Friday, May 30, 2008

Vivitar day - Pat arrives - Fish and Chips

My steam-driven Vivitar 200mm from e-bay arrived this morning by Royal Mail at 10am. The vendor only dispatched it yesterday, 2nd class, and only £2+ for post & packaging.

(to remove confusion. There aren't 2 of them. The picture is two photos merged together - p.s. to Reg - Following your advice I can now do it)

I'm delighted with the lens. Completely manual and, being of metal manufacture, it weighs a satisfactory cwt or two. Unscratched and beautiful. When you focus it, it stays focused, none of this 'hunting' and refusal to click. And, as you can see, being a prime, it has a depth-of-field scale which gives you complete control of background blur. I won't ramble on. I just love it !

The light has been awful all day but I thought I ought to publish a picture taken with it. So, although not up to Paul Exton standard this pigeon is a test piece, about 30 feet away. I used to own a little Leica range-finding device but never thought I'd need it again so it went. Hoarder Bungus has the right idea I think.

Visitor Pat arrived around 4pm and I've just cooked Fish, Chips and Peas, followed by a fancy pudding. And Derek and Betty are coming round about 8pm for nibbles and a glass of wine, or Scotch in Derek's case, bless him !

Comments.....Bungus .... no rush for the Cuba trip, but I would love to go.

You Cuba Haiku is inverted. They should be 5, 7, 5 - not 7, 5, 5, that doesn't work at all in my humble opinion.

I hadn't heard the Ché story. But I'm pleased that I now have. An excellent way of selecting ministers - can't be doing with this democratic silliness. Fletch always says the best way to get effective colleagues is good old-fashioned patronage. Much better than holding interviews etc.

Quotation time......

"There's an old saying about those who forget history. I don't remember it, but it's good"

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


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Burton Joyce Day - The Sun shone !

From WoW at Colliers Wood. They say you have to have a dash of red in a picture, so ....................!

This and Picture 2 are just to prove we've had a few minutes of sunshine. I just hope that AnonymousRob wasn't in a darkened place when it happened.

Y was at Burton Joyce today and I collected her at teatime. There was no School so she had a lovely time with everyone.

Nice to welcome Hannah and Fantastic Five back to the blog and I definitely consider you should continue with yours Hannah. You don't have to do a post each day, or even each week, for that matter. And it is a super record of your daily life. Congratulations on what you have done so far.

Picture 2 is yet more Irises. I don't know the variety in this case but they are in a boggy bit of border and always do well.

Comments.... Jill .... I'm not sure if Colliers Wood always means there was once a Colliery, any more than that Newcastle Avenue leads to Newcastle. But, probably so, I would have thought.

Very interesting notes about Cuba. So many people have so many different opinions about the place. I shall have to go and see for myself.

The wall (see yesterday) would be mproved by plants growing over the top. At the moment it just looks stark and forbidding and not at all in keeping with Brinsley.

Bungus ......The trees (Tuesday's blog) must indeed have been foreshortened, because they are on the other side of the road. Not deliberate. I just wanted to show the patch of limnanthus.

Thank you very much for the info. on the life of Emile Chacun (with or without, his son with gout). I think the world is waiting for this and you should create a Wiki-page.

With everybody in agreement about the sun - as Auberon Waugh famously said about that other Sun -"Where else would we turn for moral guidance in these troubled times ?", Revolutions, Beryl Cook and Haiku, there is little that I need to add.

Reg ..... Apologies for misquoting you and thanks for clearing up the Cornish Pasty position. People need to know these things.

AnonymousRob..... Hannah (Fantastic Five) already has her own blog ! She is only 10 (nearly 11) and previously had chums helping her, but apparently no longer. So the 2 people, is she and her Dad. She does 'post' here from time to time but fully accepts that it is designed for an older readership. i.e she finds most of it boring.

And thanks for the Cuba stuff. I can only speak for me but I don't find it in the least rambling. Edge of seat etc... waiting to hear about Gilberto.

Malcom Y. Pense was paid peanuts not to think ill of people !

I think you are right about your Cuban Haiku !

Quotation time ................... From Gulliver's travels.....

"He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put into phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers"

We have visitors coming for the weekend, people coming for meals, Y going walking with Joan and Chris plus guests, etc., etc.,........ So blogging may be intermittent or not at all. Sleep tight. Hope to catch you tomorrow.

.... Coffee, radio, - not finished the Telgraph crossword for days! Still not fully in tune with the new compilers.



Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WoW at Durban House Exhibition - then Colliers Wood

The people just up the road have recently had this enormous wall built, to replace an attractive and burglar-proof privet/thorn mix hedge about 7' high. The wall makes the house look like a downmarket prison. Where is Banksy when you need him ?

This morning, due to inclement weather, we WoW-ed at our local Durban House, Eastwood where there is currently a stunning Photographic Exhibition by Alan Clayden FRPS. The exhibition is really not being given the publicity it deserves. WoW this morning was only 4 strong, Brian, Reg, Helen and myself and the quality of the work knocked us sideways. Reg says that Alan (a member of Beeston Camera Club) doesn't enter competitions and I can understand that. To have some incompetent judge making silly criticisms would be annoying. Inevitably some images were stronger than others but even the weakest was better than I could do - on a good day, with a following wind.

After the exhibition we popped round the corner to Colliers Wood, and we had around 20 minutes sunshine. I'm glad Bungus approved of yesterday's typo - subshine - as he says it is fairly descriptive of a sun that is trying but not quite succeeding. We seem to get a lot of it.

These yellow Irises were most attractive. The chaps left me near the car-park where I was quite happy messing about with different lenses and trying, unsuccessfully, to capture a swift in flight.

After Colliers Wood we went to The Nelson and Railway at Kimberely for our chip-cobs. The Exhibition had given us lots to talk about anyway. The pub is justifiably famous and is a classic and we always enjoy our visits. Also, if you need it, it is a wi-fi hot-spot, and a free one too.

Y went down Nottingham on the bus to meet Sylvia for lunch. They went to Petit Paris - they always do. Sylvia can be a lady of somewhat set opinions.

Comments.....Jill .... I guess the problem with the 'poached egg' is probably a different soil. But it does seem that some people are successful with some plants while others are not. Bungus asks me to tell the story about the onions. He had tried buying plants, setting seed, and finally I suggested onion-sets to him. He tried them, and swears that when he harvested them they were smaller than when he set them !

He also can't grow runner-beans ! Everyvody else can, but Bungus can't.

The weather is awful isn't it and I guess Padstow is as bad as anywhere. Lucky lad, eating Rick Stein cornish-pasties which are, according to Reg, the definitive cornish-pasty. But around £6 a throw, like the fish & chips !

Thanks for your support over the Dutch School painting discussion. And Elaine will be thrilled with your comments.

Bungus ..... I don't know why you couldn't recognise the garden. Maybe it's too long since you were here. From the corner of the bungalow the view is looking over the road and over the football field.

Elaine will be double-thrilled with your comments, added onto Jill's, plus of course, my own.

The explanation of your apparent attack on Rembrant et al is adequate. And not at all 'bobbing and weaving'. I've never understood about this Belgian guy Chacun, who has a son with gout. You must explain it to me.

Re: Iceland. It's people are apparently the happiest in the world. A clever clogs on Radio 4 had also learnt that being a hairdresser is the happiest job. So, said journalist went to Iceland and interviewed a hairdresser. She was, as you would expect, quite a dismal lady ! Nice story though. Apart from the cold, spending the winter without any daylight and the summer without any dark must be unsettling.

AnonymousRob ..... Like you, I much prefer the company of women. But, as with everything, some men I get on with, and I dislike the occasional woman. But as generalisations go, I'm with you.

Y watched the big match and tells me it was a good game, if a little dull. It was nice appartently to see Beckham presented with his gold cap !


It wouldn't be right to close without recording the death at 81yrs of the artist Beryl Cook. There are some stuffy art critics who haven't taken her work seriously but time will tell.

Beryl's work will still be around long after the petty winge-ers have gone. She has been an astute chronicler of the age, with humour and a unique skill.

We shall miss her !

...... Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Grey overcast day - NT paperwork nearly done

We did have a sunny spell, one afternoon, and here it is, nicely lighting some of Y's 'poached egg' which she succeeds in growing wherever she plonks a spadeful.

The car was in for service which meant we were grounded but the weather wasn't much of an inducement to go anywhere. Another advantage of village life is that although I drove the car to the garage Willis (the boss) brought me home and then delivered the car when they had finished. And he wouldn't let me go out to the car to take him back. He insisted on walking.

The National Trust paperwork is more or less completed and we are just waiting for a list of the 40 or so Mansfield Primary Schools to whom to post the 'funded trip for KeyStage 2' invites. Still very pleased with our HP printer. Halfway through a print run we had a 'paper jammed' problem but it told me in simple and effective terms how to fix it.

The picture on the right is Rene Burri's of 'Ché smoking a cigar'. The copy Rob sent me was only 3k so it won't enlarge very much - it might even get smaller.

Burri was a Magnum photographer and the link will take you to a Magnum website which runs through a selection of Burri's pictures. And outstandingly good they are too. His portrait of Picasso is one of the best ever. The Wiki page for Picasso is as good as it gets. At least a week's pleasant work there !

On the left is Elaine's 'Man smoking a Cigar' from Rob and Elaine's Cuba trip of last year. An excellent piece of work. I love the composition and her use of depth of field is spot on.

David was off to the Caravan Club site at Peterborough today and I've just checked on the weather there. Much the same as here unfortunately but there might be a little subshine tomorrow. Lets hope.

We've decided that WoW is 'go' for tomorrow, but if the weather doesn't change we shall do an exhibition. According to Reg, the current one in Durban House is good. 150 pictures and it will save on petrol.

The first website I found said that it "was not to be copied for publication on any other website". So I haven't. Surely not the best way to get publicity !

Maureen's arm continues to heal, but it's painful Reg tells me. Keep taking the tablets Mo - it's the only way !

Comments..... Bungus ..... Apparently rats and mice are on the increase due to food waste, unemptied bins, etc.

You certainly did well with your beef joint and I'm glad it cooked nicely too.

We shall just have to disagree about the 'Dutch School of painting'. to dismiss a whole genre as 'typically Dutch, ie, stolid, stilted and lifeless;' is a little strong for me to take, as you are by definition including Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Frans Hals etc., Still, everybody is entitled and so on...................

I don't think I know the Observer photographer 'Jsne Bown' - who she then - editor?

Jill...... Reg will be really pleased that you liked his waterfalls picture. He is a v.good photographer.

We must obtain for you a slop basin and sugar tongs - don't want you 'slumming it'. I shall keep an eye open in my charity shops.


Quotation time ....... I thought this might appeal ........

"To mistrust science and deny the validity of the scientific method is to resign your job as a human. You'd better go look for work as a plant or wild animal."

P. J. O'Rourke

Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow -


Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Eaton visit - Papers - Radio

Super visit to Long Eaton for coffee (specially made in David's big Espresso pot) - I know tiny mugs are the thing but I like a large one. So, after round one, he promptly made another pot.

I thought the fish tank would be an attractive picture, without flash, so I balanced my little Casio on a work surface.

Helen and the girls have been making jewellery and very attractive it is too. My photo was a failure though, so you will have to imagine lovely interwoven neck-pieces and bangles with lots of sparklies.

The Rhododendron at the side of the patio door is very pretty and laden with blossom. Couldn't do it justice though in the 16mph NE wind and a dull overcast sky.

When Helen went into the conservatory the other day, there on the decking staring back at her, was a large grey rat. Their cat does its best but there's no doubt rats and mice are becoming more prevalent. We all may eventually need to keep cats. Old fashioned vermin control methods are often the best.

When we got home I set up the laptop for Y but thereafter she wrote some complicated NT minutes and now needs my assistance much less. She says that she learnt so much more through having the confidence to tackle it by 'trial and error' and 'keep clicking buttons' methods. Due to her history she is a much faster and more competent keyboard person than me anyway. My P.A. role may well diminish !

Reg's Mo has fallen and broken her arm, needing x-rays and casts and things and they keep having to visit different clinics and hospitals mainly due to a Bank Holiday service. It isn't all downside though because this morning she was seen before her appointment time and was out 10 minutes later. Fortunately it isn't her painting arm !

Comments.....Bungus ...... Y and I both enjoyed the Johnny Cash film very much too. But we had paid actually folding money to see it in the Cinema.

I remember your Austin Princess well.

Maybe you had already tracked down a link to the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibition of Vilhelm Hammershøi. If not there it is again. This painting is so firmly a product of the Dutch Interior shcool started by the "The Arnolfini Wedding" by Jan van Eyck in 1434.

The lighting is so typical of the genre !

Whatever. It has given me an excuse to publish one of my favourite paintings. In fact, one of the greatest paintings of all time in art-historical terms. We had to learn all about the symbolism, and the reason for the dog in the foreground, and all that jazz. But you just have to look closely in the mirror in the centre of the wall at the back.

And if any camera club judge dares say anything about 'the rule of thirds' I shall go to the garage and collect my 'sheep castrating tool' from a shelf.

The painting is in the National Gallery and aren't we lucky to have it.

Jill ...... Roast forerib (we used to call it chine I think) is a family favourite and I cook it at least twice a year. Sirloin is perhaps second but I've never succeed with topside so I don't even try anymore.

Your Roast Chicken sounds good ! especially with the well matured accompaniments. Every so often I try to do a freezer tidyup meal. And the lower layers never cease to amze me. I think "I don't remember buying these greyhound chops !"...... Everybody buys frozen sweetcorn but does anyone ever cook it ?

No - we didn't watch the Eurovision Song Contest. I'm pleased to say, from the reports.

AnonymousRob ...... So pleased you have sorted your Dongle because we miss your comments when you are not online - -----

"Your dongle is ace.
Long may it serve you well in
both blog and google"

I don't think I need to know any more about Bungus's great tits.

I know the photo-portait of JFK from the rear, that you refer to. My first thought was that it might have been Jane Brown, but a casual google failed.

Bungus is right to say that my 'pension feeding view of work is the only possible approach' is inaccurate because there are others. Of course there are - but in your circumstances the approach is legitimate and acceptable to you, which is what matters.

I'm keeping out of the football talk. Just hope Chelsea fan Andy (son in law) doesn't read your comment or he will be queuing up to borrow the sheep-castraters.

Quotation time ......

"Men live in a fantasy world. I know this because I am one, and I actually receive my mail there"

The Dilbert creator in person.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Roast Beef - Lisa and children - Wet & Windy

I am indebted to Reg for this lovely Lumsdale shot. As I couldn't do the walk I asked if someone could get me a snap for the blog. But the light really was too poor.

So Reg sent me this autumnal shot which shows how beautiful the place actually is. And "extra thanks" Reg, the water looks like water and not candy-floss.

Today has been a family-entertaining day and the forerib from the new butcher lived up to expectations. Moist, tender and flavoursome. But I'm not keen on his uptodate joint preparation which he persuaded me to try. It involved cutting down behind the ribs and readjusting the meat with string. In my opinion it made it harder not easier to carve. Next time I shall tell him to simply leave it on the bone, end of exercise.

However, I couldn't fault the meat. I trusted my meat-thermometer. The Yorkshires, roast potatoes (Maris Piper), and everything else was great. Followed by gooey, sweet, puds. Then cheeseboard and coffee.

A nap then for me, but Y kept trucking on ! Bless her ! All the favourite games were played, hide & seek, throwing the bean-filled juggling balls to mention just two. Pictures were drawn and finally I was awakened by three little faces accompanying Y with a mug of tea.

My 'wheels' contributed to the fun. A game was quickly improvised which involved lobbing the juggling balls into the bag I have suspended between the handlebars of my wheels.

Picture 2 is a close-up of our Iris sibirica. The wind has dropped from 22mph to 17mph and, even if I couldn't persuade the flower to stop wafting about, a fast shutter speed did the trick.

After a sandwich, ham or cheese, plus crisps on the plate, and a large pot of tea, our guests left. Lisa texted when they got home safely and said 'thanks for lovely meal etc., and the kids were tired out, brilliant'.

And so were Grandparents.

We are going to David's in the morning, coffee time, to see them before they go on holiday. They are going to the Ferry Meadows Caravan Club site at Peterborough, which is one of the favourites. It is in woodland, and opens on to a country park with water. They are taking the small boat, the 'Topper' and I just hope that the weather is good enough for them to use it. The link is to a nice site. There was me thinking that David's Topper was a unique red ! They are all red !

Comments...... Jill .... You are quite right about the similarity between Rape and Mustard. In youth, whenever we saw a yellow field, we would confidently identify it as 'mustard' and nowadays with equal confidence we proclaim 'rape'. Are they perhaps related ? I think we should be told !

The main beef joint wasn't frozen - but I regularly do freeze all sorts of things from fish to lamb chops and sausages - without apparently harming their qualities. But of course, one doesn't have a control group to see if completely fresh would be better.

Y knows about your friendship with Debbie Bliss. Even though not a knitter, I know she is quite famous and an author of stuff about your craft.

But what an awful experience for you on the train and evacuating the station. You are quite right that there is not much that appeals about living in London.

I read the article in the Review and here is the link you requested for Bungus. This blog aims to please.

Bungus ....... John will be pleased at your praise for is pictures and Yes - they are taken on his mobile phone.

Keep knocking out the Haikus - I like them and they are fun. I had the idea that there must be 'Haiku' blogs. Google blog-search tells me there are - thousands of them but I couldn't find even one good enough to link you to.

Roy ..... As above to Bungus. John will be delighted at your comments about his pictures. Certainly no photoshoppery and it tends to prove the point that it is the photographer and not the equipment that produces good shots.

Thank you very much for the info from Cloughies Autobiography. Our readers will enjoy it.

And post e-mail - don't worry about the odd typo. Nobody else does. We operate under the old Chaucer dictum -

"The grettest clerkes ben not the wysest men"

Which will conveniently do for my Quotation slot. Sleep tight. Catch you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quieter day - NT stuff - Hannah's star system

Knowing that I love 'water' pictures John sent me another. This is a little stream running into Lake Thun, Switzerland and what can I say? Well spotted and beautifully composed in my opinion. The tonal-recessions work well to give 3D depth.

I know I'm biased but I really do think his work is good. Unbiased opinions would be welcomed !

We finally managed a more-or-less 'at home' day but have found plenty of NT work to do, minutes, agendas, a note of the guest-speaker's speech at The Annual Dinner.

The printer at Burton Joyce has conked out and Hannah asked us to print some forms for the star-system she has devised for Miles and Millicent. They each have a background chart on which Hannah sticks stickers depending on good/naughty behaviour. Maybe she will be a school teacher !

My photo-project was some flower studies. But, with a 25mph wind, it was more like 'sports photography' and trying to avoid subject movement.

I particularly wanted to capture these Iris Sibirica because I grew them from seed several years ago. Y has periodically dug out a spade-full and planted them somewhere new. At the moment these are just outside the back door.

Another plant that seems to have a wanderlust is the Evening Primrose. In our garden it refuses point-blank to settle in one place. It is quite fun each year wondering whereabouts it will appear. Most of the pages google found for me wanted to tell me about the PMT symptom reduction of taking Evening Primrose Oil, and the rest insist it is a weed. We treasure it as a flower !

Comments ......Bungus ....... We also miss Morrisons Gold tea and have struggled to find an acceptable substitute. At the moment we have stayed with PG Tips for at least 4 boxes. Certainly unsophisticated but possessed of a robust and reliable strength......

In haiku terms :-
"Where to turn for tea,
So many brands we know, but
PG Tips for me"

Re Panoramas. No I can't do the movie effect. I suspect you need a video camera on a sturdy tripod.

Thanks for the Wisteria info. It seems they are best left to get on with it.

I agree about Wallace Stevens' hidden depths. For me this is a fascination about poetry. One seldom unearths all the 'wisdom' of a poem at first reading or even in the first decade. Unless of course one is intended to, like Pam Ayres, Roger McGough, John Hegley etc., and even then the full sharpness of satire can take a while to dawn. Often I think, the poet him/herself doesn't always realise the power of their own words until later.

Wendell Phillips was correct about the printing-press ! Ultimately even more powerful than war. I knew nothing about him until I opened that Wikipedia page. He sounds our sort of chap. (God bless Wikipedia and all who sail in her).

Quotation time ...... I'm sure this could have been written in easier English, but I agree with what he is saying :-

"Devotees of grammatical studies have not been distinguished for any very remarkable felicities of expression".

Amos Bronson Alcott

Again, a big big man. He carried clout with both Thoreau and Emerson which is enough of a reference for me.

Roast beef dinner to cook tomorrow. With all the usual tracklements. I shall enjoy doing it.

I thought, - you've got to be due for the fish -.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Busy days continue - New Butcher

The Lumsdale Valley Mills which EPS walked last night with an Arkwright Society guide was most interesting, or so I was told. The guide warned of lots of steps and hills and it really wasn't a possibility for someone with mobility problems. So I busied myself at the bottom of the hill. See Picture 1. If it looks dark and gloomy I have done well. It had been an overcast evening and the light was failing. Definitely a tripod job.

The Valley is a dark and forbidding place. The last time WoW saw it as a group, it was a glorious autumn day with plentiful light and beautiful fallen leaf colours.

If you open the link and scroll down the page there are some 360degree panoramic shots which set the scene well. People enjoyed it and congratulations to Helen for sorting it. The walkers were given a leaflet about the Lumsdale project but there wasn't a website mentioned. Y said she heard conversation that 'they' don't want to draw too much attention because of a fear of excessive visitor numbers. And Lumsdale will remain a 'secret' shared by the cognoscenti.

After the walk people went to the Duke of Wellington at Lumsdale which looked good, but both Y and I were too tired by that time. Y was sorry, because she does enjoy a little 'social'. Not to worry there will be other occasions.

Reg's RAF videos from the Telegraph had arrived and I intended to give them to him. But they've had an unplanned holiday to Lumsdale and back. Please remind me Reg !

Bungus sent me some delightful flower pictures. But he describes the plant on the left as a 'nice weed'. It looks to me suspiciously like a Rape plant which has escaped from a farmer's field. If he waits for it to seed he could perhaps manufacture a tiny mustard-spoonful of rape-seed oil. There's nothing like having an aim of self-sufficiency !

The picture on the right is his prolific Wisteria. Lisa will be really envious. I don't know if Bungus's plant is a result of careful cultivation or benign neglect. If the latter, I feel Lisa should follow that example.

This last picture is of the Great Tits at Burton Joyce. As you will see they have finally hatched. Five fit ones have been counted but unfortunately there is another at the bottom of the heap so to speak who never 'gapes' for food like the others.

I s'pose its the way of the world but nevertheless sad. Maybe AnonymousRob or Bungus could delight us with a suitably sombre Haiku. That isn't intended to preclude anyone else. Jill perhaps ?

I think I have discovered a new Butcher. We needed to go to Arnold to take some papers to the Accountant and about a week ago I spotted this chap on Mapperley top. So I gave him a big order and it looks good ; we are having two ribs of forerib on Sunday when Lisa and the children are coming. Took me ages to sort the rest out for the freezer though. I go to the trouble of preparing things and wrapping things in twos, with loads of explanatory labels. It makes things easier at the other end ! Y is always impressed with my fridge/freezer stacking skills. Everything always goes in - even if only just.

Comments..... Jill .... I guess you would enjoy the sepia - and phase two is at the top. It just needed me to swivel through 180 degrees from the last one.

Going back a day. I researched 'Golden Egg' powder but I won't bore you with a link. A woman bemoaned not being still able to get it, as she also considered a great aid to successful batter.

I'm with you about staying up for election results. Couldn't be bothered except for a General Election. Mind you ...... if they become really important .....

Bungus .... I agree and I can visualise the scene you describe. But there was a codger-shortage. I think they were all in the pub. Having hung up their floppy hats they were probably on the gaming machine and falling-out about the big match.

AnonymousRob ...... Your approach to 'work' is the only possible one at the stage you have reached. One has to treat it as pension-cultivation and make it as pleasant as possible under the circumstances.

Keep going with the Haiku though.

Quotation time ...... Back to a favourite poet, and a verse from a favourite poem (about blackbirds)......

"I was of three minds,
Like a tree,
In which there are three blackbirds".

Wallace Stevens

Although a poet of world-renown Stevens carried on working full time in the Insurance industry until he retired. No doubt for pension purposes !

Sleep tight, catch you tomorrow.............................. .............

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lumsdale with EPS - evening walk

A short 'bloggette' to which I may return. A sepia for Jill because the subject is so oldie-worldie.

Another very busy day and we haven't been in long. More follows >>>>>>>


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mansfield NT Annual Dinner - short blog

Just one more John holiday snap. A weir and I can only assume they were in their canoe. Proud of t'lad - the water looks like water.

Mansfield Centre of the National Trust Silver Jubilee Annual Dinner. It went very well. But we had a busy day. Y had been charged with obtaining 3 potted flower arrangements, all the same, at £10 each, as presentations to long serving members who were leaving the committee. It took us hours and hours. Eventually we were successful at Reuben Shaw's Garden Centre about 3 miles away. Super arrangements, helpful staff and the end result was gratifying.

Y's walking shoes were duly picked up from Joan's and we managed a short rest before collecting Jean and going to Warsop for the Dinner. A pleasant meal, good chat, everybody happy, and our 'guest' was the immediate ex Regional Director, Hugh Mathieson. He spoke extremely well. You learn something everyday - I had completely missed the recent news that our Director General, Fiona Reynolds, is now a 'dame'. And well deserved too - competent, attractive, and formidable !

No navigation probs. thanks to Jean. And Wendy came too, surprisingly in view of the 'big match' which she would not be happy about missing.

Comments..... AnonymousRob ..... Hope your 'meal' was a success and you enjoyed the match. Did the best team win? Or are you a Chelsea fan?

Bungus ..... Trying not to let the NT become too time-consuming.

While at Joan's we discussed our visit up North to walk with you and it is just a matter of picking a mutually acceptable date.

Re old cars. I think that while at school the only teacher with a car was Mr. Dodsworth who taught Chemistry and had been a Squadron Leader during the war. He had one of those very stylish Rileys, long and low and us lads were most impressed.

Man eating sausages - not news ! Man eating lions - that's news !

I share your admiration of William Faulkner.

Jill ...... John will enjoy every-one's kind words about his snaps. He has a good 'eye'.

Re apparently dead plants. We had an outdoor fuchsia, base diameter around 3 ft, which died. Y cut back all the dead stuff and I meant to dig out the roots. Then winter came and I hadn't done it. The following spring it did a Lazarus, and thrived thereafter ! Amazing things plants.

I didn't enjoy Chelsea much either. The winning 'green' garden looked like somebody's allotment, with those plain rectangular containers. Sorry about your hay-fever.

After the travellers had de-camped the council came and cleared up. They didn't seem to have been too devastating on the environment anyway.

I used to use a product called 'Golden Egg', a lvl teaspoon of which in your Yorkshire Pudding batter, guarantees crispness. You don't seem to be able to get it now. If you could, I would still be using it.

Re the big match, and Chelsea. Obviously you didn't shout loud enough !

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nat Trust Cttee Meeting - Football field empty - Gypsies gone

The first 2 pictures are from John's holiday, and I still find it hard to believe, they were taken on his mobile-phone camera.

These are the rapids on the River Ardeche where they managed to capsize their canoe. The link takes you to a clickable gallery of official photos. But none better than John's. The two person canoe (mid frame left) conveys the 'feel' very well.

He blames their capsize on Yvonne (that's his Yvonne, not mine) but I don't think he is serious.

The second picture shows the fortress town of Carcassonne in the distance. I think this is one of their favourite places ! It always reminds me of the scene in El Cid when they strapped Charlton Heston to his horse and he came zooming out of the door/portcullis/ whatever you call the 'way out' of a castle. The link takes you right back. That music ! And the distant view of the fort looks like John's snap. I'm not sure of the correct name for those cone topped towers but they look just right'

Picture 3 shows new growth struggling on Lisa's 'wisteria' . She's tried to do the pruning according to the book but has now decided to leave it to its own devices for a year or two. Prolly be covered in bloom this time next year.

This morning we had a full committee meeting at Mansfield National Trust and everything went more smoothly than expected. Y's report on the 'Schools Visits' was well received and we can now contact the Head Teachers. The idea is that we fund visits of 30 children at KS2 to Clumber, Hardwick, and The Workhouse.

The Workhouse is favourite for Y and I. They intend to stage an 1841 tour; the children will be met by the Matron in costume, the boys and girls separated, given period workhouse uniform to wear in a schoolroom, where a Victorian 'lesson' will be delivered. It sounds so interesting I would quite like to go myself.

It seems to me to be an admirable use of local National Trust funds.

