Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Adopt a Geordie accent now.

Day two in the Big Mother's house. Fox is trying to photograph birds in the garden. Unfortunately, it's not his garden, and the birds are none too pleased at being pursued by a peeping tom, and in due course call the police. It's the price you pay for being a novice photographer.... A well known member of the paparazzi may well have requested a payment in the region of three-hundred-thousand simoleans for the effort!!

I am thinking of buying a "freeview" box for my mum's house. The choice of five channels is such an alarming, disarming contrast with my hundred and odd usual choices, that I don't think I will make it through the week without a little more choice. Hell, I don't even think I will make it through the night knowing that I am missing next week's episode of "Heroes" on BBC3.

The folks finally made it to Australia... their final destination. Mum called at around midday today, which of course, is eleven at night, tonight, in their time in Sydney. How strange is that? They had quite a rough journey, but then a whole day on an aeroplane is not many peoples' idea of fun, is it?

I seem to have mislaid (pardon the pun) a chicken already. I am reliably informed there should be nineteen, but I have only managed to find eighteen of them. At this rate, I'll be out of a job within a week.

Grey.... That's what we have today.... a cloak of greyness. Grey skies, grey clouds, grey light. Flat and very uninviting. I am disappointed that the weather has not been conducive to getting out and about with my new camera..... not that there is any software to do anything with the sodding photos when I've taken them. I am thinking of bringing my old laptop up here, just so I can touch some familiar software......

Note: You can not touch software!! The old rule of computing thumb is.... If you can kick it, it's hardware. If you can't kick it, it's software, unless of course it's firmware, which is software you can kick!! Got that?? Good!

And now.... I have been trying to find a positive out of house-sitting here at Pole Moor, and you know what?? I think I may have found it. As you may know, it's halloween tonight. I won't be celebrating. The nearest neighbour here is a good few hundred metres away, and the likelihood of half-hearted adolescents in hoodies knocking on my door for sweets, in breach of their ASBOs, is negligible. That's my positive.

Oh, bugger, you've probably just realised that while I am sitting here at my mum's house in peace and quiet, there is a ninety percent chance that the ingredients for Yorkshire pudding are being plastered across the front of my own house because I wasn't there to fire my air rifle at the delinquents of Outlane!! Negative!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thirty nine steps.

Anyone who has followed my blog for any amount of time will know, without even having to think about it, that whenever I have to look after my mum's house at Pole Moor.....

I get extremely pissed off!!

Today is the start of thirty nine days of house sitting, of chicken husbandry, of cat caring, of shattered internet connections, and limited televisual experiences.

Eighteen chickens.

Four cats.

No internet. Well internet that is so temperamental that I have been trying to create a blog entry for nigh on six hours now.

Browsers that don't perform as they should - A combination of Opera, Firefox, and Internet Exploder will not (between them) allow me to publish a single photograph to my blog. A combination of windows internal firewall and the browsers' individual security settings are all arguing with each other.

Unfamiliar, unresponsive and frankly frustrating collection of photo editing software. I scanned a bunch of photographs earlier (for the purpose of my blog) and had to crop them.... It took me bloody hours for what should have been a ten minute exercise. The irony of this wasted time, is of course that the fourteen images I now have won't post.

A paranoid over zealous installation of Zonelabs Zonealarm (additional firewall), that won't let me fart without sticking a cork where monkeys shove bad nuts.

I've been house sitting for approximately twelve hours of the thirty nine days, and I am already tearing my hair out. Stay tuned for a complete and utter breakdown, which I predict will happen sometime around Thursday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Praise.

All too easy it is to moan about companies like:

Comet - Apart from anything, just around the corner I could buy the same item for half of the price anyway. Was there really any need to have your staff follow me "nonchalantly" as if to examine stock on the shelves?

PCWorld - It's staffed by semi-literate chimpanzees. Under normal circumstances, I would not touch this place with a barge pole. They are over priced, over staffed, under qualified, and predatory in their sales techniques. All the products I was interested in today were on the shelves without any prices attached to them. Why the hell would I buy anything under those conditions?

Egears - Ah, the old Egears.co.uk transaction. I know for a fact that about half a dozen people have already found my tale of woe through search engines, and Egears.co.uk certainly don't deserve to be let off the hook yet. Avoid them at all costs.

And so, it comes to pass...... The camera order was cancelled, and re-ordered through Digital First. I think it was spice-the-cat who mentioned them.

Anyway.....

I ordered the camera at two of the clock on Friday afternoon. A silly time to place an order by anyone's standards. Surprisingly enough, four hours (yes HOURS not days, nor weeks, nor even months) later, I receive the email telling me my item has been dispatched. Barring catastrophe, that would mean it arrives on Monday, oh wait, that's today.... and bugger me, if I am not holding in my hand a new camera!!

Now that's what I call music to my ears.

A supplier who does what they should, when they should, and how they bloody well should.

And so, my golden supplier award goes out to: Digital First. By all means use them, they were superb.

Stay tuned for a seemingly never ending stream of random bad photography.

In other news:

I have updated my media player thingummy-plugin-abob. It's now driven by a shockwave player or something. Don't ask me, I'm just the leech that passes these things on.

Welcome back Toad.... You were gone, but not frogotten!!

Spice - Thanks for the tip-off.... also, if the vocal did not come in when it did, then of course it would have been an instrumentalist!!

Anyone fancy going to see the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra with me in Huddersfield at the end of November(ish)??

Aaron - Tanks for the media player thing and the summary of what was busted.

Tony - Were you really at Krumlin 70? That's a right bit of local kudos!!

Savannah - Welcome, and hopefully all fixed now.

Yorkshire Pud - I am definitely NOT doing any form of "stand-up" in the Rat and Ratchet..... After a few pints of the latest "guest" beer or cider, standing up becomes a bit of a problem.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's Sunday....

And we all know what that means don't we, children?

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.... It's search engine Sunday.

The following is a list of search criteria that people used, and for some reason ended up on my page. In order to redress the search engine imbalance, I offer the "real" answers to the questions that get asked.

orbit nightclub morley (Google)
There's only one place to go if you ever went to the Orbit, or wondered what it was all about. Pay a visit to the Orbituary. Tell them I sent you, and you're on the guest list.

egears.co.uk (Google)
After my recent experience, in which: I ordered a camera, and waited the required amount of time for it to arrive, during which time the item had never even been dispatched. I emailed them to ask whether they had any stock, and they didn't even reply to this email. I cancelled the order and reordered through someone else (positive feedback for the new supplier is likely to happen on Monday if said item arrives. As far as I can see, egears are still trying to charge my credit card (although the internet bit is quite slow on my card so I won't know until my next statement). Suffice to say.... Don't touch egears.co.uk with a barge pole!!

golcar beer (AOL)
Yes, I do know a little about Golcar beer, having made a concerted effort in the last couple of weeks to drink as much and as varied a selection of local beers as I can find. The Golcar beers I have drunk are Golcar Mild and Pennine Gold. The Golcar beers are available at the Rose and Crown in Golcar. My advice is not to go there when football or rugby is on, unless of course that's what you like with a pint. The Golcar mild tastes deceptively strong for a 3.2 percenter, and the Pennine Gold was a really nice pint of bitter. Well worth the trip to their boozer in Golcar. Gimme a shout and I'll come with ya.

"wessenden wheat"+riverhead (Google)
I drank Wessenden Wheat at the Huddersfield Oktoberfest. Admittedly, I had already had a few drinks, and was looking for something to knock my socks off (in terms of it being outstanding, not necessarily potent).... Well, the Riverhead make nice beers. Their Sparth Mild is exceptional, as is the Deer Hill Porter, or for bitter, try a pint of Butterley. The Wessenden Wheat, however, was not that brilliant... I would expect a wheat beer to be cloudy for a start, and it just wasn't. It was a bitter by any other name, and Butterley would serve the purpose better. We can go there after Golcar ok?

amount of tar injested from smoking (Google)
Depends on your choice of cigarettes of course!! My old brand were 8mg of tar each. I smoked forty of them each day. So, that's 8mg X 40 cigs per day X 365 days in the year (not counting leap years, just in case anyone feels fit to make an issue of it) = 116800mg = 116.8g = 4.12Oz per year, which incidentally is the same weight as this.

FREE DOWNLOAD of lunar jetman (Google)
Don't download it, play it online.

next blog button avoid porn (Google)
Well, if you ever read my Saturday Sample blogs (all two of them) you'll know that I have issues with the "Next Blog" button and how it works. You can't avoid porn. You CAN however (if they haven't removed the "Navbar" that contains the "next blog" button) click the "Flag Blog" which should notify Blogger of questionable content. I have been on a site that had been flagged and it contained a "blogger" imposed "are you 18 or over" type question before you were allowed access. It's lame, but that's the way Blogger operates.

mindfrik (MSN)
What a great search term to uncover. I am google's number one ranked "mindfrik" candidate, and if you do a google image search on mindfrik, then it turns up three images, and they are all from my blog!!!!

map for where the arctic fox lives (Google)
I'd say pretty much stick a pin in the map and you won't be too far away.

JENNI FALCONER ON SMOKING (Google)
Ok, I think I've finally got to the bottom of this fetish and you can read about it here.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday sample.

As promised, a couple of weeks ago, and never fully delivered..... I bring to you.... A Saturday Sample of "next blog" activity.

I sample twenty "next blog" examples and summarise the findings.

Today's results:

Twenty blogs sampled.

8 Blogs were spam.
4 Of the spam blogs hijacked me (got rid of the next blog button and removed the "back" functionality of my browser and tried to install software) and launched further adverts.
6 Blogs written exclusively by women.
1 Blog written by dogs.
2 Indian blogs.
1 Norwegian blog
1 Italian blog.
0 British blogs.
1 Blog features pictures of roses and poetry and made me feel sick.
1 Blog was entirely about kitchen interiors.
1 Blog featured really poor jokes and quotes.

The standard of blogging on offer to me today was VERY poor. The best blog I found today was written by dogs. I ONLY wish they would not use a camera with a flash, that fires directly into an animal's eyes!!

Here it is!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cop out.

Bloody hell. Sometimes you realise that what you do is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Tonight, I stood, in one of Huddersfield's "real ale" pubs (which is admittedly why I was there... ale) and it was apparently "open mic" night.

Rarely have I been to such an event, and perhaps more surprisingly, even more rarely would I knowingly frequent such an event...... but let me tell you this.... Britain's got talent!!!

There was a chap there, who chose to recite poetry.... in front of a drunken crowd?? This guy was rocketing up in my estimation.

By the end of his performance, two pieces.... one about two pandas shagging, and one written specifically for the venue, the rat and ratchet.... (rat and rat-shit.... if you didn't get it), I was completely hooked.

I could do no more. I did something I have never done before, and wrote my email address and blog address on a piece of paper, tried to encourage the chap (in my inimitably amateur way) and hoped he would get in touch.

I live to deliver a video of the panda poem to you all.

I hope, and this is not showboating, but, I hope if he comes to see me, that he will see:

Toast.

and.......

Gonzo.

Two extreme examples of what happen here.

All hail, the people who make unexpected things happen, the world over.

I kneel in silent prayer. I write stupid words from behind a keyboard, but I would never DARE to stand up in front of a crowd and speak such things..... listen to the tune over the top..... it's a truth I'd never dare speak!!!

Enjoy.

Oh, a brief update to this posting: I promised myself not to go drunken blogging, but there ya go!! Don't drink and blog!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Full moon madness....

The full moon is upon us. The madness begins. This full moon does not bring cuckoo, crazy, muhahahahah type madness.... it brings an angry, bitter, cheated madness, that has me firing off emails, left, right, and dead centre!!

By now, you all may be aware that I have recently ordered a camera. It's taken me a while to take the plunge, and I've lost count of the number of cameras that made it into my virtual shopping trolley (or cart if you prefer, to be pedantic that is!!), but never made it as far as the checkout before being virtually dumped in a random position amongst the shelves of the virtual store.

Virtual random shopping.... you don't see much evidence of it really.

Anyhoo.....

The order was placed at 4pm on Sunday afternoon. The "stock" status declared that the item "normally" ships within 1 to 3 working days. Fair enough. I sit back and let the days elapse. I notice the credit card I used has a pending transaction for the requisite amount..... And I wait.

Yesterday afternoon (exactly three working days and half a non-working day later) I have still had no update, and my order still hasn't received a tracking number, and I am under the impression that it is in fact no nearer reaching my sweaty outstretched palms than it was three working days (and half a non-working day) previously.

Contact us.... The last hope. I click the button, fill in their questionnaire style contact form and click "submit". I am warmly welcomed by a screen that tells me "You will receive a reply from us within the next 24 hours".........

Twenty six hours later, and I haven't even had an email to confirm that they have received my query, that they are looking into it, that they are even still a trading company.

I fire off one last email, which I enclose for your amusement:

I am requesting cancellation of the following order.
Your Order, XXXXX at eGears UK

Your website has stated that dispatch would be 1 to 3 working days. The order was placed 4 working days ago and has still not been dispatched and this constitutes a breach of agreement.

I emailed you through this facility yesterday, and was told that I would receive a reply within 24 hours. This has not happened either. Another breach of customer agreement.

Please consider this order now cancelled, and I will be contacting my credit card company in the morning to pursue the pending transaction you have lodged there, with no apparent intention to deliver the ordered item.

It certainly has NOT been a pleasure doing business with you, and rest assured, this experience will be read by hundreds of people on my blog.

Thanks for nothing.
Jason Weaver.


I am now fully anticipating a several month long wrangle to get my money back and to ensure that they do not repeatedly try to deliver said camera in the very distant future. I don't want it, I won't be messed about, if your stock status makes a claim then you should honour it or explain yourself, you should answer all queries promptly. On the basis that they have failed all the objectives listed, I have no intention of giving them my money, and of course, would urge anyone else looking for customer service....

Never use http://www.egears.co.uk/

I run outside and howl at the moon......

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pogo schmogo.....

I play games online at a site called Pogo. Every Wednesday, they issue us with a pair of weekly challenges, that in return for our participation, eventually rewards us with a virtual badge, which we can wear in the chat rooms, and they appear alongside our names as we speak.

This week the challenges were in a special halloween slot machine game, called (imaginatively) Spooky Slots, and the other badge was in Hangman Hijinks (a variation on the old hangman game of course).

Well, the badges took me, wait for it: 29 minutes for the pair.

A new personal Pogo record.... now, what the hell am I supposed to do for the rest of the damn week?

In lieu of this impasse, I give to you two sites of amazing and bedazzling wonderment.

Enjoy.

Wow 1 !! - Thanks Sitemeter for tipping me off that someone had viewed my page this way!!

Wow 2 !! - Thanks Rol... What an amazing sight. I felt sick just looking at the photos.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Howling....

I've spent the best part of the last two days preparing my disks for the imminent arrival (I laughingly refer to the arrival, when I can plainly see that the item has not yet reached a stage of despatched!!) of my new camera.

I am (finally) putting all the photographs together, and all the mp3s together, and storing them conveniently on an external disk I purchased a while back. Tidy and neat, neat and tidy.... but a little slower than your conventional disk of course!! It's USB and my computers are all so old that I still don't have a USB2 port anywhere.

Well, before I go on to discuss whatever it was I came here to discuss, I'd like to mention that, in doing this "housekeeping" exercise, I've discovered quite a lot of really great music. Bargain. I updated the music on this site yesterday, which finally got rid of the yodelling Oktoberfest themed song, and replaced it with LFO..... but then I found this album by LazyB called Listen. It's made me laugh extremely hard. I couldn't deprive you of a piece of it now could I? (It's a whole album of positive message endorphin driven stuff.... very feel good indeed).

And now.... on to other matters.....

I've had such a rash of comments lately that I can't keep up.... let me try to address a few and tackle some of the things that I wanted to tackle, which crossed over with the comments/ queries/ suggestions.

First, I'm chuffed to little mint balls that people liked my photo of Emley Moor Mast in the glorious sunshine yesterday morning. It was a real buzz to take the pictures off my camera and discover that one amongst them..... none of the others were quite so vibrant. Thanks for your kind words about it.

Second.... How do I wake up so early?? Well at around seven in the morning I always seem to wake up.... If I have nothing to do, then I sometimes turn over and go back to sleep. More often than not, I get up, check my email, go to the toilet, look out the window, make sure "bowling cam" is running, check if I caught any more mice..... then maybe back to bed. Looking out the window, I spied (again) a great sunrise and within ten minutes I was out of the house and half way up the hill..... seize the moment!!

Third..... Despite Yorkshire Pudding's red herrings, I am convinced that I have opted for the best camera on the market that falls within my meagre price bracket. There was a time when money was no concern..... things are different now. I am sure it will be a lot of fun finding out what we can do together (the camera and I).

Fourth..... Tripods......

That was the whole point of me posting today, was to discuss tripods.

I already have a tripod, but it is a cheap thing. It doesn't have any bubbles or heads or anything fancy, and it is quite limiting in what I can do with it. So, I started to look for a new tripod to go with my new kit. I remembered a review of tripods in a camera magazine, that featured an award winning budget tripod, and dug it out.

Having found the magazine and the page with my recommended tripod.... set about trying to locate said item on the interweb, but to no avail. The review was from March of this year, and already the item has been discontinued and vanished from the face of the earth. Typical.

If anyone has a Calumet CK6143 stashed away anywhere that they don't want, then drop me a line......

So, I'm stuck what to do.

Pixie.... the Gorilla is ok for what it is, but it's just a table top tripod that has bendy legs and can wrap round things. It doesn't do the things I need, and certainly would be no use in a wildlife situation. I have a table top pod, but not one that will grip something, but I've never needed to grip anything. I can imagine a rock climber might have use for it, but not sure who else would. (I'm not even going to mention that I think they are outrageously overpriced, although kudos indeed to Joby for offering packaging free versions!!)

Spice..... I thought about a monopod, but you can't leave it unattended for those lovely self timers can you?? If they made a monopod that doubled as a spring loaded walking stick, then I might consider it, for the dual purpose, but other than that I'm not convinced. I am sure that it will feature as part of my kit somewhere down the line though.

Looks like it's back to the drawing board for me..... Unless I double my budget!!

Well, I am looking for a link for monopods, and blow me down, if they don't make them as walking sticks, AND they come with ball and socket heads...... requires more investigation - I see the ones that do what I need are still WAY too expensive!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Annoyed.

I am managing to annoy myself with a choice of blogging topics. I have started today's entry several times, and have been dissatisfied with each and every effort thus far. Too many small items to discuss makes for a very messy and protracted piece of disjointed garbage. What can I do?

Do you want to hear about the lovely beers I managed to drink at the Barge and Barrel beer festival, or about the dark mild at the Star in Lockwood, or even the Moorhouse's Black Cat at the Nook in Holmfirth?

How about a little piece about my walk around Holmfirth? A taste of Summer Wine country, guided as always by an Ordnance Survey map, and the ever flawed AA 50 Walks in West Yorkshire book. When they say turn right, they mean left. When they say one hundred yards, they may mean twenty, they may mean four hundred. It's a guessing game.

How about the muscle I've pulled in my stomach? My damaged achilles tendon? The problems I am having with my hand, wrist and forearm? The blotchy dry skin patches.... Vitamins, creams, potions, lotions.....

Conker fighting? Clackers?

After spending a year with no source of income, I am starting to worry about spending all of my money. So, with a small wince and a great deal of trepidation, I have finally managed to make it through the checkout procedure on a website, to purchase..... wait for it..... a new camera!! I blame Kenny for this irrational purchase... His talk and enjoyment of consumerism has driven me to the point of coveting my neighbour's white goods!!

So here it is... in all its glory.... my new camera.... coming to a blog near you soon. I am SO looking forward to getting my hands on it.

Inspired by my rash purchase, last evening, it was much easier to jump out of bed this morning when I spied a golden sunrise. Armed with my camera, and wearing a Tshirt, at seven thirty in the A of the M, standing atop Scapegoat Hill, shivering and freezing, I managed to pull of this masterstroke! I dedicate this to Spice The Cat, for his tireless, inspirational, motivational comments and efforts (they used to call it nagging!).

Enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Search engine Sunday.

As promised, here's another installment of my search engine criteria, that brought people to my blog. I will also take this opportunity to apologise for lack of blog activity this week.... normal service will be resumed as soon as I get a minute to sit on my arse!!

cows go clang (Google)
Now, everyone knows cows don't go "clang" they do of course go "bong" in the poem by the late, great Spike Milligan.

On the Ning Nang Nong
Where the Cows go Bong!
and the monkeys all say BOO!
There's a Nong Nang Ning
Where the trees go Ping!
And the tea pots jibber jabber joo.
On the Nong Ning Nang
All the mice go Clang
And you just can't catch 'em when they do!
So its Ning Nang Nong Cows go Bong!
Nong Nang Ning Trees go ping
Nong Ning Nang The mice go Clang
What a noisy place to belong
is the Ning Nang Ning Nang Nong!!

"war what is it good for" (Google)
I'll gladly tell you. Absolutely nothing, my friend, in fact I believe this to be so absolute that I will reiterate for poignant effect. Absolutely nothing.

Fry's Five Centre bar (AOL)
Yes, indeed!! What did happen to that lovely bar of chocolate that contained five different segmented fruity fillings?? I can tell you that Fry's (the original manufacturers) eventually became Cadbury's, and the "five centres" bar ceased to be produced in 1992.

huddersfield "zombie slouch" (Google)
I originally blogged about this a while ago..... here's the flyer in case anyone else fancies it. It's on October 27th.


spiced ginger preserve (Google)
Oh, a lovely preserve indeed, and one of my favourites on a hot buttered muffin. I originally blogged about the death of a jar of said preserve. Perhaps the scariest "in-depth" review of this preserve can be found here. If you can find anything more scary written about ginger preserve then please feel free to let me know.

jenny falconer +smoking (Google)
Not the first time that a search for Jenni (note the "i" not a "y") smoking has brought people here. I have tried to find something on the web that links the two items together in order that I can point you the right way, but this must be some really "hardcore" fetish. I can't find it. I HAVE met her.... she DOESN'T like me..... and.... I can't remember if she smokes or not!!

v for vendetta (Google)
Comic or film? Film, forget it. Comic, make me an offer for the original 1980's ten issue first printing..... it could be yours if the price is right. The comics are fantastic. The film, you're welcome to borrow the DVD off me, I won't even ask for any security, as it would not pain me in any way to never see it again.

what do arctic foxes look like (Google)
Google images is your friend.

where does the arctic fox (Google)
I love this search. Imagine that the "Arctic" is a person, and that there is a verb to "fox". Where does the arctic fox? All over the damn place I would imagine!! If you wanted to know where the Arctic fox lives, then of course it's in the Arctic you moron!!

msn ten day weather harrogate (Google)
Can be found here!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Two stupid dogs.

Well, I'll say there are two idiots today.

I'm an idiot for contributing to "Blog Action Day" by writing something about the environment.... But I forgot to register on the website, so I guess my efforts were in vain. That does, of course, depend on how much influence you would credit my next idiot with.....

Idiot two for today, is awarded to those lovely people that run the "Blog Action Day" website. They're either too busy drinking nettle wine, or reclaiming jumpers from those little tufts of wool that you find on barbed wire to notice:

a) If you are going to hold an event on a specific date, then your promotional materials (specifically the banners and buttons provided) ought to at least carry the date that the event will be held....
b) For at least a day or two after the event, it might be prudent to NOT delete or move the webpages that you have encouraged all your participants to link to. The following day "Blog Action Day" decided to remove all their promotional graphics, and of course if you look back at my October 15th posting, you'll clearly see at the top of it..... well, nothing, and that's my point. Bloody idiots!!

Question: What would happen if every blog published posts on the same topic, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices.
Answer: I, for one, won't be participating in such a poorly run "event" again. That's not to say I won't talk about the environment, but I don't need the help of someone else to do it.

Can you tell they've annoyed me a little? I've been spitting feathers. Choking on my own bile. Too upset to write a word. Not true, of course, but I AM annoyed by it.

I'm also slightly annoyed that, at some point, early this morning, I turned over in bed, briefly opened my eyes and saw the most amazing golden autumnal sunrise that you could possibly imagine. The thought of jumping out of bed and grabbing my camera and running into the street skimmed like a flat stone across the surface of my brain, before it sank to the murky depths below. I turned over and went back to sleep.

I'm looking out of the window now, at the flattest, most grey, windless, unphotogenic October morning in the history of evolution.

I guess there is a lesson in there somewhere.... I know there's a lesson about photography and that you have to catch those "golden" moments for great pics, but there's something deeper.... .... I don't know, I'm sure it will come to me as soon as the nurse has given me a bed bath and put cream all over my bed sores.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Every action force.....

... has an equal and opposite reaction force. Thus spake the wisdom of Isaac Newton.

That would, by definition make today a day of:

Blog inaction day.

Read no evil, write no evil.....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today, as you may or may not know, is Blog Action Day. Bloggers of the world are uniting in a single cause, and that cause is (insert drum roll here) "the environment".

Now, in my mind, which runs off on a million tangential paths simultaneously at the mention of blogging about "the environment", there becomes immediately two ways to view this topic.... One way to look at it, is how we are devastating our little blue cosmic marble, and the other is to look at it as a creative hook. Surely it all depends on your definition of "the environment"?

I had planned to write a little piece today about how much I had enjoyed the Marsden Jazz Festival this weekend.... and the gears click into place.

Firstly, we walked to the Jazz Festival on Sunday lunchtime, along the canal. What I CAN say is that the advancements we have made in recent years, with regard to how we view and treat these monumental waterways, is refreshing indeed. For years, the humble canal fell into disrepair and disregard. Fettered with shopping trolleys, carrier bags, and foul stinking water. Now these revolutionary transport paths have had life breathed back into them.

The chosen mode of transport into Marsden allowed me to exercise a love of the natural surroundings, to neutralise my carbon footprint, and to enjoy and endorse these wonderful canal towpaths.

In Marsden, I headed for the Riverhead public house, which serves beer that is brewed on the premises. The fact that the beer has not had to travel to reach the pumps, and subsequently my stomach, makes me feel a whole lot better. I think we can safely say, I managed to drink the planet a little bit healthier!!

I also managed to drink some beer in Golcar at the Rose and Crown (which is a dreadful pub) where the beer is also brewed locally. Golcar Mild, Pennine Gold...... delicious stuff.

If that weren't enough, let me tell you about another "green" policy I have recently introduced to my life.

Carrier bags. Horrible plastic things for carrying shopping in. A travesty of both design and environmental consideration. The handles are so bad, that when the bags are loaded to their capacity, the circulation to your fingertips is completely shut off. The black fingertip syndrome even prompted some brainbox to create another lovely petroleum based plastic product which you can loop the handles around to avoid this problem. They don't (in the main) biodegrade, and almost all, if not every single one of them, eventually ends up in our rubbish bins and dumped in a landfill.

Well, for a rather nominal fee, you can purchase some rather fetching alternatives to these plastic bags. The ones that you can buy at Tesco, that are made of a sort of hessian material (maybe it's jute?) and have nicely designed handles, will easily fit twice as much in them as a carrier bag. They cost one pound. They are comfy to carry, and if you keep them in the car, then you'll never forget them when you hit the supermarket aisles.... I suppose a greener version of this story would be to keep them in your walking trouser pockets, but I don't know many people who walk to the supermarket to do their "Friday big shop", so let's be realistic.

It's a small step for man, and a giant gulp for mankind.

We all know the pack drill.... Don't boil more water in the kettle than you need.... Turn off the tap when you are brushing your teeth...... A full freezer functions better than one that is half empty..... Recycle..... Use public transport...... Don't put your telly on "standby"...... Don't buy fruit that has travelled three thousand miles to reach your supermarket shelves....... Feel free to add to the list.

Christ on a bike, I nearly forgot.... feed the birds!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Search engine Sunday.

As promised... by me, previously, yesterday in fact, I am going to do a Sunday roundup of the search engine criteria that brought people into my blog. The idea of picking (what I would consider) the most humorous or desirable searches and writing about them in order to perpetuate their relevance is one that I adore.

First: This isn't an easy option and takes much longer than an average blog, and believe me, my blog is VERY average!!
Second: We all might learn something!!

Behold, I give to you:

rat trap b&q (Google)
If you are after a humane rat trap from B&Q then my advice would be.... Don't bother, I've got one that cost me fifteen quid that never caught a thing. You can have it for free, but you've got to collect it!!

why would anyone choose arctic fox (Google)
As opposed to what? Chicken?? Steak?? Curried goat?? No, I think I'll have some arctic fox to start, followed by fillet of swan.

what did frank skinner play on banjo (Google)
I watched it (Play it Again - a BBC series) and I couldn't tell you. At one point he played Duelling Banjos with the band, Hayseed Dixie. The final bluegrass competition that he famously mucked up, I have no idea what he played.

arctic fox halloween costume (Google)
Try this on for size!!! Scares the heck outta me!!

turnip carving (Google)
Fascinating that someone should be looking for this. Before we all went Starbucks and McDonald's and suddenly found our supermarkets full of pumpkins every October... we used to indulge ourselves in the ancient Celtic art of making lanterns out of turnips. Swedes to be exact!! Long live the turnip... death to pumpkins!! Be careful!

"solve the problem of food shortage in the world" (Yahoo)
Let them eat pumpkin soup, or the hollowings from crafted turnip lanterns. Alternatively try clicking this!

What does the arctic fox look like in summer (Google)
Similar to how it looks in winter, but with a T-shirt and sunglasses!!

karma dentist (Google)
Wow, I never knew there was such a thing as a caring dentist. A dentist who isn't motivated by money or the joy of inflicting pain.... it's a grand marketing ploy that's for sure.

arctic fox, it's a setup lyrics (Google)
OK, there's a comedian called Mike Birbiglia - He has a CD out called "Two Drink Mike" - I am presuming he can't hold his booze.... anyway, on this album there's a track called "Arctic Fox It's a Setup" and I have only been able to hear the first thirty seconds of it. I don't know where the Arctic Fox bit fits in... it's about his dreams being better than reality or something.... well, you learn something new every day.

lots of arctic fox pics (Google)
Try Google image search of course!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The state....

The state of blogging?

Well, I don't know what sort of state blogging is in. I decided to make a random sweep, using the little "Next Blog" button.... up there..... go on, keep going, right at the top .... got it?? Right... well.... no.... don't click it JUST yet!!

Ok, so the "Next Blog" button will take you magically to a random blog. I had heard that the chances of finding anything other than advertising spam and porn were actually VERY slim.

I decided to click through twenty blogs, and to record the type of blog and move on. Here's what I found:

7 Advertising and financial spam blogs.
1 Explicit gay porn blog (no warnings).

2 Japanese blogs.
2 Malaysian blogs (one in English, the other not).
2 Spanish blogs (one political, one about dancing).
1 Blog about taking a whizz in a public bathroom/toilet and the etiquette.
1 Very strange football blog (that was just a bunch of emails).
1 Blog of Dutch poetry.
1 Scrapbooking American mum of 2.
1 German yo-yo blog.
1 Random, quite funny blog.

Quite a sorry bunch, I am sure you will agree. Of the twenty sampled, I would only go back to one of them, and it wasn't the one that had pictures of young men whizzing into each other's mouths!!!

So, what's the state of blogging?

I can't say that this experiment really tells me very much, other than the fact that I am lucky to have such a nice bunch of blogging friends. I am lucky to have found so many interesting and worthy blogs to read in my time.

Not many people take the time or effort to read or write blogs at weekends, so maybe I will make a regular Saturday and Sunday feature out of this random blog sample and the search engine criteria that I enjoy so much.

The "Next Blog" button is pretty much worthless!!

PS: I accept absolutely no responsibility for what you might find if you use the Next Blog button.... Do so at your own risk!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I am not miserable.

Well, it's a matter of opinion I guess.... I do not FEEL miserable is what I should have said!

How can I possibly feel miserable or grumpy when:

The teenage mutilated ninja poodle is here to keep me company.


OR

Watchmen (the movie) is now in production. Let's hope it is at least a fraction as good as the comics were..... I am PRAYING it doesn't disappoint me. Alan Moore is the "daddy" of comics for me... V for Vendetta and Miracleman were totally awesome too. Sadly, the V film didn't quite hit the right notes for me. There's massive scope for Watchmen to go badly wrong.

I'm not going ot start lecturing you on the merits of comics, or tell you how good Watchmen really is, nor that you should pray at the altar in the church of Alan Moore...... I suspect if you don't already know about these things, then anything I say will not influence you.... or will it??

Go, seek it all out, judge for youselves!!


Now, I've waited twenty years since the comics, so another couple of years aint gonna hurt, is it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hello.....

Nothing to report.

Usual stuff........

More Flickr photos......

More dead mouse action (strike 5)........

Lots of Pogo.....

Watching more films.........

Dreaming of beer.......

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Goldfinch.

Families of my favourite finches flapping furiously, feeding ferociously. Filling up for flying far away. Black thistle seed flying. Clouds of feathered activity fill the garden and distract my eye from the movies I am watching. I maintain concentration until the third movie of the day and sleep overcomes me.

Damn that roadsweeper. He was back again today. I appreciate the service but not their hissing, steam belching dragon of a machine inching up the road beneath my bedroom window at seven twenty two in the A of the M.

A few beers last night only served to remind me just how angry I have become. Angry at my own passivity. Angry at the call centre that sold me a years worth of cover without my involvement, and who won't refund me for something I didn't order, because we are "outside of the refund window". I roll over and let them tickle me, maintaining that next year I will ensure that the credit card that feeds them will be a historical footnote.

Paperwork done. Bills paid. Final reminders shredded. Bank account slowly bleeding to death. Steadily approaching, free falling, towards the state of exsanguination. Please let me stay out of work a bit longer.

So many films, so little time.

Happy birthday to Fred. Zam zams tonight for a slap up curry.... yippee!! BYOB!!

Happy "New Moon" to everyone else.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hibernation.

Following the unseasonable warmth of a Sunday just passed, the weather, and mood, have taken a decidedly sombre downturn. A couple of extremely wet, foggy, and accident strewn M62 mornings leave a distinct taste of moorland grime in my mouth.

These are the days that I would expect from October as opposed to the short sleeved, sweat beaded temple times that had me heading out and onto the hills in search of cardiovascular stimulation and stretched Achilles tendons last weekend.

Finally, the ash tree in the garden has released its sappy hold on the leaves. They say the ash tree is the last to receive and the first to yield its leaves. I think the sycamore beat it slightly this year, and there are already the first few golden leaf strewn pavements to walk amongst. Seems the slight breeze, and the extra weight of fog and rain has finally tipped my ash. The rake will need to be wielded in arboreal anger before too long.

The distant whirr of a council owned road sweeper heralds the official start of autumn as a disinterested man power-washes the leaves into the road for the vehicle to subsequently collect.

Me, I'm disinclined to venture outdoors in this weather. I pull up the metaphorical drawbridge, and baton down the imaginary hatches. Turn on the TV and watch a couple of films. Drink coffee and eat baked potatoes. It’s a full time job keeping the fog from creeping under the doors.

This morning, the house feels decidedly cold and grey. I grab one of the books that have been hanging around partly read, turn up the central heating, and dive back into bed. It's not a lie-in, you understand!! I am reading, and for once, I do not fall asleep after the first paragraph. I finish a book.

It's three in the afternoon, the sun is shining now, and I am still in my pyjamas. Lazy, hazy days.

(you can view and of course comment on any of the films I have watched in the order that I watched them - most recent first.... Here!)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Walking.....

Went out last night to Leeds, to our favourite, Fuji Hiro noodle bar. A simple, tasty, speedy dish of noodles and some delectable dumplings. A couple of beers and some plum wine. Forty minutes, fifteen quid each, can't go wrong. We love it there.

A shame the movie that we watched at home afterwards was not a match for the quality of the meal. Texas Chainsaw Massacre - The Beginning. I know, I shouldn't expect too much, but it was really effing dreadful. I mean REALLY effing dreadful. The point where this kid with a broken ankle and broken back goes running through the woods.... well I should have switched off a lot sooner than him getting either of the aforementioned injuries..... I watched it all and wished I hadn't.

Today we went on “A colourful circuit of Norland Moor.”

I’m not going to bore you with the details of a lovely walk, during which we got lost once, and took approximately one photograph. If I can’t be bothered to photograph it, then I sure as hell can’t be bothered to describe something that you can read about in “50 Walks in West Yorkshire” – ISBN 0-7495-2877-x pages 71 to 73 inclusive.

What I will say about it is:

1) It was confusing in one point (resulting in us missing a path) where we managed to add an extra mile onto the trip.
2) Very enjoyable, but quite hard on the feet. Millstone grit and rocky sandy paths for the most part, demanding high levels of concentration.
3) Very wild part of England!! Hot today, but I can imagine it being very inhospitable with the slightest touch of weather.
4) If you rely on the guidebook, then the Moorcock Inn is closed down, and beware at section 2, where the writer had consumed acid or something, and got it all a bit wrong.


I managed to lose my Ray Ban sunglasses (£120) about halfway round, when we stopped to consult the maps, when things went a little freestyle. As I sat with my compass, I left the sunglasses on a grass verge at the side of the road. I didn't notice till I got home.

Dawn drove me back to the very spot where I had sat reading maps, and lo and behold, there in the grass at the side of the road, were my glasses, some two hour and a half hours after I left them. Brilliant. I am so pleased to have them back.


My Achilles tendons are aching now, and the balls of my feet are feeling depressed!!

If you've never visited my "Random Shopping" blog, then today you're in for a treat.... it's madness I tells ya.... madness!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Yodel-ay-eh-eeeeh.

Brilliant.

The Huddersfield Oktoberfest seemed to be a success.

Lots of be-bearded types ticking off beers they had drunk, and some going to extreme lengths by using laptops to record their chosen tipple's details - Who knows what they were recording?? They are the equivalent of train spotters, and in the beer world, they're called "tickers".

So, we arrived at the beer festival at about two in the afternoon. To the best of my knowledge, we left some time after six in the evening.

It all started off so well.... calculated and carefully chosen "local" produce for me, and Fred on the "mild trail" - which would reward each drinker with a free half pint for every five purchased.

First stop, the little village of Golcar, and the brewery there have lovingly crafted a honey beer, made with honey from the North Yorkshire moorland. The same moorland I was seen to be riding a horse across earlier this year. Lily Bee - A fine drop and I savoured and tasted it.

Next stop Marsden, and following on from my recent (disappointing) excursion to Black Moss Reservoir, how could I possibly pass up the opportunity to drink some Black Moss Stout. Thick, black and very treacly, like bonfire toffee, and extremely malty, unpleasant to the first mouthful, but it got better towards the bottom. I love the Riverhead's beers.


The rows of barrels in front of the bar. Lots to go at. Lots to experience. No chance of seeing it all.

Third up.... A journey back along the Colne Valley to Slaithwate (Slawit of course) and to the Empire Brewery. I've never drunk a Slawit beer before, and following the intensity of Black Moss Stout, what would be the obvious choice? Well, the brewery is called Empire and they do a bitter called "Strikes Back", so why the hell wouldn't you? It was pleasant enough, but the stir that their "Golden Warrior" was creating was making me wish I had used the force and chosen more wisely.... This was not the beer I was looking for!!!

Fourth...... Chosen for two reasons. I want to sample more beer from Elland. It's not far from my house, just down the hill on the opposite side to the Colne Valley, into Calderdale. They have two breweries, and their beer isn't seen everywhere. Which brewery first? The choice was made for me, when I discovered a beer that was brewed to commemorate the one-thousandth organ recital at Halifax Parish Church. Snetzler Special. A toffee flavoured bitter that was nice, although a little stronger but I was pleased to have been hooked by its provenance.

Fifth.... The other brewery in Elland.... Their weaker of two beers, the Mitchell Eastwood Best Bitter. A welcome drop of light refreshment at the point where my mate "The Turtle" joined us for a few beers.


Thirsty punters lining up and behaving, waiting to get served. The odd one or two complaining about not getting a full measure, but this is Camra after all!!!!

Sixth, back to the Riverhead in Marsden for their Wessenden Wheat beer. I have to say that this was unlike any wheat beer I've ever drunk and was a little disappointing. Light and fruity, very much like a pint of bitter (and clear where wheat beer simply shouldn't be in my experience) but with a very subtle top to it. Something in the top of the taste that my (by now) battered taste buds couldn't quite discern or describe made it stand out from the bitters I'd chosen so far. Not the best beer of the day for me, but not unpleasant.

Seven saw me casting my net far and wide, to snare a beer from the very small Wagtail Brewery in Norfolk. Back to the black stuff, for a drop of their Black Shuck Stout. Deliciously malty, not over roasted or burnt and very, very, very drinkable. Under different circumstances I'd have sat and drunk a few of these and also the Riverhead's Black Moss Stout too.


The Turtle strikes tombola gold winning a bottle of very cheap and nasty bucks fizz!! Note the ever present glass of cider!!

Eight..... Back up north, for a beer that tickled my funny bone. There is a place not far from here called Hebden Bridge. It's a nice place, but it used to have quite a hippy dippy, dope smoking reputation. It was known as herb-den bridge in my days!! Anyhoo, their Little Valley brewery had created a bitter brewed with hemp leaves, with the imaginative nomenclature of Yorkshire Hemp. I didn't like it... it was the fruitiest drink I had all day and it just wasn't what I was looking for at all. My run of picking winners by their names was coming to an end.

Nine.... Let's give Hebden Bridge another crack of the whip and try their other brewer, Bridestones, Oktoberfest Special. A very dark bitter. Cloudy, dark, deep and rich. Malt, chocolate, and brewed especially for the festival. not my favourite beer, but an essential choice given how much I was enjoying the atmosphere.

Ten..... Shit..... I should have seen this coming...... Thanks Turtle for coercing me into paying a visit to the "Cider Bar"....... It could only end in tears.

Where was I??

Ten.... Cider...... After tasting a few of the ciders on offer to make a better informed choice..... I, of course, picked one by name..... Fiery Fox!! I have looked it up since drinking it, and it would appear that it came from Wales.... it was strong at about six and a half percent, and by Jove it was nice.

Eleven..... I'd already called for my mum to come and collect us by now, and we were on our way out when I decided we should take a beer out with us while we waited. I am sure Fred disapprovingly agreed, and I don't even remember if he chose one or not......

Eleven..... Like a moth to a flame..... back to the cider bar........

Eleven..... I rambled to some proper cider drinkers something about wanting a cider but not one that smelled like a volcano.... they seemed to know what I was on about and promptly issued me with a glass of something that I remember being very pleasant. I don't know what it was......


On the way home. Clutching a final glass of cider, and looking across Huddersfield from the Irish Centre. A nice way to end the day.

Next stop fish and chip supper!!

Magic.

I was expecting a headache today, but I feel great.... I could do it all again!!

Well done Camra, and well done Huddersfield. Well done Irish Centre, and well done micro brewers everywhere.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Oktoberfest.

Don't mention the war.

I hadn't, until this morning, considered the implications of taking Fred (a fully trained fighting and killing machine, and war hardened veteran) to an event called Oktoberfest. I do hope there isn't too much bloodshed!!

Yes, it's the morning of the Huddersfield Beer Festival. I'm looking forward to it. The biggest problem I have with beer is that I like it, but wish it didn't make me quite so bloody drunk all the time. I'm a lousy drunk, as I am sure most people who have witnessed me in that state will undoubtedly testify.

I just have to remember that today is about beer tasting..... only buy halves, and try not to just go necking bloody big boys' pints of the strongest porters and perries that I can find. I think I will hang a sign round my neck insisting that no matter what I ask for to "only serve me half a weak stuff" at a time... the more I protest, the less they should serve me.

Beer festivals are not a place for drunken bravado or betting that you can drink a pint of everything down one side of the room!!

Well....

In other news......

It's taken me a while to come back to all those who seemed to think that me getting a "Mac" would be some sort of sensible decision when my computer was having a bad hair day, but here goes.....

1) My computer is behaving itself for now, so panic over.
2) I like to run software on my computer (it's what makes it so useful) and everyone knows that there are no games and/or software packages other than CAD that run on Macs.
3) I don't need an ornaments for my table. I like to use my computer, not admire its sleek design.
4) I don't need an iPod either.
5) I am presuming the next bit of wisdom from the Mac-heads' repertoire would be for me to run some sort of Windoze emulator on a Mac.... I don't even need to respond to that do I?
6) I don't want to end up like your average Mac user.

Also, I've just noticed (ironically) that the German bug that's been with us for so long on Blogger has now gone. Hooray for Oktoberfest!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Little white lie.

In line, and in complete coincidence to Jen's advocacy of Freecycle, I have volunteered to collect a dining table and chairs for my friend, the Turtle. All hail Freecycle!! I just hope I can fit the stuff in my car without making more than two trips. (Good karma).

The Huddersfield beer festival looms large on the horizon. Officially beginning tomorrow, but will be frequented on Friday afternoon by Fred and myself, and of course anyone else who should wish to meet me there for some fine local ale!! Roll on Oktoberfest - In complete keeping with the current German Blogger bug that is still with us. (I am taking Fred for a trip out - gives both of the folks some space - Good karma).

Apparently (so my mum tells me) the birds are currently stocking up on food for their winter migrations. With that in mind, I ventured out into the garden this morning and replenished the feeders. Barefoot across a dew sodden lawn to pour sunflower hearts onto their feeding station. By the time I had come back into the kitchen, and was washing my hands, there were already a pair of starlings, a robin and a chaffinch, tucking into their tasty treats. (Great karma).

Fox 4 - 0 Mice!! For the less squeamish viewers, click here. for those of a sensitive nature, click here!! (Bad karma).

And, on to my white lie.

My last visit to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, resulted in a temporary filling, an xray, and the conclusion that I have a "plastinated" tooth (I thought that's what Doctor Von Hagens did to all them weird bodies). So, the best course of action is to extract the offending tooth and move on with my life.

I made the appointment to have the tooth extracted... It should have been done tomorrow, at two o' clock, which of course means it would all be over by two-thirty (the irony of dental appointments coinciding with two-thirty (tooth hurty.... geddit?) ALWAYS amuses me, and occurs more commonly than I would care to mention, although I am fairly sure I just did).

Since the temporary filling went in, I've had no bother with the tooth. It seems silly to let this young dentist of mine (who will insist on talking to me in dentist's language, which I subsequently have to nod and look up in the dictionary later) go through the process of struggling to pull this tooth, in the same way she struggled to get the drill into it in the first place. It's in an awkward place apparently. I thought teeth were supposed to be in the mouth, but then that's why I am not a dentist.

I called the dentist this morning, and in my best "poorly" voice:

"I'm sorry, but I am full of bronchitis, *cough* do you think it's too late to cancel my appointment?"
"Of course not, if you're ill." she replied, in a completely unenthusiastic, unconvinced manner. I was losing her.
" *cough* *splutter* OK well, if that's ok, I'll cancel and rebook when I feel better, thanks" and I quickly hung up before she could say no.

I managed to avoid a cancellation fee of around thirty quid. Makes me feel better already. (Very bad karma).

Dawn seems to think, that for my sins, I have now wished bronchitis upon myself. (That's some very heavy bad JuJu right there, coming down on my sorry ass.... Thanks Dawn!!)

My name is *cough* Earl!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sting.

In strange circumstances today, I encountered an old acquaintance from my drug filled, laser lit, techno stomping days.

The guy in question came through as a friend of a friend, if you can ever call anyone involved in the sale of drugs who subsequently bites the hand that feeds etc, a friend at all. The "so called" friend introduced me to this guy, known by a secret codename, that was so secret, you could only use it behind his back.... he was known as Jolly.

Anyhoo, I had a fair few dealings with Jolly over the years. We spent a fair bit of time amongst shady hangouts and in the company of less than reputable sorts. One thing I WILL say about Jolly, is that I always liked him, and there aren't many people from around that time that I can say that about.

Jolly eventually got a job working at The Orbit, a techno nightclub in the heart of Morley of all places. A veritable hardcore Mecca that lasted far longer than most clubs would. Jolly worked the lights there. I think at one Sven Vath night, or an Orbit birthday party... I ended up having a go on the water cooled laser light show controls........

Ok, so fast forward a decade.......

I'm shopping with my mum at the new Lidl in town, and we are coppering up to get a pound coin so we can avail ourselves of a shopping trolley. Of course we have eighty nine pence between us. The shame. My mum turns to this guy and asks him if we can possibly have his trolley (for the eighty nine pence in VERY loose change) and it's no other than Jolly himself.

So, someone I haven't seen in over a decade takes an eleven pence hit on a shopping trolley for us. Someone who once let me drive a laser show, now lets me drive a trolley.

Welcome to Huddersfield.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fog.

The bright, flat, white light, pushed its way through the curtains in my bedroom this morning. You could tell, in the same way that you can tell it's been snowing in winter, without looking out of the window, what the weather had in store for us.

Bright whiteout Yorkshire fog.

When they say it's grim up north, this morning is the kind of thing they have in mind.

Dripping wet, dank moorland grime, laying, where snow would form a blanket, we definitely had a feather filled twenty tog super-king-size duvet. Everything enveloped in the marsh-mallowy softness of soundproof soup.

I grabbed my camera, my tripod, my trousers, and still fastening my boots, rushed out into the weather and out onto the hills. Even if no photographs would present themselves, then at least it would be a satisfying walk.

By the time I reached Cupwith, the visibility was to say the least, unfavourable. I parked the car, grabbed the gear and set off along the path. Straight away, I was noticing some lovely photogenic moments under the white shroud. The flat light, the dew encrusted moorland, the perfect white backdrop... Perhaps I would get something after all.

My only encounter on the moorland was a couple with four dogs. They were playing in the corner of the reservoir, and their passing comment, as I skillfully dodged a barrage of curious wet fur, was that I would not be likely to get many pictures today.

I think I may have proved them wrong. Out of the most "unlikely" circumstances, I think these are some of my best photographs.

Here is a small collection of photos (the rest are in Flickr of course) that I really , REALLY like.


On the path to Marsden, playing with a self timer, trying to get things in focus, and still manage to get into the photograph. There are VERY few photographs of me, so you ought to feel privileged.


A self contained "life support unit" on top of a wooden gatepost, dripping with the moor grime. I've looked at this grass a few times and thought what a good picture it might make. I hadn't bargained on it being against such a lovely white background, dripping with water, and being tended by a bumble bee. It's a competition winner in my eyes.


No photography collection is complete without the ubiquitous dew laden spider's web. There were plenty of them out on the moors. I particularly enjoyed the appearance of the heather, as if it were a giant spider's web in a forest of trees. Focus is difficult in a shot like this.... sorry.


Zen gardening at Cupwith Reservoir. Lovely reflections, and a gorgeous fade to white above these rocks. Magical.