Garden

January 17, 2010

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With the departure of the dreaded snow (which although exciting to begin with had certainly outstayed it’s welcome by last weekend and was a bloody nuisance by the time the rain washed it away a couple of days ago) it seemed timely to tidy up the garden a little, including shoring up a fence which is in the process of collapsing (hoping to keep it upright until we’ve decided whether to sell the house or not!).

We’ re in the process of clearing the house of my late Grandmother, who died a couple of months ago, and yesterday I took away a couple of items that particularly remind me of my Grandfather, who passed away about 17 years ago. A tailor and then a master bricklayer by trade, he would use up any spare cement from odd jobs at home by making a face (something my father is also in the habit of doing). I have no idea how old the one above (now nestling next to the door of my conservatory) is, but it’s a nice memory of a lovely man, as is the hand drill pictured below which I found in one of his sheds. The dark mark on the winding handle appears to be a burn mark. My Grandad was never to be seen without a Woodbine, and I suspect he scorched the handle with his ciggie while using the drill. I love the way the colours have come out in this picture, taken using my iPhone.

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While tidying up I also found the first snow-drop of the year!

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Fall of Empires

January 10, 2010

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According to it’s creator, Jose M Cruz, this is “mainly an experimentation with soft bodies using toxi’s verlet springs” on Vimeo. It shows the evolution of the four main maritime Empires through the XIX and XX Centuries by extent, and it’s quite fascinating to watch. Unfortunately WordPress won’t let me embed the video in this page but you can click through here. It’s rather hypnotic to watch, and things get very interesting around 1960!


Icy Grip

January 7, 2010

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Photo: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response

What an extraordinary picture, taken by NASA’s Terra satellite on 7th January, via the BBC.


Does it make me a bad person…

January 7, 2010

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…that i can’t look at the picture above, an action shot by Mrs Fleet of Miss Fleet (5) towing Rothmans (21 months) around on a sled in our back garden, during which Rothmans has come to grief, without giggling!

I ought to point out that the next shot (taken a second or so later) shows Rothmans scrambling back onto the sled giggling happily.

It’s worth clicking on the image to increase the size.


Tomorrow morning is going to be interesting!

January 7, 2010

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The temperature outside is currently -5 degrees centigrade. As you can see from the picture above the roughly 15 centimetres of snow we had last night and during today is still deep and crisp and reasonably even (if somewhat compressed by various people creeping about very slowly in their cars), which promises to be interesting tomorrow after a night of sub zero temperatures have frozen that lot into a big slippery nightmare!


Proper Snow

January 5, 2010

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The view from my first floor landing, Olympus jammed against the window frame and the flash turned off, a few moments ago… proper snow in South Oxfordshire – a rare event.

There’s something rather eerie about the yellow of the street lights on the snow… or maybe that’s just the effect of the book of HP Lovecraft short stories I have been reading. Could the snow herald the arrival of some vile squamous beast from another dimension? Probably not. But I might build a snow Cthulhu tomorrow just to be on the safe side.


Andrew Ritchie MBE

January 5, 2010

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The great Andrew Ritchie, inventor and founder of Brompton Bicycle, has been awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year Honours list. Richly deserved for a great British Industry success story.

Pictured above is my dear little Brompton in the snow on the ride home this evening.