During the last month I have taken steps into the past and also into the future. I have also started to turn this blog around to being a bit more fun, albeit right at the end!
Last month I introduced you to what is my current "best seller" TalesOfCuriosity.com and as I said it is used quite extensively in schools throughout the world. This gives me a rather nice warm feeling that in a very small way I am helping with education. But for every Ying there is a Yang and all my good work if probably wiped out by this month's site Fury Comics.
As usual this all happened by accident. A couple of years ago I was looking for an image, I can't remember what and I bumped across a 1950's comic book that was on line. I then read that a huge amount of these books, tens of thousands have lapsed into the public domain. In other words they were out of copyright and free to use.
It is really quite amazing that so much work from a multi-million dollar industry was basically forgotten.
I fought the familiar urge, for a month or two, knowing that a big project was looming, but eventually I succumbed and Fury Comics was born.
I now have over 2,500 comics split into different genres, that are available to read online.
Now, to explain my earlier comment about why this might not be such a good thing for employers and educationalists. It is very noticeable that Fury Comics has many more readers during the working week and the figures noticeably drop not just at weekends, but also during school holidays. I think that a few people might be bunking off!
Over the last few months I have been involved in the major project of rewriting all my sites even the oldest ones to keep them and my skills "up to date".
Although it has been really hard work, it has been interesting to revisit code I wrote a few years ago. Some bits I was impressed with and others not so much.
As I have just finished this, it was time to update my CV (or "resume" as my American cousins call it). This is something I really don't like doing. I try not to live in the past and of course that is what you have to cover.
"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
Apart from recollecting events, both good and bad, from long gone times and it also involves remembering many long gone people. On a more cheerful note it was strange to think that I have 'lived' over 25 years of computer development and whilst not being right at the cutting edge I haven't been too far away from it. In fact over the years I have nudged closer and closer to the forefront.
The main story that has been rumbling on for a few months now is the "phone hacking scandal". It is much too big a subject to cover here, but certain journalists had been hacking into people's voice mail in search of a story.
Initially, it appeared to be celebrities. So, bad and not right, but well maybe they might be considered fair game in some quarters.
Then, it emerged that politician's phones were compromised. Then it was a few "normal" people who had made the news, one I believe helped to stop a terrorist attack here.
In the last few days it has been claimed that victims of crime were also targeted. Including the phone of a missing schoolgirl, who was later found dead and the parents of murder victims and soldiers killed in action.
I found this quote that I haven't read before which sums up my attitude about the whole sordid affair.
"I am unable to understand how a man of honor could take a newspaper in his hands without a shudder of disgust." - Charles Baudelaire
I keep promising a bit more fun and recipes so here we are and it's a big Yum!
Simply put, these are a pastry filled pie with meat, potatoes, onions and suede.
There is much debate about what is and what is not a pasty and how one is made. Personally, I would guess that as these were originally made by poor people, who lived a very hard life, then whatever ingredients were available were used.
As times have changed, I have played safe and cribbed this recipe from The Cornish Pasty Association. They are a group of more than 50 pasty makers based in Cornwall. I guess if they don't know then no one does!
This recipe is for 4 good sized Cornish Pasties.
For the pastry:
For the filling:
For the pastry:
To make the pasty
Place your pasties in a preheated oven, following the instructions beneath:
After being cooked pasties can be eaten on their own hot or cold. They can also be eaten with vegetables and potatoes etc. Beneath I explain a bit more about them and I am sure that you will really enjoy eating this, the most Cornish of dishes!
I am planning at some point to write a bit about the Cornwall and the "West County" as I have had many enjoyable holidays there. With this month's delving into the past I remembered the thrill as a kid to eat a real Cornish pasty when on holiday.
Cornwall is a very beautiful county, in a rugged sort of way. The main industries used to be mining (tin and copper) and fishing. Now I believe the main source of revenue is tourism.
It is said that the pasty was designed for miners to have as their lunch. That the pasty was held on the crimped edge with the miners dusty hands and was then discarded for the "Knockers". These were spirits who lived in the mines. At sea, the crust would be discarded for the seagulls, which were believed to be the souls of dead mariners.
I have also read that one end of the pasty was savoury and the other sweet. A main course and pudding all in one! I am not really sure about really is the truth.
Well, that's another month wrapped up!
In the next letter I am hoping to announce some good news and also get some pictures taken of this year's gardening exploits!
I hope you have a good month!