Wine and wood

Yesterday we visited to the nearby Hunter Valley 11:30am, I thought, was perhaps a little early in the day to be wine-tasting, but since there was chocolate available as well, there were no complaints from me. Customs will only let me take back two bottles of wine to the UK, which is a shame. On Thursday I’ll be going down to Sydney to stay with a friend for a few days and I might also be visiting Lake Conjola for the weekend.

Fuji Food

Fuji Food – Cambridge’s first Japanese food store, full of Japanese snack, noodle and frozen food goodness. I was quite pleased with their sweet selection, stocked with the requisite Pocky sticks and rice crackers. The noodles looked pretty decent as well, and I’m considering trying out the frozen octopus balls sometime.


Son of Spam – a fun article about the US military’s latest advances in creating edible and long lasting food for troops on the move.

Says Darsch: “It wasn’t the four-letter words” in soldiers’ letters that caused his lab to abandon its “father knows best mentality” about MREs [meals ready to eat]. “It was the intriguing combination of four-letter words.” [via Metafilter]

On Tea

While reading a book on synaesthesia (review to follow soon) I found an interesting quotation in it by Marlene Dietrich:

The British have an umbilical cord which has never been cut and through which tea flows constantly. It is curious to watch them in times of sudden horror, tragedy or disaster. The pulse stops apparently, and nothing can be done, and no move made, until ‘a nice cup of tea’ is quickly made. There is no question that it brings solace and does steady the mind. What a pity all countries are not so tea-conscious. World-peace conferences would run more smoothly if ‘a nice cup of tea’, or indeed, a samovar were available at the proper time.

I’m not a tea drinker, and neither am I a coffee drinker. I suspect this has something to do with my fundamental laziness, that I can’t be bothered with brewing up a pot or whatever; as many people know, Ribena is my drink of choice.

Not drinking tea or coffee does make going to Starbucks much cheaper, although drinking hot chocolate every time can begin to wear on a person.


There’s an interesting thing about food in America. I was expecting food to be quite a bit cheaper here than in the UK. Instead, the prices are essentially the same, but you end up getting an incredible amount more, maybe double the portions in the UK. So this means you end up with the somewhat unusual and sometimes unsatisfactory result of not saving any money, but just eating more (or perhaps leaving more uneaten food).

Of course, consumer goods and electronics are still a lot cheaper over here.