Warming Camomile & PhD 3rd Year Retrospective

In which I talk about my approaching final year and try a warming tea...

So in a few days I should be officially into my fourth and final year of my PhD.  That means I'm hopefully one year away from wearing these crazy robes...

The Worst Tea Experience of My Life

In which I describe a tea failure of epic proportions...

Dear Reader,

Let me set the scene for you. It was a warm but not unpleasant summer afternoon. The kind which threatens rain.* The kind we British deem perfect barbecue whether. And indeed I did barbecue for it was the last evening of Cubs this term.

An enjoyable game of kwik cricket, two burgers and a few glasses of fiery ginger beer later I was satiated. The cubs all left with their respective guardians and I set off home.

On the drive back I got to thinking, as I often do, that I desired some good company and a pot of tea. Potentially even a biscuit to round off the evening.

Tom 3.0: Week 2

A week 2 round-up...

So here's how week one has gone :)

Week 1

Weight Waist Arms Legs T.I. KCal Chest Neck Hips
Week 1 92 kg 41.75" 25" 45.25" 111.5" 1,970
Week 2 90 kg 41" 23.75" 44.5" 109.25" 658 41.5" 15.75" 39"
Difference -2 kg -0.75" -0.75" -0.75" -2.25" -1,312 N/A N/A N/A

Yet another good week :) I had trouble with my right leg last weekend so didn't manage to go running. Hopefully everything will pick up this week :)

Tom Out!

Tom 3.0: Week 1

A belated week 1 round-up...

So here's how week one has gone :)

Week 1

Weight Waist L Arm R Arm L Leg R Leg Total Inches
Start 94 kg 42" 12" 12" 24" 23.5"113.5"
Week 1 92 kg 41.75" 12.25" 12.25" 22.5" 22.75" 111.5"
Improvement -2 kg -0.25" +0.25" +0.25" -1.5" -0.75" -2"

So a good improvement over all :D I'll be talking about the diet tomorrow!

Tom Out!

AjaXplorer on FreeNAS 8.3

AjaXplorer on FreeNAS 8.3

In which I set-up a nice web GUI for my home server...

So I recently invested in a HP ProLiant MicroServer N54L to backup my PC to. Also it should be quite useful as a media server etc. I've installed FreeNAS as my OS but wanted to have a easy-to-use Web interface for accessing my files over my Network. I followed the guide here: http://forums.freenas.org/threads/howto-ajaxplorer-with-nginx-in-plugin-jail-mysql-optional-webdav.10297/ but a few things need changing as always.

MRI Scanner Cake 2013

MRI Scanner Cake 2013

In which I bake another, more ambitious, MRI scanner cake...

The ISBE annual BBQ was on Friday so I had to once again attempt to bake an MRI scanner cake. I decided to go for a more realistic one than previously.

The basic cake is made using Delia's All-in-one Sponge recipe and then things get a little crazy as I make 4 of them.

On Tea - Tea Throughout the Day

In which I give my thoughts on what tea to drink when throughout the day...

So as a British person (66% of Britons drink tea daily) I feel the need to consume a good quantity of tea everyday. The average Briton drinks 3½ cups a day - you'll find me at the top of the bell curve dong my best to keep the average up. I normally have around 6 cups a day.

Sencha Green Tea

Sencha Green Tea

In which I blog about the last two weeks, gain another year and try some green tea...

The Last Two Weeks

It's been a busy few weeks so I'm afraid the blog has suffered slightly. I had a hectic week filled with work and rehearsing and just about managed to make a rather ridiculous cake. This was followed by a pretty stellar concert by CAOS which filled out the church and enjoyable festivities thereafter. I plan to update more regularly in the future.

Other than that I have turned another year older and received many gifts of tea, cake and board games. The tea will be reviewed shortly. As for the board games I now have Ticket to Ride: Europe, Alhambra & Hare and Tortoise. I probably won't review these as they've been around long enough to be well reviewed online but I've enjoyed playing them already :D

Cherbluple Cake

Cherbluple Cake

In which I make my own take on the Turducken of desserts...

So for those of you that aren't aware a Turducken is a duck-inside-a-chicken-inside-a-turkey. Otherwise known as meatception! Following along this line of crazy ridiculous food Charles Phoenix invented the Cherpumple cake which is three different pies (cherry, pumpkin and apple) baked inside three different cakes (yellow, white, spiced). I decided to make my take on this crazy dessert as my final CAOS cake before stepping down as Social Sec. I didn't have access to pumpkin so I decided to make a Cherbluple - cherry, blueberry and apple pies baked into a chocolate sponge, a plain sponge and a spiced sponge.

Leaf & Belfast Brew

Leaf & Belfast Brew

In which I explain the new plan for my tea blog and a lovely trip to Leamington...

Leaf Tearooms and Piano Bar

In Leamington Spa meeting up with old friends I found myself in possession of a hangover and thus the need for a recovery breakfast. The Leaf tea rooms and piano bar were suggested as the place to go and go we did. It was a lovely experience - I think we walked in to Paparazzi by Lady Gaga being played on the piano. The tea room has a nice relaxed atmosphere and the soothing piano playing is the perfect backdrop when you have a bit of a headache. Although I wasn't there at tea time I am informed that not only do they do a very filling afternoon tea that they also have a wide selection of delectable cakes.

Cinnamon Biscuits

In which I improve a pretty awesome recipe for biscuits...

And by improve I mean - add more cinnamon!


  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • 6 oz plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 5 oz butter
  • 4 oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg


  • Preheat oven to 160°C.
  • Sift flour and cinnamon into a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar until smooth.
  • Add egg and mix well.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients and mix into firm dough. 
  • Lift on to a lightly floured board, knead until smooth.
  • Roll to 5mm thickness & cut into shapes and place on a greased oven tray. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven until light golden colour, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Let cool and harden.
  • Enjoy!


The original recipe: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/506/cinnamon-biscuits.aspx

Tom Out!

White Tea

In which I review another tea from the outlet...

The only other white tea I've tried before this was an Earl Grey variant which overpowered the tea a little. So this is my first time properly trying white tea.

It's a delicate tea and so only needs a quick brew of 2-3 minutes. This tea tastes as if it falls between green tea and black tea. It's very enjoyable :)

It's nice to have something to break up my green tea-black tea-green tea rotation I have at work :)



Interesting Tea Uses

I might start putting interesting links at the bottom of the reviews :) Here's the first one courtesy of Alex: