Samyang 500mm ƒ/6.3 DX mirror lens

Long focal length lenses for SLR cameras are mostly one of two types – refractors (true lenses) or “mirror” lenses (actually Cassegrain telescopes). Large aperture long lenses are big, heavy, and expensive, but they can perform really well. Mirror lenses are much smaller, lighter, and usually a lot cheaper. However they are fixed aperture, usually … Read more

Sussex pond pudding

Last weekend I made a Sussex pond pudding and, as I occasionally do, I posted a picture of it on Facebook. The ensuing discussion included both a request for my recipe and a link to a recent Guardian article “the perfect… Sussex pond pudding”. Here’s my recipe, fleshed out with a few pictures. I’ve taken … Read more

AstroMedia Copernican Orrery kit – part 2

In part 1 I described the first half (approximately) of the construction of a cardboard Orrery kit from AstroMedia. In the second half things get more interesting, and more complicated, as the majority of the pulleys and shafts are assembled. The first part to be constructed is the “planetary gearing”. This will eventually roll around … Read more

Hungarian sour cherry soup

I have a Morello sour cherry tree in my front garden that, most years, produces more fruit than I know what to do with. This year I asked online for ideas to use the surplus and someone suggested sour cherry soup, a Hungarian speciality. I searched for recipes on line and found a huge variety … Read more