# Monday, August 29, 2011
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article-1313955957244-0D82AB0300000578-370316_466x675This is interesting its artwork created by artist Alexa Meade in which she paints living subjects. She turns her models into the artwork by applying paint directly to their bodies as well as to the props surrounding them. The finished piece is then photographed and the model appears to become one with the surroundings (right).

posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 2:49:28 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I am a fan of wine boxes for everyday drinking and cooking so was interested to see that they have got smaller. The normal sized 3 litre box has reduced to a slightly smaller 2.25 litres. It seems with the price of wine boxes having gone up they have become less popular and fewer people are choosing to buy them. The boxes then have been downsized with a smaller price tag of around the £11.39 mark rather than the previous price more than £15. Sainsbury’s who have made the change have said it has resulted in an increase in sales of more than 5%. Personally it has been a while since I brought wine as I am currently unable to drink so have not noticed the change. I do tend to buy more premium boxed wine, however, paying in region of £20 to £25 a box. I wonder whether these have also been downsized or if it is just a change to the Sainsbury’s brand?

posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 2:46:15 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, August 28, 2011

It seems you read another article every week or so claiming that you should eat the next new “superfood”. The latest appears to be blackberries which it seems have all sorts of health benefits. Apparently they are a great source of vitamin C containing twice as much as blueberries. They also contain more fibre than most other fruits, in fact a handful of berries has as much fibre as two Shredded Wheat. If that’s not enough they also contain anthocyanins which are thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and lutein which helps prevent eye damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Lastly they contain manganese which is vital for building bone structure and folate or folic acid which helps healthy cell division and growth and is particularly recommended for pregnant women. It’s all very interesting but none of these things will make me eat more blackberries. What will is the fact that they are currently readily available and free and make wonderful pies and great jam.

posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 11:04:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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This was the scene when 2496 people performed a mass hula hoop event. Staged in Taiwan the crowd had to spin their plastic rings simultaneously for three minutes to break the record. The previous record held was for 2,290 people and had been set in 2000. This event was organised to celebrate the Republic of China's centennial and to encourage people to take more exercise.

posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 10:42:38 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, August 27, 2011
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An elderly tortoise has received a new lease of life after some wheels were fitted to his shell. Yuri the tortoise is thought to be around 100 years old. Unfortunately whilst he can still move his front legs his back legs do not appear to work anymore. Costly x-rays have failed to find the cause the problem but in the meantime he had had a set of wheels fitted to the back of his shell so that he can move along properly.

posted on Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:01:00 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

For me, sadly, it’s very little at the moment being halfway through my pregnancy but it seems the average Briton drinks 5,800 pints in their lifetime and suffers from 726 hangovers. They will also drink 8,700 glasses of wine. The results are based upon a survey of 2,000 people. It found that most people drink at least three nights a week and have nine drinks in total which works out to 468 a year. Over half of people regularly drink in their home but it seems only 17% of people now regularly visit the pub. The survey which was carried out by Benenden Healthcare Society also revealed that the average Briton starts experimenting with alcohol at the age of 14. Four out of ten people admitted they can’t go longer than a week without having a drink, whilst 10% would make it through just 2 days before opening a bottle. The results certainty make interesting reading.

posted on Saturday, August 27, 2011 10:57:02 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Friday, August 26, 2011
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article-1313662945355-0D75FAA600000578-757529_466x636If your painting ability is questionable then there could still be hope. Perhaps you might not make a major exhibit but you may someday produce something that could go on display in the Museum of Bad Art. Masterpieces on display there include this reproduction of the Mona Lisa and are mainly rescued from bins or donated by art critics. The works must be original, sincere and interesting and they must try to communicate something, even if we are not sure what that something is. The museum based in Boston Massachusetts was opened by Scott Wilson and now has three separate galleries attracting 8,000 visitors a year. I feel a masterpiece coming on.

posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 11:52:26 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
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In one of the more bizarre stories I have come across recently, a man was convicted of drink driving a motorised beer cooler. The beer cooler was strapped to a 50cc scooter and had been purchased online. It seems the man had assembled the cooler whilst sampling a few beers and then taken it for a test drive, when he was promptly stopped for being drunk. He was sentenced with a ten month ban and an AUS$500 fine.

posted on Friday, August 26, 2011 11:48:54 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goats Cheese TartLast weekend we had a rare opportunity to take a break from decorating for a lunch date. The occasion was a friends birthday and it took us to The Belvedere restaurant in Holland Park, West Kensington. Having not been to the restaurant before I was impressed with the surroundings, a rare island of green in the centre of London. The restaurant itself has a outdoor terrace for when the weather is good and has quite a varied menu. We chose from the Sunday lunch menu which is priced at a fairly reasonable £27.50 for three courses.

I started with the goats cheese tart with red onion marmalade and balsamic dressing (pictured) which was wonderful. The sharpness of the balsamic vinegar with the flavours of the rocket salad and goats cheese finished with the sweetness of red onion and the crisp pastry of the tart was perfect. This is certainly something I will be trying at home. For the main course I choose the roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and red wine sauce. Whilst the food was nicely presented I found the beef tasted as though it had been reheated, the roast potatoes were a little on the hard side as was the Yorkshire pudding. This course whilst adequate for a pub lunch didn’t really meet my expectations of a more superior restaurant. For dessert I chose the apple crumble. This had a really good flavour with the slight sharpness of the apple and light spices contrasting with the sweetness of the crumble. My only complaint would be that it was little dry without the addition of a little cream or ice cream which would have greatly improved the dish. In all I was satisfied with the meal but felt it didn’t quite meet the expectations set by the pristine surroundings and atmosphere of the restaurant. I have certainly had better lunches but would come back here to sample some of the other dishes on the menu.

posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:13:34 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

According to this article otters are now living in every county in England again. The otter population appears to have recovered from the brink of extinction. Recently two otters were spotted  on the rivers Medway and Eden in Kent, previously the last UK county without otters. Otters have also been seen in places where they have not been spotted since the industrial revolution such as Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. The increase in numbers signifies that Britain's rivers are becoming cleaner than before so is also good news for other wildlife.

posted on Thursday, August 25, 2011 9:36:04 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This week has brought the first corn from the allotment. So far I have eaten them boiled on the cob with a nob of butter but with plenty more coming will no doubt be looking for new corn recipes soon. I do plan to freeze about half of the crop if I can so I have plenty of veg to see me through the winter.

posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 10:13:32 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

That’s according to recent research which suggests exercising for as little as 15 minutes a day can increase your life expectancy by as much as three years. Scientists found that exercising for 15 minutes could reduce death rates by as much as 4% with more vigorous activity for shorter periods of time having the same effect as less intensive exercise carried out for longer. Looks like I better dig the exercise bike out then.

posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 10:10:39 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, August 23, 2011

This is an interesting idea it’s a special set of traffic lights that are being installed for a colony of bats. The bats live in a tunnel in Oxfordshire which is also used by commuter trains. The lights are being installed as an early warning system to let the bats know when a train is approaching so that they have time to move out of the way. It is natural for bats to avoid bright light so it is hoped that the trial of traffic light system will prove successful. If it works it will enable a second train service to run between Oxford and London.

posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:31:44 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

If you are concerned about which is the healthiest ice cream this summer (personally I am not) then you might find this article interesting. It looks at many of the top brands and gives them points depending on how healthy they are. The Solero Berry Explosion for example is given 8 out 10 for being a reasonably healthy choice as it is nearly 50% fruit in the sorbet and the crisp coating. A Mr Whippy flake gets 5 out of 10 as the ice cream has lots of air pumped into it making it waistline friendly, and if you leave out the flake it has 50 less calories, but lets face it, we all want to have a flake. A Wall’s Mini Feast scores 1 out of 10 because the combination of chocolate flavour and mint ice cream has more saturated fat than two quarter pounders. It’s all quite interesting but I don’t really think about whether an ice cream is healthy or not. As they are an occasional treat I am well aware they are likely to be bad for me but they are nice Smile

posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:28:25 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, August 22, 2011

According to this article the latest offering from Dominos pizza is it’s new gourmet range. The range is designed to appeal to the more discerning pizza lover and includes the Pizza Rustica, Pizza Firenze and Pizza Florentine. In this article they are put to the test. Domino’s luxury range claims to offer “a host of mouthwatering new toppings on a fresh thin-crust base". They don’t fare too badly in the taste test but seem to fail mainly on not offering authentic ingredients, using bacon instead of Parma ham on the Pizza Rustica for example and lacking spinach on the Pizza Florentine. I’m not really sure, however, what you can expect from a £15 mass produced pizza. Having not tried them I can’t pass judgement myself but it’s clear Domino’s are trying to capture a more premium market. Personally I would rather make a pizza at home and cook it my stone bake pizza oven. It always taste great and I can usually make a couple of pizzas for under £5.

posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 9:49:16 AM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback