Thursday, 19 May 2022

My Small Red Bush* - A Garden Photos Event Announcement

* Which could never be confused with Ms Scarlet's Big Pink Bush


 Prompted by Mr Tonking's recent seed spreading effort and Dinah taunting Us with her bat (also, to a lesser extent, Jon's pricking out) I bring you the first reminder (following February's general announcement) to get gardening and to photograph evidence of your efforts ready for: 

The House of


Garden Photos Event 2022


 As with the last couple of years, this year's event will be held in November and will follow straight on from the now traditional Hallowe'en prelude, Terrifying Triffidery.  There is no theme for the main event but, inspired by a comment from Dinah, I would like you to search out old photos of gardens you tended - or even played in as a child - from years/decades/aeons ago and send in one or two (or more, if you feel so inclined) to be featured along with your efforts from this year.  Remember to provide captions and/or blurbs to go with your photos, too!


 Right.  Now that's out of the way, here's how the Hexenhäusli Device Gardens are coming along:

 Above is the titular Small Red Bush (which was a free gift with last year's two bat flower rhizomes which came to naught.  Bah!).  And to the left, an orchid (that first featured here) that until recently was positioned on my bathroom windowsill, but once it flowers it drips sticky nectar/sap everywhere so it's now outside in my Gin Time Corner.  You can see it festooning a stem of a Himalayan Honeysuckle below.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Tunes on Tuesday Turns Back Time

 I half prepared this post as filler, thinking that I probably wouldn't publish anything until next weekend, but then I went and managed the previous Early Start post and never finished this one (which was inspired by some of the songs a work colleague plays first thing in the morning before the phone lines are switched on)!

 Fortunately, no further musings from me are necessary - I can just let the music play:

Aqua: Turn Back Time

Sydney Youngblood: If Only I Could

Shakespears Sister: You're History

Propaganda: Duel

Bass-O-Matic: Fascinating Rhythm

ABBA: Cassandra

Erasure: Drama!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

An Early Start

 Having mentioned to Jon that I have a couple of posts started, and to Mago (after his inspiring link) that I may go down to the beach this weekend, I bring you this new post as the first step in ridding myself of Lazy Baggageitis (and its instigatory conditions). 

 I woke up at about quarter to five this morning and laid there for a while listening to Beaky in a sing-off with some other balckbird as the sun was nearing the horizon.  Half an hour later, sick of Beaky's increasingly strident racket, I got up and decided to go down to the beach...

Sunrise in the north-east from the cliff top

Down on the promenade

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Reasons Why...

 I've been half-heartedly trying to work out what's keeping us from updating this blog more regularly.  I mean, in the last four months, We've managed a paltry 12 posts - three per month, and they've been a struggle - whereas by this time last year We'd put up 29!  I know it should be quality over quantity, but I can't even claim that what We have published is anything to write home about - with the possible exception of the new and improved Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Travel Map, of course.

 Are We not blogging because the weather has been so nice?  Not really.  We've barely been down to the beach so far this year, and only partaken in a few perambulations inland.  Although, I have been spending rather a lot of time up the allotment... 

Apple blossom at the Device Allotment
(two eaters and a cooker)

For Dinah, my young Bramley with a close-up of its delightfully fragrant blossom
.  .  .

 Have We been dreaming too much?  Hardly.  I don't know about only living twice - We're scarcely living once - but it is an excuse to listen to Natacha Atlas singing the David Arnold produced "You Only Live Twice":

.  .  .

Sunday, 24 April 2022

Bluebells and Black Shuck

 Another weekend, another round of clear skies and sunshine.  Although, the North-East wind is keeping things cool here, and we could do with some rain because everything needs watering.

 Still, I shouldn't grumble as its conducive for ambling around the countryside, demon dog or no!

The way up Toll's Hill is lined with bluebells

Behold!  The terror that is Black Shuck!
 On remote costal tracks in North Norfolk, beware of Black Shuck - a terrifying demon dog that will leap into your arms and expect to be cuddled like a baby while he licks your ear.  Until - after about three seconds - he gets bored and wriggles out of your grasp to go and investigate a nearby hedgehog turd or similar.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Snakes Heads and Dogs Teeth

 I still haven't done anything worth blogging about, but Ms Scarlet has managed two posts within a week (one of which was a blatant infringement of Sideboard rights) so I thought I'd better make some effort lest I get accused of lazy baggagery. 
 So, inspired by Jon's recent posts featuring his fragrant back passage, may I present my allotment (from two weeks ago), and my little shady garden (from this morning):
Fruit tree blossom starting to come out up at the allotment
(those are appletrees on the left, and the big one with open blossom is a plum)

That's a Bramley apple in the middle, and a loganberry going up the side of the shed
(between the shed and the bay tree is a horrid pear tree)

Near the allotment wood anemones grow

Monday, 4 April 2022

A Very Special Bio-Hazard Warning

 Today is a special day.  At least, I think it is*, and so do one or two others (who have buggered off on holiday so I can't check with them to see if I'm remembering rightly).  So, just in case it is, in the absence of something dedicated specifically** for the date, may I present instead, the updated new Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Travel Map!

As with with many things in life, click to embigulate

 I'm sure Ms Scarlet must have managed to get to a post office by now, and that the Freakin Green Elf Shorts are winging their way to Mistress Maddie if, in fact, they are not gracing her shapely gams as I type!

* Or it could be 10 days hence?  Or some other date entirely.  My memory is unreliable at the best of times.  EDIT 6 April: I have just discovered that the day in question is on some other date, months from now.  Ah, well, at least it was an excuse to unveil the map!

** Such as a trip over the Cusp just like we didn't have for Ms Scarlet's birthday, or even my birthday, or even The Very Mistress's Sweet Sixteenth last month!

Thursday, 31 March 2022

"These people came here for a glimpse of Fanny"*

 And Fanny they shall get!  (She's just there on the right, see?)

 Anyway, the first three months of 2022 are just about over and what have I got to show for myselves?  Practically nothing!

 So, just like last year's quarterly catch-ups, here's the first quarter's list of some of the things that have kept me entertained/distracted/sane(ish):


DS9: Revenant, by Alex White  ∘  No Shame, by Tom Allen  ∘  Typeset in the Future, by Dave Addey (Well, partly read - I've read about 2001: A Space Odyssey and Alien, and I'm about to start Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Friday, 25 March 2022

Death by Chocolate/Asphyxiation/Explosion*

* Delete as applicable

 Just a quick post so that I don't forget how.  As I've STILL got nothing of substance to blog about, I thought I'd present my birthday haul:

 Let's start with the most exciting gift: the Lego International Space Station!  My sister Indescribable and her family got me that (you'll note that the space shuttle has already been built - my nephew, Count Podgkinson (4) "helped" me with it). 

 My niece, The Little Witch (8), made me the pretsles prestons out of pipe cleaners (she was closer the first time, but insists that they're called Prestons), and the other niece, Vom Smallhausen (5) coloured in the My Little Pony on the lower right.  I'm not sure why they thought I'd like a MLP card (nevermind two of them), but at least the more professional looking one has got rainbow hair and a Star Trek cutie-mark.

 Other than the two Co-op bars, all the chocolate has been devoured.  Well, except for the last three truffles and that Ferrero Rocher (the boxes are empty - the unseen FR box is propping up the Lego set).

 With some of the money that The Parents gave me, I bought Typeset in the Future - because I love Dave Addey's website;  Jupiter Ascending - because I love the ridiculously bonkers premise and the amazing worldbuilding - and Channing Tatum isn't bad, either;  and As I Try Not To Fall Apart by White Lies - because I can't help but love the 80s-esque songs that my favourite glum, beardy, miseryguts and his band belt out.  In fact, here comes one now:


Saturday, 12 March 2022

The tinsel is a dead giveaway...

 Oof!  I'm back!  Well, briefly, at any rate.

 I've had some things to deal with which is why I've been, well, not here...  And despair at the state of the world is only part of it.  Signs of an impending infestation of unicorns, and that little shit Beaky skulking around the garden have been of more concern...

.  .  .

 But first, to accompany your scrolling, here's another almost certainly miserable* song from my favourite glum, beardy miseryguts, White Lies: "Time To Give"

* I try not to listen to the lyrics, remember?

.  .  .

 Anyway, back to the topic at hand: Beaky.

This was the view from my kitchen window this morning.  Looks okay, doesn't it?
Until you notice the blurs of black on the bench and birdtable...

Friday, 25 February 2022

The Infomaniac Garden Photos Event 2022 Announcement

The House of
Garden Photos Event 2022
will be held again here later in the year
(unless any of you fancy having a go at hosting, that is)

 You know, this might be the earliest announcement for the Infomaniac Garden Photos Event ever published?  If I could be arsed I'd do some research to check, but I can't, so you'll just have to go along with it.  Unless you'd like to check for yourselves, of course?

 Anyway, as I've treated myself to a day off work and have got shit all else to blog about, I have taken The Very Mistress's advice (command? order?) and come up with this primer for this year's Event, complete with photos of the pre-Spring blooms here at Hexenhäusli Device!

. . .

  Oh, before we go any further, here's a musical accompaniment to your downward scrolling: The Procession of Celestial Beings, composed by Joe Hisaishi and performed by the New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra (from The Tale of Princess Kaguya - which I watched the other day).

. . .

Sunday, 13 February 2022

A Saucy Deviation

 In an effort to continue the blogging impetus that I started last week, may I present a slight deviation from that of Ms Scarlet's original ketchup-based post. This post has a high Star Trek content, so you may be pleased to find that it is mercifully brief...

Sketches:  For a while now I've had an idea to illustrate a scene from the backstory I worked up for the Star Trek map that I created back in 2019.  As I don't have an art project on the go right now, I started sketching...

Here we have a Daughter of the Fifth House with her Yehtee assistant
(and a cartoonish interloper) disembarking the Royal Yacht

And here are some quick passes at the yacht

Snippets: "Every morning he'd arrive at work, ascend the steps to his cubicle and strip down to his trunks."



 Two years on from the last playing card reveal in a Star Trek production, comes glimpses of another deck - in this case, from a game of Leonian poker in Star Trek: Discovery (which I'm not watching, by the way - I didn't much care for the last season, and this one's on yet another streaming service that I'm just not going to sign up for.  Well, until Star Trek: Strange New Worlds with the yummy Anson Mount/Captain Christopher Pike starts later this year, that is).  

 It was the Arcadian Queen that got my attention - as seen on Star Trek fan, Jörg Hillebrand's twitter account, here.  Arcadians are very seldom seen aliens who first appeared in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (the one with the whales) - which is where the third screenshot comes from.  I can feel the need to make some of these cards, just as I did with the Romulan pikhmit/pixmit cards here.

[Screenshots from Cygnus-X1 and Trekcore]



"Tilted" by Christine and the Queens. 

 I discovered this thanks to The Great British Sewing Bee.  A small part - "I'm doing my face with magic marker" - was playing during the modelling of one of Raph's creations in series 7.

 A blast-from-the-past that I'm listening to as I type this is "I Wish I Cared" by a-ha.


 And that's it.  I aim to be back by this time next week in some form or other.  Have a good week!

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Sunday Ketchup - IDV's Copy/Paste Edition

 I've realised that I'm in danger of never blogging ever again unless I do something NOW!  So, taking a leaf out of Ms Scarlet's book - almost literally, and with her permission (kind of) - here's my quick-and-dirty, copy-and-paste Sunday Ketchup. 

From Ms Scarlet's 5th December Sunday Ketchup post: 

"Sunday Ketchup. It will be a random account of my week and will include quotes from my journal [my very secret journal that I show no-one ever!]; photographs; collages; calligraphy; and, of course, the obligatory piece of Sunday music. How thrilled you must be to read of my good intentions. Again. Let us proceed…"

 My week - nay, my weeks - since my last post have been spent continuing the dither that engulfed me at the start of the year.  It's got to the point where I've become a passive observer rather than an active participant, which means I've barely done anything of note at all.

 I haven't produced any calligraphy of course, but I did spend 10-15 minutes making a £999,960 Bank of Bungle bank note for my sister Indescribable's birthday earlier in the week.  She wanted a million pounds so I topped up the £40 John Lewis voucher I got for her with this:

Spot the mistake (which I corrected after I took this photo)...

 In my very secret journal I wrote: A rescue - from [a spiral in(g) time] - a survivor, Galuth Nym, an old woman who should be young.

 From my emails I wrote: Thanks very much for sorting Car out. Again. I’m sure it won’t be the last time – unless I get a new car sooner rather than later...

 Photograph of the week: 

Taken for an art project that never took off...

 A tune that I discovered yesterday and have listened to rather a lot: "Impossible" by Röyksopp & Alison Goldfrapp

In fact, I'm listening to it now...

 Right.  I'd best be off as there's loads to do before I can lounge about in the bath for a couple of hours this evening.  Plus, I need to do the catch up with all of you that I didn't do last time.

P.S. I love all your comments in the last post.  Carry on! 

EDIT 20:40 - P.P.S. For a birthday I usually forget... (not mine, although I did shoot this on my birthday 12 years ago)

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Fart in a Colander

 Sorry I haven't been around much lately - I've been in a bit of a dither this past few weeks what with one thing and another.  "Like a fart in a colander" (that doesn't know which hole to get out of), as my Grandma used to put it.

 I can't quite put my finger on what's brought it on, but I suspect that a combination of things are to blame, including more Car related woes (it's in the garage again!).  I have taken up swimming (in a pool, not the sea) though, which seems to be taking the edge off, somewhat.

 Oh, the inclusion of the Parsnip People (from my allotment) up there will become apparent if you keep reading.


 New music: I've been surprised by White Lies latest release "Am I Really Going To Die".  That's three in a row from them that I've taken to.  I'm not usually a fan of their music as it aways seems too maudlin and ernest for my liking, but this one is quite bright and pop-y with some rather exhilarating bits (I haven't really listened to the words, so it's probably really miserable).

 Also, I'm getting sick of the lead singer's glum, beardy face singing at me/the camera.


Sunday, 9 January 2022

Come One, Come All, to the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Ball!

Should anyone have been off-planet this past week, please be aware that the

Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Caption Competition

is now on over at Ms Scarlet's place!

 The artfully put together scene above (complete with new sofa - Ms Scarlet has spared no expense!) is what you have to work with.  All you need to do is visit Ms Scarlet's FGES blog post, leave a cunning caption (or twelve) and cross your fingers that it's amusing enough to win. 

 If you are that fortunate winner, Ms Scarlet will package up the 'Shorts and send them your way so you can hold a caption competition of your own and send them on to your winner.  The Freakin Green Elf Short's quest for world domination (not to be confused with The Very Mistress's World Domination Tours) is in your hands arse/nether regions!

This version of the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts Travel Map will soon be replaced by new map.  I hope!

 The 'Shorts need to be removed from Ms Scarlet's clutches and away from this green and pleasant brown and muddy land forthwith, as the effects of a second bout of Post-Shorts Syndrome are only going to be more prolonged and difficult to treat the longer she holds on to them.  As Hunter Elf Thompson (from Fear and Loathing in the Loo) once said, "There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a [wo]man in the depths of a polyester binge." (Thank you for the quote, Rimpy

 Speaking of Rimpy, for further information about the 'Shorts, please visit his exhaustively researched Continuing History of the Freakin' Green Elf Shorts post.

 You have until Saturday 16th 15th January to enter (as many times as you like), and the winner will be crowned on Sunday 16th.  Happy captioning, and good luck!

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Next week you'll all be mush!

 Well, 2022 has arrived without incident - although it is unseasonably warm - and in my desperation to post something in order to drag my Sideboard out of 2021, may I present the dawn of 2022 from here in Overstrand: