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The May Day vide grenier?

You know, today is Beltane/Beltaine/Bealtaine/etc, the May Day festival. Here in France it is Worker's Day and as such I'm sitting here rather than being at work.

I was considering going to the big vide grenier in Teillay. I got up at 4am, made a small tea, went back to sleep for a while.
I woke up at half nine, happy to have had a lie-in but cursing getting up so late, it would probably be half ten by the time I got to the actual stands of the vide grenier.
I flicked on the kettle and opened the front door with a catfood in my hand...
...and turned right around to grab the umbrella.

Okay, well, I guess that's that question answered then. ☺

Edit: The rain eased to a light drizzle and it kept that up all day. Pfft! Might as well have gone to work today...



I thought it would be nice to celebrate today with a cheesecake (I mean, who doesn't like cheesecake?). This is a proper one which used an obscene amount of fromage frais. I'm not sure quite what that is in English, it's like the missing link between an unsweetened set yoghurt and a very soft cream cheese (like Philadelphia only gloopier). It's far enough away from anything I'd call "cheese" that I think it might be quite nice with some jam mixed into it.
Cheesecake pack box
Cheesecake pack box.
In addition to that, 250ml of cream. Because, you know, wasn't quite fattening enough with 400g of the gloopy not-cheese.
This was all added to a little bag of powder and supposed to be mixed with an electric mixer. I did it by hand because I couldn't be bothered getting all of the mixer bits and sterilising them (*). It was a bit of a slog.
Then it went into a medium oven (160°C) for about 45 minutes. Unfortunately the instructions make reference to "chaleur tornante" which means a fan assisted oven. There is nothing to say what to do if you have a regular oven, which is a bit idiotic. Are we supposed to just wing it? Well, that's exactly what I did. Since I'm not sure how it's actually supposed to turn out - all of the cheesecakes I have made in the past were cold-set, just mix a powder with milk, beat the life out of it, then spread it over the biscuit and stick it in the fridge for an hour to set - so I left it in the oven for the specified 40 minutes.
This is when the second bit of stupid in the instructions, bordering on outright negligence, crept up. It says, and I'll directly translate these steps:
  • 5, I cook for about 45 minutes at 160°C (fan assisted) at the mid position of the oven.
  • 6, I let it cool for around two hours in the fridge.
    I remove the cake mould before serving. It's ready!
Let me see if I've got this straight... I'm supposed to take something baking hot directly out of the oven and stick it in the fridge for two hours to cool?
Are you people crazy? As if that's not a lot of stress for the fridge to cope with, you'll be looking at raising the internal temperature to a state that is actively dangerous for food products within. When it says "Keep between 0°C and 4°C", it means between zero and four; not "it'll be okay up to sixteen if some twat tells you to stick a cake in there directly from the oven".

Accordingly, it sat on a cooling rack on the counter for an hour in between the oven part and the fridge part.


* - Everything here is washed in untreated well water, so prior to use, everything gets rinsed in boiled bottled water. Well, if the kettle is on, it's a good excuse for a cuppa...


Colorectal cancer test

Yes, that blue envelope in the photo of the cheesecake packet is a colorectal cancer screening kit. I did it in the morning of the 22nd of March (it wasn't hard, just rub a plastic stick in some poop and then secure it in a little flask and put sticky labels in all the right places). I then handed it directly to my post person when she stopped by.

Followed by yet more nothing.

After three weeks (given it says I'll have a result within 15 days), I started to make enquiries. As it turns out, they're actually rather hard to get hold of and will happily try to get rid of you by saying "we're very busy right now", but persistence and numerous emails got me directed to somebody at the laboratory that processes the tests in this area. I made it clear that I'm not hassling them for my results, I just want to make sure that they actually received it.

A couple of days later, I had a reply. Nope, they have no trace of my test. It is probably "lost in the post".
Lovely. So I'm going to have to do it again.


Tea v0.06

As part of testing something, I recreated the channel list data. As it turns out, this broke the scheduler because it maintained references to the channel array offsets so now some of the programmes were showing up with the wrong channel names because two channels (SportyStuffTV, 75th in the list; BBC Radio 4 LW, 100th in the list) have been deleted.
So now the scheduler records the internal channel ID and just looks up what offset in the array this is each time. In this way, the list can change without screwing up the schedule (unless a channel actually vanishes, but there's not much that can be done about that).
The conversion between the older method and the new way is done automatically. You should, however, add something to the schedule in order to save the updated file. If you have nothing to add, then just add anything and then immediately delete it.

The next change is that it is now possible to create an "Alias" file for customising the channel names and numbers as shown within Tea.
Here is an example of my grid now.

TV grid with numbers matching my receiver
TV grid with numbers matching my receiver.

What has changed? Well, firstly "BBC One London HD" now calls itself "BBC One South HD". Next up, "ITV1 HD" now calls itself "ITV1 HD Meridian Thames Valley".
The schedules are not quite correct - I still get the programming for BBC One/ITV1 London (so London news at 6.30pm rather than South Today), but regions will be something I'll look to dealing with properly later on.
That being said, apart from a small number of regional differences (usually the news programmes), the channels pretty much show the same things these days. It's a long time since the days of "Here's what's on ITV and Central will go off and do their own thing for a while".

