Thursday 31 May 2018

You Common Vetch!*

  Tiny they may be, these wildflowers that grow in the verges between Château DeVice and its allotment are quite striking close up, if not as showy as those "Triffids in drag" (thank you Jon, Official Plant Spotter of Castle DeVice and its Extensive Witchdom).

Common vetch (Vicia sativa)

Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Sunday 27 May 2018

Bank Holiday Cowpats

  It's another Bank Holiday weekend here in Blighty and, in what is getting to be par for the course, the sun is actually out and the breeze is balmy (and not freezing).  I should think The Queen forgot to turn the weather back on after last weekend's Royal Wedding...
  So, taking advantage of HRH's forgetfulness, my youngest sister, Inexcuseable, whisked her son (Count Podgekinson) and I off to Sheringham Park to see the rhododendrons.  She wanted to go with her husband, but he was too busy staying in bed or de-nymphing the dishwasher, or somesuch...
  As usual, I ended up taking absolutely loads of photos (79) and only managed to whittle them down to 67, so I've split them up into three posts: this one, which features shots of the park; the next one, which is purely rhododendrons; and another tree-focused post which may or may not see the light of day.
  Anyway, on with the show:

After stowing Inexcuseable's magic carpet behind a tree and unloading all the baby-related paraphernalia, we set off

Inexcuseable was concerned that we'd be too late to see all the rhododendron blossoms, but she needn't have worried

Monday 21 May 2018

Of Boiled Eggs and Slinkies

 This is just a quick one before I get back to constructing the constellations of bloggers which, I hope, will go a little way to make up for the lack of a weekend post (that can be blamed on that wonderful Royal Wedding and the build up to RHS Chelsea!).

 While at work today, I noticed a faint smell (minor stench, really) of over-boiled eggs.  It was a little stronger as I entered the kitchen area to get a cup of coffee.  As I walked in, I noticed a slip hazard*: a small puddle of spilt** coffee on the lino, and reminded myself to get a paper towel to mop it up with once I'd got my coffee.
A standard IDV eye-roll
as modelled by the lovely George Clooney
 Luckily there was no one dithering around in the kitchen, so I got my coffee and paper towel without having to roll my eyes at obliviousness and thoughtlessness.  Around the corner, I bobbed down (not this one) and wiped up the coffee puddle.  Whoever had allowed it to slop over the edge of their cup at least had the decency to do it right by the bin, so I was able to pop the now damp and brown paper towel in the bin without having to go out of my way.
 Then it hit me.  As I was reaching for the bin with my left hand, I wasn't paying attention to what my right hand was doing with my cup (filled to the brim, naturally), and the stench of eggs brought to mind Chronosfear and his time-altering abilities
 Oh, no!  What if the spilt coffee was mine?!?  What if I'd got caught in one of Chronosfear's time-twists, and was mopping up my own spillage before I'd even spilled*** it?  
 I dared not look back at what my right hand was doing, or had done, for fear of seeing a spillage, because the Host's OCD would insist that I instantly mop it up.  I would have wrung my hands at the possible paradox had I not been potentially pouring hot coffee all over the floor.  Somehow, with minimal wailing and gnashing of teeth, I managed to gather my wits - and the Host's -  stand up, coffee cup in hand looking pretty full actually, and walk out without looking back.

 Oh, yes.  Slinkies.

* Workplace Health and Safety in mind, or further evidence for my continued contempt of bloody useless, thoughtless, uncaring people?
** See ***
*** Spelled "spilt" as that's how I say it, but then I go and spell "spilled" because that's how I say it, too.  Sigh...

Thursday 17 May 2018

Maps To Stars Homes...

... but probably not the stars you're thinking of...

