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Archive for June, 2009

At the beach…

June 27th, 2009 4 comments
A fishing boat on Aldeburgh beach

A fishing boat on Aldeburgh beach

We woke up to find most of England, or at least the part I inhabit, covered in a thick blanket of clouds. By nine it was hot and muggy so we decided to go to the beach where it would be more bearable with a breeze coming in off the English Channel. We went to Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast. I was looking forward to taking pictures with my new phone (chosen for its camera). Half way through the day I finally figured out how to use the zoom, but I’m really happy with the picture quality. I have to share some of my pictures of my day at the beach. As we sat on the beach, late in the afternoon the sun started to burn off the thick cloud. It was a really lovely day. Read more…

Categories: I've been taking photographs Tags:

Irrationality…

June 26th, 2009 Comments off

My box from Amazon came yesterday. Inside was The Hywayman by Noyes and Keeping (a children’s picture book first published in 1913), the CD MacArthur Park by Richard Harris (Someone left the cake out in the rain…I don’t think that I can take it…cause it took so long to bake it…and I’ll never have that recipe again…Oh nooooooo!”) and a book titled Irrationality, by Stuart Sutherland.

Irrationality is based on numerous psychological studies that show how irrational all people tend to be and gives tips on how to avoid some of the obvious pit falls. I thought I’d share a few things I found interesting in the first chapter.

I knew about the “halo effect”, but I thought it merely related to goodlooking people (who by the way because they are good looking are perceived to be more intelligent, kind, talented, better workers, anything positive etc…if they’re male handsome and tall they’ll also end up being paid much more…merely because of what they look like! This is the basic halo effect, but it can be more insidious. Read more…

Categories: Book Reviews, I've been thinking Tags:

Calke Abbey…the spell is unbroken…

June 23rd, 2009 8 comments
Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey

Whenever I visit a stately home I inevitably end up with an emotional summary of my adventure. Sometimes, like at Byron’s Newstead Abbey, I feel strangely elated and happy. Sometimes I feel sad or creeped out. Sometimes, like on Saturday when I visted Calke Abbey, I feel depressed. “Calke Abbey,” as the National Trust brochure reads, “is a Baroque house built on the site of a former priory and completed in 1704 for Sir John Harpur. The family name changed to Crewe and then to Harpur Crewe and the family wealth was accumulated through clever marriage and the proceeds of land ownership. Throughout the generations the family displayed a range of eccentric characteristics from being strangely reclusive to fanatical collectors. The National Trust has decided to show Calke, as far as possible, as we found it in 1984 as a graphic example of the decline of the great country house that occured during the early to mid 20th century.” What the brochure doesn’t mention is that this decline has been heavily influenced by the sucession of crippling inheritance taxes that has brought most of these families financially to their knees and their houses and lands into the Trust’s posession in lieu of taxes they can’t afford to pay. (The trust is a seperate body of government design – call me a cynic but I’m sure that’s no coincidence). Read more…

Backlog…

June 19th, 2009 Comments off
Pinks

Pinks

I need to go back to bed and get some more sleep, but I just wanted to note that I haven’t forgotten I have a blog. I have about 4 posts filed behind my eyes, all waiting to be typed out. Some need photos. Most need me to be awake. I’ve had a lovely week…well lovely in that it passed in a sleepy haze and nothing really bad happened (and the bin men took the rubbish on Wednesday). I’ve been staying up too late and then getting up too early and staying up which sends productivity down the plug-hole. I have managed to do some work on Dancing the Maypole. I finally accepted, after banging my head on the desk for weeks, that I had to erase part of the last chapter and rework it. Read more…

Categories: General Tags:

A Story in the Bin…

June 6th, 2009 13 comments

It wasn’t my plan to wake up at six. I planned to sleep in, but there was that stupid rubbish bin full of garbage the council didn’t pick up on Wednesday (just like two weeks ago) so we were to put it out this morning and they’d collect it (so they said). The Goblin set the alarm for 7:30, which was why I couldn’t fall back to sleep. So there I was half comotose, staring at the dusty chandelire over the bed (we sleep in the dining room) wishing I could go back to sleep stressing out over the garbage being picked up and Star Trek came to mind. I started thinking about how Star Trek stories has affected my life. And then I started to think about all the stories I’d read or heard as a child and how they’d shaped me. It occured to me (feel free to disagree) that each of us is a sum of the stories woven into our lives. Read more…

Categories: I've been thinking Tags:

Strange goings-on in the garden…

June 4th, 2009 2 comments

I love the weird and the bizarre…and tonight I saw both in garden. First of all you need to know that our back garden is quite small. Most of it is paved, but we have these two little wildernesses; one to the side and one behind us. Our small green patch of grass links the two now that part of the fence refuses to stay upright. The lawn is about nine foot by twelve ft.

I was in the kitchen finishing the paper after eating blueberry pancakes for dinner when the Goblin quietly called from the living room for me to come quick. He was peering out the side window. It was dusk, but there was just enough light to see. We peered out over the back end of the car to the patch of grass. Read more…

Categories: General Tags: