Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Monday 18 December 2023

Stocking up?

If you should happen to need six litres of vodka to get the party started..

Sunday 17 December 2023

Not so enthusiastic

 Random street art pops up just about anywhere

Friday 15 December 2023

Sunday 5 November 2023

Talk about "We interrupt your viewing.."

 It being a dank and rainy evening for Guy Fawkes night, cocooning with the curtains drawn, and the TV on - as it happens, a documentary all about those barrels of gunpowder underneath the House of Lords, and all the rest. The distant whooshes and booms of fireworks some brave souls were letting off despite the weather seemed a good long way away. Until some came very loud and seemingly very near. I wondered if it was someone on their balcony upstairs. but this morning, it appears that some bright (?) sparks (see what I did there) had decided to look for somewhere dry for their  fireworks - like the garage on the ground floor of this block.

Yes, the garage. Containing a fair number of cars - with petrol tanks.

Luckily we're all still here. And they probably didn't realise they were on CCTV. 

Whether we'll hear any more about it, who knows? I'd better check my insurance, but in the meantime here are some much safer fireworks from, well, some years ago

Monday 7 August 2023

On sale now!

 New arrivals at the paper shop (yum yum - or maybe not):

Monday 19 June 2023

And so to Glasgow

Shaking off my lethargy when faced with deciding on and organising some sort of trip away, and bearing in mind the nagging awareness of how little of my own country I've visited, I plumped for a few days in Glasgow.

The sometimes rather gloomy-looking grandeur of the architecture of its commercial and industrial heyday is lightened outside the Gallery of Modern Art by the (decidedly unofficial, in the eyes of the powers that be) mascot for the city, the Duke of Wellington crowned with a traffic cone (as is his horse).
George Square and City Chambers
The Duke

The city centre has plenty of less imaginative and more mundane commercial contrasts to hefty Victorian tastes:
The former Athenaeum on Buchanan Street
Sauchiehall Street

But not all that wealth and prosperity went into imposing architecture. Plenty has gone into good works, like the Kelvingrove Gallery and Museum, whose building rather out-turrets London's Victoria and Albert, and whose collections are, well, eclectic: from art (the "Glasgow Boys" among much else), to pre-history to modern machinery. Not far away one is into the university area, eventually arriving at the Botanic Gardens, where grand Victorian greenhouses were on this occasion hosting an orchid show

The Kelvingrove
No, it's a bar

Orchid show at the Botanic Gardens

This pensive pose makes me want to caption it
"Oh no, did I leave the gas on?"

I had time for a couple more museums: first, the Riverside Museum, primarily a museum of transport, with all the buses, cars and trams you could wish for, but it also includes a restored sailing ship, the Glenlee
The Riverside Museum and the Glenlee
We'll probably never have a definitive answer

And finally, the "Tenement House" (meaning, in Scotland, not a near-slum but just a different sort of housing and tenure - essentially a block of a smallish number of flats - though the flats would be a bit crowded for a family).  This is a fascinating slice of preserved history, having been left largely unmodernised by its last tenant, and lovingly brought back to life as an exhibit - and an opportunity for plenty of "Granny had one of those" moments.
Proper indoor plumbling - with "marbled" wash-basin
..and all the mod cons - of 1910 (the modern radiator is an afterthought for visitors)

Saturday 10 June 2023

Revelation of the year

It helps to feed window-boxes occasionally.

Thursday 1 June 2023

Ahem. Two years later...... how some people keep up the inspiration I don't know.  

As it happens, I did get back to Paris last year, but found the whole experience oddly flat. That might have something to do with spending half a morning of a weekend trip trekking out into a commuter town to a museum only to find it closed (my fault for misreading the website). Still, I suppose it counts as an adventure of sorts.

There was some visual diversion:

And I got to see the revamped Musée Carnavalet (though it still feels a bit old-fashioned and oriented to fine arts and crafts, with not much in the way of social history or the daily life of ordinary people, as one would rather expect of a city history museum):

Later in the year, a chance reference in a magazine article to "London's only stone circle" - which turned out to be almost local - had me walking up what seemed like one of the steepest streets in London to the aptly-named Hilly Fields, where there is... an undoubted circle of stones, with a sort of gateway, and a cracked slab marked with various dates. Not exactly Stonehenge or the Ring of Brodgar, or anything old - it turns out to have been a millennium project. But it is a pleasant park with some fine vistas of the leafier parts of south-east London and a café with nice cakes, so hardly a wasted trip.