Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Whilst Diana Was At Work,

I decided to pop down to the shop,

 so a windy walk to the bus stop, how the weather has changed over night, I had a look around the shop Kingfisheries and chatted to Graham, then back home,

 where in the garden of Foxgrove Lodge I noticed what I think is a lilac,

 in flower, 

 also one of the hydrangeas was putting on a show, I spent the day looking through some of the mountains of photographs I have, Lee wanted some photographs of fish for the art work to place on the new company van, it took an age, and I still have so many files to look through, and send pin sharp pictures to him to look at, after my evening meal I watched a few quiz shows, one from Endevour, and then a great piece of news, one of the television channels was starting New Tricks from episode one, next Silent Witness, by now it was nearly midnight when Diana called, 

so out of the park and over the railway bridge to meet Diana on the 162 bus,

 a walk back home where it was feet up for a coffee and a chat, then as 1.00 am approached we were off to bed.

We See It Every Day

and without it, we die,

the Sun, our Sun, which is a yellow dwarf star, a hot ball of glowing gases at the heart of our solar system. Its gravity holds the solar system together, keeping everything – from the biggest planets to the smallest particles of debris – in its orbit. The connection and interactions between the Sun and Earth drive the seasons, ocean currents, weather, climate, radiation belts and auroras. Though it is special to us, there are billions of stars like our Sun scattered across the Milky Way galaxy, the Sun has many names in many cultures. The Latin word for Sun is “sol,” which is the main adjective for all things Sun-related: solar, with a radius of 432,168.6 miles (695,508 kilometers), our Sun is not an especially large star—many are several times bigger—but it is still far more massive than our home planet: 332,946 Earths match the mass of the Sun. The Sun’s volume would need 1.3 million Earths to fill it,

this illustration shows the approximate size of Earth compared to the Sun. Image Credit: ESA & NASA, the Sun is 93 million miles (150 million kilometres) from Earth. Its nearest stellar neighbor is the Alpha Centauri triple star system: Proxima Centauri is 4.24 light years away, and Alpha Centauri A and B—two stars orbiting each other—are 4.37 light years away, in case you do not know, a light year is the distance light travels in one year, which is equal to 5,878,499,810,000 miles or 9,460,528,400,000 kilometres, so why all the fuss over the Sun?

well because of this, a new timelapse from NASA, lets viewers peer into the fiery mass for an entire decade. During the course of ten years, the Solar Dynamics Observatory took more than 425 million images of the massive star that were captured .75 seconds apart. Aggregated into an hour-long compilation titled “A Decade of Sun,” the photographs provide visual evidence of how the giant orb functions and its influence on the rest of the solar system. Each image was captured at a wavelength of 17.1 nanometers, or one-billionth of a meter, to show the exterior atmospheric layer that’s called the corona, NASA has shared on YouTube a list of notable moments, including an appearance by Venus and an iconic interruption in 2012. Most of the dark spots in the video are a result of the earth or moon passing in between the Solar Dynamics Observatory and blocking its view, although there was a longer lapse in 2016 due to an equipment malfunction. When the spacecraft was re-calibrating its tools, the sun shifts to one side of the screen, for more views of NASA's explorations into outer space pop over to YouTube, what an amazing video, especially when we are told so many times not to look directly into the Sun!

The Benevolent Would Say It Is A Store Pandering To Public Health Demands,

others would say it is an opportunistic cash-grab,

 located in the USA on the second floor of Miami’s Aventura shopping mall, COVID-19 Essentials is described as a one-stop shop for all your Covid-19 needs. From a plethora of hand sanitizers and disinfectants to really niche gadgets like portable UV light sterilizers and shoe cover dispensers, this specialized store really has it all. According to the entrepreneurs behind Miami’s currently most talked about business, the demand was there and all they had to do was give the people what they wanted, “The demand was there. Everybody was kind of looking for masks and sanitizers and anything to do with COVID,” Nadav Benimetzky, manager of COVID-19 Essentials, said. “Anything that’s COVID-19 related, we have it.” You can call COVID-19 Essentials what you want, but not cheap. A two-ounce bottle of simple sanitizer costs $5.99, and if you’re looking for something special you can spend $9 on a bottle of grapefruit-scented sanitizer. Simple face masks go for $29, but if you want to stand out, you can spend $45 on a Black Lives Matter mask, or customize one however you see fit, 

“People want to have their own masks customized in a couple minutes. Everyone wants to express their own fashion, and we’re here to really customize the mask, A to Z,” Nadav Benimetzky said. “Entering Aventura Mall, it is mandatory to wear a mask, and if you’re already in Aventura Mall, might as well make it a fashionable mask. So we carry every single mask you can imagine.” every product COVID-19 Essentials carries, from the simple gloves and face shields, to smartphone sterilizers and infrared thermometers or designer face masks, is sold at a premium. This is a mall after all, and there aren’t too many alternatives around. Still, some people have already accepted it as a normal consequence of our new reality, 

“With all this situation and everything, it’s like a toy store. That’s our reality right now. We need to protect ourselves, and we need to be very careful,” one shopper told WSVN, however, COVID-19 Essentials has been getting some criticism online, with some social media users accusing its creators of trying to profit from a crisis that has so far killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the sad fact is that whilst I would not wish the store any harm, it will like the virus be with us for some time to come.

Regular Readers Of Our Blog,

will known of at least two life failings/skills that I do not have,

firstly spelling, secondly punctuation, I am totally hopeless at both, back at school every Monday late afternoon I would be in detention, on a Friday afternoon we would be given 20 words to learn how to spell over the weekend, the pass 17 out of 20, (85%), my score about 11 or 12 out of 20, sometimes I have to admit even in single figures! appalling I know, and in adult life things never got better, now normally I avoid spelling tests like the plague, but I thought I would try this one from Buzzfeed, who also supplied the image screenshot, just click on the blue Buzzfeed to start, so how did I do? have a look below,










8 out of 15, (53.333%), I am totally amazed that I got so many correct! but back in the day at school, with this result I would still be seeing the English language master in detention on Monday!

Monday, 29 June 2020


to Diana, 

 I was up early just after 5.00AM, to put up the banners, whilst Diana was still in a deep sleep,

 and arrange the presents on the table,

I was not the only one up early,

 the pair of foxes were in the garden,

 no sign of the cubs,

 I guess they were having a sleep in!

later it was lighter as Diana woke up,

and here is birthday girl,

 first present to open from Steve and Kai,

Diana's favorite perfume Si Fiori Eau de Parfum spray from Giorgio Armani,

 next a box of skin care products from Beauty Pie, the box contained some but not all of these

 I played a trick on Diana as she unwrapped this present, it was a Micheal Kors box, for a few seconds Diana thought she was getting a Kors handbag, but I said I had only used an old box for something else, Oh the disappointment! 

but her disappointment was short lived, it was indeed a Micheal Kors handbag!

 and there was better to come, the penultimate present contained a second Kors handbag,

two in a day!

and finally, 

 another box of cosmetics,

 this selection from Charlotte Tilbury

then time for a fashion show,

with one of Diana's other crossbody bags,

 after all of the excitement it was then time for our Sunday lunch,

for our starter a prawn and avocado cocktail, with fresh salad courtesy of Steve and Kai,


 for our main course roast lamb,

 followed by a selection of fruits,

and another 'Cheers!', from me,

 in the afternoon it was feet up for another couple of films from the sci-fi box, both as it happens from Japan, firstly Attack of the Monsters, which had been renamed Gamera vs. Guiron, it is one of those, 'you have to see it to believe', it movies,

 keeping to a Japanese theme, the next could be the forerunner of the 1998 Godzilia, as a nuclear explosion awakens Gammera the Invincible, a giant, fire-breathing turtle monster from his millions of years of hibernation, Plans A, B, C and others did not work, so will Plan Z finally put paid to the fire breathing upright walking turtle? full marks for the guy wearing the suit, it must have been so hot in there!

after a break a real treat in the film Hearts of Atlantis, a sort of feel good movie as a visitor to a now derelict part of town, relives childhood memories of the times he spent there, highly enjoyable, although in these highly sensitive PC times I am sure the snowflakes will want it cut, why? can the phrase "Easy Peasey Japanesey", still be used without offending the race? perfetic I know, but I thought I would get in there first! we followed this with one from New Tricks, then for us after this most enjoyable day of days, we were off to bed.

