Sunday 25 November 2012

Sweet Flowers

Stevia rebaudiana in Flower.  Nikon D80
25th November 2012

Over the last few days, our Stevia plant has decided to flower.

We have it indoors on the windowsill so it gets plenty of warmth and light.

It will be interesting to see if the flowers taste as sweet as the leaves do, although they are really tiny and it would take quite a few to fill a teaspoon!

Cracked Nuts, Cracked Teeth.

Walnuts.  Nikon D7000
24th November 2012

A good sign that Christmas is on its way is when the shops start to stock nuts again at reasonable prices.

I am sure there must be a knack to extracting Walnuts whole from their shell, but I rarely manage it.

What would be good is if a nut could be bred where its shell was day-glow orange and a very different colour to the nut inside.

That way, I can easily pick out the bits of shell before I try and bite down on them thinking they are nut.

Would make a good picture with day-glow nuts on the tree too.

Hansel and Gretel

Gingerbread House in the Hotel.  Fuji F11
23rd November 2012

In the centre of the revolving door at the hotel we have been staying in here in Oslo, they have had a display.

For the previous days of our stay, there was a dress on a tailors dummy in the centre of the door.  This morning we awoke to a Winter sight of a ginger bread house, complete with icing for snow and cotton wool for chimney smoke.

There were some children in the Hotel looking longingly at it, but I bet it would not last long if they could get the other side of the glass!

Ferry Lights

Ferry in Oslo Harbour.  Fuji F11
22nd November 2012

With Oslo being 60 degrees North, by the time we have finished work, it is seriously dark outside.

The wind has dropped today and the rain has almost stopped too, allowing the lights from the ferry to reflect across the water.

Rather pretty.

Yellow Umbrella

Oslo Royal Palace in the Rain.  Fuji F11
21st November 2012

We walked through Oslo city centre this evening and ended up at the Royal Palace.  The weather was a little colder than the UK, but the rain made it feel like home.

There were few people mad enough to go out in the cold and rain, but in typical style, just as I decided to take a picture and risk getting the camera wet, a lady walked through not just with an umbrella, but a yellow one.

Better make the most of it in the picture!


Floor of Oslo Airport.  Fuji F11
20th November 2012

Whilst walking around Oslo airport today, wondering exactly where I needed to be, I looked down and realised that I may not be alone in being lost.

To ask the question and then inlay the words into the floor suggests that getting lost in the airport may be a common event.   There were also many other phrases inlaid in Norwegian; they were probably the instructions for where I needed to go!

Monday 19 November 2012

Shepherds are Warning

Red sky at Dawn.  Nikon D7000
19th November 2012

Dawn this morning was a spectacular fiery red; I bet it had shepherds everywhere quaking in their boots with what was about to come in the next few days.

I just put it down to pollution and Rayleigh scattering myself.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Autumn Morning

Frosty Leaves.  Nikon D80
18th November 2012

Today started with a good white covering of frost. The fallen apple leaves looked quite spectacular with their icy decorations.

I just need to cut some wood now so that I can light the fire this evening!

Saturday 17 November 2012


Alex distorted in a bowl.  Fuji F11
17th November 2012

The coffee machine has been dying over the last few days.  It has done well as we have had it 9 years.   We managed to find another one while shopping today; Alex also managed to find some nice shiny mixing bowls on display too.

At least it kept him amused for a while!

Triangles part 3: Christmas is coming

Toblerone.  Nikon D7000
16th November 2012

I found some more triangles today.

Although one piece is a lifetime's supply for me; these triangles are likely to be quite transient.

Order and Disorder

Prototype circuit.  Nikon D7000
15th November 2012

I have been looking to find examples of patterns recently and noticed the nice structured order of the rows and columns of the connection points on my prototyping board.

The board structure contrasts to the disordered scramble of wiring of the components that are all plugged in.

Just a shame that the software I have written and  programmed in the chip is more of a disordered state than nicely ordered too!

Triangles part 2: Sideshow Bob

Bob the apple after two weeks.  Nikon D7000
14th November 2012

I have been conducting an experiment where I have left Bob the apple to slowly develop a 'character'.    It is two weeks now since I carved him and he is growing fur and developing a distinct aroma.

I am not sure if he would be best in a sideshow, or could audition for the role of Uncle Fester.

Time for a journey to the compost bin....

Triangles part 1: Ivy

Dead Ivy.  Fuji F11  
13th November 2012

I thought I would return to some themed images for a day or two. I saw these dead Ivy leaves today and rather liked the pattern they formed.

I shall look for more triangles over the next few days...

Plastic Elvis

Lego Elvis.  Nikon D7000
12th November 2012

Alex's collection of Lego figures has expanded today; one has an uncanny likeness to Elvis.

I am not sure if Elvis ever did spend much time riding on an unusual speedboat, but at least his figure will stay trim with the 'standard' Lego shirt and trousers.


Poppy.  Nikon D7000
11th November 2012.

A minutes silence for the fallen.

Mae'r baban yn y crud yn crio

Wales in possession (not often).  Fuji F11
10th November 2012

Today we ventured down to Cardiff to watch Wales vs. Argentina.   The atmosphere started well, including the choir singing Sosban Fach; the first half was not bad but in the second half, the baby in the cradle was definitely crying as Wales lost 26-12.

There was some great rugby played though; it was a shame it was from Argentina.

Even the flowers and vegetables in the crowd looked sad at the effort made by the home team.

We went out for a meal afterwards and it made the day all better again.
Throw in.  Fuji F11

Pile on!.  Fuji F11

A vegetable in the crowd.  Fuji F11

Friday 9 November 2012

New Life.

Broken Canberra Model.  Nikon D7000
9th November 2012

I have been slowly clearing my desk at work in stages so that I do not have too much to do in the last few days before I leave next month.

Under a 'carefully organised' heap of paper and books, I uncovered my old Airfix Canberra model.

The model started life back in 1996 when I needed something to help me visualise 3D geometry.  When combined with a set of 'world axes' which were made from the metal strips from the folder hangers from a filing cabinet, the relative positions of missiles and targets could be determined and the rotations needed to model their flight paths worked out.

The Airfix model has been so useful for helping explain concepts to students over the years too, the model has migrated up and down the stratification layers on my desk.

As a consequence of so much use, it has seen better days and is in quite a sorry state now.   I think the tail fin is still buried on my desk somewhere, but when I find it, I think I may glue it back together and hang it from the ceiling to preserve it.  The set of 'world axes' are still on my desk, but the Sellotape has lost its sticky and they are looking to be in an even more sorry state than the Canberra.

I wonder what else I may find lurking in my desk too....

Odd change

Coins.  Nikon D7000
8th November 2012

I am one of those folks who is not the best in the world at counting and so acquires a significant amount of loose change.

I picked up a handful today, wondering whether it was worth giving to a child, hoping that they would not complain that it was not money of the paper variety.

I noticed that bar one 5p, it was all coppers.   My instinct was to grab a large format camera so that I could control the plane of focus to just the coins of interest.  I then realised I only have black and white film at the moment and so the colour difference would have been lost.

I suppose I could consider taking a similar picture in black and white as a challenge for the future....

Magic Balls

Alex's magic trick.  Nikon D7000
7th November 2012

Alex has a magic trick of 'find the ball' that we all know how to do now (and I bet you could guess the secret ...).   I had one too as a child, but mine was orange.

I remember showing everyone the trick whenever an opportune occasion arose.

There was also one April Fools day where beforehand, I trained my Father into the art of making the ball disappear.  On the morning of the special day (it was a Saturday), I gave the trick to my dad so that he could show mum for 'April Fools'.   Being the weekend, they were having a lie in.  What dad did not realise until it was too late, I had filled the trick with water :)

With hindsight, how the trick never got stuffed up my arse by irritated victims I do not know.

Bob; the reprise

Bob the apple after a week of festering.  Nikon D7000
 6th November 2012

The difference a week makes...

Bob the apple has started to look really menacing now; it looked quite pristine last week at Halloween.

I should have thought ahead and carved Bob a month ago!

Remember, remember

Bonfire and fireworks.  Nikon D7000
5th November 2012

The bonfire and fireworks display at work was again superb.   Liz walked us all right across the muddy grass to find a spot by the fence where we had a clear view of the bonfire; it turned out to be a great spot as the fireworks were launched from straight behind the bonfire as we saw it.

Many ooh's and aah's were had by all and then we all came home to thaw out.
More fireworks.  Nikon D7000

Even more fireworks.  Nikon D7000

Yet more fireworks.  Nikon D7000

Firework finale.  Nikon D7000

Sunday 4 November 2012

First Snow

First snow of Winter.  Nikon D7000
4th November 2012

It rained like topsy in the night, but this morning, the rain developed serious looking lumps.

The snow came down quite heavily for a while and settled on the car, but luckily turned to rain again and did not settle.

It looks like Winter is here already, although it does make a change to just British Standard rain  :)

Autumn Chores

Raking up the leaves.  Nikon D7000
3rd November 2012

As it was not raining this morning, I managed to get out into the garden and rake up the current batch of fallen leaves off the lawn.

It seems like a never ending job as even by the time I had finished, a gust of wind came and a few more fell down.

There were some windfall apples in amongst the leaves however so I cooked up a few ready for apple crumble and custard on Winter evenings :)

Friday 2 November 2012

Perfect Pizza

Perfect Pizza created by Alex.  Nikon D7000
2nd November 2012

Alex has been exercising his artistic side tonight with adding the toppings to the Pizza.  Luckily although he liked the contrast between the white cheese and black olives, he does not like olives so there was more for Jo and me :)

He did make two cheese pizzas for himself though.


Two Orchid types in flower.  Nikon D7000
1st November 2012

We have three Orchid plants in the bathroom, but it is not often that any two are in flower at the same time.   The white ones have been in flower some time now, but I thought I would capture a moment when we had two sets of blooms at the same time.

Hopefully the white flowers will last long enough for the rest of the purple blooms to come out fully.