Sunday, 1 August 2021

Art Trek: Andorian Piggyback

 As (some of) you seemed to like last month's Star Trek cut-outs, I have thoughtfully provided some more for this month's Art Trek. 
That'll teach you!
 Shush, you!  Now, where was I?  Oh, yes:  July's Trek Art Challenge:


The theme for this month's art challenge is my favourite colour combination: Blue and gold. Lifeforms or livery, technology or fashion, whatever your chosen subjects from the Star Trek Universe, blue and gold must be the featured or prominent colours. And I want to see that gold glittering and gleaming!

 Despite coming up with this month's Art Challenge theme, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do until rather late in the game.  I had an idea to do a map vaguely similar to the one I did back in 2019 - and even got as far as mocking up a little gold Oberth - but I couldn't (and still can't) envisage the finished article, so I moved onto something else.  Here's how far I got with the map:

 I might finish it off at some point, but I probably won't.  Anyway, you came for cut-outs, so here they are - as fashioned over the weekend of 24th/25th July - a pair of Andorians with a selection of gold ribbon that I've acquired over the years:

Thursday, 29 July 2021

Mooning Over a Series of Sun-Sparkling Sea Scenes, or something...

 It is high tide time I popped a post up lest you all think I'm going the way of Ms Scarlet-
Which wouldn't be a bad thing.  Quality over quantity, I always say!
Oh, sod off.  You don't always say that.  Who are you, Lord Hippo of Crit?
 Anyway, while the SubCs squabble, here are some seaside photos from the past month.  The first set - including the one above - are from 6th July:


An ominous sky over the slipway

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021: Reminder #1

The House of
Garden Photos Event 2021

will be held in November to give you chance to tend to your garden/window box/house plant/salad drawer and take plenty of photos, as well as brighten up an otherwise dull, cold month (at least in the Northern Hemisphere).

 A prelude to the event will take place on Hallowe'en which, just like last year, will be a showcase for your Terrifying Triffidery.  I know in last month's announcement I said I wanted a Parade of Poisonous Plants, but that could be quite limiting (unless you sent in photos of the poison's aftermath - faces in a grim rictus of pain, blotchy rashes, twitching limbs, corpses etc. etc.), so let's stick with the general Triffid theme and any poisonous plants that you care to submit will be an added extra.

 Now, for anyone new/forgetful/bewildered, the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event is an online horticultural extravaganza, conceived by (and for the first nine years, hosted by) the Infomaniac herself, The Very Mistress.  It is a place for you to show off part or all of your garden - or even just a single botanical specimen - to an appreciative Blogorati; to swap gardening tips/horror stories; or just take a virtual wander around someone else's garden, satiating your curiosity from the comfort of your own home.  There will be no judging or critiquing, and there certainly won't be a "winner" as the Garden Photos Event is not a contest! 

 All you have to do to take part is get your unruly bushes in order, trim those straggly overhangs, and mow that fuzzy patch, then set-to with your camera and send me your photograph/s - along with an enlightening blurb for each photo (or just one general, all encompassing description/story/rant) - by Thursday 28th October.  My blog email address is in my profile (just click the link on the right.  Or, for those of you who have my personal email, use that instead).  

 A Garden Photos Event history can be found here, along with links to previous Events leading up to 2020.  2020's gardens follow on from the link - just click on "Newer Post" at the bottom, or click here for a handy programme of events (and my garden).

 Oh, and if you have any Mystery Plant/s that you can't identify (or you can, but you just want to see if anyone else is able to) send in photos of them too, and we can all have a go at identifying them for you.  And by "we all" I mean mostly The Official Plant Spotter of the Device Mansion and its Extensive Witchdom, nay, All of Blogland Itself: Jon!

 Now, go forth and garden!

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Not The Device Mansion Gardens III

Some sort of big bromeliad flower-spike
 I think I've left you wondering at my choice of books, telly and music for long enough, so here are the promised photos from last Thursday's visit - my third - to the Old Vicarage Gardens at East Ruston.  (The first and second visits can be found here and here.)  

 As that feeling of dread and despair is telling you, yes, this is a VERY photo-heavy post.  I almost didn't do it as I could barely be bothered to choose the photos and then resize them all (not to mention smush some of the flower photos together so as not to really go overboard with images...).  Almost...

 Anyway, let's get on with it, shall we?  The sooner we start, the sooner it'll be over and you can return to your knitting/day-time drinking/uphill gardening (delete as appropriate).

Foxgloves for me...

... and Fuchsias for Jon.  This one has grown into a small tree.

It's so tall that even I have to look up to see up its skirts!

Saturday, 3 July 2021

"You love secrets. You want to marry secrets and have half-secret, half-human children."

 How has half the year passed by already?  How?!?

 Anyway, continuing on from the first quarter's update, here are the highlights of what I've read, watched and listened to from April to June:


Yes we have books on a chair.  Why bother reading, otherwise?

Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Lives of Dax, edited by Marco Palmieri
- Again. For the millionth time (although I didn't read every life, only my favourites).

Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding - Again, again.

Star Trek The Motion Picture: Inside the Art and Visual Effects, by Jeff Bond & Gene Kozicki - I found this to be a rather fascinating read, and I had no idea of the time pressures and obstacles the production was up against.  Although, I'd've liked a few more pictures.   Actually, I should be more specific as there are loads of cool pictures, it's just that many of them are quite small (in order to fit them in, I should think, otherwise the book would be the size of a car), and I would like to see even more photos of the V'Ger model (because I'd recently found some that I hadn't seen before online somewhere, so I had my expectations up).  All that being said, there are some gorgeous full & two-page spreads of photos and artwork that did not disappoint.

Star Trek: Living Memory, by Christopher L. Bennett - I love the 80s Star Trek movie era, Uhura, and Christopher Bennett's Trek novels, so I'd got my hopes way up for this one.  While it employed the exacting and precise writing style of his previous novels, easily recognisable characterisation, and an excellent use of continuity-weaving as always, Living Memory fell rather flat for me.  I couldn't "hear" Uhura (although the other characters came through easily) and I'd like her to have featured more than she does.  I thought the conflict conversations between Uhura and Shastri, and Kirk and Janith-Lau/Arcturian Warborn were too much like speeches - all civil and reasonable - and so I found them unrealistic and rather dull.  However, I did like the elephants (more please!), "meeting" Uhura's family, the look at Denobula, and the inclusion of Clark Terrell and the Reliant (from ST II), and Joel Randolph (from ST IV).

The Flight of the Pterosaurs, a pop-up book by Keith Moseley - Rather spare on text, but beautifully illustrated.  The pop-ups are rarely of the pterosaurs, strangely - instead they're of plants and insects in the scenes, mostly.  Although, the final pop-up is quite spectacular - two Quetzalcoatlus northropi soaring over a sauropod corpse.

Star Trek: Dwellers in the Crucible, by Margaret Wander Bonanno - I hadn't read this one* in a LONG time, and had almost forgotten how "grown up" this novel seems - mainly, I think, because the Enterprise crew barely feature in it.  The story is based around the kidnapping of a young human woman and her Vulcan would-be friend, and how they bond while in captivity.   Some of it is rather harrowing, and not everyone gets out unscathed (or even alive).

* You'll have to scroll right to the end if you click the link, and even then you're bound to be disappointed...

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Ow! My Purse!

"Can we come home with you?  No?  Ha ha!!  Too late - You shouldn't have left your car unlocked!"

I knew getting a trolley at the garden centre was a bad idea...


 I've been out today.  Yes, I know.  Anyway, I popped to Sainsbury's in North Walsham to get some essentials - you know, gin, tonic, chocolate etc. etc. - and then drove across town to Hadfields garden centre (the one with the tearoom - you remember!).

 I deliberately walked in without taking a trolley, but within five minutes, my hands were already full, so I doubled back and got one.  Ten minutes later my purse gave a resigned sigh and unclenched...

