Friday, December 17, 2010


I know someone who loves reading, but one of his criteria for books he will not read, is if they have maps in the front.
I think he has fantasy books primarily in mind.....

but I love them
this is a favourite - and this is the Middle Earth map I most like, partly because it was framed and on the wall at home when I was growing up:

And here is another favourite:

And another map which immediately came to mind is from Milly Molly Mandy, a favourite childhood book:

from Milly Molly Mandy, by Joyce Lankester Brisley

There is an earlier post here about Milly Molly Mandy, and.... maps
...... and other Theme Thursday map posts here.

Happy Theme Thursday!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


An indication of the stupid state of affairs in many schools in England : my daughter took her Maths GCSE (Age 15/16) exam a few weeks ago. This is a nationally set, public and externally examined qualification. Today she has to do a mock exam for exactly the same qualification, even though she has already done the actual real test.

England's school system is test-mad.

I am preparing, in a laconic and not at all test-mad sort of way, for my driving test and have been doing some practice for the theory test.
Rather than being a chore, this has been quite entertaining so far.

It is a multiple choice test. Below are some of my favourites:

You lose your way on a busy road. What is the best action to take?

Mark one answer.

Stop at traffic lights and ask pedestrians
Shout to other drivers to ask them the way
Turn into a side road, stop and check a map
Check a map, and keep going with the traffic flow

A vehicle pulls out in front of you at a junction. What should you do?

Mark one answer.

Swerve past it and sound your horn
Flash your headlights and drive up close behind
Slow down and be ready to stop
Accelerate past it immediately

A person herding sheep asks you to stop. You should

Mark one answer.

ignore them as they have no authority
stop and switch off your engine
continue on but drive slowly
try and get past quickly

Why is it a good idea to plan your journey to avoid busy times?

Mark one answer.

You will have an easier journey
You will have a more stressful journey
Your journey time will be longer
It will cause more traffic congestion

How does alcohol affect you?

Mark one answer.

It speeds up your reactions
It increases your awareness
It improves your co-ordination
It reduces your concentration

You see a pedestrian with a dog. The dog has a yellow or burgundy coat. This especially warns you that the pedestrian is

Mark one answer.

dog training
colour blind

A driver's behaviour has upset you. It may help if you

Mark one answer.

Stop and take a break
Shout abusive language
Gesture to them with your hand
Follow their car, flashing your headlights

Your vehicle has broken down on an automatic railway level crossing. What should you do FIRST?

Mark one answer.

Get everyone out of the vehicle and clear of the crossing
Telephone your vehicle recovery service to move it
Walk along the track to give warning to any approaching trains
Try to push the vehicle clear of the crossing as soon as possible

There has been a collision. A motorcyclist is lying injured and unconscious. Unless it's essentially why should you usually NOT attempt to remove their helmet?

Mark one answer.

Because they may not want you to
This could result in more serious injury
They will get too cold if you do this
Because you could scratch the helmet

Which of the following types of glasses should NOT be worn when driving at night?

Mark one answer.


An accident casulty has an injured arm. They can move it freely, but it is bleeding. Why should you get them to keep it in a raised position?

Because it will ease the pain
It will help them to be seen more easily
To stop them touching other people
It will help to reduce the bleeding

how do you think you've scored?

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Being a very big fan of stones, I've posted about them before, so that you can see pictures of some of my stone collection here

and here are some other stones which have caught my eye:

Perpignan, France

Jersey, Channel Islands (UK)

from the banks of the Thames, London

Andy Goldsworthy's wall, in Storm King sculpture park, New York State

remains of the Bishops Palace, Southwark, London

Suffolk, England

Ipswich, Suffolk, England.

happy theme thursday

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sepia Saturday

Determined to post something sepia today, my blogging has really been suffering lately from work /family and other demands..... for the past week I've been on jury service which has been interesting a more than a little surreal - an insight into another world.

And heres another world - the world of my great Uncle Stan, with his brother Roy (who died in the 2nd world war) and various dashing daring friends of the 1920's.

This picture above is Roy, Hedda (I think?) and Stan on the right.

Hedda again, possibly on the left? and Stan is in the middle, Roy on the end with the bottle in his pocket.

and two young ladies, very shockingly attired.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010


what a great theme for this Thursday, with chilly weather in the UK and the instinct to stock up, chow down, put on a bit of fat for the winter.....

though my food pictures come from wonderful and warm Kerala, from my trip there in August.

Delicious keralan cuisine, breakfast dinner and supper

idly, wada, coconut chutney, vegetable and sambal and beetroot chutney (breakfast)

ghee roast

thali - vegetable sambal, fish curry, chicken curry, various pickles, banana chips mmmmmm

fabulous fruit and veg

endless pickles

and oooooh the snacks

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Hackney, East London

Cats know how to not try too hard, but relax.

Logan, almost 2 years ago

I find myself taking an inadvertent blog break. Sadly not because of time off relaxing but because of an excess of busy-ness and, probably, trying too hard to do better.

But relax is an excellent Theme Thursday prompt for today, and here are some relaxing thoughts, which make me thirst for the weekend.....

Excellent pub chair in excellent pub in Greenwich, South London

Excellent pint of excellent Speckled Hen (in another excellent pub in South London)

Nr. Brick Lane, East London

Happy Theme Thursday - and have a great and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

graffiti monsters

Brick Lane, East London

Invidia, Brick Lane, East London

Greenwich, South London

Pure, Mint Street, South Bank London

Krah, Brick Lane, East London

Sweettoof, Brick Lane East London

Asbo, Brick Lane East London

Hackney, East London

Hackney, East London

Happy Theme Thursday Halloween

Sunday, October 24, 2010

new arrival

Well... it doesn't take much more effort to look after two cats than one, we thought. Unlike children.

and this little cute and mad-whiskered kitty needed a home.

and, we fondly thought, it might be nice for Logan to have some cat company when we are out or away...

There have been occurrences.

Near-misses with cups of tea and computers

glasses of wine in peril

and a bucket-of-water-dalek spillage yesterday evening

Also frequent facings-off with Logan, who is grumpily not impressed.

They have been not unlike children.

Ah well, they'll learn. Incidence of growling and hissing is decreasing, I hope the penny will drop and Logan will realise that a bit of chasing could be fun.

Its been a week, and little kitty hasn't stopped purring yet, nor staring wide-eyed with a constantly shocked expression.
After drawing up a shortlist of names including Spock, Skaro and - a late favourite here, which almost made it - Emmett, he is now named Lemmy.

So, two posts in two days, whatever next.
Yesterday's post was supposed to appear on a different blog - I'm vaguely surprised thats not happened before.

Happy weekend everyone.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

latest woolly things

A few quick pics - this is how the knitted felted bag in the previous post came out :

its now listed in the made4aid Etsy shop, for sale.

I'm also soon going to list a waffle scarf there, which looks like this:

I LOVE waffle weave, its so 3-dimensional.

At my textiles course I'm weaving a length of waffle which I'm planning to felt, and make into a tea cosy. Pretty experimental..... but fun, at the very least.

I have felted some samples, they come out in fairly amazing ways, I'll try and get some pics to post here.

And, in the meantime, I'm knitting another bag to felt, and some scarves for made4aid. I'm doing a version of this one:

but in some beautiful black cashmere which was a fabulous find in a charity (thrift) shop.

soon to be for sale on made4aid.....
.....possible Christmas gifts for someone you know?