Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WalkonWednesday at Tansley - Lovely day

Yet another great WoW day, five of us went to a Roy location near Tansley called the Lumsdale Valley and I hope that Picture 1 conveys a feel for it. So many derelict and truly ancient buildings; coupled with a day full of autumn colour, water falls and general interest.

As usual I didn't tackle the walking or the steps etc., but there was plenty to photograph near where I parked. Plus of course I had to drink my flask of coffee and transfer my pictures to the laptop almost as soon as I had taken them. An interesting passerby told me that in summer there are guided tours because of all the history associated with the place. All our chaps expressed an interest, because the place reeks of an exciting past.

As I had hoped, Reg sorted out my remote shutter-release, so an ill-tempered trip to Jessops won't be necessary. The trick is to set one of the controls on the camera to the correct icon which, on close inspection, looks like the actual device itself. Easy when you know how; but it took Reg a few minutes, so I didn't feel completely stupid. Picture 2 is some blurry water which have been trying to do for some time. Now that was straightforward. Pick a low light place, put on a light-blocking filter to produce a longer exposure time, tripod and bingo ! candyfloss water. But I still hate the effect anyway. So I shan't be doing it again.

Lots of road-closures in the area we wanted to be but we lunched at The Peacock at Oakerthorpe again. Busy but pleasant and we got the table in the corner which we like. Now that is a nice link. So much to read you won't need a morning paper.

This morning I left a chicken-thigh stew with leeks, celery, mushrooms, plenty tarragon, a clove of garlic, in the oven on the timer so that it cooked for 5 hours at just over a 100c. Y did a tray of winter vegetables - celeriac, potato chunks, carrots, butternut squash and largish pieces of pepper (green and yellow) added around 20 minutes before the end - and some brussels. It worked beautifully and the gravy was a 'need your dessert spoon at the end' sort.

We watched 'Strictly......' while we ate and later the last episode of Michael Palin. Another excellent series.

My Nikon flatbed scanner (£4.99 from e-bay) arrived and now I need to figure out how to make it go. Spoke to National Trust Peter about the Tuesday meeting and during the afternoon Jean had rung Y and everybody is of the same mind.

Comments now AnonymousRob's pinhole camera shot has earned glowing praise and nobody doesn't like it. It grows on me - I love the uniform focus from closest foreground to background and it is so atmospheric. The occasional 'Gallery' use of the blog appeals to me so contributions are always welcome. They will always be properly attributed naturally and, as Picasa WebAlbums keep a time/date file of everything I publish, any plagiarism would be easy to prove. And thanks 'nifty googler' for your nice remarks about the blog. Re: the news widget. I intend to delete it tomorrow. It doesn't fit in with the 'house-style' and from 1st November 'it can spend more time with its family'.

Thanks Bungus for your support over rude barmen ! And even with my 'shrinking violet' persona I don't let them get away with it. Doesn't happen often to be fair. 99% of the younger generation are polite and helpful. If you want real rudeness and lack of sensitivity go for the over 65's every time. And they are usually snail slow and tedious as well. . I fixed my google-glitch but it was time consuming.

You are quite right Jill. A moderate approach to diet is the thing. The current cancer-link horror story is just a programme filler for some news-editor and not worth watching or reading about. Which leads me to:-

"Moderation in all things"

TERENCE (c. 190-158 B.C.)

The date when that was written amazed me. We all know the quote and I had always supposed it to be quite modern.

Y over to Burton Joyce tomorrow; a builder engaged by our purchaser to look at a lintel, and me to camera club in the evening. Hope David has had a good birthday. Sleep tight folks and I'll catch you later.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Busy Day - National Trust - Visit Bungus

We have had a really busy day, and a tiring one. The National Trust committee meeting at Mansfield was a strain. One member doesn't like the way we now run the raffle and said that six people had complained to him about it. He wasn't prepared to put us in touch with these people so that they could speak for themselves however.

And at the last meeting we took over £50 in raffle money whereas under the old system it hovered at around £30+ - which, in my opinion, speaks for itself and certainly doesn't indicate that the new system is unpopular. Y is still not 100% and was a little subdued.

Ho hum! as Ray says. We shall see.

Anyway, it gives me great pleasure to publish a rather beautiful AnonymousRob picture as Picture 1. That should be read as the picture being beautiful, not AnonymousRob or 'nifty googler' as he now is. If it looks a little 'soft' it is because it was taken with a pinhole camera. Nothing more than a light-proof box with a small hole in the front surface instead of a lens and a piece of light-sensitive material on the rear surface. The system dates right back to the old camera obscura days when they were an aid to drawing. And, quite some time ago, Pete (Manxislander) sent some pictures of the camera obscura on the Isle of Man.

David Hockney is convinced that artists such as Canaletto relied heavily on their use. Indeed the linked Wiki-article actually mentions the fact.

Just for fun I decided to check the picture's EXIF data but it was a little coy with regard to information.

Picture 2 is almost the reverse. My birthday prezzie from John and family was a very powerful halogen torch and in the middle of the night I decided to shine it our of my bedroom window onto the garage. This was the result. No flash obviously and I can see it being a handy tool.

Back to our day now. After the committee meeting we went to the Rufford for a carvery lunch. and I couldn't find a link with a decent picture. If you open the link you will see that customers have been far from happy! The food was OK but the staff weren't; I had to point out to the barman how rude I considered it to be referred to as 'matey' but Y said I was just working off my irritation with the committee meeting !

After that we made our way to Boughton to see Bungus who, under the circumstances, looked well. He has lost quite a lot of weight but he doesn't look worryingly thin and he says he is going to try not to put it back on.

The quotation is quite a famous one, and I didn't realise it was Johnson:-

"Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good."
Samuel Johnson

The reason that it is now several hours since I started my blog is that I am suffering a googlemail-glitch whereby HTML codes are put into the address box rather than where I post them. Either they, or I will fix it I'm sure. Just don't fancy doing it now. I will try and insert a Smiley Xtra4 smiley and see what happens. Oh well, it must just be my mail 'settings'. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blood Test - Fabric Printing - Y much better

The attached is courtesy of Bungus who felt it would be of wider interest and I think I agree. It all looks straightforward, but I don't know if he has kitchen-tested it. Should anyone want to use it I've given it a URL which you can copy/past to wherever you want it to be.

The actual URL will appear on the first full line after this first bit because to post it here just throws the layout of the page haywire.

Remember that with the picture, as with all the pictures if you left-click them you get an enlargement in a new window. Here is the URL:-
for copy/paste purposes.

Picture 2 is simply another one from yesterday and shows the weird, unworldly light we experienced.

Thank you all for your birthday wishes both on the blog, by e-mail, and on the forums which I lurk about on. And it isn't just that some computer is throwing up my birth-date because I received such pleasant personalised best wishes.

To Comments:-

I don't know about running a book on the 'Royal Story' Jill, but Y's first guess, obviously incorrect, was one of Sarah Ferguson's ugly daughters. And I am sure AnonymousRob that were it to have yielded to googling you would have been there, nifty googler that you are. I give you this link to The Alaska Report without commenting in any way on the picture they selected to accompany the piece. And for Bungus, I am pleased to report that I won the Nikon flatbed scanner on E-bay for £4.99 and the seller e-mailed me to say that it as been dispatched. Yet another toy to play with. Y said 'huh' in that inimitable way ladies do. Talking of whom, tomorrow I intend to show you my birthday card. Talk about 'knowing her husband' it was just my favourite sort of scene. Trees, a lane, and dappled sunlight.

I am very unhappy with 'Strictly come dancing'. The cynic in me is beginning to think there is a conspiracy to keep Penny Lancaster in, because the BBC would like the free footage of Rod Stewart at the end. I used to like the old system best where the phone-in votes were just added to the judges scores, without this dance-off and the judges having a casting vote. Even head judge Len Goodman agrees with me. Unless they change it back this might be the last series I watch, posh frocks notwithstanding.

Quote for the day, straight out of my birthday book about tea:-

"Safely on the far bank, I marvelled yet again that a simple cup of tea had cleared the mind and braced the heart so that what had seemed intractable became more manageable. What pharmacological cocktail could have the effect?"

John Griffiths

We have a National Trust committee meeting in Mansfield in the morning, if Y is up to it. She was up quite a lot this morning but I insisted she go back to bed this afternoon. She does seem much stronger though. The "Genius of Photography" was excellent in my opinion. Y found it interesting too and she isn't as addicted to the subject as I. The link is to the programmes 'homepage' and episode 1 brought the early years to life. The learned professors and curators weren't boring and the computer-graphics not overthetop. Looking forward to episode 2.

Sleep tight everybody. Catch you tomorrow.

p.s.You may notice in the left-hand column that I have installed a regularly updated news service courtesy of the BBC. Feedback would be welcome because if unpopular I will delete it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Birthday - everybody came or rang - lovely light

David and Helen came this morning and this picture is of the table prior to their Halloween Party which apparently was a WoW. One of my presents was a book "Tea" the drink that changed the world'.. I'd heard the author discussing it on OneWord and it sounded like a good read. I also received a tray of Sky and Brooke made fancy cakes. I won't divulge the recipe but they contained real worms, witches blood and other even more revolting ingredients. Fancy seeing Sky and Brooke twice in one week!

I can't list all my presents, after all I'm 72 not 12 but everything was what I wanted and lovely cards and phone-calls from all the big children and Ruby & Elli sang me 'Happy Birthday' all the way from Palmers Green. And Hannah has actually devoted a whole blog issue to the words, each line in a different font-colour and a smashing smiley blowing out the birthday candles. Thanks Hannah! Tracy and co. gave me an infrared shutter release for my Nikon but I can't get it to work. A conference with Reg is called for, or give Jessops a bad time - fortunately a receipt exists. And an enormously powerful 1,000,000 candle power rechargeable halogen lamp from John and co.

Unfortunately Y is still poorly and intermittently feverish. If she hasn't started to recover by say, Tuesday, I shall bully her into going to the doctor. It was certainly the right decision to stay at home today and I've muchly enjoyed 'messing about'.

Picture 2 is some of Reg's tomatoes again, scanned this time. So I suppose they are 'scanned' as against canned tomatoes'. An interesting technique! And I've just bid £4.99p for a proper Nikon flatbed scanner on ebay......and so far, with only an hour to go, I'm winning...... watch this space.....

The afternoon and early evening light has been phantasmagorical and I hope that Picture 3 conveys the feel. Even though Y is poorly she has enjoyed just looking out at the autumn colours.

And now to comments:-

Why Bungus became 'Blog' is a mystery, especially when closer investigation revealed the sender to be ( I was suspicious, but felt it was genuine as it referred to the actual blog-issue it was attached to. Anyway, it is cleared up now. Thanks for sizing the dolls and whilst I agree that Gardeners' Delight, and a few more varieties of tomato have the edge on Moneymaker for flavour I was always a fan. Perhaps because they were reliable, vigorous, disease-resistant, and happily produced 7 or 8 to the 1lb regularly. I would have been happy to blog the piece about printing photos on fabrics, had I received it ! All the technological wizardry of Google's 'Search Mail' failed to turn it up. So please send it to me again.

Y is watching Robin Hood prior to 'Strictly come dancing'. I refuse to, solely on the grounds that they have edited out Friar Tuck ! I used to feel he was a kindred spirit and, after all, there are pubs named after him.

Quote for the day:-

"Have no friends not equal to yourself"


I think that Hannah is waiting to read the blog. She is ace on Google Chat - so quick, and grown up. Here is a new smiley for her. It shows my blog leaving my computer and going to hers. Sleep tight everybody and I'll catch you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

'Flu jabs - Knitted Dolls - Stir fry

Continuing with my 'photos of the media' I chanced on this page, referred to by both Jill and Bungus. Jill knows the author of the dolls and Bungus saw her on the Graham Norton show. I rarely watch his show but I enjoy him and Ruby Wax as 'agony aunts' in the Telegraph Weekend Review.

To segue back to the point - I think the dolls are really good fun and I particularly like the 'Elvis'. As I didn't see the show could one of you give me some idea of the dolls' sizes. As usual the camera-man omitted to get one of them to hold a 50p piece in its teeth.

I decided that, as I don't usually suffer adverse effects, I would have my 'flu jab this morning as planned and I left poor Y still with her temperature. As this is now a TT establishment I had to prevail upon her to have a whisky & water for medicinal purposes - and it seems to have done her good. A small portion of stir-fry at lunchtime and then back to bed. I've just messed-about, which I am so good at.

She had booked us in at The Four Bells at Woodborough for my birthday lunch but I was not happy about her going, and my legs aren't good either - not painful but useless. So I rang up and cancelled. The landlady was genuinely grateful that I had, "So many people just don't turn up" she said. Whatever happened to polite practice?

Getting back to my 'painkiller patches', the pharmacy delivered further supplies yesterday and I had to sign for them. Prominent on the plain packet was a CD sticker. I thought the chemist was sending me some entertainment until I realised it stood for Controlled Drug. Ho hum, as Ray says.

Picture 2 is what remains of an enormous bag of green tomatoes Reg brought us. They must just love the window-sill they live on because they are turning red at a steady rate. Sufficient for me to have one at breakfast time (cut into 6 segments and a liberal dusting of salt) and one later in a salad. If they continue to ripen like this, making green-tomato chutney will be merely hypothetical. And they are a lovely tasting tomato too - Moneymaker, at a guess?

"Strictly come......." was good again. Y voted for Anton and I voted for John Barnes (he's going to need the votes) but it was touch and go whether I voted for Gabby instead. And although Dominic remains a bit of a twerp (Jill's words not mine) his performance tonight was plucky and quite reasonable. But, although I don't really like him much, I have to admit that Matt and Flavia are looking like potential winners.

Hannah and Y had a good text-chat on Google Chat which is a sort of instant e-mail to and fro conversation facility, and Hannah is aiming to do more 'blog' over the weekend.

Quote for the day:-

"Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune."

Kin Hubbard

We musical 'hayseeds' have much sympathy with this view.

If you are reading this before going to bed please remember to put your clocks back and enjoy your extra hour in bed in the morning. In my case it will prolly mean waking at 2.30am instead of 3.30am when, notwithstanding (such a dignified word) I shall enjoy my pot of tea.

Have a nice Sunday. Out of my office window I can see the tree branches illuminated by the street-lights, there is a South wind blowing at 18mph and every so often flocks of pretty leaves come off. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grey day - at home - Y getting better

Picture 1 is a photo of a Nigel Slater article in the Daily Mail; I guess it can't be a copyright issue if I'm daft enough to photograph examples of the national press.

But from my reading of it, it is a first rate piece - humorous and he makes some excellent points.

Although Y is much better she is far from 100% and this afternoon I persuaded her to go and lie down. Your advice Jill about a few days in bed are just 'the doctors orders'. I hope Marnie gets the University of her choice - it's a tense time of year for our young people. After reading your report we will probably give "When did you last see your father" a miss. Y couldn't record the 'photography' programme for me because we've only sussed out how to do with terrestrial channels. It's only a matter of setting up the recorder, but, having had trouble with the Virgin Media digital set-up we decided to leave 'well alone'. Thanks for the knitting blog - you are right about the pictures and our readers do like all these varied interests.

And, carrying on with the 'comments' it was great to see you too AnonymousRob together with your 'glamorous assistant' whose ten monochrome portrait photos were remarkably good ! Rob's ten-picture essay was in the form of a 'concertina' book of 11 x 8's. The book worked so that you could turn pages conventionally, or open up several at a time, or in fact all of them if you needed to.

Brilliant idea and needless to say the pictures were excellent. I cringe with embarrassment at your compliments about one of my 'artichoke' pictures. Through inexperience, I messed up on picture sizing and selecting the correct files, with the result that 70% of my flower-studies were dire. With 10 pictures, even my maths allows precision when giving a percentage. Reg has promised to 'sort me out' with 'image size and etc..." And I learned how to get the pictures in the right order on disc. Jason explained it but he talks so fast.

To Bungus now and I'm sure we all share his sadness at Alan Coren's passing. When I read the Telegraph obituary I wasn't at all surprised to learn of his Oxford First in English. A remarkably sharp-witted and well-informed fella who, we radio addicts especially, will miss enormously.

I've called Picture 2 "I've got my eye on you" and it's a result of playing with my scanner after Ray Spence's lecture on Sunday. Yet another promising route to explore. My day has been productively spent. A little shopping and then basically computer jobs. I moved loads of files and folders onto my external hard-disc and even though it was time consuming and laborious, I can certainly see much benefit in computer speed/performance. ..............Vis-à-vis nothing Y has dyed me a pair of light grey combat-trousers to navy blue because I was getting them dirty so quick. They look great now.

The quote of the day is vintage P.G. Wodehouse:-

"If not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled"

An early finish to my blog, and it included a "Strictly come........." pit-stop. I know Jill won't take any pleasure in Dominic having injured himself. But he might go out - NOW that is a different matter. We have 'flu jabs in the morning and Y is very uncertain in view of her cold. The surgery said "provided you haven't got a temperature........"

.....Catch you tomorrow...............

Thursday, October 25, 2007

EPS - John & Alannah

Two more from yesterday at Middleton Top and Picture 1 is to check out my new 2 ton tripod with the camera at f22, and actually finger-clicking the shutter button rather than a cable release. Nothing else much to commend the photograph; blog-worthy is all !

Picture 2 is from in front of the Visitor's Centre looking over the valley and the bronze plaque is well designed and functional. It would please William Morris no end. If he could have torn himself away from his wallpaper long enough to visit Derbyshire. I know I shouldn't be sarky, but that lot were a bit 'precious'.

Fascinating how far one can see from there. But you can't see Crich Stand which is surprising because you can see it from nearly everywhere else !

While I'm in a links-mood here as requested is Gdansk suitably linked. To Wiki (where else ?) and where would we be without Jimbo,? surely he deserves more public recognition for what is after all a 'major contribution to knowledge'. So Bungus you are quite right about Gdanks starting off as Danzig and I remember the station appearing on the tuning dials of radio-sets along with other romantic sounding places like Hilversum. And "No" AnonymousRob, I'm not doing a link to that as well.

John and Alannah came this morning; a little driving practice for Alannah. She did a tidy job of reversing into the drive and has already passed the 'theory' part of her test. She is hoping to read English and American Literature at Uni, and likes the look of Manchester. A fine old university. In about 10 minutes flat John had unplugged and unplumbed the dishwasher (which is beyond repair) and with Alannah carried it out onto the drive from where it will be collected by the Council.

Y thanks everyone for their good wishes but is still suffering with her cold. Fortunately she managed her lunch. Food and plenty of rest. "Feed a cold and starve a fever" was the old adage. Some University will probably get a substantial research grant and, over the course of about 5 years, prove that it is in fact so.

My pictures for tonight are done. Two prints and two on a 'flash-drive' as projected images. The competition is 1. A film title and 2. Open. I fully expect to get absolutely nowhere in terms of marks awarded by the Judge but I reassure myself that that isn't what my pictures are all about.

A quick date with Claudia - "Strictly come.........." should be possible before I leave for EPS. And the word on the streets is that we are to have a guest appearance by AnonymousRob. A great find from Ray on WebUser please click It automatically defrags your disc anytime your computer is idle. Hence your hard-disc is permanently in peak condition and your computer performance should be faster in consequence. It's a freebie and, once installed, you don't have to do anything, it just gets on with it.

Quote for the day:-

" I can please only one person per day.
Today is not your day ........
Tomorrow isn't looking good either. "

See you tomorrow. If not before.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Walking on Wednesday - Middleton

A super sunny morning, just as predicted, and entirely right for a visit to Middleton Top. Roy had a specific photo-project in mind which I will not reveal until after this month's club competition.

If you open the link you will be able to read all about it. It would nice to go when the Butterley beam engine is 'in steam'.

While the chaps went a small walk to where they needed to be I messed about near the visitor's centre and the engine house near where Picture 1 was taken. Just to the left of this viewpoint was an excellent wooden bench overlooking the valley and I sat and enjoyed my flask of proper coffee.

Picture 2 is the engine house. The sign telling you all about it is not actually where it appears. So, as the photo is here for a didactic purpose, I have 'photoshopped' the important bit into the main picture. Also, at the rear of the visitor's centre is a cycle-hire depot which was busy - as was the whole place, due to the School Holidays.

At lunchtime we chip-cobbed at The Cliff Inn and coincided with a 30+ strong rambling party. Fortunately they had all ordered and most of them were sitting outside to enjoy the sun. There doesn't seem to be a decent web-page with a picture of the pub, but it was a nice enough place.

On the way home we called in at Morrisons because I needed bread and a curry-mix ( to finally finish off Sunday's £2 chicken - six portions we have had and the Thai curry-mix suggested the addition of fresh basil leaves and we've got a glut again) and Roy needed raffle-prizes - I don't think Reg needed anything. As I passed through the greengrocery bit I was reminded again of my quote for the day:-

"The flower in the vase still smiles, but no longer laughs"

Thought it best to link a page of further Chazal quotes. You can always Wiki him yourself.

I haven't published a link to my beloved ArtDaily Newspaper recently so there it is. Recently there has been some first rate stuff therein. The Quillan Collection of Photographs for instance and the article about it leads with a fantastic nude by Edward Weston circa. 1925. In some respects photography then was as good as it is today.

Although it shows some ridiculously early hour at the bottom I had a break to watch Michael Palin, about Poland, and very good it was too. We used to think that Eastern European women were all like Russian Shot-putters but he manages to interview a never ending stream of gorgeous, competent young women. And the men are fun too. How good to learn that Lech Walesa loves computers ! Only one episode to go, sadly, because we have loved it. The hour seems to last about 20 minutes - always a good sign.

Camera Club tomorrow evening and Y isn't going to Burton Joyce - two reasons - they are going out for the day but also because she has a very troublesome cold (with a temperature I suspect) and nagging cough which is keeping her awake at nights. So a rest-day will do her good. Steve has had the resuts of the MRI scan on his knee and it's a goodnews/bad news job really. He is always going to have trouble with it, but if he wants to publish a full 'sit-rep' he can add a lengthy comment.

.....Not tired so I plan a little radio, a read, a bit of chocolate................ Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lovely day - Long Eaton - 'Nails' - Mapperley Top - TJ's

What a super day for 'gramps' - started off at Long Eaton and we had so much to be shown and told about. The featured boat had been made as a result of Cubs (to which girls now go instead of Brownies - seems sensible to us) and was a magnificent structure. The boat is operated by an eccentric cam which, when turned, makes the boat bob and weave about just as if it is in the waves. All the crew are hand-made and drawn and apparently the end one bears a distinct resemblance to Akela. I also had a present of a keyring with a photo of Sky and Brooke in a miniature plastic case. We also collected our Jeans for Genes zip-fobs. Y played a tidy game of noughts & crosses and actually managed to win one. It was probably due to Sky being gentle.

Then we went to Carlton Hill for Y's three-weekly 'nails' service and this time settled for a completely natural look rather than 'white tips' and they do look great.

I did the charity-shop run and in Oxfam found this great old-fashioned tripod for a fiver. It weighs a ton as against the modern light-weight jobs. But to me, its general sturdiness is an advantage and I don't intend carrying it up mountains anyway. At least, not for a week or two. To induce camera-shake would entail hitting it with a 12lb lump-hammer.

The book also appealed - when I've read it I shall take it over to Bungus !

Then it was Mapperley Hilltop and The Cheesecake Shop for lunch. TJ is on holiday this week so Y rang her and she joined us for lunch. Then we went back to Sherwood armed with 3 portions of cheesecake and TJ made a pot of tea to accompany it. An unplanned but pleasant end to our outing.

Then home, and, as I type I can see a pale moon rising - wouldn't be surprised if there's a frost. Reg left a message on the 'telling-bone' and WoW is 'on' for tomorrow. I don't know what is planned but he and Roy are coming here around 10-ish.

Thanks Bungus for the 'apple crump' recipe - it sounds better than 'crumble' anyway and looks promising. Shall definitely give it a try. And Jill - we don't know this 'ogham' village in Essex, Egham we have heard of so that's what we put in.

Quote for the day, from my 'miserable old git' book:-

"I worked myself up from nothing
to a state of extreme poverty"

The moon is quite high now (8pm) and about 3 quarter full, and the barometric pressure over 30 so I really feel a frost is likely. Will be pleasant for our Walk on Wednesday wherever we go and I can try out my new tripod. Lots of photography stuff to do for Thursday - I haven't even started yet. Catch you tomorrow.

p.s. "The genius of Photography" starts on BBC 4 on Thursday evening 9pm which means it clashes with the Camera Club. Fortunately, from the same web-page, it is repeated on Monday the 29th at 8pm.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Crossword puzzle issue - leftover chicken

This 'crossword issue' is for the benefit of a reader who wants to get into Telegraph type cryptic crosswords and asked if I would publish a before/after picture so he could see how the setters minds work. So, I would recommend clicking on the left-hand picture for the blank puzzle and clicking the other from time to time to check progress. The different handwriting in the nearly solved one is because Y and I each have a go at different times.

Thanks for the super comments everyone and what a brilliant idea of AnonymousRob's to vote for everyone in Strictly.... except for the one you want eliminating. It would, as he says, be the same as 'voting out' people. Great bit of lateral thinking ! But costly, and I guess over the series, not doing that would save me enough to buy a Sigma 10-24mm ! And you did miss a brilliant day on Sunday. Can't be helped. But, before we leave Strictly, I tend to agree with you Jill about Dominic and the show does raise strange passions. I'm longing for someone to take Alesha down a peg or two, and isn't Letitia a strange shape? I would like to see her naked, not for prurient reasons but just to see the different bits in relation to each other.

And good for you Jill. Eat your hot chicken just when the fancy takes you and what's wrong with a supermarket car-park? Much stranger things have happened in supermarket car-parks. Bungus is certainly, as he says, hitting form again and I'm relieved that he liked his idea of the photoshopped green logo. But fancy suggesting that I am a man of extreme opinions ! Most moderate, in my humble opinion !

Picture 3 is about 15minutes before dawn this morning. If they get any darker I shall be publishing a picture when it is pitch-black or 'bible-black' as Dylan so beautifully described it in Under Milk Wood. An amazing piece of writing and although I was only 18 when it was broadcast, I remember it hitting me between the ears.

Today's quote:-

"As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on"
Woody Allen, who else?

I am indebted to Wiki (or whoever posted it therein) for such a good summary of his life and work. Weekend Off being over we have a busy day tomorrow. Y's 'nails day', over to Long Eaton to see David & Co, and no doubt lunch at the Cheesecake Shop.

Our leftover chicken today was fine, with chips, sauerkraut, and chutney. Followed by Jelly and Greek Yoghurt. I had made carrot & coriander soup for lunch and it worked well. The freshly ground coriander made all the difference, and I didn't blend it completely into a cream soup because Y quite likes 'bits in it', and so do I. A little ladle of yoghurt in that too.

Please to see that, in Hannah's blog, she is using the 'smileys' programme I sent her. Love 'em or hate 'em, they liven things up and some of them are so damned clever and tell the story.
I am lost in admiration for graphics designers.
Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow

Sunday, October 21, 2007

RPS - Regional Meeting - Roast Chicken

Picture 1 is solely to show that we have 'misty mornings' looking West too and Picture 2 is following Bungus's suggestion about the 'Nature imitating Art' picture. I have photoshopped the colour of the logo to, more or less, match the colour of the plant.

And finally, the rescued rose is a day older but still strutting its stuff.

To continue with the 'chiru ' story, Jill wins the sixpence but, equipped with her preliminary info. my research revealed this interesting article in The Hindu Times. This publication leaves no stone unturned even if said stone happens to be in Tibet. We shall see more of the 'chiru' because it is to be one of the five mascots for the Beijing Olympics apparently.

Bungus's advice about not salting beef too early in a stew is good advice. But also, supermarket beef has never been hung long enough. It appears that customers want it to look bright red and white instead of the 'nearly purple' it becomes after being hung for 4 weeks. The difference is that it makes no difference how well or for how long you cook the former, it will remain tough whereas the purple stuff from a decent butcher will melt in the mouth. Also, expensive beef is for roasting, the best cut for stews is 'shin' which is about the cheapest. And also thank Bungus for the Dennis Healey quote, which is a gem, but perhaps a little raw for a family blog.

The RPS day far exceeded expectations. Tony Penrose, on the subject of his Mum, Lee Miller, was wonderful, here is the link again if you missed it yesterday. I hadn't realised the strong surrealist and art connections of his Mum and to have a family snap of youself as a child sitting on Picaso's knee is really something ! Having read the stern copyright warning on his site I asked him if he minded me publishing a link in my modest non-commercial blog. He was delighted (as I thought he would be) and when I told him that his lecture alone had been well worth my annual RPS subscription he was furtherdelighted ( a new word). Y pays my annual sub. as a Xmas present and she was delighted too.

Ray Spence FRPS who followed in the afternoon was similarly great and here is the link to his website again. I paid him the compliment of buying two of his books and made him furtherdelighted too. There is a chapter about the 'creative use of a scanner' which is a new furrow for me to plough.

I sat next to Martin who I met at an RPS do in March (we decided). We had a good chat and exchanged e-mail addresses. I also gave him the blog URL and it will be nice if he shows up with a comment.

Quote for the day (having churlishly rejected Bungus's contribution) is from Henry Moore:-

"Art is the expression of imagination, not the reproduction of reality"

For evening meal we had Roast Chicken with all the tracklements. The roast potatoes being Desirée were just as they should be, crisp golden brown outers with fluffy inners, and I made gravy with the residue juices in the roasting tin and Bungus and Jill would both have needed their slice of bread for mopping-up purposes.

Being a little 'done-for' I meant to be in bed by 10pm to listen to The Westminster Hour, never mind, I don't suppose I shall miss much of importance. Had a nice chat to David this morning before RPS and we are hoping to go over while the children are on holiday. And we would also like to go to Boughton to see Bungus, and it's a while since we went to see chairman Peter...... All pleasure in the offing. 'Strictly come Dancing' was good again and my vote must have helped John Barnes, and Y's definitely rescued Anton. It's a pity you can't vote for who you want out ! That would satisfy my vicious streak.

Coffee, read, radio and kip.. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.

p.s. for new readers. A click on a picture usually produces an enlargement in a new window. And anything in orange is usually a live-link.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A beautiful dawn; just a 'trace of misty morning' and everything. I'm just a sucker for pictures with tonal recessions. It is of course from Elvis's 'Just can't help believing' and a funny thing - I googled 'trace of etc...' and in top place of the results was the relevant picture on Radiogandy's ephotozine page of last year.

Now chaps, there's fame!

And as the morning promised, it has been a super day. Y went out into the garden to cut back the roses; I suppose I mean 'prune' technically and Picture 2 is one she took pity on and brought in instead of binning it. For lunch I did scrambled eggs on toasted Ciabatta, topped with smoked salmon. And this evening I'm doing a crispy beef and prawn stir fry with all the relevant bits from water-chestnuts, beansprouts through to pak choi at the last minute. To repeat the recipe and method would be boring, but the meal is to coincide with Strictly come Dancing because it will be fork-able.

Thanks for the kind praise of the pictures Jill, and I think we are all interested in the outcome of the monkey's chin-hair yarn thread. Sixpence to whoever tracks it down first. Now I can't say fairer than that. And I guess AnonymousRob is Weekend Off. The 'warmth in the holes' must in principle be like the flavour in the Polos'.

Tomorrow I'm at the Royal Photographic Society day at Ravenshead and the programme looks marvellous. Half the day with Tony Penrose who runs the Lee Millar Archive. He is her son. The website is strong on the copyrighted nature of the material, but, as it is a google-able website I have linked you to it. The second half is Ray Spence FRPS and that again is a link to his website. It will be good to see everybody at RPS and no cooking for me tomorrow. Y is in the 'galley' and Roast Chicken is rumoured or 'bruited' (a word I just like)

An irresistible quote for the day:-

"I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting"

Ronald Reagan

Off to do my stir fry now. Hope everybody has a good weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fish & Chip Day - Friday Rest Day

When we left The Arboretum on Wednesday we called in briefly at Woodthorpe Park and this example of 'Nature imitating Art' appealed to me. I could have photoshopped the colour of the growing plant to match the logo but it would have been against my religion in a record shot.

Picture 2 is just a vertical panorama of the Liquidamber.

For your info. Bungus the Horse and Groom I gave you the link to is at Basford not Linby. And it would be an ideal venue for your meeting, being your sort of oldie-worldie pub which has a lovely feel to it. Not being a drinker anymore I can't comment but I have heard Roy speaking highly of the choice of beers. Also, while on comments, that was very sharp-eyed of you Jill to spot that the dahlias were in pots. My snap was from a fair distance away and I hadn't even noticed it myself ! As a gardener the only reasons I can think of is the anti-straggly factor and that they can cheat the early frosts a little by growing them on in the greenhouse until say the first week of June. If one is planting out directly into the ground one is putting in tidgy little plants whereas theirs could be say 18 inches high and almost in bud.

Also a query please Jill. Following on from your interesting info. about wool from the under-belly hair of the musk ox. This afternoon I caught a snippet of a conversation on OneWord Radio, and I write phonetically, about shartuche ? wool from the chin hair of the chiroo ? monkey, which is so fine that an entire shawl can be pulled through a wedding ring. Comment please!

And I remember it well AnonymousRob, and I particularly remember all the help you gave me with my LRPS !

Nothing much to add to last night's about the close-up evening save to apologise to anyone who I omitted to mention. As always, although I was nominally in charge of one of the tables, I think I learnt more than I imparted. Particularly about 'flash lighting' from Barry without whose help I would have been sunk.

A proper quote today:-

"If you live to be one hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age"

George Burns

I'm going to 'go for it' George. Just think how many more beautiful skies, and flower studies, and pretty buildings, and.................... I shall have managed to photograph by then ! And how many culinary adventures and Telegraph crosswords I shall have enjoyed.

It was my pleasure to send Hannah links to the 2 'smiley' programmes I use, both McAfee certified clean. It would have been so easy for her to get involved with some riddled with malware because smiley programmes are notorious for it.

This is true - but you need McAfee siteadvisor to accord green, red or amber to sites before you open them. Nighty night - and catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Camera Club - Close Up evening

The close-up evening went well and this image was on my camera and tripod, Barry's lights and advice, me in Picasa to crop and turn it sepia but was basically the combined efforts of Team C.

A successful event due to Roy and Reg's planning and specialist contributions from Roger, Brian, Barry and others to name but a few. I just manned one of the four tables, helped where I could and did some of the computer work.

Apart from that it has been a fairly normal Thursday. I delivered Y to the Tram, for her trip to Burton Joyce and then subsequently collected her. John called in for coffee and it was good to catch up on family news.

Going to leave it there, as a 'blogette', because I'm too tired for quotes and links and all that jazz. Also, I shall catch up on people's comments tomorrow.

Sleep tight everybody. At least those who are going to bed. If you are just getting up, or at work, have a nice day !

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

WoW at Nttm Arboretum - Autumn Sun

Our 'Walking on Wednesday' outing to Nottingham Arboretum worked well. Reg had previously noticed a possible place to park, only a few yards from a gate in and sure enough I was able to park without any trouble.

It was a pleasant day with sun and blue sky, the occasional cloudy period and quite a boisterous West-wind. which managed to dislodge enough leaves to encourage eccentric photographers to try and capture them in flight! My 2 Pictures are an attempt to depict the feeling of the day. In No.1, you may see in the enlargement, a dramatic border of dahlias were still going strong, so late in October too. Obviously no frosts yet.

Picture 2 is an effort to show the leaves. I think Mike will have a better version and have succeeded in getting a few leaves sharp against the background. The best you can say for mine is 'it's blog material'. I didn't walk as much as the others and was, again, very happy with my flask of coffee and the use of a few benches. When we left the Arboretum we called in at Woodthorpe Park for a quick tour and that too was very interesting. Then it was down to The Horse and Groom at Basford for lunch. A great website (click the pub name) and see. I like the changing pictures of the different rooms, on the same page ! I don't know how to do that - but there is nothing to stop me finding out is there? It could be a powerpoint job, with those fading transitions.

That's got to be more or less it folks. My bedtime approaches. Don't care what time it shows at the bottom, it is in fact 10pm and I have had interuptions. Camera Club tomorrow night - a 'Close-Up' evening. Roy has it all in hand - so to speak !

Re Comments
  • AnonymousRob, - I couldn't find a link solely about the Papplewick Trail but this one about Papplewick and Linby please click here should help. You drive through Linby Village, keeping the pub on your left. As you leave the village and before you reach the Griffin's Head crossroads there is a substantial lay-by on your left. That is the start of part of the Trail. The other part is on the opposite side of the road, further up. I seem to remember us both noticing an attractive a barn nearly opposite the lay-by. A definite hint of French architecture. It seems to be a house now !
  • Don't know if your cowboys/indians story is an urban myth or not. But see Jill's comment some time ago, about attending a Country & Western concert with her husband who is a fan. They reported seeing some gentlemen, from a certain sub-continent, dressed as cowboys.
  • Bungus.- Yes we could certainly meet at The Papplewick Trail and could try the Horse and Groom at Linby for lunch. Couldn't find a decent link. We shall have to disagree about 'aviaries'. I simply don't like to see birds in pens. They should be free to leave !

..... Michael Pain was good again........ Catch you tomorrow.......

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ikea - Goggles to TJ - Walk- Casserole

A busy day. A Karen day so as usual we got out of her way. She can zoom round, play her music and sing to her heart's content - possessed as she is of a lovely singing voice. Sometimes when she is in another room we don't know if it is Karen or the record's vocalist.

We went to IKEA for breakfast and a look round. Then Y needed to go to Decathlon (next shop) for some swimming goggles for Ruby, which we then delivered to TJ's because she is going down to her sister's at the weekend and will take them with her.

On our way back we stopped at a nice walk The Papplewick Trail and enjoyed a little toddle along it as far as the waterfall. Perhaps not Niagara but pleasant enough on a warm October afternoon and it produced, lower down a delightful babbling brook noise. A lovely bench where we had a necessary 'sit'. And then back home. We finished preparing the beef casserole that had been cooking on just under 100C since around 8am. I started it before going for my blood-test first thing. Incidentally, no-one has rung me from the clinic so I guess I'm stable for another week at least.

I popped some dumplings in (we really are determined with this dieting aren't we?) and ate it while we watched Claudia do her Strictly come Dancing bit. Y pronounced it delicious and liked the gravy so much she used her dessert spoon ! You Jill, and Bungus, would have definitely needed your rounds of bread for mopping up purposes. Nothing difficult - cheapest possible shin-beef, carrots, celery, mushroom and a leek in the stew-pot. 2 bay leaves, a litre of stock from 2 Kallo stock cubes, a crushed clove of garlic, a little flour and a pinch of salt and some pepper (I always use white which I think has more flavour than black) and then, as I say, ten hours at just under 100C.

Comments I agree with you all about anagrams. They should not just be nonsense. I was quite proud of 'get up brewery clown' and sometimes the crossword setters hit a winner! Haven't had time to read the latest Yarnstorm yet Jill but I will. Maybe you could grow a dwarf Liquidamber in a tub; you would have to take advice.

And tradesmen's names - I used to love the Solicitors - 'Sue, Grabbit and Runne' who Private Eye always used to be in contention with.

No suitable quote for the day. I'll must try harder.

Sleep tight folks. It's WoW-day tomorrow and a trip to Nottingham Arboretum is in the offing. I don't like aviaries - but I don't have to go down that end do I?