Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May you live in interesting times


Just had one of those days, my own fault I’ve been reading A Mask to Hide Behind and Moments from suburbia, and wishing I had a more interesting life, when my life got interesting. The Chinese had a saying, may you live in interesting times, not good times or fun times, interesting times. Like, oh I,ve got oil coming out of my car, how interesting or I’ve a meeting in ½ an hour and am 1 hour away, how very interesting. It started with the car last night, just an interesting trickle of oil following me down the drive. No problem I’ll drop it off at the garage on the way work and pick it up on the way home at lunch time, grab lunch and on to my meeting. Rang the garage to find it is only a hose that has gone, the hose that VW has decided will fund their next staff party. Also it’s not in stock! Still no problem, I’ve time to walk home, skip lunch, and borrow Caz’s car. Get home, unlock the door, with my house keys, spotting that all my car keys are at the garage including Caz’s spare for her car. Cancel meeting, eat lunch, type interesting blog bemoaning my now interesting life.

Word Verification, is it me or are these getting harder to read, tried to post on 2 blogs yesterday and gave up. New video,the top one, for bloggers only, we've all been there. Picture for today is Helm Crag, a great walk well recommended to all





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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Long lonely road

Today’s panoramic shot is of Ennerdale, one of the most remote valleys in the Lake District. This picture is taken from nearly the same spot as the one on Sunday but looking in the opposite direction. Just after taking this I realized just how far we were from civilization, at least in English terms I known that for some readers 5 or 6 miles to the nearest road is not really that far, but our crowded island you are hard pushed to get this far away from people. This valley is now being returned to nature, they are cutting down the forestry planted trees and replacing some with the local species, there is also talk of reintroducing animals that have long since vanished like the wild bore. As before click for a larger view



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Monday, April 28, 2008

Life on the edge

When I was in my early 20’s me and a couple of mates gate crashed a 50th birthday party, one of the lads knew the guy and as we had no where to go we decided to crash the party. This was your typical family do, old people, kids, curly sandwiches and a crap DJ, and me and my mates were the loudest and rowdiest bunch in there. All this was fortunately great news to the old man whose party it was and by the end of the night was alone with us on the dance floor living it up. As we left, the last to go, we were heaped with cakes, sandwiches and trifle, staggering drunkenly down the road. All this came to mind as we attended the 50th of a friend of Caz’s, she really did not seem the same age as the old man in my memory, how 20 years can change your perspective of age. The photo today is of Helvellyn, that’s the white top in the middle, on the left the ridge of Striding Edge can be seen, while on the right the pointy one is Catstye Cam. Click, as always, for a larger image.




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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Look over your shoulder

Sundays short post, this picture is take from a spot on the skyline roughly in the middle of yesterdays photo, facing back towards Wast Water, you can see, if you click for a bigger picture, the wall running around the fell that forms the foreground of yesterdays shot.




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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Britain's favourite view

Britain's favourite view is, according to the TV show of the same name, the view down Wast Water. If you look in to this view and go to the end and turn left you see this. To the right is Kirk fell, the path that runs straight up the nose is the steepest path in the Lake District. In the center with the snow on the top is Pillar, the snow ball picture from last week was taken there. To the left of Pillar is a steep path down which acts as an escape route from the Mosedale round, a walk that starts here by the wall and takes in the sky line from Pillar around to the left of the picture. Under the large cloud is Scoat fell which is hidden from view by Red Pike, which is next to the last fell in view, Yewbarrow. Yewbarrow also forms the left hand edge of Britain’s favourite view. Click on the image for a larger view.


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Friday, April 25, 2008

Gerrrrrrrr!

Kep grumbles, when he gets up, he grumbles, when he sits down, he grumbles, when he moves, he grumbles, and when he stops, he grumbles. He only stops grumbling when he barks (just to make sure you’re awake to hear his grumbles) or when he’s asleep (he might grumble then but his snores drown them out). Other noises do emanate from him but I’ll not cover those here. Needless to say if he is quite for more than a few joyous moments, Caz or I will call him just to make sure he’s ok. At this point I’m sure Caz would like to say something about dogs and their owners becoming alike, but I’m sure I’m not that bad yet. Photo today is of an upturned boat, unlike yesterday’s image I have played with this a bit. Starting tomorrow I go wide screen for a week with a selection of panoramic photos from the lakes.




