Tag Archives: children

Photography Puzzles

Looking through the old photographs, as I was yesterday, I am reminded of the complexity of regulations around photography.

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Care Bears came to visit

I have photographs of children and vulnerable people and I have permission to use them. So I’m clearly OK to post them on the blog aren’t I? Well, no. According to some regulation, which may be data protection rather than safeguarding, I should have asked for time-limited permission and I shouldn’t use them indefinitely. Schools, for instance, are only supposed to use photographs of children while they are attending the school. This would tend to suggest that I shouldn’t use the images now we have closed down.

This suggests that even if you are lucky enough to get a decent shot of a child you can’t keep using it. Unless you’ve paid a child model – that will be OK. That’s one anomally. Another is that I can’t publish names, but newspapers can. Presumably predatory perverts only cruise amateur blogs – professional photos and newspapers hold no interest for them.

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The Quercus Group in disguise

There’s another anomally – if I want to take pictures of children on a visit I need permission, which some schools take more seriously than others.  We once had a teacher shouting at one of our group members because they had  taken a picture with their telephone, which might have included a school pupil.

Yet that teacher thought it was OK for the school to take pictures of the visit without asking our permission and without checking with the vulnerable adults in the group. In fact no school ever asked permission to take pictures.

I’m not saying they should do, but I am saying that there should be one rule for everyone, particularly for schools that insisted on coming on days when the group was in.  Julia, being soft-hearted always resisted my requests that we should have a photo permission form for visits and only give permission to groups who gave us permission.

It’s funny how a train of thought can rise from a few photos…

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Agroforestry project

Imagine what that would mean for the famous Pears Soap advert. They used this one for years. Oh, how Admiral Sir William Milbourne James GCB must have mentally thanked his grandfather for this portrait of him in green velvet as he strode the decks of his various commands, where he was known by the nickname “Sir Bubbles”.

Image downloaded from the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, with permission. Despite a lack of medals and dead animals this kind gesture has elevated thm to the status of one of my favourite museums.

 

The Trend Continues

I forgot to tell you that another of my shirts disintegrated yesterday, I was tucking it in when I felt it give. That’s what happens when you have cotton shirts and a disinclination to spend money. It’s always a bit of a downer when an old favourite disintegrates, though not so much of a downer as when trousers disintegrate, I admit.

After posting I took Number Two son to work and dropped him off for an 11pm start.  About 1 am I had a text.

“Are you awake?”

I was naturally inclined to answer “No.” but decided I’d better admit that I was still up.

“Can you leave the chain off. I’ve been throwing up and I’m coming home.”

Oh, the language of Shakespeare…

So, to cut a tedious story short, I went to pick him up. If I’m going to get him to leave home he needs to save his money, not squander it on taxis. We nearly reached home before he decided to throw up again. Fortunately he managed to get out of the car before it happened.

I think it’s true to say that he has the same gastric bug as Julia, He just doesn’t handle it with the same panache.

We returned home around 2.30 am, which left plenty of time to write my haiku quota and get to the hospital for a 7am blood test. This was handled so efficiently that I was back at the car and out of the car park before my free half hour was over.

I had the results by 11.20. I passed, though they have adjusted the dose and I have to go back in two weeks.

I wonder if this is a sign that things may be looking up.

A Few Loose Ends

We went to the garage this morning – Julia had a ride on the ramp and I watched as the car cost me another £65.

Julia bought breakfast at McDonalds – yes, I’m ashamed of myself – and I dropped her off at work before going to work myself.

We only had two questions to answer and three parcels to post so I’d finished by the time everryone else turned up.

We sold one of these today – less than 24 hours after putting it on. Judging from the poertraits it commemorates the marriage of a monkey to an unsuccessful professional pugilist.

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Royal Wedding medallion

Work went, as work does – a few customers, sorting some halfpennies, answering the phone, more things to put on eBay, then, as we were getting ready to go, two people bought things and we had two more parcels to do.

Back at home, I picked up my post, which informed me that I’d passed my blood test and have three weeks before the next one.

Eating tea and relaxing, I was distirbed by a text asking for a lift. Number Two son is on the way back from Manchester airport after returning from his German holiday.

And that, I think, is everything up to date.

Well, not quite. Just had a phone call to say No2 son is waiting in Sheffield after the Nottingham train was cancelled.

And while I think of it – I had an email from the farm (the venue for the original Quercus group). The ariel photo shows many changes, but the song remains the same. They have another community group running and are once again asking for cash. two years after getting rid of us they don’t seem much further forward. Maybe there will be a different outcome this time. Maybe…

I’ve blocked them from sending more emails.

 

Evening and Annoyance

It’s not been a productive evening.

I  bought two lots on eBay last night and both transactions have turned complicated. One is my fault because I forgot to press a button and sent my home address instead of the shop address. I tried to alter this by email later but the vendor had already organised the post and sent it amazingly quickly. He has now apologised three times for what is actually not his fault, as I keep trying to tell him.

The other is having problems with the address too. Despite me confirming the address he still says he is confused. I think that’s because the system allows me to use a delivery address but shows my home address too. He either cannot handle ambiguity of thinks I’m embarking on a major fraud for £46. I’m not sure which. All I know is that I’ve had to write to him twice tonight (so far) trying to sort it out.

It’s not easy writing polite emails as there’s always the possibility of causing accidental offence, even without the added problem of being irritated, having connection problems and wanting to plan tomorrow’s trip.

Then I wiped off an entire answer by accident and had to do it again.

And I had to double check some auction bids I sent in haste this morning. I bid too much for something but I’ll let it stand as I hate cancelling bids and messing people about.

Number Two son did his final exam this morning. The landlord had chosen this day to decorate the room and wouldn’t delay to allow for a more relaxing lead up to the exam. When he returned in the afternoon they had also replaced his bed. They had, however failed to empty the storage drawer in the old one and had taken all his shoes away.

Idiots.

Julia is trying to watch The Woman in White on BBC i-player but it’s not going well. We appear to lack bandwidth, despite paying an arm and a leg to BT every month. She couldn’t watch it last night as we went out for curry.

I have to cook tea now.

I suppose I’ll probably burn it.

Tomorrow we are going to Bempton Cliffs to see Puffins. Looking at what happened last year I’m worried we might not see many. Fingers crossed.

And, as I try to find Puffin photos the system has seized up again. I really must write to WordPress. For Puffin photos you will need to use the last link.

The featured image is just plucked from stock at random. I wanted something calming with blue sky a fresh green trees.

Things I Think About in the Car (Part 2)

Seventeen – Test Cricket, paint drying, beard growing. Rank them in order of thrill.

Eighteen – would spreading a baseball game over five days improve it?

Nineteen – World Series. USA and Canada. Really?

Twenty – that bus was close.

Twenty One – I hate this junction.

Twenty Two – oh look, the rugby club.

Twenty Three – we had some good times there.

Twenty Four –  I wonder if I will ever have grandchildren?

Twenty Five – I wonder if they will play rugby?

Twenty Six – where does all this traffic come from?

Twenty Seven – why did he just do that?

Twenty Eight – how many people realise D H Lawrence’s parents got married there? You’d have thought they married in Eastwood. How many people have heard of D H Lawrence these days?

Twenty Nine – will there ever be a TV quiz question on Nottingham’s links to the von Richthofen family? I could answer that.

Thirty – I wonder what Kylie Minogue is doing these days.

Thirty One – why did I buy a house so near so many schools?

Thirty two – why do parents park dangerously when dropping kids at school? If you want them run over why not just make them walk and save yourself a job every morning?

Thirty three – I wonder if any of these parents have ever had the school ring them to tell them they just dropped their kid off on a training day?

Thirty four – if I am going to blog my thoughts, should I leave that one out because it makes me look like a bad parent?

Thirty five – nearly there now.

Thirty six – why do women say “What are you planning on doing today?” when they really mean “I have a list of jobs for you.”?

Thirty seven – I wonder if I’ll get away with blogging this garbage? Maybe I should re-write it with deeper thoughts.

Thirty eight – I’ll put “stream of consciousness” in the Tags. That should do it.

 

A Misty Dream

Actually, there is no mist involved, but I think I used the days of wine and roses quote as a title before. I also used it in a comment I made on a blog last night, so I don’t want to overdo it.

Yesterday I visited the local duck pond for the first time in months. Even when I’ve been well, I’ve been tired or out of sorts and the trip has seemed too long. Last time I went the yellow flags were just starting to flower. Now they are finished. Being somewhat morose at present, I can’t help seeing it as a metaphor for my life.

A cup of tea soon dispelled that thought (no biscuits – I’m on a diet) as very few depressing thoughts survive tea and sunshine. Even a comparison to the pond couldn’t dampen my spirits – I’m happy being shallow.

Anyway, enough of the introspection, and on with the character assassination.

Earlier in the year I mentioned that a woman thought the white ducks were swans. I was, I think, a little critical. In fairness I shouldn’t really have a go at her for being as dim as a 40 watt light bulb, or say that there…

No, I still think there should be a permit system for breeding. Two kids per family and none at all unless you’re smart enough to distinguish a duck from a swan.

While I was reflecting by the side of the pond yesterday a group came to feed the ducks, led by a woman who, to be chivalrous, was older than me. This is old enough to know that geese don’t have cygnets!

The pictures show geese with their goslings, some young moorhens and coots and some ducks in eclipse plumage. Eclipse plumage is the dull, almost camouflaged, plumage that ducks grow when they moult after all the hassle of raising a family. I can sympathise.

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Mallards in eclipse plumage

Later there was a small child called Sam (name changed for Safeguarding purposes, and because I forgot it). His mission in life seemed to be to feed birds and use huge amounts of energy as he ran round saying hello to people. I would have been happier if he hadn’t introduced himself to dogs by holding out his arm in such an appetising manner, but even the Staffordshire Bull Terrier with leather harness and tattooed owner merely licked his hand and allowed itself to be stroked.

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing much happened today

It’s 9.30 at night, I’m watching Grantchester and gradually losing the will to live. It’s all getting mired down in the complicated personal lives of the characters, to the extent that it’s more soap than sleuthing. Tonight features a romany camp, which I always associate with Albert Campion, cunning disguises and weak plots from the 1930s.

You would be correct in thinking I’m not a fan. I read some of the books and thought they were OK, even if they weren’t as good as Father Brown. Yes, the Father Brown stories are dated, and the TV stories do deviate from the originals, but they are crime stories with characters, not a soap with a crime in it.

At least, with both kids heading back to Yorkshire by train, it’s now quiet. I’ve never known two people make so much noise without actually saying anything useful. It might be that I’m getting old, or it might be that they are badly brought up. Either way I suppose it’s my fault. It normally is.

I had to laugh at one point yesterday when we were watching TV. Number Two son, following a story about a wayward child, said:”If she was my daughter I’d have banned her from doing that.”

“You might want to think that through.” I said,”When have you ever taken any notice of me?”

I’ll leave you with that thought.

Shiny Ducks and Spurious Swans

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A Spurious Swan

You can’t blame kids for being ignorant when you see a parent tell them “Look at that Swan.”

That’s the “Swan” in the picture above. The white bird that’s the size and shape of a duck and has a curly tail just like a drake. It walks and talks like a duck too. I’m not one to take the moral high ground on bird identification, having already proved I’m shaky on waders and not good on gulls. (And if you wait for summer I’ll parade my tragic lack of warbler skills).

However, a Swan is a basic bird, like a Pigeon, a Sparrow and a Magpie. In an ideal world such basic knowledge would be part of the Parenthood Exam and if you couldn’t ID a Swan you wouldn’t be allowed to breed.

That should also weed out people who feed pigeons even though told not to.

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Who? Me?

 

Meanwhile, the Odd Couple seem as close as ever.

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I worry about these two…

 

The Narrow Cells

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
         Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
Elegy in a Country Churchyard – Thomas Gray

I was at Crowland Abbey earlier last week (as you may have noticed) and took a few shots of gravestones with interesting names. We didn’t have a lot of time so I didn’t do a lot of searching, just took a few pictures of stones with names I thought I could look up in the census results.

The first one was a stone that was laid flat at the end of the south aisle (the one with no roof) to form a pavement. It seems a poor way to treat a memorial but I suppose if you believe that only the skull and thighbones are needed for resurrection the grave marker is irrelevant.

It looks like it’s the stone of Sarah, wife of William Hewson. William is listed in the 1861 Census for Crowland, a widowed 71 year old farmer and cattle dealer. If only the moss had grown more. Unfortunately I can’t narrow it down more than that, or find any mention of Sarah.

A few yards further on, just outside the walls, is a stone to  William Blood and his wife Mary Ann. William was a farmer, who ended up with 143 acres. and eventually left property valued at “under £100” in 1877. Mary went to live with her daughter and Robert, the eldest son, became a general dealer, married two women called Mary (one after the other) and died in 1914.

Conspiracy theorists might deplore the state collecting all this information, but it does make family history easier (unless people marry identically named wives).

A few yards away is a stone to Drusilla, wife of Augustus Blood, who died in 1876. She had a difficult, and short, life. In the 1841 census she is months old and the daughter of an Ironmonger but in 1851 she is living with her grandmother and mother (both widows). By 1861 she is living with an an aunt and uncle and listed as a dressmaker. Finally, in the 1871 census she has a daughter and is married to Augustus Blood, an unemployed butcher.

By 1881 Augustu was working as a butcher in Oundle, Northamptonshire. He had 4 daughters between the ages of 5 and 10 (no wonder poor Drusilla died young). His brother Henry was working with him (though he also has a housekeeper). In 1891 he is living in Whittlesey, Cambs, with a new wife Ann, and three young children between 4 and 8, all born in Oundle. Ann died in 1901 and left effects worth £42 8s 9d to Eleanor Frost, spinster.

By 1911 (the last census to be released) Augustus was living near  Salford, Lancashire and working as a Chapel Keeper. At the age of 68 he was living with his 44 year old wife (having remarried in 1904), two stepchildren and his brother Henry, who was a self-employed confectionary hawker. He died in 1915 and left £32  4s 9d.

 

It’s amazing what stories you can find in a churchyard.

Flintham Show

Well, after days of baking and making salt dough shapes the show finally arrived, as did busloads of kids.

Apart from salt dough and bread tasting we had the bread story,  corn dollies (with paper straws), the bread shed, adverts for our two new educational units (Festive wreaths and the Great War), the famous Ecocentre bread-plaiting roadshow (modesty prevents me telling you which charismatic,  bearded fat man runs that) and Julia’s two pig sculptures made from straw bales..

Of course, with all the good stuff, we also had a helping of adversity. One of the wheatsheaves, having dried badly, developed cracks before falling apart, and Julia’s pigs suffered from an outbreak of vandalism. They were popular all day, but for some reason we kept having to retrieve the snouts and ears from various souvenir-hunting children.

In a short break I managed to knock up a small wheatsheaf loaf to check how practical it was as a group exercise. It seems OK in terms of scale and time, though I couldn’t get anyone to give it a try on the day. That’s one for next week. Note the decorative charring to the smaller loaf – a feature of all our bread on the day.

Fortunately the day, which started cold and drizzly, was dry and sunny by the  time the gates opened and all the hard work of the show committee paid off. The photos don’t do it justice, but it’s hard to fit it in with the other activities. By the end of the day all I wanted to do was sit down – one bread roll a child for 80 children is works out at about 12 sessions and 6 kilos of dough, all mixed by hand.

The results of the Bread Test were:

  1. Home baked white
  2. TESCO cheap white sliced
  3. Home baked brown and shop bought seeded brown  (a tie)

We’ve run this session a number of times and it’s always the same – a narrow win for home made white over Chorleywood white sliced with brown, seeded and sourdough lower down. So I won, but it’s depressing.