A burger and a kite Sun, 28 May 2023 @ 6:23 pm

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.

Lunch with Lucy Wed, 24 May 2023 @ 7:05 pm

After lunch with Lucy, a walk through the very pleasant pedestrianised Strand.

Plan 75 Tue, 23 May 2023 @ 5:16 pm

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 Wed, 17 May 2023 @ 9:59 pm


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… Mon, 8 May 2023 @ 2:28 pm

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.

Polesden Lacey Sat, 29 Apr 2023 @ 7:55 pm

Polesden Lacey on a beautiful, late April day.

A trip to Wales Sat, 22 Apr 2023 @ 9:28 pm

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 Sat, 15 Apr 2023 @ 8:40 pm

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 Thu, 6 Apr 2023 @ 8:18 pm

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 Mon, 27 Mar 2023 @ 8:04 pm

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 Thu, 16 Mar 2023 @ 3:12 pm

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 Wed, 15 Mar 2023 @ 4:51 pm

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.

Sutton 0-1 Grimsby Tue, 14 Mar 2023 @ 11:13 pm

Sutton 0-1 Grimsby

Grim! A wicked night with persistent, drizzly rain throughout the second half. Sutton had few attempts on goal in the first half and none in the second half. Grimsby were lively, performing well above what their much lower league position would suggest. A grim performance and result from Sutton on a grim, Sutton night.

Our Future Health Thu, 9 Mar 2023 @ 4:04 pm

What a nice surprise Wed, 8 Mar 2023 @ 9:56 am

Games with the kids Sun, 5 Mar 2023 @ 2:57 pm

Games with the kids

A 5 mile circular stroll with the little ones as well as our Berlin son began just outside Reigate, (near a couple of fine pubs) and took us through woods into the centre of the town. A fine walk on a dull day. On another day we’ll do it again but make use of one of the pubs.

Back home for a late lunch followed by a long session playing Monopoly Deal, a great card game for young and old. Congratulations to 8-year-old Chloe on her wins!

I’ve recently become a cribbage fan and I’ve got Chloe playing the 5-card version, whilst for us grown-ups the 6-card version is a better challenge. I’m doing pretty good playing random Internet opponents.

What with the pre-dinner pints with my son at one of our local pubs, it’s been a lovely few days with the family.

Oxfam Books, Reigate Sun, 26 Feb 2023 @ 4:04 pm

Oxfam Books window display, Reigate

Tate Britain Fri, 24 Feb 2023 @ 8:37 pm

Some images taken on a visit to London’s Tate Britain.

And when we were not in the gallery…

And what about this then!

Sutton 2-0 Doncaster Sat, 18 Feb 2023 @ 5:54 pm

Sutton 2-0 Doncaster

What a match! After 10 minutes I was convinced Sutton would get stuffed as they were made to look poor by the sharp passing of the visitors. It was goal-less at half-time and the visitors started the second half sharply. But minutes into the half Sutton scored and more or less wrapped up the game with a well taken breakaway with 5 minutes of normal time remaining. The applause from the home supporters was deafening. What a terrific game of football.

Sutton 2-1 Swindon Tue, 14 Feb 2023 @ 10:56 pm

Sutton 2-1 Swindon

A poor first half for Sutton produced a goal for the visitors. An improved second half lead to two goals for Sutton, both scored in the last 5 minutes, resulting in an unexpected turnaround and result. The visitors felt that their goalkeeper had been fouled for Sutton’s first goal, but the ref disagreed. A bit of luck for Sutton, there!

It was good to be at an evening game again.

My next two long walks Wed, 8 Feb 2023 @ 5:30 pm

My next two long walks

With the Solent Way out of the way it’s time to prepare another challenge. As with previous long walks I will do them in stages, using public transport wherever possible to get to/from the starting/end points. I try to keep stages to be between 8 and 12 miles.

The first walk will be from Salisbury to Winchester using the Clarendon Way (26 miles) followed by Winchester to Farnham using the St Swithun’s Way (34 miles).

I found the guides, below, to help me on my way:

The Clarendon Way

The Clarendon Way – 26 miles
(Salisbury to Winchester)

A 24 mile walk joining the two Wessex cities of Salisbury and Winchester. The Clarendon Way crosses the Test Valley between Kings Somborne and Houghton. It starts near the Avon at Salisbury Cathedral and ends beside the waters of the Itchen in the heart of Winchester.

Possible timings (3 stages)

Stage 1 (7 miles) Leave home (9:20) then 9:42 from station to CJ (10:07), then 10:27 to Salisbury (11:43) leaving 4 hours to do the walk and possibly visit the pub

Stage 2 (7+3 miles) Leave home (8:20) then 8:42 from station to CJ (9:07), then 9:27 to Salisbury (10:43)

Stage 3 (12 miles) Leave home (9:20) then 9:42 from station to CJ (10:07), then 10:27 to Basingstoke (11:06) then 11:11 to Winchester (11:26)

St Swithun’s Way

St Swithun’s Way – 34 miles
(Winchester to Farnham)

St Swithun’s Way runs between Winchester and Farnham. Unable to follow the original route, as much of this is now the A31, St Swithun’s Way follows some of the county’s best countryside paths. Starting at Winchester Cathedral, the route passes through the Itchen Valley. It then continues northeast passing the towns of Alresford and Alton, as well as Chawton, the home of Jane Austen. Following the path of the River Wey, the route reaches Farnham in Surrey and continues to Canterbury.