  After I discovered that the night sky photos I took a month ago are mostly of the same old constellations I've already put up here on the blog, I thought about doing something a bit different.  While labelling some of those stars in constellations such as those seen in Constellations from a Nightshade Tarot, Is There Somebody at the Door?, No Moon At All, and Waiting For A Star To Fall, I recognised some of the nomenclature from Star Trek (and other shows*), and decided to label some of my photos with stars only seen or mentioned in that august show.

  Much research was conducted using Memory Alpha, Wikipedia, and my trusty Universe book - so much so that I became a little overwhelmed and had to have a sit down with a massive gin and a huge slice of chocolate cake!  Once I'd got over it however, I began trying things out... 

  First up - Fonts:

  I liked Microgramma D Medium Extended that I'd used for the previous constellation pictures, so I decided to stick with it for labelling these new ones.  For the star's Latinised Bayer designation, e.g. Alpha Lyrae, I chose 16 pt in a medium-light grey.  For its traditional name (approved by the International Astronomical Union), e.g. Vega, I increased the font size to 20 pt and the brightness of the grey.  And for the citation (i.e. which Star Trek episode or film it appeared in, or was mentioned in), I went with a darker grey in 12 pt.
  Then, to add something a little different to the previous constellation pictures, I circled the star with a red 26 pt "O" in Century Gothic - one of the few fonts in my limited selection with a perfectly circular O - and used it to denote the star, planet or moon that featured in the show.

Sunday 13 May 2018

Not So Manic Now

  It's a rainy Sunday morning here on the North Norfolk coast, so while I get on with all the things I didn't do yesterday (due to a hot and sunny morning followed by an invasion of various family - mainly sisters and cousins - in the afternoon), I'll leave you with these photos of a setting sun, and a bit of music from Dubstar.

  The photos were taken from behind Château Device in Tuesday evening - that's Overstrand's main beach in the third & fourth photos with the tide halfway in (or out - I can't remember what it was doing at the time).

Monday 7 May 2018

Bank Holiday Blossoms, Birds and Boats

Bramley apple blossom
  Perhaps we were a little overdramatic yesterday?  After this morning's wander about in the sunshine, I escaped to the coolness of the château and set to sorting out the overwhelming amount of photos I've taken.  Except that there weren't that many, after all.
  I can vaguely remember pointing Camera at various views but not pressing the button as they were the same old views seen here a thousand times before.  Hooray!
  Anyway, here are three days worth of photos.  And only sixteen of them.  Can you imagine?!

Saturday, 5th May 

The slapdash and rickety steps down the cliff to the promenade behind Château DeVice
(as mentioned here - second photo down)

Sunday 6 May 2018

WARNING! Unreasonable Bank Holiday warmth and sunshine is causing user errors and neglect!

WARNING! Unreasonable Bank Holiday warmth and sunshine has rendered time spent indoors working on the blog, housework, and necessary admin negligible!

WARNING! Unreasonable Bank Holiday warmth and sunshine has caused photo build-up to reach critical mass!

WARNING! Unreasonable Bank Holiday warmth and sunshine has caused slap-dash approach to this post and complete failure of photo-captions!

Thursday 3 May 2018

Threatening Orchids

  I took these photos this morning, then visited Dinahmow's to discover that she's threatening orchids, too.  Hers are bound to be far more spectacular than the three here in Château DeVice, so consider this post a warm-up for the show at Dinah's!

The kitchen windowsill at Château DeVice

This tiny, pretty little orchid came from Waitrose a couple of months ago

This one was a gift from one of my cousins last year

And this blousy beauty showing off in the smallest room, I've had for years!
It's managed to survive two or three moves (I know I had it when I was with SP, and I may have had it before that) - one more to go before it equals Margaret 2.0's record (maysherestinpeace).  Its smaller, pink companion, gave up the ghost late last year (last seen here next to Prince Harry's underpants) 

  I don't know the names of these orchids - and I can't be arsed to find out - but I'm sure Dinah or Jon, The Official Plant-Spotter of Castlette DeVice and its Extensive Witchdom, may have some ideas...