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Showing posts from 2011

Lake Walk

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So, I managed to get in a day's walking between Christmas and New Year. Family commitments (playing with toys!) precluded any sojourn further afield, so I just nipped up to my local lake, about 30 minutes away, and walked round that. Teganuma is an interesting little lake. Well, actually not that little; at over 9 miles long, it's a nice 20-mile round. Perfect for a cool, breezy winter's day.


The thing about Teganuma is it's a bit of a success story. Not so long ago it was considered to be the dirtiest stretch of water in Japan, with virtually no aquatic life, and just the odd scabby water bird to make the look match the plight. And then the big clean-up began. Now the lake is teeming with fish, and flocked with myriad water birds feasting on that abundance. I plan to focus on the bird life in another post, and here have just included a few general views.


It's true that this boat must have seen better days, so too with the novelty helicopter boat on the left, now a g…

Gallery Day

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So, for the second time, Hana had a painting selected to be exhibited in the prefectural gallery, and we all trotted off the other day to check it out. Well I say all, but Ma-chan stayed at home nursing as it turned out, the dreaded norovirus (aka the shatkins diet!).


The gallery is in a nice area down near the bay and on a clear day (which it was), you can see one or two things of note. Anyway I took my camera; obviously to grab a couple of snaps of the painting itself, but I was also able to take some other photos too. Here they are:

Even from this distance it dominates everything (again, 1.5kg of sourdough pretzels goes to anyone who can tell me exactly where this photo was taken from).

I'm not really sure what this is. I've put bridge, but it isn't really. I guess it's a sculpture; I liked the shiny lines against the blue sky.

 Industrial artefact or another sculpture? It's difficult to say really, but I'd go with the former if pushed.

 I like the fact that he i…

Family Fortunes favourites

I used to love this show when I was younger. It didn't take much effort to watch, and was sometimes almost fun. It was fairly interactive in our house; at least when my dad was watching it was. There were some classic moments; occasional moments of outstanding inspiration to edge the game, but more often priceless moments of stunning error to let it slip away.


To be honest with you, I am in absolute awe of some of the actual responses collected below. How can you not admire examples of such outstanding natural stupidity.


You know the format: 
Name...


A way of toasting someone: "Over a fire."
An instrument you can play while walking in the street: "A cello."
A word beginning with Z: "Xylophone."
A slang word for a girl: "Slag."
An animal with horns: "A bee."
Something made of wool: "A sheep."
Something a train-spotter would have in his pocket: "A magnifying glass."
A way to prevent snoring: "Put a pillow over his fac…

Yvette's!

So, I just spent 10 minutes on hereI'm not sure my eyes are ever going to recover. At first I just thought it was a page of spam, but then I started clicking. Each one of those links opens to another masterclash of colours I've never seen anywhere before, never mind on a website: a whole new kind of impressive.

Football and me

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So, I was talking to the new guy at work the other day; just being friendly, and trying to make him feel welcome – you know the kind of thing – and we got on to the topic of hobbies. He asked me what my hobby was, and I told him; ‘football’ I said. Hobbies are a common topic in my line of work, but seldom has anyone’s follow-up question given me pause for thought. ‘Why?’ he said.

It wasn’t asked in a facetious, why on god’s earth would anyone want to be interested in having that pointless pursuit as a hobby, kind of a way (much as I might respond on hearing that someone’s hobby is trainspotting or baseball), but was much more a genuine enquiry into the genesis and nature of my connection with my sport. Sort of, what is it about football that you love? How did you come to be so entranced by the game? What started you down that road? All rolled into one delving word. Weighty questions indeed for a fan of any particular hobby (except train-spotting and baseball, obviously), but my answer …

Fading (Autumn) Light

The shadow crept across your face
Chasing the smile from your lips
From your eyes too
Though they never left their page
But you were there too
As we cleaved from the kindness
And found our heads thus bowed
It makes no sense to me
It makes no sense at all

When the summer ends
I'll be there When the sun is gone
I'll stay warm

The thought endured, as the loneliness Pulled and gripped me tight,
That the fire would return
To light your story again

Well I was there too
When the joy filled our hearts
And we shone with the sun

It makes no sense to me
It makes no sense at all

When the summer ends
I'll be there When the sun is gone
I'll stay warm

The light fades with the book not read
And the tale still untold
And tiredness pulls at our sleeves Though we try to shake it off

We are there too
Arm in arm and hand in hand Willing the pages to turn

It makes no sense to me
It makes no sense at all

When the summer ends
I'll be there When the sun is gone
I'll stay warm
When the summer en…

Space: the only frontier

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And a pretty huge one at that, as this amazing photo shows. Open it up in your picture viewer to get the full effect, and then just shrink away into insignificance.



Kind of related is this.Just move the slider to expand or contract your universe/perspective. Really cool.

Top 50 Classic Rock Songs

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So, I was talking about musical journeys in the pub with my friend Tony the other night. If ever there was a bigger fan of music than me, it's Tony. For me it's the usual, 'no music; no life', but for him, and for our perceptions of him, it's clearly, 'no music; no Tony.' I'm not saying he's one-dimensional, he's not, music is just the largest piece in his puzzle. The thing is, it's only a three or four piece puzzle.

Anyway, I've got a few years on Tony, so whereas the formative years in my music education are the '70s and into the early '80s, Tony's more of an '80s through to the '90s kind of a guy. He's got that post-punk, ska, new wave, indie, Smiths, guitar rock, Brit-pop vibe going on. As his starting point, I mean; he's not stuck there or anything. Well, not musically anyway. For me, it's more of a hard rock, glam rock, prog rock, electronica kind of a journey, and I am unashamedly, self-consciously e…