I’ve moved this blog

I have moved from blogger to self hosted WordPress as things kept going wrong with blogger. The latest problem was the images disappeared, caused by me deleting some images on my phone to make some room, and this automatically deleted them from the google cloud too. A bit frustrating about the images, but the migration… Continue reading I’ve moved this blog

My old boss invented the Hyperloop before Elon musk had thought of it

I worked near Cheltenham for Andy Marks and his wife Brenda at Skyscan aerial photography 20 years ago. We have kept in touch, and he recently told me about an upcoming fascinating announcement by Elon Musk, the founder of so many interesting venture including PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla cars. Elon’s next project is to forward… Continue reading My old boss invented the Hyperloop before Elon musk had thought of it

Hot turnip juice

Tastes like tabasco seawater with upper notes of radish. High in anti oxidants hopefully. Gonna make me live forever. It is called hot turnip juice but actually served chilled.

Sam in with the Lions

For his Christmas present Sam got to play with some Lion cubs for 30 minutes at the zoo. see the pics here One day he hopes to be a vet.




Untitled, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass.


dresden, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass.

uh oh

uh oh, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass.

Oven cementing begins

Oven begins, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. The first of the bricks cemented into place using Ciment Fondue refractory mortar which can withstand high temperatures.

Concrete pad

Concrete pad, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. Finished the concrete pad and Sam smoothed it with a float. We mixed the concrete in a wheel barrow with a 5:1 ratio

start of the pizza oven project

start of the pizza oven project, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. Barney and Sam were a massive help as I ran out of steam half way through mixing the concrete. Here is Barney checking the shuttering is level.

Pizza Oven

This is the inside of a pizza oven that I saw at a pub. I’m going to build one soon like this.

3 chicks

Mother seems to be looking after them fine.

2 chicks hatched so far

2 chicks hatched so far, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. Sam has named them Dufrais and Augustina We’ll see. :o)

Why I love my HTC One X

I’ve been awaiting the release of the HTC One X ever since it was first announced, and for a while I was trying to come up with as many reasons as I could to justify buying it. Well, the other day, I finally took the plunge and splashed out on the device. I bought the… Continue reading Why I love my HTC One X


Watch Monty in an ad for Pedigree http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkgB8JPl1qg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Chickens are laying again

Even if one of them is a tad small, at least they are laying. Had a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, Moroccan flat bread spread with Harissa and an espresso made with a coffee pod. Should chickens be laying at this time of year?

Lemur feeding

Lemur feeding, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. Lemur feeding


Not all of them have horse poo on them, result! Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Categorised as mushrooming

Poultry tent

Sam bought 3 more bantams for his flock. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Gene Kelly and his prizes

First prize plus loads of other rosettes at Moreton Show for the Kelly’s, our old landlords. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Oh No What Have I Done?

We are in a new town 4 miles from the coast, not much to see, stopped at a restaurant for a quick lunch and ended up buying the 2nd most expensive meal of my life !!! I thought the kids steaks were going to be like burgers, at 4.50 euros each. Turned out that I… Continue reading Oh No What Have I Done?

My new latte jug.

5.90 Euros with a solid stainless steel body and a soft rubbery handle cover. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

One more espresso

I’m loving having a coffee instead of a beer, when in a bar which is odd for me! Half a teaspoon of sugar, quick stir, 2 sips later and its gone. Watching the barista’s is good entertainment too, but it is so much easier using a coffee pod. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Where do all the lost biros go?

I don’t know where lost pens and odd socks disappear to, but whenever the mountain of them is found there will also be found a pile of marble nobs, as it seems all the statues in Rome are missing there’s.

What does this say?

It was on the road outside an apartment. Anyone care to translate as it must be important? Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Time for moules

I’m not sure how to make moules mariniere, so I made it up as I went along. It has been 20 hours since and no-one died, so that is good. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Categorised as moules

Palatine Hill

Collisium is good but Palatine Hill is more interesting and the ruins are much bigger than I expected. We had to dash from shaded area to shaded area to stay alive, as it is 34 c. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4


This room has air con so we can relax away from the sun. Barnaby is now on his third Chris Ryan book, which makes me proud. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Squid preparation

Sam making an appetizers with a squid we bought together. His name was Squidward and he died in a good cause. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

More Nuns

Secret nun cam bags one as she passes. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Feckin’ Nuns

They’re EVERYWHERE ! What’s going on ? Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Colloseum is closed Eeek!

Union meeting at the Colliseum means it is closed for the morning, and we got here super early to beat the heat. Oh boy it is hot but there are water fountains all over dispensing beautiful cold water which we take advantage of whenever we see them. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4


Bloomin’ hot today so went on an open top bus tour that had a roof (so and open sided bus tour really) and then spent the afternoon underground in the catacombs looking at 2000 year old graves. I couldn’t care less what we were looking at ‘cos the temperature under ground was 16c and I… Continue reading Catacombs

Coffees pot spares

In the supermarket here in Rome they sell all the spare parts for cafeteria pots that you might need, even handles ! Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Amish beard

This year my holiday beard style is Amish. Today at the zoo I was mistaken for Norwegian, (and confusingly, Spanish !) Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Categorised as Amish

Pizza pie

5 minutes after finishing this meal the restaurant suffered a power cut and we sat in total blackout for ages. Wendy refused to sneak off without paying the bill, of course. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

No Crema

Crema is the foam on the surface of a good espresso but using this pot produces no crema. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Categorised as espresso

Espresso set-up

Enjoying plenty of coffees, at home and when out and about. This is how the apartment is equiped, with stove-top espresso pot, enough for 3 demi-tasse. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Rome Zoo

Has elephants, lions, tigers and best of all brown bears that you can watch swimming through a glass walled tank. We later saw one peeing like a dog and Wendy reckons our garden in Canada smelt the same. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Categorised as Rome zoo

Park near where we are staying.

You can see St Peters beyond the park, which looks close enough to walk to. Trouble is the park enjoys the worlds largest collection of broken glass, rubble and humping hobos. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Rome ‘ere we come.

Highlight so far was watching Derek return his wallet to his ‘secret’ pocket after passing through the Gatwick security. It is pinned into his trousers and he looked dodgy rummaging around in there for ages. Should be pickpocket proof though. Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Lucky the lavender chick

Lucky the lavender chick, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. One of Sam’s fertilised eggs he bought at the farm park hatched. See him/her peeking from under his adopted mum.

Monty in a movie (ad)

This is the Little Thor viral video ad Monty was in. Sonia, his trainer, took him to London for the day and got him the part.

Happy HONCers

IMG_0031.jpg, originally uploaded by thesnodgrass. At the halfway (26Km) point and Andy Grelak and mysel can still smile. http://www.honc.org.uk/