Chris Worfolk's Blog

Travelling light

October 9th, 2015


Those of you who have travelled with me will be pretty shocked that this bag is the only bag I took when going to Blackpool for an entire weekend. Literally, this was it. No little extras, no camera slung round my neck, everything went in this one bag.

Of course it is a medium-sized sports bag, which is quite a big bag, but for me this is super light. I am not sure it has really sold me on travelling with this little stuff though. It was easy to move around, but by the time you have put some clothes, toiletries and a laptop in it, it is pretty much full.

Here is the useful stuff I had to leave out to get it down to that…


I like to bring my camera, and a couple of lenses. I gave up and decided to make do with my iPhone. Normally I could have taken some really nice photos with my full set up. Instead, I was forced to actually enjoy the moment, which was very irritating.


Obviously I bring some, but I coast by using Elina’s tooth paste, shampoo and conditioner. No shaver or towel either.

Guitar / piano

Okay, it would have been a struggle to bring the piano. However, I am supposed to practice every day so it is a little annoying to be without any musical instruments all weekend.


I would normally bring a book a book to read. Instead, I had to switch reading to something I had a Kindle edition of.

iPad charger

Luckily for a weekend I managed to get all I needed from one charge. No space for mistakes though.


Normally I would take two pairs. My small in-ear ones for walking around and my big noise canceling ones for when I am at the hotel, on a plane, etc. I did not bring either and it turned out I did need them when I got up at 5:45am to watch the Japanese grand prix. Luckily Elina had some I could borrow.

You almost certainly don’t take all of these items with you when you travel. But do you take some of them? I feel like I have genuinely cut out useful stuff here. It’s not just because I am a horrible over-packer.

Voyage of the Beagle

October 8th, 2015

The Voyage of the Beagle is the book published by Charles Darwin following his five year trip around South America aboard the H.M.S. Beagle.

I read the abridged version because it sounded interesting, but not that interesting. Perhaps I was wrong though. The huge variety of places he visits makes for a fast moving narrative in which you are quickly going from one place and on to the next.

He is very much a product of his time. There is little careful observation in Darwin’s journey. He captures, pushes, pokes, prods, shoots and eats his way across most of South America. When there is a really tough nut to crack, he brings out the geological hammer. And by nut, I mean animal’s shell. Everything and everyone is a species of animal worth commenting on to him, including the native peoples.

It is interesting to compare this to On the Origin of Species. In Origin, he slowly builds up the idea of evolution. In Voyage, which predates Origin, he is in full science mode with no apologies. My guess is that there were designed for different audiences (or perhaps “adapted to their environment” would be a more appropriate term).

Voyage of the Beagle

Voyage of the Beagle drinking game

October 7th, 2015

Listen to the Richard Dawkins-ead edition of the Voyage of the Beagle audiobook and drink at the following points. Fill a tall glass with your favourite beverage and drink the appropriate amount per instruction. You’ll also need a spirit suitable for doing shots of.

Action Drink
Darwin goes somewhere new… One sip
Darwin mentions H.M.S. Beagle… One finger
Darwin expresses a colonial attitude… Two fingers
Darwin eats a specimen… Three fingers
Darwin shoots something… Finish the glass
Darwin uses his geological hammer… Do a shot
Darwin describes something as beautiful because it looks like England… Do a shot

Great British Bake Off: Week 9

October 6th, 2015

It is too easy to get emotionally involved with Bake Off. I have been saying Flora should go for a while now, and she was the right choice. But it was still heartbreaking to watch. There are no bad bakers here. Look at the technical. Everyone pulled off a reasonable chocolate soufflé. It might have had lumps in it. However, if I had tried to make one, it would almost certainly end in a fire.

Here are my power rankings for week nine…

1. Nadiya

Go Leeds! After another Star Baker award you have to give Nadiya some credit. Importantly, the fact that she achieved that even after coming last in the technical shows that she had survive having a bad round and still bring it home. It may well be that sings are so close now that coming last in a round does not have that much meaning.

If she did win it would be a second year in a row for Yorkshire as last year’s winner, Nancy, was from Hull.

