Friday, February 29, 2008

More Terracotta - Weekend Off

As photography wasn't permitted in the actual exhibition, I decided to take snaps of the postcards I had bought in the shop, which seems to sidestep any © problems. Picture 1 depicts a small portion of the army in situ. Emperor Chin's burial site occupies 7 square miles and there are 8,000 warriors. And civil servants, acrobats, horses, chariots and everything to allow the old boy to enjoy eternity. It hadn't previously occurred to us that China is derived from his name.

Each figure is rendered in detail and each is unique with a slightly different facial expression from his neighbour. They are so skilfully and sensitively crafted that a different personality emerges from each one.

Picture 2 shows more detail and originally each was hand-painted in bright, some say garish colour. Y said she preferred the terracotta colour and I think I do too but 8,000 in flamboyant techni-colour would have been breath-taking. I know I shan't remember for long but at the moment I can tell you the rank of each soldier all the way up to general. A 'link' to a replica of a painted soldier didn't yield easily to 'google' so you will have to use your imaginations.

No detail was too small or insignificant - detail in the hair and the topknot and even each individual hobnail in the sole of a kneeling archer's boot and even
the folds in their scarves were realistic. With regard to the weaponry, crossbows etc., we were amazed to be told that much was mass-produced. Previously I thought that mass-production developed in Venice in shipbuilding and Gutenburg's bible in the 15th century. I had no concept of it dating back 2,200 years !

Comments...... So glad you have found a gardener Jill, but oh dear ! £25 per hour ! You could have three for that up here. Still, if it stops you both worrying about it, it's worth it.

Bungus..... there is no doubt that you have had an awful 6 months. We all admire your fortitude. To have cancer and write amusing monographs about your clinic-visits demands true grit. And then the other things, from Ralph's death to your stepdaughter's marital problems, would knock anyone sideways.

Let's hope the spring brings changes for the better. Once you are over your 'can't risk any infection' phase we ought to contemplate a day or two's jaunt somewhere.

Your 'game casserole' sounds mouthwatering. And obviously enough for several days. Were you able to cope due to your sore mouth and overactive taste-buds?

AnonReg.....and Mannanan..... I think it definitely isn't Anne Robinson (thanks for the proof Reg) and Delia seems to be most likely. Especially with Bungus's additional clues. As Mannanan was first with the name (if he is indeed correct) the prize should be his. I've tracked down a suitable Jeroboam of Champagne Premier Cru at a mere £399. And I am just now working out a way of sending it 'online'.

On Monday she was in Waterstone's signing copies of her new book and the queue stretched a good way round the corner and up Bottle Lane. Apart from already having my copy, I dislike the pretentious business of book-signing. I once spent a great three days at The Arvon Foundation with the poet Roy Fisher. He offered to sign my copy of his latest book and when I explained my aversion he opened it at Page 42, corrected a spelling mistake, and initialled it! No wonder I admire his poetry. Roy Fisher is great, like most good poets, at the telling detail :-

"The secret laugh of the world picks them up and shakes them like
peas boiling;
They behave as if nothing happened; maybe they no longer notice.
I notice. I laugh with the laugh, cultivate it, make much of it,
But I still don’t know what the joke is, to tell them"

It's not just in poetry is it? It's true for Art and Photography.

...Weekend off contines tomorrow. No real commitments. I aim to make a beef stew and have enough left over for Sunday while Y is over at TJ's being cossetted for Mothering Sunday.
.......Catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Camera Club - WoW went very well

The purpose of this 'post' is mainly to catch todays date, but I wanted to say what a success our WoW (Walking on Wednesday) evening was. Lots and lots of laughs and a few good pictures were smuggled in.

Your comments, as welcome and enlightening as usual, will be answered tomorrow. We are planning a 'quiet' day so I shall have plenty of time.

On Sunday 10th Feb I quoted Stevie Smith (out of the quotation dictionary in my head) on the subject of C.of.E bishops but didn't recall the exact wording. I couldn't find the book before but I now have it to hand - hence the picture. It wasn't a bad stab at the quote but my version lacked Stevie's finesse.

n.b. she doesn't mention Archbishops.

Of now, sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

St. Pancras and The Terracotta Warriors

My INR blood-test results arrived this morning and there is no dosage-change and no re-test for 3 weeks! That's only one sort though, I have others looming.

Today's pictures have nothing to do with yesterday's outing. They are from Y's nails day on Monday and my charity shop sortie.

Also I know that AnonymousRob's wide-angle lens will soon have to go home and I decided on a last fling even though the light wasn't good. He will be back from Italy soon.

Picture 2 is a tailor's dummy who stands just inside the door of the shop and I've always threatened a portrait. My guess is that dummy release forms are not needed.

Lets move immediately to our London outing. A splendid affair. The journey down went strictly to plan and, as Bungus recommended, a taxi from St. Pancras to the British Museum. (£5.25p - most reasonable we thought, and a courteous and helpful driver as a bonus).

Here is a Picassa Web Album of a selection of images. The link will take you to around 20 snaps you can zoom through. A better idea than dribbling them out a couple at a time in t'blog.

St. Pancras is breathtaking and so, so, worth the few quid it took to restore it. These things are of national importance and a marvellous showcase for visitors who arrive via Eurostar. A beautiful structure and shops and restaurants like an airport. One gripe - no waiting room ! Y asked about this and was told "they don't want you just sitting about, they want you spending money!" Sad 'innit? I can well guess what Betjeman would have though - and said.

The Terracotta Warriors Exhibition well lived up to our expectations. I'm glad I had pre-booked a wheelchair which I alternately sat in or wheeled round for support. My ankles and Y's hip stood up satisfactorily. Understandably there was 'no photography' within the exhibition area itself but they were quite happy elsewhere in The Museum. I managed a quick half-hour in the Art History section, with the 'Enlightenment' room (a favourite period) and we both enjoyed seeing The Rosetta Stone again, or at least a faithful reproduction. The original is so valuable it is stored in a special bullet-proof glass case guarded by No.45 Marine Commando and two platoons of Gurkhas ! As with most such places we could have spent a week in The Museum but around 4.30pm we decided to have Afternoon Tea in their posh restaurant (special occasion etc.,) and although amazingly expensive it was delicious. Next time though we are taking sandwiches - there is an attractive, light, airy, place to eat them.

After all that, the return journery. No probs. and a couple of night shots of St.Pancras to give a feel.

Comments....Thanks Bungus. I too favour the 'Zebedee' type WoW logo. The 'spring' by-the-way isn't my legs, it's my brain ! The only prob will be loading it onto the front of my presentation CD, in its animated format. Tackle it tomorrow I think. Along with reprogramming a new mobile 'phone. Mine was lost/stolen on the down train yesterday morning. So this morning I replaced it from Carphone Warehouse. Another Samsung identical to the old one with which I have been most satisfied. Then I must do an e-mail to everyone announcing the number change.

AnonymousReg.....Thanks for speaking up in favour of pork chops. When you say they "were 'proper' pork chops just like they used to be" - does that include the bit of kidney, in the eye? That used to be considered essential.

Jill..... Y and I both agree with you that the girl in the check swimsuit is probably Anne Robinson. A forbidding and rather unpleasant looking woman even at 20.

Quotation time.... Our railway journey reminded me of this :-

"People's backyards are much more interesting than their front gardens, and houses that back on to railways are public benefactors"

I've always found it impossible to to look, and to think that each room has its own unique story to tell of love and sadness and happiness and strife.

Last night there was an earthquake with the epicentre at Market Rasen in Lincolnshire and it disturbed people's sleep all over the country. It seems as if everyone but us felt it. We slept on soundly, recouping from our day's outing. As you know I seldom mention current news but I guess earthquakes merit a paragraph. I intend to catch up on outstanding jobs tomorrow and have a rest prior to our WoW presentation at the Camera Club in the evening.

......Sleep tight. No more earthquakes. Catch you tomorrow.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Y's 'Nails' day - Bungus's Quiz

Bungus has set us older readers a quiz type question.

Who is the girl in the check swimsuit? The travel promotion pictures were taken in 1962 and the girl is 20 yrs old.

Entries cannot be accepted from thorough readers of The Observer. But your blogmeister will award a suitable prize, should anyone be successful. Y and I both think the face looks vaguely familiar but we are no closer than that.

This morning I had the first of several blood-tests and as the time is now 19.30pm and no-one has rung from the clinic I guess I shall be OK for tomorrow. After the blood test we went over to Carlton for Y's regular nails MOT and Service and after that soup and ciabatta in The CheeseCake Shop at Mapperley. We are still top fans of the area, even though the present house-move has fallen through.

Managed a trawl of the charity shops but didn't buy anything.

Picture 2 is the WoW regulars on the Wednesday just past, when we went a'huntin-hoar-frost near Wirksworth and as you can see, we are chip-cobbing with a will. My halo seems to have slipped a little but everyone was having a good time.

On Thursday night it is our WoW presentation to the Club and I understand that Roy wants me to sort out one of my WoW smileys to start the evening off.

This one is probably the best.

On the other hand is also good and perhaps better depicts the lively nature of our walkers.

All I need to do now is to work out how to incorporate it at the beginning of my slide-show, the CD for which is already burned.

Comments... Solution 3 - (Sew the spare button on and forget about it) seemed to be the consensus. Although ManxIslander makes an excellent point about what do you then do f you subsequently need the spare button? Y does have a granny-type button, thread, safety-pin tin but, like most such receptacles, rarely seems to contain what you actually need.

Jill.... Y's reaction to the aerial-mast erection was "In Chiswick?". I personally consider most such things ugly blots on the landscape. However, my attitudes have softened over the years with regard to power pylons. I venomously dislike wind-turbines, unless off-shore. So my advice would be to knit a placard and get out there and wave it.

Pork chops.... As remarked, they can vary a lot. My method is to barely oil (olive) a shallow baking dish. Cook them at around 180C for around 30 minutes, turning them once only as they brown. From around say 20mins onward keep prodding them with a skewer and when they are done, take them out drain off the oil and cover with foil until the other things are done. They are usually tender enough and juicy. But I don't think Pork Chops are ever as melt-in-the-mouth as beef or lamb.

As our Terracotta Warriors Exhibition plus travel will occupy most of the day I will do a blog-post about it as and when. Although my ankles have been the weak-link so far, when we returned home Y had pulled a muscle somewhere near her hip and has been sitting with hot-water bottles and microwaved bean-bags and pronounces it much better. I know it would be pricey but, if we need to, we will hire a cab from St.Pancras to the British Museum. They have been most helpful and have reserved me a wheelchair. So, even if I don't need it Y might ! - talk about 'just a couple of crocks'.

Quotation time....Bit relevant I suppose :-

"The least pain in our little finger gives us more concern and uneasiness than the destruction of millions of our fellow-beings"

William Hazlitt

..An early night is called for I think. Even though I shall probably be awake again by mignight. Not to worry, I can find plenty to do. Sleep tight and I'll catch you post London.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nice Quiet Sunday - Pork Chops

Picture 1 is yet anther orchid study because. now we have our cheap ones from our local Lidl, I find that I look at them more closely than I have previously.

The centre of the snap reminds me of a hawk swooping to attack a Damien Hirst "Spot painting" but then, I do have an over-vivid imagination. The original Opium 2000 lies under the link. So, if you are anti-Damien please do not click on it.

With a little photoshoppery I could recolour some of the outer petals to make them more like wings - but that would be cheating.

Picture 2 is self-explanatory. I thought they were helping but then forgot where I had put the tin. The extra-extra strong version might help

For lunch we had more of the cauliflower soup with hot rolls. The hot rolls were nice! I shan't be trying that recipe again - shame because it was a lovely cauli. However, for main meal I cooked pork chops with roast potatoes, brussels, carrots, and gravy. For me sage & onion stuffing (which Y doesn't like) and for Y (applesauce which I don't like). Followed by cheese & biscuits and coffee.

And this was proclaimed a success. And as it was Sunday we actually sat at the table, like the Duke and Duchess of Brinsley, who prolly eat from trays on their knees like everybody else of advanced years.

Y has a question which she feels is more likely to be answered by our lady-readers, but a male perspective would be welcome.

If you buy a new garment with a button missing (but with a spare button sown into the seam) do you :-
  1. Take it back
  2. Huff and puff on the phone - "Why don't you...........? etc."
  3. Sow the spare button on and forget about it.
Nice family chats and from David this morning kind offers of transport etc., and doing shopping for us if my ankles are bad. I must make sure that, in the blog, I don't sound too sorry for myself - there is a balance to be struck I guess. All your wise counsel re The Terracotta Warriors Exhibition has been listened to and I thank you for it. It is my intention to ring tomorrow and iron out any snags in advance. If I ask when I ring they will ensure the availability of wheel chair for instance.

Which leads me unerringly to a quote for the day :-

"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit"

W. Somerset Maugham

A much underrated writer in my opinion. I remember reading The Moon and Sixpence as a 14yr old and being mightily impressed. What a strange child I was...... and growing up didn't help much!

The first of several blood-tests in the morning ! Watch this space. The result won't arrive till Tuesday - and I shall be at The British Museum. I'm not really being irresponsible though, they have my mobile number.

Sleep tight everybody and I'll catch you tomorrow. Y tells me that Tottenham beat Chelsea ! Poor Andy will be devastated.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend Off - bit of cooking - still in my parjies

A lot of lying-down today in an attempt to get my ankles in trim for Tuesday and The Terracotta Warriors. I used google's 'blog search' to see what other bloggers have thought about the Exhibition. The only negative comment I read was from someone who had had to queue on the day for a ticket. Our timed tickets should solve that problem. (but note Jill's warning). I hadn't realised the Exhibition is in the original 'reading room' where Marx researched for Das Kapital.

No dramatic effect from the new tablets, yet, but the doctor said it could be a few days. And at least they are not more swollen.

Y went down Nottingham to meet Sylvia for lunch and insisted on 'bussing' it in both directions, bless her. I decided, with frequent sitting on my high kitchen stool, to cook cauliflower soup from my National Trust Soup book. It was a lovely cauli from Lidl. As my dad used to say "As white as snow and as tight as wax" - so descriptive I've never forgotten it.

I also researched Mrs. Beeton 'Household Management' (see Picture 2) a beautiful early edition which David had professionally restored for me as a present. It is a charming book and once dibbed into, difficult to dib out of. On the open page for instance in the entry for 'carrot soup' she speaks of 'the wild carrot' which is news to me. However, there wasn't a recipe for cauliflower soup. And I think I know why. The b*****y stuff is virtually tasteless. Just suit Bungus at the moment. His unfortunate 'supertaster' phase might at least introduce some slight piquancy denied to us mere mortals.

Comments..... Poor you Jill with all that noise. Now that would upset me. Couldn't you go out for the day or something? But I suppose they need power points and things and generally 'keeping an eye on'.

I really hope that with our 'timed tickets' we shall avoid the queue-ing bit. Perhaps it's best if we ring on Monday and point out my disabilities and things, and take some written evidence with us. Thanks for the warning !

Bungus..... How can one get 'tamper' embarrassingly wrong.... clamper? hamper? damper?. And no offence taken re photographs. At normal sizes there is little to choose between the Casio and The Nikon. Often the Casio pictures are the more pleasant due to an attractive softness. But if you enlarge to A3 for instance there is a noticeable difference and the Nikon is better. Also projected onto a large screen you can sometimes see a difference. And the Nikon gives me more scope in all sorts of ways which I won't list for fear of boring folks.

My question about football in Italy was rhetorical and intended to amuse. Even your blogmeister has heard of Roberto Di Matteo.

Quotation for the day.......

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines"

John Benfield

Another shadowy figure about whom little is know. But he makes a good point.

> Tired out now. Hope to catch you tomorrow. Sleep tight everyone.....


Friday, February 22, 2008

Doctor & Ankles - Shopping - Curries

Picture 1 is Tony Worobiec and Ray Spence's book which was the basis of last night's lecture. I had actually bought my copy some months ago when his co-author lectured to the RPS East Midlands Region but when Tony Worobiec decided to 'take orders' hands were shooting up all over the hall.

Very gratifying and a surefire indicator of how well the lecture was received. I won't go on endlessly because, of course, people who aren't interested in photography read the blog. It was an excellent lecture, professionally delivered, and the examples of his work were exquisite. The only word to use.

Today has been mixed. Shopping - fine. Curries - fine. But I had an appointment with the doctor and she is very concerned about my swollen ankles. She checked me over thoroughly and I have to take yet more tablets - Metolazone in ½ tablet portions. Having wiki-ed it I can understand the advice to stop taking it as soon as they start to subside. She has made me an appointment to see her again, and I've got blood-tests and....... Our lovely, practical minded doctor, aware of our outing to The Terracota Warriors on Tuesday, instructed me to omit the tablets that day rather than spend excessive time and effort finding loos. We are very excited - it was a great Xmas present from Steven and Lisa, and including first-class rail. Like most of us we have only seen pictures and to see the warriors 'in the terracotta....." will be an Art experience. Dating from 200yrs BC and so awe-inspiringly beautiful. It is many years since either of us has been to The British Museum plus of course I shall have plenty of time to ogle St Pancras Station. I've agreed with Senior Management to take only my Casio rather than lug my Nikon plus lenses around all day. It makes sense, I realise that. Prolly be better snaps anyway! I must do a 'blog search' to discover the opinions of other bloggers who have been, and while I'm at it I'll do 'metolazone' too.

Y is concerned that I don't overdo it. But like with many things I would rather do it and suffer than opt out. I can always take to my bed for anther couple of days. But I want to go WoWing and then on Thursday we are doing the WoW presentation etc., etc.,. and I want to go over to Boughton to see Bungus.

Picture 2 is the illustration for Old Scrote's Real Food online cookbook forwarded to me by Bungus, as received from Emma. And an excellent publication it is too. Proper down-to-earth recipes which will be fun to cook. Apparently in Texas a 'scrote' is an"ornery ol' cuss". Whatever, - he writes wittily and well and I love the line drawings.

Comments......Bungus...Sorry you seem still plagued by picture-trouble and as you know I can't think of an answer. Lets just be pleased the system works most of the time.

I feel we should leave first/fore/christian names . There are differing views and nobody is Right and nobody is Wrong. And I certainly didn't know of your fluency in Urdu and Swahili ! I knew you had a 'smattering' because over the years you have used the odd phrase but I didn't realise it was extensive. And I guess most animals are edible, if properly cooked, and it is only a society's mores that proscribe. We don't eat horses, others do and simliarly with dogs. But I understand that the cat family aren't very pleasant.

Jill..... I agree about the look of the new Delia, and it smells right too! And you are right about 'mopping up' bread. Under similar circumstances Debra always uses her desert spoon. If I've cooked the meal I take it as a great compliment.

And I bet that the resultant gravy from the slow-cooked poussins was super too.

AnonymousRob...... Is recovering from flu, in Italy ! Do they play football over there at all? I bet they are both clicking away and taking award-winning snaps...

Quotation time..... In view of our forthcoming trip .....

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it"


And so to bed....... Catch you tomorrow......

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No frost - Lunar eclipse missed

Two more 'misty morning' pictures from yesterday. This silver birch caught my eye, and I think Roy's too and AnonymousRob's 12-24mm allowed me to include the tree (almost) and the T shape of the wall leading to it.

Although up at 3.30am I had missed the lunar eclipse which occurred at 3.0am. Not long to wait though; only 12years till the next one.

Picture 2 is simply some grasses with the corner of the wood behind.

The blog is early due to collecting Y from Burton Joyce almost immediately followed by my camera club meeting. I have however almost completed the tasks I had set myself and I may well return to the blog when I arrive home from Eastwood.

Comments..... I suspect Bungus of deliberate obfuscation over the matter of Christian names. Obviously personal friends use first names. He knows full well that Karen for instance addresses us as Yvonne and Graham, but had to be invited to do so some years ago. My objection is to some person I have never been introduced to, shouting Graham across a waiting room or similar.

We used to speak of people being "On first-name terms" didn't we? It was considered common politeness not to bandy first names around until invited to do so. And a breach of this code was considered rudeness. And I think it still is !

Thank you for the latest episode of the 'clinic saga'. Oh dear oh dear! Perhaps you should be a little more prickly with them. Thanks also for the manhole cover-age. Is that really the translation? Or are you pulling our..........etc..... Unless as was suggested, it was intended for export, why would it be on a Wirksworth manhole. Although, as also was mentioned by Rob I think, that most manhole covers are made in India anyway.

And also for the latest about the Chinchilla. So you need never be short of a meal. And organic too by the sound of it. But not free-range.

AnonymousRob..... Thank you for the stuff about manhole covers and the intro to Karl Shapiro a poet I have heard of but never read. An omission I intend to rectify.

.....temporary ending (I hope) because I have to collect Y from Burton Joyce. Catch you later..

10.45pm - p.s. It would be quite unblogmeisterly to slip in much more, after already attracting two charming comments. Bungus and I must agree, in the best comradely terms, to differ over the matter of fore-names .

Tony Worobiec was outstanding at EPS and I will say more tomorrow.

I think Bungus, that to make a decent job of your Chinchilla, after skinning it for 'a mitten', you would need the assistance of a spurned lover. I understand that Glen Close is currently 'resting' as the luvvies say.

Sleep tight all. Catch you tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WoW to Wirksworth - Beautiful hoar frost

This morning WoW went into Derbyshire to catch a most beautiful hoar frost. Misty and visibility down to around 100yds in places and it is a matter of selecting a snap which captures the feel.

Picture 1 isn't a sub-standard monochrome reproduction or at least, no more than usual. This is how the scene looked from The Cliff Inn where we had our chip-cobs.

Firstly we went to a wood known to Roy, where the frost was photo-genic and everyone must have good pictures. Brian, Reg, Roy, Mike, Duggie and me were the WoW-ers for the day. It was a 'tripod day' because of the low light.

Then we went to Wirksworth and they disappered to some other photo-genic place while I decided to stay in the Market Place. It was only a few yards to Crown Yard which was interesting. The Exhibition about the town was closed (apparently it always is) but the adjacent Restaurant was open so I availed myself of the facilities and had a coffee.

In the yard leading up to was an interesting manhole cover. Stanton & Staveley Ironworks is internationally famous and examples of their products can always be found locally.

But why the script in Hindi or similar?

The 'Trojan' is one of their standard manhole covers and the link takes you to a picture thereof but without the mysterious script.

I'm sure one of our resident experts will know the answer. If not, it looks like a case for 'nifty googler' when man-flu permits. And Bungus has had far too long a day to bother about 'blogs'.

Our chip-cobs were eaten at The Cliff Inn and very nice they were too. Picture 1 was from the car-park opposite. When we went into the pub, the weather was as shown, but when we came out the sun had melted the frost and water was dripping off the trees.

Comments.....AnonymousReg....Thanks for further info. on 'yonks'. As to its origins, little seems to be known. The Phrase Finder tries a few but none sound convincing. The Glossary of Air Force Slang just tells us what it means. Which we all know already !

Y had a quiet at-home day but obviously found lots to do. And my new Delia book arrived and looks superb. Exquisitely presented and the art work is excellent. A snap may follow.

Quotation time...... This raises a smile...still....

"When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half"

Gracie Allen

Tomorrow is a normal Burton Joyce day for Y although Hannah and Miles are going to be off School. Millicent is going to Windmill which she loves so much she would go every day if she could. I aim to be busily producing a CD slide show of WoW images for EPS on Thursday week. Tomorrow we have Tony Worbiec lecturing at Greasley Miners' Welfare. He has an international reputation and we are all looking forward.

n.b. for new readers. If you left-click a picture you will get an enlargement in a new window. To return to where you were click the green back-button - top left. If something is underlined and in orange letters it will be a live-link i.e. left-click it and you will be whisked as if by magic.....

n.b. the
© copyright for each photo is retained by the author, unless specifically stated.

....The smiley shows what happens to picture-nickers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Karen Day - Misty/frosty morning

Picture 1 is my new garlic press, a Valentine's day present from Y from Lakeland yesterday. A powerful tool to replace a particularly ineffective plastic job I've hated for years, or 'yonks' . This one has a metal cutting plate which works beautifully. If the red attachment intrigues? You turn the handle anti-clockwise 180 degrees and the rubber spikes clear the cutting plate of the irritating mess that normally... (that's enough about garlic presses..ed)

Today has been a Karen day and we heard the latest on her domestic/separation saga. She had been 'home' to sort some things our for her daughter and had taken her lunch sandwiches with her. Apparently she won't go in the fridge because she "doesn't want him accusing her of eating his 'chuffing snap'". Delightfully put Karen. Direct and to the point. We nipped out shopping so she could get on, and bought in Lidl one of the larger-flowered creamy orchids.

After lunch I decided to try another flower portrait and Picture 2 is the result. The central 'bits' of orchids always look vaguely unsettling. At best like alien creatures but at worst, whatever the female equivalent of 'phallic' is. My online Thesaurus was most unhelpful on the point and my old-fashioned hard-cover Roget wasn't much better. Perhaps best not pursued anyway !

Comments.... A great comments day. Thank your all. And thanks for sorting the 'names' bit because your missives all arrive now, individually, in my inbox. That teething-problem day I was just getting Anonymous (7) without knowing it was Reg for instance.

Bungus/Rob/Reg .... this 'saw' thread really has teeth, I think. I loved the Irish origin for the jigsaw and the saw that just manages to cope. I guess the 'crosscut' must be one tetchily waking-up with a hangover.

Jill...Re children cooking. All ours do, properly too, although Tracy admits to leaning heavily on M&S if entertaining more than a few. And grandaughters are following suit. Hannah makes exceedingly good cakes. I don't like 'ginger cake' but make an exception if offered a slice of Hannah's.

Thank you for sharing your Hospital Saga. This sort of complete absence of common sense is difficult to understand. One thinks "Why ever not?" when the most obviously efficient administrative step is not taken. This 'can't do it because of The Data Protection Act' is simply a cover-up for stupidity.

I too, hate being called by my Christian name and complain whenever it happens. I usually say "You might think of me as an Alzheimer's patient in an Old Folks Home, but I'm not". Often I follow it up with "At work I was addressed either as Mr. Marsden or Sir, either will do".

You have told us before how your threat to sit on the floor invariably causes a chair to be produced. I'd love to see you in action, and don't feel you shouldn't tell us again, because I love it.

AnonymousRob..... Thanks for Chapter 5 of the DIY saga. And don't worry about "inciting terrorism" re the so called 'sportsmen'. When I come to power.........................

Thanks for trying with the problems of PC and ugly sentences. Unfortunately "every person to their own trade"? is grammatically flawed. 'Person' is singular while 'their' is plural-possessive. But it would carry the meaning well enough, which is what matters. I should have just said "Every man to his own trade" and risked criticism.
I enjoyed the 'chain' saw anecdote - pity it wasn't a 'circular' saw.

Thanks for the vintage saw info and here is a link for everybody.

Quotation time.....Relevant to earlier discussions.....

"Nine times out of ten the coarse word is the word that condemns, while the refined word is word that excuses"

An early night is called for because I am hoping to go WoW-ing tomorrow and Y might go down to Bromley House. Lucky her! She will have an excellent view of Nottingham Eye. I must spend a morning in Bromley House because there's a few things I can research more easily there. The weather forecasts sound promising. We shall see. Sleep tight !!.....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nottingham Eye with Y - Lunch at The Bell

Bungus's Bathroom Boarding (dig that alliteration) photo sent under a plain e-cover and arrived this morning. He didn't say whether he fretted about the job, hacked it or simply coped but he saw the finished task in his minds eye and saw it through to completion.

The picture just had to be blogged.

As well as a 'sports desk' I can see us needing a weekly DIY supplement !

Fascinating stuff about the bricks too. As ever Wikipedia provided lots of information and the lead article has a photo of brickwork looking very much like Rob's.

Your tutorial Bungus was valuable and every man/woman to his/her own trade. Doesn't the need for correctness produce ugly sentences?

This morning, not believing the 'red sky in a morning' fable we decided on our first outing since my ankle-problem and went down to Nottingham on the tram.

We couldn't believe our luck when we got to the Square - only a tiny queue at the Big Wheel, so we went on. Had a super time and got lots of snaps. Picture 2 is a sample. The oblong boxes upper left are the Victoria Centre flats. Then we had lunch in The Bell which lays claim to being older than The Trip to Jerusalem. The link was provided by NET (the tram company) interestingly entitled 'Beer by Tram' - good initiative that !

The walking strangely enough, seemed to have a good effect on my ankles and it is only after getting home that they have started to swell. We will see what they are like tomorrow.

Comments..... The chicken debate. I think there is less ground between us all than at first appeared. Delia herself says that she herself always uses free-range, as we do, and eggs. And I am as disturbed as anyone by the barbaric treatment of animals being reared for food. But she has a good intention to help people who might be hard up and trying to feed a young family nutritious food. My bleat about 'Organic' is the con often involved. For instance, my local farmer up the road cannot describe his carrot crop as organic because he had to spray against incipient carrot root-fly, while Morrisons in the other direction import their 'organic carrots' from Spain.. may have a point re game. But the idea of animals/birds being reared so that upper-class deviants with blood-lust, can slaughter them for fun is equally appalling to me and resurrects my old SWP leanings.

AnonymousRob...... Pleased to hear that your settees have arrived but I don't think you should cut out 'bed' altogether. Not at your age !

Before we leave 'saws' altogether, I guess a 'tenon saw' is for cutting the high bits ? And we haven't mentioned jig-saws.

Re.dibbers...I always used to simply use the end of a bamboo cane. The plants never seemed to mind. And if was 'pricking out into a seedtray I just used my fore-finger. Fingers were invented before dibbers.

Quotation for the Day......

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats"

Howard Aiken

n.b. Reg suggests, and I agree, a permanent note on the blog, pointing out that photos remain in the copyright of the author. I hope to research it tomorrow.

I hope the readers and workers on the 'Sports desk' will approve of the end-piece line. It has been a sombre time and when I saw it I thought you might like it. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow..................

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Keen frost - Lovely day - Ankles improving

Up in the night and couldn't waste the time hence this Moon with my 300mm Tamron. Venus was there too, sort of 'off-stage left' but was obviously not emitting sufficient light to register on my Nikon's sensor. Re Venus - I speak without any astronomical knowledge at all but was once told that any prominent star low in the western sky will be Venus.

I would be delighted to defer to any reader who actually knows !

Although I didn't sleep well Y did, which in many ways is better. I'm used to it but she likes a decent kip.

Today has been a hoot. I decided to cook Moussaka, from my original Delia compendium, and it failed dismally. The topping didn't rise, or cook enough in the time given, the aubergines had soaked up far too much olive oil etc........ It actually made me sick (as in vomit rather than cross) but, rushing to Delia's defence I didn't use the correct ingredients (mince-wise) and busked it, with tinned steak-in-gravy. The result was the devil's reward for my banging on too much about Delia's god-like qualities. Pleasingly though, in yesterday's Telegraph she was quoted as saying "I don't do organic. My aim is to produce easy nutritional meals that people can afford". Been my point for years Delia.

So much for my return to the 'galley'. Should have left Y in charge. BTW Ionce witnessed a fierce argument in a Police Canteen as to whether it was 'mousse-ar-ka' or 'mousse-acka' (claimed correct by someone who had been to Greece).

Picture 2 is courtesy of AnonymousRob and shows some of the 120yr old bricks in his house.

n.b.. even Bungus will be hard-pressed to read that as the 120, year-old bricks, but he might.

In any-case we would like to hear from him, wearing his architect's hat, on the bricks, and the laying-style which looks odd to my untrained eye.

Rob was right to persuade one brick to hold the customary 50p in its teeth, for scale, because they look bigger than modern bricks?

Comments.....Thanks AnonymousReg for the Historic Mansfield information. And your (still in use) fretsaw made in school metalwork impresses. In Woodwork ( it took me two terms) I made a hand held dibber for planting cabbage plants. It looked like this but made of wood. The idea was too teach us the joint (whose name escapes me) where the bottom piece fits snugly in the top. Wish I could say I was still using it. My Dad loyally used it for half a season whereupon it fell apart! I've always said my forte was 'chucking people out of pubs' nothing too technical.

Bungus..... The chocolate chat lead me to a 'blog-search' often so revealing, and I came across this ChocoBlog which seems fun because the blogger talks about Lidl and the 'Ecuador' choc which is my personal favourite. Internet rumour has it that the makers 'J.D.Gross' is a special name for a chocolate range made by a famous chocolate firm specifically for Lidl. I wonder who? In any-case they are doing a fine job.

As you know, I agree with you absolutely about work. We all did it honestly and reliably but now have tasted (or even supertasted) the alternative I would give up many things before contemplating work. There is so much to do and to learn - it isn't about achievement it's about self-fulfilment. Please join us Rob, as soon as you can!

AnonymousRob..... Helen will be thrilled with your thumbs up. And there are other Reg pictures I'm sure - ha ha! Apart from his beautiful woodland panorama - what about his 'brasso tin in the window' for instance?

Best of luck to Elaine with your assembled journeymen tomorrow. And re your being in Nottingham nick tomorrow - I'm sure we can arrange bail !!

Quotations - both appropriate to current 'comments' .......

"He will always be a slave who does not know how to live upon a little"


"It is when I labour to be brief that I become obscure"

Horace... c 55 BC

The winter-bug seems to have returned to Burton Joyce - although Steven is a little better, Hannah is poorly, Miles is subsiding, and Millicent is grouchy.

Had a lovely chat to David this morning and they are fine. Brooke has her 'head teacher's award on the mantlepiece and has the confidence to draw it to people's attention. Her Dad describes her as 'quietly confident' which is a definite 'hurrah quality' I think. Y also spoke to Debra and touch wood, no repeat of Ruby's tantrum.

n.b. Reg suggests, and I agree, a permanent note on the blog, pointing out that photos remain in the copyright of the author.

I can make it appear somewhere in the header/footer but it will involve HTML work in the template which I don't mind - but it involves care. Other than that I will simply copy/paste the above on a daily basis.

.... I thought the 'shutting the shop' smiley was due for an airing, but I, along with thousands of others, really miss good old Smiley Xtra4. Nice to see the smiley included in your e-mail Rob. Googlemail doesn't like one to do that - you can, but it's quite a tedious procedure involving far too many clicks. Sleep tight folks - and hope to catch you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Up for a bit - Shopping Chauffeur

Picture 1 is 'Rufus'. Actually Helen's 'Red Lion' entry in EPS's 'illustrate a Pub name' competition.

She won third place in the 'projected images' category with him. He certainly does the job and the technique she used to isolate him is first rate, but still suggesting the environment. Unless I'm way off, he is the left lion outside the Council House in the Square. A popular meeting place for we Nottingham folk for generations.

Congratulations Helen !

Re Jill's query about yesterday's Picture 1. I think we may have misled you by saying St. John's Chambers when it should be King John's Chambers. If I'm right it joins Bridlesmith Gate and Fletcher Gate and has Solicitors Offices, and Restaurants etc., - please come in AnonymousReg if I'm wrong..

I think the enlargement problem must be at your end Bungus, because it opens fine on the master copy and it sounds as if Jill could open it OK. Sorry about your computer problems Jill, if it persists I'll send the lads and they'll get it fixed for you. Ha Ha!

Picture 2 is our Orchid. Lidl still have them and also some attractive white ones with a slightly larger flower. We are tempted. I took Y shopping this morning although I stayed in the car and istened to the radio. No point in taking the Xword because we had finished it except for 1 clue in the bottom right corner, about a king or something.

Comments..... Jill... Your drive-man does sound abit dodgy. But from what Y says, R is fairly shrewd. If you disappear we will come and search for you.

Bungus.... I have never understood your working methods with My Pictures, so I can't comment. Perhaps when we meet sometime I'll show you my system, on mine. It might help. You shouldn't lose pictures when you do a 'system restore' as you say, they will be there somewhere.

I didn't mean to imply that there was a Hospital on Chesterfield Road, I just seeem to remember a road off, which went up a fairly steep hill to the Hospital, and if you carried on down the other side you eventually came out on Woodhouse Road. I reckon it must have been Mansfield General.

Sorry, it wasn't the Staff of Life that came second - I've no idea what happened to that one. But still, thanks to the model. And I wouldn't go for the 'excision of my fungiform papillae' sounds far too painful - you'll just have to truck on as a supertaster. The Lidl chocolate is well know to us. I find the 82% just a little over the top, and favour one called Ecuador which at around 72% suits me fine.

Thanks Bungus for Emma's fwd of Old Scrote's Cookbook - it is a delight. Witty, nice website, and the recipes look good too.

AnonymousRob.... I'm really glad that you share my opinion of Reg's picture. It is indeed an outstanding piece of work, and, before the weekend is out I feel he should bang a © Reg Lowe 2008 watermark across it. In pursuance of this Reg I have temporarily deleted the picture from the blog but will put it back in, as soon as you have thought about it.

Strange bit of synchronicity about the China - Queen/Fentanyl Patches. In spite of Bungus's sneaking regard for the Fat Albert street-name, there are others - King Ivory for instance which is much more acceptable, to the wearer at least.

There must be a joke which starts "A Plasterer, a Damp Proofer, and a Plumber all went to Annesley and..............." And don't worry about having "
no idea what Bungus is on about half the time....." You've just joined the end of a long queue !! I'm not serious Bungus you are the soul of clarity. BTW - what on earth was Archbishop Rowan Atkinson going on about yesterday when he apologised for his 'unclarity'..... Is there such a word?

No room for a quotation tonight. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow. I just know I've forgot summat