Picture postcards from scenic Cornwall

No, not a scary Easter Island statue like you thought, but just a mad sculpture at Cornwall’s maddest shop, Trago Mills. It is like Bluewater for country folk, you can buy carpets, ironmongery and sheep dip under one unexpectedly castellated roof. I like going there and buying unusual and bonkers things, like elasticated lederhosen, or a miniature saxophone for weasels.

A weird house! In Lostwithiel, probably Cornwall’s most exciting small rainy town composed largely of antique shops. And that is up against some stiff competition.

They even have a sign! Don’t sound so pleased about it!

This is a nanshunt bridge in the heart of sleepy, antiques-obsessed Lostwithiel, and judging by the rusty sign, even single traffic is not exactly intensive. In fact when I tried to cross the bridge, the way was barred by an angry troll. I had to pacify it with some beef flavour Hula Hoops, which is annoying as I like them.

I know it is perfectly sensible really, but this is just the type of book which you only find at Trago. Or if you go to a horse library.

More of the world’s weirdest books, not available in any shops! Except Trago. I am a bit worried about the headless dog owner, I think it is just the power of optical illusion though.

This is in the sleepy and equally antiques obsessed village of Lerryn, you can see what kind of desperation the locals have got into for entertainmint. I do not approve of racing seagulls in fact as it is a form of abuse.

Nerdvana

Well I am tecknically on holiday, but it is good to be able to do a bit of work as well, especially with Susan. I am starting to get the hang of TextMate for editing, and with the Subversion bundle I can work on a local checkout. I am also logged on to my machine at work via SSH, running screen so that I can access lots of servers at once. I could run that here of course but I am just showing off, plus it does not require updating lots of firewalls with my new IP here.

I found a good tip for iTunes, I have the impossibly superior iAudio 7 music player, which does not sync with iTunes (despite starting with ‘i’), but it would be nice to play tracks from it through the Mac. There is a preference setting in iTunes under ‘Advanced’ called ‘Copy Files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library’. If you turn it off, you can drag folders into the iTunes window and it does not actually copy the music files into the library, it just stores their location. (If you just want to do this as a one-off, Option-dragging the files has the same effect.) I use this to play my main music collecktion at home off a network hard drive.

Similarly, I can drag the music folder from the iAudio into iTunes and it will happily play the tracks over USB instead of trying to copy everything onto my hard drive. It is a bit confusing though when you are moving around and attaching to different drives, networks and players, and the songs still show up in your library (if you try and play them, iTunes says they are not available). So you can create different iTunes libraries eg one for your music player, one for local files, one for a remote disk, ekcetera. Just hold down Option when starting iTunes and it gives you the choice of creating a new library or selecting an existing one. Nifty!

I also bought a nice little laptop travel kit, it has various goodies in it eg a retractable LAN/phone cable, retractable USB cable, USB mini adapter, a tiny 4-port USB hub, and a darling little USB optical mouse with a scroll wheel! All at a price to fit your pocket, in a zip-up pouch with lots of places to put your own bonus gadgets in! It is like Verbatim invented a special nerd accessory kit just for me!

As much fun as I am having though I should turn the computer off and do something else, I have not even read any of the books I brought with me! Last time I read the whole of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, with hardly a pause except to get more wine and crisps. On the other hand I did not have Susan then.

Hello from mystick Cornwall

Hey hey! I am on holiday with Susan, and I am relaxing on the train while watching the Simpsons and composing my golden thoughts for Keith Lard’s Diary.


Picture of me taken by Susan!

It is amazing how quickly I have made the transition to smug Mac user. I am like Robert Webb out of those “Mac versus PC” adverts, only better looking obviously. The machine is just a joy to use and I have a sneaking suspicion it is smarter than I am. (It is. - Susan) I am worried that it might actually be editing my journal entries while I am distracted by crisps.

I have also become like a wi-fi vampire, roaming London to feed on the wireless internet of the living. Last night in the pub Matt and I were chatting away to Steve on Adium. It was like he was actually there, only in text form. I did not have to buy him any beer either as I just took a picture of a pint with the iSight camera and dragged it into the chat window. Cheap round!

So I am off to the miffic land of Cornwall, where romance and heroic legend mingle with delicious pasties. It is bad news for my weight loss campaign as in a week’s time I will actually look like a pasty. I think I am already starting to develop a knobbly ridge of crimped pastry down my spine.