In order to do this, you'll need to recreate the main channel list. This does not happen automatically (unless the file is missing). You can force it by holding down Alt whilst starting the Tea app. And, here's a note, if you have anything scheduled, ensure your file is good and up to date with the new channel IDs before recreating the channel list. ☺

Once you have done that, in ...!Boot.Choices.HeyRick.Tea you will find a file called Aliaxample. This file contains all of the channels in a form like this:

560:101,BBC ONE London HD
700:102,BBC TWO HD
10005:103,ITV1 HD
1540:104,Channel 4 HD
1547:105,Channel 5 HD
818:107,BBC THREE HD

The first number is the internal channel ID. This doesn't change.
The second number is the user facing channel number, what you would enter into your Freesat box in order to select that channel. You can edit this if you use Sky Digital, terrestrial Freeview, or some other FTA receiver.
The final part is optional. The default file contains all of the channel names as a convenience for you. If you don't want to alter the name, you can either leave them as-is or delete everything from the comma onwards. Channel names can be up to 31 characters in length.

You do not need to include any information for channels you aren't interested in and don't plan to change.

Once you have everything set up as you wish, save the file as "Alias". Then quit Tea and reload it whilst holding Alt once more to rebuild the channel list and merge in the customisations.

Here is an example, it's my Alias file:

560:1,BBC ONE South HD
10005:3,ITV1 HD Meridian Thames Valley

The channels are BBC 1 - renamed and numbered #1, BBC 2 - #2, ITV1 - renamed and numbered #3, C4, C5, Film4, Talking Pictures, Legend, NHK World, BBC 3/4, ITV 2/3/4, Film4+1, CBBC, and LegendXtra. These are the channels that I usually pay attention to. I have more (all the free ones) on my receiver, but what's the point in worrying about the channel assignment of something like Daystar when "waffle from various American ministries" is something I'll never be watching. Those sorts of people probably rejoiced His Holy Name when Roe vs Wade was overturned because saving a protohuman at the expense of the mother is the sort of bizarre logic fault that only a truly religious person could manage to take seriously.

There has always been a little something extra within Tea. It's mainly for debugging, as the menu entry says. If you discover the secret incantation, you can get this to appear in your main menu.

The hidden debug menu
Can you find this?

I'm working on something. It's not ready for general use yet (for starters, it completely ignores the fact that it's supposed to be UTF-8; though for most English language words this isn't an issue), but it might be... interesting.
It's the highlighted menu entry.

Once you have clicked upon it, you can Open Choices to discover a file called "tvsched/ics".

How to merge with Android and iOS...

Copy the file to your device. Ensure that it has the extension ".ics". Then tap it.

Adding a calendar file on a mobile device
Adding a calendar on a mobile device.

On the left is what appears on iOS7. On the right, Google Calendar on Android 13/MIUI 14 in dark mode. Your device may vary (certainly iOS7 is ancient old) but it'll be pretty much the same idea.

Once the programmes have been imported, they will appear something like this. Again iOS7 on the left and Android in dark mode on the right.
Note that the calendar entries are given in UTC/GMT and the calendar will translate this according to your defined timezone.

Viewing your schedule on a mobile device
Viewing your schedule on a mobile device.

How to merge with Google Calendar in a browser...

Sign into the desktop version at If you're using a mobile device, there's a link at the bottom for the desktop version.

In the tool/status bar on the left (click/tap the three horizontal lines on the upper left if you can't see this) you'll see a month calendar. Below that, My Calendars". Below that, Other calendars and a little plus symbol.
Click/tap the plus symbol. A menu will pop up. At the bottom will be "Import". Choose that, and then follow the on-screen prompts to select and upload the file to merge it into your calendar.

If you've set your devices up properly, they will all synchronise to your main calendar. If you think the fact that you like watching a children's programme about an autistic girl is a privacy concern... well... you probably shouldn't be using a smartphone or tablet at all if you're worried about stuff like that. I mean, it's not a subtitled films with Charlotte Rampling in various states of undress, is it? Just don't mention Zardoz - did anybody understand what the hell that was about? Or do you just remember the floating stone head that spews weapons, Sean Connery wearing little more than a bright red nappy, and Charlotte explaining how the penis is evil. Or, uh...? <shrug>


Well, I didn't think that would be how I'd end today's entry. So, um, here's the download. Have fun.

Download (367.86K)
For RISC OS machines.



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jgh, 2nd May 2024, 19:07
Over here it was Union Day. The anniversary of the union of Scotland and England founding a united kingdom. 
Whereas today is election day, and because I'm on the count staff tomorrow morning I'm having an early night. I have to get the seven bloody fifteen bus to get there. I've just set my alarm for 6:30am. Why on earth is there a 6:30 in the morning. 
David Pilling, 3rd May 2024, 02:41
On the TV cooking shows, Bake Off etc they put hot things in the fridge - probably not a good idea in real life, but if you're on the telly, you don't get given enough time and they're generating stress. 
Fromage Frais - cream cheese, quark, or closest according to Google 'curd' - like Ms Muffet ate. 
Those tests 'pooh sticks'. 

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