Sunday, September 30, 2007

Frank Zappa - Uncle Remus

Item 5: No visuals for this but have a listen!

Weekly Six 24th - 30th September 2007 (Items 3 & 4)

Item 3: The Missing Frog

Item 4: Event of the Week

Event of the week is a big one this week. I went to see Dweezil Zappa on Tuesday at Shepherds Bush Empire. Every year he tours playing his fathers music, a Zappa plays Zappa concert, this year named The Tour de Frank.

I unfortunately never got to see Frank play live and have never really listened to Dweezils stuff as what I had heard was a bit Steve Vai who I am not particularly keen on despite his obvious talents as a guitar player.

I will however be watching out for the next Zappa plays Zappa installment and plan to check out some of Dweezil's solo stuff.
It was an awesome evening with a guest appearance by the world famous Ray White. For any Dweezil/ Frank fans, or anyone just wondering what the Zappa thing is about, go along and see them. Mooanne!

Every Goose for Themselves

Weekly Six 24th - 30th September 2007 (Items 1 & 2)

Well last weeks 'Weekly Six' was a bit of a poor show! I had such good fun collecting the photographs however formatting the post took hours and eventually I ran out of time. You may have noticed that there are only four posts in last weeks weekly six! And the photograph of the frog I described in item 6 vanished at the last moment!

I have however, had some new ideas for regular posts. I did think the original format of song of the week, movie idol of the week etc. would endure but it was too regular for me to be really spontaneous about it which is what I wanted.

So, I have decided on a new regular slots that will hopefully stay the distance.

I am now the proud owner of 1001 practical household uses for vinegar. No really, there is nothing this stuff cannot do! I therefore give you the first item of the Weekly Six!

Item 1: Practical Household Uses for Vinegar Ref. 31.3

Pour white distilled vinegar on rusted hinges and screws to loosen them up for removal. (A good one for the DIY enthusiast or car and machinery restorer!)

Item 2: Heart Throbs

As a small child my Mum took me, my sister and some of my sisters friends, to see Grease at the cinema in town. (1978)

Thus began an intense period of adoration of John Travolta. I mean have you seen the guy dance?!?!?

Anyway, shortly after woods I was given this picture, and it took up pride of place next to my bed for many years. I found it today and had to iron it for the unveiling!

Ok questionable wardrobe but probably not of his choice! And really, have you seen him dance! I think another factor about Travolta is that his character Danny was in keeping with one of my first idols, The Fonz.

Am I revealing to much here? Anyway, I had heart throbs/ hero's for all of my childhood, I think my last was James Dean, but I think that the fascination is more to do with admiration and a desire to live by your own rules, a trait embodied in these sort of characters.

(Fonz Picture Image Credit - INDC Journal)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Weekly Six 17th - 23rd September 2007

Item 3: The Big Knit

Innocent drinks are making excellent progress with their big knit campaign and in tribute to the fabulous contribution of hats made by Bowledover I would like to post these pictures.

I am afraid that Parp was not available to model them but he knew of this fabulous group of extras passing through the area who were happy to assist.

They have kindly agreed to model the hats throughout this posting.

Some of the wardrobe displayed today is from the Caged Minutes Collection circa 1980. My thanks to Bowledover and Mac's Niece.

Item 4: Birds Update

I have great news on the bird front. The one legged starling is alive and well, and was recently spotted feeding on our bird table. There is no end to that bird species talents.

Additionally the jackdaws have returned much to our delight.

Our neighbour has had to block off her chimneys due to the many years they have been nesting there and they disappeared for a few months after she did it. It had to be done and I wondered how they would react.

I am therefore happy to see them return to the area, their descent into the garden for food is always nothing short of expert and graceful.

And finally we had two interesting visitors to our garden this morning, the heron and a sparrow hawk! I do not anticipate the heron making this a regular stop off due to the size of our garden and lack of pond; the sparrow hawk visits every 4 or 5 months. His entrance is preceded by a simultaneous emptying of the garden by all winged visitors!

It's been a great year for the birds, although our gold finches disappeared while we were on holiday (we returned late August) and the niger seed has been untouched since then. Has anyone else have that?
Item 5: New Things.

Sunpat and I treated ourselves to some new things recently. Our families do not live in the really immediate vicinity and therefore visiting is not as often as we would all like.....I am fairly sure we are all in agreeance there!!! So I thought I would post some pictures of the new things so they can all have a look.
Garden table and chairs.

Planter with juniper and heather at the front.

Door stop. This chappie originated from Dun Vegan on the Isle of Skye, home of the McClouds.

Item 6: Frog
I spotted this chap in our garden this morning. We have seen frogs here before however none this big and we don't see them too often. It has been suggested to me that this may be why the heron is visiting but I really don't think the heron will be able to land on the ground here, he's just too big!

Anyway, we do have a small water feature: a barrel with a rustic tap over it, which is good for breeding insects and associated predators so I'll keep my eye out for another siting there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Athene & Arachne

Bowledover left me this as a comment for the last picture. I thought it was so beautiful it needed to be posted. A brief of:

'Arachne' By Megan Powell

Athene challenged Arachne to a contest to see who could weave the best, following Arachne's boasts about her skills as a weaver.

The people would judge the finer work of the two.

Athene wove using the clouds,while Arachne used the finest yarn.

Arachne did not win and her life was changed from that of a young girl to that of a spider, which many of are called Arachnids.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Passing


I am taking this brief opportunity to satisfy my blogging craving! I have a great 'weekly six' lined up for this week but not enough time to do it now!

I am on a training course at the moment and have additional work to do for it in the evenings. It's all tree stuff and therefore very interesting but I do hanker for a good blog session! Anyway, no time for now so instead here's a photo I took and really like. BYE!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Fruits of my Labour

In June of this year Macs Niece at Caged Minutes posted this notice regarding Innocent Drinks woolly hat drive to raise money for Age Concern.

The idea is to knit small hats for the tops of their smoothy bottles which will be sold in shops this November at 50p a shout to raise money for the charity. 25,000 elderly people died last winter in this country from cold related illnesses. Last year Innocent Drinks ran the same campaign and managed to raise £115,000.00!

If you are able to knit or would like to have a go please follow this link for knitting patterns for a variety of knitting abilities.

I have recently learned to knit and had a go at my first hat yesterday.

It is unfortunately not quite up to factory spec. but having mastered my first I am keen to have another go and see how many I can produce in the time remaining. (It may look ok but I am not showing you the seam at the back!)

I did not have an Innocent Drink bottle for the purpose of modelling the item and have therefore recruited my bear 'Parp' as a model, with a beautiful background of a framed sari silk collage by Macs Niece.

Macs Niece has posted a 'hatometer' demonstrating how many hats Innocent Drinks have collected so far. If you have a spare moment please have a go, it is such a small task and for such a good cause. My thanks to you, Mac's Niece and Parp.

N.B. No bears were harmed in the making of this post.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Greetings. This is just a short note to announce that I have a new blog, Evolved. I will let it explain itself but if any of you have a moment to visit and leave your opinion of the posts you find I would be most grateful.

Addendum to Sign

In this weeks weekly six, item 2, I referred to the alphabet of sign language and I posted the symbols you form with your hands to demonstrate the alphabet.

On posting the item L^2 at Dog's Eye View informed me that the American sign alphabet was different, to both of our surprise!

I therefore thought I should look into this and post the American sign alphabet. Personally I think the English version is simpler in terms of ease of learning it however, obviously the one you know is always easier! I did note though that the American alphabet can be performed with one hand where as two are needed to spell out words using the English version.

It would be great if these things were universal! Although obviously differing alphabets world wide are another factor. Anyway, here is the American Sign Language alphabet and my thanks to L^2 for pointing out the difference. I will endeavour to learn it and am off to investigate other nations sign. I have already identified the Australian sign alphabet as being virtually identical to the English one and have found a great site which details sign language for many European countries. I will post again on this fascinating topic when I find out more.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Weekly Six 10th - 16th September 2007

Ok, I have done enough justification of the irregularity of this posting previously, anyone who has been reading will have heard it all, so let's just enjoy and get down to it!!

Item 1: Larger Than Life

I have recently watched the conclusive, second series to the HBO via BBC drama Rome. The first series was screened last year and out of an interest of that historical period Sunpat and I watched.

For those of you who have neither: seen the series, seen the trailers or been staying at our house when there was an episode on that we made you endure, it spans the return of Julius Caesar to Rome following a successful campaign in......well almost everywhere they encountered, up to the demise of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra.

The series is brutal and graphic in both scenes of violence and physical relations however I would like to promote this series as an excellent introduction to a race admirable in it's achievements and civil structure.

There are of course alternative adaptations of this period of history in many different mediums however where the Romans are concerned so far I have suffered insufficient patience and vocabulary for them. (Excepting Carry on Cleo!)

Rome - The HBO Series gave me a insight into a people I sought to understand, and through their story I feel I have achieved that.

So extensive preambles aside, let me introduce you to the focus of this item, a character larger than life, Marcus Antonius - c. January 14, 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC. (Played by James Purefoy.)

I immensely disliked this character during the first series; which although excellent in content and story line lacked some of the more advanced graphic enhancements that made the second series awesome and increased it's impact. I found Mark Anthony to be crude, arrogant to the point of 'Q'ism' (Imagine an omnipotent being, arrogant by definition in it's all knowing, all seeing state of self belief and self riotousness.) I wished failure and misery upon him and did not even fall prey to his devilish good looks!

It is, I feel, tribute to this actors skill and the success of the series writer, director and cast in general that by the end of series two (the ultimate series) I felt, compassion and most importantly understanding for this monster of a man, larger than life. (Image Credit HMO.)

Item 2: Sign

When I was a child my sister and I learnt sign language. Not the advanced version of words seen on the television accompanying some programs but the sign alphabet which allows you to simply spell words out letter by letter.

It is very easy and logical to learn, for example the vowels are the five fingers of the hand in order starting with the thumb. You simply point to each finger or make the shape of the consonants as indicated here.

I used to sing in the church choir when I was at school and my friend and I would utilise the sign language to chat during the sermon. (In retrospect my apologies to the Vicars concerned.)

I recently found a card that details the sign alphabet, which I have never forgotten, and would like to pass it on. It is so easy to learn and as a result of this simple undertaking I am capable of speaking another language.

Please take a moment to look through the alphabet and see how easy it is, and pass it on if you can. You could practice with your partner or your children or friends and in such a small space of time would have gained a valuable skill that may aid you in the future.

Item 3: The Starlings Return

This item is an update on the state of the birds within our garden this year. Previous postings within the weekly six and verse labels have documented the determination of the one winged starling, the one legged starling, (Just goes to show how determined they are!) and many of the other visitors we have had to our garden over the past 12 months.

I am unable to comment on the injured starlings more than to say we saw the one with the injured wing up until his damaged feather came out however I believe that he made a full recovery and was just indistinguishable from the others after this point, and the one with one really, damaged foot that just seemed to come off, has not been seen for some months however endured for much of the summer and adapted to his disability with admirable determination, able to feed, drink and bathe.

Sparrows and starlings, previously birds both common and high in number, are now on the endangered bird species lists however we currently support in excess of 50 starlings and 30 sparrows, thanks to peanuts, mealworm birdmix, fat balls, and our neighbours fabulous wildlife garden that adds to our own and provides a haven. Oh, and our neighbour but ones conifer row which serves as a starling block of flats!

Captain Pugwash 1957 (A Shot Across The Bows)

Item 4: Cartoon of the Week

Nick Harper - Love Junky

Item 5: Artist of the Week (And a Lifetime!)

David Gilmour - Hushabye Mountain

Item 6: Song of the Week

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Darkest Moment

I have set the madman loose,
he is free to move the pathways.
I have cut the murderer from his noose,
to re-offend as always.
I have unleashed a beast
and summoned demons motive.
I am at my very least
and yet my most creative.

I push through the experience,
in search of my egress.
Through language I seek release,
to purge and self confess.
But this aspect all possessing
is merely soul segmented.
I am at my very least,
but entire and just fragmented.

I am being through succession,
moulded and affected.
By experience I’ve grown,
both witnessed and imparted.
So this moment in it’s darkness,
is merely born of weakness.
I am at my very least,
but never the defeatist.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tales of the City

Greetings. I am a big fan of the Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin. My sister, Mac's Niece at Caged Minutes, introduced me to them ooh............blimey about 16 years ago.

For those of you that are not familiar with the series the books, originally published in two San Francisco newspapers, follow a group of friends that live in a rather unusual shared house in San Francisco during the 70's and 80's.

If you would like to find out more I really cannot put it any better than Wikipedia have so follow this link! I nearly deserted this post to take up the first book just reminding myself what was in store! I have lent my copies to several friends over the years and each has devoured them within.....well usually a matter of days schedule permitting or not!

Anyway. The point of this post is to bring to the attention of any fans that might not know the new book in the series, Michael Tolliver Lives! I will say it does not compare in terms of pace with the other books but for any devoted fans it is wonderful. I am also reliably informed by Wikipedia that Armistead is currently working on a new Tales... book and will advise you as soon as I hear more.

In the meantime, if you haven't read them and fancy a really good escape I strongly recommend the series. They are kind of like friends, sex in the city and will and grace rolled into one with much more depth, intrigue and of course the personalisation that only comes with reading books.

Monday, September 03, 2007

This Fools Meme!

Ok. I have been feeling like a bit of fun of late, and have thought of some random questions that I thought would make a blogging good meme! I will be tagging several bloggers who I hope would like to participate and have provided my own answers to the questions posed at the end of this posting. So, if you are interested, or have been tagged, copy the following questions and post them with your answers, and feel free to pass this one on! I am looking forward to reading the results and as ever my sincerest thanks for participating!

I am starting with an old favourite:
  1. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!)

  2. Were you to find your self stranded on an island with a CD could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be?

  3. If you were a smell what would it be?

  4. What bird would you most like to be?

  5. If you were a bird who's head would you poo on?

  6. Are there any foods that your body craves?

  7. What's your favourite time of year?

  8. What's your favourite time of day?

  9. If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose?

  10. If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.)

Ok now I know they are not all original but I hope you have as much fun answering them as I did. My answers are:

  1. If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!) I would like to be able to fly; there are possibilities for world saving activities and I know I could be more imaginative but that's what I want, flight please! Oh, and as a close second I would like the power to create song and music at any time so I could turn the world into a musical at will! (With dancing!)

  2. Were you to find your self stranded on an island with a CD could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be? Umm, this is a tough one, but as I am supposed to be on an island I have gone for albums that best represents both music type as well as artist. My 10 are: Peter Gabriel - Us, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Soul II Soul, Nick Harper - Miracles for Beginners, The Bee Gees - Saturday Night Fever, Michael Nyman - The Piano, John Martin - Solid Air, Leftfield - Leftism, Frank Zappa - Sheik Yabouti, Jethro Tull - Broadsword and the Beast and The Doors - L.A. Woman.

  3. If you were a smell what would it be? Spring

  4. What bird would you most like to be? A gannet or seagull. (Apparently gannets are better in flight than gulls by a margin!)

  5. If you were a bird who's head would you poo on? Patsy Kensit. (Tart!)

  6. Are there any foods that your body craves? Vegetables and garlic. (Occasionally salt.)

  7. What's your favourite time of year? Spring.

  8. What's your favourite time of day? Dawn.

  9. If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose? A change, always!

  10. If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.) Kenny Everett, David Niven, Albert Einstein, Rudyard Kipling and Peter Kay. Now that's a tough one, but for my first dinner party, and a fictitious one at that, that'll do!

Ok, my taggees are: Coversgirl - Between the Covers /Joni - My Piece of Heaven / Mac's Niece - Caged Minutes / Bowledover / Greg - A Life in the Day / Kailana - Kailana's Written World / L^2 - Dog's Eye View / Literary Feline - Musings of a Bookish Kitty / Three Collie - Northview Diary / Caelum-amo - Identity / Chris - Book-a-rama.

...and a few bloggers newish or unknown to me that I thought might be up for it!

Mo - Inside Mo's Mind / Pegleg - Stinkweed Reunion / Dewey - The Hidden Side of a Leaf / Jenny ( 8675309 ) - A Jester Unemployed

Scally Rally

Greetings! My friend and work colleague is competing in this years 'Scally Rally' to raise money for the charity 'Against Breast Cancer'.

The idea is to purchase a vehicle for £100 and drive it 2500 miles across Europe using some of the most demanding roads Europe has to offer. There are also additional challenges along the way. They are trying to raise £1,000.00 and so far have raised £355.00!

If you would like to find out more about Team Broadside or the Scally Rally please follow the links assigned to each bit of highlighted text, if you would consider sponsoring them I would be eternally grateful.



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