sed30's Blog

Railways & other things

Happy Valentines Day-The Elusive Macaron And Percy’s Gotcha Day


Making a perfect macaron has eluded me for years. My first attempt was a big fail as was my second attempt. The first time I tried the French method where you add a warm sugar syrup to the egg whites with the mixer running is not a good idea for me, I have sugar strings flying everywhere and the macaron didn’t develop feet and were flat and pretty bad. The second time I used a recipe I found on Martha Stewart, there were steps and ingredients missing and I think amounts were off so another fail. Not being one to give up I found a Martha Stewart video with a recipe and I had a feeling this one would work. I followed the instructions to the letter, now there was one very important step (letting the macaron sit for about an hour before baking so they develop a skin) this…

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Naturelog: 5th February

Pete's Favourite Things

Started the morning at Hamm beach on Portland Harbour, where the conditions were arctic with a strong wind blowing in from the bay. A single Red-breasted Merganser was present along with 14 Ruddy Turnstone and a Meadow Pipit, but no sign of the divers or Grebes that had been frequenting the harbour.

Ruddy Turnstone

A Common Kestrel was actively hunting along the vegetation at the edge of the water and allowed me to come quite close

Walking along the Fleet, an inlet from the harbour, a Male Eurasian Stonechat was active in the vegetation.

DSCN8737-22 The Fleet at Ferrybridge


Eurasian Stonechat (m)

A small flock of Brent Geese were by the visitor centre and 40 Mediterranean Gulls were on the high tide gull roost along with Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. Had a distant view of a Black-necked Gull along with a Little Grebe, which gave…

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Wordless Wednesday

Training for Valentine’s Day


I hope you remembered Valentine’s Day for your significant other.  If only to cover up the true love of your life….

Love of trains is not restricted to us anoraks….

Although some people may not love trains for quite the same reason….

However, there is always someone trying to make something out of our affection for the railways….

Covering up the real state of their train service….

So the real message is….

And just to confirm that I’m really a romantic at heart, this evening I’m taking Mrs B. to Reigate to see a live feed of Twelfth Night, transmitted from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford.   Sort of going to the theatre at the movies.  It’s a surprise, but I told my younger daughter, who merely commented, “Bet she goes to sleep….”

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Naturelog: 4th February

Pete's Favourite Things

The weather this morning could not have been more different to yesterday. Crisp and clear and with the sun shining. I decide to take a walk around RSPB Lodmoor, the local nature reserve. But first a stop at the Oasis Cafe at Overcombe on Weymouth Bay, where a Red-Necked Grebe had been seen the previous evening. But sadly, it is not to be seen this morning. The marshes at Lodmoor are separated from Weymouth Bay by the coast road and the first thing that strikes me is a large number of Common Snipe that can be seen sunning themselves in open view (By the time I had completed the walk I must have seen over 20 of this normally secretive wader).

Other species present include a number of ducks together with a group of Canada Geese and a single Brent Goose. There were 2 Black-tailed Godwits and a group of…

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Naturelog: 3rd February

Pete's Favourite Things

Not an auspicious start to our trip to Dorset as it poured with rain from the time Sue and I left London. We had planned to make a stop on the way and as we made our way south-west we debated whether or not to stop. As we approached Chawton in Hampshire, the rain eased a little and so we decided we would stop. Chawton is best known as the home of Jane Austen’s brother and the place where she spent her last years, but this is not the reason we are stopping. Chawton has become home this winter to a flock of Hawfinches, usually a rare bird in the UK. Last Autumn, however, there was an eruption and it is estimated that the wintering population is at least 10 times normal. In some places, flocks of up to 200 have been reported. Chawton village has hosted a flock of…

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Glamorgan owners to meet campaigners with new plans

Inside Croydon

Residents living on or near Cherry Orchard Road and the wider East Croydon area who started the Save The Glamorgan campaign to keep a historic local boozer as an Asset of Community Value are staging a key meeting on Monday.

Under threat: the Glamorgan pub

At the meeting, the owners of the building – which closed as a pub last year – will being holding a presentation of revised plans for the site.

The Glamorgan, which dates back to the 1880s, is surrounded by new-build flats, built as part of Menta’s very slow-progress Morello development along Cherry Orchard Road.

Meanwhile, the owners of the Glamorgan want to replace the pub with… more flats.

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ESNG turns 21 – the evidence?


East Surrey N Gauge is 21 this year, and we thought this auspicious date should be marked in some way.  So this week Derek delivered a large cardboard box to me….

The contents were a 100 off for a Dapol special commission of their gunpowder wagon.  This follows on from the Hall & co coal wagon that we produced a few years ago…..

And here’s the little wagon close up – too close for my phone and I can assure you that the lettering is not at all blurred!  It has the club letters, and is numbered 21.  I like the ‘Return to Redhill’ lettering on the doors.  It did occur to us, that if this batch sells out, we can do another one numbered 25 for the appropriate year…

We’ll be selling these at the 2018 show for the give-away price of £10.  Members have first call though, at…

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Museum of Croydon gets its suffrage banners on parade

Inside Croydon

Croydon residents are showcasing their craft skills at the Museum of Croydon in a London-wide project celebrating 100 years of votes for women.

Suffrage groups took great pride and identity in their banners a century ago

They have joined museums, archives and arts organisations across the capital taking part in the 100 Banners project. Funded by Heritage Lottery and created by Digital Drama, the project commemorates the suffrage movement and the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

Working with community groups, museum visitors and school pupils, Museum of Croydon staff have created a series of banners inspired by the borough and its history.

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GPs need to do more to help health of homeless, says report

Inside Croydon

Croydon’s family doctors need to do more to help the homeless, according to report published this week by Healthwatch Croydon.

The study, Experiences of Homeless People Using Health Services, recorded the experiences of homeless people who were referred by the council into support hostels in November 2017. It found that adult homeless, particularly those with complex needs, were not supported by GP practices as well as younger homeless in similar accommodation.

There are nearly 2,300 people in Croydon either homeless or in temporary housing, according to council figures. Healthwatch Croydon, the local champion for better health and social care, focused on those who are homeless but are in support hostels.

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