Back In The 1960s,

they were called 'Mods',

 people that drove motor scooters, principally Vespas or Lambrettas, fast forward to today,

a community in Indonesia is dedicated to modifying the Italian scooters, the Vespa enthusiasts are a part of Rebel Riders, a community in Indonesia dedicated to modifying the Italian scooters, in a recent video by Great Big Story, Azani and his compatriots share a glimpse into their pastime that includes altering the body with extra wheels and adorning the exterior with tree branches, animal skulls, and other finds. Every year, the group meets up to tinker with each others’ rides in multiple celebrations that occur on each island in Indonesia,

 “One Vespa, a million brothers,” says Nando Anjasmara Azani, you can not deny it, they all certainly look different!

Way Back,

in October of 2017,

 we featured some fantastic work by Zoe Keller, and here are some more from her, above “Where We Once Lived II,” copper belly water snake, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches, all images © Zoe Keller, 

 “Black Pine Snake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches, through a winding series of delicate illustrations, Zoe Keller explores the fragility of the natural world,

“Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake,” graphite on paper, 34 x 43 inches, in Scale & Bone, the Portland-based illustrator renders copper belly water snakes, San Francisco garters, and eastern diamondback rattlers,

 “Eastern Indigo,” graphite on paper, 27.5 x 36 inches, many of Keller’s offer “opportunities to collaborate directly with scientists working on the ground to protect imperiled species.” The illustrator recently worked with Save the Snakes, an organization that steers conservation efforts and attempts to reduce harm by humans. Her serpent-focused poster will be unveiled this summer in time for World Snake Day,

“Memento Mori I” (2020), giant garter snake and pipevine swallowtail, graphite on paper, 14 x 14 inches, Scale & Bone currently is on view at Antler Gallery, which is offering a virtual tour on its site,you can follow Keller on Instagram for updates on her intertwined illustrations, and check her shop for prints, postcards, and stickers, what I would not give to have the talent and inspiration of Zoe, some people are just so talented.

Could This Be,

the tallest urban cactus in the world?

 all photographs by Japanese Twitter user =Yang= (@0okome0), last Wednesday, the Japanese Twitter user posted a bunch of intriguing photos of a building he had spotted in Takinogawa, Tokyo Metropolitan Area, as he approached the strange sight, he realized that it was actually a thick cactus stretching from the bottom all the way to the roof of the three-storey residential building, He snapped some pics and posted them on Twitter, where they quickly went viral,

 a  closer look at the incredibly-tall cactus plant reveals that someone has been taking care of it, fastening it to the side of the building with metal rings, so that it doesn’t bend under its own weight, and removing all of its thorns, to prevent accidental injuries, while the cactus seems to have grown straight along the building wall, it became deformed when it reached the top, with some Twitter users pointing out that it kind of looks like a human trying to jump over the safety fence on top of the building, unfortunately, no one has any information about the plant – like how old it is, or even what kind of cactus it is – or its owner, but people have been speculating that it might just be the world’s tallest cactus, as it happens the Guinness World Record for ‘world’s tallest cactus’ belongs to a Mexican Giant Cardon cactus which measured 19.2 meters in 1995, that’s going to be hard to beat, but the Takinogawa cactus is still growing, 

as an aside I thought that this one might be the Saguaro Cactus, (Carnegiea gigantea), the saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the United States, and will normally reach heights of 40 feet tall, the tallest saguaro cactus ever measured towered over 78 feet into the air, but on reflection I must be wrong, purely by looking at the growth rate, it can take 10 years for a saguaro cactus to reach 1 inch in height, by 70 years of age, a saguaro cactus can reach 6 and a half feet tall, and will finally start to produce their first flowers, by 95-100 years in age, a saguaro cactus can reach a height of 15-16 feet, so it can not be a Saguaro cactus, but what ever it is, it is big!