Monday 31 December 2018

The Year of the Constellation Coven Awards

 Good evening, and welcome to the 2018 Coven Awards!
  Yes, here we are again for our traditional, very selective look back at the year that was.
 This year - the Year of the Constellation - has not been as varied as some previous years-
Mainly because Witchface is a lazy baggage-
And the Host is dreadfully dull!
 Oh, just stop this now.
  Yes, why must we devolve into bickering every year?
What a stupid question.
Because we're good at it!
Heh heh heh!
  Oh, I give up...
 Well, I'm ignoring the shitting SubCs and launching this thing now!

January : The dawn of a new year broke over the cliff tops as we didn't manage to start afresh; the year's first foray into Star Trek was some finally finished unfinished business; capturing constellations began with a bit of "Drama!" and was rather exposing; a big, overgrown groyne featured in a return to the beach; the first trip over the Cusp coincided with LẌ's birthday; Beaky's return had us all of a flutter, and his larger cousin led us to a crusty old groyne with knobs on; finally, after some star-mapping experiments, I got my tripod out!

Wednesday 26 December 2018

Wishing you a Wonderful Winterval

 Not quite a White Christmas, but a heavyish frost yesterday morning gave the illusion in certain sheltered areas up near Cromer Lighthouse.
 Yes, I managed to find a couple of hours to myself yesterday (i.e. I escaped from the kids) and got up to the lighthouse in the early morning here in Cromer, then down onto the beach in Overstrand in the afternoon.

Saturday 1 December 2018

Run! Run! As fast as you can!

 I am moving again.

 As plummeting down the cliff in one's own home is practically unheard of in witchy circles*, I am moving out of Château DeVice and into a more life-prolonging gingerbread house.  It's only a few hundred yards from my current cliff-top abode and - importantly - those few hundred yards are inland.  My new home is nearer the woods (and the allotment), and not likely to find itself scattered across the beach after collapsing over the cliff for at least a couple of centuries (possibly only one, if sea levels continue to rise dramatically). 

 Gingerbread houses are hard to come by these days as most of the originals have been devoured by thoughtless, greedy children over the centuries, or dissolved in the rain when their occupant met Death for the last time and the preservative spell wore off.  Those that are left tend to be inhabited by mad old crones, or have been turned into sites of occult historical interest by the Gingerbread Board.  Speaking of which, the 'Board occasionally permits a new gingerbread house to be built as long as circumstances, conditions, and quotas allow.  Quite what those circumstances, conditions and quotas are is anyone's guess as the 'Board are quite inscrutable and experts in obfuscation and dead-end paper trails.  As I can attest to after I applied for a new home...**

 I don't know why I thought it would be a good idea?  I suspect the SubCs had something to do with it and, typically, they buggered off and left me to it when I found myself before the Gingerbread Board to demonstrate my suitability to own and maintain a new gingerbread home.  I'm not going to go into all the rigmarole and hoop-jumping I had to go through (and am still going through), as it was - and still is - very stressful and mind-boggling.

Saturday 24 November 2018

Gorgeous Moon Spume

 Before I get around to writing up my trials before the Gingerbread Board, here are some photos from last weekend's foray onto the beach. Back when the skies were clear...

 The first lot, with the pink sky and Moon, are from Saturday, while the second lot with the blue sky and seagulls are from Sunday.

A distant Cromer Pier

Overstrand beach huts with the Moon over Sidestrand

Tuesday 13 November 2018

It's A Faaaake! Not The Art Of Star Trek - Anomalous T-Shirt

 Yes, the promised threatened foreshadowed post concerning an anomalous T-shirt is Star Trek-related!  Sorry, not sorry.
 The anomalous T-shirt came about as a result of October's Art Challenge, as set by the winner of September's challenge: 

Last month many of us proved that we are well versed in the world of starship design. This month I'd like to focus on another staple of the Star Trek universe: the infamous space anomaly.

Subspace, space-time, temporal, spatial, gaseous, gravimetric, chroniton, quantum, polaron, thoron or anti-time — it's completely up to you. Make it abstract or concrete, a swirling blur of color or a blinding ray of light, drifting through the endless void of space or floating on the surface of some alien world. You can show it on its own or facing a starship. 
I'm looking forward to what you can come up with!