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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Born to run

This is going to be so un PC and may even get me on a tree huggers hit list, so here goes. Driving, probably the most expensive thing we do, tax, insurance, petrol and then the car it’s self, and do we enjoy it? Days spent stuck in traffic, nose to tail with the girl in the car in front doing her hair and a boy racer behind pumping out more decibels that a good size airport. Trying to get a parking space or avoiding the speed cameras becomes an obsession verging on religion, and when you get to the open road, Sunday drivers tottering along at a sails pace, taking up more room than an 18 wheeler. So imagine my joy when having to drive over 2 of the highest, hardest and windiest passes in England, to find perfect weather and see only 2 cars for the whole trip. Throwing the car round and round bends that seem to clime like a corkscrew, with gay abandon and having to drive to both mine and the cars limit was fantastic, I known that cars damage the environment and speed kills, but just for ½ an hour I was Jeremy Clarkson, wicked. On the way back the light was fabulous and the driving fun took second place to the photography, this is the road back up the Hardknott pass, it really looked like this.





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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pixeloo

I can not believe that this time last week I was on the top of a mountain, ½ way through my holiday, it seems like years ago. I suppose that’s what working for a living does to you. Still back to the present, I have found another great site, http://pixeloo.blogspot.com/, this person is a wizard on Photoshop and uses his skill to take cartoons and make them real! If your at all interested in photos or Photoshop take a look, the video is long but just a short view will amaze you. As for today’s photo its of a gull, don’t known what sort, but it let me take its picture so its alright by me.




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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Time mismanagement

As I have probably said before I love photos. That said, after ploughing through 13 gigs worth of photos the love affair is waning a bit. Its not that it isn’t fun, but finding the time to do it is driving me up the wall. Why is it that when you have something to do you seem to have no time to fit it in? So even as I sit editing the picture, a job I normally love, my mind is ticking off the seconds and listing the things that I should be doing with those seconds. On top of that I find a new blog ( amasktohidebehind) and lose no end of time reading that(not time wasted thought). Then there is writing this, which I think I’m addicted to, at least a bit any way. So Here’s today picture, Little Langdale tarn as seen from the side of Lingmoor Fell, it had just stopped raining and this light stayed with us the whole day.



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Monday, April 21, 2008

Is it a bird, is it a plane, NO

It’s Superman.

All alone on the top of a mountain, miles from any where, surrounded by close friends, you decided to come out about your cross dressing, Sorry, What you really decided to do was send a photo to your (Girl friend, special person, significant other, partner) well, your Sandra, who was unable to come with us and needed cheering up ( un be known to us, numerous random blokes all over the lake district were also trying with differing degrees of success, the guy that started up a whole flour mill just for her did the best) When two strangers suddenly appeared from nowhere, for some reason they did not hang about and shot off down the mountain. This picture speaks, this is why I take photos, in a fraction of a second it has captured the fun and drama of a moment, if only you could have seen his face when he turn around to see the other people!





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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stick your tongue out

Short post Sunday, although Caz has just pointed out all last weeks posts were short, well I was on holiday. Today’s picture is of my fellow holiday makers on top of Troutbeck Tongue. A lovely and easy walk that gives you fantastic views, as you can see ( the lake in the back ground is Windermere). Thanks to these three, Trevor, Sandra and Caz I had a fantastic week and can not wait for the next time.





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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Muffs and baps

I’m back, what nobody’s missed me! Thanks to the wonders of modern technology you would have never known I had been away, but I have, for a whole week. Yes a whole week with no computer and no blog. As the blog is not anonymous I did not want to advertise the fact we were going away for a week so I used Blogger new write now post later feature, so twice the blogging fix one week then nothing the next, odd.

