Tuesday, 31 December 2019

After Posting Yesterday's Blog,

I had a quiet afternoon,

having said that I made a start on cutting up some of the boxes and packaging that were building up in the bedroom, several were the International boxes that we had been slowly unpacking, plus the mountains of packaging material that accompanies everything we have bought over the past several months for the flat, for tomorrow I have a plan, I will load everything in the car and pay a visit to the local tip, 

after my evening meal Diana arrived home from work, so it was feet up for an evening of celebrity quiz shows, the main problem being as we do not watch soaps, social series like Coronation Street, Eastenders et al, reality shows, or follow any sports, virtually all of the 'celebrities' were totally unknown to us, but there it is, later in the evening we were going through Netflix to chose a film to round the evening off, when Diana spotted the original released in 1960 Psycho, that she wanted to watch, so that was it for the evening, after that we were off to bed.

Repeat Business,

is the mainstay of many establishments,

the restaurant trade being one of them, but how to lure your customers back time after time? photograph Schematic/recaptured from Weibo, the easy answer just add that little 'something' that the competition does not, it apparently seemed like a good idea to a man surnamed Yang, who ran a restaurant in China’s Guangxi Province, but here is the problem, his little 'something'  was opium that he added to the noodles he served, to get patrons addicted and increase the chances of them coming back for more, all went well, until someone who ate at his local in Sanjiang Dong Automonous County restaurant tested positive for morphine, the active component in opium, during a police inspection. The shocked man insisted that he had not willingly taken drugs, and told investigators that the only thing he had ingested that he couldn’t vouch for was a bowl of noodles at a local restaurant. That’s how police ended up making a surprise visit to the noodle shop in question, where they took a packet of snail powder which tested positive for morphine, after making the initial finding police handed the case over to the Sanjiang County Administration for Market Supervision, which subsequently visited the noodle restaurant again and discovered 76 grams of poppy seed powder, he was arrested and admitted the offence, one would have thought this was an isolated incident, but it is not so, the practice of lacing noodles with opium to get people addicted and increase business is not new in China. One of the first reported cases dates back to 2014, when a restaurant owner in Yan’an, Shaanxi province, admitted to lacing his noodles with opium. He was exposed after a customer tested positive for morphine. At the beginning of 2016, it was confirmed that the Yan’an case was not an isolated one, as Chinese media outlets reported that three dozen other restaurants were investigated for lacing their food with addictive opium, of which some had already been prosecuted, note to self, if I get a craving for noodles, have a drugs test!

One Sci-Fi Movie,

I have watched a number of times,

and really enjoyed was Galaxy Quest, if you have not watched the film it is a hilarious take off of Star Trek, one thing I have always thought about the film was why it was not better received, it seemed to have everything going for it, great cast, excellent plot, and really good special effects, so what really happened to give the film its lack luster start? The Hollywood Reporter spoke with director Dean Parisot, producer Mark Johnson and stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shalhoub, Justin Long, Daryl “Chill” Mitchell, Enrico Colantoni and Missi Pyle, who reflect on the film’s legacy and future, so now I know, and I would suggest if you have not watched the movie, it is well worth a look, well we found it funny.

We Have Not Made A Post,

about origami for some time,

 so this will correct that, as I have just seen a few examples known as the wet folding technique, which involves moistening the paper just the right amount in order to give flexibility to it, the technique was developed by the Japanese origamist Akira Yoshizawa, but these are examples by Hoàng Tiến Quyết, an artist from Vietnam, 

 folding slightly damp paper allows him to obtain a more malleable material and to more easily mold his creations,

 the results are quite lifelike, especially if you watch his YouTube videos recording the creation process,

 You can see more of Hoàng's work on his Instagram page

in addition to his online gallery, and there is myself, I can not eve fold a paper aeroplane that can fly!

Monday, 30 December 2019

I Am Only Making One Post Today,

as there are lots of photographs,

 the day started with a walk to the shops,

 and back past Foxgrove Lodge with some vegetables,

 for our Sunday lunch, roast pork,


 no gravy for myself, 

 Christmas pudding for dessert,

 add brandy,

 sit well back, 

 and lite, 


 and we just had to use up, 

the last of the cream,

we watched a couple of game shows in the afternoon, then we were out, for Christmas at Kew, Steve very kindly picked us up,

 by now everyone was hungry,

 so a look at the food stalls,

 hot dogs it was, 

 the girls choose the same, 

 with all of the trimmings, Steve went for a box of chips,

 I actually was not hungry,

 so I took a few photographs,

 of the ever changing lights,

 that lit up the Palm House, 

 I wandered inside,

 the main sales area,

 looking at tin birds,

 a woodpecker or two and a kingfisher,

 food finished we were on the trail, 

 various companies that specialises in lighting displays,

 use this event,

 to showcase their products 

 which is great for us visitors, 

 it was a bit misty, 

 which added to the atmosphere,

 trees outlined in so many colours, 

 as well as bushes and shrubs, 

 another companies display, 

 and then something completely different,

 an archway that constantly change color,

Diana strikes the pose,

 emerging from that we found a number of illuminated trees,

that took our attention,

 as did this single tree,

 which went through,

 all manner of light changes,

 so I took a few photographs of just a few of the colour changes,

 the same with these two trees,

 at the end of the post I have made a quick video, which I have not edited, it is straight out of the camera with just a bit of music added, which might give an idea of the changing colours,

 in it there are a number of the installations,

 that we will be looking at tonight,

 back to the trail,

 which makes its way,

 past most of the major buildings,

 like this one, 

 I have to admit I am not sure which building this is,

 but it certainly made a nice backdrop,

 next a cathedral like light arch, 

 once inside, 

another quick photograph,

 with Steve and Kai, 

 well I had to get in on the act,

 we both did,

 I just hate it when somebody ruins the photograph!

  Diana and Kai as happy as ever,

and we could not forget Steve,

 this was a slightly different look,

 all of the other installations were electric,

 but this one used flames,

 as its light source,

 looking back to the cathedral like structure,

 a new shop had appeared since our last visit, 

 Diana thought a flat cap and matching bow tie would suit me,

 I think the wine suited me better,

 as well as a snack bar and gifts for sale, the new building also housed a restaurant,

 back on to the trail, 

 a quick look back to the new building,

 and we were off, 

 to cherry walk,

 which almost looked like a avenue of cherry trees,

 at the end of which, was this building, 

 looking back to the avenue,

 and onwards,  

 to the funfair,  

 again I am not sure what this building housed,

 but I do know this is a helter-skelter,

 and I know a roundabout when I see one,

just a shame there are not more customers for the rides operators,

  my attention was drawn to the steps of this building,

 actually the chap standing on them, I have no idea what he is all about,


 and trains made up another couple of rides, 

 we entered a part of the trail titled Harry Potter, through this mist curtain,

 and came upon,

 a huge waterfall of lights,

 and when I say huge,

 it was,

 the lights changing colour,

 as they made the effect of failing water,


 a tree,

 which in turn,

 changed through,

 a rainbow of colors, 

 it really was quiet stunning,

a quick pose from Diana,

 before we left,

 and I had a quick look at the ground lights,

 everybody remembered this stall from last year, 

 and the fire to roast your marshmallows, great fun, just do not drop them in! 

 we made our way past the outside of the waterfall, 

 to the exit of Harry Potter Land, 

 even from the outside, 

 the waterfall was a great show to watch,

 in the distance,

 another illuminated tree, 

 along with what we thought were mushrooms,

 bit I think maybe Will-o'-the-wisps,

 change colours,

 as we stood and watched,

 it was all so pretty,

 and I think we were all amazed, at the amount of work that must have gone in to designing these features,  

 as we neared what was the far tree,

 the light show continued,

 continually changing, 

 it was almost like,

 the enchanted forest,

 then a single tree,  

 decked out in white,

yes it is me,

 a quick rest for a photograph,

 and we were on our way,

 we were going to stop here for a little refreshment, but it was now late, and the stall holder was already packed,

 so we had to hurry a little, 

 well it was a bit cold,

 to be locked in Kew Gardens overnight!

 a quick pose,

 and what was this in the distance?

 a building full of moving lights,

 they were contained in fabric tubes,

which moved as lots of children ran through them,

 emerging the other end of the display,

 I looked back,

 we were now nearing the rear of the lake,

 past a few more buildings, 

 and the end of the Palm House, 

 with its imposing guards, 

 in the distance across the lake the library, 

 we had now passed the Palm House,

 in its ever changing colors,

 and were admiring the water curtain,

in the lake,

 that had lights played on it,

 we continued towards the rear of the lake, 

 the water curtain,

 changing shapes,

 and colours,

 in the distance,

 the blue building on the far right,

 the entrance,

 and now for us the exit,

 so a final look,

 at the Palm House, 

 in all of its glory,

 as we start the walk,

 back to where we began,

 what a magical evening,

 the light show totally different from last year, 

 we will be back, when the weather is warmer! 

 we passed the Christmas tree at the entrance,

 and the now deserted entrance turnstiles,

on our walk to the car we passed Kew tube station, Steve and Kai kindly dropped us off at home, where we said our farewells, many, many thanks indeed, 

as I mentioned earlier, I had cobbled a video together it has all of the outtakes, the out of focus bits, warts and all, but it might give an idea of what some of the lights shows were like, and with that we were off to bed.