I wrote previously about my potato harvest from one test seed potato. Since then, I did some digging in the garden, and found more that I missed. I know what I’m going to grow next year!
My new Kindle arrived last week. It’s extremely neat, and fits in a pocket. It’s not a touchscreen, which fooled me for a few seconds. The lack of keyboard hasn’t been a problem so far – using the screen keyboard is similar to texting. It hardly took any time at all to charge, using the USB port. It is a nice and clear screen, and a real pleasure to read. Despite following the instructions, I can’t seem to read it and charge it at the same time.
I loaded TheBlissBook, by John McKenzie, costing £0.86 onto it in a couple of minutes. My next blog post is likely to be a review of that book.
I also ordered a cover for the Kindle. At £26.99 for a wee cover, it’s overpriced, but necessary. Of course, since buying it I’ve seen cheaper alternative covers elsewhere.
In fact, I was sent two covers, with identical order numbers, in separate packages, and expected this to be a problem – how do you return one, without them thinking that you’re returning the order? However, Amazon are, as I’ve always found so far, customer-orientated. I sent them the following email:
You sent me two Kindle covers, in separate packages, with an identical order number. I’m pretty sure that you only charged me for one, and I only ordered one, and only want one. Can you confirm that you charged me for only one, and indicate what I should do with the second one, so that I can return it to you without cancelling the original order. Thanks.
Within an hour I received the following response:
Thanks for letting us know that you being sent more than one “Marware jurni Kindle Cover, Black”. This seems to have been caused by a technical error, now fixed.
Please be assured that you were charged only once for the item.
Please return the extra item to us with all warranty cards, licenses, manuals or accessories (if any).
Despite being a very automated business, Amazon are able, where necessary, to respond on an individual basis. Impressive!
I had to look up the following words used in Behind The Wall: A journey through China, by Colin Thubron.
I hadn’t realised how limited is my vocabulary!
At one stage, he writes about Chinese inventions: printing and paper, the magnetic compass, gunpowder, porcelain, silk, the mechanical clock, dictionaries and encyclopedias, map-grids, lock-gates, paddle-wheel boat, chain suspension bridges, a seismograph, rain and snow gauges, winnowing machines, the kite and the wheelbarrow; yet he wonders how these inventions happened, as he says that metaphysical enquiry seems to be stillborn in their history.
The book is about Thubron’s journey through China in the 1980s, at a time when very few westerners travelled in that country. Amazingly, he writes at one point “…there are fewer than a hundred private cars in China…” So, things have changed drastically in the years since, as according to official statistics, there are now more than 70 million, and demand outstrips supply.
This is high quality travel literature. Thubron doesn’t need a gimmick, such as following in the footsteps of an earlier explorer, or pushing a washing machine round the country, or discovering an old travel journal in an attic and retracing its steps, or searching for cricket games in far off lands. Instead, he simply writes travel.
Apropos of nothing in particular, there are currently more than 780,000,000 mobile phones in China.
Another update today on William Cockfield from Linda Owens (you can search this blog for the other updates, and the original post is here).
Hi, We have just met William this evening walking along Otterspool prom in Liverpool, he was asking directions and said he was meeting someone at the bottom end near Garston. It was cold and getting dark and his poor hands were freezing. I felt uneasy leaving him and couldn’t stop worrying about him when I got home. I decided to search the internet to check if his story was true as it was hard to believe that he had done all that walking by himself. I am so happy that I have found some information about him. William told me he had suffered a stroke in the past and began walking to raise awarenes and to stay independent. What a chap, walking all that way… I think he is a star. Godbless you William on your wonderful adventure. Kind regards Linda and Steve XX
I bought this packet of Puerh Tea for £4.99 at the Real Foods shop on Broughton Street.
According to the packet, Numi’s Emperor’s Puerh is picked from wild-harvested, organic tea trees that are 500 years old, in Yunnan, China.
The Journal of Chinese Medicine states that puerh is a compressed, aged and post-fermented green tea that is one of the only teas that is ‘laid down’, like fine wine, to improve with age. More information about Pu-erh is availablle on the Wikipedia. There’s an interesting YouTube video about it’s production.
The tea has a refreshing and nice taste, but comes with a musty odour.
On the Sunday morning we went clay pigeon shooting, up the back of the estate. I couldn’t participate due to the shoulder problem, for which I’ve been getting physio treatment, but Lindsey, Jamie and Shaun had a go, along with several others.
When Lindsey shot before shouting “Pull!” the gamekeeper wisely loaded only one cartridge the next time.
Everyone ended up with at least a couple of hits, but Shaun was the best shot.
The food at Ardtalla was superb. On the first evening it was roast duck, and on the second evening, venison.
On the second evening, the meal was served in the hall.
Ardtalla on the Novar Estate is an excellent place to have a party or wedding.
Fat Mac told me that nowadays he avoids party houses, ever since the time a couple of years back, when he stayed in one. As usual, he had far too many beers on the first night and felt awful the next day. He went down to breakfast late, to be greeted by everyone else staying in the house with a standing ovation.
“What’s up?” he enquired.
“That was some exhibition you put on last night!” someone said.
“Eh? Things are a bit hazy, but I don’t think there were any faux pas, were there?” Fat Mac continued.
“No. But your Elvis impersonations were fantastic!” someone said.
“I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic nude Elvis impersonation” someone else said.
Fat Mac thought they were just putting him on, until they showed him the photographic evidence. Thank goodness for a strategically placed, small flower pot.
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Memory-restricted black-box complexity of OneMax
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Last weekend we stayed at Ardtalla, in the Novar Estate near Evanton, to celebrate the 70th birthday of John, my brother-in-law.
What an impressive place!