Yey 2007's first snow has fallen!
Sunday, November 18, 2007 10:53:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
This is one for Cyan over at FreelanceSwitch more than anything else but I thought I'd share Birmingham's first snow with the world :)
Doesn't look like much there but it started this afternoon
Slowly but surely it fell over a few hours until there was this...
It's only November and it's snowing...
...I think it's going to be a cold one this year. That and the Russian swans are already over ;)
Our beer making weekend
Saturday, July 28, 2007 1:36:55 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
My mum gave me a slightly odd Christmas present this year -a beer making weekend. I like many 20 something relished the opportunity to spend a weekend trying out a multitude of different beers, learning what goes into making one and more importantly how I can concoct my own sweet ale. Why then did I start this post saying it was somewhat of an odd present? Well mainly due to my training and much to Stacey's delight I'm virtually tea-total which means my beer-drinking experience thus far in life has been vastly limited to the odd drop of Kronenberg Blanc or Corona (my two current favorite beverage choices) and I can in no way call myself a beer connoisseur (or indeed want to call myself a beer connoisseur). Always wanting to try new things however I went to the beer making weekend with a clear and open mind.
We arrived at Nether Stowey Brewery after a fairly straight forward journey (god bless in-car sat nav systems -they really do take the pain out of navigating) a touch later than planned which meant the other attendees of the beer making weekend had already had the chance to get acquainted with our teacher for the weekend "Ian". I don't know too much about Ian other than he enjoys beer, works -as and when he likes (or so it would appear)- as a very successful employment lawyer and that he likes good beer (I know I've already mentioned that but he really did like his beer...).
The weekend started with a short lesson in beer making, some of the different techniques/flavours produced and a little background behind beer, for instance, did you know that beer was drunk as the primary drink until fairly recently as water was not safe to drink? Or that pale ale was produced by running water through the already used mulch? It was then given to the children as a much weaker beer? Or how about: Most beer and wine is not vegetarian as they use "finings" to remove the impurities (cloudyness) which are made from Fish Liver...
Followed was a discussion on both which drinks we tended to drink at home and what sort of beer we were all looking to produce. There were 5 of us in our group, obviously we were all going to have different opinions of what we wanted from "our" beer. Before we made our final decision we had the part that I think everyone was looking forward to the most -the beer tasting.
The idea behind the tasting was not to get drunk or simply down a load of different beers, we were taught how to taste (and so appreciate) each beer's qualities. It's amazing how different beers that you would assume were similar taste. The names of different beers was also intriguing. My favourite was the acclaimed "Titanic". Having won numerous awards I thought it was going to be a delightful drink, but lets just say the drink went down as well as the boat...
Ian and his most hospitable wife Lynne also run a B&B (The Old Cider House) so your accommodation over the weekend is in very pleasant surroundings -and the food to an excellent standard, we quickly relaxed. It turns out that Ian not only runs beer making weekends, he also produces a selection of fine ales for the local pubs -some of which go down a storm, others not...
The Saturday was primarily spent mulching the various ingredients in a giant vat before leaving it to simmer for a few hours -during which we were left to our own devices -Sam, Pat and I resorted to wandering the streets and playing Pooh sticks of all things in the village's stream.
We then spent most of Sunday naming our new creation, I really dislike trying to name things, naming my company "The Site Doctor" was hard enough but something that came over time, we had a matter of hours to name the beer and create the label. We went round in circles trying to think of something witty yet meaningful, comical yet serious. In the end we settled on "That" with the slogan "Making Life Taste Bitter" -I can't say it was my first choice but the majority ruled.
It was a good 6 weeks before Nether Stowey Brewery finally sent us the products of our weekend of hard work. Carefully packaged in a large cardboard box were 12 bottles of fine ale. I for one (as I'm sure is true with the rest of the group) was not sure what to expect from them so decided to store them away for a special occasion. When I did finally crack one open, I was pleasantly surprised, I can't say it's something I would choose to buy in a pub but it was certainly more drinkable than I was expecting! I've still got a few bottles remaining so if you are -or were- the recipient of one of my bottles, you were either very much liked by me -or disliked, depending on your outlook ;) Needless to say the "Gaunt Brewery" will remain little more than a dream for now...
If you're interested in learning how to make beer, why not try out Nether Stowey's beer making weekend for yourself? I would think it'd make a good stag do. Check out www.4ale.co.uk for more information.
New Year -new blog layout
Tuesday, January 02, 2007 10:13:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I’ve never really been happy with the look and feel of this blog and felt that it needed jazzing up a little –especially now I’m getting more and more hits on it but life got in the way and as ugly as it was it did however do the job.
Over Christmas though I decided it was time to bite the bullet and cut to the chase etc and update it. The blog was running on DasBlog v1.8 so while re-working the theme I would also update it to the latest version v1.9.
This is the final result, it’s still a work in progress as I would like to improve the XHTML compliance but as usual time got the better of me so that’s something that will have to be fixed later. It’s certainly an improvement over the old blog though don’t you think?
Over the next few weeks/months I’ll finish editing the source to improve it’s compliance and also update my photo album so it’s more in-line with this site. Don’t forget www.thesitedoctor.co.uk is having a revamp in 2007 too.
So, worth the effort? Here's the old layout:
Miss Mays Adult Store finally releases discount voucher
Wednesday, December 06, 2006 11:16:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Miss Mays Online Adult Store has finally released it's Christmas discount voucher for your festive fun, check it out -this post is safe-for-work if you don't mind seeing some honies but if your boss is looking over your shoulder, perhaps save this one for home-time ;)
Discount codes galore!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 4:27:10 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Ok seeing as I didn’t get my arse in gear with the 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group and just about everyone had already seen it, I thought I should post these quickly –hope they’re of use for someone:
And don’t forget to get your naughty adult/sex toys from Miss Mays, I’m still waiting for them to get a code over to me but I’ll update you when I’ve got one…
Update: It's finally here, check out Miss Mays Adult Store finally releases discount voucher
40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 10:40:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
For those of you who like to dabble in a little festive cheer, I thought I’d share this 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group. The main catch is you’re only allowed to spend £500 at a time –best get that printer started…
Download the 40% discount voucher for the Threshers Group.
The voucher is valid until 10th December 2006
Update: If you're looking for some naughty fun this Christmas, check out the Miss Mays Adult Store discount voucher