Monthly Archives: March, 2015

Change of season


The Fairfield Horseshoe, from Clappersgate.

This is supposed to be an excellent walk, but I’ve never done it. It’s on the list, perhaps when it’s a bit less snowy!

Portrait of a tree


In the grounds of Wray Castle, Windermere. I thought each of the main branches had different and interesting characters.

Click for a larger version

Well, that was a surprise…

If you saw my photos from yesterday, you’ll understand why we were surprised to wake up this morning to this:


and this:


Very pretty, though:


By the afternoon, the weather had returned to something closer to what we expected:


Photos often don’t, however, tell you anything about the wind, which was, at times, somewhat dramatic!


All peaceful now, though.


How the Archers sounds, for people who don’t listen to the Archers.

BBC Radio 4, poking a bit of fun at itself. Very nicely done.

How The Archers sounds to people who do not listen to The Archers

(This will probably be completely meaningless to anyone who hasn’t spent significant amounts of time in the UK in the last 60 years. Of course, The Archers does include some important news stories occasionally…)

Many thanks to Tom Standage for the link.

Simply messing about in boats

We’ve escaped to the Lake District for a few days, and, as we turned off the main road and came down the side of Ullswater, we got the sudden urge to be on it instead of beside it, so we rented a small boat from the very nice people at the Glenridding Sailing Centre. I think it was just about the first one they’d rented this season.


Tilly has limited experience of boats, and wasn’t too sure what to make of it, but quickly settled down. I haven’t sailed much in a long time, but spent many happy days in my childhood doing this. Very nostalgic.



The Inn on the Lake at Glenridding caught the sunlight nicely at one point.


And when I got distracted by the view, Tilly would keep a close eye on the set of my sails.


Click images for larger versions.

Plus ça change…

In the old days, I had to wind my watch up each night, and every couple of months do a little fiddling to make sure the date indicator was current.

Today, I have to charge my watch up each night, and every couple of months do a little fiddling to make sure the firmware is current.

…plus c’est la même chose.

Geek Joke

Thanks to Jon Green for this:



I find these pictures, by Pawel Nolbert, intriguing – a blend of very analogue-like textures doing very digital-like things. Click the images for more examples of his work.


Pedantry of the day

Claire Underwood, the wife of the president in the splendid new House of Cards, expresses distress that a prisoner she was trying to help had hung himself in his cell.

Except, of course, he didn’t. He hanged himself.

Meat is hung. Pictures are hung. People, however, are hanged, at least when it’s in the sense of ‘put to death by hanging’.

There. It’s good to get that off my chest. Thank you for listening.

The writing’s on the wall for writing

Two things I can’t remember:

  • Just how many weeks and months I spent, as a child, learning handwriting.

  • When (beyond inscribing a simple signature and a date) I last needed that skill.


The Memory Desk?


I like this analogue solution for storing sketches and other notes, designed by Kirsten Camara… but I fear it might turn into more of an oubliette! The blueprints are available under a Creative Commons licence if you want to build one, though; more information at Colossal.

Connected keyrings and wireless wallets

A Telegraph piece by Rhodri Marsden about Bluetooth-enabled devices. Excerpt:

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but there seems to be a race to reinvent everyday objects, connect them to each other wirelessly, then make a promotional video with a ukulele, glockenspiel and handclap soundtrack. We then willingly hand over our money.

Nice. He goes on to discuss devices which talk to your phone, and alert you when you leave them behind.

I like this concept, but at present the likelihood that the phone app is still running on my phone, and that the Bluetooth connection hasn’t failed (due to whatever mysterious movement of the planets causes Bluetooth connections to fail), is exceedingly small, even when set against my notoriously unreliable memory.

No doubt this balance will shift, on both sides, as the years roll by…

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser