Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Carphone Warehouse boo! - Rob and Photoshop hurrah!

We've been so busy today there's been little time for taking pictures. So, I am pleased to use a lovely tulip by Helen. And as she knows I approve 100% of the good hint of environment as against the gaussian-blur effect favoured by NEMPF etc.

Carphone Warehouse were superficially helpful but, when I got home, I found the same problem persists. i.e. I've only got a balance of £1.35p as against £11.35pm. The lad claimed to have linked the top-up card to my new phone but I am suspicious and loath to top-up another £10 in case that doen't work either. So - another trip to Nottingham tomorrow.

Reg rang to draw my attention to a V & A Exhibition of Contemporary Photography which is at Nottingham Castle from Sat 3rd May to Sun 15th June. He felt, correctly, that it might be 'my sort of thing'. Unfortunately the Castle drive is being repaired and there may be 'access problems' for the disabled. Whatever problems there are, I shall overcome them.

As you will see from Picture 2 Basil Rooting is awaiting a visit tomorrow, from his second cousin twice removed, Basil Potting. And Reg and Maureen are first in line for a plant.

This evening I enjoyed a Photoshop session with AnonymousRob and not only did I learn lots we jointly made discoveries. Always a good thing. I was having trouble with the 'replace colour' tool and while we were in there we discovered an excellent way of producing a realistic-looking infra red image. While I was making coffee Rob wrote a comprehensive note.

Y meanwhile listened to the Chelsea v Liverpool match on Radio 5live. A real 'nailbiter' apparently and Chelsea narrowly triumphed.

Comments..... AnonymousRob ..... Your 'wheels' modifications have merit. I'd already considered a tripod device and the easiest way could be to attach my monopod firmly to one of the down supports. If then fitted with a ball/swivel head I would be ready for anything. And my brolly fixed to the other leg and I could cope with bright sun followed by heay rain. Like today for instance.

Still talking radio, as a boy I used to listen in bed to Luxembourg (mentioned later by Bungus) on an early portable. One of the first 'hits' I can actually remember was 'Bewitched, bothered and bewildered'. The first mention of it I could find was 1944, which is about right, I would be 9yrs.

Bungus ...... I am glad you feel better from your nasty sounding chest pain. Although it only lasted 5 minutes I sincerely feel that you should seek medical advice. Ditto the walking headfirst into the wall.

Re trees..... I would like a good picture of the tree whose leaves have an almost silver reverse. They are coming into leaf right now. I used to thnk they were 'Hornbeam' but now I'm not sure

Thanks for the further Old Spot stuff and the 'gentle correction' over the architecture.

Humpf's 'double-entendres' at Samantha's expense were indeed legendary. Perhaps now someone will publish a selection and I could put it on my Xmas list.

Hannah ..... Thank you very much for the information about the bird house and the nesting birds. Grandma tells me that there are eggs and your Dad has rigged up a webcam. can't wait to see some results. Sorry I kept putting you off on Google Chat, but it was while Rob was here.

....... Tomorrow evening is Presentation Night at EPS, and should be fun. Elaine has a prize to collect and I am expecting that a great time will be had by all. Good buffet, good food, and pictures to look at, what could be better?

This Yogi Berra quote appealed .....

"This is like deja vu all over again"

I wonder if he actually did say them all - or whether some are 'attributed?


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bestwood Park - Old Spot Daybrook

We managed our little adventure to Bestwood Park without getting drenched although it was a close thing. Joan was ready and waiting and when we arrived at the country park the ladies set off immediately on their ramble while I went into the Hotel for a coffee and a look at the crossword. I had just gone outside again to take a snap of the following tree when Bungus arrived.

Equipped with my wheels we ventured quite a way into the woods but the rain was a constant threat.

The 'wheels' are a mixed blessing. They make a tripod of 'wheels' and one's legs, and thereby confer a great feeling of stability. The downside is that some people react to you as if you are mentally disabled as well. Sandra tells the story of being in a shoe-shop in her wheelchair when her pal was asked "What size does she take then?"

Y advises its use during an actual activity like a walk, but to use a walking stick in pubs etc. And I suspect she may be right. If I fall over in a pub they will just have to pick me up again won't they?

When we met up back at the car we decided against sandwiches at the Hotel (there was obviously a conference of 'suits') and we didn't really fit in. So instead we went to The Old Spot in Daybrook which used to be a favourite watering-hole where Fletch, Dai Jones, Steve Bowley and I used to meet regularly. People used to call it the Home Brewery Tap because it was just on the opposite side of the road from the brewery. Legend had it that a pipe under the road connected directly from the brewery to the pub's hand-pumps.

Next door is the old Daybrook Laundry, due for demolition. So some time ago Bungus came over to photograph it. Although mere mortals consider the building ugly it is apparently an important example of 1930's industrial architecture. If any of that sentence is incorrect I feel sure that I shall be gently corrected. Instead of sandwiches we all decided on the 'scampi and chips' at 2 for £5 and jolly good it was too.

So as not to be anti-social I am watching this in the big room, where Y is watching and enjoying the big match. I've just noticed a Barcelona player with 'DECO' on his shirt. Would that be Art Deco by any chance?

Comments.....Bungus ...... I think now you have actually seen my 'wheels' you will realise that pillion is not a possibility.

You really must keep up with 'tree of the week.' Weeping-willow was last week, Silver-birch this week, and by next week it will no doubt be Horse-Chestnut. I always love the 'candles' but can never remember whether the red ones precede the white or vice versa?

anonymousrob ............Thanks for the research which yielded a meaning of 'sough' (pronounced suff) which wasn't wildly at odds with my boyhood understanding as a drain. My mother's family were all miners living in the Stonebroom. Morton, Stretton Top, Clay Cross areas and it was there I learnt the word.

I'm really enjoying the old radio show correspondence. And I am old enough to remember the BBC being The Home Service, The Light Programme and the Third Programme.

My Dad used to think himself very witty when he used to call it 'Sing Something Sinful' on Sunday night.

Reg ...... Thanks for the 'nickle' jingle. And re your comment 2 days ago, not only do I remember Much Binding in The Marsh extremely well, when we next meet I will sing you the opening phrases of the theme tune.

I tried to track down a YouTube of Much Binding ...... Someone might have had some archive footage - but no luck!

The big match has just finished and my lady wife says it was good, and a RESULT. More detail can be expected tomorrow I'm sure, from The Sports Desk.

I've decided against WoW-ing tomorrow. I'm in a mess with my mobile phone and need to go to Carphone Warehouse. It will be cheaper to go to Nottingham than to use their 0870 number. The problem is that I topped it up from my phonecard, but WRONG phonecard, and I am sure that whoever stole my phone in February, will be pleased to find that he/she has just acquired a £10 top-up. I realise that I can't recover that, but I can't work out which top up card fits which phone. Y has an identical model.

But we are both definitely going to EPS on Thursday night for the Presentation Evening - plus buffet !

...... I hope I haven't forgotten anything....... Catch you tomorrow..!


Monday, April 28, 2008

Evening sky - Silver Birch - another storm

This was last night's dusk after the storm, hardly tweaked just cropped. And today, after lunch we had another very bad storm with petits pois sized hailstones, standing water and everything. The roadside drain outside neighbour Derek's never seems to be able to cope, however much he helpfully pokes it. Eventually the water dissipated.

A Derbyshire dialect word for that type of drain used to be a 'suff' but I have no idea of its derivation. Maybe someone else knows?

Morrisons for essentials and then I cooked a stir-fry for lunch. Computer time has been spent transferring loads of pictures onto my external hard disk in order to free up my laptop somewhat. Not only had I too little space on my laptop hard-disk but it was becoming very sluggish. Whereupon a good clear-out is always recommended.
For the past few days during my travels, I have been keeping my eye open for the definitive 'Silver Birch' (Betula) to illustrate the lovely poem for children which begins -

"The silver birch is a dainty lady
she wears a satin gown......"

By Elizabeth Nesbitt

Then I realised I didn't have to go far - just to the end of the drive and point my camera over the football field for a very ladylike example.

Tomorrow morning, unless rained off, Y and Joan plan to do their Bestwood Park walk (meet in Pub Car Park at 10.45am) and if Bungus feels up to it he is going to join us. He can hold onto one of the handlebars of my wheels. Easy-Rider or what?

What's the betting that within 30 yards of Bestwood Lodge Hotel Car Park I am surrounded by groves of magnificent Silver Birch trees?

Comments.....Bungus.... Thanks, as always. But I can find little to comment on. I must be cracking up. If the 'helping hand' people do incorporate my design idea, without slipping me a few notes, I shall do very little of the 'basking in satisfaction' - more of the grumpy letters and suggestions of legal action.

The RadioNottm quote is very unfair on accountants. I have known several accountants who are lively people and, especially if of the 'chartered' variety, very attractive to women if for no other reason than their wealth.

If you've not listened to radio since the 50s, how do you know about Mornington Crescent?

AnonymousRob ....... If misled over the 'pinhole' position you needn't apologise because I am fascinated with the technique and can't wait etc., Please bring the Magnolia Tree with you when you come because I'm keen to see it in the flesh so to speak. I think Bungus is quite wrong, and the image to me seems, as I said, remarkably 3D. Perhaps experimenting with the distance of the 'pinholed' body cap from the sensor could yield results more similar to film. Extension tubes or a bog-roll core spring to mind.

I agree with most of the old radio shows although I was never a big Goon Show fan. And having since learnt that Prince Charles is a fan makes me happy that I wasn't. All the Kenneth Horne shows were good. The earliest I think was 'Much binding in the Marsh' with Richard Murdoch.

For different current radio comedy I've got to recommend the Garrison Keillor show late Saturday early Sunday on Radio 7. If you ever were a Lake Wobegon fan you need to catch up on what has been happening.

...... Cheers folks. Catch you tomorrow all being well. Sleep tight.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rob's 'cyanotype' pinhole - RG's Idea 6,329

This is a 'pinhole' picture of a magnolia tree, by Rob Palmer BA(Hons) ARPS. Printed digitally in cyanotype. All potentially acquisitive and occasional readers please read the © copyright notes at the head of the left-hand column.

The image intrigues me. Such depth, even with the tree against a wall, and it is difficult to believe the picture is two-dimensional. It resembles a three-dimensional model in a shallow, glass -fronted display case. Rob draws our attention to Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day . The subject is very interesting. Must have a go! I guess it would be possible digitally - a body cap with a pinhole in it ...... etc., etc. Anyway - Congratulations !

I haven't been idle and came up with bright idea 6,329 ! The other day I dropped my 'helping hand' which has been thoughtfully provided by the disability people, and it caused me a major problem ! i.e. Nothing to pick it up with.

What it needs, I reasoned, is a wrist-strap similar to the ones Joan made for my walking sticks.

In the picture you will see at the bottom, the 'helping hand' as supplied. The copy image above it (I've photoshopped the strap in) shows the redesigned device. I have sent the idea, accompanied by the picture, to the manufacturers with a paragraph saying, if they use it, a couple of quid will come in very handy !

The weather has done its best to be April - we have had an aluminium saucepan coloured sky, followed by bright sun, followed by heavy rain and then a violent 'donner und blitzen' storm. And finally a dramatic sunset - maybe a picture tomorrow.

This morning I decided to pursue Jill and Ro and found they've arrived at Gran Canaria so I 'saved' guessing it might be dark if I looked around 'blog-time'.

The picture makes you realise how enormous the ship is when the bridge-camera apparently looks down onto the roofs of 6-storey buildings near the quayside. And the normal sized boat at its moorings looks like a child's toy.

Hope Jill is enjoying her holiday, but we are missing her from our 'comments' column.

Comments..... Bungus ..... Even as a Derbyshire lad, I do agree about Nottinghamshire scenery. A little understated - but that suits me fine! And I'm glad you enjoyed Dorket Head. Following the success of yesterday's ramble Y and Joan want to have a meander in Bestwood Park soon. That will suit me. Plenty of trees and flowers and grass, and a good pub to boot.

Internet and download speeds can be notoriously tedious at the weeked, or early evening, when everybody is trying to get onto the web. You must just be patient.

White honesty is not that uncommon. As you will see from Mr. Fothergill's website he is quite willing to sell you a packet of mixed seeds. But why pay £1.70p, when Joan is intent on petty theft? And I am quite happy to act as 'fence'.

Reg ..... I honestly didn't realise that the club was started so long ago. The 1950s were of course a growth period for many hobbies, and photography came within the reach of so many.

Obviously then PMT is out as an explanation of EPS's difficulties with its 'monthlies'. Do I remember that 'Indian Brandy' used to be recommended. Next year we must arrange for 'tots' to be available for sufferers.

Thanks for your interesting stuff about the local jazz scene. I seem to remember seeing Kenny Ball at Kirkby-in-Ashfield but I didn't enjoy it much. The Bell in Nottingham centre had a good reputation at one time I believe. See Rob's recommendation for Basford in his yesterday's comment.

Rob..... As you will see I have taken the liberty of publishing your pinhole magnolia tree. And I'm glad to hear you seem to have had a reasonable day.

I entirely agree that 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' cannot continue without Humpf. It would seem almost sacrilegious to even try. And I shall have to eventually 'meet my maker' without ever having understood 'Mornington Crescent'.

Re Jill's hols. It looks good weather in Gran Canaria - but I guess she will be somewhere else tomorrow.

Re your accent, or lack of it. I've never thought of you as sounding 'posh'. You don't sound stupid and perhaps the 'local commentator' thought that implied 'posh'. Don't worry about it !

Quotation time........ This just about follows, I think ......

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it"

George Bernard Shaw

...... Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow......


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Y rambling - RG snapping - messing about

At lunchtime I took Y over to Joan's whereupon they were going Rambling with Chris in the East Bridgford area. Chris is a very keen and experienced rambler and organises and leads walks for, among others, the Broxtowe Borough Council. After the walk they were able to drop Y back home and she had had a great time. They stayed for a cup of tea and a biscuit but I would have been delighted to do a meal. Chris is great to cook for; he is an assiduous clean-plate person and will, if pressed, have seconds.

When I left Arnold I came back via Dorket Head from where there's a lovely view over the Trent Valley looking almost due east towards Lincolnshire. After much messing about there, with my tripod and different lenses and ISO's and RAW my journey took me down Burntstump where I came across this beatifully 'layered' thorn hedge.

Thank goodness someone still knows how to do it properly with real hazel-wattles to support it for the first couple of years.

Hedge Layering is a proper country craft. Although the link takes you to a firm that uses hazel, I seem to remember that willow can also be used. I suspect that originally willow rods and split hazel were used but I didn't get out of the car to examine this specimen closely.

A good hedge makes such sense. Stock-proof and trespasser-proof in a couple of years. And it won't blow down.

The National Trust is very keen on supporting country-crafts and we are supporting an apprentice stone mason at Hardwick Hall. Stone masons 'hurrah!', Free masons 'boo!'......

Which leads me unerringly to this hedgerow Honesty a little further down the road. Joan says the bed is there each year and she has often eyed the white version covetously. She intends to try her luck with a 'seed head' (they look like a translucent penny, 1d - that is) when they are there. She realises that, if she collected one, she would probably be in breach of some EU regulation, Health & Safety, and possible the Terrorism Act. But she doesn't seem bovvered. At least she didn't look bovvered. They are incidentally biennial and I suspect they don't run true to colour either. Guidance from the Horticultural Desk would be helpful.

Comments.....Bungus..... Re your sat upon telly-remote. Just as well you had your trousers on, is all I can say.

The flash-fried kale is, as you say, very much like Chinese seaweed and I shall definitely do it again particularly when serving finger-food. It is easy, quick, cheap, and reliable.

We will let you lay claim to 'conkered', you deserve it.

A house-point and an Radiogandy ....for the EPS and PMT comment. The club is now well into its 40s as I understand it, so perhaps problems with its 'Monthlies' should come to an end quite naturally. But they would probably mess about with HRT (High Resolution Tripods).

Strangely enough the Telegraph carried no obituary today for Humpf. His death must have been announced just too late for the morning edition. I can think of no finer tribute than a little video of him playing Bad Penny Blues. I hope that the boogie-piano won't get AnonymousReg in to trouble with Senior Management again!

Humpf playing 'I love Paris' was what I really wanted but google and youtube failed me. Not a track for the purists I realise, but it was probably my favourite bit of jazz. I'll try one of the other search-engines tomorrow.

As a Radio 4 person I have been an 'I'm sorry I haven't a clue' addict for so many years and Humpf chaired it so brilliantly. His witty Weltschmerz was a joy and, as he once said :-

"Anyone wishing to avoid the crowds when leaving, please wait until the end of the show"

A kindred spirit and I sincerely hope he rests in peace.

Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lidl, Morrisons - Flash-fried curly-kale

Not wishing to miss out on the 'knobbly trees' this one, near the visitor's centre on Wednesday, caught my eye. I don't think I can see a 'face' in it or anything else for that matter - I just liked the patterns and whorls and contrasting colours.

Picture 2 was from the same occasion and is simply elder at an early stage. A younger elder in fact. At least, that's what I think it is, I am always ready to bow to superior natural history knowledge. Especially if it comes from the Collins British Wildlife book. I am pleased to inform Mannanan that I have now found it, hiding on a bookshelf !

This morning we did the Lidl, Morrisons run and in Lidl, for just under a tenner, bought a car vacuum-cleaner which runs from the dashboard cigarette lighter. It has a full range of little accessories like big brushes, things for poking into corners etc., so now we shall have no excuse for an unkempt car interior. Except of course, sheer idleness.

Picture 3 is the 'flash-fried curly kale'
which I liked and learnt about from the Chef at Clumber on Tuesday, and decided to cook today to garnish our main meal.

Although it looks rather oily and soggy it is in fact dry and extremely crisp. It melts in the mouth.

I used rape-seed oil, very hot and just threw a couple of handfuls of curly kale into it. It fizzles and dances about furiously and it only needs a minute or so to cook. Then you drain it and the result is as shown in the picture. And although it doesn't look it, it is in fact crisp and crunchy.

Puicture 4 is from the Cunard Queen Victoria's bridge webcam. I was beginning to feel like AnonymousRob that it wasn't working.

Then, when I looked this afternoon I found that Jill ad Ro had arrived at Madiera Portugal so I did 'save as' and preserved the image.

Comments.....Bungus.... as Mannanan predicted the 'Hoof fungus' is illustrated in my Collins and as in your 'bible' it says it is normally found in the Highlands of Scotland. Bound to be 'global warming' I suppose to send it to Edwinstowe !

I take your point about ink prices and the costs of big print runs. However, National Trust policy is that 'volunteers' should not finish up out of pocket, so we intend to claim all our printing costs, including ink and paper. The National Trust's sensible view is because they do not want anyone to be deterred from 'volunteering' due to financial fears.

AnonymousRob..... Fear not. EPS has not changed that much and there was, of course, the annual thrash through 'change/not change' the monthly competitions. My paragraph was intended to say that no-one became ill tempered, so far as I could see, but I had to ask Brian Smith, on the way out, what exactly we had decided about the monthlies ! But this was my normal state of confusion, because Brian had it clearly enough.

World pinhole day sounds great fun and I wish you well with it. And don't forget to 'bracket' your shots !! Can't speak highly enough of the Thermos full of coffee and I note your concerns about the proximity of a toilet..

However, provided your Thermos is restricted to one-user, when it is empty of coffee........!!

Hope the Nimmo Brothers made up for missing EPS's AGM and, for the benefit of other readers - please open this Nimmo Brothers YouTube link.

AnonymousReg...... Really like the dogs/lamposts quote link with photographers/judges.

I think Bungus's 'conkered' is also a Derbyshire saying. But I guess that Netto, followed by Newark Morrisons, onwards to Aldi, before Homebase for wallpaper, would 'conquer' anyone ! I was 'done for' just by reading about it.

Let Rob work out for himself who the 'mediocre' lecturers were ! I don't think there would be much disagreement.

.....Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.....



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Y at Burton Joyce - Camera Club AGM

Thanks to field agent Reg we have a picture of The Major Oak. He promised to get me one (because I couldn't walk that far) and he did. Reg says the light was bad (which it was) and his picture is 'poor' which it certainly isn't. The most important thing is that the picture does the job.

One photographer (in the googled links) had digitally cloned-out the support props! Such an image would not grace these pages. We need to know what it looked like a.m. Wednesday 23rd April 2008.

Out of many links I considered the bbc one is the best. But I prefer Reg's picture.

Y has been at Burton Joyce and tonight it was Eastwood Photographic Society's AGM and, as AGM's go, it was comparatively painless and even-tempered. The Officers and Committee were all returned unopposed and very little was changed. A great compliment to Chairman Reg, Secretary Roy and Treasurer Duggie and all the other people who do important jobs to keep the club running smoothly and successfully. I was back home for 9pm !

Comments..... Bungus..... Thank you very much for the picture and I am completely sure that the fungus I saw is Hoof Fungus, as depicted.

Mannanan ..... Thanks also for your endorsement of 'Hoof fungus' and I'm sure will be in my British Wildlife book, when I can find it ! We are many miles from The Highlands of Scotland though - but it was on Silver Birch.

Bungus ...... Haven't actually replaced the Epson, the two are side by side. Re ink prices I'm afraid I can't answer. Inks came with it, so I can't tell you the price of replacements.

It is still bible-black aboard the Cunard Queen Victoria - perhaps tomorrow we can have a peek at where Jill has got to.

Just nipping back to Clumber catering for a second. As I think I reported, the buffet was excellent. One dish of garnishes looked interesting. Shiny, crisp and vivid green. My first thought was 'flash deep-fried rocket' and on the way out I asked at the food counter. My first 3 words are right, but it was kale from the kitchen garden the chef was pleased to tell me.

Brian S saw the consultant about his knee yesterday and the X Rays show that it seriously needs fixing. Protuberences rubbing within the joint are causing him to walk bow-legged, not to mention the pain from it. Brian never complains but often you can see he is suffering. He has been told he will be called in for the operation in about two months. Best of luck with it Brian !

..... Better stop there. Done for. Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WoW to The Major Oak

This morning we decided to make the trip to see The Major Oak which is quite a substantial walk from the Sherwood Forest Visitors Centre a couple of roof-corners of which are Picture 1.

It was too far for me to tackle but I have been promised pictures by other WoW-ers. However I am pleased to report that I anaged to walk considerably further with my wheely-frame than I could with sticks. My weight is more evenly distributed and, as I am leaning forward to walk, I feel stable. So, so far so good. There were five of us this morning, Helen, Kevin, Reg, Mike and me and we needed two cars. Inevitably I overshot the entrance to The Visitors Centre but eventually we got there.
The place is well laid out for all ages, plenty of seats and Robin Hood stuff, a statue of Robin and Little John fighting with their staves on the bridge (a favourite scene) second only for me to when he is dying and fires the arrow through the window so he can be buried where it falls. Great stuff.

Could a fungi person, or someone with a suitable reference book, identify this for us please. It was the other side of a fence so the customary 50p piece wasn't possible. The bole of the tree was around 8" diameter if that helps. The top bit looked like a fossilised bobble cap and the colour (as it leaves here) is spot on.

Maybe it's the time of year but the forest was rather weird. Such a lot of dead and dying trees it had a post nuclear holocaust feel to it. Anyway, replete with knobbly trees, we decided on a revisit to The Bird in Hand at Blidworth for lunch.

It well deserves its name of 'the pub with the view' and we were lucky enough to get one of the two window tables with the Picture 3 view of the rolling Nottinghamshire countryside. Lunch was the usual chip-baguette again and excellent quality and not too expensive.

After that home, papers, crossword, laptop stuff, e-mails and such...... This morning a fledgeling flew into the kitchen window and killed itself and Y hadn't liked to move it so I did the necessary. Sorry to say it was a very young and beautiful thrush. Why couldn't it have been a starling ? Vexatious creatures that they are. I don't really mean that because I accept that starlings have equal rights with thrushes.


AnonymousRob...... I have every confidence that your talk to Matlock Camera Club will go well ! Your experience is such that you could deliver the lecture , half asleep after 4 pints. When I was at Canning Circus I often used to go out at lunchtime with Chris Throup, the then news editor at Radio Nottingham. He used to down 4 pints, return to his desk and read the 1pm news without a slur or a hitch. I never knew how he managed it.

Thanks for the St George's Day poems, click here folks to read them. Personally I prefer the Brian Patten to Elvis McGonagal. He seems to be trading on the William McGonagall name whose poetry is a hoot. Nobody ever knew if he did it on purpose - it didn't scan, the rhymes were cringe making and he earned the title of Britain's worst poet. It is so awful it almost becomes compulsive reading !

Bungus ........ Yes. My Epson scans (ha ha!) very well and it is an excellent photocopier and I'm pleased with my new HP printer so far. I shall run them side-by-side and have modified my desk space to allow for this. Y rather cuttingly asked if perhaps we should consider having an extension built?

My zimmer has three wheels not two. So while the motorbike concept would be OK I'm doubtful if a tricycle image would do much for my street cred. And I loved the 'Willbury' stuff.

AnonymousReg.... Sorry to get you into trouble with Senior Management with the Turner video side-bar stuff. You should have waffled something about 'having to pursue my Art'. It might have worked, but probably not.

With Bob Dylan's birth name being Robert Allen Zimmerman has, over the years, been the source of much fun about the poor chap. He was called 'The Zimmer Man' by some, but it certainly didn't hold him back did it?

Thanks for the computer and IT stuff - we all have lots to learn I think. It's good fun though isn't it?

Quotation time....... This I like ----->

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."

Although I have the link to Jill's cruise liner I thought there's no point in publishing it because I've just checked and it's pitch black. Then I thought that, when people read this tomorrow it will probably be daylight. So here it is - the bridge webcam of the Queen Victoria. I hope they are having a good time.

Tomorrow is Burton Joyce day for Y and I have the AGM of the Camera Club in the evening. Catch you tomorrow. Sleep tight.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nat. Trust Regional Meeting - Done for.

The reason Clumber looks deserted is because we were there before they opened. And No, it wasn't 7am, it always looks like that. Peter and I travelled together and it was good to have a nice long chat. I hadn't realised that the birthday he has just celebrated was his 79th - he does wonders with a work-schedule that would exhaust a 50yr old. It is good that, now Y has taken over the secretaryship, he will be able to shed a few tasks.

The meeting went well but I find these things rather demanding these days and I was 'done for' when I arrived home. So you must excuse my brevity. Glad Jill is still 'vertical' and I shall do my best to track Cunard Victoria on her cruise round Madiera and The Canaries. No doubt the ship will have a bridge webcam and it should be possible to find the site address. We will patiently await her return, perhaps with a few pictures.

n.b. Found the bridge webcam, please click here and we shall be able to see where she goes. Seems to be raining at the moment.

Comments.....Bungus ..... It sound as if you have been quite lucky with printers. I like the results from my Epson and Brian has sorted it out twice now. But now we have these Nat Trs things I need to be able to do a black & white print run of more copies than the Epson would do without going haywire.

I liked the 'quiz' stuff which, as I remember, you were quite a star at. I certainly have been 'framed' and the official one is, as you say, a sort of industrial weight zimmer. It will be handy for when I am really bad but it is perhaps too robust for more normal days. Peter and Joan have lent me one which originally belonged to Joan's Dad. This one has wheels (with brakes) is lighter and more compact and altogether feels better for frequent use. I intend to take it WoWing tomorrow to see how I get on.

You wonder if your distaste for manual tasks makes you effete ? The following definition might amuse you :-
effete \eh-FEET; ih-\, adjective:
1. No longer capable of producing young; infertile; barren; sterile.
2. Exhausted of energy; incapable of efficient action; worn out.
3. Marked by self-indulgence or decadence; degenerate.
4. Overrefined; effeminate.

Re the above in respect of yourself -<
  1. Not sure
  2. Probably
  3. Certainly
  4. Certainly not.
AnonymousRob...... Glad you enjoyed the Turner video. I agree with you about the people/painting mix but believe me, for Artdaily videos, it was good quality. It would also have been helpful if the paintings had been named.

