by Karl Bunyan

Programming, PHP, JavaScript, .Net, motorbikes, pubs, poker, football, news, restaurants and anything else


Landmark Trust, Martello Tower, Aldeburgh

Darren and myself have just spent two days discussing business strategy at the Martello tower that the Landmark Trust own in Aldeburgh.

It was extremely productive, and Martello Tower itself is an amazing place. Built to keep Napolean out it has four turrets and walls that are ten feet thick. There are two twin bedrooms, a main dining/whatever area, a living room with a solid fuel boiler, plus a kitchen and bathroom. Although it's huge, by the sea, and made of pretty solid stuff, it was surprisingly warm all the time - probably the warmest Landmark I've stayed in for the time of year, since the temperature went down below zero overnight.

Anyway, the interesting things are the photos:

The entrance to the tower:

A view of the tower from the beach:

From the other side showing one of the turrets and the bridge over to the entrance:

Inside the tower, the windows are very small:

But you do get a good view out of the front window, if you climb up the few steps that lead to it:

The view from the roof terrace, looking south:

A sign we saw in a bric-a-brac shop in Aldeburgh

The main space, with Darren at work in it:

The museum building in Aldeburgh:

Martello tower can be booked through the Landmark Trust.

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I'm thinking of staying there with the kids when we visit the UK next year. What did it cost you for the three days?
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : September 05, 2006 3:53 AM  

It depends on the time of year. Usually something like &400-&500, but a lot more in school holidays, Easter, Christmas etc. If you contact Landmark Trust then they'll be able to tell you.
posted by Blogger Karl Bunyan : September 05, 2006 8:11 AM  

Ta muchly
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : September 06, 2006 12:00 AM  

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for the week starting Wednesday 25th January and ending 31st January is WINNER

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much obliged. every bleedin week i say to meself "must get the paper dis wednesday" and every bleedin week i forget.
oirish bloke
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : January 27, 2006 1:27 AM  

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Meanwhile, at the client meeting...

We all recognise this situation:
Meanwhile, at the client meeting...

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Parreira Tapas Bar, Leyton

Leyton isn't exactly oversupplied for restaurants so a trip out on a Saturday evening is inevitably going to lead here at some point. Even at this peak time, the place wasn't particularly crowded but there were enough people there to make it feel comfortable.

The menu is largely tapas, although there are around a dozen meat and fish main course style dishes. I didn't try any of these so have no idea whether they're any good or not, but I couldn't see any reason to stray from the tapas menu. The selection is pretty good, with the usual things like patatas bravas, and the dishes are good when they arrive. They seem slightly bigger than usual tapas restaurants and five was probably a little too much for two people.

The wine list is in the usual price range of £13 upwards, mostly centred around the £15 mark, although they didn't have the first choice which gives some indication of the size of the place. There was no problem with the quality of the second choice and I was relieved that it wasn't a bottle of the same Navarra that I could get from Tesco's for a third of the price.

Most of the people there were a mixture of local infrequent visitors, out for a reasonably cheap local evening, and regulars who seemed to sit in the corner drinking bottles of beer and sporting a fantastic collection of moustaches. The service was smart enough, especially given that there only seemed to be one waitress for the entire room. It isn't the kind of place to rush through in any case.

Price: around £40 for two, with wine.

Best points: pretty good food and wine, very good price, very big moustaches.

Worst point: too small tables for 2 people and lots of plates.

Overall, worth supporting a local restaurant which also turned out to be not bad.

Parreira is at 232 High Road, Leyton.

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I walk past there everyday, never gone in though...
posted by Anonymous Boso : January 22, 2006 12:10 AM  

been there quite a few times very good value and food is good especially the sardines!

