"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."

"Don't think, feel....it is like a finger pointing towards the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!" -Bruce Lee

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Olympics come to Dorking

It looks like the A24 is getting a bit poshed up ready for the Olympic cycling event coming through on the 28th and 29th July.. It's actually falling over a weekend, so I guess I won't be watching from work after all! Still, I'm sure there will be somewhere we can sneak to catch a glimpse!

Even the roundabout by Denbies is getting a re-vamp, with a special commemorative statue of a couple of cyclists, made up of oak leaf shaped bits of metal, or so I've read..

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Potterings in London

I was up in London on Thursday for work. I knew the conference centre was in Westmister, but I was totally blown away by the view out of the window!

The Shard is so nearly finished now. In the early morning mist, the top was in the clouds! After the conference finished I decided to do the tourist thing and check out Big Ben and the houses of parliament.

Something seemed to be going down in parliament. Everyone had poured out to watch the arrival of lots of posh looking cars with interesting number plates.. 1 CAM, 1 NAM, 1 POL, LEM 1, 1 CZE (not that I was writing them down or anything!). Then someone arrived, just out of view, to much applause! A bit of googling later, and it turns out the funny number plates belong to the fleet of cars used by the high commissioners of various countries, and that Aung San Suu Kyi was speaking that day!

Next up, I dashed over to the Science Museum. I saw in the Metro that morning that there was an Alan Turing exhibition on, so I couldn't miss that!

Pleasingly, they had a nice cybernetic tortoise there!

and an enigma machine..

It also looks like they've updated the space section too, with a few bits I recognized from the National Space Centre in Leicester, and a new globe-y thing!

Oh, and in Covent Garden, I spotted a really bizarre double shark headed frog thing holding up a phone box, as you do!

Kitten gifts

So here's a little inventory of kitten gifts we have received so far:

Some worms, a mouse, countless live spiders, a chicken kiev, lots of chicks, a live pigeon, a chocolate biscuit and today, half a road kill squirrel..

Nice! Still, it's the thought that counts! I was quite impressed with the chocolate biscuit though..

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monet's Garden

Over half term we decided to nip over to France for a few days, James wanted to visit Taize for the first time, so we planned a few stops en route both ways. By lucky chance, we spotted that we'd be skimming past the town of Giverny on the way home, where Monet lived, and the location of his famous water-lily pond! This opportunity couldn't be passed up!

Not a bad view, once we finally managed to battle past the hundreds of tiny French children who were being forced to re-create Monet's masterpiece with scrappy bits of paper and pencils by their Art teachers! It was a beautiful garden, they were obviously going to extreme lengths to keep it in perfect shape, with gardeners every few metres, pruning and re-planting things all day long! I bet Monet never had it looking quite so good!

Another nice surprise was that inside his house was the biggest collection of Japanese art I've ever seen, with loads Hokusai and Hiroshige prints. What mighty fine taste he had!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pearl Tea

Brighton never ceases to amaze me. A new shop has opened that sells pearl tea! I have never seen this stuff outside of Chinatown before, and have always wanted to try it!

I got to try it this week, and have decided this is definitely my new favourite type of drink, ever! They're very customisable, so I think they're going to do some pretty good business out of me while I work my way through them all! So far I've tried banana milk tea with custard, and banana milk tea with mango popping pearls and tapioca pearls! Yum! =) Just as well I don't live in Brighton anymore..


So, last week we decided to give Geocaching a go. If you don't know what Geocaching is, I would describe it as a global treasure hunt, a kind of Pokemon game for the real world. It works by people hiding little storage containers out of the sight of 'muggles' (non-Geocaching folk), ready for others to seek out using a combination of GPS and clues left by others. These containers range in size from something the size of a watch battery, just holding a log book, all the way up to huge buckets full of goodies to swap! If you're lucky, you might even find a special prize left for the first few people to find a cache, or a trackable device! Geocoins look like medallions, and they are each assigned a mission - like travel from Lands End to John O'Groats in 6 months, and the idea is that when you find one, you help it to hitchhike to a cache nearer to it's goal, while its owner tracks it online!

It is actually unbelievable just how many of these caches are scattered about the place. I've got the geocaching app on my phone that helps you find them, and it showed up about 20 within a half an hour walk from home, and there was even one right on our nearest roundabout! I wondered whether maybe Horsham was some kind of Geocaching hotspot, but when I had to travel to Stoke Gifford and Westminster for work last week, I thought I'd check there too...it turns out they're everywhere! I actually found out the other day that there is one on Antarctica, and there's even one on the International Space Station! Wow!