I always forget the title of one of those shown, - his painting of a ship with the small triangular sails. It is a memorable image because some unwise viewer asked Turner "Why did you paint the sails that black?" Turner replied "Because I couldn't find any pigment blacker".

Re the Munch and 'the influence of photography.....' You make a good point and rather than a 'snap' answer, I would like time to consider.

Glad to welcome you to the 'soft hands brigade' and I refer you to my comments to Bungus above.

If your Dylan 'zimmerman' sentence was a little obscure for some readers, this should help.


Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman May 24 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota in the USA, is widely regarded as America's greatest popular songwriter born in the Twentieth Century. Of all American songwriters ever, only Stephen Fosterand Irving Berlin are mentioned in the same breath.


Thats about it for tonight folks. Hoping to go WoW-ing tomorrow, and I understand Mike is interested in a trek to The Major Oak. That should be fun.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Busy again - New printer - Walking Aids

The picture is an Edvard Munch called "Girls on a Bridge" and is being auctioned in New York. If you have the odd £15 million lying about you might be in with a chance. It interests me because my guess is that the bridge is the same he used in his earth-shattering "The Scream", but at the other end. This picture won't give you nightmares but the other one just might, so I haven't published it - but I will if anyone doesn't know the picture.

As my printer was still playing up we went to Staples and bought another - on David's recommendation an HP which he says is really robust and seldom gets bunged up jets and seldom crashes. I managed to get it up and running fairly easily - I stress fairly easily because I had trouble inserting the ink cartridges - having missed the sentence which pointed out that the printer needed to be switched on before it would accept the inks. OK now though and it seems to do a tidy and quick job.

Before leaving the art world I'd like to share with you this great little video about Turner. I was talking to Andrew at EPS on Thursday about Turner and I said that one of the thrills of my life was being given access to his watercolour notebooks full of quick sketches of the soldiers and sailors returning from Trafalgar.

Comments.....Bungus......Re RAW vs JPEG. In the blog, you won't see any difference at all because, as I understand it '' makes JPEGs of everything so as not to clog up the system.

You sound as if the Leeds and other places adventure really appeals. Do I understand that this is a plan afoot rather than you've done it. In my view it all sounds far too demanding and tiring.

The disability girl arrived with my walking frame and the version she brought and recommends, doesn't have wheels anyway. So I've no idea what that was all about.

While at Staples in Mansfield this morning we were just opposite Field Mill and I though that the Sports Desk might like a picture of their favourite Stags home ground. So I went and poked my Casio through the aluminium fencing and snapped them a picture. The light wasn't very good so neither is the picture. Sorry.

Yet again Y has done the cooking and jolly nice it's been too.

As I have used a Munch masterpiece I thought I'd give the old boy blogroom for a quote. Not that he said this about that particular painting but about art in general:-

"The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas"

Edvard Munch

Indeed they do. And in photography too. A good 'picture' is as memorable and alive as a person and with much greater longevity. The wikipedia link was the best, and, if you open it you will see a small version of 'The Scream' anyway.

Not heard from Jill, and I hope she isn't suffering from whatever it was that caused her fainting attack.

..... I know she likes the sheep? dog? ....sheepdog? jumping the hurdle so - sleep tight Jill. And catch you all tomorrow. After I return from Nat Trst work at Clumber. That is poncy type headwork, notepad and laptop work - not real man's work gardening, rebuilding walls etc.. See you tomorrow.......


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Rest Day - Papers - Lots of Naps

My flirtation with RAW continues. The above is from our last WoW at Alport.

Basically all my pictures were taken within 15 yards of the car. If you turned 90° CW you would see the old Corn Mill of yesterday's blog and if you stepped back 4 yards you would see Picture 2 from April 16th.

Today we have caught up on idleness. Lots of 'lie-downs' and plenty relaxing with the papers.

Yesterday evening we watched The Book Quiz and thoroughly enjoyed it. We knew plenty of the answers, but it does wonders for your ego when you succeed where the panellists are stumped. A couple of lines of Horace which I knew and they didn't and Y knew an Edgar Wallace quote which defeated them for instance. Kirsty Walk is an excellent chairman and apart from being rather dishy is also extremely well read isn't she? James Delingpole, one of the panellists, was very shy and confused to begin with but he soon eased up and became very entertaining. In his Press role and from a book of his that I have, I know how well he writes.

We are also watching Melvyn Bragg's 'Travels in Written Britain' but it is on so late we record it.

Comments..... Jill ..... Oh dear, poor you, having a fainting fit. So worrying if it hasn't happened before. I'm sure Barbara was right to discourage an ambulance but I definitely think you should see your GP and relate the incident. Did you just pass out? Or did you have the other related symptoms of 'shock' i.e. pallor, and sweaty brow etc? I googled "fainting fits" and came up with the webpage behind that link. It seems very straightforward and mentions 'getting up too quickly' - could that have been a factor?

Perhaps the others can be more help.

Thanks for the info about 'Drinka Pinta......' and then AnonymousRob adds the authorship of the add to your acquaintance with the model. The 'Which twin has the Toni' twins went to a party once at some friends of ours. And No ! We didn't ask them the obvious question.

niftyanonymousrob..... Well googled Sir! And a trip to the Dixies at the times you suggest sounds like a good idea. Tuesday would be the best for us. Not this Tuesday though because I have an all day Nat Trst commitment at Clumber. But definitely a date for the future.

I enjoyed your Dixies quote very much. If we get Bungus started on bar-room quotes he has lots and lots and lots. He did a book about them (or planned one) because for a time in his rich and varied background he was a licensee. It could have been 'Tap-room Tales' but I might have read chapters from it in draft.

No quotation today ..... Too tired to find one.

...... Ray sent me this charming 'smiley'. If it looks like a blank white box, be patient !! Sleep tight and I'll catch you tomorrow.....


