Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tarte au citron (lemon tart)

Inspired by watching The Great Australian Bake Off, I found myself wanting to have a go at baking a tarte au citron, or lemon tart if you insist. It is essentially an egg-custard tart with a lot of lemon flavouring in it — zest and juice. I more or less followed Mary Berry’s recipe. Here’s the outcome:

It’s not quite as clean as I’d have liked, but then I had to use the wrong flour (high-gluten bread flour instead of plain, which we’re out of) and I had to cook it in the wrong container (ceramic instead of metal). It tastes great, so I’m happy with it as a first iteration.

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I suppose I ought to watch the Doctor Who new year special

And yet I can’t feel our family decision instead to re-watch the 2011 Christmas special The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe was the smart play. Apparently Graham and Ryan leave the series during the special, though, so that’s something to look forward to. It’s just possible that Yaz as sole companion might turn out to have as-yet only hinted-at depths.

Word on the street[1] is that Jodie Whittaker’s on the way out, too, at the end of the forthcoming season. I for one will not mourn her passing, as I consider her the weakest of all the New Who Doctors. Now if we can just get rid of Chris Chibnall, we might really be getting somewhere.

And get of my darned lawn.


[1] OK, word in the Guardian if you want to be pedantic.

Films I’ve watched recently

In the last few weeks I’ve had a horrible and debilitating attack of arthritis, so extreme that for several days I was physically unable to leave my bedroom. It also fogged my brain so I was absolutely unable to concentrate, so couldn’t work from the bed. (Don’t worry, I am much better now, thanks to the wonder of anti-inflammatory steroids.) During my lay-up, I watched quite a few films, so here are some brief and beleated thoughts on them.

Rocky III (1982)

I watched the first four Rocky films way back around the time they first came out, and have been gradually revisiting them in the last year. Continue reading

There’s ignorance; and then there’s wilful ignorance

The Telegraph today reports that “Chris Grayling has no credible plan for ‘no-deal’ Brexit, road hauliers warn”.

In a series of tweets commenting on this, the article’s author James Rothwell (the Telegraph‘s Brexit & Europe correspondent) brings some more detail:

I understand that senior members of Britain’s road haulage industry came out of a recent meeting with Grayling where they were astonished by his lack of grasp of the key detail on Brexit

One of them, Kevin Hopper, who runs a major firm up in Yorkshire, said that he tried to explain to Grayling that if there is no Brexit deal then UK haulage drivers won’t be able to drive in EU as their papers will be invalid

Grayling, he says, “looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language.”

Kevin says Grayling appeared to have never heard of this document but he insisted that “everything would be fine”

There’s more: go and read the whole thread if you want the full gruesomeness.

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The top ten searches that bring people to this site

I don’t understand why this should be as it is, but here are the top ten searches that bring people to this site (from the WordPress stats page):

1 x-rays 6,680
2 sushi 5,926
3 the lightning thief 3,565
4 doctor who doctors 3,251
5 crunchie 2,525
6 doctor who 2,504
7 reinvigorated programmer 2,359
8 receipt 2,354
9 silmarillion 2,231
10 doctor who actors 2,136

#2 makes perfect sense, given the huge number of sushi photos on The Reinvigorated Programmer, and #4, #6 and #10 make sense in light of the many words I’ve spilled on Doctor Who. #5 (“crunchie”) sneaks in because of the Crunchie-refund saga, which I never thought of as a particularly major part of this site but OK. I suppose #8 (“receipt”) is here for the same reason.

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The Brexit deal that Theresa May already has

As some of you spotted, yesterday’s post on Theresa May’s negotiating priorities as the UK leaves the EU was rather facetious: everything that I said she should be trying to obtain is something we already have as members. Let’s pick it apart.

Let’s start with the list of nine important goals, before moving on to the four less important — but, for some reason, symbolically significant — issues

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Good news on Trump: the American press is not taking this lying down

If ever the United States of America needed a fourth estate, it’s now. The man-child in the president’s seat is completely out of control even by his own standards. Given his history of vendettas against those who oppose him, it would be easy — understandable, even — for the press to just hunker down and wait four years for all this to be over.


It’s to their enormous credit that they are not doing that. The most respected newspapers and magazines in America are writing boldly and uncompromisingly about the man who every day brings the presidency into disrepute.

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#harkive 2016 liveblog

Andrew Hickey has made me aware of the harkive project, which is interested in what music people listen to. Today, July 19, is the day they do it for — I have no idea why — so I will be live-blogging what music I listen to today. As much for my own interest as theirs.


(Random) Richard ThompsonFor the Sake of Mary. Picked by my random MP3 chooser, from an album that I downloaded when I was searching for British singer-songwriter folkies. I find this disappointing. Seems sort of sub-Springsteenish. Continue reading

Good customer service from Tesco

Due to a mixup over exactly what he wanted, I bought a phone from Tesco (Moto G 4G) as a birthday present for my youngest son, then found that it wasn’t wanted.

I just called them. They’re coming tomorrow to pick it up, and will refund me in full, not charging for the pickup.

This is quality service. It makes me much more likely to buy expensive items from the again, knowing that they’ve treated me well this time andsafe in the knowledge that they will treat me well in the future.

Nice, work, Tesco!

Go home, JavaScript, you are drunk

Using rhino, the command-line JavaScript interpreter:

mike@brach:~$ rhino
Rhino 1.7 release 3 2012 02 16
js> []+[]

js> []+{}
[object Object]
js> {}+[]
js> {}+{}

From Gary Bernhardt’s classic lightning-talk, Wat, which is very well worth five minutes of any programmer’s time.