Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Year of the Cormorant Coven Awards

Don't go expecting any actual awards - see the following post for details

January : The year began by looking out from the Lighthouse; and due to a complete lack of preparation, we subjected you to some Old Art, then drank Black Shuck Gin to get over it; it was Cold in Cromer; we celebrated LX's birthday; and had a Wednesday Walk to Overstrand.

February : A Weekend of Walks in Trimingham, Northrepps and Frogshall started the month, which was followed by the Be All but not the End All; we showed you the creepy Witch Wringers of Small Hopes Hill; Chrysaor came for tea along with an unwelcome guest; we took a stroll on Overstrand beach; and dreamed of 13 Little Dolls.

March : We shared some books exclusive to the Cusp in Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge; celebrated Ms Scarlet's birthday; took a trio of Weekend Walkies; and helped to celebrate The Very Mistress MJ's 10th anniversary of blogging with The House of Infomaniac 10th anniversary Tour.

April : Various maps were brought out to illustrate our walks; our musical leanings were brought forth in a meme from Mistress Maddie; a new camera unveiled weekend wildlife; we were almost poked on Smallhopes Hill; and that vile little stinker Beaky returned.

May : Green Men abounded in Norwich cathedral; Beaky almost had my eye out; warmer weather brought forth wild flowers; MirrorMe made a nuisance of himself; there was an incidence of cockchafing; and we ended up on the other side of the hedge.

June : June saw the first of our take on Ms Scarlet's Books on Chairs post; cupcakes vs cockatrice; some garden photos; Apocalypse Oven's more evil twin featured in a short film; and we celebrated Princess's birthday by kissing a frog.

July : Due to busyness and interlopers from France, we only managed one post in July, and that was just a recap of what we'd been up to at the end of June!

August : After seeing off the pesky French, the blog almost became a photo album with five consecutive posts that served as dumping grounds for photos taken in July; we avoided being sucked into the jet intakes of the Red Arrows; plus, there was very almost nudity!

September : September saw weeing cormorants and rubbish Creepycous-cous; Sunday Music; Frogbot-related angst; my 900th post and more photos of the North Norfolk countryside.

October : Amongst yet more photos along the coast were the third Infomaniac Book Challenge (headed up by a wet-trunks clad Jeffrey Hunter); forty things about me; a Star Trek horror novel art challenge; some real books that weren't on chairs; and a ropey-looking Hallowe'en marrow and pumpkin.

November : The fourth Infomaniac Book Challenge started off the month, followed by a desperate recap of televisual viewing not aided by Evil Edna; that little git Beaky made a showing; a stroll along the seafront; and we answered four questions.

December : After a book update, we unleashed a barrage of photos from a beach walk to Sheringham and back; a Vulcan Winter Solstice greetings card was revealed; and the fifth and final Infomaniac Book Challenge revealed more about The Very Mistress than she would probably like us to know!


 Yes, this is unfinished, but I've done my bit. If the Host and the SubCs are too bloody lazy to do their bits, then bugger them!

Monday, 26 December 2016

Yowe skinnie owlde Snatch-pastry*

  Hello! We hope you all had a lovely Yuletide, Christmas, Winterval, whatever?

  I'm just squeezing in a final "books read this year" post - one without a chair in sight, although, as you can see by the photo, it does have a Christmas theme even though none of the books are Christmas-related.
 I'm a little off the target of 60 books this year (to beat last year's 59), but it's quality not quantity that counts, right?


51. Strata, by Terry Pratchett (1981)

 The excavation showed the fossilized plesiosaur had been holding a placard which read. 'End Nuclear Testing Now'.
 That was nothing unusual.
 But then came a discovery which did intrigue Kin Arad.
 A flat earth was something new...

 Last read back in 2010, here

Friday, 23 December 2016

Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge V

  Good news, everybody! I was a runner-up in the "Guess The Mistress's Menstrual Cycle" competition during the 10th anniversary celebrations of the House of Infomaniac and - finally! - my runner-up prize has arrived, just in time for the final entry in the Not The 2016 Infomaniac Book Challenge.