Saturday, April 19, 2008

At home day - House Viewers - Casserole

The picture above is The Old Corn Mill at Alport and is my first real experiment with a Raw file. At Reg's, last Sunday, seeing the quality of his work displayed on his Digital Photo Frame, I finally decided that there may well be 'something in it'.

I hope that I am not too old and stupid to admit when I am wrong. Previously my view has been (fuelled by Ken Rockwell) that for my sort of photography JPEGs are good enough. But now, I think by shooting RAW you do have more information in the picture, to work on. We shall see.

The house-viewers arrived this morning, half an hour late and they only live down the road. Not a whisper of apology and they had a cursory look around. Sheer nosiness I suspect. We aren't very hopeful !

For lunch I defrosted the final two portions of an excellent shin beef casserole - and 3 weeks in the freezer had actually improved it. Mashed potato with chopped chives, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, and broccoli accompanied. For tea we had 2 boiled eggs (each) with soldiers. The free range eggs are from Lidl and are good, although described as medium, the yolks are 'large' and a fine rich flavour.

It was sad to note the death of Gwyneth Dunwoody a Labour politician of the old school. Different from most politicians she would always answer the question she was asked, straightforwardly. Although I ddn't always agree with her - it is difficult to remember an occasion when I didn't. She will be missed.

Comments.....AnonymousRob....... I agree about the respective merits of the Conservative Club and The Dixies Arms at Bagthorpe which, as folks will gather from the website is a true gem. We haven't been recently but I remember, many years ago, they used to have a weekly singsong round a real piano with a pianist who knew all the songs from our era and beyond. You used to have to arrive early and be willing to fight for a seat ! Has it retained all its little rooms and nooks and crannies?

Hope your evening with Dennis went well. And thanks for your call. I am looking forward to the 29th.

Bungus........ Google made hard work of ‘drinka pinta milka day’ . I could find loads of references to its success as a slogan but who the author was? defeated me. As Jill remarks later Fay Weldon was responsible for 'Go to work on an egg' but not apparently 'drinka pinta......' And I certainly don't think it was Dorothy L Sayers. And I agree with Jill that, although she didn't put it in these terms, DLS's knickers were far too heavily starched for her to have been the author.

Thanks for the current chapter of the hospital saga. But I am as mystified as Jill by the 'bruised heels' reference. Is it a side effect from your treatment? Please the transport arrangement worked so well though. Was the 'chicken, stuffing and fruit jelly cob' one you took with you? The filling sounded a little exotic for a WVS canteen. Anyway I hope you took the remnants with you , it sounded far too interesting to abandon.

I think the insurance people whose titles escaped you are actuaries. And Sigmund Freud always struck me as singularly joyless, and nowadays of course, much discredited.

Jill...... Glad the Chichester trip was a success. You didn't mention your arm so I assume it was OK. While at Pallant House did you manage a peep at their ongoing Modern Art Exhibtion? Or did you stop in the restaurant nattering? They have such an important collection and many artists such as Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Claes Oldenburg, to name but a few, are particular favourites. For Pop Art fans it is a 'must visit' place.

And a three storey Lakeland sounds something again - ours is only 'main-floor plus basement' !

Quotation time....... This art-chat and restaurants leads me inevitably to :-

"A first rate soup is better than a second rate painting"

Maslow was not mainly known for his art criticism. He was the chap who devised a ladder of human needs which it's all too easy to fall out with. A parent's willingness to face death to safeguard a child as against 'self survival' for instance throws a big spanner in his theory. A quiet day planned for tomorrow. Odds and ends to be done, need to plant some herb seeds etc.....

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

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shopping - Fish & Chips - NT work

A 'guest' picture to start with - Roy's "ET from Suffolk". He didn't want to miss out in the 'knobbly trees' series.

It was really nice to see him at the Club last night, still convalescing from his hip replacement though, and I think the stairs were a major hurdle which he overcame.

But I understand how he couldn't really miss out on his son's evening.

And Roy drove the projector and the laptop and we all hope he will soon be back in full swing - blue hat included !

I promised before & after pictures of our flat-pack telly stand. So pictures 2 and 3 are exactly that. It looks good and even Tracy convinced us that she really does like it. Being a lovely person she would say she did even if she didn't, if you know what I mean.

But I think she actually does.

Yvonne's comment of "It looks as if it's always been there" sums up how well it blends in.

This morning Reg came round and sorted out a computer problem for me. Reg's copy/paste worked where my drag/drop had failed. But I really love this environment where "somebody knows the answer". We all have different bits of expertise and it's good to share them.

Then we went shopping - Lidl and Morrisons for essential provisions. I managed Lidl OK but opted out of Morrisons and let Y do it. I cooked lunch haddock & chips with marrowfat peas - no bread and butter, followed in my case by Tiramisu for pudding. Y had healthy grapes !

This afternoon, after naps, we tackled Nat Trust stuff and unfortunately my printer played up again and I spent a good hour cleaning print heads and changing ink cartridges etc., perhaps the time is coming .................. Anyway, we got it done.

Comments.......Jill..... Hope your day trip to see Barbara (yes - Y did know) went well and that it didn't cause you too much of a problem for your arm. And that you enjoyed the train, and the coffee !

Jill and Bungus........This silly business over the walking frame without wheels is just that - silly! He took the wheels away with him. What is the betting that when the frame arrives, it will be without wheels ?

Bungus..... I quite like being unframed. But, re my 'disability aids' perhaps it would be easier all round if I just stayed in bed and took a series of photos of my feet for instance, read poetry and listened to the radio of course. WoW could come round and instead of thumbnails they could photograph toenails.

I'm not convinced by your 'short-fibred potato flour' theory. But I don't feel strongly about it.

