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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

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Re: Tea with milk Good tea-related rant

Which reminds me of a particularly rough french ferry crossing from Cork, in a 'cosy' 'titanic steerage' type cabin and my Dad insisting on his morning cornflakes even despite the only available milk on board seemingly, goat.

This surprises me. Presumably, this was the Irish Ferries crossing between Cork and Swansea. If so, the people operating it are going to have been Irish, which happens to be the nation in Europe that drinks the most tea. One would have thought that they, of all people, would know what they are doing with the milk.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

if you're limited on volts , just top it up with amps to make a lovely batch of kilowatts

The thing is, how many amps you can pull without melting your wiring depends on how heavy the wire is. This limits US appliances to 1.8 kw. Google suggests that the UK has kettles running anywhere up to 3 kw (twice the voltage, twice the power, using the same thickness of wire).

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Re: Tea with milk

"whenever I get milk for a beverage on the continent"

If it's te, just leave the milk out. Coffee? don't know, don't care.

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Re: Tea with milk

"Can anyone explain why... it still never seems to taste the same?"

Hard/soft water seems to make a difference to taste and to colour. Tea acts as an indicator and it's difficult to judge its strength in hard water areas.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

I'm no expert but but to get x amount of power out of a device you need a bowl full of volts and amps , so if you're limited on volts , just top it up with amps to make a lovely batch of kilowatts.

In theory, you are of course correct. In practice a US mains outlet is fused at 15A, giving a practical limit of 1650W, a long way from the UK 3120W (240*13) or European 3520W (220*16).

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Re: Tea with milk

Of course, none of it is actually grown on either island

Suki were trying to grow tea in NI, I'm not sure what came of it. There is a tea plantation in Cornwall, near Padstow, so it's not impossible.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

I only eat bacon when I go home. Not even worth looking for it in Europe. Lidl sold something it called British bacon. As an experiment, bought a pack as it did look like bacon, was terrible all the gunk which came out of it. Dumped it in the loo. Dumped before eating, not after.

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Re: Tea with milk

Just for the record, tea is grown in the British Isles; just £39.50 for 11 grams (which can make up to 20 cups if you do it right) <https://tregothnan.co.uk/product/single-estate-loose-11g/>. They also sell their tea blended with more common imported leaves at more ordinary prices.

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Re: Tea with milk

>With one exception - coffee in France is horrible unless it's from Starbucks...

You're obviously drinking your coffee with the wrong hand. Or you've confused France with England.

England: Were towns are full of "cafes" all serving stool samples.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

"Their lower voltage means that an electric kettle would take a lot longer to boil. I think that's why they favour the stove-top."

Voltage is not a determining factor - it is quite irrelevant.

The key factors are power, water capacity/contents, and kettle design.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

'please, please' just put the water, in the cup, in the microwave

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Odd.

Every tea enthusiast I know maintains that the worst thing you can do when making tea is heating the water in a microwave.

They universally use electric or stove top kettles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

However, if you are ever required to live there, wire a socket to the 230V outlets (they have different but available plugtops) they use (often without realising) for their washer/dryer setup

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Very bad plan.

A circuit breaker appropriate for a dryer will provide no protection for the puny wiring of a kettle, in the event of a short, making for an 'out of design specs' fire hazard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

"The thing is, how many amps you can pull without melting your wiring depends on how heavy the wire is. This limits US appliances to 1.8 kw. "

1875 watts, actually.

Which is quite enough for a kettle, unless you are trying to boil the water in roughly the time it takes to put water in the kettle. Having 30 seconds more to contemplate tea type choices is not always a bad thing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

In theory, you are of course correct. In practice a US mains outlet is fused at 15A, giving a practical limit of 1650W, a long way from the UK 3120W (240*13) or European 3520W (220*16).

=============================================

The actual practical limit is 1875 watts (125*15) which is the common and quite adequate specification for high powered devices like big kettles, convection ovens, and the like.

110 volts hasn't been seen on domestic feeds here for decades. Maybe in some out of the way rural services, but even there, I doubt it.

Note that, unlike UK wiring specs, modern North American wiring codes now specify a dedicated breaker and wire for each outlet in rooms like kitchens, so every single outlet can deliver the 1875 watts simultaneously... with no ring mains or the like, and no fuses that can be replaced with incorrect capacity conductors.

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Re: Tea with milk Good tea-related rant

If so, the people operating it are going to have been Irish, which happens to be the nation in Europe that drinks the most tea.

This statement made me curious about where we stand in the world (if the UK nations were considered separately I suspect NI would give the south a run for its money). I now know Ireland comes second only to Turkey. Turkey. Not China. Not India. Turkey. https://www.statista.com/statistics/507950/global-per-capita-tea-consumption-by-country/

Turkey.

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Re: Tea with milk

Just for the record, tea is grown in the British Isles; just £39.50 for 11 grams (which can make up to 20 cups if you do it right) <https://tregothnan.co.uk/product/single-estate-loose-11g/>. They also sell their tea blended with more common imported leaves at more ordinary prices.

While I suppose I was thinking of the stuff you can buy in a supermarket, had you asked me whether tea was grown commercially in the UK I would have said no. (Well, I might have smelt a rat and said yes.)

So I stand corrected! Corrected and, frankly, baffled...

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Re: Tea with milk

Hard/soft water seems to make a difference to taste and to colour. Tea acts as an indicator and it's difficult to judge its strength in hard water areas.

I was spoiled for several years in London by having an ion exchange softener on the mains. Still needed a Brita filter to make decent tea, and you're really meant to have an additional exchanger on the drinking water, so the extra Na probably didn't do my blood pressure any good.

No longer have that, so have now developed a two step filter involving two filter jugs, one Brita, one BWT. (Some testing indicates Brita-Brita would work, but arrived at this stage by getting the BWT, deciding it was an improvement over the Brita, if not perfect, and then realising I now had two filters.)

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Re: Tea with milk

"Taylor's, the Yorkshire Tea people, have a blend especially for hard water."

The local supermarkets sell it. Fair enough - we're in Yorkshire. But the water's so soft it defurred a kettle in a few weeks after we moved up from High Wycombe. Clearly too many people don't know the difference.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

"A circuit breaker appropriate for a dryer will provide no protection for the puny wiring of a kettle, in the event of a short, making for an 'out of design specs' fire hazard."

Minor hazard compared to lack of tea.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

"Very bad plan.

A circuit breaker appropriate for a dryer will provide no protection for the puny wiring of a kettle, in the event of a short, making for an 'out of design specs' fire hazard."

Actually it wouldn't matter nor cause any fire hazard. Reason kettle is a resistive load so doesn't need overload protection, just short circuit protection. Ditto electric showers (Though as an ex spark, I have a mixer shower as standing wet on an earthed metal bath whilst under an electric shower goes against the grain somewhat....touch voltage (i.e. that required to penetrate your skin) drops from 50V AC dry down to < 25V AC when your soaking wet.)

Whether you could terminate the dryer cables into a uk socket might be another matter. Though you could just run a flex cable of carrying 13 amps from the breaker panel to a single UK socket (current then limited to 13amps.) 1.25mm2 would cover it though 1.5mm2 is more commonly found, translated to North American as 16AWG, for a longer run, use 2.5mm2 / 14AWG to reduce volt drop.

Inductive loads are a different matter however......that could go horribly wrong.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

Which is quite enough for a kettle, unless you are trying to boil the water in roughly the time it takes to put water in the kettle.

My GF found a Teasmade at a local charity shop, labeled 'probably broken'. It wasn't, but the expectation that it would heat the water to a boil quite a bit faster than it actually did probably made them slap that label on.

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FAIL

Re: never seems to taste the same?

"kettle is a resistive load so doesn't need overload protection"

Some electrician you were! Overload protection on a circuit is to protect the cabling, not the appliance(s) at the end of it. Ditto short circuit protection. Maybe you were thinking of over-voltage protection as used on industrial motors?

The 50V "touch voltage" (not a technical term in the U.K. Regs) is the maximum voltage the CPC (earth wire in common parlance) or neutral is allowed to reach by design under fault conditions in a domestic installation.

It is derived from the typical surface resistance of human skin and the typical current required for a shock to be fatal to a human (many other animals are much more sensitive). Current kills you, not voltage (hence we don't die from a bit of static, unlike MOSFETs).

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Re: Tea with milk

There is also some tea grown in Scotland. At least, someone was having a go a year or two back.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea#Cultivation_and_harvesting

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Anonymous Coward

Re: never seems to taste the same?

LIAR

tetera

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Re: Tea with milk

whenever I get milk for a beverage on the continent, it's always that horrid strange-tasting UHT muck.

If you pass near here, in exchange for a box of Yorkshire Gold (the soft water variety, water here is excellent), you can have your tea with the stuff that's squirted out of a cow without any intervening processes (the tap has a sign 'boil before using', but that's just to make it your own responsibility when rightly ignoring it).

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Re: Tea with milk

Sshhh, nobody tell the God's Own Country mob that their water is soft and not dead hard, they'll never live it down.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

"modern North American wiring codes now specify a dedicated breaker and wire for each outlet in rooms like kitchens, so every single outlet can deliver the 1875 watts"

The labelling of them however is totally inaccurate (or at least in my 12 year old house), as I found out by flicking the light switch to check that half the lights were running off an upstairs plugs circuit ECB & some of the wall plugs controlled by the lighting ECB, when swapping out a light fitting.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

I had the same thing when visiting friends in France....no electric kettle. It the same in the US too, they have an electric coffee machine, so why have a kettle too? Ended up boiling water in a pan on the stove to make tea. If I'd known that up front I could have taken my whistling camping kettle for the hob, or even just bought a cheap electric kettle from Argos to last the fortnight.

