Not Enough Gift Wrap For That Gift? Wrap It Diagonally.


You start off with a nice roll of Gift Wrap, when you wrap those gifts for that festive occasion, and afterwards you have a small rectangle of unused paper left over.

Eventually another small gift needs wrapping so you look through the small left-over pieces of Gift Wrap only to find several are nearly large enough but you haven’t enough to cover your gift.

Well perhaps you’ve failed to use the best paper orientation on your package. This article suggests how you might make the paper cover, a box at least, by wrapping in an unusual way.

My Weight Is Reducing Slowly But Surely


Since my last post on body weight (Excel Templates for Body Weight Records) I have continued to try and lose weight. Well slowly but surely my weight is reducing and I have my latest graph to demonstrate it below (select it to enlarge it):

my weight is reducing
My Weight Loss Graph for 2015 up to 27th July.

I have struggled to lose 35 pounds (2½ stones) over a 10 year period. I recall saying I wanted to retire at the correct weight, but that never happened. Well I’m nearly there so I hope those struggling to lose weight can gain some cheer from this article.

Postures And Movements To Test Agility


As people grow older they often lose their agility and so lose their ability to take up certain postures and movements to test agility. This article offers a list of postures and movements to test agility which I have concocted and tried. I would expect these postures and movements to test agility to be easily formed by healthy young people under the age of thirty, but not by older people over sixty, for example, unless they do regular exercises to maintain their flexibility.

Bionic Prosthetic Hand For The 21st Century


prosthetic hand

I listened to the BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine show on 23rd June and heard a great article about a young woman who had been given a bionic prosthetic hand. A 21st century creation. Her name is Nicky Ashwell and here she is in the following video tweet being interviewed by Jeremy Vine who went on to receive this handshake.

Using Bread Maker Panasonic SD206

Using a Panasonic Breadmaker


I made this video of myself using a bread maker (Panasonic SD206) in 2001 but had no means of publishing it back then. So I have decided to publish it now so that the effort wasn’t completely wasted.

I hope it helps people who are considering getting a bread maker but are not sure how one is used in practice.

Oh No! Not Square Plates Again!


Controversy rages over what shape of plate food should be served on: Square plates are an ‘abomination’ according to a report about MasterChef judge William Sitwell’s view in the Telegraph. Apparently Mr Sitwell is to hold a ‘Square Plate’ amnesty at the Towcester Food Festival on the 7th and 8th of June 2014. He doesn’t plan to destroy them Greek style. He’s going to give them to charity. This means they will still be in circulation and may be re-used. I can’t really stand a round plant pot on a square plate can you?

The square plate issue came to light in the BBC MasterChef competition when Mr Sitwell (a judge by invitation) made it clear he didn’t like a contestant’s food because it was served on a square plate. He is of the opinion that a square plate suggests a chef using one raises presentation above flavour.

After 40 Days My Merrell Boots Let In Water


I bought a pair of Merrell MOAB boots for £115 (see featured image) from Millets in Derby 40 days ago and this morning I came back from walking my dog, Leo, and found my left sock was wet because those Merrell boots let in water. They were sold to me as waterproof. Every day I walk a minimum of five miles, 1.5 miles in the morning over wet grass when Leo chases a tennis ball, and 3.5 miles in the afternoon when he just walks. I cannot tolerate wet feet on a regular basis. I must have waterproof shoes or boots. Wellingtons are no good for walking a long distance. My last pair of walking shoes split where the upper and sole join on one foot. That was detected by a wet foot too.

One Pint Glass Tankards Seen In Dalston

Has a new era begun now One Pint Glass Tankards have been seen in Dalston?

“One pint glass tankards seen in Dalston pubs in East London such as The Shacklewell Arms.”


A lengthy report from the BBC tells that these drinking vessels may be returning to some pubs frequented by young people in London. They disappeared from pubs around 2001 when the company making them, Ravenhead Glass in St Helens, closed their factory. Apparently they come from Turkey now.

Not everyone is so nostalgic. Some think that the old glass tankard is not so good for the beer as a modern narrow glass. Tankards have the wrong open surface to volume ratio, I believe, which allows the bubbles to escape too soon after pulling the pint. Yes these pubs PULL their pints, unlike many other modern pubs.

See the video below, from St. Chad’s College Bar, Durham (not in Dalston), which shows how a Real Ale should be dispensed. Unfortunately an ordinary beer glass is being used here, not a Glass Tankard.

St. Chad’s Bar, St Chad’s College, Durham University, 18 N Bailey, Durham DH1 3RH.

Flash Mob Opened New Forecourt at Derby Train Station

The Flash Mob Danced on The New Forecourt

On 16th April 2013 Derby celebrated by way of dance to an appropriate tune “The Loco-Motion”. The dance was performed by a Flash Mob at the opening of the new Derby Train Station Forecourt. This happened after months of disruption and a lot of money spent. See the short portion of video below:

Other dances were performed too (at least one other) and the opening ceremony could be seen here ( in the article published by the Derby Telegraph, but they have updated their system and it’s no longer available.

Anyway, this is what they were celebrating. The new look of the station entrance shown below.

New Facade at Derby Train Station
Derby Midland Station Entrance 2013 Upgrade

The previous version of the forecourt had a basic design fault. When tall vehicles, like vans, arrived at the entrance their top nearside corners were able to smash into the metal fascia of the overhanging canopy and cause noticeable damage. This tended not to get repaired and the forecourt soon took on a shabby appearance.

This is how that previous appearance looked before the latest upgrade:

Derby Station Forecourt Before 2013 upgrade (no Flash Mob then)
Derby Station Forecourt Before 2013 upgrade

When the design above was built the whole of the internal foyer was redesigned too. An electronic destination board and automatic ticketing barriers were eventually installed too. When the latest forecourt was built those features in the foyer remained as they were since they were already modern.

You can see from the photo of the station before and after the latest upgrade that the tiled roof, windows and station name above, covering the foyer went unchanged.

. . . and before that it looked like this when I was a young man:

Derby Station Forecourt 1980 (no Flash Mob then)
Derby Station Forecourt 1980

You can read more about my interest in railways (particularly steam railways) here: My Railway Experiences.

CycloCable Gets Bikes Up That Hill


We all know it’s a bit of a pain cycling up steep hills especially on your journey to work, but CycloCable gets bikes up that hill.

Well the Norwegians have got that sorted, in Trondheim at least. Just watch this video:

You can see more detail about how the ‘CycloCable gets bikes up that hill’ at Gizmodo. Better still why not nip over to the Poma CycloCable® Page to read more about the system.