Monthly Archives: October 2010

Stig Bird – Racing, Zoggs Goggles and Sport Count – Aspire Update


Sorry, can't divulge who it is, under contract; wait for the biography


The topic for Illustration Friday this week is ‘Racing’, I haven’t attempted one for a long time but suddenly had an image of a Stig racing pigeon – admittedly it’s turned out more like a chicken, but that could just be a clever disguise.

Time for an update on the Aspire channel swim. I am about half way now to completing my 22 miles in 12 weeks.  One of the problems I was having early on is that I can’t count. I discovered I am not alone in this, some people are counters and others like me have problems. I really knew I was struggling when I couldn’t remember if I was on lap two or four – pathetic! So I invested in a SportCount length counter, this is worn on the finger and at the start of each lap you click the button to start the next lap count. It has definitely been a worthwhile investment, to be honest the pale blue version that just counts laps would have been fine as I am never going to be worrying about split times.

I have also been really lucky with winning on-line competitions recently. One of my winnings was the Zogg goggles, not due to be released to the public until 2011. These are designed to cause less marking around the eyes than traditional goggles. The rim is very thin and extremely comfortable. On one occasion I had leakage but had rolled the thin edge as I put them on, once repositioned all was well. The only marking I get is on the bump of my nose, although the nose bridge is very comfortable I do end up with a line there. They also don’t steam up and look super cool in their BBC iplayer colours.

So I am plugging away up and down Framlingham College pool; very lucky to have such a fantastic facility close by. I still have a long way to go.  If you feel able to sponsor me, my charity page is HERE.  The swim is for Aspire, a charity which works with people who have spinal cord injuries.


Status at 23rd October



Graze and Suffolk cattle – chewing the cud or joining the herd

Aldeburgh Food Festival has some great fringe events, I joined two separate farm walks and thoroughly enjoyed them both.  [Here is your Spotify playlist to accompany this post]

The first was at Whitegates Farm, just off the A140 at Creeting St Mary and home of Suffolk Farmhouse Cheeses. If ever you have the chance to go on tour do. Here is a happy farmer, with happy cows and a great example of turning adversity into advantage. The whole project started when Jason’s employer decided to sell up his herd leaving Jason without a job. Now he and Katherine,  after a few false starts along the way, have perfected their Suffolk Cheese, using milk from their Guernsey herd.  You may remember the cheese featured in my Suffolk diet dinner a few months ago.  The creamy milk is gorgeous too and I thoroughly enjoyed the pork sausages I brought home.

The spare whey goes to feed an eclectic mix of pigs, who grunt eagerly for scraps of cheese experiments that have gone past their sell by dates. I am looking forward to hearing how the air dried ham and Brie style cheese trials are going.  If you are interested in learning the craft of cheese making, you may like to join one of the Food Safaris that are run at the farm.

The second visit was to Peakhill Farm at Theberton, here the emphasis is on the beef end of cattle production with beautiful South Devon cattle strolling through the meadows, slowly creating full flavoured organic beef.  I wish I had taken my proper camera as I only have one photo.  Rob is a charming host and talks passionately about his love of his farm and cattle.  Here beef never goes to slaughter, it goes on holiday and comes back ready for the shop. The last year has seen the farm add another element of diversity with a small caravan site; a fantastic location for those wanting to hide away near the Suffolk coast. The walk finished with tomato and basil soup, jacket potatoes and beef casserole and quince crumbles all produced by the delightful Karen and cooked in the field kitchen.  I bought a beef pack and the brisket was great, the rest will come out of the freezer over the coming weeks and the dried field mushrooms are being turned into a Heston Blumenthal recipe soup.

It was great to meet Rob and Karen, having ‘conversed’ with them via Twitter for some time before the walk.  Slightly worrying that Rob was expecting an older woman with a ‘large chest’; but as he ended up having to push my car out of the pond I guess he had to deal with the batty creature that turned up anyhow.

So two farm visits, plenty of luscious meat and dairy to eat and then along came a code to allow me to try and Graze on nuts and olives.  If you haven’t come across the concept before, you order a Graze box, it is posted to you (typically your work address) and you munch.  I quite enjoyed the nibbles, fresh and very tasty; I would normally pack a small selection of nuts or dates with my lunch box anyway, but I do have a basic packaging over expediency problem with the whole idea. So not sure I will be joining the herd, long-term, or only for very special treats but I can see how it would appeal to the office bound with only a cake shop to fall back on for comfort.

If you would like to try the Graze experience click HERE you will receive your first box free (until the voucher expires) and I will receive either £1.00 off my next box or to donate to a Uganda farming project.

Talk on Saxtead Mill – Wednesday 13th October

One for the locals, talk on Saxtead Mill, all welcome.

Badingham Fireworks 2010

It’s that time of year again when things go fizz, bang, pop – Badingham Fireworks 2010.


There is a new craze doing the rounds of Twitter; daily papers created from the links people tweet to your account.  You create the paper at a site called  At first I wasn’t very inspired by the concept, but then I received a link to Nick Shore’s Suffolk paper and quite liked the idea.  So turn on your Spotify, turn up the sounds on the playlist and sit down to my version of the Sundailies.  The Sundailies are all the Sunday supplements in one place, updated daily.  For me an easy was to summarise hat has been going on in my bit of the Twitterverse whilst my back has been turned.  As these are links they will update each day.

First the Vivia daily – the top news stories across the whole of my timeline today

Then local news in the Suffolk Daily – I hold great hope that one day Felixstowe Port will tweet ”

QUINQUIREME of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine


A little sports news from the Swimmy-types and the Cyclists

Then on to lighter topics The clebs are all in the-A-Z-list section

A bit from the arty-crafty and foodie types

News from abroad in the Italy section and then the mostly-green-gardens

For the moment I can not create; news-sport-tech, maps-and-that, writerly or news from the librarians as the limit is 10 papers, but I will as soon as the limit is increased.

In the meantime I leave you with the dfaolbilts section – it is likely to be quite random -dfaolbilts stands for “don’t fit any other lists but I like their style”- enjoy


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