Garden at the back is great in the summer
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : January 25, 2006 7:22 AM  

I have been living in the area for 3 years now and my friends and family have eaten there regularly. We have also had some great celebrations and parties there over the years. The team have been flexible, accomodating, and efficient. The food is tasty and plentiful! Nothing like an outdoor BBQ for 100 people out the back in the middle of summer to remind you of home...NZ!
posted by Anonymous Leyton crew : May 09, 2006 6:43 AM  

I ate here a few weeks ago and can safely say it was the worst restaurant experience I've had in a long while. Neither Tapas nor particularly Spanish in flavour, we were presented with poor quality food, extremely slow service and a non-esistant wine list (red or white) - cheap rioja at £18 per bottle. My fillet steak was not fillet. Nothing to recommend the place what-so-ever, even though it is a local for Leyton. Awful - avoid it!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : March 19, 2008 12:25 AM  

This is THE WORST restaurant I have ever had the displeasure of visiting. The crabs legs were like giant deformed crab sticks with a crab claw stuck on the end. The mussels were were disgusting, dry, flavourless, the salad had seen better days and the prawns were dry and tasteless.
When we returned the mussell dish we were promised another one to replace it, I dont think my stomach could have faced it so I refused.

When it was time to pay I asked for the manager who conveniently was out. When we agreed a price to pay and got our cards out we we were told the card machine was broken. We were asked to use the ATM next door which happens to charge for withdrawals. I refused until the waiter gave me the transaction fee.

This place is an utter joke and SHOULD BE AVOIDED. It is a complete libery and insult that places like this are allowed to operate. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!!!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : March 28, 2008 9:24 AM  

What a gem! We live locally also, stumbled upon this place last night and was really surprised by it. The waiter was friendly and attentive without being over the top and the food and wine were good. The room at the back is a haven! Ssshh, keep this place a secret!
posted by Blogger Charly : August 01, 2008 12:42 PM  

It is a very nice restaranut; dont know what losers can critise the food there. And it is not Spanish - it is Portugese! Which shows, as usuall how some British are arrogant. Anyway; if you want a nice fresh meal; not frozen fish and chips; go to Parreira - you will not be dissapointed!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : May 06, 2009 2:24 PM  

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for Wednesday, 19th January until 24th January is FORTUNE.

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This site gives you the TFF password first up with no mucking about. Now it is added to my favourites list and I will not bother with the others in future, which means more traffic and who knows what in future?
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : February 23, 2006 1:57 PM  

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Gordon Strachan - Football Manager and Comic Genius

On Wayne Rooney... "It's an incredible rise to stardom; at 17 you're more likely to get a call from Michael Jackson than Sven Goran Eriksson."

Reporter: "Gordon, can we have a quick word please?"
Strachan: "Velocity" [walks off]

Reporter: So, Gordon, in what areas do you think Middlesbrough were better than you today?
Strachan: What areas? Mainly that big green one out there.

Reporter: "Gordon, what will you take from today?"
Strachan: I've got more important things to think about. I've got a yoghurt to finish, the expiry date is today.

Reporter: There goes your unbeaten run. Can you take it?
Strachan: No, I'm just going to crumble like a wreck. I'll go home, become an alcoholic and maybe jump off a bridge.

Reporter: There's no negative vibes or negative feelings here?
Strachan: Apart from yourself, we're all quite positive round here. So I'm going to whack you over the head with a big stick - down negative man, down.

Reporter: Welcome to Southampton Football Club. Do you think you are the
right man to turn things around? Strachan: No, I think they should have got George Graham because I'm useless.

Reporter: Where will Marion Pahars fit into the team line-up?
Strachan: Not telling you! It's a secret.

Reporter: "What is your impression of Jermaine Pennant?"
Strachan: "I don't do impressions"

Reporter: So Gordon, any changes then?
Strachan: Naw, still 5ft 6, ginger and a big nose!

