17 December 2011

Protecting dolphins from themselves

I noticed this glass shower splash panel thingy in a bathroom at some friends' house, and it got me thinking... If people stick bird-silhouette decals onto patio doors to stop birds flying into them and braining themselves, maybe the idea here is to prevent dolphins knocking themselves out as they get out of the bath. Perhaps.

02 December 2011

25 November 2011

Group test of chilli crisps (Nov 2011)

As previously threatened, here is the definitive insertcrisps.com group test of hot chilli-flavoured crisps currently available in the UK. I have endeavoured to test said crisps on the basis of various parameters: flavour, heat, addictiveness, appearance and texture (or “crisp-wonderfulness”). There are some notable absentees from the test, due to lack of availability, but we’ll discuss those as we go.

The types on test are as follows:
Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli (representing the milder end of the scale), Burts Sweet Chilli, Kettle Chips Jalapeño Chilli and Kettle Ridge Crisps Spicy Chilli, Seabrook 2 Chilli, Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri and (although not strictly speaking crisps) Doritos Chilli Heatwave and Doritos Jalapeño Fire. Fire extinguishers on standby… or not, as the case may be.

Walkers Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli

The most “mainstream” entrant in our group test, these Walkers crisps don’t really make any pretence about being hot; there is some mild heat in the throat, scoring about 1 on my entirely subjective heat scale. The flavour is a mild, herby, aromatic one, with (naturally) some sweetness and a rather generic savouriness – pleasant but unmemorable. In appearance they are unremarkable, with a perfectly normal pale golden colour. The texture is good, with a nice crunch.

(I should point out here that my auxiliary taster totally disagrees with me, saying they are utterly wonderful and addictive. But this is my blog, not hers.)

Burts Sweet Chilli

In the absence of Burts’ late and much-lamented Hot Chilli Lemon flavour crisps, I thought I’d give their new Sweet Chilli version a go. (According to Burts themselves, HCL may be back at some point.)

These crisps have a deep, golden-brown colour. The taste is quite sweet, as you'd expect, with a definite initial Marmitey hit (squinting at the tiny-tiny print of the ingredients list reveals the presence of yeast extract powder, so that explains that), some chilli (natch) and a nice herby aftertaste. Not a great deal of heat (about 1.5 on my scale), but that's to be expected; however, it does slowly build in the throat. In terms of texture, these have a typically good Burts crunch.

Kettle Chips Jalapeño Chilli

The first of our Kettle entrants, these crisps have a slightly curious and not particularly appealing blotchy appearance, and they are dotted with tiny green flecks. Not very elegant. The flavour is very potatoey (and yes, I know that sounds blindingly obvious, but when was the last time you ate a flavoured crisp and thought, “hmm, you can really taste the potatoes”? – but with these there is a definite jacket potato thing going on); generally pleasant, then the heat kicks in: registering 3 on my heat scale, with plenty of heat in the throat but nothing at all on the tongue. (Again, my auxiliary tester found the opposite, experiencing no throat heat at all, but a fair amount on the tongue.) There is a distinct lemon note. Texturewise, these crisps are rather hard – “bony”, according to the auxiliary tester. Their addictiveness was rated as “not very”.

The main impression is one of regret that Kettle Chips’ Mango Chilli flavour has long been discontinued. “Angry fruit” indeed. Much missed.

Kettle Ridge Crisps Spicy Chilli

These crisps have quite an appealing appearance: ridged, obviously, with skins on and tiny red and green flecks; overall, they are a fairly consistent deep golden colour, far less blotchy than the Jalapeño variety. The texture is quite hard, but the crunch is good. Flavour: quite spicy, with a mild heat – rating 2 – and a tingle on the tongue (although the auxiliary tester described them as “really bland”, with no flavour and no heat); I found there to be a pleasant but mild residual heat.

Seabrook “2 Chilli”

These crisps, from Yorkshire-based manufacturers Seabrook, have a nice appearance – ridged, with red-brown flecks. The texture is good, and there is a distinct vegetable flavour of red peppers, which is actually rather nice and very moreish. There is a medium heat (rating 2 or 3) on the back of the throat, although not initially – it takes a while to build up.

The makers also produce a number of other “hot” flavours, including wasabi, but I’m afraid I can’t provide a review of these – I purchased the 2 Chilli variant from the bar at a wedding reception (the only place I’ve ever seen them) and had to smuggle the packet out in the arm of my coat as it might have been seen as rather infra dig given the occasion.

Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri

These ridged crisps have an appropriately fiery, orange-tinged appearance, with dark speckles. They have a sweet, fruity flavour, with notes of lemon, capsicum and herbs – peri-peri, in fact – and they provide substantial heat (4 on my scale): some on the tongue, more in the throat, and it builds. They also have a good crunch.

These crisps are very moreish indeed, and it’s probably just as well that I can’t buy them locally otherwise I would eat far too many all the time. Despite the fact that (or possibly because) the heat can sometimes make one’s nose run.

Doritos Chilli Heatwave

I must admit that these have long been a favourite chez Insertcrisps Towers, and although they aren’t of course potato crisps it seemed appropriate to include them in this comparison – especially with the introduction of their sibling variant Jalapeño Fire (of which more in a moment).

Chilli Heatwave have a vivid, orange-red appearance. The flavour is immediately strong and spicy – very tasty, in fact – rather like a very highly spiced tomato ketchup flavour. There is a mild tongue and throat heat that builds and lasts (2 or 3), and they are exceptionally moreish (although that could be the MSG). They have a good crunch.

Doritos Jalapeño Fire

This new version promised much, but I found them disappointing. After an initial mild, spicy flavour there is then a reasonable amount of burn on the tongue, throat and the back of the palate (heat scale: 3), leaving some residual heat. The predominant flavour notes are “burnt”, according to my auxiliary tester (thanks to the smoked chipotle chilli flavouring), and sourness. Not really my thing.

And if you’re going to put flames all over the packaging, at least make the wretched contents properly hot. Pffff.


Of course, all these things are entirely subjective, but as this is my blog…

I like Burts Sweet Chilli (the best of the mild varieties, I reckon) and Seabrook 2 Chilli, but the lovely sweet heat of the Nando’s Hot crisps wins for me. However, all three are tricky to get hold of around here. I have a soft spot for Chilli Heatwave Doritos though; it's late, the supermarkets have closed, but I know the petrol station down the road sells small bags of Chilli Heatwave… Back in a bit.

08 November 2011

Warm ornaments

While it has improved much in recent years, speech-recognition software is still flawed at best, and when it makes mistakes I do tend to get a bit annoyed. However, sometimes the error cheers me up no end.

I didn't mean to just write "The road north is dotted with warm ornaments", but that's what I've got on my screen. (What I said, of course, was "war monuments".)

02 November 2011

Ultimate crispage

For the first time in 3 years or more, our local Waitrose is once again stocking Burts Bacon Potato Crisps – as previously asserted here, the best crisps in the world. Extreme yayness and joy.

Buy, eat, smile.


I see from the web stats that two visitors have stumbled across my blog by searching for "The Girl Who Waves at Trains". This is curious. I'm fairly sure I haven't mentioned it here before, but it's probably my favourite Lilac Time song. (Best line: "I love you through the diesel fumes".)

That should reinforce this search anomaly <grin>

25 October 2011

Hotlinks not working in Flash locally? Try uploading

Basically, the title of this post says it all, but here's some brief detail:

An old customer of mine recently asked me to help out with an online newsletter project. The ready-for-print newsletter had been designed in InDesign, which also gives the option of exporting to Flash (as an SWF file with an HTML wrapper). Everything appeared to work fine, except for the fact that hotlinks to websites weren't working when we tried it out. Even more puzzling when we noticed that e-mail hotlinks were fully functional.

After searching the forums (and finding numerous red herrings among possible solutions and helpful posts), it turns out it's to do with a security setting in Flash that prevents links being followed in locally stored files. As soon as I uploaded the files to my own web space, the links worked perfectly. Hope this saves someone a bit of time . . .

17 October 2011

Download nostalgia

Having a bit of a clearout yesterday, I was sifting through a pile of pages long ago torn from once-current computing magazines to see if there was anything worth keeping among the tips for forgotten software packages. Then I saw this, from December 1999.

By the time you read this, Netscape Communicator 4.61 for OS/2 Warp should be available for download. ... We hope to be able to place it on the cover CD in due course, but you might want to go ahead and download it anyway if you can face the 7 MB-odd download.

Oh, the onerousness that was multiple-megabyte downloads.

Oh, OS/2 Warp. I still have an installation disc somewhere...

23 September 2011

Valve-powered dreams

I had the strangest of dreams last night. Nothing new there, you may say, but bear with me.

