Sunday 31 March 2013

Easter and New Beginnings....

Easter Egg Hunt.  Nikon D80
31st March 2013

Happy Easter!

The kids have participated once again in our annual Easter Sunday Egg Hunt.  I am sure it is just the lure of chocolate that does it.   Alex found this one.

I did not plan when I started this blog last year for Easter Sunday to be the last image from the 12 month challenge; tomorrow is Easter Monday and a new beginning.

I have to decide if today is the last image, or do I carry on for another year ....

Advancing Time

At last a shadow for the sundial.  Nikon D7000
30th March 2013

There were a few brief flurries of sun today; just enough to check if my Anelmatic sundial is still functioning as it should.

At the moment it is reading an hour fast as I laid the dial out for British Summer Time, assuming correctly that although chances of seeing the sun any time of the year is slim, there was a higher likelihood in the summer.

Tonight the clocks go forward though so if the sun comes out tomorrow, at least the time should read correctly.

Going Yellow at Last and Revenge is Sweet :)

First Daffodil of Spring.  Fuji F11
29th March 2013

At last the first of the Daffodils is out in the garden!   I think St David's Day must have been really early this year.

The rest of the blooms in the various clumps around the garden will all be out soon, giving a glorious blaze of colour.

That is of course if the chickens who are escaping from their pen do not rake them to shreds with their feet first.

Mr Scissors may have solved the problem however :)

Feather Trimmings :)  Fuji F11

Early Start

Sunrise over Bristol Airport.  Fuji F11
28th March 2013

The alarm went off at 4am this morning so that I could get the first flight out to Belfast.   They gave the plane a good blast of de-icer which left lots of droplets on the window.

The 'blurry' and distorted sunrise is a pretty good description of how I felt this morning as I did not really wake up before the plane landed again.


Vintage Wine.  Nikon D7000
27th March 2013

I noticed today that one of the bottles of home-made wine that was on the side in the kitchen was actually older than Alex.

Being teetotal, I have no idea if the wine has stood the test of time well, but it stands as a good example of recycling: why compost the pea pods straight away when you can brew them up first :)

I always seem to remember that peeling label was more of a warning sign that the contents may 'have a kick'.

Still Life: Shell

Shell still life.  Nikon D7000
26th March 2013

I thought I would try some more still life photography today.   I found this shell lurking on the dresser; I have no idea where it came from, but it looked interesting.

It is surprising how many angles you can photograph a shell from; do you look straight down the pointy bit to see just the spiral, or do you look into the opening at the end.

I went for a 'the occupant has just gone back in' arrangement as it allowed me to capture more of the stripy bits.

Miss Big Feet

'Blue' returning to the chicken compound.  Nikon D7000
25th March 2013

Chickens are great but in a similar vein to Ogden Nash's canaries: "The song of canaries Never varies, And when they’re moulting, They’re pretty revolting.", they are not so good on the eye when they have ejected all their feathers.

Unfortunately after moulting, they have a full set of flight feathers again and the gate of the chicken pen becomes but a minor obstacle.

My rhubarb is getting trashed as the chickens rake around with their big feet for worms.

I think a visit by Mr Scissors is due....

Kitchen Orchid

Orchid that lives on the kitchen window sill.  Nikon D7000
24th March 2013

The Orchid that lives on the kitchen window sill is now well in bloom.   I am always amazed at the variety of Orchid colours and shapes.   The way they sit dormant for many months and then just suddenly flower for what appears to be no reason is odd too.

Hopefully the flowers on these will last a good while as they are pretty.

Saturday 23 March 2013


Morning snow.  Nikon D7000
23rd March 2013

I had wondered if I could start to think about planting seeds soon, but the rain here down South has abated and given way to snow instead.

It must have been following me yesterday when I travelled down from Sheffield.

The seeds will have to wait :(

White Chaos

Snowy Trees in Sheffield.  Fuji F11
22nd March 2013

Today I woke to a blanket of white; snow has returned to the North of England.

The snow continued through the day, but got heavier this afternoon; well timed for leaving the conference and returning home.

The trains were delayed, but at least left me 2 minutes between connections, so I managed to get home.

Phew; at least Spring should be here soon ....

Fine Dining

Room at Chatsworth House.  Nikon D80
21st March 2013

I visited Chatsworth House this evening; it was the venue for the conference dinner.

The scale of the building is rather impressive and the ceilings are very spectacular.

I would hate to see the heating bill though ....

Hopping for a drink

Beer in training.   Nikon D80
20th March 2013

I was fortunate to be on a visit to the Sheffield Brewery Company this evening.   Visiting a brewery and not trying the local produce always seems to be sacrilege; being teetotal has its costs.

The tour of the mash tub and copper was fascinating and the pie and mushy peas afterwards were superb.

Highly recommended.

The sound of running water

Water feature outside Sheffield Station.  Fuji F11
19th March 2013

Whilst on the train to Sheffield today, I seemed to have picked the set of carriages where some Muppet had managed to put all the toilets out of action.

After arriving at the station I found the toilets were closed temporarily for cleaning.   As the hotel was not far away, I strode out with purpose.

It may look nice, but the long, sweeping, trickling water feature outside the station seemed to be mocking me as I walked past it.

It was a great relief when I got to the hotel.

Monday 18 March 2013

Colour: Black and White

Scrawlings during a tutorial.  LG Camera Phone
18th March 2013

For once today I only wrote on the board in black pen.   The main reason I did not use any other colour, is that I had no other pens :(

A bit of maths on a whiteboard does not seem to do much for student motivation though; I much preferred the squeak of chalk on a blackboard to wake the class up in the morning :)

Sunday 17 March 2013

Drip, Drop

Water Droplets on Daffodil Leaf.  Nikon D7000
17th March 2013

The Daffodils are still not quite out yet, but the leaves are all looking green and healthy.

I am always fascinated by how hydrophobic many plant leaves are.   I suppose it is the pleasing sight that many new little lenses are being created to bend photons in useful ways :)

Saturday 16 March 2013

Robin Redbreast

Robin on the bird feeder.  Nikon D7000
16th March 2013

I have tried a few times this Winter to take pictures of the Robins in the garden.   They have been rather camera shy so far though.

I did manage to capture a picture of one today however.  It did not appear to be the brightest of birds as it kept trying to get seeds from the feeder hole that is too high up.

Note to self: I must fill up the feeders in the morning.

On Track

Snowy Station.  Fuji F11
15th March 2013

While waiting for the train today, I realised that even this small amount of snow may have paralysed the UK trains.

Here in Norway, they do not even notice when there is only this much snow.

Railway platforms are cold, but this one was *really* cold.

Thursday 14 March 2013

Sailing into the Sunset

Sculpture in Oslo Harbour.  Fuji F11
14th March 2013

The sun was setting this evening and the glass sculpture in Oslo harbour (called "She Lies") was 'facing' towards the setting sun.   It looks like it has been locked in the ice for some months now and unable to turn around into the wind, but it does make for an interesting picture.  Apparently the sculpture represents large shards of ice piled up; ironic given how flat the ice around it is.   The sculpture looks more like the Kon-Tiki from the angle it is at the moment.

The ice around it has been breaking up slowly over the last few days, but with it being -20C this morning, there was more ice on the water again!

Wednesday 13 March 2013

Statue in Silhouette

Statue by Oslo station.  Fuji F11
13th March 2013

There is a statue close to the hotel of a man and woman in the buff.  It is cold here, so they are rather brave!

To protect their modesty, I took the picture in silhouette.  The seagull in the picture landed on the man's head, then crapped down his front.

It's a hard life being a statue!

In Reflection

Side of the Opera House in Oslo.  Fuji F11
12th March 2013

Today I had a chance to wander around Oslo centre.   It was rather dark when I was here last time, so it was good to see some sun.   There is much ice around, but it is melting quickly.

The opera house has glass sides and I managed to navigate around some ice to get to the corner of one of the building sides.

The folks closest to the camera were looking up to the top of the building where two seagulls were shagging :)

Monday 11 March 2013

Patterns: Ice

Ice patterns.  Fuji F11
11th March 2013

It has decided to go cold again and this morning the puddles at the bottom of the field were all frozen over again.   The wind has been howling all night and day and it looks as if the puddles have frozen with ripples from the wind in them.

Shapes: Rolled Tightly

Towels.  Fuji F11
10th March 2013

There are many ways to fold towels (although exotic Origami is not advised) but I find rolled towels more inviting than folded ones somehow.

I have noticed over the years that in some hotels, the practice is to fold, while in others it is to roll.

I am glad of other rolls in bathrooms however as when toilet paper comes folded in a pack, it usually feels more like skiddy tracing paper.  There are some places that you really do not want to get a paper cut!

Any flavour as long as it is chocolate

Box of Chocolate.  Nikon D80
9th March 2013

The kids like chocolate, but there is enough here to make even them puke.

Somehow I think they will not mind the restricted choice available in this box of chocolates.

William Stickers

Posters on Derelict shop.  Fuji F11
8th March 2013

A rash of posters for a travelling circus have appeared overnight.   I am guessing Mr Bill Stickers gets paid by how many he can paste up, rather than how many stay up or are readable.

He does seem to have had a little coup here though, or otherwise he is the circus magician, as the poster on the door appears to be on the inside.

Wriggly Tin

Discarded Corrugated Iron Sheets.  Fuji F11
7th March 2013

Every piece of Wriggly Tin has a story to tell.   Some of it is used once on a roof and just weathers the sun and storms; other pieces may be used to shore up ditches or guide pigs into a pen.

I wonder what life these sheets have had and if they are quite at the end of their days yet?

Not a Worhol Banana, just a little bit.

Polka Dot Banana.  Nikon D7000
6th March 2013

When bananas get this ripe, they are getting a bit too sweet and a bit risky for me.  I have wondered why some bananas go 'Polka Dot' like this one, and others just go an even grey before going black.

The dotty ones make better pictures though.


Sunrise through the trees.  Fuji F11
5th March 2013

I saw the sun rising this morning through the trees in the distance.   I had to wait a few minutes until the 'fireball' got into position as it did remind me a little of Keith Flint's hair (from the Prodigy).  I wonder if Jo would mind if I had a hairdo like that?  I may just have to make do with hats :)

Gone but not forgotten

Christmas tree.  Nikon D7000
4th March 2013

Although Christmas is a few months passed now, the Christmas tree still has some green on it.   Once it is dry, I will saw it up to burn next Autumn.


Hellebores in the garden.  Nikon D7000
3rd March 2013

This year we have had very few Hellebores in the garden flowering.   We have a number of plants, but the chickens figured out how to escape for much of the start of last year and thoroughly dug over the beds the plants are in.  The wet weather did not seem to help but the foliage is now starting to look good at least.

It is nice to have some flowers in the garden over the Winter months, even if they do look tatty most of the time after their battering from the wind and rain.

Liquid Soap

Soap ready for diluting.  Nikon D7000
2nd March 2013

After very many hours of cooking today, the current batch of 'cooker cleaner' is ready for diluting.

In the spirit of recycling, I made this batch of soap out of old chip fat; it smelled rather grim while it was cooking, but has just a feint 'soapy' smell now.

First tests suggest it should work a treat for cleaning the cooker!  It is odd though being able to clean up all the grease at the bottom of the oven really quickly, but without having to wear gloves (yes the soap is designed to be hand friendly)

Saturday 2 March 2013

Happy St David's Day

Xena.  Nikon D7000
1st March 2013

Really it should be "Happy Xena Day" as is approximately her birthday today (we are not 100% sure, so today is close enough).

I cannot believe she is 8 already.

I did manage to find a Daffodil to wear today.  The students I was teaching were a bit bemused to start with, but then after accepting that I was just plain mad, they were happy.

Colours: Golden and Shiny

Shiny golden table mat.  Nikon D7000
28th February 2013

I was looking for abstract images and noticed the patterns in the weaving of the table mats.   It was partly an excuse to use some of my manual lenses again too so that I could get a close focus.

I am a big fan of colour, as long as it is yellow :)

Gold is nearly yellow.

Well Heeled

Lego Shoe.  Fuji F11
27th February 2013

A trip to the local shopping centre today was rewarded with some rather spectacular footwear.

They often have a giant Lego item on display, and currently it is a rather large shoe.

I find wearing heels uncomfortable at the best of times, but when made from Lego, they would be really rough.

At least it would be easy to reattach the heel if it happened to break off.

The eyes have it

Potato peelings.  Nikon D7000
26th February 2013

In looking for more everyday objects, I thought that waste products may be worthy of study.  I was wrong today in that potato peelings do not make good images on their own (I may try again another day).

The chickens will have some fun with these though.

Smells: Decent Cheese

Rather nice local cheese.  Nikon D7000
25th February 2013

In continuing the theme of the senses, I thought I would consider smells and tastes that under many circumstances most would find repulsive (eg. if socks smell of cheese), yet in other conditions they relish.

Cheese fits the category well as we often actively encourage mould and decomposition in order to enhance the flavour.

This cheese will not get much opportunity to decompose further as it tastes way too nice :)