Friday, 3 April 2020

Another Quiet Day For Us,

tea and a slice of cake in the afternoon,


in the evening a couple of quiz shows, and a couple of films, the first Troy, time has just flown by, it was only when I looked the film up I realised it was 16 years old! released in 2004, it was still so entertaining to watch again, 

we rounded off the evening with 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, the title should have told be how bad it was going to be, one of the divers had not dived before, as a beginner novice divers should only dive to 9- 20 meters, not the 47 meters mentioned in the title, still it made for a catchy title if nothing else, the technical details were appalling, holes so big the shark could have swam through them without touching the sides! by now it was nearly midnight, so for us we were off to bed.


You May Have Noticed,

that on April Fools Day,



we did not post any pranks, with the current crisis so many organizations did not do the usual April Fool story, but there were a few out there like this one:

Go to school: An Ireland radio station shared a video of a parent who fooled their kids into thinking they had to return to school early, getting them dressed and ready to go out the door. But once they turned down the hallway, they saw a sign: “April Fools!” (Schools in the UK and other countries are following stay-at-home and social distancing orders by doing virtual learning at home.)

for this and a few more have a look here, at syracusethe story amongst others appearing on this page, hopefully next year will see a bumper crop of April Fools!


I Had Never Heard Of The “Coronavirus Tourism Bureau”,

until now,


 the creator of this fictional entity, California-based graphic designer Jennifer Baer, all images © Jennifer Baer, has produced an illustrated a set of coronavirus-themed posters promoting the most luxurious of staycation activities in an effort to support social distancing practices, above why not talk to your plants? even use one as an indoor sunshade, by the way if you are indoors a lot, as we all are, remember to use sunscreen,

 in the bath pretend you are on a sun kissed beach, or like us with just a shower, pretend you are on the same beach, but the rain is warm,

and for the more energetic out there, ride the waves of your couch cushions, you can buy some of Bear’s work from Society 6, and follow her on Instagram, and support her topical work on Patreon, I do like the style of these posters, for myself very art deco which is a period I like.


In My Teens,

it was so expensive to cut a vinyl record,


 even more so for an Extended Play (EP), but now you can cut your own disc at home, all images © Yuri Suzuki,

 the days of simple, homemade vinyl are just arriving thanks to Yuri Suzuki. The London-based designer, who is also a partner at Pentagram, has created the Easy Record Maker, a small device that makes audio recording straightforward and accessible to the general public,  

 plugging in an auxiliary cable or USB and playing audio through a phone or other digital device, the cutting arm receives the sound vibrations and engraves the blank plastic three to four times within a single millimeter. Each side of the 5-inch record takes about four minutes to complete, 

when ready to play, the machine’s cutting piece should be swapped for the tone arm, which is large enough to accommodate traditional 7-inch EPs, 

in an interview with It’s Nice That, Suzuki said that creating a DIY-record engraver has been one of his goals since his teenage days as part of a ska-punk band when he didn’t have the financial resources to use professional recording equipment,

 the Easy Record Maker is currently available in kit form from Gakken in Japan and will be released to U.S. and U.K. audiences in the coming months, for a live demo, head to Suzuki’s Instagram this Friday to check out what he shares on IGTV, 

the price in Japan for the kit is quoted at 10,428 yen (tax included) at today’s rate, £78.15 or $96.40, but that includes 20 discs, and is the Amazon limited edition, there is a cheaper version with just 10 discs available,

“Sound has a strong impact on our emotions and the way we behave, and I always try to create an experience with sound that as many people as possible can relate to,” he said, with many enthusiast going back to vinyl record hiss and pops, this could be a great way to go, especially for groups wanting to cut their own piece of vinyl!


Thursday, 2 April 2020

Before The Current Lockdown,

we often went out for a afternoon snack of a cream tea and a few cakes,


 and before Diana started work the occasional tea and cake in the afternoon at home, so as we are now housebound, it was time to bring out the teapot for a afternoon brew, next a couple of games of Monopoly, which again today ended in a one all draw,

next an expect surprise for Diana,

 a box was delivered,

and guess what was inside?

a new handbag of course! just because we can not go outside it does not mean that we have to stop shopping! 

 in the evening we sat down for our starter of seafood and salad,

and a sherry which I did not finish before our starter appeared,

 for our main course,

 a chilli con carne, with rice, 

 'Cheers!',

 and for dessert a sherry trifle, 

and what better way to round off a meal than a Jamaican coffee? we spent the evening listening to music and rounded it off with a film,

  National Treasure, next for us we were off to bed.


