Sunday, 30 December 2012

One Door

"When one door closes, another one shuts", that's what they say. Well, another year is over, when will it all end? (Mayan calendar joke there..)

I first recall the rush of time in my late teens when 1970 arrived. 1970! A whole new decade, we are no longer in the sixties. What a strange idea.

And ten years later when 1980 came along I realised just how quickly a decade passes. 

Time is short! Carpe Canem!

Well here is a door that is open although, as you see, the horse has already bolted.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

An Abstract

It seems to me that an abstract image is just an excuse for making something out of nothing, and then declaring it to be artistically significant.

So: Here is an Abstract made from two pictures that combine domestic with public, cold and warm, near and far.

In fact it's the neighbour's festive blue tree lights in their front garden combined with the decorations on our tree indoors. I think the meaning is pretty obvious.

Friday, 28 December 2012


Continuing the recent Ivy related theme, but in a less risky environment: 

Time and Ivy wait for no man, it seems.

There's everything in this shot: Contrast and counterpoint, rule of thirds, narrow depth of field, round and straight, cold and warm. 

Oh I say, this blog is such good value for money....

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Convenient picture

Always carry a camera. Whatever you are doing, wherever you go...

There's a nice little shot of ivy climbing up a frosted glass window that I would not have got if I hadn't taken my camera into the gents toilet in Wantage recently.

My case comes up next week.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Pastures New

Winter: The grass grows slowly, and the sheep have cropped the field to the ground. Time to move them to pastures new.

You thought that sheep were driven along by dogs from the back didn't you? 

Well, the combination of a quad bike behind and the rustling feed bag up front does the trick without all the doggy stuff.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Singing in the dark

The young lady in the picture is a friend of mine. She's singing in our church choir at the start of the annual carol service last night. Most of the church lights are switched off, and the choir stands under the tower with some rather poor overhead lighting.

I captured this picture with a thirty year old lens Tamron SP90 on the front of my Olympus E-M5 in these low light conditions by resorting to ISO 12800, and the results are really quite acceptable.

Hooray for old glass, hooray for new technology...

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Goodbye to all that

Well, after three years in our rural idyll, the company will be leaving the rented barn in a little village for a modern unit on a small trading estate. I'm sure the heating, ventilation and general building design will be much more appropriate to a technology company, but we must leave behind views like this.

We also leave behind the gentle rhythm of the agricultural year, closely observed.

The farm lane, the horse paddocks and the old Saxon Church make a classic almost perfect image of an English country village. Long may it remain unchanged.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Feeling the cold

Minus four degrees last night. Yet thanks to insulation the house stays above eighteen degrees inside with no heating overnight.

So: Do horses have heating? How do they survive in the winter?

Actually, I know the answer to this. Every night they are brought indoors to the barn or the stables where it is merely minus one degree.

Friday, 14 December 2012


I got a new collection of wood, frets and wires for my birthday last month...

Its a Tanglewood Sundance. Chosen because it felt most like my old and worn out Yamaha. Expensive things guitars...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Bones and sky

This is that time of year when woodland show its true shape. Outlined against the sky you see the bones of each tree. Thousands of twigs combine like some giant fractal to divide and sub divide the trunk to a feathery prominence.

I can't wait for the days to lengthen and the leaves to return, in the meantime we appreciate the bones in the sky.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Old Wisdom

Don't know your side valve from your starting handle? Worried about your Tappets? Should you be attracted to a Magneto? 

Fear not, all the motorist needs is cloistered away in this excellent tome.

Ah, those heady days of the remould tyre, Radweld and the feeler gauge. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Proper Job

Are you fed up with your job? Ever fancied yourself in a significant position? Do you yearn for some respect from your peers?

How about this: 

Official folder of trousers to the court of Emperor Franz Josef. 

No such job, you say. 

Well here's the proof O Doubting One..

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Old and new

The thousand year old church vs the three year old car. Long and Short Saxon work vs cunning Japanese technology. Stone vs steel and rough vs shiny. 

Where will it all end?

Friday, 7 December 2012

Money saving tips

They are giving the Army a week off this winter to save on heating costs. Note to foreigners: Don't invade us, we're not ready at the moment.

Here is another useful money saving scheme. In order to avoid buying the latest Land Rovers for UK special forces, we have managed to source some camouflaged Trabant cars from East Europe. 

Here are a couple on a recent exercise demonstrating the way a well disguised vehicle can blend into the landscape.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Information theory

It's amazing how much information we don't need. 

Take a line of text and cut it in two with scissors so you only see the top half of the letters. I bet you can still read it and extract the information it contained. That's the way our brains work.

Here's a picture that has had it's information distorted and disguised, yet we can still see what the subject is.

Actually, I think it might be an improvement on the original.

Sunday, 2 December 2012


Oh dear. 

It's that time of year again.I have ignored the approach of Christmas and all its associated humbug all through October and November but now the Yuletide clamour cannot be put aside.. 

Even my patent Christmas-cancelling headphones can't keep the festive muzak out any more.

Get out there and buy things. It's important. Apparently.