# Monday, August 20, 2007
People in Anglesey have been encouraged to look out for grey squirrels. The squirrels are currently being culled as part of a project to help conserve the endangered red squirrel. There is a special phone line set up for people that spot a grey squirrel. The aim is to eradicate the grey squirrel from the Ireland completely to enable the population of red squirrels to survive.

posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 7:44:11 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
I made these rather yummy poached pears the other day. It was more of an experiment than anything else, but they came out rather well. Basically I peeled the pears and cut them in half. Then I poured half a bottle of red wine into a pan, this is a good excuse to drink the other half of the bottle. Then I added a spoonful of cinnamon, some mixed spice and the pears and just left them to simmer for around an hour. Next just take the pears out and turn the heat up a bit on the sauce until it thickens a bit. Then pour it over the pears.

posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 6:11:45 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I just opened a bottle of Spier Shiraz 2005. The wine is from the Cape of Good Hope. It has a fruity smell and a full bodied colour. It doesn’t taste as fruity as it smells but has a plum like flavour with oak undertones and a hint of spice. At only £4.99 it’s a good wine for the price.

posted on Monday, August 20, 2007 2:44:14 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 19, 2007
I made this lasagne the other day and although I didn’t make it completely from scratch it was still a lot nicer than a shop brought one. Basically I fried the lamb mince and added a pre made Ragu tomato sauce. Then I used a pre made Ragu white sauce. I started off with a layer of the mince mixture, then a layer of pasta sheets, then a layer of white sauce. Next I added more pasta sheets and a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. I repeated the layers twice, finishing with mozzarella on the top and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Then I baked it in the oven for about 40 minutes. Using the pre made sauces may be cheating but it cuts down on the preparation time, meaning the dish only takes about 20 minutes to prepare instead of the 40 minutes it would take if you made it entirely from scratch. This means its ideal for a mid week meal when you don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen. Below are the pictures before it went into the oven and after it was cooked.



posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:38:48 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A few weeks ago we had the cat who predicts deaths. Well if cats can do it so can dogs. Scamp has been dubbed the dog of doom after it emerged he can predict the death of patients at a nursing home. Scamp usually appears a couple of hours before a patient dies and waits in their rooms until they die. So far he has predicted forty deaths.

posted on Sunday, August 19, 2007 11:27:18 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rory has been busy with work this week, so has been working from home most evenings. This means his cat Willow has not been getting as much attention as usual. Generally when this happens she drives us mad by running around the house howling at the top of her voice. As you can see Rory has come up a solution to keep Willow happy. A well placed cushion and she settles down for the evening, whilst Rory can still get his work done.

posted on Saturday, August 18, 2007 12:30:34 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 17, 2007
Everyone knows that otters love water, right? Everyone that seems except Torrent the otter. He was rescued in Watchet in Somerset during last month’s storms and it appears he can’t swim. Torrent appears to have a problem with his fur, instead of becoming slick when it gets wet, instead air bubbles form in it. This could be the reason that he is reluctant to take to the water.

posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 7:36:12 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
A female golden eagle in the Scottish Borders has been poisoned. This crime is devastating to the species because this was the last breeding pair of Golden Eagles in the Scottish Borders. The pair also had a chick that they were feeding; it is now also unlikely to survive.

posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 7:34:49 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
The traditional British pub is under threat from breweries trying to cash in on the property boom. That’s according to a report by the BBC. Pub closures are currently running at 56 every month. Many are due to a loophole in the law that allowed developers to demolish pubs without the need for planning permission. To turn a pub into a residential dwelling, planning permission must be got from the local authority. In addition to this the owners must prove they have made an effort to sell the pub as a business. Despite this local people have claimed the pub owners often price pubs unrealistically or deliberately run them into the ground because it is more profitable to sell them to property developers.

I recently went back to my home town of Sevenoaks and was greatly saddened to see that The Farmers where I have spent many a happy evening, no longer stands. The 150 year old pub was demolished despite having a thriving local community and despite local petitions with over 2000 signatures to try and save it. All because the company that owned it wanted to cash in on the sale of the site which will now become flats. The Campaign for real ale has called for new housing developments to include a pub, it will be interesting to see whether this leads to new premises being built. Sadly its too late for The Farmers.



