Saturday, 24 February 2007


Just been fiddling with the code that generates the page, although fiddling implies that I knew what I was doing whereas I was in fact copying and pasting stuff from one place to another!
The results are minimal; I've moved the counter that notes how many 'hits' the page gets from the bottom of the page to the right hand sidebar and I've added another type of counter there as well.

The new counter will eventually produce a map showing where my meagre viewers come from/log on.....not more 'Big Brother', just me being curious as to where you all come from- the bigger the eventual dots, the more people in that location.

As we're in a housekeeping mood, I've just noticed that the page views on the old blog are now at 967 and rising. In fact more people have viewed the old blog over at Yahoo since I moved to '' than have viewed the new one.....go figure eh! Still the old one will stay there for the foreseeable future and does update with the images on the photostream- don't forget that if you missed any of those posts, there's a link to them at the bottom of the page .

Final things, whilst in this 'tidying up' mood, here is the video of the drive in the mountains that I was unable to post on the day, nothing special, but it is simply here for what I believe is referred to as 'closure' these days.

I have also added a couple more images to the photostream, hope you enjoy.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Home Sweet Home

After a really productive 10 days of talks, presentations and reseorch it's good to be back in Blighty; although for a moment or two on the plane it seemed as if we might not make it!
A woman a few seats in front of us took objection to the seat in front her touching her legs when it was reclined. She shouted a lot, the purser pointed out that's what you get in economy, she got more 'vocal', he threatened to have her arrested-she shut up! All that, coupled with quite a bit of turbulence made it the most 'interesting' flight for some time.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Up Up And Away!

As it happens, what seemed like a setback at the library yesterday turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After I posted, things took a distinct turn for the good and the rest of the day turned into the most productive day imaginable!

Today was a true day off, no food stuff, no we decided to take a trip up into the mountains above Pasadena; here's the view from the Mount Wilson Observatory at just over 5500 feet:

We thought that was high, but the road continued till a little after this:

7018 feet, the highest I've ever been on land, which was pretty cool!

The road a bit further on was closed, apparently they shut it over the winter just in case- rockfalls, snow and so on; so we turned round and drove back into town, found some shops and I topped up on some presents for the family.

Tomorrow sees us flying home and back to all the paperwork that we left behind. To be honest though I'll be glad to get home to see my family, especially my very forgiving wife!

I was trying to post a video of the mountains, but the internet connection is a bit flaky, so I'm having no luck, maybe tmorrow before we leave.

Friday, 16 February 2007


Back in the library today, trying to finish off typing up some research before we fly home on Sunday; especially as the library is closed tomorrow. Having spent a day and a half already copying out details from a book that we are not allowed to have large chunks of photocopied I now find that they have a digital copy that I am allowed to print from and work off of at my leisure- poop, still I suppose I should have checked earlier.

Oh well, back to the books.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

At Last.....A Relatively Quiet Day

Well, so far so good with the talks and stuff.

Monday's interview went very well, over half an hour of easy chatting which should give plenty of scope to be cut and leave a good result.

In the evening we were taken out to dinner by the Culinary Historians of Southern California; it was a nice restaurant in San Pedro run by an ex pat bringing British cuisine to the US! We had a meal based on a menu from 1790 and it was very enjoyable; marrow bones followed by stuffed goose and finished with pears in cream. Spent the evening chatting to everyone, most of whom had been to the talk on Saturday and had plenty of questions to ask.


Tuesday saw us at the Huntington for the day, lots of reading in the morning and afternoon, with a talk for the staff and readers at lunchtime. This is one of the 'brown bag' talks that the library holds- where you bring your lunch to the talk. Rather embarrassingly, according to the tech guy who was sorting the screen out we are known for having given the best talk that they've had there!!

Today we had a nice relaxing day. A meeting in the morning in Santa Monica meant that we were finally in the right place to visit the farmers market there. Every time we've been here before people tell us that we should go to the farmers market and now we have. As it turns out, good though it is to see all the fresh local produce on sale, there isn't a great deal of variety to it- citrus fruit and vegetables with the odd stall selling organic meat- Good but nothing shocking or surprising I'd say.

On the way back to Pasadena we popped into the Getty centre, again something we've been meaning to do for a while. If you ever get the chance to visit then I can't recommend it enough. You pay for the parking then admission is free and they've got a fantastic collection of art from Roman up. At the moment the special exhibitions are manuscript illustrations from medieval France and icons from Mt Sinai. Should you be planning a trip to the Monastery at Mt Sinai in Egypt to see their icon collection before March 6th then don't bother!!!! Nearly all of them are at the Getty!

Tomorrow sees us giving talk to the Cordon Bleu school here in Pasadena, so stay tuned to see how that goes.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Well I'll Be, It's pretty Good....

Who'd have believed it, bubble tea, pretty damn good.....once you get over the lumps!
We were taken out for an unusual lunch today by Charles from the LA Times, a fusion of Asian and French cuisine- terriaki crepes !? and bubble tea.

I'll be the first to admit that when I read about the tea a few weeks ago I was sure that it wouldn't be 'right', but how wrong I was, it was really good. Here's a video so you can see the tapioca balls in it:

After the tea and crepes, Charles then took us to a Chinese supermarket where we purchased all manner of odd stuff to try including Pork 'fluff' which resembles belly button fluff!!! I've no idea how it's made or why indeed but it does taste good.

We also bought some cans of drink, including

(sorry about the lack of focus, but it was the best I could do)
Which seems ok until you pour it into a glass and you get to see it!

It tastes of basil but sweet, has an after taste that is very 'earthy' but has the texture of frog's not right I tell you.
We've a few more to try yet, I'll let you know how we get on.

Tomorrow we have an interview arranged in Hollywood (my how glamorous the job is heh heh) which will be syndicated across the US at some stage in the future. Then in the evening we are being taken out to dinner by the Culinary Food Historians who we spoke for/to on Saturday.

Tuesday we've a talk at the Huntington and some research to do.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Here Comes The Rain..

that was forecast for two days ago!
Woke up to pouring rain this morning, not a problem at home but here they just can't cope with it as far as driving goes and it usually heralds a spate of accidents- we've just got to be careful i suppose?

Had a great evening last night catching up with friends, eating & drinking and got back to the hotel around midnight for a swift nightcap then some shut eye.

Today we've got an informal meeting with Charles Perry from the LA Times over some bubble tea, although when we spoke yesterday he was muttering about other places to show us so we'll have to wait and see what the day brings. We'll be chatting about the work we've done over the last year and the upcoming work we're planning at the Palace. That's not 'til midday though so this morning is our own; the library is shut and there's not much on the T.V. so I foresee a brief jaunt to the shops!!

One Down........Some To Go!

Hooray, first talk done and dusted, here's a short video of the auditorium and some of the crowd:

I've sent a few images to the photo stream, but only a small number as we're off out for the evening to see some friends from a local history group- The Guild of St George who re enact the Elizabethan era.

I'll write more about today when I get time tomorrow as well as sending more photo's to the stream.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Which Way Is Up???

At least the jet lag at this end is a lot more manageable than it is when we get home! Here it just means we drink more coffee to stay awake through the late afternoon to get to the early evening, after that we're usually ok.

A few more photos added today, not many as we spent the day at the Huntington Library, renewing our readers tickets then doing a little research to ease ourselves in.

Tomorrow we're off into Los Angeles itself to give a talk for the Culinary Historians of Southern California at the LA Public Library, so tonight means running through the slides just to make sure we 're all set.

After that we'll probably watch a bit of TV..........not to worry though, they've got the Food Network available on the telly now so that'll be us set for the night eh!

Not sure if I'll get the chance to post tomorrow as we've been invited out for the evening to see some friends but hopefully will be able to on Sunday after work.
Yes we're working Sunday too- a meeting with the LA Times food writer and some bubble tea I believe?!

More as and when.

Friday, 9 February 2007

What A Difference A Day Makes...

or 12 hours on a plane and 5500 miles anyway!

Today started looking like this:

and has sort of finished looking like this:

There are a few new picture on the photo stream, see if you can spot where in the plane I was sitting?!
There's not much to say about the trip, unsurprisingly we had a bit of a delay while the plane was de-iced which meant that we took off about an hour late, but a good tailwind meant that we still arrived at about the same time we were originally scheduled to.

Picked up the car and managed to get through the sticky bit of LA without much trouble. Checked into the motel, picked up some shopping and are now sat watching Iron Chef on the food network while typing this.
Got to stop now as 1) I'm absolutely exhausted and need to have a kip and 2) Marc has just left with the ice bucket which can only mean a quick gin and tonic before kip time......hooray.

Of to the huntington library tomorrow to renew our readers tickets and have a quick look through the catalogue for some books to look at. More news as it happens.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Well, hat's off to the weather forecasters! They actually got it rigt and we awoke to find southern Britain enveloped in a 'winter wonderland'....snow snow and more swow as far as the eye can see. Fantastic for the kids, not so good if you're supposed to be driving to the airport and flying to Los Angeles.
As it happens, apart from a slow trip to the motorway it wasn't that bad a journey. Check in was remarkably quick and there were no problems getting through security -no strip searches thank goodness.
We're now sat having a coffee and biscuit waiting for our flight to be called. I'll post more details and some images later on today, well today for me anyway!

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

A Question For You All.

One of the things with this site and the counter at the bottom of the page is that I have a pretty good set of stat's showing how you all see the blog. In other words I can see a list of all the browsers used to view the blog along with their screen sizes (before you panic about Big Brother eroding your rights, that's about all i do know about you all and it's no more than
any other site that you visit online!)

My question is a simple one, if you get a chance I'd love to hear from you-Does the blog look ok to you?
By that i mean does it display well on your screen? Do the colours I've chosen make it readable or not? And so on.

Now is your chance to help me shape how the page looks!

Friday, 2 February 2007

Comments, Questions And All That Stuff.

As Blogger works slightly differently to the old Yahoo blog I suppose I need to organise how I'll answer any questions.

If you post a question in the comments section, I shall usually reply in the same place, that seems to be the best way I think. The exceptions will be if the question starts me off on an idea/thought for a post- you never know, it might!

I also need to point out that I'll assume that all comments are to be made public, unless you say so when you write.


Ta Ta

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Well Hello!

First post here in the new blog.

Why the change? Just my fickle nature I suppose.... no real reason to change I know, but that's the way it goes.

What are the differences? Well, here at there is more control over what the page looks like- font style, colours etc. There are more ways for me to compose and send in blog posts than on the yahoo site and there are more ways for me to keep track of the visits to the blog.......yes I do keep a check on the numbers of views.
On the flip side, this site is less visual, the links to the flikr photostream on the right of this page are only text, so there's no tempting you with pretty images unless I embed them into the blog and there are no smilies () built in........but that's not a problem.

That's the nitty gritty dealt with, now for the housekeeping.
Links to the photostream are in the Right hand column, as are the links to other sites that are either useful suppliers or other places I like. You will also be able to access the archive of posts here when I get more stuff posted.

At the bottom of the screen is a link to the old Yahoo blog, so you can still have a look at those posts if you should so wish.

That's all for now.........just got to tidy up at the old place.......more to come before we jet off next Thursday.