Sunday, 25 March 2018


So here we are. Back again after a Winter break, and what a Winter, having had two big snowfalls
including 'The Beast from the East.'
I don't know what it is about January but I'm always glad to see the back of it. I'm literally
counting the days then I know Spring is around the corner. Maybe I should try and get to like Januarys
even though it's often the month I get a cold or a dose of flu as I did this year.
Maybe it might be an idea to stay online next Winter. It would keep me occupied in my spare time.

I dread to think how many visitors I lose with these blog breaks. I dare look.
Still we're here now so hopefully things will pick up again.

I recently had my hospital tests. Just waiting for the results of my CT Scan. Although my
Blood Test didn't go too well, something about poor kidney function. So they want me to increase my water intake and then come in for another blood test. Apparently we don't drink as much water in the Winter.
What was odd was that I learnt that the Hospital want's to add on another year of their Care plan as I only had chemo in 2014. Care plans last around 5 years.


Above left: In late February The Metro front page published a picture of the approaching 'Beast from the East.'
And very soon after, the entire U.K was covered in snow.
Below are just a few pictures I took while out on Hampstead Heath once the snow had settled.

The start of 2018 gave us three Super Moons with two of them showing up in the
month of January. The image above is one I managed to capture from my
window looking towards the Eastern night sky in early January.
Called The Wolf Moon, it appeared slightly shrouded in cloud towards the bottom
half which actually made it look more interesting, like some undiscovered

alien planet.

It does look like there's going to be two full Moons again in this very month,
with the next one being a full 'Blue Moon' due on Easter Saturday, March 31st.

Here's a little video I put together that puts my reproduction vintage
radio to good use.
I've simply put together a few vintage radio clips onto a cassette, and the tape
plays in the side of the radio.
And with my sideboard decorated with a lot of old nick nacks from a local
charity shop, it gives the look and feel of a home during the outbreak of  War in 1939.
I wasn't too thrilled with the quick sharp edits in the video but I was fairly pleased
with the opening and closing shots as I used a home made trolley with wheels
so that I could slowly zoom in and out, a technical option that my phone doesn't have.

There has been a bit of a delay in my filming of my Console Cabinet as I'm taking
the tv out and replacing it with a better model. So hopefully that'll be up here as well as on my
 Youtube page soon, once I've fitted in the new tv.


  1. I've been reading quite a bit about Churchill and his days as PM in WW2. I saw the movie Darkest Hours but didn't think much of it despite Gary Oldman's remarkable performance. I felt the whole movie was badly lit in that it got quite difficult to see what was going on much of the time and while I understand why it was so, it got increasingly annoying after ten minutes. For that reason Dunkirk was the better movie. Peter Jackson has long been rumoured to be up for remaking The Dam Busters but no sign of it so far. And someone else is reported to be doing The Battle of Britain. In the meantime, nice work on your radio days and enjoy your spring. Whenever it happens. - Ian

  2. Really nice photos of The Heath, and a red robin too! You certainly go to a lot of effort for your blog, by way of the video, made with a camera on tracks. Really good moon photo. So hard to capture in a snap and clearly it wasn't.

    1. Andrew, Yes that was a rare sunny blue snowy day once it all settled. Was glad I got the shot of the robin. In fact he flew on to my hand for some food I held out.

      I think the tripod tracks and trolley worked out well. Must use them more. I'll almost certainly use that system for the console cabinet. I'm actually fitting the new replacement tv in this evening.

      I did like the full Moon shot but to get that effect on a digital camera you need to turn the exposure setting right down. Then all the details of the moon show up in the viewfinder. And if you don't adjust the settings then it will just look like a big white ball.

  3. Ian, Haven't seen 'Darkest Hours' but I too would be disappointed if it was badly lit. It wasn't so long ago that tv viewers were moaning at the BBC for filming Victorian tv dramas in heavy sepia/orange hues in order to give it an authentic Victorian look...very annoying. Perhaps they were exaggerating the light given out by gas and candlelight back then.

    I saw a few clips of Oldman being slightly over animated. I don't recall Churchill on film or radio ever screaming out those immortal words "We will never surrender." Hollywood getting over animated once again.

    Oh my! Not more remakes in the Hollywood pipeline. More proof that popular culture just like popular music is dying a slow death. Thank God I lived through the best of it, when music and films were great.

  4. Welcome spring and welcome back! I can hardly believe that March is nearly over already. February I like to have last longer because it is my birthday month and so I feel like I own it (ha ha), but it's the shortest month and it seemed to disappear extremely soon. But March lasted two seconds, I felt. I like your photo of the bird. Has he just returned from warmer climates, now that it is supposed to be warming there? I have a very silly bird that relentlessly bangs on my office window at work. He always holds one tiny needle (such as a pine needle) in his mouth as he taps on the glass. It gives me the impression that he is desperate to make a nest, but he already is IN a tree that's where he got the needle, why is he obsessed with making his nest in what is only a reflection in the glass of where he already lives? I think he is very cute but very slow to learn. He's been attempting to enter that reflection forest for several months, now. We have tried to discourage him by putting photos of other birds outside on the glass, but he isn't fooled by all that, only fooled by the reflection of his tree in the glass. So I feel an affection for him.

    I loved the "Radio Days" "set" as I knew I would. Your tracking shorts are magnificent and you've even got the up and down as well as the forward and backward and the sideways. The radio, itself, if beautiful, and the whole setting has such a great atmosphere. You complained about the sudden scene changes; I am not sure how you compiled these, but software like iMovie (but I doubt you have an Apple computer) have built in several different scene transitions. A blending from one screen to another might work for you.

    There was a discussion here of the Oscars; I din not watch since I have all but stopped going to movies. The only movies I saw this whole Oscar year were "Dunkirk" and "Call Me By Your Name", both of which had some kind of Academy Award nomination. I loved them both, saw "CMBYN" twice and I now have the DVD of it in my possession. "Dunkirk" to me made me feel like I really WENT somewhere, and not only someWHERE, but also back in time . Both films were really worth going to the movies for, but there don't seem to be very many of those kinds of movies anymore.

  5. Tom,I felt that March has been a very long month and it's hard to believe that it will be Easter Friday in just two days time. I too feel that February always shoots past us. The only downside of that month is that it can be the coldest month here in the U.K.

    Yes I enjoyed waiting patiently to get a shot of the beautiful Robin bird. We always associate the Robin as the Winter/Christmas bird. And I'm sure that in your Country the robin is a traditional image on many Christmas cards.
    He was clearly quite hungry and was probably struggling to find any food in the deep snow that day. So he was less inhibited in flying on to my open hand where I held out some food for him to nibble on.

    Yes I was fairly pleased with the radio video, particularly the tracking shots. But I must try to remember not to start a new shot/edit when I'm filming something head on only to go into a new shot head on again. It never looks good. I think that final video was about my seventh attempt. But I guess I'll learn from my mistakes.
    As well as the picture of Churchill I'm sure you recognized the two other framed photos. One was of King George VI (Father of our present Queen Elizabeth) and the other picture was of the young (Queen) Princess Elizabeth with her Sister Margaret along with The Queen Mother.
    That introduction noise at the beginning of an old radio being tuned in came to me when I recently watched (again) Les Vacances De M. Hulot. You probably remember when Hulot chaotically enters the front lounge room letting all the stormy wind into the room. That's when you hear the old radio losing reception in the background.

    I did finally manage to watch 'Call Me By Your Name' online and it was a pleasant film with a beautiful Summer feel to it. But I couldn't help thinking that the older Oliver was a bit wooden. I would have loved to have seen that role taken by someone like Spanish actor and model John Kortajarena. You might remember he had a brief walk on part in 'A Single Man' where he was clearly coming on to Firth. But firth managed to resist his advances.

    But the most moving and powerful part of CMBYN was towards the end where Elio's (Timothee Chalamet) Father made that great speech to his son. Now if only many more Fathers were like that.
    But I guess that if you read the novel by Andre Acimen then you can conjure up your own ideas of what the protagonists in the story might look like.
    But you are right in that very good movies are less and less now. A lot of popular culture, both music and films is going on a downward spiral. You could even say that all this modern technology arrived 30, maybe 40 years too late.