Check My Trip is a website that lets you enter any Amadeus reservation number to see details of flights in a nice easy to use format. They revised the website and made it a bit more difficult to use recently – you can’t make links to bookings to pass to family and friends any more – but it’s still handy to know about. Many airlines, booking agents and hotels use Amadeus to organise their bookings. If you have a 6 character booking reference then it’s probably an Amadeus PNR which you can use in Check My Trip.
Link: Check My Trip
Nice whole day walk along the Grand Union Canal starting in Tring with a few reasonable pubs for refreshments on the way. You can do it as a day trip from London by leaving from Euston and coming back to Leighton Buzzard. Buy a day return to Leighton Buzzard for a more reasonably priced ticket.
Link: Tring to Leighton Buzzard walk
I love Dhal. It’s been my comfort food of choice since university. It’s very simple to make but takes a little patience and experimentation to get the consistency right.
The spices that you finish a dhal with are called the chaunk, tarka or phoron and are when you really make a dhal your own. I prefer to use the term phoron as it sounds like I’m experimenting with some arcane branch of particle physics. My favourites are fennel, cumin and dried chilli for a cold winter’s day or mustard seed and cloves for a nice light, fragrant side dish.
Link: Phorons for Dhals
There are few people who are as effortlessly funny as John Hodgman.
Link: Ask Ayn Rand
There has been a flurry of expensive burger/ribs/meat places opening recently. I’m not that interested or inspired by any of them but this is one of the best. They’ve got a good queueing system where you get called back when your table is ready and can see where you are in the queue on your phone. They’ve got good service, great rosemary salted chips and decent veggie burgers and kids options as well.
Link: Honest Burgers
A great app for leaning the Japanese alphabets: Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. It’s free and very full featured with regular updates by a committed author so consider a donation if it works for you. Thanks to him I can now write the name of the app in Hiragana: おべんきょ
A fascinating look at the rise, fall and possible resurgence of MSG as a food additive. Even though MSG is found in lots of ‘natural’ foods it has become a bogeyman with most people believing it can cause headaches or worse. The story covers a lot of interesting ground from bad trial design, understanding double blinds, nationalism in food production, the problems of funding sources in science and a great summary of taste in cooking.
Link: The Notorious MSG’s Unlikely Formula For Success