 These rather gorgeous triffids are the result: a couple of perennial foxgloves (yes, I know I've missed some of the flowering season, but I love foxgloves and couldn't resist these.  In fact, I used to have the pink one - Digitalis x valinii "Illumination Pink" - but the exceptionally cold winter did it in), two beautiful irises, a small Philadephus x lemoinei "Belle etoile" the small white flowers of which made Car smell heavenly on the way home, a Fatsia japonica "Spiderweb" (with the white splayed hand-shaped leaves), three small ferns, and an Acanthus spinosus.

 The green rosette of leaves at the front is a Digitalis parviflora (another foxglove which will have small chocolate-coloured flowers - I used to have one of these up my Back Passage!) that came home with me not from Hadfields, but from The Old Vicarage Garden in East Ruston.  Yes, I made a return visit there and there will be photos. 

 So many photos...

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Art Trek Catch-Up: Spinning Around*

 You know what we haven't had in a LONG while?

 Yes, my ham-fisted Star Trek fan art!

 I've just discovered that the last time I posted any  of my fan art was back in October 2020, so there's quite a bit of catching up to do.

From November/December's Star Trek Redux challenge:

Imagine there was no Star Trek as we all know and love. Imagine back in the 1960s someone approached you to design the look to this new show called: Star Trek. You are essentially given Matt Jefferies job. Now it does not have to be the 1960s Trek, in can be now. But no visual cues from all/any Trek can be used..(you know what I mean, the iconic stuff that makes things Trek)

This is as far as I got with it - a quick series of sketches and colour  swatches of a sari-inspired uniform with a left sleeve-mounted logo/mission patch based on the European Space Agency logo, and a name/department tag on the right breast.

Suddenly it was April and: Big In Japan

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Umbrella Weather

 It has been raining over the past few days.  A lot!  And completely coincidentally, while stuck indoors instead of being out in the garden or up the allotment, I have been rewatching the second season of The Umbrella Academy.

 I had almost forgotten just how good this series is, and it is made all the better for the fabulous outfits of The Handler (as played with great relish by the scene-stealing Kate Walsh on the right there), and the amazing music.  A selection of my favourites can be found below, after the trailer:

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Sunday Swim: Swimming with Jellyfish

 I had my first sea-swim of the season this morning.  A week earlier than last year, but nearly two weeks later than in 2019.  Other than sharing my swim with several comb jellies that were still lurking near the surface at the early hour (they usually return to the sea bed in the morning), I haven't got very much to say, so I'll just leave the handful of photos that I took and their captions.

Not a shooting star over the End-of-the-Line...

Saturday, 12 June 2021

An Ominous Start

 Another early morning, pre-work wander along the promenade yesterday began with a rather ominous sky on the horizon.  However, it apparently decided not to make landfall on the North Norfolk coast, and buggered off out to sea, maybe to pay Norway or Denmark a visit?

 Anyway, the drama was far from over as not only was there a false moon rising, but the Triffids were on the move...

This groyne caught me unawares.
It loomed out of the sea as I was admiring the sunlight sparkling on the gentle ripples.

No ships on the horizon today (and by "today" I mean yesterday)

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2021 Announcement

The House of
Garden Photos Event 2021

is being held here again rather than at The Very Mistress's - or anyone else's (because no one volunteered) - remember?


 I hope you've all made a start with the preparations to your extensive grounds/modest plots/back yards/window boxes/house plants/trays of cress, and have been taking photos - and will continue to do so - ready for the event of the year in November?
 I certainly have, along with Jon and The Madam Arcati.  Even Ms Scarlet has got her derrière into gear with a showing of her Big Pink Bush™.

 Anyway, here are a few little snippets from Hexenhäusli Device's gardens this afternoon.

 On the right is the lovely, dandelion-like flower of hawkweed (last seen at Castle Device, here), and below, my Gin Time corner (well, if Madam A can have a Wine Time corner, surely I can have an equivalent?), complete with G&T, of course.  I sat here earlier listening to the birds and the ever present hum of the bees and flies in the trees above (of which there is also a photo - taken from my vantage point).