Friday Quick Links

>> DIY Fix-it
Extensive illustrated guides to loads of different DIY projects. For those intimidated by technical terms like wallpaper or plumbing, the beginner’s approach allows you to select which part of the house you want to do something to, and get a list of projects that you could do in that room.

>> Barbecue Bible
Recipes, "BBQ History" and the BBQ 10 Commandments (“Know when to baste, guage yor fuel, keep it lubricated and never desert your post”!)

Newsbreaker >> Newsbreaker
This variation on the classic arcade game Breakout rewards you for clearing lines of bricks by linking you to headlines for breaking news stories

>> YouTube clip of the week: Newbreaker Game
At the premiere of Spiderman 3 in LA, the cinema audience took part in a demo of a big-screen version of the afore-mentioned Newsbreaker game. The gameplay here was controlled by a motion sensor tracking the movements of the entire audience

>> BBC Music: Reading & Leeds Weekender
The Beeb’s summer music festival coverage concludes with extensive video highlights (both online and on the digital TV red button service) from the main stages at Reading and Leeds. Headliners include Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Kings Of Leon, Arcade Fire and Bloc Party

Also mentioned: Travel links for Notting Hill Carnival:
>> Transport for London Journey Planner
>> BBC London Travel News

What House Online

Whathouse >> What House Online
Here’s another property site which nicely complements the excellent OnOneMap site which I first mentioned a couple of weeks ago. What House does not list as many houses for sale, but it does act as a useful tool for researching background information about an area. Type in a postcode or area name to bring up the actual prices that houses in a set radius have sold for plus information on transport links, school performance statistics and details of nearby restaurants, supermarkets, pubs and gyms. Stick with OnOneMap to find the widest range of houses on a very flexible map, but use WhatHouse for extra information about your chosen area.
See Also: How to research a new area before you move house

How to research a new area before you move house

Website of the Day: Wednesday October 27th

Upmystreet>> Up My | >> Knowhere Guides
Maura McFall recently emailed me to ask:


If you’re considering moving to a different part of the Country for work how would you find out about an area or place that would suit you. We are in this position and have spent a few weekends driving around but it’s very time consuming and not always easy to find out actual facts about a place.

We don’t need to worry about schools as our children are grown up – but we do need to have access to good road and rail links and an airport. We also need good doctors/dentist facilities and even more important know that there is a good hospital nearby. Where would you start to try to compile this sort of info?

Many thanks
Maura McFall

Knowhere_guidesThere are two different sites which between them, do an excellent job of answering Maura’s questions (once you’ve waded through all the superfluous adverts!). On Up My Street you simply type in a postcode or placename to find detailed facts for that area including nearest schools, healthcare, train stations and airports, plus performance statistics for schools and councils, local crime rates and contact details for MPs and MEPs.
Knowhere Guide provides much more “warts-and-all” views of area, as submitted by locals – The language and opinions are occasionally frank and fruity, but this is where to go for recommendations of the best (and worst) pubs, chippies, newsagents, and teen hangouts in a particular area

Europe’s Worst Interiors of 1974

Website of the Day: Wednesday September 8th

eurobad>> Eurobad ‘ 74
Given that Website of the Day is primarily a radio feature, I normally steer clear of sites that are primarily visual, but this one demanded a wider audience. What we have here is an extraordinary collection of photos of 70’s home interiors which make Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen’s most excessive designs seem subtle and understated. There are shades of green on show that haven’t been seen since the first colour episodes of Dr Who, plus (inexplicably) a horse in a kitchen. It’s fair to say that 70’s design has not aged well!

Big Brother meets Changing Rooms?

Website of the Day: Tuesday July 13th

bigbuild>> The Big Build
Billed as “the next best thing to Big Brother interactively” this is effectively an online version of a TV makeover show. The project has been put together by Gavin Lowe from BBC1’s Big Strong Boys. Under the scrutiny of a constantly updating webcam, Gavin and his team aim to completely rebuild a family house, chronicling the whole process in an online diary. Gavin does a great job of demystifying a big renovation job, by explaining the whole process and answering questions by email – The end result is a surprisingly entertaining read.