Fourbirdsaboating Pacific Ocean Row Selection Day 2013

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On Saturday 28th September 2013, all girl team Fourbirdsaboating will host their team selection day, followed by a PechaKucha event, at Leander Club, Henley-On-Thames.

Selection Day

Fourbirdsaboating are seeking two ordinary women to take part in an eight month world record breaking expedition across the Pacific Ocean from Monterey Bay, California to Cairns, Australia, setting off in May 2014, arriving around December 2014. The women do not need experience of rowing or previous expeditions as full training will be provided.

During the row, the women will broadcast live from their boat ‘Mr Toad’ to bring the oceans alive, especially for children who may have never seen the sea. The aim of the 7200 nautical mile row is to raise the profile of science, technology, engineering, and maths, and to provide FREE, online, environmental, STEM, and geography education to young people aged 5-25 years worldwide. The team will engage students in citizen science and encourage them to undertake professions in STEM focused roles. Using pioneering ‘live from the boat’ technology, Fourbirdsaboating will be the ‘eyes and ears’ of their young viewers. They aim to raise the confidence and self belief of young people by providing space for them to interact with the best scientists, sports people, and world leaders and to empower them through cultural exchange and communication with peers worldwide.

The team will promote the value and role of women in society through online interaction, interviews, and video footage of both men and women from around the globe, and in particular, the four ‘very ordinary female rowers.

The selection day will offer the chance to try out for a funded place on the Pacific Ocean expedition, and to row on the ‘Henley Royal Regatta’ course with some of Team GB’s finest rowers and sports professionals. The two selected ladies winning a place on the Fourbirdsaboating team will be announced at a special ‘PechaKucha event’ later in the day.

PechaKucha Event

PechaKucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The presentation format was devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture. The first PechaKucha night was held in Tokyo in their gallery/lounge/ bar/club/creative kitchen, SuperDeluxe, in February, 2003

Fourbirdsaboating will host Henley’s very first PechaKucha event, with 14 motivational speakers presenting on the theme of river and ocean rowing.

Corporate Sponsors, Media Partners, and Press

Fourbirdsaboating invite potential corporate sponsors, media partners and press to attend the PechaKucha event where there will be a FINAL CHANCE to support the Fourbirdsaboating ladies. Partners and sponsors will have their logos featured on the boat ‘Mr Toad’ for its natural life, offering the chance to receive media coverage for several ocean based expeditions, all providing STEM education to young people worldwide.

The boat will go on display at the London Boat Show, BETT Educational Technology Show, and Whalefest in Brighton in 2014.

Sponsorship packages range from £325 up to title sponsorship of £10,000.

For all bookings and enquiries, please contact Fourbirdsaboating Skipper Sarah Weldon:


Twitter: @4birdsaboating


To make a donation to the team or to become a corporate sponsor:


Interview: TESLA the Movie with Associate Producer Marcus Agar

TESLAA fantastic interview by David Bailey – An Englishman in the Balkans with Marcus Agar Associate Producer of the film “TESLA”, the Nikola Tesla biopic from director Michael Anton. The film will shoot in Serbia and the US, starring Branko Tomović.

Those of you that haven’t heard of Nikola Tesla maybe weren’t listening or studying during their physics lessons.

To find out more about the film follow Marcus Agar’s blog and TESLA The Movie on Twitter @TeslaTheMovie or Facebook

You can follow Marcus Agar on twitter @Wildrooster and David Bailey @DFBmbe

Tongue Thai’d in Reigate

Giggling SquidI thought I would jot down some lines about the arrival and our recent visit of Giggling Squid Thai restaurant in Reigate High Street.

Having had a look around the premises when it was still on the market I watched with interest over the months the issues Giggling Squid had with planning permissions, the discovery in their basement level of one of the many caves of Reigate and finally the refit and opening.

I have been to a Giggling Squid restaurant before (obviously not Reigate) so was au fait with their menu and style.

The interior has been beautifully refurbished and you can see where the money has been spent. The decor is lovely. Modern but warm & welcoming with lots of natural woods & materials, and with a few added quirky bits and pieces, like the tiffin boxes displayed on the shelves.

We paid a visit early on a Friday evening and were seated in the main area on the ground floor. There was one other couple in there. What the ‘Squid’ had in appearance, it lacked in the forethought of the ambiance when the restaurant floor is not so full and buzzing with conversation.

There was no light background music, it was in fact deathly quiet which made your own conversations uncomfortable feeling that you had to make them in a whisper.

We have eaten off a Giggling Squid tapas menu before and this time were eating of the main menu. Our choices were Salt and Pepper Squid and Yummy Duck Spring Rolls (yes, that’s the name of them on the menu!).

Duck Spring Rolls

Both starters were very tasty with plenty of duck in the spring rolls & crispy vegetables. My squid, though very well cooked and in a light crispy batter, seemed to have had the ‘salt & pepper’ part of the Salt & Pepper Squid omitted and it was also rather chunky. Personally, I would prefer smaller pieces.

Onto the mains. Our choices were Lamb Shank Massaman Curry, Tamarind Duck, Jasmine Rice and what we though was Vegetable Pad Thai.

Lamb Shank Massaman Curry Tamarind Duck

Everything did smell and look good when it arrived. The one thing you cannot fault Giggling Squid on is their presentation, every dish does look great.

The lamb did look like it had been slow cooked for hours, though there were signs that it may not have been as long as we thought as there were bits of fat and sinew that would normally have disappeared through a slow cooking process and it didn’t ‘drop’ off the bone.. That said the sauce was very tasty, though lacking in potatoes as it is traditionally a curry of meat and potato. Of the two potatoes on the plate, one was an onion in disguise!

This turned out to be best of the lot for our mains. the Vegetarian Pad Thai, which we misread as being a vegetable Pad Thai was very very bland and within the noodle dish were tasteless pieces of cold rubbery tofu.

I was most disappointed with my Tamarind Duck as I love Tamarind. The duck was quite dry and over cooked and lay on a bed of very wet white cabbage in large strips. The cabbage could not have been drained and my meal sat in a pool of cabbagey water and therefore no resemblance of a flavour of tamarind existed. I picked the duck off and ate that.

As we’re not ones to politely say that everything was fine when it wasn’t (it’s not fair on the chefs or the proprietors to do this), I mentioned my duck dish to the waitress. Unfortunately, her English was pretty poor and with a, “I show manager”, she trundled off. I saw the waitress and the person who I assumed was the floor manager for that area, swishing the plate around looking at it. The waitress returned and said, ” I not really know, I waitress”. Our plates were then cleared. We were then ignored for at least 10 minutes. Not asked if we’d like dessert or coffee. Feeling frustrated, I signaled to pay the bill.

The bill was brought over and we paid. Once payment had been made the server taking our bill then asked if everything had been OK. I said that I had complained about one of the dishes. To which the reply was simply, “Oh, sorry”, and then went away.

We were disappointed with our meal and we have had very nice meals at other venues. There is obviously a training issue here and of course there are always things that need ironing out with a new opening.

I have read tweets and other reviews that customers have made and a wee bit envious that their experience was better than ours but this does please me in that our experience may have been an isolated case.

Fingers crossed our return visit will put a a Thai smile on our faces.

On a side note: I have just perused the takeaway menu in case we choose to vary from our regular Thai take out from the River Kwai (across the road) and I am a little confused as to why the Lamb Massaman Curry and Tamarind Duck are both more expensive to take out than eat in. *scratches head*

Price: Starters & mains for two, plus a bottle of wine £69.00

Horses for Courses it’s got to be @Forces_Sauces | Serve With Pride

A BRAVE ex-soldier battling cancer has seen his range of tasty sauces hit supermarket shelves – as he hopes to raise a million pounds for charity.

Forces Sauces

Launched nationally in Tesco in June 2013, Forces Sauces is a range of great tasting, Great British sauces. It is a unique charity initiative inspired by Veteran Bob Barrett.

Former Household Cavalry trooper Bob Barrett and founder of The Beef Kitchen launched bottles of Corporal Ketchup and Brigadier Brown sauces with proceeds helping hundreds of struggling ex-servicemen and women.

Bob, 63, who suffers from the blood cancer non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and is wheelchair-bound, came up with the Forces Sauces idea to repay the debt to the charity that helped him.

He was battling alcoholism and facing homelessness when the Sir Oswald Stoll Foundation – founded in 1916 for servicemen suffering long-lasting injuries – gave him a home overlooking Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground in 2005.

Beef Kitchen TrailerHe soon set up The Beef Kitchen next to the stadium serving hot food to around 300 footie fans on match days with proceeds going to Stoll.

Then, in 2009 dreamed up the idea of making money from his own sauces and yesterday they went on sale across the country.

He joked: “I’d love to make a million but let’s just get it in the supermarkets first.

“It’s madness to think a simple idea I had has been produced on a mass-scale and will help raise money for veterans with every bottle sold.

“I was sitting in my flat in December 2009 and the penny just dropped one day. I thought we could make the sauces ourselves and give the money we make to good causes.

“Immediately, I got one of the chefs that help us on match day to come up with a few recipes.

The bottles are on sale in Tesco costing £2.19 with 6p from each bottle being split between Stoll and the Royal British Legion.

Bob praised Stoll charity for backing the idea all the way. He said: “The people at Stoll had the know-how and were able to register the name and get a big manufacturer involved to get it off the ground. I may have had the initial idea but they have made it work.”

Bob joined the Life Guards aged 16 serving for four years but didn’t see active service.

He moved to Australia with his wife but returned working in the car industry. But his marriage broke down in 1998 and he turned to alcohol ending up losing his house.

He believes without the charity’s backing in 2005 his life could now be very different.

He said: “I had a drink problem, had nowhere to live and Stoll put me back on the right footing.

“It could have been very different for me. I could have been a victim of alcoholism and I may not have got the treatment I needed for my cancer which I found out about two weeks after they gave me a flat.

“You hear of charities for the armed forces. You think they look after the big-name heroes but they were there for me. I will always be eternally grateful, they helped me turn my life around.”

BBC London reporter Alice Bhandhukravi spoke with Robert Barrett and chef Ed Sargent. Click here

Sources: The Sun newspaper, BBC London