1,200 posts!

I noticed, after posting yesterday, that I have now done 1,200 posts. As I don’t have much to say, I thought I may as well mention it.

Today I rose early, toddled down to the bathroom and noticed, on my return, that it was 6.08am. Plenty of time for another hour in bed, I thought, and after a fitful sleep, including a fight with the duvet and a dream about shaving, I awoke refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Then I looked at my watch. It was 6.23!

Clearly, after 30 years of marriage, I can’t cope with sleeping alone.

I may have mentioned, ungallantly, in the past, that there is an amount of snoring and duvet theft going on in the marital bed during the average night. I never thought that I’d actually miss having to block my ears and fight for bedding.

Some nights I’ve actually had to resort to using elbows in a manner that would attract a red card if done on a rugby field.

It just goes to show…

At least it gave me time to finish a book.

Sepoys in the Trenches: The Indian Corps on the Western Front, 1914-1915 by [Corrigan, Gordon]

I started the year slowly from a reading point of view, and am still going slowly, as I’m reading a lot of reference material in an attempt to become a useful member of the shop.

I won’t review the book, as it’s of limited interest to most people, but I found it very interesting, particularly for the small details like the way the  Indian Army had to organise itself to feed a variety of different religions and castes.

If you do know anyone who might be interested, I can recommend it, but for a general reader it could be a bit dull.

The cover photo is courtesy of Amazon, as I have it on my Kindle (I do love a 99p book) and a picture of an electrical device in a tatty canvas case isn’t a good-looking picture for a book review.

This brings me on to something I was told recently. A visiting dealer told me that he’d had an email from an American company telling him that he had been spotted using some artwork on his website without permission and that unless he paid several thousand pounds they were going to take him to court. It is, it seems, a well known internet scam which is actually franchised in some places, because people are often scared by the mention of legal action and pay up.

In truth I can’t see how, they would manage to enforce any action, or that a court would award such huge damages for using an image that would be quite cheap to license. I’m not even sure that a court would take on an action from a third party that is just interfering for financial gain.

That’s why, in using two unlicensed images in my 1,201 posts, I have always named the source. I’m sure Amazon would forgive me, as I’m publicising one of their books.

We once had a very pompous Australian (not two words I’ve ever used together before) write to us on the farm about content on the farm website. One of our group had copied something from the internet and posted it straight on the site. I took it down immediately and let them know what I’d done, but I still got a further lecture from the Australian, who, as far as I know, had had no input into the original paper.

At that point I came very close to telling them to mind their own business.

There are too many scams and too many busybodies on the internet.

However, worse than that, there are too many people stealing content from the internet. Getting back to the start of the story, you wonder why someone would think it acceptable to steal artwork off the internet. They wouldn’t feel it was acceptable to take something from a building or a car but load something onto the internet and people seem to think theft is acceptable.

I thought I’d better make that clear, as, much as I abhor busybodies and scams, I don’t think much to copyright theft either.

In fact I’m just a crabby old man, who complains about everything.

 

Bins, boxes and barbecues

We only sold four lots over the weekend. Two of them sold on Saturday afternoon, after the Post Office closed, so we packed them before we left. Two sold on Sunday. Then, as we looked at the small pile of post someone bought another lot.

Five parcels.

I think we might have to postpone plans to buy a new box of teabags.

Meanwhile, I just had a phone call from Malta. Apparently the weather was great at East Midland Airport, glorious over France, lovely over the Alps, grey over Italy and murky in Malta.

It’s a lovely evening in Nottingham. Nice and bright and warm and I didn’t need to queue up, sit on an aeroplane or defy nature to get here. I just sat on a chair.

It’s also, according to the photograph Julia just sent, dark in Malta. You’ll have to take my word for it as I’m struggling to download the photo. It seems to have plenty of water and reflected lights in it so I’m sure you’ll love it if I manage to download it.

Julia left me a packet of Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells. It was waiting for me when I returned home and helped ease the pain of parting. Unfortunately I can’t provide you with a picture of that either. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself.

I had ham sandwiches for lunch. I also had ham sandwiches for tea. At the moment I’m debating having ham sandwiches for supper. I like ham sandwiches, and cooking for one keeps the shopping simpler. I’m considering what to buy for tomorrow. If I buy a piece of gammon I can cook it and use it to make ham sandwiches for the next few days.

So far I’ve only used white cobs and Branston pickle. I have multi-seed bread and a choice of mustard or tomato relish available, so I’ve barely scraped the surface of the variety of choices available in the world of ham sandwiches.

I may even consider salad.

If ham sandwiches start to lose their appeal, and I don’t see why they would, I have a reserve stock of cheese.

It’s fairly clear from this that the difference between a normal man and a recluse with a ham fixation is only a few hours. That, I suppose, is why it’s good for men to get married.

Today’s pictures are some I took in the Mencap garden last week. The theme is recycled waste bins, boxes and barbcues. That gives me an idea for a title…

 

 

Trivialities

The big news of the day is that I completed my poetry challenge, with 200 written in a fortnight. Very few of them are any good, but it was meant as a writing exercise rather than anything else so that doesn’t really matter. It seems to have worked, though there were days that it seemed to be working as aversion therapy rather than a writing exercise.

It’s only 14 a day when you work it out and if you stick to haiku that’s only 42 lines. it hardly seems like much of a challenge does it?

Or so I thought…

I then went to Sheffield to pick up Number Two Son.

That took more time than I thought, and gave me a few photo opportunities.

 

Struggle? Don’t make me laugh…

I had to laugh yesterday. On the TV News someone referred to the struggles of Prince Charles bringing up Princes William and Harry as “a single parent”.

Normally I think of a single parent as being someone bringing up kids on their own, usually with limited resources and often unemployed. Prince Charles certainly qualifies from that angle, as he hasn’t held down a proper job since he left the Navy in 1977.

However, the normal single parent doesn’t have a 9 bedroomed stately home, a nanny or a butler, so I think he may find it difficult to convince me of his “struggle”.

Apart from that, I’ve mainly being ignoring the Royal Wedding…

Something New

It’s always good to see something new, and yesterday I saw two new things.

One is a small medal for the marriage of Prince George, Duke of Kent and Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark. Royalty have such long names…

Prince George was the first member of the royal family to work in the Civil Service, the first to be trained in Intelligence (make up your own jokes there) and the first to be accused of…

…well, you’ll have to follow the link.

He was also the first royal to die on active service in 450 years. The previous one, I presume, was Richard III.

Royal Wedding Medal 1934

Royal Wedding Medal 1934

In real life it is only 19mm across. It’s ironic that it’s stamped “Foreign” as our royal family are German and Marina was Greek. Or Danish.

The other is a race course pass for Sandown Park in Surrey.  Members used to wear them to show they had paid their membership fees. You don’t see many this old – 1905. You also don’t see many that are made to mimic beaten copper with an Arts and Crafts style of suspension loop. It reminds me of Newlyn copper work.

Sandown Park Racecourse Members' Pass 1905

Sandown Park Racecourse Members’ Pass 1905

 

Yesterday’s Photographs

Here are some photographs from yesterday.

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Glossy Ibis – not a great shot but the best I could get

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Bogbean

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Cream Tea – functional but not as elegant as Clumber’s offering

A Booming Bittern, a Glossy Ibis and a Cream Tea

We went to Old Moor today, an RSPB reserve about fifty miles from home. We went there last year and took so many photographs it took not one, but two posts to publish them all.

Today wasn’t quite so prolific in the photography line.

The day started early when I nipped down to the laundrette to do the washing I’ve been avoiding for the last two weeks, then we had bacon sandwiches and set off.

The lady who checked our cards told us that one of the paths was blocked off to protect the nesting Bitterns. That was the path we had wanted to check out as we hadn’t done it last time. However, as compensation she did tell us there was a Glossy Ibis on the wader scrape.

On the way round we heard the Bittern booming, which is how it always seems to be. I’ve heard Bitterns booming many times, but never actually seen one. They are very good at remaining hidden.

This is symbolic of my life.

However, I did see the Ibis. We walked into the hide, looked out and immediately saw a dark bird prodding at a mud bank. After about twenty minutes it annoyed a nesting Coot, which chased it off. It then lurked in a reed bed. According to one of the other watchers it had spent most of the morning lurking in the reeds and had only showed itself for about half an hour so we were very lucky.

On a dull day a Glossy Ibis is not an impressive bird, looking a bit like a dark curlew. On the other hand it’s better to see a dull Ibis than no Ibis at all.

You can probably guess how we finished the visit by studying the title.

There will be photographs later…

And a description of two prize-winning Senior Moments…