Monthly Archives: March 2014


iPad and iPhoneCreative Commons License Sean MacEntee via Compfight

I had the dreaded battery drain issue on my iPhone 5 after updating to iOS 7.1 this week (although not on another iPhone and two iPads in the house) but luckily, for me at least, the following fix worked:

  • Settings – General – Reset – Reset all settings

And that was that, all fixed. I’ve read that it doesn’t work for everyone but it’s a good place to start when you’re holding your iPhone and watching the battery life tick down!

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Photo post: out in the country

High Bradfield 1(View across the valley to Agden and High Bradfield)

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Photo: Spring is here

Spring in the Peak District. 9 March 2014

Spring in the Peak District. 9 March 2014

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My 8 essential Skyrim mods

2013-09-21_00001Bethesda’s Skyrim is an out-of-character game for me (I’m more of a simulation/strategy gamer) but somehow I’ve racked up 400 hours of playing time over two characters and it’s still as engrossing and fun to play as it was the first time.

That said, I think a lot of its enduring appeal to me has been in the mods created by the community and Nexus has been one of my favourite bookmarks for a while. I have a lot of mods but there are some I consider essential now to the way I play the game, some that are the first I’ve gone for when I’ve installed on a new PC.

These are my favourite mods. Your mileage may vary.

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All about atmosphere

Feet of Clay is my favourite Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, not only because at its heart it’s a murder mystery (a genre I love) but also because it’s one of those books that draws the reader into the world the author has created so completely that I can almost feel the cobbles of Ankh Morpork underneath my feet. The city becomes a character in its own right, the perfect backdrop to the unfolding mystery plot and Pratchett’s usual incisive moral dilemmas and glorious turn of phrase.

alphaville i k o via Compfight

Where Pratchett really gets it right, I think, is by judicious use of the less is more principle. Rather than endless descriptive paragraphs (which can drop a reader out of a novel very quickly), he uses description sparingly; an adjective here, an adverb there. This lets the reader build up their own mental picture, rather than having everything spelled out to them.

Another aspect Pratchett is excellent at, not only in this novel, is using all five senses to evoke a mood, rather than just telling the reader what the characters can see. Smell and touch, especially, are very powerful, and can convey so much with very few words.

Finally, the weather seems to be under-used in many novels, but here the fog and the rain add to the gritty mystery novel feel, building up the sense of claustrophobia and suspense.

And now I’m going to go and read it again…

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Gluten-free pancakes

Gluten-free pancakes for Pancake Day

Gluten-free pancakes for Pancake Day

Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) is a big day in this house and I’m a firm believer in gluten-free not meaning taste-free (especially when Nutella is involved…)


2 eggs (I use Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs)

150 g gluten-free plain flour (I use Doves Farm)

250 ml semi-skimmed milk

Lard (sliver) for making the pancake



Mix the eggs and flour in a mixing bowl

Add the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pour a thin layer of the mixture into a frying pan, cook to taste

Put onto plate, add topping, enjoy


The trick to good gluten-free pancakes is making sure the pancake is nice and thin – if it’s too thick it can taste very dry. Get it right and it’s delicious!


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