Monday, May 25, 2015

Tea Blending

I was down in Brighton today for the Bank Holiday with my family and I popped in to a shop I know that blends special teas. I thought I would try their stuff because I passed the shop a few times and thought about it in the past but today I finally went in and bought some. Here's what I bought. I'm not very adventurous when it comes to tea, so you can see I've gone for some traditional blends. They do have a lot of interesting sounding teas though, so worth investigating their others. The Smoky Russian sounds worth trying at some point but might be a bit strong.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sammy Hagar Autobiography

I also picked up a copy of an autobiography on Saturday, that of the rock God himself Sammy Hagar. The first I heard of Sammy Hagar was when my brother gave me a copy of his album Red back in he 70s. Since then I have always liked his voice. I liked his solo work, I liked him in Van Halen and I liked Chickenfoot. An all round great guy and great vocalist. I look forward to reading about his crazy life.

Nakd Bars

I travel a fair amount and spend a proportion of my time skipping breakfast or having late lunches or skipping lunches too. Not very good! I'm always on the lookout for new things to try eating and I came across these bars a few weeks ago. They're called Nakd bars and I tried the Bakewell Tart one first.

It's made from fruit pulped and compressed into health bars. It comprises one of your five a day. For me, these are amazing. I love the texture and the chewiness of them. The flavour is strong also, whether you go for a fruity one like Strawberry Crunch or the Cashew Chewy.
The company that makes them is called Natural Balance Foods and they are based in Worminghall in Buckinghamshire, close to me!

Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Vienna in Austria played host to the 60th Eurovision Song Contest this year. I always enjoy watching the Eurovision, this year the songs were all  of a reasonably high standard. No real quirky ones or stupid staging, apart from the dancers for Azerbaijan who wore collars and detracted from the vocal performance. Sweden won and Russia came second. My favourite performance and winner for me came from Georgia but in the scoring it only came 11th. I thought Germany were hard done by, they didn't get any points and yet they were much better than the UK entry, which I believe got 5 sympathy votes.

More Horus Heresy books

I managed to pick up a couple more Horus Heresy novels published by The Black Library from a charity shop yesterday. They are book 19 and book 21 in the series, as follows:

  • Know No Fear
  • Fear To Tread

I'll let you know what I think when I eventually get around to reading them. This may be some time!


Last night I watched a film with my wife, something I don't seem to do these days. My wife watches a lot of films on her iPad it seems, so we don't watch as much together as we have done in the past. The film is about the rivalry between James Hunt and Nikki Lauder in the sport of Formula One in the seventies. James Hunt was played by Chris Hemsworth, who plays the God Thor in the Marvel films. I enjoyed the performance by Daniel Bruhl, he plays Nikki Lauder and I think did a pretty good job of it. Even if you don't like watching races and are not into F1, I think this is a film you will still enjoy. It's a vey human story at its heart.


There has been a bit of a hiatus on this blog since the first Bank Holiday in May. We're now onto the last Bank Holiday in May. For some reason, this one is going slower than the last and I'm actually enjoying it. I worked late on Friday and I did a few hours of work today. I think I feel better about things if I know I'm putting over and above the time in for work. I don't know why I feel that way but I do.
This posting probably means the hiatus is over, so expect more posts to come, we're going to Brighton tomorrow. Hope that leads to some good buys.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Bank Holiday

Yesterday we enjoyed a Bank Holiday, well that might be putting it too strongly. I enjoyed not having to work on a Monday: that's more like it. I can't say I care very much for Bank Holidays in general, although I do enjoy not having to work. I don't feel as though I really make the most of them because they are just another tacked on to the weekend.
There isn't a great deal to report in on this week. I haven't done very much since returning from Belfast last weekend. The diet is continuing and I haven't weighed myself today, I'll do that later. It is slowly going down though I think.
I took my son to go and watch the film Avengers: Age of Ultron at the Cineworld in Milton Keynes. We both enjoyed the film. I do feel as though the CGI effects are taking over from the plot in Marvel films because the pace is so frantic. It was entertaining though and there were lots of humorous moments. It's worth seeing if you enjoy Marvel films.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Androi apps for healthier living

