Friday, October 31, 2008

Snappy Samhain!!

Well, happy Samhain to you non-believers of the imported and vastly inferior trick-or-treat based shoddy version of our celebration of the dead.

It's our old new year.

It's a celebration of the dead.... of the change between life and death.... autumn.... winter....

You can't beat those four seasons in one day sort of days, and that's what we had on a guided walk around Castle Hill.

A guided walk... followed by a beer festival.... imagine!!!



A view over Honley.... warm and sunny after a brief cold snowy shower. No pumpkins, skeletons, or trick-or-treating!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My name....

My name's Jason, and I'm a Pokemon addict!!

Don't ask me how it came to be that I have waited until my fortieth year to investigate the photosensitive epileptic phenomena that put young children on the floor, all those years ago back in ninety seven.

We all grew up with top trumps, and essentially Pokemon's the same game, but with some adventurey role playing type game stapled on the front of it.

I can't even explain why I am finding such a simple game to be so addictive.

I only know that before long, I'll have played it to death and can get on with my life again!!!

Curse you, you crazy Japanese anime creators.



Irony: Seeing as we had our first hard overnight frost last night, and I spent most of the day in bed keeping warm, playing Pokemon, and subsequently didn't get out with my camera.... here's one I took earlier. I have a strange fascination with these old gateposts. This is somewhere between Slawit and Marsden.... somewhere between river and canal.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Diwali.

Regardless of the mythological explanation one prefers, what the festival of lights really stands for today is a reaffirmation of hope, a renewed commitment to friendship and goodwill, and a religiously sanctioned celebration of the simple - and some not so simple - joys of life. - Times of India editorial.

..... The festival of light is upon us. Lights, fireworks and sweets!! Every kids dream come true!! Forget your Halloween and your trick-or-treat nonsense.



Effing technology!! I tried to upload this very photograph a squillion and odd times, but for some bloody reason it kept rotating the image (anti-clockwise) by ninety degrees or 270 degrees (clockwise) whichever you prefer!!

Anyhow, this is an image I shot at the Huddersfield Festival of Lights last year during a performance by the Plasticiens Volants group. Catch a short video of it here (it's not my video).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Like I need an excuse.

Having spent last evening in Wakefield, at the lovely hostelry known simply as Fernandes - an Ossett brewery tap, Dawn spent the night being sick in my bathroom (accompanied by one of many power cuts that we seem to be experiencing lately). I think we're both fairly sure that the meat from the smorgasbord that we ordered, had, sadly, disagreed with her.

The upshot of Dawn's nocturnal stomach churning adventures meant that, today while my central heating refused to cooperate, she slept while I played Pokemon Diamond on my Nintendo DS. I think we eventually surfaced at about two in the afternoon and Dawn started to feel a little better, and the central heating kicked in, and we managed to settle on the sofa and relax for a while watching a bit of TV.

Poor lass..... hope she feels better soon!!



Just one of a series of "landscapes" that I have in my collection - A Bolton Abbey waterscape. I love the sunshine, the motion, the weed on the rocks..... You get the idea... I'm fond of it, you make your own mind up!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

If you go down to the woods today....

... watch out for a group of people running round like maniacs looking for mushrooms, fungi, toadstools, whatever else you might like to call them. I have, of course, been on a fungal foray into Stocksmoor and into Lower Stone Wood.

I've never been on a guided walk or foray before, so wasn't quite sure what to expect. Turning up, I was surprised to find that about twenty five other people had the same idea!! For me, it was a little overcrowded and a little short on the fungual findings, but enjoyable nevertheless.

We found a few interesting things, but I didn't come away with the confidence to go and grab a basket of fresh food for my supper!!

Some of the finds were: Birch Polypore; Common Earthball; Sulphur Tuft; Honey Fungus; Turkeytail; Lots of types of Mycena; Candlesnuff Fungus - There were quite a few more species, but for the most part, they were very small and in such a big group it was difficult to see them properly or understand what was going on.



It's a Birch Polypore of course!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Glory.

Having a lie in. Playing some games. Watching some films. Drinking some beer. Going for a walk. Taking some photos. Writing a blog. Going to bed when I want. Eating food when I am hungry. Unlimited coffee.

I know that at some point I'll be back at work, perhaps even in full time permanent employment. I know there will come a time when I will be getting up in the morning or sitting behind a desk wishing I had the time to do the things listed above. For now, I'll settle for just living the dream..... every single day!!

For now, I'd better get back to my Pogo badges!!



Oh to be in Pighill Woods now that Autumn is here!! A rather "artsy" bark profile with bokkeh boughs beyond. Lovely textures in't it? Deep dark black cracks in the tree bark look like they could be bottomless pits.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Full speed ahead!

Seems the season of beer festivals is upon us. I have to be careful not to drink too much too often!! Having gotten myself a little bit blootered last weekend has made me slightly wary!!

Well I've been quite busy with one thing and another.... mainly Pokemon Diamond!! I DID manage to get my job application handed in on time though, so you never know..... Everything now remains crossed up to the point where interviews begin in the week commencing third November, and to hope that I get an invite!!

Shows how busy doing nothing I have been when I haven't even had a chance to look at my Pogo badges this week and they've been available for me for four hours or more!! Unheard of!!



Finding Nemo? A very lucky picture - indeed the one that DIDN'T get away!! A day at "The Deep" in Hull yielded some pretty crappy photos, and this is the best of a bad bunch. Shame the fish aren't bigger in the frame, but lovely colours and stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A little bit deeper.

Yes, put off by the complicated "work history" that I seem to have accumulated, my enthusiasm to apply for a job has waned to the point that I managed to stay in bed until three o'clock this afternoon playing Pokemon Diamond on my Nintendo DS.

So far I've reached Pikachu procrastination level nineteen.

Bearing in mind that the application deadline is Wednesday and it's already Monday evening and I've only filled in my name and address..... if I had to ask a magic eight ball I am sure it would say something like "Outlook not so good".

I wish I had stayed in permanent employment and never turned to contracting now because the idea of references and work history would have been so much simpler.

Having played some Pogo and updated my blog, I guess I ought to go and at least try to fill in a few more postage stamp sized boxes with my patented "spider-crawling-across-the-page" style calligraphy.



Bolton Abbey 20th September 2008 - What can only be described as a lovely day out - we went walking near Menwith Hill around Fewston and Timble Ings Woods (walking route supplied by the excellent Yorkshire Water website) - A day filled with sightings of red kites, enormous dragonflies, and sunshine - Called at Bolton abbey on the way home.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Groggy.

A groggy Sunday, in a state of alcohol recovery.

Neither "self scanning" my own supermarket shopping at Tescos nor watching Bear Grylls (Born Survivor) drinking his own piss out of a rattlesnake skin have actually made me feel much better.

Brain swelling and puffy, tired eyes.

Effervescent vitamin tablets - extra B vitamins!!

Toad-in-the-hole with broccoli, mashed carrots and swede, new potatoes, savoy cabbage and lashings of gravy has more or less saved my life today.



Beaumaris, Anglesey - Portrait of a gull. Ironically, Beaumaris is a very picturesque place - so of course one of the best pictures I took there didn't actually feature any single view of the town itself - could have been anywhere!! Still, it's a nice picture (in my humble opinion).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The first fence.

Bloody hell. Although I am TRYING to make myself be more productive and even to apply for a job..... I am liable to fall at the first fence for the following reason(s)....

a) My employment history is quite complicated. I've been contracting for quite a while and this means a lot of jobs and not many job references.

b) My qualifications aren't what you would recognise as modern.

c) I find it hard to represent myself in a stiff, fill-in-the-box type application form, especially when it happens to be printed onto A4 sheets and the boxes you have to use aren't lined, nor are they bigger than a postage stamp..... so when it comes to filling in a small box with information relating to my personal characteristics (giving some information about myself, including my main characteristics and why I think I might be good in this role) - the box actually measures all of 16.5cm by 4.5cm!!!

d) My handwriting is pretty sucky!!



Before I went out tonight I selected this picture from a whole heap of other images. How apt that indeed, you would not want to encounter me on dark night inbetween me pressing "publish" and me getting home and typing the commentary to this photo - it somehow seems appropriate now, a bit like a premonition!! Puffin Island promontory at Black Point, Anglesey (two quid toll road).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Kickstart.

I have started the transformation from a lazy arse into a mildly interested lazy arse.

I attended (along with The Turtle) a countryside volunteering meeting last evening. All I gotta do now is make sure I attend a some of the guided walks and "task" days over the next few weeks and to find out whether I fancy it or not. I've left my contact details and I think there's room for an Arctic Fox and a Turtle amongst their ranks.

Shock, horror, I even phoned up a company to send me out a job application too!! As anyone who knows me knows.... I am quite particular about which jobs to apply for - in truth I've applied for three jobs in the last two years!! This job is a nice one, and it's very local, and it seems pretty interesting, so fingers crossed on that.



For no other reason that I actually think this photo is as good as any "calendar" shot I've ever taken, this colourful shot of Conwy Bowling Club in North Wales has managed to find a place on my blog. I love the deep colours and the hint of an approaching autumn that are hanging in the frame.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trying.

I am trying, or so it's been said!!

In fact I am trying to be a better citizen. I'm trying to be more active, more sociable, more productive. I've even started using a diary!!

This week alone I've registered to attend a couple of guided walks, and tried (unsuccesfully) to enroll on a day of coppicing.... alas, it's oversubscribed, and I made it onto the standby list. I am planning on attending an open meeting of countryside voolunteers tomorrow night to see if there is a way I can be of ome use. I am also contemplating some dry stone walling courses.

Let's hope my flush of enthusiasm stretches to me applying for two jobs that I've noticed this week.



I like the spontaneous aspect of this photograph - I guess I was reading a bit about the macro function of the camera and trying it out at the same time....... and that's what you get. It's an oldie, but a goodie in my book - 5th December 2007. slightly out of focus but a valiant test shot - I also like the overexposed fade to complete whiteout at the top.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Full moon.

Hurray..... I am unable to contain my excitement at the coming of the Harvest Moon of 2008 - At least that's what we call it here in England!!

It is, of course, too cloudy, too rainy, too blustery, too wet, too miserable to be able to SEE the moon, but trust me, it's up there somewhere. I saw it last night and it was already VERY bright.

Hello to my mum, who landed in Australia today - I got a text at about midday to say she'd arrived and all was well.

Been out walking in Beaumont Park today - never been there before but it's a nice enough place with scope for adventure. Two strange things that attracted my attention whilst there: A young lad walking across the park removing a pair of latex gloves and discarding them in a flower bed (Possible solvent abuser?) - Two young Asian lads watching each other's backs while one of them sauntered up to the main steps and jumped into a car (no doubt trading in some sort of substance or other) - I am such a sceptic!!

Walking in dogshit was the downside of my day.

Eating Dixons ice cream - the world's finest!!



Autumnal bounty - grid ref SE 11475 05025 - walking around Riding Wood and Ramsden reservoirs. A nice circular walk through the village of Holme. There's a bit of something for everyone on this ramble - woodlands, open moorland, streams, reservoirs, a great little village with a pub and a hobbit house underground with a round hobbit door.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Best foot forward.

I've been walking... A LOT. Aged forty, with middle age spread (which is presumably beer inflicted) making its presence well and truly known, I am trying to be a little bit more active inbetween the pint glass raising sessions. I've lost count of the number of walks that I have done recently, but if you'll bear with me while I post a few pictures from some of them, then we can recall some of my footsteps together.



Grid reference SE 00565 10990 - A brief moment of elation and enjoyment, sadly punctuated a few minutes later by me missing the right hand fork in the track, ending up on the Oldham Way (instead of the Pennine Way), taking a "shortcut" across some open moorland, and inevitably, and ever so predictably, falling thigh deep into a bog!! The final six miles of this 14 mile walk were completed with my stinking, muddy trousers stuck to my legs and a severe amount of chafing!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Partly to blame.

Well, another month has passed since my last post - I'm really getting rather bad at this "blogging" lark. I once heard that the road to something was paved with good intentions or something or other. Perhaps, in order to catch up with what has been going on, and indeed to provide someone who might stumble upon my blog with something to look at, I'll try, over the next few days, to post some "catch up" pictures.



Friday October 3rd - Irish Centre, Huddersfield - Oktoberfest. The campaign for real ale's annual beer festival. Attended this year by myself and my uncle's brother John, who used to actually be a teacher at the school I went to. Needless to say, I got a bit pissed!!