Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Lunch at the rudest pie shop in London (186/365) Tuesday July 5, 2011

Lunch is already becoming an issue at our new office in Victoria, as our choice of venues is much worse than in Soho.

We ventured out to try and find somewhere new and interesting, and ended up on Struton Ground, where there is a street market and a few cafes and restaurants. I went for a pie in a place I think was called Stiles, and the service was atrocious. One server just stared at me rather than asking what I wanted even though he’d called me over. Very bizarre. It was a bit freaky and Paul decided not to have anything because of it, although I eventually escaped with a reasonable vegetable pastie.

Will not be going there again.

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Working in Victoria (185/365) Monday July 4, 2011

Monday was our first day working in the main Microsoft building in Cardinal Place near Victoria Station. I’ve been in the building many times before, but it was very strange to think we’ll be working their full-time from now on rather than in lovely Soho.

The office itself is actually much better, but the location clearly isn’t anywhere near as good. The tube at Victoria is bad at the best of times, and with all the work going on there right now it’s an absolute nightmare.

For the blog I get some easy new things this week, but on the downside it’s going to much harder to get new (and interesting!) lunches. Ho hum.

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Wimbledon Barbecue (184/365) Sunday July 3, 2011

Earlier in the week it was looking like Andy Murray had a fair chance of at least making the final, so we thought we’d do something new and have a barbecue on Men’s Final day. Obviously he faltered at the semis once again, but the weather was good and food was ready so we went ahead anyway.

Following some tips from the excellent Planet Barbecue website, I think I got my best ever barbie going and the veggie sausages and burgers were very good, although my halloumi kebabs not so much.

The tennis was disappointing for most of us who were supporting Nadal, but much Pimms was enjoyed by all.

Made my own whoopie pies (183/365) Saturday July 2, 2011

After Thursday’s whoopie pie experience, the obvious step was to try making some of my own.

I found what I hoped would be a good recipe from a Brighton-based bakery and gave it a go. Results as usual don’t look great in the picture, but they are a quite nice biscuit/cake combination, and the vanilla buttercream is lovely.

Whoopie Pie

Upgraded phone to Mango (182/365) Friday July 1, 2011

After playing about with the dev tools this week, I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my actual handset to the new Mango release of Windows Phone 7.

I was slightly concerned because Mark had gone first and it hadn’t worked for him - it didn’t brick his phone and we think it’s a 64 bit Windows issue - but I gave it a go anyway and although it took a couple of hours it installed fine.

The new OS isn’t obviously different, but after a couple of days use there are lots of small usability touches that are really nice. It’s so much nicer to use (and develop for) than my old Android phone already, and this upgrade helps extend that gap even more. Definitely a contender, but how well it does in the marketplace will have to be seen.

Had my first whoopie pie (181/365) Thursday June 30, 2011

Last day working in Soho (moving offices to Victoria next week) so on the way to work I thought I’d go to Starbucks on Piccadilly for a change. I’ve been there before, but was looking for something unhealthy after being on the booze the night before and saw they had a chocolate whoopie pie on offer.

I’ve not tried one before and it was quite nice, a slightly strange mixture of biscuit and cake with a creamy filling. Could also be that Starbucks isn’t the best supplier too so I need to try more!

Mango Tools (180/365) Wednesday June 29, 2011

After playing about with the new features in Mango on Monday, Microsoft announced registered developers can get the latest Windows Phone OS on their phones. To prepare for this I installed the newly named Windows Phone SDK on Wednesday.

The link shows all the new features available, and I’m really looking forward to trying out some of them shortly.

Woodforde’s Wherry (179/365) Tuesday June 28, 2011

A bit of a pattern appearing here, which seems against the spirit of the quest(!)

Midweek means heading out to a pub in Soho with work colleagues, me remembering I haven’t done anything new today and having to have a pint of something different.

This week’s emergency beer was Woodforde’s Wherry Bitter, which appears to come from Norfolk and was perfectly acceptable which is about as much as I can remember.

Built power-friendly app (178/365) Monday June 27, 2011

Back in London this week, but still keeping on with the phone development theme.

Mark pointed out to me that the upcoming version on Windows Phone (“Mango”) has a power detection API, so I updated my Bedside Clock phone app to tell the user if they’re not plugged in as they may want to do so. In the earlier version it did that always because I couldn’t detect if they were on power or not.

Now all I need to do is find the courage to update my phone with the beta bits to test it out :-) 

Day at British Cycling Road Race Championships (177/365) Sunday June 26, 2011

The British Cycling Road Race Championships were being held in the countryside not far from where we live in Northumberland, and being the first nice weekend day for a while we decided to go and watch.

We headed to Stamfordham, the small village where the start/finish line was, and joined a few thousand people there to watch the races. We just missed the finish of the women’s race but walked right past Olympic silver medallist Emma Pooley. We them mooched around the village while waiting for the men’s race to start, admiring the Sky team’s bus, and being very close to both Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish.

The race was 7 laps around local roads, leaving 45-50 minutes between sightings of the peloton. There was some great commentary/chat from Dave Harmon, the Eurosport commentator which helped pass the time (as well as the glorious sunshine). Team Sky had a massively powerful team and decimated everyone pretty early on leaving 3 of their riders well clear. We came home before the end, but Bradley Wiggins won from teammates Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh.

A great summer’s day out.