Archive for the News 2014 Category

The Mouth of the Char

This weekend we headed down to Dorset to visit my parents and catch up with my brother and sister’s families, as well as enjoy an obligatory drink at the Bottle Inn.  It was interesting to see how a recent storm had dramatically altered the mouth of the Char river placing the beachfront cafe in what looks to be a rather difficult position.

Ravens Ait – Thames Ditton Island

Today I headed across to Surbiton for a quick paddle from Ravens Ait up and around Thames Ditton Island. There was a bit of a flow on the river so paddling upstream gave me a bit of a workout. The river looks beautiful at this time of the year, although the amount of rubbish in the river is rather shocking. In the evening we headed out to Thanh’s Bistro on Addiscombe Road in Croydon for some lovely Vietnamese food.

Paddleboarding Sunset

A beautiful Sunset

Raspberry Pi Wifi Robot with Mind-Control

A few photographs of my new Raspberry Pi robot that incorporates control via a Mindwave headset. Currently I can turn on lights/lasers dependent on the levels of “Attention” and “Meditation”. After practicing turning on and off the lights I came to the conclusion that control of actually driving the robot via the Mindwave headset would require a lot more practice. In the mean time the rest of the features are controlled via the web interface that I built for my original robot.

South Norwood – Greenwich – Thames Barrier – Greenwich – South Norwood

Today I decided to cycle all the way from South Norwood to view the Thames Barrier. My route (mainly along the “Waterlink Way” via Elmers End, Clock House, Lewisham, Catford, Greenwich, and North Greenwich. The route is mainly along flat, designated cycle paths.

On reaching Greenwich I popped in to the National Maritime Museum to look at the Trinity House “Guiding Lights” Exhibition which celebrates the 500th anniversary in 2014. From Greenwich I followed the riverside Thames path all the way to the Thames Barrier. I took a few detours on the way back. In total the whole ride was 30 miles.

Monkey’s Fist Juggling Balls

Several weeks ago I purchased a doorstop made using the “Monkey’s Fist” knot from the Chatham Historical Dock and became rather intrigued by this decorative knot. Using the “Animated Knots” App that I purchased for my Smartphone I taught myself how to tie this knot and have managed to create 3,4,5 and 6 strand versions. The knot looks best when a ball is placed inside the knot. The photo below shows three overtightened “Monkey’s Fists” which make great juggling balls.

Monkey's Fist Juggling Balls

Monkey’s Fist Juggling Balls

Chatham Historic Dock Revisited

Making the most of my first day off since officially starting working my hours over a nine day fortnight, I spent the day at the historic dockyard. As well as revisiting the historic lifeboat collection and the obligatory tour of HMS Ocelot I enjoyed my first tour of the ropewalk and the WWI exhibition.

Below is an album combining photographs from my 2013 and 2014 visits to Chatham Historic Dock.

Chichén Itzá

The first part of our trip to Mexico involved a four day guided tour around the Yucatan Peninsula. After arriving into Mexico we were met at the Cancun airport by our tour guide Carlos Santos who drove us all the way to our hotel in Piste, next to the Chichén Itzá archaeological site. As luck would have it we were the only people booked on to the tour and so we effectively had our own guide for the duration of the tour. On arriving at our hotel in Piste we had dinner in the hotel restaurant.

We set off early to Chichén Itzá which was only a five minute drive which meant that we arrived hours before the tour buses from the coastal resorts. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and very passionate about the Mayan culture. The ruins were more spectacular than I imagined, partly because many of them have obviously been rebuilt and so looked more impressive than the pictures that I remembered from books on ancient civilisations that I loved to read as a child.