Sunday, May 22, 2016

Cockchafer


 Ha! I thought that might get your attention. And, no, this is not related to Friday night/Saturday morning's mirror-related goings on. Now prepare to be disappointed.

 The cockchafer, also known as a May bug or doodlebug (and here in Norfolk as a chovy, mitchamador, kittywitch, and midsummer dor), is a large flying beetle whose adult form (imago) emerges around this time of year.

 I expect your minds are out of the gutter now, so take a look at the kittywitch that landed next to me on one of my geraniums as I sat in the sun drinking a coffee.

I think this is a common cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha).
The Melolontha genus belongs to the scarab family

Saturday, May 21, 2016

!depparT


!tarD

.sneppah siht nehw ti etah I
.ecitcarp fo tuo yllatot m'I dna ,tnedicni tsal eht ecnis sraey enin revo neeb s'tI

* K N O L C *

?dnuor yaw gnorw eht esackoob eht tfel ohW .regguB

...thgir ,hO

s'eh snaem hcihw ,erehwyna eMrorriM dnif t'nac I .emit emos eb yam I ,kooL
.nwot eht no thgin a retfa erehwemos gnirevocer ylbaborp


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Stroll II: Wildflowers of May


 As I'm very tired (had a late night last night - up until midnight, then rudely awakened at 5am by a very loud pheasant!), this won't be a very wordy post. Instead, there's loads of photos of the wildflowers I passed on my rather circuitous walk to The Mother's allotment to pick rhubarb.
 As you'll be able to see from the map at the end of this post, I walked along Smallhopes Hill down towards Northrepps, then up Toll's Hill to the allotments, and then back through Overstrand towards home along the old dismantled railway which skirts the base of Smallhopes Hill.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's utterly revolting to behold*


 Hello! Welcome to my fifth "books read this year" update. This post covers books 22 to 27. As well as the ongoing re-read of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "relaunch", there are a couple of new books, and a couple of old, pre-read books.
 As before, the "blurb" or publishers' description is in italics, and I've added some observations and/or background of my own below.


22. Bertie the Balloon at the Zoo, by Kim Robinson & Aneta Neuman (2016)

 Have you met Bertie the Balloon?


 He's big. He's red. He's squishy. He's round.
 With Bertie there's always adventure to be found.

 Follow him through the highs and the lows.
 His encounters depend on where the wind blows.

 It's the zoo that challenges Bertie today.
 Crocodiles, monkeys and tigers all get in his way.

 But, even through trouble, Bertie keeps striving on.
 Believe in yourself. Never give up. Be brave and carry on.

 I bought this book for Babyzilla's birthday. As luck would have it, my friend Kim's latest book—this one had just been published, so that was one present sorted. I also got a copy for a friend's little girl, while I was at it. And you can purchase a copy (or several) for a little monster darling in your own life by clicking this Facebook link and messaging Kim, or going to one of the UK stockists. And, Bertie the Balloon is now available on Amazon!
 And don't forget the first book: Bertie the Balloon at the Fairground


Monday, May 09, 2016

Broom. Almost...


 If you can ignore the Harry Potter-ness of this clip, this is quite a good indication of what flying a broom is really like:



 
Although reaching terminal velocity-like speeds on Broom is never going to happen.

 Not least because of how one's cheeks flap in the wind!

 
First seen on io9.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Eye for an eye


 In a rare moment of socialisation, I went out for dinner last night with a few friends. Having primped and preened-
Not that it did any good!
Quite.
 Anyway... Having primped and preened, I gathered my wallet and phone as my friends pulled up outside the house castlette in their car. Squinting slightly in the dying rays of the sun, I walked down the driveway and waved as I approached the car. Just as I was about to step off the pavement, movement caught my eye. I turned and instinctively ducked as something dark and feathered arrowed through the air where my head had just been. Shit!

 Beaky!

 The little bastard let rip a shriek capable of curdling blood as he zoomed upwards and away from his attempted eye gouge-icide.
 I quickly got in the car and shut the door. My friends had witnessed the terrifying spectacle and were getting over their shock of Beaky's brazenness. They knew about Beaky, of course, but I don't think they quite believed my tales of Beaky's vindictiveness and sheer bloody-minded violence until then.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Green Men of Norwich Cathedral


 "Off topic but have you ever posted about the "green men" of Norwich Cathedral?" The Very Mistress MJ asked back in March.
 My answer then was "no", but with the advent of a new camera, and half an hour to spare yesterday morning once I'd arrived in Norwich (for an appointment), I made a slight detour to the cathedral (last seen here in the company of Piggy & Tazzy) to bring you—but mainly The Mistress—these photos.
 I haven't had much time to research the Green Man, but perhaps The Mistress may be able to answer any questions you may have in the comments (if she has the time—and the inclination—that is)?

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge II


Shouldn't we all be doing
something else right now?
(First seen here)
 This second edition of Not The Infomaniac 2016 Book Challenge brings not a selection of books from over the Cusp-
 Because we were banned from the Cusp library!
For an incident involving a 4H pencil, a small frog, and a gesture that could be classed as obscene in certain cultures!
That gesture was taken wildly out of context!
 Yes, but you meant it though, didn't you!
Only a little bit...
 Anyway. Enough of that. As I was saying, there are no books from over the Cusp this time. Instead, may we present a book meme that first graced our hallowed blog nearly ten years ago.
 We've updated the answers (all from The Host), but you can see the original here, if you're curious.
 Right. On with the show:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Beaky's back!


 Gah! Beaky's seen us. Run for your lives!

 If you've been fortunate enough not to cross paths with this unspeakable imperialist monster, his Pest-of-a-Thousand-Decibels wife, their various nefarious offspring, not to mention their clones, then your luck's run out.

 Brace yourselves everyone. The Tippi Hedren Imperative is now in full effect!
 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Witch Piercer of Smallhopes Hill


 I've already introduced you to the Witch Wringers, but there are more horrors than just those infernal devices (no relation, all though this one is) on Smallhopes Hill in Overstrand. May I present: the Witch Piercer.
 This ghastly torture instrument is basically a compression coil spring that was released into the accused witch upon judgement during the witch trial. 
 The Witch Piercer originated from the witchfinder's traditional pin, but after a couple of centuries of just annoying suspected witches by poking them with a small dressmaking pin, it evolved into the despicable gut-twisting mechanism you see before you. Only a lot less rusty.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Oatcakes from Chatsworth


 This weekend just gone, Inexcuseable and a couple of her friends went to Derbyshire to visit Chatsworth House, and she brought back... Oatcakes!
 
 These oatcakes are not the horrid, dry, biscuity affairs that originated in Scotland. No. These are Derbyshire oatcakes: a pancake-like form that must be fried, ideally in lard, but I suppose some sort of vegetable oil will do if one can't stomach rendered animal fat...


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekend Wildlife


I had to remake this sigil as it had been
completely destroyed
(see 2nd & 3rd photos from the 29th March set)
 Just a quick photo-post of some of the wildlife I saw from afar on this afternoon's drift*.
 These were taken with the new camera - I took it with me in an effort to try and get used to it - and have been reduced in size considerably, as they were absolutely gigantic! If I'd used Phone, all these creatures would have been tiny, blurry blobs in the distance (which is why the previous two or three years' photos on this blog are mostly of things I can get very close to without scaring them off - like flowers, buildings, and the like)!