# Saturday, 06 November 2010

According to this article this years wine harvest could be one of the best vintages in a decade. This is mainly because weather conditions over the last nine months have been almost perfect for vineyards with a hard winter, mild spring and hot June. The 2010 wines which will start to appear next spring could prove to be one of the best vintages yet. Grape yields have also been much greater than usual with one vineyard reporting a harvest of 250 tons this month, the biggest yield in three years. I wonder then whether we might see the supermarkets finally starting to stock some English wine.

posted on Saturday, 06 November 2010 12:45:13 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, 05 November 2010


According to this article October to early spring is a good time to get photographs of flocks of starlings. It seems the birds flock together before roosting at this time of year with sometimes up to 1 million birds being seen together. It certainly looks like an impressive sight I wonder where I might be able to see some in my local area.

posted on Friday, 05 November 2010 14:14:56 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

As someone who lived in Staines for a few years I was interested to see that some people are considering changing the name of the town. It seems that there are those who want to lose the association with the Ali G character and the Staines massive and instead call the town Staines on Thames. Some feel the town will do better under the new name. Councillors will be meeting to discuss the proposed change and what it might mean for the town.

posted on Friday, 05 November 2010 09:23:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 04 November 2010

According to this article South Africa are planning what could be the worlds biggest solar power plant. The project would see giant mirrors and solar panels being spread across the Northern Cape province. Costing about 200bn rand (approx £18.42bn) it would provide an estimated annual output of five gigawatts of electricity, about one tenth of South Africa’s energy needs. If the project goes ahead it would aim to start contributing to the national grid by the end of 2012.

posted on Thursday, 04 November 2010 09:16:49 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 03 November 2010

A-Spanx-publicity-stunt-o-006 According to this article Bodymax pants are proving to be very popular at Marks and Spencer. The pants which promise to suck in beer bellies, tighten buttocks and offer frontal enhancement are currently selling at the rate of 350 per day. Aimed at men they are meant to enhance the male shape. They include a built in shelf in the crotch area which is supposed to enhance the size of the wearers package by up to 38%. They also solve the problem of sagging bums and beer guts.

posted on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 08:35:20 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 02 November 2010

I spent much of the weekend making herb jellies in an effort to use up some of the herbs before the frost kills them. I used this recipe as a start and added different combinations of liquid and herbs. It’s fairly easy to make jelly, its just a case of making a herb infusion by pouring two cups of boiling fruit juice, wine or water over the herbs. They you add this to four cups of sugar and a quarter of a cup of cider vinegar or lemon juice before boiling until the setting point is reached. Finally add three ounces of liquid pectin and pot into jars. I made orange and thyme jelly, red wine and rosemary and white wine and mint.

posted on Tuesday, 02 November 2010 10:18:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 01 November 2010


An artist has created a life sized Monopoly house as his latest project. An Te Liu built the Monopoly house around a condemned home. Measuring 36ft by 44ft the work of art took two months to build and cost £9,000.

posted on Monday, 01 November 2010 10:23:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 31 October 2010

Chicken in Parma Ham

I was looking for a recipe to use up a few ingredients in the fridge and came up with this chicken dish. Basically I cut a pocket in the chicken breast. Stuffed this with slices of buffalo mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and lots of basil leaves. Then I wrapped the chicken breast is a few sheets of Parma hat and baked it in the oven on 180 for about 40 minutes. The chicken is kept moist by the addition of the mozzarella and the fat that comes off the Parma hat during cooking and the dish goes well with some of my sweet tomato chutney.

posted on Sunday, 31 October 2010 12:23:29 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 30 October 2010

The RSPB and the National Trust and Forestry Commission have warned that wild mushroom foraging is damaging forests. Although this years wet summer and mild autumn have produced a bumper crop of mushrooms it seems more people than before are gathering them for commercial gain. In some cases collectors have been stopped with several bagfuls of mushrooms from one trip and in one weekend forest managers at a site in London confiscated 45kg of mushrooms.

Whilst small scale collecting for personal use does not pose a problem it is this large scale collecting that poses a threat to the habitat. Nature groups are now organising courses to help people identify safe mushrooms but also to teach them how to collect mushrooms without damaging the surrounding landscape. Collectors are being urged to leave enough mushrooms for creatures like deer, rabbits, mice and insects to eat. As a rule of thumb it is recommended not to collect more than half of any one species at any one location and not to collect more than you can personally use.

posted on Saturday, 30 October 2010 13:43:33 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback