallabee Crop Circles


This rather wonderful story on the BBC, recounts how Tasmanian Wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite".The story is made all the more fabulous by the assortment of comments people have left. My favourite is probably "I have seen a stoned wallaby but I don't know about them making crop circles. The one I saw was slurring his words and

Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi


Last week was Refugee Week and having been approached by the Red Cross, this week's Book Group is a little out of the ordinary.Firstly we've selected a book from the list of novels by or about refugees (you leave the guys unattended for a second and they chose a graphic novel...) and secondly two representatives from the Red Cross join us for the evening.I have to confess that graphic novels



J recently turned 40. Not for her the big party or formal bash; instead seven of us headed to a small villa in Brittany for a week of sunshine and relaxation.Wine, BBQs, swimming pool, beer, sightseeing, farmhouse, wine, langoustine, hypermarkets, fly infestations, sunshine, wine, fresh salad, baguettes, tarte citron, wine, girlie chats, aftersun squealing, local dogs, novels, games, siestas,

CS Lewis - A Grief Observed


I didn't expect to like this week's Book Group selection, but I'm won over.The relative honesty and the analysis of his grief is deeply moving. His questioning of God and faith more nuanced than I had expected.I may need to reasses my thoughts on the man a little.



I'm starting to think I really like G's lifestyle.Captain Pugwash is into yachts. He has his own racing yacht and has taken full advantage of the Cardiff Bay Barrage's maritime revolution.When the barrage was being constructed, my then employers (who shall not be named, because it's entirely possible that if you say their name 3 times they come back and take over your company again...) were



Saturday, G treats me to a day out at Barry Island (and buys me a Gavin and Stacey inspired fridge magnet to remember it by). Barry is...well...Barry. Often with seaside towns, phrasing like "faded former glory" spring to mind, but that doesn't quite work here..."faded former tackiness" is perhaps a little unkind but closer to the truth.What remains of the pleasure park is possibly in want of

Cardiff Weekend


After a last minute cancellation of plans, I find myself with a free weekend.Originally my plans for the weekend involved an Ops Social (in Alsager - don't ask!) organised by myself S and N. It was very eleventh hour, but we hadn't really expected that none of the 13 "yes we'll probably come" respondees would actually follow through. The instruction to those wanting to come was to make their

Cardiff Training


I've been delaying posting blogs because of being behind with downloading photos from my camera. Given I'm clearly not finding time to get that sorted, I figure I'll just go ahead and post the drafted entries regardless. Sorry.So, Cardiff:Things you don't want to hear from your training department regading training courses they want you to run:a) the trainers and half the delegates are having to

Eurovision 2009


Annual Eurovision party time. I think it went better than last year...well being in the correct country was a good start (always helps when throwing a party at your house).Little bit of a blip when the impressive efforts of a friend to get the BBQ really blasting courtesy of a hairdryer, proved to be a bit more than the extension lead with all the outside lights on,had left to give. Still we

The Manchester Man


This week for Book Group we read The Manchester Man by Mrs G Linnaeus Banks.Is it wrong that the main reason for accepting the suggestion was that it promised to provide the answers regarding the source of the name of two well-known Manchester pubs: Jabez Clegg and Joshua Brookes?It's not the best written novel of its time, but it's not bad. Its at times preachy, morallistic tone can be forgiven

Leek - Biddulph


Call me a food snob, but generally I find pub attempts at Asian cuisine to be generally disappointing and a particularly sort of bland westernised beige approximation of the real deal.Accordingly my expectations last night were rather low, as S and I condescend to partake in the bargain ‘wok’ menu deal at the Three Horseshoes. I have to say I was pleasantly impressed; not entirely convinced of

Strid Wood-Chatsworth-Leek


All around Burnsall lies the Duke of Devonshire’s territory. Place after place displays the tell-tale colour code and crest of the Cavendish clan, a family well adept at charming the money from your pocket.To be fair (if one really must given it's such aristocratic nonsense), when it comes to dealing with the public, they do it well and have been ahead of the curve in areas like disabled access



With no firm plans in mind, armed with S's trusty OS map we walk along the river from Burnsall to Grassington where we weigh up weather forecasts, potential walks and bus timetables and decide to get the bus to Kettlewell and then walk back along the Dales Way.Arriving in Kettlewell we consider the various options for an early lunch. We should have listened to our gut instincts rgarding the



My Christmas present from P&S was a night away at a 'lovely place' and so with P at work conference, S and I take the chance for one of our traditional few days away, meeting up with P for the weekend.Whilst often it's nice to explore new destinations, cometimes it's nice to go with what you know to be good, so we head back to the Red Lion at Burnsall.Excellent location - check.Lovely

Duke Special


First support tonight was provided by a Swedish lass performing under the moniker Foreign Slippers.K and I leave the others at the back and push forward for the better view/atmosphere.Maybe it was because of the increased proximity, or maybe it was a predisposition to like anyone who walks on stage with a hat of twigs and birds, but whilst those at the back seemed distinctly unmoved, K and I were

Lead Astray


This afternoon a phone call from my neighbour brings the news that she's interrupted three young lads (she reckons all of about 12 year's old) relieving my porch roof of its remaining lead.Just when I thought it had quietened down and it was worth getting the already missing strip replaced...Toerags.Still my neighbour should be honoured for her ongoing vigilance and intervention. Verily a



A conversation from this evening, between myself and Stuart:S: "It's amazing what people put on Facebook isn't it?"L: "I don't know I don't use Facebook."S: "Apparently Quentin* can't decide whether to have a glass of water or go to the loo."L: "And there we have the reason I don't do Facebook"And yes the irony of such intellectual snobbery on a blog full of waffle is not lost on me.Hey I find



Today Google is commemorating someone's birthday in a very appropriate manner.

Black Books


Geek Night redux: this time joined by G and L to watch selected highlight episodes from the three series of Black Books.And a fine evening it was too (though I think I put too much apricot and honey in the tagine and it was a bit over-sweet). Somehow it seemed wrong to watch this pinnacle of British sit-com genius without at least a little bit of red wine. Risking a migraine I succumbed - man I

Red Chilli


K Snr from the Dog Collars and Rabbit Corpses household has been working far too hard on her uni work. Final year pressures have brought dissertation deadlines, assignments and final exam preparations. Together with the usual busy nature of diaries, it's been far too long since the three of us caught up. A birthday day meal seems like an excellent excuse.Chinese transpires to be the intersection