Monday, July 31, 2006

On to Dublin

Back from Stockholm, on to Dublin (with a wee stop in London for Saturday's Proms).

I head back to Windsor tomorrow (Tuesday). Soon after that, I hope to have pictures of Sweden and Ireland.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Off to Stockholm

I'm off for a couple of days to Stockholm. I have no real plan other than to look around and explore.

More information about Stockholm.

I Don't Make Them Up, I Only Report Them

US Patent Number 3,216,423 - Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force.

No, really. Evidently it's to help spin the baby out.

Details from the US Patent Office plus the article from the Guardian.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Maths to the rescue

Dwight Barkley, a professor at Warwick University, has found the equation that predicts how soon your child will ask, "Are we there yet?" on a car trip.

In mathematical terms, the calculation reads: Q= (1+x) divided by y2 + z where Q is the question, x the number of on board activities, y the number of children and z the time taken to get the car loaded.

The full story in the Guardian.

(Sorry about the non-maths appearance of the equation...)

Endangered Food

Evidently, there are a number of British foods which have made the endangered list. From some of the names, it's really no wonder.

Here's the list (shamelessly copied and pasted):

Ten most endangered savouries:

· Bath chaps
· Jugged hare
· Brawn
· Squirrel casserole
· Bedfordshire clanger (scrag end of mutton with kidneys)
· Pan haggerty (fried onions and potatoes)
· Hogs pudding
· Tripe and onion
· Faggots
· Bread and dripping

Ten most threatened puddings

· Calf's foot jelly
· Junket
· Sussex pond pudding (suet and lemon)
· Kentish pudding pie (rice and pastry)
· Dorset dumplings (apples and suet)
· Lardy cake
· Simnel cake
· Malvern pudding (fruit crumble)
· Singin hinnies (fried scone)
· Spotted dick

The whole story it in the Guardian.

Monday, July 24, 2006

US Embassy in London

I had a delightful trip to the passport folks at the US Embassy in London today.

No, really. It was delightful.

Okay, maybe not delightful, but certainly simple and painless.

You see, my current passport is languishing at the UK Home Office somewhere waiting for an updated resident permit. Which is fine, no real problems. Except I am supposed to fly to Stockholm on Wednesday. And the Home Office has no idea when I will get my passport back.

So, after two phone calls and a fax to the Home Office, I decided to call the Embassy. Fully expecting to be told, "Sorry, you're out of luck," I was shocked to be told, "Sure, come in, bring two pictures and we'll get it taken care of."

And darned if they didn't get it taken care of. In less than 90 minutes I walked out of the Embassy holding a brand new, limited-validity passport. It's something between a second passport and an emergency passport, I think.

Of course, this practically guarantees the original passport shows up tomorrow.

Last August and This Week

Last Au gust, I posted about Dreamscape 2005 in London. Today I read about a horrible accident involving Dreamscape in Durham in which several people were killed. There is speculation that sabotage was involved.,,29389-2283385,00.html

Friday, July 21, 2006


So I'm playing around with some Wikis - (collaborative web spaces).

Here are a few I'm playing around with: - one I've created for a maths project (hopefuly)

Some real Wikis: - a free, user creaded and edited encylopedia - a massive travel Wiki

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Visited States

In addition to the 'Countries Visited' map (next post down), there's also this 'States Visited' map.

Create your own visited states map.

(You can click the map for a larger view.)

Can you think of any I have visited but have forgotten?

Countries Visited

Here is an interesting map of countries I have visited.

Create your own visited countries map.

As you can see, there is still quite a bit left that isn't red.

Birthday Concert for Her Majesty the Queen

Royal Albert Hall - Outside
Last night (Wednesday), I attended the Birthday Concert for Her Majesty the Queen. Despite a rather disappointing birthday composition ('A Little Birthday Music' by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies), the rest went quite well.

Royal Albert Hall - inside.jpg

Though Her Majesty didn't invite me to the Royal Box at the Royal Albert Hall, I did have a rather good view of everything. I was sitting just behind the choirs (massed from across England to sing just a few lines) and quite near the Fanfare Trumpeters of the Scots Guards.

Incidentally, the trumpeters were dressed in their formal uniform (including bearskin hats) and remained standing through the entire piece on what was the hottest July day in England since records have been kept.

The Queen's Medal for Music
After the interval, the Queen presented the second Queen's Medal for Music to Bryn Terfel.

The Royal Vehicle
Following the concert, many of us made our way outside to stand about and look at the Queen's car.

Mobile Phone Woman
Many people (not just me) were taking pictures with their camera phones.

About the concert:

About the Queen's Medal for Music:

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Can't travel as much as you'd like?

You can go virtual sightseeing with this site - Google Sightseeing!

For Map Freaks...

The Google Maps Mania site has loads of interesting maps. Look down the right-hand column.

Airport Information

Here's a cool website (in a geeky kind of way): World Airport Codes.

The Great 2006 Summer Rail Adventure

You can explore the map to see the places I plan to visit this summer.

You may need to click on the map before you can do anything to it. Rolling the mouse pointer across the orange pointers will remove the white bubbles so you can see more of the map. You can click on the blue "The Great 2006 Rail Adventure" title on the map to see a larger map that is easier to investigate.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Temperature and Relative Humidity Chart

Temperature and Relative Humidity Chart
Originally uploaded by

It's the heat. And the humidity.


(Chart from

Hot Enough For You?

British weather? Bah. It's in the 90s here this week.

BBC London Weather

Image from

So What Have I Been Up To Since January?

Being eaten by a dinosaur at a restaurant in Taiwan.

Well, let's has been a rather eventful six months.

In February and March, I took day trips on the Eurostar to Paris and Brussels.

On March 5, I sang with the University of London Church Choir at Southwark Cathedral. Then, on March 23, we sang at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe.

My old school ended up being merged with another school so I found a new job as Head of Maths at Dedworth Middle School in Windsor. It did mean I had to move also. So, my Easter holiday (the end of March and beginning of April) was spent winding up from one job, travelling to Taiwan for a British Council visit for 12 days, moving house and starting a new job.

The last weekend in April (first part of May) was spent in Szczecin, Poland.

On May 7, I sang with the University of London Church Choir at Southwark Cathedral.

The last week in May was spent in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

In the middle of June, the University of London Church Choir sang at St. Peter's at South Weald in Brentwood.

At the end of June, I went with some of our year 8 pupils to Paris and EuroDisney.

My parents visited for two weeks at the end of June and first part of July.

And, finally, we finish school on Tuesday, July 25.

Odd Things I Have Eaten Since January

Taiwan Night Market, originally uploaded by matthew_reames.

Frog legs, shark, crocodile, various odd ocean-going creatures, and chicken feet.

The photo shows some chicken feet and a few other Taiwanese foods.

All of that is nothing, however, compared to what this man has eaten.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

This Summer...

...a rail trip through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

(Map from


Originally uploaded by matthew_reames.
The Windsor Wheel


Originally uploaded by matthew_reames.
St. James' Park in London. Taken 30 June 2006.