long thin calendar

Print Long Thin Calendars For 2015 and 2016


My wife prefers a long thin calendar like this (see featured image) so that she has plenty of room to make notes on it. It hangs around the coffee table all the time. She doesn’t want to bother with an electronic one, although she has that option. Her mother has a similar one lying around in the corner of her kitchen worktop with a pen at the side. It’s very easy to scribble daily items down. There’s no shortage of room on it. Any extra notes can always be written on the back of the pages. As the months tick by the pages can be folded over at the top so that the next month becomes visible but the past is not thrown away.

What Is This ‘Long Thin Calendar’

I have been making a Long Thin Calendar in this format since 2007. I actually make one for my wife and her mother. The 2015 version is the 9th so I only have to make another five in the future and I’ll have a full set of 14. Yes there are only fourteen different calendars required. Seven are required to allow for the first day of the year occurring on every day of the week and another seven are required to cover the same situation but on leap years. Eventually all I will have to do is change the year at the top of each month and check the anniversaries, edit public holidays and dates when the clocks are adjusted. I personalise these calendars with birthdays, etc. for each recipient.

Currently for each new year I have to:

  • edit an existing calendar to align the dates of each month with the days of each week;
  • edit the highlight colours I use for weekends;
  • add 29th February to Leap Year calendars.

I do all the editing work using Serif Page Plus (currently version X8). I used an earlier version of this application to establish the original calendar since it can be set to build calendars from scratch. I see Serif are currently giving away their Page Plus Starter Edition free.

The first ones I made were on A4 but my Mother-in-Law asked for one with larger text so I began printing hers on A3. Then my wife asked for the same. Now I print them both on A3.

I use an HP Photosmart Pro B8350 printer to print on A3 paper. – Helpful Colin


Two months are printed side by side and then the sheet is cut lengthways into two pieces. Six sheets are required. The twelve months are then stacked and stapled along the top edge. The final calendar can have a central hole punched along the top edge to hang on a hook or a nail, or it can have two holes punched so that a piece of string can be attached to hang it with. That makes it difficult to fold months over the top but they can be ripped off at the end of the month if needs be. I staple mine about 6mm (¼ inch) from the top edge with three staples in a row. They don’t have to hang up and historic months are kept and folded over at the top.

Printing A Long Thin Calendar For 2015 and 2016

NOTE: The holiday dates on these calendars are appropriate to the UK.

The images below of a 2015 Calendar and a 2016 Calendar each show the first two months as printed on one sheet of A4 (or A3) paper. If you want to print one of these Long Thin Calendars just select (click) the image and the whole calendar will be displayed in your browser in Portable Document Format (PDF) so long as you have a PDF File Reader Browser Add-on.

Installing A PDF File Reader Bowser Add-on

NOTE: A browser add-on for viewing PDF files may need to be installed on your computing device. You can get Adobe Reader for Microsoft Windows PC’s and maybe for Mac’s from Adobe by following the link from the web logo below:


WARNING: Be careful to uncheck (un-tick) any premade selection for other applications offered by Adobe unless you do want to install them too.

If you do use Adobe Reader, on a desktop PC, but can’t find a toolbar from which to print just move the pointer down to the bottom centre of the browser and it may appear. Look for the printer logo on that toolbar. Alternatively select print from the browser tools. You may get the same functionality. When selected you will be given opportunity to adjust your printer settings. If you do have an A3 printer you will have to choose which size paper you are actually going to print on so familiarity with your own printer and its settings will be required. I advise you print one page to begin with and check it is how you want it. If possible set your printer to print to the edge of the paper with no margin to get the maximum size calendar.

If you have an older type of printer which isn’t capable of printing to the edge of the paper it will print within some margins. Within the printer settings these margins can usually be adjusted. So adjust them to their minimum settings, e.g.:

  • Top Margin = 3mm
  • Left Margin = 3mm
  • Right Margin = 3mm
  • Bottom Margin <= 15mm

Then when the calendar is being viewed in the browser use the rotating tools within the PDF Reader to rotate the image through 180º, so that it is upside down. Then it may be possible to print so that all the printer margins fall within the white border of the calendar. Under these circumstances the bottom of the calendar will be printed first at the top of each page and the top of the calendar, where the largest white border on the calendar is, will be printed at the bottom of the page where the deepest printer border is. With any luck the whole calendar will get printed without any part getting truncated by the printer borders.

Printing With or Without A Dividing Line

For each year a calendar can be printed with or without dividing lines between the two months on each sheet.

If the calendar is going to be put together uncut print it without the dividing line. The dividing line is simply to assist in cutting the sheets.

If the calendar isn’t printed centrally on the paper the dividing line will be seen on one of the two halves after cutting them to exactly the same size.

The dividing line is really there for those who will have to cut up their calendars using scissors. Be careful to print centrally or cutting along the dividing line will result in some months being wider than others.

2015 Calendar With UK Public Holidays

long thin calendar
A 2015 Calendar With A Dividing Line. Select image to view it in PDF format.  Then print it from within your browser.
long thin calendar
A 2015 Calendar Without A Dividing Line. Select image to view it in PDF format. Then print it from within your browser.

2016 Calendar With UK Public Holidays

long thin calendar
A 2016 Calendar Without A Dividing Line. Select image to view it in PDF format. Then print it from within your browser.
long thin calendar
A 2016 Calendar With A Dividing Line. Select image to view it in PDF format.  Then print it from within your browser.

Cutting And Assembling The Calendar

The best result will be achieved by using a modern wheel guillotine available many stationers.

By using a guillotine a neat job can be done with all months cut to exactly half the width of a sheet without using a dividing line as a guide.

If you only have scissors print calendar sheets with the dividing line and cut along it with the scissors.

Assemble your calendar with the months in chronological order. Tap one long edge down on a flat surface like a table or kitchen worktop and tap the short edges to get all the pages neatly aligned. Then grip the pages tightly and present them to the stapler. Apply staples about 6mm (¼ inch)  from the top edge in a row so pages can easily be folded over as the months go by.

Making An Academic Calendar

Because I have provided enough calendar material for two consecutive years it would be possible to make an Academic Calendar beginning in September 2015 and ending in August 2016, or any other period, simply by printing only the sheets required.


  1. UK Bank Holidays – GOV.UK
  2. Religious Dates from The University of Bradford UK
  3. British Calendar Through 2020
  4. The Queen’s Official Birthday – Wikipedia
  5. Trooping The Colour

Backdoor Trojan Regin Spying Since 2008

Backdoor Trojan Regin Spying Since 2008

A recently discovered Backdoor Trojan Regin is a computer bug found by the software security company Symantec. Its purpose is to spy on the activities taking place on computers. It can collect passwords, capture screen images and even recover deleted files.

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made to operate in five stages the last two being encrypted to make it very difficult to discover and understand. If any stage were to be discovered it would say little about the other stages. Two stages are specifically given over to loading each other and the other stages. You can see a block diagram of Regin’s stages of operation at this Symantec site.

Backdoor Trojan Regin appears to have been developed as far back as 2008 and by its sophisticated nature was probably developed by a nation state as opposed to criminals. It appears to have been withdrawn from use by its masters in 2011 and a new version reintroduced in 2013.

Regin infections have been found in the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • India
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia

All Regin infections have been shared by these sectors thus:

  • Airline – 5%
  • Energy – 5%
  • Hospitality – 9%
  • Research – 5%
  • Small Businesses & Private Individuals – 48%
  • Telecoms Backbone – 28%

The Backdoor Trojan Regin has been made extremely stealthy so that it is very hard to determine what it is up to even after discovery. It could go undetected for years. For those interested it uses RC5 encryption which isn’t commonly used.


  1. BBC News – Regin, new computer spying bug, discovered by Symantec.
  2. Symantec Security Response – Regin: Top-tier espionage tool enables stealthy surveillance.
  3. Symantec White Paper on Regin.
  4. Wikipedia on Trojan Horse – Computer terminology.
  5. Wikipedia on RC5 encryption.
Fourteen Different Calendars

Fourteen Different Calendars


If you didn’t already know it the 1st January next year will always be on a different day to the 1st January this year. This comes about because:

  • for ordinary years 365 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 1 day remaining,
  • for leap years 366 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 2 day remaining.

This means that:

  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in an ordinary year then so is the 31st December. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Tuesday,
  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in a leap year then the 31st December is on a Tuesday. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Wednesday.

If there had been 364 days in every year the 1st January would always be on the same day of the week.

As a consequence of all this movement around the week, by the 1st January, next years calendar is always different to this years. That leads to the question: “There’s only seven days in a week so how many different ones do we need? Just seven.” Well the answer is, “No you need another seven as well, for all the leap years. They too can start on any day of the week.”

Fourteen Different Calendars Are Required

Yes, there are fourteen different calendars required to make all calendars for all years:

  • seven are required to allow for the first day of the year occurring on every day of the week for 365 day years;
  • another seven are required to cover the same situation for 366 day Leap Years.

I have produced a reference table showing which years in the range 2001 to 2112 start on each day of the week. You can see it here: Fourteen Calendar Table in my Reference Library.


Hythe To New Romney

Hythe To New Romney By Train


It was a nice summer and I enjoyed a family day out travelling from Hythe to New Romney on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in Kent on 5th July 2014. It was an overcast afternoon and the breeze was slightly chilly when it whistled through the carriages. We travelled  West from Hythe as far as New Romney, where we alighted to look at the model railway and take refreshment. The original plan was to go all the way to Dungeness, part of Romney Marsh, where there is a large loop in the countryside which connects the up and down lines to turn trains around. There is a Railway Station at Dungeness too besides a lighthouse, village, very large shingle beach and a  Nuclear Power Station. However we travelled so late in the day that by the time we were ready to continue our journey we realised we could go from New Romney to Dungeness and back but wouldn’t have time to get back to Hythe. Perhaps I’ll get to see Dungeness next time. This line may have a small gauge (15 inches) but it is a big railway with 13½ miles of track.

More about Romney Marsh.

Videos and Photographs Taken During My Trip From Hythe To New Romney:

For photographic enthusiasts: All photographs and videos were taken with a Lumix FZ100.

This railway is scaled to 1/3 of a full size railway and operates a public service using trains of long carriages mounted on bogies with a roof and windows. Some carriages have glazed windows and some are open. They have comfortable seats. The seats over the bogies don’t have a foot well and so are more suited to children or a dog (yes dogs are allowed after paying the appropriate fare). Take a look inside this one:

Hythe To New Romney
Happy Passengers Inside an RHDR Carriage With Glazed Windows.

At Hythe the line follows the route of the Royal Military Canal. It can be seen here beyond the palings:

Hythe To New Romney
The Royal Miltary Canal, Hythe.

The journey from Hythe wasn’t quite so bouncy as this video portrays. Because the line follows the Royal Military Canal it has similar bends in it which allow the loco to be seen.

You can relax and enjoy the scenery as you traverse the marshes:

On the journey from Hythe to New Romney I saw this Victorian Water Tower Near New Romney:

Victorian Water Tower
Victorian Water Tower

New Romney was quite a hive of activity due to all the comings and goings of through trains, the model railway, single carriage rides given on the sidings and regular use of the turntable. The Bug was giving regular rides back and forth over the turntable:

Hythe To New Romney
The Bug Giving Rides

While The Bug was out of the way I had a look at the turntable from two angles:

Hythe To New Romney
New Romney Turntable View A
Hythe To New Romney
New Romney Turntable View B

Whilst wandering about at New Romney I came across this relic from WW2. Actually I think it was a WW2 look-a-like:

Hythe To New Romney
WW2 camouflaged Loco

There were a few more locos around including diesels:

Hythe To New Romney
No.2 Northern Chief
Hythe To New Romney
No.14 Captain Howey
Hythe To New Romney
No.12 J.B.Snell

Winston Churchill rushes into New Romney Station. There’s plenty of time to apply the brakes because the platforms are so long:

Then Winston went for a quick spin on the turntable too with the driver on board and a disc jockey controlling the turntable:

Hythe To New Romney
No.9 Winston Churchill On The Turntable At New Romney

With a heavy load No.8 Hurricane pulls out of Dymchurch Station with wheel-slip (spinning driving wheels). The road crossing ahead has its barriers down and people are waiting:

“Why are people waiting?” You ask. They are waiting to get to the Funfair:

Hythe To New Romney
Dymchurch Funfair

Dymchurch is well known locally for this funfair which has been around for many years. It’s right at the beach, only a short walk from the RHDR Station. We stopped off to look at it but on the way back one of our party caught the wrong train. He looked quite troubled when he returned. I thought he’d seen a ghost:

Well it was late in the day by this time and a cool breeze had sprung up so we were glad to get back on the next train to Hythe (the last train if I remember correctly).

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013

GCR – Great Central Railway


It was a wet day this year at the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013 (on 27th Jan). I didn’t take so many photos and the videos were short. For the most part the videos are of trains leaving stations. The event ran all day but I only arrived in the afternoon. Here is the Featured Image for those who can’t see it.

Videos and still photo’s of the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013:

For photographic enthusiasts: All photographs and videos were taken with a Lumix FZ100.

This year I bought a train ticket and went down the line to Leicester stopping off at Quorn. There was a train waiting to go in Platform 2 but I just managed this shot of No.6023 ‘King Edward II’ in Platform 1 before I boarded:

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
King Class No.6023 ‘King Edward II’ in Loughborough Platfrom 1

This year I was accompanied. So when we stopped off at Quorn & Woodhouse Station, on the homeward journey, we chose to visit the café (not the Station Tea Room signposted in the picture below). First we looked around the station and I took a video as the train, from which we had alighted, departed northwards:

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
No.78019 Northbound About To Leave Quorn & Woodhouse Station

We had a look inside Quorn & Woodhouse Station too. Oh! I’ve been here before on 26th May 2012.

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
Quorn and Woodhouse Station Master’s Office

Then we went over the bridge to the café, a large modern building with facilities.

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
Quorn and Woodhouse Station From The Road Bridge

It started to rain as we left the café or was it just condensing steam from No.777 Sir Lamiel which had just pulled in on its southbound journey. Last time I saw this loco it was No.30777.

Back At Loughborough

I found BR Standard Class 7 No.70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ in the workshop:

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
BR Standard Class 7 No.70013 ‘Oliver Cromwell’ In The Workshop

Another déjà vu experience below: LMS Stania Class 8F 2-8-0 No. 48624 rolling north this time, through the GCR Station, Loughborough, as seen at the GCR Winter Steam Gala 2012 when it was rolling south.

A more unusual item was seen in the station:

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
An LNER Footwarmer

Finally some diesels were parked up round the back:

GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
Class 45 1Co-1Co Diesel-electric locomotive D123
GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
Orange-brown (‘golden ochre’) liveried A1A-A1A Brush powered Class 31 D5830
GCR Winter Steam Gala 2013
Co-Co diesel-electric locomotive Class 47 D1705 ‘Sparrowhawk’

To finish off let me show you what happened on the previous day according to Sam Bailey:

Plumbing Parent Category Changed

Plumbing Parent Category Changed

This is a post to advise all my readers that I have changed my Plumbing parent category from the old parent category ‘Technology’ to a new parent category ‘Do It Yourself > In The Home’ since it is more appropriate.

Search Using Binary Chop 3

Manual Search Using Binary Chop

The Problem To Be Solved.

A good friend of mine had found that an Excel spread sheet no longer had a formulae in a particular cell. It had a number there instead. This meant that any changes in other cells associated with the missing formulae had no effect on the result in the TOTAL column. On a regular basis my friend had sensibly made a backup of the spread sheet and now my friend had a great number of them. It was imperative that my friend found out when the formulae had gone missing. My friend was about to conduct a manual search and work through all the backups to find the time when the formulae was last used in the spread sheet. Looking at every backup would have given my friend a lot of work. So I advised using a “Binary Chop” method to make it easy. See Example 4 in particular. Continue reading

From investigation and reason comes understanding.

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