Tuesday 10 February 2015

Here yesterday, almost gone today

Melting Snow.  Canon S120
4th February 2015

The coating of white yesterday was not widely predicted by the forecasters, but has not lasted.

It is cold and frosty today so some survives, not quite enough for a snowball or a 'crunch' underfoot, although it was a struggle to make a snowball yesterday too.

It is early days for the Winter so far, so the kids may get a snow-day yet.

On the move

Old car in the snow.  Canon S120
3rd February 2015

The old car that has been the subject of many pictures in my blog has moved today; and gathered a dusting of snow.

The house it is abandoned out of the back of is being renovated and I hope that the car is off to a better life (and not just the scrap yard).

I will have to find another muse for my pictures.

A Wet Crack

Footprint in the ice.  Canon S120
2nd February 2015

Jack Frost returned last night and set the surface of the puddles.   They were close to supporting my weight, but not quite.

Luckily I had wellies on :)

Twiddling my knob

Sound Desk.  Canon S120
1st February 2015

As it is the last performance of the Pantomime, we have to de-rig this evening.  

The cables all end up a spaghetti which takes quite some time to untangle.

This year I have labelled the ends of all the cables, so at least it will be a little easier to untangle the knots.

It will be even simpler if I can persuade someone else to unscramble them :)

One Hump or Two?

Panto Camel.  Nikon D7000
31st January 2015

The Panto "Sinbad the Sailor" is in full swing now and today we had both the Matinee and evening performance.

The audiences have been great with 'Its behind you' being shouted on cue, and lots of booing for the baddies.  

This year has a twist; instead of a Panto horse, there is a Panto Camel.   The occupant of the rear can stand upright to form the hump, so for once it is not a bum part.

Out in the open

Old car.  Canon S120
30th January 2015

The undergrowth has died right back now from the old car.   Luckily the dark cold nights seems to be keeping the local youth indoors and the car is safe for a little while.

It will not be long before the grass starts to grow and hide it again however.

A dash of the white stuff

Snow shower.  Canon S120
29th January 2015

The "Wintry Showers" materialised today.  They did not settle for long however; just enough to make the grass a little white.

The kids will be excited that there is an outside chance of a snow day this week....

Blustery Day

Wind blown trees.  Canon S120
28th January 2015

The weather today has been very threatening; there are "Wintry Showers" forecast over the next few days.  

This morning started well, but went very dark and then a howling squall erupted, followed by a lashing of fine hail.

The trees around the garden were shaking and bent over well, but none seemed to break.

We have not had many storms this Winter, today's seemed to be short-lived.

Nibbling my nuts

Squirrel.  Nikon D7000
27th January 2015

It has been a few weeks since I last saw the squirrel; it was after apples last time but has figured out where the nuts are now.

Despite the nuts being in a metal cage, it seemed to be getting a feed; luckily it did not trash the feeder in the process.

Makes a change to the pigeons nicking all the bird food.

Smeg Hound in Motion

Muppet.  Canon S120
26th January 2015

It is not often that I capture a subject in motion, but this morning Muppet just would not stay still.   Here he has found a decent muddy puddle and is loving the filth.

The back of the car will end up with a new layer however...

Still Life; pots and shiny kettles

Stage props.  Canon S120
25th January 2015

Today is the final rigging session for this Winter's pantomime: Sinbad the Sailor.

It is not often that I get to capture some 'classic' still life, but I could not resist this table of props.

Not wild yet; still too young

Wild Garlic Shoots.  Nikon D7000
24th January 2015

Winter is not yet over, but Spring is on its way.  The first shoots of the wild garlic in the garden are poking through the soil.

The leaves of the plant are rather nice to cook with, so hopefully we will have some ready in a month or two.

Monday 9 February 2015

Thin Ice

Frozen Stream.  Canon S120
23rd January 2015

This morning was cold and frosty.  The small stream at the bottom of the field was almost frozen over too.

Xena quite often goes for a dip in the stream; she did not this morning!

Hairy Brush

Vacuum cleaner brush.  Canon S120
22nd January 2015

The vacuum cleaner was making a strange noise this morning.  I opened it up and discovered that the spinny roller thingy had a thick coating of hair and cotton on it.

It was a grim job slicing through the matting, but I suppose it is what happens when both girls have long hair.

First Murmurations

Starlings.  Canon S120
21st January 2015

Although there are always a few starlings around, the flock numbers have increased greatly recently.

This evening there were some decent murmurations around the sky.

The cars are starting to look polka-dot already.

Food: Heap of Meat

Barbecuing Meat.  Canon S120
20th January 2015

This evening we went for another barbecue experience.   This time there was a choice between cooking a heap of meat, or a heap of garlic cloves.

We tried some of both.

It was fab :)

Bright Lights and Low Tables

More bright street signs.  Canon S120
19th January 2015

We were taken out for a splendid traditional Korean meal this evening.   The street outside was lit brightly as usual and after a trip to an upper floor of one office block, the restaurant was located.

I must do some exercises where I sit cross-legged on a hard floor for many hours; hopefully it will result in more flexible limbs, rather than piles.

Low Table.   Canon S120

A very Hepworth Bridge

Bridge to Science Park.  Canon S120
18th January 2015

We had a walk around the city today and headed over to the science park.  Being a Sunday in Winter, most of it was shut, but we did manage to find some exhibits open and the bridge was rather fun.

It reminds me of a Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

Juicy Clam

Clam on barbecue.  Canon S120  
17th January 2015

We had a trip out to the coast today.  It was really cold outside in the wind, but the restaurant we went to was toasty as they put a barbecue in the centre of the table.

The meal consisted primarily of a bucket full of shellfish harvested from the local area.

A few minutes over the charcoal; delicious.

Local kids feeding the gulls.  Canon S120

Sunday 8 February 2015

Some local Fir

Fir Tree.  Canon S120
16th January 2015

There are very many trees here, but they have to be hardy to handle the cold.

The fir trees are quite common and seem to be well structured to handle cold and snow with long thin waxy needles.

It will be roasting in the summer, but these guys should be ok then too.

Lost in translation

Which button?  Canon S120
15th January 2015

It is not only the loo seat that takes some decoding; the air conditioning controller is even more fun.

I have resorted to random button pressing to get a decent temperature in the room.

At least there is no risk of a shot of iced water up the bum...  I hope!

A shot in the dark reprise

Toilet controls.  Canon S120
14th January 2015

Last time I encountered fully automatic loos, there was an awful lot of guesswork involved as there was only text printed in Korean.

This loo however is a little more helpful; it still has text in Korean, but at least they have added quite detailed pictures to enlighten the novice user as to what may be the outcome of pressing a button accidentally.

I wonder if some of the Korean translates to "Are you feeling lucky Punk?"

Jetlag Sun

Sunrise.  Canon S120
13th January 2015

I have been up a few hours before dawn this morning; jetlag is a sod.

The morning is cold and the sun is cutting through the mist and lighting up the buildings opposite.

Despite being an urban landscape, it is still rather stunning in the morning light.

All lit up but nowhere to go

Neon Signs.  Canon S120
12th January 2015

The streets in Korea in the evenings are aglow with neon signs.   As Korea is a bit short of land, the shops are stacked and the signs have '3F', '4F' etc. after them to indicate which floor of the building the venue is on.  

I am probably walking past many delightful establishments, but have no idea if any are restaurants or estate agents!

Exotic Fruit

Assorted Fruit.   Canon S120
11th January 2015

We found a great 'help yourself' restaurant this evening.  It is great fun being able to try lots of food that you have no idea what it is.

The first few courses were great fun; this is my pudding course with many fruit I can identify, and a few new ones.

First Cactus of 2015

Korean Cactus.  Canon S120
10th January 2015

I could not resist capturing a picture of this fancy-dress cactus today.   Given how cold it is here in Korea, I think any water will come out in chunks!

Windows on the world

Windows of a Boeing 777.  Canon S120
9th January 2015

Usually I board aircraft via an air-bridge so one does not get to see the outer skin close up.

Today we were boarding in the Heathrow T5 'car park' area which has steps they put up to the door; on a Boeing 777, it is quite a climb!

Rubble and Sticks

Classic Skip filling.  Canon S120
8th January 2015

Being a well trained scavenger, I find it difficult to walk past a skip without seeing if it contains anything useful.   These days the quality of skip contents appears to be waning; once you may find antiques, now you are more likely to find empty fast food containers and paper coffee cups.

It looks like the folks filling this one however are partially trained in the art of shoring up the sides with boards so that you can overfill it with ease.


Chewed shoe.  Canon S120
7th January 2015

Liz has left a few of her old shoes around.  Muppet has decided they need a bit more ventilation and chewed the sides out.

I know his eyesight is poor, but he obviously has no sense of smell or taste either if he is prepared to get this close to Liz's shoes.

Shall I? No, I may get clean.

Muppet debating a swim.  Canon S120
6th January 2015

If there is no mud, Muppet loves to jump in the stream for a swim.

If he has found some mud however, then he is reluctant to swim as it removes his 'protective layer'.

I wish he would go for a swim after his mud bath as the back of the car is super filthy now!

Tits in Winter

Long-tailed Tit.  Canon S120
5th January 2015

In the cold weather, the birds are always hungry and flit around after any tasty morsel they can find.  

Today a handful of long-tailed tits came by and raided the feeders in the garden.

It cannot be long before the Starlings move back in and sweep the bird tables clean.

Approaching the end of Christmas

Baubles.  Canon S120
4th January 2015

Christmas will soon be at an end and all the decorations will need packing away.

They are only out for a month, but manage to gather a significant quantity of dust in that time.

Do I dust now, or wait until we get them out again in December....

On Guard

Muppet on guard.  Nikon D7000
3rd January 2015

Muppet has taken to lying on the washing that is waiting to be fed into the machine.

I am not sure if he lies there because it is comfortable, or if he is really guarding the bags of dog food.


Fly.  Canon S120
2nd January 2015

There are not many flies around in winter, but when they are, they move quite slowly.

This fly was basking in the sunshine, but on the inside of the window, allowing the sun to shine through it.

Makes a change to only being able to see through its wings.

Saturday 7 February 2015

A New Year walk in the woods

Wood pile.  Nikon D7000
1st January 2015

We had a nice New Year walk today.  The wind was howling and cold, so the woods seemed a good option.

The dogs had great fun frolicking in the mud; they enjoyed the start of the year too.