29 August 2005

Flickr Sudoku - The new online craze.

Just slipping in before the whole wide world knows about it, check out flickr sudoku. Sudoku for pictures, online, developed by Becky and the cool thing is you can choose any tag you like.

derwentwater sudoku

I've been shopping!


It's a bank holiday Monday and I've been up awake since before 5 am. I'm not happy about this, I enjoy my sleep, normally it's harder to get me to wake up than it is to keep an American Televanglist from putting his hand in the till. Tomorrow I'll probably be sprinting for the bus as I will have left it just a little too late getting up.

I've heard the World Service's take on the hurricane threatening New Orleans, I've heard about the EU "bra war" with China (when underwires attack?). I listened to the Radio 4 theme tune AKA the mish mash song before giving up trying to sleep and got up, so I've been sat in front of my PC reading blogs, drinking tea but I did get the chance to see sunlight in my living room, a rare occurrence because it north facing and I'm rarely up early enough.

Talking of the hurricane take a look at The Lazy Iguana's blog, he was in the eye of the hurricane as it passed over Florida.

28 August 2005

quick update

Just had a look and I'm back to slithering reptile but still with only 8 links listed.

27 August 2005

Ego Thy Name Is Blogger.

First off and as an aside, although I very much doubt that you can start a post or a piece of writing with an aside. Does anyone know who coined the phrase "Ego Thy Name Is ..."? I did a quick search on Google and couldn't find anything.

Anyway to get to the point, I was happily logging into my blog yesterday evening when I found that on the TTLB Ecosystem I had dropped from being a Slithering Reptile to being a Crawly Amphibian. So I checked and it had lost 8 of the links it had had recorded against my blog. So I've done a count of all the links I know about, 22 sites link to me so it was wrong with Slithering Reptile anyway, I should have been a Flappy Bird.

Now I know it is only a bit of fun really. But godamnit, I'm a blogger, I have an ego, a delicate and fragile ego that needs, craves, the satisfaction that knowing my mitherings are thought interesting enough by someone to go to the effort of tweaking their template just a little to add me to their reading list or add me to their blogroll.

So I checked Technorati - Wrong. Blogshares - Wrong. My "who links to me" link doesn't work at all, that is the second time the code seems to have failed so next time I tweak my own template I think it's coming out. It looks ugly anyway.

I know we bloggers are delicate souls, we spend our time at work fretting over our stats, how many readers today, how many are new, how many returned, we wonder if our stats will be down today? How long did they spend dwelling over the posts we have lovingly crafted? We talk amongst ourselves about which is the best free log counter. Whole posts, like this one, are devoted to the howl of anguish that occurs when our popularity is not properly reflected.

So what it the answer? Well here at Goth Towers there is now a piece of paper with a list of all the people that I know link to me. I treasure them all, except the swinging site (not included in the 22) as I treasure you, the reader.

26 August 2005

My Mother The Student!

My mum has signed up for a degree course this week, all because she saw an ad in the local paper for affiliate degree courses at the local FE college, "The History of English", first two years at the local college the 3rd year at APU.

On Monday!

She has the required O and A levels, but she doesn't have the Doc Martins yet, or a year's supply of Pot Noodles. She also needs a poster of Che Guavara, A Viz character and an obscure indie band, on her walls. It's a tough job but fortunately she has me to help her. Especially when it comes to obscure indie bands.

She will have to learn to text, 10,001 things to do with a tin of baked beans, stop choosing wines and drinks on a taste basis but start choosing them on an alcoholic quantity to price basis. She will also have to know the difference between Westlife and McFly, when she finds that out that she can tell me cos I've not got the foggiest.

She will have to get stroppy, actually that's a banker she can do that now. I do draw the line at her getting a floppy scarf or carrying a teddy bear about, if that happens I'm ringing my brother, we'll sort something out.

Update 27 August 05

I've just been to lunch with my mum, she reminds me that she does have a Che poster, bought in Cuba no less, I should have remembered I was there with her when she bought it.

Also it may seem that I'm mocking her a little I'm not, I'm immensely pleased and proud of her she should do very well.


I can't really think of a title and as I'm doing this blog at work, in an open plan office, during my lunch, I want to be done fairly quickly.

Remember the miserable drummer girl from Saturday? Well Becky discovered that she did cheer up eventually. Here

I meant to blog last night but I got sucked into Thursday night happy hour hell at the work social club. It was a good night out but perhaps a mistake, though I feel fine now. When I woke up this morning I thought I had killed my mobile phone as it appeared dead even when I plugged it into the charger, eventually it came back to life but it was a scary for a moment or two.

23 August 2005

Night and Day

This stunning image (courtsey of imageshack) was taken by the crew on board the Columbia
during its last mission. According to the email that came with the link, another thanks to Dave.
The email went on to say

The picture is of Europe and Africa when the sun is setting. Half of the picture is in night. The bright dots you see are the cities' lights. The top part of Africa is the Sahara Desert

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you can see the Azores Islands; below them to the right are the Madeira Islands ; a bit below are the Canary Islands; and further South, close to the farthest western point of Africa , are the Cape Verde Islands.

22 August 2005

Doo Wop Horses.

Dop Wop Horses

Yet more Silliness, this link came via email from a mate, Dave, thanks.

click on the horses and they will sing.


Becky and I were discussing teachers' names the other night, sometimes kismit just happens and the teacher's name suits them down to the ground. I had a chemistry teacher called Mr Polichemi and Becky had a physics teacher called Mr Sparks. It's a shame that the other teachers didn't have suitable names for their subjects or personalities. But hey we were bored so we thought of some.

Mr EthicalDilemmia for RE

Mrs SuspectNazi for PE

Becky suggested Mr BoredGayGuy for Music.

I had a Mr BurstIntoTearsAtAnyMoment for French and a

Mrs I'veGotLovelyTitsWouldYouLikeToLookDownMyTopBoys for German - she was popular.

Mr CompleteAndUtterContemptForTheHeadmaster for Deputy Head.

eclectech : pants squirrel messenger

eclectech : pants squirrel messenger

More silliness from Eclectech. Enjoy.

21 August 2005

Out and About

I went to Cambridge yesterday, for once it didn't seem too full of tourists. While wandering around we saw one of those drumming bands that want to be black and Brazilian. They were good but they still ended up looking white, enthusiatic and terribly terribly middle class worthy

drumming band 2

The chap on the right playing the tambourine was really taking it seriously each shake or tap of the tambourine was given his full artistic effort. Just a shame that it wasn't a triangle so that we could have had the full comedy impact.

All except the goth girl at the back she looked like she was having a miserable time of it.

Miserable Drummer Girl

19 August 2005

Mo Mowlem

please read this, Willie Lupin's reflections on Mo Mowlem. The Guardian and the times will do her political life they won't be able to capture the woman like Willie has done. I really respected Mo Mowlem the politician, thank you Willie for showing the human side.

More Google Earth

It's surprising what you can find out with Google Earth. For instance below is a satellite image of "Area 51"

Area 51 26705 ft to get the whole of the runway in the "frame" I had to "view" the site at 26705 ft.

Below is the runway of RAF Wyton which is a RAF station that has a fairly long runway and not far away from where I live.

RAF Wyton 8330 ft RAF Wyton's runway is 2516 metres long and to fit it into the frame I had to view it at 8330 feet.

Wow Area 51 has one hell of a long runway. That's all I'm saying.

Google Earth

Thanks to Becky Envérité's encoragement I downloaded Google Earth it totally rocks and it shows of the processing speed of my Shiny New ComputerTM very nicely. I found my old school in the States. How cool is this?

my school

17 August 2005


Kate Weston has kindly asked some questions so here goes
Music doesn't feature strongly in your profile (unlike the vast majority of profiles I have seen). Do you have a favourite style, or artist? Do you play an instrument at all? Words on the other hand are obviously very important to you, do you have a favourite poet?
Then Kate spotted my blogger profile and said not to bother answering first part of her question but I don't mind being asked about music. I love it, I don't do music reviews on the blog because I would not be very good at it.

A typical review would read "It was really fantastic and I really liked it, the second track was really good cos it started all quiet and spooky and then got really really loud at the end. I liked it - signed a music lover" as I said not very good, I find that when I try to do descriptive prose I sink into either cliché hell or end up sounding like the teenager from the fast show. The reviewers at the NME need not fear for their jobs from this quarter.

