Sunday, 25 September 2011

How the public help science do amazing things

Last night while trawling the internet for something entertaining and interesting to do or read or watch or anything that wasn't mind numbingly boring or stupid really I :

Read this article and was particularly interested in number four.

So then I watched this TED lecture (about 15 minutes long)

Then read this other article.

Which all lead me to zooniverse that have projects for the public to help scientists do various things.

So I decided on this project and helped scientists map the universe for further investigation.

And that is the story of how I mapped the universe on a dull Saturday night.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Pear, apple, onion and raisin chutney.

I made some chutney for the first time the other day and it is delicious. I thought I'd share the recipe. I got 5 little jars out of it and 1 fresh pasta sauce tub like the one you get in all the supermarkets next to the garlic bread and fresh pasta.

5 pears
1 cooking apple
2 onions
½ lb raisins
½ teaspoon of chilli powder or cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
½lb soft brown sugar
½pint white vinegar

  1. Chop the pears and peel, core and chop the apple and onions.
  2. Crush the garlic.
  3. Put all of the ingredients into a large pan with the vinegar and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and continue simmering for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until it looks like chutney.
  6. Spoon into still warm sterilized jars.

To sterilize your jars put them in a clean pan with cold water and bring them to a fast boil then leave on boil for at least 10 minutes, while this is happening heat your oven to 120 degrees celsius. Use tongs or something similar to lift the jars from the water and place on a clean oven tray and place in the hot oven for another 10 minutes to dry completely. It is best to time your chutney being ready with the jars coming from the oven as you need to put the hot chutney into hot jars so that the glass doesn't crack when mixing different temperatures or cause bacteria to grow by using cold unclean jars.

If you have a dishwasher you can clean your jars in there and then spoon in the mix while they are still hot.

The chutney is delicious and can be eaten straight away but I've been told by people with more experience than I have that leaving it to mature improves the recipe even more. You can leave it for up to 12 weeks in a dark cool place.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

I think this will become a photo blog. I'm not great with words and they often hold me back.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


I am not particularly well at the moment so have had to call in sick to work today, a good start to the new year or what? There was quite a lot in my diary too but if I remember correctly none of it was urgent so can wait until I go back...hopefully.

Unfortunately it is still a public holiday in Scotland today so I can't get an appointment with the doctor until tomorrow. They have been closed for 4 days now because of the new year so wish me luck please, I may need it to actually get a chance to see them. I must also remember to call the dentist tomorrow to reschedule my next appointment as my days off have changed and if I cancel too late they will charge me for the appointment anyway.

Hope you're all having a better start to the year than I am :)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

And so it starts again.

Well another year is over and this is just a little message to say I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a very happy new year. I'm developing a cold so was in bed for 10.30pm feeling pretty grim and totally asleep when midnight came round. I'll just have to make up for it during the year I guess.

Above is my Grandad on Boxing Day when me and mum went to visit him and take him his gifts. I think a very big thank you is in order for the carers in the home he lives in. They have been excellent with him since he moved there at the end of 2009. They take him out on day trips and for his lunch and dinner and have lots of activities on to keep all the residents occupied and happy. They went out and got everyone their own box of truffles then left them on their bedside tables during the night to wake up and find on Christmas morning and had dotted random sweets through out the home for people to find and help themselves to through the day. We really couldn't think of anywhere better for him to be.

Just one final thing, you'll know if you've swung by here before we've had some pretty terrible weather in December but it's more or less all cleared except for some solid ice that is still melting. Now it's just bitterly cold.

Wishing you all an excellent 2011

Saturday, 18 December 2010

T Ann Cake

A lovely lady has opened up a cafe in Dundee. Here is the link to her blog, I think you should all go have a look.  I had a very tasty mocha, caramelised onion, sundried tomato and gruyere tart and an apple pie. Yum yum yum.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Standing on ice.

I've been away this week visiting friends in Glasgow. I got there just as things ground to a halt because of the bad weather. Despite that a good time was had and successful Christmas shopping was completed. The picture above is of the Clyde which in parts was frozen solid. You can see a great chunk of the water by the shore frozen over here. Things were starting to thaw by the time I came back to Dundee but apparently there is more to come.