When we got home we had lunch and then tackled some of the paper-work. 40 Head Teachers to be written to, minutes to be written up and also tomorrow we need to collect Y's walking boots from Joan's, prior to Helen's Lumsdale Walk on Thursday evening. Not to mention the Nat Trst Annual Dinner on Wednesday evening. It was most pleasant last year and should be fun rather than tiresome.

Comments..... Bungus ..... The vaseline body wash is obviously designed to help thin-skinned men who can't take criticism.

You aren't missing anything about the panoramas. They are the same picture, as you say 'apart from the dip'. It is the reason for the dip that is the question.

Thanks for reminding me that the character peering over the wall is Chad.

A Sonnet is 13 lines. A Haiku is 17 syllables.

And I think that a 4 x 4 is fine if you are towing a caravan. They aren't a new idea anyway - we used to say '4 wheel drive' and I can't see what all the fuss is about.

AnonymousRob ..... I'm sure it won't be so hard to place 'people with disabilities' as it has been 'offenders' and I wish you well with it. Provided you don't intend to practice on me. I am completely unemployable and intend to remain so.

Your Haiku is pretty damn good for an early effort. Definitely 16 out of 20, perhaps more. I've know people become addicted to writing them though so beware another time waster....... Thanks for putting me right about my dongle - it certainly sounds as if I need one.

Great note about Granma ! Here is a link for interested readers. Nice lively layout, plus of course, a photo of Ché. Lots in there - I had a poke about in the culture section. Contemporary Cuban Art is fascinating and the link takes you to a hoot of a car picture. I suspect that the car may be a Chevrolet Belle Air, but I don't mind being corrected. Cuba really does qualify as the world-centre for Car Pictures I think. Although a slightly different subject your Cuba photobook courtesy of Aldi was excellent and I intend to have a go mi-sen !


I thought I would move Chad to the other end of his wall. But he insists on re-appearing at his original end. More work required. I wonder if Jill is still chewing her original piece of Kendall Mint Cake. Sleep tight all. See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Nice to have Y back - Travellers leaving

Panoramas 1 and 2 are from exactly the same three shots, but merged by different programmes. No 1 is courtesy of my new programme and I've semi-cracked it. But it seems determined to produce these strange shapes. Maybe it is to mimic an old 'fish-eye' effect and the narrowed centre is to ive the impression of depth. Interesting to note that nothing is cut out of the picture ......... I obviously need to shin further up the 'learning curve'. I've also worked out how to simply join two photos together, like yesterday's 'Laburnum Arch'.

Panorama 2 is courtesy of good 'ol Serif Panorama 2 which maybe took a few minutes longer but we aren't talking long anyway.

I also thought a picture of the Travellers Rest over the football field might be of interest. In the last few minutes about 4 of them have moved off. Let's hope the others soon follow. The free spirit in me must confess a certain sympathy with them and I can see an attraction to that way of life. There presence is certainly not worth getting in a tizzy over, like our neighbours.

Y arrived on time at the Tram terminal and it is good to have her home. For main meal I cooked sausages, mash with swede in it, carrots, spring greens, courgettes and battered onion rings. Plus of course, plenty gravy. Y said all the right things about a proper meal, because in London they tend to eat differently. Andy is an excellent cook and finds it relaxing, as I do, and he does a tidy sausage, egg and chips. But they eat more pasta than we do.

The moon has just risen - a beautiful shade of orange. Didn't have time to set up a camera though.

Comments..... Roy.... What can I say but 'welcome aboard' and I'm so pleased you've mastered the technology. Your comment is spot on for accuracy. It is in fact the second stem of the plant. I just hadn't looked carefully enough. No wonder I was never on CID.

Bungus ...... Sorry you have been feeling 'under par' or, I always think, pedant that I am, if it is a golfing metaphor, it should be 'over par'.

You really mustn't overdo this physical activity thing though. Y might read your comment and get ideas. So pleased your coming off those awful chemicals seems to be having a benificial effect. It has been a rough-time for you and we all admire the good spirits which you have managed to maintain.

AnonymousRob..... Congratulations on a new laptop ! I'm sure your output will remain of high qualty. And it's 'writing' when your are the author, 'typing' is when you transpose something that another person has written. What exactly is a dongle and do I want one?

Elaine's new motor sounds fun. And you are right about gossip travelling fast. But it isn't gossiping when men do it - it's called discussing things. As you say 'vive la difference'.

I can understand your connecting in your mind 'haiku' with the first three lines of the Dylan Villanelle. Strictly speaking a 'haiku' is three lines with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line and 5 in the last line. The Japanese master Basho was a main protagonist around 1681 onwards. If you open the link and notice that the syllable form isn't strictly followed, it is just due to translation. We have an Algonquin friend who used to spend some time with us and when he went home he gave me a book of traditional haiku which I treasure.

Jill ....... We have had three orchids altogether. At £4.94 at Lidl they were too good to miss. The original pink one (of which Reg has a marvellous example) has been in flower months. The white one which I 'blogged' is not so old and is dying first.

Y has been cold but she's had a good time. She did lots of child-minding, visits to the Park etc., and felt that in 'Thomas The Tank Engine' terms she has been a really useful engine. She is tired but happy.

Kendall Mint Cake should not, in my recollection, be as you describe. Chewy and soft according to that link. And it helped Hillary conquer Everest according to the blurb. I'm afraid, with regard to yours, the bin calls.


Busy day tomorrow. A Karen day, and the lawns need doing again too. Nat Trst Committee meeting at Jeans. Catch up on things.

Quotation time ....... This is a Haiku which seems timely:-

"As the wind does blow
Across the trees, I see the
Buds blooming in May"

I nicked it from the UCLA Asia Institute. It isn't a very good haiku because it is just 17 syllables forced unnaturally into the three line form. It would have been 'thumbs down' from Basho, I fear.

An animated line follows. Did they used to call this character 'funf' or am I getting confused with old radio shows again?


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Another quiet day of mixed weather

I can't now get the 'photomerge' bit of my new programme to work, to produce a panorama. In the old one I had finally worked out how to do it - and now they've changed it ! The instructions in my Scott Kelby book are clear and precise but ............ !

Being a resourceful man however I picked one of my laburnum shots, copied it and flipped it horizontally. Put them side by side as above and it looks as if we've got a rather posh laburnum arch. Trouble is, if you click it to get an enlargement you will get one or the other, not both at the same time. Tried RAW again and yes, I can see a difference, but they are such big files and take ages to load and deal with. I really do want to do it right, like the big boys, but I think that for my type of pictures, the blog etc., I'm sticking to JPEGs. The circumstances might arise where I see a really super picture before me and I'll click over to RAW, but not day to day.

The picture at the left is abit of a mystery and I would welcome your input. The Orchid (just now fading after months of loyal service) shows several of the florets with their backs to you.

Bright idea ! Photograph it in front of a mirror and the flowers showing their reverse will be visible.

And it has worked to a certain extent hasn't it ?

But why does the reflection of the stem seem to protrude over the wooden frame of the mirror ? An interesting effect, but I haven't a clue how I did it. I give you my word that I haven't manipulated the image, apart from a crop and brighten.

When I spoke to David this morning he told me a lovely story about Brooke. Apparently next door's cat has become a nuisance, wandering in whenever it gets the chance. David just happened to have to hand a lightweight fibre-glass riding crop with a whacking device at one end and a tassel at the other. David grasped the crop intending to give the cat a polite whack to encourage it to leave. Brooke said she would like to deal with it and David passed the crop over, a little fearful that Brooke might be too heavy-handed. Not so ! She held the crop with the tassel on the floor just in front of the cat and wiggled it about until the cat chased it - right out of the door ! Gentle Brooke. A classic example of carrot or stick !

It will be nice to have Y back tomorrow. She will be tired, but happy tired. And I shall have to tidy up, and get dressed and things like that. My feet have enjoyed the no-sock scenario though. What a slob I would be left to myself.

Comments..... Jill.... The advice wasn't intended as purple gobbledegook but as advice to new blog readers. Here is the proper version - 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.
I reduced the size of the font to 'smallest' and obviously '' didn't like it. The colour of your conker tree is indeed a lovely shade, if I'm thinking of the right one. And I've noticed that the white candles always seem first, followed by the pinks and reds........ The gypsies are still here, in fact I think there are two more today. A few minutes ago the Police Helicopter came and hovered over the football field. Perhaps they are planning to napalm them.

Crossword. I got 'Leicester' and never even thought 'Newcastle'. As Rob points out 'Leicester' was her No.1 chap. And why should a New castle be her favourite?

Re NT we shall just have to wait and see. Bungus makes some good points and no doubt a few people would resent a husband/wife team as priniciple officers. But that doesn't mean they would be prepared to serve on the committee and do a little work ! Twas ever thus.

Bungus ..... As you will see in the reply to Jill, the blog-reading advice should have read thus.

Notwithstanding 'problerms' I would really like to see Laxton and I will ring you later in the week, when Y is back and has contacted Joan. I don't think this week is possible anyway. But we can sort it.

I thought 'nepotism' meant favouring ones neices or nephews which I think it once did. But I've checked and your usage is perfectly sound.

The 'poetic form' whose name escaped you is the Villanelle. In fact Wikipedia cites the Dylan poem as an example. A difficult form to carry off smoothly but, of course, Dylan did it with brilliance. And Yes! Kathy is good. And still reads her stuff at all sorts of live events.

AnonymousRob....... How rotten about Elaine's tyre. Looking on the bright side though, it was no doubt cheaper than a coin scratch all the way down the side. Still nasty though to know you have those sort of people around.

You are right about the cyanotype blossom tree. I shall continue to experiment. One problem seems to be persuading greens to go blue everything else is not too difficult. You have shown me how to do it, so it just needs more effort.

Re slop-bowl. Wikipedia only has a stub about the matter. WebFetch only really wanted to tell where to find one on e-bay.


Quotation time ...... This amsed me when I first read it ages ago. If I've previously used it on the blog it tends to prove the point :-

"Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person ?"

I think we would have enjoyed an hour with him in the 'salon'.

Sleep tight, hope to catch you tomorrow, and - with a special dispensation from Bungus.......


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Quiet Saturday - Grey and cool

Is there any wonder I need to keep refilling the birdbath with water. I looked out of the kitchen-window and there was this big fat pigeon....... Fortunately he/she sat there while I fetched my camera. ....... But as soon as he/she spotted me, Picture 2 ensued. Fortunately my Nikon doesn't suffer from much shutter-delay.

A quiet day, a few jobs, much radio and newspapers plus naps. To add to our house selling problems gypsies/travellers/ or whatever you are supposed to call them have moved onto the football field opposite. Not a good selling point ! Y hasn't seen them yet of course.

Comments......Bungus ..... What bit of the 'blog reader advice' didn't you understand? I've published exactly the same piece before because I have it my Google notebook and I just copy/paste it into the blog. You have never demurred in the past. It is supposed to help folks who don't know about clicking a picture, or the orange coloured live links etc..

Anyoldhow.... I am relieved that you are not ill. I had guessed Friday would be hospital day but feared it had laid you low. Really pleased, as you are, that the chemo-tablets seem done with. And that you will be a little less concerned about infection. Joan, Y and I will make an arrangement soon to come over and have a wander round Rufford or similar. Perhaps Laxton would be interesting at this time of year.

I don't despise clever titles - in the right place. For me, a simple basic record shot's title should simply be where it is or what it is illustrating. Where there is a purpose, OK. For instance I thought your 'Springtime?' was first rate. I know the 'smileys' irritate you but, as I point out, you are not my only reader. There is somewhere a device for disabling 'smileys' in HTML documents (which the blog is) at the readers end. I will research it and let you know.

Y and I are both aware of the NT problems you mention. The trouble is that, if a certain person is elected to the Chair, the rest of the committee will refuse to serve. Hence the pressure on me to stand, so that we can carry on much the same as we are now. The present Chairman, Peter, who is excellent, has to stand down because the Constitution says so. The 'other members in general' you mention just want things to be done and it is very difficult to persuade new people to come on the committee.

Reg ....... Thank you very much for the 'scale' info. We certainly have such a range of expertise involved in the blog. I knew absolutely nothing about any of that.

That something should be 1" to the 1 foot was an easy starting point, and also your aero modellers 1/4 . How odd that the railways should be obscure. Perhaps something to do with Telford or Isambard Kingdon Brunel being awkward old sods. Just found this link to George Stevenson and it seems that the width of the wagonway at Killingworth Colliery was at the bottom of it.

I'm sure that AnonymousRob will negotiate a work-break into his blogging - Whoooops - a typo, that should be the other way round !


A busy week lies ahead - Nat Trst Committee meeting on Tuesday, Nat Trst Annual Dinner on Wednesday (I may gave WoW a miss) , and Lumsdale Walk on Thursday evening.

Quotation time ........Still with Dylan Thomas :-

" Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light"

Dylan Thomas

Please open the link under his name and, when it's open, click the play button and hear him read it while you read the poem on the page. I think it gives all of us who are the wrong side of 70, permission to carry on 'sounding off' about things in general.

I generally avoid the news in this blog because most of it is trivial but this is important. Our Horse Chestnut trees are under threat from conker canker. According to the Telegraph half of our two million trees already have it, and there is no cure.

In The News Quiz on Radio 4 at lunchtime there was much hilarity about the fundamentalist preachers who had quoted the holy book that 'you should take a homosexual up a mountain and toss him off'. The panel had great fun with it. I've just checked the link and all the interior links are live, if you decided you wanted to listen to the prog.

Catch you tomorrow. And once only, just to please Bungus, no smiley and no animated line.

>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<< .

Friday, May 16, 2008

Y off to Palmers Green - miserable damp/grey/drizzly day

Jill - no need to worry about Steve's garden not being child-friendly - it is. The bit above, between the steps and the house, is the football pitch, sand-pit, wendy-house etc., general recreation area. Close scrutiny of the enlargement will in fact reveal a small child in red making her exit off-stage left, on a bicycle......... And for Lou's reassurance - Yes ! they do have some help in it.

Picture 2 is back to WoW at Crich. It is one of my unashamed, uncloned-out cables and untampered with, record-shots. Not camera-club worthy but blog-worthy - to let people see where I have been.

No need even for a clever, clever title. There are road-signs and pub-names in the picture itself to give you a clue.

Y set off this morning for Palmer's Green, to do even more 'grannying'. She is so much looking forward to seeing the girls, and being a help to Debra. Debra has been really supportive about our new National Trust roles and thinks I should stand for the chairmanship next year and her Mum should continue as secretary. Her view is that it would be a waste of our (mine and Y's) brains and capabilities not to.

House-viewers visited this afternoon and seemed quite interested. But I dare hardly utter. We are certainly not going to get excited.

Picture 3, as you can see, is a cyanotype of the cherry-blossom about a week ago. It has shed nearly all it's petals, but it has been delightful.

I think I have missed out though on a snap of a cowslip. Seeing so many made me think that I should have a record-shot - but by the time I had decided to go out with a suitable camera/lens and actually look for one, they had finished.

Comments......Jill...... Not all of Steve's garden is formal. Yesterday's picture was the sunken Victorian Garden created last year by Long Tall Sally and her Polish Henchmen. There's plenty of play areas and flowers and trees but it is big and without hiring a hot-air balloon it is difficult to get it all in.

Ah yes! Slop-bowl etiquette. Grandma used to pour about a tablespoonful of tea into it from the tea-pot before filling anyone's tea-cup. She said that first bit was far too weak. Then, if people had a second cup she would gently swill out the bottom of their cup with water from the hot-water jug and tip that in the slop-bowl too.

And don't apologize for re-donning your woolly vest. I don't think we have got round to not wearing them yet. And we put the heating on for an hour this morning ! Mind you, as you probably realise, this far north we still need our snow-shoes until lunch-time.

AnonymousRob...... I'm with Bungus. Your writing is excellent - well put together and witty with it. And most importantly, - fun to read.

The group of ramblers you saw would undoubtedly be Y and friends. I mentioned the Misk because I thought I had seen it mentioned in the outline of the walk. This is what it said :-

Wednesday 14th May at 6.45pm- DOB PARK & MISK HILLS -5½ miles, 2½ hours - A circular walk from Hucknall Market Place, taking in Misk Hills, Dob Park and former spoil heaps of Linby Colliery now forming a pleasant vista at its summit. For more details call 07719 827808. -Leader - :Chris Thompson, Market Place.

Not knowing the time you saw them, it's hard to know which stage they had reached.

Your Brian Clough 'first and last caps' story reminded me of a glorious Dr Johnson put down. Some aspiring writer had submitted something for the great man's approval. Johnson replied - "Your essay is both good and original. Unfortunately that which is original is not good, while that which is good is not original."

Louceecreations....... Thanks for your comment. We 'bloggers' must stick together.


We managed a little shopping en route to dropping Y off at the tram. Before it started to drizzle I sorted out the bird-feeders and put water in the bird-bath.

Hope Bungus isn't poorly.

Quotation time...... Don't need to get a book out even, for this one:-

"The force that through the green fuse drives the flower,
Drives my green age,
That blasts the roots of trees is my destroyer"

The link, under his name, is a link to a Youtube of him reading something else. If Bungus is a little off colour, or busy, he will enjoy it. I'm running ahead of schedule tonight - not due to ring Y for half an hour and I've finished mi' blog.

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 post.
  • 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 but ery 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.
Sleep tight! Catch you termorrer !