Happy New Year

It’s been a while since I’ve felt like writing anything but I though I would check up on the ye’old blog.

There was a pretty big update available for WordPress I went from 4.4 to 4.7 and there seems to be some nice improvements, don’t bother asking me to list them as I’m sure you know how to use google 🙂

…Updated the plug-ins, and naturally it was time to install and apply a new theme. I quite like this one, although the image is the default one and this theme is the default theme that gets bundled with WP4.7 so it’s probably all over the internet. I’ll replace the image with something else when I can be bothered.

Oh year, I was using my personal OneDrive to host a lot of pictures that I’ve linked to in this blog but M$ nuked a ton of my free OneDrive storage so now my preferred method for non work related stuff is box.net as I somehow managed to get a coupon code for 50GB of free storage a couple of years ago that still seem to be working. I do also have a OneDrive for business account which I think has either 50GB or 500GB of free storage but I tend to not use that for holiday snaps.

London to Paris Cycle Ride

Next week Jonny, Lea and I will be cycling from London to Paris, over three days (24th – 26th) and travelling back via TGV (high speed train) from Paris to Calais, Ferry to Dover and car back up to Cambridge on Sunday the 27th ready for work again on Monday. We’ll be loosely following the la avenue verte cycle route, which is pretty much the shortest (overland) route between the two cities.

We will all be heading down to London on Wednesday although I’m working that day so I’ll meet up with them in the evening. The plan will be to get the train to London Liverpool Street station as you can get a single, off peak, advanced booked ticket for as little as £6 from Cambridge station via the thetrainline.com which is what Jonny and Lea are planning to get  (mid-morning). I’ll be getting the train at a busier time of the day so I’ll have to pay a premium and shell out £9.

We’re staying in an Ibis at Hunslow. An Ibis because they have rooms that sleep three adults (as opposed to two adults and children) and near Heathrow airport because it’s cheaper than other hotels closer to the city centre and in vaguely the correct direction for the following days cycle to Newhaven. The hotel is about 14 miles from Livepool Street station so we’ll cycle that too (which just for my own information should take that days cycle mileage to over 25 miles)

TrainToHotel

Thursday 24th Hunslow to Newhaven – This is just a route that Google Maps gave me, we may not necessarily follow any of the screenshots that I’ve dumped on here. We need to get to the ferry terminal ideally by 16:30 as our ferry departs at 17:30. Then its four hours on the ferry plus an additional hour for the local time in France and we should arrive in Dieppe for 22:30 and we’ve got some random budget hotel booked in Dieppe that’s not too far from the terminal.

LonToNewHaven

Friday 25th Dieppe to Gisors – Staying overnight in a random small house in Gisors that I managed to book via booking.com

DieppeToGisors

Saturday 26th Gisors to Paris – Nice short ride to Paris will give us most of the day to explore and relax, we have another Ibis booked…

GisorsToParis

Promotion picture below. From left to right – Lea, Me and Jonny…

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Of you would like to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/3cycle2paris/

Pictures and possibly even short video clips will be taken during the adventure…

Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

These are really good and only take 15 minutes to make and 20 – 30 minutes to cook.

Stuff you will need/should already own

Oven

Saucepan (and steamer if you have one)

Cheese grater

Mixing bowl and large spoon

Muffin tray (that makes 12 muffins)

Fork

Knife

The following ingredients will make twelve large muffins

1x Head of broccoli

1x Large egg or two medium/small eggs

250G Plain flour

150g Grated Cheese

200ml Milk

Olive oil (or any other vegatable oil)

Butter (or margarine)

Baking powder

Instructions

The first thing you’re going to wanna do is get the broccoli cooking so fill up a kettle with cold water and turn it on. While the kettles boiling the watter, chop up your head of broccoli and put it into your steamer, pour the boiling water into a soucepan and start steaming. If you don’t have a steamer just boil the shit out of the broccoli. Leave the broccoli cooking for 5 – 10 minutes. We need it to be soft enough so that we can mash it with a fork.

While the broccoli is cooking put the flour, egg/s, grated cheese, milk, three heaped teaspoons of baking powder and a glug of olive oil (equal to three tablespoons) into your mixing bowl and give it a token stir.

