Carolyn pyjamas

sewing View comments

Carolyn pyjamas

My latest sewing project has been a lot of fun: Carolyn pyjamas. I’m normally a t-shirt and jersey pyjama trousers kind of person, but I was taken with this pattern for ‘posh pyjamas’. I bought the pattern, and then around my birthday, I made a special visit to John Lewis to get some fabric befitting of such fancy night attire.

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Bullfinch socks

knitting View comments

Bullfinch Socks

I’ve knitted my first pair of socks. I know, I’m as surprised as you are. I hadn’t knitted for ages, and was so rusty that I actually had to look up how to do knit and purl stitches. So why did I suddenly embark on knitting socks? The short answer is that I fell in love with some yarn.

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Replacing TextExpander with Keyboard Maestro

geek View comments

If you use TextExpander at all, or follow people who do on or Twitter, you will have noted that there was something of a kerfuffle after Smile (who make TextExpander) announced that they were changing to a subscription model (and thereby increasing the price of using the software substantially). I won’t go into all the arguments (you can read a round up of various opinions collected by Michael Tsai here). Smile have since altered their position, providing a much reduced lifetime subscription cost for current TextExpander customers, and promising to maintain the current version 5 for those who preferred its features to those of the new version. I’m not a great fan of subscriptions, except for more conventional services (like Dropbox and so on) where it makes more sense, so by this point, I had already looked around for an alternative and switched. I was reminded that I already own and run plenty of applications that provide snippet expansion as one of their features: LaunchBar, Alfred, Dash, Keyboard Maestro, and it is even built into the operating system in El Capitan. After a bit of thinking, I went with Keyboard Maestro and have been very happy with the switch.

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Natural sounds

life travel View comments

We’ve just got back from a week’s holiday in North Norfolk (I’ve posted a few photos here). In recent years, we’ve taken to renting a cottage in Blakeney, which is a bit unadventurous, but it has exactly what we need: the sea, huge skies, open spaces, and best of all, quiet. I think quietness is what we both crave most from a holiday destination, and it is the thing which is most difficult to find at home. We’re not looking for silence (that would be creepy — particularly in Norfolk if you’ve watched a lot of MR James adaptations!), but a predominance of natural sounds, particularly bird song.

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Agent Carter

review View comments

We don’t subscribe to any cable or satellite TV channels (though we do have a LoveFilm subscription for films on DVD1), as we generally find that there’s more than enough material that we want to watch on the terrestrial TV channels. Just occasionally, however, a series that we want to watch is shown on a channel that we don’t have access to, and we buy the series on iTunes. I’ve done this for the two series of Agent Carter, and I am hooked.

  1. I know — how quaint!

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Dual cat alarm

cats View comments

Regular readers will know that I sometimes write reviews of various kinds on this blog, particularly reviewing new technology. Today, I would like to review the Dual Cat Alarm (or DCA), which I seem to have acquired. I don’t remember actually wanting such a thing, but apparently I have one, whether I want it or not. Readers who also find themselves in possession of a DCA may be interested in my finding regardings the settings. Let’s face it, if you have a DCA, you will be chronically sleep deprived and — most likely — unable to stay awake long enough to read to the end of this review, so I’ll give you the short version now: the settings do not work.

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There’s not much that’s as satisfying as a good old clear-out is there? I don’t mean the kind of organised, mindful, zen-like exercise (like the KonMari Method, which has recently become flavour of the month), but the bin-bags-at-the-ready, frenzied-whirlwind of a clear out. The kind where you accumulate a small mountain in your ‘recycle/take to the tip’ pile, and can be occasionally heard to cry out in anguish, “Why did we ever think we needed TWENTY-SEVEN London Tube maps? Do they breed if left unsupervised?” That kind. I had one of those last weekend, and I am now enjoying the space and ordered efficiency of our spare room, before it inevitably succumbs to entropy, and those tube maps start breeding again.

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Marsh Sound Design

hifi View comments

I’ve written before about the benefits of being the daughter and sister of two avid audiophiles. People who are interested in good hifi and music tend to get periodic bouts of upgradeitis, and I occasionally benefit if second-hand sales are sluggish for a particular item. In fact, after a trip home to my parents at Christmas, my whole hifi stack — apart from my venerable but much loved Rega Planet CD player — is now composed of family hand-me-downs, for which I am very grateful. The most recent additions are two Marsh Sound Design items: a P2000 pre-amplifier, and a A400S power amplifier.

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