Is This The World’s Most Famous Ferris Wheel?

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I am sat at the computer editing the last ever edition of the UK Geocaching Podcast and I was reminded of a live show that we recorded on Google Hangouts in February of 2015.  In the show I chatted with Lucie about a Trip she had taken.  Whenever I think about it, the first thing I think of is always this:

A view of the abandoned city of Prypiat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant

This is the ferris wheel in Pripyat, Ukraine, possibly the most famous ferris wheel in the world.  I have no doubt that I don’t need to explain the significance of the place further than to say “Chernobyl”.

This place scares the bejeezus out of me but I really really want to go see it.  Why?  Because at the same time as scaring me, it absolutely fascinates me and I have no idea why.

Also, there’s an Earthcache called Bennies Blowout Battle that I really really want to complete.  It’s not cheap top get there.  Assuming that it’s safe enough to fly into Kiev, the tour to Chernobyl is around US$100 per person for a day trip.

One day…

What The Hell Happened to August?

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It seemed to go so fast!  I had three weeks away from work on vacation, a bank holiday and boom, it was done!

I found a total of 164 Geocaches (120 in North Wales), bought a boat – a Piranha Inazone 230, had a birthday – happens the same time every bloody year, and loads of other stuff not worth mentioning.

I am back to a normal routine now, weight is still shedding (due to weigh in tomorrow), exercise plans (but not actual exercise) are coming along and work drags as much as usual.

Here’s the exercise plan and goals:

  1. Weight loss will continue.
  2. Join the gym at work.
  3. Do the Couch to 5k challenge.  Over 9 weeks follow a set plan to run five kilometres.  I starts with interval training – run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds – and ends with running 5k without walking.
  4. On the “rest day” for C25K head into the gym and do weight/rowing/cardio.
  5. Once I can run 5k, take part in a number of parkrun events.
  6. Work to bring the 5k time down under 30 minutes.
  7. Complete the bridge to 10k.
  8. Train for a half marathon.
  9. Run a half marathon.
  10. Run a marathon.
  11. Die happy.

I have no set timeline to complete this, it’s ongoing.  I first (I think) need to go back to the doctor about a persistent cough.  8 weeks in, I am now concerned it’s not a viral chest infection, but is asthma.  If it is, I will work round it.

I will write part 4 of the Writing Prompt, I started (Part 1 is here), I know where I want the story to go and am desperate to get it finished.  Any constructive criticism is gratefully received.

Spiced Beef With Veg Recipe

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One of my Mum’s recipes that she was given in the early seventies, still a family favourite! This is great for using up left over roast beef.

Serves 5, 4 oz of meat per person.

Ingredients

566 grams (20 oz) Roasted Beef sliced.

1 tbsp Worcester Sauce

2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup

4 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)

2 tsp English mustard

1 tsp Sugar

Instructions

Blend all the ingredients (not the beef!) in a bowl.  Lay the sliced beef out on baking trays and cover with the mix.  Leave it to marinate for 30 minutes.

Bung it in the oven at 425 degrees F and cook until it’s sizzling and hot.

Serve with new potatoes and veg (cabbage, carrot etc).

Yummy!!!

The Game Show – Part 3

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Please read part 1 and part 2 before reading this.

I would love to be able to say exactly what I saw and felt when I jumped into the wormhole.  Unfortunately I have no idea what happened.  As I jumped I think I jumped too far across the hole and hit my head on the pedestal container.  Consequently, the next thing I know there’s just black and the sound of my breathing.

I attempted to move my appendages, one digit, one hand, one arm at a time.  Everything seemed to be working except my sight.  I moved my hand to my head to check for damage.  I felt the familiar stickiness that congealed blood has, not much quantity, but definitely there on my forehead. Moving my hand across my face I could see it at all, not even when my fingers were an inch away from my eyes.  Then I realised that I couldn’t hear anything either.  I wasn’t hearing my breathing, I was feeling it.  Okay, this is getting weird.  Have I gone deaf and blind from a simple knock on the forehead?  Perhaps the black hole had a magnifying effect on the injury.  What the hell do I do now??? Continue reading

The Game Show – Part 2

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If you haven’t already, please read Part 1 of this short story first.


“Ladies and Gentlemen!  Welcome once again to When In The World!  Please put your hands together and welcome your host, the unparalleled, the monumental, the one-and-only Mr DAMIEN DARRT!”

From somewhere there was a loud cheer, clapping and whistling.  I had no idea if it was from an audience or a pre-recorded track.  The lights on the set were dazzlingly bright, I could only just make out the the cameras, and as Damien Darrt appeared the spotlight that came on made them disappear too.

“You’re too kind!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Darrts’s teeth actually glimmered as he spoke, as if somebody had inserted tiny diamonds in his teeth.  It wouldn’t surprise me a bit.