Lube up your muffin tray with butter (or margarine) this will help to stop your muffins sticking to the tray once they’re cooked so be pretty generous otherwise this whole endeavor will be a complete fail. Turn the oven onto gas mark five aka 180c (to start pre heating).

Mixing your ingredients and lubing up your tray shouldn’t have taken more than 5 – 10mins. So now your ready to take your broccoli off the hob (drain it of you boiled it) and put it in/on a seporate bowl/plate/chopping board/work surface and mash it up with a fork. Then add it to the batter already in your mixing bowl and give it a good mix, add some pepper if you’re feeling adventours.

Spoon the batter onto your muffic tray and bung it onto the top shelve of your oven. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking rotate the tray by 180 degrees to ensure the muffins are evenly cooked. After 20 – 30 minutes, once the top of you muffins are nice and brown then take them out and let them cool. Easy!

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Mingles with Mitchell

I was going to have a go at installing my new motorcycle battery last night but by the time I got home I felt pretty exhausted and the weather didn’t really loan itself to motorcycle tinkering so instead I did some baking. And before you ask, no I wasn’t inspired by the great british bake off although Emma does watch it and so by proxy I often watch some of it too but I’m not really a big fan. I made lentil burgers, and broccoli and cheese muffins, for my lunches. I’ve been eating (self made) wraps almost exclusively for lunch at work for the last couple of years. I started off with ham and lettuce, which is nice but you read stories about too much processed meat being bad for you. Then it was cheese and lettuce, and this again is nice and is oftern a combo that I fall back to as we almost always have cheese in the fridge but again cheese everyday… I’m not sure how nourishing cheese and lettuce is for a long term solution. My last combo was sardines and lettuce, this combo was really healthy and cheap. One 40p tin of sardines would easly do two lunches so you’re looking at £1 per week, but the wrap would get soggy by lunchtime and sardines got really boring, really quickly. So this led me to lentil burgers and lettuce which (I think) are equally as good for you and I’ve frozen the bugers so I can just get them out as and when they’re needed (I’ve pre-cooked them) stuff them in a wrap with some lettuce and by the time its midday its defrosted. The idea for the muffins came from Rob, the guy that I sit next to at work. He made some savoury muffins recently that looked really good and I was still feeling hungry after the wrap and piece of fruit that I have for lunch (I’m cycling 7.8 miles each way to work and back at the moment) so I did some googling and broccoli is in at the moment so gave that a go. They turned out really well, as did the burgers so next time I make them I’ll take a bunch of photos and post them along with ingredents and instructions!

On Sunday I did my longest cycle ride to date with the exception of the London to Cambridge cycle ride that I did in my early twenties. Willingham to Saffron Walden 25 miles each way (so 50 miles total) – it took 1 hour 30 minutes there and 1 hour 45 minutes back. When I arrived at Saffron Walden the first thing I did was look for a shop to buy some food and drink to replenish some of my spent calories, I stumbled upon a Subway, they had a £3 meal deal (6 inch sub and drink) – excellent. While I was in Subway a couple of classic cars drove by so I asked the women serving me if there was some sort of event going on. She didn’t know but when I got out of Subway an old couple walked past so I asked them and there was a classic car show on 😀

So I found it, sat down and ate my sub before having a browse. I didn’t take many pictures but here are a few…

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New Blog

So I finally got round to setting up a new WordPress site after 000webhosts randomly deleted my old one without warning. I toyed with the idea of creating a home server now that I’ve got superfast broadband at home but then decided against going down that route, mainly because I don’t have a home server yet, probably won’t get one for a while and when I do have one it’ll probably take me ages to setup a VM that can run WordPress (and configure port forwaring, Dynamic DNS, etc). So I though, lets stick with what you know and sign up for some crappy free space with another website provider.

So this time we’re going with FreeHostia – they seem to appear in a lot of the Top 10 lists when you Google free website hosting. Alongside 000webhosts and others, although not all of them support WordPress so that helpfully reduces the amount of choice. I think the reason that 000webhosts appear in so many Top 10 lists is because they offer you so much free space (1.5GB) and two SQL DB’s etc, where as FreeHostia only offer 250MB of free space and one SQL DB which should be more than enough for me (I like of running a lean web site). And maybe the fact that they offer you less means that they do a better job with what they do give you…and don’t delete your website without warning.