THE MEAN REDS AND THE MOODY BLUES. « thepollyannafragments

29 12 2011

I just had to point you at this posting from THEPOLLYANNAFRAGMENTS
It has so much going for it…

References to Audrey Hepburn movies, pictures of Yorkshire, humour of course, and the ugliest fish I’ve ever seen!



THE MEAN REDS AND THE MOODY BLUES. « thepollyannafragments.

I like a thoughtful read as much as the next Greek god

29 12 2011

Just got back from a run with a couple of familial pachyderms, and now need to wait my proper turn in the pecking order for the shower (whilst hoping there’s still some hot water left by then. They’re female. Draw your own conclusions…) So in the meantime, I obviate any need for feeling good about the run by eating a mince pie, listening to Mother Mother in preparation for tomorrow’s concert, and of course surfing the net.

You know you’ve had a good read when you close the book, put down the manuscript, hit “Home” or whatever, and go “hmm…” in a contemplative tone. The words – pored over for hours, days, or even longer, by their guardian, have been herded like so many cats until they made the form always imagined at the outset. They have hit home and made you think. That’s rarely a bad thing. Wandering along the back roads of blogsville, I came across the Raleigh Review. Turns out to be a literary and arts magazine, and nothing to do with bicycles at all.

On its pages, I came across a piece called “Gaia” by one J.M. McDermott: We hadn’t quite invented marriage, so we couldn’t quite divorce when he invented infidelity.

Made me think. (It happens sometimes, if I’m not careful enough.)

If you’re not in an emotionally delicate place right now, you might find it worthy of a few minutes too.

Once again: “Gaia” by J.M. McDermott at The Raleigh Review

Bryce Canyon – Bryce National Park, UT

29 12 2011

I like learning new stuff. It reminds me I’m not dead yet. I loved the hues in this photo from Tom over at PhotoBotos, but being a bit of a photography neophyte, it never occurred to me that the image could never actually have been captured in a single exposure. Tom’s write up referred to HDR, and a quick trip to my favourite comfy chair over at Wikipedia filled in the rest. Yippee! New toys to play with when I go on a photo walk.

Bryce Canyon – Bryce National Park, UT

Yeah, this picture looks pretty calm and relaxing, but it was anything quite the event to photograph.  First off it was about 4 degrees outside and the wind was whipping around 45 mph.  The gusts were blowing so hard drifts of snow were piling up at my feet.  I needed three shots (2,0,-2) for this HDR image and the tripod was shaking  on each gust.  It took me about 10 tries and a ton of weight on the tripod, but I finally got one that works.  This is what it is all about.  Thanks for stopping by.

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You can’t beat a good book

29 12 2011

I love reading. Mainly books obviously, but I distinctly recall comparing the nutritional content of Kellogg’s cornflakes and Weetabix from the packets as a kid (Weetabix win by the way), so will read pretty much anything. Even fashion magazines if push comes to shove – read elsewhere on this blog. Newspapers are an exception. I’ve never really been a reader of newspapers. Despite writing and managing the sale of software to the worlds great titles for nigh on 20 years A diner from them, sure – it was a rite of passage to eat a bag of chips on ones way back from Scouts of a cold winter’s evening. (Or a warm summer’s one, but that’s somewhat less evocative don’t you think?)

Posh chips - in the Financial Times

Posh chips – in the Financial Times

With “scratchings” if you wanted extra cholesterol. Which we always did. (“Scratchings” are bits of batter that fall off the fish in the fryer… they’re free, and sometimes even have bits of fish in them. Hey – it was Yorkshire, and it was like a free raffle to see if you got protein with your starch and fat!) The whole thing of course just being an excuse to consume near-fatal quantities of salt and vinegar (also, you guessed it, free!). You had to be careful the malt vinegar didn’t soak through the paper and make it soggy though, or you lost your chips on the street, and the crows got them instead. The crows near us could hardly get off the ground without an extra long run-up and a tail wind. Actually, you know – this is an aberration of memory. The crows are a BC thing. As a kid in Yorkshire, it was starlings that used to do the clean up.

On reflection it’s amazing I ever made it to my 20’s and a subsequently healthier diet, let alone the dotage I now enjoy. Maybe beer dissolves cholesterol. Sign me up for that study…

An aspiring young artist went one stage further and wrapped her entire local chip shop in newspaper as a school project. Kudos! Bit of a fire hazard though, no?  Just sayin’… such an Engineer.

Metro: Jade Bennett's art project

Metro: Jade Bennett’s art project

So how did I end up at an entire chip shop wrapped in newspaper? Ah yes – the love of a good book. Though I’ve never quite understood it, I gather reading on the loo is quite common in some circles. Maybe it was the lack of heating in my formative years or something, but I’ve always subscribed to the “get in, get done, get out” philosophy myself. Never struck me as something to linger over. But I do like a languorous read at other times. In bed on a Sunday morning for example. I know folk who read in the bath, too. Again, possibly due to lack of heating in the bathroom as a kid, but baths are of the “in, done, out” category to me. Unless of course I’m pondering some great mystery in life. Like how to balance my bank account, or what new foods tasted like before we discovered chickens. However, to the best of my knowledge I’ve never felt the need to lie naked on a bed reading while some dodgy old bloke “did art”. This young lady had no such compunction it seems, and allowed Jean-Jacques Henner to paint her while she read sans vêtements. Perhaps it was a good story, and she was just a little forgetful…

Jean-Jacques Henner: La liseuse

Jean-Jacques Henner: La liseuse

Musée d’Orsay: Jean-Jacques Henner: La liseuse

Darling Disarray: Wish I was Here Wednesday … Emily Bronte’s Home

29 12 2011

So I was looking for a picture of a bag of chips. Long story… you’ll read it one day. The result I mean – not the long story. Anyway, my mate Serendipity (brother to Bunbury) led me here:

The Old Apothecary, Haworth

Darling Disarray: Wish I was Here Wednesday … Emily Bronte’s Home.

A blog entry from a London-based young  lady named Kerry. She claims to love wearing both high-heels and pyjamas to the supermarket. Unclear whether it’s at the same time. Sex too. Again… unclear whether the supermarket is involved. Anyway, this piece is a virtual trip around Haworth – close to my own roots and once home to Emily Brontë (and the rest of the family, obviously…). A good way to overcome Wednesdays. I’m late – what can I say, it’s Thursday!

The Keighley (Pronounced Keethly) & Worth Valley (hence “Ha-worth”) Railway is a lovely way to spend a fortune on a sunny day. More on the KWVR here.

Anyway – just wanted to make you aware of her virtual visit to God’s own county while I remembered. Now – off to look for a bag of chips before they go cold…

Canadians abroad ask consulates for Oprah tickets

29 12 2011

Oh dear, oh lor’!

I’ve often been slightly nervous as to the proximity of White Rock, BC to our large southern neighbour. This was primarily around the theme of school bully, and their predilection for putting nasal equipment where it isn’t necessarily welcome… often with lots of tanks. However, it seems that their cultural influences have seeped into Canadians travelling abroad also…

I was shocked at some of the stories recounted in the CBC story today about calls to the Canadian Consulates abroad.

According to the CBC: “Canadian consular officials can replace a lost passport, contact your relatives when you need help while abroad, and provide advice on medical services. They cannot, however, pick up your dog at the airport.” Really?! Then what ARE my taxes being used for?

My personal favourite though: “… while embassy officials can provide you with [a] list of lawyers and information on local laws, they cannot arrange a helicopter to rescue your son from a German prison yard after he was arrested on drug charges…” Well I’m sure Tom Cruise could have done it… if he was Canadian. (And taller. Just sayin’…)

Full article: Canadians abroad ask consulates for Oprah tickets, chopper rescue

Comforting to know the world is as mad today as when I left it last night to sleep, perchance to dream.

Oo… nice holiday snaps!

29 12 2011

I’m being facetious (a natural state… conservation of energy comes into play).

I recently came across Klara Yoon’s photography blog. Based in Berlin, Klara has recorded some amazing images of life around her there and on her travels elsewhere. She’s moved back to analogue, and shoots mainly in black and white… a personal love also. She’s moved away from SRL and to medium format… old school, and very much more involved with the end result. She also develops and prints her own material – again something I used to enjoy before I got lazy and went digital.  (Less cleaning up to do afterwards… but doesn’t smell as good: more a single person’s hobby!) This particular shot caught my eye, as it’s very reminiscent (to my warped eye) of some views of Vancouver. Vancouver is often thought of as the beautiful city its architecture aspires to. But it is also a busy sea port, and the skyline reflects that… from certain vantage points. Particularly when your mind is elsewhere and you’re taking a morning stroll to stretch your back, tuning out the normal, and more open to the previously ignored.

Klara Yoon: Hamburg 2011

Klara Yoon: Hamburg 2011

I recommend you while away a few minutes checking out Klara’s Street. Schön gemacht Klara!