Where do I even start

An email I received today read as follows:

Dear Blogger

[Removed] is having a tie up promotion with the bloggers to reward your loyal followers with an attractive discounts on any travel insurance that they buy through your website. We will provide a hyperlink for your website. It will also spike more traffic into your website. Please kindly revert if you are interested and I will be glad to follow you through this process.

Thank you and have a great day ahead.

Warmest Regards,
[Name and email address removed]

So let’s count the problems with this email.

  1. Dear Blogger? Do a mail merge and use my name at least.
  2. ‘… a tie up promotion with the bloggers’ is a seriously awkward phrase. Sounds a bit kinky, even.
  3. ‘… an attractive discounts’? Really? How did you get this job without a basic grasp of grammar?
  4. How exactly will my linking to your website ‘spike more traffic into’ mine? I foresee the main beneficiary of a bunch of blogs linking to your site being your company.
  5. What will I ‘revert’ to if I’m interested? A younger, more gullible self?
  6. I’m honestly not sure how you can run this promotion if you intend to follow — not guide — me through the process of being a sucker and giving you an inbound link.

I’m too sleep deprived to even pretend to suffer fools gladly, so please come up with something more thought-out and I won’t make fun of you next time.

Maize, cheese, and spring onion scones

Start with a basic recipe, change up the flour a little, and add a different cheese and a bit of green.

cheese scone

1½ cups plain flour
½ cup maize flour (cornmeal)
3 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
1 cup mixed strong cheddar cheese and Parmesan, grated
1 spring onion, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
125ml milk
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 200°C (190°C fan). Sift the flours, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper into a large bowl. Add the cheese and spring onions. Mix the egg, milk, and vegetable oil in a separate bowl or measuring cup. Add it to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. When it gets a bit annoying, switch to your hands, but don’t over-work it.

Sprinkle a little maize flour on your work surface and turn the dough out on it. I don’t have a suitable pastry cutter, so I pressed the dough into a rough circle about two cm thick and cut it into eight wedges. If you have a cutter, use it. Place them, a couple of centimetres apart, on some baking parchment, which is already on a baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Frog in a pot

I overheard a woman at the bus stop a couple of days ago, acknowledging she was overweight and needed to do more. When I looked at her, I did think, “Not by today’s standards!”


The makers of NeutralBOX are channelling Cory Doctorow’s Makers. I’m a bit scared, and excited. We need a big declutter at home!


A lot of my time at Lower Shaw Farm is spent stopping Anne from chasing the ducks.

Lower Shaw Farm

This week’s main non-baby-related personal observations

Just a couple of things:

  • We’re bummed that we won’t get to see Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails touring together in Toronto. We’ll be in the city in the summer, just not then.
  • I just watched Juno again last night. What a great film. However, I’m slightly concerned to realise that I still dress like an indie 16-year old. I’m not sure I will ever make the effort to change my everyday ‘style’, if you could call it that.

Playground loner

On a cold winter’s day where Anne napped for so long she missed all her friends at the park:

Lydiard Park

So talented

Anne’s first photos:


Sort of. I helped her press the shutter button on my Halina Paulette.

I expect National Geographic to be requesting her services, she’s so talented.

Seriously though, I let her hold the camera and pointed it in the general direction of the rabbits before firing the shutter, and I think we got pretty damn lucky there.

(She’s taken photos with my digital camera, even shot video, but it’s so easy to do that I don’t think they count.)