Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Well it's Halloween and it has been suprisinglhy quiet so far this weekend. We are usually assured three nights of little ghosts and goblins tapping at the door!

The year I carved this pumpkin we lived in a house with a small gated front garden and I was able to light the candle in the pumpkin and put it outside the door to the side, kind of an advert 'Trick or Treaters Welcome Here!'. I thought it looked really good.

I love going to the local shop and buying masses of sweets. Its fun to check out what new sweets there are and Mr Dancin and I eat some too! The surplus, as there always is, go to work and are demolished within minutes. Every ones a kid at heart I guess!

Unfortunately it is not so easy to be hospitable in this house. We have a front garden but it is open to the passing footpath and I would not like to leave a lit pumpkin outside. At the old house I could hear the gate open if someone arrived but here I would worry. Also it is very hard to answer our front door here and keep the dogs at bay. In the old house we could close the door to the living room, go down the hall and open the front door to chat to children with their parents. Here you have to open the front door while holding the rather flimsey living room door closed with your other hand and the dogs make so much noise they tend to scare people off!

I have yet to come up with a solution to this issue....moving would probably be the best idea!

I like this house enough; if it were ours we would make lots of changes and make it suit our needs but as it is a rental we don't spend too much money on it, certainly not to the tune of new doors!

Anyway, I will get some sweets and hope we get some visitors!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Make 'em Laugh!



We watched this over the weekend, I love this song, what an amazing performance! Especially the last 30 seconds!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Enter The Dragon

I am delighted to announce the arrival of my friend, and Mr Dancin's sister, Sensory Dragon to the world of Blogging over at Brambles, Rambles & Shambles; a blog predominantly dedicated to the development of her garden, which is a restoration project in progress.

If you have an interest in gardening and home produce I recommend you keep an eye on this blog.

I am looking forward to being able to see the developments in the garden in between our visits to Cornwall, which tend to be less frequent than we would like given the distance between us.

Welcome to the Blogosphere Sensory Dragon! Happy Blogging! (Image Credit: Clipart N Graphics Haven)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lift My Spirits

I have spent much of this morning signing online petitions and posting banners to show my support for the many endangered species on our planet and it has all made me a little blue. I won't ever stop making the effort but I can't help but fear that we are stuck in a trend that will not change and we may actually see the extinction of tigers, whales and many other amazing creatures within our lifetimes.

I have always wanted to change the world and felt that there is something I am meant to do, some bigger contribution I am meant to make. I have dedided that I am going to take more of a more active role in supporting the organisations that I care for the most, Greenpeace, all animal welfare charities, charities caring for children and supporting the elderley and environmental organisations.

Up until now my support has been limited to financial contributions, signing petitions and letters and spreading the word via email or my blogs but I want to do more.

The decision to dedicate a little more of my time has helped to lift my spirits a little. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day

Well its here! Blog Action Day 2010, topic WATER!

I have chosen the oceans as the subject for my post and have been reading some hints about how to help and learn more about them over at Save the Sea. I do not claim to know all the ins and out of the oceans and just why they are so important, although I am taking steps to learn, however I do know that they are important.

Our planet exists as a whole, every part of it integral to the next, therefore any impact we have on the planet for example deforestation, or air and water pollution, on any scale eventually has an impact. Its Gaia. (Gaia Theory - the Earths physical and biological processes are inextricably bound to form a self-regulating system. Text Credit: The Gaia Theory)

We may not be aware of the implications where we live, they may not as far as we are aware effect us in any way, but someone somewhere will be effected, maybe significantly, maybe even to the extent of loosing their lives, and sooner or later we may go too far and all feel the impact.

Everyone can help, doing your bit really does make a difference. Below are 10 things you can do to help, as suggested by the top people over at Save the Sea. (Another good website to check out is Sea Web.)

If you cannot commit to all 10 then try doing five of them, or even one of them! Doing something rather than nothing does help. I have added a little extra information to some of the points listed here, below each point in italics.

Save the Sea - Ten Things You Can Do to Help the Oceans

1) Learn all you can - Did you know state and local governments issue seafood contamination warnings and beach closure warnings? Read labels and signs and ask questions. By learning why a beach was closed or why certain seafood is contaminated, you may also learn how to prevent it from happening again. Learn more about the ocean and conservation by reading, watching films, attending lectures, or visiting aquariums and museums.

I found lots of information at Save the Sea, Ocean Conservancy, Marine Bio and Sea Web. (And if you are feeling ambitious Marine Bio have a list of 100 things you can do to help and give lots of specific and helpful information.)

2) Be a smart shopper - The seafood choices that we make have an impact on the environment. Not all seafood is created equal. There are good - and - bad choices for the ocean. Good choices from wild fish come from populations that are healthy and managed in a way to preserve the populations for future generations. Likewise, sustainable fish farming respects the surrounding environment, uses water and other resources wisely, and does not interfere with natural, wild fish populations. Ask grocery stores and restaurants where their seafood comes from and if it was caught or farmed in a way that protects the ocean. For more information, see http://www.seafoodchoices.com/

3) Conserve water - Use low-flow showerheads and faucets. Don't run water continuously when washing dishes by hand, brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face, or washing your car. Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine. Take short showers. Check for leaky faucets and repair them. Water your lawn in the morning or evening to reduce evaporation, and water it only when necessary. Put a trigger nozzle on your outdoor hose; it uses water more efficiently. It's not necessary to water your driveway. After all, it won't grow.

One small tip, it you do not have a toilet with a short and long flush button simply put a brick or large stone into your water system/ tank which will reduce the amount of water used for each flush. Leave grass cuttings on your lawn to fertilise and aid water retention thus preventing your lawn drying out in the heat of the summer.

4) Reduce "household pollution." - The less herbicides and pesticides you spray, the less you will swim in! Use lawn clippings, compost, or manure to fertilize your lawn and garden. Use phosphate-free laundry and dishwasher detergent because phosphates in lakes and rivers can encourage algae growth, which can suffocate aquatic life. Try non-toxic products, such as baking soda or vinegar, instead of hazardous chemicals for cleaning.

Eco products have come a long was in recent years and are now more cost effective, but don't forget some of the old household tips. There are more uses for vinegar and soda bicarbonate than I can shake a stick at and they cost a fraction of the price of some of the cleaning products available but still save time and effort, they does all the work themselves. When you feel the need to use a breathing mask while using your oven cleaner, or are advised not to use a particular cleaning product in confined spaces, you have to wonder whether this kind of product should be used at all. Check out The Vinegar Institute and Household Uses for Bicarbonate of Soda
.
5) Reduce run-off - Put trash in the can instead of the gutter. Use soap sparingly when washing your car. If you must use chemicals on your lawn, don't spray on a windy day or when rain is expected. To improve drainage and decrease run-off, avoid landscaping with hard surfaces and instead select vegetation, gravel or other porous material. Sweep your driveway and sidewalk to collect any toxic materials that could be washed into waterways and properly dispose of the waste. Redirect rain gutters onto your lawn or into collection barrels to water your garden. Scoop pet waste. An estimated 15 tons of pet waste flows into ocean waters every day.

6) Recycle or dispose of all trash properly - Never flush non-degradable products, such as disposable diapers or plastic tampon applications, down the toilet. These products can damage the sewage treatment process and end up littering beaches and waters. Never throw cigarette butts on the ground or out car windows. Pick up litter and avoid using disposable products if at all possible.

Before you throw anything away check out Freecycle, a world wide site for the exchange of goods from horse muck to computers. One man's junk is another man's treasure!

7) Reduce oil pollution - Fix car leaks! More oil enters the ocean from large tanker spills.  Recycle used motor oil. Much of the oil pollution in surface waters is caused by people dumping used oil into storm drains. Buy a fuel-efficient car. Even better, drive less! Walk, bicycle, carpool or take public transportation. Check underground heating oil tanks for leaks.

8) Be considerate of ocean wildlife - Never dispose of fishing line or nets in the water. They could entangle, maim, injure or kill unsuspecting animals. Don't release helium balloons outside. They could end up in the ocean and harm animals that mistake them for food. Minimize your use of Styrofoam, which degrades into smaller pellets that also resemble food. Cut open plastic six-pack rings; they can entangle ocean life.

9) Get involved - Take part in a beach cleanup. Report illegal dumping to the local authorities, the Environmental Protection Agency or the Coast Guard. Report full catch-basins; your local department of public works should clean clogged storm sewers. Contact your local government to learn the proper methods of disposal for batteries, paint, appliances and other products. Encourage your local government to recycle and upgrade sewage treatment systems. Urge public officials to support measures that help the ocean.

If nothing else you can have a day out at the beach!

10) Understand Why...

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I hope you find some useful tips here that will enable you to help. As a final note from me here is a video I put together for Blog Action Day, accompanied by the very brilliant and very thought provoking Benji Kirkpatrick song, Wallbreaker.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Imagine Peace Tower


Image Credit: Visit Reykjavik

Created for John Lennon by Yoko Ono Lennon see the tower being lit tonight HERE

Happy Birthday John Lennon

I have been visiting over with Scottish Nature Boy and have learned that it would have been John Lennons 70th birthday today. In tribute Scotty has posted the most amazing You Tube clip of a Ukulele tribute to the Beatles and John Lennon which I very strongly recommend you go and check out HERE.

The first thing that struck me as I listened to it was just how many amazing songs they/ he wrote, how can there be that many beautiful melodies and harmonies in the world? The second thing was just how simple but effective the songs are, when you see the chords being played. I am not saying they are easy songs to play or write, it is their very simplicity that is their genius.

So, do yourself a favour and pop over for a listen. It will be a few minutes very well spent.

Porcupine Tree - Track of The Day

In my ongoing quest to spread the news to the world that Porcupine Tree are the best band ever, apart from Little Feat that is who really are the best band ever in the world and have had the title a lot longer, I have decided to post a PT (Porcupine Tree) song every day up until the gig next Thursday.

This morning I have chosen something a little more mellow than Arriving, which although begins gently does progress into full on rock, the previously unreleased song Meantime - now featuring on the album In Absentia.

I must apologies in advance for the image accompanying this song, there is no video for it on You Tube and only this still of the album cover which I hate and find disturbing. I suggest you listen to the song, which is beautiful, and turn off the monitor or look elsewhere!



Umm, well maybe just one more, this is the brilliant Trains

Like Being a Teenager!

I slept in for ages this morning, like I haven't done for years! I remember as a teenager I could sleep in until mid day quite easily sometimes, well this morning I almost managed it again.

We were up until 2.30am, and I did get up at 8.00am and let the dogs into the garden, but even so!

Mr Dancin got up sometime before me but I have no recollection of that and slept through until he appeared with a cup of tea at 11.30am!!!!

As a result, seeming that I am no longer a teenager, I have a bad back from too much lying down and could do with a good stretch on a rack!!!!

I did have some great dreams though!

Well that has put pay to my plan for a busy Saturday morning! (Image Credit: Polyvore)

Just a final note, to any of my friends or family that have children and may read this, sorry but if it makes you feel any better it really was not worth it, my back really does hurt and I have missed a lot of the day!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

6 Days and Counting!

Last winter we purchased tickets to see Porcupine Tree at the Albert Hall for this autumn, it will be the fifth time we have seen them. I am delighted to say the long awaited event is drawing near and there are only 6 days to go now!

We have been checking out song lists from recent gigs as this is to be an extended performance and we are pretty sure they are going to play Arriving Somewhere which is a favourite of ours we have never seen them do live! I don't want to get too excited in case they don't do it, and I have seen them play most of my other favourites, but it would be so amazing!

Anyway here it is! It's long, but that's Prog Rock for you!!!

At The Summit!

I did not post any pictures of me in my recent holiday postings but wanted to put this one up, taken by Mr Dancin, at the summit of Ben Hiant. We usually go for a group shot at the top of mountains but it was just too plain windy! I do actually need to hold on with two hands and my left leg is wedged against the trig point to stop the gusts from blowing me over. It was the kind of wind that is so strong you just have to laugh, but not for too long as its so cold it makes your teeth ache!

This was a most lovely and memorable walk!

Networking II

Huge thanks to those of you who have taken part in the recent meme or left me a comment, answers posted so far have been a hoot! If you fancy a laugh and want to take part the original post with instructions is HERE.

Posts up so far are from BowledoverClaire and T-Bone. Thanks guys, I had a lot of fun reading your brilliant answers!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monday, October 04, 2010

Am I Allowed To Mention Christmas Yet?

We have recently returned from our summer holiday into instant Autumn but I have found that I don't really mind that much.

We have had such a lovely long summer, and a great holiday, that I am actually ready for the change in the season and am even starting to get excited about Christmas!

I do not talk about it too much at home as Mr Dancin does not like to get into things until mid December but as for myself I am enjoying planning gifts and even the preparations in the shops are not bothering me too much.

I do think that we get into it a little too early in the UK but I am happy to be taking small steps to the festive season!

However between then and now there's lots of other stuff to keep me busy. We are going to see Porcupine Tree in a couple of weeks, and then Nick Harper in November. Yeah!

Networking

I have been thinking about Blogging today. I have been on Blogger since 2006 now and think I can honestly say I am here to stay. Over the years I have had times where I did not want to Blog, times when I wondered why I Blogged, and times when I could not keep away from my Blog and it became my most treasured activity of the day.

I have shared thoughts and experiences with other Bloggers, learnt many things from people all over the world, and made a very good friend or two.

I have found new Bloggers through: Blogging groups such as Camera Critters, Sky Watch Friday and Thursday Thirteen, have followed links on other Bloggers Link Lists when an identity or Blog name caught my attention and have found other Bloggers while reading comments on other peoples pages, especially now everyone uses identity pictures. Its a bit like buying an album because you like the cover! Thankfully following cool identity pictures has turned out to be more beneficial than buying albums because I liked the cover!

I also occasionally spend a few hours pressing the next blog link at the top of the page and just keep going until I find a Blog I like. I found my first Blogging friend Coversgirl in Australia that way.

Some Bloggers have come and gone, some have stayed. I have been lucky enough to develop a wonderful friendship with the wonderful SiSTAR Kylita and during a visit to Canada next year even hope to make my way over the border to visit her and have that cup of tea we keep talking about!

Anyway, ranting aside it has been a while since I met some new Bloggers or went on the 'New Blog Hunt' so I have decided to resurrect a tag list I did a while ago and send it to some of my treasured Bloggers in addition to searching out some new ones.

For those new to tag lists/ memes this is how it works. Below I have posted a list of ten questions for you to answer with instructions for taking part. I will visit your blog and leave you a comment inviting you to take part and including a link back to this post. If you would like to take part all you have to do is create a post copying over the instructions and questions, including your answers, and then pass it on in the same way to 5 new Bloggers, whether Bloggers you know or new ones you find. Then come back here and tell me your list is up so I can visit and read it!

Last time I did this it turned out quite well and the list went round quite quickly all over the place.

So, this is the bit to copy if you are going to take part, copy all text within the speech marks:

"Instructions: Copy these instructions and the questions into a new post, post it with your answers, visit 5 new or known Bloggers and leave them a comment with a link to your relevant post inviting them to take part, and then return to the Blogger who invited you to take part and leave them a comment letting them know your post is up.
  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 player...it 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 10 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.)
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 player...it 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 represent both music type as well as artist. My 10 are: Porcupine Tree - The Incident, Bob Marley - Kaya, Stevie Ray Vaughan - Soul II Soul, Nick Harper - Miracles for Beginners, Michael Nyman - The Piano, John Martin - Solid Air, Leftfield - Leftism, Frank Zappa - Sheik Yabouti, Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood and Nina Simone - Sings the Blues.
  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 10 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.) Kenny Everett, Frank Zappa, Terry Wogan, Stephen Fry, James Stewart, Che Guevara, Susan Sarandon, Nina Simone, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart. That is such a tough one! I am not sure how everyone would get along but still I am sticking to my list!"
Ok, my taggees are: Bowledover, Claire, Kyle, Ladybanana, T-Bone, Scottish Nature Boy...and a few unknown to me that I thought might be up for it! Lesservoice, Rick, Sage & Womble.

However if you come across this post and want to take part please do! The more the merrier. Remember it is a bit of fun, you don't have to do it but its a great way to meet some new Bloggers! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Hot Damn!

Have you checked out the video on my previous post yet? Ok not to blow my own trumpet, after all the song is not mine - just one I wish I had written, but really seeing that much water, and knowing how hard it is for some people to get a drop, how can you not support this!

It is raining cats and dogs here as I speak. While I post people are dying of drought.

Please support this Blog Action Day!

Blog Action Day 15th October 2010

Well Blog Action Day is almost here again and this years topic is Water. I am starting to research my post and have chosen my particular topic which is going to be the oceans. The Blog Action Day website has lots or interesting information including suggestions for posts, banners to put on your blog, a registration page so that you can register your blog for participation, information on fund-raising, and a petition which indicates your support of the UN's efforts to improve water and sanitation for billions of people around the world. You can also sign the petition by clicking on the banner at the top left of my blog and it only takes a few seconds to complete.

I usually post the Blog Action Day You Tube clip to help promote the day here but frankly this years clip has some annoying music as an accompaniment (sorry guys but it really does) and so instead I thought I would post this, a splendid song written and performed by the folk musician Benji Kirkpatrick. The song is called Wallbreaker and is all about water. It is very thought provoking.

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