Saturday, February 28, 2009

Butchers - Shopping - Barnsley Chop for TJ


The orchid above is for Jill, as is, in the evening sun, without phosphorescence. Admittedly posed in the corner of my bedroom but no 'photoshoppery' or any other arcane arts used.

My leg is a little better today and if a certain ill-temper tinged my blog-post yesterday I apologise.

This morning we set off early and went to the Butchers. He had some shin going suitably purple/black at the edges so I bought a couple of 1lbs of that and 4 Barnsley Chops, an inch thick sirloin steak (which we shall share) 8 links of his Pork & Sage sausage, 8 links of Best Back unsmoked, 2 x 450 grms beef mince. So we can withstand a siege for a week or two. The we did Lidl and finished up at Morrisons.

As it was Tracy, we permitted eating main meal in the evening. She is so stress-reducing and it was lovely to see her. We had the barnsley chops, mashed potato with swede in it and carrots. For greens I did finely shredded spring greens with finely sliced leek mixed in. And of course, gravy. The little mint-sauce jug is at least as old as me and I have always been charmed by it.

For pudding Y did some fruit filled pancakes and ice-cream. Delicious.

The snap of TJ's back is because I thought she had her 'top' on inside out, due to the label.

But it was just me having an old-fashioned view of the world where labels appeared on the inside of garments. I shall know better in future.

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne ...... Doubtless your songster would be a robin - although I have noted another more chirrupy contributor which might be a chaffinch. And there is also one which makes a sound rather like opening a crisp packet - not loud or harsh enough for a magpie. This year we really must research the' song of garden birds' - Roy is very good but he isn't around at 5am

R and Mo .... I've put a reminder on my phone so I don't miss the brand new 'Journey into Space'. Blakes 7 is currently running on BBC Radio 7 but, at 25 years old it is a mere strippling compared with some of their output. Round the Horn, The Navy Lark, and many others, but they also do excellent up-to-date readings of classic literature.

Thanks for the updates on Durban House. The situation gets more outrageous as each day passes. I may have to go and demonstrate. As Bungus will confirm I have done it before, in support of a writers club member who I felt had been unfairly fired. It was only a couple of years after my retirement and I knew some of the Officers sent to police the demo. Unusually for a demonstrator one of the Pc's addressed me as Sir ! - Bless him.

Instead of 'Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' you would make a fine 'Nonplussed of Newthorpe'.

Bob .... I'm sure that your are spot-on re smorgaswhatsits. I always thought a sandwich had to be two slices of bread with something in-between. Due to it being invented by the 4th Earl of Sandwich but, reading the link, I now realise the story maybe an urban-myth.

Thanks for pointing out that it is Lent. I intend to give up marathon-running.

Jill .... Thanks. And, as you will see above Tracy's lunch eventually became an evening meal.

I heard on the Radio about the Picasso Exhibition and the absence of the relevant works at the side of. Apparently there are are small reproductions exhibited nearby. But that really isn't good enough. From being excited by the prospect I have relapsed into luke-warm at best.

I think a knitter-on-the-plinth is an excellent idea ! Correctly in line with Anthony Gormley's notion.

Re Incredimail. I sincerely hope you get away with it. Unfortunately the word on the streets is that the programme is insidious and causes trouble eventually. This link Don Davidson is to some of the problems people have had. Don't worry if you don't understand most of it, I'm sure you will get the drift.


Quotation time ........

"The Television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bed bound - Virgin still useless - Pictures


Today I am opening with Jill's bulbs because I haven't done anything photographic except produce this collage from Jill's e-mail. The main reason is a decision to stay in bed with my leg straight out down the bed - this has a tendency to ease things but I am left with the strange sensation that the limb is encased in plaster as if I'd broken it. editor - no more - because other peoples aches and pains can be as boring as holiday snaps.

The absolutely PROMISED tv remote, which was certain to arrive to day, didn't ! Surprise, surprise ! are all Virgins useless ?

Y has been in charge of the galley and we've had lovely food - vegetarian bakes, potato wedge and salad. Later, some attractive open cheese and lettuce sandwiches and I do hope that some pedant doesn't find it necessary to point out that if they were open they weren't sandwiches. Lots of tea and coffee goes without saying.

Also needless to say, I've listened to Radio 4 almost continuously but a little Radio 7 first thing. At 11am on R 4 was a snasher entitled Hair Spray and Harmony about a ladies' barbershop singing competition.

My ArtDaily newspaper was also full of interest. I reproduce this Picaso 'The Matador' for your enjoyment. If I am up to it I would very much like to visit the exhibition "Picasso: Challenging The Past" at The National Gallery till early June.

Also in ArtDaily is a video by Anthony Gormley who has had the bright idea for the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. For 24 hours a day for 100 days volunteers will be invited to stand on the plinth. All will be filmed and he hopes thereby to create a snapshot of our times.

I don't know Anthony Gormley personally but he seems engaging and surprising normal for one so creative.

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne .....
Reg's explanation also probably has something to do with digital radio always being a few words ahead of analogue radio. Or is it the other way round ? Bob mentions the point further down.

A Feedback listener asked which time-signal was the correct one ? They had an 'expert' to explain but I couldn't understand what I was being told.

Bob ....
I can hardly bring myself to comment. I already know the meaning of decoupage, and I was trying to make a point about recouping energy.

Your cavalier attitude to computer security is not to be admired. Whilst enjoying your frisson of uncertainy, if you did download viruses, or spyware etc., you would expect Danny or someone else to sort it out for you. And all while something simple like SiteAdvisor is there, and FREE.

The fact that Danny hasn't recommended it is neither here nor there. WebUser forum people do, and I think that their accumulated wisdom and experience is probably sound.

Judgementals ...... I take your point about 'smileys'.. The word 'bungus' has a similar effect on some people. i.e Once they see it, they read no further. Pleased however to note that your comments no longer begin with you referring to yourself in the third person.

Reg .... Courteous young PCs have always existed. We were taught to be nice and polite to Mums and Dads and people who worked for a living, and as 'orrible as could be to criminals and louts.

Thanks for the report on the 'battle' and I'm glad Peter Cheetham did well. I think Helen thought him a little 'picky' - but he always has been. I well remember him going through a phase of doing exhibition prints which showed the film-edge ratchet holes. Never understood what that was all about.

Jill..... Glad you liked my Dick Barton link. I also remember the 'circus folk' serial. Y reminded me of a Dick Barton episode where they were trapped in a room when the floor and ceiling and walls were all coming together. And I could remember the episode but I'll be damned if I can remember how they got away - which they surely did !

Re Incredimail. I really do hope you haven't downloaded because the consequences can be far reaching. All seems well at first but after some months things start to go wrong, leading eventually to a crash. Here is the Wikipage about it, please click, scroll down to Controversy to read about the problems.

My solution, published in WebUser, was about Picasa 3 difficulties. If you still have problems why not telephone and I'll talk you through the 'fix it'.

Join the insomnia club ! No doubt at that time the bird would be a Robin - bless 'em - almost worth being awake for


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

"Art thou the bird whom Man loves best,
The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
Our little English Robin...."

William Wordsworth

We must go shopping tomorrow. Tracy coming for a meal.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Signs of Spring - but still only 47F - lots of naps

The opening collage is Bob's 'woodcarving' and here you are actually watching the creative act taking place. A person, complete with personality, is emerging. Already 'he' reminds me of someone but I can't quite yet shout out who it is.

The weather here has been dark and gloomy all day but there are signs of Spring.

Crocuses all over the place (mostly yellow) and rose-buds emerging from the stalks. Very little light but I wanted to capture a little of our Princess Elizabeth which lives just outside the Office window.

Y has gone to Burton Joyce but, when I had dropped her at the Tram, I came straight back home and had a day of 'recoupage'. You can recoup financial losses so I guess you can recoup energy. It sounds rather French but my little pocket Collins English/French doesn't have it.

My day's diet has been just a couple of rounds of toast and plenty of tea and coffee. We may eat when Y returns but we may not. If Lisa sends me a cream cake I will definitely eat that.

Computer- wise I have bought a new copy of RegCure for the big PC and my Asus and all I have had to do is download it, pay, and enter 2 different licence numbers for the different machines. Since I first installed it years ago on the Packard Bell laptop I have been a fan. I do a scheduled scan on a weekly basis and the programme always finds some crud to clear out and my computers work better and quicker thereafter.

I know it sounds like a programme designed to sort Reg out, but, in fact, the Reg bit stands for Registry. And I haven't spent the entire day in bed either - I've had a good 'go' at the crossword and actually read the paper. Jill will certainly see the letter on the 'letters page' about rampaging urban foxes. Apparently the writer has suffered one such entering the house during the night via the cat-flap and causing damage.

Picture 3 is the lay-figure as left by Karen. Lay-figures are interesting - they induce people to leave them in poses. Tracy favours an 'entrechat' or some other ballet movement and hers can look quite artistic.

No doubt some post-grad psychology student could design a doctoral thesis on the subject.

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne ..... If you want Sky Sports my darling, you can have it ! As you say, especially if they secure Wimbledon. As long as I've known Y she has been devoted to Wimbledon and, in the old days, has been known to take her annual holidays to coincide.

'Emanuele' on WebUser forums won't be best pleased by last night's match, as a Juventus fan.

Bob ...... For the benefit of other readers 'Pickup on South Street' is now a link to some extracts from the film. I take your point about the 'noir' aspect - even the music is certainly not 'blanc'. There is a definite attraction to black & white films, as there is to b & w still photography. And to Radio without pictures. BBC 7 is well worth a listen, if you have access. Their plays and classic readings are excellent. At the moment they are even repeating 'Dick Barton - Special Agent' - I can distinctly remember running home from wherever I was playing so as not to miss the cliff-hanging adventures of Barton, Jock and Snowey. I've even managed, please click here to get you all a recording of that unforgettable music. It will all be complete double-dutch to our younger readers.

Although I am a fan of most greens I agree with you about kale. Lets face it - it's cattle-fodder, not for people !

Jill ...... The reason the orchids look flourescent is because I had tried to photograph them like that, for drama. Either with the sun behind them and the sun shining through the petals, or, with the sun full frontal both of which seem to make them glow.

Re e-mails and viruses. Your anti-virus software should protect you against e-mail borne malware. I'm assuming you have such - AVG or Norton etc.. The e-mail I was talking about was a 'hoax' misinforming people that a big virus attack was imminent, with an e-mail entitled either 'Postcard' or 'Postcard from Hallmark'. If you ever receive anything which you are not happy about, copy the subject, or the opening words of the summary and then paste that into Google and click 'search'. It will soon tell you if it is a hoax.

I always recommend that people download McAfee SiteAdvisor which is completely free and it basically tells you if sites are safe or not by a green, amber, or red icon at the side the the result. The title above is a link to the download page. All you need to do is follow your nose.

Re your claim. In my opinion it will be £45 well ventured. You have a strong argument and I still think that, if you pursue it, the Council will at some stage fold, and make you an offer.

I've just noticed in my inbox that your pictures have arrived. Thanks. I'll probably use one tomorrow. By the way, I noticed in your e-mail, an intro to 'Incredimail' smileys. I can only advise that you give that programme a very wide berth indeed. It really is trouble. If you haven't downloaded it, for goodness sake don't. If you need to know more I will send you some information about it.

Reg ..... Obviously you are right about the time delay in the football commentary. Going up to satellites and back, instead of more 0r less direct radio waves is the reason. Brilliant. ..... Satellites never crossed my mind.

Yvonne will be pleased !

Sorry to hear about your upset tummies. Hope you are soon recovered.


Quotation time .......

"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think"

Horace Walpole

Walpole, in my opinion, was abit of a Wally and a very dodgy Art Historian. But, credit where it's due, I agree with his quote.

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"

I think the train must be about due for an airing


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Definitely warmer - 50F - More jobs 'sorted' - WebUser

When my WebUser magazine arrived this morning I was honoured to see the editor had chosen a solution of mine to a problem aired on the forum. However the last sentence had vanished. I had reassured readers that Picasa 3 would quickly find all their pictures, even though they had chosen not to save their database, and they wouldn't be 'lost'.

I'm sure folks will work it out anyway - if not they will appear back on the forum.

Y had an appointment at her usual hairdressers in Eastwood and, while she was there, I did a few jobs. One was to buy a cheapo 24 frame, 200 ISO, film for my Nikon 35mm camera so I can have a further mess-about with my pinhole lens.

When we arrived home I tackled several outstanding computer jobs - none of which presented any problems.

Another pleasant job was to take some more snaps of 'the orchid' but I don't think I can improve on the first one which Brian S.. liked so much. I rang Helen C hoping to get a picture from yesterday's WoW but she hadn't gone either due to her dog being ill.

Arising from a comment of Jill's (could have been an e-mail to Y) that they had a daffodil out, I took this snap just outside our back door and in a couple of days we shall have one out too.

