Thursday, 30 August 2012

Life's Clocks - Sepia Saturday

At an early age we are taught to tell the time often using a cardboard clock on which the hands may be changed, aided by nursery rhymes like Hickory Dickory Dock.

You may even be led to believe that you can tell the time by blowing

A Dandelion Clock
(By Marco27 - CC A-S A 2.0 generic license)

But when I went to Stamford School in Lincolnshire life was ruled by the School clock and the bell.

Stamford School and Chapel
Just so that there can be no mistake here's the clock and the bell.

Clock and Bell
If I hadn't learnt the lesson then I'm reminded every day I walk up my village lane.

Sundial Cottage
It may be difficult to tell the time by this due to the shadows cast by the ivy and the climbing plant but when I get to the town of Yarm there is no confusion.

Yarm Town Hall (built 1710)
By coincidence I was in Yarm today to replace the battery in my watch which was losing several minutes a day. You could say I did it at the eleventh hour.

Had it stopped I'm sure someone would have said 'I told you so.'

If I could tell you - W H Auden

These days a lot of people check the time  and play games on their smart phones; mine just makes calls. I used to play clock patience with a pack of cards, but now like many others it's just Hearts and Spider Solitaire on a computer.

We don't have a clock like this.

De Scott Evans Grandfather's Clock (1891 oil on canvas)
Private Collection - The Athaneum - De Scott Evans (1847-1898)

Which reminds me that I'm a grandad 

Grandfather's Clock

Next weekend we are to attend a memorial service for a couple we knew who died earlier this year. You may remember John Hannah in Four Weddings and a Funeral reciting these words.

Stop all the clocks

Now I guess it's time for you to check out what other time travellers have posted at Sepia-saturday-141

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Parallel Bars - Thematic Photography

The Paralympics start this week in London. The TV programmes are keen that we should know that the Paralympics are run in parallel with the Olympic Games.

The town of Saltburn on the north-east coast of England has had it own Olympics this year thanks to an anonymous 'yarn bomber' who has placed a knitted Olympic scarf and knitted Olympians on the railings of Saltburn Pier.

Saltburn Pier's parallel bars
There are more parallel bars to be seen on the American flag.

Flag Day 2012 - Downtown Rochester, Michigan
This picture was taken through the windscreen of a moving car and it was only later that I realised the number of parallel wires it contained.

I believe I've posted a picture from the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre earlier this year. The updated site was opened by the Queen as part of her Diamond Jubilee Celebration and was used by canoeists training for the London 2012 Games.

As part of the upgrade four Archimedes screws were installed to return water from the end of the water course back up to the beginning.

Archimedes Screws 
Last summer I caught some swallows getting in on a high wire act beneath parallel high power lines. Perhaps they wanted extra energy for their migratory journey.

Parallel power lines
I always enjoy a game of golf especially when it gives me the chance to photograph wildlife.

Deer - Mulberry Hills Golf Course
Amongst the parallel trees, of course.

If you don't think I have done justice to Carmi's parallelism theme then we just might finish in Washington.

Supreme Court, Washington.
Better that you take a look at parallel posters at Thematic-photographic-210

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Antiseptic Surgery and Energy Resources - Sunday Stamps

Joseph Lister was  a pioneer of antiseptic surgery who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Lister successfully introduced carbolic acid to sterilise surgical instruments and to clean wounds, which led to a reduction in post-operative infections and made surgery safer for patients.

Lister tested the results of spraying instruments, the surgical incisions, and dressings with a solution of carbolic acid. Lister found that the solution swabbed on wounds remarkably reduced the incidence of gangrene. In August 1865, Lister applied a piece of lint dipped in carbolic acid solution onto the wound of an eleven year old boy at Glasgow Infirmary, who had sustained a compound fracture after a cart wheel had passed over his leg. After four days, he renewed the pad and discovered that no infection had developed, and after a total of six weeks he was amazed to discover that the boy's bones had fused back together, without the danger of suppuration.

Great Britain - Centenary of Joseph Lister discovering
. Antiseptic Surgery - (issued 1 September 1965)

The stamp has not scanned well; its catalogue description says it is indigo, black and grey. The tube snaking down the centre of the stamp should be indigo (red).

Carbolic acid and related phenols can be derived from coal tar - this reminded me of this set of stamps issued on 25 Jan 1978.

Great Britain - Energy Resources
I believe I have shown the 'coal' stamp in an earlier Sunday Stamps post.

To see what other useful/practical items have been chosen for this week please visit Viridian at Sunday-stamps-85

Saturday, 25 August 2012

150 Years of Weddings - Sepia Saturday

I can't find family photos going back 150 years. However I may be able to link a few others if I start in Victorian times.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Buckingham Palace, 11 May 1854
(After a Drawing Room; Author - Roger Fenton 1819-1869)
The Royal Collection © 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

HRH The Princess Beatrice was the fifth daughter and youngest child of Queen Victoria who edited the journals and diaries of Queen Victoria after her death. From her marriage in 1885 until 1917 she was known as Princess Henry of Battenberg. 

Princess Beatrice in her wedding dress 1885
 (coloured bookplate)

There is no link to Victoria or the Royal Family in my next picture, it's from just over a hundred years after the wedding of Victoria and Albert.

Cutting the cake - 1958
It reminds me that it is our wedding anniversary next week. I wonder what happened to that hair!

Princess Beatrice's full name was Beatrice Mary Victoria Feodore. The present Princess Beatrice of York is Beatrice Elizabeth Mary and she is not married yet,

Princess Beatrice of York - 2005
(At an equestrian event)

In Sweden in 2010 a Crown Princess was married.

Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling

(Cort├Ęge at Slottsbaken 19 June 2010 - Author Holger Motzkau 2010; cc-by-sa 3.0)

Before you go to check our other wedding related posts at SS-140 you might like to walk down the aisle with our last Royal bride.

Incidentally Princess Beatrice of York wore an infamous hat at this wedding, not at all like that held by the groom on

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

From Behind - Thematic Photography

Carmi wants us to try something a little different with this week's theme: from behind. We've been conditioned to take pictures from the front - think about it, when we pose, we stare straight at the camera - that we've virtually forgotten what goes on on the other side. For the coming week, he hopes we'll walk around to the back and see what we can find.

Interestingly my first picture is from behind some ropes at a dog show in Gloucestershire in 2001.

Puppy Class 2001
The girl with her back to the camera with the dog is my granddaughter. The boy just happened to be watching what was going on. The dog is an Irish Water Spaniel, 6 months old at the time.

Next it's a holiday shot from Grand Canaria of an unknown man.

Rear of the Year 2006
Some shots however have to be taken from behind because of the location.

Boat Race - Yarm Gala 2009
The shot had to be taken from Yarm Bridge over the River Tees.

Similarly the only way I could get these ducklings was from behind - mother duck was shepherding them to safety,

Ducklings on the River Tees - 2009
And this is Sam, checking out who is calling him.

Sam was my daughter's Golden Labrador who was blind for the last two years of his life.

Should you go to Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire you too can have a chance to capture this:

The Behind of Any Year
For other behind the scene shots you need to check out the links on Carmi's blog at Thematic-photographic-209


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Channel Tunnel - Sunday Stamps

I have a First Day Cover for this week's post. The Channel Tunnel, the first fixed link between the United Kingdom and France, was opened in 1994.

Great Britain - Channel Tunnel - FDO 3 May 1994

The Royal Mail and the French Post Office worked together to produce a set of se-tenant stamps. The twenty miles (narrowest width) between England and France has been a barrier between the two countries since the Ice Age. The tunnel under the English Channel (La Manche) now carries vehicle shuttles, passenger and freight trains with a journey time of about 35 minutes.

The left-hand stamp of each pair shows the French cockerel embraced by the British lion across the channel; the right-hand, hands across the Channel with the tunnel and a train underneath.

To see stamps chosen by other participants please visit Viridian's Sunday-stamps-84.html

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Amy's Dog - Sepia Saturday

The very first photo I posted on Sepia Saturday was of a young girl who was later to become my mother-in-law.

When I first met Amy she was looking after the dog of one of her daughters (not the one I was to marry).

Major has long since gone to that great boneyard in the sky but, in life, he was never short of a bone or two as Amy's husband was a master butcher. In those days long before the advent of BSE all butchers would give a dog a bone, and some came rolling home.

However the only photo I have is

Whale jawbone, Whitby
Even Major would have struggled with this.

When the bone on the prompt went missing I saw that Alan had said on Facebook that the call this week was late going up  because Amy the Dog stole the bone. It certainly couldn't have been my Amy's Dog.

