Thursday, 7 January 2010

I've Moved - Dashing through the snow

I have moved my blog to WordPress - I would be delighted, thrilled and generally very happy if you would update your links and follow me there......... Thanks That link again - click here

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

And the winner is ………….

Thank you to everyone who took part in the Twelve Days of Christmas Party. I promised that at the end I would draw from the names of those who had completed comments. This person will receive a party bag as a going home present. I put all the names into a spreadsheet and then used a random number generator to select the winner.

Here is the Spotify Playlist for the big announcement

And the winner is ……………………………….


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Twelfth Day of Christmas - Da, Da, Da, Dah; Da, Da, Da, Dah

Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas – Those drummers have started drumming.  There is only one thing I can say……………..

Thank You – I’ve had a blast – I hope you have too
Your Spotify Playlist is here
p.s. I'll be round later to do some clearing up...... honest

p.p.s I used to live in a house very like the one that blows up; whilst I was in Cardiff.
p.p.p.s.  I am a huge admirer of Adjoa Andoh; she has done some great work over the years on radio as well as TV.

Ohh and p.p.p.p.s the final legs score is 930 as well as all the animals, people and milking stools you mustn't forget to include 'me', the customer.

Monday, 4 January 2010

That Duckworth – Farctum – Lewis Ruling in Full

I have to admit that when I bumped into Duckworth and Lewis in the bar last night they were in no fit state to help with any form of adjudication.  I decided instead to dig round the back of the pavilion and see if I could find some other form of support.  I might have guessed as much, for there under an old net, were my good friends Saggers and Truffles who were only slightly the worse for wear having consumed quantities of scrumpy; but they have the constitution for it.  Below is the transcript of the official adjudication.

Saggers:   You need our help, why?
Farctum:  I’ve been playing Pub Cricket with a bunch of twits and we may have a bit of a controversial outcome.
Truffles:  What rules were you playing?
Farctum:  Well, that may have been my first mistake.  You see I thought everyone knew my local rules.  Name the pub, how many legs are in the name and write a review of the ambiance and the food.  All should be well.
Saggers:  And it wasn’t?
Farctum:  Let’s just say it soon became clear we would need to create a way of weighting and adjusting the rules to suit the conditions and the experience of the players.  Plus the light was beginning to fade, there was snow on the pitch………
Truffles:  It’s beginning to sound like you hadn’t warmed the players up properly before you started.
Farctum:  That could be true, but we are where we are; so I need to design a full proof way of adjusting the scores to come up with a fair result.
Saggers:  Let’s hear it then….
Farctum:  Well first we had @jaydubblah with the Douglas Bader, not a very full review and she admitted that his leglessness could be a problem.  More cake anyone.
Truffles:  Thanks it is rather fine.
Farctum:  Anyway I decided that the legs component should be worth 6, two for the ones he started with, two for the spares and two for @jaydubblah’s own; the reasons for this will become clear tomorrow.
Saggers:  So six legs = six runs
Farctum:  Well now, you see, I decided to add a multiplier of 5 for actually having been there and another 5 for the review, even though the review amounted to ‘it’s OK’.
Truffles:  This cake is marvellous – could I have some more
Farctum:  There you go.  Anyway that gave a score of 6x5x5=150 a decent score in anyone’s eyes and I thought OK I’m on a roll and I quickly calculated up the rest.
Saggers:  I hope you did some adjustments for those that did not visit the pubs etc. 
Farctum:  Yes I did and the final scores were:

Pub name, County, Number of legs, Been there, Review, Total
Douglas Bader, Suffolk, 6, 5, 5, 150
Mops and Brooms, Hertfordshire, 2, 5, 1, 10
Punch Bowl, Essex, 2, 5, 10, 100
Bug and Spider, Wiltshire, 16, 1, 1, 16
Twenty Church Wardens, Norfolk, 42, 1, 1, 42
Fox and Hounds, Suffolk, 242, 1, 1, 242
Crab and Lobster, Yorkshire, 22, 5, 5, 550

Truffles:  Looks great.  I don’t see why you needed us.  Thanks for the cake though; is that a bottle of claret I see?
Farctum:  Yes, help yourself.  Well it was fine until……………
Saggers:  What happened?
Farctum:  @Martincampbell2 came up with The Beehive, near Bury St Edmunds.  He is thorough and even had all the evidence for how many legs there were.
Truffles:  So what’s the problem?
Farctum:  Even on a bad day for England 600,000 sounds like a bit of a trouncing; plus the two I have to add for his legs, the reasons for which will become clear tomorrow.
It means his score card looks like this:

Pub name, County, Number of legs, Been there, Review, Total
The Beehive, Suffolk, 600002, 1, 1, 600002

Overall, not what you would call a balanced scorecard and after so many years of corporate jargon I can’t have that, can I?
Saggers:  I have a solution
Truffles:  You do?
Farctum:  Great, what is it?
Saggers:  Well it is the bees that have the legs, not the hive.  So you could give a duck ie two legs.  Or as you did with the others, for reasons that will be clear tomorrow, the two for his own legs. 
Farctum:  Yes, but that doesn’t seem right because it was a very clever answer.
Truffles:  Life is tough sometimes babe, did I ever tell you about my experience with ballroom dancing?
Farctum:  Not now Truffles, but thanks for calling me babe.  Anyway some hives have legs don’t they so that would be four, plus two.
Saggers:  I’ve got it…..
Truffles:  Is it catching?
Saggers:  Only at Silly Mid Off
Farctum:  Come on I need to give them something!
Saggers:  Make @MartinCampbell2 the man of the match; I don’t know award him some virtual shoes like these which are perfect for cricket.
Then give the game to the team with the next highest points.
Farctum:  Perfect, so @josordoni wins the match.

