Thursday, April 29, 2010


Sadly abandoned:

On the beach, St. Helier - Jersey, Channel Islands

In the harbour, St. Helier - Jersey, Channel Islands

mysteriously missing:

Williamsburg, New York

just bizarre:

London South Bank, Nr the London Eye

Williamsburg, New York

pedal power:

Critical Mass - Soho, London

I recently freecycled my old bike, for parts, as it was unfixable. I'll add a photo of my new bike later if I get the time. It is, of course, my favourite of all bikes and its been wonderful cycling to work this week in beautiful spring sunshine.

I'm hoping to get back into my usual cycle of posting and commenting, after a while of computer/internet "issues" and being away...

Other Theme Thursday bikes here

Sunday, April 18, 2010

distracted by dust

dust in the house.
I have resumed DIY work on our dining room. Stripping began in June/July 2008. Work has progressed to the sanding stage. I'm itching to slap some paint on those walls but constrained by family perfectionist traits which prompt me to prepare the surface as well as possible.
So - its dusty and it will be for some time.

dust affecting our IT
Or something is. We've had intermittent internet problems over and since last weekend.

I think its not entirely unconnected with our lack of net access that I spent a couple of luxurious hours sitting in a deck chair in the sun at the weekend (I did have to dust off the deck chair first...) reading the weekend newspaper and dozing.

Which was A Very Good Thing.

Additionally, M's computer has gone caput and is off in Mac hospital, so we're currently into a computer-sharing scheme.

Which I suppose could give me more time for dusting?
(there is a very dusty empty space on M's desk at the moment)

dust in the national consciousness
We're in the midst of the national election campaign here in the UK.

Actually its not been too dirty so far, but its definately dusty: hard to tell what lies beneath the rhetoric and what colours would be uncovered if a thorough clean was done; whether theres actually anything there of lasting and substantial value; what any of the parties might really do once in power.

It'll be done and dusted by May 7th or so [if the vote is significantly split and we get a "hung parliament" (we might wish, hehe) it may take a while for the dust to settle on who exactly is in charge] but its hard to be hopeful really for public spending and services, fair taxes, closing of tax loopholes or significant moves towards great equality and social mobility in our society.

dust in the atmosphere

I should be flying to Jersey, Channel Islands, tomorrow for a very good friend's 50th birthday celebrations, but who knows if I will get lift-off? On Monday it looked more hopeful. On Tuesday it looked less likely. Now, Wednesday morning: well, maybe. Latest news is that the dust may be less dangerous than previously. So I will after all be going up into the loft to get down my suitcase.

I could certainly do with sea breezes to blow some personal dust away.

"Mankind" by Eric Gill, in the Victoria & Albert museum, London

And, all this talk of dust makes me realise that its been too long since I read Philip Pullman's Dark Materials.... I shall find volume 1 to take to the airport with me, something tells me its worth taking plenty of reading with me.

So I hope to be absent from blog-land for a while and will miss Theme Thursday and Sepia Saturday this time around... (and if I don't miss them, you'll know I've been defeated by the dust).

see you in a week or so!

(PS who knew you could buy motorised dusters? yes, its the green one)

(pictures should all link to their source, if clicked)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

sepia stan

This is just a quickie, as I am off to a seminar all of today.

Last weeks Sepia pics. were of Uncle Stan's mum and grandparents, in great hats.
This is Uncle Stan - my great Uncle.

I think he stayed home during the war because he worked for Ford, so was counted as essential to the war effort in that role - but here he is in his uniform. Looking, I thought, a little bit Bing!

I'll post more about Stan next week.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Theme Thursday

I was. Today.

And meant to take a photo of my lunch to post here.
And entirely forgot.

My brain is also out to lunch.
Two sandwiches short of a picnic.

So this is a failed Theme Thursday post.

Though I can tell you that I had steak and ale pie for my lunch, with a pint of Old Speckled Hen.
Which looked pretty much like this pint

drunk at the same pub but some time ago.
And it might even have been lunch time, but I can't remember for sure.

But here, at least, is the latest on my now-wiggly little tadpoles.

I hope they wont become lunch for a passing newt....

other Theme Thursday lunches

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


from Milly Molly Mandy, by Joyce Lankester Brisley

Checking the map recently, on the way to visit my father in Sussex, I got drawn - as always - into exploration of the map-minutiae: the multiplicity of little tors, copses and valleys; the generous spattering of "historic" symbols indicating earthworks, monuments and other ancient remnants; the water water everywhere, thin blue veins meandering up, down and around the contour lines.

And I take a particular delight, always, in some of the place-names.

The names below - towns and villages - all come from a section of Sussex in South East England. They are the kind of place names which I imagine appearing on a map like the one shown above, which comes from one of the books I loved as a child.

Some of the names we spotted in Sussex might be suggestive of a particular type of resident:



Crabbet Park

Plumpton Green

Muddles Green

Cackle Street




don't some of these conjure up delightful images?

Some of them are prosaic and - possibly - descriptive:

Small Field



some of them are simply picturesque:

Rose Hill



or its opposite:

Foul Mile


(what is term for the opposite of picturesque?)

while some of them hint tantalizingly at some past history:

Tarring Neville

Saint Hill


Toy’s Hill

Iron’s Bottom

And some of them appeal to me for no clearly definable reason:


Pease Pottage

Small Dole

In which of these places do you think you'd choose to live?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sepia saturday

This is a section from one of the family scrap-books I've been working through, and scanning - my father's handwriting.

Uncle Stan was my great-uncle, married to Auntie (great-Auntie) Queen - I just love these pictures of his grand-parents. What relation would they be to me? I have no idea.

They look so jolly and like characters who should be in a Laurel & Hardy movie.

more Sepia Saturday here

for those of you who are following them....
tadpole update!

This was taken a week ago, so I will try and update soon as they change constantly, and have begun wiggling.....

Thursday, April 08, 2010


more boxes over at Theme Thursday

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

cat's life

I have a week's leave and need some help switching off, slowing down...

I'm caught between the instinct to completely slob out and go inert for a week (which I suspect would make me feel bleeeagh) and the nagging conviction that I should be "getting on with things", "getting things done" ..... and also the knowledge that I ought to be resting and re-charging and living in a less task-oriented way for just a precious week ....

Balance is so tricky sometimes.

Why do we laugh so when the cat falls off the sofa or misses his step? I suspect we envy his mostly-perfect and thoughtless balance

as well as his ability to sleep and sleep

to lie and just be, no anxieties in his golden eyes,

to make the most of time to stretch

and laze.

Not that he is immune to task-directedness.
He has few desires, but one of them is that penguin

It remains elusive

but he takes the foiling of his plans with equanimity and settles for the pen instead.

Equanimity. Wouldn't that be nice?

Friday, April 02, 2010


Miscellaneous - and oops! rather late - yellowness

kerbside in Ipswich

Welsh Poppy

Charlton, South London

De-commissioned Mack - Liberty, New York

Traffic cones, Nyack New york

Duckies - Bank Holiday funfair, Blackheath

Street art by Spok, part of the Tate Modern Museum Street Art exhibition, 2008

A pint of Bitter & Twisted + marigolds

More Theme Thursday Yellow