Monday, May 30, 2011

The Tale of Two Poos

Our daughter L in London sent us a text message yesterday to let us
know that she's having another go at potty-training Little D. She
reported that she was having some success with D, though D needed
prompting from time to time to use her potty.

L then went on to tell us about ...

1. a low point in her day when she stepped on one of D's poos ...
... luckily they don't have any carpets in the house ... it's
considered to be trendy not to have any carpets, by some people
(not by me ... but then I'm not trendy any more).

2. the high point in her day, when D said goodbye to her second
poo, as it was being flushed down the loo:
"See you soon! Have fun!"

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It’s our Teddy Bears Picnic

… only this time, it’s indoors. :)



Mrs C made some yummy Melting Moments for the picnic, with Little A's help.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The End of The World

By the time you read this, The World might have ended, according to
Howard Camping, a US evangelist ... The End is due about 6pm in
Alaska according to this article, which I suppose is around midday
for us in the UK.

So it's might be a "Farewell" to you, my dear readers from me.
I won't be seeing a stairway to Heaven ~ more likely, I'll be
trooping (along with millions of others) past a large signpost

"Go to Hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200."

Friday, May 20, 2011

What gets my goat!

I do feel annoyed & sometimes angry about the day-to-day political
goings-on in our society … the plight of pensioners, the majority
of whom who have to make do with paltry state pensions, for example,
(myself not included), set against the background of the rich
getting richer and flaunting it with stately homes and posh
life-styles … all this is here to stay of course, and an individual
like myself can do little to change things.

But it’s also the more minor / trivial things which also get my goat
… loud noises / bangs and intensely bright flashing lights, in
particular. The other night I was just “turning in” – getting into
bed to go off to sleep, when I heard one of our smoke alarms going
off … with a loud beep, about once a minute (the battery was low).
Now unusually for me, I’ve become fairly deaf in my right ear (I’m
blocked up with ear wax), but the sound of the smoke alarm was so
shrill, that I thought I’d have to get up and remove the battery
(and set it to re-charge overnight). This I did by getting up rather
gingerly on a not very strong fold-up chair.

Instant peace and quiet! Wonderful.

Other loud noises I can’t tolerate – sirens of passing emergency
vehicles and live gunshots on theatre stages … I’m well known in our
family for shouting out in horror, if there’s a surprise gunshot on

I can’t tolerate bright flashing lights on stage/TV also … the last
Eurovision Song Contest was appalling in this respect, and I find
the TV talent shows on ITV really bad also.

I have to cover my eyes up, but even then I get quite a bad headache
with what feels like eye strain.

Mrs C comes across a few individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome in her
counselling work, and has been on some top-notch training courses on
the subject (and has read several books on it too). To my surprise,
this intolerance of loud noise and bright flashing lights is one of
the known features of people with AS … and I have a few other
characteristics of the condition … though to my mind, I reckon mine
fit in more with introversion than with AS. I won’t elaborate more
on this, except to say that my using fancy words like “elaborate”,
rambling off the main subject of what I’m talking about onto other
things, and focussing on rather nerdish interests rather than
interacting with people, could all be regarded as part of AS.

There's lots more about AS in this Wikipedia article ...

Well, so now you know … I’m a bit odd … but then you know that already. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Desktop photo-montage

I've created a Desktop photo to go on my main computer screen.
It's 1280 x 1024 px in size, and I've put it up on my Flickr site, if
you'd like to download it (the largest size) from there.

forest-green background

It's a montage of the photo I showed you last week. If there's
too much green border for you, you can trim it off with one
of the Crop tools (Photoshop/Picasa/Gimp). Here's a link to
my website all about Gimp and other free software. You can take
off my logo with the Clone tool.

I hope you like it. I'll post a few more montages in the coming

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our weekend in London & Google Chrome

Mrs C and I went to London last weekend, to stay with our daughter L
and her family. We didn’t do anything special apart from a picnic at a
local park on one sunny day. I did some lawn mowing, while Mrs C
made a start on clearing one of the side borders in the back garden.
We’ll be back there in 5-6 weeks’ time to carry on gardening.

Here are a couple of photos I took of our very photogenic granddaughters
… Little D and her sister M.



BTW, I'm very pleased with Google Chrome (instead of using Mozilla Firefox
& before that, Internet Explorer). It's much faster, and has a minimal
interface (similar to the Google search page). I use Desktop shortcuts
to my most frequently used email sites and websites ... I don't bother
with Bookmarks / Favourites any more ... I find it much faster to use
either a Google search or the quick launch facility of my shortcuts.

Three more brilliant things about Google Chrome ....
1. the URL box also acts as a Google search box
2. the predictive info that appears when you're logging in, is wonderful
3. the screen capture add-on, Awesome Screenshot, is brill for making
presentations, etc ... though if you've got the Snipping tool of
Windows Vista or Windows 7, this is excellent too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dawyck Botanical Gardens

Here are a few more pics from our holiday in Scotland. During our stay,
we visited the Royal Botanic Gardens at Dawyck (which is near Peebles).

Here are some cowslips, bathed in lovely sunlight …


Some amazing lichen growing on the tree branches …


… and a couple of very tall trees ~ a Giant Redwood from California,
and an Oregon Douglas Fir …


Monday, May 09, 2011

Photos I've taken of the Scottish Borders

I thought I’d post you a few photos from what I’ve just uploaded onto

Here are some gorgeous tulips I photographed in a garden in Newstead …


Here’s a lovely woodland view I photographed on an evening walk to see
the William Wallace monument in the Dryburgh area …


On my way back from the above walk, a large female deer charged downhill
straight in front of me, jumping over a low wire fence at the edge of
the path ... a really amazing experience, though somewhat surreal, as
within a few seconds it disappeared from view when it reached the bottom
of the valley (by the R. Tweed).

Below is a woodland view taken at New Lanark, a large cotton mill
complex owned at one time by Robert Owen, who was a pioneer in improving
working conditions and the welfare of his workforce and the families
who lived there …


A terrestrial globe in the schoolroom at New Lanark, which was made in
about 1828 … you can see that the west coast of the USA was unexplored …


I’ll carry on showing you a few more pics in my next post … or you can
pre-empt that by having a look at the first 12 pages on my Flickr site.
(There's a link to this at the top of the right hand side-bar).

Monday, May 02, 2011

We're back from sunny Scotland

... and what a gloriously sunny week we had, with only a brief shower of rain
on the day we arrived, and a bit of drizzle last Friday. We went on holiday
with several members of Mrs C's family, and stayed in a large Victorian house
(self-catering) in Newtown St Boswells. One of Mrs C's great grandmothers was
born and grew up in Galashiels nearby, so part of the reason for choosing
the Scottish Borders for a holiday was to do some family history research.

It will take me 1-2 weeks to process all the photos I took, so during that
time I will write a bit about the family history and the friendliness of
the local people, Robert Owen's cotton mill at New Lanark, Walter Scott's
home at Abbotsford, the museum devoted to Mary Queen of Scotts in Jedburgh,
the fabulous Dawyck Botanical Gardens, and the lovely scenery along the
River Tweed.

I've added some website links to the above, in case you can't wait.