Friday, 27 January 2012

36: 60 Books, Kingfisher

No, I haven't read 60 mind-improving books yet, far too busy with Art, but I've finished leaving the 60 books I planned to way back in July. I left a note in each, explaining about sixtyfor60, asking for a record of the books' travels. I had feed back from 1 in Ingleton, Yorkshire, 1 near Scarborough, 1 was leaving Tate Modern to be left in another gallery, but has gone quiet, and 1 left a campsite in Namibia and travelled to South Africa.
Laura & I walked into town today & had the best ever sighting of a kingfisher, a good 10 minutes, during which it caught a small fish, then sat on a branch to let it go down. It was right the other side of the canal, so without a tripod the picture isn't brilliant quality, but you can tell what it is.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Computers again!

I'm really not paranoid about computers, they genuinely hate me. We had an e-mapping session using the DofE website software, in theory brilliant you just click points on your route and it calculates distance, time, height climbed and almost anything you ask, just one problem (of course): a neat rectangular 30,000m deep pit in a random corner of Snowdonia. Given that Everest is only 8,848m I'm surprised it has not come to anyone's attention!

Sunday, 22 January 2012


Clare mentioned A's axolotl Darwin, so here he is:

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Great Nephew again

We had a girly after-Christmas lunch, Clare & Alec came to Amy's with Laura for lunch. It's private study afternoon, so I'm working tonight instead. He's grown up since Christmas, becoming sensible after a fashion, and clearly understanding words. He found Laura's i-phone irresistible, and managed to use the drawing program. He also got the hang of the keyboard almost at once. What a talented little person!

Monday, 9 January 2012

late Christmas thought!

We had Secret Santa at the end of last term, and were meant to decorate the present, I found these lurking on my camera. There are small bath bombs inside.

Happy next Christmas!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

35 whizzkid plumber!

A series of watery disasters! One of our roof windows is leaking again, the guttering above it gets clogged up with stuff, Roger's department! The flat Laura's selling has a leaky gutter, a very minor problem but causing her buyer to panic! Amy's got a leak by the roof hatch: definitely wasn't there when I decorated, on inspection it looks as though the new flue is letting water in, until she cleared the spare room for her lodger it was trickling down into the boiler cupboard, where the ceiling is warped. A poly-clad packet of coving is now funnelling it down to the edge of the hatch. The fitters are coming to look tomorrow, but now her heating's packed up, possibly the pump, luckily it's still under guarantee. The final disaster was a puddle on the bathroom floor, Laura noticed it a few days ago but thought she'd just been mucky getting out of the shower, but it was a leak from the bottom of the cistern, the seal was really loose, & the floor under the carpet looked as though it had been happening for ages, but can't think it was 12 years (when the bathroom was done) but also can't work out how it loosened itself. It was like one of those puzzle boxes to dismantle it, each bit had to be removed before anything else would move. Now all done, and working again with no plumber's fee, might go out & spend it on frivolities!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Ishu Patel films

I discovered Ishu Patel's wonderful animations:
 Afterlife is a representation of life & rebirth in glowing drawings on black, showing all the stages one might go through in multiple lives, human, animal & demon ending in a small pulsating white light possibly representing Nirvana. It is accompanied by beautifully gentle Indian pipe music
 Filmed in Ladakh  a  brilliant live film  in 5 parts on youtube,with a smattering of Patel's wonderful animationsThe Tibetan Book of the Dead explores a similar theme, but with a commentary and mixture of Western & Tibetan music.
Part 5 ends "When you are born you cry but the whole world  is overjoyed, when you die the world cries but you may find the great liberation."
It is long, nearly 50 minutes altogether, but is worth watching for the brief animations and wonderful scenery if you have any interest in that part of the world. We do, having been to Zanskar, Ladahk & Tibet.
The Bead Game also has a bit of a dark theme. It's made in what looks like Hama Beads, and represents a mythical food-chain, many animals transforming into others, ending in human war with nuclear death and destruction represented in a fascinating way.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year

                                        Happy New Year Everyone!
Up bright & early in spite of 2 am finish, not working this time, there's a little enclave of Scottish people down the road, with inevitably welcoming results! Family lunch today, including Great Nephew, I'll report back later.

Extraordinary how much meaning and power can go into one 1/4 sized index finger.