The Farmers as it was in Sevenoaks Kent.
posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 4:44:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 16, 2007
An ancient forest of cypress trees has been discovered in Hungary. The trees are around eight million years old and were found in an open coal mine. It is thought they were preserved by sand while the rest of the forest turned to coal around them. Scientists are now trying to find a way to preserve them before the trees turn to dust.

posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 4:39:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Tigger the cat had been missing for eight weeks when he found an incredible 130 miles away from his home. Tigger who lives in South Wales was eventually found in Hampshire. It appears that Tigger was found in a village not far from his home and then found some new owner who took him to Hampshire. When they took him to the vet for a check up Tigger was scanned, his microchip found and he was later reunited with his owners. This is another good example of the importance of getting your cat’s microchipped.

posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 4:34:53 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Two Morrisons stores could be responsible for an E coli outbreak in Scotland which has left one person dead and two seriously ill. It is thought the outbreak is linked to meat brought from the cold meat counter of two Morrisons shops in Paisley. The health board has warned people not to eat meat brought from the Lonend and Falside Road store in the past few weeks.

posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:08:42 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I read this article about a double nosed dog that has been found in Boliva. The dog is a rare breed and due to its heightened sense of smell could be used to sniff out land mines or narcotics. This dog called Xingu is smaller than other dogs but makes up for it by being rather aggressive. There are also other double nosed dogs living in the area.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 7:09:08 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Pygmy elephants in Borneo are under threat because of the loss of their natural habitat. There are currently only around 1,000 of the elephants left in Sabah which is much less than previously thought. The elephants depend of the forest for their survival but over the past forty years 40% of the forest cover has been lost due to logging and human settlements. Environmentalists are calling for measures to save the elephants remaining habitat.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 5:40:58 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Its good news for the black footed ferret, North Americas most endangered mammal. A key population that had only five individuals in 1997 has now grown to more than 220. This massive rise is attributed to the large prairie dog population in Wyoming which is the ferret’s main source of food.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 3:12:33 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

A homeowner who awoke to find a burglar in his house could be arrested after the burglar fell from a window. Patrick Walsh startled the burglar who fell out a top floor window and later died. It is not yet clear whether the home owner will face any charges. Stories like this make me rather angry, yes its unfortunate the burglar fell and died but he really should not have been in the house in the first place. It seems we should welcome burglars into our house and make sure they are safe whilst they are stealing our hard earned possessions. After all burglars have rights too. In my opinion A burglar gives up all his rights when he enters a property illegally and the home owner should have every right to defend themselves from this kind of intrusion.

posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 2:51:52 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 14, 2007
An explosion at a house in Tyneside which destroyed a house and killed an 80 year lady was caused by rats. The rats had gnawed through the gas pipes at the back of the oven causing the damage that led to the explosion.

posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:48:10 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
I was checking out some new phones because mine is getting a bit old. Having had good experiences with Nokia handsets in the past I was looking at the Nokia N95. The phone has a 5 megapixel camera, GPRS and a PDA and is one of the few phones to support a 4GB memory card. The N95 Memory Card can be used for storing music, pictures and movies which is useful. For me by far the most important feature of this phone is that I can set it up to access my email when not able to access my computer. The GPRS function should also come in useful.

posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:45:29 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
An expedition to a remote forest in the Congo has discovered several new animal species. Among the new animals discovered were a new bat species, two new species of frogs, a new rat species and two new species of shrews. They have also found several new plant species. It is likely that the area will now be protected in order to preserve it.

posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 8:04:30 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 13, 2007
This is one of my favourite wines for drinking on a hot summer’s day. The fact that it’s a rose and only 10% volume means that it is very light. Its one of those wines that once you open it its very hard to put the cork back in the bottle. The wine is from California and this particular one in from 2006. The blurb on the bottle promises you strawberries and watermelon and for once the blurb does not disappoint. I don’t usually drink rose but this wine is really good and at only £4.98 its one of the best wines I have had this summer. At this price its worth getting a case, because it won’t last long.

posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 8:33:23 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
We tend to save up all of our Nectar points and then treat ourselves to something nice. This weekend we were feeling in need of a treat, so we went off the Sainsbury's and treated ourselves to some lobsters. The lobster had been cooked and frozen whole, so all we had to do was defrost them in some tepid water for around an hour and then add a little seasoning and some lemon juice.

posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 6:28:20 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
Coral reefs are now vanishing faster than rain forests. That’s according to a new study which shows the coral reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans are dying much quicker than it was previously thought. The reefs are currently shrinking at a rate of 1 percent each year, a total loss of around 600 square miles. The decline is similar in areas that are protected and in unprotected areas indicating that it might be due to issues such as sea temperatures and other global stressors.

posted on Monday, August 13, 2007 10:27:06 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback