Monday, March 31, 2008

Y arrived Palmers Green - RG messing-about

Picture 1 shows the really red Flowering Currant on the left, while the less red one is on the fence at the bottom of the garden. And I hope that Bungus, seeing both in the same picture, will accept that the previous reds were not enhanced.

The gentle nudge that my black backgrounds were becoming an 'affection' is gracefully accepted and they will be used less frequently. And there was me banging on about artificial backgrounds in NEMPF.

Something about the 'mote in his own eye' springs to mind.

Picture 2 has a good hint of environment. And congratulations to Rob for his judging stance. I will return to this later.

Y caught the tram just after 10am and texted me early afto to announce her safe arrival. She will love being at Palmers Green for a few days. It seems ages since she went and of course, we will be seeing everybody at our 25th Anniversary on Sunday 6th April. We love these family 'shindigs' (I'm sure Jill, it is a correct use of the word). My Etymological Dictionary has it as "dance, party, lively gathering," 1871, probably from shindy "a spree, merrymaking" (1821) either of which will do.

Picture 3 is a collage of David's Norfolk caravan holiday pictures. They all loved it and were snug and warm in the caravan with just a 1 kilowatt heater. Maybe a global warming lesson therein. Anyway - great pictures! They really convey the feel. The bottom 2 are frame-worthy.

Comments.....Bungus..... The chive count was spot-on. 7 would have been OTT. And if Orchids are de rigeur this year, surely they will be de trop next year, rather than 'common'. After a lifetime of dislike both Y and I have come to like them this year. So I'll be damned if we'll go 'off' them by next year.

Both 'don't create' and 'you'll catch your death' were frequently used expressions in my youth. Also 'I'll swing for him, if he doesn't pack it in' to mean 'I'll murder him and risk hanging, if he continues'.

I agree that chicken dripping would be foul. But if, having poured the excess fat from a roasting chicken into a basin, I stick it in the fridge to set, because the few teaspoonsful of rich brown bottoms are lovely for stocks or gravies. BTW your 'tree planting' quote is first rate. If you can't track down its authorship I think you should claim it.

AnonymousRob...... You might be interested that Briefly Onto Grog is an anagram of Nifty Googler Rob. I haven't worked one for AnonymousRob yet - but it would have to have 'bosom' in it I guess. Perhaps Bungus could oblige.

I think you have done brilliant work in Yorkshire and as you could guess I agree with every word. Let us hope that your approach and your decisions will have some impact. And they should because, for the benefit of other readers, Rob is very well respected in the photo-judging field. Danger is though, they will suspect you've been mingling with bad company. Not me, but Tony Worobiec, Ray Spence, and ArtyMartin Thompson to name but a few.

Thanks for adding the 'horrible medicine' saying to the list. I used to prefer 'Let me kiss it better' or rubbing it with butter. The boyhood lesson of rubbing nettle stings with dock leaves did actually work didn't it. Dunno why ?

Jill .... trust you to get in first about Delia. Personally I'm no Asian cookery expert although I like it very much. I thought the programme first rate with lovely pictures. She has persuaded me to have a go because Y loves both Indian and Thai cuisine. I also like Chinese food but Y isn't keen. Bungus is a fan and also, to my knowledge, very good at it. Contrary to Delia though, he does like to grind or crush his own spices. Purists can be admired you know.

The butchers in this area, and also Morrisons, usually have at least 6 different varieties of sausage on offer. And, post cooking, they remain quite identifiable, provided you know what you had to start with that is. And for the kids I did chippolatas and thin links of plain unspiced pork - these were very easy to extract from the serving dish. But they like to be adventurous and try the others. We usually cut a chunk off an end for them to taste before giving them a whole link.

To my shame I microwaved a ready-made jam rolypoly and opened and warmed ready-made custard. However Y made the jelly for the jelly and ice-cream.

The 'as much use as a chocolate tea-pot' is good, and at the risk of lowering the tone, about the same as 'as much use as a f*rt in a colander'. This thread is good so keep 'em coming everybody.

A busy day tomorrow, culminating in our 'first Tuesday in the month' National Trust evening at Mansfield. With my new Vice-Chairman's responsdibility, and Y has left me and Ron to mastermind the raffle in her absence. But I feel sure that Ron's wife June will help and also Peter's Joan is always willing, although she will probably be better to help Val, our new Membership Secretary.

The subject of the talk is Mr. Straw's House at Worksop and the lecturer is our own Frank Gibson, an acknowledged expert.

Quotation time...... Although feeling traiterous to my own sex, I must admit that the following is precise:-

"At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies"

P. G. Wodehouse

Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow !

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sausage Fest - Lidl Orchid - Tulips

What a lovely day we've had. Remembered to put the clocks on, slept well, and apart from pit-stops during the night I didn't surface until after 9am. Y prepared the vegetables and I concentrated on the yorkshires and the sausages.

I'd better explain our term 'Sausage Fest'. It involves selecting lots of different types of sausage, 2 links of this and 3 links of that etc., some highly spiced, some plain, some large, some thin. These are then grilled and served in a flattish dish where people can pick what they fancy We provide information like 'That's a highly spiced one, I don't think you'ld like it.'

The kids (of all ages) love it. We also had Yorkshires because Miles loves them so. Today, with their early arrival, he could see the whole process from pouring the batter into the tin, through peeking through the glass oven door to see if they are rising, to the finished product. Potato with swede, mashed with plenty of butter and a glub of milk and some chopped up chives. Hannah went with Y to pick the chives, so she knows for the future. Plus carrots, broccoli, and plenty gravy. I made onion-sauce but burnt it while Steven was showing me how to open up the new TV as a laptop monitor. Then there was jelly and ice-cream, jam rolypoly and custard, plus a cheese-board and coffee.

For Bungus's benefit I must report that Y went completely haywire and came back with at least 6 chive leaves !

Steven liked the 5 metre VGA cable from Maplins. He said "Some cable. I bet that cost you 30 quid!". "Completely wrong" I was able to reply "It cost me £29.92p". He fixed it to have the TV monitor open at the same time as the laptop screen, so I don't get confused and have to click things when I just want to use the laptop as normal.

Picture 1 is some tulips from Lidl. Y loves them best when they start to droop elegantly (a look I've been seeking for years) and Picture 2 is a beautiful two-stemmed Orchid, also from Lidl (for the princely sum of £4.42p) and I have 'photshopped' an enlarged detail into the corner.

Comments..... Bungus....Great to hear that you are feeling 'chipper' and planting seeds and potatoes. Magic. Sorry about the reds again, in the Flowering Currant,- I haven't enhacned them, just the 'I'm feeling lucky' button and a crop. Ours have never deserved the term 'dusty' red anyway. We had a very washed out pink one but we 'outed' it.

The folding vases Jill described intrigues me and I hope she will explain in greater depth. I have a drinking glass/tumbler which came from a Lifeboat Shop. The structure is concentric rings which collapse down into each other when you press, but, when they are pulled out, the result is surprisingly watertight. Perhaps the vases work on the same principle.

My salad phobia doesn't include sandwiches; I love cheese and lettuce, cheese and tomato, egg and cress, and water-cress with almost anything. Probably been mentioned before but I abhor the cheap restaurant practice of putting a substantial salad garnish on the same plate as a hot meal.

Jill...... It is well worth giving 'bacon in the oven' a try. In a shallow baking tray, lay out your rashers without any oil/fat (streaky un-smoked works particularly well) and they cook to a delicious even crispness. If you prefer floppy bacon it doesn't work at all.

Thanks for the info on The Petersham. In the 1980s the Home Office used to give us £12 for an evening meal, without needing a receipt and whether or not you actually bought a meal. I don't know what the current rate is. Prolly have to tell you under the Freedom of Information Act - but I'm not that interested.

Re Ted Davison and Caesar (his dog) Ted used to travel around in an old Bedford Dormobile which was in fact, Caesar's mobile kennel. And the vehicle used to grace the front car-park of The Richmond Gate, I'm sure to their unspoken dismay.

Picture 3 is of our guests leaving. You can just see half of Millicent's face in the rear window. They had managed just one last game of hide & seek, which she loves and I mentioned yesterday.

I had a nice chat to David this morning. He has tried again to send photographs, both to my new mobile, and via his mobile to my e-mail address. But they haven't arrived. None of us seem to be able to get the particular system working properly. They are all OK but Helen has a bad neck. My mother would have said "She'll have been sitting in a draught" an explanation for many ills. I'd like to go over to see them while Y is in London and he is going to get back to me as to which day would be best.

Quotation time..... This appealed to me,

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."

Douglas Adams

Much as I liked 'Hitchhiker....' I loved Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the sofa getting stuck up the staircase. And trying to write a computer-programme to work out how to do it. Probably within the scope of the average teenager today - well perhaps a gifted teenager !

Sleep tight etc., and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

VGA Cable - Shopping - Sun then Rain

This walk at Richmond Hill is quite famous, and both Sickert and Sisley painted versions of it. But I can't find either. Perhaps they weren't very good paintings and are not anthologised but hiding in the 'stacks' of some obscure gallery.

The hotel you can see in the middle distance is the Petersham Hotel. If we became bored with the Richmond Gate (in the old days) we used to walk down the hill and have a meal there. Ted Davison used to let his dog Caesar have a run in the field.

The food wasn't as good as The Richmond Gate but there is a lovely view of the Thames.

Picture 2 is another 'go' at the Flowering Currant. Less 'less' than yesterday's but I hope conveys more, wthout falling into 'dustiness' as Bungus calls it.

A quiet day, - bright sunny start followed by storm clouds and eventual rain. A typical day in fact.

We went into Mansfield to buy a VGA cable from Maplins to attach my laptop to our new TV in its monitor role. Needless to say I can't get it to work, but Steven is coming over tomorrow. I've printed off pages from my 'online' laptop manual and now know that I need to experiment with [Fn]+[F3] and perhaps tinker with [F8] and [F9]. The problem will be solved.

Comments..... Jill....... I agree with you about unpleasant people on the TV and feel under no compulsion to watch. The most distasteful people and events on the Radio seem much more acceptable. No idea why. Sometimes we watch BBC 24 but their propensity for showing exactly the same footage, endlessly, and often within a few seconds, irritates me to the point of leaving the room. And the reporters also jar. Why is a report considered better if the journalist speaks while walking towards the camera. And I'm just not interested in the stupid views of the stupid people who make statements outside this and that. And when was it decided that judicial sentences would be 'handed down'. Judges and Magistrates sentence people, they don't hand them anything, either up or down........(OK. We've got your drift. Get on with it....Editor)

So pleased your arm satisfied the consultant and that you can drive again. You must be patient while it continues to heal and de-traumatise itself. Also pleased to hear that you enjoyed your Craft Fair and the folding plastic flower vases intrigue me. Are they plastic vases? Or vases for plastic flowers? And do they hold water? If so they sound very handy. I laughed aloud at the notion of you sitting halfway up Perry's stairs to watch the television.

Bungus...... Glad eating has eased, as a chore, - so many things yield to a toothless chew and mouth-melt eventually. But not salad which, like most northern men, I always consider a punishment for some misdeed anyway. Tomatoes are the honourable exception. I agree with your criticism of the grill against the frying pan - but it is so much better for you dear boy ! Personally I think oven bake does bacon better, and many other frying-candidates too.

I'm sure some-one will be contacting The Sports Desk on Monday morning about the issues you raise. I was very close to The Stags ground this morning when we went to Maplins.

Quotation time...... This one, from my igoogle homepage, just sounds like hot air to me - and so rude:-

"Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway"

Friday, March 28, 2008

Nat Trust Agenda - New Telly - Nottingham

Our new TV arrived this morning, and as Jill is always interested in the minutiae of life I though you might like snaps.

Tables, chairs, tellies, cruises......? I hear you think.

The explanation is that for over 2 years, while we have been trying to sell the house, we have decided against much expenditure because "We might need it when we move" and "We'd better wait to see what the new rooms are like"...etc., etc.

This last time of being let down though we have decided, at 70+, that we ought to get on with living, and boo-sucks to caution. And it is nice to treat youself occasionally. It doesn't have to be a lot.

Picture 1 is to show the picture quality. I think that, if I set my Nikon up right, through trial and error, I can produce some NEMPF-worthy images of exotoc places which, with a little judicious blur and photoshoppery etc...

Picture 2 is to demonstrate that it isn't an enormous 42" plasma job. We both think that some domestic TV screens are too large for comfortable viewing. This one is just right for us, in relation to where we sit while telly-watching. And, compared with our last one, so easy to understand, and intuitive. We had the John Lewis installation service and both sat with notepads while the engineer was doing his stuff. But I don't think we took a single note. Everything works, quickly and easily.

And, would you believe, I can use it as a monitor for my lappy ! I just need a VGA cable, so a trip to Maplins is called for in the morning.

This morning we did an Agenda for the next meeting of The Mansfield Chapter of the Nat. Trst. It's along time since I've delved into Microsoft Office and I'm doing templates for the major documents we shall need. Fortunately I have a 'teach yourself series' handbook which tells me all about decimal tabs, and headers and footers et al. And Y is now keen to learn these things so it's a joint learning-curve which is fun.

I spoke to John, to wish him a happy 49th birthday - this coming year is his last full year before retirement. He, Yvonne and Alannah are coming to TJ's for our 25th Wedding Anniversary so I shall really enjoy that. The poor lad had been bitten quite badly by a Sharpie dog on the Motorway and had needed anti-tetanus injections. He had managed to get a dog-pole round its neck but when he was trying to extricate it from the wreckage it turned vicious and sank its teeth into his wrist. His watch absorbed some of the damage. A colleague then managed to get another dog-pole round its neck so they could transport it to a vehicle and put it into the boot. Quite accidentally the officers happened to pull in opposite directions and the poor creature expired !

Steve and the children, and TJ, are coming for lunch on Sunday. Millicent is getting so good at hide & seek she will enjoy a different house, with exciting new places. She has got the knack of it now and is good at hiding quietly ! And she loves 'seeking' and can count, one two, ten, three, twenty, five etc., and does a reasonable job of the 'coming, ready or not'. Kids have probably been playing it with glee since we were cave-dwellers. Now there's a good doctoral-thesis topic for some one. More interesting than some of the rubbish pursued.

Comments..... AnonymousReg... Thanks for sorting the programme items for Rob. And thanks particularly for the medical bulletin on Roy. He has done extremely well in so short a time and will be WoW-ing 'before you can say Jack Robinson'. Another one for Bungus's local sayings collection.

I'm sure, with your Chairman's Hat firmly in place, you said what needed to be said in the Nempf Exhibition comments book. Good for you - if anyone queries it, we will all be there with our placards. Brian Smith (ex commercial) certainly agreed and others did too.

Bungus...... Getting shorter is just normal decrepitude and not to be worried about. Glad you irritatingly loose tooth gave up the struggle. And so pleased that you won't need to interrupt the chemo for dental treatment. You will be an expert at 'gumming' things before you are sorted.

You are right of course about Beef Wellington. I was just making the general point that fillet will stand being well undercooked.

For your 'things we were told' slot. One of my Gran's favourites was -

"He/she is neither use nor ornament". I can't remember her saying it to me though, so perhaps it doesn't count.

Rather than start another diatribe I will expand on the digital/slide film problem at a later date.

Quotation time.... As I am sitting in the office, with real books to hand, I have decided on a proper quote rather than an 'online' job.....

"April, April,
Laugh thy girlish laughter;
Then, the moment after,
Weep thy girlish tears"

Sir William Watson

He had a somewhat tenuous connection with the PreRaphaelite Brotherhood. Which is, as they say, another ball game. The link above is fine for the PRB and tells you what is necessary. Wikipedia doesn't know what we are talking about. A major art-movement as well - I suppose its because they were Brits basically. Perhaps I should pen a page !

Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Messing about Day - EPS this evening

Picture 1 subscribes to the 'less is more' school, because it looks better than the whole Flowering Currant bush which was boring.

With Y going to Burton Joyce yesterday instead of today we got confused over days. Our new TV is to be delivered on Friday but we sat patiently till lunchtime awaiting its arrival, forgetting it's only Thursday. Not to worry, jobs were done.

This afternoon we shopped - Lidl and Morrisons and put the car through the car-wash. The dried on salt from motorway driving in sprayful conditions had made it look scruffy, even for us.

Picture 2 is another glut of basil. It is tine for Basil Rooting to make his usual appearance I think.

Comments.....Bungus..... Under the right circumstances I am a fan of steak tartare but I'm sorry that your tiramasu failed. I've never tried to make my own, but I enjoy it. Y finds it too sweet. As ever you make an excellent point about 'gutting' whitebait and sardines.

Not being a football fan I'm surprised that there is a better Beckham free-kick than the one I blogged. It looked close to perfection to my inexpert eyes.

Jill.... You are quite right to insist on your food being prepared the way you want it. And it has often surprised me that more good restaurants don't offer a choice of al dente or well cooked vegetables because it is important. And you are quite right about good quality beef fillet. Passed quickly through a candle-flame usually suffices. Especially in Beef Wellington.

.........temporary close down for tea, then EPS - will return later.

.......Glad you enjoyed the 'sepia' it certainly suits some pictures very well. Particularly 'period' buildings I think. And 'Yes' I am suitably lasagna-ed back to vitality, so I enjoyed being noisily critical at the camera club.

I take your point re well-done vegetables but it is a 'what do you mean by.....' issue. When cooking greens my Mum used to add bicarb to the water which produced a ghastly vivid green and then boil them and brussels till they went that disgusting yellow colour. She then pressed all the moisture out with a saucer. Presumably your 'well done' falls short of that.

AnonymousRob..... You should have come to the Nempf Exhibition and we could have sat together and harummphfed. There were some very good pictures but the overall feel was 'same old Nempf......' Paul Exton's 'natural history' with completely gaussian blur type backgrounds - not a hint of the actual environment. I do understand about Depth-of-field but some hint of detail in the background would cause me to be more trusting of the picture. Surely by now he and his camp-followers must be tired of staring at dragonflies.

When we learnt from a previous lecturer that they capture moths and butterflies and put the poor creatures in the fridge overnight to induce a drowsy state. So that in the morning they can carefully place them on a convenient piece of bark and take their 'wild-life' photographs. And all in the pursuit of having images accepted in Exhibitions.

I was amazed to learn that 'slides' can be photographs taken on a digital camera, manipulated in Photoshop, and then copied onto slide film. On the back page of the Exhibition catalogue was a firm's half-plate advert offering to do it for you. And these were classified differently from 'digital images'. ........ How Sad !! I won't go on.

n.b. to Rob. Next week isn't the 'theme out of a hat thing' ..... It has been changed to a 'bring your laptop if you've got one and everybody chip in' ... evening.

Quotation time........

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn"

Hal Borland

..... Hope I haven't forgotten anything.. Sleep tight... Catch you tomorrow.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not up to WoW - A Rest Day - Burton Joyce

I didn't have a good night and wasn't quite up to WoW-ing. Y said that I looked so bad I would have spoilt the day for the others because they would have been concerned about me.

So a Rest Day and lots of lying down plus naps and I now feel much improved. Y had planned a day out with Steve and family so she went off on that and I aim to drive over for evening meal (one of Lisa's excellent Lasagnes) and then a leisurely drive back.

My Photoshop book has arrived - second hand, from Amazon - and honestly I can't tell it from new. It was described as 'as new' and it is. The customary 50p piece will show you that it is a big book! All 1052 pages of it. Whether or not it will improve my photoshoppery is a moot point - so often it is better to be shown how, rather than told how - but a reliable reference book nontheless.

Comments......AnonymousRob..... The film was indeed The Blackboard Jungle - unforgettable I think - content that is, not title - and thanks for the info. which Bungus endorses. And I note, from the cast-list, Sydney Poitier in his early days.

You summary of Festinger is spot on, and your 'exception proves the rule' point is germane. And I'm also glad that you caught Tony Worobiec and again I endorse all your comments. His lecture at Eastwood was first rate.

For the benefit of other readers I must point out that Dennis is not abnormally little, and is a 'big' fella in many respects. We must take a photograph and get him to hold a 50p piece. He is one of the most gifted natural photographers that I know - his pictures zing with life and quality.

Bungus..... As you know we have long ago agreed to differ over fish-cookery - but I am with you 100% over lamb and duck. And I would promptly bin undercooked chicken or sausages, a positive health risk I would imagine. Beef of course must be pink. When eating steak in a restaurant I always say 'rare' knowing it will arrive 'medium'. It depends a little on the cut - 'pink' suits topside and forerib more than sirloin in my opinion, and you can get away with loin being nearly raw because it enhances the flavour. This loin looks a little overcooked in my humble opinion.

Please see above re Dennis's height.

And I think we all agree about frozen fish, especially when frozen on the boat. Do they gut them on the boat before freezing? I don't know of a 'game' fish which benefits from being cooked entrails and all ?

And you are quite right that Festinger took a big book to say something simple which we all knew instinctively anyway. Such is Social Science. I suspect that 'Festinger's Theory of Cognitive Dissonance' has hung around for so long because it is such fun to say - it positively trips off the tongue !

We must start to compile a folder of 'things we were told' - I will add a couple :
  • Take that frown off your face - the wind might change.
  • You need a haircut.
  • If you eat more than 2 squares of chocolate you will be sick.
  • (and now a current one) - Stop grunting, you sound like an old man.
This YouTube is for the benefit of the 'sports desk'. I managed to find that Beckham free kick.

...... Dennis is the one on the left, as you look at it. I'll probably be back - it depends on whacked-ness after driving back from Burton Joyce.

I'm back and with just enough energy left for a quick quote.

"It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off."

Catch you tomorrow. At the Camera Club tomorrow we have the annual NEMPF Exhibition and I shall report back in due course. You've got the train again !


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Waste Tip - Tesco - Beef Stew

A Karen day, but a busy one for us too. Just the one rest-day on Monday and then back to work so to speak. In the garage cardboard boxes for packing have proliferated, but now that moving seems increasingly remote, we decided to clear them out. The conifer clippings from the footpath also needed taking to the tip at Hucknall (or Household Recycling Plant as it is now known) so we decided on nearby Tesco for our shopping.

Not usually Tesco fans but we have to give stars to this one. The upper storey is reached by a sort of flattened escalator without steps, so you can take your trolley up with you. All the electric stuff and kids' clothing is upstairs and the downstairs main area is big. Although I mostly agree with Jill about some parts of the last Delia programme, her injunction to "scrutinise closely the frozen cabinets because things have changed" was worth following. You can't fault Tesco for jumping on a bandwagon - many items were labelled As recommended by Delia.

When we got home I thawed out 1½lb of excellent purple shin beef I had bought at Victoria Market last time we went to Nottingham and I prepared a quick stew which went into the slow-cook part of the Prestige with carrots, onions, leeks, etc., . I let it gurgle away happily on setting 1 which is around 90c for 5 hours. The result was as you would expect from a fine piece of shin, given loving care i.e. succulent, melt in the mouth with dessert-spoon worthy gravy. My mashed potato, with swede and 4 chopped up chives, plenty of butter and a glug of milk, just fitted the bill. Pinching Sandra's idea (post Delia) I made plenty of mashed potato and have frozen 2 left-over portions. We shall see !

This afternoon we finished off Y's National Trust minutes. My full title should be "The Secretary's PA". I first heard the term some years ago when I was writing an article and needed to use a David Bailey picture. When I rang and a lady answered, I asked "Is that David Bailey's secretary" to which I received the haughty reply "I am David's PA" and to top it all he wouldn't let me use it unless I paid him some exorbitant fee. Still, I suppose he's got to make a living.

So I am going to use a sepia version of the view from our bedroom window view just before we left Richmond. I know our Anniversary girl enjoys the occasional sepia anyway.

My David rang to say they had safely returned from their Norfolk caravan adventure, and adventure it sounded. They had thick snow on the site. Thick enough not only for a Snowman but also an Igloo. WoWee. There are several static vans on the site and a sort of Club-House where people gather. A Karaoke competition was staged and no prizes for guessing who won. Granddaughter Sky is now 'Park Idol 2008'. She is possessed of this wonderful self-confidence without being at all big-headed. Yet another certificate. David had sent me some photographs to my mobile-phone - unfortunately forgetting that mine had been pinched in London and my number is now different. Lets hope the phone-thief enjoys them. I'm sure I shall receive copies in due course.

Comments.....Bungus..... I did caution against too close a scrutiny of Festinger. The original full 'cognitive dissonance theory' was post-doctoral - book sized. The bit about "If a friend buys a yellow car, you will in the immediate future notice lots of yellow cars" is in there somewhere. We briefly covered some of it as part of Art History. But don't worry about it. I know of old that if somebody presents you with a piece of paper, you won't rest till you've read it to the end. Tha must nevva alter !

The Glen Ford movie I remember best is him teaching in a difficult School. Can't think of the title though but some nifty-googler will put me right.

Jill...... Y is with you about No.1 Detective Agency. Definitely a case where the viewers are right and the reviewers are wrong. Although Max Hastings (great chap) gave it the thumbs up. What a pity that future episodes won't have the Minghella influence.

Certainly agree with your criticism of Delia over fish. Except for her advice before serving to just seperate some centre flakes to ensure they are white and therefore fully cooked. Y and I don't like partly cooked translucent fish as per Jamie Oliver - although Bungus will be straight down our throats. As a Sushi lover I feel fish should either be raw or fully cooked, not halfway between. And I agree about not smothering the flavour with excessive sauces or dressing. Lidl do some excellent whole fish, frozen, i.e. Trout, Sea-bass. Sea Bream, and Salmon. With the Trout for-instance there are usually 4/5 smallish fish to the pack and quite a modest little pack of seasoning. We have been delighted with them.

She was right though to advise us to examine the frozen food cabinets closely because things have changed. They have - I was fascinated this morning. Vegetables I've never heard of - but we are always game to try.

Quotation time.... This caught my eye : >>>>>>>

"Living in a vacuum sucks"

I'm going WoW-ing tomorrow and, strangely, we know where we are going - to Arkwright's Mill at Cromford - apart from its photogenic qualities there is according to AnonymousReg, an Exhibition. The above link is to a smashing website - open the link and 'read all about it'

Before setting off though I have agreed to drop Y at the Tram terminal because she is going out with Steve and family and then I am to join her there for evening meal. Helen isn't going WoW-ing and unfortunately I can't offer Kevin a lift. He is going to make his own way to Reg's and we'll sort cars etc., out there, as usual.

.....We haven't counted the sheep, dog, or sheep-dog? for some time. So, sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Jill & Ro's Golden Wedding

What an absolutely super time we have had. The drive down was fine and we only encountered heavy traffic on The North Circular. It was fun to encounter Staples Corner again after a gap of 20+ years. Google maps took us to The Richmond Gate Hotel by the route I semi-remembered and, apart from the odd tower block and new apartment, landmarks kept appearing. As usual these days, I find that if I stop every 45 or so miles, even if I only circumnavigate the car, it eases my legs considerably. We were well equipt with an industrial size Thermos of coffee, plus sandwiches, kit-kats etc., - it isn't that we are mingy about service-area coffee, but we prefer sitting in the car with our own and people-watching, crossword doing, radio and tape listening and so on. Don Willams got us down to London and Andrea Bocelli got us back.

Picture 1 is the view from our bedroom. The room was not large but we were fine in it. We slept well both nights, even better than we do at home I suspect. Y coped with the snoring, grunting, and other things which afflict elderly gentlemen and apart from a little photo-downloading, my lappy stayed off. Good DAB radio signals and we both had plenty to read. Breakfasts were good although Sunday's was tepid at best.

The Golden Anniversary party food was marvellous and the whole event went off smoothly, and had been very well organised.

Picture 2 was from my wide-angle on self-timer with the camera left on a convenient flat bar - I didn't intend the trays of celebratory cakes to be so prominent but the snap conveys the general feel. We felt honoured to be seated at the table on the left with the happy couple. And they were happy too !

Roland is a real romantic at heart and spoke very movingly.

The next picture needed a little 'photoshoppery' - albeit fairly innocuous and not intended to mislead. The 'Happy 50th Anniversary banner' was well offstage right and not visible where they were standing. So, I've moved it ! All in the interests of a record shot of the occasion.

He had organised - 'all by himself' - as Jill put it, the Daily Telegraph announcement as pictured on the right And now, if I can organise it all on the same line, I'll insert a picture of them both.

Comments...... Necessarily my comments on comments are to be brief today because I don't want to fill my 'post' with too many extraneous bits.

AnonymousRob.... thanks for the 'cheese' poetry stuff. And I had previously heard of its sexual connotations.

Your offer of YouTube links is welcome because they aren't difficult to blog, as I hope the above Don Williams and Andre Bocelli links will demonstrate.

You should have received a link to The Lion Hotel under separate cover. If not, todays link is the 'beer by tram' one. Sounds like a good idea.

Bungus..... You are right about the laptop being verboten but a break is no bad thing. Especially when the Richmond Gate Wi-fi was £6 per hour ! Anyway I had given Y an undertaking and I certainly wasn't going to renege.

Your 'if you talk about something' you go on to see several instances of it in the near future phenomenon, is well known and appears in the dark recesses of 'Festinger's Theory of Cognitive Dissonance' but please don't wade through it. Just take my word for it. If nothing else, it is a nice conversation-stopper if you ever need one.

AnonymousReg...... I will e-mail you with Bungus's e-mail and send your to him.

No quotation. Just a reminder:-

Blog reading advice - New readers ...... Pleased to learn of some new readers and the following notes may be helpful.
  • Left click on a picture and an enlarged version will appear in a new window. After viewing click the green 'back' arrow, top left of page , and you will be returned to the body of the blog.
  • Anything in orange and underlined will be a live link. If you left click it you will be whisked away to an appropriate website/page. To return to the blog follow the same procedure as for pictures.
  • n.b. I publish no 'links' that haven't been given a 'virus free' health check by McAfee.
  • If you want to leave a 'comment' (and they are always welcome) you need to scroll down the post, right to the bottom and click on the word 'comments' - again in orange and very insignificant looking.
  • When you have the 'comments' window open scroll down to the comments box at the bottom of the page. Click the Anonymous button and write your comment in the rectangular box. It is much appreciated if you put a brief name or identifier (needn't even be truthful) at the bottom of your comment. Otherwise I become confused.
I hope you have all been 'sleeping tight' without my daily injunction. And that Magwitch has kept his distance. Fellow WoW 'snapper' Roy has had his hip operation and is back home and everything seems OK. Perhaps Reg could update us with a 'comment'.

Hope to catch you tomorrow when things should be back to normal .


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Burton Joyce Day - Meal at Brinsley Lodge

I was paused in traffic this morning on the A610, behind this German lorry, after dropping Y off at the Phoenix Park tram terminal. No problem at all this morning. It has been so bad, that I think now, everyone is avoiding it. Hence no problem.

A short blog is planned because I have to pack for tomorrow's adventure and also I need a good night's sleep. It is a bad weather forecast and also the M1 is expected to be bad. We shall get there though, and enjoy the jaunt. After I picked Y up from Burton Joyce we had our evening meal at Brinsley Lodge and a far cry from a £3.50p carvery. It was good and much improved since our last visit a couple of years ago. The smoking ban has definitely improved the place. Before, the downstairs was a bar area and very smoky, which you had to traverse to reach the restaurant upstairs.

Comments.....Bungus.....Yesterdays Picture 1 was the corner of The Theatre Royal and adjoining it The Royal Centre which, as far as I remember Jill, was built in the 70s but I could be wrong.

And thanks for identifying the glass-work in Picture 2 as 'acid edged panes'. I realised they were something special, hence the snap but it is good to learn these things.

Re Garry. No, it isn't Garry Cox.

And I don't know 'asafoetida' at all. My Shorter Oxford dictionary defines it as belonging to the 'Ferula assafoetida' family. Now that sounds like something smelly on the end of your walking stick. I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that this is where the word 'foetid' comes from?

I like your epigrammatic poem about Parmesan. You have filled a gap. I'll write to Chesterton.

Jill..... Looking forward so much to seeing you and Ro on Saturday and to the weekend in general.

n.b. If the Richmond Gate Hotel is a Wi-Fi hotspot I might post a blog over the weekend. But, if it isn't I don't plan to go searching for one. Hence there won't be a blog-post till late on Sunday, or on Monday. You could always have conversations amongst yourselves of course, as you did before. See you soon.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stocking the Office and Minutes etc.

A trip to Nottingham for several reasons. Y needed to book a rail-ticket, return books to Bromley House and other bits and pieces.

I wanted to have a look at current styles of filing stuff, to accommodate our National Trust documents. Now we have these new responsibilities our present system of 'bung it in a folder and hope to find it whenever' was not going to be good enough. So I bought an accordion type folder, a box file, and a translucent A4 box with elasticated bands round it. And this afternoon I spent a couple of hours 'filing'.

Then we tackled Y's minutes and I was impressed with the thoroughness of her notes. She has lost none of her skills I've e-mailed our chairman a draft copy. It was my intention to produce a draft hard copy but my printer is still playing silly boggers and, from the Word 2003 document, clicking print only elicits an offer to 'save' it again, in My Documents. I eventually got it to print by making the document a 'google document' but it can't seem to manage the columns for the treasurer's report.

I shall get there never fear. But it will prolly be next week when we return from Jill's thrash at The Richmond Gate. The main thing is that we both really enjoyed doing it.

Picture 1 is about 50yds from where the tram dropped me (Y stayed on for the railway station) and I succeeded in straightening the foreground lamp-post in Photoshop (it had barrelled badly). Picture 2 is one I might use in my next years talk, to demonstrate the subtle difference between the 'rule of thirds' and 'the golden section'.

Comments...... Bungus.... Thanks for the additional info about the cockpit. My question now is "Why use the term for that bit of an aircraft the pilot sits in?"

We are not aubergine fans either. I love black pudding in all its different guises. Y vows that she intends going to her death without having tasted it, even once. I think you are right too, about its late arrival on the full english - breakfast plate.

p.s...Thanks for the hard-copy articles. The Zaha Hadid was a good read. Strange piece about Delia wasn't it? Obviously the interviewer didn't like Delia and her feelings were reciprocated. Fancy asking Dela to sign her copy of the book (naff anyway - you know my views) and then wingeing because Delia put an 'e' on Lynne when she shouldn't have done.

Bungus and Rob....Re foreign languages.... someone once advised me to phrase a question so that it elicits the reply Yes or No. i.e. "Is this the way to the bus-station please?" and definitely not "Could you please tell me the way to the bus-station". Another tip, from personal experience this time, is - if you have to address a conference or something where multi-lingual translation is taking place, don't tell a joke. The English speaking delegations will laugh straight away and you carry on, but 3 seconds later the French delegation start laughing, and then 2 seconds after that, the Finnish delegation and so on, and you have no chance of holding your 'thread' together.

Rob.... Thanks for the Russian paragraph. I always think that Russian looks so good on the page. Is it cyrillic script? I think it was derived from Greek and it certainly has that sort of look about it. Re Garry..... I don't expect, nor wish, to be best chums. If I had been in his position I think I would have collected my papers together and left.

Some of the other people seem frightened of him, but as I said to Y "I've thrown bigger men out of pubs". or even البعض الآخر من الناس بل يبدو خائفا منه ، ولكن كما قلت لy "لقد قمت القيت اكبر من الرجال من اصل الحانات".

Your memory serves you well re the parmesan. I think it makes any dish smell of sick and we prefer finely grated cheddar. The Walagata file-hosting site does as you suggest. Your files are not removed from your hard disc; you copy them to Walagata. The site also gives your file an http: reference, which of course you can then insert in any web-based document. I don't think Reg has the programme but I can thoroughly recommend it. It is completely reliable and it's quite surprising how often I use it. So much handier to do a link to Banksy's 'flower chucker' rather than having to attach a file to a document. Honestly, best idea is pop round and it will take me just 2 minutes to demonstrate.

Reg.... thanks for the further info on The Dancing Slipper. And thanks for the WoW update. I was sorry to miss it because I think you had the sunshine. Paths in woods, and old buildings not visible from the road sounds good too. Can't see any reason why I shan't be there on Wed 26th, bright eyed and bushy tailed etc..

Definitely time for a Quotation today ....amusing and thought-provoking.....

"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese"

G. K. Chesterton

He is quite right. Lots of jokes, but very little poesy.

Burton Joyce day tomorrow. No camera-club due to Easter. And then off down the M1 on Friday. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomrrow.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Both tired - National Trust Committee Meeting

Today was our big day at the Mansfield Chapter of The National Trust so I have no 'taken today' photographs to show.

Picture 1 is a corner of Melbourne Church taken in right sun on our WoW day there. An excellent corner I think for Magwitch to leap out from. Although the Church is old, the building in the shadows looks very old indeed.

Little needs to be said about the Chip Cob picture. I think we could publish 'The Chip Cob guide to the East Midlands' we could no doubt obtain a grant and I feel the book would sell.

Not a project for me though, or Y, because since this morning I am Vice Charman and she is Secretary. She had already agreed to be Minutes Secretary but one thing led to another.......

The election for Vice-Chairman was interesting and showed the need to do some spade work. When the Chairman reached the Office my proposer immediately proposed me and my seconder at once 'seconded'. No-one offered to propose Gary, so he self-proposed himself, and then couldn't find a seconder. So I was returned 'by default' as it were.

The meeting was lively but useful. Our new committee members Val and Ron did extremely well. Val was interested in and has agreed to serve as Membership Secretary and Ron is going to help with the raffles, very important now that Y has other responsibilities; he is also going to join the 'Outings' Sub Committee and will offer a welcome helping hand to Jean.

With all this happening we want to spend the morning tomorrow sorting out Nat Trst matters and I shall have to opt out of WoW tomorrow. Reg fully understands and it was good to hear on the phone more details of his and Maureen's tutoring week in The Wye Valley (see his previous comments) and I'm sure his students learnt a lot.

Comments......Jill.....I'm so glad that Magwitch is still hiding at the back of Melbourne Church. He won't get you in Chiswick ...... With sorrow I have to agree with you about Delia. I can make a good bolognese sauce in half the time. Quickly brown some mince and a diced onion, pour over a jar of bol. sauce mix, add an additional pinch of oregano and either oven-top it, stick it in the oven, or micro-wave it while you are doing the spag.

And while it is always a pleasure to see Sister Wendy Beckett I am not at all interested in Delia's devotions. But Y disagrees feeling it added to a 'rounded' programme.

Bungus....... The purple-sprouting in Lidl is good. It is a veg that doesn't keep and theirs is self-evidently very fresh.

The Dancing Slipper was, as has been described, on Central Avenue, and this is a recent picture of the site. I can't attribute the picture to an author because it was simply on a site about WestBridgford. Suffice it to say that it isn't mine, except to say that I cropped it and therefore made some contribution.

Even though never a jazz buff I have heard of most of the names that have been mentioned. I must confess to thinking that Clinton Ford had a great voice. It was my hope to produce a link to a YouTube video of him singing but I failed so the above link will have to do.

'No' to the new TV question. We have been thinking of buying a new one for at least 2 years but the current one is around 12 years old and we acquired it because Radio Rental made us an offer we couldn't refuse when we ended our contract with them. I don't think they thought it was worth sending a van for it. But it has been a good telly.

Congratulations on your Radio Nottingham spot. Can you post a link to the 'cockpit' piece ?

AnonymousRob...... Your French seems pretty good to me. I failed 'O' level and had to retake it in the November, for potential university entrance requirements.

Re the babes. My picture is stored in my Walagata account but should get you to it. My method of cribbing icons pictures and links etc is to right-click anything I fancy, then 'save as' and it goes into My Pictures where one can use it at will. What I do then is to upload it to my Walagata account, that stores it and accords it an http: etc..... ref, whereupon I can then insert it online via either the link system, or the insert picture method. Perhaps easiest if, next time you come round (soon I hope) I can physically show you.

I use my Walagata Account alot and their plus plan works out at less than £5 a year. Plenty of storage capacity for photos, icons, word documents, videos, anything you choose to store.

Jill...... Haven't you all seen some fascinating people. Y and I really want to see Willie Nelson during his forthcoming tour. The nearest to us is Manchester... but we are thinking about it. I managed to find a YouTube this time of him live. I guess Ro might like it.

I've rambled on too long. Catch you tomorrow.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Blood Test - Nails day - New TV

Picture 1 is the tree opposite our front gates. I publish it because all trees at this time of year seem to stand smartly to attention (vivid imagination in action again). Whether it's the sap rising or something, but all the twigs and branches seem slightly more vigorously upright than they did a month ago.

If anyone agrees I would value the support because mostly folk think I've finally flipped when I raise the point.

Picture 2 is to show you the middle conifer at the rear where the thrush sings his version of Matins. Please see yesterday's lead picture.

A busy day - a blood test first thing and the doctor later rang me to say my kidney function is now much improved and I'm to stop taking the Spironolactone she prescribed earlier.

I'm proud of myself with my Vehicle Excise Licence renewal. I succeeded in renewing it online ! Very easy system, you just have to follow the instructions. Betting than standing for ages in a Post Office queue. Given that you could find a Post Office that is!

Then over to Carlton for Y's 'nails' and instead of lunch at The Cheesecake Shop we went into town to John Lewis. Our purpose was to buy a nest of little tables which Y had spotted and, while we were there we also bought a new TV, a Samsung LCD, HD model and we loved the look of it and a great picture. Can't be delivered for around 10 days but we aren't really in a hurry.

Comments.....Jill.... Here's hoping that Magwitch has pretty well left you alone today. And I'm sure you are right about the siskin being a green finch.

Haslet is a cooked meat which some consider a delicacy.

Research seems certain it originated in Linconshire at least the linked page considers it so. Here is a picture:-

I'm not abit surprised the Mail on Sunday had a go at Delia and said her chocolate cupcakes cost £11. They are determined to 'get' her - I think because she dares be critical of modern poncy chefs. My money is still on Delia anyway. I'll be really pleased to know how you get on with the mini-chopper. They sound useful.

Quotation time......This doesn't come from an anthology of quotations but from a book of mine by Roland Barthes and is similar to my thoughts about trees standing to attention. He says :-

"Sometimes I would mention this amazement, but since no one seemed to share it, nor even to understand it (life consists of these little touches of solitude), I forgot about it"

Translated by Richard Howard. AnonymousRob prolly reads him in the original French !!

A Karen day tomorrow, and for us the first National Trust Committee Meeting at 10am. Officers are to be decided and I think I'm going to have to stand for election to the Vice Chair against Garry. I have taken the trouble to find a proposer and a seconder and have elicited some prior commitments of support. So. We shall see !

Hoping for a Magwitch free night all round and I'll catch you tomorrow.

For the football fans I've decided to republish the 'babes'.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

RPS day - Trams - Young Thrush

We arrived home from our 'young-person sitting' around 2.30am and both considered it quite an adventure. Driving home in a heavy storm required the windscreen wipers on no.3 or 'frantic' setting. I can't recall ever needing it before.

Picture 1 was taken a couple of days ago and merely shows a young looking song thrush at the top of quite a tall conifer and a nearby siskin, I think?

I set all sorts of alarms because I didn't want to miss my RPS day and I'm glad I didn't. The first lecturer was Martin Thompson and his work was thought provoking. If you go to his ArtyMartin website you will see examples of his work. When the site is open click on one of the images, and then on the resultant page click 'Archives' and you can have a browse around. Unfortunately, and not is fault, the hall was freezing cold and the equipment played up. So, when they stopped for a tea-break at 12.10pm I made my apologies and came home. I had more or less intended to give Dave Butcher in the afternoon a miss anyway. Without leaping straight to 'comments' I must at this point reassure AnonymousRob that none of my remarks should be construed as an assault on monochrome art in general or darkrooms in particular. The artistic merit of what can be achieved in those fascinating places goes without saying. But I personally don't intend to set up a darkroom again and do that sort of work. As I think he understands, I am intrigued by and fully intend to explore and learn about what can be achieved digitally. His comments about Dave Butcher's own work echo my views precisely.

Picture 2 is a case-in-point. A completely pseud Infrared - a technique which deserves more investigation.

TJ came for and ate with relish, her chicken casserole served with brussels, purple sprouting, mashed potato and carrots. When I went to my chives bed for 4 leaves to chop and cheer up 'the mashed' I could hardly find any. But a few have survived. And so Bungus can still regale people with how I once sent him down the garden for 1 chive leaf. I didn't need much so decided on frugality. He has however 'dined out' on the story. The casserole was even nicer today than it was yesterday. But, as we have previously noted, a night in the fridge usually has an advantageous effect.

Comments.......Mp3 eMp4...... I haven't yet had time to read your blog. But thanks for your supportive remarks.

Reg...... Glad you had a good time in the Wye Valley but sorry about the electicity. I hope you weren't reliant on gas to power Maureen's laptop or projectors and stuff. I didn't have the pleasure of seeing Stephan Grapelli at the Dancing Slipper at West Bridgford. But I did see Lonnie Donnegan there. For Rob's benefit it was above a garage and some shops on Central Avenue and did indeed have an excellent reputation. Although not in the same league as Grapelli, I also saw Kenny Ball there. It was going srong in the late 50s and onwards I understand until the 70s.

Bungus...... Understated it is then. Less is more! Mies van de Rohe lives ! Glad you enjoyed the Shelley Winters quote. She was the classic 'more than a pretty face' I also enjoyed her "Where do you go to get anorexia?" remark.

'Famous Seamus' is indeed a major poet and would have graced our Laureate's chair much more than its present incumbent. Unfortunately I guess that nationality rules him ineligible. Poetry abounds and I was fortunate enough to catch a John Hegley half hour recently. In performance he takes some beating.

Jill........ Glad to have a comment from you. And that Magwitch, having popped out, popped back in again. Pain is a pain 'innit?. Looking forward so much to seeing you at the weekend, and to renewing my acquaintance with The Richmond Gate.

AnonymousRob...... Haslet varies a good deal but, so long as it isn't dried out, I like it. Lets have one of our pronunciation threads. Erewash Valley goes for "Az let" and remains one of the comparatively cheap cooked meats. Tongue which they almost used to throw away is now pricey. Pleased your restoring is nearing completion and snaps will be welcomed - and 'blogged' , because your restoration has captured our interest.

Nice chat to David this mornng and he sent me some family photographs including the School Dragon which I would love to blog, but hesitate because other parents might be huffy and I respect their position. He is now on holiday but Sky and Brooke aren't - one of the problems of living on the Notts/Derbys border.

Blood test in the morning and the Doctor as well, apart from that and Y's 'Nails' day we have nothing planned. Might go to The Cheesecake Shop for lunch, 'cos we always enjoy that. Sleep tight and a Magwitch free night all round.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Young person sitting at Burton Joyce

Still clutching my Sigma, I am now over at Burton Joyce and in a different kitchen. We are young-person sitting (they aren't really babies anymore) because Steven and Lisa have gone to a Ball. Proper black-tie and gown job. They have gone with a group of friends from the village and were collected by minibus - a very sensible arrangement in these strict driving/alcohol times.

Tomorrow is our regular Royal Photographical Society (East Midlands Region) meeting at Ravenshead starting at 10.30am. We have Martin Thompson from Chesterfield in the morning and Dave Butcher in the afternoon. I have recently seen a Dave Butcher exhibition and he is a very good 'darkroom monochrome' specialist but without intending any disrespect, I might make my apologies at lunchtime........ having no intention of returning to that sort of photography. Leaving at halftime would suit me, because not only will I be tired out after today but TJ is coming over in the afternoon and would like to be fed. It just so happens - here is a chicken casserole I made earlier.

Comments.....It looks Bungus, as if you were by yourself comment-wise yesterday. So thanks. The blog would look scantily dressed with no comments at all. Glad you like the look of the furniture - understated is the look we seek.

The marrowfat peas were whole, and tinned, and delicious again.

Jill...... even without a comment, we are thinking of you ! and hope you aren't suffering too much. Pain can hide for a day or two and then reappear with a vengeance. Like Magwitch jumping out from behind the gravestone! ..... And you've got to be OK for next weekend.

AnonymousRob....... You will be far too busy, seeing you are weekend-off.

Other readers..... I know you are out there. Don't be shy. Leave a comment.

Quotation time.....

"I think on-stage nudity is disgusting, shameful and damaging to all things American. But if I were 22 with a great body, it would be artistic, tasteful, patriotic and a progressive religious experience"

Hope everyone enjoys a good night's sleep. Sorry ! It's that train again


Friday, March 14, 2008

Blood Test - Fish & Chips - Rest Day

Wanted to show you the Ikea table & chairs, and use my 'why dangle' lens at the same time.

Blood test this morning and follow up with the Doctor on Monday. My ankles haven't ballooned again although I am very unsteady. Need to be travel-fit for next weekend because we are going to Jill and Roland's Golden Wedding Anniversary. It is being held in The Richmond Gate Hotel which is well known to me, at least it was 22yrs ago because Joint Central Committee members of The Police Federation used to stay there for meetings at Surbiton. The Federation HQ is just the other side of Richmond Park. I don't know if Jill remembers but once, when Y was with me, we invited Jill and some friends over for afternoon tea.

Cooked classic battered Haddock, chips, and marrowfat peas for lunch and it was a success. Y has done lots of washing and housework and I actually went down to the end of the footpath and cut back the overhang of a conifer about which someone complained to The Council. It didn't take me long with my big rip-saw and I enjoyed being in the fresh air and doing something physical for a change. A lovely morning and it was a pleasure to be outdoors.

Then I have done a lot of tidying up, sorting books, and rearranging my office and bedroom slightly. Is it spring fever do you think?

Comments.....We have all enjoyed your Hospital account Jill. As you say yourself the minutiae of life is more interesting than politics and world events. Your 'clothes problem' can surely be overcome simply by not getting dressed ! Or cadge one of Ro's pyjama jackets. Also, as Bungus says, and I can testify - enjoy the morphine if you need it again - you might as well get some pleasure out of the NHS. And keep away from the caps and exclamation marks !! Think e.e.cummings. I rejected the Wikipedia link because they used upper-case E. E. Cummings which he would have hated.

Bungus..... As requested a link to The Northern College an excellent institution where both Bungus and I, in varied hats, have spent some happy and fruitful times. The courses nowadays are social work, and vocationally orientated but, f you keep a wary eye on the brochure, there are other things as well.

Re the mincers. I have a fading mental picture of the maker's name embossed on my Mum's. It will come to me in the middle of the night whereupon I shall e-mail you.

Thanks for the pi information. I probably now know more than I need about the subject - personally I prefer the sort than you put in the oven.

Quotation time..........

"Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it"

Andre Gide

I know that from time to time I recommend ArtDaily for people who might want to keep uptodate with the Art world. If you subscribe to their newsletter a pleasant e-mail gently alights in your inbox every day. At the moment there is so much in there. Sale of Ansell Adams photographs, a Jeff Koons Exhibition in Chicago etc.. And if you open their homepage and scroll right down to the last item there are usually 3 interesting if eccentric videos. A little gem today is Grappelli & Menuhin playing 'Jealousy' live on the BBC introduced by Parky.

Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow. We are baby-sitting at Burton Joyce while Steven and Lisa go to a 'ball'.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Burton Joyce day - Camera Club

Our EPS evening was about sharing our 'photoshopping' from 8 images we had been given (all had the same) and we could add things of our own. Please click here to see the pictures we all started off with. I only wish I could do you a link to everyone's pictures because there were many memorable images. People had used Photoshop techniques I still need to master. As you know I am anti using PS to pass off images which have been faked as original photos but this 'creating pictures' seems fine and doesn't offend me.

People had been resourceful and the humour delighted us all. There was much laughter! Sometimes it sounded like a tap-room again. Can't be bad. And Reg and Roy deserve compliments for the images for us to work on. The picture of 'Duggie at Tripod' (Roy's) caught almost everyone's imagination.

Pictures 1 and 2 are my finished images.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, it was a fairly normal Thursday. The A610 is too bad to contemplate so I took Y to the Hucknall tram terminal. Adjacent is a large Tesco, so I did some shopping prior to our usual Friday/Saturday blitz. I then messed-about until it was time to collect Y from Burton Joyce. I had time to read some stories to Millicent and her chortles of laughter when I 'do' the voices are reward enough.

Even though Tesco isn't our favourite supermarket this one has recently been effectively doubled in size by the creation of another floor reached by an airport style belt rather than the normal stepped escalator. So you can go upstairs with your trolley.

I had a mooch round for some 'Delia recommended stuff' but could only find a couple of items. The checkout girl said lots of folks complained they couldn't find things. I said it might be a good idea to collect together the Delia stuff all in one location in the store. My suspicion is that her programme will prove such a success that the idea would be worthwhile. It doesn't quite merit the status of Idea 6,329 though.

Brian has fixed my printer. Apparently the yellow ink nozzle was completely blocked and needed clearing plus the heads, and then he reset the whole thing. I got him to admit that he had spent two and a half hours on it. But he wouldn't take a penny. As I told him, that is worth any amount of WoW lifts etc. It is a great aspect of our club that people are pleased to help each-other.

Comments......AnonymousRob....I'm glad we have sorted out the misunderstanding over 'requests' because generally I'm only to pleased. There remains a few people who I wouldn't 'p*** on if they were on fire' - but you aren't one of them.

Like you I remember my Mum using a hand mincer screwed on the side of a table. I couldn't find an exact replica and this is the best I could do. The resultant mince was used to make 'rissoles' - do people still make them ? they were a favourite of mine and I must unearth a recipe. Perhaps 'Old Scrote' - see issues passim. Inevitably, when in his cups and out of my Mum's earshot, my Dad would tell a joke about somebody calling them 'pissoles' only to be corrected "I think you will find it's an 'r' not a 'p'" which elicited "Alright then 'arseholes' if you insist". I apologise for the vulgarity but it is a true story.

Y's cough is much improved. And she thanks everyone for their sympathy.

Jill is home and everything went well. She e-mailed me and gave 'blog' permission, so I intend to publish her e-mail as a comment on this post.

Bungus..... Thanks for the praise ! You must be going soft !

Jill...... Strangely enough, I prefer my stick blender to the full-size one. I'm now on my second; the first cracked around the blade. The current one, a Moulinex, is quite excellent and has two speeds which is a handy feature. I tend to use the slower setting because the fast one has a tendency to project stuff onto the kitchen wall. I guess it would be handy if mixing cement perhaps.

Your point, echoed by Bungus, that Delia isn't really cooking to a budget at all, is quite correct. I suppose I am just a diehard fan.

Quotation time.......

"The only reason I made a commercial for American Express was to pay for my American Express bill.

Peter Ustinov

Now there was a polymath if ever there was one. I miss him.

Another blood test tomorrow but generally a quiet day is planned. Catch you tomorrow.