Saturday, November 29, 2014

happy birthday...

...think we can safely yell out, (now it be the 29th November), "Happy Birthday" to Stormin'!...

Friday, November 28, 2014

Something for the weekend?

A quiz for the weekend? What links the following:

A video now banned because it portrays racial stereotypes. Please do not watch if you are politically correct.

This scenery.

and this painting?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Hard Travellin' VI

With the rise of UKIP and their allegations about Euroland, I have been to investigate Norway which is not a member of the EU, to see if in fact life would be better for us outside the EU.

Certainly my first impression was that people seem to live in the past......

Here you can see embarrassed Germans rush by, shocked at how backward things are in Norway...

Street cleaning is still quite primitive....

Numeracy programs however I'm pleased to say are increasingly widespread.

Eating cabbage in the streets to ward of evil spirits and drunken men is however still quite common....

And while Norway is a member of NATO her defence capabilities remain limited.

So all you UKIP voters this is what Europe looks like outside the EU!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Retired in Oz

    And just like that, I don't have a job. At the end of today I turned off the computer, handed in my pass and left the building. Some call it retirement. I call it the time when weekdays stop getting in the way of my weekends. Beers, everyone. I'm planning my future...

Monday, November 24, 2014

My Poppy

My poppy has arrived at Westborough Hall.

Hard Travellin' V

My last quiz proved too much of a breeze for the Blog's history buffs, so herewith a real one just as it came to me....

My companion like most of us is now retired. Her command of English is perfect. Almost too perfect. Sometimes she indulges in a Lancashire accent just to annoy me. (We all know how a Lancashire accent grates on the ears when you are from the other side of the Pennines.) What her job was in the old money I'm not sure, as she is too cute to tell you and far too smart  to have been a translator, or an English professor. Besides she always speaks with great authority, almost ex cathedra when it comes to certain matters, so it's always difficult not too take her seriously.

We were perambulating  recently when she paused and pointed an artistic finger, heavily laden with jewellery of Romanov proportions, at a nearby building and said: 'that's where your spies used to stay!'

Now I know despite the efforts of filmmakers and Ian Fleming that our spies were invariably snobbishly ineffectual public schoolboys who spent most of their lives asleep in men's clubs, but the idea of them staying in a hotel in Russia seemed unlikely even by their dismal standards .

'That's candidly a load of 'b****cks,' I suggested.'

She responded by playfully pushing me with her hip and saying: 'there, I've just given you a clue to one of the world's great secrets and you reward me with profanity.'

'What secret is that Masha?' I asked naively.

She laughed in that way that women do when they have a secret and have no intention of telling you. Seeing I was visibly taken aback, she added. 'From our point of view revealing the secret is bad for the business model, as we make a lot of money out the myth we pedal. And your lot keep it a secret... well because as usual it would put you British in a poor light.. Besides' she added cryptically, 'some myths just refuse to die.' With that she laughed and made it clear  that that was the end of the conversation.

I fired off a quick snap as an aide-mémoire, determined to investigate. I suppose I should mention I was in Russia's finest city, but other than that you have all I had in solving the puzzle.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hard Travellin' IV

It seems high time we had some hardcore man porn. As we men know there's nothing more alluring than that special something women bring to the workplace.

The trick however is getting women to pose .... it's like herding cats....maybe I've lost my charm?

Can anyone guess which country harbours such industrious women?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chicken song

Get practising.. this is the dance we will all be doing at Christmas apparently..

why women have handbags

I am tired

Chief cook and general handyman Tuesday to Friday.The little gaffer was tongue tied so we had to have the upper part cut with a laser and scissors for the lower part.Hopefully it will ease the breastfeeding agony my little girl has been going through the last three weeks.Hurts to pump but have been doing a few feeds with bottle.Tough to watch her pain.Big sister doing a good job of comforting mum.

Weekend Quiz

A old plantation office miles from anywhere, loving tended by the American Park Service. A railway runs nearby and once the place was a hive of activity but now it sits forlornly in a sea of waving grass. There are no hedges here, or even stone walls just a few scrubby trees, nothing to give a clue as to the place this area has in history. What does this building commemorate? Further clues provided if required.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hard Travellin' III


Our Colonial cousins have a great sense of history. Perhaps that stems from having so little of it? Certainly knowing when your history started and who kicked it off has many advantages in setting out national narrative. However, like most nations with a predilection for causing trouble today, you don't have to go back to far to find vestiges of British involvement. Unfortunately we gave the Americans guns and as the world now knows this blossomed into a full blown love affair. They of course learnt to solve their first problems using them and since then.... well it's just become habit forming. A small price for freedom we're told.

I asked for the Brown Bess back as it's clearly marked as ours but unfortunately the American sense of humour didn't extend that far.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Happy birthday Carol

Carol in Cyprus, killer that early morning start.

Carol in San Merino, cheers!

Have a good day... I did contemplate the swimsuit one but I would need your permission so will wait.

happy birthday...


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hard Travellin' II

Continuing with my theme of capturing the essence of a place or a people using photography, some aspects of American life can prove difficult. For something uniquely American,  the country's sole  superpower status usually comes quickly to mind. Capturing a sense of that however can be difficult. Getting near modern military technology isn't easy and if you can it often isn't that visually impressive, leastways it gives little hint of its awesome destructive capability.

Eventually I came across the USS North Carolina.  She's an old girl now, but she still manages to get the message across that she can whup some serious ass.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hard Travellin'

For us 'old uns'  it's easy to see the advent of the smart phone has created  an enormous resurgence of interest in photography. The camera whatever form it comes in is a wonderful instrument of record in terms of preserving the moment - a sunset, a holiday location etc. For the younger generation it has even managed to bring narcissism to whole new levels through the ubiquitous 'selfie,' although I recognise some readers better preserved than myself are also heavily into selfies. However, as a sometime country correspondent I would respectfully suggest that with luck the camera can also be a wonderful way of capturing the essence of something. I say luck because as somebody who rarely uses mobile phones it requires having a camera somewhere about the person. This summer while wandering about a small American town waiting for a puncture to be repaired I captured the above shot. - In my view not only a wonderful juxtaposition of so much that is America, but also small town America during a recession. It makes me smile. I hope it has the same affect on you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Northumberland Fusiliers

What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Ere the barn-cocks say
Night is growing gray,
To hazards whence no tears can win us;
What of the faith and fire within us
Men who march away?
Is it a purblind prank, O think you,
Friend with the musing eye
Who watch us stepping by,
With doubt and dolorous sigh?
Can much pondering so hoodwink you!
Is it a purblind prank, O think you,
Friend with the musing eye?
Nay. We see well what we are doing,
Though some may not see –
Dalliers as they be –
England’s need are we;
Her distress would leave us rueing:
Nay. We well see what we are doing,
Though some may not see!
In our heart of hearts believing
Victory crowns the just,
And that braggarts must
Surely bite the dust,
Press we to the field ungrieving,
In our heart of hearts believing
Victory crowns the just.
Hence the faith and fire within us
Men who march away
Ere the barn-cocks say
Night is growing gray,
Leaving all that here can win us;
Hence the faith and fire within us
Men who march away.
Thomas Hardy, 5 September 1914

Monday, November 10, 2014

Drone footage

Link to drone footage of poppies

Back from the Tower

Huge crowds over the weekend. This was 11am Saturday morning.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

I saw the Poppies

eleven o'clock...

                    ...lest we forget...

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Anatomy of an English Village

 For those readers who live in the far flung reaches of the Empire yesterday's photo featured the village of Cavendish.

It has everything you might expect of the rural idyll today... a garage!, houses for the retired , plus village green

pub of course!

....war memorial... mall....

..and of course a duck pond for scolding wives...

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

A small quiz for Wednesday

Why would anyone call the village stores 'Duck or Grouse'?

The answer as has been observed is the height of the doorway. (My good lady informs me she is 5'1" tall!)

Monday, November 03, 2014

beginning of the week quiz... might ask what has the above building got in common with the bloke below?...
...clue: they are both houses...

ACKER BILK - Stranger On A Shore. Eurovision 1977 interval act. High qua...

Sunday, November 02, 2014

A man of our times

Clarinettist Acker Bilk, who personified the trad jazz revival of the 1950s and 60s, has died after a lengthy illness, aged 85.

His most famous number Stranger on the Shore was the UK's biggest selling single of 1962 and made him an international star.

Born Bernard Stanley Bilk, he changed his name to Acker - Somerset slang for mate - after learning to play the clarinet in the Army.

I met Acker many times as he served in the Army with my father in law. and they always remained friends He always called when in the area and we met him at a pre-arranged time, carrying in the band's instruments as if we were part of the band. I have signed many fan's autograph books over the years even though I told people I was not part of the band. There ya go. R.I.P. Acker

What's in a word?

 The British Penny

European Union Directive No. 456179

In order to bring about further integration with the single European currency, the Euro, all citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland must be made aware that the phrase…..

“Spending a Penny”  is not to be used after 31 December 2014.

From this date onwards, the correct term will be: “Euronating”.

It is hoped that this will be a great relief to everyone.

happy birthday... our lad down under!...