Monday, November 30, 2009

Wet Monday

Well at least that's Monday nearly out of the way.....bleak weather with sleety showers and a really cold wind. Went out at lunchtime (got wet twice) and had to fight my way through the Xmas shoppers bristling with bags and umbrellas, rather wish I hadn't bothered to be honest. Tell you what, I was really glad to get home, put the kettle on and turn the heating up a notch tonight. Ho hum, onwards and upwards!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Post and run

Saturday seafront, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

Bit of a nothing day doing lots of things domestic.....the high point was probably buying some new tea towels.....

Now I need a couple of hours lounging on the couch in front of the box.....

Friday, November 27, 2009

Xmas cafe society

Xmas cafe society, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
Hooray it's Friday! In fact, not a lot to say except for 'Hooray it's Friday'!

No....can't leave it there, doesn't feel's some popcorn recipes......
popcorn recipes

 Have a great one!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sunny for some

Of course what you can't see is the pile of woollies and coats on the ground by their feet!

Feeling a bit under the weather tonight, y'know...the sneezy/croaky/headachey variety, so it's going to be an early night with a double lemsip for me I think. The-boy-in-the-attic has it tougher though, he's somewhere out in the middle of the North Sea on the way back from a DFDS mini-cruise to Amsterdam.....apparently it's a bit rough out there. He rang me at work this morning (while still on the way there) when they were marrooned offshore and trying to get a pilot that point he was all for spending a month's salary on a flight home and could I find out prices. But obviously he's found inner reserves of strength (or just decided it was a ridiculously expensive option) and is now aboard again for another sleepless night. But the whole affair reminded me of a website that might appeal to the inner anorak in you just begging to be let out......... is a GoogleMaps mash-up that plots (worldwide) live data from ships GPS systems....and that blue line on the piccy above plots the boyos meandering progress over the last 24 hours or so....I won't bore you with tonnage and wind speeds......

Nighty night!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Christmas market

More Christmas market, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
Just woken up.....I had one of those mandatory 'Equality and Diversity' session/workshops this afternoon, a 'tick the boxes, everyone has to do it' affairs that somehow leaves you with more questions after than before, but with a deep, underlying  feeling that common sense went out of the window some time ago. But back to reality....this was the market just before I bolted down into the metro station at home time.


............I think I want to be a beatnik!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Confronting double demons

monochrome xmas lights, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
As in 'night shot' and 'b&w', both of which scare me. Given my complete lack of camera knowledge and a definitely shaky hand, it's always going to be a case of making a synthetic silk purse out of a sow's ear.....but seeing as the dark nights are drawing in I'll give it an occasional go. Actually took this one last night.....but it was better than tonight's attempts!


Crappy of those interactive/not quite a game/but definitely a timewaster thingies (hint: Crappy Cat likes booze!)

Only click here if you think you might take an infantile delight in adorning that smug face with a silly moustache....Tuesday's are sometimes like that I find

Monday, November 23, 2009

From Normandy

From Normandy, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

The continental Christmas market opened today in Newcastle (it lasts a fortnight) and the open-air food stalls were doing a roaring trade when I came home from work....everything from german sausages (may give them a miss till next week, still suffering from a pork overload after Berlin!) to paella, belgian doughnuts and waffles to kangaroo burgers and crocodile steaks (OK, so maybe not exactly european.....but we push boundaries in the North!)

I realised too late that I'd missed a trick last night when I posted the 'Taxi' fact I forgot why I'd taken it in the first place. It was all down to a dreadful pun and an excuse to post a  vintage video. I'll post the video and leave you to work out the tenuous connections! (think alternatives for taxi!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Just a quickie.....a weekend of zero photographic endeavour and lots of mooching around (not always a bad thing!) I'm just about to move the primary mooching location from the kitchen to the front room couch for a bit of mindless box-goggling...catch up time tomorrow night!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hooray it's Friday!!

At's the end of a long, busy week.....y'know I'm absolutely knackered (and that would be the polite, technical term).....I'm planning on a long, deep, steamy bath, a couple of glasses of port and an earlyish night tonight.....oh yes, I know how to live! Above is a tiny bit of a snatched shot on the way home.....that small person was absolutely engrossed by the window display, with nose and hands pressed up against the glass, kids still love Xmas....fact!


I'm not sure what you'd describe this, artwork, poetry, social commentary?....

Evidence of Everything Exploding is probably all of these and more. And there's more of the same here if you feel the urge to explore.

Are We Alone says.....

"Could there be life-forms on worlds far beyond the bounds of Earth?

The search for life as we don’t know it begins with understanding life as we do.

From amoebas to androids to antimatter, Are We Alone? weaves together humor and compelling interviews into themed programs about the biggest ideas in evolutionary biology, genetics, paleontology, technology, and physics – as well as cosmology and astronomy.