2. Tamal

Still consistently performing on the home stretch, Tamal is in with an excellent chance. Especially if Nadiya does have a bad technical it is likely that Tamal will be right there to take the glory.

Again, referencing last year, one of the things that the judges said about Nancy was that she consistently performed throughout her time on Bake Off. Tamal has had one or two dips, but certainly recently he has put in solid bake after bake, so starts from a very strong position.

3. Ian

Ian shows creatively and excellent preparation, and offers some wonderful flavours. He has come up a little less consistent than the competition though so I think he would really have to nail it to take the crown.

Be a Sky Sports presenter

October 5th, 2015

Sky Sports recently ran a competition to be a presenter for some behind the scenes coverage of the British Masters. I thought it would be a laugh to enter.

Turns out I am not a fun person. But I am a person with a weird eye twitch. The camera likes that kind of thing, right?

Visiting Hugh & Anna

October 4th, 2015

Last month we popped down to Burbage for the weekend to visit Hugh & Anna.

If Hugh was not a middle-aged man trapped in a young man’s body before, owning his own house has only increasing this vasty. They are like proper grown up people with furniture, and a garden, and a plan for where their lives are going.

Worse still, it is infectious. Hugh took me to the driving range at his local golf club and it was actually quite a lot of fun. I’m 28 years old, golf should not be fun!

They also have two new additions to the family, of the feline variety.

cat-1 cat-2 cat-3

It is difficult to take a good picture of a creature that insists on licking your camera lens.


October 3rd, 2015


I am normally pretty disappointed with the camera in my iPhone. However, some results are not too bad.

The Robots of Dawn

October 2nd, 2015

The Robots of Dawn is the third novel in Isaac Asimov’s Robot series, following on from The Naked Sun.

It is not my favourite novel. It is approximately twice as long as the previous one, which gives it the noticeable advantage that protagonist Elijah Baley occasionally goes long stretches without yelling “Jehosaphat!” but otherwise makes for a rather long tale.

It is set on the spacer world of Aurora and while it does advance Asimov’s universe in some important ways, a lot of it feels like more of a detective novel than a science fiction story. The conclusion of which is not overly satisfying either.

The Robots of Dawn

Thug Kitchen

October 1st, 2015


Thug Kitchen is a cookbook with the subtitle “eat like you give a fuck”. It is also an organisation of the same name and comes with a quote from Jamie Oliver on the back. It is full of vegetarian recipes.

It is a pretty good cookbook. The recipes can be a bit long winded, but not to the extent of River Cottage, and the results are usually pretty good. Around half of them have pictures.

I found quite a lot of the recipes of limited use though. I’m somewhat reluctant to make recipes without photos as seeing the end result provides an object and motivation, so that comes out a lot of them. Then other sections. Other recipes are breakfast,s ideas or other small dishes that do not fit into my schedule.

The swearing is rather over the top too. I’m always having to “chop that mother fucker.” Why? I have no problem with swearing, but I do find it silly when someone tries to make non-magic mushrooms part of gang culture. They mock out the word “fuck” on the cover. If you are going to spend your whole book swearing, at least have the balls to write fuck in full on the front.

My biggest issue with the book it is that it very American though. I can manage cups, because those translate into litres quite well. However, the use of imperial measurements, particularly temperatures, means I regularly have to google what it is in modern measurements. No alternatives are provided.

Overall, it has some nice recipes in, but not ones I would use regularly.

Samantha’s first birthday

September 30th, 2015

As my friends and I get increasingly old, it’s nice to remember that some people are still young guns with hopes and dreams. Mini-Gijsbert, better known as Samantha, is one such person.

It turns out that it is really difficult to buy a present for a one year old. Even soft toys are often come with a two plus years age rating. As one of my other friends pointed out, I should probably have just got a present for Gijsbert and Weili. Like a large bottle of gin for example.

I have some nice photos. However, I am not posting them because I do not know what percentage of the people who read this blog are pedophiles. So instead, here is a picture of the birthday cake.


It is made by Maxi’s Chinese restaurant. Apparently they are a good place to get a cake made as they only require 24 hours notice.