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Jerry Roberts and D Block

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To mark the MBE awarded today to former Bletchley Park codebreaker Jerry Roberts I thought I’d share a handful of the pictures I took a few weeks back of D Block – BP’s army, airforce and naval Enigma deciphering operation. D Block is closed to the public but as a BP volunteer I was lucky enough to get a VIP tour of the building.

During the war, thousands of people – mostly women – worked 24 hours a day in this flat-roofed, concrete reinforced building, deciphering and translating the German armed forces’ operations messages. Much of the Allies’ preparations for D Day took place inside its walls, although it was F Block (demolished in 1987) and H Block (which now houses The National Museum of Computing) which deciphered a much stronger and more sophisticated cypher – Lorenz.

Lorenz was the cypher Hitler used to personally communicate with the German high command and with 12 wheels per machine to Enigma’s three to four, it was a million times stronger than Enigma. Those were the messages read by Roberts and his colleagues – 64,000 of them.

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The Lorenz SZ42 –

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Jerry Roberts at Bletchley Park last year (photo from The National Museum of Computing) –

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Go here to listen to Jerry Roberts speaking to Radio 5 Live about Lorenz and his MBE.

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beauty, fashion, lifestyle, style, vintage

Boxing Day getup

Boxing Day getup

Carven jacket
$1,615 – harrods.com

Ostrich handbag
boohoo.com

Oscar de la renta jewelry
oscardelarenta.com

Metal ring
modcloth.com

Cat earrings
etsy.com

Chanel
nordstrom.com

Benefit pencil eyeliner
benefitcosmetics.com

LSA International LSA Bar Beer Tankard
$27 – occa-home.co.uk

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Elizabeth Blades

Go and get some gorgeous artwork from Elizabeth Blades, a great print artist from the Midlands. I bought a children’s book-like owl print from Liz this year and I’ve just seen that she’s now got a load of beautiful tote bags.

Some of the prints in these photos are by another artist, Brendan McDowell.

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fashion, lifestyle, style

Seven swans a-swimming

Did anyone see Karren Brady’s swan collar on the Young Apprentice final? I think it’s by Victoria Beckham and it reminds me of something I wore as a child. While I’m here, here are some other swans I thought were well worth a post.

Victoria Beckham swan dress –

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SLC – 

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asos swan print blouse

Kobi Levi –

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Christmas time at the Black Country Museum

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The Bottle & Glass Inn at the Black Country Museum. The best pub in the midlands –

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I would happily drive 100 miles to this place just for the fish and chips, cooked in beef dripping

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Sweet moulds –

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The chemist –

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  1930s Christmas!

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Weekend cocktail

A Gangster cocktail this weekend to celebrate the series finale of Boardwalk Empire.

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1/4 gill of Brandy

1/4 gill of Brown Curaçao

1 dash of Lemon Peel Juice

1 Cherry

1/2 shakerful of broken Ice

Half fill the shaker with broken ice. Then put in the Brandy and the Brown Curaçao. Shake well and pass through a strainer into a cocktail glass. Serve with a cherry and a dash of lemon peel juice.

This is quite a strong cocktail and should not be drunk on an empty stomach, my little book says. Very sensible.

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