Sunday 30 March 2014

Buses and Public Transport - Sunday Stamps

It's rather ironic that this week's theme is 'Buses and Public Transport.' 

Yesterday our bus services were withdrawn and now the village where I live has no public transport at all, despite the railway track crossing a bridge over the lane where our house is located.

That's why I am going by bus on a world tour with my stamps.
In Singapore we'll go for a ride on a trolley bus.
And finish up on a double-decker.
Don't you just hate it when two buses come along together, not that there's much chance of that happening where I live unless I have walked 3 miles first!

Perhaps others at Viridian's Sunday-stamps-164 have had better luck.

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Liquidity - Thematic Photography

Liquidity means water to me, now that I am teetotal and not a fan of fancy coffee brands.

The pills I'm required to take each day include some water tablets that give a whole new meaning to running water. However watery scenes will figure prominently in my 'Liquidity' shots.

Leland fish falls, Michigan
The Leland River runs into Lake Michigan whose size I had not appreciated until I reached its shores.
Waves lapping the Lake Michigan shoreline
In the Norwegian mountains, east of Stavanger, falls are a frequent attraction for anyone with a camera.
Norwegian stream
These do not have a name as there are hundreds like it depending where you go.

In 2002 we went to a wedding in Germany and used the occasion to visit some falls described by Mary Shelley in a travel narrative published in 1844. She wrote, "A portion of the cataract arches over the lowest platform and the spray fell thickly upon us, as standing on it and looking up we saw wave and rock and cloud and the clear heavens through its ever-moving veil. This was a new sight exceeding anything I had ever seen; however, not to be wet through, I was obliged quickly to tear myself away."

Somehow I don't think we got as close had she had been to -
The Rheinfalls
To get me on the water it would have to be somewhat smoother, rather like this day.
Barque Endeavour approaching Whitby
Of course I wouldn't have been able to take any of these shots without - 
Can you count the quids in the 'Li ity'?

For other insights to Carmi's 'Liquidity' theme follow the links at Thematic-photographic-287.

Sunday 23 March 2014

Farms and Farm Animals - Sunday Stamps

I occasionally hang on to damaged stamps and this week I am glad I do as I have two of them to share for this farming post.

My first stamp is from a series on horses but some of these were used for farming purposes.
Great Britain - Shire Horse
That's a plough in the background so we know what this one was used for.

One of my damaged stamps shows Mechanical Farming.
Great Britain
The horse depicted on this stamp issued for the Millennium could even be a Shire Horse. I am always on the lookout to obtain this undamaged.

I found a stamp from India showing tea plucking in progress. I guess you could call a tea plantation a farm.
India - Plucking Tea
There is a lot of hard work in progress on this farming stamp from Vietnam.
North Borneo became a Crown Colony in 1946; now a State in Malaysia it changed its name to Sabah in 1964.
North Borneo (Sabah) - Farm Cattle
You might say that my last (damaged) stamp was not intended as a 'farming' stamp but I would say it depicts a farming activity from long ago.
Spain - 2000th Anniversary of the Foundation of Caceres
Norba Caesarina was a Roman city in Spain. Caceres is close to the Spanish border with Portugal.

To see more farming stamps you need to trot over to Viridian's Sunday-stamps-163.

Friday 21 March 2014

Just a Block of Stone - Sepia Saturday

Jefferson's statue in this week's prompt reminded me that it's just a block of stone.

To Michelangelo, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it."

Among my photo archives there a few statues tucked away. However my first statue is a bronze that sits upon a block of stone. 
The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen's famous fairy tale  "The Little Mermaid" was published in 1837; her statute was 100 years old in 2013. She stands (or rather sits) 1.25 metres high and weighs a mere 175 kilograms.

Quite a contrast with the Imperia statue, at Konstanz at the western end of Lake Constance in the south-west corner of German, bordering Switzerland.
Imperia, Konstanz
She is 9 metres high and weighs 18 tonnes. Her name refers to Balzac's short story "La belle Imperia" which satirises the Catholic clergy.
(Cropped from Imperia statue by User Fb78 [Wikipedia Commons] - CC BY-SA 2.0)
She holds two men in her hands - Pope Martin V and Emperor Sigsmund.

In Tresco Abbey Gardens on Tresco, Isles of Scilly the statue is much more down to earth.
In Greek Mythology Gaia was the personification of the Earth.

I'm not allowed to include the my photo of Gaia and someone attempting to be a lookalike. Don't you just hate the photo bombers?

More than one England football captain has played at Middlesbrough but only one has his statue outside the ground.
George Hardwick
A former Boro' player, George Hardwick was the first England football captain after WWII.

The whistle has blown for full time this week if you need to see match of the day you need to transfer over to Sepia-Saturday-220.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Thematic Photography - Technological

When it comes to modern gadgets you could say I'm a bit of a technological dinosaur.

My phone is anything but smart and never rings because no-one has my number. A Pay-as-you-go phone is very cheap to run when £20 lasts just about a year. The only texts it sees are those with offers from the phone company; messages left are from my wife or someone who has a wrong number.

I can manage the Kindle successfully, but I still prefer an old fashioned book.

