Friday, 16 April 2021

Diana Was At Work,

and I had a few things to do,

a walk out of the park,

and past Beckenham Green to the 227 bus stop, last week there were so many people here drinking, eating and chatting, today not a soul, all back to work I guess,

arriving in Bromley, a huge queue snaking around the corner of the Primark store,

lots of the open air market stalls now back,

the High Street looking as busy as it ever was,

this huge double sized stall always seems to be popular selling all manner of cloth and material,

my first port of call Daniels the jewellers, one of Diana's watches and one of mine needed a new battery, I also had one put into the one I was wearing, it was the same age of one that had already stopped, so it seemed a good idea to change it,

next which was almost next door, Lakeland, to exchange our two CO2 cylinders,

doing our bit to save the planet I dropped off two bags of used coffee pods, to the Nespresso recycling bay at the side of their sales stall, by now the watches were ready to be picked up, in no time I was back to Beckenham,

walking past the church towards,

Marks & Spencer's, I called in for a few bits and pieces for the weekend,

I always seem to buy far too much to carry, and today was no exception, making the carrying worse the sky looked like it would open up at any moment and pour with rain, luckily it was just a few drops as the storm cloud passed over head,

in the afternoon I popped upstairs to play with one of the infrared photographs I took when we went to Coombe Gardens, this is the image out of the normal camera,

this is the photograph from the infrared camera mounted next to the normal one, I have colour corrected it,

and added a lot more colour,

I next decided on a totally surreal look, but the tree tops looked a tad too dark,

so I made a few slight changes, and hey presto, a completely different look to the scene, 

I next played with the image in black and white,

although looking the same there are a few subtle differences, the bottom image a tad darker with a little more sharpness,

the difference might be easier to see in a side by side comparison, infrared is not everybody's cup of tea, but I like playing with the photographs I take to achieve some totally different looks to them, if you like infrared photography there are lots more of my infrared photographs here, after my evening meal I watched a Lewis, just before 11.00 in the evening Diana called so off to the bus stop and home where it was feet up for a coffee and a chat, and a wonderful program featuring many of the interviews that Peter Ustinov gave, who was known as 'being the most consistently funny raconteur of his time', great fun and with the end of that we were off to bed.

Only Last Week,

I mentioned I had no idea how Bitcoin worked,

but China does, and according to this article, “Once a digital yuan is introduced, that’s going to be one of the biggest risks in crypto,” Gillespie, who previously worked in currency markets for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said in an interview. “Panic selling” is possible if the new rules end up sucking liquidity from trading platforms for digital coins, he said, as it happens, 'One day everyone will use China's digital currency' according to the BBC way back in September last year, it is not looking good for Bitcoin if this article is to be believed, so do we wait to buy crypto yuan or stick with paper money? it is all a mystery to me!

Joints Without Glue Or Nails,

are a common theme in Japan,

but are now getting less so, the practise dates back to the seventh century and is a craftsmanship technique that involves complicated, interlocking wooden joints that form bonds without the use of nails, screws or adhesives, all images courtesy of tsugite,

the art is known as tsugite, and was going into decline, but a team of researchers from Tokyo University have created a software program that can generate these wooden joints, which can then be fabricated,

the creators named the project ‘tsugite’ after the Japanese word for joinery,

the system allows users to create custom joints, or to pick from a series of ready-made designs. once a joint concept is finalized, it can be manufactured using a CNC milling machine. furthermore, the producers sought to give the opportunity to users with little or no prior experience in woodworking and 3D design to create their functional wooden structures in minutes, what a neat idea to refresh what was a declining craft.

As Can Be Seen,

from these photographs,

the Fermette Marbeuf, which opened in back in 1898,

 was a magnificent place to dine, especially in the atrium, until it disappeared, and remained unseen for nearly 80 years, the atrium had been walled-in since world war two when it had to be hidden from Nazis,

but it is now back in use and can be seen it its former glory, photography is by Francis Amiand,

the restaurant is now the Beefbar Paris, the refurbishment of the ornate wall panels of the previously hidden 19th-century atrium of this steak restaurant, were completed by design duo Humbert & Poyet, who described it as a “game between sobriety and eccentricity”,

what a fabulous place to eat, the Beefbar Paris, is at 5 Rue Marbeuf,75008 Paris, telephone, +33 1 44 31 40 00, email, put us down for a table for 2 on our next visit to Paris!

Thursday, 15 April 2021

71 Years Old Today,

who would have thought it?

firstly many thanks to everyone for wishing me a Happy Birthday,
the glorious 14th! secondly as there are so many photographs I am only making this one post today, it was Diana's day off so we were out,

in the newly cleaned car,

to Coombe Wood Gardens, we have been here before, but much later in the year,

as you go into the gardens there is an ornamental pond,

and flower beds, Diana wandered off for a coffee,

I took a few photographs of the pond, which was unfortunately a little bit cloudy,

Diana returned with her coffee and breakfast,

as I started to take a few photographs,

this part of the gardens is out of bounds,

to give the lawn a chance to recover looking at the bald bits of it,

there were not many flowers at the moment,

 we passed the café,

where Diana bought a snack and a coffee,

we found a place to sit down,

as Diana ate,

I wandered off

snapping away,

Diana was back there,

I continued past the heathers,

and into the area where there are camellias and rhododendrons,

a few were in flower,

this area is predominantly pine trees,

and hilly,

there also were a few flowering shrubs,

like this one, I do not have a clue what it is, but it had so many flowers,

this one in flower,

a quick pose,

and we continued into the woods,

rather like our trip to Kew Gardens at the weekend

we seemed to be mid way between the early flowering and middle flowering season of the camellias and rhododendrons,

so a walk in the woods it was then,

the day was quite dull, but just occasionally it brighten up,

and nicely illuminated,

this rhododendron,

one of the few in bloom,

I had the double camera set up with me today,

one shooting normal images, the other infrared,

Diana had to have a go as well,

one, two, three go!

we continued our walk,

I continued snapping away,

we had to have a selfie,

or two, as you can see I had a birthday beard and haircut,

a quick rest,

and onwards,

to the steps, down,

and up on the other side,

a quick pose,

or two,

I made my way down first,

Diana following,

that was the easy bit, these are the steps up again,

the bit between the steps,

all set to go up,

on our way,

to find a little camp,

and back down again,

we had made a circuit of the woods,

a small collection of hellebores,

a magnolia, now just past its best,

we went back past the house in the park,

into the gardens at the entrance,

where these euphorbias were putting on a good show, 

as an aside here are a few cautionary words about growing this species of plant, here is a clue, the name Euphorbia is considered by many in South Africa as synonymous with poison, also I did read somewhere that food cooked over a fire made of dead, dried Euphorbia will poison you!

back past the café,

 and here is the legend, a trip later in the summer is on the cards,

arriving home a shower and a change of clothes,

and we were on our way out,

a selfie from Diana,

and a pose from myself,

we were off to,

Pierluigi's in Beckenham High Street, this is a photograph I took of a previous visit, tonight as there were diners outside I did not wish to photograph them,

like the front of the restaurant, along the side there was outside seating, with thankfully lots of gas heaters,


Diana choose a Maria Special, which is a sweet fruity mixture with light citrus that combines vodka, strawberries, raspberry liqueur, lime, simple syrup topped with lemonade,

which Diana found delicious, I settled for a glass of bubbly,

then on to the red,

for her starter Diana went with the Caprino alla griglia, grilled goat cheese on roasted aubergine and focaccia, topped with caramelised onions,

for myself, Granchio, salsa tartara e focaccia, king crab meat, homemade tartar sauce and focaccia,

it all looked,

and was delicious,


on to the mains, for Diana Aragosta, lobster, wild clams, garlic, Datterini sauce and lobster bisque,

I went with the Filetto di Manzo alla griglia grilled Aberdeen Angus fillet, served with sautéed potatoes, with a side of Verdure di Stagione, sautéed vegetables, extra virgin oil, with garlic,

I had to have another 'Cheers!', well it was my birthday treat from Diana,

eyes down and tuck in,


we were so full, we decline dessert, but we both went with a Baileys coffee,

what a feast, and many thanks to Diana for such a nice birthday treat,

and the treat did not stop there, arriving home I rounded the evening off with another treat from Diana, Kirk and Sweeny rum, that Diana had bought for my 70th birthday back in 2020, what a fabulous day and evening, I am looking forward to next years celebration already! and with that we were off to bed.