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Writing on the PDA, posting when I find WIFI... It'll be a big post.
Wednesday - ferry to Caen )
Thursday - Today, we crossed the Orne. )
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Yes, the Trier hotel has internet access (in the foyer). I can reach the WIFI from my room (apparently I shouldn't be able to), but it isn't free.

Did photoediting on the baby laptop, transferred to USB stick, brought them down. First small batch, Flickr happily used the modern uploader (yes, nice fast connection), but now refuses to recognise Flash, and insists on using the basic uploader. Six at a time. Aargh.

We've got two nights here, after an overnight ferry and drive. Spent today on the Porta Nigra (just opposite the Mercure hotel!), a coach trip round the sites, and in the town museum. Yesterday about all we managed was a gentle stroll and a meal.

I'll edit in links back to Flickr eventually, the upload is taking forever.

Lunch involved "Schwartenmagen" at "Theo's", a place just opposite the Porta Nigra on the town side. And I'm exploring various LA beers. Pics can stay over on Flickr for them.

Museum full of good things including a model of the town as it would have been in medieval times, and on the top floor at the back of all the textiles... OMG they've got a Coptic Sock!!!!
sparing anyone who isn't a textile history geek )

Oh, and we met a new bear....
That doesn't really do justice to his fur colour, he's more honey coloured than that. I'll try to do better later.
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Thanks to Dr. Moose, over on the Continuum forum. This, I had to share.

Beer (Hebrew) A well, or place of refreshing.
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We're in Cambridge, buying speakers. Lunch is at the Vine, just outside the Grafton centre. Interesting menu, shame the rabbit pie is all gone. Draft Leffe and Addlestones. Tapas starters, then we're on their autumn warmers - Dave's having "hash" (involves spuds, chorizo, and a poached egg), I'm on cottage pie (oxtail, parsnip mash, and they've just brought a spoon). Looks promising.

Later edit: t'were good. Both things came in little individual casseroles: more like a deep bowl of stew with a dollop of mash on top than a "pie", and Dave's "hash" was also more liquid than he was expecting. Nice.

It seems that my capacity for alcohol has dropped to a somewhat startling degree. Two halves of Leffe, with a meal, turned out to be far too much and made me feel quite ill for the rest of the afternoon. I do drink a bit in the evenings, though usually only one half or small bottle, so I'm a bit surprised that going up by this small extent should have such an effect.

Oh, and the new speakers are good. Dave's been testing them: we took our usual test CD along, having run it on the old speakers and then my car stereo (the Bose one: I drive an Audi!) on the way up. It sounded good in the shop, the second-best speakers we'd been considering were no comparison. And the ones we've bought sound good now they're home, too.
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Not as many as I'd hoped, and not the ones I'd hoped, but things.

Did not go to a car boot sale with all the bits we didn't manage to sell last time. Did unload the Big Car, triage what was in there, and Freecycle quite a lot of it. There's been plenty of interest, I'm just making sure we leave it the full 24 hours as requested before we pick recipients.

Up to the Lodge: the RSPB reserve at Sandy - for a digiscoping course. Now I know much more about how it works, and why (probably) my previous attempts had focus problems. And met some fun people, and took some photos (without benefit of scope, just my little camera on zoom).
pic under here )

I've got a bit of a sniffle and feeling generally knackered, so we went for a version of dinner that involved not cooking and being able to taste it: Indian takeaway. Yum. And you can now get Cobra beer in an LA version. Nice.

The weekend after next, we'd booked some extra days off so as to go away for the last holiday this year: Thursday to Tuesday. What we hadn't done was decide where to go, and book it. So we wandered around the web looking at flights (all on the wrong days), last-minute packages (expensive, or Benidorm), and maps. And, at some point, said "how about the Isle of Wight?" Investigation suggested Sandown as being the place most likely to have somewhere to eat in the evening, and a quick web-hunt, later, we found this. Good food, nice location, a slightly off-beat and enthusiastic attitude, and free Wifi. I'm happy. Used the phone to book, and the chap who answered was friendly and helpful, so they're off to a good start. And, from the look of the various saunas and shallow warm pools and so on, I'd better find a swimsuit that fits for once. This looks like a good place to relax.
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Saturday morning: Dave in work, me having my hair done. Turning those grey roots back to their rightful shade of brown.

Saturday afternoon: collecting up various bits of junk, ready for....

Sunday, 6am: car boot sale. We filled Dave's big car with stuff, and actually sold some of it. My old (non-digital) camera and the PC bits brought in most of the cash: made about 100 quid. We worked out afterwards that in terms of £/hour, we'd have been better off putting he junk in the skip and working overtime, but this kept things out of landfill and was a nice change. We may yet sell more: bumped into some people Dave knew years back when he was doing ham radio. We've exchanged phone numbers, and they may well have his ham kit off us.

But I did buy a few bits - not much, honest!
includes pictures )

Then this evening, having acquired a money-off voucher, we ate at The Outback, in Stevenage. It were good. And here's the beer report: Victoria Bitter. Which has a slight head like a bitter, but is served chilled, and tastes like a nice lager. I'll have some more of that.
Victoria Bitter

Tomorrow, Dave goes off to a big security job in London: staying there all week in a posh hotel. We've sorted him out with a suit that fits, and enough shirts and things, but I'm not really looking forward to a week of no hugs. Bears are good, but they miss a few things.
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And the DIGAFometer is twitching again.
Dave (who doesn't read LJ), deduced after a few words on the phone that I was depressed. He decided that we did not want to cook. When I got in, I was handed a Pimms and lemonade, and asked where I would like to eat tonight: the only limitation was that it had to be walkable. So after a bit of chilling, we wandered into Biggleswade, camera in handbag. I gradually saw more and more things/places to take pictures of. The MSH usually provides inspiration "today we need a scratch, something shaken but not stirred, anything spider-like, and a smuggler"). We got a few, we visited a nice pub, we wandered back the long way and admired the sunset.

Now I've come up with some more interesting MSH entries that involve actual thought and creativity rather than click-tick-record. Even opened up a story file and did some editing. Scribbled some notes for an article. Designed the next bit of Swords plot. This isn't what I intended to be working on, but at least it's creativity of sorts.

a few pics under here )


May. 15th, 2007 10:31 pm
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Sitting in "the Pub" in Gettysburg, trying two different LA lagers. I've got Sharps, from Miller (Milwaukee), Dave has O'Doul's, from Missourri. The O'Doul's is sharper than the Sharps, despite the name, but in both cases I can believe it tastes just like the alcoholic equivalent without ever having tasted it. This is America, and by German standards they're both watery :(
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Trying out more bottles tonight, as part of the required experimentation to bring back the best possible beer for [livejournal.com profile] marc_piecemaker.

Waldhaus Schwarzwald Weisse is a pleasant blond rather than a cloudy Weis, better served more chilled than we managed.

Buckler LA is an unpretentious LA lager, nice on a hot day.

But the one I had high hopes of was the Lindemans Gueuze Foudrayant. I'm pretty sure this is what I'd tried back in Belgium, and when we found it in a hypermarket, we grabbed two bottles, one to try and possibly one to take back. Tonight is the night. Glasses. Bottle opener. Reverent pause as I remove the foil, Dave removes the top. And then, under the top, we found a cork.

Beer, with cork.

Why? Why would anyone put a top AND a cork on a beer bottle? Why, in particular, would they do this to unsuspecting campers who do not possess a corkscrew? We sat, sadly gazing at the bottle and watching the cork slowly, oh so slowly, pushing its way out, now it was no longer constrained. Perhaps, when the other Brits on site returned, they would have a corkscrew?

They did. They also had a Tomtom on their motorbike, which had just developed a terminal case of the sulks. Dave had Stern Words with it, and now all is well - and, the social amenities over, we can taste the Gueuze.

Yes. This is it.
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All local lagers are good, and I can't tell them apart. Same for the LA versions. However, there is a thing described as an LA brun, called Karamalz. "Almost but not quite entirely unlike beer" might be the kindest way of describing it. Think thick sweet Coke.
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Black Forest tonight. We've pitched the tent in a "natural" camp site on the shore of Titisee. Actually by my standards it's very tame, with all modern conveniences, but getting to the loo in the night still involves jumping the stream. Shop provides many beers, few of which I'd heard of. Currently trying "Furstenburg", which claims to be a premium Pilsner from, surprise, Furstenburg. Will then go and eat wild boar and noodles in the camp cafe, and read blurb sheets for local attractions. Black Forest gateaux needs to be tracked to its lair, as do cuckoo clocks.
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Primus - the local one on tap. A nice lager.
Lindemans Gueuze - partway between blonde and brun, huge quantities of flavour, one to be savoured.
Charles Quint - medium flavour, lots of head, comes in a four-handled jug with a great story. Yes, I have photos.
(Trying all three over lunch, possibly a mistake. Zzzz.)
Caney blonde - another local - pleasant, nothing special by Belgian standards.
Rodenbach - dark, hint of fruit, will go for that again. Another to savour, not to drink with dinner.


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