Every News Outlet,

whether it is newspapers, television, or the Internet,


 bring us daily tolls of the infections and deaths of so many, but before these media laden times how was this news communicated? well you bought a copy of “bills of mortality” this one printed in London during the Great Plague of 1665, it was a need for historical perspective that pushed Ellen Cotes to publish London's Dreadful Visitation, Cotes “resolved to communicate unto the Nation, these subsequent leaves” so that “Posterity may not any more be at such a loss”, the causes of death reported by searchers were recorded by sextons and clerks on weekly bills of mortality — sheets sold like broadsides for a penny, meant to let citizens know where the disease had spread,  

above the bill of mortality for the week of 19th–26th September 1665, and remember this was just one week in London, not all of England! a total of 7,165 people in 126 parishes were proclaimed to have died of “Plague” yes over one thousand a day, a number most historians believe to be low, considering how many people (Quakers, Anabaptists, Jews, and the very poor, among others), were not taken into account by the recording Anglicans, in addition to the alarming number of plague deaths, Londoners, of course, continued to die by other means, both familiar and strange, many familiar maladies hide behind the enigmatic naming, “Rising of the Lights”, dreamy though it sounds, was a seventeenth-century term for any death associated with respiratory trouble (“lights” being a word for lungs), “Griping in the guts” and “Stopping of the stomach” were similarly used for deaths accompanied by gastrointestinal complaints, "Spotted feaver" was most likely typhus or meningitis,many labels — such as "suddenly", "frighted", and "grief" — speak of the often approximate nature of assigning a cause (not carried out by medical professionals but rather the "searchers"), "Planet" referred to any illness thought to have been caused by the negative influence/position of one of the planets at the time (a similar astrological source lies behind the name Influenza, literally influence), other causes of death endemic to seventeenth-century England practically litter the bills, Tuberculosis, both in the form of “Consumption” and of “Kingsevil” (a tubercular swelling of the lymph glands which was thought to be curable by the touch of royalty), killed hundreds of people every month, “Surfeit”, meaning overindulgence in food or drink, could sometimes be interchangeable with “Gowt” (gout) or “Dropsie” (edema), and the toll childbearing took on both mother and infant is also painfully evident on the bill, with its entries for “Childbed”, “Infants”, “Stillborn”, “Abortive”, "Teeth" (babies who died while teething), and “Chrisomes” (a catch-all for children who died before they could talk), hopefully this modern plague that we are now experiencing will have nothing like this number of fatalities for Londoners.


A Couple Of Days Ago

I mentioned a number of coloring books,




 well here is another one,

 brought to us by The Public Domain Review,

  I have posted a few of the pages here,

 you can download the PDF using the links below (available in two different size formats depending on your region), U.S. Letter size or A4 size,

 the downloads are available for free but if you did want to donate something to help cover their costs then, of course, this is very welcome, you can do so at this link here, all monies go directly to The Public Domain as they are making the pages available for free,

as an aside they say that, "We'd love to see your coloured-in pages when you are done, so please do share on social media using the hashtags #isolationcoloration and #pdrcoloringbook. And do share news of the book far and wide with all who you think might enjoy it!" so colored pens and paints out and have some fun!


The Winners Of The inaugural Nature TTL Photographer Of The Year 2020 Competition,


have been announced,


the competition saw 7,000 entries come in from 117 different countries, this year’s Overall Winner is Florian Ledoux with his image above titled, Above the Crabeater Seals,

 I have picked a few at random,

 the credits appear in the photographs,

 I just wish I could capture images like these,

I must try harder! to look at more of these stunning photographs head over to the Nature TTL page.



Wednesday, 1 April 2020

As I Was Typing The First Post,

I heard a faint quaking,


 the ducks were back,

 a few peanuts later, 

 the drake was standing guard,

 he eat very few peanuts, 

 whilst his mate continuously tucked in, considering that these were split peanuts I was surprised at how the ducks could tell the difference between pieces of gravel and the nuts,

 next pick up the ones that had landed on the grass, and they were off,

 now for our first venture outside since the lockdown began, firstly to Sainsburys in Sydenham, a long queue around 2 sides of the car park, but Diana was soon inside, we bought pretty much everything there, except kidney tinned beans, Diana was going to make a chilli con carne, and lettuce and a couple of other things on our list,

 so into Waitrose next, the queue went past the front of the building 3 times in segregated rows, 

and then up one side of the car park, but again we were fairly quickly inside, the good news was that there was only one person in the check out line in front of us, people were being let in as other customers were leaving, giving up their trolly each one was sanitized by a member of staff, arriving home it was feet up for the afternoon, for a coffee and watching a few quiz shows before our evening meal, 

afterwards it was a couple of games of Monopoly, which ended in a one all draw, feet up again for Dorian Grey, I have to admit the first time we watched the film a few years ago I was totally underwhelmed, but seeing it again I thought it a lot better, I guess as with fine wine and good cheese it must have matured with age! 

we rounded off the evening with Virus, an alien virus takes over a ships computer, making terminator like machines to kill the crew, who were having none of it, with the end of that we were off to bed.