This is the black cat that Willow [ our proper cat ] absolutely hates. Whenever the black cat comes into our garden Willow makes this god awful noise. It’s kind of like a moany cat scream with added wailiness. So I properly got into trouble for giving the black cat some food. Seems it’s ok for everyone else in the house to adopt waifs and strays – except for me!

I’ve named him/her Satan/Satane


I’ve been trying to find a nice simple fitbit clock face. All I want is a pretty picture, my heart rate and the number of steps that I’ve done today…oh, and the time of course.

Could I find one in the huge online array of clock faces? Could I bollocks. It’s all crazy, in your face, neon themed god awful screens. Or pictures of the stars and stripes and shit like that.

So I made my own

This is v1 – just showing the time. v2 has the same picture but I added the heart rate and steps – and took the seconds off the clock. I just need to add the battery level and I’m done.

Fitbit marketplace my ass.

Much maligned

Charlie has been whining that all the blog posts about him make it look like he just stands around doing nothing – so he put a bit of extra special effort in to do stuff and then made me take pictures of him.

Here he is helping move the stones that were used as the base for shed Mk1
and here we have him turning the handle to make’a de pasta

Spicy Noodles

After several years of having a break from my favourite noodles I decided to treat myself again. They are definitely the best…noodles…ever!


I’m finishing work. I need a break. Getting a bit bored doing the same old stuff and there are so many other things that I’d really rather be doing. One of those things is building a shed. I’m gonna build a proper shed with stud walls and a sturdy door and all those things that a proper shed should have.

So we decided to get rid of the old one first. I inherited this shed from my Granddad when he died. I remember him keeping his birds in it when I was just a boy so this is a shed that’s been in our family for a long time. It didn’t take the boy wonder long to put an end to that particular legacy.

He punched out the perspex windows and roundhouse kicked the back off. I hit the front panel with my 2lb lump hammer that I inherited from my Dad and the front panel and then the two remaining sides comically collapsed out wards. We took the whole thing down in about two minutes, after getting the roof off.

So the shed has gone, in its place is a bit of a rough canvas where the shed Mk 2 will be built. It’s going to have electricity and everything.

Optical sensors, oh my

Everytime I think of fixing stuff I always have the Elbow lyrics of “The fix is in” going through my head. That song is all about rigging a horse race which has nothing to do with me finally installing a pair of optical sensors to stop me breaking my garage doors.

This is the clever bit that sends out some sort of optical signal or a ‘frickin laser beam’ or something
This is the equally clever bit that does some sort of crazy reflecting it all over the place in a scattery way.

I thought it was going to be really, really difficult to have the signal reflected back to the transmitter/receiver. As it turns out it was super easy. I think if the reflector had been a mirror then yeah…mega tough – but since it has that weird reflector type layout it turns out that you have to put it in roughly the right area and then you’re golden.

The ongoing search for perfect pasta

It’s all kicking off in the Steele household on the pasta stakes. First we added a little semolina to our mix, then we let the KitchenAid food mixer (flex) do most of the heavy lifting when it came to kneading the dough and then Amelia finished off the kneading by hand. We then made use of our new funky pasta holder upper thing to complete the trifecta of pasta making improvements.

The finished result was lush!

Ooops I [ nearly ] did it again

Those of you paying attention will remember that I managed to crash my garage door onto my car and that I planned to get some sensors installed. Well, annoyingly the sensors haven’t arrived yet but I managed to crash my garage door into a ceramic pot. So, it’s a step up from bashing my car in but ho hum.

Fortunately this time the white plastic things didn’t snap, they just cracked a little and made a little plasticcy bit flap around a bit which caused some issues. So, in my usual over-engineered approach I fixed it with some masking tape.

Sensors arriving tomorrow, they’ll be installed this weekend and you my dear reader will hopefully never hear more tales of door smashing plastic bits.

Just Josh

This is Joshua Wong. He’s a political activist in Hong Kong. I don’t know him.

This is Joshua Ong. He’s a geek living in London and one of my very dear friends. Unfortunately, I do know him.

He bought me this for Christmas. Now I have to go out and buy the real thing to put in my garage and hopefully not close the garage door on the bonnet.

This is why I say [ very much tongue in cheek ] that it is unfortunate that I know him.

Fresh Pasta

We moved from dry tagliatelle to fresh tagliatelle a while ago and the difference is pretty epic. So inspired by some Saturday morning kitchen cookery type programme making their own pasta, I decided Amelia and I should have a crack at it. We got the pasta machine as a Christmas prezzie from Granddad John and Amelia/Emma bought me the 00 flour used for making pasta…and off we went

00 Flour waiting for our eggs
Making the dough is a bit messy
But we ended up with something resembling Jaz

After a 30 minute chilling session in the fridge the fun part began

Once again, and I cannot stress this enough, cooking without wine is positively barbaric. It’s a crime against culinary pursuits and humanity in general.
We had to fashion a pasta drying rack out of stuff we had lying around in the kitchen. We’ve since purchased a proper drying rack but it hasn’t arrived yet.

On the whole our first tagliatelle making experience was an immensely positive one. We loved it. But we messed up. We ran the tagliatelle through the pasta machine until it was about the thickness of fresh tagliatelle – which was about two notches away from being the thinnest setting on the machine. This was a mistake. As soon as we started boiling the tagliatelle it swelled up massively and was pretty thick – kinda ending up like Udon noodles. They tasted fantastic, but just a bit thick. So next time we do tagliatelle [ we’ve done several batches of spaghetti since, but no tagliatelle ] we’ll be sure to run them through the machine on the thinnest setting.