Something New Every Day

A record of doing a new thing every day in 2011

Setup a CodeGuard backup (146/365) Thursday May 26, 2011

I read a few days ago about a simple but really useful service called CodeGuard, which basically logs into your website via FTP and copies it to a safe server. This is really useful, as well as providing early detection for any corruption or viruses.

I set it up for the previously unreliable Yeltz Forum I help maintain, and it worked straight away without a hitch. You get 1 free site which is fine for me.

Definitely recommended.

The Mountain Goats in Camden (145/365) Wednesday May 25, 2011

My friend Ada was in town to see The Mountain Goats, an American band I’d never heard of, so I thought I’d tag along for the night. The gig was at Koko in Camden where I’d never been before, and all in all it was a good night out.

The “band” was really one guy who’s been going for ages, who’s recently added a bassist and drummer to make a real band. They are a real cult band with some clearly devoted fans, and I’ll definitely check them out some more on MP3. I’ve hopefully embedded a YouTube video at the bottom.

The venue was pretty cool too, as it still had some of the decor of an old musical hall/theatre. £4.40 for a can of cider wasn’t so good though. We then had a pint in the Lyttleton Arms opposite the venue, which will be vaguely amusing to anyone from Halesowen.

Lunchtime at a Hawaiian Sandwich Grill (144/365) Tuesday May 24, 2011

Another new place for lunch this time Kua ‘Aina, a Hawaiian Sandwich Grill just off Carnaby Street.

It was a pretty awesome place, serving burgers and grilled sandwiches. Paul’s fish option looked good, and although the veggie options were a little limited the grilled halloumi sandwich I had was very good. Definitely recommended.

Flying Scotsman (143/365) Monday May 23, 2011

My usual early morning train down to that London has now been rebranded the “Flying Scotsman”, which is quite good because it’s now non-stop from Newcastle to King’s Cross knocking 15 minutes off the journey.

East Coast Railways were making a big thing of the reusing of the famous name, so arriving at Kings Cross was absolutely mental. There was a full Scottish Pipe Band on the platform (which was definitely new!) and loads of TV crews trying to interview us. Obviously I ignored them as it’s just a train I get every week, and I just wanted to get into work.

The picture is of the certificate we were all given to commemorate us being on the first journey of the new train - now in the bin :-)

Flying Scotsman

Aldi Fake Mars Bar (142/365) Sunday May 22, 2011

After Hilary’s marathon walk yesterday she was given some Titan chocloate bars by the organiser. We both had one on Sunday as we’d never heard of them, and quite enjoyed them, although they were suspiciously like Mars bars.

A bit of research on Bing and I found this Facebook group page which explained all - they are Aldi’s own brand version chocolates.

Some of the names on there are hilarious:

  • Roar bar = Lion bar
  • Titan = Mars
  • Romeo = Bounty
  • Dreamy = Milky Way
  • Wacko = Rocky
  • Jive = Twix
  • Racers = Snickers
  • Munchers = M&Ms
  • Crunchers = Peanut M&Ms!
  • Dairyfine = Dairy Milk

Churros and Hot Chocolate (141/365) Saturday May 21, 2011

Continuing my Spanish cooking theme, I decided to have a go at making churros - sort of Spanish doughnuts - and home made hot chocolate.

Hilary had done a 26 mile walk over the Northumberland hills, so I thought she’d deserve a treat when she got home. I used a recipe from the usually reliable Simon Rimmer’s cookbook, but the churros didn’t turn out perfectly. I think I made them a bit thick because I don’t have a piping bag, and they were OK but a bit sturdy. The hot chocolate, made from Green and Black’s dark chocolate, condensed and real milk was brilliant though.

Picture turned out badly, so I can’t share the ugliness of them with you.

Added Memolane to website (140/365) Friday May 20, 2011

I love Memolane - mainly because I had a similar idea a while back and never got off my arse and did anything about it. To be fair they’ve done a great job of implementing it, much better than I would have done. If you haven’t checked it out, the site archives your socila media output (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blog posts etc.) and organises them into a timeline so you can look back and see what you were doing back in the day. Anyway my new thing was to integrate my timeline (well the public part of it) into my website using their new widget. You can see the results at

Food Secret for lunch (139/365) Thursday May 19, 2011

We went to Food Secret for lunch on Thursday - and it must be the most confusing place ever.

It was very strange to be asked when you walk in whether you’d been before; how hard can it be to pick up some soup or a sandwich? It turns out very hard as they somehow will either make you something slightly off menu, or adapt one of off the shelf items. I think, I still don’t quite get it.

I saw a Goat’s Cheese and Spinch Wrap which looked OK and finally figured out I could just pay for it!

The food was actually delicious, but I don’t think I could go through the stress of going back.

Prison Bus (138/365) Wednesday May 18, 2011

The commute back to Tottenham was an absolute nightmare on Wednesday. The Piccadilly line was jammed because of a broken down train, and it took 30 minutes to get from Piccadilly Circus to Russell Square, all the time stuck between armpits of two fellow sufferers.

Once we hadn’t moved for a while I decided to get out and walk up to Kings Cross from where I knew I could get the 259 back to right outside the flat, something I hadn’t done before.

Once I’d found the stop down the side of Kings Cross station, I only had to wait a couple of minutes and the route home was quite an interesting one, going past both Pentonville and Holloway prisons. Not sure I’ll do it again by choice, but at least I know what to try if (when) there is a tube strike.

Lexica (137/365) Tuesday May 17, 2011

Just about every day I spend probably 30 mins. at least doing the puzzles in The Times. In the last few years the number in there has grown and grown, so much in fact that it’s impossible to do all of them without spending several hours hard at it.

Anyway, on Tuesday I tackled a puzzle type I hadn’t done before - Lexica. It’s a sort of combination of a crossword and sudoku, but hard to explain. I’d only ever glanced at the rules before so didn’t know immediately what to do, so previously I’d usually ignore it. However after a couple of minutes reading it all became clear - and was actually quite a nice challenge. I’m not sure it will fit into my daily routine, but will definitely try it again for a change.