ξ : The Very Mistress MJ Diaries ("A Friend" Publishing)

  No sooner had the (poorly) gift-wrapped book dropped through my letterbox, than I tore it open and plumped myself down in the recliner to read it (peeling brussels sprouts be damned! - I don't like them anyway). I ploughed through The Very Mistress MJ Diaries in no time, devouring every little tidbit that the author had scraped together from ten years of grubbing around in The Mistress's trash can. These candid images offer revelations into the life of The Mistress!

  As I don't have time to go through it all with you, nevermind scan the choicest pictures, I shall leave you with the excerpts from amuze-bouke.cusp (the Cusp's answer to Amazon):

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Winter Solstice

  It's the Winter Solstice today. At 10:44 UTC, to be precice.
This scene from Star Trek III: The Search For Spock
will become clear later in the post
[image via]
  As I'm sure you all know, the solstice occurs when the North Pole is tilted the furthest away from the sun (23.5 degrees). This means the Northern Hemisphere experiences its shortest day, while the Southern Hemisphere basks in its longest day.
 However, don't go thinking that the solstice is always on the 21st December. Due to the wobbly old Earth and our not solar-accurate clocks, the solstice can occur as early as the 20th and as late as the 23rd December (although occurrences on those dates are rare - it's more usual on the 21st and 22nd). 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

These are some of our...

(created via)

Just trying something out for our end of year review.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Landscapes in the black mirror are closer than they appear...

  I took 150odd photos during my beach walk on Saturday, and even after whittling them down, I still had 59 that I wanted to display. I managed to use three of them in Beach Borg, 39 in the last post, and omit a further nine, so here are the remaining eight - all of which have something in common.


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Just a couple of cormorants

  So, here it is: photographic evidence of yesterday's six mile foray along the beach from Cromer to Sheringham, taking in East and West Runton along the way (oh, and the six miles back again).
  As I walked west along the prom(enade) after taking some photos on the pier, I realised that I'd never (as far as I can remember, anyway) been on the west beach!


As always: Click to embiggen! 

The Hotel de Paris on top of the cliff above the pier (with Cromer Church tower behind it)

The Pavilion Theatre at the end of the pier
(not right at the end, though, as that's where the lifeboat station is)

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Beach Borg

  Amongst the sand, sea, chalk, and seaweed of West Runton beach, lurks an infiltrator from that race of unfeeling, uncaring, cybernetic perfectionists: The Borg.

  This one appears to be only a probe, which probably crashed here in Victorian times - just look how steampunk it is! But don't let appearances fool you. Borg can lay dormant for decades, if not centuries, just waiting for someone to get close enough to warrant a good poke with their assimilation tubules!

  This sign from West Runton beach is clearly missing a yellow warning triangle instructing beachgoers to Beware of old-timey Borg!

  Who knew North-Norfolk's beaches could be so dangerous?!

  Well, you can judge for yourself how dangerous they are in my next post which will be crammed full of photos from today's walk along the beach from Cromer to Sheringham and back.


Thursday, 1 December 2016

I carry the seed of Chatogaster*

 Well. Here we are again with another books-read-in-the-last-few-weeks post.
 I'll warn you now: you might find something a little... odd with this post. I hope it doesn't leave you feeling uncomfortable and wrong...

 Who left this whip here? And what's that laying on the rug?!

::pokes prone horse::

 It's not dead, is it?


46. Mindbenders, by Nicholas Fisk (1987)

  'Heads down, eyes glare, Mindbenders! Glass Move!' she commanded. She kept her eyes on the ants.

  Mindbending starts off as just a game for Vinny and Toby... until the ants arrive, that is. At first the formicarium - a gift from bossy Aunt Craven - seems just a typically useless present. What kind of fun could you have with a portable ants' nest? But as time passes, the children find themselves uncontrollably drawn to stare and stare into the glass case and to concentrate on its manic occupants - it is like plugging your mind into a huge power socket. Suddenly Vinny and Toby are doing wonderful, magical things that should have been impossible: mindbending is incredible!
  But then the ants decide to grow...

 Along with Trillions and Grinny, this book rounds out my Nicholas Fisk collection. I really must read more of his books.

 Just a minute... Those books aren't on chairs! What gives? Where are they?