Wood Fired Oven

When we moved home in 2012, it became a perfect opportunity to install a wood fired oven in the new garden. I had wanted one for a while and even visited River Cottage to learn how to make one from scratch using clay. When it finally came time to build it however, I decided to buy the Valoriana Kit from ‘Wood Fired Ovens – by Jamie Oliver’ and then build the housing to suit my requirements. I chose a Classic 100 as I felt the internal dimensions would give me plenty of cooking space without requiring too large a base that would be overpowering in the garden.

This has to be one of my favourite things, and possibly the best investment in the garden and house. We use it regularly through the summer cooking pizzas, baking bread, and roasting meats. We have cooked a multitude of dishes in it, and have slow cooked meats overnight. The 1000m oven is easily large enough to cook a full sunday meal, or a english breakfast for 6 adults. We no longer use a BBQ just choosing to cook over burning wood embers in the oven. We have also used it during the winter, and have to date, cooked three Christmas meals in it, including Turkey, Goose, and a full Salmon.

Wood-Oven-Building

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In the bleak Midwinter

profile It is with a touch of regret that I have decided to leave the Midwinter Project.

Over twelve months ago I started sowing the seeds that would allow for a remake, and had many ideas and plans for it. The team have covered a lot of ground and many great ideas have come out of a lot of discussions and work.

For me there are many reasons why I have now come to this decision, but ultimately, it just boils down to me not being able to make the project work in a way that I originally envisaged.

The rest of the team are continuing with the project and I leave it in the capable hands of Dan Whitehead and Dave Gautrey.

I wish the team all the best and hope they have much success with the game.

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From Bedroom to Billions – Lost Mike Singleton Interview

BEDROOMS_TO_BILLIONSAnthony and Nicola Caulfield of Gracious Films have been making a documentary about the games industry, titled ‘From Bedrooms to Billions‘ @FromBedrooms

‘From Bedrooms to Billions’ ‘A 90 minute feature length documentary film telling the remarkable, true story of the British Video Games Industry between 1979 – 1996. The film shows how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of the billion dollar video games industry which today, dominates the modern world’s entertainment landscape.

They originally contacted Mike Singleton for an Interview which he agreed to, but due to his health at the time was unable to do. To put it in perspective he’d just had a chunk of his jaw and tongue removed, and even by the time of his death he was not talking clearly, although close friends and family were able to understand him.

The only known footage of Mike was from a BBC interview for the program Get Set which was transmitted Saturday 28th May 1983.

Unfortunately, the BBC have long since deleted this VT!

Anthony and Nicola are trying to track down anyone who may have recorded this program, and still have it.

Of note, Ultravox and China Crisis performed on the show, and therefore it is likely to have been recorded for either of those performances.

If you can help, please get in contact.

Here is the full details of the show.

GET SET – Broadcast 28/05/1983

NMRN314N TX 28/05/1983 (programme Junked by BBC!)

MAG PROG 1:37:10

Kids mag prog pres live from NBH M’cr by Mark CURRY & Deborah APPLEBY.
Guests Ultravox, China Crisis, Mike SINGLETON, Mike READ. Items; competitions, music, cartoons, the VideoVote, guests, COMPUTER GAMES, dinghy sailing & fun, fun, fun!
live studio; sp s, ex-lib & cpyt film inserts; sp s, ex-lib & cpyt promo

ITEMS; MUSIC: Ultravox perf 3 songs live – ‘Hymn’ (5m26s), ‘We Came to Dance’ (3m52s) & ‘Serenade’ (3m24s). Videovote – viewers phone to choose their fave pop video from 4 clips; winner – ‘Bad Boys’ by Wham! China Crisis – Mark

INTVs Eddie LONDON & Gary DALY from China Crisis & intros promo vt of their new single ‘Tragedy & Mystery’.
Demonstration of latest COMPUTER GAMES with Mike SINGLETON.
Summer Scene -vt/film round-up of events around UK. Also; dinghy sailing,

INTV with Mike READ re ‘Great Rock & Roll Trivia Show’, Book Tokens competition, cartoons.

SUBCAT LONPROG FILING DATE 28/05/1983 CIN LISC 244292

REPORTERS : APPLEBY Deborah, CURRY Mark
CONTRIBUTORS : DALY Gary, DEMPSEY Mick (DIR MAG), HARRISON Tony (PRD MAG), LONDON Eddie, READ Mike, ROACH Barry (DGN), SINGLETON Mike

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A Trilogy in Two Parts

1001004006264943_Hunger-GamesI’ve been reading The Hunger Games recently. I enjoyed the first book, and upon watching the film, was reasonably happy with the adaptation. In fact, there are parts of the film that are more coherent than the book. With maybe another thirty minutes, the film could have been a near perfect adaptation.

I finished the second book, Catching Fire, and it confirmed something that has been nagging me for a while, ie: some trilogies need to be reduced to two books. Don’t get me wrong, I like a long story told over a number of books, but there seems to be a need to squeeze more out of a story than there actually is. It’s similar to the need to split films into multiples, Hobbit, Twilight:Breaking Dawn, Hunger Games:Mockingjay.

Catching Fire is an ok book, but it feels like a transition, it feels like its only purpose is to move the story from book one to book three. That in itself is not a unworthy goal, it’s just that it meanders. The Hunger Games part of the book only takes up about a hundred and fifty pages, so it feels a little stilted. The first act is just a tad boring. My overall impression was that the book could have lost an act at the front, and gained one at the end; drag in some of the material from Mockingjay. My daughter doesn’t like the second film, although she loved the books and the first film. I think that the source material is probably to blame here. I’ll let you know when I’ve watched it.

Mockingjay redeems the series. It’s a very different style of book than book one, and I like that change in tone. The subject matter is interesting even if the progression through the book is not necessarily so.

I must admit that I expected the books to be more violent than they were. Overall I liked the series, I just could have done with it in two books or one big one!

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