Are you a doubting Thomas? You’ll have plenty of company as we separate science from pseudoscience and the facts from the phony in Skeptic Check, our monthly look at critical thinking."

You can find their podcast archive (and there's lots of them!) here

Have a great weekend folks.....I'm off to run that bath!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Here be architects

There's yet another accreditation exercise in progress at the moment..... it's a never-ending process. This time it's a couple of the Architectural courses under scrutiny, one of them is a revisit after one of those marginal 'must do better in minor respects' (that puncture so many fragile egos) reports a few months ago. Let's just say that tensions are running high, architects as a species aren't known for taking the low blood pressure option.....But me, I'm keeping my head well below the parapet except to take the odd random shot of the action while the troops are otherwise engaged!


Myoats is one of those online drawing tools where you can literally waste hours.....sophisticated controls, nice downloadable results....above is a 'here's one I made earlier to try it out', but other folks have done so much better!

REVISIT.....Little Nemo in Slumberland

Surreal comic strip by Winsor McCay from the early years of the 20th Century. The above image is just the half-sized scan.....there's a link to the full-sized version when, and if, you click on that link up there. Currently no less than 420 of them online, and the number keeps rising!

Think it's nearly time for bed..........

Belated birthday greetings to Mickey Mouse....

.....who made his first screen appearance in 'Steamboat Willie' 81 years ago yesterday.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fag break friends

Now I don't usually do straight-on, 'say-cheese-for-the-camera', portrait shots.....but I like this one for their lovely, smiley eyes! On the left we have N (one of the grounds staff who keep all the the green bits on campus in order and looking good), and on the right is P (an Ozzie project manager from the Estates Dept with a penchant for small cigars)


You can read the stories behind iconic images at Iconic Photos, it's only been going a few months but there's some gems. Worth a click.

The Beatles Never Broke Up......apparently!
(listen online or zip download available)

And finally some 'point-and-clicky' action.....

You can play the free demo levels of Machinarium here ( from the makers of Samarost 1 and 2) Wonderful graphics as ever!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Might not get a chance later....

Gate Reflections, originally uploaded by moclaydon. I'll do it now. Just a random street shot taken at least it was sunny.

Monday, November 16, 2009

window dressing

window dressing, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

Imagine the trudging towards the metro station (if you've ever seen Fritz Lang's Metropolis I would be one of the half-speed drudges with hunched shoulders coming out of the lift) when I spotted a couple of vivacious workers who actually seemed to be enjoying being at work at 5pm on a Monday (and I was so gobsmacked I cut off their feet.....sorry girls!) Roll on Friday!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We cooperated fully.....

....and we didn't need to be told twice, it wasn't stripping off weather today! Just back from a blow-out Sunday lunch at the local pub with Sarah, Hails and was disgustingly good and the portions were huge. I'm off to find a baggier pair of jeans and then a little zizz on the couch seems in order..........

Friday, November 13, 2009

ʎʇʇıʞ ʎʇʇıʞ ǝɹǝɥ

Impromptu day off today (woke up....thought 'need to wash my hair/don't have any clean clothes/REALLY need another hours sleep/nothing important happening)... I should probably feel a lot more guilty than I do, but y'know life's too short.Very little achieved except staring at the kitchen walls (not a pretty sight), listening to radio4 and being plagued by manic kittens (above seen 'in semi-repose', a rare sighting!) Until I hit the 'Publish Post' button I'm not sure whether the upside-down text in the subject line will work (if it does you can do the same here, type in your text and copy-and-paste the result, oh yes......hours of fun for all the family!)

Speaking of listening to's a segment (with a bit of local NE interest) from Womans Hour today (you chaps can switch off unless you're heavily into knitting!) I'll be watching out for the exhibition when it gets a bit closer to home, and what a great idea for 'Art' funding.....(thinks: wonder whether they could use that half-knitted jumper I started in the 80's, maybe turn into the back-end of that bike?)

Maybe it's the time of year but I'm bored with my desktop wallpaper. Now usually I head over to Vladstudio or A walk through Durham Township (in both cases it's a short browse, a right-click and sorted) BUT I happened upon this online app today......

There's a BIG library of  here's-one-I-made-earlier 'elements' and backgrounds that you can combine/alter....on the other hand you can work from scratch if you're feeling creative....just perfect for the deep, dark nights of winter!

Get creative and download your desktop work of art here

WARNING.....I've been poking about in cupboards tonight (not always a wise move), if it's a bad weather day tomorrow expect illustrated vintage dance steps/dressmaking patterns for victorian underwear/possibly the odd ancient map.....who knows?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the dark

The boy in the attic is still in full-on download mode....this post may take some time. Thought I'd try another couple of 'nightime in the city' shots tonight on the way home from work....mixed success. If I'm honest I prefer this hopelessly blurred one.....

