February 2004

fading languages

here are four dictionaries in a bookshop window. the spanish one had faded to be nearly unreadable. the german and the french one were a little better but still looking a big dog-eared. the english one looked fine. makes you think.

please do my homework for me

i get some great comments from people on the blog and i thank you all (except the spammers).
i occasionally get comments which should read “i’ve been given some homework by my teacher. can you do it for me please”.
one such appeared today here. Poor Nishan obviously just googled for “car show rooms” (i’m the second and third choice!).
So, if you are willing, could you all draw me a picture of a car, together with some random sports car facts and i’ll compile a dossier for him.
let’s harvest the power of the Internet together.
send them to the following email address homeworkhelp@funkypancake.com
update: results here

distance bore

i have a new device to bore you with. not a drill (that would bore you in a more literal sense). no. i have a pedometer to so i can see how far i walk.
and so we learn that from my home door to my office door is 4.976 km (3 miles) and i walked at 5.34 km/hr (3.3 mph).
52 minutes of my journey this morning was spent walking and i took 6144 steps. (this obviously excludes the 50 minute train journey and time waiting for the train to turn up). Oh, and i may have burnt 232 Kcal, but i don’t know what that means (i need a measure in Mars Bars)
This is a walk i do twice a day. my new boots are still giving me blisters
but what about the science of walking speed ? try here.

thanksgiving for jane’s granny

today was jane’s granny’s thanksgiving service. they have a tradition in her family of holding the funeral on a different day from the thanksgiving which i think works really well.
we met up in a supermarket prior to the service. one of jane’s distant relatives asked her “is this your first funeral ?”. he then said “oops, that wasn’t a very good chat up line was it”
There then followed a moment or two of silence and then he said to himself rather gravely: “death … the great leveller”
here is a photo of jane’s granny taken last summer:

Read More »thanksgiving for jane’s granny

no christmas trees

here is a sign we pass every week on the way to church. it’s a sign saying ‘no dumping’ and a crossed out christmas tree. the thing i like about this sign is that, even though it’s hand made, it remains up all year round.
i wished i had taken a photo of it in the middle of summer, but i didn’t because it’s in a tricky place to stop. but today we stopped anyway.

clean for a change

is your money dirty ? well, you should go to this money launderer. you may even get to meet the speed queen.

home start

i’m working from home, starting at 6am this morning so i can get stuff done before i go to something at 11am. It occured to me, sitting in a cold room, repeatedly trying to boot my poorly laptop that mornings are a difficult concept for most people.
i’m a morning person, but i don’t like getting up. So maybe there is a market for a Home Start option for people at home. You could phone someone up and they’d come round with a pre-warmed dressing gown, a warm beverage and some soothing words.
They could perhaps even offer breakdown cover in case you were heading for a breakdown by massages and (once again) soothing words.
The car breakdown people, AA, would be ideal people to offer this kind of service. I may email them to suggest it.


the wimpy burger is something very british. wimpy restaurants were the forerunners to McDonalds/Burger King in the UK and no town was without one.
their beauty was that they didn’t put gerkhins in their burgers and they had proper chips (not fries). Best of all though was that you got given a knife and fork to eat your burger.
wimpy’s still exist (looking at the wimp website there are still quite a few about) – mostly in motorway service stations, which is where we found one today.
service was dreadfully slow and totally lacking in interest. but i did manage to find a knife and fork and happily ate my not-too-pleasantly tasting burger in a peculiarly british way.
i left feeling strangely satisfied that the US influence has even now failed to reach some of our darkest corners.

scarey dolls

i’ve talked about scarey dolls before. here is another one which has very strange eyes, mouth, eyebrows and a very high forehead. generally very scarey.
Pam had knitted and crochetted this doll’s dress, gloves, shoes and even nappy especially for our visit !

click to view in its awful entirety

Pam’s house

we visited my grandma’s house today. people have different names for different members of their family, and in my experience grandparents often get very strange names.
we call my grandma ‘pam’ because her first name is Sylvester Ivy.
she cooked us a fantastic meal and was very excited to learn it might appear on the internet:
DSC00010.jpg DSC00011.jpg

Read More »Pam’s house


here is a sinister army based thing which we passed on the way to my granny’s house. see the circular buildings and aerials. very mysterious.