Friday, 28 February 2014



What a shame, but castle Drogo was shut when we went there. There is a strong Lutyens influence in the design, the decor and the garden. 

He is a hero of mine, but I suspect a proper examination of the castle will have to wait for another visit one year.

Meanwhile I'm sure Lutyens had something to do with this garden gate:

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Aah. The smart phone: Linchpin of modern society. They come with much larger touch screens these days, and these new models can be a tight fit in your jeans. 

Furthermore, you spend all day wiping the finger marks off the screen, only to replace them moments later.

So: Here is my new invention.

Here's a pair of jeans with an extra external pocket sized to fit your Nexus 5*. So far so good. 

However, the pocket is made of screen cleaning cloth, so you also have a place to wipe the screen that is made of exactly the right material.

My idea. My patent...

*Other smartphones are available, some of them made by Apple apparently.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Fool the French

Ah, the passenger ferry 'twixt Teignmouth and Shaldon.

This has plied its trade for hundreds of years and still braves the uncharted waters across the Teign on a daily basis. It does this despite the fact that a perfectly good bridge has now been built close upstream.

After the Napoleonic Wars we painted fake gun ports on the crafts. Apparently our foes will mistake this for a Man 'O War and this will frighten Johnny Frenchie off if he dares to sully our coast.


Monday, 24 February 2014

Brow ridges

One of science's nicer theories concerns Neanderthal Brow Ridges.

Apparently it was proposed that these guys developed the ridges as a result of sustained frowning. 

This in turn was caused by the effort of learning to walk on two feet rather than all fours.

Friday, 21 February 2014


A Victorian gentleman's writing desk.

Here we have all the essentials a well to do man of letters should have. A carved inkstand, a pile of correspondence, a quill pen, and an Amazonian blow pipe and a small supply of curare poison.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Three Geezers

I'm not really one for street photography. All that urban realism and in your face camera work, but there are times when you see something you just have to snap.

Teignmouth on a slow day.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014


The lone twisted tree, caught in agonised counterpoint with the sky.

It is a standard photographic cliché, and yet we must photograph one when we see one. 

In fact this Dartmoor example is subject to a local by-law whereby photographers that fail to take an artistic picture are liable to an on the spot fine of several pounds.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


When all the libraries have closed. When the last paperback has crumbled away, what will remain?

Will 21st century society be defined by the collected wisdom contained in all those texts, tweets and emails? Or blogs for that matter.

Oh dear.

Monday, 17 February 2014

A la Ronde

A quirky National Trust property near Exmouth. Much recommended - small and perfectly formed with more nooks and crannies than a nooky cranny thing.

Here's a nook: The infinite library.

And check out the fantastic windows..

Sunday, 16 February 2014


Down in the south west. Avoiding the bad weather this week.

So far so good...

Yes, I suspect it is going to pour down for the rest of the week, so we will make the best of today I guess

Thursday, 13 February 2014


So, it's February and the wettest wet season on record. 

There are floods everywhere, especially amid the well to do voters in the lower Thames Valley. The Government is in disarray and members of the public are appearing on TV announcing that "it's disgusting" (which is always a bad sign).

Meanwhile, I think these grapes are past their best. 

It is indeed disgusting.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Neck this

Don't try it at home, but I'm going to neck eight cups of tea today. 


Seriously, don't try this yourselves. It's taken me years of training building up to this level. You have to pace yourself and start early in the morning.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Man Flu

I don't believe it. Off work with Man Flu again.

I had Man Flu a month ago. How can a stupid little virus make you feel so lousy? Well, there's only so much of this a person can take. So, I decided to settle down with an Adult Magazine. 

Here's a picture: National Geographic.  Magazines don't get any more grown up than that...

Friday, 7 February 2014


What is this? I hear you ask, dear reader.

Well, these are homes for Solitary Bees. I'm not so certain what solitary Bees will make of living so close together. They may demand detached houses. We shall have to see how it works out this summer.

The solitary bit reminds me of that famous poem.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er hills and vales
When all at once I saw a crowd:
A host of golden Daffodales.

Hmm. Maybe Wordsworth was having an off day when he penned that.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Urban Myth

Urban myth. Hmm. Why do you never get a Rural Myth? Is this because city dwellers are more gullible? 

I mean you must be slightly weak in the head to drive an hour and a half up the M25 every day to work in London.

A concrete solution in Hampshire.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


When you run out of tricks, it's all about lighting. Here we are in an empty church with an overhead spotlight, a pocket camera and a toy lens.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


The North Door. 

Built by Normans* - bricked up by Victorians. Photographed by a Viking.

*Why were they all called Norman? Answers on a tapestry please.

Monday, 3 February 2014


I won something:

I won a camera lens in an Olympus competition, probably due to my considerable awesomeness*. Here is the lens. It's a very plain and simple triplet so small you use it as the camera body cap. It's a fun lens, if you see what I mean.

So, now lets see what I can produce with this most basic of optics.

It turns out to be not too bad at all. I suspect Olympus couldn't bring themselves to market a truly bad lens and so restricted it with a fixed aperture of f8. The result is good depth of field and reasonable sharpness in the centre of the image.

Here's an example shot. This grainy monochrome image is courtesy of an art filter in my Olympus Pen camera. 

Art filters are not a feature I've ever used before, but it seems oddly appropriate with this particular lens.

*OK, I wrote a poem extolling this little plastic wonder lens.