Sunday, 5 February 2023

I Joined Diana,

on her walk to the bus stop,


Diana was going to work, 

I was off to pick up some metalwork files and a sanding block from Toolstation,

a view of the station from the top deck of the bus,

ditto the war memorial,

past the Elm Tree,

and here I was at Elmer End bus terminal, 

normally any bits and pieces I pick up at Screwfix, just across the road, but I got confused and for some reason ordered from Toolstation,

which was a walk over the railway bridge,

there it was,

in the far distance,

down the other side of the bridge, where I made a 'U' turn,

into the business park,

and as you might have guessed, Toolstation was the building furthest away from the entrance to the park,

into and out of the store,

and I was homeward bound,

as I passed Foxgrove Lodge, 

some work was going on at the front of the other gate house opposite,

as I walked towards home I noticed these, the first of the spring,

cherry blossoms, spring is in the air!

also in the grass verges where dog walkers do not park their cars,

the first crocuses,

are starting to put on a good show,

back home I used the sanding block to ease the bathroom door, so it no longer needs a shove to close it,

I also used with not much success the files to open the shut,

that the locks tongue engages in, after what seemed like an age of filling I gave up, my fingers were numb, a job for next week,

on to my read and evening sherry,

for tonight liver and bacon with mash potatoes, 'Cheers!',

I then watched the fifth and sixth episode of Wolf Hall, bringing the series to a close, and I have to say how for myself, it was so enjoyable,

then a bit of a strange one, Legion, it is a TV series, David Haller, a paranoid schizophrenic, is admitted to a psychiatric facility, later, an inexplicable encounter with fellow patient Syd Barrett makes him realise that he may not be ill after all, I watched the first episode finishing just as Diana arrived home, so one from Lewis before we were off to bed.


Was Napoleon Really Defeated By Rabbits?

the amazing story of a hunt that went wrong,


Jacques-Louis David's "Napoleon Crossing the Alps," 1802 image credit from RMN (Ch√Ęteau de Versailles), the hunt started like this, the event was organized by the Prince of Neuch√Ętel, Alexandre Berthier, to make sure the hunt was a success, Berthier arranged for around a thousand rabbits to be brought to the hunt on that day, well he did not want a rabbit hunt with no rabbits! when the rabbits were released, they didn't scatter to avoid the party of men shooting at them, instead, they charged, the men went into battle mode to protect Napoleon and rebuffed the rabbits, but after a while, the rabbits regrouped and charged a second time! and swarmed onto the emperor himself, Napoleon escaped with his life, as well as the rest of the hunting party, but embarrassingly they lost the battle, the embarrassed Berthier was the subject of an investigation over the incident, which yielded a perfectly logical explanation for the rabbits' behaviour, you can read the whole story plus the aftermath at Just History Posts, it is a pretty good story, and there is even a chance that it might be true. 


Diana And Myself,

both enjoyed watching the film Wednesday,


in fact all of the Adams Family films, and one of the cast that appears in pretty much all of them, and is in many ways the hero, is Thing, and you can buy a mechanical hand looking like Thing from Spirit Halloween, (I have to say their web site does not seem to be working that well), but Jaimie and Jay, the Wicked Makers, decided that they could make a more realistic Thing, using as its base a thick latex glove, which they returned to the animatronic inner works from the original toy, and it looked good, then the real work started, the painting and final touches and getting the colours and details just right, they ended up with a moving Thing that looks just like the one from Wednesday! the video is a tad long, so a mug of coffee is recommended.


Saturday, 4 February 2023

We Had A Quiet Day,

in the afternoon Diana left for work,


for myself it was out with the file that Graham had lent me, I tried to take some metal from the door lock and also some wood from the bathroom door that had swollen and was not shutting without a good push, with limited success, the file did not seem to have any effect on the metal, and clogged up as it was so fine with wood from the door, so tomorrow a trip to Toolstation to buy a course file and sanding block, so for myself it was feet up for The Far Country, a rousing western, as you might expect from a 1954 movie, the good guy wins out in the end,

next a read and a sherry,

Diana had left me a huge chilli con carne, which was delicious, after which I was out to the Moon & Stars to meet Steve, for a change I caught a 354 to Clock House, and changed there for a 227,

one of the shops at the stop had a nice rendition of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, which we have mentioned many times on the blog, then a bit of a disaster, the 227 arrived and speed off, it was packed, as usual the UK's public transport service totally letting down the traveling public, arriving eventually at the pub, I managed to snag a booth before Steve arrived, we chatted the evening away, after saying our farewells I was on a 227 hurtling on my way home, 

a walk past the graveyard,

and across the green into the park,

Diana had beaten me home, so a nightcap it was then as we watched Total Recall, the 1990 version that we both enjoyed before we were off to bed.


Yesterday Evening,

we watched a Arnold Schwarzenegger movie,


photograph Wang and Pan et al. which reminded me in the film Terminator 2 of his antagonist, the advanced T-1000 shapeshifting android, that in one scene walked through the bars of a jail cell, and today I noticed this metallic shape shifter, it is a small robot that can melt and resolidify itself on command, enabling it to easily escape from confined spaces, a international team of scientists embedded microscopic chunks of magnetic neodymium, boron and iron into liquid gallium, a metal that has a very low melting point. Then, by using magnets to command the miniature robot to melt and turn into a puddle, they guided it through the bars of a cage, before having it resolidify into the original shape on the other side,

 “The magnetic particles here have two roles,” Carmel Majidi, a mechanical engineer at Carnegie Mellon University, said in a statement. “One is that they make the material responsive to an alternating magnetic field, so you can, through induction, heat up the material and cause the phase change. But the magnetic particles also give the robots mobility and the ability to move in response to the magnetic field.” As it happens the team behind this project took inspiration not from James Cameron’s blockbuster but from sea cucumbers, marine creatures that can switch from stiff to soft states when the need arises, “Giving robots the ability to switch between liquid and solid states endows them with more functionality,” Chengfeng Pan, an engineer at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and lead researcher on the project, said, so we are now one step nearer to creating a T-1000 shapeshifting android, and there was me thinking the T-100 was science fiction!


Every So Often,

I see a book that I would like to look through,


and this is one such set,

the volumes are titled, 'Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations',

it is a highly illustrated three volume catalogue of the exhibits of the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition, the first in a series of World's Fairs, and as a bonus it has a further supplementary volume also,

the map of the exhibitors gives some idea of the scale of the exhibition,

and showcases products that made the British Empire great,

the set was published in London by Spicer Brothers & W. Clowes & Sons in 1851,

I have to admit I find the history of the Crystal Place fascinating, for a look at its past have a look here,

another snippet from the books, advertisements, the one for glass domes top right is just so Victorian, in the day, kill it and display it, as photography took over the glass dome industry took a bit of a hit! the set is available at Rooke Books, yours for £2,100.00, for myself what a fascinating set of books.


Friday, 3 February 2023

Today Was The Day,

that so many tradesmen arrived,


first thing the fire door inspection, for the building's new fire insurance certificate and insurance all of the of the doors opening up on to communal areas have to be to a certain degree fireproof, as I am normally at home I volunteered to show the inspector around all of the flats where the occupants were at work, he took so many photographs, so all we have to do now is wait for his report and put his recommendations into action, next another company involved in the bidding process for repairs and maintenance to the building wanted access to the roof for a inspection, so up through my man attic for a look over the roof, I also accompanied him for a walk around of the building, later in the day I found out that one of the plumbers had called round the day before, so only the one plumber to call round today, which he did, we now have no leaking stopcocks in the cellar, as it happens as I was walking out to meet the builder Diana was walking up the drive, so arriving inside it was a coffee and a chat, before our evening meal, 

and here they were, Villagers Cumberland sausages and mash, 

eyes down and tuck in, they were delicious, Diana mentioned how much nicer they tasted than our normal supermarket bought sausages, we then settled down into our usual evening routine, a Antiques Road Show followed by 2 episodes of Lewis, before we were off to bed.