Anyway, last week I managing to convince James to look for one with me, and he begrudging agreed, although he did think the whole concept was quite pointless! After one false start, creeping around in the undergrowth, in the dark, using a phone torch (looking very arrestable) and finding nothing, we tried again the following evening, a little earlier, looking for a different one this time. Within minutes it was found! =) The GPS led us straight to it, and with just the removal of a couple of stray looking sticks there it was.

It actually turned out to be a pretty fun game, and that evening we managed to uncover another 3 in town, and a further one on our fieldy walk a few days afterwards! Some people have even specifically put them in historically/geographically interesting places you wouldn't normally find, with a bit of narrative, so it can be educational too! Highly recommended.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Kittens turn 1!

So we worked out last night that the kittens are about to turn 1 year old, any day now!

It's amazing how much they've grown since we got them last summer. I just thought I'd upload a couple of then and now shots, so you can see how much they've been eating!!

Last summer..

and now.. (?!)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Pumpkins! by kipperfrog
Pumpkins!, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Here are this year's offerings!

Stitch pumpkin

and of course, the annual pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Beautiful Autumn day

Skywatch Friday by kipperfrog
Skywatch Friday, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Hooray for the weekend! It looks like it's going to be a nice one!

For more skies from around the world, check out http://skyley.blogspot.com

Friday, October 07, 2011

Skywatch Friday: Cloudy and windy!

Box Hill from Denbies by kipperfrog
Box Hill from Denbies, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

It's definitely cooled down a bit since last week, the vineyard people were harvesting all the grapes on Wednesday, and I was back in my snow coat today! Here's a photo from my lunchtime walk up towards Ranmore Common, overlooking Box Hill and Denbies.. it's a great view up there!

For more skies from around the world, check out http://skyley.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Only in Japan! Melody Road - Mt. Haruna, Gunma Prefecture, Japan

On a road near Mount Fuji, the road surface has actually been textured in such a way that it plays tunes as you drive along! I love it!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Skywatch Friday: The fog lifts!

This is the view out of my window when I got into work this morning..

Skywatch Friday

only to clear into the most beautiful sunny day!

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday

For more photos from around the world check out http://skyley.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Third time lucky..

By jove, we have finally managed to grow a pumpkin! It has managed to survive 5 months of slug attacks - I'm very impressed with it! This is a major accomplishment, I've been trying to get one to grow for the last three years!! I think the key was actually planting it in April this time, instead of September! Now, what to do with it.. I was envisioning a pumpkin pie, or maybe a halloween lantern, but it is a bit on the small side! For now, it is decorating our doorstep!

The pumpkin we grew!


Herding kittens

On Saturday, we decided to let the kittens have their first proper play in the garden. We've given them the odd 5 minutes out there in the last couple of weeks, since they had their jabs - but now they've got to the point where they storm the front door as soon as you open it, and all efforts to keep them inside are now totally in vain! They just love it out there! This new game is going to make trying to go to work a lot more interesting. I think we're going to have to raise our game so we don't end up kitten herding every morning! Hmm.. a cat flap is definitely looking more appealing by the day.

Anyway, here are some photos of their first proper kitten adventure..


Mitsu making a huge mess!


And.. pounce!




Guess which one's the naughty one..


We got back from the cinema the other night, and I saw what I thought was a sky lantern at first - but then, it looked too high in the sky, and too large. I then had a moment of panic when I thought it might be that satellite we were expecting to crash down! Eek! On closer inspection though, it didn't seem to be moving, so we decided it was probably ok after all! At this point I remembered what the astronomer at the Greenwich observatory had told us last week - Jupiter has returned to the night sky! Sure enough, the iPhone stargazing app confirmed it. It is amazingly bright, but then again, it is a huge planet. We got out the binoculars, and managed to see it a bit closer, we even got a glimpse of all the colours!

Apparently Jupiter and the Earth will be as close as they get to each other all year on 29th October. It's definitely worth a look!

In the absence of a photo (maybe I'll take one when it gets dark..), take a look at the Best Astronomy Photos of 2011 from National Geographic! There are some lovely ones. It makes me want to get a nice telescope! Or maybe I need an observatory..

Monday, July 04, 2011

Pun Street

On the Dave Gorman podcast I subscribe to, every week listeners send in the names of any pun-based shop names they've seen, to be considered for submission to Pun Street - a fictional street, with one of every type of shop. Only the best puns get on the street, as they have to both win over the Pun Street Planning Committee, and then they have to remain usurped by better puns!

Anyway, if you like puns, check out the full list of shops on the street.. it's quite funny! I wish this street was real, it would be brilliant! I'm still looking out for one to send in.. I'm scuppered since they banned submissions of "The Codfather".