Not surprised by your bumble-bee sighting. They are hardier than honey bees which, I can assure you from my bee-keeping days, don't emerge until the temperature reaches 56 Fahrenheit.

AnonymousRob....... That's fine about why you vanished last night and I admire your strength of principle. Hypocrite that I am I have no compunction about using the Conservative Club. In fact taking advantage of the facilities without any intention of being swayed suits me fine.

Very interesting about the girl in Doisneau's "The Kiss" and her retrospective fee. Joan Hunter Dunne, the muse for one of John Betjeman's finest poems, die a few days ago at 92 bless her. It is called "A Subaltern's Love Song" and I've made that a link for you.

Hope your Tandoori was a success. Agree about Notaries - but I would settle for 1hr a week's pay, so long as I still got all my pensions and everything plus. Looking forward to your call.

Quotation time.....Being a quotation person, I find the following a little harsh:-

"A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought"

Dorothy L. Sayers

You can all 'google' her yourselves, if you wan't to. I thought she was racist and anti-semitic and I couldn't stand that stuck-up upperclass twit Lord Peter Wimsey.

.....Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Disability Aids - House viewer - Camera Club

Nice 'guest picture' to start with, courtesy of 'Manxislander' and is the Police Station and Court House (complete with blue lamp) at Ramsey.

He is well and sends his good wishes to all.

Today the NHS rather reverted to type re my disability aids. Lara turned up and had left before the stuff arrived, and when it did, the man had brought the wheels for a walking frame without the frame. So he took them away with him. To be fair, the things to raise the height of my favourite chair, the half-height step to the front door and the grabbing tool are all fine. But the core problem, of something to hold onto while walking inside/outside remains unaddressed. She intends to return on Monday - but nothing is going to be delivered by then is it?

Picture 2 is Brian looking suitably mystified by this extraordinary chip. It was either one helluva potato or, and this is what I suspect, the chips are made of reconstituted potato flour.

You can't trust anything these days can you?

Breaking off there to go to Camera Club.

See you later.

11pm and all's well. This evening was an 'Evening with Andrew Walters' son of Roy our Secretary and founder member of WoW.

Andrew's job takes him all over the world and, if that isn't enough he takes exciting holidays in remote and dangerous spots. This evening we started in Nottingham and visited Bolivia, Nepal, the Orinoco and Borneo and India at least, and not necessarily in that order ! This was record-photography at its best, with humour. And for this sort of show we wanted to know about the places he had visited 'Records' are exactly what you need.

There were some 'pictorial' shots thrown in but not too many. We can get our fill of 'third brick from the right pictures' in Camera Club competitions........(Get off that soap-box..Editor)

Comments......Bungus......Everyone loves your paintings, and perhaps I didn't make it clear enough that the charcoal drawing is a self-portrait. AnonymousRob raised a similarity to Doisneau and here is a link please click so you can see some of his work. 'The Kiss' is probably his most famous image but 'Un Regard Oblique' 1948 is my favourite.

The Helen referred to is an EPS member and recent recuit to WoW. I also have a daughter-in-law Helen. But it was not she !

Jill...... I think they all agreed that that cow was in the right. Glad it worked out without injury though.

The chap who brought the wheels without the frame explained that the wrong reference number had been entered on the form. I'm sure that it will all work out. Have a nice day in Chichester and I think it most sensible to go on the train.

AnonymousRob...... What happened to you both after Andrew's talk. I fully expected to see you downstairs in the bar, but you had flown. We must speak on the phone sometime over the weekend, if you are not away or summat !

Quotation time :-

"All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed"

Sean O'Casey

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

WoW at Alport - Good day - Poor light

This morning we had a good turn-out for WoW. There were 6 of us, Helen, Brian S, Kevin, Mike, Reg and me.

Alport was the destination and as usual the chaps parked me down in the village and went for a walk up on the top. I am counting Helen as an honorary chap on this occasion - I hope she doesn't mind. A well photographed spot but I was fortunate to capture this chap with a good 'puther' (Derbyshire lingo for a smoky bonfire). Other local words for bonfires will be gratefully received.

To start with he was wearing a dull blue anorak but, as he warmed to his task he took it off. His red sweater couldn't be better on a dull day. I sought, and was granted, permission to take the snap.

I enjoyed my thermos, and a book and Radio 4. It was quite cold and breezy and by the time we all met up I had transferred my pictures to the laptop. Helen had great fun with her new DSLR and I am much looking forward to seeing some results.

Picture 2 is one of the frequently snapped views in the village but none the worse for that. In fact, looking at the 'link' I prefer my version anyway.

When we met up I learnt of their 'near death experience' with a cow and calf. The cow, obviously concerened for her calf, charged shortly after Kevin had managed this peaceful looking snap.

Disaster was only averted apparently by Mike using his tripod in a touché gesture which caused the critter to screech to a halt, and Reg managed this snap of the resultant skid-marks.

After all this excitement we decided on The Miners Standard at Winster for our chip-cobs. A charming pub and if you open the link there's lots about the lead miners and the origin of the pub's name

Almost mischeviously the sun, as we approaced the pub, caqme out and remained out while we sat inside. When we emerged it vanished again. Never mind, it is April after all.

Whern I arrived home the new TV stand flat-pack had arrived and, after a sit down and a pot of tea, I decided to assemble it. No problems at all. Straightforward instructions, all the bits were there, and it took me around an hour with frequent stops. I've already used lots of pictures today, so you will have to wait till tomorrow. I'm not on a quota or anything but I don't like to inclde too many. And now I have 'guest' pictures (and they are most welcome) I don't want the blog to become uncomfortably long.

I'm off to bed because I'm flat-packered. Catch you tomorrow. Please excuse me for not answering your 'comments' individually. My disability assessor returns tomorrow. It will be interesting to hear what she has decided for me.

..... Sleep tight !