Thursday, 27 June 2013

Night Sky Delights

Super moon June 23, 2013, Oxfordshire England  
If you or your kids are science or space mad, worth a look to sign up to NASA's spot the station e-alert ( We signed up for it at the beginning of the year and have managed to see it  orbit around our area twice. They email you the the time and the length of sighting. It's a small window of opportunity,  anywhere from 1 to 4 minutes, so it took us a couple of goes to actually see it.  They also tell
you what direction you will start and finish seeing it in. Quite exciting to see something moving in the night sky and actually know what it is your looking at.

A good time to wish upon a star, is during this summers meteor showers, scheduled for July 27 & 28 and August 11 &12. Also look out for the new moon coming up July 8th, in which it is the best time to see stars and galaxies, if of course, you are fortunate enough for a clear night.  (

Monday, 24 June 2013

Moshi Monsters born in the UK!

My 7 year old is in the throws of  current Moshi Monster craze. She had a Moshi Monster birthday party with 2 of her classmates and just recently upgraded to a temporary paid membership and wants to go on it everyday before it expires.  Moshi monsters are all a part of the virtual pet craze that has included the likes of webkinz and club penguin.  It's been around for about 5 years but what makes it a bit more interesting, unlike the other virtual crazes,  this one is home grown in the UK. I assumed wrongly that it was a US invention and was surprised that it was no where near as big in the U.S., as it is over here in UK. McDonalds tried to make it more popular in the U.S. by putting Moshi Monsters in its happy meals, but it doesn't seem to have taken over like it has here. There probably isn't a kid in the UK ,between the ages of 4-10 that doesn't know what Moshi or Moshling is. It just keeps getting bigger, with new branded products everyday. A lot of the monsters are parodies of famous people and places, which makes it fun with the likes of Dustbin Beaver and Simon Growl. I now know a little bit about Katsuma, Iggy and Poppet but my daughter laughs at me because I keep calling it mushi monsters instead of it moshi monsters. I told her that's how you say it with an American accent! 

Monday, 17 June 2013

Easy Refrigerator kosher style Dill Pickles

One thing that is American and near impossible to find in the UK is a good kosher style pickle. I originally found a similar recipe through The Homestead Survial Guide on Facebook. It is an American site and geared up for American measurements and ingredients. My version has been tweaked and modified ( with the help of my sister )for the making of these here in UK.


3 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cup white vinegar ( white malt vinegar fine to use)
2 Tablespoons rock salt
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
6-8 baby cucumbers plus a half of a large cut up cucumber
2 cloves garlic
2 bunches of fresh dill.
1 Tablespoon black peppercorns and mustard seeds

Boil water and vinegar until sugar/ salt dissolved. Pour warm mixture over rest of ingredients placed in a large jar. Leave in refrigerator to pickle for 4 plus days and then they will be good in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Ours never lasts that long.