Life has been busy since my last post and I have had a fair amount to occupy my time. Consequently, blogging has taken second place to real life but, in the fashion of my good chum David, here’s a quick visual catch up.
Home made Cornish Pasties
SWMBO is a great if somewhat reluctant cook and regularly surpasses herself in serving up just the right dish at the right time. In recent weeks, we have been treated to a few dishes and flavours that recalled memories of our life in England. One of these greeted my nostrils when I arrived home one evening recently. A great and enticing smell wafting from the kitchen heralded a great supper of homemade Cornish Pasties which tasted as good as they looked.
Homemade goodies were supplemented with a few bits and bobs from the shops. On a recent trip to Countdown, our local chain supermarket, she picked up some English Marmite which, in my opinion and those of most other UK folk I know here, is far superior to the Aussie and Kiwi varieties. However, even this tasty surprise was trumped by a lovely chunk of Tuxford & Tebbutt Cheshire cheese. While the Kiwis make some good cheeses, I do miss the drier, crumblier and saltier British cheeses like my Dad’s favourite, Wensleydale.
Fush without chups
We headed into our local pet store a couple of weeks ago to check a few things out, little knowing that they were having an open day. Having successfully deflected pleadings for another kitten or puppy, we left an hour later with a starter cold water aquarium but no fish.
The instructions from the very helpful fish lass in the store was that we set this up in the family room for a week, filling and treating the water so it could get a good stock of healthy bacteria in it before we introduced this fish.
Last week, SWMBO returned with the smallest of our four to choose the occupants and came home with a bug-eyed black eyed fish and a white and orange bug-eyed fish (the proper names elude me). These were joined a few days back by the last of the additions to our menagerie, a skinny golden algae eater who vacuums the glass and stones free of algae. There was a mild panic earlier today when this little fellow went missing. Presumed eaten by the other, he was eventually traced to the interior of the tiny amphora we had picked up for a dollar and sunk in the tank. Hopefully, he’ll come out before he grows too big to do so.
Never say never
With redundancy a real prospect later this year, I have started to be a little more intentional about seeking alternative work. I have a few avenues to explore including a secondment that will see me working in a different area of my field in a very different environment.
To aid me in this and keep things neatly divided, I have grabbed up an HP Mini 210 netbook running Windows 7. This is my first purchase of a personal computer running Windows in about 7 years. I like the form factor with the 10″ screen being a good compromise between the 7″ of my Eeepc’s and my iMac’s whopping 24″ screen.
It is early days yet but Windows 7 is also proving to be more user-friendly than the XP of my employer-supplied Omnibook or the Vista machines that friends moan about. I am also trying to keep the apps to a minimum and use web-based stuff where possible, keeping the reasonable resources freed up for document writing, PDF work and the multi-tabbed browsing of desktop research.
The Agile Three
After church, SWMBO and I took our youngest to Scruffs, a local fun dog show. We got there pretty late but had enough time to enter our Jack Russell/Maltese Terrier cross Abby into the scruffiest dog competition and give her a run out around the agility course. In two clear runs around the course, Abby managed to reduce her time from 45 seconds to a very creditable 39 seconds, giving all three of us humans a brief but energetic workout at the same time.
We rounded off the day at a friend’s place, eating barbecue and salad whilst catching up on news and swapping offspring horror stories.