Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2

Picked up the new compact camera last, a camera that really WILL fit in a pocket! Needless to say I haven't read the manual yet, but I charged the battery and took a picture of one of the kittens in a plastic bag guarding a box of cheese.....

.....well, it's a start!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Feeling off-colour

Think I'm coming down with a festive's an afternoon on the couch for me, going out this morning was maybe a mistake! Oh, and it's looking like more snow..........bah, humbug......

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Playing catch-up

Thank goodness for paper clips.....a minor kitchen catastrophe averted yesterday  when 'something got blocked' while Chris and Nick were cooking Christmas lunch

I'm still in the recovery position........

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Just to prove I'm still in the land of the living.....

.....and I haven't broken the camera.....

Early morning trip into the big city, this would have been taken at about  9.00am and the crowds were already gathering for another shop-till-you-drop session.....I did what I had to then came home knackered. Achieved zero this afternoon. The plan for tonight is do the bare minimum of the stuff I should have done/be doing then have an early night....I'll worry about what I haven't done tomorrow!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

One from yesterday

early saturday winter beach, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

Not sure where the time went yesterday!
Probably more later when the house has been converted into Santa's Grotto.......

Friday, December 18, 2009

Santa came early

Oh yes, we know how to do a proper office party round here.....Toblerones all round this afternoon when Santa turned up with his little helper....

.....and he stuck around long enough to drain a bottle of Chardonnay before hiccuping off to his sleigh. Then we had a few drinkies......

Yippee....2 weeks,where's that bottle of port......cheers!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Graphic adventure

Graphic adventure, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
It was a photograph once....honest! But I've been faffing about with it after I found this video tutorial on which it's loosely based (proof positive I can't follow Photoshop recipes any more than I can stick to the foody variety!) Don't care, I had fun!

Busy day today with lots of student hand-ins, last minute disasters and zero possibilites for the exercise of free will. One day to go!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Gotta dash

Gotta dash, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

Only time for a quick pic tonight.....the huge list of emails I owe needs tackling before it gets any worse and I'm consumed with guilt.......

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Low-Res Day.....

.....and a Low-Res shot, but with BIG shoes.
3 days to go.......................................

Monday, December 14, 2009

Buildings in Use.....or then again, maybe not...

Busy day....a (not very good) shot of some of the action of the 'Buildings in Use' final poster presentation that's eaten up most of the day. Just in case you're interested, the brief is for groups of Building Surveying students to find new, innovative and financially viable uses for an existing down-at-heel local building. This year it was the Gibson Street Baths.....a gently decaying Victorian (ex) swimming pool/public baths/wash house a few hundred yards away from the campus. The boys and girls did some impressive work, but the bad news is there were great ideas there that'll unfortunately probably never get acted upon by the semi-fictional names, no pack drill!

Jeez.....that was serious stuff, not sure what happened there (think I definitely need a holiday!) I know, how about building your own snowflake, that sounds a bit fluffy with a seasonal twist....... can snip your own here without all that nasty mess on the carpet. I've already done one so it's an early bath for me! Roll on Friday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A perfect gift for the kiddiwinkles.....

.....but read that caption under the photograph and it's a wonder some of them survived to tell the tale! From 'Gifts you can make yourself' (undated but it looks like late 40's from the illustrations) Didn't get out much today.....oh, you guessed!


Here's Fanny Cradock doing it with mincemeat, it truly brightened a dull out for the final sumptuous, mouth-watering table display. Top find Sarah!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

bum issued by.....

....H.O. comment except to say I've hardly been over the doors all day and sometimes you have to work with what you happen to have on the kitchen table!


Some alternative Christmas music.....very alternative.....but I like it!
"Cigar Box Nation offers our own gift of music to you.  This album is free for everyone this Christmas...just go ahead and download.  We've compiled almost one hour of holiday music played on cigar box guitars, ukuleles, dulcimers and more.    Please spread the word (and holiday cheer)!  May the world ring with the awesome sounds of cigar box guitars this Christmas." Download it here 
(sample track on the next link......)

This is just a screengrab from UMapper (the original plan was for an embedded map, but Blogger didn't like their code, and I haven't got time to work out why) so here's the link to my very first map (which is rubbish, but if you click on the '2' you'll find the audio file promised above!). You'll guess you can add your own photos and audio, even make your own map-based game, there's some video tutorials here if you fancy checking it out and doing a photo tour of YOUR block.

Shepherds pie/lots of veg/large pot of tea/couch, vintage videos and cuddly blanket here I come!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Tomorrow, originally uploaded by moclaydon.

.....I'll probably work out what this list said I should be doing/buying this weekend.

.....I'll probably spend the rest of the evening snoozing on the couch missing whatever happens to be on the box!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


synthetic plants, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
Let me tell you, those plants aren't real.....they're truly nasty pretend plants that the uni should be ashamed of. The building you can see through the window used to be a chemical factory (no really!) but when I was a student here it was the place where we did 'Liberal Studies' on a Wednesday afternoon.....with bare boards, clouds of dust and mousetraps in every corner if I remember rightly! These days they're bijou flatlets that students definitely can't afford to rent, the building was sold off years ago to fund some campus redevelopment plan or other. And only the facade remains, they're standard 'little boxes' behind those gracious windows. 

Good news....
Today I picked up my 'long service award', 20 years of sterling service apparently

Bad news....
it works out at only marginally more than 19p per week......

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Hole Day 3

The Hole Day 3, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
Not sure whether I'm going to have time later, so a lunchtime quickie it is. This chap has been down this hole (which he started to dig at about 8 o'clock on Monday morning) for the best part of 3 days. What a life huh?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Nearly the same....

Nearly the same, originally uploaded by moclaydon. yesterday, except a bit later and slightly to the left. As you can probably guess, I didn't make it off-campus today, at least not until it was dark.........a bit of a noisily nothing day really

I rather like this one....'love is patient', it's and you'll see what I mean

And lastly a bit of annoyingly 'stick-in-your-head' christmas music......don't worry, you don't HAVE to click......

Get Your Own Free Playlist.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sunrise over City Campus East

Sunrise over City Campus East, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
But I have to admit it was probably the best weather we had all day! I hate Mondays....but you've probably gathered that....

Think I'll indulge in a bit of BetaMaX Xmas later...........

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Making tracks

Making tracks, originally uploaded by moclaydon.
Unfortunately I missed all the action.....story of my life really!


Lets just assume you have a small, but perfectly formed, gift to wrap this christmas (and access to a colour printer).....there's a shedload (as in180!) of downloadable pdf papers here

Saturday, December 05, 2009


If you could read the label it says 'From: Paw to your Door' and it contained a couple of upmarket cat litter trays delivered during the week (now I DO hope you've already had your tea, otherwise that's probably too much information)......but the diddy puddy tats are blocking any moves towards removal of the box from the premises....someone, read 'boy-in-the-attic', might have to do it at the dead of night while they're locked in mortal combat with the senior cat and therefore otherwise engaged.


John Peel, 'The Christmas Songs that Santa Claus Forgot'.....I really can't remember where I got this or when it was originally broadcast (possibly 1992?) but it's 2 hours's worth of alternative Christmas listening that always somehow works in a way that Slade's 'Here it is, Merry Chistmas' and Cliff's 'Mistletoe and Wine' doesn't, so that HAS to be a plus. It comes complete with JP's inter-track chat and news bulletins. I've put the single mp3 file on SendSpace just in case you think the 200mb plus download might be worth it (I think the link will stay 'live' for about a month without a download, so get it while it's fresh!) worked for me, I've NEARLY got a shopping list!

Link to download

Friday, December 04, 2009

Welcome to the house of fun.....

.....aka Friday! Met up with the firstborn in downtown Whitley Bay at teatime for the opening of the annual French/Northumbrian farmers xmas market, we were just in time for a bit of surreal carol singing and some (definitely, and I speak from a life-long experience) non-alcoholic mulled wine....the French marketeers appeared to be drinking different stuff from under the table and laughing a lot, but I can't imagine why........

I got the call I've been waiting for all week at lunchtime....the Lab Xmas tree was 'erect' and 'live'. This year I decided it was time to record it in all it's glory and give it the media attention it deserves.....enjoy it's hypnotic power! (HEALTH's been known to make grown men weep!)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Mostly from yesterday

I had a computer-free evening last night.....very novel! (no particular reason except I felt as if I'd been staring at a flickering screen all day and needed a bit of a break) The above piccy was taken while on a quick trip to the local public library at need a good head for heights when you're browsing the vintage books like these ones.....

"Charles Booth's Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London, undertaken between 1886 and 1903 was one of several surveys of working class life carried out in the 19th century. It is the only survey for which the original notes and data have survived and therefore provides a unique insight into the development of the philosophy and methodology of social investigation in the United Kingdom." There's an online archive (including maps) here if you fancy dipping in.


A couple of photography links....

Liu Bolin 
Hiding in the City No.17 (No.2 of People's Policeman), 2006

Amazing stuff, unfortunately the images are quite small, must have a look for some bigger ones later.

Then I came across this site today that looks promising


they say....
"Pictory is a showcase for people around the world to document their lives and cultures. Anyone can submit one large, captioned image to each of Pictory’s editorial themes. I’m editor, designer, and founder Laura Brunow Miner, and I will select a few dozen of the best items from each theme to appear in each showcase."

There's a "taster" to view and some categories open for new submissions.

Lastly the frivolous xmas link Elf Yourself. Upload up to 5 pictures of your friends (or enemies, it's even better with your enemies!) and watch them cavort. The granddaughter will probably kill me for this......

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Frankenstein's lab

I got a chance to view the mysterious 'Molecular Beams' lab under the stairs at work today, long defunct and being cleared out to make room for yet more building work and renovations. There were lots of strange, dusty bits of kit destined for the skip, puddles of water and and signs saying 'Beware LASERS' in BIG was a bit spooky to be honest, quite glad I wasn't down there on my own!

So I've been making Imp's delicious soup tonight.....but of course I had to make some changes (partly due to not having some of the ingredients, and partly because I just can't stick to a recipe no matter how hard I try!) So the leek and the red onion was replaced with a large onion roughly chopped, the chick peas replaced with red kidney beans, and the chilli replaced with a heaped teaspoonful of smoked paprika, oh and I added a tablespoon or so of smoked sesame oil at the end.....otherwise it was exactly the same! AND it was/is delicious!

The boy-in-the-attic tells me he needs to reboot the router thingie, I'll post this now just in case it all goes pear-shaped! went slightly pear-shaped......

Seeing as its now December 1st I thought I'd try posting a daily 'seasonal' link.....ah yes, famous last words, don't hold me to it!
Background listening might be a good place to start....

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