General silliness

Too Good to Go

1991 was a fine year for, er, me going to Dublin and buying sweat shirts

1991 was a fine year for, er, me going to Dublin and buying sweat shirts

In this weird world we live in, I am one of those people who likes to keep things as long as possible. Not for me the replacement of the perfectly functional gizmo with the newest sort that is probably slightly faster, or smaller, or a different colour. Nope, use things until they break is my motto. Well, one of them anyway.

I was reminded of this the other day when I went to put my gardening sweatshirt on – I bought it, along with another, in Dublin in 1991 so these garments are 30 years old. The one proclaiming the year is quite battered now, although its sibling is in much better shape as it hasn’t been worn as much (not sure why I favoured the one over the other). And they are still going.

In the middle of a VERY important upside-down calculation

In the middle of a VERY important upside-down calculation

So, then I thought, do I have anything older than the sweatshirt, that I bought new and still use? Of course! In fact, this is so old, there is an example in the Science Museum in London (read here of my discovery of it there). It is my trusty calculator, with the original Casio battery in it, new in 1980. A dodgy on/off button but still works, and I use it for VERY important things, as you can see above.


Convent Mice – Strawberry Mouse, Orange Mouse, Pink Mouse and Red Mouse

These mice have to be the oldest things that I have had since new. They were made by the nuns at the Clewer Convent near Windsor, Berkshire, UK. I visited there as my Dad used to take part in their annual celebration of being founded. I was six when I first went and was presented with Strawberry Mouse. I remember an amazing woman who I think was about 80 then, and who told me tales (while the grown-ups were doing churchy things) of when she lived in India. I am unsure what has happened to Strawbs’ tail in the intervening years. Naming was clearly not an issue for me back then – I used the “say what you see” method.

I see from the Wikipedia article about the Community of St John the Baptist, who were founded at Clewer, the order no longer occupies the church buildings. I also see that the order used to be known as the Sisters of Mercy, which is one of my favourite Leonard Cohen songs.

Do you have old things that were new when you first had them, but are still in use today?


Categories: General silliness, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: | 18 Comments

Cores and Effect

ds RIMG6210

Wire or wool?

A while ago, I took this picture of cables at the Science museum (I know a photogenic subject when I see one*) and remarked how like hanks of wool they were. Well, have a look at this**:

DS xsections

What’s all this then?

It reminds me of crocheted coasters as made by the Snail, and heaps of balls of wool:

In fact these are…drum roll… cross-sections of various types of electric cable.

Cool, huh?

Sometimes I wonder if I should be knitting or soldering!***


* Oh yeah?

** Picture from here. I first saw this on Twitter – the image is on Imgur but I can’t see who to credit. If it’s yours, let me know!

*** The answer is soldering.

Categories: General silliness | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Lockdown Dinners 2: The Pub Crawl


First stop – The Slug and Lattice

We checked out the wide range of drinks available and plumped for the beer made with local wild yeast – delicious!


Next, it was on to the Snail and Courgette for another beer…


… and then onto the Dog and Bone, where there was more beer and kebabs were on offer too! Well, it would be rude not to…

… and finally, a little worse for wear maybe, it was time for a pub quiz at the Sam and Sofa…


Ah, the perfect end to the perfect pub crawl. Now, where on earth did this traffic cone come from?



Categories: General silliness | Tags: , | 8 Comments

And the name of the movie is…



I had some requests to reveal what was showing at our local Odear VuCase cinema the other night. As some of you may recall, we went there after eating at one of our local lockdown restaurants (see here for way more detail than is necessary).

The cinema thought it funny/thought-provoking/irritating* to have the movie name as a puzzle to solve. So there is a picture of a blind, followed by a ted(dy bear) with a cup of tea below it crossed out, a waving hand, a cup of tea, the symbol for a male (so could be he, him, man) and a picture of a lamp.

Still puzzled? Well, I wouldn’t want to boss you around but it breaks down as Blind Ted Bye T He Light


And it’s not a bad movie either!

There may be a couple of other film titles in the next few weeks, you never know!


* Don’t delete any of them, it makes a mess on the screen

Categories: Films, General silliness | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Lockdown Dinners at The Dogs’ Diner (and other suspiciously similar-looking places)


It started with some fizz…


There are three things that you need to know about Chez Snail:

  1.  There is an attention-loving, and hence pesky, spaniel-based lifeform called Daisy who is involved in the day-to-day running of some eating and drinking establishments shown here.
  2. There is a squeaky-ball-obsessed terrier-based lifeform called Sam, who also appears to be involved in self same establishments.
  3. There is a general level of silliness that pervades the very bricks and mortar of Chez Snail.


Three weeks after lockdown started, the Snail said to me “Dress up, we’re going out to eat”. As only one of these things was actually illegal (my crimes of fashion were already being well documented and paid for), I thought “OK then”. And off we went, to the Limery, where The Bistro at Chez Snail has just, like a good pop-up restaurant, well, popped up. We drank fizz and ate yummy food, and I got to wash up afterwards.

Such a good idea was this (the pop-up restaurant not the washing up, although that becomes a good idea when you’re left eating off of old crisp packets), that we started up some more eating establishments. Here they are, in no order whatsoever…

First, the menus from our trips to The Bistro at Chez Snail:

And then the cafés and cocktail bars we have frequented:

And finally, the restaurants we have eaten in:

There was also one evening at the cinema – the film was much less taxing than the sign for it!


And the name of the film is…

I started the hashtag #stayinginisthenewgoingout on Twitter and, including the usage figures from today, I can see that it has caught on the way government advisors catch on to the rules they created*.

The Snail and I are privileged to be able to express our silliness in order to make this odd life we are currently experiencing a little more bearable and I hope by sharing it, it maybe makes a few people smile and perhaps inspires people to create a little silliness of their own!


I’ll have my dinner now, thanks

Next time: A mini pub crawl…


* Apologies, this is mildly passive-aggressive political satire. But I am guessing that those of you who kindly read my blog probably don’t read that of a certain Dominic Cummings or if you do, only under some kind of duress. Anyway, what I meant to convey was that no one has used the hashtag.

Categories: General silliness, Travel | Tags: , | 13 Comments

Create a free website or blog at