Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rest Day - Japanese Anenomes - Goldfinches

Picture 1 is a Japanese Anenome head. They are opening and shedding seed and the Goldfinches seem quite interested. I used my 50mm with a wide aperture to throw the background suitably blurry without surrendering the context. and giving the picture a dreamy, other-worldly feel.

The immediate past and sometimes current practice of rendering the local environment a complete blur, seems to me to be counter-productive of a pleasant picture. In other words - I don't like it.

Picture 2, similarly treated, is the almost perpetually flowering Erysium "Bowle's Mauve". It is very easy to strike cuttings, which is fortunate because the plant usually thrives for 4 years and then suddenly expires and if you haven't any young ones coming along you have to buy in.

The flowers are just about indestructible and will happily be flowering and providing colour with her petals coated in a thick frost. It is in the same family as the wallflower and seems contented in most soils which don't need to be rich.

We have had a Rest Day although Y went with Steve to see John's flowers. She said how cold it was and how glad that I bullied her into wearing a winter coat.

Comments......I must stress that Hannah made up her own mind to go the funeral - she wasn't pressured at all. Re: The Rufford Walk. How nice that the weather was so pleasant this morning for the walkers. And perhaps AnonymousReg could let me have a picture for the blog. I was so sad to miss it, as I know Bungus and AnonRob are, but perhaps a similar occasion will soon present itself. We watched The History Boys again (seen first last year in the cinema) and my love of English and the use of words overcame my heterosexual dislike of some (even many) of the scenes and implications. I still have a problem with the concept of two men kissing, let alone anything else, but Alan Bennet writes brilliantly and Richard Griffiths was exceptionally good.

The oxtail's lack of oomph surprises me, usually being so distinctive. But stewed oxtail never seems to have much in common with oxtail soup. Rather like the difference between grilled tomato and tomato soup. And Yes Rob. I think he has Dickie Henderson in mind. And all this Brucie-knocking must stop !! In my opinion he is excellent with a live audience, and can make good telly out of mishaps vis when in the last series Mark Ramprakash's microphone got struck and the lady dresser came on, and Bruce did a little ad lib routine with her. And, after all, he is 79 and I know I couldn't do it. Nowhere near!

We just watched a good Arts half-hour on BBC4. About Oscar Kokoschka's "The Tempest"or "The Bride of The Wind" an alternative title preferred by the Wiki author. Not a painting I have seen, or know much about, but a masterpiece nevertheless. Even on our little telly the power and impact zoomed out. I seemed to remember a Kokoshcka "The drummer boy" or similar, but I'm damned if I can track it down. Could be in The Tate. Stuck in my memory though, like great pictures (including photographs) always do.

Catch you all tomorrow, all being well. The Microwave collapse led me to e-bay where my £10 bid failed to win a brand-new Sanyo 21ltr job. Is there a way on e-bay that you can find out what an item finally went for? I shall resume my quest in the morning. Sleep tight !!



David said...

Usually, if you select watch this item, you will be able to see how much it went for after it sold!!
This usually works although I have noticed a few items just disappearing of late!!


bungus said...

A lovely bright sunny morning after last night’s downpour. But very very cold! Even when I woke at 10.00, and thereafter.

In no way did I think that Hannah had been coerced. I was simply commenting on the suggestion that she had made the right decision. I was suggesting that there is no right decision, although this may well have been the right one for her. Too deep, too deep!.

Re The History Boys, I have no problem with two men kissing providing neither of them is me. And, there again, if it is accepted that a kiss is not necessarily sexual, I am prepared to make (a very few) exceptions to that.

The oxtail had too much oomph rather than a lack; it was too rich, hence the pulses and brown sauce to bring it down to an acceptable level. I have only tried it once before because I agree that, disappointingly, it has nothing of the particular flavour of tinned Heinz soup (does anyone else make it?). It must be the herbs and spices that they add.
I take your point about tomato soup but do think the fruit is still recognisable despite the degree of mutation. And homemade tomato soup can taste very much of fresh tomato.

Dickie Henderson it was, AnonRob. Thanks. I had the right number of syllables and many of the right letters but, like Eric Morecambe, not necessarily in the right order.
And I shall be pleased to stop expressing my view of Bruce Forsythe when others stop lauding him. The fact that we cannot do what he does is irrelevant.
I believe I have realised why I am so unfond of him; it is because he always rather reminds me of Laurence Olivier as Archie Rice in ‘The Entertainer’. There is no real physical resemblance but (however unfairly) I detect the essential seediness, creepiness and desperation of that character (which I believe was very much based on Max Miller).

bungus said...

After a night disturbed by calls of nature and an episodic anger-inducing dream (about a Xmas Dinner for hundreds held in some northern monastery, where people forced their way the front of the self-service queue and ignored the allocated seating arrangements) I realise that I have been guilty of a degree of hyperbole in my assessment of an ancient pillar of our entertainment industry.
I may be looking for excuses if I try to blame my outspokenness on drugs or diet but something has pushed my natural devil’s advocacy beyond reasonable limits.
Bruce Forsythe is a more than competent, if now lonely, example of the song and dance man; a relic of the old Music Hall tradition. He also deserves credit for establishing himself, like Noel Edmonds, as frontman to a number of popular (if generally, in my opinion, crap) TV game and sleb shows.
I have exaggerated what I consider to be his less attractive characterisics just as I think others exaggerate his better qualities.
That said, I can readily see, while disagreeing, why his achievements have led a number of people to consider this extant dinosaur who, like us and Ken Dodd, is gallantly resisting extinction, to be worthy of a knighthood.

Now to food.
Over the last couple of days Sandra has been making soup in quantity. Using the ham stock she produced a very tasty potato & leek variety, and, for obvious reasons, even larger quantities of a tomato soup (apparently cream of tomato but in fact thickened with potato). This I found a bit acidic for my taste. I therefore used the two to produce a very acceptable portion of mock Solferino. The surprising thing was that, although about 80/20 in favour of the leek & potato, the dominant flavour was, without any doubt, tomato!

Yesterday was not only very cold in our neck of the woods (too cold for Sandra to go to Tesco) but also extremely windy. For the first time ever, our two rubbish bins (one full) were blown over – twice (I left them the second time). This morning is absolutely calm (not a breath) and appreciably warmer.

Jill said...

I used to like Brucie, but I now find him very irritating, I feel he is past it and won't step down graciously in favour of someone younger. Parkinson still seems to be able to cut it, even though celebrities are not what they used to be. But he was/is a trained jhournalist, not a song and dance man. I couldn't get Dickie Henderson, kept coming up with something similar that was wrong.

I disliked The History Boys when I saw it in the cinema, found Richard ? Griffiths absolutely revolting, especially in close-up, that slobbery mouth. It's the only Alan Bennet work I really don't like. Perhaps it worked better on stage, without the close-ups!

We finished off the turkey yesterday, minced up with soem ham and a bolognese sauce, served with pasta and runner beans. I do have a carton of turkey soup in the freezer, plus a container of sliced turkey in gravy, just enough for two. Yes, we did have roast turkey two days running, here and on 25th, then daughter had cold beef on Boxing Day. We were happy to have roast lamb today!

Thank you for the sepia photo - I do think there is a place for them. We have splendid winter pansies out in hanging baskets, and I have magnificent amaryllises (amaryllisi?)one apple blossom (pink and white with four flowers on one flowerhead), and one deep scarlet with two huge flowers - there are two more flower buds on each, and I have a third one with 3 flower buds. It's the earliest I have had them in flower.

Anonymous said...

Re e-bay - you should be able to see what any item that you have bid on has sold for by going into My Ebay. There will be a list of items you have been bidding on. Simply click on the relevant item and that page will be displayed. It will show the final, winning, bid.

Hope this is understandable; if not give me a ring and I'll talk you through it.