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Monthly Archives: April 2007

What a great story about a guy who bet he’d make it to 100 at age 90. With odds at 250/1, he made himself a tidy £25,000. It appears the key to long life is being care-free, having a good sense of humour, and porridge.


I visited Orford over the weekend. It’s a really pretty town, but with a slightly sinister history. Orford Ness is perhaps best known for its part in military history. During both world wars it was used a weapons testing facility, and later as a development site for radar and Britain’s atomic weapons programme. From the shoreline, it’s possible to see the “pagodas” which were cells used to house the weapons during testing. The pagodas were ominous-looking concrete buildings designed to contain a blast (although originally they had aluminium roofs!).

We walked down to the quay and on the left is a great little tea room which serves up a mean ham and cheese baguette. The other great thing about Orford is Richardson’s Smokehouse were you can buy pretty much anything smoked: anything from Trout, to Eel, to garlic bulbs!

Plus, if castles are your thing, then it’s worth a visit to Orford Castle, built between 1165 and 1173 at a sky-high cost of £1413. Actually, even if they aren’t your thing then the views from the castle are great.

Well I managed to lose my wallet over the weekend. I can narrow it down to a time frame of about 2 minutes between having it and realising we had parted company. I went back but no sign of it, so either someone found it and has yet to report it or it’s been stolen. Luckily, I was borassic at the time so whoever has it only has a few rectangles of useless plastic and my drivers license.

The most annoying thing about losing it is having to go through the motions of cancelling the bank cards, and reapplying for new cards including a new drivers license (£19). Of course, to pay for a new drivers license I need a credit/debit card neither of which I have at the moment.

My passport expires pretty soon too so I’m in danger of being without any ID at all. Not only that, but with my drivers license having gone AWOL, my chances of being a victim of identity fraud just rapidly increased. Apparently these guys can help. Let’s hope so. Otherwise I could find myself in a potentially dire situation.

RFID’s in passports
Talking about identity fraud, it seems that new UK passports feature an RFID chip as part of the biometric passports now being issued. The US is also issuing RFID passports and there’s a good post here about why it’s not such a good idea. Especially interesting is the argument that RFID chips in passports need to be rigourously secure for at least 10 years (since that’s the standard duration of a passport), and that this is equivalent to getting a new version of MS Windows and not expecting an update for 10 years. While I’m a big advocate of gadgets and new technology, I do think that perhaps we’re jumping in a little too early on this one. Will I need to download firmware updates to my passport in years to come?

I was recently on the look out for a new saddle after one of the rails of my WTB annoyingly broke (am I putting on weight??), resulting in an awkward journey back home. After a brief search looking at the normal array of Specialized and Selle Italia models, I happened upon the Charge range in a local bike store. The first one that caught my interest was the brown Charge Spoon – the saddle looks really cool in brown, although alas most likely wouldn’t suit my bike so I’ve ended up opting for the black model which I still think looks cool.  I ended up having a look at the Charge Bikes site which is not only flashy but is also a great example of a small company building up a loyal customer base via the web. They offer a blog (who doesn’t these days?), a podcast [opens in iTunes] and downloads, etc. By the looks of the intro animations and the general branding of the company they’ve either got a pretty good designer on board or they’re spending a lot of money on branding. ‘Tis all about perceptions, I guess…

Charge Spoon in brown

Hopefully the Charge Spoon will be a bit sturdier than my previous saddle.