Long barrow

long barrow

A while ago, I got weirdly interested in long barrows, partly from reading too much Lord of the Rings, but mostly from seeing lots of signposts for them in the countryside around Bath.

I had learned from Professor Google that long barrows are prehistoric burial chambers, but I couldn’t find out much about what they’re like inside. Having now visited the Stoney Littleton long barrow, I can reveal that the answer is PRETTY DAMNED SPOOKY.

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Japanese Kit Kat taste test

KitKatsWhen we were in Osaka back in September, I was dazzled by the array of Kit Kats available to the ordinary biscuit-eater. Suitcase and fund limitations meant that I could only bring back three of these exotic specimens, but here’s my ‘expert’ verdict on those plus Chris’ comments. Lucky you!

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5 things to love about The Musketeers

I love me some piping-hot musketeer action of a Sunday night!

If you’re not into swashbuckling adventure and haughty cheekbones, then here are five other things to enjoy each episode. Also, I pity you.

Health & safety madness

Health and safetyNo one in 17th century Paris gives a flying feck about safety. In the first episode, Aramis’ girlfriend kicked a pistol across a room. In the last episode, d’Artagnan and Constance snogged up against sharp kitchen implements and sat on a chopping board. In this scene, Milady de Winter just sets her flaming torch down on the floor next to her silky frock while she expositions poor Athos into submission. Be careful, everyone!

Capaldi accent meltdown

CardinalWhy isn’t the excellent Peter Capaldi allowed to be Scottish? Chris had a theory that the English accents were quick shorthand for ‘being French’, and perhaps the Spanish or Swedish characters would have some other regional accent. But then an English Spaniard and a Scottish Frenchman turned up and now we have no idea. He sounds endearingly, entertainingly, completely bananas. Also: I would totally buy tickets to see a reunion gig by these guys. Sing ‘Stay Another Day’!

Splendid hats

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 21.14.26

If you like hats, then have I got the show for you. Feathery hats, foldy-up hats, little hats, big hats – it’s hat heaven. Really, I’m totally into all the musketeers’ accessories, particularly those one-shoulder capes and leather jerkins. I suspect I’m one personal tragedy away from dressing like this in everyday life.

Look, here’s Aramis putting on his fancy boots, while his girlfriend kicks a gun around. Dude’s living the dream!

boots

Hey hey! It’s a swashbuckling theme tune

theme tuneIf you haven’t yet tried ad-libbing lyrics to The Musketeers theme tune, then I suggest you give it a go. HEY!

Amusing cutlery

forkDon’t you just love those weird forks that keep turning up? Guys? Hello?

Maybe it’s just me.

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All the things

Hi there! I haven’t posted since September last year because life got stressful and all I could do in my downtime was watch television and drink light beer. Except at Christmas, when all I did was watch television and drink proper beer.

Here’s a quick photo-dump to ease me back to normal service:

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Osaka

Just a few months after explaining that we never go anywhere, we went to Japan to visit my brother. No one is more surprised than I am.

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My beloved orchid and me

Life in the House of Phin has been bonkers lately, so here’s a nice calming photo of my orchid. This is the only plant I’ve ever owned that has survived my ‘care’.
orchid2
The orchid turns five years old this year – happy birthday, orchid! Sadly I’ve missed the cut-off date for a September school place.
orchid
As you can see, I’m dreadful at remembering to stake up the stems, so my orchid always looks like it’s making a bid for freedom.

Sometimes it literally does start climbing out of the pot, and that’s when I know it’s time to schlep to Homebase for a bigger pot and a bag of the special ‘Orchid Compost’ that looks like sticks and old muesli.

Chris recently gave me a Koubachi plant monitor, which is great. You stick it in the compost and your phone starts getting plaintive messages like

Orchid needs some shade.
Time to mist orchid.
Orchid wants to know what you’re thinking.
Maybe orchid and you should spend some time apart?

Turns out the orchid is kind of needy and demanding. But I still like it.

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Like a jewel in the sun

Back in February we were cold, overworked and broke, so we did what any right-minded children of the ’80s would do – booked a holiday to Barcelona. Huzzah!

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