I was demonstrating my new mobile phone to my best friend Dave and Gene Wilder. (Yes, Willy Wonka himself. The randomness of this already has me puzzled.) Thing is, although it evidently was my actual new mobile phone, because around the edge it was metallic green (see my previous post), the device I was holding certainly wasn't your average Nokia smartphone. It was a glass case containing numerous valves - like one of those incredibly expensive retro amplifiers - and a considerable amount of space. It was bigger on the inside than the outside, tardis-fashion.

If the workings were a thing of beauty, the display was exquisite. The letters on the screen were traced out as if by the action of a cloud chamber, in something akin to hard-to-read engraver's lettering. All this hovered as if projected on the inside of the glass case, above the valves and sparse wiring.

And yet, despite this fantasy of valvepunk technology, the phone was definitely still my green Pika. And Gene and David were gently teasing me about it.

20 September 2011

Hot crisps test: here soon

Coming soon: a giant test of chilli-flavoured crisps, including established faves such as Nando's Hot crisps and Chilli Heatwave Doritos as well as newbies such as Seabrook's Two Chillies and those new evil-looking fire-labelled Doritos whose name I forget. Stocking up...

18 September 2011

Causing unintentional alarm

One morning a few days ago I was out in town (well, Wincanton, which qualifies as a town despite its being twinned with Ankh-Morpork of Discworld fame - anent which more at some point, possibly). After half an hour or so of receiving strange and/or alarmed looks from old ladies and other nervous souls, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and it dawned on me: the upturned collar of my new all-weather fleece was giving me a distinctly vampiric mien. Note to self: avoid unintentional Vincent Price impersonations.

28 August 2011

Cedilla inventiveness

And this month's award for Most Creative Use of a Diacritical Mark goes to this, er, offering from the town council of La Roche-en-Ardenne in southern Belgium. Try pointing to canine residue with an umlaut; it just ain't the same.

Spelling fail revisited

Looks like an inability to spell "chocolate" is not restricted to Anglophones. This was spotted in Belgium. Belgium. Of all places, you'd think they'd be able to spell "chocolate" there.

29 July 2011

BBC TV's "Coast" in Sweden: multiple fail

I despair at Coast. As previously blogged here, in the first episode of this series they managed to place Dover in Essex on a map, but last week’s programme about Sweden’s Baltic coast had me repeatedly shouting “Fail” at the screen.

Firstly, there’s the age-old problem of Brits being utterly unaware of accented characters and the importance thereof in other languages – so we get map captions that say “Hogbonden” instead of “Högbonden” and “Aland” instead of “Åland”. FAIL. It’s ignorant, disrespectful and wrong. They are different letters, not just funny marks that don’t matter. Imagine the condescending laughter if “foreigners” were to broadcast misspellings such as Löndon or The Ile of Weight. And don’t get me started on presenter Nicholas Crane’s dodgy (and inconsistent) pronunciation of non-English placenames. The BBC gives its newsreaders advice and training on this point, but apparently not its other presenters.

And then we have the obligatory visit to the tiny island of Viggsö (near Stockholm), where ABBA wrote many of their most famous songs. Except that, in this programme, the piece on this island was featured near the start of the show, sandwiched between two pieces about Sweden’s High Coast – the implication being that Viggsö is in the remote north, which it isn’t. FAIL. The piece should have been towards the end of the programme, as the notional journey taken on this episode ended in Stockholm.

Final whinge: the programme visited the Åland Islands, but at no time was it mentioned that the islands are actually part of Finland (although the inhabitants speak Swedish). In a programme specifically about the Swedish coast, this omission implied that the islands form part of Sweden. FAIL.

14 July 2011

Your regular ice cream update

On a visit to London this week, we stopped by the Häagen-Dazs cafe in Leicester Square. The menu has been adorned with two new flavours:
  • Crème Brûlée.
  • Green Tea & Hibiscus.
Naturally, I tried both. Bearing in mind crème brûlée is one of my four favourite ingestions (the other three being ice cream, bacon and – of course – crisps), guess which one i preferred. That's right, the green tea. Crème Brûlée anything is never a patch on crème brûlée itself. And the green tea ice cream was delicate and creamy and exotic and fruity and nothing like I expected. Highly recommended. However, I'm afraid I can't show it to you, because due to idiotic company policy, I was prevented from taking a photo, even once (or possibly because) I said I wanted to blog it. Apparently Häagen-Dazs don't want positive publicity. (Or maybe they thought I was a dangerous unhinged person. Ahem.) Anyhow, seems they can make ice cream but not sense. So here's a photo of a photo of said green creamy substance. It does it no justice at all.

13 July 2011

Bring back the florin

Saw The Mousetrap tonight. Henceforth I wish to be paid in guineas.

06 July 2011


Printing in 3D with chocolate: cool. (Details here.)
Misspelling it: FAIL.

02 July 2011

Wanted: Applicants with fluency in invented languages

It's been brought to my attention that the recruitment/job search website Monster (monster.co.uk) is curiously aware of invented (some say constructed) languages. In the section where you can create your own CV, you are invited to select the languages you speak and your degree of fluency; the languages are in a drop-down list, and the list includes some surprises, such as the artificial auxiliary languages Esperanto and Eurolang and artlangs (artistic constructed languages) like Degaspregos and Kankonian, among others (see image).

On further Google-assisted investigation, there are clearly lots of sites that use the same list, including cvwow.com, globalplacement.com, www.uni-internship.org and www.handijobs.fr – there's a whole new world of opportunities out there for the imaginative language learner.

08 June 2011

Pika – new phone

I've got myself a new mobile phone - a Nokia N8 in metallic mint-bug green. Apple fanbeings will be rolling their eyes at something so antiquated as a Symbian phone, and devotees of Android will similarly be cocking snooks, but I happen to like it. No doubt it will be the last high-end Symbian phone Nokia make, what with their new capitulation^W partnership with Microsoft.

The headline stuff is the 12 MP camera and HD video, but for me the appeal was simply that it was like my old 5800 but better. Threaded messages (at last): tick. Reliable PDF reader: tick. The whole interface works in both landscape and portrait mode: tick. (Eat that, iPhone.) Sure, there are irritations, and the number of apps available is woeful, but on balance I'm a rather happy bunny.

Standout features that I hadn't even thought about in my decision include the FM transmitter (so I can broadcast podcasts to the car radio) and the HDMI output, so I can connect to the net over the Wi-Fi network and watch iPlayer and other streamed video on the TV (see photo).

Small pleasures. And yes, I've named mine after a rodent, as usual.

03 June 2011

Glyph cunning

Zorro truly was a cunning old fox. He carefully chose his name so he could leave his mark – that “Z” – with three swift strokes of his witty rapier. Imagine if he’d called himself Burro (the Donkey) – it would have been a nightmare trying to carve a “B” with a sword, and the holes in the B would have fallen out of the enemy’s tunic (or torso), totally ruining the effect.

What if California had been run by the French or Norwegians? Renard or Rev (the respective words for “fox”) also start with a pretty unswashable letter. And don’t get me started on Chinese. “Stand still a moment while I cut 狐 in your shirt.”

21 May 2011

Tyrrells see the light

Herefordshire potato crisp makers Tyrrells state the following on their new website:

“In public, we’ve always called our product ‘chips’, to distinguish them from those nasty things that are fried by robots in a factory. In private though, we’ve never been all that comfortable with the word. So the time has come to stand up as proud English folk and embrace… the proper English crisp.

Excellent. Now bring back your Garden Herbs flavour and really make me happy.

19 May 2011

Spell heck required

I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't blog this stuff, but I am a proofreader
after all, among other things. And really... what happened here? It
says it on the other side of the sign, too.

15 May 2011

Thanks for the warming

This has appeared on my regular morning-constitutional route. I'm not
poking fun, dear reader; I'm just utterly baffled.

09 May 2011


No mucking about today. Just facts. Probably the best pistachio ice
cream in Britain is made by Daisy's Ice Cream in Cornwall, and this
(usually at Duckpool beach near Bude) is the only ice cream van you
can buy it from. Nice waffle cones too. Recommendation is mandatory.

27 April 2011

Appropriate disposal

This bin has long amused me. I mean, what else other than litter and
dog waste would one want to put in a bin? Children? Spent nuclear fuel
rods? February? You know, I was going to use it to store cheese, but
now I suppose I'd better go back to the boring old fridge.

25 April 2011

Partially resurrecting an elk

Many years ago, lost in the mists of time, in 1994 to be exact, I bought my first "own" PC: a 486 with 8 MB of RAM. I called it The Elk, because compared with the exceptionally feeble family 386SX I had been sharing up to that point it was A Powerful Beast with Horns. After a while I upgraded it with a faster chip, and then later it got a new motherboard with an AMD K6 and 32 MB of RAM, along with a second hard disk and a better monitor. By now it had been renamed Elk III.

Oh, the power.

You know what happened next. The Elk went the way of all silicon-based lifeforms: it got slow, it got unreliable, and it got replaced. Newer, faster PCs took its place, and it lived out the remainder of its days under my desk, initially as a dual-boot test machine (Windows 95 and NT 4), and then gradually as bit rot set in, the CMOS battery failed and so on, it ended up as a dual-non-boot doorstop.

Æons passed.

A couple of years ago, I was having a clearout. I gave what was left of The Elk to my mate Dave, to add to his growing collection of electronic memorabilia (or spare parts for his "messing about with microprocessors" hobby projects). Imagine my surprise and delight when I see this post on Dave's blog Yes I am a geek, but no I don't care, documenting his use of a certain motherboard with an AMD K6 and 32 MB of RAM... The Elk is alive, Igor!

21 April 2011

Encouraging geekdom in small people

A couple of days ago, while idly channel-surfing over breakfast, I stumbled across a kids' TV programme on BBC2 featuring a real adult male and a scruffily animated boy. [It turns out to be called Little Howard's Big Question.] They were having a conversation about unhealthy food in a greasy spoon–type establishment that was called, I think, "Bert's Caff" – except the signage and the menu spelt it with an acute accent over the second F. This gave me a disproportionate amount of pleasure.

The following day, I accidentally stumbled upon the same programme, only this time I came in in the middle of a discussion to disambiguate M.C. Escher ("with a C") and Esher railway station ("without a C"). This also cheered me considerably. These are important cultural references. Far too many kids grow up these days without even a basic awareness of Esher.

15 April 2011

Nominative determinism

Imagine if your name actually was T.F. Skiphire. You'd be constantly in demand from people wanting to hire skips. Which would be supremely irritating if, say, you were a vet or a High Court judge. "No, I don't have any skips you can hire... No, that's my name, it's pronounced 'Skiffire'... I can do you a special offer on neuterings though."

11 April 2011

Earworm diary

I keep waking up with tunes on the brain. Sometimes good, sometimes awful. In the last week or two, we've had:

Pulp - Common People
Rebecka Törnqvist - Jeremy Jeremiah (3 times)
Propellerheads - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Ed Alleyne-Johnston - Purple Electric Violin Concerto
The Lilac Time - The Girl Who Waves at Trains
Nicole Atkins - Maybe Tonight

and finally
That irritating music they play on Britain's Best Dish when they're plating up.

I need help.

07 April 2011

Signoff ambiguity

If you got a text message from Malcolm X, and he signed it "malcolm x", how would you know whether he was being formal and using his full name, or being informal and affectionate?

And then comes the dilemma of whether to end your reply with a kiss, and risk the recipient thinking you were mocking him...

22 March 2011

Infinite Ascent

I've just finished reading Infinite Ascent: a Short History of Mathematics by David Berlinski, which was a present from my stepson. I've always been a bit of a maths geek (no kidding), but maths history was something I knew little about until I read this book, and even now I've finished it I can't really remember - all the names and theorems have turned into a big mush in my head - but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Berlinski's dazzling metaphors and colourful turns of phrase made what could have been a dry subject thoroughly enthralling, and I learned some new words: recuse, probative and (my favourite) rebarbative ("objectionable or unpleasant"). Recommended.

12 March 2011

Today is Marchday, March the Marchth

Here's something I found highly diverting this week. The dashboard of my car (an Alfa Romeo in early middle age, about which more anon) features a small matrix display that shows the current date and outside temperature, along with occasional warnings such as there being a risk of ice on the road, or that the passenger door is open, or that the electrical system has self-immolated. It is possible to change the language in which these messages are displayed, and me being me I rarely leave it on English: from the limited options of major Western-European languages (no Norwegian – grrr; no Breton – sadly; no Jameld – unsurprisingly) I tend to vacillate between Italiano and Nederlands. During this cold winter, my long-suffering wife has got used to the tell-tale warning bong as the temperature dips below 4 °C, followed by the message "Possibile ghiaccio su strada".