Gary Lineker: So Gordon, if you were English, what formation would you play?
Strachan: If I was English I'd top myself

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Play Poker - win some Shat

GoldenPalace.com have bought William Shatner's kidney stone, so there's no better reason to sign up with them I reckon.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Actor Shatner sells kidney stone

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Leyton Orient 1-2 Northampton Town

After the exhilaration of the FA Cup win over Fulham, it was back down to earth with a tough home match against Northampton Town. Martin Ling said before the match that he expected Northampton to reach the playoffs this season and it was easy to see why. Orient were pretty much outplayed for the whole match and this can only be put down to a combination of FA Cup win hangover and, more significantly, missing Craig Easton in midfield.

It's the kind of game that could prove crucial at the end of the season but it's been an exceptional few weeks so it would be premature to put this down as the beginning of a slide towards mid-table.

Match write-up on the BBC site

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Chuck Norris is hard because...

All these stories should be conclusive proof that Chuck Norris is hard:

Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing.
Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.
When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
A blind man once stepped on Chuck Norris' shoe. Chuck replied, "Don't you know who I am? I'm Chuck Norris!" The mere mention of his name cured this man blindness. Sadly the first, last, and only thing this man ever saw, was a fatal roundhouse delivered by Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King, and got one.
When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.
Chuck Norris can touch MC Hammer.
Chuck Norris once ate three 72 oz. steaks in one hour. He spent the first 45 minutes having sex with his waitress.
Chuck Norris always has sex on the first date. Always.
Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.
Chuck Norris likes to knit sweaters in his free time. And by "knit", I mean "kick", and by "sweaters", I mean "babies".
As a teen Chuck Norris impregnated every nun in a convent tucked away in the hills of Tuscany. Nine months later the nuns gave birth to the 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated and untied team in professional football history.
A Handicap parking sign does not signify that this spot is for handicapped people. It is actually in fact a warning, that the spot belongs to Chuck Norris and that you will be handicapped if you park there.
Chuck Norris is 1/8th Cherokee. This has nothing to do with ancestry, the man ate a f**king Indian.
Someone once tried to tell Chuck Norris that roundhouse kicks aren't the best way to kick someone. This has been recorded by historians as the worst mistake anyone has ever made.
If Chuck Norris is late, time better slow the f**k down.
Chuck Norris lost his virginity before his dad did.
Chuck Norris died ten years ago, but the Grim Reaper can't get up the courage to tell him.
At birth, Chuck Norris came out feet first so he could roundhouse kick the doctor in the face. Nobody delivers Chuck Norris but Chuck Norris.

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Photos from Vietnam, 3 of 3

A cup of tea I bought in Cat Tien national park, which cost 1000 dong (just over 3p):

The view from the bar in Cat Tien park:

We spent the night at the ranger's lodge at Crocodile Lake in the middle of Cat Tien National Park which was, as its name implies full of crocodiles:

Crocodile Lake in the evening:

Crocodile Lake early in the morning:

Crocodile Lake early in the morning:

A strange tree in the forest/jungle:

Our guide, clambering over a giant fig tree:

The giant fig tree:

Some rapids in Cat Tien:

The resort at Mue Ne (it was called Swiss Village), which was extremely touristy:

The beach at Mue Ne was was very impressive:

Ann being a bit windswept in a bar at Mue Ne:

In the botanical gardnens in Saigon (which has a very old fashioned and unpleasant style zoo) we found this bench sponsored by Fisherman's Friend.

The War Remnants museum in Saigon, complete with tanks, helicopters and planes:

The War Remnants museum:

We found a bar called Fenetre Soleil in Saigon which was very difficult to find but very self-consciously designed:

The sign to find it helps explain why it was so difficult:

Inside the art gallery in Saigon:

Ann cycling outside Hanoi:

Motorbike chaos in Hanoi:

Motorbike chaos in Saigon:

A boat trip on the Mekong Delta:

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Photos from Vietnam, 2 of 3

Ha long bay which has some extremely impressive scenery:

Ha long bay:

Ha long bay:

Ha long bay:

Ha long bay:

We had a whole boat to ourselves in Ha long bay, and quite a big boat it was too:

Ha long bay:

Ha long bay:

The hotel room in Saigon:

THe courtyard in the history museum:

A statue of a Vietnamese lion:

What passes for a unicorn in Vietnam:

The Mekong delta:

The Mekong delta:

The Mekong delta:

Some strange looking ducks:

We were paddled along by some locals down some smaller rivers along the Mekong:

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Photos from Vietnam, 1 of 3

In late November/early December I went to Vietnam. It's taken a while but I've finally put the photos up (all taken from my cameraphone). These include Hanio, Ha Long Bay, Saigon (or Ho Chi Minh City), the Mekong Delta, Cat Tien National Park and Mui Ne beach.

The view from our hotel in Hanoi:

With jet lag, Ann pretty much fell asleep as soon as we got to the hotel:

The hotel had quite a colonial style to it, including this quite impressive staircase:

The first night we went to a water puppet theatre:

The temple of literature in Hanoi:

A statue inside the temple of literature in Hanoi:

A statue of a horse inside the same temple, which reminded me of one of the photos I took in Bethnal Green once:

Because of the price of property and the value of a street frontage some of the buildings were extraordinarily thin:

Ann, as a peasant:

We went on a cycle ride outside of Hanoi, which was interesting although the quality of the bikes definitely left something to be desired. Quite a few of the villages had ornate gates outside of them:

We had a display of folk singing, which was strange as we were the only ones watching it. Our guide from Hanoi is in the centre:

The folk singers again:

Ann with the folk singers' hat on:

The pagoda that the folk singing happened within:

The temple in the same village:

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'Stop grieving, it's only a chicken'

Flowers and tributes were left in an alleyway where the body of a mystery dead baby was found - before police realised it was only a chicken foetus.

BBC NEWS | England | Merseyside | Tributes left for a dead chicken

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

Okay, it's not the only thing I post about any more, but I've been busy, okay? It's a dangerous time to make transfers what with all the real transfers being made, but if you must then the password for 11th January 2005 is BLOCK.

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Fulham 1-2 Leyton Orient

The FA Cup third round match between Leyton Orient and Fulham, played at Craven Cottage last Sunday, was definitely the best football match I've been to. There were nearly 6000 Orient fans there, compared to a usual home gate receipt of under 5000, and all crammed together with the sole intention of shouting abuse at a premiership side. Little did we really expect the added bonus of winning!

The Orient team played fantastically well, really going for every ball and, apart from some backing off in defence, not being in awe of the team 3 leagues ahead of them. The crowd being so much behind them must help and I think for Fulham it may have felt more like an away match. Seeing our team 2-0 up at half time was unbelievable and felt like it was what was needed to have a good chance in the match: Fulham always looked like they could score and there were a few occasions where they carved straight through the defence. However, even with the goal taking it to 2-1, they were hanging on, although we thought it was going to be at best a draw and a replay at Brisbane Road when Zakuani conceded a penalty. Garner, somehow, saved it, and we felt that it was going to be our day.

Next stop: Charlton in the 4th round on January 28th.

Fulham 1-2 Leyton Orient from the BBC site

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for Wednesday 5th January 2006 is especially important this week with the round of FA Cup matches coming up; some players could really be raking in the points against lower league sides. Of course, if you have any Fulham players I'd strongly recommend transferring them out as Leyton Orient are bound to give them a good hiding on Sunday.

Other considerations are the transfer window and the African Nations Cup which has messed up my secret weapon of Mido for a few games.

Anyway, it's the password that you want. This week it's DIZZY.

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Asskicking Device

This video shows what someone has managed to do with the Half-life 2 game engine, presumably making a lot of use of the built in physics: Asskicking Device.

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Extreme Skipping

Possibly the extreme sport to take up for anyone with a new year's resolution to do more exercise. This is just as impressive as all that free running stuff in my book: ::: EXTREME SKIPPING :::

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Telegraph Fantasy Football password

The Telegraph Fantasy Football password for the week of December 28th is JELLY.

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Hi, any idea of this weeks new pass word?
posted by Anonymous Anonymous : January 04, 2006 6:03 PM  

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