Having said that, most of my favourite bands are alternative, indie or goth. Some of the bands that are not listed in my profile (I ran out of space) that I also like are: Oasis, Interpol, The Three Johns, The Smiths, Primal Scream, The Kills and The Killers.

In one of my favourite films High Fidelity, there is a scene where some one accuses Rob, Dick and Barry of being music snobs because they don't consider anyone worthwhile unless they have a record collection of at least 500 records. Well I'm not quite worthwhile in their terms but in 12 CDs time I will be.

I can't play an instrument I had some piano lessons but didn't really take to it and was taught to play the recorder a little at primary school but I never took to that either. Sometimes I wish I had stuck to piano. Though in my idle daydreams I wish I was a guitar rock goddess playing in a band whose influences included the Pixies and the Jesus and Mary Chain.

Poetry - mmm I've never really got poetry, I did modern, post WWII poets for O level Eng Lit so have never been properly introduced to them. I prefer prose and plays.

16 August 2005

On The Good Ship Lollypop

BBC NEWS Viking lollystick longboat sails

apparently this is make out of lolly sticks. Why? I ask you and I bet the makers have a very good relationship with their dentists.

15 August 2005

Not much to say

Except I've updated my more about you post. I would update the Me Me Me post except NO ONE is asking me questions. For goodness sakes this is a blog its about ME! so go on even banal questions will be considered.

One thing that I did want to say is that I've seen those little "post its" on other blogs Cam at Save Wampi has them I not sure I need that cos I'm a happy being (cynical laughter off site from those that have met me) I need a post it for hair states

I've got about 4

Cousin It

Crystal Tips

Janis Joplin

Ian Astbury in his mid 80s prime.

This morning it was Crystal Tips

14 August 2005


I was idly looking through my photos on flickr today when I decided to list them in order of most viewed. Not unsurprisingly the photo of Tristram's birthday cake was most viewed.
tristram birthday cake

I'm not surprise, since my post about Tristram's birthday party was picked up by MusicThing and I'm still getting the occasional referral from the site now.

No what does surprise me is what is joint second most favourite - this why?
mascara wand 1
It's not a brilliant photograph, surely most people above a certain age have seen a mascara wand so why the interest?

And why is the photograph of my old, awful kitchen relatively so popular?
My Kitchen about 5 years about
Why? Unless it looks so awful people are taking a second look out of disbelief? I've not got the foggiest.

I can understand why the photos of the cat are getting views, small furry animals are always popular and she is a cute cat... with a manic, agressive streak though.

When my brother was setting the computer up for me, he said jokingly the internet was only good for email and p0rn I disagreed. "Email, p0rn and blogging" though having thought about it overnight - a thought popped into my head as I pottered about last night, there is another thing the internet is good for; Email, p0rn, blogging and pictures of kittens and puppies.

Anyway as I'm talking of pictures, I had a call from my Mum this morning she told me that she had finally accepted my flickr contact offer and that she had seen that I had taken a photo of the new computer, which if I was going to give it a name would be 'Beastie' but I won't cos I don't give inanimate objects names apart from perhaps "useless piece of rubbish" when they don't work. Anyway she said that I was very sad for doing so.

But I said of course I did, I'm a blogger it's what I do.

13 August 2005

The new beastie

Originally uploaded by janegoth.
Here it is in all it's sleak XP, turbo'd prime and my blogging muse next to it.

New Computer

It's here, it's working I've not downloaded all my useful things yet but that's my plan for the evening. I can't access my email through outlook express but that is because I've forgotten the name of the pop account but I've got to ring NTL on Monday so I'll get it sorted out then.


I'm going to get my new computer in about 30 minutes I better find my modem installation disc or else I'm off line til Monday!

12 August 2005


At the risk of looking very foolish tomorrow, afterall we are playing Southampton, can I just point out that at the moment the Wednesday are not in the regulation zone. We are 18th in the championship League and most definitely above Crystal Palace.

Sheffield Wednesday - Pride of Yorkshire, I know it's true - my Owls tee shirt tells me so.

Well, actually I think we will have a hard season. Already we are suffering injuries and we don't have the money to throw about that can create a squad that has quality in depth, quality in meniscus would be nice. But given the choice doing the double over Leeds and Sheff United and going back down or being tonked by both teams but staying up I start to get twitchy cos I dislike both teams so its very hard. That is until I remember one of the few advantages of moving away from Yorkshire is that no one knows who you are on about. So I'll go for being tonked by both teams home and away as long as we stay up, but then again that is 12 points, so OK if we could really cream Leeds I would be very happy!


There is someone out there who has made their mission to say nice things about the blogs they come across - I've been complimented.

Which is nice.

11 August 2005

That Dot There

Some planes from the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight flew over work today, a Lancaster Bomber, and two other single engined aircraft I couldn't tell if they were Hurricanes or Spitfires but it was a fantastic sight nethertheless, the drone of the aircraft as they went by is something that you rarely hear nowadays either. It is sobering to think that once the skies were once full of aircraft like these, now there is only one Lancaster flying in Britian now and a handful of original spitfires.

It looked a bit like this except for Buckingham palace in the background of course.

I wish I had my camera with me but I didn't. Mind you it wouldn't have mattered because in the time it takes for my camera to turn on, start working and actually focus on anything the Lancaster would have either of been out of shot or too small to make out. Or I would have taken a photo of the floor like the last time I tried to take a photograph in a hurry with my digital.

The instant feedback that I get with my camera is wonderful the not so instantaneous response to the shutter button being pressed is not so good. I suppose it is because the camera is relatively cheap what I got in mega pixels when I bought it last September I lost in speed of response.

I like aircraft as you may be able to tell, I suppose it is partly in the blood my Grandfather worked on the team that designed the lights for Concorde. He had a chance to fly on Concorde on a test flight but he turned it down. Such as shame it would have made a wonderful story. I know aircraft are noisy create lots of pollution but they are beautiful machines when it flight, more lumbering when on the ground, all except Concorde I've seen it taxi-ing it always looked beautiful.

Edited 18/3/07 because the RAF changed their links

09 August 2005

Hull, Hell and Huddersfield.

Although the weather was poor when we were on our trip it did not ruin the holiday. Even in the rain the hills were so beautiful and when the sun did come out the variation of the light on the hills constantly highlighted different features of them. I could have sat watching them change for hours.

Being up in the lake district made me feel homesick for the North, even if we were on the wrong side of the Pennines. I miss the hills I miss the moors, the pints with a decent head on them. When I lived in Sheffield I liked it that in certain parts of the city centre I could look up above the buildings and see the moors. Here I look above the buildings and see only sky. Yes we have "big skies" here in East Anglia but when it rains the landscape just looks soggy. The moors, in the rain, look threatening, majestic, intimidating choose your adjective. I can understand how the Brontes were influenced by them and how the moors run through some of their most read books.

It's not that all of East Anglia is uninspiring, there are parts of Norfolk that are really nice and Norwich is a lovely city, it is just it isn't Yorkshire.

The title to this post was inspired by watching C4's 10 Best And Worst Places In Britian and Hull once again is Britian's numero uno most awful place.

07 August 2005

Succumbed To The Lure Of Sudoku

I've succumbed to the lure of Sudoku, a colleague of mine does them and has been evangelising about them, Joanna has mentioned them several times in her blog and even the Now Show is making jokes about them. So never being one to let a bandwagon to pass me by completely I decided to have a go. Once I got my head round the rules I found myself hooked. Yahoo do free daily online ones but I'm linking to the free ones created by Monterosa

More Holiday

We had intended to do some walks but it was so wet that idea got shelved, instead we went to the Pencil Museum in Keswick we found out how they get the lead into a pencil and I bought some drawing pencils including some metallic ones.

Pencil Collection at the Pencil Museum

The local buses have what must be some of the most scenic routes in England so we took advantage we went on a round trip over Honister Pass.

