Category Archives: Socks


I’ve eaten a lot of hotel buffet food this year, not by choice – well, not directly. Hotel buffets are a tricky thing for me to navigate, since I find it hard to fight the temptation to fill my plate until it starts to sag with the weight of the food. In particular, at breakfast time this is an oddity. Normally I can manage two slices of toast and a coffee, then I’ll be full for the morning.  Put me in a hotel though and suddenly I want a full English breakfast, with extra pain-au-chocolate on the side and a pile of salami.

I have gradually got better over the years, usually I compromise and have one or two cooked items with my toast and then tear myself away from the communal trough.  Usually a sausage on the side of my scrambled egg will feed my cravings whilst not overfilling me too much.  I guess there’s a human instinct to eat whenever food is plentiful, in case it’s going to be taken away.  In a land of plenty, that’s not so much of an issue – but the hunger pangs remain.

…and another thing… grapefruit juice! I never have it at home, but I must have it at the breakfast buffet. Why on earth is that???

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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Socks


On Rails Shooter

I like trains, be they old and steam driven or new and bullet shaped.  One of the nice things about my job is that I do get to travel on trains a lot… unfortunately one of the bad things is that I have to travel on trains a lot… It’s funny how something that you normally like can be spoiled when you’re not doing it for leisure purposes.

Having recently tried out the Heathrow Express I can (gladly) report that this bucks the trend.  It’s faster than any of the alternative routes from London to the airport, though more expensive, but since I have had to use it for work purposes – I would normally expect this to sour the experience.  Not so! It’s so much faster that I don’t mind using it, plus the on board WiFi is a godsend.

If all trains in the UK were like this, I think more people would use them – as opposed to begrudgingly use them.  However, that’s just not practical or likely to happen so we end up with the mish-mash of services that we currently have. Even the staff on the HEX are exceptionally helpful, I supposed they must have black belts in customer service to prepare them for all the confused and jet lagged tourists they must encounter on a daily basis.

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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Socks


Spring Time (for Hiltons…)

Christmas whizzed by and left New Year standing in the dust.  Before I could blink, it had become 2014 and I hadn’t blogged for several weeks… months in fact.  It’s inexcusable really, taking time out to take stock of things, to stop and smell the roses is both psychologically healthy and a good way to mark off the milestones as the world makes a few more turns.

Work in particular has taken more than its fair share of my energy these past few weeks, making me especially unwilling to sit down in front of a screen and tap away – after having spend most of my 9.00 – 5.00 sat in front of a screen tapping away.  However, there are no rules about when or how often a blog has to be updated, so I won’t turn this into a stick to beat myself with, I’ll just make a mental note to do this a little bit more often.  With holidays on the horizon, I don’t think that will be too hard.  When I’m tired from working or cheesed off with staying in an another chain hotel room, the last thing I want to do is write about how tired/cheesed off I feel.  I’d much rather be on a sunny foreign shore or eating an exotic meal and then having something cheery to write about.

I supposed that makes for a world viewed through rose tinted specs, only logging the positives. I don’t think that’s so much of a bad thing though, they’re the things worth remembering and the dull stuff can be shoved at the back of my brain’s mental attic.  Besides, the web could keel over under the sheer weight of average reviews of average hotels, so why burden it with another one?  It’s possible that by holding back from clogging up the blogosphere I can help keep those fibre optic cables clear and make everyone’s Netflix 0.00001% faster*.


*(Or maybe it doesn’t quite work like that… better to check with an expert on that).

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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in Socks


German Beer


Cyrpus (Despina Olympiou, “An me thimasai“)

Cypriote entries will always appeal to Greek voters, this may only appeal to Greek voters.  Not awful, but a bit bland to stand out from the pack.

Germany (Cascada, “Glorious“)

Clearly from the same mould as last year’s Swedish winner, Euphoria.  Should make it into the top ten, but probably not a contender to take the prize.

Denmark (Emmelie de Forest, “Only Teardrops“)

Ooh, it’s got a whistle in it!

Estonia (Birgit, “Et uus saaks alguse“)

Estonia have produced some cracking songs over the last few years, but never get the votes they deserve. This has a bit of a country vibe to it, which might keep it from picking up votes this year.

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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Socks


Feeling Chilli

Occasionally I go through bouts of being well organised and make myself lunch to take to work with me. It saves time during the day and it definitely saves money, it just takes a bit of preparation up front. Today I have turkey chilli with potato wedges, which I’m really looking forward to. I’ve got a collection of different lunch boxes which I could use but I’ve gone for a little squat one which is microwavable. I do have a Thermos which would keep it warm and save me from having to use the microwave at work, but then I’d have to reheat my chilli in the morning. To spread my effort across the day, I cooked the chilli the day before then popped it in the fridge. Before I set off for work I boxed it up cold, then I’ll just nuke it at lunchtime. As the days get a little more Wintery I think a spicy option will be just what I need.

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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Socks


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A Galaxy Far, Far Away


Sometimes, on a cold morning, the moon can be seen in the pale blue sky. Even if I’m just watering plants or pegging out washing to dry – I look up and feel a little bit like Luke Skywalker, gazing at the twin suns of Tatooine as they watch over him.

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Posted by on September 8, 2012 in Gardening, Inspiration, Outdoors, Socks, Washing


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One…. Two… Three…


One of my earliest memories of television is watching The Muppet Show whilst eating Quality Street chocolates from the tin.  If I remember rightly I was managing to get the little foil wrappers everywhere…  I must have been about 5 and at the time I seemed to think that The Muppets were British and the cast of Sesame Street were American.  Why this was so, I have no idea – I don’t think I’d got my head around accents and the origin of puppets back then.

I do like puppet shows, from Punch and Judy to Avenue Q, even though they can be a little creepy and macabre at times.  I think it’s because when they’re animated, its hard to shake the feeling that in a way we’ve given unnatural life to something that shouldn’t be able to move on its own.  There’s a conflict at the back of our heads that tells us we shouldn’t see wood and fabric acting and talking like that.

Ventriloquists dolls are often cited as being particularly unsettling, again they talk without moving their lips (the dummy and the operator actually…) because they are rigid and they don’t express emotions like a normal person would.  They might have a flapping bottom jaw, but that’s not how people use their mouths when they talk.  The dummies are just flipped and thrashed about in an exaggerated manner to convey themselves, by the guy behind them with an arm inside them.  No wonder kids can’t relate to these any more and adults find them terrifying.

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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Monsters, Socks


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