Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Y Tywydd! Y Poeth!

What on earth are we looking at a photo of you might well ask...  This was a difficult thing to try to photograph!

When I went to do my hair this morning, I took the top off my coconut oil, and my initial thought (not a morning person!) was that somebody had poured some water into my tub of coconut oil.  Of course, this was completely illogical, and then eventually I realised that at some temperature, it must become a liquid, because it melts when I rub it in my hands...  According to Wikipedia, coconut oil melts at 76 °F -- so now we know how hot it was in my bathroom overnight!!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Some number of years ago now, my friend J gave me an early 1970s salad spinner.  It's worked well over the years, but it is made of plastic, and, as everybody knows, once things made of plastic break, they are only fit for the bin.  Plastic is the great un-repairable substance...

So imagine my great delight on Saturday to come across this lovely unbreakable vintage salad shaker -- I will never need to buy another one as long as I live -- I just have to hope it's not raining when I want to wash my salad...  :)

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Bike for sale

Have bought a new (to me) bike -- photos to follow later -- in the meantime, the old one must go...  Nothing wrong with it, just too small for my body!  I rode it today after riding the new one for the last two weeks and it suddenly feels SO small!!!  Anybody interested?

Friday, 24 April 2015

Fleeting archaeology

In between the old plaster coming off and the new lime render going on, we get a brief glimpse which shows that my house did in fact used to be pink once upon a time...

Am very much looking forward to how much cooler it should be this summer now that it will be insulated -- this room has been quite the oven on a sunny summer day...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Went down to Cardiff on Saturday to get mudguards put on my bike -- despite what the website said, they were NOT easy to fit one's self!  Now I just need it to rain - which it might to towards the end of the week...

And I also discovered that I can't raise my existing handlebars any higher, so the guy in the shop suggested a buy a new bike...  :(  Or I could just get upright handlebars?  Thoughts?

Friday, 17 April 2015

Defiance Bike Ride

I've been riding to work for nearly a year now -- through rain, sleet, hail (painful!), frost, wind, and occasionally sunshine -- but have never done a longer ride.  Few weeks ago I did 30 miles as part of the Defiance Cycle Ride and am pleased to report that my legs didn't ache afterwards at all -- a year ago that would have been unthinkable!  So a big thank you again to all the residents of Amsterdam who inspired me to get on my bike...!

Am going down to Cyclopaedia tomorrow to get some work done on my bike so my ride into work on Monday should be better than ever...

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Controlling the Mind

"People say: 'One can't help one's thoughts.' But one can.  The control of the thinking machine is perfectly possible.  And since nothing whatever happens to us outside our own brain; since nothing hurts us or gives us pleasure except within the brain the supreme importance of being able to control what goes on in that mysterious brain is patent.  This idea is one of the oldest platitudes, but is it is a platitude whose profound truth and urgency most people live and die without realising.  People complain of the lack of power to concentrate, not witting that they may acquire the power, if they choose.

"And without the power to concentrate -- that is to say, without the power to dictate to the brain its task and to ensure obedience -- true life is impossible.  Mind control is the first element of a full existence.

"Hence, it seems to me, the first business of the day should be to put the mind through its paces.  You look after your body, inside and out; you run grave danger in hacking hairs off your skin; you employ a whole army of individuals, from the milkman to the pig-killer, to enable you to bribe your stomach into decent behaviour.  Why not devote a little attention to the far more delicate machinery of the mind, especially as you will require no extraneous aid?  It is for this portion of the art and craft of living that I have reserved the time from the moment of quitting your door to the moment of arriving at your office.

"'What? I am to cultivate my mind in the street, on the platform, in the train, and in the crowded street again?'  Precisely.  Nothing simpler!  No tools required!  Not even a book.  Nevertheless, the affair is not easy.

"When you leave your house, concentrate your mind on a subject (no matter what, to begin with).  You will not have gone ten yards before your mind has skipped away under your very eyes and is larking round the corner with another subject.

"Bring it back by the scruff of the neck.  Ere you have reached the station you will have brought it back about forty times.  Do not despair.  Continue.  Keep it up.  You will succeed.  You cannot by any chance fail if you persevere."

Bennett, A. (1959). Controlling the Mind. In How to live on 24 hours a day (pp. 54-56). Kingswood, Surrey: World's Work.