Wednesday 31 December 2014


Wood store.  Nikon D7000
23rd December 2014

Our friends in France have wood burning stoves, and therefore they have a rather splendid stack of wood to fuel them for the winter.

I have taken some 4x5 images of the stack, but it may be some time before I get to develop them......

Over a barrel

Wine barrels.  Nikon D7000
22nd December 2014

We headed out on a visit around a vineyard today.   As I do not drink, I was the driver, however the establishment had a 'smell quiz' instead which I could partake in.

The range of smells were rather interesting and included bad as well as good wine smells.

The smell of 'burned toast' however lingered for quite some time afterwards.

Sun and Dark Horses

Solargraph from June 21st to December 21st
21st December 2014

I took the photographic paper out of the pinhole camera outside our bedroom last night; it looks like the last 6 months have not been too bad for the sun after all.

There are some decent tracks across the sky and not too many blank periods like in previous images.

We also headed out to France today for the Christmas holidays.   The white horse at the Eurotunnel entrance is not looking so white these days; it is in desperate need of a clean.

not-so-white horse.  Canon S120

Winter Stores

Squirrel gathering apples.  Nikon D7000
20th December 2014

I caught sight of this squirrel in the garden today; it was gathering apples and running away with them along the fence.

It may be better off gathering nuts from the Hazel tree as the apple needs a much bigger hole to bury it in.

Captain Beaky

Jackdaw after nuts.  Canon S120
19th December 2014

The Jackdaw on the bird table was not having the best of luck at retrieving nuts from the feeder today.   Its beak is a little on the large side to go through the mesh.

The nuts may think they are safe; but the starlings will be around soon and they have much narrower beaks.

Past their prime

Dead Flowers.  Canon S120
18th December 2014

The flowers on the orchid in the bathroom last for months when they come out; but they also last for quite some time when they are dead too.

These ones had died and wrapped themselves around one of the glass ornaments to provide some continued colour.

Mud hounds

Dogs in the mud.  Canon S120
17th December 2014

The rain over the last few days has meant the style at the bottom of the field is a touch damp.

The dogs did not mind too much however, especially Muppet the mud hound.


Moon.  Nikon D7000
16th December 2014

In the mornings, it is dark now; dark enough to get a decent picture of the moon.

It was nice and clear today so I could get a sharp image of the craters.

Key to a new washing machine

Washed Key.  Canon S120
15th December 2014

I spotted in the washing machine today that one of the kids had left their key in their pocket.

The machine was making a hideous noise and was not happy to stop before it could chew the rubber seal from around the door.

After a little perseverance, I did manage to save both the machine and key from a watery end.

Last but not fallen

Last apple leaves.  Nikon D7000
14th December 2014

There are very few leaves left on the apple tree now.   The last ones seem to be on the end of the branches and stubborn to let go.

They do make a good silhouette however.

Chilly ?

The dog in the frost.  Canon S120
13th December 2014

Muppet made the most of the frost today by cooling his undercarriage.

He kept sliding himself along the frozen grass; obviously the ice on something gave a thrill.

Here fishy fishy

Muppet investigating the pond.  Nikon D7000
12th December 2014

Muppet has done very well so far to ignore the pond.

Not so today.

He found he could walk around the edge and admire his reflection; or he is hunting the fish.

Puppy Love

Muppet having cuddles.  Canon S120
11th December 2014

Muppet does seem to appreciate his cuddles.  Liz picks him up and he throws his paws around her neck and tucks himself in.

When I try to cuddle him, he hangs on and hugs, then takes any opportunity he can to lick my teeth: not a nice experience (for me that is)!

Rolling stones

Moss. Canon S120
10th December 2014

There are only a few places in the garden that moss grows well.   There is a brick that keeps the lid of the chicken food bin down that has a reasonable coating, but the rest is in clumps on the roof.

This piece had fallen off the roof and started to attach itself to the brick weight.   It seems quite happy.


Daffodils breaking through frost.  Canon S120
9th December 2014

Although Winter has only just begun, the Daffodils are firing their spikes up through the ground.

There was a touch of frost this morning so the soil was extra tough for them to force through.

Abstract: Scratches in the mud

Dog paw marks in mud on back door.  Canon S120
8th December 2014

Yes the back door needs a wash; the coating of mud from the dogs is getting quite thick now.

Muppet has taken to scratching on the glass when he wants to come in; it is having the desired effect of cleaning the mud off slowly :)


Christmas Lights.  Canon S120
7th December 2014

The Christmas tree is up and decorated now.   The plastic tree is getting an airing this Winter, but it still looks the part when the lights are on.

You can't polish a turd, but you can put tinsel in it

Muppet discovered the taste of tinsel.  Canon S120
6th December 2014

We started putting up the Christmas decorations today.

Muppet has never seen tinsel before and could not resist tasting it.

Tomorrow we shall know how much he ate as we will be greeted with sparkling turds!

Sunlight and shadows

Shadows of leaves.  Canon S120
5th December 2014

The sun rises and shines straight into the dining room now.  It appears as a stunning dull yellow and changes slowly to orange before lighting up the sky for the day.

As it rises over the fence at the bottom of the garden, its first rays pass through the apple tree, casting blurred shadows on the far wall of the dining room.

Yellow vs Brown

Leaf in the mud.  Canon S120
4th December 2014

This leaf had fallen from the nearby brambles and not yet been squished into the path.

The contrast of not only the colours, but also the nice flat surface of the leaf to the slime around it caught my eye.

The straw that broke

Falling Thatch.  Canon S120
3rd December 2014

The old cottage at the bottom of the field is looking very sorry now.   Planning permission for 9 houses seems to have been refused as there is now plans for 7 houses instead.

If we have a good snow fall, the roof will probably fall in.

Open doors

Advent door.  Canon S120
2nd December 2014

December is definitely in progress when the kids start to open up their advent calendars.   It always seems a bit sadistic to me to have all the chocolates in their calendars just sitting there....    Would anyone notice if tomorrow was open too?...

Popping out for a quick Slash

Slash on stage.  Canon S120
1st December 2014

We headed up to Birmingham this evening to another concert; Slash was playing along with a range of assorted guests.

I was a teenager when I first heard the songs he wrote and it was quite a blast from the past to hear them played again; much better live though than on recordings.

The evening was superb and well worth the trip up north!

If I push harder, it will break the fence...

Muppet pushing a ball.  Canon S120
30th November 2014

Muppet spent time this afternoon pushing the ball around; in particular trying to push the ball through the fence into the chicken pen.

It is not the chickens he is after, it is what they leave behind...

Novice trolly parking

Parking practice.  Canon S120
29th November 2014

Liz is getting much better with her driving now and she is at the stage of learning to park.

We had a trip out to the local DIY store and practised parking.   The lad collecting the shopping trollies was a bit bemused however!

Last leaves

Last of the leaves.  Canon S120
28th November 2014

The bush by the house has only very few leaves left on it now.   The sparrows like to hide in the bush in the summer and then dash back and forth to the bird feeder.

This time of year, they are very visible amongst the bare twigs; I have not seen a sparrow hawk yet but I am sure they know Winter is coming...


Reflections.   Canon S120
27th November 2014

At Edinburgh airport this evening, I was distracted by the reflections in the windows. There was not much happening outside but it was fun watching the reflections of the odd faces people pull while staring out at the waiting aircraft.

The folks that had spent an extended time in the bar pulled some of the best.

Dark nights, bright lights

Lights in Edinburgh.  Canon S120
26th November 2014

Edinburgh is well lit up at this time of year; the Ferris wheel may seem inviting, but would be super cold.

I waited a while as I thought a tram in the picture would be fun, but they did not seem to be running very frequently tonight.

Skating Fun?

St Andrews square Edinburgh.   Canon S120
25th November 2014

This evening in Edinburgh, we walked up to St Andrews Square.   The Christmas fair was in full swing.

The skating was popular, but a few folks discovered that falling on a plastic rink is just as hard as falling on ice.

Shades of Brown

Hazel leaves.   Canon S120
24th November 2014

This morning I noticed that the fallen Hazel leaves were almost every colour other than the default Autumn brown.

This afternoon I passed through Heathrow airport; there was a bucket on the floor catching drips from above and there was a definite shade of brown up above....

Alternative "Brown".  Canon S120

Random Words

Random words for marketing purposes.  Canon S120
23rd November 2014

There seems to be a concept held by marketing guru's that writing bollocks on a product may help to sell it.

I am not sure how good the product is, but the combination of random words and a pungent smell seems to attract the kids to by it!

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Rusted and Forgotten

Fence Post.  Canon S120
22nd November 2014

I walked past this fence post today and it was looking very unloved.   It is rusting a little and the wires it supported once have now corroded and snapped.

It looked as if it was once quite industrial in design and really quite capable of supporting a fence to contain some really quite wild animals.

I used it to support my foot while I tied my lace; not quite its original design purpose, but useful all the same.

Post Digestion

Farts everywhere.  Canon S120
21st November 2014

Here in Norway, they do like their roughage.   This bag of nuts and raisins claims to help 'speed' things through...  Shame 'Speed' translates to 'Fart' in Norwegian; although it is rather appropriate :)

Nobels or lots of bells? Just grim architecture

Oslo Town Hall.   Canon S120
20th November 2014

This evening we met outside Oslo town hall before walking to the restaurant.

The town hall is where the Nobel peace prize is awarded.

It certainly does not deserve a prize for the building design; rather bleak and grim.

Getting Dark

Cold, wet Oslo.  Canon S120
19th November 2014

This afternoon in Oslo, it is getting dark much earlier than back home.   It does not help that it is cold and rainy too.

I had a walk down to the opera house; many others had the same idea, but we were all wrapped up well against the cold.

Terminal Sculpture

Sculpture in Heathrow Terminal 2.  Canon S120
18th November 2014

Today is my first visit to the new Terminal 2 building at Heathrow.

There is an interesting aircraft-inspired sculpture in the entrance hall.

The rest of the terminal is dominated by expensive merchandising, so nothing new there.

Wet Leaves

Coloured leaves.   Canon S120
17th November 2014

The last of the Autumn leaves are turning and providing quite a spectacular display this year; probably due to the grim warm and wet weather we have been having.

These small bushes by the school have quite a variety of colours still on each bush.

Despite the rain, the leaves do look better when they are wet.

Stripy Pyjamas

Pretty Slugs.  Canon S120
16th November 2014

This morning I discovered some slugs with a rather interesting patterning slithering all over a decomposing apple.

It may be that I caught them too early and they still had their pyjamas on.


Muppet with shredded comic.  Canon S120
15th November 2014

Muppet has been having fun today playing with Alex's comic.

It is the Beano and I thought that he may be trying to mimic the adventures of Gnasher, but it was Roger the Dodger which came off worst!

I am sure he will try again with the next issue too.

Monday 29 December 2014


Rusty screws.  Canon S120
14th November 2014

The recent rain has made sure the water butts in the garden are permanently full to the brim.   This water but had a large hole in the side where the previous filling pipe went and so I repaired it with a plate and some foam.

The last few years has seen the foam squish too much and the screws rust however; come the Spring it may need a few repairs.

Shepherd's Warning

Red sunrise.  Nikon D7000
13th November 2014

Today the sun rose slowly and the cloud display was super spectacular.   The colours in the sky over the last few mornings has been quite wonderful.

They do say "Red sky in the morning, Shepherd's warning", but I do not believe it given how pretty it looks.

Want it; can't have it

Alex's delight.  Nikon D7000
12th November 2014

Alex had fun this morning opening his presents; especially when he realised there may be a drum kit in the offing.

It seems like we must be mad as parents buying a drum kit for the kids, but it is electronic and comes out through head phones so is not too bad.

The only problem is that being Wednesday, he opened his presents and then had to go to school!


Solanum dulcamara berries.  Canon S120
11th November 2014

Autumn brings a harvest of many fruit, however some are not good to eat.  The local Thrushes will be fine however and will probably enjoy these, but I shall remain content with just a picture.

All webbed feet and Quack

Ducks.  Canon S120
10th November 2014

In a change to chickens, I came across a group of ducks today.   The weather has been a bit grim recently so they are not the whitest of white.

They do not quack as often as the chickens cluck, but when they do quack, it is rather loud.

The eggs should be a good size though.

Foggy Morning

Fog.  Canon S120
9th November 2014

Today we went up to Stratford-on-Avon for Katie to fence.   The morning was a bit pale however with a distinct lack of contrast due to the fog.

Katie did fine though.

Smells like...

Muppet in the sink.  Canon S120
8th November 2014

Muppet got pretty smeggy today at dog training.  He had even more fun splashing through the mud and puddles on the way home.

I knew putting a shower attachment on the kitchen sink would come in handy for something :)

Revealed for the Winter

Old car appearing from the undergrowth.  Canon S120
7th November 2014

The old car is visible again as the undergrowth is dying back fast.

Hopefully the weather will turn cold soon to keep the local vandals at bay for another Winter and Spring; giving the horsetails and grasses time to hide it again for the Summer.

Sunrise and contrails

Sunrise.  Canon S120
6th November 2014

As Autumn turns to Winter, the mornings are drawing in noticeably.   This morning was cold again and the rising sun lit up the few clouds and ubiquitous aircraft contrails.

It is dark now when I get up so at least I have time to get the camera ready for the dawn.