I'm a slouch and a sceptic. I don't have motivation to exercise consistently all year, I stop and start and don't stick to a plan. I've thought about buying a fitness tracker, a Garmin Vivofit because the price has come down a little since they launched. However, I didn't find one in stock and didn't bother to order one on the web so have instead decided to try tracking on a device I know I have with me all the time: my smartphone. I don't have a fancy phone, however I'm extremely happy with my phone. It only costs me £7.50 a month and is a Motorola Moto E. About 3 years now I tried out an IOS app called MyFitnessPal on the iPhone 4 I had back then  and it was quite good, the food database was huge. I downloaded the Android version this week and have been using it to log my calories and water consumption. The other apps I'm trying are:
  • MyFitnessPal - calory intake and water consumption logging
  • Sleep as Android - logging quality of sleep (for free there is a 14 day trial)
  • Moves - advanced pedometer

Weekend in Belfast

It feels like I haven't been writing very much in my blog this month, inspiration hasn't been as heavy as it usually it. One of my favourite YouTube channels, Tonyotimes, may be about to end and that is a great shame. The channel owner has taken a bit of a break this month. I usually find some inspiration from his videos.
Back to my everyday life, this weekend I'm flying over to Belfast with my daughter and her judo coach for a competition, the Northern Ireland Open. There won't be much time to do very much while we're there but if we did have time I'd like to go for a walk up the Belfast Hills, they seem very nice from the website. I'm sure there is plenty to do in Belfast but we'll probably be focused on other things than siteseeing.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Crabbies Grand National 2015

I am not normally interested in horse racing. I can't remember the last time I've ever thought about it to be honest. Today though, for some reason I am interested enough to go into a betting shop and place a bet. The horse I chose was called Oscar Time, I have a family member who has a baby by the name of Oscar, so I didn't choose it based on any study of form. I just chose it based on the name.

I went into William Hill rather than the Coral, all betting shops are a bit grubby but they used to have to block out their windows. They don't seem to have to do that now. I didn't really know what I was doing. My son stood outside, which reminded me a little bit of part of my childhood when my dad would go into the betting shop and I'd wait outside with my mom and brother for what seemed like an age. The jockey riding the horse I backed is wearing these colours:

Don't be complacent

Something quite shocking has happened over the last 3 weeks to a good friend of ours.It has made me reflect on what I take for granted, even what I abuse. I realise now I think of it that I do take a lot for granted. Our friend caught a bad infection that is life threatening, we hope but can't assume that he will pull through. He was a very fit man in his sixties, fitter than me by a long way. I guess fitness doesn't help you when an infection decides to get you but it probably helps with stamina in fighting the infection. Being independent and able to go outside without anyone helping me is a pleasure that I shouldn't take for granted. Something as simple as going outside for a run or a cycle ride. Or even just going outside into the garden. Its so sad for our friend, I hope he pulls through out of this.

The garden photo below isn't my garden but in my imagination it does represent what my garden means to me, a quiet and pleasant outdoor space to sit and enjoy the outdoors and fresh air.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Back to Work Tomorrow

A depressing situation arises at the end of every holiday. The return to work looms ever closer and then its back on the treadmill as if the holiday never happened. At least it can be thought of as a way to earn money to go on holiday. I suppose if I didn't have a job and had no restriction on holiday time, then it wouldn't feel so good to take a break from work. The trouble is, I don't feel refreshed and I don't feel revitalised. The truth is, I'm not excited about returning to work. I don't itch to get back to my work.
One week of holiday is not enough to really settle into a state where work isn't on my mind. If I had another week off I reckon it would just be at the end of that week that I'd be getting used to not have to work and would be finding other things to interest me. I've enjoyed this week but I don't feel I got a lot out of it. That's a shame. I love spending time with my family but I've probably had more time on my own this holiday than I remember having before.
The good thing is that being back at work will lessen the feeling of guilt of not being at work! That's probably the saddest part of this post.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Rapport by Dana aftershave

Years ago I wore an aftershave called Rapport. I liked the smell and found it unlike the other aftershave I had tried because it had a nice freshness to it. Other brands of aftershave seemed too strong to me. I also really liked Boss and Hugo. Now, my main smell is Allure by Chanel. However, I was in a B&M Homeware store in Bletchley on Thursday and discovered that they sold Rapport. When I looked at the label and it read £3.99 I thought my eyes were deceiving me, or they had printed the wrong price. But it was indeed only £3.99 a bottle. Perhaps my tastes are different now but at £3.99 a bottle I thought it was worth trying again. Now I have worn it for a couple of days I am aware that the smell is a simpler one than Allure but it is ridiculously cheap by comparison. I think wearing the cheaper brand will help to stretch out the more expensive fragrance. So I'm fine with that. My wife thought it smelled like Aramis, which isn't inexpensive either. If you are looking for a bargain fragrance, I don't think you could do badly by giving this one a try.