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Re: Tea with milk

I've just spent a month travelling through France and can confirm that the coffee is generally terrible. If you think otherwise then you don't understand what good coffee should taste like or have never been to a country, such as Australia or Italy, that knows how to make the blessed brew correctly.

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Re: Tea with milk Good tea-related rant

>>Which reminds me of a particularly rough french ferry crossing from Cork

This surprises me. Presumably, this was the Irish Ferries crossing between Cork and Swansea. If so, the people operating it are going to have been Irish, which happens to be the nation in Europe that drinks the most tea. One would have thought that they, of all people, would know what they are doing with the milk.

Presumably the French ferry from Cork went elsewhere. Of course the final Swansea-Cork ferry was staffed mostly by Poles before it sadly disappeared for ever. I was mostly too young for tea back in the days of the Innisfallen

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Trollface

Re: never seems to taste the same?

Odd.

Every tea enthusiast I know maintains that the worst thing you can do when making tea is heating the water in a microwave.

They universally use electric or stove top kettles.

With oxygen-free wiring/pipework no doubt

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Re: Tea with milk

Nambarrie

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Re: Tea with milk Good tea-related rant

"french ferry crossing from Cork"

Sounds like it is Cork - France?

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Re: Tea with milk

"Sshhh, nobody tell the God's Own Country mob that their water is soft and not dead hard"

It depends where you are. Up in the dales it's hard. In the [millstone] gritty Dark Peak it's soft, all the better for our once-upon-a-time textile industry.

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Re: Tea with milk

"stuff that's squirted out of a cow without any intervening processes (the tap has a sign 'boil before using'"

You boil your cows?

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

Here in Portugal electric kettles are quite common. 2.2kW, normally. Coffee is generally good, tea rare even if it was a Portuguese who introduced the British to it.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

The biggest problem I encountered on my visits to the US is a lack of good water for tea. The stuff from the taps is chlorinated and has all kinds of other stuff added to it to preserve the centuries old lead and iron pipes. The stuff from bottles either tastes of plastic, is too hard, otherwise tastes funny or a combination of all of those. No wonder they don't sell their beverages in anything under puny gallon size.

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Re: Tea with milk

Frigging Lipton. I can't believe it's sold in Oz/NZ - it's the Starbucks of tea. And yes, I do actually judge my friends who have the muck in their cupboards.

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Re: never seems to taste the same?

But in a place where they cannot make the water hot enough to make proper tea, the microwave option is the least-objectionable.

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Alternativly

Leave the smart phone at home and get lost the old fashioned way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Alternativly

Leave the smart phone at home and get lost the old fashioned way.

I'm not lost - I know exactly where I am: I'm here. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea where "here" is.

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Coat

Re: Alternativly

Are you Granny Weatherwax?

“Granny Weatherwax was not lost. She wasn't the kind of person who ever became lost. It was just that, at the moment, while she knew exactly where SHE was, she didn't know the position of anywhere else.”

― Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters

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Happy medium

I think I strike a happy medium there. I'll take the 'phone and sometimes use the maps, but I've never considered letting it tell me directions.

Back in the Good Old Days I used to go out deliberately without map and compass in any non-clear weather in my local stomping ground of the time[1] for a fleeting illusion of wilderness.

[1] One of the best times was when that stomping ground was the Peak District: Kinder was a favourite place to get lost in the swirling mists. Sadly far too small an area to get genuinely away from things.

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Re: Alternativly

My mum used to say: "Keep going. Eventually you'll get somewhere you recognize"

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Re: Alternativly

So what do you when that someplace turns out to be "Back where I F'n started"?

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Re: Alternativly

You wake up Mr Barraclough and go back to Slade Prison.

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I recommend ViewRanger. Well worth the annual subscription, giving access to all UK 1:50000 and 1:25000 maps. One feature that makes all the difference compared with Google maps is that it gives you an immediate indication of which direction you are walking in.

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And even the free version provides you with access to enough maps and bells and whistles to enjoy while working out what those close brown wiggly lines mean to your rate of breathing!

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it gives you an immediate indication of which direction you are walking in

I'm sure I remember that Google Maps used to do that, but they've upgraded it so it doesn't. The only way to tell which way to go now is to walk 200 yards in a random direction to see which way the pointer moves (usually the wrong way).

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"I recommend ViewRanger."

I totally agree. I do, despite going on about natural navigation, use this on a regular basis. It's handy for areas where I don't own the OS map and want to know things like open access land.

Bargain, really.

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