Where were we, the Lake District, doing the Wainwrights, got 11 more done and 13 gig of photos, 2331 pictures all ready to sort, file and process. Thank you for all the comments it was the other thing I was looking forward to coming home for (Kep being the main one as he stayed at the in-laws). So today picture is the first from the Lakes trip( lots more coming up) a snow ball fight on top of Pillar, taken on Wednesday, Trevor doing the honours. Normal service will resume on Monday as lots of Blogs to read and comments to pass.






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Friday, April 18, 2008

The man

Wainwright, by day a mild mannered office worker, at the weekend a wild man of the mountains (well dedicated hill walker seemed a bit bland). For those of you who have not come across him before a brief history,

Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) transformed the landscape of Britain with his superbly knowledgeable Guides to the Lakeland Fells which he compiled between 1952 and 1966. These handwritten and hand-drawn works of art have given inspiration to all true fellwalkers for the past forty years. For this labour of love, as he called it, he was awarded the MBE.

These guides list 214 fell tops in the English Lake district, which we are in the process of climbing the last 30 odd of. So why am I telling you all of this, well it started for me when a great friend dragged Caz and me up a mountain (mostly dragged, mostly up, we did not make the top). Having failed we tried the same peak 6 months later, succeeded and were hooked. From small things, now we spend most of our time walking and have found ourselves in some very strange and wonderful places. Picture for today not of a Lakeland view but of a ridge close to home on the Roaches




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Thursday, April 17, 2008

A to Z

Maps, after a book and a menu, the best use of paper I know. I could sit and look at a map for hours, tracing routes, planning journeys and reliving day spent out on the hills. How can a flat bit of paper with lines and symbols translate into hills and valleys, it fascinates me. Then you look into the work that goes into them, the number of man hours spent travelling and recording the ground, the attention to detail, it’s fantastic. Where would we be without maps, we wouldn’t know. Picture for today water running down the face of a dam, the power up close was awe inspiring.




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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's a mad mad mad world

I thought that my idea for a blog was pretty original, not even close. Out there in blog land people are doing thing that even I think are mad. So here is the first type I have found, they are the people who do the “365 people who have influence me” blogs. As that suggest they write every day a page about someone who has affected their lives in someway, easy you think, try to name 100 people you know, see. Then some people go one step on from that and limit themselves to a set number of words ie 23. Heres a random link to one and they link to lots more. Picture to day is the same tree photographed in February.




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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Echos of Ramsey street

Good neighbors, they are worth their weight in gold, and we have got just a pair. She is lovely helpful and after only being here a few week knew more about the people living around us than we did in a few years. He is quite, polite and hard working; in fact he never stops (a glowing example of what I should be doing, according to Caz). They have got two children both grown up and a credit to them. They have great plans for the house and garden and have always kept us informed of the plans and checked that we are ok with them. When new people move in it can be a time of uncertainness, your lovely idyllic home can be turn into a fortress keeping out the forces of evil. We have been very lucky. The image for today is very simple, just snow on a tree, just because its not complex or awe inspiring does not make it any less pretty.





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Monday, April 14, 2008

Dream boat

If you could do one thing what would it be? With me it’s a list as long as my arm, but one of the top things would be to live on a narrow boat, sailing England’s canals to my hearts content. As we live near a canal I spend a lot of my time walking along looking at the boats and compiling a list of must haves for my dream boat. Then at the weekend came across this boat, it not too long but still would take four people. It’s got big windows, no use having a view if you cannot see it. It’s got good space fore and aft, you need to be able to sit in the sun, and you would not be afraid to scratch it. Now I just need a few grand and unlimited time off from work.




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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Smelly dog

Kep hates BO, he hates it so much that he stands in the doorway to the bath room and wont move untill you use the deoderant. He will sit there looking from the deoderant to you and back again, getting more and more frustrated untill you give in and spray. So todays short post Sunday picture is Kep in action




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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ring ding

Bits and bobs, the music. On my computer is around 43 days worth of music, Caz and me both had very good collections before we got together, and when at last I got it all loaded up I switched it to random and hit play. And.

Ring ding ding daa baa baa aramba baa bom barooumba

Yes the crazy frog (you can even find the lyrics on line) of all the tracks my computer pick this one! I try to pick them a bit better when I include them on the post, some time they are playing as I write( like Kids on Thursday) others because they mean something to me or another reader and some because they go with the post ( check out the one on Kep’s last appearance, he’s still not happy with me). The link at the bottom of the post with the music takes you to a site with videos, lyrics and information about the song.

Comments, I love them and read every one ( sometimes twice) they make this worth while and if a question is asked I will try and answer it in a following post, a bit like this post for my mum and Suburbia, although sometime it may take awhile with my new found working status. Picture today of boats on Rudyard lake.





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Friday, April 11, 2008

Flame on, Burn desire.

I’m back, at work that is. For the friends who don’t know me a bit of history, I have been away from my job for the last 6 months due to the effects of stress. We all suffer from stress and put up with it, so to admit to being off work with it feels like admitting that I had sexual disease. But that is one of the problems, we don’t talk about it, people around you (maybe even you) are suffering without any real need.

With me it crept up on me over 2 years, slowly changing my personality and how I interacted with people, till I went to the doctors with what I thought was an illness which turn out to be a symptom. It was only after 3 months of recovery that I realised just how bad I had been. Now thanks to the support of work, friends and family I am well on the way to a full recovery, being back at work being just a small part of that, this blog is another, all the comments pick up my spirits no end, my target is to be better than before and I will get there. There is no real test to see if you are stressed, for me I would look inward are you happy, sad or do you just don’t care, if it’s the last one then talk to someone, it will help.

The image for today is the full view of the old merc.



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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Successful failure

On the blog 3 for 365 yesterday was listed the things that Abraham Lincoln failed to do before becoming president, have a quick look, done ok. This cheered me up no end, I always seem never to hit my full potential and sometimes feel that I never will, but reading that proves that failure is not the end and if you keep going you never known what might happen. Just keep away from theatres. Just like this one (smooth link again, I think). Today’s picture the Art center and theatre in Cardiff, fantastic looking structure, it just looms over you.





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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Dark Therapy

Dark Therapy, no it’s not my latest cure, although blogging could be called that, it’s the name of the new track on the video to the left. I love this track and wanted to share, the band is Echobelly, one of the Britpop band’s from the 90’s that is still going. I love the internet, with a couple of clicks I found the band history and all the things they have been up to since I last heard of them. All those lyrics that you had to guess are now available on line; some of my favourite songs have taken on whole new meanings. The only thing I could not find out about Echobelly was if they will be touring soon? Picture today is of some old gate posts, I know its not stone henge but to me they make a statement on the landscape.





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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Where have all the people gone?

The number of readers of the blog has dropped off, so you are among the select few! Is it me, is it the writing, or is it the photos? Far from being down hearted it seems to have spurred me on. For one thing over 1000 people from over 50 countries have seen the picture and for another I have taken tons of pictures that I would not have done. The writing has also surprise me, as I normally only write two or three words at as time and then only to pass on a message, like “fed the dog”, (you have to note this down or else he mugs every one passing the kitchen and gets fed 10 times a day). The thing that has kept me going is the comments and return visits from people, it really is appreciated when comments are left. So any comments or question are welcome, thinking what to write and photograph takes time so if you think of something to ask or want to see a subject photographed or a technique used or explained, let me know. Picture for today is of a badge off an old merc, not sure which type, a full shot of the car may follow.





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Monday, April 7, 2008

Light the blue paper

Just watched the footage of the Olympic torch procession through London, a big well done to all the protestors, you have made sure that people will remember this for the right reasons. Konnie Huq, Steve Redgrave and the other Celebes involved should have looked at the history of the Tibetan crisis before becoming torch carriers. For anyone in China who have not been shown the footage, the relay of the torch was dogged by protestors for most of it run and very nearly stopped. If you are not sure what this is, this is free people expressing free will. Lets hope that the French, who are not adverse to protesting, give as good a show today.

Image for today, snow covered rail tracks at Rudyard.



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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Short post Sunday

Its snowed, opened the curtains and there it was, tons and tons of the lovely stuff. So spent a good part of the day walking and taking pictures. Add to this the grand prix and house work and you are left with a very short post. Picture from today’s walk at Rudyard.



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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dog days

Saturday is what we call a dog day, a day to spend around the house and walking Kep. Kep loves dog days, he seems to think that Caz and I are just here for his entertainment, even as I type he is sitting by my side grumbling, I think he hates the way I mangle the English language. He is an ever present factor in moving round the house, always where you want to be and where you have been at the same time. He knows everybody’s routine and always is on hand to remind you if you have forgotten something, and when there is cooking going on he catches everything that drops before it hits the floor, just to keep it clean. After Caz (she does read this) he is the love of my life and really is mans best friend.


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Friday, April 4, 2008

Its given out snow!

I’m not religious, but I do believe that there is something more than this, but I cannot put a name to it. When you look at most organized beliefs they all seem to have taken ideas from older systems, some people use this as an argument against them. I don’t see it that way, as with most things something must have started the idea in the first place.

For example, Christmas was a pagan festival borrowed and renamed by the Christians in roman times, and then it was hijacked by the gods of global profits sometime during the 50s (Coke, hallowed be thy name). But what gave the pagans the idea in the first place? This ties in( what a surprise) with today’s picture, St Edwards Church in Leek, my family’s church for around 300 years.




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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Real girl power, roll over Britney

51st post, I did not think that this would last, but now it has become quite a habit. Not much to say today as I’m spending a lot more time at work and don’t have much time to think. I have instead updated the videos, the top one is very impressive and looks like it was shot in one take. The second is a blast from my past and is the Fuzz box, an acquired taste. Enjoy. The picture for today is of a garden down on our local canal, every year this garden is always one of the prettiest spots on the canal.




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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Zimbabwe election, Mugabe Wins, Mugabe loses.Delete as appropriate

After yesterday’s frivolities, I’ll try to be a bit more serious today. Zimbabwe, why is it that a country that is almost under a dictatorship and where casting your vote is a life threatening event, they seem to have no problem engaging with the electorate. But here in the “free world” people just can’t be encouraged to vote. Perhaps the government should threaten to rig the vote or whip people trying to vote, in an effort to encourage more voters. Which ever person wins it cannot be any more damaging than the last leadership result in the US.

From time to time I highlight a blog that I think is worth reading, today I would highly recommend postsecret, PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard. Give a click it changes every Sunday and at lest one will touch you.

Picture today from the Wales trip over Easter, taken at Claerwen reservoir.





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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

“After the early Europeans explorers had realized that Canada was not the spice-rich Orient, the main attraction was the beaver”. Canadian Heritage web site.

“Road flooding is a common beaver/human conflict that be solved with methods such as "enclosures," Beaver Bafflers" or Beaver Deceivers. Since beavers are quite adaptable, it is best to use proven techniques”. Beaversww.org.

Ottawa, Canada — In a surprise ceremony this week, the Canadian Government presented Britney Spears with a Canadian Beaver. “I'm really looking forward to seeing all my fans and showing them my beaver." When asked whether showing her beaver during her performances would distract from her singing, Ms. Spears replied, "Like hello? I think I know my priorities, I may not always be able to lip sync as well as I do now, but I will always have my beaver." www.utterpants.co.uk/news/britney/britbeaver

A beaver that escaped from captivity has been found living wild on the banks of the Thames, more than 400 years after the species became extinct in Britain. The European beaver has been sighted on the river several times since Christmas. The Environment Agency has now called in a wildlife group from Gloucestershire, which breeds beavers, to try to trap it. The Times 22/03/208

When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;
But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!
Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush,
We'll over the border, and gie them a brush;
There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviour,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Robert Burns 1791

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland have now jointly submitted an application to the Scottish Government for a trial reintroduction of European beavers into Scotland. If all goes well we could see this animal once more living wild in Argyll in the spring of 2009 after an absence of 400 years. www.scotsbeavers.org

Me fixated on Beavers! Never. Silly post for a silly day, picture of true love or vandalism, take your pick.



Was going to do an Elvis track, can you link a nice Beaver to Elvis?
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