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London Bikeathon 2007

We’ve signed up for the London Bikeathon on the 15th of July. This is a fun jaunt through the City of London, starting out in Chelsea. Maddie’s been great on the various rides we’ve taken along the towpath so we think she’ll enjoy it, and we have the flexibility of picking the 13 or 26 mile route on the day, which is great.

If you’re interested in sponsoring us, then feel free. No pressure, though. We’re mostly doing it for the fun.


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Blue Tit at home

Blue Tit at home by rbanks.

After a good degree of jelousy over Shannon’s cousin Andrea’s nesting (American) robins I’m pleased to say that we have some ‘pet birds’ of our own.

We’ve seen a grey shape flitting in and out of the sparrow box that I set up in the porch for a number of weeks. We can see this box really clearly through our kitchen window. The birds finally slowed down enough to tell that they are Blue Tits. Tiny little birds. Why Blue Tits would move into a sparrow condominium block I don’t know. Possibly the sparrows don’t like the location, but the Blue Tits are happy with how close they now are to our hanging feeders. Who knows what goes on in the minds of birds?

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Gas meter intsallation

So, we’ve just received a letter from British Gas saying they need to change our gas meter. They need us to be home between 8am and 8pm on the scheduled day. Does a requirement of someone being home for 12 hours seem reasonable to you? Particularly when the later half of this cuts straight through dinner time? It doesn’t seem reasonable to me. Surely they can say morning or afternoon?

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Easter Eggs

Easter Eggs by rbanks.

I guess we’re only a day late, if Sunday is the tradional day for making, hiding and finding eggs. Anyway, we made these today. I decided to blow my three. It took me an hour to blow one, during which I nearly passed out. The other two of mine are therefore hard boiled. All of Shannon’s are hard boiled. She managed to make dinner, have a long conversation with one of her sisters and still do her eggs while I was blowing.

This afternoon we’ll hide them in the garden and subtly point them out to Maddie so she can “find” them.

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Finally cycling

Finally cycling by rbanks.

After the biggest pain getting hold of a bike seat that would fit a 16 month old, we finally hit the towpath today, cycling from home up to Penton Hook Lock and back again. A decent amount of distance for a first try, Maddie was totally into it (especially with all the dogs around) and Shannon coped well despite still feeling under the weather. The sun is shining, we had ice cream sitting on a patch of grass, the boats are out and the coots are building their nests. It’s great here.

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The changing Thames

Here’s a couple of shots I took at the same point on the edge of the Thames. This is downriver in Staines at the edge of Ashby Lammas park. You can see what a difference a month makes. Fortunately, the river never even came close to breaching the towpath up near our house.



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All of EU to switch off energy inefficient lights within three years – Engadget

Although the EU foists a lot of unwanted legislation on us poor peeps in the UK, occasionally they do surprise in a positive way. Their newest idea is to push everyone in Europe to drop incandescent bulbs and move to energy efficient ones by 2010. I totally buy this. Fluorescents may be more expensive but long term (i.e. within a year) they pay for themselves.

One problem we have, though, is that you can’t get any small fluorescent bulbs. We have 3 shades in our lounge that are glass bowls which are quite shallow. I’ve tried about 3 or 4 different energy efficient bulbs, each of which looked small, but none of them fit correctly.

One other problem is that fluorescents don’t seem to play very well with dimmer switches if you have them. They don’t gradually dim, they just seem to drop off very quickly. Any one else seen that?

Link to All of EU to switch off energy inefficient lights within three years – Engadget

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