Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Stamford Hill. Sainsburys. Sad but streak continues (46/365) Tuesday February 15, 2011

I was late, it was raining and I had done anything new yet. Desperate measures were called for, so I thought I’d walk down Tottenham High Street to Stamford Hill to the Sainsburys there.

It’s actually a much better place to shop for veggie stuff than Tescos at Seven Sisters, so despite getting a little wetter than I needed to it was probably worth it - at least to keep the streak going for one more day.

I have nothing interesting for today and I’m perched in front of the TV watching Arsenal v Barcelona, so don’t hold your breath for better things on day 47 :-(

Pub Quiz in Stoke Newington. Cancelled for Love (45/365) Monday February 14, 2011

Yesterday was Valentines Day, but being away from home as usual meant I couldn’t do anything with Hilary (we went out for a lovely Chinese meal at Artisam in Corbridge on Saturday instead).

Mandy had promised me an evening of pub quiz excitement at the Daniel Defoe pub in Stoke Newington, but when we got there they’d cancelled it because they didn’t think anyone would want to do a quiz on Valentines Day. They were wrong.

In any case I had a nice night getting to know potential future team-mates over a couple of beers, so not all was lost.

Stoke Newington seemed even more upmarket than the last time I was there a few years back, although I think I recognized a few places on the walk down.

Tried making my own toffee, but was more like caramel (44/365) Sunday February 13, 2011

We were going to go to the pictures yesterday (ended up not going in the end) so I thought I’d be mildly rebellious and make and smuggle in my own sweets.

I had a fancy for some toffee, so had a go using a recipe I found at

I clearly did something not quite right, as the toffee took ages to solidify and didn’t really harden up. You could scoop it up and just about roll it up into a sweet, but it was really caramel rather than toffee - although it tasted absolutely fantastic!

I’ll definitely try making it again as it was really easy, although I’ll try a different recipe next time

My Bedside Clock App is available right now! (43/365) Saturday February 12, 2011

After just a couple of days waiting, my Bedside Clock app got approved yesterday so is available for download from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. I don’t think the app is anything particularly of note, but it’s pretty cool to have a published app!

Windows Phone 7 users can download it using this link: or by searching for “Bedside Clock”

For everyone else, I’ve made a particularly average web page (it’s not well designed even for me) with details and screenshots at

If you do give it a try, be sure to give feedback on the app in the Marketplace - good or bad :-)

The bad news is I don’t have a constant source of new things now it’s done. The good news is I can get on with something more interesting in my side projects.

Analysed what you all like (42/365) Friday February 11, 2011

After yesterday’s travel shenanigans, I’ve been too tired to do much except work today, so I’m cracking out an emergency new thing (yes I do have a list)

Not that I’m chasing page views at all, but I’ve been interested to see what people are most interested in reading on here. According to Posterous I’ve been getting a frankly unbelievable average of 381 views per page, but a whole bunch of those must be crawlers as I really don’t think that number of real people are interested in my experiment.

Anyway I’m a data-driven nerd - even more so given my current day job - so I thought I’d categorize each post so far and work out the average page views:

  • Travel: 417 (4 stories)
  • Interesting: 397 (6 stories)
  • Personal: 396 (6 stories)
  • Phone development: 386 (5 stories)
  • Food: 369 (9 stories)
  • Computing: 350 (10 stories)

Slightly surprising that the travel stories take first place, but I guess stories of my everyday computing experiences aren’t that fascinating :-(

The top 5 individual stories so far are:

  • Trying ”No food on plane” anti jet-lag diet (608)
  • I was Higher Than An Eagle (560)
  • Got my own app running on my Windows Phone (532)
  • Switched Sides in the Sausage Sandwich Game (526)
  • Made a flat Swiss Roll (522)

Hmmm. Maybe the true finding here is that the title is everything, and the more interesting the title, the more likely you are to read it. Probably Writing 101 but what do I know? And how will this post affect the stats? And does anyone care??

Submitted my app to Windows Phone 7 Marketplace (41/365) Thursday February 10, 2011

Been another painful travel day with absolute chaos at Kings Cross following signal failure. I’m already over an hour late and it’s touch and go if I’ll make the last train back to Hexham. What a crappy week :-(

Anyway, the good news is I’ve used the time reasonably productively and finally gone through all the steps to submit my Bedside Clock app to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

It really isn’t much of an application, but it will be nice to actually get something there to show off a bit. Hopefully it will get through the testing phase OK - my only worry is that the testers might moan of power usage as the clock stays on all night (sort of the point of it). There are other similar apps that have been approved so hopefully it’ll be there soon.

I’ll definitely post again once it’s available for download, as that will be an exciting new experience for us all.

I’m glad I got this done, as my alternative new thing was trying a veggie patty at Subway for lunch. It was OK, but would definitely be the lamest so far by a long way.

Went to my new local to watch the England game (40/365) Wednesday February 9, 2011

Bit of a slow week on the exciting new experiences front, but I’m still sticking with it.

I thought I’d go to the pub around the corner from my new London flat to watch the Denmark v England match tonight. I wasn’t particularly bothered about the game - although it turned out reasonable for a friendly - but more in preparation for more interesting games coming up. I can get Sky Player on my laptop, but sometimes it’s just better to watch the game in the pub, and with the Champions League coming around soon I need to see how my new local will work out.

It’s called the Woodbury Tavern, and is a very ordinary pub (which is not a bad thing at all!). It’s a decent size, reasonably cheap beer, and best of all has at least 4 large TVs around the place all showing sport. Whilst watching the England game I could also keep an eye on Scotland v N. Ireland. This is very good.

The pub’s Facebook page has some pictures of both the interior and the outside which capture it pretty well. It was quiet in there, and I definitely think I’ll be going back - especially when new local team Spurs play AC Milan next week.

Finally cracked and got a Starbucks card for Wi-fi (39/365) Tuesday February 8, 2011

I probably go to Starbucks on the way to work more than I think I do, and yesterday I finally admitted that to myself and got a Starbucks reward card.

My new commute means I have about 30 minutes to read The Times on the way in, so rather than sit and read the sports news whilst having my coffee I decided to do a bit of work. Getting the Starbucks card seems a reasonable trade-off for getting free Wi-fi and according to their website I also get free stuff if I use it to pay. Obviously they’re getting data on my particularly dull shopping habits and the interest on my outstanding balance (a few quid), but that’s fine with me I guess.

My name is John, and I am a Starbucks user.

Moved into new flat in South Tottenham (38/365) Monday February 7, 2011

It’s seems ages since I moved out of my flat in Pimlico, with a long trip to the US in-between, but yesterday I finally moved into my new room in North London.

I definitely think I’m going to be happy there, although I am missing the convenience of Pimlico. The Victoria line was a nightmare last night, and Oxford Circus is hell at rush hour (will be using Piccadilly line in future for sure), but the distance means there isn’t any practical alternative to the tube.

In other news, I’m not sure my jet-lag has returned or not. I was in bed by 9pm last night after an early start, and was awake for a few hours during the night, but I’m still declaring the food experiment a success :-)

Declared my Windows Phone 7 app code complete (37/365) Sunday February 6, 2011

I’ve been using my “Bedside Clock” Windows Phone 7 app during my 2 week trip to the US, and after a few final tweaks I’m now happy that it’s done (and to be honest I’m getting a bit bored!)

I’ve set up a holding webpage for the app  and if you have an unlocked developer phone and want to give it a try, you can download the XAP file from there at your own risk!

Next step - which I will hopefully tackle this week - is to get it into the Marketplace so everyone can use it.