Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Fake sunlight

Ordinarily it isn't possible to fake sunlight.  But, I've had a go and it's not too bad, all things considered.  You try it.  Tricky.

This is before:

This is after:

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Journey into Space - The Red Planet | and the Inevitable Paradox of Man's Relationship with Science, Space & Time

Here is a confession.  I have come to realise that I am, amongst other things, a lover of science-fiction (& fact, come to think of it).  Geek is much too ugly a word.  I am fascinated by all that is science, space and time, and the inevitable paradox of Man's relationship with it.  Be it existential, theoretical or theological (don't get me started!).

I was raised on a steady diet of Star Trek until Steven Spielberg gave us Close Encounters of the Third Kind (I love how there are classifications of encounters).  Now I am only allowed a rationed amount of sci-fi films; groans and walk-outs would otherwise prevail every night around the family tele-viewer, I mean TV.  The new Star Trek, Contact, Frequency, Wall-E, Deja Vu, even the fabulous Galaxy Quest can only be dusted off once every 6 months or so if I'm lucky.

I am also a devotee of BBC iPlayer and Radio 4 extra.  It gives me access to the best of radio when I am cooking photographs on my beloved Mac.  News Quiz, The Masterson Inheritance, The Goon Show, Cabin Pressure, Bleak Expectations, Cabin Pressure... the list is nearly endless.  Did I mention Cabin Pressure?

Ah, but now my sci-fi appetite if fulfilled by the discovery of Charles Chilton's Journey into Space series.  More specifically, The Red Planet.  Wonderful, beguiling, fascinating.  It was first broadcast in 1954.  So many of its ideas have made their way into more modern space/time classics, especially 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010 The Year we Make Contact.

I know the spacey sound effects are cheesey, but I love the noise of the rockets firing; it's just like Thunderbirds (which my father actually filmed) and strangely comforting.  I have just started to settle down to "World in Peril" when Jet Morgan, Doc, Lemmy and the annoying Mitch manage to return from Mars to the Moon.

Does anyone else think that Doc (Guy Kingsley Poynter) sounds like James Mason?

Oh, and Charles Chilton also produced many of The Goon Shows.  Spooky.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Just Dog walking

I sometimes forget how unique and breathtaking our scenery is here.  I scooted around Brentor walking the dog and the view toward the western slopes of Dartmoor was compelling.  You can see how the granite forced its way through the crust.

Nature has applied its own colour scheme: green for decent topsoil depth, and brown for acidic, peaty virtually non-existent topsoil suitable for ankle-breaking grass tufts and incredibly hardy hawthorn trees.  I say trees, there more like stumpy 'Ent' gargoyles.  (Tolkein noun.)

On a different note, I have just returned from a Celebration Day where two people pledged their commitment to each other in front of their family and friends.  It was truly lovely.  I re-connected with people I knew from 30 years ago in London.  Danced too much I think.  Probably embarrassed my children.  Least I broadened THAT horizon for them.

It re-affirmed my wish that we could all enjoy regular "mash-ups" of old friends and new, family and loved ones just for its own sake.  Why is it just weddings and funerals?  Actually I know why, but wouldn't it be lovely if we could do it once a year, without agenda?

We've seen the last of the sun for a few days...  Autumn has a foot in the door.  The manic-depressive leaves of the sycamore trees are instantly turning brown and shrugging off the tree, whilst the chestnuts have started changing for the colour party.  The maples are waiting for their big entrance...

Monday, 17 September 2012

Lifton Bridlepath, near Tavistock

My nomination for prettiest bridlepath:

Lifton Bridlepath, near Tavistock

Dog heaven.

Also, came across the ultimate do-it-upper:

Rose Cottage, Sprytown, Tavistock

Monday, 10 September 2012

Good Joke

Heard a good joke from the inimitable Mr Ben Bax:

"There is a dislexic, insomniac and agnostic man who lies awake at night wondering if there really is a dog."

Of course there is, his name is Cosmo:

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Dartmouth coastlining

Who'd have thought the view towards "Deadmans Cove" could look so Piratey.  Perhaps it's just me.

Did you know?
In 1373 Geoffrey Chaucer visited Dartmouth.  Among the pilgrims in his Canterbury Tales:

A schipman was ther, wonyng fer by weste;
For ought I wost, he was of Dertemouthe.

Dartmouth was a major base for privateering in medieval times.  John Hawley was a licensed privateer and mayor of Dartmouth is thought to be a model for Chaucer's "schipman".

Quite piratey after all then.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Devon Harvest of Barley

"If you tickle the earth with a hoe she laughs with a harvest."
Douglas Jerrold

Barley Sheaves - from Vicinity Websites