Home | Links | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Videos | Oxted Paris Cycle Ride | Scarlett | Site notices

About This Site

A personal weblog with photographs and comments. Quiet ramblings, quite rambling...


Login | Register | Why?


Advanced Search

Most recent entries

Recent entries with comments



Monthly Archives


Lately listening to

Site Statistics

Site Credits

Tuesday, 08 November 2005
Giclée Prints


The above photograph is of Printworks an exhibition of fine art giclée prints by Kim Lane at the Glass Café of the Grace Barrand Design Centre.

According to the brochure I picked up at the exhibition

A Giclée print is a Fine Art reprographic process using the latest digital technology archival quality papers, canvas and inks tested to surpass Fine Art Trade Guild standards. Thus producing the best quality reproduction in print currently available.

Prices for the limited edition of 200 prints on canvas are £260 each, and on paper are £95 each.  My first thoughts were that this seems a tad expensive, for what is essentially an ink-jet print, albeit with artists inks, on artist paper (or canvas) and using a special printer.

Posted by bigblue on 08/11/2005 at 11:59 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Monday, 07 November 2005


Here is one of my firework photographs, from Bonfire Night on Saturday.

Meanwhile France enters its twelfth bonfire night with no let-up in sight.  The BBC’s John Simpson says the violence in France is exposing the weaknesses in France’s political leadership, and the BBC reports on differences in the blogosphere over the unrest. At the moment I am attracted to the dispassionate reporting (and even humour) over on the English version of the Parisist blog.

Posted by bigblue on 07/11/2005 at 11:11 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Sunday, 06 November 2005

Wagamama Richmond

Last night Bluemeanie and I dropped Pinkie and her mates at a murder mystery party in Ashford and then went on to Richmond for supper. We dined at Wagamama’s (pictured above). After eating we went for a windy walk down on the Thames, from where we caught glimpses of fireworks across the river and caught the fancy of a bevy of swans. Bluemeanie dozed off on the way back and fortunately didn’t notice that the journey back to Ashford was (unintentionally) twice as long as the outbound one.

There was an amazing array of fireworks all along our journey last night. Unfortunately none of my photos were particularly good, but there are some good ones on flikr. I particularly like Annie Mole’s from Ravenscourt Park, West London.  (Annie Mole is responsible for the very entertaining London Underground Blog).  Also recommended are Merialc’s from Kensington Castle.

Posted by bigblue on 06/11/2005 at 11:53 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Saturday, 05 November 2005
Terrorist plot

Guy Fawkes house

The above photograph is of the Guy Fawkes Free House (public house) in York, birthplace of the celebrated terrorist Guy Fawkes in 1570. 

Today is the 400th anniversary of the gunpowder plot, carried out by a group of Catholic conspirators (including Fawkes) who attempted to assassinate King James I of England and King James VI of Scotland (being the same person), and the English Parliament and House of Lords during the opening session of Parliament in 1605.

Posted by bigblue on 05/11/2005 at 11:31 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Friday, 04 November 2005


This afternoon I spent over three hours behind the wheel. My favourite way of monitoring the traffic conditions ahead of me is by phoning the AA roadwatch service before coming up to a place where I have an alternative route. Often an accident occurs ahead of me after I have departed from my starting point, so it is not feasible to simply rely on conditions at the time of departure.

However there are a few internet sites worth checking for live traffic conditions, depending on the nature of your journey.

There is the Highways Agency which can forecast conditions for a particular date and can be used to see the CCTV traffic pictures (in Bristol only).  They are also responsible for Traffic Map.

The AA and the RAC also purport to give live traffic news for England.

Traffic Master is a commercial site with much of the same information.

As far as the provinces go the situation gets a bit confusing:

For those in the North, the Scottish Executive provides a service called NADICS (National Driver Information and Control System).

For those in the West, the Welsh Assembly provides the more humble-sounding Traffic Wales traffic information service.

Across the Irish Sea we have the Traffic Watch Northern Ireland provided by an agency within the Department for Regional Development (four CCTV traffic pictures in Belfast available online).

With a tip of the hat to Ian at work and to Roy’s Journal.

Posted by bigblue on 04/11/2005 at 11:21 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Thursday, 03 November 2005
The kettle is black

greengrocer signs

I was recently feeling bad about the numerous spelling mistakes in this blog, but today I walked past the greengrocer in Ashby-de-la-Zouch and am feeling somewhat smug again.

In a similar vein, the editor of the Sun Rebekah Wade was arrested earlier today for assaulting her husband. Under her leadership the Sun newspaper has run a campaign against domestic violence. And just under a month ago Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that

There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in Iraq

Posted by bigblue on 03/11/2005 at 11:20 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (4) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Wednesday, 02 November 2005


This is a reflection of the Corner House in Nottingham in the windows of the bulding opposite.

Posted by bigblue on 02/11/2005 at 10:50 PM
Filed under: (2) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Tuesday, 01 November 2005


This is Ashby-de-la-Zouch castle, an English Heritage site. The plant in the forefront of the photograph is a wild rose, or eglantine, which is in fruit.  The fruit is the basic ingredient for eglantine jam, which I have mentioned previously

The plant is also known as the sweetbriar rose or rosa eglanteria, and is indiginous to Europe, including the United Kingdom, as well as Western Asia.  The plant features strongly in English literature and folklore, and is mentioned in numerous poems, songs and books.  However eglantine jam is currently next to impossible to get hold of. This could be a consequence of the British consumer’s fixation with price over quality and the fact that the fruit does not lend itself to mass production.

French consumers consistently put quality and source over price, but the British consumer’s priority is to save money. This is why the small high street shops are going out of business and small food producers are folding, too.

Tomlins expects the price war to last for the forseeable future: ‘Suppliers have become more and more efficient, and they will just have to carry on doing that. While price drives the British consumer, the drive for efficiency and lower prices will continue to be an issue.’

Almost inevitably, this will mean the demise of more local sausage makers and other specialists, which lose their markets to the big stores.

Across the Channel, French buyers will willingly pay twice the price for a melon they consider to be better than the standard ones on sale in a market. The French knowledge about wine and cheese is an indicator of the strength of feeling there about the quality of all food and drink.

Few Britons mind about such things. In fact, we are exporting to France certain kinds of lamb from sheep that graze on marshland. The animals take in extra salt, which makes their meat tastier - something not apparently of any interest in the UK.

Rose hip jam is not even readily available in speciality good food shops in the UK.  All my recent purchases of eglantine jam have been in France, where it is still readily available in large supermarkets all year round. 

Last week bluemeanie bought me a jar when she was in Germany.  When it is finished I am going to try the rose hip jam supplied by Organic Roots who do mail-order and who can also be visited three miles North of Junction 3 of the M42.

Posted by bigblue on 01/11/2005 at 11:40 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share
Page 4 of 4 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4