Thursday, January 31, 2008

Camera Club - Wild weather - Burton Joyce

Just a couple more Ilam Hall snaps to try and convey the 'feel' of the place i.e. 'record shots'.

Thanks for your pleasant comments about yesterday's pictures.

Today has been a normal Burton Joyce day and I did the transport runs. I arrived to collect Y quite early because Millicent (nearly 3) really likes me to read to her. Favourite is The Gruffalo and close second the Thomas The Tank Engine books.

My reading has always been popular because I'm not bad at doing the voices. Not quite Martin Jarvis standard but good enough to elicit close attention and chortles of laughter.

After nearly an hour of stories it was straight home - a trouble free run - a quick meal and then to the Camera Club for the annual 'Print Photographer of the Year' competition. Needless to say my pictures weren't selected but, somewhat unusually, I haven't got any unkind things to say about the Judge, Robert Hawksworth from Keyworth. The occasional remark I disagreed with but, out of a large entry, he selected well justified winners. Andrew won the 'monochrome' where AnonymousElaine was a worthy third, and our very own Wow-er Mike Holland won the colour. Although I couldn't find a specific website for Robert H, Google shows him as an FRPS (although he didn't tell us that) - and it showed.

Comments......Bungus....Maybe a 'rolph' of tripods would be a little obscure. What about a 'firmness' of tripods?

I know that a regular 8am isn't your scene at all. And you will have to pack your full emergency time-filling kit the evening before. I agree that Jaffa cakes are essential.

Jill..... I know what you mean about parting with trusty furniture. Glad we all seem to welcome the veal resurgence, and your 'pie veal' sounds great. I guess it would be a fricassee, unless it had a pastry crust. You should certainly stick to your guns over your Balmoral cruise. In my experience the first offer is always a try on, in the knowledge that many people will just settle for it.

AnonymousRob...... Thank you very much for sharing the 'Doddy' joke with us. Brilliant. And a personal thanks for the loan of the wide-angle lens. I can't wait to take some snaps with it !

Quotation time....... An arty quote for an arty day.........Susan Sontag

"A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stencilled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask"

Susan Sontag

I have always thought something similar. There is a direct link between the subject and the eventual viewer. If I look at a portrait of D.H.Lawrence say, rays of light have passed from the actual living Lawrence into the camera. After the photograph is printed, rays of light then pass from the surface of the picture and into my eye. In other words the photograph connects me directly to Lawrence in a manner denied to painting ( Copyright 2008 Graham Marsden - ha ha!)

Lots to do tomorrow. Doctor in the morning and then we are lunching with Peter and Joan, and Joan and Dorothy. The pub at Edingly who do the excellent fish & chips is on the itinerary. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ilam Hall with WoW - lovely light

We had a superb WoWday at Ilam Hall in Derbyshire. The light was terrific and my main picture purpose is to try to convey the grandeur of the place.

If you open the link you will see a picture by Joe Cornish of a few trees set in grassland which could be anywhere. Whilst technically excellent, in my opinion, it says nothing about the Park.

Ilam itself has had a chequered history. As an Ashbourne lad I used to cycle round that area but at that time 1.e. 1940s and early 50s although the Youth Hostel was open, the grounds weren't anything like they are today.

The sun was great but it was windy and cold and it wasn't crowded. A fellow photographer from another club commented on ' the forest of tripods' I suppose that three looks like a forest especially as each one has three legs. Perhaps there should be a group term for tripods !

These other people had with them an 89yr old photographer who is still snapping away and winning competitions. He had brought them specially, because he knew the midday sun would be on the back of the pampas grass. Please see Picture 3.

For our chip cobs we stopped at The Tiger at Turnditch just outside Belper but, as I could find a link with a picture, - sorry no link! Although a little touristy pricey they were extremely good. Plenty chips, real butter etc.. Yvonne had a good day and enjoyed her solitude and yet another sort-out prior to moving. Things are still looking hopeful.

And, as a result of reading my mount-board problems yesterday, AnonymousRob called in at HobbyCraft while at a Conference and got me some. Then, bless him, on his way home he called in and delivered it . Looking very elegant, in a dark well-cut proper suit together with shirt and tie. If I was 'setting-on' I would certainly employ a few ex-cons for him!

Comments....Bungus....I think, in view of your account of the situation, it would perhaps be best to give the 'leave it outside the gate' system a miss. When we lived near QMC we had conker trees halfway up the drive and overhanging the front lawn. We got so fed up with adult men bringing their kids onto the lawn to throw sticks up for the conkers that I decided to collect the conkers and put them in wooden seed trays at the bottom of the drive. Guess what? They took the conkers OK, and also the seed trays !

I started out on my career as a 'Miserable Old Git' at about 40.

Jill...... I think Bob, or 'Bungus on Balmoral' is very sound on this boat. It will be interesting to see if it ever does sail !

Bungus.....You were so witty about Stephanie's injunction to 'finish what you had started'. It was laugh out loud time. Thank you. Y loved it too.

A semi-linked to the above Quotation.......

"If the fans don't wanna come to the ballpark, no one can stop 'em."

Yogi Berra

....I'm off for an early night because I'm done for. Super day though. The chaps were having a meeting tonight to decided WoW stuff for our EPS evening, ut they understood I wouldn't be there. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow......

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Printer Prob, and now Computer too

No sooner had I semi-fixed my printer problem than Firefox has taken the hump. As soon as I have Firefox on screen I get a message saying it has encountered a problem and needs to close. So here I am on Internet Exporer 7 . It is a little slow but I'm getting there. There are advantages to a 'belt & braces' approach to computing.

We needed to deliver some things to TJ's and Y managed to set off the alarm when she let herself in, and then couldn't stop it. I went to help and found that one of the digits for the code was sticking and needing an extra hard press. Obviously a case for WD40 I would have thought. I thought that, while down Nottingham I would call in at Jessops for some mounting board for my pictures on Thursday. They don't stock it anymore and sent me to Jacobs who sent my to some place n Exchange Walk - no longer there ! By the time I got back to the car on Angel Row I was nearly a stretcher-case. No health giving walk this afternoon. We had soup and ciabatta at The Cheesecake Shop and then came home the pretty route.

It was quite a sunny afteroon so I decided to scour the garden to find enough flowers to make a January Collage. Picture 2 is the result. As Y says, it makes it look as if we have a garden full of colour; we haven't - you need to go round with a magnifying glass.

I note on the other channel, so to speak, that Firefox has forgiven me and returned. So I shall publish this and reopen in Firefox. I don't like being without mi' customary gadgets.

A little good news on the housing front. Our purchaser rang to say that contracts are about to be exchanged on her house in Nottingham. At least things seem to be moving but - not getting excited 'eh ?

Y pointed out to me a great piece of graffiti on the rear of an extremely dirty white van. With a finger someone had written "Also available in white". It's good that people's sense of humour hasn't evaporated in these troubled times. This evening I cooked a spagbol, not having had pasta recently, we both fancied it. Y kindly said it was one of my best ever. I think the bucketful of fresh basil helped (I have a glut again).

Comments.....AnonymousReg...I think that 8.33am for an Evening paper must be unique. Mind, I suppose with most folks calling it just The Post anyway, the proprietors have become confused. I remember the tea time scores being published the same evening. And I also remember the little rectangular box on the front page reserved for 'Stop Press' items.

Jill..... You are bearing up well. The Cancellation is a link so folks can read all about it. But surely they would have know more than 48hrs before that the refurbishment wasn't going to be completed ? Debra also reports that, in Palmers Green, you dont actually need to get the Council to remove anything. Just put it outside the gate and it dematerialises. .......Bungus, rather than pay the Council give the 'outside the gate' method a try next time you need to disposes of something. Jill again.....We have had CRAFT moments up here for some time. And a favourite of my computer chums, when they have fixed someone's problem, particularly if presenting a bill, they say they have sorted out the DRFM fault. It stands for "Didn't Read the Flipping Manual" or, as you say, select your own adjective. But apparently customers seem happier with it, rather than being told they are stupid.

AnonymousRob...... Ha Ha Ha ! and Ha Ha Ha! again. You are right though about the Narpo-forum. It needed punctuating better. A little problem with my adjectival clauses ! And veal is making a comeback apparently, and a good job too. Bungus also has noticed this story. At least, in my opinion, it gives the little creatures some dignity, to be cooked and eaten rather than just dumped. In Germany in the 50s I used to like wiener schnitzel the link takes to a recipe and picture. I might cook it again.

Bungus....Of course your touch of pedantry is forgiven. I think Churchill, having had a similar error in his prose drawn to his attention, wrote in the margin...."This is the sort of English up with which I will not put".

Quotation time....... If I've published this before I make no apology for doing so again...

"Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's 'St. Matthew's Passion' on a ukulele"


.......It is WoW day tomorrow and although no destination has been decided, we are meeting at 9.30am. It all depends on the weather I suppose, and cold and icy is forecast. Looking forward to it though, even though I personally shan't walk far. I may put on my red socks as a gesture of solidarity!..... Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow......


Monday, January 28, 2008

Ikea - Printer trouble - Jill's cruise

First minor problem of the day was that the papers weren't delivered. New owners at the Newsagents, regular girl off, new lad let them down etc., etc.,.

Off to Ikea around 9am and we breakfasted in style and so cheaply. We have a bonus card which entitles us to free unlimited coffee and discounts off certain lines. I bought the lamp shown which uses these new bulbs that take time to warm up. Incredibly low price of £2.95 and it really is just the ticket.

Rather than put the customary 50p piece on the scanner to show scale I decided on a photo of the lamp in action. Unsure of what white-balance I might need for these sort of bulbs I used RAW which, although against my religion, gave me the options to subsequently select the appropriate setting.

Picture 2 is it, and I didn't realise at the purchase stage what a handy design feature the horse-shoe base is. Allowing one to stand a coffee mug (if you will permit me a temporary lurch into the metaphoric) in its welcoming harbour thereby releasing more tabletop for essential clutter.

I've had this little rough 'ole table for many decades and have always loved its utilitarian quality. You can stab knives into it, spill hot drinks on it, scrape off paper that gets stuck to it....and it never bats an eye-lid (mixed metaphor country now). The late great Bill Deedes loved to say "We will burn that bridge when we come to it". David has always loved the table too and I hope he will love and cherish it one day.

My printer has been playing up again and printing gibberish...(Just be careful Bungus, ...ed) and I've spent hours uninstalling and then reinstalling. It seem OK now. Brian S told me how to fix it easily and I shall ask him again on Wednesday. Dave B who runs the 'retired local police-forum' which I am an appreciative member of, has asked me to help out with the admin. I consider it an honour to be asked and shall do my best. As Y says "Another excuse to spend time on your laptop". She thinks it is a good idea though , of the contact with colleagues, and it will keep me out of mischief. I am assured by Dave that there isn't much walking involved !!

Had an e-mail from Jill earlier to say their Cruise has been cancelled at the last minute. She and Ro are justifiably furious... but I'm sure she will tell you about it herself.

Comments.....Thanks Bungus and AnonymousRob for running the 'sports desk'. Re: Panfotheram. I've always used your first pronunciation suggestion Rob. Of course examination of the word reveals Pan-fo-the-Ram, perhaps that is its etymology? Bungus can't abide the smell of lamb cooking, so however we pronounce it won't tempt him to a portion.

And no! I wouldn't have Patum Peperium under scrambled egg. Maybe smoked salmon on top though.

Re Birdwatch. It is strange to allocate a specific hour. My bird feeders can be deserted for hours and then, without any apparent pattern, can be busy for half an hour and then go quiet again. There does seem to be a breakfast time but this varies and is usually around an hour after dawn. I wouldn't have thought their sampling technique was at all sophisticated.

Quotation.....another unarguable piece of wisdom :-

"The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution".

Hannah Arendt

The above reasoning is why it was stupid to stand-down the Iraqi Army and The Police following the overthrow of Saddam. The would have just done an abrupt about-turn and started to serve the new administration. And the present mess might have been avoided.

..... Bit of a brain-teaser for you ? How's that done then ? Feel free to use it though..... Sleep tight folks....Catch you tomorrow (A Karen Day)................


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Off - Post lunch walk !

Really nice day. Both slept well and we had a lazy start and caught up on papers, magazines etc., and little cooking because the panfotheram reheated splendidly and for pudding Y made our favourite Angel Delight (butterscotch). My legs seem to have been OK for the last two days so, after lunch, we took advantage of a sunny afternoon. We didn't go far, just down the road to where the walk to The Headstocks starts. The link shows you more but Picture 1 puts them in context. And that is what record-snaps are all about. There was such alot to see, snowdrops, daffodils nearly open, lords-and-ladies poking through and the birds to listen to.

Picture 2 is the derelict cottage in the woods next to the route of the old railway line which has now been beatifully made into a walk. There was a notice on the gate saying that a 'wildlife/conservation' area is planned.

I didn't manage very far, but Y said I'd done well, and at least its better than I have been doing. We had noticed during the day that policemen kept walking past and on the way back we saw another pair. So I decided to stop and ask them what they were about. Y said "You can't do that". But she forgets that I spent many years being paid to ask policemen what they were doing?

The Officer, who only had 11 yrs service said "Whereabouts do you live ?" So I told him the address and he said "Ooo, it wasn't far from you then". The banter doesn't change and I think it was a case of 'take one to know one'. Apparently an Information type Caravan was parked in the Church Car Park and residents were invited to call in and chat about Brinsley matters.

Nice phone conversation with David this morning and we've spoken to Joan, and Tracy and done the usual things.

Comments.............. Like Jill and Bungus I love dripping, either on bread, or toast (preferably not hot). And you must be sure you have a little of the brown sediment on top ! A sprinkling of salt is permissible but marmite would be a barbarous practice.

I can't comment on your 'footie' comment Bungus. Perhaps AnonymousRob will rise to the challenge..

Jill...... Why it's called Panfotheram is a mystery to me too. Strangely though I found plagiarism going on. In the link I published, the paragraph about "......hefty dish....." seems to have been lifted straight out of my old book. Or vice versa. Enjoy your 14 days - cruise on Fred Olsen's Balmoral, from/to Dover, down to Canaries and Madeira, calling in at places in Portugal on each way. (Jill's words) and she sets off on the 3oth. My googling failed to reveal a webcam so, unless I find the site we shan't be able to see where you are. Hope you both have a smashing time even though we shall miss you on t'blog.

Quotation time.......

"To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight"

I always had plenty of time for Santayana. Sleep tight folks. Got to face Ikea tomorrow because one of my halogen lamps is done-for. So we'll probably make it a breakfast trip and a general look round.

Catch you tomorrow

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hannah's Panto - Panfotheram

Picture 1 is just a little photoshoppery for fun. Yesterday I took Y to collect something from the sorting-office and this Lotus was parked outside. Dont know if it belonged to someone like us collecting a parcel, or perhaps a postman/woman who needs to do 'express deliveries'. I changed the number-plate for obvious reasons.

You just can't believe cameras anymore !

Comments...... Not a time for pedantry and I apologise in advance Bungus, but the Dylan Thomas line was:-
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light"....... and whenever people discuss poetic forms the poem is the one they use as an example of a 'villanelle'. And 'rage' would be more Ralph than 'rail' - which implies a certain querulousness, and Ralph was never that. Except, as I understand it, to other dogs who were being argumentative or stupid. As Jill points out, it must be a comfort that he died at home.

Thanks for the quotes Bungus.

AnonymousRob.......The 'great mover' was Michael Jackson. I'm no dancer - no sense of rhythm - but I can recognise class acts when I see them.

AnonymousReg.....Thanks for the WoW report and I would love to see the 'Shifting Sands' Exhibition by Andrew Tebbs !! Nice try Reg, with 'Paul Taggs' Threw me for a bit but and they got me there. Rather like my 'Bill Rammell' bloomer last year. Anyway, The Exhibition is on till 30th March, so plenty of opportunity for a re-run. It will be fun trying the groundfloor room at EPS next week. This member at least won't be complaining about having no stairs to climb.

Hannah's panto is over for another year and Y said it was very good. I haven't actually seen Hannah today Rob, so haven't been able to sound her out about your chimney ! For TJ's evening meal I cooked 'Panfotheram' (see Picture 2) - a lamb dish I cook from one of my trusty old recipe books. If you open the link you will understand that I cheated rather by buying the chops rather than actually slaughtering a sheep. It used to be one of my more popular dinner party dishes with Dick and Mary Fruin. We all seem to be getting too old to entertain much now - and anyway we prefer lunchtime.

Arty Quotation................. For photographers too...

" Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep"

Scott Adams

I think that will more than do. 10.30pm and TJ just leaving. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.


Friday, January 25, 2008

The Trent - Paul's lecture - Rest Day.

Yesterday before collecting Y from Burton Joyce I drove down the few hundred yards to The Trent and the photo shows how high it still is. On Wednesday it had been higher and over the road which was, therefore, closed.

To return to Paul Alexander's lecture in the evening suffice it to say "excellent". He took us through a well illustrated tour, from his early photographic beginnings to his current interests.

From an Art Historical view point the influences he has soaked up (sometimes perhaps subconsciously) range from John Everett Millais's 'Ophelia' through Andy Warhol's silk-screen portraits, to Robert Mapplethorpe and yet Paul's work remains refreshingly fresh and individual. And of course, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, and Edward Weston. I'm not providing links to them all but if last night's younger audience research themselves they will see what I mean.

I offer as a for-instance this Edward Weston nude. Which, as Paul said, about his own version, more like a 'landscape' than a person.

Occasionally falling on the wrong side of the 'exploitation of women' fence, the sheer quality of Paul's work pulls him through.

It was a great evening and we all learned a lot. Such a high turn-out was rewarding. Although not the last to arrive, by the time AnonymousRob and AnonymousElaine arrived the room was chock-full and I thought he was going to have to sit on my knee! Both brought in chairs from the corridor though, and all was well.

Picture 2 bytheway is just a close-up of an aconite. It looks as if it is about to be hit by a meteorite; due to limited depth of field only, nothing so exciting. Apparently WoW at Buxton was fine and they enjoyed the Exhibition but externally the light wasn't terrific. I have yet to hear about the chip-cob quality.

A sad dispatch now. Ralph, Bungus's Staffordshire Bull Terrier, died this morning. He was a great character of a dog and we shall all miss him.

Comments.....Thanks all for your 'pain sympathy' messages. I had a much better night last night and was quite surprised when 7.30am arrived rather than 3am or thereabouts. Oh dear Jill ! Cheapest (not good either) carvery £8. Well you will live in these classy places. I'd love to do a sortie round your charity shops. Prolly find a leather bound first edition of Blake, with original illustrations, for 99p. Don't worry though, I wouldn't collect the 1p change.

Madeline.....You are quite right to slap my wrist over not going deeply enough into the SiteAdvisor reports on the suspect website. I suppose that, in my mind, I was trying to encourage people to use it, even if only as a guide for further delving. Strange thing though, as we now know from AnonymousRob's comment, that site is nothing to do with 'our Paul'.

Mannanan...... As you say "each to his own" on the question of favourite films, or favourite anything for that matter.

The Wilde quote seemed popular, so here's another...........

"Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong"

As you will see, if you open the link, a change from his Wikipedia page !

....As AnonymousRob enjoyed the Stan Bungus and Ollie Hardy smiley I thought the great mover himself was due for an airing. Tomorrow TJ is coming for a meal and Y is going to Hannah's pantomine. They have done it Wednesday, Thursday, this evening, and two performances tomorrow. A matinée and then evening as well. Bit heavy when you are only 10+. But we used to send them down the mines and up chimneys I suppose. Sleep tight folks. Catch you tomorrow...


Thursday, January 24, 2008

EPS - Paul very good - Cold

Seldom does a photograph 'stop me in my tracks' but this one does. It was in (online camera mag.) and is the work of Rakesh Syal.

In my opinion it is a fabulous piece, probably the most impressive I've seen in recent years. A classical construction and the colour balance is incredible.

Congratulations Rakesh !!

This a short blog because I'm tired and need to go to bed. Comments and things will be handled tomorrow.

Meanwhile. enjoy the picture.

Sleep tight.......................................

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Missed out on WoWing - At home day

Sorry about a last week's picture (Milldale Bridge) but I had to offer my apologies at WoW today. Awful night; cat napped for 20 minutes at a time before the pain woke me up. I gave up around 3am and comfy-chair plus hot pad and plenty pain killers eventually eased it off.

But I couldn't face the journey to Buxton. It is hilly and the Museum hosting the Exhibition isn't in the easiest of places. However, I am keen to hear about it. Perhaps Anonymous Reg could append a few words for the record. From his comment, Rob also would like to hear about it. Y, sweet girl that she is. offered to do me a chip cob for lunch!

So the Bandstand at the Winter Gardens, and that fabulous Georgian Crescent will just have to wait to be photographed at some more propitious time.

Last week Brian told me that siskins have a sort of crested look; so what these are seems uncertain. Also we have had some new visitors. Smaller than sparrows, around blue tit length but slimmer, and browny grey with very pale creamy chests. They feed at the goldfinch feeder shown and are very easily scared away. I wonder if they could be linnets?

Talking about bad legs at Margaret's yesterday and she said that her friend was awaiting her third hip replacement. I knew what she meant but I had this image flash of Rolf Harris's 'Jake the Peg, with his wooden leg'.

Comments..... I don't think Bungus, that unkindness is being shown to £3.50 carveries, and I accept that The Snooty Fox is an honourable exception. Brinsley Lodge down the road offers steak-dinners 2 for £5 but I don't think I would risk it. It isn't snobbishness but we eat good quality products at home and going out to eat sub-standard meals however cheap, holds no attraction. And again, I am not saying that 'more expensive means better' . We shop at Lidl, not because it is cheap (which it is) but because the produce, especially continental and deli stuff, and fish, and tinned fruit et al is exceptionally good.

My favourite film I'm almost ashamed to say is Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. There are some excellent modren films though. Some are awful but whenever we go the cinema we are more often pleased than not.

Madeline...thanks I now have the correct version of WordWeb from your link. It must have just been a 'grrr..'

Quick quote then I'm off........... I must have used this before:-

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure"

Samuel Johnson

Burton Joyce day tomorrow and my Camera Club in the evening. I aim to conserve my energies so I can magage it. Our own Paul Alexander is the lecturer, and we are all looking forward. Google tells me that Paul has limited edition prints available, but McAfee Siteadvisor gives the website an unequivocal [X] so I haven't dared open it! I must ask him why tomorrow evening.

....Enjoy these two. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow, but it might be late.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Moonlight - Lunch with Margaret

As promised, my charity shop acquisitions. The Dinosaur jigsaw is for a dinosaur crazy 6yrold grandson, not for us. He would be a valuable addition to any pub quiz team on the subject. Not only does he know each individual breed but he can spell them too.

The others, apart from a pack of envelopes are self-explanatory except for the one standing up which is The Home Treasury of Knowledge circa 1942. Such a lot of pictures of things I remember. It isn't my practice simply to acquire more and more books by the way, I have a dib in them, keep some and then every so often I take books to a charity shop. You might say "Why not use Libraries?" My answer is "I do; but where would I find some of the odd volumes that appeal to me?"

If I was really researching something seriously we always have Bromley House Subscription Library to fall back on. And in main city/county libraries, researchers are often granted access to old books in the archives, if you ask politely !

Picture 2 was 4.40am and the full moon was in the SW sky. The bungalows at the bottom of the garden are lit thus, by a mixture of moonlight and a sodium discharge at the dog-leg in the footpath. There was a keen frost and I hope the snap sets the scene. It was a 4 second exposure, but the camera works these things out these days.

Today was a Karen day and Y had her hair done in Eastwood. The we went to Nottingham to buy me a new 'jacket and trousers' and found absolutely the right things; in the Big Man Shop I'm afraid. While I was at it I bought a shirt, a tie, and a belt - I'm not heavy on clothes and several years can pass........ Y approves of my new things which is nice. The we went to Wollaton for lunch with Margaret. She had done a super buffet and we had a great time and, as always, lots of laughs. Margaret was our cleaning lady nearly 25years ago when both of us were still at work. She wanted pocket-money to help run her brand-new car. She is 80 now and has become a staunch friend, and she was fine today. She has been not well at all, but today seemed fully recovered and on top form.

Comments...... That will fit-the-bill very well Ray (Ourstanley). For the benefit of other readers and because I'm sure he won't mind, I'll try to explain. When I was completely new to, but very interested in computers, I gravitated to WebUser forums whose volunteer experts are very gentle with 'idiots'. Ourstanley helped me so much. He even used to send me tutorials to show me how to do things. And he is still there, helping loads of people. If you read WU magazine, never an issue passes without a few problems he has solved. Madeline too is a mine of information. She doesn't grace the WU pages as much as she used to - so it is especially nice to see her here.

When you said Madeline that WordWeb was on one's computer and usable while offline I thought I would promote it from 'bookmark' to 'programme'. It would be handy when using 'blogger for word' while away from home and not online. But when I opened your link I only got a download for a 30 day trial of a payfor programme. Am I doing something wrong.? It could of course be a 'Grrr......' that Bungus refers too.

Sorry to hear of Sandra's malaise but you are quite right to insist that she 'rings a bell and carries a placard' when emerging from her room. With your current therapy, you can't risk infection. Y went further than your 'disappointment' with the denouement of The Messiah. With her usual gift of understatement she simply said "It was rubbish". Thanks for the Woody Allen quote. Always a reliable source. It led me to this:-

"One must have a heart of stone to read the death of Little Nell without laughing"

Oscar Wilde

Re the £3.50 'carveries'. I would say Bungus, that the Snooty Fox version was the better. AnonymousRob is right about the profusion of such in the area. To me it seems unlikely that for £3.50 you can serve good quality roast meat, properly prepared tracklements and well cooked fresh vegetables.

Sorry my link to the chinese costa pictures seemed 'grrr'-ridden. Please click for one more, which I hope will work OK. Thanks AnonymousRob for the fascinating newsclip you unearthed. 'Niftygoogler' strikes again. You don't need to 'beat about the bush' Mannanan about my photoshoppery. I'm not in the same league as photo-colleagues but; I learn by asking how to do things, reading, and messing-about.

With WoW we are going to Buxton tomorrow to see an Exhibition by Dave Butcher and I see from the frontispiece of his website he is a candyfloss water person ! If the weather is reasonable Y is coming us. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.......


Monday, January 21, 2008

Arnold Charity Shops - Lunch with Joan

Having mentioned these chinese beach-scene pictures which Reg sent, I thought you might like to see them. That grey haze can only be atmospheric pollution. The pictures have been stuck together in Photoshop, not that they merge, but this way it only counts as one picture in my PicasaWebs account. Not that I'm anywhere near my limit but I don't like wasting space. That frugality probably accounts for some of my resistance to RAW files.

p.s. Brian has just sent me more of the chinese-holiday pictures. please click they are horrendous. Note the MacDonalds parasols though!

This morning I had two blood-tests, a 'fasting' one for my cardiovascular bits, and the other for my warfarin-inspired blood thickness, or lack of it. Then we went to Arnold and I attacked the charity shops while Y had a more civilised mooch. We actually bumped into each other in the remaindered book shop; so our interests are not completely divergent. Charity-shop acquisition snaps may follow tomorrow.!

After that we collected Joan and she took us for lunch at the Restaurant near Sherwood Lodge on the A60. It used to be a steak-house but has now been converted to a 'carvery' at £3.50 a head. What can I say without sounding ungrateful? The surroundings and ambience were first rate and the meal was a £3.50 meal, not a £12.50 one! But fine. Joan is always good company and we had good chats and laughs. Her Mum and Dad are wearing her down though and her deep-seated cough and chest problem seem to be getting worse not better. The snap has been photoshopped, obviously, but my aim was to emphasize the important bit, whilst fading the setting. You opinions will be valued.

Comments...... Thanks Madeline for your almost 'scholarly monograph' about the 'cataloguer' clue.
As I remember, you are a fairly cool-cat yourself. ..with your music interests. Thanks for the WordWeb link. I've had a peep, and bookmarked it. The one I currently use, please click, has the advantage of being permanently there on my igoogle homepage.

Ray (Ourstanley) also solved the clue but e-mailed me rather than adding a 'comment'. I wish he would sometimes treat us to a gem though; it would be fun.

Thanks your entertaining comment Bungus and for the foodie stuff. You are quite right that I share Sandra's aversion to the threatening & gloomy on the telly, let alone the violent. Which by a circuitous route leads me to:-

Quotation for the day....................

"Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

National Lampoon
.......Tomorrow is Y's 'hair' day and then we are going over to Wollaton to have lunch with Margaret. She hasn't been too well either, so we aim to check in the morning before setting off. Y has just brought me my 'sweet', pineapple jelly including pineapple chunks. It looked rather like 'pineapple on the rocks' and tastes delicious. Sleep tight folks. Catch you tomorrow.....


Sunday, January 20, 2008

End of Weekend Off - Blood tomorrow

Distinctly poor record shot today. Having bemoaned the snowdrops' reluctance to appear, I noticed some this morning. And the odd aconite(near the top on the left).

The weather has been so bad one isn't inclined to search the garden. Even so I wouldn't want to be at the seaside in China. AnonymousReg forwarded some terrifying photographs of beach scenes. You literally couldn't see the sand for the umbrellas and the people. And the atmospheric 'smog' gave the pictures a grey cast. Worse than could be brightened by the digital-manipulation equivalent of good old Velvia (a type of film - remember those?) he also sent me.

We've caught up on the papers, and general reading and it was nice to have Poetry Please back on the radio. As Roger McGough's picture shows, like the rest of us, he is ageing. Doesn't seem any time at all since The Scaffold and 'Lily the Pink' does it? Are there any left-overs of the ".........medicinal compound, efficacious in every case" which she invented, I wonder? A good dollop would do me the world of good. As everyone who has had the pleasure of being with him will confirm, Roger McGough is an extremely 'good egg'. Until recently he voluntarily ran poetry courses at The Arvon Foundation to say nothing of his charity work. How strange that his Wikipedia page makes no reference to his Arvon Foundation contribution. Please open that link ! What a lovely website ? So creative. But what would you expect from such a creative place ?

A famous Rev. Sydney Smith poem (for salad dressing) was read today by Rick Stein. He read it well and pronounced the result good. Well he would, wouldn't he? But this is another Sydney Smith quote :

"Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out"

Comments.....Lovely comments folks and thank you. The fact that people thought that the clue for 'cataloguer' was dodgy does not in anyway diminish your having got it Madeline. If anything the reverse is true.

Y thought 'Messiah' was good too. I just don't know how you telly watchers find the time. Thanks Bungus for the Bocelli info. The only 'builders' Jill who might have had a secret 'letch' for Earl Grey would of course have been Empire Builders.

Back to normal tomorrow. Blood tests (of the 'fasting' variety, ergo - no breakfast) in the morning. Then over to Joan's and we are going out for lunch. ..... Sleep tight folks. Catch you sometime.....


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Welcome lazy Rest Day

Lazy start, lazy middle and no doubt lazy finish. Afternoon nap; the full biz.

Picture 1 is a further pair of my Santa follow up, Rest Day socks. It was difficult for the camera to get the red bright enough. But it's nearly there and gives you an idea. Having had to wear black, navy blue or dark grey socks throughout much of my working life, I always had the urge on rest days to 'live a little'.

Did anyone see the coverage of Roy Wood getting his Hon Doctorate at Derby. Well deserved. He looked great on the telly in his doctoral
bonnet, hair as you would expect, and a tie bless him ! He must have thought it would be expected.

It is difficult to believe that it is witch-hazel time already. Hamamelis but, if you open the link and scroll down to the pictures, I think I prefer mine. Somewhat of a rarity according to Wiki beacause it bears its flowers before its leaves.

Lots of bulbs are well through and I guess it will be snowdrops and aconite in no time. But we once had snowdrops on Jan 7th, so they aren't going to be early. It was noticeable this morning that the birds are singing more. Nowhere near a 'dawn chorus' yet but they obviously think the new year has begun. And I agree with them.

Comments..... A Radiogandy ..To Madeline for getting 'cataloguer' Neither Y not I were anywhere near it. Nor apparently were Jill, Bungus, or any of the others. Thanks Bungus for Flanders and Swan on 'January'. And also for the Harry S Truman anecdote. On the subject of American presidents Y drew this to my attention in yesterday's Daily Mail.

.....Black congressman Charlie Rangel 77, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and a decorated Korean War veteran, was asked what he thought about President Bush. He replied "Well, I really think he shatters the myth of white supremacy once and for all."

We can't fault you Charlie. Bush has become a caricature of himself. Mind, he started off like that as I remember.

Quotation ..... An artist one for today:-

"I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso"

Diego Rivera

...... You've got to be ready for the sheep/dog. Sleep tight folks. Catch you tomorrow.....


Friday, January 18, 2008

Hardwick Hall the future - Weather still foul

Before we leave WoW and Milldale I wanted to share with you this pretty cottage which is right down near the disabled car-park at the bridge.

Be assured that I have forsaken my pursuit of camera-club judges and milky water and will deal with important things like Hardwick Hall, the weather, and crossword puzzles.

'Group terms' can also be left to simmer, especially as we overgrown schoolboys were degrading the issue towards bawdiness. I know Chaucer started it off, but we lack his poetic
turn of phrase.

In spite of a busy day, we finished the crossword except for one tricky one.
20 Across ? The down clues which contribute the letters seem correct. But I can't think of even one word with a U blank R ending.

This afternoon with other Mansfield Centre committee members we went to a meeting with regional people to discuss Hardwick Hall and possible future Hardwick developments. We met in a room at The Baptist Church, with a lovely warm, peaceful atmosphere. Nearly two hours flew by in an enjoyable and constructive meeting. We discussed children's play areas, the farm-shop, the shop and restaurant, and many other things. I feel it would be improper, without committe approval to go into details, so I won't. It was encouraging to learn from Peggy that volunteers at The Hall buy their meat in the farm shop!

Comments.....I think I'm about uptodate now. Thanks for the water-support Pete and you, if anybody, should know. For new readers Pete, or Manxislander, is a life-boat man on the Isle of Man and his fascinating blog contains super pictures and details of life on the Island.

Continue with your interrogation of the pearly barley people Jill. So long as you don't encounter another who blames a computer for the 'Jayne Austin' spelling We shall keep our finger on the pulse !

Matt is at his brilliant best again today and I wanted to share this with you non-Telegraph readers. I always hope Matt won't feel that this is a breach of his copyright, because I restrict myself to a few 'steals' a year. And I am sure he would feel that, as this modest publication is strictly not for profit, it's OK. When I say 'not for profit' it is an actual issue. Google certainly don't pester me, but have asked me a few times if I want to be part of their Adsense scheme. It would mean in effect that the blog would carry advertising for which I would be paid a meagre sum, per click. The idea doesn't interest me at all. I don't want our accountant to have to declare 2p a month, to HMRC.

Quotation for the Day.....I wanted a suitable quote to do with this awful weather. But January seems to have left poets cold ! Ha Ha! Shakespeare muttered something in 'Winters Tale' about the 'winds blowing through and through' but it was hardly a classic, even if, no doubt, the source of the cliché about the 'wind blowing through you'.

....Clicksmilies is/are back, thank god. Sleep tight folks and I'll hope to catch you tomorrow.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Y at Burton Joyce - EPS in the evening

Just a quick blog, to hold the date so to speak.

I've just arrived home from Eastwood Photographic Society and I'm tired. Maybe I will return to this post and add more, but it has been a splendid evening. It was the 'beginners' competition; difficult to believe, when one saw the quality of the work.

AnonymousRob judged it splendidly. He is well qualified for the job after decades of experience both as a judge, and prolonged success in Exhibitions and Competitions both locally and nationally. He is an ARPS (Associate of the Royal Photographic Society) and they don't hand them out in crisp-packets.

His comments were astute and encouraging and there would be little debate on his 'winners' selection. It was so rewarding to see our young lady members do so well. The whole entry was first class and lively and Rob made the important point that the competitors had vivid gifts, not yet dulled by Exhibition mores and sarcastic judges. (don't start this again...... editor).

I won't cover all your comments this evening but will return later.

But I was asked what I think water should look like? Two pictures are offered. No 1 was taken during Y's 70th Birthday White-Water Rafting treat. No 2 is from David Hockney's Caifornian water phase. It is called 'Bigger Splash'. Yet another breathtaking picture and the water will do for me !

Off to kip now. Catch you tomorrow.