On Way to Buttermere

The weather was not good, sometimes the sun did shine but most of the time it was either threatening to rain or raining. This was on the way to Buttermere


Beck on the way up to Honister Pass

Unfortunately buses are not the best for taking photos don't get the best views

Just at the Top of Honister Pass

Most of the journey was done on roads that were only just wide enough not to be considered single track, we frequently stopped and waited for land rover drivers to realise that though they are big the bus was bigger and it was easier for the smaller vehicle to get out of the way.

On Thursday we went to Dove Cottage near Grasmere.

Dove Cottage

It was interesting such a small building practically three rooms on the ground floor and 3 on the first floor and as the Wordsworths were always having visitors must have been a very cramped house too. I also visited the Wordsworth Museum but I found that less of a draw, the paintings were not brilliant and because I'm not very into poetry, although I had heard of most of the people mentioned I haven't read any of their work. Apart from that is Thomas De Quincey; I started to read his "Confessions of an English Opium Eater" but couldn't get on with it. (Before everyone starts calling me a philistine, I prefer prose to poetry and I did 20th century poets for my English Literature 'O' Level and I got a B!)

We didn't go into Grasmere village which though very pretty was chocka with damp tourists and kitschy tourist shops

Grasmere Village

On the final day the weather finally improved and we went for a trip on the launch that sails on Derwentwater.

Ducks and Geese on the slipway

Lakeside House by Derwentwater

Boat hidden in the rushes Derwentwater
Saw this boat hidden in the rushes at the Lodore staging point.

On Derwentwater

On Derwentwater

06 August 2005

Robin Cook

Channel 4 news have just announced that Robin Cook has died. He collasped while hill walking, not only a tragedy for his family but also a blow to the Labour party as they have so few talented people nowadays. Well that is the only explanation for Hazel Blears being a minister.

BBCi report

Lake District

My mother booked the holiday as a birthday treat for me. She had stayed at the hotel in June with my Aunt Jane and had really enjoyed it. The hotel was very comfortable and the staff were exceptionally helpful. The food was good too, in an English style.
Borrowdale Hotel
I think it was built as an hotel because they still had the bells hanging from when room service couldn't be summoned by telephone.
Bells in the Hotel

This gruesome artifact was hanging in the bar.

Fox's Head and Tail

You can see a photo of a running fox by the side of it, I assume it is the same fox, The local hunt used to gather outside the hotel. I know that they are vermin but I am glad that foxhunting has been banned it always struck me as a very barbaric form of pest control.

There was also a fascinating copy of an old hotel bill from 1773 hanging up in one of the corridors.
Hotel Bill From 1773

Unfortunately it is not quite clear but the bill read as follows

Tea and Coffee ............£1 6s 0d
Wine and Porter ...............4s 0d
Rum, Brandy and Gin .....16s 6d
Servants Eating and Ale ..10s 0d

Total..........................£2 16s 6d

What really struck me was how expensive the tea and coffee were compared to everything else. For those not familiar with British pre decimal currency click here for further information.

It was all very comfortable and the views from my bedroom and bathroom were stunning.

view from my bedroom window
View from my bathroom

It is such a shame that the weather was so poor. More on what we did later.

I have uploaded a some photos from my holiday you can view them here.

Shiny New Computer TM

Ages ago I said I was getting a new computer through my brother, well my brother emailed me while I was away to let me know that I will be getting it next weekend and to prove that it does exist he sent me this. I can't wait.

I'm just sorting through the photos I took while I was away the beauty of a digital camera is that you can take loads of photos without worrying about the processing costs. The downside of a digital camera is that I take loads of photos which take ages to sort through.

05 August 2005

Holiday Hell

Well actually it was very nice if exceptionally damp I've got a load of things to sort out including oddles of photos.

01 August 2005

Lake District

I'm off to the Lake District tomorrow won't be back until Friday we are staying in a hotel very near Derwent Water and Keswick.

photo from Lake District Desktops

It will be my birthday on Wednesday which is why we are going, I hope the weather is nice but I'm not that hopeful, currently it looks like I will be packing warm clothes rather than the swimming cossie.

Make Up Trivia

I've been using, playing with make up for many years now but until recently I didn't know that some mascara wands could do this


mascara wand 1

Then just semi push the wand back into the container and bend the wand through 90 degrees.


mascara wand 2

Cool isn't it!