I forgot to tell you something yesterday which happened en route to Y's 'nails' appointment.

In Rise Park there were lots of police-officers pulling people into lay-bys and checking them over. A courteous young PC noticed I wasn't wearing a seat belt. I had to drive a few yards round the corner into some parking spots where Y took my 'Certificate of Exemption' over to another equally courteous young PC who glanced at it and said OK. Never been asked for it before but I'm glad I had it with me. The big problem was finding it in my wallet - yet another thing which needs a tidy and a cull.

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne ..... Very good for the 'junior reporter' on The Sports Desk. However, WebUser's 'Emanuelle' (who incidentally is a male Carabiniere in Milan) says the real big match is tonight. Chelsea v Juventus - but before you ask I have no idea how you can watch it. The link is to the BBC page about it. You will be wanting Sky soon.

That the Radio commentary was a millisecond or so before the TV action either means that Radio commentators are possessed of the gift of prescience or, more likely, the telly coverage is a little slower. I don't think that it came from Milan was relevant at all.

Jill ..... I feel sure, now you've told us more about it. that your facial pain will eventually just fade away. Does sleeping on that side make it worse when you wake up. ? Is it more sensitive to touch or does it just linger ?

Re these pains in general, I think the original Magwitch analogy is still relevant. I can be fine then ouch ! - it suddenly hits me.

We didn't have the traditional WoW-type chip-butty at home. We had a small M&S steak pie between us, with mashed potato, carrots and spring greens (prolly my favourite of all winter greenstuff) with lashings of gravy. Followed by rice-pudding with, in my case, a big dollop of raspberry jam in the middle.

Bob .... Pleased to hear about your woodcarving and thanks for the snaps. I think the effect of wielding those chisels and mallets must be exquisite pain, to be enjoyed rather than suffered. Especially as, as you say, it will go off.

I take your point about 'spray-on' oil - but it doesn't sound as much fun.

Talking of viruses - there's a scare doing the rounds click here to see that this one, headed either 'Postcard' or 'Postcard from Hallmark', is in fact a hoax - whatever it may say about being checked out in Snopes etc. It hasn't. What pleasure do people get out of scaring folks to death like this ? I simply googled the subject heading and the link I have given you was the result. But folks simply don't check - they just forward it round to everybody with 'shock/horror' implications.

Pete (Mannanan) .....Glad you enjoyed the Rooney quote and the Johnny Walker link. Please feel free to use them on your own site. Basically, unless I say otherwise, you are free to use anything you find on Radiogandy. Obviously I can't give you permission to use other people's snaps because they own the copyright.

Mostly though I'm sure that, if you ask, via me, they will say it's fine. Rob however sells many of his images so I am particularly careful with his stuff.


Quotation time ...... I love this one. It is vaguely reminiscent of Ben Whitaker's -
"Freemasonry is the mafia of the mediocre" ......

"Conceit is God's gift to little men"

Bruce Barton

Y is off to her usual Burton Joyce date tomorrow and has already spoken to Lisa. Millicent was overjoyed that Grandma would be collecting her from Windmill. They will all have a lovely day. Y will be tired when she returns but, as she says, 'happy tired'.

I shall mess-about and I've already decided to give EPS a miss tomorrow evening. It is the first leg of a competition with Ilkeston camera club. Although they can be good fun, I'm better cossetting myself at home. Helen C is going to tell me all about it anyway.

"Sleep tight - Catch you tomorow"


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Film cameras - 49F - University Challenge - Useless Virgin


Two more collages today. I might form a Collage Society and call it The Old Montagarians or similar ! The first one is about my recently acquired Nikon F401X which I bought at the weekend on e-bay (£5 and £3 p.p.) paid for by PayPal and it arrived today. It works. And part of the 'packaging' was this sturdy old Nikon camera-bag which I hadn't ordered. I e-mailed the vendor with my surprised thanks and he said that having no use for it he thought I might like it. E-bay, in my experience, is a happy place to be. Most of the web is like that - there are only a few unpleasant rogues. Like spammers !

My reason for wanting a 35mm film DSLR is in the pursuit of my pinhole interests. This evening I had a pleasant 10 minute chat to Roy about it all because film photography is his first love and I need advice about films etc.

Collage 2 is about Bob's rotting-head (in his garden !) and his attendance at woodcarving classes. The classes tire him out and I have advised him to take it easy. The head in the garden has always reminded me of Charles de Gaulle but is apparently now suffering the ravages of time. I have linked you to a Wiki page so you can check out the similarity.

Unfortunately I shan't be WoW-ing tomorrow. Senior Management (i.e. Y) has been quite clear about the matter.

At the moment our television works but not the old NTL remote amd while we have a good quality picture on the screen the sound is too low to be audible. Virgin media have been most helpful and are to send us a new remote control as a matter of urgency. Delivery time ? Between 2 and 8 days. However, on the PC and also the laptops, we can use BBC iPlayer so we don't actually miss anything. The University Challenge final for instance which we loved.

However Y wanted to watch the Milan v Manchester football match live and had an incredibly bright idea. While watching the match on the telly she tuned her radio to Radio 5Live and received on the spot commentary. If the idea had been one of mine it would be allocated number 6 ???. ..... The linked page carries a live interview with Mourinho so she will be watching that !

My responses to your previous comments

Jill ..... Oh dear. What an accident and time ravaged lot we are. Y seems the fittest, except for her blood-pressure and even that isn't too bad at the moment. And this runny nose she can't shake-off.

I agree about Gail Trimble - to call her 'Grace' must have been a feudian slip because she is indeed 'graceful' for one so frighteningly bright.

Sorry your face is going to take 6 months to heal. Were you told that the concomitant pain would also last that long ? Take loads of pain-killers would be my response.

Bob ..... Your Tesco Tea bargains do indeed sound worth dropping-in for. Another item where sale-by dates are hardly relevant when you consider how slow the East Indiamen were doing the round trip.

The lateral-thinking arising from linseed-oil made me smile. But who am I going to get to apply it ? Y would refuse point-blank and I think Karen would expect an impossibly high wage increase to take the job on.


Quotation time .... Without I hope straying into the Sports Desk's emporium...

"(Wayne) Rooney has signed a deal to do five books. That’s an awful lot of crayons.”

I've linked you to a page about his radio show. Unfortunately I don't listen to it, so I can't enlighten you.

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"


Monday, February 23, 2009

Blood Test - Brocolli & Stilton Soup - 49F still chilly


Y's snowdrops look great but the hearts-ease and the purple crocuses are struggling abit.

Started the day with a 'fasting' blood test at 8.30am and then I did a mini shop at The Co-op because I'd decided to make Broccoli & Stilton soup for one meal and we also needed tea and coffee etc. In Paul's £1 shop I got things I needed. One thing was a pack of 3 x shorthand note books (for a £1) - excellent value and very nice ones too, with a built in rubber-band to mark one's place. For lunch we had double egg and chips with our favourite stewed mushrooms. Delicious. The Y did Bananas & Custard for pudding. Again - delicious.

The Telegraph crossword is completed except for an across clue in the bottom left corner. Something about a container ship ? I can't be more specific because the papers have gone to the bin and its too cold to retrieve it. Now there is a boring story for you !

The kitchen window-sill panorama was achieved by moving the camera along the row rather than swivelling it and I've learnt something. The method doesn't work as well, and I shall do them the old way in future. In any case the snap doesn't do the sunlit basil justice.

The Christianity episode was probably the best of the series so far. Written and presented by Prof. Colin Blakemore he mounted his atheist argument with more tolerance and less abrasiveness than Richard Dawkins.

Later in the evening we both enjoyed Jeremy Paxman about the Victorians and their Art. The Telegraph have been rather too critical of him I feel. But we certainly take no notice of many 'critics' who feel they must find something to knock ! There are honourable exceptions like Charles Spencer in the Telegraph.

The general thrust of the programme was fine we thought, but for me, the presentation of the Art was occasionally too gimmicky and often showed not the full canvas but some computer-manipulated bits of it. Distracting. This evening we aim to watch him in the final of University Challenge and are most interested to see Gail Trimble.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob.... I took no offence. When I do I shall tell you - as you well know. 'Groundnut Oil' would seem to be most appropriate.

Linseed oil is for cricket bats I seem to remember. Glorious smell and so reminiscent of England and Grammar Schools.

Jill .... Glad you enjoyed the bird collage. I really like the 'collage' idea - it is so easy in Picasa 3. The system is good, in my opinion, for a round-up picture of something one has been doing, where 6 separate pictures for instance would be tedious.

I'm sure you are right about the efficacy of rubbing-in rather than swallowing. But, even with external use of many things, my warfarin causes a problem. We are lucky to have a pharmacist just round the corner who carefully checks out anything I fancy having a go with.

The Sissinghurst programme does sound interesting and maybe I can find it on BBC iplayer. The NT know from experience, the sort of nosh which is popular in their restaurants, and will I think insist on the last word in the matter.

Yvonne .... Thanks for you on-blog sympathy with my aches & pains. I feel rather better today, as you will have realised.


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

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river"

Nikita Khrushchev

Another smiley that took my eye


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Still seems cold - 42F - perhaps wind chill

David and Helen and the girls had a super super time at Center Parcs. In view of recent events they both deserved a complete break and, of course, it all must have been stressful for Sky and Brooke too. Being young doesn't make you immune from sadness.

Picture 1 is the view from their villa. They had three bedrooms and all mod. cons and the site was chock-full of interest. Much wildlife in general and lots of birds could be seen from a wildlife-hide. Woodpeckers, bullfinches, green finches and lots more.

I spoke to Helen first this morning because David had gone to do a job at Swarkestone Sailing Club where they now have a mooring. David rang me later in the day and from our conversation Picture 2 is included specially for me because he knew I would love the strong diagonal of the log boundary fence vanishing into the distance.

Quite right my boy, I do ! And I like the way the 'line' continues by apparently turning right along the water bank where the log fence finishes.

Other highlights included swimming at night in the outdoor heated pool with its beautiful lights and an extra special meal on the Thursday night in a restaurant on site where the food tasted as if it had been cooked there and then and just for them. So unusual these days.

David did tell me about the 'blue tree' but I've forgotten. No doubt somebody will refresh my memory.

Here we have enjoyed a quiet day. The chilli, as usual, was even nicer second day, and Y did some cherry pancakes with ice-cream for pudding.

I took some photographs but they can wait before I publish them. Three is just right and I do like guest pictures provided they are lively and have a little zizz !

The above all have that quality.

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne ..... I think, while discussing your comment this morning, you googled for a memory-jogger, that it was John Bloom who became a well-deserved millionaire by introducing the Electrolux twin tub.

Jill ...... I think you are right about 4 Ticks's mangle. And I bet it is quite photo-genic too. Although we have been to Reg and Maureen's, I've never gone on a 'rotting-mangle' search.

Re Mittens .. How rude of someone to find fault with something that has been knitted for them. You are quite right to strike them off your list of potential recipients.

Your knitting day out by train sounds great fun. A sort of Girls Own or Bunty day !

Bob ..... Your difficulty with the upper-centre bird is entirely my fault. I should have made sure the composite pictures of the collage were in the same scale. The bird, my experts tell me, is a female chaffinch, and no where near as big as it appeared. Sorry !

By using the term 'record shot' I was intending to include buildings, some landscapes with current hardware therein, like pylons and telephone wires and, of course, crowd scenes and pictures showing what people are currently wearing etc. I feel these are so important as a record of our times.

Good 'ol witty you - about the Emu Oil and the risk of being rendered flightless ! If I can get hold of some its a chance I'm prepared to take because in back/leg ache terms the last few days have been horrendous. It even finishes up giving me testicle ache which the doctor assures me is only 'referred pain'. So be it !

Some day I'm going to 'have a go' at sketching the layout of my maternal grandparents colliery house at Stonebroom with the mangle in the front yard. For posterity - but, as you know, the quality of my drawings embarrasses me.


Tonight we aim to watch 'Christianity: A History' and Jeremy Paxmans 'Victorians'. I will report back


Quotation time ......

"Only the old are innocent. That is what the Victorians understood, and the Christians. Orininal sin is the property of the young. The old grow beyond corruption very quickly."

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday off - Y done washing - I cooked a Chilli

A collage showing the late afternoon sun and a selection of birds throughout the day. We also had Great Tits and Long Tailed Tits but I wasn't quick enough.

I did a Chilli for lunch from my ancient Toshiba microwave book. I don't microwave it though - it goes in the normal oven - but the basic recipe is good. Y likes a hot Chilli so I make them as hot as I can stand and then it will be OK. Today's earned praise and, as I started with 500gms of mince instead of 450grms I upped the other quantities accordingly. There will be plenty for tomorrow and a couple of portions to freeze. Y has had a busy day down at the river with the washing. I offered to take her in the car but she said if I did that she would lose face with the other ladies.

We have just watched The Genius of Photography BBC 2. A new series. There has been one before with the same name I think. It was quite good although I thought rather disjointed in places and too much messing about with stage sets and computer manipulation. The programme reinforced my opinion that 'record photography' or 'vernacular photography' as the presenter called it is more important long term than 'pictorialism'. I fear that long after the best pictorial efforts of camera club members have been binned by their offspring their point&shoot family snapshots will have longevity in family collections, not to mention importance to future historians.

Chuck Close was briefly interviewed and maybe we shall see him again in future episodes. I mention him because I intend to include photorealism in my part of the 'Son of an evening with Rob and Graham' next EPS year.

I'm looking forward to my Sunday morning chat with David and hearing all about the Center Parcs holiday. Everybody seems to be going away, Reg and Maureen, Rob and Elaine and I think that, without intending to be rude to Roy and other WoW members, I might have a rest this week and try to recoup some energy.

My responses to your previous comments

Reg .... Thanks very much for the emu-oil website. Ha Ha ! A nodding Emu would be a lovely idea. I'm sure Rod Hull could arrange it for us. Who of us old timers will ever forget his interview with Parkinson ?

Bob .... You really must stop going round the county threatening to 'have a pint in that pub' if it's having such a disastrous effect.

The David solution of a massive handout to stimulate trade does seem to have caught on doesn't it. I suppose its Keynsianism in a different coat.

Lizzie 4 Ticks ... Your mangle sounds very photogenic. Please send a picture when it looks in a good light.

I think I really have got to try Emu Oil. Sometimes these weird concoctions actually work. Debra once brought back a tiny tin of Tiger Balm all the way from China and it was brilliant ! Unfortunately we used it all up ages ago and I had though it now to be a banned product. Then I googled Tiger Balm and according to this website its still available. Perhaps it no longer uses real tigers.


Quotation time ......

"In waking a tiger, use a long stick"

Mao Tse-Tung

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Leisurely Friday - Mittens from Jill - 44F

We went to see Dr Latimer for the last time and it almost became emotional. Fourteen years is a long time and although we have tried never to breach our formal professional relationship we look on her as a friend. She said some lovely things.

I've provided the blog address and would be delighted if she read it sometime. She graciously received our retirement gift, some books tokens, to start her life of leisure.

Pete - she was very interested in the Emu Oil but felt it was a little late in her career to begin prescribing it.

More blood tests are needed and I am to give the Lipidor a rest for a couple of weeks as all the statins apparently, have some side effects of aches and pains and weariness. Then after a fortnight an appointment to see Dr Barrett, a whole new experience.

What a lovely surprise in the post on our return. See Picture 1. Jill has knitted me another pair of mittens to replace those that were stolen in a pub by the mitten-thief. The inset card accompanied them and on it Jill told me that, if I lose these, I'm in the naughty chair. Much as I loved my first pair I think I like the two-tone blue even more ! Blue is my favourite colour. 'knitted' the correct past participle of ' to knit' ? It sounds so ugly. - editor

I've also had chance of a brief play with my 'pinhole'. I hesitate to call it a lens because it is literally a very small hole in a metal shim mounted in a body-cap, and that is all.

The following two pictures are examples of my very first efforts.

Not everybody likes the results of pinhole photography. If you seek sharpness in a photograph then the system is not for you.

But if you enjoy a certain wistful softness with an old-fashioned feel you might become a convert. As Rob has hinted there is much to learn. One thing is for sure, at least using the technique on a DSLR, every single blemish on your sensor is emphasised. And I don't know yet why this is.

But my sensor definitely needs Reg's tender-loving-care with his sensor cleaning kit. There is no point in scutinising these pictures with a magnifying glass though, because I have 'retouched' them out.

The upper one started off in colour and I converted it to sepia.

Whereas the one on the right I have left in colour. I was interested to see how the system would deal with colour-rendition. The answer is that the colours are spot on. Maybe because the information recorded is 'more Raw' then 'Raw'.

I apologise to non-photographers for this double-dutch speak.

For lunch we had our customary battered haddock with chips and mushy peas. And then, this afternoon, because I fancied an hour in the kitchen, I made carrot & coriander soup. The recipe called for the final stage to be dressed with fresh coriander which I didn't have. So I used a liberal handful of fresh chopped basil which I do have, in abundance.

David and familly return from their half-term holiday at Center Parcs this evening. I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

Mike drew attention to 'Ikea to sell cars' but he didn't give me a link. However I tracked it down and it is very amusing.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob ..... Thanks for the 'sausage-fest' information. I wasn't aware that I had cribbed the phrase but perhaps I had clocked it subliminally. It has happened.

Well done in Tesco. Kippers have got to be a bargain. Can they have a sale-by date? I thought they were designed to last several years.

Rob..... The Poets Corner people seem to have latched on to a good idea. Mike says that the one at Codnor is very good on 'open mike' night. Different 'mike' obviously. And JBW has also mentioned it.

I think that some pubs still have a future. They shouldn't be too cavernous and difficult to heat. There should be a warm and welcoming feel. Open log fires are an excellent start. Followed by interesting beers and first-rate food.

All the very very best for your new job. It sounds to me like a most difficult assignment - but so worth while. And you are so good in a caring role.

Enjoy your holiday. You both deserve it.

Jill ..... Perhaps, as you say, in 20 or 30 yrs time, you may appreciate the Dubliners. For aspiring short story writers the book is seminal.

Blackberries from Mexico - at this time of year. Reduced or not. Maybe the chap you could see in his sombrero sent his wife blackberry-ing.

Re your saucepans. They should be ovenproof so long as the 400 degrees is Centigrade. 400 F is only 204 C and in that case I fear it would be touch and go.

Pete (Mannanan)....... Dr Latimer had a good laugh over Emu Oil. It'll be yet another export from Oz she said.

Don't feel bad that you couldn't 'get into 'Ulysses'. It is generally accepted to be one of the most difficult novels ever written. The commonly accepted order of Joycean difficulty goes - Dublinners > Finnegans Wake > Ulysses.

Helen C ..... Thanks for the update on Thursday's judging. You don't say how any of us fared though. I'm sure you'll tell me all on Wednesday.

Re mangles..... From my maternal grandparent's home where an old fashioned wooden-rollered mangle, just like the one being photographed, stood in the front yard of their colliery house at Stonebroom. I seem to remember that using it was a two person job anyway. One to turn the handle and one to feed in the clothes. If tightened up to extract more water, the handle turner needed real strength.


Quotation time ............... re doctors .....

"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died"

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorrow"


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back to normal - its been fun - 43F

The picture is from just before 9am this morning and, as you can see, the computer-thon was still in full swing. But 'brave little Tom' is mssing from the end taking the photo. If you want to watch an 'animation to drive you mad' just open the link. Young people love it and it is very catchy ! Hence its appearance here.

After a leisurely start we took Hannah back to Burton Joyce where she got a very warm welcome. She had been missed and I think that although she enjoyed the sleepover she was quite happy to be home. We all learnt lots of odds and ends from each other and easier ways of doing things. Hannah had also helped me a lot with meal preparation. Like me she enjoys cooking and certainly won't be one of those teenagers who go to university unable to make a spagbol !

Picture 2 is a Helen C photo from WoW-ing at Ashover. The chaps came upon this water-filled hole with water of an unusual green.

The consensus was that it could be the shaft to a disused copper mine - hence the green-coloured water. However, google tells me that Ecton in Derbyshire was the only site of copper ore. That is some miles from where they were walking. But you never know.

Apart from a visit to the Doctor in the morning (the last to our much loved Dr Latimer) we plan a quiet restful day, hopefully the first of several. Personally I am worn-out. But I shall recover. It is a relief not to be going to EPS this evening. Brian was witty on Wednesday, guessing I wouldn't be going as it was a competition, he said "Graham, beware judges". It reminded me of the medieval map bearing the legend 'here be hippogriffs'. I also like the quote "Unicorns dont really exist, they just think they do" but I can't remember who said it.

Reg draw my attention to Pete Brady's site 'mannanans cloak' where he speaks of the value of Emu oil for all manner of aches and pains. (look under Ramsey Ramblings) All the rage in Oz apparently. I'll check tomorrow morning whether or not Dr Latimer can prescribe it ! Ha Ha !

My responses to your previous comments

Yvonne..... I'm so pleased about all this new information you now have access too. And also I noted breakfast television too. A whole new experience.

Re Katy Perry in a corset and tights. I thought originally you were talking about Grayson Perry the award-winning transvestite potter. If one ignores the weirdness of the artist and the unfortunate subject matter of most of his work, speaking in art criticism terms, his stuff is extremely good.

Bob.... Pleased your weather seems to have improved. It's been OK here too although still quite chilly.

I need some sun so I can experiment with my 'pinhole' stuff. Today started well but by the time I got around to it the clouds had arrived.

JBW ..... The Poets Corner has certainly been given a new lease of life. I spoke to a regular who was even closer to the open fire than I was, and he waxed 'poetic' about it. Excellent food, micro-brewery at the back producing an excellent beer, and really warm welcoming feel to it. I would be more than happy to revisit.

Jill ..... You are quite right about the radio version of 'Ladies of Letters' and jolly good it was too. The linked site tells you about its history from Radio 4. I used to love Anne Reid in 'Dinner Ladies'.

All our WoW-ers are old enough to remember mangles - with the possible excpetion of Helen C who is much younger.

Joyce is difficult - but The Dubliners is for me the most accessible.

Sorry about your cheekbone and more sorry that you still have pain (see above re Emu Oil). Re your claim - I still have great confidence in the eventual outcome.


To tired to do a quote.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wet Weather for WoW at Ashover - Great Pub


Ashover is an attractive Derbyshire village, quite high in the hills and a most friendly place. I parked outside the Crispin Inn and was walking 'with wheels' towards the Church. A gentleman coming towards his car nodded and I asked him "Will the Church be open?" he answered "Yes. But if it isn't I'll open it for you". Inside the Church were ladies and a 'bride' discussing flowers. One lady showed me where to look for the interesting bits.

In particular a leaded font dating from the 12th century and one of only 30 in the Country. A picture of the font appears in the bottom left corner of the above collage. There were an unusually high number of people WoW-ing this morning, 11 in all and in spite of the more or less incessant drizzle I think they enjoyed their walk. As always I messed-about closer to the car. When they arrived back we all went down to the Old Poets Corner further down the village where the chip-cobs proved of a high standard. And we had a warm welcome, as can be seen from the snap in the top left corner of my picture. Well worth another WoW when the weather is better.

This picture is courtesy of Helen C. It shows WoW-ers busily at work photographing Roy's blue hat going through the wringer !

Mike, on the extreme left, seems to be struggling with an old-fashioned plate camera.

It reminds me of something by Pieter Bruegel the Elder circa 16th century. Maybe it's the colour or the mix of activity/inactivity, or just the viewpoint of the artist.

Bill took away with him a spare Nikon body-cap I had bought on e-bay. He has the equipment and the know-how to drill a counter-sunk pinhole in it and had offered to do it for me. Then lo-and-behold, when I returned home, the one I had sent away to be drilled had arrived in the post. Not wasted though because my aim is to have several and experiment with 'em. Watch this space.

Y and Hannah had had a good day, 'geoggo' homework about desert plants done and dusted. And then, after I'd had a kip, Hannah helped me cook a spagbol which proved a tasty success. A good handful of fresh basil from the windowsill was the magic ingredient.

My responses to your previous comments

Tilly ..... Thanks for your kind words about the chaffinch picture. You have got far too much on at the moment, but we'll move onto pictures soon !

Yvonne ..... It is good to watch different TV shows. I never do, but I approve of it being done.

Bob ...... I agree. Sorry about the linkless Wendy Cope. I couldn't find the poetic texts on the web. I should have taken them from the Telegraph on the day of publication.

The thoroughbred poll was as you see a close-run race. The poll closes this evening but, at the last time of looking the 'no' voters are ahead by a single vote.

Jill ..... I'm afraid I haven't been following the goldfinch corres in the Telegraph. Should have but keep getting sidetracked.

Sorry to hear about your bulbs being damaged. Y's all look in rude and splendid health. She is good with bulbs ! And 'poached egg' and loads of other things too.

We have crocii (?) out too, but all ours are yellow. No purple or blue yet. Mostly I seem to remember, they come at the same time. We have noticed in the past though that one year the birds bite through all the stems of the purple ones and leave the yellow ones alone. Then next year its vice versa.

You are certainly early with Viburnum - ours is nowhere near ....


I found the temptation to share this morning's Matt cartoon with you, from the Telegraph, irresistable. With all the current debate about the security services and the police subtly widening their powers and the rights of the citizen being steadily narrowed, it seemed relevant.

Last week's Law in Action gave a reassuring description re the legal position of photographers. I have it on my computer but I think the best position is for me to take my laptop along. To download a half-hour programme to create a link would take ages and ages.

In anycase the legal position has probably changed again since the programme was made.

Quotation time......

"Her crocus dress she wore, lowcut, belongings on show"

The link is to the man himself reading from 'Finnegan's Wake' a novel which I have found almost half-readable, as against Ulysses.



Tuesday, February 17, 2009

50F - Quick shopping - Lunch

Not a good picture but the Chaffinch was in full song in the Rowan tree just after 9am. He deserved to have his picture taken I thought.

It is to do with territory and courting I believe, but chaffinches have such a sweet gentle song.

The temperature at the moment is 50F and similar is predicted for tomorrow. Just 6 more degrees F and the honey bees will be out.

It has been a Karen day and she has happily worked round our visitor requirements. She had to do the rooms in a different order which she managed without demur and with her customary verve.

We nipped out shopping quite early and then started preparing veg etc., and Lisa, and family arrived around 11.30am. Hannah helped me a lot in the kitchen, preparing broccoli, lining the grill tray, finding serving plates etc. Lunch was on the table for 12.30pm and everyone enjoyed it. It was a nice occasion. Then I bailed out for a kip, after my jelly and ice-cream of course. For the others a trip over to the Park was enjoyed - except Lisa who enjoyed a few minutes break with the papers.

Later this afternoon Hannah, Y and I have all had our laptops on the extended dining table and good fun was had by all. Homework has now interceded but festivities will resume therafter.

Yesterday's 'The Three Graces' orchid picture has attracted praise. It eventually totalled 14 points on Ephotozine (the link is to the magazine, not to my portfolio) and Brian was kind enough to e-mail predicting it to be a competition winner. I'm not sure about that Brian, but thanks anyway. The snap on the right is another from the same series, taken on a wide-aperture to achieve a shallow depth-of-field.

We are WoWing tomorrow and the suggested location is Ashover, in Derbyshire. Apparently Roy knows a good 2½ mile walk which the chaps should enjoy.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob..... Thanks for the words of praise for yesterday's orchid picture.

Your pork-casserole sounds exciting. and you are right about the French and double- entendre. Mind you, I do feed you some pretty good lead lines don't I?

Did you see the Wendy Cope textspeak Valentine's Day mobile phone messages ?

Jill ..... Thanks for voting in my 'poll'. How you voted is in the secrecy of the ballot box. I have just checked the site and altogether 16 people have voted - 8 for and 8 against. Well I never !

Sitting outside a restaurant in this weather just must be hormonal. Unless of course the people were Innuit tourists.

Helen C ...... If I am to title the picture 'Eastwood Gothic' I guess I will have to be careful that Gothic is conveyed. I don't think that Eastwood Vernacular would quite work somehow, do you?

Tomorrow should be a good opportunity to talk spot-metering. It's very straightforward - honest !


Quotation time .......

"The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within"

"Sleep tight - Catch you tomorrow"


Monday, February 16, 2009

Almost warm enough to start gardening !

I have titled this orchid picture "The Three Graces" and it has done well today on Ephotozine.

The flower looked attractive on the windowsill with the sun and natural light behind it at just after 12noon. So far it's earned 13 ticks and some praiseworthy comments.

And over on WebUserforums I created a poll re The White Horse sculpture discussion.

Please click here to see what I'm talking about. I asked people to vote either Yes or No to the question "Would the sculpture be better if it were more creative?"

At the time of writing 7 people have said 'Yes' while 8 have ticked 'No'. So I am losing the argument but only just. The poll closes at 12noon on the 18th and I will tell you about the final voting figures thereafter.

Y went to Nottingham to meet Joan for lunch in The Bell and, after I had dropped her off at the tram, I went to Eastwood to take a preliminary shot of the Chapel I want to use in my Eastwood Gothic picture.

I have published it here but please don't react to the quality or lack of it, of the picture because so far it is what my graphic designer son-in-law calls a 'story board'.

It will probably be difficult to see any possible connection between yesterdays publication of the actual 'American Gothic' picture and this, so your patient tolerance is sought.

But you will probably remember I promised to show progress on my 'uplit hyacinth bulb' picture. Not worth showing you the outcome. The idea simply didn't work. At least, not in my hands it didn't.

During the day I prepared 14 pictures as entries for the 'projected images' section of the EPS Annual Exhibition. I have burnt them to disc, together with file sizes and titles and if I don't go on Thursday night for the monthly judging I will give the disc to someone at WoW

Hannah is being dropped off for her two night sleep-over around lunchtime tomorrow and we have decided to do sausages and mash, with veg for them all. Followed by Jelly and Icecream. They will think I never cook anything but sausages here ! But I am planning a Spagbol or a Chilli for Wednesday, Hannah can choose.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob..... I don't think we actually disagree that much about global warming. My position is that climate and weather conditions on Earth are affected by wider issues than the behaviour of humans. But I also feel the world would be a better place if we burned less fossil fuels, caused less pollution, farmed more in tune with nature, ate a more sensible diet, and so on.

The free range pork steak sounds good. The 'reduced-counter' is a good place to look for meat in Supermarkets. Not because it's cheaper but because it is a little more mature. Same goes for Cheese.

Rob.... You are pushing at an open door in these pages, when arguing for the evolving nature of English. As you say, the canon of French is locked away in The Sorbonne.

And don't we love our English dearly ? It is such a playful and forgiving language. And all those double-meanings - a gift to the embryonic 'writer'.

I think Y's point was that the teacher spelt out 'desolate' phonetically des-o-late making it well-nigh impossible for her classmate to spell it wrongly. Y wasn't offered similar help with 'thorough'. Oh how hard we feel injustice when we are eight.

Thanks for the plaudits for my 'moon'. Please feel free to cadge it if you need a moon. I can just see a cyanotype moon hovering over some Rob type landscape. (Throws back 'already lit' cracker)

If I have a bad night tonight I'll have a scroll through iPlayer for Seasick Steve. In my opinion iPlayer is a superb service from the BBC who are deserving of much praise at the moment. I think I get my licence fee's worth from their website alone, without bothering to watch the telly hardly at all.

Readers will welcome your Sports Desk update. Bogger the BBC !

Reg .... Brilliant idea ! And I would much rather borrow a pitchfork from a 'stable' person than from an 'unstable' one. Bob has drawn attention to the eyes of the bloke with the pitchfork in American Gothic. I fear he would fit into the 'unstable' category.

It sounds as if we shall have to be taking 'record shots' of the Police Station then, before it vanishes or becomes yet another 'take-away' or similar.

Thanks for the update anyway. Hope to see you on Wednesday.


Quotation time ....... trying to be relevant....

"Drawing on my fine command of The English language, I said nothing"

Robert Benchley

Another excellent chap to spend an hour with in a pub............

"Sleep tight - catch you tomorow"

and, by popular request, our Train


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Phew ! - 44F - It must be global warming

Picture 1 is a hang over from WoW at Eakring to show the frozen slush that abounded. As the snap was taken directly into the sun I had to 'stop' down a couple of stops to prevent too much being burnt out. The effect is almost dreamlike or moonlight.

Today has been a pleasant quiet Sunday, little to cook because we had the beef stew again. So made some carrot & coriander soup which we aim to eat during the current episode of History of Christianty at 7pm. I shall be able to tell you more when we've seen it.

I had a nice chat with David this morning. Due to 'falling rolls' the 3 schools he is associated with have had to cut back on staff and all three maths teachers had to reapply for one of only two available posts. All were interviewed and I was delighted to hear that David had received a lovely letter full of warm remarks and telling him that his application had been succeeful.

He also told me how well the girls are doing and the difficult words Brooke has to learn to spell by rote. A recent one was 'thorough' a word I can still get wrong occasionally. On Monday afternoon they are going to Center Parcs until Friday. A smashing half term break which they have earned and I look forward to hearing all about it when they return.

Picture 2 was taken a couple of nights ago. If I look out of my bedroom window and see the Moon I find it hard to resist taking a photograph. I use my 70-300mm set at 210mm because I find the result sharper than at full stretch. Also I spot meter or the camera becomes very confused trying as cameras do to make the whole scene 18% grey.

The "Christianity: a History" programme was very good. One of the best in the series and presented by actor/playwright Kwame Kwei-Amah who traced the spread through Asia, Africa and Latin America. While we were watching I thought his face vaguely familiar and I learnt from the link I have just posted that he used to be in Casualty as a paramedic.

WoW people will remember me rabbiting on about my wish to borrow a pitchfork for use as a 'prop' in a photograph I have in mind involving a Chapel at the bottom of Eastwood. The one just before the footbridge which crosses the by-pass.

The famous painting I want to draw inspiration from is American Gothic painted by Grant Wood in 1930.

I have reproduced the painting on the right and have always supposed the word 'gothic' in the title to be a reference to the architectural style of the window in the centre of the upper storey of the house.

Undoubtedly the picture has impact and became a cultural icon.

My responses to your previous comments

Bob..... Nice story about your 'ratting cap' and its fate. I had a Peterson pipe where the bowl fell off similarly. I considered retrieving it and giving it a good scrub. But fastidiousness prevailed.

Glad you enjoyed the 'A Song is Born' trailer.

Jill ..... A 'ratting cap' is a commonly used name for the sort of flat cap previously described. Whether or not people who went 'ratting' actually wore them is a moot point.

The layout of your demesne sounds complicated. It is a good job that only one of your neighbours is a problem otherwise you would feel like a circled wagon-train surrounded by Indians.

Torvill & Dean were good weren't they. We liked how unchanged they were by fame and fortune.

We also have just enjoyed (now 10.15pm) Jermey Paxman about the Victorians.


The hour for researching quotations hath passed and my pit calleth


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Tidy-up continues - 38F - warm ?


For today's lead picture we are indebted to Bob for this photo of British Sugar at Newark. Its painterly qualities appeal. Where the smoke drifts across the building you can see the impasto and the prominent brush-strokes. Well - you nearly can !

Apart from cooking another beef stew (its that sort of weather still 'innit?) my day has been preoccupied with the ongoing sort-out in my bedroom and office. This led to nearly an hour unblocking the shredder. But I am definitely making inroads. Hardly noticeable though to a naturally tidy person.

Picture 2 was from my 'WoW at Eakring portfolio' and is a self-portrait during a break from looking in the ice for faces. My heavyweight set of 'wheels' incorporate a seat which is great. The distance I can traverse is much longer than before but moderated by time constraints and exhaustion.

During a more-or-less sleepless night I read up on 'camera obscura' and related matters. Also my brain has started ticking with regard to the mooted 'Son of an evening with Rob and Graham' which some people would like us to do at EPS next year. Again the main theme would be the relationship between art and photography and I would like to cover the photographic links to "narrative paintings" and "conversation pieces". I was reading the current RPS journal around 3am and there was an early Woodburytype by Henry Peach Robinson which was a must to include. If you open the latter link, the influence of The PreRaphelites hits you....... OK... leave it now - Editor

My responses to your previous comments

Jill .... Thanks for explaining about the fox's lair, or should it be 'den' ? It is hardly a fox-hole is it ?

And sorry to hear about your boundary dispute. We really are lucky with our neighbours I think. But Chiswick sounds lovely, and IS so according to Y. I think we bumpkins know about it only from the Boat Race.

Yvonne ..... Well done with your Valentine Cards. Now I wonder who they could be from ? I got one. A lovely one with a heart on !

Bob ..... We must agree to differ about The Angel of The North. I cannot find any criticism to make of the piece except that I wish it were nearer because I would love to see it from different angles and different weather conditions and at different times of day etc...

Re Lawrence......... Here I suspect we agree more. Personally I prefer the poetry and the nature-writing to the novels which I have always found turgid creations - and I use the word advisedly. But I do like Durban House.

Reg ..... I think the Hucknall Welfare and Bilsthorpe Welfare 'effect' was common in most mining areas. These things happen amongst fit and generally well-off young people. And not-so young I fear.

You make excellent points about Durban House, and Exhibition space in Eastwood. One point being is that it is such good exhibition space. Oh what a shame it will be if it goes.

Glad Lizzie 4 Ticks got paid. Do you need an escort when you bank it ? I still do consultancy work.

Re..Ratting Cap ..... No, I don't think the expression is partiularly local, I've always understood the term to refer to a cap often tweed or corduroy, with the material stretching right forward and attached to the front of the peak. I had hoped to earn brownie points by posting an image - but I failed.

However, if you are looking for one I'm sure this firm can fix you up.


Quotation time ..... If I've not used this one before I shudd av !

"A Hospital is no place to be sick"

Sam Goldwyn

The link is to the intro to 'A song is born' and you jazz fans will love it.

"Catch you tomorrow"