A burger and a kite

A burger and a kite

A sunny Sunday, some handiwork in the garden, some wine and a rare (but well-done!) burger, and in the afternoon some serious kite flying in a blustery wind.

Plan 75

Plan 75

We christened my Curzon membership with a Japanese film at the Wimbledon venue.

“Plan 75” is set in Japan and envisages a government scheme to encourage voluntary euthanasia for citizens over the age of 75. There’s a slow build up to an emotional end. A superb, wonderfully acted film.

Berlin, Nuremberg & Bamberg


Our 6th visit (in 12 years) to Berlin to visit our son and his partner, but this time we flew from London City Airport rather than Gatwick. The BA planes have more legroom than EasyJet planes, the airport is much, much nicer and smaller than Gatwick. Getting to London City Airport is a bit trickier for us.

We like Berlin a lot and I particularly like the bigness of everything – the big buildings, the wide roads. Berlin is a lively, lived-in city where everyone seems to have been born in the 21st century – I feel old there! Our son and his partner were with us for most of our 6-night stay in Germany. This made being in a foreign country so much easier than if we had been on our own. Thanks to them we saw and did so much more. Thank you, Rich & Nadine.


After 2 nights in Berlin the four of us took the high-speed train to Nurenberg for a 2-night stay. Nuremberg is a most attractive city. On the two days we were there the centre was swamped with people visiting a huge flea market, the largest in Germany. We visited the location of the Nuremberg Trials where these is an informative and exhaustive (and exhausting!) audio-visual exhibition of that period in German history.


On the train back to Berlin we broke our journey to spend a few hours in the attractive town of Bamberg.

Holiday eating

We ate well in all locations! Germans like to eat white asparagus during the short season.


I’m not religious but I do like big buildings and I’m always on the look out for a picture!

Something else

It’s doing my head in…

It’s doing my head in trying to figure out the logic of how to play the cards in cribbage. My Visual Basic program is coming along but there’s been some tricky areas to figure out and this bit is proving difficult. The chart shows where I am with it but I can’t help but feel there’s an approach that would be simpler to code.

A trip to Wales

A few days away to see my lovely aunt who lives in the tiny Welsh village Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant. On the way we stayed at The Bear of Rodborough, a rather delightful hotel near Stroud in Gloucestershire. The next day we visited Hay-on-Wye, renowned for its many bookshops, then on to Llanrhaeadr to see my aunt over the next couple of days. A visit to the nearby town of Llangollen threw up a surprise with an amazing second-hand bookshop Books Llangollen which boasts an amazing 100,000 books to be perused. I needed a day there, not just half an hour!

Sutton 0-2 Leyton Orient

Sutton 0-2 Leyton Orient

Attracted by a visit from the division leaders, there was a larger than usual crowd (4,828) hoping to see a surprise Sutton victory though probably half expecting a massacre! Two well taken goals in the first half suggested the latter but Sutton played pretty well in the second half apart from a couple of lapses which should have been punished. A decent game on a pleasant, sunny afternoon.

Visual Basic code to count the number of 15s in a cribbage hand

Visual Basic code to count the number of 15s in a cribbage hand

This section of code is a small but necessary part of my current project to write a Visual Basic program to play the card game cribbage.
I’m rather please with this, though younger brains might be able to come up with something slicker.

Sub HowMany15s(Cards() As Integer, Ncards As Integer, ByRef HowMany As Integer)
        ' How many 15s are there in the supplied cards
        ' (uses a binary mask to generate all combinations of cards)
        Dim i, f As Integer

        HowMany = 0
        For i = 1 To 2 ^ Ncards - 1
            f = 0
            Select Case Ncards
                Case 3
                    If (i And 1) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(2)
                    If (i And 2) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(1)
                    If (i And 4) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(0)
                Case 4
                    If (i And 1) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(3)
                    If (i And 2) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(2)
                    If (i And 4) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(1)
                    If (i And 8) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(0)
                Case 5
                    If (i And 1) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(4)
                    If (i And 2) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(3)
                    If (i And 4) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(2)
                    If (i And 8) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(1)
                    If (i And 16) > 0 Then f = f + Cards(0)
            End Select
            If f = 15 Then HowMany = HowMany + 1
    End Sub

My Visual Basic code

I’ve re-written my reminder program AGAIN, the one I wrote for work many, many decades ago!

The first re-write was done using Python (see this post), and the second was using Fortran (see this post).

This time I’ve taught myself Visual Basic (well, some of it) using Microsoft Visual Studio. It’s a monster of a system and great fun trying to get to grips with. On the right is a screen shot of the running program (note the garish colours!) and below are the two code files. [Updated 28.3.23 to correct major sorting bug]

I tentatively have another project lined up, to write a program to play cribbage, my other newly discovered interest. It would be a pretty difficult task – watch this blog…..

End of life for a couple of oldies

End of life for a couple of oldies

​Before disposing of old pcs or laptops I always remove the hard-disk which I sometimes keep (just in case) but otherwise I take a hammer to.

These two ancient beauties have now been hammered.​​

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin

It's been a long while (Knives Out in January 2020) since I last went to the cinema but today I viewed The Banshees of Inisherin at the Wimbledon Curzon. It's a great film, both funny and sad as well as beautifully shot. I loved it.