Continue reading

Recipe Experiment

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We have an ongoing argument with many recipe websites.  These arguments come about because they website formats the page in a strange fashion or includes two items.  Like this recipe from ITV.com where they have Chicken Madras and onion hajis on the same page.  This makes it a real ball ache to try and import to MyFitnessPal for calorie tracking.  So, I have stolen the recipe and am copying it here to see if it will import any better.  This has been modified to suit us as two people rather than the 4 persons from the original recipe.

Serves: 2 persons
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

200 grams of cooked diced chicken breast (frozen)
juice 2 large limes
2 tsp any vinegar
salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
200mls chicken stock, approx

Go see the original recipe for how to cook it!

The Game Show – Part 1

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[WP] In a new TV game show contestants must jump into a wormhole that drops them into a random point in time where they must survive for longer than the other contestants. You’ve just been dropped in the worst possible place.

I am stood in the Oval Office.  I have a gun in my hand.  It’s pointing at the President of The United States.  Secret Service have their weapons drawn and aimed at me.

How the hell did I get here??


Continue reading

Reddit Writing Prompts

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On Reddit there’s a sub called Writing Prompts.  Essentially, other members of the sub will post a writing prompt and people will write a short story response.

I have loads of ideas for the prompts that are posted but so far I haven’t been brave enough to actually write anything and post it in the sub.  Desperate to write something I have decided that I will write something on here instead.  If, when it’s done and published, I feel it’s good enough then I will post it over there.

We’ll see how it goes…

MyFitnessPal – A demanding Taskmaster!

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I love My Fitness Pal, it’s a great way to track my calories for each day along with tracking sodium, carbs, fat, sugar etc. I only have the free version but it is doing what I want it to.

This makes me giggle though:


Well, I have a bit of a problem with logging my snacks. It’s an obvious problem. I haven’t had any snacks! Nothing, nada, zip.

I am not doing very well today actually, I have eaten very little, porridge for breakfast and a cuppa soup and three Riveta for lunch.  Calorie count is low:


MFP is very good at warning me (when I complete the day’s diary I should be consuming at least 1200, preferably 1400 calories per day. Unless I have Chinese food for dinner then I am gonna be very short for the day (and rather hungry).

Now, how far is it to the Chinese Takeaway and will it count as excercise if I “power” walk instead of drive…

A Strange 7 Days

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A few things have happened in the last week that, while not “knocking me for six”, have certainly made for a different week.

Scotland Beckoned

Tuesday 12 July 2016 I woke at 4am worried that I was going to miss my 0845 flight to Edinburgh.  Unsurprisingly I didn’t miss it.  In Perth for work I was able to spend the evenings doing as I wanted.  I thought I would go find some Geocaches.  In two evenings I DNFd five caches, found one traditional cache and one Earthcache.  That’s not a good ratio is it?!

fisherman2  I did, however get to walk along the bank of the Tay and spend a little time watching a fisherman battle with the piscine residents.

I don’t know if he was able to catch anything or not, he was a little far away for me to speak without shouting.  I suspect he was in some zen zone and wouldn’t appreciate me interrupting him!

I was also able to go to Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park for a walk.  I was originally aiming for a virtual Geocache called The Kinnoull Tower but the walk made me realise a couple of things (as I commented in my Found It log for “The Acorn Factory“:

  1. How tired I would be having risen at 4am, flown to Scotland from Southampton, worked the afternoon.
  2. My fitness level.
  3. The midges!

It rained too, so I turned round and headed back to the hotel.

Anyone For Duck?

On Wednesday night I had what I genuinely think is the best meal I have ever eaten.  On my own with nobody to share my experience.  I went to The Postbox in Perth.  It is number two in the TripAdvisor top 10 restaurants in Perth and the rating is very very well deserved!

People will attest that I am a simple bloke with simple tastes. When I was handed an a la carte menu I was befuddled.  What do all these big words mean???  Then I saw one I recognised.  Duck.  Sweet!  Let’s take a risk on that then.  This is what arrived:

duckalacarte

I repeat, this is genuinely one of the best meals I have ever eaten.

Crappy Coughs

I got home from Scotland on Thursday afternoon and the rest of the week wasn’t much to speak of,  routine stuff – work, home etc.  Lottie came to visit on Sunday though:

lottie

Monday I was at work at 0700 and home again by 0800.  Doctor at 1020 and 30 minutes later I had an inhaler in my hand.  I don’t have asthma but I do have a viral chest infection.  Unfortunately antibiotics won’t do anything so it’s going to have to clear up on its own.  The inhaler will relieve the symptoms and open the airway which will help stop the wheezing and mean I can breathe.  The doctor reckons it will be three to four weeks before I am in good health again.