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Tonight, we switch

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a 400 year old house, it is cold. And damp. I mean, it’s awesome, but there’s not much we’re allowed to do to keep the drafts out.

Fortunately, this is not a very cold country. Damp, yes, but it stays above freezing most of the time. It has been in the forties at night so far and we have been perfectly warm with wood fires. See above, our Thanksgiving night fire.

Tonight, it drops down near freezing and we’ve switched to coal. Well, not really coal: solid fuel. Which has coal in it, usually. It’s like charcoal briquets. This kicks out a lot more heat, but I don’t think it’s quite as pretty. It certainly doesn’t smell as nice.

Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving. We did. And I took today off.

November 29, 2019 — 9:54 pm
Comments: 17

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Yanks!

Oh, yes. We observe Thanksgiving. And then some. We do it as a late night meal, though, so I’m just doing prep now.

Candied yams. Which the Internet tells me is almost certainly sweet potatoes. Apparently, the two plants aren’t even related. The more I look at pictures, though, the more confused I am as to what they sell here. Seeing as we’re closer to Africa (yam country) than South America (land of the sweet potato).

Sweet potato. I think.

Picture nicked from the North Carolina Sweet Potato website, which has many excellent recipes and other sweet potato facts. Please don’t hurt me, ncsweetpotatoes.com.

I’ve never understood why candied yams are a side dish and not part of the dessert course. Where I hail from, those suckers are sweet. Also, they taste so much like pumpkin, it’s kind of redundant if you’re having pumpkin pie.

Oh, and somebody once told me the canned pumpkin pie filling in the States is almost always really butternut squash. So much disillusion.

Happy, happy! I have tomorrow off and I hope you do, too!

November 28, 2019 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 10

No, really…what’s it called?

Hairy Nuts Disco. Honestly, this fungus is called Hairy Nuts Disco. It’s a disc-shaped wee beastie that grows mostly happily on the hairy fibers of last year’s chestnut husks. So. Hairy Nuts Disco.

My local Twitter feed is lousy with fungus at the moment.

Why, yes, it rained again today. Why do you ask?

November 27, 2019 — 8:36 pm
Comments: 8

Toilet news…

A truckload of these has turned over on a highway near me tonight. They don’t say if they were headed out or headed in. I suspect the copper who tweeted this stole the photo off the internet: that’s an American phone number, and they don’t call it a Porta-Potty here.

It’s a Porta-Loo, which has caused epithet problems for poor train nut and ex-politician Michael Portillo.

Also, true story: my mother had an Indian kidney specialist named Dr Pordapodi, pronounced portapotty. They choose their own last names when they immigrate, but I don’t know if he picked that deliberately.

Yes, it’s raining. I got wet coming and going this morning. I was just settling in with a book and a very dry martini, when I suddenly thought – holy shit, I haven’t posted!

And now I have.

November 26, 2019 — 10:31 pm
Comments: 9

Says it all, really

Not even my picture. I stole it off Twitter. You can steal stuff off Twitter, yes?

Another day of drizzle. I cannot remember a dry day, literally, in two months. (Reminder: I bike to work).I AM SO TIRED OF BEING WET.

An all around shit Monday, really. Please join me in dropping trou and showing backside at the end of this day.

Not literally, though. You’ll get a wet backside.

November 25, 2019 — 9:47 pm
Comments: 5

Ending the week on a cat

A giant fiberglass cat. I mean, this thing is LARGE. I tried to find dimensions, without luck (I admit, I didn’t try that hard). It’s balanced on top of a shopping center sign in a place called Catford.

Heh. It’s an area of southeast London, probably originally ‘cattle ford’ as there’s a river there. The shopping center that built it in 1974 is long since gone and a succession of different stores moved in under it. They made noises about tearing it down a few years ago, but the locals went nuts and got up a petition.

If you want to know more — and why would you? — Google the Catford Cat. Have a wunnerful weekend!

November 22, 2019 — 9:40 pm
Comments: 6


It’s the peak of the Orionid meteor showers tonight, and Stonehenge invites you to watch with their new skycam. It’s supposedly a live shot, and yes you can use your mouse to pan around 360° and even zoom to an extent.

I say ‘supposedly’ though, because it looks strange to me. No birds or planes or anything, and no cars (Stonehenge has got very busy roads on either side of it). Also, according to the satellite weather, it’s cloudy over Salisbury Plain at the moment.

English Heritage wouldn’t just lie to my face, would they?

No, I haven’t seen any meteorites. If I watch too long, the way the camera insists on sloooowly moving by itself makes me feel a little icky.

November 21, 2019 — 8:43 pm
Comments: 6

Naughty phishermen

Got this in the mail just now. Obviously assumed sweasel.com was a mail service of some kind and they could fool me into clicking the link (which actually pointed to a .de address). Bitch, I am sweasel.com!

Also, I’m sure I’ve posted about the email below. I started getting these in January, I think. The exact wording varies and stinks of Google Translate. They got more realistic after some web forum had a breach and they began appearing with a real password that I use.

Just wanted to let you know, as of this week, I have received over 600 of these. At work!


I know your password: xxxxx!
I infected your computer with my private malware some time ago.
It gave me full control over your computer, all your contacts and accounts, I can even turn your webcam and microphone on.
I collected all your private pictures, videos, contacts, everything!
I MADE A VIDEO showing you (through your webcam) WHILE MASTRUBATING!!!
What you think will happen, if everyone of your contacts, on social network, and everyone else will see all your private stuff togheter with my recorded videos of you?!
I think your life won’t be the same ever again!
I give you the chance to pay me 800$ with bitcoin.
If you don’t know where to buy them – Google “Where to buy bitcoin?”
Your wallet to receive and send bitcoin, you can create here: https://login.blockchain.com/en/#/signup/
My wallet is: xxxxx
Copy and paste my wallet, it is (cAsE – sensetive).
You know this all isn’t a joke!
You have 3 days time to get the bitcoins and pay me.
After payment, I will remove everything and you can live your life in peace like before…

November 20, 2019 — 8:41 pm
Comments: 9


That there is a giant inflatable toilet outside the UN building. You can compose your own joke, thanks.

I wasn’t going to post about #worldtoiletday, but I had to give up and admit I don’t have anything else. (I spent the evening making a simple web page for my art group; I had forgotten that there’s no such thing as a simple web page).

It so happens #worldtoiletday is on the same day as #internationalmensday, a fact which has made the men of Twitter very offended. Twitter is a very offended place. I can’t handle much Twitter.

I have four Twitter accounts: one for shitposting, one for chickens, one for Stoaty and one under my own real name that your grandma would think is a little too vanilla. They all follow totally different accounts and it’s amazing how different the experience is with each of them.

But even the vanilla one can be a less than pleasant experience. Tonight, it featured more than one snapshot of a dusky man handling human waste with his bare hands.

G’night, Twitter!

November 19, 2019 — 8:40 pm
Comments: 7

Aiiii! Kill it with fire!!!



Steamboat Willie was released on this day in 1928.

At least, that’s what the V&A Museum of Childhood tells me. First Disney cartoon with fully synchronized sound, and first cartoon ever to have the soundtrack created after the cartoon.

The cartoon Mickey, I have to admit, was seriously cuter than this stuffed toy produced a few years later. What is it with old toys and seriously nightmare-inducing teeth?

Oh, I passed the stuffed rooster again today. It’s going for £74 and an odd number of cents. Not as eye-watering as some of those toys, but no thanks.


November 18, 2019 — 9:43 pm
Comments: 8