If you need some exercise this weekend you could always dance your way across to 

by doing the 

Skeleton Dance

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Shades of Grey - Thematic Photography

There are so many shades of grey that I thought I would call this post "Fifty Shades of Grey." However that title has been used already for a book of inferior quality and which, as far as I know, has no illustrations.

I have trouble judging whether something is grey or not, so you may find my photos vary in interpretation.

Barnacles on rocks at Padstow, Cornwall
However there is a definite bluish shade of grey in the feathers of this Wood Pigeon nesting in our garden hedge.

Wood Pigeon
How many shades of grey can you see in this picture taken in Oxford, Michigan.

Avenue of trees, Oxford
This wooden landing stage is definitely grey.

Landing stage
There is a bluish tinge to this grey gate. Does the cobweb qualify as light grey?

I've studied this picture on my daughter's lounge wall for years and still cannot decide what the colours are in it and on my photograph.

Detroit (I think)
Now there's just time for you to drive with me

Tractor mower
on a grey tractor to thematic-photographic-208-grey for more shades of grey.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Animals of Great Britain - Sunday Stamps

As soon as I saw the animal theme for this week I knew exactly what to post.

British Wildlife
These stamps were issued on 5 October 1977. From left to right they are:

  • Hedgehog
  • Hare
  • Squirrel
  • Otter
  • Badger
I haven't seen an otter for years in the wild and unfortunately its only the grey squirrel and the hedgehog that visit our garden, Hares frequent the fields in the neighbourhood but you have to travel some way to find a badgers' sett.

For other animal issues check out those at Sunday-stamps-83

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Great Danes - Sepia Saturday

When I saw that this week's prompt was showing cycling in Copenhagen I decided I had seen enough in the Olympics.

As I have spent a lot of time in Denmark and Copenhagen it seemed natural to show pictures taken in the city. But for reasons that will become apparent I changed my mind and took a different tack.

Great Dane (XI International Dog Show, Krakow 2007)
(By Lilly M - CC A-S A 3.0 unported license)

Alright, I know Krakow is not in Denmark but you must admire the dog.

At least you should agree that it would be good to start the day of with this:

Danish bacon being cooked 
(By The Legendary Sky Attacker - 2009)

Although if you have a sweet tooth this may be what you prefer.

A Pecan & Maple Danish by Cuisine de France
(Oct 2008 - by Yohan euan o4 - CC A 3.0 unported license)

I had intended to include my photos of Copenhagen but found that one I wanted to use was in danger of infringing an artists copyright. However I found this illustration  instead.

The Little Mermaid
Illustration by Vilhelm Pedersen for H.C. Andersen's fairy tale

So from a Great Dane to another in Hans Christian Andersen I decided to sign off with a video of another small maid introduced by the late Danny Kaye.

For other interpretations of cycling or Danish themes you need to check in at Sepia-saturday-138

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

IPhone Dogs - Thematic Photography

I thought that I would have to miss this week when I saw that Carmi was proposing for us to post photos taken with a mobile device. I am a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to such equipment; my mobile phone has no camera and a £10 top-up lasts me c6 months.

I have many photos of dogs, especially those owned by my daughter. Often you can't take 'posed' photos of dogs with a digital camera and I can see that impromptu shots can be snatched easier with a camera phone.

Lily and Scout (Iphone 3G)
This photo was set up. I was stroking Scout just after he had been clipped; Lily as usual wanted to be petted too not knowing that it was her turn next.

The next shot is one of Lily in disgrace caught on the IPhone just after she had been scolded.

A muddy Lily (IPhone 3G)
Here is Cody in an Elizabethan collar; I'm not sure whether he's asleep or whether he has is just fed up. He is easier to photograph as he will stay still when told - he's 14 now.

Cody's collar (IPhone 3G)
The next two shots are with an IPhone 4S; you would be very lucky to get the shot of the two dogs with anything other than a camera phone. The 4S phone gives exposure times for the photos where the 3G photo data only records the aperture as f/2.8

Gem and Scout (IPhone 4S f/2.4, exposure 0.67sec)
For comparison here's an outdoor shot with the same IPhone where you could take your time before taking it as the subject will not move.

Hanging basket (IPhone 4S; f/2.4, exposure 0.005sec)
Thanks to my daughter for sending me these shots.

Now I'll let you be the judge of the results. I confess that with my digital camera it's just a question of point and shoot and that I have no experience with IPhone photography.

For other different takes please check out Thematic-photographic-207