Thursday, 2 July 2020

Art Trek: Aefvadh

It's the beginning of another month, so you you know what that means: Star Trek time!

In Times of Crisis…

As we’ve all seen, 2020 hasn’t been such a stellar year up until now. We’ve got a pandemic on our hands, social unrest, a climate that’s going haywire… The list goes on.

But we’re here for something else. Something optimistic. Something better! June is Crisis month, and I ask of all of you, should you choose to tackle it like it’s nothing, to show us what the Federation does in times of crisis. Show us the heroics, the sacrifices, the lone ship sent to rescue the Kobayashi Maru that started it all.

In short: show us the best that the species can get while helping each other!

 This theme, as set by the winner of May's art challenge, had me stumped for the first week or so.  I didn't want to depict a crisis - I didn't want to deal with fighting, and sacrifices, and destruction even if someone (or some people) were going to turn on the heroics and effect a daring rescue.  However, I didn't want to sit this one out, either, so I started to think about the big crisis events that had rocked the Federation, wondering if I could somehow get around the actual event itself.
 The first thing that came to mind were the various Borg incursions (of 2366/67, 2373, and 2381), but they seemed unremittingly grim.  Then the 2387 destruction of Romulus popped into my head - as briefly shown in the 2009 Star Trek reboot movie.  But it was the evacuation prior to destruction - as alluded to in the latest Star Trek series, Picard - that got my attention.  I thought I might portray the Federation in a more positive light than the cynical, distrustful, self-centred organisation as seen in (the really quite loathsome) Picard.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event - Reminder #1

The House of
10th Anniversary Garden Photos Event

is being held here rather than at The Very Mistress's this year.  Remember?

 We hope that you've all been pulling your green fingers and thumbs out, because the event of the year is only about three months away.
 Yes, I've almost settled upon when it will take place - I'm thinking the end of September-beginning of October.  That should give you plenty of time to get your luxuriant back passages (Jon), or overgrown jungle (Dinah), or Big Pink Bush™ (Ms Scarlet) in order.  Or to at least take some carefully angled photos so as to crop out all the crap - a bit like I have done, below:

 And remember, there will be a new section of the event this year: Terrifying Triffidery - a place for photos of monstrous plants or otherwise ordinary plants that have been photographed from odd angles/close up/while drunk which make them look otherworldly.  So, get inventive/within-2-metres/drinking and get that camera out!
 I may also introduce a "Guess The Plant" quiz, but we'll see if I can be bothered nearer the time...

 Oh, and unlike at The Very Mistress's, there will be no fat, naked, old men or women lurking in the undergrowth.  Sorry. 
 If we're lucky, Eddie Cibrian (or someone of his ilk) may pop by, though...

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Saturday Swim: First of the season

 I had intended to take a dip in the North Sea at the end of May, but never did for one reason or another (probably for the best, as it was flipping freezing - I had paddled a few times, though...).  So, today was the first time this year that I've thrown myself in the drink.  And very pleasant it was too.  If flipping freezing still!

Friday, 12 June 2020


No, it's not the over-exuberant release of a frustrated teenager (or The Host) 

Or snow.
Yes, I know it's a possibility.  The Great British Summertime does like its little jokes...

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Art Trek: Princessium and the Po*

 Yes, it's time for another Star Trek art post!

 My starship arboretum got the most votes in April's art challenge, which meant I got to choose the theme for May.  And here is that theme (as approved by Captain Janeway's Queen Arachnia on the right there):

133 years from now, Princess Kaitaama will ascend to the throne becoming First Monarch of the Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime.  This anti-time anniversary has inspired the theme for this month's Fan Art Challenge: Royalty!

I'd like us to explore Star Trek's links to royalty - however tenuous they may be.  People, places/palaces(?), objects, alien assimilators, starships... All of these and more feature in the Star Trek Universe.
And if you're not fussed by TNG's Princessium (symbol Di - yes, really!), DS9's Queen's Gambit, VOY's right royal knockout: Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People - all of which I'm sure Daughter of the Fifth House (etc. etc.) Lwaxana Troi, would have something to say about from her state room on board a certain Sovereign-class starship - then feel free to come up with your own Royal Trek idea.

Here are the rules for the competition:

The artwork you submit should be created during the month of the challenge
Only one final image can be submitted (although it may contain multiple views)
Your final entry should be posted in this thread (although dedicated WIP threads are appreciated)
And if you don't follow the rules: Off With Your Head! (sorry - I had to get a TAS reference in)

As always, you have until the end of the month - i.e. midnight (or thereabouts) Sunday 31st May - to come up with a Right Royal Star Trek something.

* as in Po (had to get a DSC reference in, too!)

 Despite coming up with the theme, I didn't actually have an idea for what I was going to do.  In fact, it wasn't until mid-May that inspiration finally struck after someone posted a picture of our current queen in a starfleet uniform.
 The British Royal Family do love dressing up in the fanciest of uniforms, so I did a hasty little sketch of 23rd century British Royal couple, HRH Prince Nikesh & HRH Princess Ayonparine (Andorian) decked out in their Starfleet dress uniforms. 

23rd century British Royal Family members HRH Prince Nikesh (Human) & HRH Princess Ayonparine (Andorian) with Royal Yacht HMY Britannia (Oberth-class starship) - Star Trek

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Tunnel Forking

 Just over a month ago, dear Mago rather bluntly asked if I had ever penetrated a tunnel.  Once I'd gotten over the shock of such an indelicate question, I cast my mind back and did actually remember a foray into a rather overgrown and skewed underpass...

 On a day drift back in April 2016 I found myself at the easternmost of Overstrand's two remaining whole railway bridges (there are at least two more topless bridges further west).  I made some half-arsed comment about posting photos of this bridge at a later date, but never did.  Until now.  Aren't you lucky?!

Overstrand skewed railway bridge, Norfolk
Here we have the aforementioned overgrown bridge at OS grid ref TG 25300 40144 
(or thereabouts)

Overstrand skewed railway bridge, Norfolk
The bridge's lower portions as seen from the coast side (complete with graffiti)

Overstrand skewed railway bridge, Norfolk
And the upper portions in which one can make out the bridge's skewed nature


EDIT 07/06/2020 14:45 - The rain finally stopped, so I went for a quick drift up to the bridge.  Here it is, from North face around to the South face:


 Anyway, back to the present (or at least the very recent past) with some photos from my blog-absence.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

A Perfectly Cromulent Excuse

I know I haven't been around much lately.  I've been dealing with something...

Show yourself, whoever you are!

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Secrets and Rocher: A Delilah Smythe Debacle

 Desperate for some good publicity after the "Marmalised Marmalades" BBC swearing scandal in 1988, diabolical deviant, Delilah Smythe, approached equally desperate (and weak-willed) Royal, Prince Edward, with a "fool-proof" idea: an It's A Royal Knockout rip-off substituting the mid-ranking royals with celebrity chefs.  She'd even roped in Jane Asher, the Swedish Chef and Martha Stewart as team leaders.

A Royal Rocher wrapper??
 However, at a royal charity dinner, the Queen, in no uncertain terms, put the kybosh on Edward's involvement, and without Edward, Delilah's idea was doomed.  As fate would have it, while on her way to pilfer some cutlery during the dinner, Delilah just happened to overhear something she shouldn't when she stooped to pick up a discarded Rocher wrapper near to a hushed conversation between Michele Ferrero, philanthropist and owner of Ferrero SpA, and Dame Christopher Biggins, Official Pantomime Dame of Great Britain and the Commonwealth realms.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Life on the Embankment (with Bonus Beach Scenes!)

In a "Where's Waldo?" type affair, can you spot the deer and three galliformes in this photo?

 We're revisiting the embankment behind Hexenhäusli Device as, since the last time it featured here, I managed to snap some of its visitors and passers through.
 Above and to the right, from 1st May, are embankment regulars: a muntjac deer, the big, bronze cock pheasant, and the pair of partridges (of the red-legged variety).

 From the 30th April (below) is a juvenile sparrowhawk that I just managed to snap as it took off from its perch.


Thursday, 30 April 2020

Infomaniac Garden Photos Event Announcement

This is a public service announcement!

The House of

has announced a change of venue for its
10th Anniversary Garden Photos Event

And that venue is right here on this very blog!

 To say that I am honoured and delighted would be an understatement.  That The Very Mistress chose me to be the host for this prestigious event-
Some choice.  No one else volunteered!
Shhhhhhhhhhh!  That's neither here nor there.
Yes, let him have his moment.
What?  Why are you agreeing?
 When you lot have quite finished?!  Now.  Where was I?
 Oh, yes: this prestigious event.  Um...  Line?
You were going to say something about how grateful you were that
The Very Mistress couldn't be bothered to get off her quince an-
 I most certainly was not! Don't listen him, Very Mistress!  He's been afternoon drinking.  Again...
So have you!
 Yes, but it affects you more because you're smaller.  Besides, I'm only on our second glass...

 Oh, for christ's sakes...  Let's have some Q&As and photos while those two bicker amongst themselves:

Some sort of clematis on the paysho*
What does this mean?  What's going on?  Where am I?

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Art Trek: Into The Arboretum...

 It's getting near to the end of the month, and with no other post even remotely near finished, I am going to subject you all to Star Trek art!  Although, hopefully this time, you might not skim through hurriedly as it's not overly Star Trekky.
 Oh, and my pikhmit/pixmit cards won last month's Trek BBS Art Challenge, which meant that I got to choose the theme for this month's challenge:

It is Spring!*  Warmer weather and longer days bring new growth, spring flowers, and the promise of brighter days ahead.  Inspired by a weekend spent out in the garden, the final episode of ST: Picard, and recent Trek art by Donny, ashefivekay, and Dryson, I've decided on a floral theme for this month's art challenge.

I'd love to see your interpretations of flowers & plants in Trek, whether it be a look inside a starship's arboretum, the plantlife of a Trek race's homeworld, a Kressari botanical cruiser, a bunch of flowers given by one crewman to another, or something else.  Whatever it is, make it bright and colourful!

* In the northern hemisphere, at least...

 Right.  On with the show:

Sunday, 19 April 2020


Eucomis comosa "Sparkling Burgandy" seedlings
from seeds sown a couple of weeks ago.
Full size plants last seen here.
 There are no clouds in the sky.  Not one!  Nary a wisp nor contrail.  What is one to do on a sunny day like this?
 Well, I have spent some of it on the allotment clearing up and sorting out after well-meaning brothers-in-law weed-killed most of my foxgloves (!!!) and dug up the rest (@!#*!!) to plant shitting old potatoes.
 Anyway, before we get to the allotment photos - because of course there are allotment photos - the other day I remembered about all those seeds I collected from East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens back in September: they were still wrapped up in black paper on my book shelf!  Kicking myself for forgetting about them, I hurriedly sowed them.  Yesterday I noticed the first little sprouts pushing through the compost, so here are photos to prove it, along with some of previously sown seeds which are now seedlings/plants.

Crinum (or the like) sown around the end of 2019