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Exciting things in Dorking

Well it seems that Denbies is getting a lot of celebrity attention now that global warming has improved their Chalk Ridge Rose to 'Best in World 2011' status. I have actually managed to miss two celebrities in two days! I had a heads up on Thursday that Prince Charles and Camilla were paying a visit at around 11ish, so I was planning to pop over and wave, but with the worst timing, I had a team meeting that overran until 12.30. By the time I got there they'd scarpered! Boo! I did see someone who looked like Jennie Bond, ex-Royal correspondent, driving away though!

Anyway, today I walked over there again to try and find the tree they planted yesterday, only to see a convoy of 3 cars driving up to the top of the vineyard, which turned out to be a camera crew. I followed them up there, and walked past them a couple of times to have a look, but I couldn't see who it was properly without walking right up to them. In the end, I guessed it must be Denbies updating their tour video after the Royal visit, and decided to take the scenic route down the hill to make sure I got on film.. hehe. When I was most of the way down the hill, I heard a load of Ashcombe D of E students who were bothering the film crew excitedly screaming, but by that point there was no way I was going to climb back up the hill again to see what was going on! I didn't think anymore about it until James picked me up after work, and told me that Matt Baker had been filming Countryfile in Denbies and on Box Hill today! I must've walked past him twice and not even realised. Typical! Still, at least I may still get on TV, wandering around randomly. I'm just hoping they didn't film me puffing up the hill!

Countryfile filming at Denbies

In other Dorking news - today I found out that there are caves in Dorking! How exciting! Apparently they were used for smuggling and cock fighting! The tunnels go down 50ft below street level, and connect up many of the shops underground - some sections even date back to medieval times! The entrance is the small blue door to the left of the war memorial on South Street. Who'd have guessed. I think I will have to book us on a tour!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Canada is cool..

This is the sort of thing that would happen if you left me in charge of town planning! Good old Ottawa.. check it out on Google street view =)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Royal Wedding preparations

Outside Buckingham Palace by kipperfrog
Outside Buckingham Palace, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

I love all the flowers and flags the royals have wheeled out for the wedding next week - this is what the pavement in front of Buckingham Palace looks like at the moment.. hmm.. I wonder what their colour scheme is going to be..

They've also built some temporary studios outside the palace for all the international press to use:

Outside Buckingham Palace

It's a shame none of the Americans will actually be able to use the palace as a backdrop in their live broadcasts though.. lights out at 12.30am UK time, just before the evening news in the US!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Pumpkin Plants

Pumpkin plants by kipperfrog
Pumpkin plants, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

It's time to try again with the pumpkin plants! Hopefully they'll actually do something this year before being eaten by slugs. I have actually managed to plant them in April rather than September this time, so there is at least a glimmer of hope we will have a pumpkin in time for halloween!

Friday, April 01, 2011

Centre Pompidou

In my previous post I mentioned the Richard Rogers, the architect behind the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds Building in London. I thought I'd post a couple of pictures from our visit to Paris in February for comparison.

Here's the Pompidou, I absolutely love it! I can't decide if it looks like a scaffolded hamster cage or a chocolate factory, but either way, it's very cool! =)

Centre Pompidou, Paris

Centre Pompidou, Paris

The City

I was up in London on a course for 3 days this week, that's the second one up there in a month! I actually quite like having to go to "The City", it's a bit of London we never usually see when we go up there for day trips. My course was on New Broad Street, which is just around the corner from Liverpool Street tube station, so the first day, I braved the tube all the way, not nice! The Northern line was absolutely rammed, and I ended up watching train after train go by, people squeezing themselves in, and ducking their heads to avoid the doors. My elbows are evidently not honed for city travel. After finding out everyone else on my course had walked from London Bridge - in half the time it took me to catch the tube, I decided to give it a go on the way home. It's a great walk!

Here are some photos I took on my way in the following morning.

The Shard is coming on nicely, it's going to be enormous when it's finished! This one was taken just outside London Bridge station, as you can see I was nearly stampeded by commuters when I stopped to take the picture.
The Shard by kipperfrog
The Shard, a photo by kipperfrog on Flickr.

Here's the view of it from half way across the bridge:
The Shard from London Bridge

Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast:
Tower Bridge

The Monument:
The Monument

Leadenhall Market:
Leadenhall Market

I made a slight detour to take a look at one of my most favourite buildings ever, the inside out building, Lloyds of London (by Richard Rogers of Pompidou Centre fame):
Lloyds building

and The Gherkin:
The Gherkin

The Heron Tower is nearly finished now. Last time I saw it, there were only foundations!
The Heron

There was a great cut-through to get from Bishopsgate through to New Broad Street, by walking down by St Botolph. In the churchyard there is, what looks like, the tiniest restaurant in the world. Apparently it started its life as a Victorian Turkish Bathhouse, modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Reading up about it, it turns out the building you can see is just the entrance, with the main area spreading out under the ground:
The Bathhouse, St Botolph without Bishopsgate