 One of the first thoughts to pop into my head was the Horrendous Space Kablooie I came up with years ago (inspired by Calvin & Hobbes).  I wondered if I could update it, or amend it in some way for the challenge, but gave up after only a few attempts in FotoSketcher.

Sunday 11 November 2018


 This isn't going to be a wobbly soap opera-style flashback post (like certain others), just a series of fleeting glimpses into some goings on, and items of limited interest over the past couple of months, so we can get up-to-date before ploughing ahead with with current affairs.
 First up - despite the gruesome rabbit head photo on the right there (more on that in a mo) - are a couple of Triffid-based items that we had almost forgotten about.  It was only the talk of the Garden Photos Event over at The Very Mistress's that reminded me.

Beautiful Liriope in the Extensive Gardens of Castlette DeVice at the end of September

Friday 9 November 2018

Return to the End-of-the-Line

 I am nearly ready to come back after my (nearly) two weeks off the blogs.  And even after only a brief peruse I discovered no end of "goings on", not least the fact that Ms Scarlet has only gone and won those pesky Freakin' Green Elf Shorts back!
 Anyway, back to me.  I thought I'd have time to return yesterday, so I popped down to the beach and took these photos from the End-of-the-Line (to get back into the spirit of things), but various things thwarted my return which is why I'm only popping them up now.

Looking West...

… North (sorry for the gulls, Eros - the bloody things were everywhere!)...

… and East

Saturday 27 October 2018

Dawn of Stone Circles

 What with one thing and another lately, I haven't posted any beach photos for a couple of weeks.  This means they're building up and approaching critical mass.  Luckily, the weather is on the turn, meaning no more hot (or at least warm), sunny days, so I won't be going down on the beach with Camera as often as I did.
 So, to catch up somewhat, here are a few days worth of photos, starting with dawn from the 21st (one of which made it into Dinahmow's calendar in the previous post):

Tuesday 23 October 2018

A Few Shags with Big, Wet Groynes

 What to get?  What to get??
 Never mind "what to get", how long have we got to get whatever we might be getting?
 How long?  I don't know?  How long does it take for something to be mailed to Australia?  Because however long is left, we'll have to take off the postal service time.
 Well, when's it got to be in Australia for?
 The twenty-third.
 Of November?  So we've got about a month, then.
 No! October!  The twenty-third of October!
 Hang on...  What's the date today?
 I don't know? Let me look at the calendar...

 Shit!  It's today!
 Of course it is...
 Happy birthday, Dinahmow!
 Yes, many happy returns!  We hope you're having a fab day.

Friday 19 October 2018

"Tear My Head Out From The Sound"

 Last Saturday was National Album Day which was brought to my attention by Jon (of course).  Now, almost a week on, and following Jon's Top Ten, I bring you my own top ten albums.  
 This was a difficult and somewhat harrowing choice to make, whittling down square plastic cases containing delightful discs of divine ditties.  I flicked through my shelves of Air and Alcazar, The Divine Comedy and Dannii Minogue, Girls Aloud and Goldfrapp, Kylie and Kula Shaker, Robyn and Röyksopp, Shakespears Sister and Steps - following Jon's rules: No "Various Artists" compilations, no "Greatest Hits", no soundtracks, reminding myself that I was choosing my favourite albums, not necessarily my favourite artists. 
 Eventually, I settled on my final selection. But before I get to them, here are the "almosts": Moon Safari by Air, Meccano Mind by Syntax, Sun Structures by Temples, Buzz by Steps, I Say I Say I Say by Erasure, All Possible Futures by Miami Horror, Wanderlust by Sophie Ellis-Bextor, and Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp. 
 Now, counting down from ten to one (the order of which is subject to change depending on my whim), here are my top ten albums: 

Light Years
#10 : Kylie's Light Years (2000)
 Light Years made Jon's list too, as did the video for the absolutely fabulous "Your Disco Needs You", so I've chosen a different version:

Monday 15 October 2018

Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Road Kill Appeal

 Fashion disasters come and go, but none are quite as catastrophic as being caught wearing the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts in public. Sadly, poor AlpoJones - latest winner of the vile velour - realised this too late, and tried to end it all by flinging herself under a passing car.

 Unfortunately, three other fashion victims had got there before her, bringing the car to a halt before any damage could be done.  In a fate worse than death, AlpoJones has been caught alive in the 'Shorts (and, quite possibly, a pair of the Very Mistress's stripy tights). 
 We appeal to your humanity (or inhumanity - whichever works), and ask that you leave a witty, pithy, or just plain bonkers caption in an attempt to lure the vile velour Freakin' Green Elf Shorts away from AlpoJones' shapely thighs and onto your own undulating undercarriages (we know some of you are desperately craving a(nother) polyester binge).

 Please give your captions generously for this worthy cause.  Caption contributions can be made here (at AlpoJones' tumblr post), or here (at Rimpy Rimpington's blog post for those without tumblr know-how - like me).  The appeal will close just before midnight at Hallowe'en.

 As before, this FGES Public Service Announcement has been brought to you in association with Rimpy Rimpington Inc, with generous assistance from Infomaniac Enterprises.

EDIT 18 October: The updated Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Travel Map!

Friday 12 October 2018

Crazylegs Cranes (and other unusual suspects at Pensthorpe)

 Last weekend, Inexcuseable and her husband dragged Count Podgekinson and I off to Pensthorpe Natural Park near Fakenham.  We saw some birds and crap...


Hawaiian geese (and Inexcuseable)

Saturday 6 October 2018

Landscapes Beyond the End-of-the-Line

A Southern Hawker dragonfly from Thursday afternoon
(please ignore the bird poo)
 Beyond the End-of-the-Line, as I'm sure you're aware by now, lies a Cusp interface through which one may access quite a variety of lands.  The Kingdom of the Crab People, the Chalk Rafts of Verstrandt, the last NightShip stop, to name but a few.
 Unfortunately, Thursday's jaunt past the End-of-the-Line led only to the sticky, yet slippery (but quite dramatic) clay strata of Sidestrand…
 First though is a visitor to Château DeVice's bird shit festooned garden, and a couple of photos from a very rough Monday morning: 


 The following photos are from Thursday morning:

Hmmm... Must remember to clean Camera's lens...

Thursday 4 October 2018

It's A Faaaake! Not The Art Of Star Trek - Two Soups

"My God..." he whispered.  "What is that?"
"That," April breathed, "is a starship."
Perhaps it was the way he said it.  With all the awe and respect a human being could utter.  Staaarship.
George Kirk and Robert April from Diane Carey's Star Trek: Final Frontier

You know what we haven't had in a while? Starships.
For September's Art Challenge, I thought we could return to what every Trek fan loves doing: drawing/designing starships. These majestic interstellar beauties should be magnificent, graceful, powerful, and instil a sense of awe and wonder. I'd like you to come up with your own unique design, be it a drawing, model (physical or a collection of photons in your computer), painting etc. Or, produce an image of an existing class, or model you've already made, but shown from an unusual, but flattering angle, or set in surroundings or lighting that really show it off.
Think of the Enterprise leaving spacedock in The Motion Picture; the launch of the Enterprise-B in Generations; the first appearance of the Vulcan ship Ti'Mur in Ent: "Breaking the Ice"; or the Galaxy bearing down on the Cardassian weapon platforms in DS9: "Tears of the Prophets".

 So, that was the challenge I set at the beginning of September.  I didn't have a clue what I was going to do as, while I enjoy doodling and sketching starships, turning them into a finished piece of art is another thing entirely.  
 I chose this theme mainly because many of the TrekBBS Art Forum posters create photo-realistic starships (interiors and exteriors) by manipulating zeros and ones in mind-boggling computer programs, but don't often enter the art challenges.  I think part of the reason may be that they're already working on their own CGI starships, which doesn't leave much time to work on something separate which is not always conducive to including the aforementioned starships.  So, I had hoped that this might entice some of them to join in.  And it worked.  Kind of.  
 Seven people created pieces of art for this challenge, compared to only two for August's A Trek on the Wild Side theme (the entry other than mine featured a Starfleet shuttlecraft), five for July's Unseen Scenes (one entry included starships), and four for May's Starfleet Needs You! (no starships).  There were seven entries for June's Isik For Your Thoughts though, but none of them included starships - it was all about the money (an isik is a unit of currency in Star Trek)!  

 Anyway, I started thinking about the Enterprise-B (on the left, there), and wondered if I could create something in that vein.  A sleek, powerful starship, but with unusual details, perhaps?  Something ornate or intricate, or in a non-traditional colour/finish?

Monday 1 October 2018

S. I. D.

 Strictly Come Dancing is back on Saturday and Sunday nights, and with it comes the friendly and funny Strictly: It Takes Two on weekdays.
 Imagine my surprise, however, when I discovered that Zoe and the ITT gang have enlisted the assistance of a distant cousin (from a future history that I hope never comes to pass), Interactive Device.  They've got the silly sod posing as their artificial intelligence, S. I. D.*
 Look!  There he is on the right pretending to be the Strictly Interactive Device!

 Anyway, enough about him.  This post is really just an excuse to feature the always entertaining - and extremely handsome - Aljaž Skorjanec again!

 Here he is in all his cheeky glory (with celebrity dance partner, Kate Silverton):

Ah, hello!  I've missed you, too!

Friday 28 September 2018

Last Days of Summer

Wednesday's sun rise

 Despite Summer having been over for almost a month, the weather didn't get the message and continued with sunshine and warm (if not downright hot) temperatures for most of September.  There were a few days of clouds, rain and mid-teen temperatures, but they were soon boiled away.
 Now, however, our Indian Summer appears to have come to an end as Autumn takes over.  Although, the forecast is still looking pretty good for the first half of October, as the temperatures are only set to drop to between 14-16°C.

 Anyway, Wednesday was spent baby-sitting Count Podgekinson, which entailed two walks around the village and surrounding environs in the hope that he'd fall asleep in his push-chair.  Only the morning walk was successful in that regard.  

 Here are the photos from the walks:  

I wheeled Count Podgekinson down onto the promenade hoping that the proximity to the sound of the sea would send him to sleep.  It didn't. 

Cromer Pier in the distance

Thursday 27 September 2018

Of Gorgeous, Beach Huts and Breakwaters

 Yes, that comma in the title is supposed to be there. It would be a stretch to call the beach huts here "gorgeous" - I mean, they're not hideous, but they're quite a way from gorgeous.  Speaking of which, the Gorgeous is quite far off, as can be seen further down in this continuation from yesterday's photo post... 

The tide was out far enough to expose the Sea Witch's house

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Not the Usual Suspects at the End-of-the-Line

 The last couple of days have been bright and sunny, so it was down to the beach for a wander.  I've split yesterday's photos up into two posts - this one, featuring Not the Usual Suspects, and a forthcoming post which is all about the beach and the other groynes.  

The Groyne at the End-of-the-Line (including a smattering of cormorants)

I think this is some kind of Pipit.  Probably a Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus)?
If you look closely, you can see a woodlouse or some other isopod in its beak

Monday 24 September 2018

Missing: Hilarious Strap-On Bottoms

 Well, another hastily smushed together post is here.
 Despite having had a week off work - with another week to go - I don't seem to have accomplished very much.  I've got a Star Trek art project to do, but every time I sit down to make a start, I end up procrastinating something chronic.  Case in point: Hairy Legs on the right, there.  I caught him staring at me doing nothing from my ceiling, so I papped him.

 Then, on one of my wanders down on to the beach, I managed to snap this Small Blue butterfly resting in the sun.  Usually, they're so flighty that one can't get near enough for a photo, but I think this one had tired itself out.

Friday 21 September 2018

Hit and Run: The Freakin' Green Elf Shorts are on the move!

 The latest unfortunate wearer of the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts - Alpo Jones - is documenting the torture and debasement that comes with those detestable polyestables.
Here is a taster of what's in store:

 You can see the full post here, with more (including a very suspect stain) here.

 This post is brought to you in association with Rimpy Rimpington Inc.

Sunday 16 September 2018

5 out of 10 households prefer Kormorant & Tetris

 The title.  What are you going on about?  What does it mean?
It doesn't mean anything!
 Actually, it's the best I could come up with on short notice for this hastily smushed together post.
Ah.  That explains it.
 Does it?  I'm still none the wiser.
So, what does it mean?
 Well, my SubC was right-
 Oh, shut up.  It doesn't really mean anything. Its just an amalgamation of Mago's amusing "Kormorant and Tetris" comment (because this post contains cormorants) on my most recent It's A Faaaake! post (Mago was describing Koromandis the Chandir, and th'Thanticar the Andorian), and the second part of this post which deals with five out of the most recent ten videos I've watched according to my YouTube Library History.
 What a strange combination.  What on Earth made you think these two disparate things would go together?
 Nothing!  I just thought that as so many of the posts here lately have been about the same tired old subject matter (beaches, cormorants and seals)- 
Because you, Witchface, can't be arsed to pull your finger out and write about Cusp-related goings-on and the like!
 Rude!  You could get off your arse and go somewhere other than the bloody beach, you know.
 I could, but I don't want to!  Anyway, I thought I'd try and liven up this post with something a little different, so be quiet and let me get on with it!
And "Hmmph!" from me, too!

 Right.  Now that those two have shut the Hells up, let's get on with this, shall we?  The following photos are from Thursday 13th September:

Friday 14 September 2018

In the bath 10 years ago...

 Before we get to my bath, here's something I threatened a couple of months ago:

Book on a Chair: The Final Tour

 These are the very few books I've managed to read since Anne McCaffrey's The Rowan back in January:

Books on an chair arbour in the garden
Not pictured: Among the Wild Cybers
(because it's also on my Kindle)
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers 1), by Becky Chambers
Star Trek: Federation, by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Greater Than The Sum (Star Trek: The Next Generation), by Christopher L. Bennett
Gods of Night (Star Trek: Destiny), by David Mack
Mere Mortals (Star Trek: Destiny), by David Mack
Lost Souls (Star Trek: Destiny), by David Mack
Among the Wild Cybers: Tales Beyond the Superhuman, by Christopher L. Bennett
Calvin and Hobbes: Revenge of the Baby-Sat, by Bill Watterson
and I've made a start on Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers 3), by Becky Chambers

 I thought today was an excellent time to do a book update because I also did one nine years ago exactly which features one of the books here.


 And now the feature presentation:

Sunday 9 September 2018

At the Other End of the Line

Just ignore Cutie-Pie up there (last seen here) -
she's trying to lull you into a false sense of security
 Beyond the End-of-the-Line, past the Kingdom of the Crab People and the Chalk Rafts of Verstrandt, and even further on than the final stop of the NightShip, lies a realm where science is scorned, magic is an annoyance, and reality is something that happens to other people.

 Yes!  Join me on yesterday's journey to the Other-End-of-the-Line!


What is this trickery?  A cliff face and its mini-me?  It can only occur beyond...

… the End-of-the Line!

Saturday 8 September 2018

It's A Faaaake! Not The Art Of Star Trek - Wild Things

 Well, I didn't use any of those photos from a couple of weeks ago (was it really that long ago?) for August's Art Challenge.  This was mainly because I had to go haring around the countryside after Koromandis and th'Thanticar managed to escape to the woods and then to the chalk beds.  Despite this, somehow I managed to take loads of photos of them (they're so patient) as they plotted their next move.  And it's from those photos that I found one suitable for the art challenge.
 This second batch came out much better than the first lot, so I didn't have to resort to adjusting the contrast and brightness etc.

 But before we get to my challenge image, Koromandis and th'Thanticar are in danger of getting lost in the woods as they search for a way into a different environment:

 Having found their way to the chalk beds, the two Starfleet Occult Operations officers plot their escape, hoping to signal their shuttlecraft using their appropriated crystal ball and divining stick.