The Eleventh Day of Christmas – a museum piece who needs a soldering iron

We have pipers piping. Now when I think of pipes, I don't think of plumbing but that little game of pipes I used to play; but now I can't remember if it was on the PC or a gameboy or what. I do like games, as you may have guessed by now; not the shoot 'em up kind, but strategy games of the kind where you have to test ideas. My current predilection is a little game called launchball from the Science Museum for the iphone. What is scary is that I might not be hooked if it wasn't for some early influences. Number 1 was my parents insisting I had typing lessons when I was eleven – this is back in the day when a typewriter had inky ribbon and if you hit the keys too quickly or hard they jammed and if you didn't hit them hard enough nothing happened. Number 2 was doing 'computer' classes at school. For younger viewers, this meant punching cards that were sent to Bristol University and 10 days later came back telling you the square root of 12 (but only if you had punched the right bits of the card). If that doesn't leave me feeling like a museum piece then my visit to the Wilkins Jam Factory at Tiptree earlier in the week with its museum certainly has done. We were provided with those slide rules they have in their museum cases as standard issue, along with log books. I guess I was just born too early but lucky enough to have people equip me not to be frightened of technology and a natural addiction to games. So, whilst I get my soldering iron out to try and fix the pipes I give you this present if you have never met it before a little game called Samorost2, sadly you only get the first bit free but I found it has entertained many a visiting child and foreign exchange student as no language is required, just a willingness to keep trying.

My quest from you though is what is your favourite game on whatever platform you choose?

As to the legs quest we are now up to 726 legs delivered.

The Spotify Playlist for today's post is here and the list in words is in the first comment.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The Tenth Day of Christmas – Pub Cricket

We have Lords a leaping. I love cricket; therefore Lords is inextricably linked to the game. I am as happy with a beach game, village cricket or a county game; sadly I've never been to a Test match but have watched hours of it on TV. I am also rather fond of a good pub, with excellent food and a great atmosphere. One of those games to try and break up the miles travelled by car is Pub Cricket; which also ties in nicely to the legs theme running through the last few days.

My quest today is a mini review of a pub, including the number of legs in the pub name, so where have you been, what's the nosh and atmos like and what score will you declare? We can then have a little County Championship. If there are enough responses I might create another map.
The playlist for today's post is here with the list in words in the first comment.

Update as at 20.36 using the DFL [Duckworth/Farctum/Lewis scoring method] - full league table and methodology will follow!

Forgot to do you an update to the legs quest yesterday but for the record we are now up to 548 legs delivered. I now have four declarations of the correct answer.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Illustration Friday - Renewal

A brief interlude in the 12 Days of Christmas. Illustration Friday this week is Renewal. To me one of life's most perfect things is an egg, particularly a hen's egg. All that promise in cookery terms from the simple boiled, fried, poached or scrambled through glorious pavlovas, cakes, soufflĂ©s etc. There is also the potential for new life. The downside for me at this time of year is that the short days mean that my own hens stop laying for a few weeks. They also go through a moult, losing some of their feathers before they are renewed once more with shiny plumage and their combs standing up red and proud again. During this time I have to buy in eggs that come with a date stamp on the side. I also work in the library where books are stamped with their dates for renewal. This and Jack in the Beanstalk, well it is the pantomime season……….. Well you can see where the thoughts came from. I really must invest in some watercolour paper, this has come up all crinkly.

The Ninth Day of Christmas – Is Gordon Gay?

The ladies are dancing; to accompany them today we have two Spotify playlists. The one for today's theme is here and as usual in words in the first comment. The 'Party' playlist which is an open list that people can contribute to is now up to 36 tracks, thanks to all those who have added some. I would be thrilled if people would add more tracks. What song will really make you move, even if you can't get up and walk, what will make you hum, sing, jiggle or otherwise feel the music? Are you a salsa person, did you have to 'do' the Gay Gordons or Dashing White Sergeant as a child at school (probably wearing your daps/pumps/plimsoles)? I am not known for my dancing but I have had my moments, perhaps I should add dancing to the list of things I will reprise. This day really needs to be one for exercise after the excesses of the season, time to get a wriggle on. Remember you still have time to practice your Scottish dancing for Burns' night later this month.

Friday, 1 January 2010

The Eighth Day of Christmas – There’s more to this than meets the eye…..

Happy New Year!

On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a milking. It is also New Years Day, traditionally, represented by the head of Janus a time for reflection, making changes and resolutions. This year I certainly made some changes, after a long career in the NHS I decided to get on my bike and work more locally; all in all I've been pleased with the change. The unexpected benefit has been the chance to take things up that I had given up long ago, like trying to draw, sing, write, and do craftwork. I know I'm still at the stick man phase with my drawing, just be grateful the singing hasn't made it here yet. I've decided that my resolutions this year should not be about giving things up but taking things up again. Whatever happened to my canoeing attempts, using the sewing machine, rock climbing, always writing thank you letters, a picture a day? I might not yet be able to land like a pigeon on the deck of a ship on the Wii, but give me a chance and I'll manage it.

My Challenge today – rather than giving things up for New Year what will you try again?

As for the legs quest, the eighth day is crucial, there is more to the puzzle than meets the eye. Not only do we have the eight maids, but they each have a cow and crucially they each sit on a three legged milking stool. Today another 118 legs arrived, making a running total of 256; should be a breeze for you to get to the final solution from here. I am currently holding three correct solutions for later publication.

The Spotify playlist for toady is here