Sleeping Beauty

image

I love how Leigh looks when she sleeps, so peaceful and beautiful.

(She will however kill me for putting photos of her sleeping on the internet again.)

Scheduling Life

So it has come to this, we finally have such a busy life now that Leigh and I regularly sit down and have to write down the proceeding weeks times and events to see where we can negotiate who is doing what, when, where and how we can fit a social life into a now hectic family and work regime, and most important how we make the time for each other.

We were always busy, we are people who fill our lives, when we are not working, with interesting hobbies and pursuits and if we can a fair number of social events, games, and holidays.

But in the past year this has taken an extra dimension or two.

The first of these was the birth of our first son, Ben, who we both want to spend as much time with as humanly possible. The next was Leigh returning to full time work after Maternity Leave, add in her return to university (part time) and my undertaking of projects and responsibilities as part of a growing responsibility in the Perl community as an organiser and helper, and you have administatioclasm.

There is also the diverse group of people who are our friends who unfortunately bear the brunt of our disappearing time as we juggle their exposure to us on a weird rotation basis with no rules, but plenty of traps, pitfalls and the occasional Gremlin.

Then of course you have to consider family, who we are almost pathologically meran to as we shuttle engagements and apportion them meagre moments of our now precious time.

It has become a juggling act. If we sit down to watch a programme (television) or film it is a rare event, almost to be treasured, and if it is one that doesn’t fully sap our attention we also read, discuss or use a computer at the same time.

This now sounds sad. I am missing all the fun times we take Ben out for walks, or to the park and generally when we sit on the floor playing with toys and reading books.

I have not mentioned the holidays we get with Grandmas in the motorhome and visiting far flung relatives and friends and loving how they put all their attention on our son and let us rest while they entertain him.

Or the fact that we feel so much like a family, that we do all that we can to further ourselves both morally and intellectually, that the efforts we make are to strengthen and support the varying groups we belong to (not to blow our own trumpet too much but we are super).

And, we still find time to write in Nanowrimo, scriptfrenzy, run and play roleplaying games, read books and fight the occasional horde of pixelated monsters.

We just don’t watch a lot of contemporary television, and we miss a lot of theatre, concerts and films, those are the elements of our lives we had to remove to do all of the other things we want.

These days we catch up on contemporary film/theatre/music life months later, and sometimes I catch up on films when traveling. I miss seeing them first, or at the cinema, but I wouldn’t swap what I have even if you offered me a lifetime free pass to see all the music, films and theatre first.

I am teh famus, lol, wtf

I do apologise in advance for the title of this blog post and the entire sillyness of anything it points out. But, apparently I am a little bit famous in a manner I never imagined.

In 2007 I created a Trading Card game for my company Shadowcat Systems as a bit of fun to give away as a Christmas Advent calendar item. The rules of the game and the associated files are linked to here (http://www.shadowcat.co.uk/resources/).

Spin forward a few years to the entirely inappropriately named site Fuck Yeah Nouns (http://fuckyeahnouns.com) has used these cards when you type in dbix-class (http://fuckyeahnouns.com/dbix-class), not really that surprising as there are very few images for that, but if you type in Mark Keating you get another card (http://fuckyeahnouns.com/mark%20keating), also works for Lego Robot Wars (http://fuckyeahnouns.com/lego%20robot%20wars) Leigh Keating (http://fuckyeahnouns.com/Leigh%20Keating) gets a picture I took of my wife Leigh.

The idea of the site, btw, is you put in some words and it finds an image associated with them. I have no idea how it works things out, I guess it is looking for descriptive tags in the alt text or something, but it does make me happy that something I did for fun, for free and for joy is still being used now.

And I am a little bit famous for a few brief fleeting moments, a transient star still to find my full fire in the firmament…I am sure at some point other images will replace these but for now, they are mine and I shall retire to my hovel with the clarion calls of fame still ringing in my noggin.

Thanks to Ribasushi for pointing me at this 🙂

Coffee Tasting: Santuario

Introduction

I have decided to start blogging my coffee/tea experiences since I have been writing them down in my tasting notes in some hope of building a short history for myself as I often forget which coffee I have really enjoyed. this becomes a pain when months later you want to revisit a certain flavour experience.

The coffee is bought from Atkinsons coffee shop (http://www.atkinsonsteaandcoffee.co.uk) in Lancaster, purveyors of fine coffee and teas. The coffee is roasted in the shop by talented experts so the taste experience is enhanced by the superior skill of the staff.

Atkinsons Coffee shop in Lancaster. (This image is taken from Atkinsosn own website, all copyright and image ownerships remains with Atkinsons.)

Tasting

[Please note this is not a professional tasting guide, just an enthusiast, I have used language that is in the register of food & drink tasting only to sound coherent, even if there is some debate as to whether this is fully cogent]

The coffee is a regional winner (North West Taste Awards 2010) and so attracted my interest. The coffee was freshly ground by Atkinsons for cafetiere so that we could have an unadulterated tasting in the office (our excellent coffee machine grinds the beans to cup, so would need a thorough cleaning to make it acceptable for tasting).

The coffee has a soft scent which confused me as I wasn’t quite sure what notes I could detect, Matt (mst) thought that there was an element of nutmeg to it, which he could also detect in the taste, to my thinking it was a slightly nutty chocolate. The chocolate continued when on the palate where the coffee was very smooth and I thought I caught a zesty afterpunch which I imagine could be bitter if brewed too richly. Leigh enjoyed her tasting, she thought the coffee was smooth and not too bitter (an important facet for her as bitter coffees require her to use a little brown sugar when drinking them black).

For completeness I tried the coffee with a little milk (I know sacrilege, the horror, the horror) and found the milk a tad overbearing so a Latte would no doubt drench the subtler flavours of this blend, but a good cappuccino if made on the richer side would probably be quite nice.

A little research on the internet pulled up an article on Londinium Expresso (http://londiniumespresso.com/blogs/londinium-espresso-blog/1472762-new-in-columbian-santuario-estate-bourbon-variety) where they have tried this bean as an espresso, they note that the bean needs to be rested after roasting to take away the acidic edge that it apparently suffers from.

Since we never made an espresso it is hard for me to comment upon this, but I did detect citrus/zesty notes (which Londinium Expresso have as flavour of Orange) which could be linked to acidity I imagine. I can only assume that the reason it wasn’t acidic to our tasting is because Atkinsons know their coffee.