Sunday, 31 January 2016

Life on Mars

A touch of Hue and Saturation in Photoshop and Viola*

We transform the Jordan rift valley to the surface of Mars. Its worrying how parts of humble Planet Earth can look so alien in certain lights.

*Like a violin but it burns for longer

Friday, 29 January 2016

Culture shock

Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply travel to another type of life

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Don't understand 2

Here's something else I don't get. 

You know that thing? That thing you just found out about. The thing that makes you modern and up to date. Well, here's the news: It went out of fashion last week. 

Let me explain.

I just found out about the Hipster Beard. What a weird idea that is. A slick young urbanite sporting an old man's Lumberjack beard. Directly I discovered this new fashion I met one and I successfully made the mental connection, so I felt awfully up to date. Furthermore I did my Interweb research and I am now fully up to speed with beards and hipsters and all that modern London stuff.

So I am rather disappointed to read that Hipster Beards are suddenly so "last year" and I assume the next big thing, which will be even more weird is already upon us. Therefore I am still out of date.

And another thing.

Once upon a time a bag of nuts had "Bag of Nuts" and "Sainsburys" printed on the outside and you knew where you were. 

Then that was terribly yesterday because your bag of nuts was suddenly presented as "Old Albert's Organic Cashew Feast" and appeared in a glass jar tied with a nice piece of red and white Gingham cloth to reinforce its rural credentials. 

These days a bag of nuts has become a hip superfood, and like all things new it sports a single word title like "Bite" or "Glug". Why?

This terse title fad extends to those terribly modern coffee shops, restaurants and clothes stores that title themselves "Bean", "Price" or "Coat"

I assume this fashion will soon move on because, as you observe, I have finally noticed it.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Don't understand 1

As I get older there are more things I don't understand, and some of these things make me really quite irritated. 

Fear not Gentle Reader, I plan to deal with that subject at some length in the future.

For the moment, please consider this corner of our local Debenhams* store. On the right is the Click and Collect counter. I believe I understand that concept. You order an item on line and it will appear by magic in the store of your choice the next day. I suppose it allows you to avoid the endless wandering around the store searching for your item which will have been moved or hidden since your last visit.

However, on the left is a Click and Collect scan and pay point. What is that about? Find your item. Scan it. Pay for it, and arrange for Click and Collect from the counter just three paces to your right.

*Other overstocked bling filled spendathon experiences are available near you...

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Global Warnings

Well, here is a strange list of restrictions. 

I wonder what sort of establishment we are about to enter. We are in the Middle East.

It's a Monastery...

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

High Street

Here's a typical street scene.

Well it is typical if you happen to be in Jerusalem, the "city of peace". As you see, I managed with some effort, to avoid including anyone carrying an assault rifle and wearing a uniform. 

This is more difficult than it seems in this ancient Holy City. 

Welcome to the twenty first century

Monday, 18 January 2016


"Bling". Hmm. When did brash and shiny become stylish and modern? Whatever happened to British restraint and understatement?

Answers on a diamond encrusted post-it note please.

Friday, 15 January 2016


My short attention span dictates that I often get bored when shopping* and I soon divert my gaze to the shop fittings.They are an endless source of interest to me. 

Here we have a large graphic on a wall in a local department store. At first sight it might be Roman numerals, perhaps part of some giant clock. Maybe this is actually a structural part of the building.

But no: It is simply the word  "denim" placed high on the wall for no apparent reason. 

Still, what do I know?

*Obvously shopping for spanners is a completely different experience.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Normally I am wary of web reviews. You can find on-line reviews on everything from holidays to televisions from folks with a grudge to air or an axe to grind. So I think you should treat your average review with suspicion.

In fact there is the problem. You don't get average reviews. Who would go to the trouble of letting the world know that this book was "all right" or that rug was "not too bad"? No, you would only take up your keyboard to award the restaurant five stars (if you are in fact the owner) or one star (if you didn't fully enjoy your evening).

Well, having said all that I wish I had paid attention to the reviews of our last hotel. 

I had my suspicions when I saw the bed linen drying on the washing line.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Petzel Logic

Fear not, dear reader. The collected wisdom in this humble blog can be relied upon to guide you through life's many observations. Tread boldly, for I like to think one can follow my directions with confidence. 

For example, you will find a post where I dismiss the whole idea of the smart phone, and another where I explain what a good buy my Nexus 5 turned out to be.

I have told you that converting a lack lustre picture to monochrome is the last refuge of a scoundrel, and I have posted many excellent black and white images.

I sometimes post the same picture more than once but claim each to be original. 

So here is a load of old rope.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Affordable housing

For sale: 

A new development comprising about twenty affordable homes. These offer generous parking, stunning views and good local amenities.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Sense of scale 2

Rugged rocks on the west side of the Jordan rift valley.

Yes, there are people in this picture too.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Sense of scale 1

Normally I avoid including people in my landscape pictures. I like my countryside green and leafy and without cars (even though I drive everywhere..) 

However, sometimes including a person in a picture can create a sense of scale that would otherwise be absent.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Working with light 3

Here's an example of creating the image with careful use of light. I spotted the effect of the daylight on the part finished jigsaw puzzle and positioned myself to get the best reflection.

No jigsaw puzzles were dismantled in the making of this picture.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Working with light 2

Sometimes it is simply the contrast of light and shade that catches my eye.

Here we have a triptych of strange windows. I have no idea what the glazing is, but it is very attractive. The look of the material and the slant of the sunlight is the thing.

Something that you cannot capture in a picture is the feel of the place. 

When we were there, it was impossibly hot inside this West Bank church. The windows were open, the door was open but the air was still and humid. I imagine it was about 40 degrees in there. I looked around, took my picture and walked slowly outside in search of the slightest breeze.