On Monday, with the system operating in Dutch, the display showed "MAA 7 MAA" (MAAndag 7 MAArt), which I thought was amusing. And then, having switched into Italian, the following day it read "MAR 8 MAR" (MARtedì 8 MARzo). It would have said the same in French or Spanish, of course (although not in Portuguese).

(The fun is endless, although I'm going to have to wait a few years before I get to see "WOE 15 MEI" in Dutch. No? Please yourself...)

Of course, the Italian/French/Spanish repetition of "MAR" is because (I think) Mars is the only god, planet or Caesar who managed to get both a day and a month named after him. (In Germanic languages, his Norse equivalent Týr or Tiw is honoured in the name of the day.) The Dutch "MAA ... MAA" is a coincidence, of course.

This all got me thinking about how the dates would be displayed in this format in various other languages, which was a great way of wasting several hours.

10 March 2011

Hint fiction 1

Gerald awoke, eased himself out of the dishwasher, and inspected his kimono for seagull-poo stains. Perhaps, he thought, it would be best to postpone the coronation.

03 March 2011

Oh my

iPad 2. Now that's clever design. Apple's just leapfrogged all the wannabes again. Love the Smart Covers idea.

02 March 2011

Paprikan oddity

Just been munching on these Tyrrell's Smoked Paprika crisps. (No idea why there's a cross-country skiing chef on the bag.) They're slightly odd, and nothing like the Paprika crisps you might have had in continental Europe (a popular flavour in Norway, I know from personal experience). It's a puzzling flavour. I think I need to eat more to decide whether I like them. I may be a while...

– –

Additional: I've just volunteered to be an official crisp taster for Tyrrell's. The job is unpaid, so you can be reassured that your favourite crisp-related blog will remain editorially unbiased. There'll be no product placement here.

I've decided I'm not in favour of their Smoked Paprika variety. Not very hot at all, and with a curious cakey flavour note. Their Garden Herbs variant, OTOH, is utterly addictive and delicious, albeit slightly onion/garlic-halitosis-inducing.

26 February 2011

So inappropriate

Exceedingly inappropriate use of Comic Sans. (As opposed to most other uses of it, which are merely inappropriate.)

23 February 2011

None of yer soft southern crisps here, lad

Are these the most expensive crisps currently sold in Britain? A remarkable four quid for 100 g. (With thanks to pysquared for the heads-up.)

19 February 2011

Font wonkiness

My Viking buddy Reidar alerted me to this tweet here: “I’m gonna get a tattoo that says ‘Helvetica’, written in Arial. When a woman corrects me on it, I will marry her.”

My wife’s response to this is that if such a woman were enough of a font wonk to spot the difference (I’m paraphrasing here, obviously) she wouldn’t be able to stand marrying someone who has a dirty great tattoo in Arial. (Me, I hate the capital R. So ugly.) She may be right. Prospective font-paradox tattooees, you have been warned.

15 February 2011

Not “reduced” then?

Spotted in a shop in a motorway service area. Words fail me.

Final post about the Italy trip (OK, I’ll shut up now)

One final thing I have to report about our trip to Udine: there is a local cake called gubana, which is kind of like a combination of brioche, lardy cake, mince pies and an off-licence. Ingredients of the filling include hazelnuts, sultanas, almonds, lemon peel, pine nuts, grappa, brandy, rum and marsala.

Recommendation is mandatory.

Mm, spicy

Walking through Shaftesbury this afternoon with my friend Matt, while discussing the joys of KFC we found ourselves outside a rather smart Indian restaurant that neither of us has yet visited.

Perusing the very smartly typeset menu in the window, I heard Matt say, “Look, they do Tandoori McSquirrel.” Somewhat surprised, I followed his pointed finger to the legend “Tandoori Mixed Grill”, which is of course exactly what he’d said. In rapid speech, the one could be misinterpreted as the other, but it says something for my fevered imagination that I could mishear something so normal as something so hysterically improbable.

I giggled like a schoolgirl for a good 5 minutes. Matt says he’s going to order Tandoori McSquirrel at the first opportunity.

13 February 2011

ObCrisps: Italy

Also while in Italy, I inserted crisps and continued. Very not bad – some European crisps are pretty awful, but these were rather good.

Cool fonts in Italy

Saw these signs in Udine, north-east Italy. Utterly cool, great “sense of place”... where else would you see a street sign using a font like this? And then I realised I was also photographing a military surveillance sign. Fortunately the guards didn't see me...

04 February 2011


This just made me laugh like a drain. This is because I am strange.