Monday, April 30, 2007

A quick tremble.

That sixth sense that warns us we are being watched must be some kind of primeval evolutionary throwback. There’s no other way you can explain it. Either way I was certain that I was being watched. I was sat on the balcony of our holiday bungalow reading Ian Rankin. I looked up several times and could see nothing and yet the sixth sense persisted.

Eventually, I detected a furtive movement in a nearby palm tree. One second it was there and then it was gone. Eventually, I realised it was a bird. A little bit bigger than a thrush. A bird I had never seen before.

While I flicked through the pages of Mrs D’s bird book I concluded that given the level of curiosity this bird was demonstrating, it had to be a female. This made things a lot simpler. If I’ve learnt anything about birds, it is that if you want to attract them, then the trick is to ignore them. Nevertheless, I was far from confident. It was years since my legendary bird-pulling techniques had last been used. I lodged a piece of cake on the table and prepared my camera. The last time I did this I used Babycham. I just hoped cake would be a good substitute. Only time would tell.

So far, so good she was inching closer.

Clearly she was very cautious.

A hasty perusal of the bird book revealed that my new friend was a trembler and that in French they are called trembleurs, which if I was right about the gender would make my little secretive voyeur a trembleuse. Amazing the visions that you can conjure up when you play with words. ‘I’m going to be late home from the office tonight dear, I’m going to see my trembleuse.’ From there, for some unaccountable reason, my mind drifted to Deich walks and those deliciously wicked moments when we used to slip furtively out of bounds to explore the old ruins down by the lock gates. I wonder where all those lovely young ladies are now? Things were so much simpler then.
She was drawing closer. I continued to pretend to read my book. Bit by bit curiosity got the better of her. When my little oiseau finally arrived it quickly became evident why she was called a trembler. Il se caractérise par le tremblement de ses ailes. She cocked up her tail and literally shuddered and shook with excitement like a 1920s flapper. I was smitten – if only all women were so enthusiastic.

Eventually she landed on my table. The cake was proving too much to resist. It was hard but I knew for success I had to keep ignoring her. She examined me very carefully. Clearly they don’t get many Russians in St Lucia.

Having savoured the cake, her last words were, ‘if you have the neck to blog this chauvinistic merde mon petite, you’d better head for the briar patch as quickly as you can.’ Definitely my favourite bird of the holiday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Yet More Boy Soldiers

Keeping with the CCF theme, here's a few of
us kitted up, ready for action and the off for
2 weeks of basic training.

That's me at the front - think we were
3rd or 4th formers here - We would never
dress like this in the 5th/6th form years
as there were far better things to do with
our time - besides, Cuban healed boots
didn't go with this uniform!

Monday, April 16, 2007

More soldiers

Anyone recognise these fine body of lads from 60's - you should be able to pick out one Paul
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

School Days

Here's some Posers for you - Above picture
is of 3 cool 17 year olds - It's me in the centre
pulling the face. But who are the other two?
Below, well, it's me kneeling with me mum's
dog on my back, and my younger brother,
(who sadly is no longer with us), is on the left
as you view.

Tried to blow them up on photo copier, hence
the poor quality.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

On this day 47 years ago….

Two PRS boys climbed onto the roof of a block of flats and unrolled a map. With it being such a long time ago the reason for this exercise is now lost in the sands of time. There are however four distinct possibilities they:

  • had forgotten how to get to the NAFFI
  • were wondering how any potential Russian invasion could be stopped.
  • were getting lined up with Mecca.
  • had heard that the public-school, young ladies who lived up Marienberg Straβe were giving a party and they needed to find the exact location.

    • Saturday, April 07, 2007

      In case there’s anyone out there…

      …who is itching to post photos but can’t.

      1.Make sure you are logged on as a PRS Blogger. If you are not yet a PRS Blogger then you need to contact the Blogmaster.
      2.Make sure you know where your photo is located on your computer. In the following example our photo is located at
      c:\MY PICTURES\BULL\CIMG0469.JPG In plain English this means the photo is on the main C: drive in a subdirectory called MY PICTURES inside which is another subdirectory called BULL, inside this is the photo is called CIMG0469.JPG.
      These instructions assume you are using Wndows XP. Click on photos to see detail

      3. Click on the ‘B’ symbol top left hand side of main PRS Blog window

      4. This window should now appear. Click on ‘New Post’

      5. Another new window should now appear. Insert your title and text. It can help if you prepare your text in a word processor like WORD and cut and paste it into the text box. When ready to insert photo click on the blue green photo symbol.

      6. Another new window will appear. Decide where you want your photo to be and how big. ‘Centre’ and ‘Large’ is simplest. Now click on ‘Browse’ This is a posh way of saying that we are now going to locate our photo c:\MY PICTURES\BULL\CIMG0469.JPG.

      7. Depending what you were doing last on your computer you could get lucky and your photo will be revealed. More likely you’ll get something like this. Press the Downward arrow.

      8. You’ll now start to locate your photo. Click and highlight C: (your main disk drive).

      9. Select the sub directory MY PICTURES – you can either left double click on it or highlight it and press ‘Open’.
      10. Repeat this process by opening the sub directory BULL.

      12. You should now see either the name of your photo CIMG0469.jpg or the name and a tiny picture depending how your computer is set up. Select your photo either by double clicking or selecting and clicking ‘Open’

      13. You now return to the original uploading screen Your should now see the name of your file in the browse box. Click UPLOAD IMAGE

      14. Press DONE

      15. There is a lot of fiddling that can be done with the other buttons, but for your first Blog its best to just press PUBLISH. You should now be an accomplished Blogger.
      I hope I’ve got all the clicks and double clicks right – you might need to experiment as I can be a bit dyslexic at times
      Apologies to all accomplished Bloggers for taking up space.

      Friday, April 06, 2007

      February and April..

      These first two photos were taken in February, it was a bitterly cold day so did not hang around long to take others! The others were taken today, same area, still cool but the water is open for the most part, two boats in the water, traps on the wharf and other boats waiting to be launched.

      Have a restful Easter.

      While out walking on Wednesday I found this cross miles from anywhere, stuck in the corner of a field - the nearest habitation a farm half a mile away. Uncared for and undermined by rabbits, I can find nothing about it anywhere. The British History on Line website simply notes that it is a very ancient cross – nothing more. A plague cross may be a possibility? Nevertheless, it struck me as a salutatory reminder that despite our poor church attendance and what the politically correct chattering classes think, we remain predominately a Christian nation. Wherever you are, have a good Easter and may your God go with you.

      This Sceptered Isle – In search of Spring VII

      Another misty start to the day. Nothing moving at all apart from a lone crow putting the finishing touches to its nest. Briefly I thought I saw a golden plover, but I could be mistaken about that.

      A mile away in the mist the outline of Grindon Church.

      Five minutes later I pulled up outside and was just finishing listening to the book of the day on Radio 4 when a stream of cars entered the church carpark. One by one they disgorged a stream of retired people (seems I’m a bit coy about using the term pensioners these days) all similarly dressed in gortex and gaiters. Obviously one of those jolly rambling clubs I’ve heard about. Briefly, it registered that I was now one of them. But just as quickly, a resolve that if I ever became like that I’ll top myself.

      From there down into the Manifold Valley, where waited the eerie sight of the disappearing river having gone underground for the season. It struck me this might be a foretaste of global warming.

      Back up out of the valley, but not much of a view due to the persistent mist. Rabbits scuttled away underneath my dew-soaked feet, then the glorious view of a merlin jinking through the gorse.

      For the rest of the day I though I’d head for Mill Dale. The narrow road is easily missed lying as it does in a narrow cleft in the limestone. Outside one of the houses, a first response ambulance. Necessary these days now the Tories and New Labour between them have managed to shut all the cottage hospitals bequeathed us by the Victorians. All in the name of an improved service of course!
      Mill Dale is not so much a hamlet as a scattering of houses. When I got there I parked up and approached over the old pack horse bridge.

      There was no sign of the miller, but I decided he couldn’t be far away as clearly he’d left one of his stones in the river.
      Responding to a call of nature, I was exceedingly grateful that it wasn’t raining.

      After that diversion a walk looked tempting, so I followed the path that runs along the Dove Valley –a rare opportunity to see the river without the hordes of tourists. [to be continued]

      Thursday, April 05, 2007

      Stop press!

      Stealing a march on the other candidates for the New Labour leadership, Gordon Brown has been out and about spreading his message. His policies he claims are deigned to promote growth.

      A sniff of elections is in the air.

      With the May elections coming up, yesterday, New Labour were busy loading up their election bus so that they are ready to get in early and spread their message.

      This Sceptered Isle – In search of Spring VI

      The approach to the village of Tissington begins at a gate-lodge on the A515 - the gates guarding not, as one might suppose, a private drive leading to a solitary country Manor - but to an avenue of lime trees, which leads in turn to the village itself.
      However, when the village is reached the long narrow main street is dominated by Tissington Hall an imposing Jacobean mansion and home to the Fitzherbert family for over 400 years. For those interested, Tissington Hall even has its own website. Tissington has been described as a well managed ‘estate village’ which has 'an ideal blend of duckpond, trees, cottages, church, tearooms and an old hall.'

      To many, Tissington is seen as a model village. Also allowed on the main street are what was once probably the Rectory, the Church and a few select houses.

      Further up the street is where the ordinary folk live and here pensioners from the big towns come and picnic on the grass.

      The duck pond is hidden discretely around the corner.

      Perhaps the village’s main claim to fame is the well dressing that takes place at Ascentiontide. The five wells and one children’s well are dressed to depict varying religious themes. Natural materials such as flower petals and mosses are pressed into clay set in a wooden frame, to form a unique and colourful picture. The tradition is supposed to have originated as a thanksgiving for the endless supply of pure water to the village. Many villages have well dressing ceremonies, but Tissington is probably the birth-place of the custom and most famous.

      However, for this one working class boy, the highlight must surely be this bit of good old fashioned British eccentricity. Click on the image to see the detail in all its full glory.