(just so you know what it is.....lots of rain, cafe chairs under some particularly lurid lights, chap with a big bag, lime green shop awning, motion blur courtesy someone with an umbrella bumping into me just as I pressed the shutter...every picture tells a story!)

This track seems to fit the bill....


It's no secret that I love vintage images, don't know why, I just Shorpy is a regular stop-off point, it's packed with thousands of hi-definition images (predominently from the US) But why 'Shorpy' you ask? It's named after "Shorpy Higginbotham, a 'greaser' on the tipple at Bessie Mine, of the Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron Co. in Alabama. Said he was 14 years old, but it is doubtful. Carries two heavy pails of grease, and is often in danger of being run over by the coal cars." And that's Shorpy up there.....I can't help but wonder what cards the rest of life dealt him.

Wasn't sure whether to post this's an alternative to 'the other place', works on the same basis (one post allowed a day, but because it's based in the US their 'day' starts at GMT -6), easy sign-up, with much the same features.....and it seems friendly (I posted a pic just to try it out, whoohoo, 2 comments so far!)

Interestingly they say "Is this site limited to photography?
No! We have been waiting for some creative people to come along with a neat idea we haven't thought of. A drawing a day? A poem a day? A news clip a day? We would be interested to see anything you can think of!"

Link to ShutterCal.....just in case any of you malcontents (you know who you are!) decide to give it a whirl.

And another photography link just because I rather like underpasses........

Laura Lean ' A project photographing the South Kensington tunnel that links the underground station with a number of museums.' (don't's only 15 images!)

Roger Wilko, over and out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh come all ye faithful......

A sure sign that Xmas is on the horizon, Fenwicks, a local department store has unveiled their animated festive window display, this year complete with carols belting out from 8 in the morning until yawn time....I love Xmas but just not yet!

Just time for one link tonight (the boy in the attic is apparently downloading the internet tonight, he's magnanimously agreed to turn off his downloads for a few minutes to let me post!)'s an online game with nice graphics and cool music that I haven't managed to play yet (for reasons see above!)


"Little Wheel is the story of a world of self-sufficient robots. Everything runs like clockwork until one day when a mishap at the power core shuts down the entire civilization. After ten thousand years of rusting, a chance lightning strike restores power to one small hero, who sets out to start everything back up again.

Little Wheel is played entirely with the mouse, and the design could not be friendlier. There's no hunting for pixels or hot-spots, as things you can interact with are highlighted by a gray circle. Instead of collecting seemingly random items and rubbing them against everything to see if it advances the story, most puzzles in the game are solved simply by choosing to click these interactive areas in their correct order."

Play Little Wheel

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hitting the wall

I'm still here....honest!! I was suffering culture shock over the weekend (but lots of sleeping sensibly balanced with copious amounts of alcohol got me through it) then it was back to work on Monday for the 'stewards inquiry' into what went wrong on the fieldtrip.....don't get me wrong, there were no recriminations or any unpleasantness, just having to go through everything bad that happened yet again, this time with the Dean and School Registrar. A word to the wise, never EVER stay at the Amaryl City-Hotel if you happen to be in Berlin, they're down-and-out crooks! (note to Paul and wasn't just the ant infestation, there was more.....oh yes, so much more!) I think it's the first time I've come home thinking 'do I really want to do that again next year?' (probably will though....I'm a sucker for punishment, ask anyone!)


You can find some lovely animated 3D vintage Japanese stereoviews here at Pink Tentacle, and the original images here on Flickr (with lots more) Definitely worth a couple of clicks!

Silly stuff to do with your pics.....

can be found here

Rather long pause there, one of the effing darling kittens walked over the keyboard, thought everything so far had disappeared into the ether....

I always come back from Berlin with more questions than I went out with.....found this sound and video archive at the BBC that might just get dipped into sometime soon.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Got here

The 'other place' will just have to be back blips....just spent the last hour trying to upload this image (it's only 339kb but no go there and bloody ages here) I suspect the hotel throttles the traffic! Anyway, successful journey, left East Midlands in a torrential downpour expecting to land in the same, only colder but no....lovely day, just a bit on the misty side. Fab walk down to the Tiergarten and as far as The Winged Victory then back through the park via the Zoo.....not in, but along the canal bank which it abuts. Just time for a quick shower and change then we're out for a beer (or three) and a meal. Praying for good weather tomorrow, we're doing the long walk from AlexanderPlatz to Potsdamer Platz with multiple diversions...we may have to come up with a cunning plan if it's tipping it down....
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