The I-Pad mini is my wife's. The text too small for me to read and my fingers only leave marks on the screen.

I haven't had a laptop since I finished work and the last one I had failed, and proved irrecoverable by me.

I have some technology toys which I use from time to time.
USB Memory Sticks
However I'm still disappointed that the car isn't real.

Household gadgets remain largely a mystery to me. A washing machine's controls are a marvellous example.

 To much choice and information for a 'dinosaur' like me.

However I do know that when it bleeps and the light beneath the Start button glows red that I can turn the thing off.

Fortunately there is one piece of technology I do know how to handle.
Panasonic DMC - F250

And it case anyone gets smart - yes I do know it's set on automatic, but I do have to twiddle that ring on the front.

To see the more technologically adept  don't forget to visit others' links at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-286.

Sunday 16 March 2014

Post - Sunday Stamps

On a previous postal theme I put up this stamp from Iceland.

Iceland - Universal Postal Union 
I must have been blind at the time, not to see the stamp right next to it.
Iceland - UPU centenary 1974
I have also discovered some Italian stamps of a design that seem to be issued every year in different denominations.

Italy (2009 issues)
I like the way the design gives the illusion of post 'speeding' on its way.
Italy - Priority Post
I wonder whether this helps to get them there quicker.

For more post and postcard related stamps just follow the links at Sunday-stamps-162.

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Look Way Up - Thematic Photography

I know I've shown my first photo before but it fits 'Look Way Up' as well.

Infinity Bridge, River Tees, Stockton-on-Tees
I live in a bungalow and no buildings in the village are higher than two storeys so I have had to shoot what was available.

Twin trunks of Sycamore Tree next door, at the left of our drive
and on the right border with our neighbour (his tree).

Sycamore Tree (our bungalow at back left)
Then just up the lane is this telegraph pole.

Pole serving six telephone lines
It dwarfs the streetlight and has steps to help engineers to reach the top after they have had to 'Look Way Up.'

To see what others have found up there crane you neck over at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-285.

Sunday 9 March 2014

Women on Sunday Stamps

As March is Women's History Month the theme Viridian chose for us this week was women on stamps. This caused me to examine my stamps more closely to find out more about the women depicted.

This is Maria Pacheco (1496 - 1531) from the House of Mendoza. She successfully led the defence of Toledo against royalist forces  after the death of her husband at the Battle of Villalar in 1521.

Kerstin Hesselgren had a battle of a different kind,

Kerstin Hesselgren (1872 - 1962)
Kerstin was the first woman elected to the Swedish Parliament's Upper Chamber when women obtained the vote in 1921.

She appeared on Swedish stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of female suffrage in 1971.

The dangers of the Internet showed themselves when i took up Google's offer to translate "Rostratt for kvinnor" and it gave me initially "Stainless Steering Wheel for Women!" It's "Female Suffrage" I then found out.

There are more women to admire on

Friday 7 March 2014

Don't take offence - Sepia Saturday.

This week's prompt made me think of the house in which I was born.

It didn't look a bit like this but it did have a fence and some outhouses too, not that you would have known when looking at it from the front.

100 High Street, Ketton
When I lived there there was a wooden fence across the front, not that stone wall. It had no running water just a cold tap on an outside wall and when you wanted to 'go' you had to leave by the back door and visit what I euphemistically called "The Black Hole of Calcutta" -- a building with a wooden seat and an open bucket underneath.

So I hope you will forgive me for speculating on the use of:

in our prompt. Why else would you have a hole in the wall?

I doubt that the inhabitants of Bradford still have to pay a visit to the outhouses in this back alley.

Pickles Hill, Bradford
Back alley between Boldon Lane and Poplar Avenue
(By Paul Glazzard, Feb 2007 - Geograph Project Collection; CC BY-SA 2.0)
But the view from Tyson's veranda in Queensland in 1924 made me wonder about the uses of the sheds between the fences.

Residential view from Tyson's veranda
(John Oxley Library; State Library of Queensland)
I doubt that my Calcutta euphemism will enter the Oxford English Dictionary but another term certainly has - it's even been used to describe a scene on Mount Kenya.

Top Hut on Mount Kenya -
 with long drop khazi in the foreground
(By John Spooner, 1 Jan 1999 - CC By 2.0)
Looks a bit draughty to me.

However I have saved the best (of)fences till last.

Fences at Mount Farm Museum
(By Bill Hathorn, 20 July 2012 - PD, US Government)
Excuse me while I just check to see whether that wooden hut is a 'khazi.'

Now flush' with success, I suggest that you find whether anyone caught the plague at Sepia-Saturday-218,

Wednesday 5 March 2014

Lying down on the job - Thematic Photography

Some excuses made for lying down on the job are just a lot of hot air.

Not in this case, perhaps.
Labradors love to eat and sleep but:

Somebody's pinched 'their' sofa
However it's better when you can have a bed to yourself.

But why won't folks leave you alone when you just want to get on the job by lying on the floor?

But when it's time to change the sheets and pillowcases, it's an ideal time to:

Lie down on the job
If you are not too tired, now is the time to visit others lying down as well at Carmi's Thematic-photographic-284.