Tag Archives: weather

Helga: The face that made a thousand ice-creams

20110425 Smiling ice cream maker lid 150x150 Helga: The face that made a thousand ice creams

It’s been a hot Easter here in the south-west of England and it’s come and gone for another year.

Easter has come and gone for another year and what a fantastic one it was; the weather was absolutely gorgeous and I managed to sneak in a couple of picnics.  Because of poor planning on my part I had already eaten before I turned up on both occasions but enjoyed the sunshine, the company and watching others eat: a picnic by proxy perhaps, or a proxnic.

With the Royal Wedding next week (that’s Kate Middleton and Prince William, I think…), those clever enough to have planned ahead would be benefiting from 11 days off in a row right now.  Unfortunately because of meetings I’m working this week, but it should be a fairly easy three-days.  I am banking on the fact that a lot of other people will be off and my inbox won’t be flooded with emails from people screaming information they needed “yesterday”.  You know, if only they (whoever they are) planed better they wouldn’t be panicking all the time… hey ho.

A lot of teachers will have to go back in for three days, but they will have had two weeks off, it being half term and all that.  My colleague’s fiancée is a teacher and I think she will only have worked three days in April.  I’m not entirely sure how that works…

 Chocolaty badness

So, did you gorge yourself on Easter eggs and other chocolaty badness?  I’m pleased to say I didn’t and this whole commercialisation malarkey seems to have passed me by.  I have been incredibly busy at work and I had almost forgotten it was Easter, were it not for the fact that someone reminded me.  Egg stocks at Asda had gone suspiciously low by Thursday evening, too, which was a dead giveaway.

Speaking of commercialisation, a lot of companies are taking advantage of the Royal wedding on Friday, selling all sorts of commemorative merchandise from sick bags to pies and beyond.  Good or bad?  Either way it means we get another four-day weekend – yay!


The weather has been unseasonably warm for April and the last time I remember it being this warm around this time of the year was 1999.  But that probably tells you more about my selective memory than anything else!  Hopefully the weather will hold out; it would be nice to have a nice long summer.  But before we get our hopes up, remember the barbecue summer that was forecast for the year before last?  Whatever happened to that?

Helga: The face that made a thousand ice-creams

The item in the photograph is an ice-cream maker lid and actually belongs to an old flatmate of a friend of mine.  I took this photograph a while back when I was at his house and have been waiting for an appropriate time to post it.

The lid is smiling, perhaps in anticipation of being used to create tonnes of ice-cream this year.  Perhaps she is smiling in contentment at the fact that she has had a productive life.  Perhaps she is Helga – the face that made a thousand ice-creams.

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Basket Case

20110418 Grumpy picnic basket 150x150 Basket Case

It’s always great when readers submit pictures.  It’s even better when they write a little bit as well!

Martin from London sent in this picture of the picnic hamper in the kitchen in the house he shares with his partner.  He writes:

 The picnic hamper has a melancholy back story. I think the basis of his saddened demeanour possibly lies in his whole existence.  Initially created lovingly by a wickersmith for the purpose of containment of food and drink, the basket then fell on hard times.  He was disappointed to be purchased not by a potential loving owner. But by means of a gift.  So from day one he was on the back foot. Intended to be trafficked.  He was force fed jars of pickles and fruit based conserves as well as demoralizing packets of dates.  Eventually he was handed over to the current owners after a harrowing coloured paper ordeal.  Due to the inclemency of weather at the time of the transaction, he was stowed on top of a sweaty kitchen working area, only to hear and see other joyous food implements being plucked and used daily.  He remains there to this day – a victim of the British climate and un-loving owners.

Profound words and I’m not sure where to go from here…  Perhaps some light-hearted drivel to lighten the sombre tone…  I call it bantertainment.

What’s a basket?

Think of a basket, any basket.  What did you see?  What was it made of?  What shape and size was it?  Baskets come in a variety of “flavours”, so much so, the types I’m thinking of have little in common.  A moulded plastic shopping basket has only its function and size in common with its steel cousin.  A wicker picnic basket has neither material, nor size or shape in common with plastic or metal shopping basket.  The only common theme seems to be that they are containers used to convey items.  But a bucket can be used to carry objects around but it isn’t a basket…


Basketball is an interesting sport.  I know very little about it but when I was at school the kids seemed to be fascinated with cards depicting basketball players; I never understood them myself.  The kids would spend a lot of money on a packet of random cards and swap them with the aim of obtaining a complete set.  I seem to recall some cards being inscribed with silver and golden autographs, which made them more desirable.  Some kids were so hell bent on completing their collection that they ordered missing cards directly from the manufacturer.  The difference between these cards and the ones bought in packets of random cards from the shop seemed to be that the autographs on the ones bought from the shop were more refined… or something.  But I digress.

Say the word basket to yourself five times.  Now, what do you play basketball with?  Of course, correct answers are: a ball, people, a team and so on.  If you said basket, that’s doubly wrong.  It has always intrigued me that basketball uses nets as “basketball hoops”, yet in netball baskets are used. [shrugs]  Also, I’ve never understood the difference between netball and korfball.  That’s one for Wikipedia later.

Conclusion?  No, still confusion…

So what have I learnt?  Not much!  I’ve learnt that baskets come in a variety of shapes and sizes and that buckets are definitely not baskets.  There are many other things that aren’t baskets.  Chairs aren’t baskets and neither or iPads.  Tables aren’t baskets.  Plants aren’t baskets.  Pint glasses aren’t baskets… and so on.

In the words of Jerry Springer, “Take care of yourself and your picnic basket.”

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Blue’s the new grey

20101031 Psychopathic Robots in Bristol City Centre 300x225 Blues the new greyAnyone familiar with the centre of Bristol will undoubtedly have noticed the new Radisson Blu Hotel in what used to be the Bristol & West Building Society offices. I once read some architectural spiel somewhere about the cladding, that it was clad in varying shades of blue to make it blend in with the sky, so as not to be as intrusive. To be honest, when it had the exposed aggregate concrete finish for years, it stood out like a sore thumb and no-one cared… In any case, with the weather we get in this country (i.e. grey skies), making it blue would only make it stand out more. No? Never mind that – have you ever noticed the building adjacent? This shot was taken from Pero’s Bridge and shows what appear to be three grinning faces. For the record, I quite like the blue cladding!

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