Posted November 30th, 2013 15:38 by Bob
I did a second Vlog. I also attempted a third but kept getting interrupted. If next week is calmer I will try again.
Posted November 30th, 2013 12:17 by Bob
Trying to find time to get some more illustration practice in. Here’s a tile design I knocked up last night.
Posted November 17th, 2013 20:42 by Bob
I’ve started vlogging. It’s like blogging with video. It’s the cool new thing that everyone else has been doing for about 200 years. Here’s the first one.
Posted August 14th, 2013 16:21 by Bob
After being antagonised to the point of hiding under the desk by work related stupidity I went for a walk to the river for lunch. Although I’ve lived in Maidenhead most of my life I’ve never been onto Guards Club Island, actually I didn’t realise you could get onto the island until yesterday. If you’re into tiny bits of woodland in the middle of a river it’s nice with a good view of the Sounding Arch (everyone’s favourite Maidenhead based Isambard Kingdom Brunel construction).
It’s pleasantly peaceful given it’s location right between a railway bridge and a major road. It’s closed during nesting season which wasn’t a problem yesterday but I did get some funny looks off a couple of geese. I kept my distance.
Posted August 9th, 2013 08:11 by Bob
Look what I found round the back of the bins (or their digital equivalent). I take no credit for this, it was made by a friend who will remain nameless for now. These are real quotes from a facebook group. Not a far-right facebook group, just a normal facebook group the purpose of which is nostalgia about a local community. There’s also a version with people’s full names on but since I live near them and they are clearly unbalanced I’m too much of a coward right now to include them.
Posted June 19th, 2013 21:49 by Bob
This is Terrence the racist Kraken. Why is he racist? I don’t know, it could be his upbringing or some sort of terrible internal conflict. In all other ways he’s a reasonable cheery chap, look at him here destroying a ship of some description with a big goofy smile.
Posted June 19th, 2013 17:43 by Bob
We actually remembered to harvest some of the edible stuff from the garden. We did pick some herbs last year and froze them but it was at the end of the season and they had mostly died down already. We’ve already left it a bit late this year as the herb garden looks like an explosion and much of it is probably far too mature but hopefully now I’ve hacked it back we’ll get some new growth.
Rather than freezing them this year we’re going to try and dry them. Vaguely following instructions from Grown your own month by month I’ve given them a good wash and left them hanging over the sink to drain a bit before moving them somewhere dry to dry out properly. They are probably tied a little too tightly at the moment but just want to get enough water off them that they don’t drip all over the floor.
The plan is to pick up some large pickling jars to store the results in once they’ve dried out. If nothing else the kitchen smells good and my hands are lovely and minty.
We’ve also picked our second crop of forced rhubarb, mum got us a Rhubarb forcer for Christmas which is working amazingly.
Posted June 15th, 2013 15:07 by Bob
I’m starting to even bore myself a bit with this but I’m far too obsessive to stop now and still have a box of prints and a mountain of charity shop frames to combine in some form. It’s started to turn into both a relaxation technique and a mental clearing system when I’m too stressed in the office or need to come up with ideas I bibble around with some frames for a bit until I can face dealing with work again or ideas start to flow.
My first crack at a double mount, it’s ok but the colour choice (arctic white) is a bit stark, especially against the black frame and dark print. Print by Tara McPherson.
Couple more of Tara McPhersons in matching frames from one of the charity shops in town, I didn’t do anything to the frames outside of cleaning them up. I’m relatively happy with the light blue mount although the margin round the print could be better defined. The other clashes a little with the image but not horribly so.
This looks better in real life although it is still very BLUE. I found a battered (but decent) wooden frame in a charity shop and wanted to try and match it to the print, it is still very BLUE and the trim is a bit too WHITE, also the colours bled together a bit when I varnished the frame.
I picked up some awesome prints by Kallus Spore at Maidenhead’s Art on the Street, having learned from the last effort the challenges of doing multiple colours (and also because I wanted to get it done quickly) I just went for a striking red. Really happy with the result.
One of a set of three beautiful Jeremiah Ketner prints I bought last year. The frame didn’t need any work but I’m really happy with the mount, best effort so far with a nice even border round the image.
One of a bunch of Kozyndan postcards and prints that have been sitting in a box for too long.
I’m becoming a frame bore and will shut the hell up about it soon. I am happy with how our office is starting to look though, it gets a reaction from everyone that visits, although it’s still pretty chaotic with piles of frames and mountboard everywhere.
I’m going to try some more interesting techniques soon, although possibly on some of my own pieces as don’t want to ruin other people’s art. I’m a bit limited by the environment (office room with no running water and not much airflow) but there’s a few bits I can try.
Posted May 22nd, 2013 21:06 by Bob
Once more I am grateful to the NHS in general and the staff at Wexham Park in particular. In a moment of terrifyingly bad parenting, following a long day I decided to have a quick blink at which moment Alexander opted to dive backwards off our garden bench onto the concrete floor. I’m not sure if it was hitting the floor or my sudden scream of “FUCKING HELL” which caused the most distress but we had to drive to A&E.
Everyone was lovely and spent the entire time repeatedly telling us that (a) we had done the right thing by bringing Alexander in, we were not wasting their time; and (b) it happens a lot, really a lot. I still feel intensely guilty for allowing momentary distraction but slightly better. Given he’s spent the evening breakdancing and demanding food I’m hoping all will be fine by the morning.
The biggest upset of the whole event was trying to leave the hospital as Alexander had grown very attached to the toy train in the waiting room and screamed “back back back” all the way to the door where he became instantly distracted by the ambulances and police cars outside.
Lessons learned today: Don’t blink EVER and if you want to get through A&E quickly try being a two year old. On a serious note, we are incredibly lucky to be living in a country with a health service and it should be protected at all costs.
I made some more stupid videos. Here are a couple from this week:
Posted May 12th, 2013 16:18 by Bob
After a near heart attack following working out how much I spend on lunch at work I’ve decided I need to find a better solution.
Work lunchtimes are becoming a bit of a challenge, although Maidenhead has a reasonable selection of places to buy instant edible food from once you factor in cost, general health and then diabetes the selection drops dramatically. I appreciate as a grown up I should be capable of preparing a decent meal to bring in with me but mornings tend to be incredibly hectic with a toddler yelling for his breakfast and a general sense of panic to get to work before the world implodes whereas evenings are work filled until late or I’m just too tired to care.
Buying food in the town centre was fine pre-diagnosis (cost issue aside) but since has been a bit more of a problem. I can eat relatively easily if I go to a restaurant but that’s right out on a regular basis for both time and budgetary reasons. So, I’m stuck with supermarket food or takeaways, both of these suffer from the same problem – they tend to be stacked full of the stuff diabetics should avoid: bread, pasta, potato & rice. A large amount of what’s left is either salad or high in fat. The high in fat has to be avoided both because of general health considerations and because diabetics are prone to heart problems. There’s only so much salad I can face and have you looked at the price of a decent salad recently?
The main frustration is with myself, I’m a competent cook, the majority of what we eat at home is cooked from scratch and we have a varied diet I just have trouble transferring this into food I can take away from the house.
So, I need to find a way to eat at work without spending half our profits and without killing myself, my requirements are:
- Must be easy to prepare in advance, preferably in large batches to be frozen.
- Preparation time on the day of eating (or the night before) should be an absolute minimum. Sticking something in the oven for half an hour is fine, anything more is out.
- It must be financially sensible, ingredients should be those we use anyway or things we can make use of elsewhere. If it’s going to cost the same over time as buying lunch in town there’s no point.
- It must be healthy.
- I need to allow for variety, I can’t face eating the same thing all the time. So ideally things I can cook in large batches which can be frozen for a decent length of time.
- I must want to actually eat it. This sounds obvious but since I was diagnosed I’ve picked up some real food issues. There are some meals now which I cannot face and will make me nauseous to try and eat, it’s entirely psychosomatic but I don’t seem to be able to get past it at the moment.
The first solution – pasties! Obviously. Bear with me on this. Normal pasties are clearly right out what with the white flour and fat and all but the general concept is a strong one, a fully contained meal which requires no additional preparation and nothing extra to go with it but contains a decent combination of foodstuffs (carbs, protein, fibre, etc). I make quite a lot of diabetic friendly flatbreads/pancakes at home using a mixture of spelt flour, wholegrain flour, oat bran and flax (it is nicer than it sounds) so I’ve modified the recipe to make a basic pastry/bread type case which I can fill with STUFF, more importantly different stuff each time I make them.
I’ve just finished making the first batch with a samosa type filling (less of the potato and the addition of some mixed seeds/green veg to balance up the carbs/fibre). They look edible, which is a start. Will find out tomorrow and hopefully get away from wasting a hell of a lot of cash.
Any suggestions on recipes will be gratefully received.